By Joy Pape
There’s been a lot of talk about seniors in WestView News. This is great news! In preparing for this column, I asked myself, who are seniors?
Today, many people say age is just a number. Having been a health care provider for m-a-n-y years, I agree…to a point. I’ll go with the definition of being 50 calendar years of age and beyond, since the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) accepts members once they hit their 50th birthdays.
Young or old? It’s not just the calendar age. We all know people in their 50s who are not well, and feel and seem what many of us know as old. And, many know people who are in their late 80s and 90s who feel great, have few health problems and say they’ve never felt better. Is it lifestyle or is it genes? We’ve come to find out it is most likely a bit of each.
There’s an interesting field called epigenetics, which has to do with how the environment can affect your genes. If your health is all about your genes, why do anything that’s considered healthy and helpful? It wouldn’t change anything. So, why even try? On the other hand, epigenetics teaches us we can make changes. So do try!
We are starting a new column, Energizing Tips for Seniors. My hope is to share tips with seniors, which by the way are applicable to almost all people, to keep you feeling your personal best no matter your age.
Here’s a start.
Energizing Tips for Seniors:
Start your morning with protein and fat. So many of my patients start the day off with toast, cereal, and milk, or oatmeal and coffee. They report feeling tired by mid-morning. Why? Because these breakfasts don’t stay with you. The food you eat is for the most part made up of carbohydrates, proteins, and fat. Carbohydrates raise your blood sugar more than protein and fats. This can work against you in two ways. If your blood sugar rises too much, you’ll feel tired and hungry. Your body releases insulin to lower your blood sugar. If the equation is off, which happens as we age, you may crash, get tired, and for many, get even hungrier. Try eating eggs, yes eggs, for breakfast. They are power packed with proteins, fat, vitamins, and minerals. They don’t raise your blood sugar. If you’ve been advised to eat egg whites, it’s good to learn about healthy fats to add, because both proteins and fats stay with you longer for energy, fullness, and satiety. For some, a slice or two of bacon or sausage works, or there are some great-tasting vegetarian options in the freezer section of our grocery stores.
Our plan is to also have monthly energetic and interactive in-person meetings here in our West Village, which will include supermarket tours to help you make affordable and doable choices to help you feel your personal best!
Keep tuned for the venue. And please send questions you may have to me, Joy Pape at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joy Pape, a West Village resident, is a Board Certified Nurse Practitioner, Diabetes Educator and Integrative Lifestyle Coach, specializing in weight management and healthy life styles. Joy practices at the Weill Cornell Comprehensive Weight Control Center and has a private practice in the West Village.