Healthy Lifestyle Changes – Part 1: Episode 148

lifestyle changesHealthy Lifestyle Changes: A Conversation with Dr. Stephen Schimpff

One thing I'm pretty sure of is every one of us want to live a longer and better life. That means having a healthy life free of illness and diseases. Today our guest is Dr. Steven Schimpff who is a senior health and longevity expert and has also written a book about it.

Dr. Schimpff is going to tell us about the secrets to living a long and healthy life. He is 76 years old and moved to a retirement community with his wife.

Healthy Lifestyle Changes at a Retirement Community

Dr. Schimpff thinks that it is easier to have healthy lifestyle changes in retirement or senior community. His wife has been his lifetime coach and cooks healthy for both of them. The people in the community requested Dr. Schimpff to give a talk on living better and slowly he picked on the subject. He attended many seminars, lectures and carried out his own research all of which have been consolidated in his book.

Living in a senior community has enabled them to adopt some healthy habits. They have signed up for 20 meals in a month, and her wife cooks the rest. The community has a fitness center and an Olympic size swimming pool coupled with lanes for walking. Both of them find it easier to exercise or maybe go for a walk to stay fit.

They can also interact with other seniors over their meal and satisfy the need for social engagement. There is also no need to worry about small things such as leaky gutters as everything is taken care of.

Dr. Schimpff has some useful insights which can help you have healthy lifestyle changes.

How can the Senior Community Lead a Better and Healthy Life

According to Dr. Schimpff, you have to choose between the healthy and non-healthy in every aspect of life. You can either have a salad or eat a sugar-laden cookie- the choice is in your hands. Dr. Schimpff tells us that there are seven crucial aspects of living a healthy life-

  • eating healthy
  • managing stress
  • adequate exercise
  • getting enough sleep
  • quitting smoking
  • intellectual stimulation
  • social engagement

Healthy eating is a MUST!

Be really careful about what you eat. Try to include as many green leafy vegetables as possible in your meals and also eat a lot of wide variety of colorful vegetables. You can choose the ones you like and make a salad, boil them or cook them with meat. A vegetable-based diet will give you all required nutrients while being low on calorie. Your plate should have 2/3 vegetables, and the rest can be meat or fish.

You should also try to cut white flour and sugar from your diet. We have talked about it many times in our show how sugar can lead to inflammation and other chronic diseases. You should also look to eat grass-fed meat which has Omega 3 which is also present in fish. Cows who are fed soybeans and corns have Omega 6 which is not good for our body.

Our guts contain around 100 trillion beneficial bacteria which digest fiber and give us energy. It's necessary to feed the good bacteria while starving the bad ones. Fermented food like yogurt and Sauerkraut come with live organisms and a good source of probiotics. You should also consume enough fiber present in fruits and vegetables to feed the good bacteria to keep you healthy. The label of the yogurt should read “contains live cultures” which means it has the good bacteria which our guts need.

A few tips to have a healthy brain

We also have to learn to deal without stress which can be done through meditation, taking walks in nature and spending time with people we like. You should also cut out tobacco use which we all know is not good for our health.

You also have to keep your brain up to date by providing it stimulation or challenges. As humans, we are social beings and need to interact with one another. We cannot be happy or healthy living a life of a hermit removed from the society.

We have run out of time in this episode and will have another session with Dr. Schimpff who is going to talk more about healthy lifestyle changes!

Retire with a Healthy Brain: Episode 146

healthy brainHave a Healthy Brain after Retirement!

Our brains start to lose its capacity as we age and we can’t remember things as we used to before. As for me, I have seen that my memory has been suffering as I age because of not having a healthy brain. That is why I tend to write down stuff which helps me remember things.

Today, I look forward to learning a few things from our guest Janet Rich Pittman who helps out old people with age-related difficulties. She was in a marketing job and helped her husband get elected to a public office. She moved into old age care on the advice of her mother, who told her that she was great at helping her grandmother with dementia at the hospital.

Janet started her course and became a dementia healthcare administrator. She loved her work where she helped old people to have a healthy brain and fight the treacherous disorder of dementia and other ageing related issues. She continued her studies further and became a dementia practitioner to be able to help people with dementia.

What our Healthy Brain needsHealthy Brain

I asked Janet about the issues that we can face as we get old. Janet tells us that our brains are prone to experience a brain drain as we age. The brain needs proper nutrition and the need increases as it grows old. You also have to keep providing it challenges so that it does not fade away into oblivion.

Janet runs her website and even has written an ebook. My listeners can go to her site which is Janetrichpittman.com and get direct access to the ebook completely for free. You can also go for a printed version, which costs $7.95 which shipping included.

The book is called 9 Signs You are Experiencing Brain Drain and available in the middle section of her website. You need to scroll down a bit, and then you can see it.

The book has everything you need to know about the brain drain that you experience as you grow old. It also tells you how to keep your brain fully charged so that you can go through old age without experiencing problems such as loss of memory.

Food for a Healthy Brain

I asked Janet to enlighten us with some of the nine signs that she has written about in her book. She tells us that the most important thing to keep a watch is the food you are eating. There is an intrinsic connection between the brain and the gut, and you will be surprised to know that the gut produces more neurotransmitters than the brain!

What you eat is going to affect the performance of your brain. Janet also provides insight into the foods we should be wary of. She advises us to keep our hands off the “6 white foods”- sugar, rice, potatoes, milk, flour, and corn. Janet tells us that the black and brown varieties of the white food such as brown rice, Indian potatoes are fine but we must try not to eat the white ones!

White Sugar is Not Good for the BrainHealthy Brain

She also tells us that we should cut out white or processed sugar from our diet. It has been proved that sugar feeds cancer. It’s why you should instead try things like maple sauce or honey to satisfy your sweet cravings. Along with giving up processed sugar, look to include oils such as Omega 6 and Omega 3 which improve the performance of your brain.

She also speaks about the ill effects of gluten which is present in almost all food. We can handle a bit of gluten now and then, but excess amounts can turn our body against itself. Gluten causes leaks in the intestine, and the food seeps out in the body.

It can lead to inflammation and with years of bad eating habit, the inflammation can shoot up to the brain resulting in dementia. The inflammation takes place as the immunity system reacts to the gluten and starts harming the body's cells thinking they are the enemy! So watching your gluten intake is really crucial!

Another sign that people should look out for is getting enough sleep. Sleep is directly related to your brain's performance and has effect on your memory. You should look to get around 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night to keep your brain functioning efficiently.

To know more about how to achieve Healthy Brain in Retirement, you may visit Janet Rich Pittman's  website:


Natural Health and Wellness: Episode 145

Natural Health and Wellness

Natural Health and Wellness in Retirement

Our guest today is Marian Carroll who is an expert in bio-individuality. It is a concept which means that a single diet does not fit all and the needs of an individual have to be considered. Marian had a career in finance and IT and reached her retirement age as a baby boomer.

She wanted a reason to get up in the morning and have something to do. This zeal led her to train and become a holistic health counselor who deals with natural health and wellness. Her job involves advising people on natural health and wellness in all aspects of life. This is for them to achieve optimal health. She focuses on five key aspects which are crucial for an improved healthy diet, physical care and exercise, a purpose in life, emotional wellness and spiritual practice.

Marian tells us that all the five aspects are connected and should be our focus if we want to stay healthy especially in our retirement age having natural health and wellness.

Marian gives us helpful insights on how to connect with nature to improve our health. She is not only talking about the nature that surrounds us, but she is also referring to out intrinsic nature or the intuitions. It is important to listen to our intuitions to achieve optimal health.

Health and Nature

Marian also states that we should improve our health by making well thought, slow and permanent changes in our lifestyle. The most important thing we need to be wary of is the food that we eat. We should start thinking about natural health and wellness for ourselves. We have developed a habit of thinking intellectually about what we eat rather than having our intuitions do the job.

Marian's father used to say that she would eat what she needs as she is more connected to nature as a child. Marian thinks we should follow the same philosophy and let our guts decide what is good for us. It would also tell us what food to stay away from as they as they are not good for our body. Our body is more alive in a natural health and wellness.

We should be super careful about what we eat and look to include more green in our diet because we really need to consider natural health and wellness. Marian says that the 80% food products that we get in the supermarket are made in factories which is not natural. Out of those around 65% to 80% come with added sugar.

Natural Sweeteners

Marian tells us that we should look to cut out processed sugar as much as possible from our diets. Too much sugar can lead to inflammation and even feed dangerous diseases like cancer. I also agree with Marian as Les, and I have stopped consuming sugar after he was diagnosed with cancer.

It takes a bit of awareness and a lot of reading of labels of food products to know what to buy. Many products come with sugar such as peanut butter, bread, soups and we need to be aware of them. We will know about the ingredients and can choose sugar-less options easily if we read contents.

Marian also suggests to us that we should aim to eat more plant-based whole food. You can even go for a plant-based version of popular food items such as noodles- there is a version which is made from the root of a plant found in Asia. You can also use natural sweeteners and natural honey instead of sugar to make your food sweet. This is what natural health and wellness are about.

Natural Health and Wellness

You should start with small changes and include veggies in your diet slowly and gradually. Your body may not be used to vegetables and you may be gassy or have other stomach issues in the beginning. But slowly your body will detoxify and adapt to the new diet making you feel more natural, healthy and energetic.

The topic comes up that many people don't like to eat vegetables which affect our natural health and wellness. I asked Marian what should such people do to include natural greens in their diet. Marian tells us that one of the best ways is to whole food supplements which come packed with all macronutrients, vitamins, probiotics and other nutrients that our body needs.

We can also make smoothies and pour some green in them. Another way for natural health and wellness is to sneak vegetables in different dishes- spaghetti sauce, hamburgers and whatever you can think of!

To know more about how to achieve optimal health with natural health and wellness, you may visit Marian Carroll's website:


Living Healthy in Retirement: Episode 144

living healthy

Living Healthy in Retirement

I talked with Cassandra Hill, who is a gerontologist and a certified wellness coach. She started out working with seniors in long-term care and assisted living and enjoyed her time. The health of the seniors she worked with declined to a point that their quality of life was limited. This gave her the passion to work with seniors and give them a better quality of life.

In this episode, Cassandra enlightens us on how to age properly and the things that we should do to live out our senior years in peace and confidence.

Cassandra tells us that the baby boomers are in their retirement age and they need to be proactive about aging. She has served seniors living at home, in a skilled nursing, assisted living, and also in hospice. She ensures that their emotional health is also taken care of so that they are in a good mental state. Their wellbeing is not only important to them, but also for their loved ones and family members.

Our body and mind are interwoven and often mental stress can lead to physical symptoms and even cause illness. It is necessary to take care of both in order to live a comfortable life.

Concerns about aging

I ask Cassandra to tell us more about the concerns of aging and growing old. She states that the primary concern of seniors she works with is finances. Having the means necessary to live and fear of outliving their money. Many people have not bought long-term insurance or didn't save enough to go through retirement. With the advance in medical science, people are living longer but with chronic illness.

Such people need to apply for government insurance like Medicaid immediately, which can cover long-term care depending on your circumstances. The insurance also pays for meals or any medical expenses including that of a nurse. Some states also offer the PACE program for seniors which are all-inclusive programs that come helpful in the golden years.

Cassandra is now focusing on people who are yet to retire so that she can work with them and help them save enough for retirement. She also feels that the retirement system in the country should change otherwise future generations won't be able to support them.

Living Healthy

I presented Cassandra a hypothetical situation of a 62-year-old woman who has to take care of her kids and also has to check in on her parents.  Doing things for her parents such as occasionally buying groceries and other things for them. I ask Cassandra what suggestion she would give to such a woman.

Cassandra says that this woman should first take care of herself otherwise she won't be able to care for others. She should go for a routine check-up at least once every 6 months. She also advises her to take self-care measurements and get the finances sorted. She suggests getting some form of pension and gets a retirement plan while making some cutbacks in her lifestyle. Her kids can also apply for education loans to take some burden off her shoulders.

For a 62-year-old woman living independently, Cassandra advises her to develop healthy habits or should practice living healthy. She should also exercise regularly for about 30 minutes a day to increase her heart rate. To avoid feelings of isolation, she should join some community such as YMCA and interact with people who share the same interests.

Advice from Cassandra

Cassandra also gives out words of wisdom who want to be proactive about their aging. She tells us to invite an Aging in Home designer who can come and assess your house. They can suggest a number of changes which might help you in living healthy and happy for a long time. Such considerations include putting slides in the shower, taking up rugs and so on. Talking on the subject it turns out that falls are really common with senior people. Most of the falls happen in the bathroom facilitated by factors such as water and slippery floors. The kitchen is another place which might prove to be hazardous in your old age.

You can make your house suitable for living and reduce the chances of mishaps. Such measures include putting a grab handle in the shower so that you can save yourself from falling.

If you want more tips about the science of aging, you can visit Cassandrahill.com and also check out her Facebook page Live Health for Life.

Connect with Cassandra:

This post about retirement and Retirement Lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com

Tips on a Great Retirement Experience: Ep. 143

retirement experienceRandy Gardner's Retirement Experience

In today’s episode, we have Randy Gardner who is going to tell us about his retirement experience. Randy just recently retired. In fact, as of our recording, he had only been retired 1 week. Randy serves as an inspiration for the many listeners of my show who want to retire early or planning to retire but are may have some reservations.

Incidentally, Randy is also a big fan of the Rock Your Retirement Show and started to follow it a few years back. He had to travel for three hours between cities and grew the habit of listening to podcasts. That’s exactly when he discovered my show and started listening to it!

Soon, he got the idea to retire himself but wasn’t sure of his financial situation. He also had his wife to convince who was an artist but also quite adept when it came to finances.

How a financial advisor can help you decide if you are ready for retirement

Randy sat with his financial advisor and went through his financial position. He tried to evaluate how his retirement may turn out if he chose to quit his technical job. Interestingly, both of them realized that he would be doing quite well even if he chose to retire right now! They worked on the finances and his income including Social Security to get a detailed picture of his financial scenario into the retirement years.

Randy got his wife to sit down with his financial advisor who made the picture clear to his wife and answered all her questions. Getting the confidence he needed, Randy decided to give up his job and spend a life of retirement.

Randy is a Rock your Retirement listener!

I know that many of you are worried about being bored in retirement. Randy was also plagued by the same thought. He wondered how he could fill up his week which was earlier spent in working for over 40 hours. Let's take a look at Randy's retirement experience.

Randy had already started listening to my show and started taking cues and notes from the stories people had to contribute. He started to develop a list of things to do in his retirement life which will keep him busy. To his surprise, both Randy and his wife had quite a few things which they had put off due to various reasons.

Here are some things Randy wants to do to have a great retirement experience

For starters, Randy wants to play a lot of golf which he enjoys to the fullest! He is also thinking about continuing his interest in music and maybe start learning piano which he had gave up at the age of 12. Both Randy and his wife also want to travel a lot! They would like to go on some train trips and cruises that they've always had their eyes on.

Randy even wants to learn a foreign language and makes notes of things he wants to do in his iPad or iPhone all the time. Another impetus to retire was to spend more time with their daughter and son-in-law. Being retired they were now free to move to Austin, where their daughter lived. They also bought a house in the city which is located only a short distance away from their daughter’s home. Randy is also free to spend time with his mother who is single and over 90 years old.

Retiring has also brought other pleasures which he could not enjoy during his working life. He can go to bed late and wake up late. Although by his standards 6 am is as late as it could be! Randy loves to watch the sunrise with a cup of coffee. He believes it to be the best time to spend with family. He can begin the day with his daughter, son-in-law, and wife and talk about all the day has to offer.

Advice from Randy based on his retirement experience:

Randy believes that we all should have a routine and purpose to get up the next day. It doesn’t have to be something extraordinary but simple things like going to the gym or taking a walk in the park. He inherited the habit from his father who was a stern believer of a routine life.

If you are worried about retiring and wondering how you would be able to spend your day- Randy has some suggestions. You should start making a list of reasons to quit your job and what to do when you retire. More often than not, you will end up with multiple items that will keep you busy during your retired years.