Food and fitness for seniors to maximize summer with Rose Reisman

Rose Reisman is a renowned authority on healthy eating and living well in Canada. Rose joined Aspira once again for another webinar to focus on outdoor eating safety and the benefits of staying active during warm weather, with Andrew Craig - Aspira's National Director of Culinary and Hospitality - also present.

Back by years of expertise in healthy living Rose has authored over 20 cookbooks, underlining her dedication to changing the eating habits of Canadians by promoting delicious and healthy food choices.

Benefits of eating well 
According to Reisman, eating well helps control weight, strengthens bones, boosts immunity, and reduces the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. This is for people of any age, not just for those over 65. Rose acknowledged the challenges of maintaining a healthy lifestyle but stressed the importance of at least trying to eat well to improve your overall health and increase your longevity.

Healthier BBQ
On the topic of seasonal fare, Rose talked about how much she loves barbecuing and how easy it is to make healthy choices while grilling. Instead of relying on processed meats, she encouraged the audience to opt for healthier options like fish and lean cuts of meat. Rose also addressed concerns about fruit consumption for those with diabetes, stating that portion control is key and that fruits and vegetables are essential for a balanced diet.

Rose began by discussing the importance of enjoying outdoor eating safely. With the temperatures rising, there is a need to prevent foodborne illnesses. She highlighted the risks associated with hot weather and how easy it can be to make mistakes that can lead to illness, especially for those with weakened immune systems or the elderly. Foodborne illnesses are a significant concern in her eyes and Rose highlighted three main illnesses to watch for:

  • E. coli
  • Salmonella
  • Listeria

She provided tips to avoid these illnesses, such as washing hands regularly and cooking meat thoroughly. Rose also talked about how important proper food handling and storage are to prevent contamination.

Benefits of regular exercise
In addition to food safety, Rose discussed the benefits of staying active during the summer. She emphasized the positive impact of exercise on weight management, bone health, and overall well-being. Rose encouraged the audience to engage in outdoor activities while staying hydrated and protecting themselves from excessive heat.

She also delved into and suggested various forms of exercise and outdoor activities for staying active during the summer. Highlighting the importance of good posture and shared the benefits of using poles for walking, Rose said: "When you hold poles, you're forced to get the back nice and straight and your hand upper level helps your posture." Rose also emphasized the significance of exercise in maintaining mental well-being.

Consider e-biking and golf
Biking was next on her list and she recommended electric bikes as a great option for those who may not be able to bike for extended periods. She encouraged individuals to rent or buy electric bikes to make biking more enjoyable and less strenuous. Golf was another activity Rose mentioned, noting that it can be a social sport that offers opportunities for walking and getting steps in.

Therapeutic activities to age with grace
For individuals seeking more flexibility and inner calm, Rose suggested trying Tai Chi and yoga. She highlighted the low-impact nature of these activities and their benefits for stretching, movement, breathing, and relaxation. Gardening was also mentioned as a therapeutic exercise that allows for listening to audiobooks or music while enjoying the outdoors.

Rose further emphasized the overall therapeutic benefits of exercise, stating, "exercise in my life is mental... it sets my mental state." She highlighted how exercise improves muscle mass, strengthens the body, enhances coordination and balance, and increases flexibility and mobility. Rose encouraged individuals to age gracefully by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and making movement part of your daily routine, even if it’s at a slower pace.

Cooking demo and recipe
During the video Rose cooked a healthy summertime meal. The recipe is below

Chicken with white bean and tomato bruschetta (Gluten free) - Serves 4
1 lb (450 g) boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 tsp (10 mL) olive oil
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) salt
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) pepper

1.5 cups (321 g) canned white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2.5 cups (375 g) cherry tomatoes, sliced
3/4 cup (113 g) diced seeded cucumber
1/4 cup (38 g) finely chopped green onions
3 tbsp (45 mL) chopped fresh basil
2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
4 tsp (20 mL) lemon juice
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) chopped garlic
½ cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)

2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped basil

  • Rub the chicken with 2 tsp (10 mL) olive oil and salt and pepper. Grill in grill pan or barbecue the chicken breast until internal temperature reaches 165° F (74° C).
  •   Combine beans, tomatoes, cucumber, onions, basil, 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, feta (if using) and salt and pepper in a bowl and mix well. Spoon over serving platter.
  •   Slice chicken into medallions and lay overtop. Garnish with chopped basil.

Low impact outdoor pursuits
In terms of outdoor activities, Rose mentioned the enjoyment of cottaging and suggested kayaking, canoeing, and fishing as low-impact exercise options. Swimming and swimming aerobics were also recommended for building strength with minimal effort.

Rose ultimately provided valuable insights into various forms of exercise and summer outdoor activities, all while teaching the audience how to eat safely during BBQ season. Her recommendations catered to different dietary preferences and physical abilities so that everyone can get the most out of the summer season.

Aspira-Easy-Guide-to-Retirement-Living-04.14.22_Page1Want more information? Download our Easy Guide to Retirement Living today!


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