This post was originally published in April, 2016.
In my book and in the post Fiscal & Physical Fitness I noted the following:
“Just as being physically fit involves two critical components, controlling diet and exercising; being fiscally fit also involves two critical components, controlling debt and investing. That realization prompted me to immediately commit to fiscal fitness, just as I had always committed myself to physical fitness.”
As I’ve contemplated what I will do in retirement, I have given a lot of thought to one component of physical fitness, exercising. When the wife and I have conversations about what our typical day might look like in retirement, we start with the premise that most days will start with a good workout, whether that means getting in a morning run, working our way through our neighborhood, or perhaps, if the weather isn’t cooperating, making use of our gym membership.
Diet and Exercise
For all the thought I have given to exercising in retirement, I haven’t given as much thought to diet. The wife and I have talked a little about taking cooking classes at the local community college as a way to stay busy and engaged; and expand our home menu, but that has been about the extent … until recently.
Prepping a Morning Smoothie
I like to believe the wife and I maintain a pretty healthy diet. Our mornings typically start with fresh fruit (favorites include bananas, oranges, strawberries, raspberries, pineapple and blackberries) and vegetable (favorites include kale, spinach and carrots) smoothies or steel-cut oatmeal. Dinner typically includes a glass of water, mixed leafy greens, a lean meat and a starch. We rarely have any dessert, and when we do, it might be a low-fat yogurt with fresh fruit.
The one area we could improve – if that is what we were looking to do – would be lunch. We work in close proximity to each other and therefore, nearly always eat lunch together. While we simply come home half the time, the other half we visit one of our favorite restaurants. As most are aware, even when you try to eat better at a restaurant, it’s difficult because the portions are so large and most of the food is processed or was frozen at some point. Not a lot of low-fat, fresh options when you eat out.
Grilled Turkey Burger
Recently, on an afternoon where I was not working, I had plenty of time, and the wife was enjoying lunch with a friend, I decided to grill a turkey burger. The burger, garnished with some Swiss cheese, kale, vine ripened tomato, and avocado on a slim whole wheat bun, was fantastic! Not necessarily because I’m great on the grill, but because I had the time to fire up the grill, add my chosen fresh ingredients and sit calmly … time was not a factor. This led to an epiphany. Well, at least a semi-epiphany as I was not completely unaware of the likelihood of eating better in retirement.
Another distinct advantage of being retired will be that I will not be on someone else’s clock. My time will be my own. Can you enjoy a healthy diet while working the 9 to 5. Of course. However, there are lots of times when rushing off to work, having limited time during the day, and having other obligations when you get home in the evening that make it difficult. One of the benefits of having absolute control of my time will be the ability to create and enjoy better looking, better tasting, and more nutritious meals.
Eat well, drink well, live well and stay savvy, my friends.