The Health Routine

My indoor winter exercises in the past were hit or miss at best. As of January 1, 2022, I’ve started each day with a yoga practice, and now I alternate yoga (click here) with Pilates (click here). I do these exercises, walk a few miles when the weather allows and swim laps in the summer. As a result, the quality of my sleep has improved, inflammation and body stiffness have significantly decreased. In addition, my mental health (seasonal depression) has vastly improved compared to past winters. Yoga helps to improve balance and flexibility while building a stronger core.


A question I get very often is, “What do you eat?” If you peeked at my shopping list each week, it would include some of the vegetables listed below. My favorites are cruciferous vegetables which belong to the cabbage family. They are so named because their four-petaled flowers look like a crucifer or cross. I buy what is in season, organic, and available in the store.

Arugula
Bok choy
Broccoli
Brussels sprouts
Cabbage
Cauliflower
Chard
Collard and mustard greens
Daikon radish
Horseradish
Kale
Kohlrabi
Radish
Rapini (broccoli rabi)
Rutabaga
Turnip
Wasabi
Watercress

A significant portion of my two meals per day consists of vegetables and beans. However, at least once a week, I have wild-caught sockeye salmon. A serving is about the size of my palm or a deck of playing cards. I buy it at my local grocery stores in the frozen fish department. I look for the Orca Bay brand. More info here.

I eat sauerkraut or other fermented foods, like full-fat plain yogurt and kimchi, daily since they are rich in probiotics if unpasteurized. Good bacteria grow during the fermentation process. Round out a healthy diet with butter from grass-fed cows, avocado, and pure extra virgin olive oil. Pasture-raised organic eggs are occasionally on my plate as well. I’ve learned that healthy fats (never processed oils, shortening, or margarine) play a part in nutritional balance.


I am not an expert in any area, but I freely share the tips that have helped me improve my health, wardrobe, and quality of life. Always consult your doctor before undertaking significant changes to your food choices and exercise routines.

I used the timer on my Sony Alpha a5100 camera and a tripod to take these photos. Shopping links may allow me to earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Your comments, questions, successes, and suggestions are always welcome in the space below. Thank you for being part of this community.

79 Comments
  1. Thanks for this post Susan. You are doing a great job of taking care of yourself well. Interesting to know the meaning of cruciferous. Just wondering if you use any salad dressing or olive oil on you meals.
    BLESSINGS on Your Day!!!

    1. Start with a bed of your favorite leafy greens, add whatever fresh steamed vegetables you have on hand along with some beans, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, cherry tomatoes, and half a ripe avocado. I use only olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar as a dressing.

  2. I love seeing anyone, of any age, doing whatever they can to keep moving and living healthy!
    My husband (age 67 and 6’6″) has been doing daily yoga for the past 7 years. He wakes around 5:30 and does his 1 hour routine, before eating breakfast. He varies the poses, to keep it interesting! Before Covid, he attended yoga class three days each week, in addition to his daily routine. He is the only student that continued yoga, on his own, since things shut down.
    It has helped him with balance and improved his downhill skiing. His knees used to bother him but, since doing yoga, the irritation stopped completely. He also bikes (with an indoor bike in winter) and is a runner in the spring-fall.
    He used to belong to a fitness center but quit because of Covid. They do not require masks and it just isn’t a healthy environment.
    I am 62 and hyper-flexible. So, yoga is actually not so good for me. I work with light weights and my balance, instead.
    Weather-permitting, we go for hikes each day on our property. We can cross-country ski, right from our door.
    We have been on the keto lifestyle since Sept 2016. I lost 45 lbs in the first 4 months of eating low-carb, as well as reversing pre-diabetes. Our no-sugar lifestyle also stopped my husband’s snoring completely!
    I have easily & enjoyably maintained 119 lbs (I’m 5’2″) since Jan. 2017.
    We both feel so much better and enjoy a wonderful variety of foods. We will never go back to our old ways of eating!

  3. Hi Susan,
    Thank you for sharing your routine! I am wondering if you’d be willing to share the exact tank or at least the brand? The link you provided appears a little too fitted for my taste. I love the high neck and split hem of the one you are wearing in the pic. So cute!
    All best,
    Cari

  4. I find this subject so interesting! Dressing well for your age and body is so important, but how you look and FEEL under the beautiful clothes is what really matters. We had a recent family meal where some relatives were openly mocking our “beans and greens” diet, and we just laughed it off, as usual.

  5. Hi Susan, which local market did you buy the Orca Bay salmon in your area? I am moving there this month and making a list of places to shop. Thank you

  6. Hello Susan. I’ve done yoga off and on all my adult life and wouldn’t be without it. Flexibility, strength and balance; mind, body and soul. It’s great. My yoga teacher transferred to online classes through a meetings platform when the first lockdown happened and has continued them for pretty much two years, which has been lovely. They come to an end next week. Do you have any online yoga videos you can recommend?

  7. It is wonderful to have you advocate for yoga and pilates. You are such a positive influence! Exercise is so important and to incorporate a stretch is the best. My husband and I were weight lifting and walking five miles a day. Unfortunately we had not included enough stretching in our routine. Our lower backs started getting very sensitive. We realized our muscles had become very tight. We have changed our workout to include strength and flexibility with Miranda Esmond White through her Essentrics programs and a beginners yoga program. Fortunately the lower back pain is going away. Both of us are feeling better, You really have to pay attention to your body. We are in our 70’s and our main job is to stay healthy!

  8. I practice yoga regularly. But started a 40 day meditation practice on 1/1. Meditation calms the mind. Recommend it!

  9. I appreciate all your health information, Susan. I began yoga in early 2018 at the gym three mornings a week. When the gym closed for a few months in 2020, my instructor went online and continues to this day. My Total Body Conditioning class at the gym went to a Zoom platform for six months then back to in-person. I practice yoga every morning as soon as I rise. Basic flow yoga and occasionally restorative which is mostly on the mat which is great for stretching. I have a Pilates Reformer which has been gathering dust in the corner that I recently started using again. We must keep moving!
    We eat LOTS of vegetables, organic chicken and a small amount of grass-fed beef. I am a couple years older than you.

  10. My diet looks a lot like yours. I have grown to like beans at lot and I love cabbage, especially in the winter. I make a soup with cabbage and beans that I could eat all the time. I think movement is vital on a daily basis. I do have a few things to improve health wise but strive for feeling my best. Thanks for sharing!
    Peace!
    Cheryl

  11. I am glad to see your post. I missed you yesterday and was worried. You look wonderful. You look fit in your yoga outfit. Thanks for the tip of the salad dressing you use. I will try it as my lunch looks similar to the bowl you pictured. Thanks for your blog and take care.

  12. Hi Susan, What all do you have in your above salad? Looks like Cannellini Beans? Do you use olive oil and balsamic vinegar as a dressing?

  13. In years past you would post some of the “recipes” for your pictured meals. I couldn’t find any link on your current website. Suggestions on where to look? At that time you were following Joel Furman’s “Eat to Live” program, which you modified because that ETL caused you health issues. This picture looks like an ETL salad. Thanks, Diane

    1. I have changed a few things since ETL. I eat more vegetables but fewer fruits and grains. I also added salmon, sardines, herring (always wild-caught), and healthy fats such as pure olive oil and avocado. If something needs to be cooked or steamed, such as beans and broccoli, I prep it ahead and keep it in the fridge. Then, when mealtime comes, all I need to do is assemble. I buy Eden Organic no-salt-added beans in a small can, but it takes me three days to eat all of them. Rather than a recipe, I assemble my meals from foods I prepped ahead. If you want to learn more about meal prepping, watch the video here. Cooking for one can be challenging, so I’ve fully embraced cooking once and then assembling for the next few days.

  14. I’m studying your meal and wondering how you put this together. Are some of the foods such as beans and broccoli cooked and served warm in the dish with fresh tomatoes, avocado, and lettuce? It’s a beautiful rainbow of colors. I see sunflower seeds in the mix and something that looks similar to quinoa. Will you provide more information on how you put this together?

    You look beautiful in your yoga attire doing the tree pose. I’m currently working on the tree pose. I’ve joined a Facebook private group called “The Strong Bone Challenge” for people with osteopenia or osteoporosis. At the beginning of the month, we are given a new challenge to do along with our regular exercises. The February challenge is the Step It Up challenge to walk up and down as many stairs as you can every day. My only stairs are the five going down into my garage, but it works.

    Sandy

    1. If something needs to be cooked or steamed, such as beans and broccoli, I prep it ahead and keep it in the fridge. Then, when mealtime comes, all I need to do is assemble. Hemp seeds are likely the topping you couldn’t identify. I buy Eden Organic no-salt-added beans in a can. It takes me three days to eat all of them. If you want to learn more about meal prepping, watch the video here.

  15. Susan, you mentioned that you steam your vegetables, so how do you prepare the cannelloni beans. You look amazingly thin and balanced.

  16. I am 100% on board withe the olive oil and balsamic vinegar salad dressing. That is all I ever use. I avoid condiments, too, because of all the salt, for one.

    Something new that affects my mental health: my phone malfunctioned, so I called Apple. The voice on the phone said “while you are waiting, press 1 if you would like to listen to classical music, press 2 to listen to jazz, press 3 to listen to rock etc…the final choice was no music at all. What a wonderful idea! Sometimes when I am on hold I find the music very annoying and stressful, in this case, I was feeling pretty good by the time the agent answered the phone.

  17. Susan just want to thank you for all the info that you share with your followers. I’ve been following you for about six years now, and this is my second time making a comment.
    I would like to know if you can share the brand of olive oil that you use?
    I learned a few weeks ago, the ones that I used are mixed with another unhealthy oil.

    1. Thank you for following my blogs.

      I buy my olive oil from a local shop here. (They ship!) I look for the newest crop and a high Polyphenol. Polyphenols are micronutrients that naturally occur in plants.

  18. Thank you for the tip about Nicole’s workouts! I’ve been following Adriene’s yoga for a few years now. Will check out Nicole.

    1. Nicole’s workouts can be intense, so I modify some of the moves until I get stronger. The key is to be kind to yourself and do what you can without hurting yourself. I never push through the pain!

  19. Your tree looks very professional! I’ve been doing yoga for over 25 years and think it has saved my back. I had sciatica in my 40s and now at 70, I feel great.

    1. Thank you! You would have laughed if you had watched me set the timer on the camera, run over to assume the pose, and then try not to fall over. My backache has improved tremendously after practicing Yoga for only these few weeks.

  20. Hi Susan. Thank you for this very helpful post. You look so long and lean!
    I am glad that you mentioned the important role of movement on one’s state of mind, especially during the dark winter months. Doesn’t it just lift your spirits to get in a good workout or a hike? For myself, I enjoy the challenge of strength training with at-home adjustable weight sets. I hope it is okay to mention another YouTube site called Get Fit with Rick. These are cardio workouts with low-impact dance moves set to energizing hit music of all types. I thought I was looking pretty cool with the dance routines, until I caught a glimpse of myself in a full-length mirror. Thank goodness I prefer working out at home.

  21. Hi, Susan — Just one question about this wonderful post. The Yoga link take me to “30 Day Yoga Journey”, but the Pilates link takes me to “40 Minute Full Body Dancer Workout”. Is that the correct link for Pilates? Thanks again. I am a big fan!

  22. Susan, I enjoyed your segment today. Practicing yoga significantly helps my lower back with poses
    such as sacred, cat & cow, pigeon, downward dog & child. Thank you for suggesting pilates, after researching I found moves such as shoulders bridge, swimmers, the hundred & plank shingles may be helpful as well.
    My diet is similar to yours & I appreciate all that you share..you have inspired me to stay fit & eat well. I am grateful to be turning 70 this summer in good health.
    Looking forward to your next post, take care.
    Truly, Christi Sachs

  23. I enjoy all your posts as I too am over 60.
    You are a good example of how to work at staying healthy over 60. I have to admit that I fail many times a day, but I continue to try. It’s a little more difficult because I still have my two 20 something daughters living at home finishing up college and their diets although aren’t terrible do include more things that I miss eating.. I try to remind myself everything in moderation.
    Thank you for your blog. You do it very well!!

  24. Would you be willing to share a post of recipes? And a post of how you build your salads? I’m a senior and don’t want to do heavy cooking for one anymore and your foods look like a perfect fit.

    1. Hi Terri. I’m also a senior cooking for one, and I have enjoyed the benefits of meal prepping. I learned about it on YouTube here. The premise is that you prepare some foods to mix and match for the week. When it comes time to eat, all you have to do is assemble the items on your plate for the next few days.

  25. Susan,

    Thank you for your great guidance in maintaining our health and well-being.

    You have inspired me to face my 65th upcoming birthday with style and grace.

  26. Susan, thank you for sharing more about your health routine. It is inspiring to see your strength and balance in the yoga tree asana. Would you be willing to share more of your recipes and go-to cook books?

    Warmly,
    Suzie

  27. You always look wonderful, Susan – strong, healthy and happy. Thanks for sharing tips to help us look and feel our best!
    Please do me a favour: eat some whole grains with your beans and pulses – you’ll increase the usable protein in the beans.

  28. Amen to that! I have a principle: if you make me shout to be heard, you can’t have my money. This applies to any place where I am a customer. I’m fearless about asking the manager to turn the music down. I can’t tell you how many times other customers have thanked me. Constant nerve-jangling noise is not good for mental health.

  29. You are so inspiring and motivating! You look great, always chic and stylish but not frumpy, and share realistic suggestions and advice that real, everyday women can follow. I am hit-or-miss with yoga (and exercise in general) but will dust off my yoga mat and get back into it. My sleep could definitely use some improvement and anything non-pharmaceutical that helps reduce inflammation and stiffness must be good!

  30. So glad you eat foods like real butter and yogurt without artificial sweeteners. I get tired of people commenting about how one should eat fat free foods. Everything in moderation. I have always eaten very little meat, but love all vegetables and now add walnuts daily on the advice of my dietician. Thanks, Susan, for sharing your healthy lifestyle with your readers. What I appreciate is that you show your readers what works for you but you don’t tell your readers that they should eat what you eat.

  31. Hi Susan.
    I know you eat a lot of healthy salads. Since it’s cooler weather now, do you make healthy homemade soups? Do you have any favorite recipes you could share?
    Thanks, Connie

    1. I made a delicious tomato soup last week. First, saute two chopped medium-size sweet onions in two tablespoons each of olive oil and butter. When the onions turn translucent, add three cloves of crushed garlic. Next, stir in two tablespoons of flour to make a roux. Let the mixture cook down for about one minute on medium heat until the flour is absorbed and there are no lumps. Next, pour in a can of whole Roma tomatoes in their juice and two cups of chicken stock. Add salt and pepper, stir, cover and let simmer on low for twenty minutes. Use an immersion blender or food processor to puree the soup, and then return it to the pot to keep warm for a few minutes until you are ready to serve it. I served it with grilled cheese sandwiches, and the meal was a big hit.

  32. Hi Susan,
    When you add beans to your salads are they ones you have cooked ahead of time or are they the canned beans like you mentioned in one answer? Which beans do you suggest to use? I assume this salad is for your one main meal a day. I have so much to do to eat healthy!
    Thanks so much for your advice!
    Helen.

    1. I try to eat a large green salad every day, and I often include beans, either the ones I have cooked or Eden Organic beans. The canned ones are so much easier when cooking for one. I sometimes eat the salad, and then in a couple of hours, I will have a piece of baked or sauteed wild-caught fish with some green beans or broccoli.

  33. I like the photo of your salad. It is cheerful, colorful and there are lots of things to identify food-wise. I also like the bowl with the pretty scalloped edge. I make similar salads and I enjoy choosing just the right serving dishes.

    Your bowl might be Spode or other fine China. I use vintage Fiesta and Franciscan’s old “El Patio” pattern, also vintage. I have a set of Villeroy and Boch China in the now discontinued Naïf pattern. Our tastes are different, but we both have dishes that “Spark joy”, and we know to be useful and beautiful!

    Get to the point, you say. I finally got it that you are teaching us principles, not exact recipes for looking good and feeling confident. The column of color is really working for me. My look is just about always casual because that’s how we roll in our small agricultural community. Yesterday I was at the doctor’s office (again), and someone complimented me on my look. I am short, overweight and going to be 80 in August. Imagine me getting compliments. When we got in to see my husband’s Dr, I told her I liked her look. I could tell she was pleased.

    1. I enjoy giving honest compliments and seeing the smile also.

      You are correct; I share principles rather than dictating what we should be doing. I consider myself a work in progress and reevaluate my habits as I continue to learn.

  34. Hi Susan!
    Have you ever tried CBD oil? It’s worked wonders for me with inflammation, sleep and mood. I use the Barleans brand. I take it every night before bed under the tongue.

  35. My motivation to exercise seems to have gone on vacation. Every evening I give myself the pep talk, “When you get up tomorrow, you will do a 15 min. Pilates or yoga video.” But I arise and sit on the couch. I’m also fighting a new setback called I’m too old. I’m 72 and things aren’t as easy as they were. I have this all or nothing attitude about exercise, never believing that what I am doing will change anything. How do you stay motivated?

    1. My motivation to exercise, drink lots of water, go for walks, and mainly eat fresh vegetables is always the same. I do these things because they make me feel 100% better than when I didn’t do them. I am healthier now than thirty years ago and way happier, so I know there is a connection.

  36. I don’t profess to be an expert in nutrition but I had a gastric sleeve operation in May of last year. My nutritionist made it clear to me that I needed at least 70 grams of protein per day to maintain muscle mass. I applaud your healthy habits but I figured that the salad you posted has only 15 grams of protein. Have you considered soy beans instead or in addition to the cannellini beans? They offer almost twice the protein.

  37. Hi Susan, I have been following you for sometime and my husband has now joined me on all manner of health practices and advice. We are making some progress in our efforts to be more conscience and disciplined in our efforts to improve and maintain good health through better choices and discipline to make it and ourselves a priority. You serve as an inspiration to us and we are so grateful to you.! We both are in our 70’s, though Hubby will hit that next number up late this year.
    I will likely have other questions but I will choose them carefully as you already give so much of your time.
    Just reading this post from February 2022, on the Health Routine, you have a mention of Sauerkraut and other fermented foods. Do you have any favorites that you can share?
    Thank you again for your life that you live for the benefit of others. It is very much appreciated.
    Blessings in you,
    Christine

    1. Fermented items include cultured milk and yogurt, wine, beer, cider, tempeh, miso, kimchi, and sauerkraut. I enjoy all of them, with cultured milk and beer being my least favorites.

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I blogged for five years as Fifty, not Frumpy. Now that I am in my sixties, I am sharing ideas and inspiration for using and loving what you already have.

Thank you!
Susan

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