Older Women & Friends

The Fitness Gourmet with Patricia Greenberg

September 07, 2023 Jane Leder Episode 24
Older Women & Friends
The Fitness Gourmet with Patricia Greenberg
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers



Patricia Greenberg was on a track to be a dentist. But her path changed when she took a home economics class in college and fell in love with dietetics and wellness. Since then, she has been a dietician, a chef, the owner of a vegetarian restaurant, and now a sought-after spokeswoman for taking care of ourselves from the inside out—what she calls “an Inside job.” Patricia is the author of Eat Well, Live Well, Age Well and teaches wellness seminars nationwide. You’ll want to hear what Patricia, dubbed the Fitness
Gourmet, has to say about diets,--restricted eating doesn’t work, aging peacefully, and how women can change the narrative about aging.

POLL - Please answer and email to j.leder@comcast.net
Do you embrace your age or "pretend" that you are younger?
*   I embrace my age
*   I pretend that I am younger whenever I can

www.thefitnessgourmet.com
Eat Well, Live Well, Age Well - https://www.amazon.com/Eat-Well-Live-Age/dp/0578602725 or wherever you buy books
https://www.linkedin.com/in/patgreenbergthefitnessgourmet/
https://www.instagram.com/thefitnessgourmet/


Speaker 1:

Do you feel overlooked and invisible because you're an older woman? Have you had those age jump days when you look in the mirror and swear that you're looking at your mother? Do you feel the clock ticking and wonder whether you have enough time to check off all the items on your bucket list? Hello, I'm Jane Leder and I'm the host of Older Women and Friends, a podcast about and four older women that kick stereotypes to the curb. We older women are the keepers of stories, and guests on Older Women and Friends share their stories about love, loss, dreams, friendships. But let's not kid ourselves Aging can be a messy, complex affair. But older women have been around the block a few times and learned a thing or two, and this podcast celebrates their lessons. So put in your earbuds and join me on Older Women and Friends. Patricia Greenburr, better known as the fitness gourmet, is a best-selling author, nutritionist, chef and fitness expert. And if that weren't enough, patricia hosts the podcast Eat Well, live Well, age Well, which goes in tandem with her book of the same title. Patricia practices the advice she offers. She's completed 20 marathons and 115 half marathons, but who's counting? Patricia practices yoga, knits to reduce stress and believes in aging peacefully. Patricia, welcome to Older Women and Friends.

Speaker 2:

Thank you, Jane. I'm so delighted to be here because I'm an older woman and we're friends, so I'm looking forward to chatting Terrific.

Speaker 1:

So I would love you to first of all describe yourself as a kid.

Speaker 2:

Okay, yeah, I'll give you the short story. I was never very interested in wellness and health. Part of that it wasn't the consciousness of my family. So I was overweight, I didn't eat well. My mother wasn't a great cook. She had five children, so she did the best she could. And, as through my teens, I was a classic 70s kid. We smoked cigarettes after school and we drank tab and french fries for lunch. That was our way of staying, not allowing ourselves to gain weight, if you will. And then, when I was in my just finishing college, I bounced around a little bit, but I wanted to become a dentist and I started to get involved in wellness. And I was taking the pre-med track and they said in order to graduate, you need to take a home economics course. So I took a nutrition class. I loved it so much I switched my major, had to stay in school a couple of extra years to fix that and just started embarking on a journey of wellness, because I saw what I was learning and applying it to myself and how much better I felt and how much more open the world became to me. And so I went to school for dietetics. I worked as a hospital dietitian. I left there and went on to get chef's training. So for many years I taught nutrition and wellness to aspiring chefs and people in the food industry. For a little while there I owned a vegetarian restaurant, so I stayed in the same arena. The hub was wellness, eating well, living well and all the little offshoots that come with that. And just on a pure fluke, someone approached me when I was teaching at the Los Angeles Culinary Institute in California. Someone approached me about writing a book on vegetarianism and tofu and they wanted the person to live in California and have a degree in nutrition. So I said, all right, I'll give it a whirl. They said it's a big, major publishing house. I didn't know anything about publishing, anything about writing books. Talk about off the cuff, Jane, Sometimes when you just do it and you don't think about it. And I got the contract and it turned out to be a random house. And from that day forward I've since short story and people can certainly contact me if they want the details. The short story, since I've written four books and I work exclusively in wellness and learning how to take care of yourself from the inside out. There's so much to talk about and what we should eat and what we should do, but it's an inside job, as we say. I know that's corny and cliche, but it's so true, I love it Lamp non for me to do TV appearances and cooking demonstrations. And now here we all are in our 60s and some of us in our 70s, sharing our lives with the world about what we've done and where we're at and how we got here. And there's always a starting place. That's what I say. I keep having new starting places. Well, tell me a little bit about nutrition.

Speaker 1:

Let's start there, because you're talking about being a vegetarian, you're talking about tofu and you've written a book that integrates tofu which, by the way, I had last night in a walk and it was delicious. But where are you right now? There's so many diets out there and programs from Weight Watchers to Haleo to Noom it's exhausting and it's exhausting and the marketing strategy is to lure you in.

Speaker 2:

So what? I think sometimes we have to look at the mindset we're in, and I say I am not exclusively vegetarian. There are points in my life where I have been, but you know what, jane, I have just found life needs to be relaxing and peaceful. Let's circle back to that mantra. Instead of aging gracefully where you're fighting aging I can't say everybody is but aging peacefully, like where do you want to be at, you want to be relaxed. A relaxed body is a healthy body. So, with nutrition, I don't think I have to tell anybody over 21 to eat your vegetables, drink lots of water and minimize your processed food. There's no get-rich-quick scheme here. What it is, I encourage people to eat wholesome and I'm happy to walk through. I don't think there's enough time in the day for any of us to walk through what all the diets are. But any diet that's telling you to only do one thing or totally eliminate another is not realistic and not long-term effective. I love Weight Watchers. I love Over-eaters Anonymous. I love these programs that help you manage how much you're eating and what time of day you're eating. And little industry secret Weight Watchers and all these diets are based actually on the Dietetic Menu Plan. And that is an interesting connection because the Dietetic Menu Plan which I learned Jane, you're old enough to remember the four food groups when I studied to be a dietitian and I was in college we were just hearing and transitioning into the pyramid and to the wider spread breakdown of food groups. And I'm making that reference very clear because sometimes we get stuck in what our menu plan was taught when we were kids in the 50s and 60s. It was very specific, written by the USDA, based on what food was available in the United States. So the abundance of dairy and the abundance of milk and the abundance of grains dictated what we were told we should be eating. It fed the military, it fed the School of Food Service programs, it fed hospitals. It's funny, I didn't even think we'd be talking about that aspect of it, but that's where we got our influences of how we should eat and we did probably eat a little healthier. I think our mothers did buy fruits and vegetables that were a little more wholesome than what we see today in packaged foods and fast foods. But the bottom line is, yes, eating fresh fruits and vegetables, learning your tolerances. Pay attention when you eat something if you don't feel so good with it. But there's no set. One cup of milk a day, three ounces of fish, two ounces of meat just eat a variety. Now, when I talk about the subcategories, if it's vegetarianism or you're eliminating meat from your diet or you're going to be dairy-free because you heard it's inflammatory and it causes heart attacks and there's no one factor. And part of the problem with us learning about extreme nutrition programs is it makes us nervous. When our bodies are nervous and scared and feeling left out which is what this world has created for us your body becomes tense, it can't metabolize as efficiently, your muscles don't work as well, your digestive system doesn't work as well. That's what leads to disease. So, circling back nutrition, just eating well, eating wholesome. You can get it at. You're in the Chicago area, the jewel markets, trader Joe's. In Los Angeles and Southwest we have Safeway, just your average regular supermarket, and real quickly. Because I know there's so much to talk about. We can talk about organic for a second. Is it better to always buy organic? Absolutely, but are you watching your pocketbook where bananas are 10 cents for conventional and 25 cents for organic? It's okay the fact that you're even making the effort to eat the fruits and vegetables. Just have something green and something red every day, and apple a day absolutely keeps the doctor away. It's an old cliche but it's true. We learned during the pandemic one apple a day, one orange a day, and onions and garlic and your food boost the immune system. It's a tiny little nuance, but it's there. Do you like peaches? Do you like grapefruits? Do you like oranges? Do you like grapes? It's all fine. Yes, there's sugar in fruit, but sugar is a necessary component for your brain and your heart health. So, staying away from the candy bars, the cookies, the soda and the processed foods, you're 90% of the way there. Just getting rid of that Vegetarian, non-vegetarian. I really encourage you to go with your food choices and sit back and maybe write a master list of what do I like and what don't I like and start picking those out. If you don't like to cook, you could buy things prepared. Just make sure that they're the healthiest version that you can find or like me, you can have a husband who cooks.

Speaker 1:

Ha, son, bro. Now you mentioned something that's very important, and at least for people who are in this particular line of work, and you said that you like the phrase aging peacefully versus other people who are saying aging gracefully, and still others are saying aging boldly, Jane, they all have their place.

Speaker 2:

I love the growing bolder guys. They ageing boldly. Growing bolder, I think, is their moniker. I love it. It's brilliant, yes, to be bold and embrace who you are, and I love the art of not giving a you know what. And that's really where we're at what do you want for the rest of your life? And the worst that could happen if you call somebody and ask them for something, they say no. So I've got into this habit. As the host of a show, I'm on YouTube and podcast. I'm trying to navigate the whole system. You know what, jane? I just reach out to people I like that, have interesting subjects, right, and I try to call celebrities. Most of them don't answer. I don't even know if they ever got it. Who's it going to hurt? Would you rather just go for a walk than run a marathon? Just go for the walk. That's where peaceful comes in. I associate aging gracefully with behaving yourself right, behaving yourself in public and not rocking the boat. And I'm going to stand up straight and I'm going to dress well and I'm going to look fabulous at 80 instead of the horrible image of a frail, feeble person in a wheelchair. That's wonderful, but are you at peace? Are you comfortable with your choices? Again, it's so. What you learn between zero and five there's studies been done over and over what you learn between when you're born and when you're five years old is what stays with you for life. So those images and those things, even the subconscious, we have to fight that sometimes. And I am enamored with the women who choose to go gray and the women who choose to say no, I'm not going to kill myself to stay thin and I'm going to eat the things that I enjoy and I'm going to have a glass of wine every night and I'm going to talk about what I'm going to talk about. That's what I'm going to talk about. Jane, one of the. I'm calling it a repercussion Are you following about all the gray divorces, that people are getting divorced, and droves over 65? It's.

Speaker 1:

I'm following another. I forget there's a term for it, but when older people who probably had been with a partner or in fact married earlier on and they now have a significant other, they are still choosing to have their own places, their own apartments, their own houses, and then they can visit and get together and spend time when they want, I think that's a really good idea. It's a great idea if you can afford it. And.

Speaker 2:

I think let's talk about that model for a minute, jane, and why this is happening. Women historically did not have the same advantages as men graduating college, and this is really recent. I didn't know this. I was born in 1960, and someone told me that women were not allowed to have their own bank account until 1970. Correct, I'm stunned. I was absolutely stunned to hear that, because I'm trying to remember how did my mother? My mother was a very brave, strong woman. She would never ask my father permission for anything. I can't imagine her going to my father saying can I have money to go to the grocery store. So it wasn't the model I grew up with. But what happens is you got married because you had to and your prospects were being married or suffering, or starving or not having what you need. That's not to say the marriage is more unhappy. But as we get older and we realize you can manage your own life, you can make your own decisions. You can manage a household or an apartment. People say, hey, I've been with someone for 40 years and I got married under duress. I didn't get married because I wanted to. I got married because I thought I had to. But then if you find someone that you really want to spend your life with, the thought of giving up your space and giving up your life and the things you love for another person. I don't blame them. Like I said, if you can afford it, it's great. Another model, jane, that's happening, which I find very interesting. People are living together and not getting married because they have their bank accounts and their social security and they don't want to mingle and they have children to take into consideration with inheritances. You know what that comes back to Again, being peaceful. I know if I move in with someone and I'm going to spend my later years with them, I'm at peace, knowing I still have my own money and my children are going to get what they're going to get. I can enjoy this man or woman that I'm living with without the entanglements and the hassles of having to undo it or fight about it when somebody passes away. So again, that brings it back.

Speaker 1:

Well, it's interesting. Just going back to being independent, I remember my father having an absolute coronary over the fact that when I remarried I was going to continue to have my own savings accounts, my own checking accounts, my own credit accounts and, honestly, for years he kept asking me about it and he just couldn't comprehend at all why I wanted that and it was like, hey, I deserve this, I work for it, this is mine and I don't want someone else telling me what I can or cannot buy or spend money on. So that's just a little personal story. I know that you said at some point, maybe to me, that you were transitioning from anti-aging to anti-agism. Yes, absolutely.

Speaker 2:

I'm working with some people that there's a. I'd like all of you listeners to look at something called changing the narrative. They're based in Denver, colorado, a wonderful group of women I think there's some men involved as well and what they're doing is working on an initiative for us to change the conversation, the words we use, the attitude we have about ourselves, to embrace aging. So what is anti-aging? Anti-aging is this whole concept of pretending you're not the age you are. Jane I this sounds so harsh and I've been running around saying this and I'm afraid I'm going to get hit 60 is not the new 40. 50 is not the new 30. If you are 60, if you are 70, if you are 80, you may look good, you may be able to climb Mount Everest, you may be able to go downhill skiing these are all great things. You might have a wild role in the hay with your husband at any age, but the reality is you're that age. Now, why is it important that you embrace the age you are? Because and I'm going to get back to health and wellness Cosmetically and psychologically, your body is that age and your body knows it, and you have to treat your body as a 60 year old, not a 40 year old A B, when you're pretending you're something you're not, that is a whole level of stress. It's a, it's your. Carrying a secret and carrying secrets cause severe damage to your psyche and also physically. Anything that's damaging your psyche, is playing, is wreaking havoc on your heart and your, particularly your digestive system. So ageism is when people will have negative attitudes towards people who are older. We all know what it is, but what it is technically it is when you have a negative image or attitude towards someone who's older which translates into having that negative image towards yourself as you age. So what happens is they say oh my God, I can't tell anybody, I'm 60. I can't tell anybody, I'm 70. I run down the street saying I'm 62 and my husband's 76. My husband's about to be 77. And I say we're here, we're happy, thank goodness, we're doing a lot of things we want to be doing. We are not rich, we're not poor, we're just here, we're loving our lives and our children and we have a grandchild now and and it's okay, I'm going to spill a secret my new book coming out is it's Okay to Be Old. I'm talking about this extensively Now. What's happening in the anti-ageism movement. That I think is detrimental and I want everybody to pay attention to, ties into the aging boldly and aging proudly is that it's always a picture of an extremely fit person standing on the side of a mountain saying I climb 14,000 feet today and I'm 82. Okay, these are the outliers. What is it that you can do to stave off the ageism in your own life? When you look at other people and you look at yourself, when you see that person getting out of a car and getting into a walker and requiring the handicap spot, it may not be because they're 65 or 75, at 85. Maybe they fell down in a skiing accident, maybe they have, unfortunately, a disease that can't be managed. So the first place we go and we say, oh my God, I don't want to look like that when I get old. Or wow, I'm in my 60s. Do I look like that when I get out of the car? Okay, that's insane, just turn it back around. How many times have we been told from the time we're little kids, mind your own business, right, just pay attention to your own life, and that's really where I'm going, not from a selfish standpoint. Pay attention to your own life. If you need physical therapy or a trainer to help you get out of the chair and you do the things you want to do. That's your life. Nobody else's life is any of your business, except those you have to take care of, okay, secondly, part of this initiative is that this Words we use. They find senior offensive. I don't, but that's becoming the offensive word. Older adult is the new term, one of the I think one of the most brilliant things that I've heard. One of these terms is silver tsunami, that we have this huge wave of Silver-haired people coming in an aging population. I think it's wonderful. It's considered Derogatory because you're just talking about all these people coming in waves. Here's where this is very important for us to embrace our age and to just let other people age the way they're going to age. Your body is meant to be upright and the more you bend over and hunch over and don't move and you aren't active, you activate the aging process even further. So, if you ask me, the two keys to nutrition fitness courses, wholesome food and no eating disorders, trying to just embrace it and love it the way you are. And Movement and I've joined, or creating at this point, the gentle movement. Movement, the gentle community, mental exercise. Movement community is where not doing yoga and hot yoga and power yoga and core yoga and Going out and running marathons and, trust me, I ran 20 marathons all over the world and 110 halves and I'll tell you that is hard and that is Stabilitating, and I'm not discouraged. I still train people to run half marathons. Do it for the sake of the Accomplishment, not to hurt yourself, and I hope everybody understands that distinction. That a 5k is three miles, okay, go sign up for a 5k for a fundraiser and go with a group of friends, but you need to keep your body upright. That is how we keep our bodies from getting ill. I want you to be able to get out of a chair without holding on, not pushing up. If, god forbid, you fall down, you need to be able to get up off the floor by yourself. There's techniques of doing it, but that's where walking and weight training and movement Serves you. As you get older is the minute your body gets up and activates your brain. Your brain has to tell your body, your feet, how to walk, your arms where to go, and I can't let you go, jane, without talking about this. It's called proprioception and that is your body's sense of where you are in the world, your depth perception, that sense of feeling how far something is away from you, on the left or the right or behind you. Proprioception diminishes as we age. And how many times have you seen or heard an Older adult gets to a corner and they fall down and fall on their face on a street corner and people say, didn't they see the curb? No, they didn't. Because the depth perception is changing and your sense of how far the floor is away from you changes, and so it's very easy to fall. A lot of people don't realize. That's why older people fall. It isn't necessarily frailty. So how do we keep that going? We get up and we walk and we move and what a friend of mine who's a trainer for seniors says. And while you're walking, turn your head and look at the sky, look at things, embrace the world around you, and that activates the brain to keep you more youthful. It's a subtle nuance, but it makes all the difference in the world.

Speaker 1:

And I just wanted to go back to how we tend to say 50 is the new 30. We deny the reality of our age and I don't know if you're aware of but the group the bias cut, which is an online women's clothing site, also has a spin-off arm called ageism is never in style, which I love, and they have a new television campaign or radio has to be TV and it says hi, I'm Jane, I'm 78 and I look my age. Yes, I've seen it. It's amazing, and the whole thing is embracing that, not trying to, as you say, pretend or try to pass as somebody 10 or 15 or even 20 years younger. And the other component and you've mentioned it is Loving ourselves. Not getting into then body shaming movement, saying that we look this way or we look that way, but loving ourselves, loving where we are. It's not always easy to do, I certainly can certify that, but I think it's a concept that is important and that we should embrace. I would love to ask you the best places when listeners can reach you can find out more information about your books, about your upcoming books and anything else you'd like to share.

Speaker 2:

Thank you, jane, so much for that. Yes, patricia Greenberg, greenbergcom, make it easy, and the business is the fitness gourmet calm, and my books are all available at Amazon and I would love for people to reach out for me. I can even air my email it's the fitness gourmet at Mac calm and then I can get you on a list of any upcoming events and Books that are coming out. And, like I said, I really also love talking to you, jane, because One of the things that I always say your peers, your best advisors, is to when you lie about your age, you're not being true to yourself and to other people and that's gonna end up leaving you more lonely, because I love being around women that are going through the same thing that I am, with a range it could be anywhere from 50 all the way up to 80. I have friends of all age and we talk about and we're in it together. That's where the camaraderie comes in and the group mentality. And please, jane, I want to tell you and everybody else, include the men, because they're lost also. They're lonely too. I think it's important to get the men in on the conversation and maybe change their minds and their attitudes, because any attitude that someone has towards someone else it's truly towards themselves. It's the fear that one has about aging and death and dying is very frightening and very scary, and the idea that we are at the end of our lives is very daunting to many people. But if we could turn that around and embrace it, I think we'll all be a lot more relaxed. That's the key relax and peaceful.

Speaker 1:

Hey words of wisdom, so let's listen and try to adhere to some of that. I am delighted that we had this opportunity and I'm sure listeners will look forward to reading your new book or reading your current book and Checking out some of the other ways in which they can find out about you.

Speaker 2:

Thank you, jane, such a wonderful conversation and I hope we can talk again soon.

Speaker 1:

Thank you. Thank you so much for joining me on this episode of older women and friends. Speaking of friends, please tell yours about this podcast and if you'd like to contact me with comments or suggestions, you can email me at older women and friends podcast at gmailcom. And while you're at it, please take a few minutes to write a review. It's really easy. Go to Apple Podcasts type in older women and friends, scroll down the page and click on reviews. Until next time.

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