Eating healthy with proper nutrition
Food and nutrition can make or break our health and wellness. For older adults, even more so. At PARC Retirement Living, we believe nutrition is one of your most important tools to living healthy.
Some of the most important things for a senior diet:
1. Eat nutrient-dense foods
This means foods with high nutritional value that provide a balance of healthy fats, carbohydrates, proteins, and important plant-based foods.
2. Consume reasonable portions for your age, weight and activity level. Having smaller more regular and balanced meals across a day is much better than a light breakfast and lunch than a large portioned dinner. Older adults need less calories, but more nutrient-dense calories. PARC kitchens follow the “nutrient-dense, calorie-sparse” approach.
3. Eat an abundance of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
4. Try and select foods that are high in phytochemicals: they have anti-tumor properties. Sources include berries, garlic, soy, dark chocolate, whole grains and leafy greens.
5. Incorporate protein into breakfast. The first meal of the day is important, and you need to jumpstart your body with energy from protein, and ideally, consume protein in smaller amounts throughout your meals, rather than all at once. Your body is better at absorbing and using protein for rebuilding and repair of your body’s cells when it’s consumed at regular intervals across the day.
A healthy menu idea from the PARC Kitchen
Green Power Smoothie
Makes 4 servings (8oz)
This PARC SMART smoothie includes kale and spinach, both packed with phytochemicals, which are natural cancer cell inhibitors.
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) low-fat vanilla yogurt
- 1 cup (250 mL) water
- 1 cup (250 mL) ice cubes
- 1 medium banana
- 1 cup (250 mL) diced pineapple
- 1 cup (250 mL) chopped fresh spinach, lightly packed
- 1 cup (250 mL) chopped fresh kale, lightly packed
Agave nectar, honey or maple syrup to taste (optional).
In blender, combine yogurt, water, ice, banana, pineapple, spinach,
kale and agave nectar honey or syrup. Blend on high until smooth.
Pour into glasses and serve.
Healthy Almond-Crusted Chicken Piccata
topped with Kale Chips
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (1 pound total)
- ½ cup slivered almonds
- zest of 1 lemon / plus squeeze juice before serving
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- salt & pepper to season
- 2-3 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 egg beaten
- 2 tablespoons olive oil. Cook over a low to medium heat in a non-stick pan using 2 tablespoons olive oil until lightly golden and chicken is cooked through. Serve alongside steamed green vegetables with a squeeze of lemon and enjoy.
Serves 4. Optional: can also be served with light Lemon-Caper sauce.
KALE CHIPS for topping:
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F. Remove the ribs from the kale and cut or rip with hands into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Lay on a baking sheet and lightly coat with 2 – 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle sea salt and toss. Bake until crisp, turning the leaves halfway through, about 20 minutes.