The race to being “the perfect retiree”.

If you had this romantic notion, that once retired, you will automatically cease to be an up-tight type-A achiever ( that is, of course, assuming you already are, no need to become one deliberately, mind you!),

Well then.

Reality check:
You don’t.
The mere fact that you are no longer commuting to your cubicle and participating in the race, does not mean you instantly become this mindful wellness yogi, all zen and calmness, spreading love all around.

Well, maybe some do.

Doesn’t seem likely though.

Anyway.

If like me, you spent your years trying to find your way as an introvert in the social jungle of your workplace, while juggling a trillion other things that had to be done, then you simply cannot unwind and become this lovable care Bear the second you say “ciao!!!!! ” to your office desk.

If you are anything like me, then you will quickly understand that all those years of trying to cope with the mechanism of being a “team player”, the drive to be the most efficient and successful worker, the best employee a boss could dream of, just take their toll on you.

If you are anything like me, then you might become an ego-centered , fame crazed, compliment reliant person.

And now that you are finally retired- where are you going to get your pats on the head from??

Family and friends usually have other things to do than clap their hands vigorously at every salad you make, and cleaning the house rarely gets you a promotion.

But you are still the same person, in need of assurance, because this is what you’ve become used to.

You need someone to look at your work and say “wow, good job!! you are so brilliant! “.

And no.

Napping efficiently does not get you any appreciation.

Just in case you were mistaken there.

So now you (well, I) find yourself looking for ways to become that outstanding retiree everyone is talking about.

So I traveled to India2-week Intensive yoga course in India-full and honest review!

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I mean traveling the world is a retirement must , isn’t it?

I got a license for a small motorcycle and bought one. Making dreams come true at 50

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I did a full long first aid course.know how to save a life, right?

I work out. and eat healthy. I started checking my macros-fact based information on my diet!

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I started my vegetable garden: My Organic gardening tips – beginners I got you covered!

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And I’ve done my fair share of cleaning strange things around the house.

Early retirement cleaning projects, naturally….

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And yet my mother is disappointed since I have no intention of “doing something with myself”. such as, if she had her way- sitting on some board as a director or something.

I do my best to explain that boring meetings were one of the reasons I made such an effort to retire early,but she keeps hearing from her friends about their successful children and I was supposed to fill that position in her family plan. why do I have to be so different all the time?

But why hide behind my mother- for a long time, I thought I need to find myself something to do that will make a real impact.

I mean isn’t it a sin to waste time this way? napping in the middle of the day? reading books all the time?

Nap chat

Shouldn’t I be more involved in my community? volunteer more? start projects?

Doesn’t this mean I am not a stellar retiree?

And if I’m not- what will happen to my self-esteem? my ego?

I read blogs like MMM – mister money mustache- and he is so involved and does so many projects that I felt in need of a good nap just from reading it.

And since I am a type-A overachiever, I compared myself instantly to him, and the results were, let’s say, more in the line of what my mother thinks of me.

But then I thought-

This is ok. I am fine. I am an introvert and have a hard time being around other people, not to mention being involved socially.

It makes me miserable, and this is certainly not the way I want to spend my early retirement.

So I decided that to each their own : let everyone do their thing, and I’ll do (or won’t do) my thing.

There. I said it.

Now its time to be truly ok about it too.

enjoy- the cooliflower.

“Oh Don’t worry, it doesn’t taste healthy!”

There you go:

You can’t have it both ways, can you?

If it’s tasty, it ain’t healthy, and vice versa.

This reminds me of a quote attributed to Catherine Deneuve, who said that after a certain age, a woman has to choose between her fanny and her face.(yes, apparently she said “fanny”. I didn’t even know this word existed to describe the rear end of your body, but there you go. I’ve learned something +kept it clean so double check).

God that woman.so beautiful.

I believe she managed to save both.

But can you? beat the system I mean.

Eat healthy food and enjoy it?

I mean really enjoy it. not politely nod and say:”that quinoa quiche is simply marvelous!!” (sorry, I don’t like quinoa. here is a link to my previous post describing why, in case you are intrigued by this mystery-Sorry- don’t like quinoa!)

I think the first thing to acknowledge, is the fact that there is a huge difference between homemade food and take out/restaurant food.

*That is, of course, unless you are a chef, in which case, well. wow. I always wondered if chefs cook that classy at home for their kids, like, every day, every meal. are they tired of fussing around food all day at their restaurant and simply put something together in 5 minutes like the rest of us? 

For others, meaning regular human beings, beating (good) restaurant food is highly unlikely, because of the difference in skills, quality of the materials, freshness of produce and condiments, and the amount of time that is invested in preparing the food in (good, again) places.

Many times , when at home, we cook from scratch using what we have in the fridge- pantry, when we are tired, hungry, impatient and just want to “get it over with”.

*If this is only me, then just ignore it. or feel superior.whatever.

Anyway, when asking if one can beat the system and make healthy +tasty food, it is imperative, I believe, to state exactly what you mean by “tasty”.

People who are used to eating out, will probably not flip over homemade spinach- tofu ricotta, but others, who rarely eat out, and do their cooking at home, will more likely think so.

As A.Einstein said: everything is relative.

The other thing is :

Supposing you cook at home, from scratch.

How vigilant are you on the sugar- oil- gluten situation?

I am asking because in my experience, these 3 are instant crowd-pleasers, and adding them can make food taste much better.

The real challenge starts when you omit these 3 (plus the dairy and meat and poultry that was omitted previously due to the vegan mindset ).

By now you are probably thinking:

No. way. am.I. eating. depressing. bland. food. in. the. name. of health. YOLO!

And you would be right, too.

Absolutely no need to deprive yourself, in my opinion, of tasty food, in the name of anything.

I have a friend who underwent a certain diet due to high cholesterol, and she felt so miserable, that as soon as the mandatory 30 -60 days of dieting passed, she quickly returned to her former eating habits. what is the point in that??

(none at all)

Plus- I love eating, I love enjoying my food, it is a major part of my life, and I am not ashamed to admit it.

No way am I going to sacrifice taste, as much as I value (and cherish and think highly of) my health.

Another thing-

I happen to believe that preparing tasty healthy food is a form of self-appreciation, and I am working on this subject as one of my 2020 goals, so.

Back to the challenge:

I am not a registered anything, told you that about 20,000 times, but I do have my 51.4 years of experience, and that accounts for something, especially when joined with my enthusiasm on the subject.

In my experience, the simplest way to appreciate homemade healthy nutritiously balanced food is simply by going back to basics.

???

Yep. starting over, this time properly. 

I do not mean trying to get yourself reborn, I mean go back to being hungry when you eat.

Not bored, or semi hungry, or feel like a snack, (I can fill in so many options here, I am such an expert on emotional eating you’ll be amazed, but I’m leaving it to your imagination/experience).

In my experience, when hungry, you can fully enjoy a simple homemade vegetable salad (freshly made out of good produce, old tomatoes are great tomato sauce though. and soft carrot make great veggie soup. many options here-check the link to previous posts here- Simplify it: Organizing my online groceries- part 3How to truly Simplify meal prepping

Try eating an apple, just a simple apple- no nut butter/granola/anything next to it- when you are not actually hungry, versus when you are hungry.

You will be amazed what a difference this simple tweak makes.

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I am thinking maybe this could be the real hunger test :

If you think you are hungry- maybe ask yourself- I do it many times- “do you crave an apple?”

If the answer is “yes”, then this is probably a good sign you are actually hungry. in which case- you can still enjoy your desired apple, or eat a meal, but your desire was not directed towards a donut of a fried something, which, in my experience, is usually a good sign of simple sugar-carbs craving, and not actual hunger.

In my experience, once you dial your body back to operating uppon real hunger signs, you will be so much more appreciative of simple -fresh-healthy-nutritious food, even though it’s not a 3-star Michelin restaurant food, just baked beans you prepared yourself in a simple slow-cooker. or mujadara.

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enjoy- the cooliflower.

 

 

let’s put things on the table: reassigning leftover food- the simple +healthy way!c

So- I am taking a wild guess here and thinking you are already aware of the massive waste of food going on everywhere (in wealthy countries), and anyone going on and on about it being horrible and we need to do something about it yada yada is getting nothing from me except the evil side eye stare.

Yes, I do still have some of my (best) evil features from back when I was working as a badass little manager of nothing lawyer.

Yes, the evil stare is one of the finest of them evil traits.

Cynicism is another, I hope I will be able to shake it off me somewhen.

(Grammarly says my text sounds friendly and optimistic. what???)

And yet, here I am, telling you my top-notch simple and healthy tips on using leftovers, thus wasting less food.

Inconsistent? na.

I simply have no patience for talking on and on about what we need to do (yada), yet I seem to have a lot of interest in practical no nonsenses frugal simple healthy nutritious tips and tricks on how to use leftovers, eat better (much much better!!) and, of course-save money and the universe while we’re at it.

Since this is a great season for these tips and tricks, it being holidays and food feasts and shopping (feasts?), I present to you 3 of my best tips.

#1: Batch&freeze:

I’ve said it before, yet I’ll say it again because it never ceases to amaze me.

Why do all the youtube batch cookers cook large batches of food and place it in the fridge in 5 containers -as in for the rest of the workweek?

I personally do not like to eat the very same thing for 5 days in a row- I mean except for breakfast-I seem to be eating the same breakfast for weeks now and having lots of fun. but not for lunch tho.

I need me some variations because I really do love to eat.

people who don’t mind what they are eating are a wonder to me.

And I love it when they say “I eat to live, I don’t live to eat”.(apparently this saying is attributed to benjamin franklin). (at least that’s what google says).

ok-what?

Sure I don’t “live to eat”, but it definitely is one of my fundamental sources of joy and gratification. I am totally grateful for every meal I cook and eat, I respect my food, I respect my body, I respect myself and my health and wellbeing, and, you know what- my looks too.

I respect the way I look and I attribute it to my healthy nutritious no-nonsense homemade from scratch eating habits.

Go me.

So instead of dividing what I cook for the rest of the following week, I simply batch freeze in reasonable containers, so in 3 weeks, when I feel like cooked soybeans in tomato sauce, I take it out of the freezer and serve it with a grain of the moment ( couscous, bulgur, brown rice, pasta (??, yes, pasta) or with toast ( drizzle bit of olive oil and some nutritional yeast and you might even believe you are having cheese toast. or you might not.

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These are my baked beans a la slow cooker. tasty +healthy.

Interested in the super simple how-to? here is the link to my previous blah blah about simplifying batch cooking. Rise up- it’s fall!

#2: Overripe fruit in the house? guess what.

Yes.

Freeze them.

If these are citrus fruits, then batch squeeze them for future use.

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*By the way, I just read somewhere that the citrus peelings are supposed to be great kindling for the fireplace, on account of them having the citrus oil, but I haven’t tried it yet, so make your own decision on this one.

ps.just tried it.couldnt let you down on such an important subject.

Yes it does work .helps light the fire + smells nice.

If these are bananas, mangos, or any other fruit that needs to be peeled before eating, then you go ahead and do that before freezing, because after a few weeks in the freezer, you will not be able to peel it with the best chef’s knife.

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FROZEN BANANAS

So in the past 2 weeks, I had some persimmons almost rotting all at the same time.

makes you think- what is happening here? but- questions aside- I just cut them to reasonable pieces and froze half of them, and pureed the other half and froze in my silicone ice cube tray.(as shown in picture).

What for?

For smoothies, my dear Watsons. for smoothies.

When I make my smoothy dessert, I pt 1.5 frozen banana, 1/2 cup of water, 1 tbsp of protein powder, (vegan), and if I have another frozen fruit- preferably not these costly berries, but simple seasonal fruit that was not eaten on time and was left behind to deal with life’s injustice- then great. if I have no other fruit then I add a tbsp of organic carob powder, which I bought on my regular online supermarket, is 1/2 the price of organic cacao powder, and tastes quite the same- a chocolaty flavor. kind of anyway.the health benefits are quite similar too.

Another thing I made with the pureed persimmons, is this:

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GF+V no refined sugar + packed full of protein persimmon oatmeal cookies.

The original recipe is from a blog called “healthier steps” -here is the link: persimmon cookies healthier steps.

I always tweak and change recipes, so this time I swapped the cane sugar with my homemade date syrup, swapped the flour for oatmeal I grounded, and instead of expensive almond flour, I grounded almonds at home. added some walnuts too for good measure.

With the oatmeal and the almonds, the protein intake is high, add to that the magnesium and potassium from the bananas ( 633 mg of potassium and 27 mg of magnesium), and the vitamin c from the persimmon (+1.5 grams of protein for 1 persimmon!), and no processed sugar just the dates, well then, I believe we havd a winner here.

#3: leftover vegetables?even cooked ones? doesn’t frighten me!

potatoes, carrots, leafy greens, cooked beans, lentils, cooked grains, you get the picture:

mash them in a food processor, add flax seeds, tahini, seasoning, and some substance- such as thise beans or lentils, and make patties.

oven bake or oan fry if you can handle oil, put in your plate or in your hot sandwich or next to salad or grain of choice.

Enjoy, the cooliflower.

Sorry- dont like quinoa!

Seriously??

Yes.
But it’s a superfood!

yes, I am aware.
But you are vegan! vegans are supposed to eat quinoa even when they are asleep!

Well, maybe some do- I don’t.
What a hypocrite! I remember you wrote a post about making quinoa and couldn’t stop praising it!

That’s true. and here is the link to the said post:

10 Lunch Ideas: vegan -healthy-protein packed- simple- tasty.

I am not denying the multiple pros of quinoa.

It is a great source of protein, a whole grain, and as I wrote above- it is a superfood.

I simply don’t find it to be tasty on its own, only when thrown into a vegetable salad, or accompanied by beans or lentils, to hide its taste.
But 8 grams of protein in 1 cooked cup!

Absolutely true- but those grams of protein happen to go along with 222 calories, 4 grams of fat, and only 5.2 grams of fiber, and a quite impressive price tag.
So?

So if you are a fan of quinoa- yey for you- it is great food, enjoy! but- for those of you who think “meh” when they consider quinoa while preparing their food, I did the research for a good alternative.
*The only major issue I think is super important to notice here is that quinoa is gluten-free, ( although I’ve read it is considered high risk because it is frequently grown with wheat grains) and the #1 alternative I’ve found- isn’t.
Go on, I’m listening.

Thank you ever so much.
First- the criteria the alternative had to meet were:
#1:Tasty.

I mean this is what had started the whole thing to begin eith so might as well get it right this time.
#2:a whole grain.

Naturally, you wouldn’t substitute a superfood for white rice , with all due respect for the rice.
#3: easy preparation.

No one has the time or energy to start a 3 layer process to arrange a side dish. unless of course, you happen to be a TV chef, in which case- seriously? what are you doing reading my blog? go post something complicated on Instagram and write “at the last minute decided to whip this cute dessert too! love it! ” so we can all feel incompetent and mediocre.
#4: healthy!

Again, naturally.
#5: protein-packed.

yes, I am still protein crazed.
#6: has other nutritional values too.

If we’re shopping for an alternative- why not aim high? we can always compromise later.
#7: frugal.

Why not? frugality will get you closer to early retirement, and that is the end goal.

The options were: brown rice and bulgur.

Buckwheat didn’t make it to the finals because I have a personal problem with its taste (sorry, horrible!) and oat grains and spelt are super expensive here, plus I eat oatmeal porridge every morning so kind of enough of that. those grains are great too- don’t get me wrong- just a bit expensive where I live. if you like them- go for them.

  • oh just reminding for the 10,000 time that I am not a registered dietitian or health specialist -simply an early retired lawyer, health enthusiast. there, said it , again.

So who was the winner? right- the winner was the bulgur!

here’s why:

Although brown rice is great- tasty, easy to make (I make it like pasta- cook in boiling water for 40 minutes ), nutritional (put a link here )- in 1 cup of cooked brown rice there are 5 grams of protein, 44 grams of carbs, 1.8 grams of fat, 216 calories and 3.5 grams of fiber, plus its relatively frugal: and yet- bulgur topped it on all categories.

here s a link to he competitors nutritional values, got to be fair.
brown rice nutritional value

Back to our winner- the Bulgur!
#1: tasty: oh yes, this is one yummy grain. has a distinct nutty taste in my opinion.

goes with everything- savory, sweet (fruit and nuts for example), as the main dish, as a side dish, in soups, whatever.
#2: whole grain: check.
#3: easy preparation? you are kidding me. you mean no preparation: bulgur doesn’t even need to be properly cooked. no need to take out a pan. no need to light the stove. perfect for students with no proper stove and lunch making in the office.

Take a big glass container (pyrex or something of the genre-not sponsored so there), put the bulgur, pour boiling water on it to top it and some more, salt and a little bit of olive oil, just for good measure, not necessary though), close the lid and wait 10 minutes. check if its edible, if too crunchy and it absorbed all the water- add more boiling water- maybe a cup.

Don’t get upset if the bulgur seems ready and it hadn’t soaked up all the water. just drain it in a colander, the bulgur is easy going. it won’t mind.

That’s it.

really.

oh wait- it freezes really well, so go ahead and make in bulk for the upcoming weeks.
#4: healthy– sure- whole grain, considered by some to be a superfood too.

(perhaps the term is a bit overused).
#5: protein-packed: well 1 cup cooked bulgur holds 5.6 grams of protein. but only 150 calories, so if you look at it from the caloric point of view, for 220 calories of bulgur, and 220 calories of quinoa, you get the same amount of protein. (!).
#6: has other nutritional values: well 1 cup of cooked bulgur holds no less than 8.2 grams of fiber (!) but only 0.4 grams of fat(!)and as I said 150 calories. I remind you that the quinoa holds 4 grams of fat -10 times more(!) and only 5.2 grams of fiber.
#7: frugal: where I live I buy 1 kilo of bulgur for 1.5 $. that is frugal. very very frugal. quinoa costs me 10 $ a kilo. you get the difference.
All of this is just to say- hey- you don’t like a certain healthy food? it’s too expensive for you? look for an alternative! don’t compromise on the nutritional value, or on the easy preparation demand. if it is too difficult to make- it will sit in your cupboard, and that is neither healthy nor frugal.
Happy new year!

Enjoy- the cooliflower.

I started checking my macros-fact based information on my diet!

So….for the last 51 years, I’ve been guessing my macros and calories, based on, well, nothing actually (??). maybe a hunch.

I kept thinking: “oh, who needs to count calories or track macros anyway, I ‘m no elite athlete, ( frankly, not even close), I stopped participating in races ( introvert, told you, why are all these people there? why don’t they go home and let me run quietly?)so I thought there was no need to get worked up about the exact components of my diet.

I decided that since I was eating a healthy, balanced, nutrient-packed diet, that, to my best judgment, (again- based on guessing, basically) supplied me with all the vitamins I needed, and all the protein I needed for my activity level.

Everything was working really well too, until a month ago I decided that it is time to up my exercise level, and, at last, incorporate some weight lifting and strength exercises, side by side with my running, swimming, and yoga.

I did quite a bit of reading and researching (online and in books), and found out that there is inconsistent information concerning many of the topics, and, as usual, one needs to use his/her brains to decide what works for them.

For example-

How much protein do you need to consume each day, if, for instance, you are a 51-year-old woman, quite active and wishing to gain more muscle?

The book I read “Vegan for life”, said that based on my weight, (137 pounds-that’s 62.2 kilos) I should eat 54 grams of protein a day.

And yet, when I started researching online, many sites concluded that if your goal is to gain muscle, and you lead an active lifestyle, you should aim for at least double the daily amount (!!!)

So, I downloaded an app called “myfitnesspal”, ( This is a free app, I get nothing from them, they don’t even know who I am, besides the valuable information they gather on my eating habits, they are surely very excited).

This app seems like a lot of fuss- seeing that you need to log in everything you eat (+ how much you exercise and how much water you drank), and at first I was intimidated by it, but, apparently, as much as we would like to think that we are exciting revolutionary people, we are, at the end of the day, creatures of pure and plain habit.

Meaning-

I now understand I basically eat the same breakfast every day ( banana smoothy, with protein powder, chia seeds, flax seeds, carob powder and berries, and then an oatmeal porridge with hemp and date syrup (homemade).

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(Yes, I am aware this is quite a lot of food, but I usually fast between 15:00 the previous day and 09:00 am, and get my workout completed before I eat, so I am really hungry by the time I eat. not that there is any need to make excuses here, just saying).

The app can gather all those foods to be kept under the category “meals”- and under any name you decide to call it ( yummy breakfast, naturally), so it takes basically a split second to log my breakfast on.

This is the information I recieved when logged in my 2 tbsp of flax seeds.(6grams of protein!).

As for lunch- apparently I move around a few basic staples here too- and once you wrote down “lentil soup, homemade” once- it will take a second to find it the net time you eat it.

By the way- the app has many varieties of foods logged in- lentil soup bought from different brands, have, apparently, different macro value, and since I make everything from scratch, I basically break the meal to its ingredients ( for example- my homemade Thai spelt noodle mushroom vegetable soup will be logged in as “homemade vegetable soup””shiitake mushrooms”,”spelt noodles”, “coconut cream”, etc.

I know, I know- but I am retired, I have the time to bother. if you don’t- just look at the brand that makes the food that is closest to your cooking style.

When I checked my macro and nutrient count, I found out that I ate 70-80 grams of protein a day max, my protein never gets to the desired percentage it should in my meals according to the app (30% ), I apparently eat a lot of carbs -although I eat 1 piece of bread a day, and rarely eat pasta, and, again, to my utter surprise, I consume lot of fiber ( around 70 grams daily), and a lot of iron and vitamins a +c.

More to my surprise- I apparently consume quite a lot of sugar- that is when I do not use sugar at all (!!) only 2 tbsp of date syrup a day.

I haven’t gone premium, so I am gathering my information on the information the app gives on every food I log in, and it is my understanding that the fruit I eat are a good source of many things- sugar included,

Rest assured -I will not stop eating my beloved fruit, but I am more aware now than before to the macro breakdown of my meals.

I am not concerned about those 100 grams of protein either-

I believe in taking the middle way -between those 54 grams recommended by Joel Fuhrman in his book, and the online sites, and getting 70 grams of protein a day seems really good in my humble opinion.

Making the switch to fact-based evidence is quite interesting,

In some ways- it resembles gathering accurate information about your monetary situation, as opposed to the lovely guessing game.

You can be an optimistic hopeful person and believe in your will power and the money fairy to keep you on track with your finances, and be under the impression that you need not check your accounts to see what is hiding there, but then, at the end of the day- facts remain facts, as opposed to fairies and optimistic points of view.

Get yourself an app and learn your eating and exercise patterns. it is your health after all.

enjoy- the cooliflower.

Nap chat

Today I want to discuss something truly magnificent, that is definitely one of the holy grails of early retirement:

The nap.

You know, that short up to 50 minutes sleep in the middle of the day (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?????!!!!!!????????!!-etc)

Yes.

So immoral and unproductive.

Doesn’t get you closer to your goals .

Doesn’t check anything off your to do list.

(Unless you have “nap at 11″ written there.)

You stop being a part of society and get lost in self-indulgent anarchistic sleep.

And let’s be honest about it-

You are all aware that it doesn’t really end there.

It’s not that you ” take a 45 min break, only to be back more invigorated and super powerful after it, and be so concentrated that it makes up for those lost minute and then some more:”.

Na.

People: After a nap you need at least another 50 minutes to recover from the nap.

Sure, I’ve heard of “power naps”, but I mean really-

How relaxed can you be after x minutes of trying your best to relax on your office chair, with your head slouched on your office table?

People are bound to interrupt, because their emergency is very important, more than your poor nap, and even if they don’t interrupt, you are absolutely sure that they will, so you can’t actually relax and enjoy that nap.

I’ve never succeeded in power napping in my office.

That was not a place of relaxation.to say the least.

So Why nap?

Well, first of all, because it is so much fun.

I mean, I love sleeping.

Actually, I believe I love sleeping as much as I love eating, and that means I really love it.

secondly, I wake up early.very early.

Like 3-3:30 am.

Some days I wake at 4 and I feel strange.wow, oversleeping!

Don’t get me wrong, I am not sleep deprived.

I simply go to bed at 20:00 max.

Although 7 hours a night is pretty reasonable, still, at around 10-10:30 am, I have this “excuse me, I am feeling tired” kind of feeling.

Sure, I can write tons of excuses here; By then I’ve already worked out, meditated, cleaned the house, not to mention ( why not mention? here I go mentioning!) eat a hearty breakfast+ a snack.or 2.

And yet, to be honest, I’m sure that had I been at work, I probably wouldn’t have collapsed or anything, but here’s the thing;

This is one of the greatest priviledges of early retirement, not having to be , well, at work.

So I nap.

And then I have a quiet cup of coffee.

And I think how grateful I am to have that privilege of napping in the middle of the day.

Thirdly-

there are researchers (there are always researchers mind you so don’t get excited) that found that this is beneficial for your body, and more so for your mental well-being.

You can go ahead and look for yourselves.

The thing is, it’s not that the second part of my day ( meaning post nap) is so energized.

I am a morning person, and no nap in the world will change this.

But-

I have a much more pleasant time in those post nap hours.

And for me- this is a lot.

If you work at home, or paid your dues to society and retired , or you are a frugal beast that saved and slaved for this exact cause: early retirement, and if you happen to be considering retirement, and for some reasons you aren’t sure this is a good idea, though financialy you can definitely do it:

Well then I have only one word for you:

N a p.

Enjoy, the cooliflower.

5 tips on Double duty – the only way to go!!

A long long time ago I realized the only way to get things done is to make absolutely sure I use my time effectively.

This means using every minute twice.

The method is simple, frugal, healthy and very very effective.

Here are my 5 tips on how to double duty in a simple and effective way.

1.Double duty your workout.

When working out at home put your weights on!

These are my legs/hands 2 kilos each weight.

When I finish my run and roll out my workout mat to get ready for core exercises, I strap my weights on.

This simple method allows for each workout to be double effective.

For example-

leg raises with weights on-(double Powerful).

crunches with weights strapped on the wrists.

side leg raises- yes with weights.

back leg raises. you get the picture.

I recently started using elastic workout bands too. also cheap and highly effective as a double-duty option.

2.when cooking – always cook in larger quantities, and freeze the rest for future use.

I will not get tired of saying this:

in my humble (practical!!) mind, there is no point in bulk and keeping the rest in the fridge.

Food doesn’t keep fresh for more than 3-4 days in the fridge+who wants to eat the freaking exact same thing every day?

Just divide and conquer.

Divide into reasonable portions and freeze, then you can use it whenever you want.

3.foodouble duty!!!

What started out as simple vegetable soup, double duties a couple of days later as spicy mushroom -chickpeas-lemongrass Thai style hearty soup.

what started out as baked potatoes, turned to veggie burgers a couple of days later when the demand for baked potatoes turned to be lower than expected.

4.Oven double duty.

Turned on the oven? make it a double-duty heat!

Use both racks for extra efficiency and frugality.

5.Swim.

yes.

swim.

you get 5 for the price of one.

#1:you get leg workout out.

#2:you get upper body workout.

#3:you get aerobic going. provided you swim fast enough and don’t wander about in the water.

#4:you get to listen to good music with no interruptions.

20180514_091618.jpg

How Metallica stepped up my game at the pool this morning

(Music sounds so much better underwater!!! )

#5:you can even spend your swimming time meditating.

That is what I call efficiency.

Enjoy, the cooliflower.

5 tips on how to “simplify” your vipassana course

I know this may sound counter-intuitive: simplify-vipassana course.

Vipassana is a well known meditating technique, and the basic course- the entrance gate to the world of vipassana so to speak- is the 10-day course, which is many things, but simple -isn’t one of them.

Having said that-

I am a huge believer in planning ahead, the reason being I have a tendency to get a bit nervous when stepping out of my comfort zone, hence my 5 tips, that I gathered after a lot of thought.

#1: Be prepared to get emotional. really intensely emotional.

I think I spent the better part of my 10-day course simply sobbing.

Granted this was an intensely emotional time for me- I turned 50 during the course and was highly invested in my retirement -which occurred 6 months later.

I was going through a really rough patch emotionally, and this has, naturally, affected my relationship with my partner and my general wellbeing.

But- I believe almost everyone that dives into this meditating technique and gives it a true chance, especially in the welcoming and enabling atmosphere created in the vipassana centers, having to remain silent with no escape for the senses- no reading, no writing, no listening to music, scrolling the phone or watching tv, will have a strong emotional reaction at some level.

And this is fine.

Actually-its great.

It is a sign you are working and making progress.

taking on your biggest fears, regrets, and anxieties.

Don’t be afraid of this emotional rollercoaster.

Wellcome it-as a necessary part of your path.

#2: Bring comfortable-wide- light- cotton -plain -easy to wash clothes. 

You are bout to sit and meditate in a hall for most of your waking hours- that is from 04:30 to 21 -with rest periods.

You will want to be comfortable.

Remember- you are not in fashion week in new york. no need to change every 3

#3: Layers are the way to go.

I don’t know what it is like in other centers, but I believe the general rule of thumb applies everywhere.

You are , as I said, about to sit for many hours in a meditation hall full of people.

Chances are it won’t be cold in the hall, plus you have your shawl with you-and- in my experience- although you are not working out in the usual physical sense, you are most definitely working very seriously emotionally, and the chances are you won’t feel cold.

then again-

Layer up- meaning- bring a cotton t shirt0 and build p from there- depending on the area and the season.

I wouldn’t recommend bringing only heavy wool sweaters- you might find out the hall is airconditioned and you will be immensely uncomfortable and will have nothing to do about it.

#4: Drink a lot of water and tea, and eat a lot of fruit and fiber.

Sitting still for 10 days does not do wonders for your bowels, I can tell you that.

Try to eliminate the consequences by drinking a lot of fluids, and when you pick your food- make a point of choosing more fruit and high fiber food. it might help. a little.

#5: Take some of your rest time and use it to walk around, and do some serious stretching in your room. 

If you are used to a non-sedentary lifestyle- and even if you lead a sedentary lifestyle- your body will have difficulty to adapt to those long hours of sitting still.

Rest is super important- as you are going through that emotional rollercoaster, but- your body will be ever so thankful if you stretch your limbs and walk around at least 30 minutes every day.

Here is my previous post telling my vipassana story.The birthday presents I gave myself-part 1

And my second post- telling about my 13 days as a dhamma worker: 13 days as a dhamma server in a vipassana course: what?? ( no preaching or missionary wisdom included)

I guess you can tell I really like this technique.

Enjoy- the cooliflower.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Protein packed wonder: soy beans!!

The excitement.

Then again, why be cynical.I would have thought I left that awful trait behind me when I retired.

“cynicism is the weapon of the weak”.

I’ve been told that so many times I lost count.

Weak or strong, soybeans are a true wonder, nutritionally speaking of course.

You already heard, at least 100 times that I am not a registered anything, let alone not a nutritionist, but a retired lawyer, and a health enthusiast, constantly looking for better ways to meet my protein needs as an active vegan who works out 6 days a week.

So, during my never-ending search, I stumbled upon these soybeans, during a vipassana course.

When I researched the health benefits of this lovely bean I found out it is full packed with protein: 16 grams for 1(1!!) cooked cup.

That, my friends, is a lot.

They are also rich in fiber and antioxidants.

And they keep their shape when cooking.

That is a plus if you want to add protein to your salads.

Like this:

Lentils, for example, are a bit higher in protein: 18 grams for 1 cooked cup, but in my experience, red and black lentils get super mushy when cooked, and brown and green lentils also need you to keep a close eye on them so as not to miss the cooking point beyond which you will be enjoying lentil stew, which is great, but not on salads.

How to?

Pre-soak for the night.

Boil till tender.

Be careful, they tend to keep foaming that white foam.

When tender- rinse and cook again, this time with chopped onions and garlic, and tomatoes.and some oil.

And salt &pepper, a little bit of sugar or date syrup, because the acidity of the tomatoes need a contrast.

This freezes well, so make a large batch and divide to 1 cup portions, for future use.

This can go well not only with salads, but with any pasta, cooked grain, or even on toast.

Speaking of toast, I would like to let you know that should you drizzle a little bit of olive oil or coconut oil on the toast as soon as it is out of the toaster, your toast will be even tastier.

I am always amazed at people making a big thing of incorporating oil to their diet, when I simply drizzle sone olive oil or coconut oil on my oatmeal porridge, on my toast, on my occasional pasta or grain, potatoes, come to think of it- almost everything.

While I am aware that too much of anything is too much, I nonetheless refuse to be intimated by good quality oil, and I am positive that many chefs will confess that it is good quality oil, in the right amount, that gives their dish that upgrade wished for.

(by the way, the other untold secret for that good taste twist is adding sugar, but I do not recommend that at all, as opposed to said oil, though you really need to use your given brain to decide for yourselves, as always.)

Enjoy, the cooliflower.

The shopping gorilla in my room…

I’ve been such a good penny pinching frugal minimalist for the past years leading to my early retirement, and through the 8 months of retirement since march.

And it wasn’t even difficult.

The thing is, preparing for early retirement became a mission, and being a type A uptight organized achiever, I was so minded and fixated on my mission, that I simply stopped shopping for a few years.no regrets .

Once I retired, many things have changed, one of them is I gradually realized that with my aquired frugal tricks I can manage quite well with my pension money, and keep saving towards my children’s education and towards helping them get a good start on life.

So the level of anxiety in the monetary sense came down.a bit.

I am not sure this topic is discussed enough, but early retirement ,at least in my case , was at the same time the best dicision I made in my life, and a stressful time obsessing over my monetary well-being.

Endless financial assesments, checking and rechecking my monetary situation, and then rechecking it.again.

I am sure many people are totally cool about this, and understand there are more important things then money ( I totally agree, doesn’t help).

There comes a time in a person’s life when he ( in my case , she), understands he (or she) is simply not cool.

Oddly enough, the opposite of being cool, is not, as you would expect, being hot.

Apparently I am neither.

At least not since I stopped wearing any makeup and dressing

But, I am totally fine not being neither.

I guess wisedom came with age.

If I get back to the discussed subject, another thing that happened in my retirement, is that almost all of my previous clothes are no longer relevant for me.

My work clothes were buttoned blouses, skirts, dresses, trousers, shoes to match.

You get the gist.

Whereas, now, I have no use for these clothes.

I now live in comfortable home clothes, and the only clothes I get out of the house are workout apparel, and yhe uniform for my ambulance shifts.

At home I am fine with my old T shirts and yoga pants/ their equivalent.

I was just fine, until chinese bachelor’s day arrived.

I am not a chinese bachelor, and yet this holiday had a big effect on my life for the past week.

The thing is, Amazon decided to give eBay a fight, and applied a free international shipping to where I live.limited till black friday.

I’ll have you know that shipping costs to where I live is a big issue , many times reaching up to 50% of the price of the product itself.(!!!).

So free shipping is a shopping trigger for me, as the excuse I give myself is , in my opinion, a valid , frugal one.

The obvious catch here , is that once you get into the shopping vibe, you can have a difficult time to get your grip back.

Especially after a long period of no shopping .

At least for me, this resembles the symptoms of breaking a fast.

I am not proud to say that.

But this is the truth.

I admit:There is joy in shopping.

New shiny objects, bearing hope of new beginnings.hard workouts, clean healthy eating, the lot.

So I spent the last week contemplating environmentalism, frugality, minimalism and self awareness, and on the other hand my weak caricature , pulling me again and again to the Amazon site.

After giving in at first, I decided to limit myself at some point.

I admit the point came a bit late, but I could just as well keep falling through that rabbit hole, so just gkad I established a stopping point at all.

I bought vegan protein powder , a swimming suit+ 2 goggles ( I a have new suit and new goggles, but if I continue swimming the way