Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Things I didn’t know about retirement……….

Instead of a food post, today I am writing about retirement as I see it.
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I think I was always planning for retirement financially, but had no serious thoughts about what I would be doing after I retired.

The business models used by the company where I spent most of my employment years were 10-year, 5-year and 1-year plans. 

Well, I never quite had a 10-year plan until I left that company during a merger. At that point in time, I decided that I would plan on working at least 10 more years with the possibility of retiring anytime after that.  That including continued saving a percentage of my earnings.

My 5-year plans weren’t detailed, they were simply to save x amount of dollars per year.  When I knew I would be leaving the last company, I went into immediate mode, forecasting expenses and income and paying off anything that wasn’t paid for.

I looked at things I could easily eliminate.  Things like satellite TV or cable, indiscriminate spending could be reduced or cut completely.  Things that can be eliminated depends on which items are needed. Housing and utility costs usually do not go down, instead actually increase, because you are home more.

One of the things I did not plan for was time.  Everyone thinks they will have lots of time after retiring to do all the things that they could not do while employed. First, a lot has to do with ones health. As we age, the joints may ache, the over-all health may go downhill. Do to diet restrictions or newly identified food allergies, preparing meals may take more time.

So although you may think you have saved enough to live comfortably, you may need to pay someone else to do your normal cleaning and cooking. There can also be high medical bills or medical insurance premiums.

Something to not expect in the future is getting an easy disability check from the government. While you may be trying to keep up with the  Kardashians today, think about just who you are trying to impress. When you are old and in need of assistance, those you were intending to impress will have their own problems!  It was keeping up with the ‘Joneses’ during my work life.  I never felt that I had to impress anyone, so things I did or bought were because I liked it.  Guess that came from growing up poor.

Before retiring, I had weekly cleaning schedules. I vacuumed and dusted every weekend.   Now, I have no cleaning schedules other than changing the bed linen and doing laundry!  It’s a clean as necessary strategy.  Of course, the kitchen and bath room have  to be kept clean daily or that could get out of hand.

Previously, I planned out meals as to not cook more than twice a week. Now, I cook when I want to try out a new recipe or there is nothing in the fridge. At least I have an advantage since I do not really like most meats.  But, I can chow down on some pork ribs occasionally!  I can throw a bag of veggies in the microwave, open a can of black beans or quickly cook some rice and I have a meal!  Due to food allergies, it is not as easy to just drop by the fast food place and grab lunch or dinner.

My last job was so stressful, that I actually retired about two years before I had planned.  My two-year plan became immediate! That is another reason for planning for retirement….if the crap gets too bad, have a plan, just in case!    I developed insomnia during the last year there, would be awake until about 2 or 3 in the morning.  I had to get up at 5:30 AM.  Three years later, I am still a night owl, I cannot get to sleep before 2 or 3 AM.   But, I also do not have to get up at 5:30 AM!  Even if I am in bed by 1 AM, I am still awake.

I try to eat healthy foods, but I do like chocolate, cocoa to be more precise. I also have noticed that I can gain 5 pounds very quick, so I have my chocolate, but less frequently. I have also learned how to bake low-carb too.

I spent a lot of time online on a foodie site or Facebook, during  about the first eighteen months of retirement.  I even joined a few support groups.  My observation for some of the groups/sites; they are more like the office I left when I retired.

Now back to eliminating things from the budget…. technology changes require one to keep up with certain trends. I was probably the last one to get a smart phone, but DTV (I will be nice) pxxxxd me off, so I cancelled them after eleven years!  I only watch local channels anyway!

My plans also include penning a gluten-free cookbook.  After seeing so many gluten free cookbooks with some of the same recipes, I decided instead to do only charitable type smaller cookbooks (for the Ipad) with the monies going to chosen non-profit organizations.  This will be my activity for a few months with the intention of getting two books out.

I am by no means wealthy, what comes in, goes out, either in medical expenses or taxes.

At least, I can say I am retired with no regrets!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Broccoli - Loaded with fiber and so many ways to enjoy it!

After being gluten-free a few years, I discovered that so many gluten-free packaged items are quite lacking in fiber. This is not to say that the ‘regular’ ones are any better, it is that since the gluten-free ones require a bit more time to make, more attention to nutrition should also be made.

My method of mixing my own flour blends comes from two influences; my history of loving cooking from scratch and  a person who I really appreciated having her skills when I first started trying to bake gluten-free: Michelle over at Allergen Free Cooking. I attended her classes when she was at Tailor Made Nutrition.  She made it seem so easy and even provided substitutions in each recipe.  So, I owe a big thank you to Michelle,The Allergen Free Cook !

I am always checking how much fiber or how less sugar or fat is in a recipe I make.  That brings me to why this post is mostly about broccoli.  Broccoli is loaded with fiber!
A week or so ago, I saw this big bag of cut-up broccoli and grabbed it, because I had just bought the new Shark Food processor.  I planned to try making food purees and of course; smoothies!

Broccoli II

First, I made  Just Another Green Smoothie,   then I modified it several times depending what other ingredients I had on hand.

The second one is below:
Another Green Smoothie II


Another Green Smoothie II

Ingredients
1 cup broccoli florets (chopped broccoli)
1 cup 0% Greek Yogurt
1 cup frozen pineapple cubes
1/4 cup natural almonds
1/2 scoop vegetarian protein powder
Procedure
1. Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Pulse and push down as necessary until blended.
Servings: 2
Yield: 2 very filling servings
Nutrition FactsNutrition (per serving): 241 calories, 9.4g total fat, 5.5g monounsaturated fat, 2.2g polyunsaturated fat, 0g trans fatty acids, <1g trans-monoenoic fatty acids, <1g trans-polyenoic fatty acids, 2.2g linoleic acid, <1g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 125.5mg sodium, 78.6mg calcium, 361.4mg potassium, 51.5mcg folate, 122.2mg phosphorus, 5mg phytosterols, 0mcg lycopene, 1.6mcg selenium, <1mg thiamin, 0mcg vitamin b12, <1mg vitamin b6, 78.7mg vitamin c, <1mg zinc, 22.9g carbohydrates, 4.7g fiber, 18.2g net carbohydrates, 14.8g sugar, 19.4g protein.

Modified again and even renamed it!
Frozen Fruit n Veggie Protein Smoothie


Fruit Vegetable Protein Smoothie

Ingredients
1/4 cup fresh pineapple chunks(or frozen)
1/4 cup frozen blueberries
1/3 cup frozen sliced strawberries
1/2 medium frozen banana, sliced
1/4 cup almond milk, unsweetened
1/4 cup natural almonds
1/3 cup broccoli, cut into small pieces
1/2 scoop vegetarian protein powder

Procedures
1. Place all ingredients in a blender capable of crushing ice (or a frozen concoction maker). Replace the top on the blender jar.
2. Pulse two or three times.  A stick blender works well too, you may have to stir it a couple of times
3. Stir the mixture so that it will blend easier.
4. After the mixture is completed blended (no large blueberry skins showing, serve in parfait glasses. Eat with a spoon.
Servings: 1
Yield: 1 very large serving or 2 medium
Nutrition (per serving): 383 calories, 19.1g total fat, 10.6g monounsaturated fat, 4.4g polyunsaturated fat, <1g trans fatty acids, <1g trans-monoenoic fatty acids, <1g trans-polyenoic fatty acids, 4.1g linoleic acid, 1.4g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 236.9mg sodium, 123mg calcium, 751.4mg potassium, 69.6mcg folate, 216.6mg phosphorus, 18mg phytosterols, 0mcg lycopene, 2.5mcg selenium, <1mg thiamin, 0mcg vitamin b12, <1mg vitamin b6, 81.7mg vitamin c, 1.4mg zinc, 39.3g carbohydrates, 9.8g fiber, 29.5g net carbohydrates, 20.9g sugar, 20.2g protein.

again…. 
Frozen Fruit n Veggie Protein Smoothie II


Veggie n Fruit Protein Smoothie

Ingredients
1/2 cup broccoli, cut up
1/4 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup frozen sliced strawberries
1/4 cup pineapple, fresh
1/4 cup whole natural almonds 
1 tbsp old fashioned oatmeal, uncooked
1 tbsp flax seed meal (ground flax seeds)
1/3 cup almond milk, unsweetened
chopped almonds for topping (optional)
1/2 scoop vegetarian protein powder

Procedures
1. Place all ingredients in a blender capable of crushing ice (or a frozen concoction maker). Replace the top on the blender jar.
2. Pulse two or three times. A stick blender works well too, you may have to stir it a couple of times
3. Stir the mixture so that it will blend easier.
4. After the mixture is completed blended (no large blueberry skins showing, serve in parfait glasses. Eat with a spoon.
Servings: 1

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 439 calories, 25.5g total fat, 12.1g monounsaturated fat, 8.1g polyunsaturated fat, <1g trans fatty acids, <1g trans-monoenoic fatty acids, <1g trans-polyenoic fatty acids, 4.3g linoleic acid, 1.9g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 260mg sodium, 166mg calcium, 750.2mg potassium, 84.4mcg folate, 304.3mg phosphorus, 11.6mg phytosterols, 0mcg lycopene, 5.4mcg selenium, <1mg thiamin, 0mcg vitamin b12, <1mg vitamin b6, 104.7mg vitamin c, 2mg zinc, 36.1g carbohydrates, 13.2g fiber, 22.9g net carbohydrates, 15.5g sugar, 23.4g protein.

I have eaten more broccoli in the past two weeks than in the past year!

I even served some over Millet with a a small amount of chopped bacon.

Lower Carb Breakfast

Another dish - served over rice (ingredients from the fridge)

Quick easy meal

Quick easy meal served over rice

Just Broccoli - with “horsey” sauce
Broccoli with Horsie Sauce

Even in Omelets
broccoli n bacon omelet

broccoli n bacon omelet served

Another omelet (ingredients from the fridge) make it a dish or an omelet
Another broccoli omelet - cooking

Another broccoli omelet - served

Enjoy broccoli, do not over-cook it!  I like it best, dropped in boiling water and drained immediately.  It’s called blanching vegetables. Broccoli will keep in the fridge for up to a week once this has been done, store loosely covered.

© 2012 retiredwithnoregrets.blogspot.com