In the article there are five suggestions for staying sharp:
1. Don't drink excessively or smoke: I don't do either of them.
2. Control high blood pressure and cholesterol problems: I have given up sugar in the hope that I can bring down my too high cholesterol level. I will have the level checked after six months which will be August.
3. Exercise regularly. I am working on this and with the help of my trusty pedometer, I have increased the number of steps I walk each day and also hope to join in on one of the fitness classes which are part of The Change Project which is funded by our local council.
4. Eat a healthy diet: I need to include more fish in my diet and less red meat PLUS more vegetables to be in line with the new Aussie Healthy Eating Pyramid. Eating more vegetables is easier said than done though. I also need to open those cans of sardines I have been looking at in the pantry for weeks now :-(
5. Last but not least ~ Stimulate your brain: Hmmm, much more work needs to be done on this one especially since I have retired and don't have the interaction with others I used to have at work. Playing challenging games - well I don't do that. Learning new skills - that is what I am working on at the moment and I am trying to do something new every couple of days or so.
I mentioned in a previous post that we have kale growing which I rarely pick as I am not all that thrilled with the taste. However, it is being wasted as mildew is growing on the leaves so I thought I would bite the bullet and make kale chips which heaps of bloggers rave about. I found a recipe that I thought sounded nice and would mask the taste of the kale so decided to try this recipe which includes tahini. Well, I don't know if you have ever worked with tahini but it is very, very sticky and do you think I could coat those kale leaves without my fingers sticking to everything I touched. In the end I gave up trying to coat the leaves lightly and made do with the thick coating, put them in the oven and had a look at them in 10 minutes as per the instructions as they were to cook for 30 minutes.
Well I had a look after 10 minutes and was greeted by burnt offerings. LOL! Oh well, so much for learning new skills. I was amazed that a full tray of kale leaves could shrink so much. Never mind I thought, I will put them in the compost. Oh maybe I should just see what they taste like first. Would you believe it, they were just the most tasty chips I have ever eaten even though the tahini had dried up somewhat. I scoffed down the whole tray and when my son came into the kitchen and asked where the kale chips had gone to I just had to tell him that they got burnt! ;-)
I will try this recipe again but perhaps I will be able to thin down the tahini first....and the menfolk might get to eat some too.
I am also trying a new knitting stitch in between sock knitting so started making a scarf using these Easy Trellis Lace Scarf instructions. I have never knitted anything more complicated than my simple socks I completed recently and this pattern looked fairly simple but I kept losing a stitch somehow and it took me a few rows before I discovered a way to stop that from happening. I don't know if the pattern is wrong or if I am knitting incorrectly but keeping 25 stitches on my needles was a bit of a learning curve. Hopefully I won't have to start from scratch again. At least knitting helps me to concentrate and not let my mind wander.
I also want to learn how to make Violet Salve. I found these instructions by Faye from This Blessed Hearth. I had never really heard of making salve from violets and was fascinated to read about the process.
I find it interesting to read on blogs that violets grow in spring in the US as we have them growing now in our winter.
While checking out Pinterest for different salve recipes I came across a lot that use dandelions so will give a few of those a try as well.
While I was outside with my camera I came across some Cape Gooseberry plants growing wild amongst the weeds.
When these are ripe the bright orange berry inside can be used in jam or added to salads and desserts. However, they don't usually make it to the kitchen as the CEO eats them when working out in the garden.
So there you have it...challenging games and learning new skills on the list need to be worked on.
What do you do to keep mentally alert if you are getting on in years?