Eating Well in Retirement

Eating Well In Retirement

There are few things that impact our overall health as much as our dietary habits. A diet that accounts for caloric intake, fiber richness, and nutrient density can positively impact energy levels as well as mental and physical health. Eating well takes planning, preparation, and willpower if you’re cooking for yourself. Residents at Oakmont Senior Living’s retirement communities choose from meals that are nutritious, seasonal, fresh, and tailored to their unique dietary needs, so that they can maintain a healthy diet every day. Whether you are a resident at Oakmont of Orange or simply searching for tips to help you eat healthier in 2018, here are considerations are chefs recommend to ensure a healthy diet.

Plan Ahead

If you don’t plan meals ahead of time, convenience will often win out. Even if you purchase nothing but fresh produce and organic meats at the start of the week, it is easy to lose sight of your dietary plans when a clear plan isn’t present. Often, we look in our refrigerator and cabinets and don’t find the ingredients for a complete meal that is both convenient and healthy. Without a recipe in mind and ingredients on hand, ordering in or getting fast food starts to look like a decent option.

Eating a healthy and well-balanced meal is always an option when you are a resident at Oakmont of Orange because the planning and preparation is done by our Executive Chef and culinary team. All of the meals are designed to be nutritious as well as seasonal. By using local and organic ingredients, our residents are always able to find something fresh and new on the menu. Using seasonal ingredients reduces preservatives, which can diminish the nutritional value of the ingredient and can also lead to a less flavorful dish.

Eat less Salt

Eating too much salt can lead to serious health issues including elevated blood pressure, which increases your chances of developing heart disease. Even if you don’t add salt to your food at the dinner table, it is likely that the food you are eating is higher in salt content than a doctor would recommend. It is estimated that 75% of the salt we consume on a daily basis comes from foods we purchase, like soup, cereal, bread, sauce, and other packaged foods. For residents at Oakmont of Orange, our culinary team ensures that all meals are full of flavor and nutrition. Our Chef can make special meals for residents with specific dietary restrictions like diabetes, heart disease, or other health-related issues to ensure that you receive the nutrients you need.

If you do not have a chef preparing a majority of your meals like residents at Oakmont of Orange, we recommend cooking with fresh ingredients so that you can monitor the amount of salt that is being added to your food. When purchasing packaged meals, it is important to always check the salt/sodium content. When dining out, it can be difficult to get accurate dietary details about menu items, but it is a good idea to ask your server for recommendations that are low in salt/sodium.

Use Local and Seasonal Ingredients

Oakmont Senior Living is dedicated to using fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Many of our communities boast their very own herb gardens, where our culinary staff can pick herbs they will use for a dish just moments before creating it. If you don’t have access to your own herb garden, our culinary team recommends shopping at your local farmer’s market as much as possible. The produce that you find will typically be fresh and is often organically grown and local. Produce usually doesn’t travel as far to a farmer’s market before making it to your kitchen. When produce is transported long distances, it can affect freshness and nutritional content. Another benefit of utilizing local and seasonal ingredients is that your menu changes with the seasons, which means new dishes on a regular basis.

Our culinary team emphasizes having a connection with your food. This means knowing the farmers they buy from at the local farmer’s market and picking herbs directly from their Chef’s Garden before preparing your meal. Many Oakmont Senior Living communities offer resident gardens where residents can grow their own produce to use in dishes at home.

We would like to invite you to join us for a tour and a meal at our beautiful retirement community in Orange, CA to experience our impressive culinary program.