Olga, the 94-Year-Old Runner

Fun at Any Age

Healthy at Any Age (Photo courtesy of RuPhotography on Flickr Commons)


Parade magazine recently ran a story on 94-year-old Olga, a competitive runner, long-jumper and high-jumper.*  Clearly, she defies the story we’ve come to believe about aging, i.e., that it is inevitably a time of disease and decrepitude.  Olga is fit and spry and looks to be about 68.

Researchers are all over “super seniors” like Olga, trying to figure out what helps them “apply brakes to the aging process–defying the slide into a foggy decline, remaining sharp and healthy deep into old age.”

The answers are unsurprisingly familiar–some might say boring.  In a nutshell, Olga does not sit around watching TV and eating pretzels, cheese and crackers.  In scientific terms, “longevity is probably about 70 to 75 percent lifestyle,” says Angela Brooks-Wilson, Ph.D., a geneticist in the Genome Sciences Centre at the B.C. Cancer Agency in Vancouver.

How does this translate into news you can use?  Easy:  Get into the habit of staying active, staying on your feet, enjoying life–and eating real food.  Olga doesn’t rely on processed foods nor does she “skip meals or scarf fast food and count on a handful of supplements and vitamins to pick up the dietary slack.”  Instead, she figures a balanced diet ought to do it.  As she says, “nature had a couple million years to get this right.”

Statistically, we are on track to live longer, but with a deteriorating quality of life.  If you prefer the Olga model of aging, NOW is the time to switch to an Olga lifestyle.  Join us for class and learn how to translate real foods theory into real foods meals on the table, day after day, for life!  This class is Free:

Putting Good Nutrition on the Table:  Tasty and Easy Meal Making for Happy and Healthy Aging

  • “Magnesium Protects Against Stroke”
  • “Vitamin E Helps Prevent Alzheimer’s”
  • “A healthy lifestyle is the only proven way to prevent heart disease”

Practically every day we see a study showing the powerful connection between good nutrition and good health.  But how can we translate those exciting revelations into actual meals on the table, day in and day out?    In this hands-on meal making class, discover secrets for making good nutrition a natural part of every day meal making.  Get inspired to take an active role in creating your own good health.  Cook and chat together as we make and taste nutritionally powerful, delightfully delectable dishes.

Thursday, March 20
2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
West Boulder Senior Center Kitchen
FREE  —  but call to register:  303-441-3907

Instructor Mary Collette Rogers is a master of easy, efficient meal making for good health, good energy and a good weight.  A veteran cooking instructor, author, speaker and kitchen coach, she happily and enthusiastically shares a wealth of tips, skills and tricks from nearly 25 years in the healthy cooking and eating fields. Join us if you are ready to reap all the wonderful health benefits of a healthful diet.

* Based on “Going the Distance,” Bruce Grierson, Parade Magazine, December 29, 2013

Grocery “Shopping” Steps from the Stove with a CSA Combo

I’m surprised at how little I must shop with everything I get from my CSAs (including frozen, canned and dried produce from summer excess plus a winter CSA that I’m still eating from!)  When I need something, I just “shop” in my frig, freezer or cupboards.

Also be sure to see the previous post on the importance of clean meat–the kind you get direct from a farmer.

Produce–comes from Monroe Organic Farm.  Very reasonably priced, because it doesn’t come washed and boxed.  The produce stores better and is cheaper if you wash your own.  Small price to pay for the amazing flavor and abundance.

Fruit–I could also get my fruit through Monroe, but I don’t eat enough and enjoy buying it direct at the Market.

Lamb and Beef–Also from Monroe’s I buy whole, half or quarters, depending upon how many people I can find to share.  While all of Monroe’s meat is excellent (they also have pork), their lamb is stunningly good.  I barely bother doing anything besides grilling or pan-frying; it needs nothing but a little salt and pepper.

Pork, Chicken and Eggs–Ostensibly, I should be getting enough eggs to survive from my five hens, but they are too busy eating and getting fat, so Jodar Farms is my back up egg source.  I also joined their chicken CSA.  You would be delighted at how a “real” chicken tastes!  I also buy part of a hog from Jodar and share with friends and family.

CSAs: Sign Up Now for Great Produce, Good Meat

Farmer's Market Photo

Hard to believe, but summer really is coming. Think ahead now and join a CSA to enjoy great summer produce at very reasonable prices.

Now is the time to sign up for a CSA, which stands for Community Supported Agriculture.

What  Join a CSA and you rise from passive grocery store consumer to farm member and supporter.  Every week you get a great box of produce (or meat) at amazingly reasonable prices.  Super fresh and super tasty.

Why  By the single step of joining a CSA you do all this:

  • get the best-tasting produce
  • at the most reasonable prices
  • that does the best job of supporting your and your family’s good health
  • while supporting sustainable growing practices
  • which protects the environment and preserves farmland
  • supports local farmers and local economy
  • and builds a stronger community.  What else can you do that is so beneficial?!!

Also be sure to see the previous post on the importance of clean meat–the kind you get direct from a farmer

When  CSAs deliver produce weekly, as it’s grown, so in Colorado that’s generally June through October.

Where  CSAs usually deliver to nearby towns and cities; it’s nice to find one that delivers to a fairly close location.

How Much  Pricing varies, depending upon farm and size.  Regardless, in my experience, the per pound price of produce was always very reasonable.  See the listing below for exact pricing.  And remember to start small.  There’s always next year to buy a bigger share as you get accustomed to this new way of “shopping.”

CSA Listing
The Daily Camera just printed a convenient list of CSAs that deliver in the Boulder area
Here is another good online source  (but note that Grant Family Farms is no longer in business.)

CSA Fair  Come Meet the Farmers!
Saturday March 15, 9:00am – Noon at Impact Hub Boulder, 1877 Broadway, Suite 100
Co-hosted by Local Food Shift and Boulder County Farmers’ Markets.  Connects people face-to-face with farmers, discovering all the ways to directly support them, learn about food production and enjoy local food–and join a CSA!   RSVP here.


We’ve been “trained” to seek out produce that looks good on the outside; CSA produce may not be as pretty on the outside, but it is stellar on the inside.

Think Ahead”  That’s the key to reaping the benefits of a CSA.  Remember we live in an instant food culture.  Anytime you get hungry, somebody has something to fill you up.  But you get what you pay for.  Little effort = little value.  Sadly we see the consequences of little effort all around us.

Why not try a new paradigm:  Think ahead.  You will be hungry this summer and autumn, just like you are every day.  That won’t change.  What can change is thinking ahead now and ordering a CSA.  Each week, you’ll have a magnificent box of produce and clean meat.  Then, when you’re hungry, you’ll fill yourself up with real food that nourishes and nurtures, i.e., what you really want to be eating.

Full Disclosure  CSAs offer great benefits, but as a member-supporter of the farm, you also get to intimately know and share some of the risks of farming.  In this way, you get very connected to the world outside our homes and offices where real food is produced.

Our farmers work tremendously hard and are so ingenious, but there are a lot of factors outside their control (e.g., floods, drought, shearing hailstorms, to name just a few from the last couple years.)  The fees paid by as a CSA member give farmers a cushion of security in this very risky environment.

Most often, those fees are repaid tenfold in the health-giving, delicious produce members receive.  But now and then, members take a hit alongside their farmers (albeit it a much, much smaller hit!)  Last year, for instance, our farm suffered a freak hailstorm in July.  In one hour, half of their crops were destroyed.  Talk about a force of nature!  But even though our shares were smaller, they were still very adequate, and I never felt “deprived.”

Members also help farmers by accepting and using up the less-than-perfect produce that is part and parcel of every harvest.  I was dismayed when the produce from my first CSA wasn’t nearly as nice as what my farmer sold at the Market.  Think about it, though:  for every perfect 7″ carrot, there are several 4-6″ carrots which taste just as good.  They may take a little more work, but by accepting them, they don’t go to waste and our farmer is further supported.

Finally, there is the dreaded, “What if I get 10 turnips” fear.  First, come to our healthy meal making classes with The New Kitchen Cooking School.  We learn systems for cooking a vegetable in multiple ways so you never feel over-dosed.  This summer we have three sessions all revolving around the summer vegetables you might receive in a CSA box.  Second, a CSA box always has plenty of variety to offset any vegetable you receive in plentitude.

Read more from Dan Moore’s volunteer website about why and how to join a CSA

Happy eating!

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