See the list of all the Shirtless Chef recipes at www.mysaline.com/shirtless.
There are many fears in life. Some are rational, some not so much. Politicians seem to deal only in fear nowadays, because it’s such an easy emotion to tap into and manipulate. I bet I could fill a book with fears I wasted time on that never happened, or ones I worried about so much that I seemed to manifest them into reality.
It’s such a waste of time, worrying about things that haven’t happened yet, to paraphrase Axl Rose. I could list all the crazy one in a million chance events people worry about here. Things like being eaten by a sea critter on a beach trip, to being murdered by a stranger. In reality, if you are to be murdered, odds are it’s going to be done by the person you snooze next to every night.
There is one real danger that no one seems to worry about at all. It’s one that is completely under their control, and much more likely to kill them than almost anything else…falling in their own home. The other day, I was walking in my sock feet to close a window blind, and when I put on the brakes I hit a slick spot. My feet almost went out from under me in a split second. Thanks to a strong core and leg muscles, I was able to catch myself, but I was surprised by how much effort it took to stop the fall.
It made me think of an incident a summer ago at a temporary rent house in between moving. I hit a steep wooden ramp leading into the garage in my sock feet, and this time, there was no saving it. In the blink of an eye, my feet were occupying the space my head had just been at, and said head and right shoulder slammed on the floor. I went keister over tea kettle before I even knew what happened. My right arm bent backward between the ramp and the garage wall, and then the rest of my body followed with a heavy crash onto the wood plank.
I laid there for a few seconds, waiting for all the dead people I could suddenly see peering at me with curiosity in the transition relm cleared away, and then I got up, dusted myself off, and continued on my way. Other than some angry scratches on my arm from the side of the plank and a good bump on the head, I was none the worse for wear. How does an almost 50 year old take a fall like that and walk away?
Strong bones and lean muscle mass from strength training and eating enough protein to maintain it. If you do not strength train and prioritize protein in your diet as you age, your bones will lose density, your muscle mass will deteriorate, and when you slip in your sock feet, there will be no catching it. And when you land, things will break. Maybe you get lucky and it’s just an arm. More likely, it’s a hip, and when you break a hip, there’s a scary dude in a long black robe and a reaping blade putting your address into his day planner.
That’s a reality that actually is looming in everyone’s future that isn’t maintaining strength and lean muscle mass, and it’s also easily preventable. The problem is the change is so gradual, most people don’t know they are a fall risk until it happens to them. It just takes a little work and dedication, which seems to be a big ask of people these days.
I don’t know about you, but knocking out a few sets of air squats, push-ups, and sit-ups sounds a hell of a lot better than needing someone to come pick you up after turning turtle in your own home. Test yourself. See if you can get up off the floor without using your hands. Too much? Try getting out of a low chair without pushing off. If you struggle with these now, as you age, it will only get worse.
Falls, broken bones, assisted living, and death will follow. It’s not a fear as much as it is a reality heading everyone’s way at some point.
So, what to do? Like I said, you don’t have to be Conan or Rocky. Just start doing bodyweight exercises and be able to lift your own weight for starters. Push-ups, pull-ups, air squats, sit-ups. Start with what you can do instead of focusing on what you can’t, and try to get a little better each day.
Show up. Don’t quit. Or do, fall and turn a hip into dust. It’s really up to you how you want that to go. As for getting better, muscles need protein to get stronger, and that’s where we get to eat. Since working out is hard, here is an easy way to slow cook some BBQ and have a traditional southern BBQ meal with all of the protein and about a third of the calories.
I’ll put a link to the coleslaw, cauliflower potato salad, and jicama fries from previous articles to make along with it if you are so inclined, and trust me, you should be. I used to make this with pork tenderloin, but the price of that particular protein breaks the hips of my wallet now, so I went with one package of boneless skinless chicken thighs and breasts. It worked great and is about as hands off as you can get.
Make the sides the day before, get up early and throw this in the slow cooker, and you will have a protein loaded lunch for a week. Now drop and give me 20…or whatever you can do. That’s all that’s really important.
ColeSlaw and potato salad link:
Jicama fries link:
Slow cooker BBQ chicken:
1 package boneless skinless chicken thighs and 1 package breasts, pasture raised
White parts of the green onions sliced for the potato salad
1/2 tsp sea salt, black pepper, onion and garlic powder, smoked paprika
Sugar free bbq sauce of your choice
Take out your chicken and throw it in your favorite slow cooker, add all the spices and the white parts of the green onions. Set for 7 hours on low:
After 7 hours is up, reset the slow cooker to cook for 1 hour to up the temp to kill any microbial baddies that might be lurking, then remove the chicken to a large bowl. It will be falling apart, so choose a non-slotted ladle:
Pull apart the meat with forks:
Heat the bbq sauce in a saucepan and then pour on the serving. Pair with the homemade coleslaw, cauliflower potato salad, and jicama fries: