A Healthy Vintage-Themed Lifestyle

The purpose of this lifestyle plan is to look at what people in the 1940s and 1950s ate and how they moved around.  It is not precise, but it might help some folks out who want to eat better and try something new.  People moved around more than we do presently.  It wasn't uncommon for a husband to take the car, leaving the wife to walk to get errands done.  If you were a blue collar laborer, then you probably sported some sort of musculature (regardless of sex).

Meals were kept to a balanced meal, but the portions were smaller than today's portions.  It is very possible that this was due to people having more food options without all the filler, overly processed foods, and pre-made who-knows-what.

I want to make sure that I say a "fad diet" is something you start and stop, often failing.  A diet in itself is simply what you eat, your eating habits.  If you don't believe me, let's look at a tiger.  What kind of diet does a tiger have?  Meat and plants, mostly.  Look at yourself.  What kind of diet do you currently have?

The other part of this is exercise.  You can't just change your eating or change your workout methods.  You have to alter both in order to get results.  Exercise is important.  Again.  Exercise is important.  It shouldn't matter if you're thin, fat, scrawny, or muscular.  Everyone needs to do it.  It will benefit you as soon as you start and it will help you later in life.  I have never wanted to be an old frail lady who has stability problems, maybe cardio issues, etc.  I'd rather be a kickass old lady who is very active and not afraid to lift that 40lb bag of dog food or go for a jog.  Becoming frail can be avoided by having a healthy lifestyle.  Just look at Jack Lalanne.

Consider the following a vintage method for a healthy life.



Workout
Your weekly walking or jogging goal is 15-20 miles.  If you go to the gym 5 days a week, run/jog/walk 3-4 miles; while 4 days a week would be 4-5 miles and 3 days would be 5-6 miles.

The following workout is based on the assumption that you go to a gym – regardless to how fancy or cheap it may be.  The key to weights is working with a weight that makes you work.  If you want to tone up, increase your weight by 5 lbs each time you workout.  The recommended weights are simply for starting out.  You can alter the weights used, of course.  If you need to use less weight, aggressively attempt to achieve a higher weight used the next time you work out.

Try to workout 4-5 days a week.  This will help you remain active and fit.  I personally try to workout 5 days a week in the wee hours of the morning (I'm up at 4:30am and out the door by 5am).  If I miss a day it is okay.  I don't make up for missed days.  I just get out there and do my best.

Jack Lalanne, the workout king, encouraged people during the 50s (when his television show began) and beyond to lift weights.  It leads to a stronger body.  You will find that you will look more toned, more healthy, and you will have more body stability.

Some exercise basics that you may not realize:
  • Squating is the act of sitting and standing up
  • Overhead press is the act of retrieving and putting something away that is overhead
  • Sit ups are the act of sitting up in bed
  • Push ups are the initial act of lifting yourself off the floor
  • Jump roping is the act of jumping
  • Good mornings are the act of bending over and returning to a standing position
  • Back squats are one of the strongest squats and can be used to lift a heavy item
  • Pull ups help you pull yourself over things like fences
  • Russian twists help with core stability so you have more control and balance
  • Deadlift is the act of picking an item up from the floor
The links will show you how each exercise is performed.  The following workout is designed to give you an overall body workout.

1 (gym)

Running/Jogging/Walking (15-20 miles a week)
3 Rounds
            Dumb bell squat x 15 reps (recommended: Two 20 lb dumb bells)
            Dumb bell overhead press x 10 reps (recommended: Two 20 lb dumb bells)
            Sit ups x 25 reps (recommended: No weight)
            Push ups x 15 reps (recommended: No weight)
            Jump Roping x 30 reps (recommended: No weight)
2 Rounds
            Barbell Good Mornings x 15 reps (recommended: 50 lb barbell)
            Barbell Back Squats x 10 reps (recommended: 50 lb barbell)
            Pull ups/Assisted Pull Ups x 15 reps (recommended: No weight)
            Russian twist with kettle bell x 25 reps (recommended: 25 lb kettle bell)
            Deadlifts x 10 reps (recommended 50 lb barbell)

If you are not a member of a gym, I have some suggestions for you.  See below.

2 (no gym)

Running/Jogging/Walking (15-20 miles a week)
Workout video:

The Bettie Page workout is fairly new.  It was put together by Tori Rodriguez and is based on Bettie's pictures and movies.  For both videos, you might need some weight equipment, but you should be able to find this inexpensively at a sporting goods store.





Diet
You could use this Camp Plate
Your plate should consist of 50% Protein, 25% Veggies, 25% Carbs. 
  
Complex carbohydrates contain vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.  Simple carbohydrates are pretty much just filler foods like white flour, cane sugar, jam, etc.  Complex carbohydrates includes foods such as: oats, brown rice, quinoa, potatoes, beans, peas and lentils.  What many folks tend to not incorporate into the carbohydrate formula are fruits and veggies.  Fruits and Veggies tend to be a quasi-carb meaning that they are usually listed as a simple carbohydrate, but like complex carbs they have vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.  You could, for instance, have a double helping of vegetables or two separate vegetables if you aren’t into the grains, potato, and legumes.

Think of breakfast, lunch, and dinner simply as “meals”.  Breakfast vegetables might make you question things.  Dessert is your light splurge for the day.  Imagine that, a possible daily dietary splurge.  Dessert is dessert and often contains sugar.  Keep it limited to one serving, no more.  You may want to try thinking of fruit as dessert.  Try a baked apple or fruit pie.

At least 2 liters of water is recommended a day, but 3 liters is ideal.  Stay away from soda or any drinks that are full of sugar.  Carbonated water, tea, coffee, ovaltine, etc are just fine.  If you are a juice drinker, limit your juice to breakfast.  When it comes to alcohol, try to limit it to 3-5 drinks a week.

The basis of eating right has always been "food awareness".  Read about foods, eat those superfoods, and stay away from the processed crud.  Some folks think that eating right means cutting calories, but calories are energy.  What kind of energy are you fueling your body with?  Eating the right foods can naturally, and in a healthy way, cut calories since veggies and fruit are typically low in calories.  Best example: 1 cup Broccoli = 31 calories  versus  1 cup Mac & Cheese = 410 calories.  Which fuel is better for you?  I really hope you know that it's broccoli.  By using "food awareness", you can afford the occasional drink or dessert without all the horrible guilt.

If you are going to try this diet out, here are the DO's and DON'Ts.

DO's
  • Purchase fruits and vegetables, frozen and canned are okay but fresh is best
  • Eating dairy is up to you, but don't slather everything with cheese
  • Make time to eat each meal
  • You can do this and still remain paleo - for any paleo people out there
  • Try leftovers and fish for breakfast
  • Allow yourself to have a dessert every so often
  • You can break these rules whenever you want, but try not to break them often
  • Use a smaller plate like an 8" salad plate instead of a dinner plate
  • Try yam instead of potato or sweet potato
  • Try a weird gelatin salad for lunch or some other fun 1940s & 1950s recipes
  • You can drink...a little.
DON'Ts
  • Limit your pasta to maybe one meal a week, regardless of noodle type
  • NO pre-made food
  • NO quick-to-make food from a box
  • Limit your sugar use.  Alternative sweeteners may be ideal like honey or agave nectar
  • No fast food.  If you are going out to eat, have it be a sit-down restaurant for better quality.
  • Stay away from white flour, other refined grains, cane sugar, soy, corn, corn syrup, and other edibles with low nutrient density.  Side note: I include soy due to the chemical compounds and side effects of soy.
  • Don't eat dessert each night if you don't want to.  It's just an option, not a requirement.

Here is a week of suggestions.

Monday
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, steamed asparagus, and banana.
Lunch: Smoked sausage, cauliflower, and brown rice or apple.
Dinner: Fish fillet and large salad.
Dessert: Slice of chocolate cake.

Tuesday
Breakfast: Two fried eggs on whole grain toast and leftover cauliflower (Monday lunch)
Lunch: Whole grain bread sandwich with lunchmeat and thin sliced roasted zucchini, 100-calorie pack of nuts, and snack-size box raisins.
Dinner: Lemon pepper chicken breast with broccoli and rice or pan-fried cinnamon apples.
Dessert: 1 scoop ice cream

Wednesday
Breakfast: Protein smoothie (1 scoop protein powder, banana, other fruit)
Lunch: Leftovers from Tuesday dinner – chicken and broccoli, piece of fruit
Dinner: Meatloaf, green beans, and mashed potato/mashed cauliflower
Dessert: Slice of pie

Thursday
Breakfast: Ham steak (small), pan-fried cinnamon apples, whole grain toast
Lunch: Lentil & Ham soup, 6 whole grain crackers (like triscuits)
Dinner: 6oz Steak, baked potato, small salad
Dessert: Yogurt and fruit

Friday
Breakfast: Meatloaf (leftover from Wednesday dinner), whole grain toast, small orange or satsuma
Lunch: Chinese food (meat, veggies, and rice)
Dinner: Veggie-Noodle Lasagne (use zucchini and yellow squash cut length-wise for vegetable noodles, make the rest normally with meat)
Dessert: Slice of Cheesecake

Saturday
Breakfast: Parmesan-crusted tilapia with broccoli
Lunch: Chili con carne, veggie boat (variety of veggies with ranch dip)
Dinner: Scallops over quinoa with asparagus
Dessert: A bar of chocolate

Sunday
Breakfast: Oatmeal with fruit
Lunch: Grilled chicken, waldorf salad
Dinner: Schnitzel, sauerkraut, walnut-honey yams
Dessert: 3 pieces Almond Roca



If you need a retro cookbook (or vintage if you can find an original) I suggest the Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook.  If you have never cooked before, you can learn from this book.  If you are an experienced cook, you will find some interesting vintage recipes here.  It's not very expensive.


I'd like to hear what you think of all this.  Do you agree?  Like it?  Hate it?  What would you change?  I'm very interested in your opinions!

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