When thinking of Thanksgiving, does a succulent roast turkey with stuffing come to mind? Or is it the cranberry sauce and other side dishes? While this holiday is often chided for its potential to wreak havoc on waistlines, it is also the perfect opportunity to celebrate the important role of nutritious food and socialization in our lives.
At Acacia Creek, a Masterpiece Living Certified Center for Successful Aging, residents and team members work to embody successful aging practices in everyday life. Successful aging includes four primary categories of wellness: physical, mental, social, and spiritual, and the food we eat plays an important role. Healthful meals help maintain and even enhance our physical capabilities; foods known for brain health can boost cognition; and mealtime presents an ideal opportunity for socialization, gratitude, and reflection.
Here are some tips to help you practice successful aging this holiday season!
1. Physical. Prepare healthy foods. Follow the “Blue Zones” guidelines*: “90-95 percent of foods should be fruits, vegetables, grains, or beans. Use olive oil to sauté and spices to flavour vegetables.”
2. Mental. Encourage attendees to share memories of their favorite holidays mid-meal. Consider adding a post-meal game including charades or wordplay for a cognitive boost.
3. Social. Open your celebration to include friends, extended family, and neighbors. Consider setting a “no politics at the table” rule to keep conversations congenial and welcoming.
4. Spiritual. Ask everyone to reflect upon and share something that they are grateful for in their lives – either upon Thanksgiving Day, in the past year, or in the year to come. Be supportive of others’ responses and consider how they may be mirrored in your own.
* This advice comes from Blue Zones, an organization inspired by the world’s longest-lived cultures that helps people live longer, better lives. Learn more at.
Acacia Creek Retirement Community inspires residents to live an active, meaningful life. Our mission as a senior community is to enrich the independence, well-being, and security of our residents through exceptional services and care based on Masonic values.
To learn more about Acacia Creek or our senior housing opportunities, contact us at www.acaciacreek.org/contact