As we age, our metabolism slows down. Those fries, pizzas, and chocolate shakes you could eat in your 20’s only cause the love handles to grow in your later years. It is possible, however, to take back your health and manage your weight as you grow older. You have what it takes, and we can help. We support our seniors by helping them stay fit mentally, physically, and socially through various opportunities for growth.  

Enjoy life more by managing a healthy weight. The team at Wesley Enhanced Living knows how to develop recipes and menus that make your taste buds sing and are good for you. 

Tips to Manage Your Weight Later in Life 

Embrace new habits and enjoy your Golden Years with these tips and recipes:

  • Increase Your Physical Activity: You need to expend more calories than what you take in. Our communities offer a variety of exercise programs appropriate for all levels of fitness.  It does not matter what you do; the point is to get moving.  
  • Drink More Water: Seniors can become dehydrated quickly. As you increase your activity level, you should increase your water intake. Your body will enjoy the refreshing change from soda or coffee.
  • Make Your Favorite Recipes Healthier: Do you love fried chicken? Consider oven frying or grilling instead. Utilize healthy fats like avocado oil instead of lard. We have a couple of recipes for you to try that offer a healthy twist for your palate:

Submitted by Hallie Klocek, MPH RD LDN, Registered Dietitian for WEL

Parmesan Chicken with Artichoke Hearts

(adapted from Taste of Home)

This is a super easy meal to prepare because everything is cooked on one sheet pan. So, cleanup is easy, and prep is quick! It’s a hearty meal, but the artichokes and lemon make it a more refreshing option during the summer months.

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cans (14 ounces each) water-packed artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup white wine or reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 lemon, cut into 8 slices
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced 

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Place chicken on a 15×10 baking pan coated with cooking spray.

2. Drizzle chicken with 1-1/2 teaspoons oil.

3. In a small bowl, mix rosemary, thyme, and pepper; sprinkle half of the mixture over chicken.

4. In a large bowl, combine artichoke hearts, onion, wine, garlic, remaining oil and remaining herb mixture; toss to coat. Arrange the chicken and sprinkle with cheese; top with lemon slices.

5. Roast until a thermometer inserted in chicken reads 165° or about 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle with green onions to garnish. 

Caramelized Eggplant and Onion Orzo

(adapted from The Kitchn)

This is a vegetarian/vegan recipe that works great as a light entrée or a side dish. Add legumes or a lean protein to build up the recipe and add protein, if desired.

8 ounces orzo pasta (about 1 1/4 cups)

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more to coat pasta
  • 1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound), diced
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 medium yellow onions, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 small bell peppers, diced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed chopped fresh basil leaves
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional, if not vegan) 

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook until barely al dente, about 6 to 7 minutes, or according to package instructions.

2. Drain, then drizzle lightly with olive oil and toss so that the grains of orzo are lightly coated; set aside.

3. Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a 10- or 12-inch straight-sided sauté or frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the eggplant, arranging in a single layer. Season lightly with salt. Sauté until golden-brown and softened about 6 to 7 minutes.

4. Reduce the heat to medium and push the eggplant up in a pile against one half of the pan. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the center of the pan.

5. Add the onions to the center of the pan and season lightly with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.

6. Add the garlic and stir it into the onions. Push the onions off to the side of the pan next to the eggplant, where they will continue to caramelize.

7. Add the peppers and tomatoes to the hot center of the pan. Sauté until softened, 3 to 4 minutes.

8. Add the balsamic vinegar and sauté for another 2 minutes, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

9. Increase the heat to medium-high. Add the orzo gradually, shaking in a cup at a time, and stirring and scraping constantly.

10. Cook, letting the orzo get browned on the bottom of the pan, then scraping it up to lightly toast the pasta, for about 5 minutes.

11. Remove pan from heat. Taste, and season with salt and pepper as needed.

12. Stir in the basil and serve immediately, sprinkling Parmesan shavings on top of each bowl, if using.

Manage Your Weight and Gain More Energy – Wesley Enhanced Living Can Help

It’s never too late to take charge of your weight so you can enjoy more that life has to offer. When you move into a continuing care retirement community like Wesley Enhanced Living, you have access to nutritious meals and many opportunities to increase your activity levels. Our team understands your needs and works alongside you for the same goal. We serve our seniors with several lifestyle options, including independent living, personal care services, rehabilitation, and long-term care. Come on by and check it out!

Wesley Enhanced Living provides high-quality senior retirement communities for you or your loved ones.  Contact one of our Philadelphia area locations and find out why our seniors love where they live. Our staff is happy to discuss your elder’s needs or your own, give you a tour and inform you of our range of services.