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Healthy habits with Pops

Visiting my pops is always a unique and endearing experience. He lives in the Sheepshead Bay neighborhood of Brooklyn [NY] where produce stands are ubiquitous. That serves him extremely well since he chooses to consume a mostly plant-based diet, with an interest in a new fruit or vegetable each time I see him! It's not just the fresh and yummy food that I enjoy with him... it's also watching nonsense shows that make us laugh, hearing rich stories of the past, and maybe more than anything, appreciating his positive and cheerful disposition

He is 87 years old and still regularly walks miles at a time, his energy level at a healthy constant. I introduced him to the Nike app a couple of years ago to track all the wonderful steps and miles. When we go on walks together now, so does the app, talking to us as we go: when we stop at a streetlight, it lets us know our 'workout paused', when we begin walking, it lets us know our 'workout resumed', and it also lets us know each time we've covered a quarter mile. His eyesight is amazing, and he doesn't wear prescription glasses. I can't look up when it's sunny without sunglasses and here he is, with green eyes (they say lighter eyes are more sensitive to light), not even squinting.

Pops' healthy lifestyle evolved over time, small steps building upon one another. It's routine for him, seamless and instinctual.

Habits and tips as I see them with Pops... and a couple extra he doesn't do yet [can you guess which?]

Eating Habits

  • Do NOT walk or drive while eating: Take it slow and sit down for meals. Your digestive system will run better [you know, like an engine] and you'll be more mindful of it all.

  • Eat a salad every day: It's a great way to ensure you are eating vegetables on a daily basis. And build your other meals around veggies for more variety.

  • Drink plenty of water.

  • Gratitude: Bring pleasure up a notch by appreciating the meal. Maybe the corn meal bread is perfect, or the corner shop had a really good batch of green beans that day.


  • Enjoy regular phone dates with family members.

  • Share your day with someone you care about, taking turns talking.

  • Listen: Give people your full attention. Practice listening.

  • Help someone: volunteer, grab a door, compliment a stranger, offer a smile.


  • Sleep. Get your Zzzz. Regularly.

  • Relax and recharge: try meditation, take deep breaths, just chill.

  • Brush your teeth at least twice and floss at least once daily. It really boosts dental health! A water pic in lieu of flossing does the trick marvelously.


  • Laugh more. Be silly and spend more time with people that make you laugh.

  • Pay attention to negative self-stalk and replace with wording that is encouraging and positive.

  • Daily affirmation practice: start and/or end your day with a powerful word or statement.

  • Pause when you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Click below to learn how belly breathing can help.


  • Set a goal to move that is achievable and then increase when you're ready. You can start with a goal of 10 minutes walking each day. It doesn't have to be at once and it can be walking in place.

  • Sign up for something new. Try something new.

  • Stand up or move around a bit once every 60 minutes. Put on a timer if you need to. It gets the blood flowing.

  • Find the time to move just a bit more. You've heard these before: take the stairs, park farther away, do lunges on the way to the bathroom [I'm proud to share this one-oh, and you could do high knees on your next trip!]

Home Environment

  • Plants are awesome. Not just beautiful to look at, plants help clean the air and provide more oxygen.

  • Organize your space and you'll be more productive, making whatever you're doing more pleasurable.

  • Make your bed every morning. It just starts the day off right.

  • Turn off electronics at least half an hour before bed.

Whether you are trying just one of these healthy tips or you're already doing many, my hope is that you stay inspired and committed to yourself and feeling oh so good!

With love and sparkles,


Portokali Gourmet Market, Sheepshead Bay

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