All in a day's work: John the retiree
John the retiree
John is an 84-year-old retiree and widower who lives alone. His wife was a good cook, so he’s only recently had to learn to cook for himself. It’s meat and three veg most nights. John describes himself as not being a natural cook so his meat is usually plain without sauce. Is his diet typical of other retired men? He thinks those who’ve also had the good fortune to be married to good cooks are probably in the same situation as he is.
6am Porridge with milk and 1 sweetener. I’ve always had porridge for breakfast, so this is one thing I didn’t have to learn how to cook.
10am Black coffee. I would have a cheese scone if I could make them!
Midday Ham and lettuce sandwich with mustard and margarine spread.
3pm Black coffee and 1 Tim Tam
5.30pm 2 small whiskies on ice while watching the news
7pm Fried pork, boiled potatoes, cauliflower and broccoli. I usually have a fried piece of meat or fish with potatoes, (sometimes mashed, or oven fries) and vegetables. No sauces because I can’t make them.
Supper Fresh or canned fruit with icecream
Nadia Lim’s quick nutritional fix
Keep up the porridge — oats are high in soluble and insoluble fibre, which is great for the bowels. They also contain beta-glucans (a component of soluble fibre) which help lower cholesterol, and have a low glycaemic index which is good for blood sugars. Try steaming your vegetables — they will retain more vitamins that way (water soluble
vitamins leach out into the cooking water when boiled). You could add half a tin of tomatoes to the pan your meat is cooked in to make an easy sauce that is healthy too — cooking tomatoes releases lycopene, an antioxidant they are very high in, which has been linked to prostate cancer prevention.