Preview of Your Coming Attractions

When I retired after 40 years of writing columns for the San Jose Mercury News, I figured I'd said about all I could say. Wrong. I've realized that at age 76, I'm about 10 years older than the oldest baby boomers, who are now turning 66. My very average body has had a lot of experiences in those 10 years. I've learned a lot that could be helpful to people just starting on that same path -- what to do, what to avoid, what to keep an eye on.. Consider me your canary-in-the-coalmine for the boomer generation. Tune in regularly for the heads-up advice.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Chow Time

     How’s your appetite? If you have a taste for savings, you could be in just the right stage of life.
     As we age, our capacity for ingesting large quantities of food seems to shrink. Put it another way: We feel full faster.
     That’s a good thing, for at least a couple of reasons:
     1. As noted in a previous blog posting, longevity studies seem to indicate that cutting back on the amount of food we take in may add a few years to our lives. If we naturally feel like cutting back, so much the better.
     2. Some restaurants really seem to be piling the food on our plates. Not the ultra high-end, Michelin-starred eateries, mind you. Their portions, though tasty, tend to be smaller. Customers have complained about that. As a result, the less well-regarded restaurants make sure that they give us more than enough food per person to remain competitive. Customers say they like that (although obesity statistics show that such joy may be misplaced). So here is where senior diners are in really good shape, financially. Order a standard meal at Maggiano’s, say, or The Cheesecake Factory, and you’ll have so much food left on your plate by the time you’re full that you can ask for a doggy bag or box to take home. Voila, lunch the next day, at no extra expense. In some parts of our nation such as the over-stuffed Midwest, portions are so large that my wife and I have ordered just a single dinner, split it, and still felt fully satisfied by meal’s end. Dining for half price!
     There are lots of things about aging to be grumpy about, but eating isn’t usually one of them. Eat less. Save more.
     Bon appétit.

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