5 Confidential Habits Foodies Adopt as They Grow Older

It hit me in the face last night. I never saw it coming. Although, that’s how all insights come, at least for me, this one was different. This one tore through the very core of my life, or what I once called my life.



A friend of ours was sitting on the sofa, asking me if I needed any help in the kitchen. Since I’ve been an authentic Foodie with traditional Foodie habits for as far back as I can remember, I have never seen cooking as a chore.

Hubby and I live in a basement apartment with an open kitchen design. I was able to easily communicate with our guest while cooking.

We had been out all day, so I wasn’t planning to make anything elaborate for dinner. I had taken a zip-lock bag filled with shredded smoked pork shoulder out of the freezer to thaw, before we left, and was in the process of heating up a can of refried beans with green chilies and lime.

The plan was burritos. “No,” I said, as I worked. “It will only take me a couple of minutes.”

“We do a lot of simple now,” hubby told her.

“So do I,” she said.

Reaching for a gluten-free flour tortilla and tossing it into a pan to heat gently, I suddenly saw just how true that was. “I don’t even make my own bread very often anymore,” I confessed. “I can’t eat store-bought gluten-free bread, due to the whole grains they put in it now. If we’re having hamburgers, I usually just toss my patty onto a plate.”

My friend nodded. “I do the same thing. It sucks getting old, doesn’t it.”

I glanced at the cashew jars on the counter that I was using for gluten-free flour canisters. I had a lot of various gluten-free flours and starches I didn’t use much any more. Even the gluten-free pasta looked lonely just sitting there. Was this what happens when your Foodie habits change?

At that moment, reality hit home: I wasn’t a Foodie any more.

What is a Foodie?

There is a lot of controversy surrounding the term Foodie. Many people who love to eat and find great satisfaction in going out to breakfast, lunch, or dinner often use the term without a clear understanding of what it actually means to be a Foodie.

While some people describe Foodies as belonging to the niche of being a serious food enthusiast, where food is a passionate hobby bordering on the edge of obsession, for me, food was my life. And I mean that literally.

Many Foodies who are passionate about restaurant dining can tell you:

  • the history behind the dishes they eat
  • where to find the best prime rib in town
  • who serves the best wine
  • several appropriate choices at their favorite restaurants
  • the techniques involved in a dish’s creation
  • the science behind why certain cooking methods are best

While they may or may not cook and bake themselves, and may or may not be a super-taster, the obsession with food experiences is more than just a hobby. You can’t call us a gourmet. Our focus on food and recipes is far more addictive and habitual than that.

We literally chase restaurant openings, can tell you about the ins-and-outs of trending food fads, know quite a bit about nutrition and health, and would prefer to take a cooking class than visit the gym. For a long time all I did was:

  • read cookbooks and food magazines
  • visit food articles and columns
  • collect recipes I wanted to experiment with at home or work
  • work as a culinary specialist in a few boys homes
  • try every new restaurant we could find
  • hang out at online recipe sites
  • check out every recipe and cooking section of forums
  • watch barbecue or food competition shows on television
  • go to the farmer’s market every weekend to browse
  • try new recipes several times a week at home or work

These were daily experiences. They were not something I did occasionally when I was bored or needed a new food idea. It was something I had to do all the time. If I didn’t, I grew quite anxious.

However, over the years, health conditions have altered a lot of these passions. I didn’t realize how much I had changed my traditional Foodie habits until last night.

5 New Food Habits that Replaced My Food Addiction

Senior Foodies are Often More Balanced with Passions

Photo by legabbiedelcuore – Pixabay

I can’t blame only age for what happened to me.

A large portion of the adaptions I’ve had to make in the kitchen and to my food-related habits are due to being a super-sensitive celiac. I also have vertigo attacks, which can interfere with my ability to cook and bake.

However, a lot of the fading Foodie activities can be attributed to age and the transformation in thought that has happened to me over the past few years. Food is no longer addicting. While I still enjoy eating and gluten-free recipe curation, my life is more balanced today.

I have several passions now, not just food.

1. Why I Avoid Restaurants Now

Unlike many other celiacs, I take a common sense approach to managing the disease.

Since I react to very low trace amounts of gluten residue in foods, as well as a shared kitchen environment, hubby and I do not go out to eat any more. I can’t tell you where to get the best steak, burger, or pizza in town, nor who cooks the best fries.

While many restaurants and fast-food establishments do have gluten-free menus, most of what they offer is not safe for celiacs. If you ask for gluten-free options, they will tell you that they cannot guarantee that the food is gluten free since it is made in a shared environment.

Restaurants target those who are gluten-free by choice and not those of us who have to eat gluten free to stay alive.

I do miss going out to eat, but it’s safer if we do not.

2. What Happened to My Recipe Addiction

I actually noticed this habit change the other day when I had to hunt down my latest recipe notebook because I didn’t know where it was. At the time, I brushed off the pending revelation because I have collected more recipes over the years than I will ever have the time to use or adapt.

While I still enjoy trying new things, and tweaking a gluten-free recipe to make it the best it can be, I don’t have that drive to cook elaborate recipes or decorate a cake like I did before. I will pick up an old cookbook if I find one at a garage sale, but I am picky about the recipes I collect now.

3. No More Crowd-Pleasing Cakes and Cookies

When we first went gluten free, I was obsessed with finding good gluten-free recipes. I wanted our food to taste and look as good as it did before. I still do that with each new recipe I try, but I don’t have the energy or urge to bake to the same extent I did before.

Traditional Foodies Go For Simple Desserts When Older

Photo by Ponce Photography – Pixabay

Some of that lack of energy might be due to the meds I have to take for several weeks or months after each vertigo attack, and some of it might be due to age.

Even so, I’m just as happy having a bowl of cherry ice cream with blueberries scattered on top as I am eating cake or cookies now.

I still bake, but not as often as I did before. Today, I make desserts that are quick and easy.

4. Daily Menus Have Fewer Side Dishes Now

I don’t feel driven to serve a full-course meal anymore. I’m likely to serve either just the main dish, if it’s a pasta recipe or a casserole, and maybe one side dish if I’m serving meat. For example, last night, I made 6 burritos for the 3 of us and no dessert because we hadn’t eaten since breakfast, and it was already 7 o’clock.

On a more typical night, I might have made one burrito and served fruit on the side.

The older hubby and I get, the fewer calories we need, especially at night. I do make hubby a large breakfast in the morning and send him lots of lunch options because his job is physically taxing. But I just don’t do large dinners anymore, not even on holidays.

5. Strong Urge to Downsize My Kitchen Stuff

This is the oddest change for me, but maybe not, when you consider how my drive to cook and bake has gone down. I have no urge to add to my kitchen collection. In fact, I have a strong urge to downsize what I have instead.

I’ve been thinking in terms of dual or triple-use appliances, to save space, and I have no more need to see my cupboards overflowing with bakeware that I will never use.

Do I really need a dozen saucepans? Or 5 large soup pots? I don’t think so. There are only two of us, and even when we move to Texas next year to be closer to the grandbaby, I still don’t need everything I have right now. The addiction to kitchen stuff is gone.

Some Foodie Habits are Still There

Baking and Cooking Habits Change as Foodies Age

Photo by KleeKarl – Pixabay

Not all of my Foodie habits died.

I still have a strong interest in food and nutrition. Age hasn’t dulled my drive to know what’s in the food I eat. Learning tidbits of food history, as well as professional chef techniques I might find helpful in my own kitchen is still enjoyable. I care about the science behind gluten-free baking, and I still crave diversity in our meals.

Although I continue to serve the best gluten-free food possible, my free time isn’t devoted to just food anymore. Cost is as important as uniqueness, so seasonal cooking and using as many whole foods as possible are still a priority.

Oddly, my food blog is one of the most neglected blogs I have, so I can honestly say that food is no longer in control. I can now appreciate a dish’s ingredients without allowing it to drag me into the world of obsession.

Don’t have any lemons in the house? A few limes will do. Forgot to make fresh salsa for dinner? I can grab a jar of taco sauce and be fine with that. I don’t have to make refried beans from scratch, and a can of fruit served over cottage cheese is as satisfying as steamed asparagus with a tasty bacon-cheese sauce.

While I still enjoy discussing recipes and love watching and learning how others do things, food has taken its proper role in my life now.



(Feature Photo by KleeKarl/Pixabay/CC0)

 






  • Comments

    1. Profile photo of Kyla Matton Osborne
      Kyla Matton Osborne

      I can definitely relate to some of these habits! Downsizing, not baking as much, and simplifying meals are definitely things I notice myself doing more often now. I just don’t have the same drive or energy to cook that I used to have.

      1. Profile photo of Vickie Ewell
        Vickie Ewell Post author

        It was kind of startling to realize that the new me is here to stay. I’ve been blaming my health issues for a few years now, but they’re not going away either, so I am what I am now.

      2. Profile photo of Kyla Matton Osborne
        Kyla Matton Osborne

        I’m seeing life that way now, too. I have to decide what I accept and what I want to change. Because this me isn’t going anywhere, any time fast.

    2. Profile photo of Sandy KS
      Sandy KS

      I not baking now due to my heating element going out in my oven and no way to replace it at teh moment. I make more sandwiches and salads. Or things on top of the stove. I buy more bread accommodate this. I have switched things I make due to families allergies to different foods. Such as tomato, pork, and cinnamon.

      1. Profile photo of Vickie Ewell
        Vickie Ewell Post author

        Ouch. No oven would be challenging! Family allergies can also be difficult to juggle sometimes. Luckily, hubby generally tells me to just make what I can eat and he’ll be okay. But he has to be gluten free too, so that helps a lot. He’s just not as sensitive as I am. No tomato, pork, or cinnamon would be rough.

      1. Profile photo of Vickie Ewell
        Vickie Ewell Post author

        I totally agree with that. Before I discovered I had celiac, I got a huge upswing in health from moving to mostly whole foods. Processed foods are no longer what they were when I was a young mother. Back then, a lot of products didn’t have the chemicals that they have today.

      1. Profile photo of Vickie Ewell
        Vickie Ewell Post author

        Thanks. Hubby loves eating too. He wants to try every new gluten-free product that comes out!

    3. Profile photo of Gil Camporazo
      Gil Camporazo

      My wife is a good cook. That is the reason why I married her. We from time to time or occasionally eat in the resto, but if possible we stay at home and eat together with my grandchildren.

      1. Profile photo of Vickie Ewell
        Vickie Ewell Post author

        Oh, how fun! I have one grandbaby now, but she and my oldest son live two days travel time away by car. We are going to move closer to them next year, I hope. I hope you married your wife for more than just her cooking skills.

      2. Profile photo of Gil Camporazo
        Gil Camporazo

        Yes, of course. She’s caring, thoughtful and loving. She’s a good communicator. She always talks or discusses things for the welfare of our children and even myself and hers. We often go out dating.

    4. Profile photo of Tania K Cowling
      Tania K Cowling

      Love the article and it hits home. I’m older now too, have some health issues and cooking/baking isn’t as much fun as it used to be. But, health is important now and cooking clean is my motto now. No chemicals and whole grains.

      1. Profile photo of Vickie Ewell
        Vickie Ewell Post author

        Thank you. Cooking is definitely not as fun for me as it used to be. I appreciate your added thoughts and experience.

    5. Profile photo of Gina  M. Menorca
      Gina M. Menorca

      I can say that I am not a good cook. I don’t even bake. But, we always cook simply. A simple dish on our table and is all we ever have three times a day. we are already happy and thankful.

      1. Profile photo of Vickie Ewell
        Vickie Ewell Post author

        I’ve heard about some of those frequent accidents. I prefer homemade meals as well.

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