Joan Friedman



At 83, Joan Friedman thinks she might have figured out the perfect way to eat and the perfect way to exercise. If not, she’s not afraid to change.

“I’m always willing to try new things,’’ said Friedman, who moved to Cocoa Beach with her husband four years ago after being a seasonal resident for eight years. “I’m not set in my ways. I don’t say again and again that I don’t like that.’’

After trying almost every diet through the years, Friedman has settled on a plant-based diet where she has eliminated meat and chicken.

“But, when we’re out at a party, I don’t want to hurt the feelings of family or the host,’’ Friedman said. “I remember the worst diet was some programmed one where they prepared the foods and sent them to you. Those foods had such a high sodium level that they were bad for you. I like to do things my own way. If I find something that tastes good, I’ll eat it.’’

That includes snake soup while she was in Thailand for two weeks during one of her two trips to China.

Friedman has explored both the Eastern Mediterranean and the Western Mediterranean, most of Europe and she says Cartagena, Colombia is one of her favorite cities.

“I don’t really have a bucket list,’’ said Friedman, who loves to collect and wear crazy tights. “If something comes along that I want to do, I’ll do it.’’

Her exercise routine is both fun and serious at the same time.

“It’s four days a week,’’ said Friedman, who sold jewelry to high-end stores during her working days. “Two days I’ll go to a fitness center and do high-level aerobic classes. The other two days, I go to the clubhouse and do some weights and we use videos for aerobics. This is not a talk session.’’