Aging

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Today is my birthday.  I’m not going to come right out and tell you my age, since I feel that mystery is a good thing.  However, I will tell you that even though I’m in my 50’s you wouldn’t be able to guess, since I’ve been blessed with both a baby-face, and good genes – not great, but good.  Until very recently I haven’t been taking care of my skin, instead choosing simply to put coconut oil on my face and neck every night for a number of years.  Although coconut oil is wonderful, I’ve decided that I’d probably benefit from some age-appropriate eye and face/neck night creams.  I’ve found some that I like, so that’s what I’ve been doing.  Next up on my list is to start using masks.  This is something that even though I am aware of them, I haven’t bothered to use them.

For a long time, I didn’t wear any make-up, I also didn’t bother to cut my hair for years and years at a time, choosing to wear it in a bun every single day.  I do cut my bangs with a variety of very crooked results, many of which have been amusing to the world at large.  However, as part of my effort to improve my life, I’ve started both wearing some make-up and I recently had my hair cut at a salon.  How transformative is that?

As I age, I can’t help but notice that people seem to feel that we need to fight against any obvious signs of aging, cover our gray/white hair, and pretend that we’re not getting any older.  And, for celebrities who have rocked the aging coin, Helen Mirren, we say they are “sexy for their age”.  No, Helen Mirren is sexy, period!   But exactly what is sexy, anyway.  True sexiness comes from within.  It’s confidence in yourself, and some people, like Helen, have that in spades!

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Since I read some fashion magazines (yes, it’s a little secret of mine), I find it upsetting that most models/celebrities who are featured are young or at the most, in their 40’s.  So, is it that as women we drop off the face of the earth as we become older?  I know that men get to age like “fine wine”, but what do we say about older women?  Usually, the nicest thing we say is that she “looks good for her age”, as though age is a thing we can fight and overcome.  Well, I’m here to let you in on a little secret, no matter how many facelifts and/or nip and tucks you get, you do indeed age.  It happens to ALL OF US!

So, what is my plan for aging?  Well, I’ve got those magic creams and masks.  I’m keeping my haircut up, and I’m thinking of using something to actually brighten my gray/white hair.  But most Importantly, I’m exercising, eating right and keeping myself moving.  Yes, I did just do a little dance to Saturday Night Fever in BJ’s this morning.  You know what, so did another woman who happened down my aisle.  We had fun!  So, yes, I will rage against the dying light.  Life is a gift, and I want to keep unwrapping it.

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What I Want to be Like when I’m “Old”

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Have you looked into the future and decided what you want your life to be like when you’re 85 or even 90 years old?  I know, not everyone lives to be so old, but have you considered it?  I was in a doctor’s office with a client of mine when a woman walked in the door.  She walked with great difficulty, holding onto her cane for dear life.  Once my client went in to see the doctor this woman began telling me all about her aliments.  It turned out that she too suffered from Fibromyalgia (just like I do), and was on all kinds of medication.  When I told her I had the same ailment, she promised me that when I hit 50 (her age), I’d be unable to walk without medication.  I simply smiled, told her that I was 52 and didn’t take any medications. In fact, I did all the things that her doctor had warned her off.  I exercised, did yoga, lived a vegan lifestyle, and took various herbs for help in coping with the insomnia, pain and “brain fog”.  She got quite huffy and told me that I must have been misdiagnosed, since she’d been told that all people with Fibromyalgia needed medication.  I told her that I’d gone to a specialist to be diagnosed who had told me to inform myself and look into alternative ways to deal with the disease.  He never even offered to medicate me, which suited me just fine.  I’ve had this disease for almost 20 years, and try to keep up with all the new information that comes out, as well as all the new ways of coping.  I have good days and “bad” days, but never once have I been unable to walk.  I often think about this women and wonder how she’s doing.

My point is, that even though we’re not given a choice concerning certain things in our lives, we are usually given a choice on how we deal with it.  So, how do you intend to live out your life? Do you want to be infirm, or do you intend to go into old age as healthy as you can?  Here are a few people to emulate.  Enjoy, and choose well!

 

 

Health Care?

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Okay, so I’ve simply got to say something about the plan for healthcare under the TrumpCare proposal.  I realize that “they” don’t want us calling it TrumpCare, however, if “they” were allowed to call the Affordable Care Act ObamaCare, then I really don’t see why this proposal can’t be called TrumpCare.

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Actually, the plan is to throw as many people off health insurance as possible.  Does that sound extreme?  Then tell me why, as a fifty-something year-old, under this plan, my insurance would go up 5 times what I’m paying now.  Yes, not 5%, but 5 times the cost.  Are they insane?  My health insurance per month would cost roughly what our monthly income is.  That would leave us with no money for food or shelter.  Oh, and by the way, Jason Chaffetz, I don’t have an expensive phone, instead I probably use one of the oldest flip phones still in use, and have no internet connection on it.  My husband though, has an expensive one that is for work, and therefore is paid for by his place of employment.

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/03/07/if-jason-chaffetz-wants-to-compare-healthcare-to-iphones-lets-do-it-the-right-way/?utm_term=.1801ab53d187

I’m leaving some links below for those of you who want to educate yourselves further.  Please read them, as the proof is in the pudding, as they say.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2017/03/07/the-new-republican-health-care-plan-is-awe-inspiringly-awful/?utm_term=.b904f58689ee

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/07/opinion/how-republicans-plan-to-ration-health-care.html?_r=0

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/07/health/risk-of-losing-health-insurance-in-republican-plan.html

 

How the Engine 2 Seven Day Rescue Diet Worked for Me

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I wrote a post two weeks ago, about going to see Rip Esselstyn talk about the plant-based rescue diet he recommends in his latest book, and how I was planning to use this rescue diet in order to reboot my diet.  I’d been relying on prepared vegan foods too much, and since prepared food is not good for you, even if it is plant-based, I needed a rescue.

So, here I am, after my initial seven days to tell you how it all went.  First of all, most of the meals I prepared were his “bowls”, and they were all delicious!  I also tried some of his oil-free dressings, and they too were really good.  In the future, I’m going to make my own hummus, since it’s really easy and you can make it without any oil.

Talking about oil, on Thursday I did have a terrible craving for “naughty” foods, including potato chips.  I can tell you that I didn’t eat any and instead had some red seedless grapes that astonished me by how good they tasted.  One of the most difficult things I found on this diet is that I had to eat, not drink my food.  So, no morning smoothie for me.  I missed that, but found that I really like drinking cold water in the morning.  I still drank my coffee, only without sugar, and I put some non-sweetened almond milk (even though that wasn’t recommended).  The other huge change is that I ate oatmeal every morning for breakfast.  I’ve never really enjoyed oatmeal, but I was able to put some maple syrup in it, along with cinnamon and various fruits.  I’ve used oranges, bananas and blueberries, which were good and pretty filling.  Some days I have either a Halo orange or a banana around ten o’clock or so, and other days I’m good until lunch.

My lunches either consisted of a large salad with one of the oil-free dressing along with a good number of chickpeas thrown in, or a concoction of fresh veggies that I cooked up, oil free, which I put on some toasted oil-free multi-grain sandwich thins.  Again, if I got hungry in the afternoon, I just had one or two pieces of fruit.

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Again, my dinner usually consisted of the “bowls” that I got the recipes out of the book.  Thursday night I made whole-grain pasta along with fresh vine ripened tomatoes, mushrooms, onions and broccoli that I cooked up with some oil-free tomato paste.  That was also a good meal, and I served it with a large salad.

The physical results from these seven days are that my pain that’s associated with Fibromyalgia has lessened somewhat, and I have less brain-fog.  I’ve also lost about 4 pounds, which is always nice.  Am I going to continue?  The answer is yes!  I like the way I’ve been feeling, and want to see if I continue to feel better the longer I stay on this plant-based, no oil or preservatives diet.  Has it been easy?  No, this is not something that you should do without a meal plan.  Also, like I said I plan on making my own hummus, and continue to make my own salad dressings.  This requires planning and cooking – not my strong points.

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While this diet is not easy, and it does come at a cost – time to plan, time to cook, I am trying to look at it this way – What is the cost of your health?  Do I want to be sick and have to pay for that with my time and money, or do I want to stay as healthy as I can for as long as I can?  This choice is up to me, and I choose health!

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72 year-old Annette Larkins, Vegan

Some Information on Ayurveda

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I’ve been thinking about health for a while now.  My Fibromyalgia has been gradually getting worse as I’ve been getting older.  I let myself stop working out and now that I’m back at it, it seems to be taking me a long time to get some flexibility back.  I don’t want to be a little old lady who can barely walk at the ripe old age of 60 (when I do get there).  One of my resolutions this year was to go to the Doctor for a physical, so I’ve got to do that.  I don’t think that other than my Fibromyalgia I’ve really got anything else going on, but since I haven’t been to the doctor for quite a few years, I think a physical could be a good idea.

Since I like to research things, I found myself looking up information on Ayurveda.  For those of you who don’t really understand what it is, here is an explanation, copied directly from the website.

“The two main guiding principles of Ayurveda are 1) the mind and the body are inextricably connected, and 2) nothing has more power to heal and transform the body than the mind. Freedom from illness depends upon expanding our own awareness, bringing it into balance, and then extending that balance to the body.”  http://www.chopra.com/articles/what-is-ayurveda

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When I read that, I thought it was a great way to look at health.  Of course, everything is interrelated, and we really do need to learn how to meditate, slow down and care for ourselves.  This is such a problem for me.  I’m one of those people who, when told in an airplane that I would have to place the oxygen mask on myself before placing one on my child, recoils.  Intellectually I know it makes sense, but why would I put myself before my child?  See my problem?

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I’m determined to explore this “self-care” more this year, and encourage you to do so too.  Since I hate pharmaceuticals, I don’t want to be put on any.  I want my health to come from natural sources such as what I eat, how I think and how I take care of my body.  Let me know what things you do to stay health in mind and body.  I’m going to explore this Ayurveda path, and I’ll probably talk about it in some future posts.

 

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

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As huge fans of the show, my daughter and I looked forward to this revival.  I must say that we did enjoy it.  Yes, I realize that not everyone was a fan of this new revival.  However, I found it to be both interesting and simply fun to watch.  Poor Rory has been pretty much raked over the coals, however I must ask, how many people always know what they’re doing, and where they’re going?  As someone who has spent much of my life floundering, I’m sure to raise my hand and jump up and down with a resounding yes.  Personally, I never worked in the field that I got my college degree in, I never had what could be considered a “career”, and for much of my life have been more than a little lost.  By the way, I’ve met 90-year-olds with the same dilemma.

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My take-away?  I enjoyed the show.  In response to the nitpickers out there, it’s a television show people.  I was just as surprised as everyone else that Rory didn’t have a fantastic career.  The fact that Lorelai was having relationship issues with Luke was to be expected.  Luke doesn’t do communication well, and other than wise-cracking, Lorelai isn’t that great at it, either.  I absolutely loved the wedding – it was spot on.

Premiere Of Netflix's "Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life" - Arrivals

There are things that I’d like resolved.  What about this letter that Emily is so angry about?  Let’s find out about that.  I hope that we’ve got more Gilmore Girls coming.  After all, there’s a new baby on the way.  And, just so you know, after my Dr. Who series watching is done, Gilmore Girls is on the re-watching list.

Growing Older

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I had a birthday this week and I have to admit, I had a tiny pity party.  It revolved around the question “is this all there is”?  I started thinking about all the things I haven’t done.  This, of course, is a long list, and is guaranteed to make me depressed.  Not that other things could also make me depressed – being another year older; feeling like an ancient old crone when I first get out of bed in the morning; realizing that I’ll probably never ride naked on the back of a motorcycle through the woods – you know, the normal, average everyday thoughts of someone who is getting older.

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I’m kind of looking forward to this!

So, I decided that I had to do something proactive about my little pity party.  I didn’t want it to go any further.  I’m making a list of all the things I want to do before I get “too old” to do them.  Then, I want to figure out which ones are truly feasible.  To tell you the truth, I really don’t think that riding a motorcycle naked through the woods is going to happen.  For one thing, I don’t have a motorcycle, for another, just think of all the obstacles I could get hit by.

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After I finish with my actual list, I’m going to look at them one-by-one and figure out how I can make them happen.  As always, moving forward is much better than looking back.  I can’t change the past, but can influence my future.

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For now, I’ll continue claiming to be ten years younger than I am.  Remember, you’re only as old as you believe yourself to be!