A Behind The Scenes Look At The MET Costume Exhibit And Gala

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer womenDespite the fact that Vogue editor Anna Wintour did not invite me to the Tribeca Film Festival’s kickoff, or that she declined to send an invite for the 2016 MET (aka. The Metropolitan Museum of Art) Costume Institute Gala which is happening on May 2 (mind you there is still time for an invitation to arrive), I could not wait to watch the new documentary, The First Monday in May. The film is a mesmerizing look at the creation of the MET Costume Institute’s 2015 exhibit “China: Through The Looking Glass,” and the star-studded fundraiser that celebrates the opening.

The First Monday in May

A Preview of The First Monday In May
Thanks to the nice people at Magnolia Pictures, I was able to preview the film on my iPad last week. And I’m here to say that If you’re a fashionista like me, and you missed last year’s exhibit, sadly like me, I encourage you to see The First Monday in May, which opened in select theaters on April 15. While watching the film, I felt like I was an insider on what the former Vogue editor-at-large Andre Leon Talley says, “has become the SuperBowl of…fashion events.” Continue reading

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Gluten-Free Snacks That Are Great For Spring Munchies

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer womenFinally the weather is warming up. I am so ready to get back outdoors after a long winter. According to my ayurvedic studies, it’s good to put your feet on the earth every day. This is a challenging task when it’s 30 degrees and there’s snow on the ground.

Melissa Carver, PhD  from the Chopra Center says that “Spring is a beautiful reminder for us humans to transform ourselves as well as our home. You may feel energized and more alive than you have in months. This is because our sacred sun has returned to bring new beginnings and balance.”

Gluten-Free Spring Snacking
“We have some new Gold Emblem snacks for spring, many of them are gluten-free” said the PR team at CVS. “Would you like to participate in our CVS Spring Snacking sponsored campaign?”*

“Count me in,” I chimed, as I’m always looking for tasty gluten-free snacks.

Since going on the FODMAP diet, also known as the tummy diet, I’ve tried to stay gluten-free when it comes to my snacks and most of my menu planning. It’s quieted my IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).

A big box of CVS Gold Emblem gluten-free products arrived on my doorstep last week. I asked my BFF L, who is a registered dietitian, to join me in the taste test. We sampled all the snacks, except for the Beef Jerky. I told my boyfriend L that I’m saving the jerky for him since he likes snacks that are high in protein.

For Those Who Like Savory Snacks
First, we evaluated the gluten-free savory snacks:

Veggie Chips are light and airy, with 30 percent less fat than leading national brand potato chips, and a good crunch. The flavor is very mild.
Jalapeno Cheddar Flavored Quinoa Puffs are more spicy, with adequate burn.

gluten-free salty snacks; gluten-free snacking; CVS Gold Emblem snacks, boomer wellness

CVS Gold Emblem Veggie Chips and Jalapeno Cheddar Flavored Quinoa Puffs are gluten-free snacks.

Heavenly Light Popcorn comes in a single-serve bag. If you’re watching your carbs, it’s only 1/2 a carb for the entire bag and not too high in sodium. We thought the popcorn had a nice texture.
Pistachio & Almond Blend was my favorite – since I’m a big snacker of protein-rich nuts. These nuts are unsalted. Continue reading

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7 Reasons Why Having A Boyfriend Post 50 Is The Best

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomers“Happy anniversary,” I said to my boyfriend L yesterday. “I am so glad you didn’t walk out the back door of Starbucks when I walked in to meet you six years ago.”

“I can’t believe it’s been six years,” replied L. “Time flies when you’re having fun.

Entering The World of Online Dating 
Widowed at 50, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I ventured into dating after 24 years of marriage. I was older and wiser, but totally new to the world of online courtship. I had met my husband M through a personal ad in the Village Voice back in 1982, so finding a match on JDate in 2009 wasn’t all that different — except now you could see people’s pictures.

L had a full head of gray hair (√), wasn’t wearing any polyester (√√√√), was a former New Yorker like me (√ √), and grew up in the Bronx also like me (√√√).

There was a comfort level, lots of camaraderie, and laughter that we shared in the early days getting to know each other. It was fun to have a companion and partner after more than 18 months of being alone.

“Would I ever want to marry again?” I often thought to myself during the first years of our relationship. “Would I ever want to live with my boyfriend L during my life after 50?” – was another popular Q. The answer was usually “maybe” as I saw other friends happily remarry after widowhood or a later-in-life divorce.

Viking river cruise, Portugal, life after 50, boomer travel, Douro river

My boyfriend L and I are still together after our first-ever international trip.

Why Having A Boyfriend Post 50 Is The Best
Now as we celebrate our six years together, I no longer desire a diamond ring or wedding band on my finger. Nor do I wish for a housemate. I love having a boyfriend at this age and love being in a grownup “L.A.T. – Living Apart Together” relationship. It’s the best. Here’s why: Continue reading

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My Post 50 Yoga Journey: A New Perspective on the Body and Mind

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer wellnessIt’s been a while since I shared progress on my post 50 journey to become a yoga instructor. Through my education at Lourdes Institute of Wholistic Studies, I’m gaining a new perspective on the union between the body and the mind.

Our Amazing Bodies
In prior posts, I told you about my deepening knowledge of anatomy and physiology. This spring, I decided to re-audit A+P. Our bodies are very complex with so many muscles, bones, limbs, joints, and organs – it’s truly amazing how everything works together, or sometimes doesn’t work together when you don’t take care of yourself. It’s been said that a consistent yoga practice can help resolve “the issues in the tissues.”

yoga, transformation, boomer wellness, anatomy + physiology

I learned a lot from yoga instructor N and her companion Raja.

The Power of Prana
I introduced you to prana, the Sanskrit word for “life force” and demonstrated different breathing techniques – Dirgha and Nadi Shodhana – to move prana through the body. Over the past several months, I’ve learned additional ways to use breath to calm and focus the mind, build lung capacity, and activate energy in the body.  From Ujjayi, great sound breath, to  Kapalabhati, skull shining breath, Sama Vritti to Vishama Vritti, both with a counting rhythm (Sama is equal counts with inhale and exhale and Vishama has a longer exhale) – I’ve witnessed how marrying breath with movement can bring greater benefits to the body and mind.

yoga, nadi shodhana, pranayama, prana, meditation, life after 50

I practice meditation with Nadi Shodhana breathing, alternate nostril breath, to help lower my blood pressure and relax.

The Artistry of A Yoga Sequence
My artistry of asanas has multiplied with a broad portfolio of poses to choose from as I enhance my own practice and craft sequences to teach others. There are joint-freeing series, reclining poses, seated poses, standing poses, backbends, forward bends, twists, and inversions. There are the three-dimensional aspects of poses, their Sanskrit names, and proper alignments. There are key benefits, precautions, and contraindications for poses, plus modifications and assists for those who may need help.

yoga, asanas, Lourdes Institute of Wholistic Studies, reinvention post 50

Our instructors L and M show us the correct alignment and assists for poses.

We begin each sequence with centering. “Let your thoughts go. Bring your mind to the mat as well as your body,” said my instructor L. We end with savasana, known as corpse pose, the most important asana of them all. It’s when the body and the mind totally relax lying flat on the mat and the goodness of all the other poses melts into every cell. Continue reading

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Spreading The Word About Diabetes Alert Day

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer wellnessWhen I was asked by the blogging community to help spread the word about Diabetes Alert Day on March 22nd, I decided to join the cause. It’s a personal mission, since my dad developed type 2 diabetes when he was in his 50s. He passed away more than 25 years ago from complications of diabetes and heart disease.

I had gestational diabetes when I was pregnant with my daughter A and son D and had to watch my carb intake. Because of my family history, I make sure to get my blood sugar levels checked annually, especially during my life after 50.

According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), 86 million American adults (more than 1 in 3) have prediabetes and are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a serious health condition that can lead to heart attack and stroke. Surprisingly, nearly 90% of those with prediabetes don’t even know that they have it. But prediabetes can be reversed through weight loss, diet changes and increased physical activity. The first step to reversing the condition is to evaluate one’s personal risk so that they can take action as soon as possible.

Diabetes Alert Day; prediabetes; Diabetes Risk Test; boomer wellness; life after 50

March 22nd is Diabetes Alert Day 
The bad news is that no one is excused from prediabetes. The good news is that if people with prediabetes are aware of their risks, they can take steps to prevent type 2 diabetes. Diagnosis is key: research shows that once people are aware of their condition, they are much more likely to make the necessary lifestyle changes. Education and awareness could mean the difference in so many lives. Continue reading

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A Cute Chick Flick Sure To Warm The Mature Woman’s Heart

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer womenMuch has been written in the media about the post 50 invisible woman. It’s been said that women of a certain age fade into the woodwork or fall out of favor as they age.

In the new movie, Hello, My Name Is Doris, I bet you’ll do the opposite and fall in love with the endearing post 50 (actually post 60) female character named Doris. Played by two-time Academy award-winning actress Sally Field, Doris is far from invisible. You’ll also warm to Doris’ handsome co-worker John, the much younger man she pursues, played by the charismatic Max Greenfield.

My BFF L and I went to a special preview of this grownup chick flick this week, which opens nationwide March 18th. It’s a great movie to see with your girlfriends and equally good to take mom to. (Wish my mom was still around, she would have enjoyed this movie.)

Sally Field does a superb job as the eccentric, ever-single Doris, who works as an administrative assistant at a design firm by day and goes home alone to her Staten Island stuff-filled home each night.  When we meet Doris, she is engulfed in grief after losing her mom. Unlike her brother who married and had a family, Doris remained a caregiver to her mom during her entire adult life.

Hello, My Name Is Doris; boomer movies; Sally Field; Max Greenfield

Photo courtesy of Roadside Attractions. Credit: Aaron Epstein

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Gifts So Good You’ll Want To Give One To Yourself

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer womenLast month, I had the opportunity to visit the NY NOW Show – The Market for Lifestyle, Home + Gift – at the Javits Center in New York City. This  group hosts a winter and summer show each year. It’s geared to retailers, but they let the media attend too.

After a positive response to my holiday gift-giving guide, I thought I would walk the February NY NOW Show and bring back ideas for spring gift giving. Whether you’re in need of a birthday present for a friend, seeking ideas for Mother’s Day, or just want to treat yourself to something fun because you deserve it (and you do), I hope you’ll like my offerings. Maybe JudiBoomergirl’s gift guides will become as popular as Oprah’s monthly “O List” – you think?

For Those Who Love Handcrafted Jewelry

NY NOW Show; jewelry; Becoming jewelry; gift giving

There were many handcrafted jewels at the NY NOW Show.

“Handmade with love and sandy hands” as their tagline says, Dune Jewelry, the Original Beach Sand Jewelry Company®, captures sand from different beaches in their jewels. You can even customize a piece with your own sand.
 Tara and Laurie from Hazel + Harmony make stackable bracelets inspired by the energy of semiprecious stones and minerals.
You’ll be motivated by the words on the bracelets, earrings and necklaces from Becoming, a line of jewelry from Maine entrepreneur Tracey Graves.
Whitney Howard Designs makes all types of jewelry. I was attracted to their Acai Seeds of Life Bracelets in multiple colors.
Bella Vita Jewelry from Arkansas creator Brandy Thomason McNair features “artisan jewelry with an eye for design and a love of all things vintage.” Continue reading

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My Special Fondness For Portugal’s Favaios

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50If Portugal is on your “travel bucket list,” (and well it should be) then you’ll want to head over to read my guest post on My Itchy Travel Feet, an award-winning boomer travel blog.

Falling In Love With The Village of Favaios,” highlights one of the towns I visited  last summer while traveling along the Douro on the Viking River Cruise Portugal’s River of Gold.* You’ll see why I have a fondness for Favaios and what makes it so special. (More about my travels to Portugal are available on my Travel and Leisure page.)

Four Corners Bread in Favaios, Portugal, Douro River, Viking River Cruises, boomer travel, life after 50

Four Corners Bread is fresh from the ovens in Favaios. Grapes hang from the outside of the bakery.

My Itchy Travel Feet
After you read about Favaios, you’ll want to spend extra time perusing this boomer travel blog. My Itchy Travel Feet, The Boomer’s Guide To Travel is written by a husband and wife team from Montana, Donna and Alan Hull. Donna is the writer and Alan takes all the photographs. They highlight a range of domestic and international active adventures for the second half of your life.

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Empowering Women In The Art of Wayfinding

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersThis week I spoke with Ann Hoffman Ruffner, founder of Wayfinding Women, a connecting, coaching and travel company for women. Ann shared her own post 50 transformation journey with me and discussed how she is empowering  women worldwide to realize their dreams, live joyfully, and positively transform their world. I think you’ll enjoy learning about Ann, her company, and her upcoming retreats for women.

Q: Tell me a little about your background?
A: “I am considered a connector, a change facilitator, a creator, so to speak, of an experiential sisterhood of empowered and joyful women.

In addition to my 30 years as a therapist, I have 20+ years of extensive leadership experience as an educator and administrator in mental health. In 2007, I co-founded a nonprofit organization, The Partnership for Mental Health, Inc. For the past 8 years, I have served as president of this organization, leading the collaborative of 30+ organizations from the SW Ohio and Northern Kentucky region in educating our communities and reducing the stigma surrounding mental illness as well as increasing awareness and understanding of suicide prevention.

I have been a lifelong advocate for women’s safety and well-being.”

Ann Hoffman-Ruffner, Wayfinding Women

Ann Hoffman-Ruffner is founder of Wayfinding Women

Q: What is Wayfinding Women and why did you create your company?
A: Wayfinding Women is the connecting-coaching-travel company I created after deciding to leave my work as a therapist and administrator in 2014. I decided I wanted to create joyful experiences of connectedness where women are inspired and supported to discover and celebrate their gifts and purposes to better serve themselves and the world.

Throughout my adult life, Shari Biesboer, —my BFF since we were both four-years-old —and I have gone on what we call WW’s (Women’s Weekends/Weeks). These getaways helped us manage the demands of our hectic lives by allowing us to recharge, connect with one another, and reconnect with the truest version of ourselves. We always came back stronger and better women.

During one of these getaways in 2011, we began talking about how we wished to share this experience with other women, to create trips that would allow them to feel all the joy we do from friendship, travel and time to reflect.

Wayfinding Women, self-care retreats for women,

Women participate in cooking classes as part of Wayfinding Women self care retreats.

The year we both turned 50, we went to Europe. While there, Shari and I talked more about the idea. We were reading Finding Your Way in a Wild New World by Martha Beck, a Harvard professor turned life coach (and made famous by Oprah). We related to her holistic approach and concepts of “Wordlessness” and “Oneness.” It spoke of the ancient art of “wayfinding” and seemed to call me to a new purpose. Continue reading

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Staying Young At Heart With A Healthy Heart

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer wellness“Your blood pressure is 103 over 77, that’s low,” said the Walgreens’ pharmacist. “Are you taking any blood pressure medication?” “No, but I did do my morning meditation,” I replied. “Good for you, keep up whatever you’re doing” said the nice pharmacist.

I went to Walgreens earlier this week after being asked to participate in their #HeartHealthGoals campaign, which includes offers for FREE blood pressure tests, plus Balance Reward points for healthy choices® and other vitamin and supplement purchases to help maintain a healthy heart. You can also get points for logging your blood pressure, tracking activity like walking or cycling, and setting healthy goals.*

Walgreens, #HeartHealthGoals, heart health, American Heart Month

I went to Walgreens to participate in their #HeartHealthGoals campaign.

February is American ♥ Heart ♥ Month
Each February, in honor of American Heart Month, I put on my red attire and share helpful reminders on ways to take care of your heart.

In yoga, we always seal our intentions into our heart. It’s the center of our mind, body and spirit — an organ that nourishes the entire body and keeps us moving and grooving. As a post 50 female, with a family history of diabetes and heart disease from my late dad and high cholesterol from my late mom, taking care of my heart health is top on my wellness agenda. Continue reading

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