How To Enjoy A Mindful Cup Of Tea

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer women“Would you like to try our teas?” said the nice representative from Adagio Teas. “Yes, yes, yes,” I replied. I was given a gift certificate to purchase some tea and teaware. The package arrived a few weeks ago and I waited until my BFF R visited last week to enjoy a relaxing cup of tea for two.*

I was excited to try Adagio Teas and carefully unpacked the gift items I had ordered:

Adagio tea; mindful cup of tea

Decaf Earl Grey Tea – a decaf blend of tangy Ceylon black tea, flavored with bergamot – a citrus fruit.
Decaf Orange Teabags –  a brisk decaf black tea, flavored with zesty orange rind dry notes and hints of sweet orange juice.
Decaf Chamomile Iced Tea pouches – a premium herbal tea in cold-brew pouches that make four cups of tea. This tea contains the finest chamomile flowers from Egypt’s Nile River Valley and is naturally caffeine-free,
PersonaliTEA Ceramic Teapot and Two Ceramic Tea cups – a personal teapot with a large infuser basket for the tea leaves. I selected the set in pastel pink (my favorite). It also is available in sky blue, black and white.
Glass Jar for tea storage – The jar is made out of Borosilicate glass to block UV rays from harming the tea.

Adiago teaware; pink teapot; pink ceramic teapot; pink tea cups

I found both the teas and the teaware reasonably priced. Definitely a good gift idea for  a housewarming party, BFF birthday present, yogi, or for anyone who likes tea. The teapots range in price from $14 for ceramic to $24-$34 for glass, and $49-$59 for cast iron. And you can try sample packs of loose teas for as little as $2.

Stop, Breathe, And Enjoy A Mindful Cup Of Tea
Preparing a cup of tea using tea leaves can be a very mindful experience. Boiling the water, measuring out the tea (all you need is 1 teaspoon of loose Adagio tea per cup), inhaling the fragrant tea leaves, watching the water change color and then savoring each sip.

Asiago tea; making a mindful cup of tea; steeping tea; pink teapot

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How To Stay Healthy and Happy During Spring Allergy Season

This post is produced in collaboration with CVS Phamacy.

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer wellnessIt’s May and it’s 80 degrees in New Jersey. After last week’s extensive rainfall, all of a sudden my surroundings are filled with greenerygreen leaves on the trees, green grass on the lawn, green bushes in my backyard and yes, yes, yes, those pesky green weeds are cropping up everywhere. Colorful tulips, flowers and blossoms are in full bloom too. My daily routine now includes mindful walks around my complex, oohing and ahhing over the earth’s rebirth as it comes out from hibernation.

Spring Allergy Season; tips for staying healthy during spring allergy season; CVS; CVS Pharmacy

I love the spring, except for when I come back inside with pollen all over my clothing and sneakers. Usually my eyes get watery and I begin to …

Sniff, sniff, sniff.

Cough, cough, cough.

Sneeze, sneeze, sneeze.

And my nose starts to run, run, run.

According to the experts at CVS Pharmacy: “Allergies are caused by allergic sensitivity to pollens from trees, grasses or weeds, or airborne mold spores.”  From this description, it sounds like it is difficult to avoid allergies if you enjoy being outdoors as much as I do.

Philadelphia Flower Show; tulips; spring flowers

Lucky for me, I’m proud to be working with CVS Pharmacy for their 2017 influencer relations program.* I’ll be highlighting their offerings in a series of blog and social media posts throughout the year. They likely reached out to me because my boyfriend L and I frequently spend date nights at the local CVS near my condo on the corner at the Jersey shore. You can find us there most Saturday evenings in the summer. We get our dark chocolate bars there when we run out of sweets. We get our sunscreen and other toiletries there as well. And since I don’t have cable television at the shore, we go there to rent DVD movies at the RedBox outside the store. We’re both big fans of our super duper CVS. Continue reading

Making The Most Of My Mindfulness Journey

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer wellnessIt has been almost 10 years since I studied mindfulness meditation. My therapist C at the time had suggested I sign up for the Mindfulness-Based Stress Management Program at The Penn Medicine Program for Mindfulness. It was right after my husband M died and she thought learning these new skills would help me process my grief and reduce my stress. I went to an 8-week program and began my mindfulness journey. It changed my life.

Last night I was reminded of these changes as I sat among mindfulness newbies in one of Penn’s 2-hour introductory classes. As a yoga instructor, I wanted to brush up on my mindfulness skills so I can share the benefits with my yoga students.

“Mindfulness originated in India. It comes from a word that translates as heartfulness,” said our leader M. “It is a way of bringing your attention to the present moment.” Like yoga, mindfulness is a practice. You have to work at it to experience the changes it can bring.

The Penn Program is modeled after the philosophy of Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., who has done landmark work on mindfulness meditation and healing, and is the author of the bestseller Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, Illness. M noted that “Dr. Kabat-Zinn says mindfulness is when you are bringing your attention on purpose, in the present moment, and without judgement.” (Note: If you want to learn more about Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn check out his 60 Minutes interview from 2014 with Anderson Cooper.)

How Do You Practice Mindfulness?
During the evening session, M guided us through different exercises to bring us into the present moment. We did a 25 minute meditation, closing our eyes and bringing our attention to various parts of our body, such as noticing the top of our head when M would mention it, or our fingers or toes. For many of the newbies, their thoughts wandered during the meditation. Each time M reminded us to bring our attention back to the body. My mind wandered too, but not as much as in earlier days.

“You become more aware of your thoughts as you practice,” M said. “You are strengthening your attention like you would strengthen a muscle during exercise.”
Rock Cotton, Rock Cotton , tee shirt dress, yoga, mindfulness

Using Mindfulness To Manage Stress
“What is stress for you personally?” M asked. We gathered in groups to discuss our stress. “Lack of sleep,” said one participant. “Pain,” said another. “Worry,” said another. “Perfectionism and over thinking,” chimed in two more. Continue reading

Where Do You Want To Travel During Your Life After 50?

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50From my visit to The New York Times Travel Show held at the Jacob K. Javits Center, N.Y.C. in January, it’s clear that boomers are a prime audience for many destinations. From Costa Rica to California, from Florida to the Philippines, from Morocco to Martinique, and everywhere else you can take a plane, ship, train or drive to visit, the post 50 market is on the move and so are their millennial children.

In fact, The New York Times announced that its annual Travel Show reached a new record of 30,099 participants during the three-day event —the highest attendance in the Show’s history.

The New York Times Travel Show; boomer travel; travel

The New York Times Travel Show reached a new record of more than 30,000 attendees.

So where do you want to travel during your life after 50?

I always like to see what places The New York Times Travel recommends each year. On the list of 52 for 2017, I’ve been to Canada (a variety of eastern and western cities), Detroit, Hamburg (Germany), Minneapolis, Kingston (Jamaica), Napa Valley (California), Sedona (Arizona), Madrid (Spain), Portland (Oregon), and yes, believe it or not South Bronx, N.Y., which is on the list. Since I was born in the Bronx I am curious to know more about this “industrial neighborhood’s revival!” That’s only 10 spots. Looks like I have much more traveling to do in my lifetime.

What’s Trending In Travel?
There were a few trends that I noticed from the panels at the Show. I also attended a media event sponsored by Trav Media, where I met with Convention and Visitor’s Bureau representatives to learn about their destinations and chat with Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) members to hear about their itineraries. Continue reading

How To Take Care of Your Heart After Menopause

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer wellness

February is Healthy Heart Month and this week is Valentine’s Day, so I thought I would wear red and remind you to take care of your heart. This is especially important for women our age. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), heart disease and stroke kill 1 in 3 women – more than all cancers combined. The good news is that 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented with education and lifestyle changes.

Go Red ™ For Women
For more than a decade Go Red™ For Women, the AHA’s national movement to end heart disease and stroke among women, has fought for equal health opportunity for women. They wear red during February, share stories of survival and advocate for more research and swifter action for women’s heart and brain health. They’re focused on changing the culture to make it easier for women and their families to live healthier lives.

Penn Medicine MD Shares Tips For A Healthy Heart
This year to learn more about women and heart disease I reached out to the experts at Penn Medicine – Heart & Vascular Center. Nazanin Moghbeli, MD, MPH, clinical assistant professor of medicine and associate director of women’s cardiovascular program at Penn Medicine, provided an excellent overview for post 50 women and I’m pleased to pass it on:

Penn Medicine - Heart & Vascular Center; Dr. Nazanin Moghbeli; heart health for women; care for your heart after menopause

Dr. Nazanin Moghbeli is clinical assistant professor of medicine and associate director of women’s cardiovascular program at Penn Medicine.

It is no secret that heart disease risk factors increase as you age. When a woman reaches menopause, her body goes through a number of changes and research shows that heart attack and heart disease risk spikes during and after this time. A decline in estrogen is thought to be a major factor for why women have a greater risk of developing heart disease once they are post-menopausal.

It’s not that menopause causes heart disease, says Dr. Moghbeli,

Menopause causes “several things to change in a woman’s physiology, and some of those changes can lead to heart disease,” Dr. Moghbeli explains. “The lipid profile of women actually starts to change, so that cholesterol starts to go up. And higher cholesterol can put you at higher risk for heart disease,” she says. “That happens pretty immediately after menopause.”

At the same time, blood pressure also begins to rise.”The blood pressure is not directly related to menopause. It’s kind of related to the aging process,” Dr. Moghbeli says. “But those two factors—the blood pressure and the cholesterol rising—can increase the risk of heart disease.”

HOW DO YOU REDUCE HEART DISEASE RISK IN THE TIME SURROUNDING MENOPAUSE?

How To Reduce Heart Disease; women and heart disease; heart disease after menopause

During menopause and post-menopause, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of developing a heart condition, including: Continue reading

Stay Healthy and Happy This Winter: Go Get Your Flu Shot

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer wellness“I’m reaching out to see if you are interested in pulling together a piece on how to prevent the flu,” said the nice account executive S from the team that works on CVS Pharmacy. “Sure,” I replied. “I definitely want to encourage my readers to go get their flu shot. I want them to stay healthy and happy this winter.”*

According to a survey from CVS Health: Over two-thirds of adults in the Northeast (68 percent) get a flu vaccine every year or plan to get one this year, which is significantly higher than those in the South (60 percent), Midwest (56 percent) and West (54 percent). (That’s good. Glad I live in the Northeast!) In fact, nearly two in three (64 percent) employed Americans would still go to work even if they were feeling ill with flu-like symptoms. (That’s not good! See why you need the flu shot?)¹

CVS MinuteClinic; flu shot; flu vaccine; boomer wellness; life after 50

I usually go to CVS Minute Clinic for my flu vaccine.

A Simple and Convenient Way To Get Your Flu Shot
“Have you gotten your flu shot?” I asked my boyfriend L. “Uh huh,” said L. “Did you get your flu shot?” said L. “Uh huh,” I replied. I get the flu shot every year, because according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the best way to prevent the flu is to get the flu vaccine. Continue reading

Janes Wellness Gowns Cover With Comfort For The Medical Journey

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer wellness“My note is to tell you about Janes Wellness Gowns, something wonderful, that offers women over 50 comfort, style, and dignity when they need it most,” wrote Sharon Linder, the founder of GetJanes.

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Since October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I thought I would take Sharon up on her offer to showcase her social entrepreneurial efforts that help women during their medical journey. (And offer a giveaway for a Janes, see below!)

It’s also an approrpriate time to remind you, dear reader, to make your appointment (if you haven’t had one) for your yearly mammogram. Boomer women are often caregivers to others, yet when it comes to nurturing themselves – they tend to let it fall to the bottom of the list. Am I right? Admit it! Last week, I wrote about getting a bone density scan to help take care of your bone health. That’s important too.

GetJanes; Janes Wellness Gowns; Sharon Linder; life after 50; boomer women

Female entrepreneur Sharon Linder created Janes Wellness Gowns.

I like to feature female entrepreneurs like Sharon who are doing interesting things during their life after 50. I interviewed Sharon to find out more about why she created GetJanes. Here’s what she said: Continue reading

Help Prevent Osteoporosis: “Love Your Bones: Protect Your Future”

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer wellness“Did you have your bone density scan?” asked Dr. S during my annual gynecological examination earlier this year. “Yep, I had my last scan in February 2015 and it indicated that I had osteopenia, a lesser degree of bone loss, which may lead to osteoporosis.”

“Okay,” said Dr. S, “No medication is indicated at this time.” Dr. S recommended that I get a DXA scan every two years to check my bone health.

I felt relieved but wanted to know more about how I could help prevent osteoporosis, a chronic disease of the bones, during my life after 50. That’s why when Hologic, Inc., a leading global healthcare and diagnostics company with a focus on women’s consumer health, asked if I would participate in their sponsored campaign, I said “yes.”

The Statistics Are Startling
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, approximately one in two women over age 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis. Furthermore, estrogen, a hormone in women that protects bones, decreases sharply when women reach menopause, which can cause bone loss. (Isn’t it enough that I have sleepless nights due to my lack of estrogen, now my bones are less protected too!)

osteoporosis; National Osteoporosis Foundation; World Osteoporosis Day

In addition, figures from a recent Harris Poll, Omnibus Survey on Osteoporosis (April 7-11,2016) reveal 71 percent of Americans say they are aware of the effects that osteoporosis can have on their health, yet only 52 percent report taking any steps to prevent it.

Wow-o-wow! These are startling statistics. And the sad part is that many women (and men too) can help prevent this disease by following some simple tips.

Celebrate World Osteoporosis Day
While World Osteoporosis Day 2016 is October 20th, and National Osteoporosis Month is in May, it’s the theme of this year’s campaign that is especially important. It calls for individuals to “Love Your Bones: Protect Your Future.” Continue reading

Your Post 50 Feet Will Love These Comfortable Shoes

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer womenIt was around the time I reached my late 40s that I started having issues with shoes. Before then, I couldn’t wait for Lord & Taylor to have their fall sale. Each year, I would race to the store to pick out three pairs so I could get 30% off. Sometimes I would buy more than three. My closet racks were filled with shoes.

As I approached my early 50s, finding shoes to fit proved more difficult. I went from heels to ballet flats. In the winter I wore Uggs for casual wear and high black leather boots when I was going to the office.

When I retired from my full-time job I started doing lots of yoga without shoes or socks.

comfortable shoes; SAS shoes; San Antonio Shoemakers; post 50 feet; boomer women

I have flat feet from aging and going barefoot so much during my life after 50.

A Visit To The Podiatrist
“I used to be able to walk all over New York City, from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park and now my feet hurt after a short distance,” I told the podiatrist during my appointment last winter. “You have flat feet,” said Dr. L. “Your arches can flatten out as you age, especially if you are going barefoot all the time. You need more supportive shoes.” He also recommended orthotics.

The Hunt For Comfortable Cold Weather Shoes
I bought Dr. Scholl’s orthotic inserts which worked well in my sneakers. But I couldn’t find comfortable shoes. That’s when I turned to SAS also know as San Antonio Shoemakers. I went to the shoe store in town where I used to take my kids when they were toddlers. Unlike many department stores, the saleswoman measured my feet and brought out several pairs of shoes. I felt like Goldilocks.

“This pair is too tight,” I said about the first shoes I tried on.
“This pair is too lose,” I said about the second.
“I have narrow heels. My foot is slipping out of this pair,” I said about the third.
“The arch is too high in this shoe,” I said about the fourth.

San Antonio Shoemakers; SAS shoes; SAS Freetime shoes; boomer fashions; flat feet; comfortable shoes

I wore my SAS Freetime shoes with jeans to the NY NOW Show in NYC this winter.

Finally after trying on about 15 different shoes, the saleswoman brought out a pair of SAS shoes — the Freetime style, with a removable, cushioned foot bed and a soft sole for shock absorption. I have to admit that they weren’t the most glamorous shoes I ever owned but my feet felt like they were walking on a cloud. I wore them all winter with jeans, leggings, even tights and a skirt and was able to walk all over NYC on multiple occasions. My feet were so happy and my boyfriend L said I looked cool in my Freetime black Nubuck shoes, like a fashionable hipster.

Not Just Your Nana’s and Papa’s Shoes
As the weather warmed up, I had a new dilemma. I couldn’t  wear my Freetime black Nubuck shoes during the summer months. Oh no, oh no, oh no – not another search for shoes!

Then I saw an ad on Facebook. It featured a new stylish collection of SAS shoes. Could it be possible that the same company that inspired an ardent customer-base of elderly nanas and papas was now targeting boomer women? I was so excited.

I quickly contacted the marketing team and told them I would love to learn more about their 40th anniversary line. The nice marketing manager offered to send a pair of their casual shoes to me in collaboration for a blog post.* (Did I say I love being a blogger? I do! I do!)

San Antonio Shoemakers; SAS Breezy shoes; SAS Breezy Periwinkle shoes; boomer fashions; comfortable shoes; flat feet

I wore my Breezy shoes to the shore.

I picked out the Breezy casual with genuine moccasin construction in trendy Periwinkle. I liked that these shoes had side perforations to vent heat, and a foam foot bed topped with striped microfiber for all-day comfort. I bought a size 8 so I could add my orthotics. Continue reading

Why I’m Voting For Replens™ in the 2016 Election

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomers

Sit down. We have to talk. There’s a crisis that’s about to happen in the coming years that none of the presidential candidates are talking about. It’s bigger than global warming. It’s “so huge” that it may cause emotional upheaval in this country due to the enormity of the population that is currently — and is going to be — impacted by this unfortunate feminine physical condition.

What am I talking about? Can you guess?

The Trends Tell The Story
I’ll give you some hints. It has to do with post 50 women. Just listen to these stats. These facts are from The National Association of Baby Boomer Women:

By 2030, 54% of the 78 million American Boomers will be women.
By 2030, there will be 71.5 million Americans age 65 or older, more than double the number currently within that demographic. And more than half of them will be women. We’re a mammoth population that is growing. And you know what physical changes happen during our post 50 years?

Can you guess what I’m talking about now?

Okay, let me give you some additional clues:
It happens during menopause, or sometimes when you are peri-or-post.
It’s part of the changes that occur during our midlife years, especially with the decrease in estrogen in our body.
You may even be experiencing it now and don’t know what to do.

Still trying to figure it out?

Okay, I’m going to tell you. It’s vaginal dryness. No wonder none of the candidates are taking on this issue. There is nothing to debate. (Although you would think Hillary would be aware of the importance of solving this problem and have a Town Hall on the subject. It might make her more relatable.) 

vaginal dryness; Replens; post 50 women; baby boomer women

Boomer women have been a force for change since the 60s, so we can talk openly about this subject and others. There’s no need to live in what feels like a desert of dryness. My friends at the Replens™ brand know the repercussions and have figured out solutions. They clearly see what’s ahead with the increasing population of post 50 women. They want us to be happy and well moisturized for our second act. They asked me to share their news with you so I thought I’d tackle the topic head on.

Continue reading