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Dreaming in Spice WITH HARI PULAPAK A





As every year, we celebrated the compassion we share with our residents, the impact we have on our community by taking care of the most vulnerable, and the care that keeps our resident's life meaningful.

Breakfast for the staff.

Treasure Hunt Teams (AM)

Face masks decoration competition

COVID-19 BOOSTER SHOT DAY On September 30, 2021, Walgreen's Pharmacy visited Residential Plaza to administer the COVID-19 booster shot to residents and staff. The vaccines continue to be highly effective in reducing the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, even against the widely circulating Delta variants. We urge all residents, family members, and staff who have not been vaccinated yet to do so unless an underlying medical condition prevents them from getting vaccinated.

OCTOBER IS BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH According to the National Cancer Institute, more than 276,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 42,000 will die of the disease in 2020. In addition, some 2,620 men are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer and 520 will die of the disease this year. Let's celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness month by implementing these easy ways to help reduce breast cancer risk: Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ

Get to and stay at a healthy weight. Be physically active and avoid time spent sitting. Follow a healthy eating pattern. It is best not to drink alcohol. Limit postmenopausal hormone therapy.

Be vigilant about breast cancer detection. If you notice any changes in your breasts, such as a new lump or skin changes, consult your doctor. Also, ask your doctor when to begin mammograms and other screenings based on your personal history.

Stay Updated on All Things GB

DA I LY S TO R I E S O N L I N E Visit daily for inspiring stories to help you start Growing Bolder


Amy Sweezey, Bill Shafer, Chef Collette Haw, Leslie Kemp Poole, Lynne Mixson T H E B O L D S TA R T Get a daily dose of inspiration curated from our most popular social media posts.


Become an Insider by going to All subscribers also get a daily dose of inspiration curated from our most popular social media posts.

BECOME AN INSIDER Join our community committed to living a life of passion and purpose for free! Gain access to exclusive content, resources, events, groups and more.


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For information about advertising and sponsorships, email Kevin Houseknecht at

V I S I T O U R B O O K S TO R E We’ve curated this list of some of our favorite inspirational authors who are dedicated to providing the tools you need to rebrand aging.

T R E AT YO U R S E L F Tell the world you’re Growing Bolder with our bold tees, hats, paper goods, and more. D O N ’ T FO R G E T TO F I N D U S O N OUR SOCIAL CHANNELS

Follow us @GrowingBolder C H E C K O U T O U R T V S H OW S Check your local listings or watch new episodes of "Growing Bolder" and "What's Next!" at

October 2021



in every issue 6








Still fighting injustice at 93



Too old for tiktok? Nope!

feature 30


The Rodney Dangerfield of meal plans





Explore the "World's Luckiest Fishing Village"



Explore four waterways from rivers to coastal mangroves



One member's story

finance 16


A retired FBI agent give advice on how seniors can avoid white-collar crimes




Renee Lamoreaux secures her income in retirement



Here are five things to consider before making the leap

heal 14


Cook like a Floridian

defy 22


100-year-old Diane Friedman breaks world records



Educate, serve, and ride

YOURTAKE What's the catchphrase you use the most?


"The harder you work, the luckier you get!"

"Not my circus, not my monkeys."

—Ed H.

—Helen C. K.

"Age is just a number!"

"Just because you can, doesn't mean you should."

—Linda S.

—Tim D.

"Smile while you still have teeth."

"It's another day in paradise!"

—Des F.

—Janice B. F.

"How do you eat an elephant? One bite at at a time!"

"If it looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, then it's a duck!"

—Nona H.

—Bonnie S.

"Everything is going to be ok!"

"Doing the best I can with what I got."

—Karen D.

—Dan B.

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You’ll be hit with inspiration from all angles in this month’s Digital Digest. Our cover story is about Chef Hari Pulapaka who made a dramatic mid-life transition. Chef Hari is a tenured college mathematics professor who didn’t want to leave his profession but wanted a new creative challenge. He opened a restaurant that quickly earned multiple James Beard Award nominations and followed that up with his first book, titled, “Dreaming in Spice: A Sinfully Vegetarian Odyssey.” Bill Shafer’s profile, Mike Dunn’s photos and Chef Hari’s relentless creativity will have you thinking differently about what’s possible in your life. You’ll also meet Sonia Fuentes who co-founded the National Organization for Women back in 1966. Sonia is now 93-years-old and still actively fighting for women’s rights. “Retirement has never occurred to me,” she tells Growing Bolder. “Fighting injustice is something you just don’t walk away from.” If you want to believe that it’s never too late to take a stand and make a difference, don’t miss our story on Sonia. Speaking of making a difference, Amy Sweezey catches up with the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club. The club has over 5,000 members worldwide, most of whom are Black and many are former law enforcement or service members. The Buffalo Soldiers are rolling into retirement with a passion for riding and a mission to serve. And in a Growing Bolder exclusive, we introduce the new 100-meter world record holder for women 100-to-104-years old to the woman whose record she just broke. Let the centenarian trash talking begin!

You’ll be hit with inspiration from all angles in this month’s Digital Digest.

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Catch the summer episodes now airing across Florida!

Hosted by award-winning broadcaster Marc Middleton, What’s Next! features a team of well-known Florida broadcasters and personalities, including Secily Wilson, Amy Sweezey, Bill Shafer, and George Diaz, all shining the spotlight on ordinary people living extraordinary lives. What’s Next! is a jolt of inspiration that helps audiences of all ages believe that it’s never too late to pursue their passions and make a difference in their communities. New episodes are now airing across Florida!

Check local listings and watch a full episode at


Lea Thompson

Photography by Larry Busacca / Staff via Getty Stock

60 "Back to the Future" and "Caroline in the City" actress Lea Thompson’s new project is a true family affair. She recently collaborated with her two daughters and husband on a new film called The Year of Spectacular Men. If you’re going to take a scary leap of faith with your career, why not do it with those you trust most? “It’s been a really loving, handmade, personal, grassroots project, for sure,” Lea Thompson says. She set the idea in motion when she suggested her daughter, Madelyn, who was struggling through a terrible year, write out her feelings in a script. Thompson loved the result so much, she took it on as her first feature-film directing project. Since the budget was small, Madelyn, a singer/songwriter, also starred in and scored the film and her sister Zoey (Why Him?, The Disaster Artist) played her on-screen sister. Thompson’s husband Howard pitched in with producing duties. “You watch your kids go through these difficult things, and you want to protect them but you can’t. Life is messy and full of mistakes, so some of that was hard to read,” Thompson says. “I’m so happy to be part of the story written by a young woman for young women. All the words that I ever spoke when I was an ingenue were written by men. I was made to play their idea of what the perfect girl was so many times. To be able to tell this story and all its messiness was particularly gratifying for me.”


"People say, ‘But you’re 93, what can you do?’ Well, I can speak, and I can write, so that’s exactly what I do."


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Ordinary People Living Extraordinary Lives ®

Sonia Pressman Fuentes

Photography by Jason Morrow


Sonia Pressman Fuentes sits at her computer terminal in her apartment at her retirement community for several hours every day. At 93, the co-founder of the National Organization for Women (NOW) is still driven to fight against social injustice, just as she has for decades. In 1966, Fuentes co-founded NOW and was one of the first female attorneys to work for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which took up many cases against racism. Her articles on women's rights and other subjects have been published in newspapers, magazines, and journals around the world. And she hasn’t stopped fighting injustice. “Retirement has never occurred to me,” Fuentes said. “Fighting injustice is something you just don’t walk away from. It becomes part of who you are. People say, ‘But you’re 93, what can you do?’ Well, I can speak, and I can write, so that’s exactly what I do. What a blessing that is to still be able to do that to make a difference.” Currently, Fuentes is helping a high school student fight against a dress code that prohibits girls from wearing pants. Fuentes has worked with the student’s family to help them understand what to expect and connect them with the resources they need to make their case. It’s something Fuentes is happy to do and reminds her of the great strides made in the fight for women’s rights. “When we founded NOW, we had no idea how far the fight would go,” she said. “We just wanted women to be treated equally regarding getting into colleges. What we did sparked a revolution beyond our expectations. The changes that I have lived to see in the status of girls and women is mind blowing. I am so grateful to have seen those changes in my own lifetime.”

A Role Model While Fuentes’ continuing efforts might seem extraordinary, some experts believe that older people may be best suited for promoting the wellbeing of society. Psychologist Erik Erickson thinks people over the age of 50 have one of the most valuable qualities: generativity. Generativity is defined as the propensity and willingness to engage in acts that promote the wellbeing of younger generations as a way of ensuring their future and adding to your legacy. Erickson theorized that it is in the later stages of life where our desire and capability of serving humanity are at their highest and when we are least distracted by ego and individual issues. He believed that is when we become most concerned with making our mark on the world by nurturing or creating things that make a difference long after we pass. In Fuentes’ case, she has a legacy that includes a long list of accomplishments. She believes making a difference is not only a calling, it is what gives life meaning. As long as she’s healthy enough to help, that is exactly what she plans to do. "What else would I go and do that’s more important?” she said. “You can count on me to continue as long as I can. Because to me, making a difference is the most gratifying thing you can do, even in your 90s." Fuentes provides the kind of inspiration that reminds us all that we are never too old to make a difference.

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TRANSLATING TECH Too Old for TikTok? Nope!

Chances are, most seniors know that TikTok has nothing to do with clocks. Originally popularized by teens, it has slowly traveled upwards to older age groups, but seniors are still a rarity on the app both as viewers and participants. Why? Probably because most of us have no idea what it is.

So, what is TikTok anyway? TikTok is a social media app that allows kids (and anyone else) to express themselves by creating, sharing and discovering short videos, most under a minute. Young people use it for singing, dancing, comedy and lip-syncing to music. The TikTok app gives them high tech tools like filters, control over video speed, access to professional audio and more. Watch this video to find out how it works. The best way to try it is to download the TikTok app on your phone and click on it. You’ll see a string of videos of what’s trending that day and can follow them. For example, if you love funny dogs you might want to follow this TikTok with Moonpie, a 9 pound dachshund wearing frilly dresses who speaks like a toddler. If you don’t understand why people watch TikTok, try watching a few Moonpie videos and not laugh. As you start watching videos on TikTok, the app’s algorithms learn what you like and show you more of it.


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Why TikTok? Why is TikTok so popular? It’s a mood elevator. The minute or less format distills the best moments of any performance or experience into a visual haiku—providing a quick laugh, a quick awwwww, or even a quick quack (there are duck TikToks too). It’s easy to get addicted to TikTok and spend hours on it, even if you’re not a Gen Z or Millenial. Sixty-five-year-old book publicist Cathy Lewis is a fan. “The videos are funny, creative,” she says. “There are great recipes. It’s much more entertaining than Facebook.” Nancy Peske, in her late fifties, watches TikTok videos of psychologists offering insights with her college-age psychology student son. Leanne Phillips, 61, loves cute baby and toddler videos.

TikTok is not just for kids

How to make your own TikTok

The TikTok age demographic is slowly trending up. Older women started doing TikTok videos during the pandemic to keep occupied, plus, it can be more authentic than other social media outlets. Seniors are featured mostly in videos made by their grandkids. Some of the biggest TikTok stars are in their 80s. According to this Buzzfeed article, “during the pandemic TikTok became a way of connecting people — strangers, really — across the globe. So, it should come as no surprise that older people have also developed fans of all ages on the platform — 82-year-old user @charlesmallet has over 4 million followers.

If you want to make your own TikTok it helps to be familiar with digital video creation, including filters, effects, templates, audio and more. This YouTube video gives step by step instructions. Of course, it helps to have a grandchild or other digital native to collaborate with. Despite the age gap, seniors are discovering the platform, especially if they have information to share or something to promote. Judy Cole, 63, who calls herself Funny Old Fart, put up this TikTok using cue cards. Maybe you have a special talent and can demonstrate it on TikTok or just want to impart some pithy wisdom. There is an audience — mostly of young people — for what you have to offer.

Photography by Solen Feyissa via Unsplash, Illustration by Muqamba via GettyImages

Grandparents star Do those grandparents enjoy being on TikTok? By all reports, they love it. Ko Im, a 30 year old journalist, wrote about how her TikToks of her grandma making kimchee during her visit to South Korea went viral. “I don’t think she quite understood the global reach of TikTok and how many people viewed her videos,” Ko reports, “but she’s a natural!”

Growing Bolder has teamed up with Senior Planet to bring you more technology content to keep you on the cutting edge of the latest in devices, platforms and tools.

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Not your grandma’s "Chicken" Salad Chef Collette Haw

My 81-year-old grandmother, (Omi as we call her!), is one of my favorite people in the world. I have so many great memories of our time together, including enjoying many of her signature recipes. With all due respect to Omi, though, sometimes I’m craving something that, at one time, may have been out of her comfort zone — but no longer! Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are one of my favorite ingredients. Not only are they versatile — you can blend them up for a delicious homemade hummus or toss them on a salad for some interesting textures — they are incredibly good for you. These legumes are chocked full of protein, fiber, iron, calcium and potassium. One study even found that chickpeas may lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol. Don’t get me wrong — I love a good chicken salad sandwich. But when I whip up a batch of this version, I don’t miss the meat. One of my goals with our menu at Nourish Coffee Bar + Kitchen is to provide our customers with healthy food they will actually want to eat and even crave. This recipe has been on the menu since Day 1 and remains popular. And despite its name, it’s definitely Omi-approved.

Want more ideas? Visit to join me in the kitchen for more fresh recipes!

Chef Collette Haw studied at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America. After training in some of the country’s most honored restaurants, she became a personal chef for celebrities. She then launched her own business, Collette’s Clean Eats, to provide healthy, prepared meals to busy families. Haw is now a restauranteur, partnering with the Winter Park Health Foundation to operate Nourish Coffee Bar + Kitchen in the Center for Health & Wellbeing in Winter Park, Florida. Photography by Jacob Langston / Illustration by jamtoons via Getty Images

" Chicken" Salad Makes 4 Servings



2 cans of garbanzo beans 1 red bell pepper, de-seeded and small dice ½ medium red onion, small dice ¼ cup parsley, washed and chopped (tip: chop the parsley, then measure it) 1 teaspoon sea salt ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper ¼ cup chives, chopped ½ cup vegan mayonnaise

Rinse and drain garbanzo beans well, getting them as dry as possible. Place the beans into a mixing bowl with vegan mayonnaise and mash with a potato masher until half of the beans are mashed. Add bell pepper, red onion, parsley, sea salt, black pepper, and chives; mix thoroughly. Refrigerate until ready to serve. This recipe is good for up to four days in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

Targeting Seniors Older adults are often targets of fraud and other crimes. Growing Bolder recently spoke with retired FBI Agent Lynn Billings to learn more about scams targeting seniors. Billings was a special agent for nearly 25 years. Her primary investigative experience focused on white-collar crimes, including the areas of finance, healthcare and public corruption.

1. Sweetheart Scams “This was by far our No. 1 scam,” Billings said about romantic connections targeting widows or other older singles in a long-distance setting, preying on loneliness. Contact is typically made through online dating sites or social media. Often, it’s men targeting women pretending to befriend them, saying they feel an immediate or quick connection, and then relating a story with a financial need. Billings said the supposed financial need often involves a “huge contract” that the scammer says they are waiting for in order to receive a big payment. Other false excuses: a piece of equipment is broken and needs repair or slow earnings because of COVID-19. The end goal of resolving the “problem” is coming to see the targeted person. R E D F L AG S :

Hastily expressed feelings and interest in establishing a relationship and a request for money via untraceable sources such as gift cards, cryptocurrency, or wire transfers.

2. Government Impersonator The second most common scam, according to Billings, involves contact from someone impersonating a government agency, such as the Federal Trade Commission, Internal Revenue Service, or Social Security Administration. Examples include an FTC impersonator citing issues with your investment accounts, an IRS impersonator claiming you owe money, and a Social Security representative stating they are investigating an identity fraud in your name and requesting your date of birth and address for confirmation. R E D F L AG S :

Each scenario dangles the threat, “You’re in trouble,” with the solution of paying a fee or providing information to resolve the issue. Initial communications from government agencies never include unsolicited calls, emails or texts.


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3. Sweepstakes or Lottery Winnings Another common scam against seniors, Billings said, is a contact that claims you won a sweepstakes or foreign lottery. The catch is you must pay a small fee for taxes or customs fees in order to receive the larger claims payment. Sometimes people receive a counterfeit check to pay these fees. The victim pays the scammer only to learn the check for the fees bounced. R E D F L AG S :

Payment required up front. Legitimate winnings allow you to pay any fees or taxes from the lump-sum earnings.

4. Financial Abuse Unfortunately, many seniors may be taken advantage of by individuals they know, including relatives, friends, caretakers, or even financial advisors, Billings said. Individuals gain the victim’s trust and then receive access to credit card numbers and bank accounts. Individuals may even pose as a grandchild who is hurt or needs money to be released from jail. Many seniors will provide funds or allow access to stop being harassed without realizing they are giving access that will allow someone access to large savings. R E D F L AG S :

Undue pressure for money that requires access to accounts as well as mandates that the victim keep the transaction confidential.

5. Phishing Scams Robo calls or text messages are the most common initial forms of communication in phishing scams that typically come out of the blue. In one common scenario, a person requests the senior’s help in accessing a large sum of money from a relative out of the United States. In exchange for allowing the transfer to his or her bank account, the victim will keep a large percentage of the funds. In another situation, the message is a threat that your account will be frozen unless a payment is made. R E D F L AG S :

Unexpected contacts requesting account information or sending a link. Don’t click the link!


Important note: If you’ve been scammed before, your name will go into a database, and you will likely be contacted again. “It’s big business,” Billings said. “If it sounds too good to be true, be very skeptical.”

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There’s no better view of the Gulf of Mexico than you’ll find at Henderson Beach State Park. The Park boasts Destin’s last remaining coastal scrub area, great fishing spots, a nature trail and 60 campsites connected to the beach by a boardwalk.




Ever marveled at the intricately created sand sculptures you’ve seen in magazines or on TV? You can become a sandcastle Picasso as well, with a little help from Beach Sand Sculptures. In the two-hour lesson you’ll learn all the tips and tricks to create your own unique sandcastle masterpiece, standing about 3-ft. tall.

Lynne Mixson


Discover how Destin went from a small fishing village to a tourist destination at Destin History & Fishing Museum. The exhibit includes the story of city pioneers, over 100 species of fish, and the science behind the sugar-white sand. Take your photo with a giant megalodon shark jaw or visit Destin’s first post office. Tours and scavenger hunts are available.


HarborWalk Village is also home to the Destin Fishing Fleet, the largest charter fishing fleet in the country. Charter a boat or stroll the docks to see the catches of the day. If you visit in October, you can participate in the Destin Fishing Rodeo. Book your fishing trip on one of the registered boats, and your tournament entry fee is free! 18

Known as the "World's Luckiest Fishing Village" Destin, Florida, is a bright jewel in the Florida Panhandle area referred to as the Emerald Coast. The turquoise-blue Gulf water and sugar-white sand beaches are a feast for the eyes. Set on a peninsula, and the closest port to the underwater 100 Fathom Curve — a 600-ft. drop-off — Destin has the quickest, deep-water access on the Gulf. Seafood is bountiful — for fishing or dining. Destin’s history dates back to the seventh century, but the city was only chartered as a municipality in 1984. While that might be young as Florida cities go, Destin is one of the state’s most popular tourist destinations. Here is a sample of fun things to do in Destin.


Want to shop and enjoy views of the Gulf? Go to HarborWalk Village. Located on the edge of Destin Harbor, this outdoor center offers retail therapy and souvenirs. More adventurous? Enjoy the dual zipline, interactive rock wall or a 100-ft. freefall. You’ll find seasonal fireworks shows, parades, and live entertainment throughout the year.


There are plenty of local seafood dining options in Destin. Local staple, The Back Porch, has been serving up fresh catches in an old-school atmosphere since 1974. It was the first Gulf restaurant to offer customers chargrilled Amberjack sandwiches. For a Southern spin on upscale local fare, visit Boshamps Seafood & Oyster House.

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.



Steve Smith via GettyImages

– F. Scott Fitzgerald

A new season of Growing Bolder arrives this fall on public television stations nationwide. Check local listings and

STARTING OCTOBER 16: WEDU/Tampa, Saturdays @ 6:30 pm WUCF/Orlando, Saturdays @ 9:30 am WPBT/Miami, Sundays @ 12 pm WXEL/West Palm Beach, Saturdays @ 12:30 pm JAX PBS/Jacksonville, Saturdays @ 10 am WGCU/Fort Myers/Naples, Saturdays @ 2:30 pm WSRE/Pensacola, Saturdays @ 5 pm WFSU/Tallahassee, Sundays @ 11:30 am WFSG/Panama City, Sundays 11:30 am WUFT/Gainesville, Saturdays @ 3 pm




ALERT Watch 100-year-old Diane Friedman breaking world records for 100-, 200-meter dash

A 100-year-old woman from Cleveland, Ohio, has shown the world that age really is just a number. Diane Friedman broke three masters sports records at the Michigan Senior Olympics on Aug.15 and is officially the fastest woman in the world over 100 years old. Friedman broke world records in both the 100-meter dash and 200-meter dash for the 100-104-year-old age group. She also broke the American record for the javelin in the same age category. In the 100-meter dash, Friedman ran in 36.71 seconds, breaking the prior mark set by Julia Hawkins by nearly 3 seconds. To claim the world record in the 200-meter dash, Friedman came in at 1:29:78. Her javelin throw measured 6.25 meters.

For more information on the National Senior Games, go to 22

Diane Friedman — no stranger to success

Learning from legends

Friedman has been a household name in the world of masters sports for years. She was an avid competitor in the global track-and-field circuits in her 70s, and she set several world records in her 90s. She is a two-time USA Track & Field masters age group Athlete of the Year. She has made two appearances in “Sports Illustrated.” The person who is the least surprised by her latest record-breaking performance is Friedman. “I’ve won a lot of medals. I’ve won a lot. I’m just so accustomed to it,” Friedman said. “When I’m running, I don’t think of anything except keep my eyes forward and move.” For years, Friedman has worked out with exercise physiologist Dr. Bruce Sherman, a trainer who was a former nationally ranked triathlete. Sherman says that even at 100 years old, what sets Friedman apart is her competitive spirit. “Diane is a coach’s dream,” Sherman explained. “When the gun goes off, she has this thing where she is the ultimate competitor. Her body knows that when the gun goes off, that means race.” Friedman’s accomplishments have even earned her a nickname with the National Senior Games Association. Del Moon, the NSGA’s Communications and Media Director, affectionately calls the track star Diane “Flash” Friedman, a nod to her new, record-setting pace.

The impact of these two Senior Games stars goes beyond the times recorded as they cross the finish line. They hope their bigger lesson is just the fact that they made their way down the track at all. “Keep running, keep being active,” Hawkins urged. “Try to get more people that you know to get active, that’s important." “Come walk with me. This is good exercise,” Friedman tells her friends. “They’ll say to me ‘Oh, but I get so tired.’ Well, then, get tired. You’ll only get tired once, and then the second time you’ll feel even better. Don’t say you can’t. Do whatever you can.” It’s a message that the National Senior Games Association has been preaching for years. NSGA’s Moon says their focus has been to help more older adults stay healthy, get physically fit, and have fun. “We hope that people look at it and not just say, ‘Oh, isn’t it great what she’s doing at 100 years old?’ We want people to internalize that and say ‘Hey, if I take care of myself a little bit better, maybe I can do something,’ Moon explained. “And that’s always been our message. Just find something you love to do and keep doing it to keep yourself going, and you might be surprised by what you can accomplish.” There will be more inspiration on the way, with the 2022 National Senior Games scheduled to take place from May 10-23, 2022, in Fort Lauderdale. Thousands of athletes 50 years and older, including those past 100, will gather to compete, set new records, form new friendships, and continue inspiring older adults to stay active and to pursue their passions.

Photography courtesy of Diane Friedman

A friendly rivalry As part of Growing Bolder’s conversation on these new world records with Friedman, the previous record holder, Julia “Hurricane” Hawkins, joined in to offer her congratulations. “I’m happy for her,” Hawkins said. “The one thing about her and me, I’ve never had a coach, and I’ve never been trained. I just got out there and ran. If I had been trained, well, I didn’t want to do it that way. I just liked to run on my own and do what I could do.” When asked who they thought would win in a race if they got together, these two legends had fun stoking the flames of their competitive fires. “I think she would win,” Hawkins said. “No, no, no, no!” Friedman responded. “That’s why we should meet. Because we’re going to be competitive. I’m going to beat the devil out of you!” “There’s something about wanting to win that gets in your blood. I want to be ahead,” Hawkins said. Hawkins won’t have to wait long for another chance at glory in the track-and-field 100-plus age group. She plans on competing in the Senior Games in her home state, Louisiana, this November, where she plans on becoming the first 105-year-old woman to run the 100-meter dash and add a new record to her name.

“You’ll only get tired once, and then the second time you’ll feel even better. Don’t say you can’t. Do whatever you can.” DIANE ON PUSHING THROUGH

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Is an Official Personal Finance Partner of Growing Bolder


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Smokejumper Cuts Risk Through Smart Retirement Planning Having a steady monthly income in the fluctuating market helps bring freedom so I can enjoy life. Renee Lamoreaux spent most of her work life in fire, smoke and ash. As a smokejumper for the U.S. Forest Service, she parachuted into fire zones to battle blazes all around the country. “You’d be in Redmond, Oregon, one hour. Then that siren goes off and you’re off to New Mexico, jumping into the Gila National Forest. Then in a week, you’re in Alaska jumping north of the Arctic Circle. It doesn’t get much more adventurous than that,” she says. Renee, who loved the outdoors even as a kid, knew there was risk involved, but that was part of the reason she loved it. “I love a challenge,” she says.

Photography provided by Alliance for Lifetime Income

Securing Her Income In Retirement Puts Her At Ease The fact that there weren’t many female smokejumpers in 1989 when she started just added to the challenge. The long days and 24-hour shifts, with barely time for a shower and a quick meal in between, only made her love it more. When it came to her retirement planning, Renee applied many of the same techniques she had learned to handle the risks of being a smokejumper. She learned everything she could, taking advantage of retirement education classes offered by the Forest Service. She started early and took the classes every five years or so to make sure she was up to date. In fact, it was at one of those classes that she finally realized it was time to go. “The last class I took, I was

Having a steady monthly income in the fluctuating market helps bring freedom so I can enjoy life. – R E N E E L A M O R E AU X

eligible for retirement, and the instructor looked at me and said, ‘What are you still doing here?’ and I said, ‘Right, what am I still doing here?’ So that afternoon, I made arrangements to retire.” Her retirement package includes Social Security, a Thrift Savings plan – similar to a 401(k) — and an annuity she earned that provides protected monthly income for life. “Receiving this monthly annuity — that makes all the difference,” she says. “It’s nice to have a stable income.” Not only does an annuity make it easier to plan, but it helps ease some of the worry about her finances in retirement. Renee hasn’t even had to dip into any of her savings yet. She relies solely on Supplemental Security Income and the monthly income from the annuity. Renee is enjoying her time after her career, spending most of her days at her home near Bend, Oregon, caring for her three dogs, camping with her husband and finding new adventures. “I thought I would have all this free time, but I don’t,” she says. “It just fills up quickly, but I’m that kind of woman. I don’t like being idle. I keep busy.” She also stays involved with the Forest Service, helping out part-time with training or working as a fire safety officer — on the ground — in some big fires. “I was just at the jump base this morning, and they were passing a bunch of rookie jumpers — it’s just wonderful,” she says. Best of all, she doesn’t have to worry about her finances. She can just enjoy the time that comes with being retired. “That annuity has been wonderful,” she says. “Having a steady monthly income in the fluctuating market helps bring freedom so I can enjoy life.”

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Buffalo Soldiers:

Educate, Serve, and Ride Amy Sweezey

In 1993, retired Chicago police Officer Kenneth Thomas founded the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club. His goal was to establish a “modern motorcycle club with a positive image among African Americans that would be respected in the community and throughout the country.” The organization started with 92 members. Today, it has grown to thousands of members in more than 100 chapters around the world.


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Thomas originally named the club Buffalo Troopers. Later, he changed the name to Buffalo Soldiers to pay homage to contributions made by the historic Black unit of the U.S. military. “We are actually based on the original Buffalo Soldiers, the first black gentlemen who were allowed into the U.S. Army after the Civil War in 1866,” said Tim “Roadtrip” Lane, president of the Miami chapter. “These guys were cavalrymen. They rode horses, so that's why we ride our motorcycles. We call them our ‘iron horses.’” According to the Buffalo Soldier National Museum in Houston, it was the Native Americans who coined the term “Buffalo Soldier.” The name symbolized the Native Americans’ respect for the bravery, valor, and combat prowess of the Black soldiers on the battlefield. The motorcycle club is open to everyone but is made up mainly of Black riders.

Most Buffalo Soldiers are older and are focused on the importance of family. Lane, who is in his 50s, said, “A lot of the people are policemen, military, and other professionals, so it's a kind of club that's got some good ground rules in place for safety and for having fun. It's a good crowd for my age group.” “There’s a lot of fun stuff for younger people to do,” Coney said. “But this club is (also) fun for people our age. We let the young people go and do their fun stuff, and we get to do our fun stuff. There is enough fun for everybody.” Lane shared this parting thought for those who share the road. “If you ever see any Buffalo Soldiers in the road, drive safely and look out for the motorcycles,” Lane said. “And if you see any of our events, please come out and contribute.”

Photography courtesy of the Buffalo Soldiers

SERVING WITH PURPOSE Loving to ride is a necessity of membership, but that is third on the list of club goals, after “educate” and “serve.” The group aims to educate young people on riding and safety but also strives to motivate them to be better citizens and leaders. Those goals play a large part in the community outreach programs the club supports. “We need today’s youth to be the leaders of tomorrow,” said Lionel “Playworld” Coney, vice president of the Miami chapter. “We are one, big, giant family.” Coney said the best thing he did with the group was feed the homeless. Lane added, “We do a lot of charity work, but we also have a yearly scholarship program. We do bookbag drives. We have a number of charity programs every year, throughout the whole nation.”

"We need today’s youth to be the leaders of tomorrow." – L I O N E L “ P L AY W O R L D ” C O N E Y

For more information about the national Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club:

To find an active chapter in your area:

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In the end, just three things matter: How well we have lived. How well we have loved. How well we have learned to let go. – Jack Kornfield


Kuzma via GettyImages


Planning to Retire Early? Here are Five Things to Consider Before Making the Leap

The unusual circumstances of the pandemic have created a tough environment that has driven many Americans into an early retirement. More than a quarter of all workers have reported that the global pandemic has prompted them to move up their retirement date, according to  a recent survey by the National Institute for Retirement Security. As a result, nearly two thirds (65%) of financial professionals say they've had to change their approach to retirement planning over the past year.

So, whether you are forced into early retirement or choosing to hang up working full time, here are five actions you should consider taking. PREPARE A RETIREMENT BUDGET

Designing a budget can help you plan how your money will be spent and consider updating it to accommodate any changes in your financial situation. And remember to take into consideration a budget that lasts throughout retirement. Thankfully, there are many easy-to-use, personal finance tools and guides available online to help you plan, track and manage your funds. One place to start is the nonprofit Alliance for Lifetime Income’s free RISE Score® calculator  to assess what the risk might be of not having enough retirement income that lasts.


Learn what your potential or anticipated sources of income (Social Security, pensions, annuities, distributions from personal investments and savings) are to help ensure you have the protected income you will need in retirement, which could last 20, 30 or more years. Protected income — income you’re guaranteed to receive — is a great way to cover your essential monthly expenses in retirement. An annuity is a form of protected income that can help give you peace of mind by providing a steady and regular stream of income you can count on for your entire life. There are a variety of other annuity options available — including ones that can both protect and grow your money — so talk to your financial professional to help determine what’s right for you.


If you retire before age 65, you won’t yet be eligible for Medicare, so health insurance costs should be an important consideration when creating your financial plan for retirement. If you have a spouse who is still working, you may be able to tap into their healthcare coverage. Otherwise, you may want to look into other options, like COBRA, Medicaid, private health insurance or your state’s health insurance marketplace. The Alliance offers a few simple tips on how to address and plan for healthcare expenses in retirement.


Your severance package should ideally offer enough cash to cover several months — or more — of your current paycheck. For example, if you earned $300,000 annually in pay, a package should ideally offer up at least six months of pay ($150,000) to make it worth your while. Ensure that you will be secure financially if you accept the package and that it keeps your retirement plans on track. Many packages are also negotiable to a certain extent, so be sure to fully understand your options, decide what is most important to you and ask for it.


Consulting an experienced financial professional can help you establish a plan that’s geared toward your exact needs and can help you afford the life you want in retirement. The Alliance has created a list of useful resources to help you get started and find the right professional near you.

Is an Official Personal Finance Partner of Growing Bolder G R O W I N G B O L D E R / O C T O B E R D I G I TA L D I G E S T 2 1



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the Rodney Dangerfield of

Meal Plans Photography by Mike Dunn for Growing Bolder / Story by Bill Shafer

These days it’s cool to be vegan. You can be proud to be Paleo and “wear slim garb if you go low-carb.” Then there are the Mediterranean, South Beach and raw food diets. They are all trendy and popular. They make simply being a vegetarian seem, well, boring. Hari Pulapaka, restaurateur, chef, educator, and author of “Dreaming in Spice, A Sinfully Vegetarian Odyssey,” believes a vegetarian diet is healthy and far from boring. “That's the battle that I face when I'm trying to inspire people to live differently with the foods they eat,” he said. "Words matter, and vegetarian seems to be the Rodney Dangerfield of diets. It gets no respect at all.”

A NEW CULINARY PALATE Pulapaka believes all those trendy diet names are simply marketing labels. He worries they only serve to confuse and limit the scope of understanding what healthy eating is and is not. “Healthy eating is not about denying yourself your favorite foods,” he explained. “It is about finding different foods, healthier foods that you might love just as much. Being vegetarian gives you a broader brush in creating a new culinary palate that is not only better for you but just as delicious as what you are currently eating.” Many of the most current, popular diets are unnecessarily restrictive and difficult to maintain, whereas vegetarianism allows for more flexibility, maintains Pulapaka. “We seem to want to make diet more difficult and complex than it needs to be,” he said. “There are only two main requirements that any of us should demand: The food should be good for you and it should taste good.”

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"Healthy eating is not about denying yourself your favorite foods. It is about finding different foods, healthier foods that you might love just as much." H A R I O N H E A LT H Y E AT I N G

THE BEST WAY TO CHANGE There is no question that when it comes to eating, we become set in our ways. Doing something different with our meal choices can lead to anxiety and frustration, something Pulapaka says can be quickly overcome. “The best way to begin to change is to learn to prepare a few spice blends and sauces that are very versatile and cross the boundaries of cuisines,” he said. “You can make a sauce that leans its way into a Middle Eastern dish, a North African dish, and a Latin dish all by including certain core ingredients. It will give you flexibility, confidence, and help create a foundation for you to feel comfortable creating some exciting new dishes.”

‘DREAMING IN SPICE’ His book, “Dreaming in Spice,” contains hundreds of original plant-based meal recipes and professional tips for meal preparation. He dispels many myths about vegetarian food and promotes the use of more plant-based ingredients overall. “To me, the term, ‘vegetarian,’ is nothing more than a big umbrella that covers almost everything that isn’t meat or fowl. So, it might be helpful not to worry about what to call it as much as just have a mindset that, ‘This actually tastes pretty good. And do you know what? It happens to be very good for my health!’”

THE ANSWER TO A MIDLIFE CRISIS Change can be frightening, confusing, and intimidating. Pulapaka knows all about change. He is a tenured associate professor of mathematics at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, where he has worked for 22 years. At the age of 40, in response to a professional midlife crisis, he enrolled full-time in culinary school while continuing his academic career. He became a professional chef, a restaurateur, and continued living a dual professional life. He understands what it takes for someone to successfully step out of their comfort zone. “In fact, I am trying to grow my company, The Global Cooking School, which hopefully keeps me on a track wide enough to accommodate both of my professions: teaching and cooking in a way that makes sense,” he said. “I feel like finally, at the age of 55, those two tracks are merging. And everything that I see ahead of me is making all the sense in the world.”

MAKING SMALL ADJUSTMENTS Pulapaka believes that a major lifestyle change works best when it happens gradually. “It starts by doing something different,” he said. “It could be as simple as one meal a week, just one meal where you only consume plant-based foods. It could be a salad, but there are so many more interesting things out there. It could be a pasta dish. It could be a pizza; it could be whatever. Don't deprive yourself and feel like you have to eat the healthiest thing in the world. Set yourself up to be successful, by making something you’ll enjoy that gives you a sense of accomplishment.” From there he says you can expand as quickly and as often as you prefer. “Keep making small adjustments,” advised Pulapaka. “Replace that hamburger meal you would ordinarily have for lunch with something plantbased. Or if you really want that hamburger, replace the fries. Make those kinds of small adjustments, and you will be surprised how quickly you adapt to substituting more healthy selections. And in the process, you are getting a taste of dishes and ingredients that you normally would not and your body is going to thank you for this. You will feel the difference. Fold in some exercise or activity, walking three times a week for as little as 15 minutes, and you will be amazed that your mind and body will want you to do even more. “And the contrast between the rich, decadent, fatty, salty food that you are used to eating with the fresh, unseasoned, natural, clean, light accompaniment might actually make it a more interesting combination,” he said. “This is my thought process as a chef. If I make a rich dish, I am always going to accompany it with something fresh because it makes culinary sense. So, by starting with one meal one day of the week, and a little bit of activity, you'll be amazed how the next week your body's going to crave it. And after a few weeks, your body won't even know the difference. And at some point, that will be the only way you will want to do life.”

FINDING OUR PATH THROUGH LIFE Pulapaka has come to believe that our path through life is guided by having respect for our health, our passions, and for helping others along the way. “My advice is be open to life, soak it all in, but most of all, listen to your body," he says. “Your body will not deceive you. If there is one thing in this world that is not lying to you, it is your own body. Be a good listener, give it what it needs, and you will be rewarded in ways you cannot imagine.”

kayaking FLORIDA Leslie Kemp Poole

The paddle dips into the water and worries evaporate, replaced by tranquility. Ahhhhh. This is the gift of kayaking in Florida in the time of COVID-19 — a prescription to ease the mind and soul during a period of uncertainty and frustration. Admittedly, one doesn’t need a pandemic as an excuse to head out on a kayak to enjoy the state’s marvelous rivers and lakes. You just need the time and a great destination. Across the state, there are myriad watery escapes, from clear, spring-fed rivers to brown, tannic-colored streams, to coastal mangrove tunnels to sandy islands that recharge one’s spirit and put the “pause” button on a hectic schedule. There may be overhead flights of swallow-tailed kites and roseate spoonbills or splashing otters and lumbering manatees. Florida offers year-round paddling opportunities with unforgettable experiences best encountered by canoe or kayak. Here are a few scenic suggestions. Note: Contact sites before heading out because some may be closed periodically or have restricted hours due to health or weather issues.

4 Waterways to Explore

Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park St. George Island |

Inhale the briny air while paddling along this 22-mile barrier island off Florida’s Forgotten Coast near Apalachicola. The park, located at the eastern tip of the island, offers aquamarine waters and white beaches so fine that the sand squeaks. Rent a canoe or kayak at the park’s ranger station and paddle leisurely along the calmer bayside north of the island. Be on the lookout for varied bird life, schools of fish and rolling dolphin.

Wekiwa Springs State Park Apopka |

This is one of the outstanding gems of the state park system and is located just north of Orlando. Get a boat at the concession office and head into the Wekiva River (Wekiva=river, Wekiwa=spring) for brief or hours-long excursions on this beloved, popular waterway. You are likely to see alligators, turtles and wading birds along the way. Afterward, swim and snorkel in the crystalline spring that feeds the river or hike along miles of upland trails. Canoe and kayak rentals are available at the concession, Wekiwa Springs State Park Nature Adventures. For information on rentals and fees, see Nature Adventures at or call 407-884-4311.

Everglades National Park Homestead |

A great way to experience one of the most biodiverse places on the planet is by water. Everglades National Park is a 1.5 million-acre paradise for paddlers, birders, hikers and fishing enthusiasts who flock here from across the globe. Use one of the park-approved tour guides from the park website and enjoy aquatic exploring that might reveal rare American crocodiles, threatened manatees and countless birds. More than 360 species have been observed in the park.

Weedon Island Preserve St. Petersburg |

This 3,190-acre natural area on Tampa Bay offers an easy escape from urban chaos into a wonderland of salt marshes and wildlife. The park concessionaire offers rentals, but you can bring your own to explore 4 miles of shaded mangrove tunnels (be sure it’s high tide) and bay views. Back on shore, enjoy the preserve’s cultural and natural history center with exhibits about the local ecosystem and native people that lived here for thousands of years.

Staying Healthy at Home: One Member's Story Carolann wasn’t feeling herself. The 79-year-old Florida Blue Medicare member was feeling tired and worn out, and worried her medication was causing her issues. She was admitted to the hospital, and after a short hospital stay, Carolann was discharged. But she still had some anxiety about her new medication and how it might affect her once she was home. Her intuition was right. A week later, Carolann was back in the hospital with similar symptoms. Now, besides not feeling well, Carolann was worried about how she would find support after being discharged. This included finding transportation to and from her doctor’s appointments. But she didn’t have to worry long. Florida Blue Medicare case manager, Shawn Madrigal, reached out to Carolann before she even left the hospital. “He called right away,” she said. “He made me feel better and was very informative. He did whatever he could to help.” Part of that help was just understanding the anxiety that comes along with major life events. “Going to the hospital and managing one’s health can be confusing and scary,” said Madrigal, a registered nurse. “Especially with the current pandemic we are living through. It can really bring on some uncertainty.” So, Madrigal got to work. He reviewed her medications and situation and determined that making it to her followup appointments was going to be a challenge. Madrigal

knew it was important for her to attend follow-up appointments and make the adjustments needed to avoid another hospitalization. That’s when he pulled in Florida Blue Medicare community health specialist, Laura Saye, who quickly connected Carolann to Papa. As a Florida Blue Medicare partner, Papa provides help for things like transportation. But that's not all. The program also provides a level of companionship and support often missing for older adults. In Carolann’s case, that’s exactly what happened. With Saye’s help, a Papa Pal not only drove Carolann to her appointment, but also sat with her. Carolann said she immediately felt relief. “It was unbelievable,” she said. “I didn’t think there was anything like that available.” And that’s just one of the reasons Saye says she loves what she does. “I have helped so many people in little ways that have made a huge difference in their lives.” Carolann is grateful too. “I’m at a loss,” she said. “They took a lot of time with me. They both left their phone numbers, too, so I know I can call them if I need anything.” And that’s the most important thing Madrigal says he wants to remind members. “We just want to be helpful,” he said. “Ultimately, the goal is to avoid preventable readmissions. But, beyond that, anything we can do to help members regain control of their health and well-being or manage health conditions, is what we strive for.”

Florida Blue and Florida Blue Medicare are Independent Licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. © 2021 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, Inc., DBA Florida Blue. All rights reserved. 36

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Florida Blue Medicare’s Readmission Program Keeps Members at Home Florida Blue’s Medicare Readmission Prevention program helps members who've been discharged from the hospital stay out of the hospital. The program is available to Medicare Advantage members at no extra cost. Florida Blue Medicare’s case managers reach out to members while they’re in the hospital or shortly after they're discharged. The case managers provide self-management support to members at high risk for readmission. They help them and their caregivers understand and follow their discharge instructions. The case manager reviews the member’s medications and makes sure they can keep their follow-up appointments.

Some of the most common reasons patients are readmitted to the hospital include: Failure to attend timely follow-up appointments

“Ultimately, the goal is to avoid preventable re-admissions. But, beyond that, anything we can do to help members regain control of their health and well-being or manage health conditions, is what we strive for.”

Medication errors or confusion

Not knowing what signs and symptoms to look for or when to call a doctor


Accidental falling Learn more about Florida Blue Medicare by visiting



Make Medicare an opportunity to live BOLDER.

SO MUCH MORE! Go to to download your free, easy to understand guide to Medicare. To speak to a representative call 1-844-396-2579.

Florida Blue and Florida Blue Medicare are Independent Licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ©️2021 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, Inc. DBA Florida Blue. All rights reserved. Y0011_101935 R1 2020_C

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