50+Living February 2022

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50pluslivingWNC.com Februar y 2023 of Western NC 50+Living Local  Music Makers Heart Healthy Tips How to Handle Difcult People
2 50+ Living | February 2023
February 2023 | 50+ Living 3 Arden 4 Long Shoals Rd. 828-333-4366 Fletcher 3445 Hendersonville Rd. 828-376-3711
5 Winter Wines 8 Local Music Makers 10 Heart Healthy Tips 12 Resource Guide 14 Reasons Why Air Fryers Are So Popular 15 A Morning Routine Tat Will Change Your Life 16 How To Handle Difcult People 18 Telltale Signs You Are Not Drinking Enough Water 20 Inviting Others In 21 Cinnamon Spiced Plant Based Eggnog 22 How Meal Planning Can Help You Reach Your Weight Loss Goals  CONTENTS 50pluslivingWNC.com 4 50+ Living | February 2023

Winter Wines

It’s cold. We are serving less cold salads and more hot soups. Intense aromas and strong favors abound on the winter table! Red or white, you are looking for wines that make you feel cozy, comforted and warm. A little fuller in body and bolder in favor.

Te no white afer Labor Day Rule does not apply to wine! An oaked chardonnay, that might be too heavy or conficting for lighter fare, is comfort for the cold. So, let’s start there. From Russian River, SBRAGIA Family Vineyards sends us an oaked chardonnay. Known for their big, rich, yet balanced wine style, grapes for this wine are sourced from over 50 acres of family owned estate vineyards in Dry Creek Valley as well as purchases from the acclaimed Howell Mountain and Mt. Veeder.

With 100% malolactic fermentation and barrel aging sur lie in French, American and Hungarian oak, this white has sturdy components that present in favor and texture. With notes of lemon curd, caramel and sandalwood, the wine slides across the palate with fne acidity bringing apple pie and cinnamon to a creamy fnish.

style, with cooking spice accents lingering on a full fnish. Surely the top Sonoma Coast Chardonnay value in the market.”

Awarded 92 from Wine & Spirits, the tasting panel said: “Tis savory chardonnay opens to pale intensity, layering chamomile and Poire William and scents of seashell minerality. Te favors are integrated into the structure bringing oak seamlessly into the weave of herbs.”

And Wine Spectator awarded 91 points saying: “Wellintegrated favors of Gala apple and ripe Bosc pear are swathed with creamy richness in this broad-textured

But Let’s say you are preparing Cassoulet! Tis hearty, slow simmering stew of sausage, conft, pork and white beans is one of the hallmarks of French Cuisine and winter everywhere. While you could go white, let’s go red.

Tink Veema! Te vineyards stretch through an area where the Romans grew vines and the Benedictines monks founded abbeys at the end of the 9th century. Veema’s time-honored and harmonious combination of Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvèdre ofers a smooth wine that preserves the blend’s boldness and complexity. Leather and smoked meat give a brawny edge to a nose of pure, fragrant black fruit, brown spice, vanilla, and violets. Robust plum and saturated boysenberry lead to power and peppery depth on the way to a long, savory fnish laced with anise, espresso, and a bloody tang of iron.

And Sean Minor Nicole Marie 2019. Tis velvety wine is deep ruby in color and displays aromas of dark cherry, cassis and vanilla. On the palate, it is big, rich and spicy, ofering favors of red berry, dark cherry, cassis and black pepper that integrate with hints of oak spices, coating the palate. Te sof tannins and sweet oak balance lead to a long and lingering fnish.

A good book, comfortable chair, soup and a velvety wine. It’s winter!

Metro Wines Asheville Charlotte Street! It’s the Next BIG Thing!

“Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service”

828-575-9525 | metrowinesasheville.com

February 2023 | 50+ Living 5


Tammy Sheppard



Joan Hutt


Alphie Hyorth


Peggy Ratusz

Laurie Richardone

Gina Trippi


Mike Demos



Bridget Hepler 828.551.9893


AVL Media Inc.

P.O. Box 18416 | Asheville, NC 28814 828.230.7537


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6 50+ Living | February 2023
50+Living of Western NC
“Where there is love, there is life.”
Mahatma Gandhiu
February 2023 | 50+ Living 7

Local Music Makers

Charming Mr. Bones

Te reason for writing this feature is to shine light on hard working and gifed local music makers. When the interviewee is a close friend it can be challenging. Tat’s not the case with my music compadre and part time cowriting pal, Hank Bones. He’s a dream to interview and a dream to write about.

A native New Yorker, Hank Bones is not his given name but it’s one that fts him to the bone, as it were, in its quirky lightheartedness. Quirky and lighthearted are adjectives I am certain his friends and bandmates would agree sums up his approach to everything. Hank doesn’t sweat the small stuf. He’s the epitome of the ‘center of attention’ in all the good and entertaining ways you want someone who is nearly always the center of attention to be.

His wit alone is something to marvel. I ofen fnd myself looking for a pen to write down what he just said in conversation so I can use it in conversation next time it warrants, to appear as charming as Mr. Bones. Te majority of the time I spend with Hank, I’m laughing and creating. Te beauty is that if you’re fortunate to make music with this wildly free, stupendously skilled musician and songwriter, he’ll make you the center of attention too. Love Bubble is the harmony driven trio I co-created with

Hank and the sensational Paula Hanke. We’ve been rehearsing faithfully, pert near every Tuesday since the start of 2019, writing songs together, working out harmonies and for Ms. Hanke and me, learning new instruments to play; all from Hank’s urging. While the creative process can get cantankerous, there’s discernable joy in arguing when the outcome is songs like the ones he writes, we write, record and perform.

Tat defning moment when music became what Hank would pursue above all else happened when he was fourteen. “I heard a high school band playing at a carnival in Long Island. Tey were a few years older and it was the frst time I’d seen a bass up close. It only had four strings and he was hitting them one at a time and I just knew I could do that. A couple days later I went to the music store and bought a bass for 50 bucks.” Mastering music books by “Wrecking Crew” bassist Carol Kaye and Beatles bass charts along with six months’ worth of lessons from Irving Katz, the owner of the music store, was plenty for a genius like Hank. “Learning to play bass was like a great adventure. I just knew I wasn’t going to do anything else.”

His frst ofcial performance was a school assembly where a band the music teacher put together played Lyin’

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Photographer Peggy Ratusz Photographer Sandlin Gaither Photographer Peggy Ratusz

Eyes by the Eagles and Come Go with Me by the DelVikings. But the frst paid gig he ever did was a sweet sixteen party at a place called Te Spice of Life when he was ffeen. Loading up the car, he happened to throw in a regular guitar along with his bass, which turned out to be real handy that particular night. “So I get to the gig and there’s a show-band playing “Te Hustle” and I fgure this gig will be easy since I knew all the hits of the day. But there was already a bass player on stage so I go up to the keyboard player and ask, ‘what’s the story?’ He says, ‘you’re not playing with us, you’re upstairs with another kid.’ Tis other kid played what barely passed as a keyboard. Te manager comes up, claps his hands together and says ‘Okay boys! Get ‘em dancing!’ I’d never done a gig before, I’d never sung in public before and I asked the kid, ‘do you sing?’ and he says ‘no.’ It was like one of those nightmares where you’re completely unprepared. I knew the words to “Ramblin’ Man” which we ended up playing three times that night. I can’t imagine how terrible we must have sounded. But I made $25 which was a fortune back then!”

Spring of 1978, he answered an ad in the Village Voice for an original new wave band needing a bassist. Landing the position meant commuting to rehearsals every week, dragging a heavy bass in a hard shell case each time. “I’d walk a mile to the train station, take the Long Island Rail Road and then the subway to these rehearsals cause I wanted so desperately to be in a group. “Te Maroons” consisted of 2 guitarists: one female, one male, Hank on bass and a drummer. Tey eventually moved in together a la Te Monkees TV show. By the summer of ‘78, they were auditioning at CBGB and landed a few opening act slots.

He ultimately started singing lead in a rockabilly group he formed called Te Moondogs. “In 1982 I was playing upright bass too and I had fun incorporating all the rockabilly antics, slappin’ and climbin’ on the bass. I didn’t know or care if I was any good; I guess I thought I was good.” He still wears a classic Moondogs T-shirt.

Hank’s music sensibilities are wide. A superlative, pitch perfect crooner he excels in every genre and plays numerous instruments. Living on a budget forced him to learn how to record, mix and master his own tracks and inspired him to hone his chops on drums, keys, guitar…. alleviating the need to hire sessions players. And not much has changed where selling his original compositions is concerned. Many songs he’s either played on or written appear in movies, documentaries, video games, commercials….He even wrote an entire Broadway drag queen show which is when he wrote the song “Love Bubble.” He told Paula and me that he’s wanted to start a group with that name since the 80’s.

What impresses me most about Hank both professionally and personally is his ability to co-create with ease and without the barriers of being selfconscious. His proclivity to co-write with mostly female songwriters goes back and is on-going. His strength as a vocals producer is legendary and his ear is uncanny. His ability to fnd the nooks and crannies of harmonies is astounding.

You’ll fnd him every Tuesday, playing with the phenomenal gypsy jazz and swing group called Te John Henry’s at 5 Walnut Wine Bar. Tat band features Jon Corbin, Lindsey Pruitt, Kevin Kehrberg and Russ Wilson. Look for him also on stage with the Uptown Hillbillies that features Steve Trismen and Vollie McKenzie as well as the 60’s Rock and Rollers, 3 Cool Cats with Michael Filiponne and Russ Wilson. And of course, 1/3 of the harmony-driven trio with me and Paula Hanke called Love Bubble.

Be careful what you say around Hank. His favorite retort to something someone just said that he fnds inspirational is: “Tat’s sounds like a song! Have it on my desk tomorrow at 8am.”




Peggy Ratusz is a vocal coach, song interpreter, and songwriter. For vocal coaching email her at peggymarie43@gmail.com

February 2023 | 50+ Living 9

Heart disease is the leading cause of illness and death globally. According to the World Health Organization, ischaemic heart disease accounts for 16% of all deaths around the world. As we get older, our risk for heart disease increases as aging can cause deterioration in the heart and blood vessels, but there are steps we can take to ensure good heart health.

Heart-healthy diet

Omega 3s

One of the best recommendations for keeping our hearts healthy is to eat foods that are rich in omega-3s, a fatty acid that is important for numerous functions within the body but particularly protects against heart attack and stroke. Omega 3s can even improve heart health in people who already sufer from heart disease. Omega 3s occur in abundance in seafood such as fatty fsh (salmon, tuna, trout), shellfsh (muscles, oysters, crab), or can be consumed in a supplement such as fsh oil. Omega 3s also occur in other foods such as oatmeal and faxseed. Experts recommend adults eat one or more of these foods at least once a week or 8 ounces of a combination of them every week.

HEART Healthy Tips

Beans and Nuts

Tat old chant “beans, beans they’re good for your heart” isn’t just a nursery rhyme. Beans are chock full of soluble fber, niacin, folate, calcium, magnesium, B-complex vitamins, and even some omega-3s. Nuts also contain omega-3s along with vitamin E, magnesium, calcium, good fats, and of course fber. Tey have also been shown to lower cholesterol levels in the blood.


Carrots are also a good food to consume for heart health. Tey’re a great source of beta carotenes, which have been associated with a lower risk of heart disease. Carrots are a great snack to munch on between meals.

Some other great foods to include in a heart-healthy diet are spinach, broccoli, asparagus, red bell peppers, sweet potatoes, acorn squash, oranges, tomatoes, cantaloupe, papaya, dark chocolate, and tea.

Staying active

Seniors can help their hearts stay healthy by being more active during the day and adding exercises such as walking and using the stairs instead of an elevator.

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Exercise is one of the primary ways we can keep our hearts healthy as we age. Keeping a healthy weight is also essential but fad diets, in general, have a very poor success rate. Eating a well-balanced diet along with exercise is a great combination for a strong, healthy heart and weight management. Tis doesn’t mean that you have to go out and run 10 miles. Moderate aerobic exercises such as brisk walking, dancing, or even water aerobics can help keep your heart strong.

Adding in resistance training with bands or dumbbells not only helps to build muscle, but it can also improve balance that can prevent falls. Whichever exercise you choose, try and create a structured exercise program within your physical limits to support a healthy heart, and always check with your doctor to make sure any exercise program is safe for you to begin.

Getting enough sleep

Certain sleep conditions can actually harm the health of your heart. Sleep apnea, a condition caused by airways temporarily collapsing during sleep, can afect how much oxygen your body is receiving. Low levels of oxygen can increase the risk for health problems such as heart attack, high blood pressure, and stroke. Being overweight is one of the main risks for getting sleep apnea. A study by John Hopkins showed that sleep apnea in middle-aged or elderly people can increase the risk of dying prematurely by 46%. (1) Talk to your doctor if you think you might have sleep apnea as several treatments are available that can help.

Insomnia is also connected to high blood pressure and heart disease. Lack of sleep or disturbed sleep can lead to higher levels of stress, unhealthy food choices, and being less active. Getting a good night’s rest can help your heart rate and blood pressure go down at night. A team at Harvard University did a study on sleep disruption in mice and found that afer 16 weeks the sleep-disrupted mice developed larger arterial plaques than the mice whose sleep patterns were not disrupted. (2) Sleep is vital for our bodies to rest and restore and can help our entire bodies function properly.

Stop smoking

Tis one seems like a bit of a no brainer but quitting smoking can be difcult for some given how highly

addictive nicotine can be. However, nicotine has harmful efects on your heart and vascular system. It can cause increases in blood pressure and blood fow to the heart as well as narrowing in the arteries. Also, nicotine remains in your system for up to eight hours afer every cigarette.

Within 20 minutes of quitting smoking, your heart rate drops. Just 12 hours afer you quit, the carbon monoxide levels in your body return to normal. Tis in turn allows your blood to carry more oxygen to your heart. Four years afer quitting, the risk of you getting a stroke decreases signifcantly to the same level as a lifetime nonsmoker.

Know the symptoms of heart disease

It’s important to know the symptoms of heart disease so it can be caught early on. Seek medical attention if you have any of the following symptoms:

• Chest pain, numbness, or tingling (at rest and during physical activity)

• Headaches

• Shortness of breath

• Lightheadedness, dizziness or confusion

• Tiredness or fatigue

• Nausea/vomiting

• Cold sweats

• Swelling of the ankles, feet, legs, stomach, and/or neck

• Inability or reduced ability to exercise or be physically active

Understanding the risks

Your risk for heart disease may be higher if you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, are overweight or obese, have pre-diabetes or diabetes, or smoke. Check your heart health regularly with the aid of your doctor. Regular checkups with your primary care physician or cardiologist are essential to keep your heart in good shape. Doing regular checks of blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar levels can also help to keep your entire body in balance.

1. Punjabi, Naresh, et. al. “Common Sleeping Disorder

Ups Changes of Dying.” Johns Hopkins Medicine, August 17, 2009

2. Swirski, Filip, et. al. “How Disrupted Sleep May Lead to Heart Disease.” Nature. February 13, 2019

February 2023 | 50+ Living 11

Lifestyle & Resource


Beauty Bin

117 Sweeten Creek Rd, Asheville


Dry Bar & Day Spa Asheville’s One-Stop Shop for ALL your Beauty Needs. Helping every client look and feel as beautiful on the outside as they are on the inside. www.beauty.bin.com


Four Seasons


A locally trusted organization, Four Seasons is a leader in highquality person-centered care, proven by our consistent rank in the top 10% of service providers for family satisfaction. www.fourseasonscare.org

Ingles Pharmacy

Prescriptions ready when you need them, every time. www.ingles-pharmacy.com

Te Lodge at Mills River

5593 Old Haywood Rd, Mills River


Make your rehabilitation or long-term stay at a skilled nursing facility a positive experience. We ofer our residents a warm community dedicated to seeing them achieve their health goals. www.sanstonehealth.com/lodgeatmillsriver

Zachary S. Holcombe, D.M.D.

Suite B-2, 1944 Hendersonville Road, Asheville


General Dentistry Whatever dentistry you’re in need of, you’ll feel comfortable with our team. Being patient-centered means that your positive experience, in every detail, is our primary concern. www.DentalAsheville.com


Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty

60 Biltmore Ave, Suite 210, Asheville


Our goal is to understand you and your needs; doing this means we can provide you with spot-on guidance to make informed decisions when buying or selling your home. www.mymosaicrealty.com

Norma Clayton Realty

262 S Caldwell St, Brevard


Your HomeTown Realtor in Brevard. a team of real estate professionals dedicated to helping you fnd your perfect place. Let us show you why we love calling Transylvania County home. www.brevardrealty.net

WNC Bridge Foundation Estate Sales & Services

75 Fairview Rd, Asheville.


We are a community-based charitable organization that works to provide funds to support and assist in meeting the many health challenges that face the people of WNC. www. WNC bridge.org

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Baked Pie Company

4 Long Shoals Rd, Arden


Our pies are made daily with the freshest and highest quality ingredients. We think our customers deserve only the best! www.bakedpiecompany.com

PB & Jay”s Cafe

3445 Hendersonville Rd, Fletcher


Tis unique café ofers quality nut butters, locally made jams and preserves and delicious breads. Anyone missing their childhood? You will fnd it at the Café! www.pbjayscafe.com

Asheville Cotton Co.

1378 Hendersonville Rd, Asheville 828-277-4100

With the help of a super friendly, knowledgeable and talented staf, the shop now boasts more than 10,000 bolts of quilting cotton, representing more than twenty major brands. We ofer a variety of classes, bringing in both local and national teachers. www.ashevillecottonco.com

Stephens Upholstering Co.

220 Weavervile Rd, Asheville 828-645-3422

Get furniture upholstery, drapery fabrics, blinds, and hardware right here. www.stephensupholstery.com

February 2023 | 50+ Living 13

Reasons Why Air Fryers Are So Popular

They don’t make a big mess

Air fryers are self-contained, which means any splashes are kept within the appliance and don’t mess up your stovetop. Cleaning the inner cooking tray, the grated rack on which the food sits, and the container can require a good scrub with a brush or cleaning pad. However, by washing it every time afer it’s used, it is easy to keep air fryers clean.

It’s easy to see why air fryers have become the preferred cooking method for so many people. Tey’re economical, cook fast, and can be a healthier way of frying food. Here are more details on these reasons and others for why you should consider getting an air fryer.

They’re a healthier way of cooking

Air fryers work by convection heat circulating hot air around foods. Tis means they require little or no oil, so the fat content of meals will be signifcantly less. Calorie intake can be reduced by up to 80%. As such, it’s a much healthier way to cook meals than in a frying pan. Air fryers are also better at keeping nutrients within the food while cooking. Tese nutrients, benefcial for overall health and well-being, are ofen lost during other cooking methods.

An air fryer cooks a wide variety of foods

Air fryers cook a wide range of foods, including french fries, pastries, fsh, chicken, pies, pizza, other meats, cakes, and vegetables. Although using little or no oil, they cook food such as chicken, which will be crisp on the outside while tender on the inside. You can ofen put more than one food item in the cooking basket, so food items cook together. With their huge popularity, you can now fnd cookbooks specifcally for air fryer cooking and hundreds of recipes online.

They cook food faster

Air fryers cook most foods faster than conventional ovens or shallow or deep-fat frying. An air fryer generally works the same way an oven does. However, mainly because it’s a smaller space, the air travels around quicker, cooking the food faster. Many foods can be cooked within minutes. Tis means it uses less electricity, which, over time, can save a signifcant amount on energy bills.

They’re a relatively small appliance

Most air fryers are relatively small, so they can easily sit on a kitchen top without taking up too much space. It also means they’re easy to transport to any other spot in a kitchen or a new home. As no accessories are needed for an air fryer, you can use them anywhere as long as there is a power socket. Note: If you buy a larger model air fryer, it will take up signifcant space on the counter or in a cabinet.

Air fryers are a convenient way of making delicious food for a relatively low price. For this and other reasons mentioned, they look set to be an essential appliance in kitchens for many years to come.

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A Morning Routine That Will Change

Your Life

How you start your day sets the tone for the rest of your day. If you start your day feeling stressed, rushed, and frazzled, chances are the rest of your day will follow suit. But if you start your day with a few simple, calming activities, you’ll fnd that the rest of your day goes more smoothly. Here’s a morning routine that will change your life for the better.

Wake up gradually

Don’t jolt yourself out of bed with an alarm clock blaring in your ear. Instead, set several alarms to go of at increasing intervals so that you have time to wake up slowly and peacefully. Start by opening your curtains or blinds to let in some natural light. Ten stretch or do a few gentle yoga poses to get your body moving. When you frst wake up, your body is likely stif and sore from sleeping all night. Stretching helps to release that tension and get your blood fowing. It’s the perfect way to start your day!

Drink a glass of water

As soon as you wake up, drink a full glass of water-even before you have cofee! Hydration is key! Tis will help rehydrate your body afer a long night’s sleep and jumpstart your metabolism for the day ahead. Not only will drinking water help you to feel more awake, but it will also help to fush out toxins in your body.

Set an intention for the day

Take a few moments to think about what you would like to accomplish today. Do you want to cross something of your to-do list? Spend quality time with your family or friends? Make progress on a project? Whatever it is, setting an intention for the day will help you stay focused and on track.

Make yourself a healthy breakfast

Skipping breakfast is a recipe for disaster! You’ll end up feeling sluggish and hungry later on in the day. Instead, take the time to make yourself a nutritious breakfast that will give you energy and nourishment throughout the day. A bowl of oatmeal with fruit and nuts is a great option, as is eggs and toast or Greek yogurt with granola.

Take some deep breaths

Once you’re done with breakfast, take a few minutes to sit in silence and breathe deeply. Tis simple activity will help center and calm you so that you can approach the day with a clear head.

Starting your day of right can make all the diference in how productive and enjoyable the rest of your day is. By taking just fve minutes in the morning to wake up gradually, set an intention for the day, eat a healthy breakfast, drink some water, and take some deep breaths, you’ll be setting yourself up for success. Give it a try--you might just fnd that it changes your life!

February 2023 | 50+ Living 15

How to Handle DIFFICULT People

Some people are hard to handle. But unfortunately, they rarely recognize they’re difcult to deal with, so they don’t increase their social skills and improve their relationships.

Occasionally, you must spend time with someone you fnd difcult. Perhaps you dread being with them, but they are family members, your boss, or someone else you see regularly. Tese tips will help you navigate these hardto-handle relationships.

Change the way you think

If you want to cope well with someone you fnd difcult, the frst step is to change how you think. When you consider somebody a problem, recall the adage, “it takes two to tango.” Anyone in a toxic relationship is part of the dance. Tey play their role in keeping the connection afoat.

When you take responsibility for the way you interact in a problematic relationship, you gain the power to make

positive changes. Your power comes from recognizing you can be an efective agent of change.

One helpful way to deal with disagreeable relationships is to set boundaries. Yet, there’s a good chance you haven’t done so, which is why coping is tough.

Examine why you haven’t made boundaries

Look within and fnd out why you haven’t set boundaries. Tese suggestions might help:

You think you’re being kind

Do you believe engaging with a difcult person is kinder than setting boundaries? If so, think again. Kind relationships involve parameters. Just look at how loving parents raise their children. Tey understand it’s vital to teach their broods healthy behaviors by creating boundaries. Tis protective measure aids maturity and safety.

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Healthy adult relationships have boundaries too. For example, it’s your call to decline requests for your time and energy when doing so safeguards your well-being. If you see somebody as problematic because they always seem to want something from you, practicing saying “no” will help.

You don’t recognize your value

Low self-esteem can make you vulnerable in relationships with difcult people. Tey might fnd your unassertiveness advantageous. So note your time and energy are valuable. When you appreciate your worth, you’ll see there’s no need to prioritize difcult people’s wishes over your needs.

Treat yourself like your best friend. You wouldn’t recommend they sacrifce their well-being to somebody who takes advantage of them or leaves them exhausted, would you?

You freeze rather than fght or fee when stress knocks

Doubtless, you’ve heard of the phrase “fght-or-fight” to describe how people respond to fear. Te complete term, however, is “fght, freeze, or fight.” Like a rabbit caught in headlights, you might feel as though you’re immobilized when confronted by individuals who make your life difcult.

You can change your response with practice. But it’s more benefcial to uncover why you are fearful. When you do, your reaction to difcult people will alter on autopilot.

Your stress reaction may stem from childhood. Was it safest to sit tight and be quiet when a family row ensued, for instance? Were you praised for being good when you were unassertive? If so, seeing where your behavior comes from may be enough to help you change.

How to use boundaries

People don’t always have a problem thinking of boundaries to set, but they may need assistance to implement them. Tese tips will help:


Use honesty to reclaim an uncomfortable yet valuable relationship. Complex relationships aren’t necessarily bad. Some have redeemable features. For example, if you care for someone who leeches your energy unless you just feel sorry for them, you get something from the association other than only lethargy and irritation. In this case, it’s worth saving your connection using an honest, assertive plea.

“I value our relationship. But I panic when I see you coming because we always talk about stressful topics, and I want to talk about positive things.” Such a plea can highlight their efect on you and make them change. Or it may not. Either way, asserting your boundary is positive. Tey will comply or move out of your life.


If you have trouble being assertive around a hardto-handle person, gain support from a wise, positive individual. A therapist or a sage-like friend or family member can help you gain clarity about a problematic relationship and see how to make changes. Tey can provide a fresh perspective, give you courage, and assist you in framing how to talk to someone you fnd difcult.


You may beneft from ending a relationship with a difcult person or reducing contact as a last resort; unfortunately, some relationships are toxic, even when you try to change them. If someone drains your wellbeing and refuses to stop, having them in your life is not healthy. You’re not selfsh if you don’t see them anymore; you’re emotionally responsible.

Most of the time, difcult people don’t intend to harm you. Instead, they want to ofoad negativity and feel better. Or they want help and don’t recognize when they ask too much of you. But it’s not healthy to be at their beck and call. So, identify what’s stopped you from being assertive and changing your relationship. What you learn will expand your self-awareness and help you change.

February 2023 | 50+ Living 17

Telltale Signs

Water is one of the most important elements in your body. It helps digest food and transport vital substances throughout your body. Water also helps maintain a normal body temperature and a healthy environment within cells. In fact, almost 60% of your make-up is water. To say you need to drink enough is an understatement. But how do you know if you’re meeting your body’s water requirements? Here are some signs that you aren’t drinking enough water:

You’re exhausted

If you’re feeling tired, dehydration may be the reason. Dehydration can lead to fatigue in several ways. First,


dehydration concentrates the fuid in your bloodstream, making it more difcult for the heart to pump blood efectively. Tis can lead to a decrease in oxygen and nutrients delivered to the body’s cells, which can cause fatigue.

Dehydration can also afect your body’s electrolyte balance. Electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, are important for maintaining the body’s fuid balance and proper muscle and nerve function. When your body is dehydrated, the levels of these electrolytes can become imbalanced, leading to fatigue.

If you are experiencing fatigue and think it may be due

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to dehydration, try increasing your fuid intake and see if it helps. If not, check with your doctor and make sure there’s no medical reason for your exhaustion.

Your urine is dark in color

Another sign that you’re not drinking enough water is dark yellow or cloudy urine. When your body’s dehydrated, your urine becomes more concentrated and looks darker. Terefore, urine color can be a good indicator of your hydration status. If your urine is paleyellow or lighter, it’s a sign that you are well-hydrated. On the other hand, if your urine is dark yellow or amber, it may indicate that you are dehydrated and need to drink more fuids.

Your mouth is dry

Dry mouth is a common sign of dehydration. Dry mouth is a common symptom of dehydration because your body needs sufcient fuids to produce saliva to moisten your mouth and throat. Without adequate saliva, it’s harder to swallow or speak. Saliva also helps neutralize acid in the mouth and protect the teeth from decay.

When you’re dehydrated, saliva production dwindles, which can cause your mouth to feel dry and uncomfortable. Dry mouth can also lead to other problems, such as bad breath and gum disease. Remember that other things can cause a dry mouth, including medications, autoimmune conditions, and aging. Talk to your doctor if a dry mouth persists.

You have headaches

A mild headache is one of the most common symptoms of dehydration. When you’re dehydrated, the volume of fuid in your brain contracts. Tis causes the blood vessels in the brain to constrict, leading to a headache. Of course, headaches have a variety of causes. If drinking more water doesn’t resolve a headache, or if they don’t decrease in frequency, see your healthcare provider.

Your mood is ‘blah,’ and you’re not motivated

A study by the University of Connecticut’s Human Performance Laboratory found that even mild dehydration can negatively afect mood and cause irritability, fatigue, and difculty concentrating. When

you’re dehydrated, your body doesn’t have enough fuids to function properly, which can afect your ability to think and your motivation.

A study found that people who increased their water intake felt less anxious and more content than when they let their water intake decline. So, if you’re not feeling motivated and a bit “down,” try drinking more water.


It’s important to drink sufcient water and stay hydrated. Also, consider other ways to stay hydrated, such as by eating fruits and vegetables that contain a lot of water. General recommendations are to drink at least eight cups (64 ounces) of water per day to maintain proper hydration. However, the exact amount you need may vary depending on your age, sex, weight, and activity level.

Here are a few factors that can afect your water needs:

• Age: Older adults tend to have a lower thirst sensation and may not feel as thirsty as younger adults. Tey need to be more mindful of their fuid intake.

• Gender: Men generally need more fuids than women, due to their typically larger size and muscle mass.

• Weight: Heavier individuals generally need more fuids than lighter individuals.

• Activity level: If you are physically active or exercising, you will need to drink more fuids to replace the fuids lost through sweat.

• Climate: If you are in a hot or humid environment, you will need to drink more fuids to compensate for the fuids lost through sweat.

Pay attention to your body’s thirst signals, and drink fuids as needed to maintain proper hydration. If you are experiencing thirst, fatigue, dry mouth, or a down mood, drink fuids and rehydrate as soon as possible. Even better, drink throughout the day so your body doesn’t become dehydrated in the frst place.


LeWine HE. Can dehydration cause headaches? - Harvard Health. Harvard Health. Published March 2022. Accessed December 25, 2022. .health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/candehydration-cause-headaches

Dehydration Headache: Dehydration Symptoms & Types of Headaches. Cleveland Clinic. Published 2021. Accessed December 25, 2022. my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/21517dehydration-headache

Poitras C. Even Mild Dehydration Can Alter Mood - UConn Today. UConn Today. Published February 21, 2012. Accessed December 25, 2022. today.uconn.edu/2012/02/even-milddehydration-can-alter-mood/

Pross N, Demazières A, Girard N, Barnouin R, Metzger D, Klein A, Perrier E, Guelinckx I. Efects of changes in water intake on mood of high and low drinkers. PLoS One. 2014 Apr11;9(4):e94754. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0094754. PMID: 24728141; PMCIDPMC3984246.

February 2023 | 50+ Living 19

Inviting Others In

Tere is something very human about the changing of the seasons, the passing of time spent together. How we all, in one way or another, are experiencing this passage of time.

So, as we welcome this month that symbolizes love for not only the seasons, but our friends, partners, and family, all the people that make life worth living, let’s make sure to bring them along with us. At the end of the day it is love that blankets us with warm feelings of belonging.

It would make sense to want to bring these heartfelt emotions to those around us.

Tis is an opportune time to take a chance, and extend an invitation to someone you would like to get to know better. Not only does inviting others into our life motivate a person to get to know you more, but also it can strengthen the relationship between you and the person you invited in. What better place to get to know people more intimately than inviting them to sit around the table, sharing a cup of tea, or a simple meal.

Food is the universal love language that is contagious. Tis language focuses on specifc actions that show you care and understand your friend, or your beloved. Research has revealed that the majority of people fnd cooking to be a total turn-on. In fact, studies show, when it comes to settling down, fnding a partner who enjoys cooking was a top priority.

If you’re cooking for someone, however simple the dish, even if they’re not present during the act, it can absolutely bring a sense of closeness in that you’re expressing your love and your care for someone. It’s a very intimate activity.

It is a delicious recipe for long-lasting love.

Wishing you a magical month, even when the world may be going a bit crazy. It can be thrilling to just keep loving life with boundless, heart-stretching enthusiasm, and gratitude.

If you are a curious person or cook join me on my Podcast ~ a taste for all seasons

Listen to the latest episode~ Necessary Endings ~   I will share my Plant Based Eggnog recipe to celebrate the month with a Cupid Cocktail. All shows on LaurieRichardone.com ~ or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

Now Available ~ Online Cooking Class Series ~ @LaurieRichardone.com/challenges Tese courses will open delicious new opportunities in your kitchen.

Laurie Richardone is an inspirational seasonal chef and certifed health coach. To work with Laurie, visit LaurieRichardone.com

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Cinnamon Spiced Plant Based Eggnog

Tis No Egg Eggnog has all the spices and warm feelings you expect from this celebratory drink.

Serves 4

Ingredient List

1 cup raw cashews, soak 5 hours, or overnight

1 cup soy or nut milk

coconut creme, unsweetened, small can

1/2 cup fltered water

1/4 cup maple syrup, or monk fruit, to taste

1 tsp turmeric, ground

1 lemon zested

pinch of salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp cloves, ground

1/8 tsp ginger ground

nutmeg, for fnishing

cinnamon sticks, star anise, for garnish


Blend together all ingredients in a high powered blender. Add more water if it feels too thick. If using, add spirits of choice. Blend briefy.

Pour into decorative glasses, and garnish with cinnamon stick, star anise, shaved nutmeg.

For extra festivity, add rum, cognac, or whiskey

Laurie Richardone is a seasonal gluten free chef and certifed health coach. To work with Laurie, visit LaurieRichardone.com

February 2023 | 50+ Living 21

How Meal Planning Can Help You Reach Your Weight Loss Goals

Losing weight isn’t easy. Reaching your weight loss goals requires careful planning and deliberate action. If you’re trying to lose weight, planning your meals will help you make smarter choices about what to eat. It’ll also ensure you make the most nutritious choices that are consistent with your weight loss goals. Not to mention, it’ll save time, money, and stress.

One reason people fail to reach their weight loss goals is that they don’t plan their meals in advance. Without planning, you’ll fall into the trap of eating what’s easiest and most convenient rather than what’s benefcial for your health and waistline.

Let’s look at some steps you can take to plan your meals in the most time-expedient manner.

Plan your meals for an entire week

Plan your meals and snacks for the next 7 days, and make a list of the ingredients you need. Tis will help you avoid impulse purchases and ensure you have everything necessary to prepare healthy meals at home.

By making a list of your favorite healthy meals and snacks that are easy to prepare, you reduce the stress of having to decide what’s for dinner. Stress isn’t good for your waistline either! Your list could include oferings like grilled chicken with vegetables, salads with grilled salmon, or Greek yogurt with fruit. Make a grocery list and ensure you have each meal planned for the next seven days.

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Plan your snacks for the week

It’s easy to reach for unhealthy snacks when you’re feeling hungry between meals. To avoid this, pack healthy snacks like nuts, fruit, or a whole-grain bread sandwich with hummus or peanut butter to take with you when you’re on the go. Tis will help you avoid unhealthy items from vending machines.

If you have a sweet tooth, fnd healthier alternatives to your favorite treats, such as fresh fruit or dark chocolate. Similarly, if you love chips and other salty snacks, opt for healthier substitutes like baked veggie chips or roasted nuts. It’s okay to indulge in your favorite treats every now and then if you do so in moderation. Plan for these indulgences in advance and ft them into your daily calorie quota.

It’s also helpful to have a variety of healthy snacks prepared, so you can have varying options depending on your mood and cravings. Keeping healthy snacks on hand can help you make better choices when hunger hits and will help you maintain a balanced diet.

Don’t deviate from the plan

When shopping for meals and snacks, stick to the plan. Once you get to the grocery store, you may be tempted to add other items to your grocery cart, especially if you’re hungry. Steer clear of the aisles with junk food and focus on getting the items on your list. Here are some other tips for staying on course:

• Try to shop for groceries afer you’ve eaten a meal or snack and when you’re not feeling down or emotional to avoid triggering emotional eating.

• Ignore the sales and discounts. Just because an item is on sale or discounted doesn’t mean it’s a good deal for your health. Stick to the items on your list, and don’t be swayed by sales or discounts on unhealthy items.

• Shop at a health-focused grocery where the store chooses the items they carry based on health.

• If you fnd it difcult to resist temptation at the grocery store, shop online. Many stores ofer delivery or pickup options, which can make it easier to stick to your list and avoid impulse purchases.

Meal planning can also save money and reduce food waste, as you will only buy what is necessary for the meals you plan to make.

Cook in bulk

Once you know what you’ll be eating for the next week, prepare as much as possible beforehand so you have less preparation to do throughout the week. Cooking in bulk can save you time and money, and it’s a way to ensure you have healthy meals on hand when you’re short on time.

Make one meal go as long as possible. Prepare a large batch of soup, chili, or a grain bowl at the beginning of the week and divide it into individual servings for easy grab-and-go meals. Keep frozen vegetables on hand that you can heat in the microwave when you’re pressed for time.

Don’t skip meals

When you skip meals, you’re more likely to overcompensate by eating more and choosing more unhealthy items later, making it harder to stick to your weight loss plan. Ensure you’re eating regular, balanced meals. Include protein and fber-rich foods with each meal to increase satiety and prevent cravings.


Meal planning is a simple and efective way to reach your weight loss goals. It takes some efort to plan out meals and shop for the ingredients, but it can save you time and money in the long run. And with the right strategies and tips, it can be a fun and rewarding process. With meal planning, you can learn how to make healthier choices, enjoy the food you eat, and reach your weight loss goals in the healthiest manner possible.


Petre A. How to Meal Plan for Weight Loss -- A Detailed Guide. Healthline. Published July 22, 2019. Accessed December 31, 2022. healthline.com/nutrition/weight-loss-meal-plan

Meal Prep: A Helpful Healthy Eating Strategy. Te Nutrition Source. Published March 20, 2017. Accessed December 31, 2022. .hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/2017/03/20/meal-prepplanning/

February 2023 | 50+ Living 23

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