Blissful Balance |
of Western NC
Homemade Goodness | Dress to Impress
2 | 50+ Living | January 2021
Blissful Balance By Gigi Steel
anything else you can do. Feel your breath as you inhale through your nose and then blow out through your mouth. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. As you blow out, imagine your problems or stresses blowing away. Calmness will wash over you as your stress level evaporates. Tune in. Music has the power to calm our nerves and alter our mood. Listening to classical music is soothing while a happy little tune can lift our spirits.
omen are notorious multi-takers. We can handle several everyday jobs at one time, effortlessly. So when the kids need to be fed, your husband needs a ride to the airport, the laundry needs folding, and the financial report is due on your bosses desk at 8:00AM the next morning, you can make it all happen with grace and poise. Yeah, right. The fact is: yes, we can make it happen, but often at the expense of our own sanity, health, and happiness. It’s essential to remember to take care of ourselves, for both our mental and physical health— just as we would care for those we love. Read on for tips to help maintain that much sought after peaceful balance.
Appreciate. Be mindful and enjoy life by being grateful and aware of your environment. Notice the pink sunset and hear the bird’s song. Observe the feel of your cozy sweater or the cool water as you take a drink. Appreciation and positive thinking keep us focused on the present moment and forces stress to take a back seat. Tea-time. A cup of tea offers more than antioxidants and hydration. The act of boiling water, dipping your tea bag in and out of the hot water, and sitting down long enough to drink the tea will all result in a quiet few minutes where you can stop and relax. Be a hugger. The power of touch cannot be overstated. We all need social interaction to keep our lives balanced and our world from becoming too small. Sneak in a snuggle and you’ll feel better.
Meditate. You can walk, crochet, or just twiddle your thumbs. Choose a repetitive activity that takes your mind off your to-do list and focuses on the present moment. When the chit-chat in mind won’t stop and your thoughts drift back to your problems or to-do list, visualize them floating up to the clouds or down a stream and bring your mind back to the mindless activity you are engaged in. Try this every day for at least ten minutes to see a real change in your stress level. Breathe. This sounds like a no-brainer, but conscious deep breathing will relax your mind as quickly as January 2021 | 50+ Living | 3
A Note From the Editor I’ve been making New Year Resolutions for most of my adult life and I’ve been amazed at how powerful one small, seemingly simple, yet conscious thought can be. Resolutions are promises we make to ourselves, and I can honestly say that some of my resolutions changed the trajectory of my life. Resolutions have helped me go from being afraid to utter a word to finding my voice. I’ve found the fearlessness I need in order to publish my thoughts. I’ve let go of being considered an “odd duck” and embraced my uniqueness. I quit being afraid to move, started to compete—and win—in dance competitions. So each year at this time, I take the notion of making a resolution seriously, and I put quite a bit of thought into the promise I make to myself. In the past, there were years when the decision of what my promise should be was clear as a bell, while other years took more contemplation. I’ve found that asking myself pointed and direct questions is helpful in finding clarity to what I want to change, develop, or celebrate. Some of my questions are: Which of my achievements am I most proud of? How well did I take care of my body and soul? Was I kind to myself and did I give myself the love and respect I give to others? What did I procrastinate on, and why? Was I accountable for my actions and did I accept responsibility for the outcome? Did I allow fear-of-failure or self-doubt to hold me back? In 2005, I wrote this piece for a now terminated magazine: We’re confident, strong, and we like who we are. We’re smart and sophisticated. We’re savvy. We have panache. We’re fearless and not afraid to take risks. We’re edgy and we’re real. We know what we want and we’re willing to work to make our dreams come true. These words still inspire and hold true for me. “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than the things you did.” I love this quote from Mark Twain—and if there was ever a time when we need to do it, that time is now. We’ve been locked down, shut out, and separated to the point of exhaustion. We spent most of the past year living in disappointment, frustration, and fear. My New Year wish for all of us is that we can live in freedom and prosperity, that we can be fearless in taking actions and risks that enrich our lives and make our dreams come true. The first step is for us to make a promise to ourselves to do something that will lead to that end. I love hearing from you. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your thoughts and ideas. By JeanAnn Taylor 4 | 50+ Living | January 2021
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50+Living of Western NC
AVL Media Inc. P.O. Box 18416 Asheville, NC 28814 828.230.7537 50pluslivingWNC.com January 2021 | 50+ Living | 5
50+Living of Western NC
PUBLISHER Tammy Sheppard firstname.lastname@example.org
“Courage is not the absence of fear, it’s overcoming it.”
CONTENTS 3 8 10 12 13 14 15 16
Blissful Balance 50+ Fitness Taylor’d With Style . . . Just Because The Classy Cook . . . Calico Beans Fitness No No’s Homemade Goodness Bloom Wintertime Skincare
EDITOR JeanAnn Taylor GRAPHIC ARTIST Joan Hutt WEB DESIGN Alphie Hyorth ADVERTISING INQUIRIES Mike Demos 828.273.0098 email@example.com Trish Luzzi 828.423.0248 firstname.lastname@example.org Terri Wells 828-776-8886 email@example.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Angel Trail AVL Media Inc. P.O. Box 18416 | Asheville, NC 28814 828.230.7537 50pluslivingWNC.com
17 Keep Your Home Cozy Why Do I Have To Make My Bed?
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6 | 50+ Living | January 2021
828-675-6875 StrongAfter50.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Group fitness for a healthy life after age 50.
CrossFit Weaverville XC Weaverville, NC
Arden 4 Long Shoals Rd. 828-333-4366 Woodfin 50 N. Merrimon Ave. 828-210-9544
Fletcher 3445 Hendersonville Rd. 828-376-3711 January 2021 | 50+ Living | 7
By Angel Trail
ife after 50 can be the most fulfilling phase of life if increasing aches, pains and health problems do not get in the way. Exercise is essential to staying healthy, but many people do not know where to start or how to adjust their current routines for their changing bodies. Professionally instructed group fitness programs can be a great way to stay healthy and social, but choosing the right program and the right trainer can be the difference between serious improvements and serious injury.
Patty was 61 when she moved to Western North Carolina. The move overstressed her body, and she was starting to have muscle aches and decreased flexibility. She was looking for a personal trainer when she found ForEver Fit, a unique group exercise program taking place at CrossFit Asheville. The program used weights and functional movements to build strength and coordination, and enhance quality of life and longevity for people over age 50. Patty had not previously practiced lifting heavy weights, but after 2 years of the program, the 64 year old can now lift greater than her body weight from the floor in a deadlift. She can squat for long periods while gardening and easily step up onto high surfaces outdoors. “I’ve gotten so much stronger and more flexible,” Patty said. “At age 64 you really want to hang on to what you’ve got. This program is a total panacea.” There are many people like Patty in WNC who participate in high intensity functional fitness programs like CrossFit. It is now widely accepted by researchers and medical professionals that people over 50 who safely lift 8 | 50+ Living | January 2021
heavy weights and perform high intensity exercise can have remarkable health benefits that counteract the normal aging process. These include positive effects on bone density, muscle mass, cardiovascular function, balance, memory, happiness, independence and longevity. Tom, a participant at Asheville CrossFit, is a physician who has been practicing CrossFit for over 10 years and is now 50. From his experience and knowledge, he believes you can be in your 70s or older and benefit from CrossFit. Because of the variety of movements performed, it prevents overuse of one muscle group, making it superior to just walking or running. Drew, now 52, has been training at CrossFit Asheville since he was 44. “What’s beautiful about it is how open it is to everybody,” Drew said. ”How flexible, welcoming and accommodating for each individual who walks through the door regardless of age, fitness level or any other characteristic.” He has experienced benefits including standing up straighter and taller with more confidence and vigor, much improved physical health and building great friendships. Most people who practice CrossFit say the sense of community and social support motivates them to continue and provides more fulfillment than the exercise alone. Marti, age 65, is an RN who has been participating in CrossFit for 15 years. “The myth of aging,” Marti said, ”is that our bodies have to decline.” With 15 years of experience training at different gyms, Marti feels it’s very important that people over the age of 50 have a good coach who understands the needs of older athletes. She said it can feel isolating to be in a class with 20 year olds and have a young, well-meaning coach who may push too hard, not understanding the fitness level of the older adult. Coaches who specialize in older adults know that with age there is less joint fluid and cushion and that repetitions have to be adjusted to avoid injury. Older adults may have limitations in mobility or old injuries that must be worked around. In our youth focused culture, there is often an unintentional lack of understanding for the older adult’s experience. The
priority of a dedicated older adults fitness coach is the wellness of her participants, which means avoiding injuries as much as possible. LeighAnne, age 51, has been practicing CrossFit for 2 years at CrossFit Weaverville X-Caliber. Her daughter invited her to try CrossFit and she hesitated, thinking she wasn’t capable of lifting heavy weights or performing high intensity exercises. She was trying to lose weight through diet, walking and jogging without success, in part due to hypothyroidism. With her daughter’s encouragement, she gave CrossFit a try and was amazed at the support she received from her coach and the people in her class. Since starting CrossFit she has lost 17 pounds and feels her energy level is much improved. Scott, age 52, who trains at Summit CrossFit in Fletcher, also experienced positive changes in body composition. “I was terribly out of shape, completely sedentary, with a total dad bod,” Scott said, describing himself before starting CrossFit two years ago. Since then he has lost 27 pounds and gained visible abs. More importantly, he says he’s never been able to move better and lift weights without joint issues the way he does now. Scott had words of advice for anyone over the age of 50 who is considering starting Crossfit. “Do it on faith for a period of time,” he said. “Keep at it and you will see better results than anything you’ve ever done in terms of endurance, health, and ability to move. Rest as hard and eat as well as you train. You can’t get away with the same things you did in your 20s, 30s or 40s.” To meet the health and fitness needs of the 50 plus population, Big Ivy Physical Therapy and CrossFit Weaverville X-Caliber are launching the new LifeLong Strong program January 18th 2021. LifeLong Strong is a comprehensive group functional fitness program that combines endurance, strength, balance and flexibility specifically for people aged 50 and over. Instructed by a physical therapist, participants will be supported to work around chronic injuries or health conditions. The guidance of a qualified coach and the support of a group of peers can be instrumental in the success of an exercise program that enhances people’s health and quality of life. It is never too late to start. January 2021 | 50+ Living | 9
Taylor’d with Style
embody more confidence, our complete mindset takes on a more positive demeanor. It also influences our living conditions. Taking the time to dress encourages us to take the time to clean By JeanAnn Taylor our space. Who wants to sit in filth or clutter when wearing a pretty skirt, fashionable pair of slacks, or even just a nice pair of leggings? A clean and clutter-free environment is proven to encourage creativity, enhance self-worth, and offers a more relaxing atmosphere.
ince the last time I sat at my laptop to write Taylor’d with Style, a lot has changed. Okay, that’s an understatement. Here we are in a new year, and as a nation we are as uncertain and confused as we have ever been. Sometimes, in the midst of chaos and conflict, what we wear may seem insignificant and trivial. In fact, trying to look our best may feel pointless when we are forced to stay home and away from our family, friends, and jobs. What’s the point of dressing nicely when we are frustrated because we can’t work on our goals and dreams, or depressed and frightened about the mumblings of another civil war? Why get dressed at all? Why not stay in our pajamas and plop down on the sofa with a big bag of chips? It’s cold anyway. This is why: our clothing choices affect our mental state in a direct and significant way. What we wear impacts our self-respect, self-motivation, and sense of dignity. The truth is that when we dress and look our best, even when home-alone, we feel better. We are more motivated to accomplish something, we 10 | 50+ Living | January 2021
The term “enclothed cognition” explains this phenomenon. Many studies show that we subconsciously adopt the characteristics of the clothing we wear. Women in the 70s began wearing “power suits” to give them an edge of confidence and authority. Imagine these same women sitting in a boardroom wearing blue jeans and flipflops—it’s not the same image. The confidence that comes from an appropriate and professional portrayal leads to making better decisions. Physicians who wear white lab coats are proven to be more focused and make fewer mistakes than those who wear casual streetwear. Children who wear uniforms to school are less likely to stray from their studies. The simple fact is that people tend to behave in ways that are congruent to how they look. Dressing well is not vanity. Our clothing influences how we are perceived and therefore how people respond to us. Like it or not, we are judged by what we wear. How we are judged and subsequently treated then translates into how we feel—and so goes the fashion/life circle. What we wear tells the world how we feel about ourselves and reveals our level of respect to others.
Suffragists understood this concept. They used their sense of style and dignity to their advantage. Even as they fought for women’s rights, they embraced their womanliness by wearing the feminine fashions of the day. They kept their integrity and self-respect intact even when they were scorned or thrown into prison. They understood that to be taken seriously, they had to present a professional and respectable image. I recently read The Last Collection by Jeanne Mackin. The story is about fashion designers Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli and their entangled lives during the beginnings of World War II. Even as the War crept closer to them, they continued to dress well. “Dressing well is resistance, revenge, pride, a form of control over forces that try to control us.” The following excerpt sums it up accurately: “What we wear gives messages about our beliefs, our hopes, our fears, from the everyday blue jeans of rebellious adolescence to the power suits women felt necessary in the 1970s. And when our clothing choices are made for us by others, part of our identity is threatened, some of our freedom is removed.”
An interesting fact I learned from The Last Collection is that one of Elsa Schiaparelli’s granddaughters, Berry, died in one of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center on 9/11. This is simply a reminder that all we have is one moment at a time, so why not dress up, just because. A couple of weeks ago, I was in a mechanics shop wearing a dress with cute boots and a beanie. In our ultra-casual, haphazard culture, I know I stood out as three people stopped to comment on my outfit. Even in the mist of the current mayhem—and in a dirty mechanics shop—their compliments lifted my spirit. How we dress sends a powerful message of who we are individually and collectively. I hope we can start the New Year by wearing clothing that leads to feelings of confidence, happiness, and authenticity. Every morning, ask yourself, “How do I want to feel today?” and then dress accordingly. What we wear matters. Think about it. Who would Wonder Woman be without her red cape?
January 2021 | 50+ Living | 11
The Classy Cook Comfort food is a must in wintry weather. This dish is easy to prepare and the leftovers can be warmed up for future meals.
Submitted by Rebecca George
CALICO BEANS INGREDIENTS 1 pound ground chuck 1/2 pound bacon 1 cup onion 2 tablespoons mustard 2 tablespoons molasses 1/2 cup catsup 1 cup light brown sugar 1 16-oz can lima beans 1 16-oz can kidney beans 1 16-oz can pork and beans DIRECTIONS Brown ground chuck and onion. Drain well on paper towel. Cook bacon and drain well on paper towel. Mix meat and onion. Add mustard, molasses, catsup, and brown sugar. Drain beans well and mix into meat mixture. Bake for 40 minutes in 350 degree oven.
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Fitness No No’s AVOID THESE COMMON MISTAKES
It’s that time of the year . . . time to take a look at our health and fitness routines, and make a plan to get back in shape. Before you take off running down the street, read these no-no’s to make sure you don’t come home with injuries on your first day of getting fit. NOT TAKING TIME TO WARM UP It is essential to warm up our muscles before beginning any exercise routine. By taking three to five minutes to warm your muscles, you will have less of a chance of injury. Give your body gentle movement and stretching at the start of your exercise session. SHRUGGING When working out, remember to press your shoulder blades down, opposed to bringing them toward your ears. The bad habit of scrunching shoulders can cause tight muscles and lead to chronic pain. POOR POSTURE It’s easy to succumb to bad posture when lifting weights. However, this can cause harm to your body when you consistently develop bad habits. Press your shoulder blades down, elongate your neck, keep your
chest lifted, your back straight, and abs tight when lifting heavy weights. STRETCHING TOO FAR There is a fine line between appropriate stretching and over-stretching. A good stretch may feel uncomfortable, but a bad stretch will feel painful. To avoid injury when stretching, reach as far as you can and then hold that stretch before reaching any further. Deep breathing can help to relax your muscles and allow a deeper stretch. NOT STAYING HYDRATED Not drinking enough water can cause muscle cramps, dizziness, nausea, and it can even cause you to faint. To avoid dehydration, drink a glass of water before beginning your exercise routine and another glass of water when you are finished. Remember, your exercise routine is a personal journey— it is not a contest. Don’t compare how far you can stretch, how far you can run, or how many pounds you can lift to anyone else. We all have our own limits and goals to fitness.
January 2021 | 50+ Living | 13
is a wintertime staple. This homemade version of hot-chocolate mix is sure to become a new favorite during this chilly winter season. Make up a batch and keep on hand for hot chocolate emergencies. INGREDIENTS 2 cups powdered sugar 1 cup cocoa powder 2 1/2 cups powdered milk 1 teaspoon sea salt 2 teaspoons cornstarch DIRECTIONS Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and whisk thoroughly to combine. Store in an airtight container, and in a cool, dry place.
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To make a single serving, fill your mug halfway with the cocoa mix, add hot water and stir. You can add marshmallows, a cinnamon stick, or a splash of Kahlua for a special treat.
Flowers have meaning and can “speak” for us when words are hard to find. The flowers for January are carnations and snowdrops.
Snowdrops are one of the first flowers to appear each spring. This dainty blossom will work its way up through the snow to reach the sunshine. They are a tiny flower that only grows three to four inches tall. As one of the few varieties of flowers that come only in one color—white, they symbolize purity. They are frequently used to express both sympathy and happy celebrations. The snowdrop’s message is a positive one, signifying hope and a bright future.
Carnations are one of the oldest cultivated flowers in the world and are used in weddings, life celebrations, and to send messages. All carnations symbolize love and affection with red signaling deep love; white—pure love; pink—a mother’s love; yellow—disappointment; and striped—rejection or regret. Their primary use in America is as cut flowers. They are also used in teas to relieve stress and depression, and in massage oils to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. January 2021 | 50+ Living | 15
DRINK PLENTY OF WATER. Water is essential for a healthy complexion. It flushes out toxins in your body and keeps your organs working properly. MOISTURIZE. Moisturizer is one of the most important beauty products available. Using an overnight moisturizer is a great way to keep your skin consistently hydrated. EXFOLIATE. Weekly exfoliation is a must to remove dead skin cells and to make room for new cell regeneration. Using a gentle exfoliation scrub can help to keep your skin glowing. Take care that you don’t over-exfoliate as this can actually reverse the healthy effects.
Wintertime Skincare Though the weather outside may be frightful, take this advice and your skin can be delightful!
DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE. This can be easier said than done, especially if you have a pesky pimple you can’t help but pester. However, touching your face can spread germs and dirt resulting in more pimples.
Each fall, the beautiful Monarch butterflies of North America migrate to Mexico. As their journey is long, they use wind speed to help them along the way. When the wind is going in their direction, they fly high to let the wind carry them. They have been known to fly as high as eleven thousand feet to take advantage of this assistance. Sometimes they fly above the clouds. When the wind is going in the opposite direction of their journey, they fly low to avoid it. These intelligent little beings will even wait patiently in low areas for the wind to calm down if it is blowing too hard. During these waiting periods, 16 | 50+ Living | January 2021
DON’T OVER DO IT. Keeping your skincare regimen as simple as possible will ensure that you don’t tire of the process and will ensure a healthy complexion.
they accumulate in large numbers. Lucky people may find curtains of hanging butterflies at night or early in the morning. When the wind is advantageous, the butterflies wait until the sun comes up to warm their flight muscles, then they fly toward their destination. You can send an invitation to female butterflies to lay their eggs in your backyard by planting milkweed. Milkweed is the food source caterpillars need when they emerge from their cocoon. Prepare a spot now so that when spring arrives, the butterflies will see your home as the perfect spot to make their home.
Keep Your Home
Place warm afghans or blankets on your chairs and sofa. These not only look comfy, you’ll be snug as a bug when you cuddle up with them. Change the colors of your decor to match the season with throw pillows. Forest green, deep magenta, indigo, or dark cerulean will complement the longer days of winter. Don’t forget flowers. Just because there are no flowers blooming outside, it doesn’t mean you can’t bring their joy and color indoors. A blooming potted plant can be enjoyed for several weeks. Light candles to give off a warm, cozy glow. Enjoy the scents of evergreen, vanilla, or jasmine.
Keep a few trinkets out. Twinkle lights placed across the mantle, glittering snowflakes Now that the holidays are over and the decorations are stored hanging in the window, and snow people away, your home may look rather empty. Here are a few ways sitting on the coffee table can keep the to give your home decor a comfy, cozy wintertime look. atmosphere “winter” without the holiday vibe.
Why Do I Have To Make My Bed? Making your bed is a simple task, only taking a few minutes. So why are so many of us reluctant to pull the sheets straight and smooth the covers down each morning? It may seem like a piddly and inconsequential chore, easily ignored, but making your bed is a great way to start your day off with an accomplishment. This minor act can then start a chain reaction for more accomplishments throughout the day. According to the National Sleep Foundation, bed-makers are nineteen percent more likely to get a good night’s sleep than non-bed-makers. This is because a neatly made bed gives off a calm, relaxing vibe. Smooth sheets simply feel more tranquil than a haphazard mess, making it easier to fall asleep. Our bedrooms are typically a place where only ourselves and family members are allowed to enter. This private, sacred sanctuary gives us the freedom to relax and express our true selves. Making our beds each morning also gives us a sense of pride in our environment, and encourages us to keep the rest of our home organized and tidy. Disorganization leads to increased stress and a scattered mind. By simply making our bed and picking our clothes up off the floor, we can lower our stress level and improve our mood. Taking the time for these tasks shows that we care about ourselves and our home. Start by doing something small — it may lead to something big. January 2021 | 50+ Living | 17