50+Living JULY 2024

Page 1

Medicare and ACA/ObamaCare plans have designated times of the year to enroll in a new plan or make changes: Annual Enrollment Periods (AEP). For Medicare, those dates are October 15 to December 7 each year. For under 65 ACA plans, November 1 to January 15.

AND…there are Special Enrollment Periods, also known as SEP’s. Tese allow folks to start or change their coverage outside the Annual Enrollment Periods. Let’s look at some of these.

For both Medicare Part B, Medicare Advantage, Medicare RX and ACA/ Obamacare - you have a 60 day window to enroll afer you leave employer coverage. Also, when you move into a new service area, this can be from another state or sometimes from a diferent county; all above except Medicare Part B.

With our Under 65 folks : If you recently lost (or will soon lose) your Medicaid or CHIP coverage because your income is too high or other changes that make you ineligible, you may qualify to enroll in a Marketplace plan through a Special Enrollment Period

Medicare evaluates Advantage plans as to how well they are taking care of their members. Tese are “ STAR “ ratings. Plans which perform at a high level may be awarded Five Stars. You may enroll into this plan at any time of the year. Because these plans have a superior rating in terms of benefts and

What’s So “Special” About SEP (Special Enrollment Period)?

customer satisfaction, it may be worth a look, especially midyear. You would want to review if your doctors are in network, your prescriptions are covered well, the medical out-of-pocket maximum works for your budget if there are large costs and fnally the “ Extra’s” : dental, hearing, vision, gym and maybe even Part B Premium reduction.

New to our area are Medicare Chronic Special Needs Plans – CSNP’s. Tese are specifcally designed for folks with Chronic illnesses that Medicare has targeted for extra attention. Tese can include stronger benefts for medical, RX and ‘ Te Extra’s “ Tere are several in Western NC for folks with diabetes or heart disease. If you have one of these conditions, these plans are certainly worth considering. Like Five Star plans above, you may enroll into this plan at any time of the year

One exception to SEP’s are Medicare Supplement / MediGap plans. No annual enrollment period exists for these plans. However, you can apply for a new plan any time of the year. AND you must answer health questions based on current and pre-existing conditions. Te new company may accept or decline your application. Many of our clients shop their plans mid year to see if they would qualify for a more efective premium.

On a personal note, I am celebrating twenty fve years as a licensed independent agent. It has been very fulflling to bring my experience and knowledge to the service of the folks I work with.

Working for You - 25 Years - Experienced - Dedicated

Estate Sales SERVICES



Our experienced team is here for you. We have helped thousands of area clients pack, move, and liquidate furnishings, household items, jewelry, and artwork. Whether you’re moving, settling an estate, or just want to streamline your life, we can make the process easier.

Each sale is diferent, ofering something for every taste and budget! SHOP OUR UPCOMING ESTATE SALES!

to sign up for upcoming sale notifcations


WNC Bridge Foundation Estate Sales and Thrift Stores are friendly, upbeat places to volunteer. Folks of all walks and ages are making a positive impact in our community. Choose your own adventure! Interact with customers and clients by packing estates, stocking shelves, ringing up purchases. Or work in the wings sorting donations and organizing housewares, rugs, furniture, art, linens, clothing, and other hidden treasures.

Determine your own schedule—a couple of hours, a couple of days, or more.

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT VOLUNTEE RING AND THE WORK OF WNC BRIDGE FOUNDATION? Call 828.277.4888 or go to WNCbridge.org and click on the Volunteer link.

Make-Ahead BREAKFAST Recipes for Busy Mornings

Mornings can be chaotic, but your breakfast doesn’t have to be. Whether you’re a busy professional, a health-conscious individual, or part of a family on the go, these make-ahead breakfast recipes are designed to save you time without compromising on taste or nutrition. Let’s get started!

Overnight Oats

Overnight oats are the ultimate no-fuss breakfast. Tey require minimal preparation and can be customized to suit your taste and dietary preferences.


• 1 cup rolled oats

• 1 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)

• 1/2 cup Greek yogurt

• 1 tablespoon chia seeds

• 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup

• Fresh or dried fruits (berries, bananas, raisins)

• Nuts or seeds (optional)


1. In a mason jar or airtight container, combine rolled oats, milk, Greek yogurt, chia seeds, and honey.

2. Stir well to ensure all ingredients are mixed thoroughly.

3. Add your choice of fresh or dried fruits and nuts.

4. Seal the container and refrigerate overnight.

5. In the morning, give it a good stir, and your breakfast is ready to enjoy!

Egg Muffns

Egg mufns are a protein-packed breakfast option that’s perfect for meal prep. Tey’re versatile and can be flled with various vegetables, meats, and cheeses to suit your taste.


• 6 large eggs

• 1/4 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)

• Salt and pepper to taste

• 1/2 cup chopped vegetables (bell peppers, spinach, tomatoes)

• 1/4 cup cooked and crumbled bacon or sausage (optional)

• 1/4 cup shredded cheese (optional)


1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and grease a mufn tin.

2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, salt, and pepper.

3. Stir in chopped vegetables, cooked meat, and cheese.

4. Pour the egg mixture evenly into the mufn tin cups, flling each about 3/4 full.

5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the mufns are set and golden brown.

6. Allow them to cool before storing them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave for 30 seconds when ready to eat.

Breakfast Burritos

Breakfast burritos are a hearty and satisfying option that can be made ahead and frozen for convenience. Customize them with your favorite fllings for a breakfast that keeps you full and energized.


• 4 large four tortillas

• 6 large eggs

• 1/4 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)

• Salt and pepper to taste

• 1 cup cooked breakfast sausage or bacon

• 1/2 cup shredded cheese

• 1/2 cup diced bell peppers

• 1/4 cup chopped green onions

• Salsa or hot sauce (optional)


1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, salt, and pepper.

2. Cook the egg mixture in a skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently until scrambled and fully cooked.

3. Lay out the four tortillas and evenly distribute the scrambled eggs, cooked meat, shredded cheese, bell peppers, and green onions onto each tortilla.

4. If desired, add a spoonful of salsa or a few dashes of hot sauce.

5. Roll up each tortilla, folding in the sides to create a burrito.

6. Wrap each burrito in foil and store them in a freezer-safe bag or container.

7. When ready to eat, unwrap the foil and microwave the burrito for 1-2 minutes, or until heated through.

Tese make-ahead breakfast recipes are designed to simplify your mornings while providing nutritious and delicious options. Try them out and see how they can transform your breakfast routine.

Hey there, folks! Have you ever heard of electrolytes? Well, let me tell you, they’re not just for athletes and ftness enthusiasts anymore. In fact, electrolytes play a crucial role in maintaining the health and vitality of our bodies as we age.

So, what are electrolytes exactly? Essentially, they are minerals that carry an electric charge and are found in our bodily fuids like blood, sweat, and urine. Tese include sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, to name a few.

But why are electrolytes so important for the aging population? Well, as we get older, our bodies become less efcient at absorbing and retaining these vital minerals. Tis can lead to a whole host of issues such as muscle weakness, cramping, fatigue, and even cognitive decline.

However, by incorporating electrolyte-rich foods and drinks into our diets, we can help combat these efects and support our overall health and wellbeing. From coconut water to bone broth to leafy greens, there are plenty of tasty options to choose from.

When it comes to sources of electrolytes, nature provides us with an abundant variety to choose from. Fruits are an excellent go-to, with bananas being famously rich in potassium and oranges ofering a good dose of calcium and magnesium. Hydrating beverages like coconut water are also packed with electrolytes, making them a great alternative to sugary sports drinks.

The Power of Electrolytes

Vegetables are another fantastic source; leafy greens such as spinach and kale are loaded with vital minerals. Root vegetables like sweet potatoes and beets not only provide essential nutrients but also contribute to your daily electrolyte intake.

Don’t forget about dairy products either. Milk, yogurt, and cheeses contain signifcant amounts of calcium and potassium. For those who favor a more savory option, bone broth is a mineral-rich liquid that has been consumed for centuries to promote health and vitality.

Recognizing the symptoms of electrolyte defciency is crucial for maintaining optimal health, particularly as we age. Common symptoms ofen include muscle cramps and spasms, which may result from an imbalance or lack of potassium and calcium. Additionally, individuals might experience dizziness or light-headedness, ofen due to low sodium levels afecting blood pressure regulation. Fatigue and weakness are other typical signs, as electrolytes are essential for proper muscle function and energy production. More severe symptoms can manifest as irregular heartbeats or palpitations, indicating a potential defciency in magnesium or potassium. In some cases, cognitive symptoms such as confusion or irritability may also arise, signifying an imbalance that needs to be addressed promptly. Keeping an eye out for these symptoms and ensuring a balanced intake of electrolyte-rich foods can help ward of these health issues and maintain overall vitality.

Tips for Incorporating Electrolyte-Rich Foods

Incorporating electrolyte-rich foods into your diet doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are a few practical tips to help ensure you’re getting enough of these vital minerals:

Start Your Day Right:

Begin your morning with a smoothie packed with electrolyte-rich ingredients. Combining bananas, spinach, and coconut water provides a refreshing and nutrient-dense start to the day.

Snack Smart:

Keep electrolyte-rich snacks on hand, like almonds and oranges. A handful of nuts or a piece of fruit can help maintain your energy levels and stave of defciencies.

Hydrate Wisely:

Replace sugary drinks with natural alternatives like coconut water or homemade electrolyte drinks. Mixing water with a pinch of sea salt, a splash of citrus juice, and a teaspoon of honey can create a powerful hydrating beverage.

Include Veggies in Every Meal:

Aim to add a serving of vegetables to every meal. Leafy greens like kale, Swiss chard, and spinach can be easily incorporated into salads, soups, and main dishes.

Enjoy Dairy Daily:

Incorporate dairy products such as yogurt, milk, or cheese into your meals. A bowl of yogurt topped with fresh fruit can serve as a tasty and electrolyte-rich snack or breakfast option.

Cook with Broth:

Use bone broth as a base for soups, stews, and sauces. Tis mineral-rich liquid not only enhances the favor of your dishes but also boosts your electrolyte intake.

Opt for Whole Grains:

Choose whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, and oats, which contain essential minerals such as magnesium and potassium. Tese grains can be a nutritious foundation for your meals.

Incorporating a combination of these foods and drinks into your daily diet is a practical approach to maintaining your electrolyte balance and ensuring your body functions at its best. So, whether you’re in your golden years or not, it’s important to give your body the electrolytes it needs to function at its best. Trust me, your body will thank you for it!

Local Music Makers

There’s Nothin’ The Blues Can’t Heal/ Black Mountain Blues Festival

The frst blues album I listened to over and over again was BB King’s sixth studio recording called My Kind of Blues released by Chess Records in 1960. I heard it for the frst time around 1979 at a party I attended while living in Tucson, AZ. Te host spun nothing but blues records that night.

“My Own Fault” is the second track on side two. When it came on, I moved from where I was sitting, nearer to the stereo speakers to give it my full attention. When it was through, I lifed the needle and played it again. Te next day, I went to the record store and purchased that album.

Afer that, it was all over but the cryin’.

Irma Tomas’s Soul Queen of New Orleans album from 1978 was given to me by a keyboard player I knew in Tucson. I was making plans to move to Austin,Texas around that time and I made up my mind that I was going to start a band when I got there and do every song on that record.

I formed Peggy & Te Escorts and we played blues bars up and down the infamous Sixth Street in Downtown Austin.

We learned and played (and I still perform) “Hittin’ On Nothin’”, “Ruler of My Heart”, “It’s Rainin’” and “Hip Shakin’ Mama” from that album. And Irma Tomas is still the Soul Queen of New Orleans.

One of my prized possessions is a framed, limited edition New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival poster from 2008 where Irma is the subject of artist Douglas Bourgeois’ winning entry. When I’m feeling down and out, I cue up that playlist and I look at her face in that painting hanging on my ofce wall, and I’m lifed.

When I moved here in 2002, determined to continue my pursuit of playing the blues, I started by coming up with the band name I still use – Te Daddy LongLegs. Te frst guitar player I worked with, the late great Eual Owens, played his lap steel guitar on a wooden stand he crafed that was supported by what looked like the long legs of a spider. When we added 6’6” tall Duane Simpson to the lineup, the band name stuck.

It took three decades of playing the blues in Austin and here in WNC, putting out two “Blues Infused” CD’s and winning my way to the International Blues Challenge, to

fnd the confdence and give myself (a white blues vocalist) permission to produce a show and present it, honoring women in blues history; the Queens and Black Pearls of a bygone era.

I hoped that 15 years of playing the premier venues here, like Tressa’s Downtown Jazz & Blues where fve of those years I hosted a jam, aforded me the clout to shine a light on this ofen neglected sect of blues music trailblazers. It was my way to honor our foremothers, while educating blues music supporters who had become my fan base. For two hours we explored their vital contributions, we celebrated their lives through their music. Sharing their profound legacies was helping keep the blues alive in WNC.

Eddie LeShure’s Jazz Cabaret Music Series (2013-2015) and Te White Horse Black Mountain’s stage was my platform for the debut of Women in Blues History – 1920-present.

Tat was on July 25, 2014. Blues ingénue, Jesse Barry was my special guest, along with saxophone matriarch, beloved friend and journalist Ruby Mayfeld who sadly, passed away in 2021. Te band was a stellar combo of Duane Simpson on guitar, Aaron Price on piano, Joshua Singleton on harmonica, Michael Hynes on bass and Patrick Armitage on drums. Evalina Everidge and Peggy Swain were my guest student vocalists. It was a sold out show.

With an energy ignited by WNC’s love of the blues, a few eager devotees and I started a short lived, but revered Blues Society that lasted from 2009-2012. Te name, Southern Fried Blues Society was suggested by internationally acclaimed, SC native, Mac Arnold (Muddy Waters, Otis Redding, BB King, John Lee Hooker) who since 2006, continues to tour with his band, Plate Full O’ Blues. We sent Piedmont band, WSNB to the International Blues Challenge that frst year along with youth band, Skinny Legs & All.

As we come up on the 10th anniversary of the debut of my Women in Blues history show at White Horse Black Mountain, I think it ftting and serendipitous to now, invite all of you to attend the inaugural Black Mountain Blues Festival, this July 12th, 13th & 14th.

Produced by an energetic team consisting of LEAF Global’s Leigh Maher, artist curator Melissa McKinney, and White Horse Black Mountain’s owner and manager, Bob Hinkle and Mary Ellen Davis respectively, this will be a history making event I encourage you to attend.

Six Black Mountain venues will host 46 bluescentric acts that include a diverse assortment; hundreds of local, regional, national and international musicians and

musician-singers. Guitarist Kelly Jones, bassist Zack Page and I are honored to be among them.

From the pen of co-director Leigh Maher, “LEAF Global Arts and White Horse Black Mountain collaborate to create a new event to honor the tradition of the Blues while also nodding towards the future and acknowledging its deep roots.”

Writer and digital creator, Pramela Tiagesan’s engaging interview with Melissa McKinney can be found on the Festival’s website (www.blackmountainblues.org).

Pramela writes: “…Melissa McKinney is a passionate advocate for music education, driven by second chances and fresh starts. Her role aligns perfectly with Black Mountain Blues’ mission to ofer an authentic experience that pays homage to the roots, soul, and historical importance of Blues Music through education, community, music, and a celebration of resilience.”

From their interview:

PT: “What impact do you hope the Black Mountain Blues experience will have on attendees?”

MM: “I aspire for every attendee to leave with a renewed passion for the Blues, a deep appreciation for its history, and a list of Blues artists to follow and love. Experiencing great music has a way of getting our “souls shined up” – I hope that Black Mountain Blues is a soul shining experience for everyone who is a part of it.”

I wrote a song called “Blue Persuasion” back in 2009 that honor’s many of my infuences. I believe the last line of the lyric encapsulates the sentiments this music invokes: “Tere’s nothin’ the Blues can’t heal.”

Pegg y’s July shows and gigs:

Thurs July 4th – River Arts District Brewing with Kelly Jones, Time TBD Sat July 6th – Invitational Blues Showcase, One World West 4pm-7pm Sat July 13th – Black Mountain Blues Festival, Foothills Grange 1:15pm-2:30pm Thurs July 18th – River Arts District Brewing with Kelly Jones, with special guest Jenny Bradley 7pm-9pm Fri July 19th – Tryon Summer Tracks Music Series, Rogers Park Amphitheater – Sweet Summer Rock & Soul Revue, 7pm Sun July 21st –Oklawaha Brewing Co, Hendersonville, 2pm-5pm Sun July 28th – Southern Appalachian Brewing, Hendersonville with Bob Songster & Adam Rose 4pm-6pm

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

Lifestyle & Resource


Asheville Realty & Associates - Bob Ray

1308-A Patton Avenue, Asheville


I specialize in Senior Real Estate Representation. I am an Asheville native with 28 years experience in our market. www.ASHREAL.com Bob@ashreal.com, call, text, or email me.

Blue Ridge Properties Group

22 N. Main Street, Weaverville


“We’ve got agents who remember encyclopedias, the Eagles and life before Netfix. Tey’ve kept up with technology but haven’t forgotten how to interact with real people. Tey have experience, extensive area knowledge and are just plain fun to work with. Looking to buy or sell, give us a call!”

Century 21 Mountain Lifestyles - Martha Lowe

1210 Hendersonville Road, Asheville


“I love homes and I love people”!  My experience includes 34 years in banking as well as 20 years in real estate.  I want to earn your business.

C entury 21 Mountain Lifestyles - Owen Fields

1210 Hendersonville Road, Asheville


2011 Asheville Realtor of the Year.  Specializing in estate sales.  Available nights and weekends.

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




Anderson Real Estate Solutions

94 Anderson St, Mars Hill 828-206-9658

I specialize in Mars Hill Real Estate.  A quiet, relaxed community with a vibrant main street with shopping and dining.  Home to Mars Hill University.


Results - Elizabeth Jones

115 N. Main St., Weaverville 828-226-2269

With years of experience working with Buyers, Sellers and Small Commercial it is my goal to complete transactions with well satisfed customers! I will work hard to earn your trust and build lasting relationships. Let me be your Real Estate Go-To Expert!

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


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


Elite Hearing Centers of America

Tammie Crawford

145 Weaver Blvd, Weaverville


We carry the industry’s leading manufacturers of hearing aids at some of the most afordable prices. www.elitehearingcenters.com

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

McCraw Insurance

Rena McCraw Agent


578 Upward Rd, Suite 1, Flat Rock, NC 28731

Open M-F 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Specializing in Life, Health, Medicare, Home Health Care, Dental and Vision

Te Medical Loan Closet Of Henderson County, Inc.

1225 7th Ave. East, Hendersonville


Days:  Tuesday and Friday Only Hours:  12:30-4:30

We meet short term needs for durable medical equipment at a nominal cost. Beyond the cost savings, we strive to provide a compassionate environment which reduces the stress of inherently stressful situations for clients.

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


Baked Pie Company

4 Long Shoals Rd, Arden 828-333-4366

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


5 Little Monkeys Quilt & Sew

32 N. Main St, Weaverville. 828-484-7200

Fabric, Supplies, Longarm Quilting and Machine Service.   Our passion is supporting all people in their desire to learn to sew and quilt.

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

Tyme In Te Garden

190 Weaverville Hwy, Asheville. 828-658-3700

A unique garden and gif shop ofering whimsy to the refned, bringing the outdoors in.

What Your TOOTS Can Tell You About Your HEALTH

Let’s be real here—everyone farts. Yup, even your grandma, your boss, and that celebrity you idolize. And while we usually giggle or cringe at the sound (and smell) of a fart, did you know that your farts can actually tell you a lot about your health? Yes, those toots aren’t just funny but they can be pretty revealing too!

Why Do We Fart?

First things frst, let’s clear the air (pun intended). Farting, or fatulence, is completely normal. It’s your body’s way of expelling excess gas that’s built up in your digestive system.

Tis gas can come from diferent sources like:

• Swallowed air: Every time you eat, drink, or chew gum, you swallow a bit of air too.

• Digestion: When food breaks down in your stomach and intestines, gas is released.

• Gut bacteria: Your intestines are home to trillions of bacteria that help digest food. Tese little guys release gas as a byproduct.

The Symphony of Sounds

Not all farts are created equal. Some are loud and proud, while others are silent but deadly. Te sound of your fart is infuenced by a few factors:

• Speed of gas release: Faster gas makes a louder noise.

• Tightness of the anal sphincter: A tighter sphincter produces a higher-pitched fart.

• Volume of gas: More gas equals a longer fart.

Now, let’s break down what your farts could be telling you!

The Stinky Truth

Smelly Farts

If your farts are clearing rooms, you might want to take a closer look at your diet. Certain foods are notorious for producing stinky gas:

• High-fber foods like beans, lentils, and broccoli

• Sulfur-rich foods like eggs, garlic, and onions

• Processed foods and artifcial sweeteners

Te good news? Smelly farts are usually not a cause for concern. Tey’re just a sign that your digestive system is hard at work.

Frequent Farts

Are you farting up a storm? While it’s normal to fart between 5 and 15 times a day, excessive fatulence might be a sign of:

• Dietary changes or new foods

• Swallowed air from eating too quickly or chewing gum

• Digestive issues like lactose intolerance or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

If you’re concerned about the frequency of your farts, it might be worth chatting with a healthcare professional.

The Silent But Deadly Ones

We all know about the silent but deadly farts—the ones that sneak up on you and make everyone around you wish they had a gas mask. Tese farts can be particularly stinky because they ofen contain higher concentrations of sulfur gases. Foods like meat, eggs, and cruciferous veggies (think caulifower and Brussels sprouts) are common culprits.

When to Worry

While most farts are harmless, there are a few red fags to watch out for:

• Persistent pain or bloating

• Blood in stool

• Unexplained weight loss

• Changes in bowel habits

If you experience any of these symptoms alongside excessive or particularly smelly farts, it’s a good idea to see a doctor.

Tips to Tame Your Toots

If your farts are causing you (or those around you) distress, here are some tips to keep them in check:

• Eat slowly and avoid swallowing air.

• Chew your food thoroughly to aid digestion.

• Limit high-fber foods if they’re causing issues.

• Stay active to help move gas through your digestive system.

• Avoid carbonated drinks and chewing gum.

• Keep a food diary to identify any trigger foods.

Bottom Line

Farting is a natural part of life, and your body’s way of letting you know it’s working hard to keep you healthy. While they might be embarrassing, your farts can provide valuable insights into your digestive health. Te next time you’re about to blush afer a toot, take a moment to appreciate your body’s efciency—and maybe have a laugh while you’re at it! And hey, if anyone gives you a hard time, just tell them it’s a sign of good health!

Enlightened Hospitality

Hospitality is the practice of providing a warm and welcoming environment.

“Enlightened Hospitality” is a play on words, merging “enlightened” and “hospitality.” It suggests a hospitality approach that is warm and welcoming, but also spiritually enriching.

Enlightened Hospitality is a business philosophy coined by restaurateur Danny Myers. It emphasizes the importance of prioritizing the wellbeing and satisfaction of employees frst, followed by guests, community, suppliers, and investors: In that order.

According to Danny Myers, to have high hospitality behavior, there are six emotional skills he gives attention to when he is putting a team together: “ Kindness, optimism, work ethic, curious intelligence, empathy, and integrity”. Whether in business or our personal lives, this philosophy can enrich the quality of our relationships.

Let’s break it down a bit:

Kindness - it’s the quality of being generous, and considerate towards others.

Optimism - it is a positive mindset or attitude.

Work ethic - refers to a set of values that guide us in our approach to work.

Curious intelligence - the ability to be inquisitive and seek out new knowledge.

Empathy - the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

Integrity - the quality of being honest in one’s actions and interactions.

I have learned that hospitality is an important asset to develop in our lives.

Tis idea of Enlightened Hospitality goes beyond traditional hospitality, we are giving our complete attention to something, or someone because we care: Tis has the power to transform not only the hospitality industry but is a force for positive change, and a deeper connection to the people that come into our lives.

How could this philosophy be applied to improve the quality of our relationships, with ourselves, and the people around us?

1. Self-Care First: Just as enlightened hospitality prioritizes employees, start with taking care of yourself. Ensure you are physically, emotionally, and mentally healthy. Tis might include practicing self-compassion, setting boundaries, and engaging in activities that replenish you.

2. Family and Friends: Focus on building strong supportive relationships, with family and friends. Show them appreciation, listen actively, and spend quality time together. Being present and engaged can foster deeper connections.

3. Community involvement: Engaging with our community whether volunteering, or supporting local businesses, or events, can provide a sense of belonging and mutual support.

So why is this important? It creates positive experiences, ultimately building stronger communities and a more nurturing world.

How do we cultivate this skill in our own lives?

For some, it comes naturally, we were nurtured to be hospitable: For others, it has to be cultivated. Either way, it is a skill to be practiced.

In essence, hospitality is the practice of providing a welcoming environment for not only guests but for our relationships as well. It’s where the goal is to create positive experiences and build lasting connections.

In today’s culture separation has become the norm. We all crave genuine connection. Enlightened Hospitality, serves as a guiding light ofering experiences that lif us and enrich our lives.

Tink of Enlightened Hospitality as the art of making someone feel seen, cared for, and even cherished. Connecting with others matters. May we always open our doors, minds, and hearts to the beauty of true hospitality.

May your path be flled with generous hospitality.

If you are a curious person or cook join me on my Podcast ~ A Taste for All Seasons

Listen to the latest episode ~ Enlightened Hospitality

All episodes are on LaurieRichardone.com ~ or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

Laurie Richardone is an inspirational seasonal chef and Certifed Wellness Coach To work with Laurie, visit LaurieRichardone.com/contact


This Risotto illustrates bringing a traditional dish into the present through technique and ingredients. Risotto is plated in a fat mound on a shallow plate with a rim in Italy.

Risotto Ingredients

1 1/2 cup arborio rice

5-6 cups plant-based broth

1 onion, small chop

2 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1/2 white wine

1 tsp. sea salt

1 cup parmigiano reggiano, grated

8 asparagus spears, thinly sliced, or summer squash, thinly sliced

Verde Puree Ingredients

2 cups celery leaves, blanched

2 cup parsley leaves, blanched

1/2 lemon, zested

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup high-quality extra virgin olive oil

1 cup creme fraiche, or mascarpone, optional

Method for Risotto

Melt the butter and olive oil in a large sauté pan, add the onion, and cook over low to medium heat for 5-7 minutes (stirring often). Season with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

Add the rice, and stir thoroughly. Cook rice for 4-5 minutes. We want to toast the rice slightly. Add the white wine to the rice, and cook until it is mostly absorbed into the rice.

Begin by pouring 1 cup of broth (keep the broth warm on the stovetop).

Simmer until the broth is almost absorbed while stirring it into the rice. Keep the heat on low to medium and add 1/2 cup of broth slowly until all 6 cups are entirely absorbed into the rice.

Taste the risotto after 20 minutes of cooking. You want the rice to be tender to the bite, but frm. It takes about 30 minutes to cook.

When the rice has reached a tender but frm consistency, fold in the parmigiano reggiano. Suppose you are using, fold-in the creme fraiche or mascarpone.

Take the risotto off the heat. Fold in the lemon zest, and verde puree. Taste it for seasoning

Verde Method

Remove all the stems from the leaves of the herbs. Place the leaves in salted water, barely boiling, for 20 seconds. Place the leaves in an ice bath to stop the cooking. Strain the leaves, removing all the water. Blend the leaves, olive oil, salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon with an immersion blender, or small food processor. Blend until it forms a smooth consistency. This gets folded into the risotto at the end of cooking.


Layer the top of the risotto with thin overlapping asparagus stalks, or summer squash, but leave the edges of the risotto exposed. Save some herbs for garnish around the risotto.

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


Migraine is ofen referred to as a chronic neurological disorder that afects millions of people worldwide. It is a debilitating condition that can cause throbbing pain in the head, sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, and vomiting. Tough a migraine headache can be extremely painful, it is not a simple headache. In fact, a migraine is a complex condition that involves various stages and symptoms. Understanding the nature and characteristics of this condition is crucial to help those who sufer from it, both in terms of prevention and treatment. So, let’s dive in and explore the fascinating world of migraines.

Types of Migraines

Migraines can be categorized into several types, each presenting unique symptoms and triggers. Te primary types include:

Migraine without Aura: Tis is the most common type, characterized by a headache phase without any preceding sensory disturbances. Individuals may experience intense throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head, along with nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound.

Migraine with Aura: Tis type includes neurological symptoms known as auras that typically occur before the headache phase. Auras can manifest as visual disturbances like fashing lights, zigzag patterns, or even temporary vision loss. Some people might also experience sensory changes, such as tingling or numbness, and even difculties with speech or motor skills.

Chronic Migraine: Defned as having headache days on 15 or more days per month for at least three months, with at least eight days meeting criteria for migraine. Chronic migraines can be particularly disabling and ofen require comprehensive management strategies.

Hemiplegic Migraine: Tis rare type of migraine is characterized by temporary paralysis or weakness on one

side of the body, resembling a stroke. It can also include visual disturbances and speech difculties. Hemiplegic migraines can be frightening, but the symptoms usually resolve afer the migraine attack.

Retinal Migraine: A rare form that afects vision in one eye. People with retinal migraine may experience a temporary loss of vision or visual disturbances before or during the headache phase. It is essential to distinguish this from other ocular conditions to ensure proper treatment.

Menstrual Migraine: Tese migraines are linked to hormonal changes and typically occur in conjunction with a woman’s menstrual cycle. Te treatment ofen involves hormonal therapy or medications that specifcally address these hormonal fuctuations.

Identifying the type of migraine one sufers from is crucial for efective treatment and management. Each type may require diferent approaches regarding medication, lifestyle changes, and preventative measures.

Phases of a Migraine

Migraine attacks can be broken down into four distinct phases, each with its specifc symptoms and characteristics. Understanding these phases can help individuals recognize the onset of a migraine and take appropriate measures to manage the pain and other symptoms.

Prodrome Phase: Tis initial phase, also known as the premonitory phase, can begin hours or even days before the headache itself. During this phase, individuals might experience subtle symptoms such as mood changes, food cravings, neck stifness, increased thirst, frequent yawning, and gastrointestinal disturbances. Recognizing these early signs can be crucial for early intervention and treatment.

Aura Phase: Not everyone experiences this phase, and it is more common in those with migraine with aura. Auras

typically manifest as visual disturbances like fashing lights, zigzag lines, or blind spots. However, auras can also include sensory, motor, or speech disturbances, such as numbness or tingling in the face or hands, weakness, or difculty speaking. Tese symptoms usually develop gradually and last for a short period, generally from a few minutes to an hour.

Headache Phase: Tis is the phase most people associate with migraines. It is characterized by intense, throbbing pain that is typically localized on one side of the head but can occur on both sides. Te headache phase can last from several hours to three days and is ofen accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light, sound, and even smells. Physical activity can exacerbate the pain, leading suferers to seek a quiet, dark environment.

Postdrome Phase: Also known as the resolution phase or migraine hangover, this phase occurs afer the headache has subsided. Individuals may still feel drained and fatigued for up to 24 hours. During this time, they might experience symptoms such as confusion, moodiness, dizziness, and sensitivity to light and sound. Tough the pain has diminished, the postdrome phase can still be quite debilitating.

Understanding the phases of a migraine can help individuals recognize and manage their symptoms more efectively, ultimately leading to better outcomes and improved quality of life.

Tips for Managing Migraines

Managing migraines involves a combination of lifestyle adjustments, preventative measures, and symptomatic treatments. Here are some efective tips to help mitigate the frequency and severity of migraine attacks:

Maintain a Regular Routine: Establishing consistent sleep, meal, and exercise routines can help prevent migraine triggers. Regularity in daily habits can stabilize your body’s internal clock and reduce the likelihood of migraines.

Identify and Avoid Triggers: Keeping a migraine diary can be benefcial in pinpointing specifc triggers such as certain foods, stress, hormonal changes, weather fuctuations, or lack of sleep. Once identifed, try to minimize exposure to these triggers.

Stay Hydrated: Dehydration is a common migraine trigger. Ensure you drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay adequately hydrated.

Practice Stress Management: Stress is a signifcant trigger for many migraine suferers. Engaging in relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises, or progressive muscle relaxation can help manage stress levels.

Medication and Supplements: Consult with a healthcare professional about appropriate medications for both acute treatment and prevention of migraines. Sometimes, supplements like magnesium, ribofavin (vitamin B2), or coenzyme Q10 can also be benefcial in reducing the frequency of migraines.

Dietary Changes: Certain foods and drinks may trigger migraines, including aged cheeses, processed meats, alcohol, and cafeine. Adopting a balanced diet and avoiding trigger foods can play a crucial role in managing migraines.

Maintain Good Posture: Poor posture, especially during long hours of sitting or working at a computer, can lead to tension in the neck and shoulders, which may trigger migraines. Ensure you maintain good ergonomic practices.

Get Regular Exercise: Engaging in regular physical activity can help reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. However, it’s essential to adopt a gradual and consistent exercise routine, as overexertion can sometimes trigger migraines.

Create a Migraine-Friendly Environment: During a migraine attack, seek out a quiet, dark room to rest until the symptoms subside. Using earplugs, eye masks, or blackout curtains can also help.

Seek Professional Help: Regular consultations with healthcare providers, including neurologists or headache specialists, can help in crafing a personalized migraine management plan. Tey can provide guidance on the latest treatments and therapies available.

By integrating these tips into daily life, individuals sufering from migraines can efectively manage their condition and enhance their overall quality of life.

Making a Splash how SWIMMING Burns Calories

Swimming has long been regarded as one of the best forms of physical exercise. Not only is it a low-impact workout that is easy on the joints, but it is also a great way to tone muscles and improve cardiovascular health. In fact, swimming has been shown to be one of the most efective forms of exercise for people of all ages and ftness levels. Whether you are a seasoned athlete or just starting out, swimming can help you achieve your ftness goals and improve your overall health and well-being. So, why is swimming such a great workout? From burning calories to reducing stress, we will show you just how swimming can transform your body and mind. Get ready to dive in and discover the amazing benefts of this incredible form of exercise.

How Does Swimming Burn Calories?

Swimming is an excellent calorie-burning exercise due to its high energy demand. When you swim, your body works harder to maintain buoyancy and propel through the water, leading to a high rate of energy expenditure. Te combination of aerobic and anaerobic exertion during swimming ensures that a signifcant number of calories are burned, making it an efective way to manage weight and enhance ftness. Te amount of calories burned while swimming varies depending on factors such as intensity, duration, stroke type, and individual body weight. For example, a vigorous freestyle or butterfy stroke can burn more calories compared to a leisurely backstroke or breaststroke.

Moreover, because swimming is a full-body workout, it engages multiple muscle groups simultaneously, contributing to higher calorie consumption. Te resistance provided by the water adds an additional challenge, requiring more efort and muscle activation compared to exercises performed on land. Additionally, swimming improves metabolism as the body’s demand for oxygen remains elevated during recovery periods, causing it to burn calories even afer the workout has ended. Tis aferburn efect, also known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), further increases the total caloric burn associated with swimming.

Tere are several diferent swimming strokes, each ofering unique benefts and targeting various muscle groups. Te four main strokes used in competitive swimming are freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfy.

Each of these strokes brings distinct advantages and can be incorporated into a well-rounded swimming routine to maximize overall ftness and muscle development. By mastering diferent strokes, swimmers can achieve a more versatile and comprehensive workout, ensuring that all major muscle groups are engaged and challenged.

Mental Health Benefts of Swimming

Swimming is not just benefcial for physical health; it also has a signifcant positive impact on mental health. Engaging in regular swimming sessions can lead to reduced stress levels, as the rhythmic movements and the buoyancy of the water promote relaxation and tranquility. Te act of gliding through water provides a form of moving meditation, which can lower cortisol levels, the hormone associated with stress. Furthermore, swimming releases endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals, which can help alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Te social aspect of swimming should not be overlooked either. Whether participating in a team, a class, or simply meeting fellow swimmers at a local pool, the social interaction can enhance a sense of community and belonging, combating feelings of loneliness. Swimming also encourages mindfulness as it requires focus on technique, breathing patterns, and body position, efectively diverting attention away from everyday worries and fostering a sense of presence in the moment.

Additionally, the improved sleep patterns associated with regular physical activity, such as swimming, contribute to better mental health. Better sleep can lead to enhanced cognitive function, reduced irritability, and a more balanced emotional state. Overall, the mental health benefts of swimming are vast, making it a holistic exercise that nurtures both the body and the mind.

Aloha friends! Buckle up and get ready to be whisked away to a tropical paradise with this mouth-watering pina colada recipe!

If You Like Pina Coladas


2 cups of pineapple chunks (fresh or canned)

1/4 cup of coconut cream

1/4 cup of white rum

1/2 cup of ice

Pineapple slices and cocktail umbrellas for garnish (optional)


1. First, grab your blender and throw in those juicy pineapples. Don’t be shy, add as much as you want.

2. Next up, scoop in that creamy coconut cream like you’re splashing onto a deserted island.

3. Time to add some booze, pour in that white rum and let the good times roll.

4. Last but not least, add that ice to give your pina colada a frosty and refreshing fnish.

5. Blend everything together until it’s smooth and creamy, just like your sun-kissed skin afer a day on the beach.

6. Pour your delicious pina colada into a tall glass and add a slice of pineapple and a cute little umbrella for that extra island vibe.

7. Sit back, relax, and sip on your tropical creation with your toes in the sand and the warm sun on your face.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your blender and some ingredients and start mixing up a little slice of paradise with this pina colada recipe. Cheers to good times and great drinks!

Kick the SODA HABIT with these Healthy Alternatives

Are you tired of constantly feeling sluggish and bloated from your daily soda habit? It’s time to kick the fzz and embrace a healthier lifestyle. While soda may seem like a harmless beverage choice, it’s loaded with sugar, artifcial sweeteners, and empty calories that can wreak havoc on your body. By ditching the soda and opting for healthier alternatives, you’ll not only improve your overall health, but you’ll also save money and reduce your environmental impact.

The Health Effects of Soda

Consuming soda on a regular basis can lead to several adverse health efects. One of the most signifcant is weight gain, as the high sugar content and empty calories in soda contribute to an increased caloric intake without providing any nutritional value. Tis can lead to obesity, which is a risk factor for a plethora of conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. Moreover, the high fructose corn syrup commonly found in sodas can contribute to insulin resistance, paving the way for metabolic disorders.

In addition to the risk of weight gain and metabolic issues, soda can negatively impact dental health. Te acids in soda,

particularly phosphoric and citric acid, erode tooth enamel, leading to cavities and tooth decay. Te high sugar content also feeds harmful bacteria in the mouth, exacerbating these dental problems.

Soda consumption has also been linked to decreased bone density. Te phosphoric acid found in many sodas can interfere with calcium absorption, weakening bones over time and increasing the risk of osteoporosis. Cafeine, another common ingredient in soda, acts as a diuretic and can lead to calcium loss through urine, further amplifyingthis efect.

Finally, regular soda intake may afect mental health. Studies have shown a correlation between high sugar consumption and mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Te sugar rush followed by a crash can lead to mood swings and decreased mental clarity.

Tips for Breaking the Habit

Breaking a soda habit can be challenging, but with the right strategies, it’s entirely achievable. Here are some tips to help you make the transition:

1. Gradual Reduction: Instead of quitting cold turkey, try gradually reducing your soda intake. Start by cutting down to one soda a day, then one every other day, and so on. Tis can help your body adjust slowly, making the process less daunting.

2. Hydrate with Water: Increase your water intake. Ofen, thirst is mistaken for a craving for soda. Keeping a water bottle with you at all times and sipping it throughout the day can help keep cravings at bay. Consider adding a slice of lemon or cucumber for a refreshing twist.

3. Find Alternatives: Look for healthier alternatives to replace soda. Sparkling water, herbal teas, and natural fruit juices (without added sugars) can provide the fzzy, favorful experience you enjoy without the negative health efects.

4. Mindful Eating: Sometimes, cravings for soda arise from habits developed over time, such as always drinking soda with specifc meals or during particular activities. Be mindful of these habits and try to break the association by substituting soda with healthier options like a glass of iced tea.

5. Reward Yourself: Set short-term goals and reward yourself when you achieve them. For instance, if you go a week without soda, treat yourself to something enjoyable yet healthy, like a new book or a yoga class.

6. Accountability Partner: Find a friend or family member who also wants to quit soda, and support each other in the journey. Having an accountability partner can provide motivation and make the process more enjoyable.

7. Stay Busy: Soda cravings can ofen arise when you’re bored. Engage in activities that keep you busy and distract you from thinking about soda. Exercise, hobbies, or even simple activities like cleaning can help shif your focus.

Delicious Soda Alternatives

Making the switch from soda to healthier beverages doesn’t mean you have to sacrifce favor or enjoyment. Tere are numerous delightful and refreshing alternatives that can satisfy your thirst and provide essential nutrients your body needs. Here are a few options to consider:

1. Sparkling Water with a Twist: Plain sparkling water can be a great substitute if you miss the fzziness of soda. You can enhance the favor by adding a splash of natural fruit juice, or by infusing your water with fresh fruits like berries, citrus slices, or herbs such as mint and basil.

2. Herbal Teas: Whether served hot or cold, herbal teas come in a variety of favors and can be equally refreshing and satisfying. Popular options like peppermint, chamomile, and hibiscus can ofer rich favors without the added sugars and calories.

3. Kombucha: Tis fermented tea is not only efervescent but also rich in probiotics, which are benefcial for your gut health. Available in an array of favors, kombucha can be a tasty and healthful soda substitute. Just be mindful of the sugar content, as some commercially available kombuchas can be on the sweeter side.

4. Coconut Water: Packed with electrolytes, coconut water is a natural and hydrating option. It’s slightly sweet with a subtle, nutty favor and can be enjoyed on its own or blended

with other juices and smoothies.

5. Infused Water: Create your own naturally favored water by adding slices of cucumber, lemon, lime, or strawberries. You can also experiment with adding herbs like rosemary or thyme for a unique twist, providing a refreshing and favorful way to stay hydrated.

6. Natural Fruit Juices and Smoothies: Opt for 100% natural fruit juices with no added sugars, or better yet, make your own at home. Smoothies made from fresh fruits, vegetables, and a bit of yogurt or milk can be incredibly delicious and nutrient-dense, ofering a flling and enjoyable drink.

7. Iced Green Tea: Green tea is high in antioxidants and can be a great alternative to soda when you crave something favorful. Brew your own iced green tea at home and add a natural sweetener like honey or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for added favor.

Tese alternatives not only help you break free from your soda habit but also contribute to your overall well-being. With so many tasty options available, you’ll never miss soda again.

By implementing these strategies, you’ll be well on your way to breaking free from the soda habit and embracing a healthier lifestyle. Remember, the key to success is persistence and gradually making healthier choices every day. So let’s raise a glass to a soda-free life and drink to your health!

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