50+ Living of Western North Carolina MARCH 2023

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50pluslivingWNC.com March 2023
Western NC
Onions Adopting a Senior Dog You Really Got Me GROWING
Crispy Tofu with Charred Spring
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Homemade St. Patty’s Day Mint Milkshake


1 pint vanilla ice cream (2 cups)

1/4 cup whole milk

1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

1/2 pure vanilla extract

3 or 4 drops green liquid food coloring

Whipped cream and green sanding sugar, for garnish

Blend ingredients in a blender until smooth. Garnish with whipped cream and festive green sanding sugar, and enjoy!

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a refreshing minty milkshake.

March 2023 | 50+ Living 3
3 Homemade Mint Milkshake 8 You Really Got Me GROWING 10 Spring Cleaning a Pathway to Good Health 11 Crispy Tofu with Charred Spring Onions 12 Lifestyle & Resource Guide 14 Local Music Makers 16 Adopting a Senior Dog 18 An Ounce of Prevention... 20 Get Moving! 22 Be Happy. Let Tat Shiitake Go! CONTENTS 50pluslivingWNC.com 4 50+ Living | March 2023
March 2023 | 50+ Living 5


Tammy Sheppard



Joan Hutt


Alphie Hyorth


Peggy Ratusz

Laurie Richardone


Mike Demos 828.273.0098


Bridget Hepler 828.551.9893


AVL Media Inc. P.O. Box 18416 | Asheville, NC 28814 828.230.7537


All advertising published in 50+Living of Western NC is believed to be truthful and accurate. However AVL Media, Inc. assumes no responsibility and shall have no liability whatsoever for errors, including without limitation, typographical errors or omissions in 50+Living of Western NC. Any reference made to AVL Media, Inc. is not to be construed as making any representation, warranty or guarantee concerning the information on properties advertised in 50+Living of Western NC. The content of all ads contained herein are solely the responsibility of the advertiser. The opinions and statements contained in advertising or elsewhere in this publication are those of the authors of such opinions and are not necessarily those of AVL Media, Inc.

AVL Media, Inc. reserves the right to edit or refuse any advertising submitted to this publication

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+Living of Western NC
March 2023 | 50+ Living 7 Arden 4 Long Shoals Rd. 828-333-4366 Fletcher 3445 Hendersonville Rd. 828-376-3711

You Really Got Me GROWING

Gardening is a relaxing and productive hobby that anyone can enjoy. If you don’t have space for a full-scale garden, you can still enjoy growing delicious, fresh vegetables in containers that will ft on a balcony, deck, or patio. Many diferent types of vegetables can be grown successfully in container gardens, and the process of growing and harvesting your vegetables can provide cost savings for your food budget as well as personal satisfaction.

Types of Vegetables That Grow Well in Containers

Not all vegetables will thrive in containers. However, varieties like beans, chili peppers, sweet peppers, spinach, chard, onions, and tomatoes can all be easily grown in containers. You can grow onions, radishes, beets, and potatoes in a container. Dwarf varieties are best suited

for container gardening, as are hybrid varieties. Don’t be afraid to experiment with growing diferent types of vegetables. You may be surprised at how easy it is to grow vegetables in smaller areas.

Choose the Right Container

You can fnd a wide variety of planting containers at garden centers in plastic, wood, ceramic, and terra cotta. Containers should have holes in the bottom to allow for proper drainage. Te new fexible “grow bags” ofer another convenient option for those who want to start a container garden. Vegetables with shallow roots, like lettuce and other greens, only need pots that are 3 to 4 inches deep. Spinach requires at least 6 inches of soil for proper growth. Vegetables with deeper roots generally need about 12 inches of soil to grow comfortably. Some pots are heavier than others, and some hold moisture better than others.

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Light and Location

Position your containers in areas that provide sufcient light during the day. Plants require at least six to eight hours of sunlight for proper growth. Direct sunlight can ofen be too harsh and burn plant foliage, so place your containers where they can get difused light whenever possible.

The Right Soil Will Help Your Vegetables Thrive

You can successfully grow vegetables using diferent types of soil medium. Te most important feature of soil is that it is well-draining, which will allow moisture to be taken up into the plant without damaging the roots. Lots of organic material, dried leaves, and shredded bark will help nourish plants and wick away excess water. You can purchase pre-mixed potting soil at your local garden center or make your own soil mix with one part topsoil, one part Perlite, and one part peat moss. Composted manure, Vermiculate, and coco coir are good ingredients for your soil mix.

Watering Your Plant

Te correct amount of water is critical to the development of vegetables. Insufcient water will cause plants to wilt and die. Too much water leads to root problems and the inability of plants to take in nutrients. Generally, you should water your vegetable plants when sticking your fnger into the soil until the second knuckle indicates the soil is dry. Te amount of water needed will vary depending on location and weather conditions. Water your plants gently but deeply -- that is, until the water begins to fow from the drainage holes at the bottom. Plants prefer watering in the morning hours. Another tip: keep water on the soil, not on the plant foliage, to prevent fungal growth on leaves.

Fertilizer Facts

Plants that produce fruit or vegetables need fertilizing on a regular basis. Most vegetables need an application of fertilizer every two to four weeks. Slow-release fertilizer is a good choice for container-grown vegetables because they release nutrients gradually. However, any watersoluble fertilizer will work well for vegetable plants. Always follow package directions when applying fertilizer.

Thinning and Tying

If you sow vegetable plants from seed, you will have to thin out the seedlings to allow them enough space to grow properly. Additionally, as the plants become larger, you may have to tie the plants to garden stakes to keep them upright and prevent vines from touching the ground. Your local garden center has a number of items for these tasks.

Managing Pest Problems

Container gardens experience many of the same pest problems as traditional garden plants, such as aphids, whitefies, scale, and nematodes. Commercial pesticides are efective against harmful pests, but they also kill benefcial species of insects. Instead, choose insecticidal oils, horticultural oils, and pesticides that contain neem oil or pyrethrins.

Growing your own vegetables is a satisfying endeavor and can save you money on produce. With a little research and attention to your plants, you can produce a variety of vegetables for your table. Tese tips will get you started in creating a productive vegetable garden for your home cooking and to share with family and friends.

March 2023 | 50+ Living 9
“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow”
- Audrey Hepburn

Spring Cleaning as a Pathway To Good Health

Spring cleaning doesn’t necessarily have to point to completing arduous chores around the house. However, it is benefcial to give a deep cleaning to our living environment as it makes room for a fresh new outlook, and new experiences to come through our door. In addition to letting our home know we appreciate it. Let’s pay a little more attention to our physical and mental health and “spring clean” our wellness this season.

Our bodies and the way we connect to the world around us are a complex and sensitive ego system. Like good soil is necessary for a fourishing garden, good self care is necessary for a vibrant healthy body each season. You may fnd that resolutions made in springtime are easier to follow than the ones you try to implement in the cold, bitter winter months. We look forward to opening the windows, allowing a warm breeze to permeate through the house, and brushing us with fresh air, to clear out the cobwebs of winter.

Each Spring is an opportunity to turn to the natural world to reconnect with body, mind and soul, so we can be more connected to nature, and ourselves. For those of us fortunate to live in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, living close to nature has the power to transcend many thought induced obstacles in our life. Personally, embarking on a journey of seasonal living has been one of the most nourishing and transformational experiences. As the days lengthen and the temperatures rise, it awakens in us a compulsion to start anew, a feeling that necessitates a clean slate for the bountiful seasons ahead.

If you want to pay your health and well-being a little extra attention this spring, but don’t know where to start, here are some tips to get you started.

• Keep physically active - Put on a favorite tune and get moving. Cleaning can be a real workout.Te physical benefts include a healthy heart and body due to this consistent, low-intensity activity.

• Protect your immune system - Seasonal allergies aren’t the only thing causing that snife. Dust and pet dander usually build up over the colder months when there’s less chance for air circulation. A deep dive into spring cleaning helps to air out your home, preventing potential respiratory issues. Start the morning with a 10 oz glass of warm fltered water with half a lemon: It helps get your digestive system moving without overloading it.

• Improve focus and mood - Looking to get out of your winter funk? A little bit of spring cleaning helps clear mental space and promotes positivity. It’s a great way to relieve stress by increasing the likelihood of a positive attitude and forward-thinking mindset.

Wishing you a joyful Spring season~Laurie

If you are a curious person or cook, join me on my Podcast ~ a taste for all seasons. Listen to the latest episode~Our Tird Act In Life~All shows on LaurieRichardone.com ~ or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

Now Available Online Cooking Class Series @LaurieRichardone.com/oferings. Tese courses will open seasonal 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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Crispy Tofu with Charred Spring Onions

An easy favorful weeknight dinner. Tofu is a great source of plant protein. You can pair this dish with any greens you like, using the same method.

Serves 4

2 blocks of frm tofu

¼ cup arrowroot four

1 tsp. sea salt

ground pepper to taste

1 bunch scallions, sliced down the middle

1 tsp. ginger, grated

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp. coconut oil, to saute the tofu

2 tbsp. toasted sesame oil, for fnish

½ cup cilantro, chopped

1 lime, juiced

½ cup toasted peanuts

Method ~ Slice each block of tofu in three slices. Lay slices on paper towels to remove all moisture. Then cut small or medium size cubes. In a large bowl add arrowroot , salt and pepper. Toss the tofu cubes in arrowroot to cover all cubes.

In a large nonstick or cast iron pan, Sauté the cubes in coconut oil, until browned on all sides. Lay the tofu cubes out on paper towels to remove any excess oil.

In the same pan, sauté scallions, ginger, and garlic until charred. Add the sauteed tofu back to the pan, and shake the pan gently to coat . Squeeze lime, over the tofu, chopped cilantro, toasted sesame oil, and toasted peanuts.

Serve in shallow bowls.

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

March 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

March 2023 | 50+ Living 13

Local Music Makers

Spotlight on Musician and Mentor, Jason DeCristofaro

Jason wears numerous hats and each one fts him perfectly. As a music educator, multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, and community event organizer, his growth as a human being is in part, steeped in and around the students, faculty and staf at Warren Wilson College where he teaches music.

“Teaching music at WWC is a privilege and a dream come-true. Teir commitment to experimental learning, environmental and social justice through academics, service and work creates this wonderfully unique culture I have not seen in other institutions of higher learning.”

WNC has been Mr. DeCristofaro’s home for nearly 2 decades.

“Music, the arts and humanities in general provide an avenue towards gaining a more open and empathetic understanding of the world in which we live. It is an enormous privilege to be able to work with driven students who recognize their learning not just in the context of their academic studies, but as part of a lifelong journey towards becoming a well-rounded person and caring citizen of the world.”

It seems every reader wants to know the pivotal moments when musicians realize they want to study music, perform or both. When was that for you?

I can’t identify a specifc moment. However, I realized that music was an enormous part of my life and something I had to do when I was in high school. To this day, I can’t fully explain my drive to create, perform, and study.

You have ofen been praised for your mentoring skills, be it toward younger musicians or older adults checking of ‘learning an instrument’ and/or performing from their bucket list. How did your penchant for championing musicians begin?

I have been fortunate in my journey to know incredible people - mentors, educators, musicians who inspire and support me in a variety of ways including family, friends, and listeners. I am successful doing what I love because of this support and I hope I show the same kind of support to others who have musical goals.

Tell me about your signifcant mentor(s).

Tere are too many to list! Foremost are my parents and my brother. Having a network of a family that loves you and is always ready to help you succeed is an amazing blessing. I wouldn’t be doing what I do if it weren’t for their love and support. I’ve been fortunate to have mentors as a performing artist throughout my formal education outside of school. It’s worth mentioning that mentorship can continue

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Photo by Elliot Schwartz

throughout life. Dr. Lenora Helm Hammonds, who is the chair of Jazz Studies at North Carolina Central University, is a prolifc jazz artist, composer/ arranger and educator and I have learned and continue to learn a great deal from her. My partner Dani Cox is one of the hardest working musicians I know; her commitment to artistic excellence and honesty in her work as a songwriter and musician inspires me every day.

Talk about the instruments you are most fuent on & why you were drawn to study/learn to play them.

I always say that I am a lifelong student of the instruments I play. I think I am best known as a vibraphonist, but I have put just as many hours of work into drums, percussion, and piano. In fact, I would say I’ve put more hours into piano than any other instrument and I’ve been playing piano longer than anything else.

What is it about performing that keeps you inspired to pursue opportunities to do so?

Tis is a very simple answer but, I honestly love it! I have thought many times about why this might be but I never have a clear answer. Perhaps it is the joy of sharing what I love with others? Maybe it is the opportunity to create music in real time with fellow musicians? Again, I’m not entirely sure, but I will say that performing music is something that drives me and makes me feel alive.

I am not alone in my awe of Jason DeCristofaro. I admire his energy, tenacity and the knack he has for creating equal opportunities. He takes the time to create outlets for musicians and sees it through with passion and thoughtfulness. Te guy is never without a smile on his face and he greets novice musicians and musician-singers with the same enthusiasm and confdence as the professionals he encounters and shares stages with. For a person with as much knowledge, experience, prowess and fnesse on all the instruments he plays as Jason, this is saying something big indeed. He is a humble gentleman who is always willing to help.

For over ten years, he’s hosted Hendersonville’s weekly Jazz night at Southern Appalachian Brewery. And while the format continues to evolve, it’s a place where listeners and musicians can gather regularly around 6pm to join in or hear a variety of local and regional jazz artists that DeCristofaro spotlights and plays each week. If you go and want to sit,

plan to go early because it is ofen standing room only. If you want to sit in, make sure to visit the Facebook page he’s created frst, to get the low-down. Search: Jazz Night at Southern Appalachian Brewery.

Each Sunday for the past many years, he’s been hosting a Jazz Jam and showcase at One World West starting at 1pm. Te frst set each week, spotlights a special guest artist and the rest of the afernoon opens up to players and vocalists; impromptu, extemporaneous jazz in all its forms.

Recently he’s been added to the lineup of players at Te JLloyd Mashup also at One World West, hosted by trombonist Jonathan Lloyd. Each and every Monday night Jason plays congas/percussion for this extremely popular weekly dance band and funk fest. Another successful weekly happening you’ll want to get to early in order to get a seat.

Municipal Surf Group is an original instrumental trio where he sits behind a full drum kit to provide all the groovy rhythm that makes up surf music. Check out their schedule: https://www.facebook.com/municipalsurfgroup or their music profle page here: https://www.facebook.com/ municipalsurfgroup/

Are there other music projects/showcases that you are hosting that I forgot or that are in the works?

An original music showcase is happening every Friday at the Cedar Canteen in Cedar Mountain, North Carolina from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

To keep up with everything Jason visit his Reverbnation profle page here: https://www.reverbnation.com/jasondecristofaromusic

To learn about his copious awards and accolades, visit his website here: https://www.amicimusic.org/performers/jason-decristofaro/

And there’s always his music Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/jason.decristofaro.9/

And his Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/jasondecristofaromusic/?hl=en

And to watch him in action, visit his YouTube page here: https://www.youtube.com/jasondecristofaro

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

March 2023 | 50+ Living 15
Warren Wilson College Photo by the late Frank Zipperer

Are you considering adding a furry companion to your household? Have you thought about adopting a senior dog? Many people overlook older dogs when searching for a new pet, but they can actually make wonderful additions to the family.

Not only are senior dogs generally calmer and more welltrained than puppies, but they also come with a wealth of benefts. Tey can make great companions for people of all ages and usually adapt easily to new environments and routines. Tis post explores the many benefts of adopting a senior dog and why they deserve a second chance at a loving home. If you’re looking for a loyal and loving companion, a senior dog may be the perfect ft for you.

The Benefts of Adopting a Senior Dog

Adopting a senior dog can be a rewarding and fulflling experience for both the pet and the owner. While it’s certainly tempting to bring home a playful and energetic puppy, older dogs also have a lot to ofer. Here are just a few of the benefts of adopting a senior dog:

Why You Should Consider Adopting a Senior Dog

• Calmer and more trained: Senior dogs are ofen calmer and more well-trained than puppies. Tey have typically had more time to learn basic commands and socialize with people and other animals. Tis can make them easier to care for and less demanding of your attention.

• Lower maintenance: Older dogs are ofen more low-maintenance than puppies. Tey may not need as much exercise or training, and they are usually already house-trained. Tis can be especially appealing to busy individuals or families who don’t have a lot of time to devote to a new pet.

• Pre-screened for temperament: Many senior dogs available for adoption have already spent time in a foster home or shelter, where they have been observed and evaluated by staf. Tis can give you a good idea of their personality and behavior, making it easier to choose a dog that will ft well with your lifestyle and family.

• Instant bond: Because they are already fully grown, you can see exactly what you’re getting with a senior dog. Tey have a unique personality and character that are already formed, and it’s easy to bond with them from the start.

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• Giving a second chance: By adopting a senior dog, you are giving them a second chance at a loving home. Older dogs are ofen overlooked in favor of puppies, but they can make just as devoted and loyal companions. Adopting a senior dog can be a selfess and rewarding experience.

Senior Dogs Make Great Companions for People of All Ages

One of the great things about senior dogs is that they can make great companions for people of all ages. Tey are generally calm and well-behaved, which can make them a good ft for families with children or for seniors who are looking for a gentle companion.

Senior dogs are also ofen more adaptable to new environments and routines, which can be helpful for people who have busy schedules or may be hesitant about taking on the responsibility of a new pet. Tey are typically content to relax at home and are happy with a few short walks or play sessions each day.

If you’re an older adult looking for a companion, a senior dog can be a great choice. Tey can provide companionship, help alleviate loneliness, and encourage you to stay active and engaged with the world around you. Many older adults fnd that the companionship of a senior dog helps to improve their quality of life and overall well-being. Finally, having a senior dog isn’t as stressful for older people who fear a young dog would outlive them.

Overall, senior dogs can make great companions for people of all ages. Tey are generally calm, well-behaved, and adaptable, making them a great ft for a wide variety of lifestyles and living situations.

The Rewards of Giving a Senior Dog a Second Chance

Adopting a senior dog can be a selfess and rewarding experience. Not only are you giving a deserving animal a second chance at a loving home, but you are also providing them with the care and attention they need in their golden years.

Caring for a senior dog can be a wonderful way to show love and compassion to an animal in need. It can also be a great way to give back to your community and make a positive impact on the lives of others.

Overall, the rewards of giving a senior dog a second chance are numerous and varied. Not only are you providing a loving home for a deserving animal, you are also enriching your own life and making a positive impact on the world around you.

How to Care for and Bond with Your Senior Dog

Caring for a senior dog can be a fulflling and rewarding experience, but it does require some special consideration. Here are a few tips for caring for and bonding with your new senior dog:

• Consult with your veterinarian: It’s important to get your senior dog checked out by a veterinarian as soon as possible afer adoption. Your vet can assess your dog’s overall health and recommend any necessary medical treatment or preventive care.

• Follow a consistent routine: Senior dogs ofen do best with a consistent routine. Tis can include regular meal times, walks, and play sessions. Consistency can help your dog feel more secure and reduce stress.

• Provide mental and physical stimulation: Older dogs still need mental and physical stimulation to stay healthy and happy. Regular walks and play sessions can help to keep your dog’s mind and body active. Puzzle toys and interactive toys can also provide mental stimulation.

• Show afection: Senior dogs thrive on love and afection. Take time to cuddle, pet, and praise your dog to help strengthen your bond.

• Be patient: It may take time for your senior dog to adjust to their new home and routine. Be patient and understanding as they settle in, and try not to push them too hard or expect too much from them.

By following these tips, you can help your senior dog feel happy, healthy, and loved in their new home. With a little care and attention, your senior dog can be a loyal and loving companion for many years to come.

March 2023 | 50+ Living 17
“A dog wags its tail with its heart.”
– Martin Buxbaum

An Ounce of PREVENTION is Worth a Pound of CURE

Do you believe eating a healthy diet, staying physically active, and investing in self-care are too expensive? If you think investing in your health takes too much time and money, you need to know the facts. Far from being a money waste, investing in your health will save hard-earned dollars later.

Self-care and prevention not only lower your risk of physical health issues, but it can also reduce stress, improve concentration, and promote positive health outcomes. Plus, investing in a healthy lifestyle is linked to improved well-being and lower morbidity, mortality, and healthcare costs.

“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infrmity.”- World Health Organization

Investing in Your Health Will Help You Achieve Your Goals

Your health is a valuable resource that can help you achieve your goals and live the life you yearn for. Staying healthy gives you the physical stamina to achieve your

most challenging goals and provides the mental power and clarity to make the right decisions along the way. It also helps you maintain a sharp and agile mind, so you can think through problems and reach your goals.

Self-Care Will Increase Your Health Span

Healthspan refers to the period during which humans remain healthy and functional. It is distinct from life span, which is the number of years a person lives. Healthspan is about quality of life. By improving lifestyle behaviors and having preventive medical care, you can extend your health span and maintain a higher quality of living for longer. Healthspan encompasses physical, mental, and social well-being and includes factors such as diet and exercise, mental health, and stress management.

If you don’t invest in your health, it may be difcult or impossible to do certain things later in life. For example, if you have diabetes and don’t treat it properly, complications eventually could arise. If you aren’t physically active to preserve muscle strength and mass, you will become frail later in life and have trouble getting around.

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Self-Care Will Save Money in Healthcare Costs and Lost Productivity

Self-care doesn’t just mean treating yourself to a massage or eating your favorite food. It also means taking care of your body and mind by eating healthy, exercising, and getting enough sleep.

When you exercise regularly and eat right, you’re less likely to get sick or injured--and the less time you spend in the doctor’s ofce, the less money it costs. You might have heard prevention is better than cure, and it is.

If you have diabetes, for example, managing your blood sugar levels will help prevent diabetic retinopathy and other complications that could lead to blindness or kidney failure. If you have asthma or allergies, managing your symptoms with an inhaler could mean the diference between working and missing days because of illness.

Prevention, self-care, and a healthy lifestyle can help you avoid serious health problems -- and that means fewer doctor visits, less medication, and lower medical bills in the long run. Have you looked at the price of medications these days?

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”

Start Investing in Your Health

So know how self-care can save you money. Are you ready to get started? Get back to basics:

• Eat a healthy diet. Tis means eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and dairy products. Avoid processed foods with lots of added salt and sugar.

• Exercise regularly -- at least 30 minutes every day is ideal--and include strength training to build muscle tone and aerobic exercises to improve cardiovascular ftness.

• Get enough sleep: Most adults need seven to eight hours per night for optimum health. Skimping on shut-eye has been linked to everything from obesity to depression, so make sure you get enough rest each night before you tackle anything else on this list (you’ll have more energy!).

• If you’re still smoking, seriously consider quitting. Not only will it improve your overall health and cut down on doctor visits, but it could also save you a lot of money in the long run.

• Limit alcohol consumption if possible; alcohol abuse leads to many problems, including liver damage, which requires expensive medical treatment. Cutting back now will prevent future fnancial burdens later.

• Manage stress, whether through exercise, meditation, deep breathing exercises, or socializing with others.

The Downsides of Not Investing in Your Health

What happens if you don’t invest in your health:

• You could end up spending a lot of money on medical bills.

• You could miss important opportunities in your life.

• You could end up getting sicker and sicker.

• You could die early, missing out on the things you would’ve done if you were healthier because that last checkup was too expensive and inconvenient at the time.

Everyone can save money by investing in their health.

Tere is no reason why you can’t start investing in your health today by making small changes to the way you live your life right now. Healthy doesn’t just mean living longer -- it means living better, too. So don’t wait until tomorrow to make the ultimate investment in yourself.


Riegel B, Dunbar SB, Fitzsimons D, et al. Self-care research: Where are we now? Where are we going? International Journal of Nursing Studies. 2021;116:103402. doi:10.1016/j. ijnurstu.2019.103402.

Consequences of Insufcient Sleep | Healthy Sleep. Harvard.edu. Published 2023. Accessed January 13, 2023. https://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/consequences

Riegel B, Dunbar SB, Fitzsimons D, et al. Self-care research: Where are we now? Where are we going? International Journal of Nursing Studies. 2021;116:103402. doi:10.1016/j. ijnurstu.2019.103402

March 2023 | 50+ Living 19

Get Moving! Tips to Boost Your Exercise Motivation

Exercise motivation can be a tricky thing. It’s easy to start with great intentions, but sticking to a regular workout routine can be difcult. However, research shows regular exercise has numerous benefts, including weight loss, improved cardiovascular health, and even a boost in mood and mental well-being. So, how can you stay motivated to stick to your ftness goals? Here are some tips to help you get moving and stay on track.

Set specifc, measurable goals

Instead of saying, “I want to exercise more,” set specifc goals, such as “I want to run a 5K” or “I want to do 20 push-ups.” Having a clear and measurable goal will help you stay focused and motivated, and it will feel extra satisfying when you can check of these milestones.

First, identify what you want to achieve. Tink about the areas that you want to improve, such as strength, fexibility, or endurance. Ten, establish a timeline for your goals. Try to be realistic and create a timeline that you know you can commit to.

Create a schedule

Plan out when you will exercise each week, and stick to it. Make it a non-negotiable part of your daily routine, just like brushing your teeth or taking a shower. And don’t be afraid to make changes as needed - life happens, afer all!

Treat movement like a non-negotiable part of your daily routine, just like brushing your teeth or taking a shower. It might seem like a chore at frst, but with a little planning and discipline, you’ll be surprised how quickly it becomes a habit. And remember, the more consistent you are, the better the results you’ll achieve.

Find an activity you enjoy

If you don’t enjoy running, don’t force yourself to do it. Instead, fnd an activity that you enjoy, such as swimming, dancing, or cycling. You’ll be more likely to stick to it if you’re having fun. You may even want to try something new, like rock climbing or yoga.

Ten, set aside a few days each week to devote to your newfound hobby. It’s important to remember that this

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isn’t something you have to do; it’s something you get to do! So, have fun with it and enjoy making time for yourself.

Reward yourself

Give yourself a small reward for reaching your ftness goals. It can be something as simple as a new workout shirt or massage. A workout shirt can be a great addition to your workout wardrobe, allowing you to show of your muscles and stay comfortable while you hit the gym. And if you’re looking to treat yourself, what better way than with a massage?

A massage can help reduce stress and improve your post-workout recovery, making it a great way to relax and enjoy yourself. So go ahead and treat yourself to a workout shirt or massage - you deserve it!

Get a workout buddy

Having a workout partner can help keep you accountable and motivated and also make it more fun and enjoyable. Working with a friend isn’t just about having someone sufer through burpees and crunches together - it’s about lifing each other up and ensuring you achieve the goals you set out for yourself.

When you know you’re meeting a buddy, you’re more likely to show up, stay focused, and complete your full routine. Plus, you get to share the endorphin rush that comes with pushing yourself and reaching a new milestone.

Find inspiration

Surround yourself with people who inspire you to be healthy and active. Follow ftness infuencers on social media, read ftness blogs, and listen to podcasts. Doing so will connect you with people who can motivate and inspire you to reach your goals.

Tink about who you want to be and the type of lifestyle you desire, then fnd people online who embody these traits. You may fnd that their stories and advice are exactly what you need to ignite your motivation and keep you on track with your ftness journey.

Track your progress

Keep track of your progress, whether it’s by taking photos, keeping a journal, or using a ftness tracker.

Seeing your progress can be a great motivator. Tere are many ways to do this. You can take progress photos, keep a written journal, or use a ftness tracker to track your stats.

Seeing your progress will be a wonderful reminder of how far you’ve come and how much more you can achieve. You can look back on your journey and be proud of how far you’ve come. Plus, it’s a great way to share your progress with friends and family.

Take care of yourself

Make sure you get enough sleep, eat well, and manage stress. When you feel good physically and mentally, you’ll be more likely to stick to your workout routine. When you’re feeling good physically and mentally, you’ll be more likely to stick with your ftness goals.

A good night’s sleep is important - it helps your body rest and recover, plus you’ll wake up feeling energized. Eating a balanced diet will provide your body with the fuel and nutrients it needs to stay in top condition. Don’t forget to give yourself breaks to reduce your stress - take a walk, listen to calming music, or do some yoga.

Be patient

Remember that progress takes time. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results right away. Keep pushing yourself and remain consistent in your eforts, and you will eventually be rewarded with the results you want. You must trust the process and believe in yourself. You can do this!


Staying motivated to exercise can be a challenge, but by setting specifc goals, creating a schedule, fnding an activity you enjoy, rewarding yourself, and fnding inspiration, you can stay on track and reach your ftness goals.

Remember to take care of yourself and be patient, progress takes time. With consistency and efort, you’ll see the benefts of regular exercise in no time. So, get moving, stay motivated, and enjoy the journey to a healthier and happier you.

References: “Benefts of Physical Activity | Physical Activity | CDC.’’ 16 Jun. 2022, cdc.gov/physicalactivity/ basics/pa-health/index.htm.

“More evidence that exercise helps keep your brain ft - Harvard Health.” 10 Jul. 2017, health. harvard.edu/blog/evidence-exercise-helps-keep-brain-ft-2017071011997.

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BE HAPPY. Let That Shiitake Go!

Mushrooms are ofen included in recipes because they add favor and texture to dishes in many diferent types of cuisine. But what do you really know about this unusual food item? It’s clearly not an animal. Is it a plant? Or maybe a bacterium? Here are a few facts about mushrooms, where they are found, how they grow, and why you should include them in your everyday cooking.

Mushrooms Are a Fungus

A mushroom is defned as a fruiting body of a fungus. Although that may not sound appetizing, mushrooms have been a part of the human diet for thousands of years. Tey grow in dark, moist places, generally in shaded forest areas. Tey get their nutrition from decaying matter that is found in these environments. Tey are a type of fungus diferent from mold and mildew and can be used

as food, providing rich favor and a number of nutrients when used in cooking.

Mushrooms Can Reproduce Sexually and Non-Sexually

When spores from one mushroom fungus fnd a spore from another mushroom they can reproduce, creating more mushrooms. However, mushrooms can also reproduce on their own by creating a “bud” that develops into a copy of the original mushroom.

Mushrooms Aren’t Plants and Can’t Photosynthesize

Unlike plants, mushrooms can’t produce their own food through the process of photosynthesis. Tey must take in nutrients from outside their own structures, such as from plant matter, animal waste, and organic carbon.

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There Are Many Species of Mushrooms

Tere are over 10,000 diferent types of mushrooms that can be found in various types of environments. Of course, not all mushrooms are edible, nor are they all favorful. Te most popular types of mushrooms for cooking include:

White button









Lion’s Mane

Mushrooms Are Easy to Prepare and Enjoy

Mushrooms need very little preparation time and cook up easily to enhance favor in dishes and add hearty texture. Each type of mushroom possesses its own favor, so you can choose from the many kinds that are available to give your cuisine the perfect touch.

Mushrooms Contain A Number of Important Nutrients

Mushrooms contain several nutrients that make them a valuable addition to your daily diet. Tey contain B vitamins that support many body processes. Tey contain vitamin D for bone health and potassium for muscle strength and proper internal fuid balance. Beta glucan in mushrooms supports heart health, and the phytochemicals in mushrooms help recovery from illness and with anti-aging.

Mushrooms Can Substitute for Meat in Your Diet

You can use mushrooms as a substitute for meat in many dishes to save money, lower calories, or reduce your meat consumption. Te best types of mushrooms to use for substituting meat include Portobello for a meaty texture, shiitake for intense umami favor, or white button for a neutral, buttery favor.

Mushrooms Are a Versatile Food That Can Be Used in Many Ways

You may think of mushrooms to complement stews and casseroles, but mushrooms can do so much more. Tey can be used as a stufng for meat or vegetable dishes, in pasta sauces, as a topping for grilled meats, as a sandwich flling, as a hearty addition in soups, and for extra favor and texture in salads.

Consuming Mushrooms Offers Many Health Benefts

Mushrooms have antioxidant properties that help the body resist disease. Tey boost immune system function and can improve weight loss, prevent diabetes, reduce cholesterol levels, and strengthen bones. Mushrooms also support brain function and concentration, reduce depression, and are believed to have anti-cancer properties.

Only Those Trained in Mushroom Identifcation Should Collect Them in the Wild

During your walks in the woods, you may notice a variety of tasty-looking mushroom types growing along the way. However, some types of mushrooms are poisonous, and because they are sometimes difcult to identify correctly, unless you’re experienced in identifying mushroom types, you should resist the urge to bring them home to try in your favorite recipes. Only individuals who have received the proper training from people experienced in mushroom identifcation should collect these items in the wild to avoid consuming toxic varieties that can be dangerous to health.

Neither a plant, an animal, nor a bacterium, mushrooms occupy a unique place in the food world. Tey are both interesting and delicious and can be used in many ways. Experiment with the many types of mushrooms to fnd the ones that most complement your favorite recipes.

“Mushrooms grow in damp places. Tat is why they are shaped like an umbrella.”

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