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DOES MARRIAGE STILL MATTER?

MODERN WOMAN FALL/WINTER 2015

LOL! Life's best medicine

Cancer 8Survivors Their journeys to healing

Soledad O’Brien

Empowered and transforming lives

Find your Zen in yoga

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BAGS, BANGLES & BOOTS MONEY, SKILLS CAREER THE SKINNY ON DETOX DIETS

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MODERN WOMAN FALL/WINTER 2015

HARVEST TABLE Pair a fine wine with these fall-friendly dishes.

Features 26

A Purposeful Path

DOUG KAPUSTIN

Award-winning journalist, producer and philanthropist Soledad O’Brien finds new opportunities to tell important stories.

30

36

Laugh On

Laughter really is the best medicine. Learn why, and put these funny women on your radar for the next time you need a laugh.

47

Getting Through

After diagnosis comes the struggle of treatment. Eight breast cancer survivors share what helped on the journey back to health.

COVER PHOTO: TODD PLITT


MODERN WOMAN FALL/WINTER 2015

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Up Front Fall Back Fashion Tress Trends Super Food Beauty Coffee and Your Health Cleanse Trends Subscription Snacks Emoji Etiquette

MEET OUR MODERN WOMEN 55 HEALTH Randi Zuckerberg

Departments HEALTH

56 Yoga Your Way 58 Wrinkles Debunked 62 From Overwhelmed

67 RELATIONSHIPS Jasmine Diaz 75 MONEY & CAREER Farnoosh Torabi

to In Control RELATIONSHIPS

83 HOME Paige Hemmis

68 Friendship Fixer 72 Does Marriage Still Matter?

91 TRAVEL Deidre Mathis

MONEY & CAREER

76 Score Your Dream Job 80 The Job Skills You Need Now

67

HOME

85 How to Live Clutter-Free 88 Easy Home Office Upgrades TRAVEL

92 Run the World, Literally! LAST WORD

96 A Daughter’s Tribute FOLLOW US ON TWITTER! @USATODAYMAGS

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MODERN WOMAN | FALL/WINTER 2015

BRADFORD ROGNE PHOTOGRAPHY; ANN TAYLOR; MACY’S

8 12 14 16 18 20 22

Throwback your style with fringe, ponchos and other retro looks!


contributors PREMIUM PUBLICATION EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Jeanette Barrett-Stokes jbstokes@usatoday.com

SARAH SCHMELLING Sarah Schmelling is a humorist and journalist based in Washington, D.C., who uncovered the benefits of laughter for the feature “Laugh On,” page 30. She has contributed to The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Parents magazine and many other publications and is the author of a humor book.

KRISTI VALENTINI Kristi Valentini’s work has appeared in Redbook, Pregnancy & Newborn, on MSN and in several of USA T’ODAY’s magazines. For this issue, she delves into a feeling many modern women are familiar with — being overwhelmed by life and work — and offers some relief, page 62. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Michigan.

MANAGING EDITOR Michelle Washington mjwashington@usatoday.com CREATIVE DIRECTOR Jerald Council jcouncil@usatoday.com CREATIVE MEDIA MANAGER Christine Neff cneff@usatoday.com EDITORS Nikki Dobrin Elizabeth Neus Chris Garsson Sarah Schwartz DESIGNERS Ashleigh Carter Gina Toole Saunders Lisa M. Zilka INTERNS Miranda Pellicano Alexa Rogers CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Matt Alderton, Karen Asp, Katie Kelly Bell, Mary Helen Berg, Hollie Deese, Nancy Dunham, Maisy Fernandez, Chrystle Fiedler, Katherine Reynolds Lewis, Janene Mascarella, Nancy Mills, Peggy J. Noonan, Lori Santos, Sarah Schmelling, Rachel C. Weingarten, Suzanne Wright, Kristi Valentini

COURTESY OF THE CONTRIBUTORS

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS AND STYLISTS Diana Jeffra, Doug Kapustin, Todd Plitt

MIRANDA PELLICANO Miranda Pellicano is a graphic designer and illustrator currently interning at Studio Gannett. “I’ve learned to push myself and my creativity, often past even my own expectations so that I can grow the most from each project and experience,” she says. For this issue, she created an illustration of subscription snack boxes, page 20. Check out more of her work at her website, miranda pellicano.com.

KAREN ASP Karen Asp writes about health, fitness, nutrition, pets and travel. She’s a contributing editor for Woman’s Day and writes for numerous other magazines, including SELF, Shape, Prevention, Real Simple, Cooking Light, Delta Sky and Better Homes and Gardens. She has planned several race-cations, which she wrote about in this issue, page 92. Her most memorable? Completing two 10Ks on the same day on two different continents, Australia and North America.

ADVERTISING VP, ADVERTISING ACCOUNT DIRECTOR Patrick Burke Justine Goodwin (703) 854-5914 (703) 854-5444 pburke@usatoday.com jgoodwin@usatoday.com FINANCE BILLING COORDINATOR Julie Marco This is a product of

Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved herein, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or reproduced in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the written consent of USA TODAY. The editors and publisher are not responsible for any unsolicited materials.

PRINTED IN THE USA

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MODERN WOMAN

Up Front In The Now, In The Know

FASHION 8

JERALD COUNCIL

BOLD, BEAUTIFUL JEWELRY Add some Peruvian flair to your next ensemble with bracelets and rings by award-winning jewelry designer Evelyn Brooks. Inspired by her native country of Peru, Brooks uses red and black huayruro seeds (which symbolize prosperity, love and happiness) from the Peruvian Amazon to create her designs. Stack the eco-friendly bracelets or wear one as a statement piece. Jewelry ranges from $26 to $325, available at ebrooksdesigns.com.

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BEAUTY 12

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FOOD + DRINK 16

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TECHNOLOGY 22


UP FRONT | FASHION

Fall Back Fashion Ponchos, fringe and bling bring a retro vibe to this season’s closets BY MAISY FERNANDEZ

F

ALL FASHION IS THE HOLY GRAIL of all things stylish. Now’s the time to pull out your boots — or, even better, find your new perfect pair — and layer up with your favorite sweaters, cardigans, scarves and more. The 2015 trends include throwback pieces with a modern twist.

▶ I.N.C. International Concepts fringe boots, $229.50 at Macy’s.

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MODERN WOMAN | FALL/WINTER 2015

COURTESY OF THE COMPANIES

▶ Maison Jules dress, $69.50, and cardigan, $129.50, at Macy’s.


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UP FRONT | FASHION ◀ Bar III necklace with feathers, $39.50 at Macy’s.

▶ Gray swing jacket, $128 at LOFT.

▲ Aldo for Target Melody bootie, $44.99 at Target.

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MODERN WOMAN | FALL/WINTER 2015

COURTESY OF THE COMPANIES

▶ The Stylus motorcycle jacket, $84, and embellished boyfriend jeans, $60, at JCPenney.


◀ Sam Edelman tan suede Louie booties, $140 at Bloomingdale’s.

COURTESY OF THE COMPANIES

▶ Poncho, $159; cardigan, $129; belt, $54.50, at Ann Taylor.

▲ Alesund fringed crossbody bag available in black and ombré gray, $198 at Anthropologie.

11


UP FRONT | BEAUTY

Fall Do’s

COLOR: BRONDE

Style your locks with the season’s biggest trends

This brunette color with a blond glow is all the rage. (Think Jennifer Lopez and Blake Lively’s all-over golden tresses.) Color expert Stephanie Brown says this is a great look for light brunettes. It’s a neutral base color with warm highlights that frame the face and pop through from underneath. Don’t want to go too bronde? “Tell your colorist that you want subtle highlights framing your face and not to the root, so it looks like the sun naturally did it this summer,” says Brown.

BY JANENE MASCARELLA

W

hat’s hot in hair this season? We checked in with the top-notch experts at NYC Nunzio Saviano Salon (nunziosaviano.com) to learn the latest ways to rock your locks.

STYLE: BRAID

Here is stylist-to-the-stars Ryan Austin’s easy how-to for a fashion-y take on a simple fishtail braid: 1. Part the hair on the side and create a side ponytail with a clear elastic band. 2. Splitting the ponytail into two sections, take a little piece of hair from section one and cross it over to section two. Next, take a piece of hair from section two and cross it over to section one. Do this technique all the way down. 3. Once you finish the braid, tie with a clear elastic band and loosen with fingers. 4. Cut the top elastic band and apply a texture spray.

1

2

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CUT: BOB

“For the waves, I took 2-inch sections and curled them around a 1 1/2-inch barrel curling iron. Making very clean sections, I curled away from the face leaving the hair straight on the ends. Once you get to the back, I curl every other piece of hair in opposing directions for extra texture.” To finish, he applies a dry texturizing spray.

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MODERN WOMAN | FALL/WINTER 2015

NUNZIO SAVIANO SALON

Actually, this style (think Selena Gomez and Jessica Alba) is called the “wavy lob” (beauty shorthand for long bob) and it works great on everyone. Salon owner Nunzio Saviano explains how to get the look:


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UP FRONT | BEAUTY

Super Stars These products harness the power of healthy foods BY ALEXA ROGERS

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MODERN WOMAN | FALL/WINTER 2015

LEMONGRASS + LIME SUGAR SCRUB

SUGAR ACAI AGE-DELAY BODY CREAM

This Fig + Yarrow sugar scrub pairs lemongrass and lime with delicious results. The antioxidizing ingredients promote smooth and supple skin. $18, figandyarrow.com

This moisturizer by Fresh is enriched with one of the hottest of-the-moment super foods: acai. The oil from these powerful berries promotes hydration, protects with antioxidants and helps to maintain skin elasticity. $65, fresh.com

PRODUCTS: JERALD COUNCIL; THINKSTOCK

W

hile you probably know the benefits of adding super foods (nutrient powerhouses packed with antioxidants, vitamins and other good-for-you substances) to your diet, did you know they can be good for your skin, too? These products bring A-list ingredients to your beauty routine, with results that are sure to please.


MINI MIRACLES The antioxidants found in fruits and veggies protect our bodies by absorbing damaging free radicals and boosting immunity. So whether you prefer to get them through your lunch or your night cream, make them part of your routine.

BLUEBERRY FOAMING FACIAL CLEANSER

CREAMY EYE TREATMENT WITH AVOCADO

COFFEEMINT INVIGORATING BODYWASH

The Yes to Blueberries line of products fights skin-damaging free radicals. The cleanser has organic blueberry extract, chamomile, glycerin and vitamin E. $9.99, yestocarrots.com

A Kiehl’s customer favorite, this eye cream is enhanced with avocado oil, a natural source of amino acid proteins, vitamins A, D and E and potassium. $47, kiehls.com

The Wash with Joe body wash combines antioxidant-packed coffee with a shot of peppermint essential oil for an energizing rinse. $28, luckyscent.com

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UP FRONT | FOOD + DRINK

Lowers risks for skin, endometrial and liver cancers Recent studies have found the risk of developing melanoma, liver and uterine cancers are lower for women whose coffee intake is higher. No surprise, says Musselman. “Coffee is packed with phytochemicals and is one of the top sources of antioxidants for Americans,” she says.

Reduces chance of developing type 2 diabetes Coffee — hold the cream and sugar — seems to provide a buffer against type 2 diabetes. Studies show that people who habitually drink more than 1.5 cups a day have up to 50 percent less risk of getting the disease.

Good Brews! Headlines spout the benefits of your beloved cup of joe BY JANENE MASCARELLA

F

eeling guilty about that morning cup of coffee? Relax! Word is everyone’s favorite caffeine fix has a wealth of bona fide health benefits. Dietitians Elissa Davidson and Amy Musselman get us past the hype to decipher the science behind some of those health headlines.

Improves your workout

THINKSTOCK

We all know bean juice comes with a side of kick. But did you know that caffeine can boost your metabolism and pump up your workout? “Research suggests up to 15 percent higher calorie burn during workouts (and for three hours post-workout) from just an 8-ounce cup of coffee,” says Davidson.

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MODERN WOMAN | FALL/WINTER 2015


UP FRONT | FOOD + DRINK

The Cleanse Trend Sure, celebrities sing their praises. But are detox diets really a good idea? BY JANENE MASCARELLA

C

leanses — the catchall term for making drastic changes to your diet with the goal of losing weight and restoring health — have been all the rage for quite a while now. If you don’t know a colleague or Facebook friend who’s tried one, you’ve almost certainly heard of celebrity fans: Kelly Ripa avoids acidic foods on a highalkaline cleanse; Salma Hayek and Naomi Watts swear by Cooler Cleanse juices; Gwyneth Paltrow endorses the 21-Day Clean Program. So is the trend worth the hype?

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ▶ What is a cleanse? A cleanse or flush, proponents say, is one way to jump-start the body’s natural detoxification process. Typically the body eliminates impurities in the blood and liver through the digestive system, skin and other systems. Additional detoxification measures have been recommended for maladies such as fatigue, bloating, aches and pains, headaches, allergies and mental confusion. ▶ Does it work? No scientific evidence supports the idea that a juice cleanse or other unique diet will increase the rate of detoxification for the body, says Angela Onsgard, a registered dietitian at Miraval Resort & Spa, a luxury wellness retreat in Tucson. A detox isn’t so much about what you eat as what you don’t eat, she says: “The feelings of energy, clarity and focus that come from cleansing diets are largely attributed to the removal of sugar, alcohol, caffeine, solid fats, chemical additives or other ingredients of highly processed or refined foods.” Many physicians say cleanses are not needed to detox. “The job of the liver and the kidney is to eliminate toxins. As long as you have a functioning urinary tract and your bowels are functioning, your body is already doing a pretty good job of it,” says Dr. Monica Bais, an internal medicine specialist with Atlantic Highlands Internal Medicine in Atlantic Highlands, N.J.

▶ Will I lose weight? Be careful using a cleanse or detox diet for weight loss. “Utilizing fad diets, severe caloric restriction, weight-loss pills, yo-yo dieting, or severely restricting protein, carbohydrate or fat can have devastating effects on the thyroid, the body’s metabolic furnace,” Onsgard warns.

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MODERN WOMAN | FALL/WINTER 2015

THINKSTOCK

▶ What perks might I experience? If you want to give this trend a try, you might experience increased energy levels and weight loss — two touted benefits of a cleanse. But keep in mind that the first few days of a cleanse tend to leave you with low energy levels, trouble sleeping and headaches. “Most clinically trained health experts agree that these symptoms are a result of spikes and dips in blood sugar levels,” Onsgard says.


UP FRONT | FOOD + DRINK

Mail-Order Yum Stave your crave with these out-of-the-box snack subscriptions BY ALEXA ROGERS | ILLUSTRATIONS BY MIRANDA PELLICANO

W MISTOBOX

BATCH

GRAZE

LOVE WITH FOOD

If you’re an amateur coffee-lover looking for a way to explore the world of java away from the judging looks of your neighborhood barista, Mistobox is brewed for you. One short quiz about roast and flavor preferences matches you with beans from artisan roasters around the country. Flavor profiles are printed on the bag, and you can really taste the unique tones and notes of each bean. Customers have the option to receive one large personalized bag or four small sampler bags, and shipment options and payment schedules are based on when you need your next jolt. It’s the best way to experiment — or find a new favorite — without buyer’s remorse. Subscriptions start at $12.79, mistobox.com

Focused on local, artisanal products, Batch is a great way to import the flavors of the South. Created in Nashville by three guys who wanted to share their favorite local products, the company has now expanded to offer boxes with tastes of Austin, Memphis and Charleston, S.C. Everything is decadent — including the melt-yourmouth cinnamon chili Mexican-style chocolate and the crispy Picklelicious sweet & spicy snacking pickles. Subscriptions start at $34.99, batchusa.com

Including the sweet mustard ranch snack pack that you won’t be able to get enough of, Graze’s ability to customize your subscription is sure to please. Customers can pick between 100 unique snacks, all created inhouse for delivery in fourand eight-count variety boxes. The 100 percent recyclable containers are the perfect size for stowing away in your work desk and hiding from jealous co-workers. You can feel good about your grazing; all snacks have 0 grams of trans fat per serving. Subscriptions start at $6.99, graze.com

This company donates one meal to a hungry child for every box purchased, and you get to sample quirky treats made by companies you’ve probably never heard of — but it’s worth the adventure. Sheffa’s Everything Savory Bar, for instance, really does taste like a condensed everything bagel. And Shelia G’s Brownie Brittle will make you rethink your love for traditional brownies. Everything is in on-the-go form, great for stashing in your desk or breaking out for the kids when the Goldfish routine gets old. Coupons for some of the snacks are also included, so you can save on your new favorites. Subscriptions start at $7.99, lovewithfood.com

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MODERN WOMAN | FALL/WINTER 2015

COURTESY OF THE COMPANIES

e’ve all experienced that moment of indecision in the snack aisle when we wonder what we’re really craving: Sweet or salty? Healthy or junk? Now you can take the legwork out of snack-time (and the “hangry” out of hungry) with a mail-order subscription. These popular services bring snacks right to your door — really!


BATCH Tastes of unique local items all wrapped up in one package.

MISTOBOX Flavorful coffee blends delivered to your door.

GRAZE Personalized snacking made easy with grab-n-go mini boxes.

LOVE WITH FOOD A variety of dried fruit, popcorn, chips, sweets and more. 21


UP FRONT | TECHNOLOGY

DO’s & DON’Ts

Emoji 101

The universal appeal of emojis makes them mostly foolproof. But a few basic rules of “netiquette” will ensure your message gets a “thumbs-up.”

These 21st-century hieroglyphs add fun and flair to texts

DO end with emojis. Used sparingly at the end of sentences, emojis can enhance texts by giving them tone and inflection.

BY MATT ALDERTON According to Smith, emojis aren’t just more efficient than words — in many cases, they’re also more effective. Texting as a way to communicate is obviously very convenient, but “it lacks tone and context,” he says. “With emoji, when you’re happy, you send a smiley face. When you’re being supportive you send a thumbs-up, and when you’re annoyed you send a frowny. It’s very clear because we all have the same universal emotions.”

According to emoji keyboard maker Swyft Media, 74 percent of Americans have used emojis. Thirty-five percent of us use them every day.

DON’T substitute emojis for words. Although creative, such messages may convolute instead of clarify communications. DO use emojis for emphasis. Using three hearts instead of one can effectively illustrate your enthusiasm. DON’T use too many emojis. Three consecutive hearts is OK; 10 is overkill. DO be culturally sensitive. Some emojis might have negative connotations abroad. “Thumbs-up,” for instance, means “good job” in Western culture; in the Middle East, it means “up yours.” DON’T use them at work. Using emojis in work communications could make you seem more personable on the one hand, but it could make you appear less professional on the other.

EMOJI-WHAT?

22

Ballerina gesture: Although this girl could be a ballerina, she’s really indicating the Japanese gesture for “OK”— making a big “O” over her head with her arms.

Folded hands: In Japan, folded hands show gratitude. Although it looks like praying or high-fiving, it’s meant to convey “please” and “thank you.”

MODERN WOMAN | FALL/WINTER 2015

Eggplant: Technically, it’s just a vegetable. Though be prepared for a snicker; most people use it as a phallus.

▶ Imoji: This free app allows you to turn any image — pictures of your kids or pets, for example — into an emoji-like sticker that you can text to others. imojiapp.com ▶ Mogee: This free app sends animated emojis, like a dancing smiley or a smiley eating a cheeseburger. mogeeapp. com ▶ Emoji Type: This $1 keyboard app for devices running iOS 8 autosuggests emojis as you type. emojitype.co

Currently, there are 1,281 official emojis. Some are easy to interpret. Others? Not so much. Here are some of the most commonly misunderstood emojis:

Face blowing steam: This little guy isn’t intended to evoke anger; it’s meant to convey “winning.”

▶ Emojipedia: This encyclopedia explains what each emoji is and how to use it so texts don’t get lost in translation. emojipedia.org

Women with bunny ears: These ladies look innocent, but they’re not just dancers or friends. They’re “Bunny Girls,” Japan’s version of Playboy bunnies.

Smiling pile of poo: No, that’s not chocolate ice cream.

Tear-drop face: The “drip” on this face isn’t a tear; it’s a snot bubble, which signifies sleep in Japan.

▶ Keymoji: This free keyboard app for devices running iOS 8 automatically “translates” phrases and sentences into a series of emojis. keymojiapp. com

APPLE

E

mojis — small, fullcolor pictures used in text messages, chat and social media to indicate emotions, activities or objects — originated in Japan, but more than a third of Americans use them daily to communicate. “Emoji are really the first international language,” says Tom Smith, co-founder and CEO of Imoji, an app that lets users create custom emojis in the form of digital “stickers.”

UP YOUR TEXT GAME


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When Soledad O’Brien was forced to make a big change mid-career, she didn’t skip a beat. Instead, she created a company that brings even more meaning to her life’s work.

STAR POWER HOLD ON,” Soledad O’Brien says. “I have to kiss somebody.” The phone line goes silent a brief moment, then she returns with commotion in the background. “One of my Scholars is ready to head out,” she explains. It’s just another action-packed day in the life of this award-winning journalist, producer and philanthropist. With her children at camp, O’Brien has more time to focus on her twoyear-old company, Starfish Media Group, and

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MODERN WOMAN | FALL/WINTER 2015

her foundation, the Starfish Scholar Program. Every year, the philanthropic venture helps 25 disadvantaged young women complete their college education and begin their careers. The foundation’s motto is “Transforming Lives — One Girl at a Time.” Up at 5:30 a.m. and in the hair and make-up chair by 6, O’Brien has spent the whole day doing foundation business, including interviewing Mindy Grossman, CEO of the Home Shopping Network, in front of an audience of Scholars.

TODD PLITT

by nancy mills


27


STAR POWER

1989 Began her career in broadcasting at KISS-FM in Boston. 1990 Worked as a producer and news writer for WBZ-TV in Boston. 1991 Joined NBC News in New York City, producing stories for NBC Nightly News and Today. 1993 Joined KRON- TV, an NBC affiliate in San Francisco. 1995 Received a local Emmy for her work as co-host of Discovery Channel’s The Know Zone. 1999-2003 Became anchor of NBC News’ Weekend Today. In that role, she covered the school shootings in Columbine, the space shuttle Columbia disaster and the war in Iraq.

2008 Anchored a CNN special documentary series, Black in America. Was the first recipient of the Soledad O’Brien Freedom’s Voice Award from the Morehouse School of Medicine. 2009 Produced the CNN documentary Latino in America. Received the Medallion of Excellence for Leadership and Community Service award from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. 2010 Named Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists. 2011 Won an Emmy for Crisis in Haiti, a report on Haitian orphanages following the earthquake.

2003-2007 Joined CNN as co-anchor of the network’s flagship morning program, American Morning. She reported on such major stories as Hurricane Katrina, the London subway bombings and the Southeast Asia tsunami. In 2007, she received the President’s Award from the NAACP for humanitarian efforts and journalistic excellence, among other honors.

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2012 Began anchoring CNN show Starting Point.

2013 Left CNN and launched Starfish Media Group.

MODERN WOMAN | FALL/WINTER 2015

NOW IT’S 7 P.M., and these young women have congregated in her New York apartment for dinner. “Our Scholars are young,” says O’Brien. “They haven’t been through the experience where the thing that was bad actually turned out to be a blessing, and the thing that was great turned out to be not so great. That’s what time gives us.” She uses herself as an example, referring to her time as a co-host of CNN’s American Morning show. “When they decided to take me off the morning show, instead of freaking out, I was prepared. I’d spent some time thinking what I’d like to do if (anchoring) went away. I said, ‘I want to make documentaries.’ “My boss at the time said, ‘Are you going to cry?’ I said, ‘You just told me you were giving me a great opportunity to go do documentaries. Why would I cry? Everything he expected of me I didn’t deliver because I had my act together. I think crying is feeling powerless, and I didn’t feel powerless.” O’Brien’s mid-life career change prepared her to launch her own media company. Her former employer, CNN, became one of her early clients, as did HBO and Al Jazeera America. Now she is in a position to help shape the news, not simply cover it. As a documentary-maker, O’Brien is attracted to personal stories, particularly those dealing with issues around ethnicity. Her father, Edward, an Australian of Irish descent, was a mechanical engineering professor. Her mother, Estella, an Afro-Cuban, was a French and English teacher. The couple met at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore in 1958. “Interracial marriage was illegal in Maryland,” O’Brien says. “On their very first date no one would serve them in a restaurant, so my mom took my dad back to her apartment. She told us what it was like in the early 1960s to be an interracial couple with interracial children. “She said, ‘You can love your country and also work toward making things better for people.’ I’ve had so many opportunities to tell stories about different eth-

CNN; AMAZON.COM; STARFISH MEDIA GROUP

SOLEDAD’S CAREER

I’m not a big fan of politicians … I think I can make a difference in a different way”


CNN; AMAZON.COM; STARFISH MEDIA GROUP

nicities, great stories in communities often overlooked. We want to tell stories that a lot of people just ignored.” She describes a series of short documentaries her company is producing for CoverGirl on the topic of female empowerment. “We look at four women who’ve navigated challenges, showing how girls can be incredibly resilient and successful,” O’Brien says. “Maybe I could have done a 1- or 2-minute piece on them (for a network), but each is 10 minutes long. It’s right up my alley.” O’Brien’s next focus will be income inequality. “A lot of the issues we see — Ferguson, race, gender — are about the disparity in wages and in wealth,” she says. “I remember some years ago pitching a documentary that looked at this growing gap between those who have and those who do not have, and people basically rushed me out of the room saying, ‘No one wants to see that.’ Today it’s part of the conversation. If you’re a middle-class family, how do you afford to send your kids to college, pay the mortgage and save for retirement? It’s virtually impossible.” O’Brien grew up in a middle-class family, the fifth of six children. She went to Harvard University, as did every one of her siblings. “My parents gave us a lot of support and showed us what was possible. … They taught us how to advocate for ourselves, and that’s what I’m trying to teach our Scholars and my own kids.” O’Brien, 49, and her husband, investment banker Bradley Raymond, are parents to Sofia, 14, Cecilia, 12, and twin sons Charles and Jackson, 11. “I make a lot of lists, and I get things done,” she says. “I do the dishes and the laundry. If I don’t, no one will. We don’t have a lot of help, although we have babysitters because the kids are going in all different directions.” Now that her children are older, life is somewhat easier, she says. “I remember when CNN called at the end of 2004 and asked me to cover the tsunami in Thailand,” she says. “We’d just had twins. It would have been perfectly reasonable for my husband to say, ‘Have you lost your mind? We have four children under 4.’ “Instead, he said, ‘This is a great opportunity. You definitely should go.’ He’s always been a really great resource and partner. I tell my Scholars, ‘If you find the wrong person, it will suck you under. The right person will really help you.’” It’s clear O’Brien has big ideas on how to improve the world around us. Would she ever consider running for public office? The very idea sends her into hysterics. “Never, ever, ever!” she says, then shouts to her dinner guests: “Hey, ladies! I’m running for the presidency!” A chorus of laughs ensues. “I’m not a big fan of politicians or politics as a medium in which you can get things done,” O’Brien says. “I think I can make a difference in a different way.”

Soledad O’Brien, founder of Starfish Media Group, does voice work at her New York City office.

SOLEDAD’S RISING STARS IN ADDITION TO exploring some of the nation’s most important issues and authoring two books, O’Brien is active in mentorship. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, she and her husband, Brad, created the Soledad O’Brien & Brad Raymond Starfish Foundation to help disadvantaged young women attend and graduate from college. The foundation provides funding, resources and mentoring to 25 deserving young women of color each year. starfishscholars.org

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ARRY POTTER ran into many fearsome creatures in his time, but one required a defense we all have in our arsenal. The “boggart” in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is a shape-shifter. It assumes the likeness of whatever frightens characters the most. Clearly, that would be a formidable foe in real life, but in Harry’s world, it was an easy one to defeat: The characters only had to laugh to break the spell. If your greatest fear is spiders, for instance, you could picture one with Jon Stewart’s face on it. Scared of your overbearing boss?

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Imagine her wearing your grandmother’s mumu. The lesson from Harry? By looking at your greatest fear in a way that makes you laugh, you can overcome it. Of course, you don’t have to be a wizard to reap the benefits. Through new research, a growing therapeutic humor movement and engaging books on the science of this wonderful tool, we’re learning that humor and the laughter that comes with it can improve our health, relieve stress, help us socially, change our outlook and, in turn, change our lives.

@nicolebyer Can you change your facebook relationship status to delusional? — Nicole Byer, MTV’s Girl Code


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NATURAL

“IT’S SHOCKING HOW many health benefits there are to humor,” says Scott Weems, a cognitive neuro-scientist and author of Ha! The Science of When We Laugh and Why. Research, he says, shows that humor improves heart health by making our blood vessels more pliable, reducing the risk of things like heart attacks. He also says it promotes the production of natural protective cells and other antibodies that fight diseases such as cancer. There are important psychological benefits as well. “If you watch a stand-up routine before taking an IQ test, you’ll do better than if you watched a drama or documentary,” Weems says. “You will also be better

TEAM NICK OR TEAM SHAWN?

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@jessirklein I’m worried I’m not watching Bachelorette for the right reasons. — Jessi Klein, stand-up comic and writer for Inside Amy Schumer

MODERN WOMAN | FALL/WINTER 2015

HIGH

at problem-solving and insight tasks.” Why is this? Weems says it’s because humor acts as exercise for the brain, getting it ready for more difficult tasks to come. “Our bodies need exercise, both physically and mentally,” he says. “And humor is a great way to do that.” In Ha!, Weems writes that the book is about the idea that “humor and its most common symptom — laughter — are by-products of possessing brains which rely on conflict.” When our brains resolve conflict, when we “figure things out” or get a joke, our dopamine reward systems are activated. Dopamine, the same chemical activated when we eat chocolate or listen to especially moving music, obviously makes us feel very good. “We enjoy jokes because they activate our dopamine reward systems, essentially giving us a natural high,” Weems says. So naturally, just like with chocolate, once we have a laugh, we’ll want more.

“WE ENJOY JOKES BECAUSE THEY

ACTIVATE OUR DOPAMINE REWARD SYSTEMS, ESSENTIALLY GIVING US A NATURAL HIGH.” — SCOTT WEEMS, a cognitive neuroscientist and author

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WEEMS RECENTLY SPOKE at the annual conference for the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor (AATH), an international organization for “humor and laughter professionals and enthusiasts.” According to the AATH, therapeutic humor is “any intervention that promotes health and wellness by stimulating a playful discovery, expression or appreciation of the absurdity or incongruity of life’s situations.” Attendees include everyone from scholars and psychologists to funeral directors and hospital clowns — basically anyone who wants to use humor to facilitate healing and coping. Weems believes the AATH is doing fantastic work because it’s helping humor become part of the overall health system. Stories shared at the conference illustrate how doctors use humor as part of cancer recovery and as therapy for dementia patients. “I suspect that one day, humor will be considered an essential part of all medical recovery,” Weems says. Nira Berry, an inspirational speaker and “happiness coach” based

BEST

MEDICINE

LAUGHTER HELPS YOU FOCUS.

in Maryland, is certainly “ an enthusiast for therapeutic humor. While going IT’S THE QUICKEST through chemotherapy for breast cancer in 2001, WAY TO RELAXATION.” she began looking for a way to feel better during — NIRA BERRY, an inspirational speaker the treatment and came and “happiness coach” across research on the benefits of laughter. She found that adding more Today, Berry runs laughter yoga laughter to her life helped — so much workshops and team-building so that she traveled to Switzerland programs, serves as a keynote to receive training in “laughter yoga” speaker at conferences, teaches by the practice’s founder, Dr. Madan a “Laugh Your Way to Happiness” Kataria. course at a community college and Following her training, Berry says, stars in a DVD called Laugh off Stress. she was asked to give laughter yoga She recently ran a laughter program lessons at conferences and events. “It at the Centers for Disease Control really just became my mission to help and Prevention (because laughter is people find fulfillment and happiness contagious, right?). through laughter,” she says. Berry believes in laughter as a

HOW’S LIFE?

@JenKirkman Everyone is just doing the best they can. Except people wearing flip-flops at the airport. — Jen Kirkman, stand-up comic and author of I Can Barely Take Care of Myself

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FUNNY WOMEN

“I SUSPECT

TO PUT

THAT ONE DAY,

ON

ESPOSITO The founder of Feminine Comique, the all-female stand-up class in Chicago, Esposito relocated to Los Angeles and has found big success as a stand-up comic, actor and writer. Her second stand-up album, Same Sex Symbol, was released in fall 2014 to great reviews. She’s appeared on numerous late-night TV shows and she’s a regular on Chelsea Lately. She hosts her own stand-up show, Put Your Hands Together, at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in L.A. and has a biweekly column about stand-up life on avclub.com. If that’s not enough, she tours widely and she’s working on her first book. She touches on all kinds of topics and infuses her humor with strong advocacy for women and same-sex equality. She’s also managed to tell — in a viral YouTube video — The Greatest Period Joke of All Time. Google it.

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HUMOR WILL BE

RADAR

CONSIDERED AN

ESSENTIAL PART OF ALL CRISTELA

ALONZO JESSICA

WILLIAMS Joining The Daily Show in 2012 as the show’s youngest-ever correspondent at age 22, Williams had huge online support for becoming the new host after Jon Stewart announced earlier this year he’d be leaving the show. (She promptly tweeted that she wouldn’t be doing that any time soon.) But the hosting hoopla was a clear sign her star is on the rise. Her hilarious social commentary, unflinching interviews and willingness to take on all kinds of controversial subject matter have propelled her into the spotlight, so the fact she’s depicted as a future Daily Show host in Hot Tub Time Machine 2 can’t be too far off the mark.

MODERN WOMAN | FALL/WINTER 2015

Alonzo made history in 2014 by being the first Latina to create, produce and star in a network TV sitcom. The semi-autobiographical ABC show, Cristela, was unfortunately canceled, but in a blog post she wrote about her pride for the show. “My favorite things to hear were when people would tell me that FINALLY there was someone like them on TV and that they loved that it was a show they could watch with their parents or children,” she wrote. The L.A.-based stand-up comic, who’s been mentioned on all kinds of “comedians to watch” lists, also wrote that the show Cristela might be over, but for Cristela the person, it’s just the start.

MEDICAL RECOVERY.” — SCOTT WEEMS

tool for feeling better and for relieving stress. It can help people bond and help people stay focused, she says. She once had a client who desperately wanted to go to college but couldn’t pass a math class that she needed to get in. While she did well in the course, she would panic during tests. Berry suggested that her client sit in her car before the tests and just laugh for 10 minutes. “Sure enough, she started getting A’s in the class and she went on to graduate (from college),” she says. “Laughter helps you focus. It’s the quickest way to relaxation.” Just laughing — and here’s the key, even if it’s fake — can help you feel better in most situations, Berry believes. She says that if you can laugh for 10 minutes every morning, it will help you throughout the day. “And if you can do nothing else, smile,” she adds (of course she says this with a laugh). For people who say, “it’s hard for me to laugh,” Berry suggests finding ways to inject humor in your life. “Open up joke books, watch funny movies, read funny articles,” she says. “Whatever gets you there is fine.”

MANDEE JOHNSON PHOTOGRAPHY; GETTY IMAGES; BOB D’AMICO

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WHAT IF TO GET more laughter in your life, you decide to actually create humor, and in front of others, too? Chicago native Lynne Roberts loved listening to stand-up shows by Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy and others as a kid, but she says she never thought of it as an option for her. It wasn’t until she’d grown up and took a “Live Lit” storytelling class that she started thinking about doing stand-up herself. She asked her teacher, Kelsie Huff, if she knew of any stand-up classes and found out that Huff taught an all-female stand-up class called Feminine Comique. Roberts really liked “Fem Com,” though she was terrified to perform at the end of the course. But “I did it and I survived and I had a great time,” she says. “I was hooked.” That performance was two years ago. Since then, Roberts has done showcases and got booked into a few festivals; she now performs at least once a week. She has a full-time day job, so it’s not always easy, but doing stand-up, she says, has changed her life — especially her confidence level. “In the past two years, I’ve had to deal with more rejection than I ever have in my life,” she says. “But it’s amazing because you sort of get used to it. You have to. And you move on.” Roberts supports the idea that more women need to get on stage and make people laugh. “For many years, women didn’t feel welcome

ROLL

in the (stand-up) community,” she says. “But that’s definitely changing. … They’re being brave and getting out there and putting themselves on the line, because it is hard to get up there. You’re writing all the material, you’re on stage by yourself. But if you get those laughs, it’s the best feeling in the world.” As exciting as that must be, we don’t all have to be comedians to get the perks of humor. “I think the most promising aspect of humor research is that all the benefits we get from comedy — greater health, higher pain tolerance, improved intelligence and problem-solving ability — come from exposure, not telling jokes,” Weems says. “This means we don’t need to be funny to make humor an important part of our lives.” Watching comedies or enjoying the occasional stand-up routine is enough to see important physical and psychological benefits. “That said,” he adds, “it never hurts to always have a good joke in your back pocket, just in case.” So, did you hear the one about the one-legged dog…?

“THE BENEFITS WE GET FROM COMEDY ... COME FROM EXPOSURE, NOT TELLING JOKES. ... WE DON’T

NEED TO BE FUNNY TO MAKE HUMOR AN IMPORTANT PART OF OUR LIVES.” — SCOTT WEEMS

@sarahcolonna I wish there was Yelp for people. GIRL, WE HEAR YA!

— Sarah Colonna, comedian and author of books including Has Anyone Seen My Pants?

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hile summer’s bounty is user-friendly (most of us know what to do with fresh corn on the cob), fall’s delights take a little bit of know-how. Try these flavorful and surprisingly easy one-dish wonders from celebrity chefs that make perfect use of the season’s veggies.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY DOUG KAPUSTIN FOOD STYLING BY DIANA JEFFRA WINE PAIRINGS BY KATIE KELLY BELL


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WINE PAIRING

The tomato gratin intensifies the tomato flavors, so opt for a wine with softer aromatics and refreshing acidity. The floral and berry notes in a dry rosé make a nice pairing. Try Chateau d’Esclans, Cotes de Provence, Whispering Angel Rosé ($14).

JACQUES PÉPIN HEART & SOUL IN THE KITCHEN HOUGHTON MIFFLIN HARCOURT

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DIRECTIONS

4 SERVINGS

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut tomatoes into ½-inch slices and arrange in a 6- to 8-cup gratin dish. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the oil.

2 pounds large ripe tomatoes 3 T. olive oil 2 cups diced (½-inch) baguette or country bread

²⁄3 cup sliced shallots ¹⁄3 cup sliced garlic 1½ tsp. fresh thyme leaves ½ tsp. salt ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Combine the bread, shallots, garlic, thyme and the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a bowl and mix well. Sprinkle the salt and pepper on the tomatoes and top with the bread mixture. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the tomatoes are browned on top and cooked. Serve.

THINKSTOCK

SLICED TOMATO GRATIN

INGREDIENTS


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HARVEST

table

INGREDIENTS MAKES 8

For the dough: 1½ cups all-purpose flour (spooned into cup and leveled off), plus more for rolling

WINE PAIRING

Sweet notes in the dish will pair well with the rustic, casual personality and strawberry-cherry notes in an Italian dolcetto, a wine grape from Italy’s Piedmont region. Try 2013 Prunotto Dolcetto d’Alba ($14).

2 tsp. sugar ¼ tsp. salt 8 T. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits ½ cup Greek yogurt (2% or higher) For the filling: 1 T. olive oil 1 T. unsalted butter 2 cups chopped onions 1 russet baking potato (about 10 ounces), peeled and thinly sliced 2 T. plain whole-milk Greek yogurt ¾ tsp. coarse kosher salt 1 large egg 1 T. water

DIRECTIONS

Divide the dough into quarters, wrap each in plastic wrap, and flatten to rectangles. Refrigerate for at least one hour or up to a day. For longer storage, freeze up to three months. To make the filling: In a large skillet, heat the oil and butter over mediumlow heat. Add the onions and cook for 25 minutes, stirring frequently, until golden brown and very tender. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the potato for 10 minutes, or until tender. Drain well, transfer to a bowl, and mash with a potato masher. Stir the onions, yogurt and salt into the mashed potatoes. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Working with one piece of dough at a 40

MODERN WOMAN | FALL/WINTER 2015

CARAMELIZED ONION & POTATO HAND-PIES JOSH KILMER-PURCELL, BRENT RIDGE AND SANDY GLUCK THE BEEKMAN 1802 HEIRLOOM VEGETABLE COOKBOOK RODALE BOOKS

time on a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough to a 5x12-inch rectangle. Halve the dough crosswise to make two 5- to 6-inch rectangles. With a short end facing you, place ¼ cup of the potato filling on the bottom half, leaving a ½-inch border. Brush the border with water, fold the top over, and pinch to seal. Repeat with

the remaining dough and filling. Place on the baking sheet and make several slashes in the tops of the hand pies. In a small bowl, beat together the egg and water. Brush the tops of the hand pies with the egg wash. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and crisp. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

THINKSTOCK

To make the dough: In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the yogurt and pulse just until combined (the dough should hold together when pinched between your fingers).


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WINE PAIRING Big on earthy notes, this dish makes an ideal pairing with a rustic, soulful red wine with threads of dark fruit and dried herbs. Try 2013 E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône ($14).

4 SERVINGS

2 T. unsalted butter (plus more for the baking dish) 3 cloves garlic, chopped 3 cups heavy cream 2 bay leaves 1 small celery root (about 12 ounces), peeled and thinly sliced

1 medium rutabaga (about 12 ounces), peeled and thinly sliced

NANCY FULLER

1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, thinly sliced 2 T. chopped fresh sage leaves 1 T. chopped fresh thyme Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper

2 medium parsnips (about 10 ounces), peeled and thinly sliced

8 ounces mediumsharp yellow cheddar cheese, grated

1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

¾ cup (3 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese

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ROOT VEGETABLE ONE-DISH

MODERN WOMAN | FALL/WINTER 2015

FARMHOUSE RULES GRAND CENTRAL LIFE & STYLE

DIRECTIONS Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter a lasagna pan or other 4-quart baking dish. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until sizzling, about 1 minute, then pour in the cream and add the bay leaves. Bring to a simmer and remove from the heat. Toss all of the vegetables with the sage and thyme in a large bowl and season well with salt and pepper. Layer half of the vegetables in the prepared dish. Sprinkle with half of both cheeses. Layer the

remaining vegetables on top. Remove the bay leaves from the hot cream and pour the cream over the vegetables. Sprinkle with the remaining cheddar and Parmesan. Place the dish on a baking sheet and cover with foil (tenting it, so it doesn’t touch the cheese). Bake until the vegetables are just tender and the cream is bubbly, 1 to 1¼ hours. Remove the foil and continue to bake until golden on top, about 45 minutes more. Let rest 20 minutes before serving.

THINKSTOCK

INGREDIENTS


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HARVEST BEEF CHILI WITH PUMPKIN SQUASH A FALL PICNIC? WHY NOT!

JOSH KILMER-PURCELL, BRENT RIDGE AND SANDY GLUCK

The temperate early days of fall are perfect for enjoying a meal al fresco. Put a twist on a favorite pastime by packing up your meal and visiting a winery — many have outdoor areas with tables.

THE BEEKMAN 1802 HEIRLOOM COOKBOOK STERLING EPICURE

INGREDIENTS 4-6 SERVINGS

Our picture-perfect picnic took place at Paradise Springs Winery in Clifton, Va., maker of highly rated wines including chardonnay, cabernet franc and viognier. The tasting room is open daily, and the gorgeous outdoor setting is available for guest picnics. paradise springswinery.com

3 T. extra-virgin olive oil 1¼ pounds well-marbled beef chuck, cut into 1-inch chunks ¼ cup all-purpose flour 3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled 1 large onion, diced 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch chunks 1½ tsp. ground coriander 1 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder 1 tsp. ground cumin 1 tsp. paprika ½ tsp. ancho chile powder 1½ cups water 1½ pounds pumpkin (or other winter squash, such as kabocha), peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks 2 T. tomato paste 1½ tsp. salt 1¾ cups cooked pinto beans (one 15-ounce can, rinsed)

DIRECTIONS Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat the oil over medium heat in a 5- or 6-quart Dutch oven. Dredge the meat in the flour, shaking off the excess. Working in batches (this is so the meat browns, rather than steams), add the beef and cook until browned all over, about 7 minutes. As you work, transfer the meat to a bowl. Add the garlic, onions and bell peppers and stir to coat. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add 1/4 cup water and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are tender, about 7 minutes. Stir in the coriander, cocoa powder, cumin, paprika and ancho chile powder. Return the meat to the pan and stir until well coated. Stir in 1 1/2 cups water, the pumpkin, tomato paste and salt. Bring to a boil. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake until the meat is tender, 1 hour 30 minutes. Stir in the beans, return to the oven and bake for 10 more minutes.

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Several additional recipes are featured on our harvest table: • Quick Pickled Red Onions and Radishes by Jacques Pépin, from Heart & Soul in the Kitchen (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). • Red Cabbage, Pistachio and Cranberry Salad with Blue Cheese by Jacques Pépin, also from Heart & Soul in the Kitchen. • Always Appropriate Apple Cake by Nancy Fuller, from Farmhouse Rules (Grand Central Life & Style).


Give today. And we’ll

never walk alone.

October is only the beginning. The walk is one day in October. The Àght is every day before and after. With every dollar you raise you make a bigger impact by helping us conduct innovative research, promote early detection, and simply provide a hand to hold.

We need your help today. Donate at MakingStridesWalk.org


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AT RISK

For Gynecologic Cancer?

While breast cancer is a hot topic in the national media, it’s important to be informed on other women’s cancers that don’t get as much media attention. Gynecologic cancers are cancers that affect the female reproductive organs, including the ovaries, endometrium, uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, peritoneum, vagina and vulva. And, just as women have become more aware of the warning signs of breast cancer, it’s equally important for women to understand the facts about gynecologic cancer. Roughly 71,500 women in the United States each year are diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer,1 and the risk increases with age. The most common gynecologic cancer is endometrial/uterine cancer, which affects more than 52,000 women annually in the U.S.2 The key to lowering the risk for these cancers is preventive care and early diagnosis. And for many women, that may mean taking time out from busy family and work schedules to put their health first.

Cassandra Foy Patient at Cancer Treatment Centers of America®

“Understand your own risk factors—and your family history—and have an open dialog with your primary care physician.” DR. MAURIE MARKMAN, PRESIDENT OF MEDICINE & SCIENCE, CANCER TREATMENT CENTERS OF AMERICA®

TAKE PREVENTATIVE ACTION You can play an active role in reducing your chance of developing gynecologic cancers. A key factor for survival of these cancers is early diagnosis. Make healthy choices for yourself, such as a well-balanced diet, an active lifestyle, quitting or avoiding smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and safe sex practices. Make time for an annual physical. A Pap test is an important check for abnormal cells in the cervix, because in most cases of cervical cancer there are no noticeable symptoms. Routine pelvic exams may also improve the likelihood of early detection for endometrial cancer. For women over 30, the HPV test screens for high-risk HPV strains that may lead to cervical cancer. Educate yourself on your health history and your family’s health history. Having close relatives on either side of the family who have had ovarian cancer increases a woman’s chance of getting ovarian cancer herself.

Cervical cancer tends to occur during midlife. Most cases are found in women under the age of 50, and it is linked to human papillomaviruses.

Endometrial cancer

is rare for women under the age of 45; most cases are found in women over 50.

Ovarian cancer

affects up to 5% of women who have it in their family histories. It has the highest mortality of the gynecologic cancers, killing more than 14,000 women annually in the United States.3

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References:

Phoenix

1. Get the Facts About Gynecologic Cancer, CDC http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/knowledge/pdf/CDC_GYN_Comprehensive_Brochure.pdf

Tulsa

2. National Cancer Institute, 2014. www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/endometrial 3. National Cancer Institute, 2014. www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/ovarian

© 2015 Rising Tide


GETTING THROUGH

THINKSTOCK

AFTER A BREAST CANCER DIAGNOSIS COMES THE CHALLENGE OF TREATMENT. FOR THESE SURVIVORS, SUCCESS MEANT ASKING FOR HELP, INSPIRING OTHERS AND STAYING POSITIVE THROUGHOUT THE SOMETIMESTREACHEROUS JOURNEY BACK TO HEALTH. BY PEGGY J. NOONAN


GETTING THR UGH

Paulette Kouffman Sherman and son Noble Sherman, age 7.

I

T’S SIMPLE, REALLY: Going through treatments for breast cancer is tough — really, really tough — even for the most positive, determined and resilient of women. Chemotherapy, surgery, radiation and other procedures can be exhausting, overwhelming and just plain difficult to manage. Yet somehow, women find the strength to endure and overcome. They have lives to live, families to love, friends to treasure and tomorrows to look forward to, after all. But how do they do it? How do they get through? Eight inspiring women share how they survived their breast cancer journeys with the help of unique encouragements and small comforts that may assist your own friends and family members on this path.

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MODERN WOMAN | FALL/WINTER 2015

Finding a new mission helped Brooklyn, N.Y., psychologist Paulette Kouffman Sherman get through a lumpectomy, eight chemotherapy treatments and 33 radiation treatments to treat Stage 2 triple negative breast cancer three years ago at the age of 41. While walking along the beach one day, she says she prayed: “I have breast cancer. Did I do everything I was here to do?” She had accomplished some things, she knew, but was it enough? That’s when she received an odd — and weirdly specific — message from beyond: “You have a legacy of 22 books to publish.” It sounds totally bizarre, she acknowledges, but that message became her new mission. “I started writing during my treatment,” Sherman says. “I knew my experience would help other women get through this.” “My mission is stronger than my cancer” became her mantra, and it worked. “I found that writing was really therapeutic to me,” she says. Pouring her feelings out on paper helped her gain perspective and make some meaning of the experience. And this “narrative therapy” helped her feel empowered, like the heroine of her journey. Now, three years after her diagnosis, her 21st book is slated to be published in May 2016 by Llewellyn Worldwide. How did she finish 21 books so quickly? She wrote several short stories for her children and several books on relationships by drawing on her specialty as a psychologist. But her books about cancer — The Cancer Path, My Quick Guide Through Breast Cancer and others — may be the most inspiring to women like her, as is the lesson that writing through the pain helps ease it. “That was helpful to me personally, but I think that could be helpful to other women as well,” she says.

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: COURTESY OF PAULETTE SHERMAN; THINKSTOCK; JESSICA MONTE PHOTOGRAPHY

A NEW PAGE


CREATIVE RELIEF When Susan Reif, author of 39 Things to Make A Cancer Patient Smile, underwent a lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiation treatment in 2006 and 2007, she was “bowled over” by the support she received from the people in her life. The writer and educational trainer from Tuxedo Park, N.Y., still has a basket full of cards sent by people in her support network. “While you’re using every ounce of energy

you can to get through that fight, it’s nice to know there’s an outside world going on around you,” she says. One set of cards came from a creative friend who took Reif on a “virtual voyage” to notable travel destinations around the world. Reif’s friend picked postcards from famous places and wrote messages on the back describing the imaginary adventures she and Reif were having there. On a postcard from

Scottsdale, Ariz., for example, her friend wrote: “We’re going to the spa today, then we’ll be sitting by the pool, and then tomorrow we fly out to the Grand Canyon where we’ll take the mules down and go rafting on the Colorado River.” Reif never knew where the next card would take her, but anticipating its arrival and enjoying the game helped her cope with the rigors of treatment. “It was fabulous,” Reif says.

THERE WHEN YOU NEED IT MUSIC MATTERS Michelle Ward was 33 when she was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer (later changed to Stage 1) in November 2011. The Brooklyn, N.Y., career coach broke the news to friends, clients and readers of her popular blog at whenigrowupcoach.com in a really unique way: playing a pink ukulele. The funny song, “I Got Boob Cancer,” became a viral hit that was picked up and shared by Vulture and other websites. New to the ukulele and by no means a professional songwriter, Ward says, “It was a relief to deliver the bad news with a light touch. … I was surprised to have such comfort in the writing and singing of these songs.” Through her treatment, which included two lumpectomies, four rounds of chemotherapy, bilateral mastectomy — or as Ward calls it, “boobal removal” — followed by surgery to swap her expanders for implants, Ward continued to write songs and play her pink ukulele. “By keeping my sense of humor and going back to my roots in musical theater, I was able to emotionally heal,” she says.

Being supported by family and friends “was probably 90 percent of what got me through my treatments,” says Angela Fuentes, president of The Step Sisters, a Virginia-based organization that raises money to improve quality of life for those battling breast cancer. Fuentes’ two sons were 2 and 5 when she was diagnosed in 2008 at age 34. She went through a double mastectomy and four rounds of chemotherapy, she says, but the young mom had a support network that helped her and her husband navigate the challenging time. People pitched in to provide everything from “little pick-me-ups left on my porch and in my mailbox” to full meals — so many that she had to buy another refrigerator. Now she strives to “pay forward” the generosity and kindness that was shown to her family.

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GETTING THR UGH

RETAIL THERAPY Shopping helped Jessica Cudlin of Columbus, Ohio, power through surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatment for Stage 2 breast cancer last year. “Even if I was super tired and wanted to sleep, I knew I would have to get up and move,” so she hit the stores. “Shopping was therapeutic,” she says. “I ended up buying a lot of new household items and redecorating my place.” She also bought lots of “comfy and warm clothing to make my fall-to-winter treatments more

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bearable.” Adding to her success was her supportive network of friends, family and colleagues. “The company I work for stood behind me every day and provided whatever I needed to be comfortable,” she says, adding that people “came out of the woodwork” — and their comfort zones — to help her through treatment. “Friends and family came to stay with me each week to make sure I was staying hydrated, eating and getting the rest and exercise I needed,” Cudlin says.

MODERN WOMAN | FALL/WINTER 2015

Lesa Behrens received a breast cancer diagnosis seven years ago as a 40th birthday present. The swim instructor from Huntington Beach, Calif., had been swimming competitively since age 5 and taught the skill to people of all ages, from 4 months to 72 years. “I get up every morning and love to go to work,” she says. “I know it’s what I was put on Earth to do.” Not even chemotherapy could take this passion away. Though her doctor didn’t object to her time in the pool, her mother worried that Behrens would put herself at risk for infection or worse. She was concerned about the three small boys (then 11, 9 and 21 months) who depended on their mom. But Behrens’ husband, while also concerned, knew the swim classes were therapeutic and encouraged her to continue. “He knew it was what helped me get up in the morning,” she says. She continued teaching after she lost her hair and didn’t hide the effects of treatment from her students. “It was a way for me to show others that what I was going through was not a death sentence. I knew that I could help change the way people looked at (cancer treatment),” she says. Behrens was proven right when a student learned that her mother had breast cancer. The young girl told her mom, “If Mrs. Lesa can do it, you can do it, too. It’s a piece of cake.” That golden moment made “everything I went through totally worth it,” says Behrens.

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GIVE THE HELP THEY REALLY NEED

After a diagnosis of estrogenpositive breast cancer in situ (BCIS), Gari Julius Weilbacher underwent seven weeks of radiation treatments — “35 visits of four zaps each” — followed by five years of the prescription drug tamoxifen. The communications consultant, who lives near Philadelphia with her husband and two daughters, says that during treatment, she didn’t wear makeup or dress up much at first. She was taking a mental break and “honoring the fact that I had cancer and how very serious cancer is.” But one day, on a whim, she picked up a purple sweater and periwinkle corduroy pants from the store J.Jill. The first time she wore her new outfit out to lunch she discovered that her

THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT At the age of 32, Lisa Oxidine, a mother of two from Cornelius, N.C., found a lump in her breast. She was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy and chemotherapy. In 2012, when she was 46, doctors found that Oxidine’s

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bright clothes affected the whole atmosphere. “The quality of our interaction was so normal,” she says. “(Just) two people having lunch together.” She began to notice that when she wore her regular clothes, people’s expressions revealed their concern for her, a cancer patient. But when she dressed in bright, colorful clothing, the attitudes changed. “When I wore this outfit or similar ones, people worried less about me. If they worried less about me, I worried less about me,” Weilbacher says. “People treated me with more optimism, and when they were more energetic, so was I. It became a great feedback loop.”

cancer had spread to her lungs, liver, hip bones and the tissue surrounding her heart. She was diagnosed with a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer, HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer (MBC). Women with MBC typically receive treatment for the rest of their lives. Oxidine has scans every three months to make sure her cancer hasn’t grown. The scans are stressful, but relaxation tools provided by a free iPhone app, 4HER, help her get through it. The app also provides information on HER2-positive breast cancer and connects patients. “Speaking with someone who has been successful in their journey helps you approach everything in a whole new way,” she says.

One in eight U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer at some point in her life, so it’s likely you will know a friend or family member on this journey. What’s the best way to help? Do you talk about the disease or ignore the elephant in the room? Do you stay away when she’s feeling sick, or would a visit or quick call perk her up? Try these tips from women who have beaten breast cancer: ▶ Be there. Don’t avoid her because you don’t know what to do, how to help, what to say or what not to say. You don’t have to go big, make a monster commitment or launch a huge care campaign but do something. Even if it’s wrong, it’s better than letting her think you’re too busy to bother or just don’t care. When she’s well again and remembers who was and wasn’t there for her, which side do you want to be on? ▶ Suggest specifics. Vague offers such as “let me know if you need anything” puts the burden of asking for help on her. Don’t make her try to guess what you’re willing or able to do. Figure out what you can do and offer concrete ideas. Could you pick up her kids from school? Deliver a meal? Babysit one time or one day a week? Do a load of laundry? Clean a room? Take her to a movie or lunch? ▶ Be understanding. If she doesn’t answer when you call or stop by, don’t be offended. Much as she cares for you, she might be too sick, too exhausted or too overwhelmed to pull herself together or gear up for a visit. Don’t take her lack of response personally — just leave a message, email or text to tell her you’re thinking of her and check back another time. ▶ Skip horror stories. Resist the temptation to tell her about bad doctors, bad treatments, bad outcomes or other bad stories about people with breast cancer. Nobody who’s sick wants to hear health horror stories. Find good news to share instead. Tell her about someone who went through breast cancer treatment five years ago and is doing well today. ▶ Boost her ego. Tell her she is still beautiful and amazing and special. She needs to hear it — and often. ▶ Give her transportation. Check local car services to find ways to pre-pay or give vouchers for transportation when she’s facing a long commute to and from treatment.

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MEET A MODERN WOMAN

Q&A What was your very first car? A dark-green Subaru Forester. I loved that car to death until it fell apart. Favorite movie as a kid? Star Wars. Age when you started wearing makeup? I was a late bloomer so I was 17 or 18. I could have used it long before then!

BRADFORD ROGNE; AMAZON.COM; RYAN MCVAY

Favorite book read in the past year? The Giving Tree. It’s a children’s book and every time I read it, I sob.

RANDI ZUCKERBERG Founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media

In her day job, Randi Zuckerberg, founder of Zuckerberg Media, a boutique marketing firm and production company in Los Altos, Calif., works with high-profile clients such as the Clinton Global Initiative, Cirque du Soleil and PayPal. But the New York Times best-selling author is also a devoted wife and parent who juggles myriad personal and professional challenges — just like the rest of us! She has written the book (literally) on untangling our tech-driven lives, and offers advice on being healthy while staying plugged in.

First song to which you knew the words? What’s Love Got to Do With It (by Tina Turner).

Health

Randi's best advice for online health Find your people. I am on an email list with a group of about 100 women that run their own businesses. Whatever you say in that group stays there. We ask questions, share advice and support each other. I never met these women, but they are incredible mentors and allies. It’s also incredibly helpful to connect with other parents (online). I belong to a Facebook group of professional women who are moms. It’s a great place to ask questions, share ideas. Gadget your workout. There are so many ways to take control of your health through technology, whether you use a Fitbit, a FuelBand or another health tracker to help you be more active. There are also all types of communities that offer support, whether you want to lose weight or recover from an addiction. For more tips, check out Dot Complicated, Zuckerberg’s guide to living in peaceful coexistence with technology, or visit her online community, dotcomplicated.co.

Coffee or tea? Coffee.

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Health

Yoga Your Way Whether you like to stretch or sweat, om or ahh, there’s a practice that’s best for you BY MARY HELEN BERG

F

inding a yoga class is easy. Deciding which one is right for you can be as challenging as doing a one-handed tree pose. Most yoga studios in the U.S. offer a form of hatha yoga, which uses poses (or asanas) to balance and unite the mind, body and spirit. Some offer an intense workout; others provide more stretch than sweat. Finding a good match will encourage you to stay with your practice and reach your Zen.

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YOGA BOOM

ASHTANGA Find your inner athlete

You’ll need to be committed and athletic to practice true Ashtanga every morning, up to six times a week. Ashtanga links rhythmic breathing to a strict series of six postures performed in rapid sequence. Popular vinyasa Powerflow classes are contemporary, less-rigid versions of Ashtanga that still offer a great workout.

BIKRAM Some like it hot!

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Bikram moves through a 26-pose sequence in rooms heated to 105 degrees. The high temperature pumps up the challenge while limbering up joints and increasing flexibility. A deep sweat leaves you feeling detoxed. Choose Bikram only if you’re in great health and don’t mind extreme heat.

Yoga originated in India at least 5,000 years ago. The forms typically practiced in the U.S. first caught on in the 1960s. Today, more than 24 million Americans practice yoga, according to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association.

KUNDALINI Quiet your mind

Considered more spiritual than many other yoga styles, ancient Kundalini uses chanting, mantras, visualization and mindful breathing sequences to release energy from the base of the spine. It’s perfect if you’re seeking a mind, body and spirit connection.

IYENGAR Hold that pose

This slower, less vigorous style uses blocks, straps and other props to help you attain correct poses. Teachers focus on just a few poses per class, so you’ll be asked to hold each for many minutes. Iyengar is physically and mentally therapeutic, great for focus, alignment and recovery from injury.

YIN Relax and restore

Yin isn’t really exercise — it’s more like a relaxing bath. Yin and other types of restorative yoga are great for stress relief. It involves stretching, music-guided relaxation and plenty of savasana, or the corpse pose.

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Health

Blurred Lines The truth about wrinkles can be hard to uncover. Read on for real ways to prevent and treat.

Sun damage is the No. 1 cause of wrinkles so skip the tan to stay smooth.

BY CHRYSTLE FIEDLER

Y

surgery, division of plastic surgery and medical director of the Skin Care Program at The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. “More and more people are becoming self-conscious about wrinkles, and at an earlier stage in life.”

Sound familiar? In the most basic terms, wrinkles are a natural part of aging. As we get older our skin

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our face is your identity (and for some, it’s their fortune), so when lines, creases, crevices and furrows begin to change your appearance it’s, well, kind of alarming. “When you have a departure from what you’re used to looking like when you’re an adult, it can be distressing,” says Dr. Ivona Percec, associate director of cosmetic

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One easy way to prevent forehead lines? Smile! Frequently furrowed brows really do tax the skin.

becomes drier, less elastic and more fragile, which creates wrinkles on the face, neck, hands and forearms. Those age lines may be a sign of a life well-lived — but it doesn’t mean you have to like them. “The goal with wrinkles, like all other aspects of medicine, is prevention,” says Percec. “When you hit your late 20s and your skin can no longer rejuvenate and repair itself as effectively, it’s essential to ramp up your skin-care regimen and, perhaps, turn to office-based procedures to turn back the clock a bit.”

Cease the crease When it comes to prevention, there are some factors you

can control and some you can’t. “Only about 10 percent of wrinkling is because of a genetic predisposition to aging,” says Dr. Robyn S. Gmyrek, an assistant professor of dermatology at Columbia University. “Ninety percent of it is from smoking, drinking alcohol, not eating right, pollutants and most of all, sun exposure.” That’s right, Mr. Sun: skin’s public enemy No. 1. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light breaks down the collagen and elastin molecules in the dermis area of the skin, making it sag and wrinkle. “When you get a tan, it means that the UV light has reached your DNA and damaged it,” says Gmyrek, who

As we age, our skin becomes drier and more fragile, especially in delicate areas.

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Health is also the director of the Skin and Laser Center at Columbia University. “Pigment, which turns us tan, is the body’s way of protecting itself.” The solution is to apply a broad spectrum sunscreen (SPF 30 to 50) that contains minerals such as titanium and copper, which physically block the sun and protect against UV rays. And be sure to reapply every two hours. “There are thousands of formulations available,” says Gmyrek. “Find one that you like, and apply it daily.” Wear sun-protective clothing, too, and sunglasses to prevent squinting. After sun exposure, gently moisturize any irritated skin.

The toxins in a cigarette break down collagen and elastin, decrease blood flow to the face and make you squint and puff, causing fine lines. And too much alcohol (more than one glass a day) will dehydrate you, making wrinkles more prominent. A healthy diet rich in antioxidants — you can find them in deep-green, leafy veggies and citrus fruits — will help fight free-radical damage to the skin. And by nixing (or reducing) your intake of processed foods, you can keep your immune system strong, preventing the breakdown of collagen and elastin. Exercise improves overall skin quality because the effort helps to reduce stress and anxiety and, in turn, reduces levels of cortisol, aka the stress hormone. Even your sleeping habits can affect whether or not you get wrinkles, says Gmyrek. “If you sleep on your side year after year, you can get wrinkles on your cheek, chin or forehead.” So, if you can manage it, it’s best to sleep on your back.

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If you start young with good skin care and healthy eating and living habits, you can reduce changes in your skin and delay or prevent surgery and other invasive procedures. “Or if you have surgery, you’ll achieve a more natural result because you’ve protected your skin all along,” says Dr. Ivona Percec.

RX FOR SKIN HEALTH “The best skincare routine focuses on protecting the skin during the day and repairing the damage that has occurred over night,” says Percec. She recommends: Start with a retinol product, which acts as the skin’s main defense against aging.

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Apply an antioxidant cream.

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Follow with moisturizer.

Slather on sunscreen, especially when following this plan, because retinoids can make the skin more sensitive to the sun.

Smooth and remove “The most important product to add to your regimen is a topical retinoid derived from vitamin A, like tretinoin and tazarotene,” says Percec. “It’s the No. 1 agent we have right now to rejuvenate, repair and protect the skin.” Retinoids stimulate an increase in collagen and, in turn, reduce fine lines and boost cell turnover, making skin smoother. Younger women can go for over-thecounter retinol, but if you are in your late 30s to 50s, it’s better to use a higher potency prescription retinoid, such as Retin-A. Alpha hydroxy acid applied topically also helps to improve collagen production. Antioxidant creams can help to turn back the clock on aging. Research shows that antioxidants, such as vitamins E and C, defend the skin by quashing the free radicals that are formed in response to sun exposure. “While eating foods with antioxidants is important, only so much will be delivered to the skin,”

says Gmyrek. “The only way to increase the amount of antioxidants on your skin, is to put it on your skin.” While moisturizing helps to support, protect and plump up the epidermis, it doesn’t get rid of wrinkles. “A moisturizer doesn’t affect wrinkles at all,” says Gmyrek. “It only hydrates your skin to make your wrinkles look better.”

Bring in the big guns If you really want to look your best, you may want to see a qualified dermatologist (check aad.org/find-a-derm for your local doc) who can create a skin-care program tailored to your needs. This may include procedures such as laser, radiofrequency for skin tightening, a facelift, microdermabrasion, chemical peels, Botox or soft-tissue fillers, which can all banish wrinkles. “New therapies are being developed at a very rapid pace because patients want high efficacy with little downtime,” says Percec.

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PREVENTION FIRST


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Health

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MODERN WOMAN | FALL/WINTER 2015


THOU SHALT STRESS LESS Beat burnout and find time to do what matters most BY KRISTI VALENTINI

C

onfession: I thrive on pressure (hello, deadlines!). Checking tasks off my to-do list makes me feel like a Nobel laureate. And while it’s great to be productive, adding kids to my already hectic life has made my day-to-day routine that much more insane. The needs of everyone (my children, my husband, even the dog) and everything (my job, my home, my social commitments) seem more important than my own goals (going on a vacation, getting a ripped bod or just taking a much-needed break). My “me” time now? Getting a flu shot or going to the bathroom without being asked to braid a doll’s hair at the same time. And, for better or for worse, nearly every friend I know is going through this same “I’m-fine-but-barely-holdingit-together” struggle. “I feel like I am constantly trying to squeeze things into my

schedule — like grocery shopping and doctors’ appointments. It is a giant juggling act, where I say, ‘Well, I need to feed the kids, but do I really need to have my annual Pap smear?” says Colleen Mulhall-Briski, a mom of two in Westminster, Calif., who gets up at 4:40 a.m. to exercise before rushing into her morning routine. Putting ourselves on the back burner while we live this superbusy, fast life has real consequences. “We don’t have much downtime so we end up losing time to sleep, relax and connect with friends and partners. All these things affect our sense of well-being and health,” says Katrina Alcorn, author of Maxed Out: American Moms on the Brink. Increased cortisol — the stress hormone that raises blood sugar and alters our immune systems — can lead to insomnia, anxiety and depression. Even worse, continuous stress can make us

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Health

STRESS HURTS!

Clenching your jaw, neck and shoulder muscles is a common reaction to stress. If you’re chronically in this state, you’re hurting your body. Loosen up with yoga, massage or simple stretches — and relax!

Prioritize Write down all the have-to-do’s, need-to-do’s and should-do’s that are crowding your mind. Then figure out your most important tasks for the next three to six months. These are your short-term goals. Prioritize the tasks on your to-do list by what will help you achieve these goals. On a daily basis, select the one thing that

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absolutely must get done (and also helps you reach your goals) and commit to accomplishing it. Give yourself permission to not do anything else. Seriously. “Our to-do list is there to help us, not tyrannize us,” Schulte states. “You have to make choices. I cannot tell you how many times I have left a gigantic pile of laundry unfolded to read a book instead.”

Opt-out “The pressure (to do it all) is real in this culture, and you shouldn’t feel like something is wrong with you because you can’t handle the stress,” says Alcorn. Instead, she advises women to opt out of whatever it is that’s adding unnecessary exhaustion to their lives. Say no to an after-hours networking event, to endless kids’ activities or the boring book club that you just complain about

attending. Then you can say yes to a yoga class, a date night or even logging more z’s. “You do have a choice. If it’s a beautiful day and you want to ditch swim lessons to go to the park, go for it. You can change your mind at the spur of the moment,” Alcorn says.

Stop comparing Yeah, but Mrs. Heidi-KlumLook-Alike has five kids with brushed hair, a rockin’ job title and time for hot yoga, plus weekend date nights! You know you’d be lying if you claimed a goal like this has never crossed your mind. But Alcorn puts it simply: Just stop. “Women fall into a trap when we measure our insides, which we know are a hot mess, by other people’s outsides. Everyone has their own struggles. We do ourselves a disservice when we keep comparing. And, we do other

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more susceptible to heart disease. So there are real health concerns that come from the overload. And running on fumes is a serious issue in the U.S., where women don’t just have it all, but do it all (or most of it), too, says Brigid Schulte, author of Overwhelmed: How to Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time. According to Schulte, women not only work more hours at their jobs now than they did in previous decades, society has gone and raised the standards on what it takes to be a good mom and maintain a home. So when you get to the point of going without meals, brushing your teeth or having sex (and fun!) because there’s “just no time,” Schulte says, you need to stop and take a serious look at your life. You there now? We hear you. Here’s what to do next:


MEDITATION FOR THE MODERN WOMAN So you’ve been reading self-help books and scanning the Internet for ways to get relief from this life lived in the fast lane? Chances are you’ve come across the idea of using meditation to boost your mood. Experts say it helps you reset and grow calmer, even if you only have five minutes to do it. Five minutes? You can spare that. Here are 10 steps to get started from the Garrison Institute, a non-profit organizationthat develops contemplative-based methodologies for social change. Create time and space. Choose a regular time each day to practice. Ideally find a quiet place free of distractions and interruptions.

Direct attention to your breathing. Focus on a part of the body where the breath feels prominent. Try not to switch focus.

Set a timer. Start with five minutes and ease your way up to 15 to 40 minutes.

Maintain attention to your breathing. As you inhale and exhale, focus on the breath. If attention wanders, return to the breath. Let go of thoughts, feelings or distractions.

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Find a comfortable sitting position. Sit cross-legged on the floor or in a chair with your feet flat on the ground.

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people a disservice because we judge them, and they feel it.”

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Find shortcuts Look for ways to make required weekly or daily tasks easier. For example, meal planning and grocery shopping is the bane of time-starved women, at least the ones I know. Breakfast for dinner again? No thanks! Mulhall-Briski uses the smartphone app Plan to Eat (plantoeat. com) to streamline the process. In my playgroup, two moms use meal prep services, and another mom does a huge Costco run once a month, preps and freezes her own meals and then uses a weekly home-delivery service for perishables. Find what works for you and your family — and outsource.

Get help Before you melt down, ask

others to pitch in. Perhaps your co-worker can take a task off your plate. Maybe a (really nice!) friend could pick up your dry cleaning. Your partner could do the Christmas shopping this year. The kids could walk the dog. But to get help, you have to speak up, says Alcorn. “When we’re feeling overwhelmed, we need to let people in our lives know so they can help. Advocate for what you need early on.” Most of all, don’t let slowing your roll become another big to-do on your list. Start small. Even incremental changes can give you major relief over time. Says Schulte, “We’re always chasing after the big happy, but it’s really the micro moments that matter. Small shifts in your mindset, your moods and your habits make a difference.”

Check your posture. Sit up straight, hands in a comfortable position. Keep neck long, chin tilted slightly downward, tongue resting on the roof of the mouth. Relax shoulders. Close eyes or gaze downward five to 10 feet in front of you.

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Take deep breaths. Deep breathing helps settle the body and establish your presence in the space.

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Repeat steps 6 and 7. For the duration of the meditation session. The mind will wander. Simply acknowledge this and return to your breath.

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Be kind to yourself. Don’t be upset if focus occasionally drifts or if you fall asleep. If very tired, meditate with open eyes.

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Prepare for a soft landing. When the timer goes off, keep eyes closed until you’re ready to open them. Be thankful. Acknowledge your practice with gratitude.

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MEET A MODERN WOMAN

Relationships

Q&A

Read Jasmine’s expert advice at her website, lovebyjd.com.

What was your very first car? A 2000 silver Mazda 626. My parents made me pay for it all the way through. Car note, insurance, everything. Favorite movie as a kid? A Chorus Line. I’m a real Broadway buff.

BRADFORD ROGNE; AMAZON.COM; RYAN MCVAY

Age when you started wearing makeup? 13. … I was all incorrect about makeup. I did really dark black lip liner, super-dark eye pencil. I was really goth-looking even though I wasn’t a goth!

JASMINE DIAZ Author, matchmaker, relationship expert

Matchmaker Jasmine Diaz has spent the past six years guiding couples — including a host of celebrities, athletes and business professionals — toward love connections. The mother of two knows more than a little about lasting love: She’s been married for 13 years to a man she met online.

How do you order your eggs? I eat egg whites. … They can be scrambled or made into an omelet. First song to which you knew the lyrics? Just the Way You Are (by Billy Joel). My mom used to sing that to me all the time.

Jasmine's dating tips

Don’t place too much pressure on the date. If you manage your expectations (and) expect the unexpected, you’ll have fun and take the pressure off. It’s also important to have a positive attitude. Just because you had a past relationship that didn’t work out well doesn’t mean you should transfer those feelings to others. Make sure your attitude and personality are as attractive as your appearance. Know what you want. A lot of people just sort of wing it without knowing what kind of person they are interested in meeting. It doesn’t take five dates with a bad boy to decide you don’t want that type of person. It’s important to take stock and decide what you want and what you don’t want. That’s when you can find the person that is right for you. Don’t rush into anything. Even if you meet someone and have an incredibly positive first date or two, don’t immediately lock on to that one person. It’s important to see how things work out over time and evaluate the person, your goals and your options. That’s especially true if you’re dating more than one person. 67


PHOTO CREDIT THINKSTOCK

Relationships

68 MODERN WOMAN | FALL/WINTER 2015 2 MAG NAME XXXXXXXXXX


In a Friendship Fix? BFFs are more important than you might think BY KAREN ASP

F

riends may come and go, but there’s good reason to make sure they’re doing more staying and less leaving. Studies have found that close friends help you stress less, feel greater happiness, have more purpose in life and live longer. Trouble is, Americans aren’t doing so well in the friendship department. Three-quarters of us admit to being unsatisfied with our CLOSENESS social group — the most discouraged COUNTS among us being those between 35 and It’s not about having the most friends; it’s about how 69 years old, according to a 2013 State close of a connection you of Friendship in America report. have. Research shows that people with close friends Women in their 30s, 40s and 50s (the average is four) have have an especially difficult time makgreater happiness and satisfaction. ing and keeping friends. “Women at this time of life are often stretched beyond their limits as they simultaneously juggle careers with caregiving responsibilities for children and parents,” says Irene S. Levine, psychologist and professor of psychiatry at the New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City. Women in this age range may feel guilty about spending time with friends, thinking it borders on being selfindulgent. As a result, they wind up skimping on cultivating and maintaining friendships, says Levine, who runs TheFriendshipBlog.com. But this often-stressful stage in life is the very time you need to place an even bigger priority on friendships. “Humans need connections — it’s crucial to our mental health,” says Nancy D. O’Reilly, psychologist in Springfield, Mo., and creator of the foundation Women Connect4Good, Inc. “We rely on the emotional support of our women friends.”

HOW TO DEAL WITH A FRIENDSHIP THAT’S GONE AWRY In a perfect world, best friends would be forever. But the world is far from perfect, and not only do people drift in and out of each other’s lives, some friendships also run their course. If you���re experiencing friendship woes, your relationship may be going through a bumpy patch. If that’s the case, communicate with your friend sooner rather than later, says psychologist Nancy O’Reilly. Find out what’s wrong and apologize if you’ve said or done something to hurt her. On the other hand, numerous signs, such as breaking dates with the person or dreading seeing her, feeling uncomfortable when you’re together or having frequent misunderstandings, indicate a friendship is probably better ended. While it’s tempting to blow off the friend until she gets the message, psychologist Irene S. Levine encourages you to have a heart-to-heart. Take responsibility for your decision to end the friendship, be as kind and honest as you can and don’t be afraid to tell a white lie to avoid hurt feelings. “Your friend will never forget the last conversation you had,” Levine says.

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Relationships

FOLLOW THE 1% RULE Whether it’s a weekly lunch or girlfriends’ getaway, make a conscious commitment to dedicate 1 percent of your time (which equates to roughly 90 minutes) each week to friends. “According to our research, most adults lack confidence in their closest friends, expressing a sense of uncertainty about where you stand and how much you mean to each other,” says Tim Walker, co-founder of GetLifeboat.com. “Showing you care in small ways plants seeds of trusts.” Have trouble committing? Schedule it on your calendar just as you would any appointment, Levine says. And multitasking is OK. Run errands or fit in a workout with your friend.

GET CONNECTED Connecting in person is best. But if you can’t see friends in person, at least use technology to stay in touch, and more importantly, keep up with important milestones in each other’s lives, Levine says. Apps are a fun and easy way to connect. Play Monopoly, Jenga or Words with Friends. Start a Fitocracy group for you and your girlfriends to track fitness goals. Or simply send a virtual hug with the HUG! app.

GIRL TIME Follow these strategies to strengthen your bonds or create new ones

GET OUT OF THE OFFICE You already have a strong bond with co-workers, so why not shake things up by meeting for after-work drinks or having dinner together every so often? This creates opportunities to chat about more personal things. “When we share and support on a deeper level, amazing things happen,” O’Reilly says.

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Not sure where to meet people? Think about the things you love doing and get involved with them. “Through those passions, you’ll most likely find kindred spirits who could become new friends,” Levine says. Remember, though friends for life might not always be possible, friends in life are as real as ever and well worth your time.

THINKSTOCK

INVEST IN YOUR HOBBIES


Relationships

State of the Union The age-old institution has gone through some major updates, but does holy matrimony matter in today’s modern world?

THINKSTOCK

BY SUZANNE WRIGHT

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THINKSTOCK

B

ack in the day, conventional wisdom held that marriage was a good predictor of wealth and happiness. Earlier this year, the institution was opened to more people than ever before with the Supreme Court declaring same-sex marriage legal across the U.S. But with the rate of marriage decreasing overall (it was 6.8 marriages per 1,000 people in 2012 vs. 8.2 per 1,000 in 2000), we wonder: Do “I do’s” still matter? When it comes to your pocketbook, research says it does. And it’s best if those nuptials make it for the long haul. The median 65- to 69-year-old married household has almost 10 times as much in savings as the typical single person in that age range, according to a 2012 study by the National Bureau of Economic Research. As an example, that’s $111,600 compared with $12,500. Randall Wright, a finance professor at the Wisconsin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, says this may be attributed to the fact that “transaction” costs, such as child care, cooking and cleaning, are lower for those who are partnered. Gail Gross, a nationally recognized expert on family and relationships, says marriage sustains prosperity for one obvious reason: Divorce divides assets. What is still hotly debated is whether marriage contributes to happiness. The burning question: Do happy people get married, or does marriage make people happy? Some, like Gross, believe partnership is a key to well-being. “When people are happily married, they tend to be more creative, since they are no longer seeking a mate and can focus that energy on other avenues,” she says. Other experts are not so sure. “What I have experienced both personally and professionally is that marriage alone is not the predictor of wealth and happiness,” says Shauna

Ries, co-founder of Boulder, Colo.based Mediators Without Borders, a mediation and arbitration services company. “Rather, it’s the ability to have a degree of understanding of the other’s perspective in a marriage.” Known as inter-spousal empathy, Ries says this type of bond may well translate to wealth and happiness. But singletons, take note: You can have the same empathetic exchange in close platonic friendships. Stacy Kaiser, psychotherapist and relationship expert, maintains that while research has shown that married people live longer and happier lives, happiness requires more than a ring and a legal commitment. “Happiness at its core comes from a sense of contentment, good experiences and a feeling of support so that one doesn’t feel alone in the world,” she says. “If a marriage can provide those things, then it can lead to greater happiness.”

“Marriage alone is not the predictor of wealth and happiness. Rather, it’s the ability to have a degree of understanding of the other’s perspective in a marriage.” — SHAUNA RIES, CO-FOUNDER OF MEDIATORS WITHOUT BORDERS

MARRIED VS. SINGLE The median 65-to 69-year-old married household has almost

10 times as much in savings

as the typical singleperson household.

— NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

RATE OF MARRIAGE 2012

6.8 per

1,000 people 2000

8.2 per

1,000 people

— NATIONAL CENTER FOR HEALTH STATISTICS, U.S. CENSUS BUREAU

TRANSACTION COSTS “Transaction” costs, such as child care, cooking and cleaning, are

lower

for those who are partnered.

— RANDALL WRIGHT, FINANCE PROFESSOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON

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MEET A MODERN WOMAN

Money + Career

Q&A Best advice you ever received? Never give up!

Farnoosh's best money advice

Coffee or tea? Green tea all the way!

Superpower you wish you had? To fly. After a tough day, how do you unwind? With a glass of heart-healthy red wine and a hot bath.

COURTESY OF FARNOOSH TORABI; THINKSTOCK

What’s your go-to beauty product? WATER, WATER, WATER!

FARNOOSH TORABI Personal finance expert

Farnoosh Torabi accumulated more than $30,000 in debt by the age of 22. But, while earning just $18 an hour as a journalist in New York City, she managed to balance her books. The process inspired her to help others — especially her peers — take control of their finances. As an author and personal financial consultant, she now gives advice on important topics such as the psychology of spending and how to live rich and save mightily. Learn more at farnoosh.tv.

Fall wardrobe staple? My black zip-up hoodie.

Don’t always focus on a raise. Most people generally only consider two possible solutions (to a financial crunch): scoring a raise or cutting items, such as cable television or magazine subscriptions, from their expenditures. A better and more attractive solution is earning an extra $40 or $50 a week through side work. The Internet has made that easy with online marketplaces such as TaskRabbit, that allows users to outsource jobs such as moving furniture, or Elance, that matches (freelancers) who want to work remotely. Hold yourself accountable. When you want to achieve a goal such as paying off debt, share that target with your family or other trusted confidants. Sharing your goal can make the difference between achieving and dismissing it. Keep an eye on the scale. Just as many people who struggle with weight keep close tabs on the scale, those who want healthy finances check their bank accounts each day so they can adjust spending and savings to better meet goals. 75


Money + Career

Working the Dream Take a cue from these four women and fuse your life’s passion with your 9-to-5 BY KATHERINE REYNOLDS LEWIS

W

THINKSTOCK

e log a lot of hours in the office. In fact, the average American now works 46.7 hours per week, which adds up to more than 2,400 hours a year. That’s a lot of time to dedicate to something many of us feel less than passionate about. But what if you could pursue your passion on the clock and turn a career into a dream job? These four women found a way to do just that — and offer advice on how you can do the same.

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“Believe in yourself”

COURTESY OF SHERIN NICOLE; COURTESY OF JILL SCALISI

SHERIN NICOLE

“Seize your moment” JILL SCALISI

Creative director of idobi Networks

Founder of Scalisi Skincare

As creative director of digital radio company idobi Networks, Sherin Nicole oversees the development of new shows, arranges strategic partnerships, spearheads editorial projects, directs marketing and fills other roles as needed. The interesting line of work has put her in meetings with rockers Joel Madden and Chuck Comeau (co-owners of the company), and she’s crossed paths with childhood idols Ice T and Joan Jett. “In a single day, I get to be a writer (and) executive, negotiate deals, talk to these wonderful creative companies … then I get to put on my Chucks and be a production assistant at a live event,” says Nicole, 42, of Washington, D.C. “What makes this my dream job is that I realize my total person. … The consistent flow of creativity through multiple channels is everything.” Nicole stumbled into the work by volunteering to help her friend, idobi chief executive Tom Cheney, when he launched the streaming radio network in 1999. By 2013, the company was big enough that Cheney hired her full time. “What I had to learn was to put no ceilings on myself,” she says. “I didn’t have the confidence to build my own visions. The moment I changed my belief, I changed my fortune.”

As a young girl, Jill Scalisi loved mixing up potions from her mom’s spices. But in college, she didn’t think she had the intellectual heft to become a scientist. Instead, on-campus recruiters for Wall Street drew her into a two-decade career in finance that imploded with the recession in 2008. As she was job hunting that summer, a skin cancer diagnosis completely rocked her world. “I thought, maybe this is a sign that I’m supposed to be doing something differently,” recalls the Scarsdale, N.Y., single mother of two. When she couldn’t find a skin cream that combined natural ingredients, scientific research and a luxurious feel, she decided to create her own. Thus, Scalisi Skincare was born. For a while, she worked full time in finance while building the business. But in 2012, she made the company her focus. “It was absolutely terrifying. I said, ‘I’m going to re-evaluate every quarter,’” says Scalisi, 47. She called on previous experiences to find the courage to seize her moment: “In a split second, anything can change.” The leap of faith was worth it: Her company has won the Cosmetic Executive Women’s up-and-coming beauty company award and sells products online through Birch Box and Amazon, in spas and hotels and through QVC.

INSPIRED? Ask yourself: What barriers am I putting in front of my growth and success?

INSPIRED? Ask yourself: What’s a passion I gave up to pursue a secure income? How can I find the courage to seize my moment now?

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Money + Career

ALEXANDRA ISERN

ERIN DOERWALD

National Science Foundation researcher

Family therapist at the non-profit SKY Center

Who wouldn’t enjoy playing with baby penguins on a frozen island in the Antarctic? Or traveling on a massive Swedish ice breaker to islands otherwise inaccessible to humans? Those are the kinds of once-in-a-lifetime opportunities Alexandra Isern has experienced during her 14-year career at the National Science Foundation (NSF). Isern’s role is to facilitate cutting-edge research on earth science, hydrology, paleontology, geochemistry and related fields by leading trips to Antarctica and reviewing grant proposals. “The research is so incredibly interesting and relevant, and you’re in the most beautiful place ever,” says Isern, 49, of Washington, D.C. But this dream job almost wasn’t. When Isern was a graduate student and early-career professor, she couldn’t imagine leaving academia for another career. But when she took the risk and left, she realized how soul-crushing that environment had been for her. At the NSF, she blossomed. She now enjoys having a higher-level view of scientific progress and advising researchers on how to make their grant proposals more compelling. “It’s like pitching a movie script. It has to be something that excites people. It’s got to be written well. It’s got to tell a story,” explains Isern.

Erin Doerwald’s journey to her dream job began in a mindful-parenting class. There she discovered a meditation practice that not only helped her raise her children, but eased her own longstanding anxiety and depression. She began studying mindfulness and eventually trained to become a family therapist. She now works as a therapist and program coordinator at the SKY Center, a youth suicide prevention nonprofit in Santa Fe. Doerwald previously worked in film production, art galleries and event planning. Her current role brings together many of the skills she learned from other jobs as she leads youth groups in schools, trains social work graduate students, refines the nonprofit’s curriculum and organizes programs in the community. As a bonus, her work schedule aligns with the school calendar so she has summers off with daughter Georgiana, 9, and son Max, 5. “The fact that we have so many levels of service targeted to kids and families and at a community level … is why I love it so much,” says Doerwald. “I am never bored. We are delivering a very lifeaffirming and unique service, one that touches my heart.”

INSPIRED? Ask yourself: What’s keeping me in my current career? What would I risk by making a change?

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“Find service in work”

MODERN WOMAN | FALL/WINTER 2015

INSPIRED? Ask yourself: How can I add an element of service to my current career or pursue purposeful work for my dream job?

COURTESY OF ALEXANDRA ISERN; COURTESY OF ERIN DOERWALD

“Take a risk”


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Influencing health care and enhancing quality of life. www.utc.edu/nursing

UTC is an EEO/AA/Titles VI & IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA institution.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is a comprehensive, community-engaged campus of the University of Tennessee System.


Money & Career

Skill Up! The 21st-century career woman has new tasks to learn BY LORI SANTOS

T

THINKSTOCK

he skills you need to succeed in today’s marketplace may be a little different than the triedand-true ones you learned in school. Take some tips from workplace watchers Rhonda Abrams, president of PlanningShop, and journalist and author Anita Bruzzese, both columnists for USA TODAY, and bone up on these fresh-and-now talents.

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1

Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate.

Everyone agrees: You need to get better at it. Take a class, hire a coach, work with a mentor or practice with parents, friends and co-workers. This skill can lead to more money and respect. What’s to lose?

2

Understand Big Data.

It’s everywhere, in business, marketing, hiring, accounting, education, health care ... (And if you don’t speak the language, Big Data commonly refers to the reams of unsorted information created and collected through our digital activities.) Find ways to help others interpret the huge flow of statistical information at our fingertips — and make decisions to better your business based on it. “I can’t stress how invaluable these women could become if they filled that role,” says Bruzzese. You don’t necessarily have to go back to school, but you should understand this new world. And it wouldn’t hurt to pick up another new talent along the way: Web coding. You may not grow into a bonafide computer nerd, but you’ll learn how they talk, which will come in handy when you manage, hire and work with technology pros, says Abrams.

3

Spend time with the wheelers and dealers.

Too few women have jobs dealing with the “money” side of the business. Look for opportunities to directly connect with the people who bring in the big bucks, whether it’s operations, sales, mergers or acquisitions. “Many women get shut out of the C-suite because they don’t have this experience,” Bruzzese says.

4

Speak up.

In meetings, classes and relationships, let your voice be heard. Abrams says she recently spoke with female MBA students at Stanford University and found that even these bright, accomplished young women felt they always had to sound smart before they’d ever open their mouths. That just gives the more assertive guys the floor.

5

Don’t wait for perfection.

Abrams remembers a recruiter stating that if a job opening lists 10 requirements, a woman won’t apply if she’s missing one — and a man will apply if he has just one. “Both men and women assure me this is true! So start embracing some of that male confidence — even when you’re not perfect,” Abrams says.

6

Toot your own horn.

It’s difficult, but it’s a must. You’ll get the job, land the clients and maybe even win an award if you learn to promote yourself. “You have to become comfortable telling people why they should choose you,” Abrams says.

7

Don’t be the mom.

While young women may not fall into this trap as easily, older women often are given the job of organizing the holiday party, the annual picnic, the birthday potluck. Or, they’re handing out Motrin. “This role has never helped any woman in the workplace,” Bruzzese says.

8

Stop apologizing.

“‘I’m so sorry I didn’t have time to write more tips. I was only able to create just these nine suggestions.’ Sounds weak, right?” says Abrams. “And it undermines how credible my suggestions are. But women do this all the time — especially in spoken language, adding words like ‘sorry,’ ‘only,’ ‘just.’” Lose those words.

9

Get personal.

Even in the wired world, don’t rely too much on email. It’s important to check in via phone (or in person!) with your boss or your subordinates, says Bruzzese, because nothing beats that personal connection.

One More to Master

Take care of your finances yourself. A huge part of being successful is handling your money. Mary Beth Franklin, a contributing editor at InvestmentNews.com, says you earn your own paycheck, so negotiate your pay raises; save for your retirement (through a 401(k) or an individual retirement account); create your emergency fund; and manage your credit and credit score — on your own!

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MEET A MODERN WOMAN

Q&A What was your very first car? My first car was an Acura Integra. Favorite movie as a kid? E.T. The ExtraTerrestrial I grew up in Porter Ranch, Calif., where they filmed E.T., and I loved watching the places (the characters) would ride their bikes, since I rode my BMX on the exact same trails.

JEREMY LEE/ALEXX HENRY STUDIOS; THINKSTOCK

First song to which you knew the lyrics? I was taking piano lessons and bought the sheet music to Air Supply’s The One That You Love and Journey’s Open Arms. I learned all the words first before I learned the music!

PAIGE HEMMIS Designer and TV personality

Everyone knows Paige Hemmis as the positive and perky designer who helped make dreams a reality on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. What you may not know is that this skilled TV host, 43, is also a wedding planner, carpenter, home builder, house flipper and licensed real estate broker who founded Tuff Chix, a line of women’s tools and products.

Home

Paige's best home tips Start small. If you attempt to do something too big, you will get discouraged when it’s not done in a day! For example, don’t redo the kitchen as your first DIY. If you can, move out while making improvements. If you can’t do that and are working on your home improvements while living there, have a dedicated area you can quarantine off that is clean. You will need this for your sanity. Drywall dust is extremely fine and will end up under your computer keys at the other end of the house. Make a budget for time and for money. Then double it. It will take more time and money than you’ve budgeted. Trust me! For more tips, scroll through (and try out!) great DIY projects on her lifestyle blog, paigehemmis.com.

Age when you started wearing makeup? I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup until the ninth grade. I remember I was so excited that I got to wear makeup that I bought my first lip gloss. It was a totally ’80s light-pink color. Coffee or tea? Coffee. :)

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30,000,000 Women

Autoimmune diseases affect far too many women.

Have one or more autoimmune diseases Autoimmune Disease is a Major Women’s Health Issue

It’s time we give them a voice...

t  QFSDFOU PG BMM "NFSJDBO XPNFO PS  JO  BSF BGGFDUFE t 0O BWFSBHF JU UBLFT  ZFBST BOE  EPDUPST UP SFBDI B EJBHOPTJT t "VUPJNNVOF EJTFBTFT SVO JO GBNJMJFT .PUIFST %BVHIUFST BOE Sisters may have one or more autoimmune diseases

Autoimmune Diseases Association

There are more than 100 autoimmune diseases including Graves’ Disease, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Lupus, Primary Biliary Cirrhosis, Autoimmune Hepatitis, Scleroderma, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Myasthenia Gravis, Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome, Pernicious Anemia‌.

Find out how we are Linking Together for a Cure at www.aarda.org

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M i c h i g a n A p p l e s .co m


Home

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: ASHLEIGH CARTER, THINKSTOCK

The Tidy Home Tome A Japanese how-to has Americans tossing out clutter by the bagful. But is it really magic? BY HOLLIE DEESE

B

y the time Anna Kate Mackle of Tampa Bay, Fla., got a copy of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (the book by Japanese organizer Marie Kondo that has taken the U.S. by storm), she had given decluttering the college try — a few times. Needless to say, it didn’t take. But something about Kondo’s deliberate and unique method made Mackle rethink her process. “(My family)

had been trying to declutter and would do a little bit at a time, but not ever finish,” says Mackle, the principal harpist for the Florida Orchestra. “So we went through the steps that she talks about in the book, and she talks about going in a specific order.” While other decluttering books suggest tackling one room at a time or discarding five items a day, the KonMari Method outlined in the popular book (2 million copies sold and counting)

pushes people to do a complete home overhaul. Kondo recommends starting with clothes before moving on to harderto-part-with items such as books and even pictures and heirlooms. In each category, all items must be put on the floor, then picked up and touched one by one. The only question you need to answer to keep the item is, does it spark joy? “Before, we had been operating

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Home

Joshua and Kim Becker pared down their lives in 2008 and have been happily touting the benefits of minimalism since.

under the preamble of ‘Have you used it in the past two years?’ or ‘Do you love it?’ as how to decide whether to throw stuff out,” Mackle says. So does the process work? Is it magic? Mackle says, yes! “Just having a calm, happy, organized home and not feeling like every day I am doing the same thing, picking up the same things, is great,” she says.

Less stuff = less stress Deborah Heisz, co-founder and editorial director of Live Happy magazine, says the declutter trend is popular right now because it not only eliminates dust and distraction; it leads to less stress. “There has been very key science on the effect clutter has on your life,” she says, citing a 2012 UCLA study that looked at how mothers’ stress hormones spiked when they were dealing

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with their belongings. “Seventy-five percent of families in the U.S. can’t park their cars in the garage because they have too much stuff. It is genuinely a stress builder.” The new minimalism is a shift away from the materialistic mindset that has been pervasive in recent years. It’s quite a lifestyle change for people who once strived for more and more stuff and now want to swap the material goods for experiences. Arizona couple Joshua and Kim Becker began shedding their possessions after a moment of clarity one Saturday morning seven years ago. Dad was cleaning out the garage and Mom organizing the house as their 5-year-old son played by himself. “I remember looking at the pile of dirty and dusty stuff that I hadn’t used all winter, and then saw my son

Anna Kate Mackle was inspired to finally tackle her family’s clutter.

playing alone in the back yard,” says Joshua, who has authored e-books on minimalism. “I had the realization that everything I owned wasn’t making me happy. Even worse, everything I owned was taking me away from the very thing that did bring me happiness and purpose and fulfillment in life.” Although it was hard to get rid of certain things, the family has never looked back. “In every imaginable way our life has improved,” he says. “We have more time to do things because we are doing less cleaning and organizing. There is more gratitude in our life,

COURTESY OF JOSHUA BECKER; COURTESY OF ANNA KATE MACKLE; THINKSTOCK

“I had the realization that everything I owned ... was taking me away from the very thing that did bring me happiness and purpose and fulfillment in life.” — JOSHUA BECKER, MINIMALIST BLOGGER


“Seventy-five percent of families in the U.S. can’t park their cars in the garage because they have too much stuff. It is genuinely a stress builder.”

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: THINKSTOCK; SB PHOTOGRAPHY; THINKSTOCK; SB PHOTOGRAPHY; COURTESY JOSHUA BECKER; TEN SPEED PRESS

— DEBORAH HEISZ, LIVE HAPPY MAGAZINE

more contentment in our life. We have found more generosity, and we stopped comparing what we had to the other people around us.”

David and Christina Diller have embraced a minimalist lifestyle to spend more time with children Maeve and Maverick.

Finding focus Perhaps the most magical outcome of decluttering is the focus people find once the distraction of stuff is removed. David Diller and his wife, Christina, (whose blog ticoandtina.com includes a focus on minimalism and “cultivating simplicity”) began streamlining their lives in 2012, cutting down on their material possessions and changing how they approach work and life. Now, they say, they’re more focused on what really matters to them: family, travel and experiencing other cultures. “Before we started this journey our

mindset was to have and do more,” she says. “But it wasn’t giving us more life — we felt overwhelmed and stressed and depressed because it was too much.” The goal, Christina says, is to create an environment where you can stop worrying about things that hold you back and move forward with purpose.

MASTER MINIMALISM These resources will help you pare down BOOK The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing By Marie Kondo Your favorite bloggers and half your Facebook friends have already read this New York Timesbestselling book. So don’t miss the bandwagon. It’s a quick read and sure to inspire a new way of thinking about your stuff.

“There is a freeing element of not having to keep up with stuff that doesn’t matter and being able to identify what you really need in your life to live and be happy,” she says. Whether you get to that place with the help of a Japanese guru or take your own road there — make your own magic!

BLOG David Diller and his wife, Christina, publish a wealth of info on minimalism and decluttering on their website, ticoandtina.com. E-BOOK Joshua Becker has published a series of e-books about embracing minimalism, available on several devices. Start with Simplify: 7 Guiding Principles to Help Anyone Declutter Their Home and Life. He and his wife also blog about the family’s experiences at becomingminimalist.com.

PODCAST Author Joel Zaslofsky produces an entertaining and useful podcast called Value of Simple. Find the podcast (and other great info) at his website, valueofsimple.com.

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Home

Office Upgrade

EASY ADD-ONS

Need to modernize your home workspace? Here’s a handy guide. BY JANENE MASCARELLA

STREAMLINE YOUR SPACE Maximize your vertical space to create a system that allows you to properly organize bills, paperwork, magazines and more, suggests Ginny Snook Scott, chief design officer for California Closets. “A mix of open and closed storage leaves frequently used items

accessible and gives you the freedom to hide clutter,” she says. And if you don’t have a lot of extra room to work with, it’s OK to get creative. “One popular feature of home offices is to incorporate wall beds so that the space can also double as a guest bedroom,” adds Snook Scott. “Create a multifunctional room without sacrificing the design aesthetic.”

INCORPORATE YOUR PERSONALITY What’s the fun of working from home if your office looks like your old cubicle? “Most often, my clients ask for home office spaces that are multifunctional,” explains interior designer Catherine Avery of Resovate Office Design in Fairfield, Conn. “For example, if they ask for a creative area to think, I may suggest a bar/café-height table and two chairs for brainstorming with a business partner or a comfortable chair with a floor lamp and a side table.”

Avery encourages clients to consider the image they want to project as they decorate. “What do they stand for? What are their passions and hobbies? What colors are meaningful for them? Then we choose fun accessories and art that reflect their vision,” she says.

ORGANIZE IT Amanda LeBlanc, an organizational designer and storage expert, believes your home office should be functional, yet chic. It’s crucial, she says, to create an organizational system. The “action file” is her answer to the piles of mail you receive; each should be labeled with action verbs such as “To Do,” “To File,” “To Pay.” “Now, when you are ready to go through your mail, it is already sorted and you can pay, go and file,” she adds.

SUIT YOUR NEEDS If you’re on a budget, zero in on the essentials first. “The most important piece is the desk chair, as we spend so much time in them,” says Avery. “Proper ergonomics are so important to people’s health and well-being. Fortunately, there are great chairs at a variety of price points.”

Paint Perfect: When you pick paint for a home office, think about the colors that help you concentrate and work effectively. “Research has shown that the color green helps to improve concentration, but since color is very subjective, make a selection that meets your needs,” says Andrea Magno, color and design expert for Benjamin Moore.

Keita Turner, president and creative director of KT Design Solutions LLC in New York City, offers an expert checklist for a chic look: Maximize window views. Include bookshelves and plenty of storage for resource books, product samples, fabric swatches and other necessities. Use floating shelves to give the illusion that objects on display are floating in mid-air. Choose a long, floating, wall-mounted desk or a simple Parsonsstyle desk. Long desks can wrap around the perimeter of the room or rest against a long wall. Place a large work table or desk in the middle of the room. This can double as a meeting table.

THINKSTOCK

N

o matter how often you conduct business from su casa, chances are your workspace could use a little refreshing. Comfortable, convenient, fashionable and functional … yes, the perfect and professional home office is possible.


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MEET A MODERN WOMAN

Q&A Favorite book you read in the past year? The Alchemist (by Paulo Coelho) is a longtime favorite. Age when you started wearing makeup? I started wearing lipstick at age 11 and other cosmetics in high school.

First song to which you knew the lyrics? Mary Had a Little Lamb. What was your very first car? A blue Honda Accord. It was a very old car but it was the love of my life.

COURTESY OF DEIDRE MATHIS; THINKSTOCK

How do you order your eggs? Scrambled dry. Nothing wet

DEIDRE MATHIS Writer, blogger, travel expert

Although just 28 years old, Deidre Mathis has traveled to more than 26 countries (she went to China, Iceland and the United Arab Emirates this year alone). The Houston resident and budget-travel fiend often spends fewer dollars on adventures abroad than most people pay to travel within the U.S. And, lucky for us, she shares how to have amazing international experiences on a road-trip budget.

Coffee or tea? I like coffee. Maybe more than I should. Favorite movie as a kid? Selena.

Travel

Deidre's best travel tips Don’t skimp on research. I planned a trip to Bali on CheapOair for $950, round trip. A friend went on the same trip for $2,300. People are so surprised you can spend 30 minutes on websites and save more than $1,000. It’s important to do your research. Check multiple websites. I hear people say all the time, “Well, I checked (one major travel site) and that was the price.” It’s important to check several travel sites and airlines’ sites, too. Sometimes they have specials that aren’t available anywhere else. That’s how I traveled to Belize — round trip — for $350. Another person on the same flight paid $750. I also went to Abu Dhabi for $250 round trip. This isn’t because I’m doing anything special except spending the time researching flights. Live like a local for one day. There’s certainly nothing wrong with going to a place and seeing the main sights or even relaxing on the beach. But one thing I’ve found that gives everyone the most pleasure is to live like a local. When I went to South Africa, I met a local who showed me her township and the places she goes every day. That was the best experience of the whole trip. For more tips, follow along as Deidre sees the world at passportsandpizzazz.com.

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Travel

Run the World Add a race to your vacation plans

N

o matter your sweaty vice — whether it’s a 10K, half-marathon, century ride or triathlon — you can always find an event to compete in close to home. But what if you want to combine your love of fitness with your passion for adventure? Consider a race-cation. For years, charity organizations such as the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the American Diabetes Association have sent people to races in unique destinations as part of fundraising efforts. But more of us, women in particular, are booking race-cations purely for our own enjoyment. “Present-day travelers, especially if they’re into fitness, are looking for more than just a fun-

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in-the-sun experience,” says Thom Gilligan, president of Marathon Tours & Travel in Chelsea, Mass., which offers travel adventures for runners. “They want to experience something more personal, and participating in a local fitness event that you’ve traveled to helps you break through the touristic veneer of being in a foreign place, allowing you to run elbow to elbow with locals.” That’s one reason Lora May of Austin loves doing race-cations. They give her unique opportunities to explore destinations and interact with locals. “It’s not often that you get to explore a new city on foot at a time when the roads are usually busy with cars,” she says. “Plus, adding fitness to my travel

only makes the adventure more memorable.” Bonus? Guilt-free indulging on vacation fare after the race. Through a race-cation, you can experience iconic landmarks in unexpected ways. Erica Tillinghast of Seattle has run through the fog on the Golden Gate Bridge during a San Francisco event and dashed her way through Fantasy Land at Disneyland in California. And, you get to enjoy the destination during and after the race. “Whether it’s visiting craft breweries, (enjoying) gourmet dining, camping in old-growth forests or exploring hot springs, each race trip I’ve done included its own unique itinerary,” says Morgan Gonzalez of Mammoth Lakes, Calif.

THINKSTOCK

BY KAREN ASP


Team “Moms Run This Ragnar” keep their spirits — and tropical headwear — strong through the Washington, D.C., race.

THINKSTOCK; UPPER RIGHT, EVAN PETSCHKE

1

NEW YORK CITY MARATHON

New York City When: Nov. 6, 2016 Why: “The energy of this marathon in the city that doesn’t sleep is unreal,” says Elisette Carlson of San Diego. “And when they play Sinatra’s ‘Start spreading the news. I’m [leaving] today’ at the start, it’s incredible.” Info: tcsnycmarathon. org

2

CHICAGO TRIATHLON

Chicago When: Aug. 27 and 28, 2016 Why: One of the world’s largest triathlons features several different divisions, including a shorter supersprint event. “Riding alongside the shore of Lake Michigan on Lake Shore Drive is an adrenaline rush,” says Carlson, who’s competed in this race three times. “A lot of charity organizations also participate so it’s very beginner-friendly and non-intimidating.” Info: chicagotriathlon. com

3

HOT CHOCOLATE 15K

Locations around the country When: November through April Why: “It’s a fun race to do with your girlfriends,” says Carlyn Topkin of New York City, who ran the race this year in Nashville with three girlfriends to celebrate her birthday. “Plus, this race gives you marshmallows and candy during the race and hot chocolate after.” Info: hotchocolate15k. com

4

RAGNAR RELAY SERIES

Locations around the country When: February through November Why: For Ann Marie Klotz of New York City, her first Ragnar race — a relay in which you gather five or 11 friends and run 200 miles non-stop, each person running distances of 3 to 8 miles, three times — topped her list. “When I finished the final leg of the Las Vegas race, I knew there was nothing I couldn’t do,” she says. Info: ragnarrelay.com

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Travel

“You get to take in the views of the island, the Transamerica Pyramid, Golden Gate Bridge and other famous landmarks from a vantage point few people will ever experience.” — LISA THROCKMORTON CHEVY CHASE, MD

EUGENE MARATHON OR HALF MARATHON

Eugene, Ore. When: May 1, 2016 Why: You’ll finish the race on the track of the historic Hayward Field, one of the country’s most iconic track stadiums. Even better? “Eugene’s filled with good food and beer, a funky diverse community, beautiful trails and a rich running history that’s inspiring to learn about,” Gonzalez says. Info: eugenemarathon. com

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6

SHARKFEST SWIM

Locations around the country When: Various times throughout the year, depending on location Why: Doing this swim enhanced Lisa Throckmorton’s entire San Francisco vacation. Says the Chevy Chase, Md., resident, “You get to take in the views of the island, the Transamerica Pyramid, Golden Gate Bridge and other famous landmarks from a vantage point few people will ever experience. I felt bonded to the city in a new way.” Info: sharkfestswim. com

7

MARATHON DU MEDOC

Pauillac, France When: Sept. 10, 2016 Why: You run through 59 vineyards. Rather than choosing water or an energy drink, you’re often asked whether you want red or white, meaning wine, of course. “There are about 22 wine stops, even an oyster stop along the way,” says Thom Gilligan, president of Marathon Tours & Travel in Chelsea, Mass. Info: marathon dumedoc.com

THINKSTOCK; BOTTOM MIDDLE, SHARKFEST SWIM

5


@SusanPage

SHE SEPARATES THE FACTS FROM THE FARCE. In a world of twisted words and endless spin, award-winning Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page makes sense of the nonsense.

usatoday.com/susanpage NEWS

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Last Word

LIKE FATHER, LIKE DAUGHTER

David Weingarten, father of writer Rachel C. Weingarten, dons her favorite Panama hat, purchased at a men’s store in New York City. “He tried it on to humor me,” she says.

When Fashion Matters In her father’s last days, writer Rachel C. Weingarten realized that while clothes don’t make the man, they may make him smile

I

’ve worked in the fashion industry in some capacity for most of my professional life. Yet I never paid as much attention to what I wore to Fashion Week as I did when visiting my father in the hospital and then hospice. My Hungarian-born father, David, was a true style connoisseur. A child survivor of a Nazi concentration camp, he’d lived through the worst life offered, yet still found joy in books, art, music — and fashion. Nothing delighted him more than seeing my sister and me wearing of-the-moment styles. And oh, how he loved my collection of whimsical chapeaus. Earlier this summer, when his health took a turn for the worse, I had to make daily four-and-a-halfhour round trips to visit him in hospice. Although he was mostly unconscious by that point, I’d still get up early and carefully apply my makeup, purposefully choosing outfits I knew would make him happy. I held his hand and played his favorite songs and whispered words of comfort to his mostly slumbering self. And one day when I was wearing a red skirt with black hearts and coordinating black-and-red platform sandals, my father cracked open his eyes for a second and smiled bemusedly. He was gone a few days later. In the Jewish faith, it’s traditional to rend a single item of clothing to be worn for the seven-day “shiva” or deep mourning period. People usually choose something they won’t mind ruining and then discarding. To mourn my father, I chose a gorgeous shirt printed with enormous pink and aqua roses. It was over the top and extravagant and people seemed surprised I would intentionally destroy something so beautiful. Yet my choice was a textile embodiment of my grief. More than that, even in my deepest mourning, I knew it was never really about the fashion. It was always about him.

Rachel C. Weingarten is a Brooklyn native and author of three books. She and her sister, Rebecca, launched a foundation, memory keepers.org, to honor their father, who died in June 2015.

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COURTESY OF RACHEL C. WEINGARTEN

“Nothing delighted (Dad) more than seeing my sister and me wearing of-the-moment styles. And oh, how he loved my collection of whimsical chapeaus.”


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