Why Take Charge of your Health?

Bea Boomer’s Vital Aging Project – Day 51 – 4/29/15

Senior Woman Relaxing After Exercise

One day I was talking to one of my sisters about health changes as we grow older and she said “Yea, my health was good up until I turned fifty, then it was downhill after that.”  My sister has the same mindset my mom had:  the “oh well, bad health is inevitable when I get old.”  

Yegads, what an outlook!

My thinking is just the opposite!  I believe that we can and should be proactive about our health, not reactive.  After seeing the health problems my mom lived with, which included heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and osteoporosis, I was determined not to age that way. So far, I haven’t.  At almost 59 years old, I don’t have any of the conditions my mom suffered with, except for high cholesterol, which is controlled by my diet, exercise and a statin drug.  

We have a wealth of healthy aging resources at our fingertips nowadays; not only on the Internet, but in public libraries, bookstores, and television channels such as Discovery Health.  Why not use it to our advantage?  We’re living longer these days – don’t know about you, but I also want to live healthier, physically and mentally.  

Here are just a few of those resources that help us take charge of our health: 

 

 

 

9 Snacks for Vital Aging

Bea Boomer’s Vital Aging Project – Day 47 – 4/20/15

  • Sunflower seeds – contain folate, a B vitamin we need to produce red blood cells and prevent anemia. They also contain tryptophan, which is good for stress management.
  • Almonds – contain monounsaturated fats and fiber and help lower cholesterol levels.
  • Blueberries – contain high levels of the antioxidant anthocyanin. May help relieve stress and even enhance our memory banks. 
  • Low-fat Greek yogurt – Add blueberries to plain yogurt (I add a little honey for sweetness) and you’ll get the goodness of berries, along with the digestive health benefits of yogurt. 
  • Light string cheese (made with 2% milk) – The Sargento brand has 50 calories in each piece. String cheese provides a nice amount of calcium and protein.  For a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, pair with with a piece of fruit or whole grain crackers.
  • Beanitos – The original is made with black beans, and are great with salsa.  They’re high in fiber and protein and contain no sugar. The other varieties and more information about beanitos can be found here
  • Edamame – Looking for something different?  Edamame (Japanese soy bean) is high in fiber and protein, low in calories and fat.  It’s a great source of calcium, iron and protein
  • Garden Lite muffins –  Found in the frozen section, they come in a variety of flavors, such as zucchini chocolate, banana chocolate chip, and blueberry oat.  Made with veggies and fruits.  Tasty, low-calorie, good source of fiber and gluten-free.  
  • Kind Healthy Grain Bars – contain a variety of healthy grains,(quinoa, oats, buckwheat) good source of fiber.  Awesome variety of flavors, including Maple Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt, Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate, Vanilla Blueberry, and more. 

Fun Website to Try: Kizoa

Bea Boomer’s Vital Aging Project – Day 46 – 4/17/15

bea

Bea’s Buzz for Friday  

Part of Bea’s vital aging quest is looking for something new and fun on the Internet.  She recently discovered a cool website, Kizoa.  While googling “creating slideshows,” Kizoa popped up in her search.  

At Kizoa, you can create collages, slideshows and videos.  

Additional options include: 

  • Photo editing (choice of 200 frames and 80 filters)
  • Prints, posters, personalized photo gifts

You use your own photos, downloaded from your computer or Facebook.  For collages and slideshows, you can use templates or start from scratch.  You can also easily add text, a variety of elements, backgrounds and textures.  You can even add music to your slideshow, using Kizoa’s musical options or downloading your own tunes. 

Options for saving your creations depend on your membership:

  • Email
  • Sharing on Facebook or Twitter
  • Convert a slideshow to video and add to YouTube
  • Computer download
  • Embedding into blog or website
  • DVD

You can join Kizoa for free, but this is misleading, since the free version has very limited options.  Upgrades range from $20 to $129.These are “lifetime” costs. Bea paid $64.99 for the “Premium DVD” version, since she wanted to add collages and slideshows to her blog, post to Facebook (or Twitter) and save her creations onto a DVD. 

This is also a great way to make use of all those photos you have lying around, on or off your computer! Bea has thousands of old-fashioned photos in boxes (since her mom died, she’s the photo keeper and has photos from as long ago as the 1930’s). She’s been scanning them onto her computer (a slow, tedious process) and Kizoa is helping her design some fun mementos.  For example, this is the first collage she created, for what would have been her mom’s 100th birthday, if she was still living. (Mind you, this is pretty basic – there are a lot more elements that can be added to a collage) 

www.kizoa.com_collage_2015-03-19_19-45-43

So if you have a ton of photos and are looking for a creative outlet, you might want to give Kizoa a try!  For Bea, the fun she’s having with this site is well-worth the cost.

Suggestion:  Use the tutorials to easily learn how to use all the features on the site for your creations.

 

 

7 Mini Health Habits

Bea Boomer’s Vital Aging Project – Day 44 – 4/13/15 

Woman lying in bed sleeping

Get a good sleep to enhance your memory banks and other brain functions.

Woman relaxing on a sofa

Want to enhance your sleep? Turn off the television or computer before bedtime and relax with soothing music or meditation CDs. 

Eat a handful of almonds a day to help reduce your cholesterol.  

Senior Woman With Adult Daughter Relaxing On Sofa At Home

A laugh a day keeps the doctor away. Well, maybe not, but laughter is a great prescription for emotional and physical health.  

Wear sunscreen to avoid looking like an alligator purse as you age and to protect yourself from skin cancer.

Senior Woman Power Walking In The Park

Find time to take a daily walk. Too cold or rainy or hot to walk outside? Try a fitness walk in front of your television.  Brisk walking for 30 minutes a day is good for your heart, and can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. 

Drink green tea for a great anti-oxidant boost. This beverage helps protect our cardiovascular and immune systems. Green tea may even help protect us against several types of cancers. 

How about you, readers?  What actions do you take to enhance your health and wellness? 

Quote for the Week: April 12, 2015

There is one elementary truth –

The ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans.

The moment one definitely commits oneself then Providence moves too.

All sorts of things occur to help one that never otherwise would have occurred.

Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it.

Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.

Begin it now. (Goethe)

 

Deutsch: Bildnis Johann Wolfgang von Goethe; W...

Deutsch: Bildnis Johann Wolfgang von Goethe; Weimar, Goethe-Nationalmuseum. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Why Every Dog Should Own a Human

Bea Boomer’s Vital Aging Project – Day 43 – 4/10/15

beaBea’s Buzz for Friday

www.kizoa.com_collage_2015-04-06_18-45-29The Goscicki Family Dogs – Sam, Lab mix (passed away in 1999) and Desi, Lhasa Apso/Bichon mix (still with us)

The Goscicki family dog, Desi (the dog who can spell) recently provided Bea with his philosophy for living la vida doggy, explaining why every dog needs a human.   

  • Humans think that the dog is their pet. Desi begs to differ.  The male human cleans up Desi’s poop.  Who owns whom? 
  • A human is a dog’s most important asset in a thunderstorm or during those dreaded fireworks.  (It’s either human cuddling or a tranquilizer – Desi prefers the human touch). 
  • A human is a dog’s date magnet.  That cute miniature poodle down the street simply can’t resist Desi’s male human.
  • Table scraps. Need Desi say more?
  • Road trip!  Window down! Warm breeze blowing through my fur ~ Wait . . . hold on . . . is that the Vet’s office?  Damn. The humans fooled Desi again.
  • Ahhh, the week-end nap with the female human.  There’s nothing better than cuddling up with your human (unless, of course, that cute little poodle decides to stop by) 

And of course, not only does every dog need a human – every human needs a dog! 

 For Further Reading: 

 ©Bea Boomers Wellness 2009-2015

7 Mini Heart Healthy Eating Swaps

Bea Boomer’s Vital Aging Project – Day 42 – 4/8/15

Print

  • Enjoying a bowl of tomato soup?  Add black beans for added fiber.
  • For a tasty salad, skip the iceberg lettuce and use a colorful blend of greens – add chickpeas and a variety of veggies.  You can also use the chickpeas to make hummus.  Enjoy it with baby carrots, cucumber slices, celery, zucchini sticks, red or   orange peppers . . . 
  • Love crusty bread? Instead of buttering it, blend olive oil with dried Italian seasoning and minced garlic (or garlic powder) and dip your bread in this mixture. 
  • For a heart-healthy breakfast, try regular or steel-cut oatmeal instead of the instant options.  Add blueberries (or other types of berries), walnuts or almonds, apples with  a tablespoonful of honey. Top with soymilk.  
  • When eating out, choose broiled salmon, lake trout, or whitefish instead of a steak.  The omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish can help us reduce heart attacks and other heart conditions. 
  • For a quick snack, choose a handful of almonds to help lower your cholesterol levels.  
  • To healthify your tacos, skip the ground beef.  Try a soft taco made with whole grain tortillas, ground turkey, brown rice, and seasoned black beans.  Top with avocado slices.

Bea would love to hear about your own heart-healthy food swap ideas.  Drop me a line!

For further reading:

Heart Disease and Young Women

Quick heart-healthy meal recipes

©Bea Boomers Wellness 2009-2015

3 Health Sites for Women Only

Bea Boomer’s Vital Aging Project – Day 41 – 4/6/15

The Center for Young Women’s Health – According to its About page, the Center’s objective is to provide teen girls and young women with well-researched health information relating to both physical/emotional development and diseases/conditions. This site is also a non-commercial site; a partnership among three medical divisions of the Boston Children’s Hospital.  There are resources for both health care professionals and parents.  An example of an article from the site’s emotional health category: Anxiety

Medline Plus – Women’s Health – a website from the National Institutes of Health, produced by the National Library of Medicine.  This site provides trusted information specific to women’s unique health concerns. The site is uncluttered and easy to maneuver; it’s also updated on a regular basis.  You can sign up for women’s health updates.  An example of what you’ll find here: Osteoporosis, the Bone ThiefThe site also provides a variety of videos and fun tools, which can be found here. 

 Society for Women’s Health Research – Founded in 1990, by a group of health professionals, the site is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary of research and advocacy for women’s unique health diseases and concerns.  Resources include women’s health topics from A – Z, clinical trials, public education, and videos. There is a link describing SWHR’s advocacy issues, and how women can take action for themselves. Example of what can be found at the site: (under the Public Education link) Research on breast cancer recurrence. SWHR can be found on Facebook and Twitter.  

Grandmother with adult daughter and grandchild in park