I’m in love, again. Romance between me and the world of fitness has been reignited. After recently attending IDEA World Fitness Conference, the largest health and fitness conference in the world, I’m giddy with excitement knowing that after years of wondering, where the fitness love is for a boomer, I’ve found it!
For 10 years I was a speaker at this conference, but this year I attended as press. So cool. I was able to learn, mingle and sample new fitness gadgets with no worry of a pending lecture.
In the last few years the fitness industry has been heavily influenced by research touting high intensity exercise as your best defense against extra pounds and aging. I don’t know about you, but this gal has taken a few of those crazy high intensity classes and I left feeling every bit my age.
For those that love the Cross Fit, Insanity, P90X knock yourself out. The beauty of age is wisdom and I know that jumping around as if my knees had brand new shock absorbers is a bad choice. Further, if my wisdom is slow to engage my bladder jumps in and says, “No!” (TMI?)
What I discovered at this conference is although crazy exercise programs are alive and well for those naive enough to think they’re indestructible, there are programs out there for people like me. In the words of Cindy Lauper, “Girls just want to have fun!” And this girl is no exception!
I need to like what I’m doing, and if I’m going to be consistent with exercise it has to have a likeability factor. If you’re not enjoying what you do, seek out something else. I loathe when someone says, “Walking is for weenies.” When I hear that my impulse is to challenge them to a walk-off, but I stifle myself.
It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you do something every single day, even if its only 15 minutes. Do what you enjoy and embrace the opportunity to connect with your body. As I get older, I find myself participating in activities that make me stronger and more flexible without feeling like I have to compete with kids 20 years my junior.
So keep your eyes peeled for new programs coming your way including indoor SUP training created by Laird Hamilton. I had the unfortunate position of getting a photo with him. Some body has to do it! Cardio Bounce (old school mini tramps amped up) and of course the plethora of dance classes, no coordination required. Well maybe a bit, but you can fake it.
Although I’m a runner, I am we’ll aware of my limitations and at this years fitness conference it seems fitness pros are getting it and offering classes that are not only fun, they’re inspiring and appropriate. What a concept.
(Original post 8/13/13 – http://www.momentumnation.com/fitness-love-for-boomers/ )
Here’s to never wishing for more time, rather making the most of it!
By Nicki On July 27, 2013 3 Comments
This summer, my last college graduate is home doing what many recent college grads do, hunting for a job. (She’s a telecommunications/marketing major if anyone is hiring!)
As I watched her cross the stage to get her $100,000.00 piece of paper, I couldn’t ignore the movie playing inside my head of all that’s passed and brought us to this day. First steps, first tooth, first haircut, first day of pre-school, first day of kindergarten, 5th grade “graduation.” Then there’s the Jr. High years, we’ll skip those. First high school dance, date, parties and high school graduation. Like all high school grads there is reticence about choosing the right college, and ultimately she found her dream college, was accepted and I became an empty nester. (Insert happy dance here).
This was the fourth time going through this process and no matter how many times I’ve been through it, I worried every step of the way. From the time they were born, I’d lie in bed praying for their safety, their happiness, making the right choices, and on and on. I now have 4 adults and the worries are no less.
One of my favorite Mom stories happened with my 3rd son. We were heading down to visit a college and we were waiting to get on a tram to take us to our destination. The tram pulled up, doors opened and I dropped something. While picking it up, the doors closed to the tram and my son was on it with out me. I screamed his name at the top of my lungs,”M-I-T-C-H!!!!” A couple of people ran over to ask what was wrong, I said, “My son, he’s on the tram without me. ” They asked, “How old is he?” At that moment I realized how awkward this situation was. I replied, “19.” Of course they looked at me not quite sure what to say. Finally, one woman said, “I’m sure he’ll be fine.” When I connected with my son, all he could say is, “Mom, that was embarrassing. I could hear you screaming.” I tried to explain it was simply a worried mother. He didn’t buy it.
Just last night, my daughter was out. I didn’t sleep well until I heard the door unlock, listened to her footsteps as she made her way to her room and the safety of her bed, lights out. Happy Mom.
My Grandmother told me, “Sweetheart, no matter how old your kids are, a mother’s worry never ceases.” I’m reminded once again how smart my Grandmother was.
Here’s to never wishing for more time, rather making the most of it.
By Nicki On April 28, 2013 9 Comments
When I was a young mom, I had little time for anything other than sleeping and an occasional warm meal. With four kids running around, time was no longer my own and nurturing friendships was out of the question.
But here I am, I survived toddlers (I had four kids in six years), middle school, high school and college. My kids are all grown and living lives I’m incredibly proud of. However, over the last few years I’ve realized that now more than ever, it is my friends (old and new) that make this next phase of my life incredibly full.
I have read a number of studies citing the importance of having friends and the impact on health, especially as we get older. They say that for women, having a circle of close girlfriends makes the idea of getting older inconsequential. When you have good friends surrounding you, you laugh more, love more and share more. And surrounding yourself with friends that fill you up versus the ones that suck you dry (we’ve all had ’em) that too makes those relationships all the better.
There was a time in my life when I tolerated those around me that spewed venom and never had a kind word to say. Only two things can happen with relationships like that, either you fall into their negative way of thinking or you move on. I chose to move on. My motto,”Never let anyone steal your joy. Life is too precious to waste time on negative people.”
I have the privilege and gift of some incredible friends, and from them I have learned so much. Here are just a few things I’ve learned.
1. Although there m ay be times when you’re needed more often, it’s important to note that if you’re constantly walking away empty after time together, move on. Your health will thank you.
2. Friendship is laughter. Trying to catch your breath after friend induced laughter is the best. The belly laugh that causes you to say out loud, “OMG, I think I’m going to pee my pants!” is unmatched to any other laughter. That kind of a laugh can only come from a friend who understands your humor and you theirs.
4. Friends support and encourage you at every turn, unless it destructive. At which point go back to #1.
5. Friends don’t care if your house is clean, you’re having a bad hair day, if you didn’t get the job and so on. Ultimately, friends see you through the good, the bad and the ugly but always with a smile and a reassuring hug saying to you the things you never tell yourself like, “You’re great, things are going to work out. ”
6. Friends laugh with you, not at you. Unless it’s really, really funny and then they might. Like the one time I had to tell my friend (without losing it) that she had her yoga pants on inside out (the cotton white crotch was on the outside). Downward dog gave it away. We both still laugh at that one.
7. Friends tell you when you have something in your nose, your teeth or hanging out of a dress (those annoying hanger straps that I’m not sure to cut off or tuck in).
8. A good friend is always a joy to be around. You’re happy when you see them, sad when you leave ’em and always think about them with a smile on your face.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve come to believe that true friendships are the glue that puts the difficult parts of life back together. Good friends also hold the magnifying glass to all that is great about you. My friends- good for my heart, my mind, my soul and yes, even good for my health. How grateful I am for them.
Do have friendships you’re grateful for?
Life is too short and I’m Portuguese. I’d rather eat bread, laugh out loud and drink wine than be a size 0.
By Nicki On February 10, 2013 6 Comments
Have you seen Sally Field lately? Well, here she is! Holy cow, at 66 the woman looks fantastic! I recently saw her on Ellen and I couldn’t believe it was her. Of course the first thing I noticed was- no gray.
Like Sally Field, I am petite. At barely 5’2″ I can’t help but feel that contributes to looking younger than my 51 years. Sally Field is 5’3″ and looks no where near her 66 years. That and the combination of hair color definitely shaves off a few years.
Aside from no sign of gray (yes, I’m sure she colors it) she is vibrant, fit and easily looks 20 years her junior even on HDTV!
At the risk of slighting my lovely gray haired friends, I have to say that if she were gray she may not have caught my attention. I was really amazed at how youthful she looked and how she carried herself. I believe it is a total package. If you’re dying your hair, but feeble and unable to get around, you age yourself. If you’re gray, fit and energetic, you don’t. However, if gray doesn’t compliment you, no matter how fit you are, it will indeed age you. I’m experiencing that right now.
Therefore, I have to acquiesce to those who said gray hair does make you look older. I am beginning to believe it’s true, regardless of health, activity and energy. But here’s what is interesting, I’ve learned that my gray haired friends are not interested in the looking younger piece, they simply like the way they feel with their gray locks. And the same holds true for those who color their hair, they simply like the way they feel.
A quote by Yves Saint Laurent, “I have always believed that fashion was not made only to make women more beautiful, but also to reassure them, give them confidence.” I believe this statement holds true for hair color.
So here’s my deal, I am so not a quitter. At times I can be annoyingly tenacious. Therefore, the decision to go back to coloring my hair leaves me feeling a bit vulnerable. First, I worry I may not have given the experiment of going completely gray a fair shot. So how do I really know? Trust me, I know.
One of my readers wrote, “Nicki it’s winter, no one looks good in the winter.” Though I agree with her comment, I’d like to make the most of the winter blahs by doing something which elevates my self-confidence versus squashing it. Gray isn’t it, for me anyway.
Second, I despise losing. And somehow I feel like I’m losing by not seeing this whole thing through. However at the end of the day, I set the challenge and went in to it blind and excited. Four months later, my sight is back and excitement has waned. Conclusion? My experiment, my choice to change my mind.
So, yes, yes I’m giving up. I’m throwing in the towel (insert dramatic sob here). I’m back tracking on my journey. But wait, here’s the great part, I have not gone through this process in vain. I have garnered some gray-t insight. Here’s what I’ve learned.
- Never make a year long commitment public. It’s like posting you’re going to lose 25 pounds and someone sees you downing a chocolate shake. It sucks to get called out.
- No two people look the same- in anything! I have a whole new appreciation for gray haired women who wear it well and with confidence.
- Pay attention to what makes you feel good whether it’s wearing a certain color, certain clothing or hair style. How you feel about yourself (regardless of what others think) can alter the course of your day!
- Whatever you wear, wear it with confidence.
- I needed a haircut!
- I don’t look good in gray- clothing or hair color.
So, the next time I come up with some great idea or experiment, perhaps one of you will talk me down from the ledge. However, with every new endeavor comes life lessons and during the last 4 months, I’ve learned some pretty great lessons, connected with some great women, and learned color is a personal preference, not a moral decision. Here’s to your fabulous color, whatever it may be.
Here’s to never wishing for more time, rather making the most of it!
By Nicki On February 6, 2013 No Comments
I’m a minority in my house. I’m a pseudo vegetarian amongst die hard carnivores. However, out of my four children, one is vegan and one is vegetarian. When they’re home, they are my partners in crime! We’re always trying to find ways to sneak in vegetarian dishes to dyed-in-the-wool carnivores. Not an easy task.
Super Bowl Sunday like Thanksgiving is an open invitation to overeat and melt in to a comfy chair watching football. To me that’s a fate worse than death. Bloated and sitting. Where’s the joy in that? Am I missing something?
So, this year I decided to sneak in some vegetarian style goodies along with the traditional junk food that defines Super Bowl.
I posted these creations on my FB page and had an overwhelming response asking for the recipes. O.K. maybe not overwhelming, but enough to prompt this post.
So here you go. A couple of the vegetarian dishes that actually made the Super Bowl more exciting than Beyonce and almost as exciting as the blackout!
Mushroom Sliders – Makes about a dozen.
24 oz. mushrooms (I mixed button, crimini and portobella) / 1 TBSP canola oil / 2 TBSP sliced shallots/ 2 TBSP sliced garlic / 3/4 c cooked brown rice / 1/3 c dry bread crumbs / 2 egg whites / 1 TBSP low-sodium soy sauce / 1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce / 1 TBSP stone ground mustard / 2 TBSP chopped flat leaf parsley / salt and pepper to taste
2 TBSP canola oil / Slices of Swiss cheese (I quartered the slice of cheese and places 1/4 on each patty) / 10 cocktail buns (I used whole grain) / 1 avocado, pitted and peeled and sliced lengthwise and then across.
Saute mushrooms in large nonstick skillet until nicely browned. Add shallots and garlic and saute for a couple of minutes. Remove from heat. Darin mushroom mixture in colander and let cool. Once cool, place on paper towel and squeeze out moisture.
Pulse mixture in a food processor until minced, 2-3 times. Add rice, bread crumbs, egg whites, soy sauce, Worcestershire, mustard, parsley and salt and pepper. Pulse to combine.
Use about 1/4 c. mixture and shape patties. Cover and place in fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 200
Heat oil in same skillet and cook patties until nicely browned on each side. Remove and place on cookie sheet. Place cheese on top of each patty. Put in oven until cheese is melted.
Meanwhile, toast buns in griddle (I buttered half the batch of buns, other half I left plain). Place patties on browned buns and top with a couple of slices of avocado. Serve warm.
Banh Mi Spring Rolls
Makes 4-6 rolls
6 oz. firm tofu /2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce/ 1/2 c. thinly sliced shiitake mushroom caps /3 -4 TBSP of your favorite Thai peanut sauce/ 1 TBSP canola oil / 2 TBSP minced fresh ginger / 2 TBSP minces scallions / 1 TBSP minced fresh garlic / 1 /2 matchstick-cut carrots / 1/2 c shredded romaine lettuce / 1/2 c matchstick-cut cucumber / 2 TBSP minced fresh cilantro / 2 TBSP minced fresh mint / 6-8 spring roll wrappers (8-inch)
Brown tofu and and mushrooms in soy sauce and oil in a nonstick skillet breaking up tofu with spoon until it’s like ground meat and lightly browned, about 5 minutes or so. Add ginger, scallions and garlic. Stir-fry about 1 minute. Remove from stove and let cool. Mix tofu mixture with carrots, lettuce cucumber, cilantro and mint and thai peanut sauce. (Avoid any sauce with HFCS). Mix well.
Soften wrappers one at a time in hot water until soft, about 15-20 seconds. Place 1/2 c tofu mixture in the center of each wrapper; roll like burritos and slice in half. Serve w/ sauce. I add sriracha on the side.
Both of these recipes were inspired by Cuisine Lite- Fresh and Fabulous
By Nicki On January 25, 2013 6 Comments
O.K. so I have to be completely honest. I’m sort of over it, the gray thing. No, I’m not going back on my plan just yet but hear me out.
As women, feeling good about yourself is extremely important. I surmise that’s true for just about anyone. For some it’s rockin’ a great outfit, or it may be pretty lingerie. For others it’s having an incredible hair day. I don’t know about you, but an incredible hair day ranks right up there with a chocolate truffle.
But let’s admit it, when we’re having a bad hair day or can’t find a single thing to wear somehow the day just doesn’t have its normal pizazz. When my hair looks great, I feel great. When I have the good fortune of actually pulling together an outfit that matches, (where are the adult Garanimals?) I feel like I’ve won the lotto.
So the gray. I feel like I have perpetual bed head. Remember I was telling you about the different textures of gray? Yeah, well I pulled the short straw, mines wiry.
I looked back on the comments from many of you and was reminded that it doesn’t matter what color your hair is if you feel good! I know it’s early in the game, so how can I really tell? Well, let’s run through a few of the comments I received when I started this project.
- “Why would you want to look old? As long as there’s hair color, I’ll never be gray.” Since I embarked on this experiment, I have met some lovely gray haired women. I can’t really say it made them look older because they wear it so well. So I’m not ready to say I look old. Drab? Yes. I’m beginning to look drab which translates to feeling drab.
- ” I would never color my hair. I’m proud of every gray hair I have, I’ve earned it.” Will wrinkles suffice? God knows I’ve earned those. Further, if you FEEL good gray that’s brilliant. Regardless of hair color, most take the time to get it cut and styled because it makes them feel good. Therefore, it keeps coming back to personal preference- what makes you feel good?
- “The only reason I don’t have gray hair is because it washes me out, but otherwise I’d do it.” Common theme, how one feels. If you look good, do it. But if you don’t feel good about yourself why keep it, right?
I’m sure all of you have a color or style of clothing you never wear. You don’t wear it because it doesn’t suit you. I’m a brunette with olive skin, I’d never go blonde. Eeek! Not to mention my contrasting black eyebrows wouldn’t make for a good look.
At this point, it’s not that I don’t feel good about myself, I just feel like I’m wearing something that doesn’t compliment me. These thoughts take me back to the initial reason I started this whole thing.
Will the way I feel internally change? Well, it has a little bit. I’m realizing that going gray is not about wrong or right, it’s what compliments me. I don’t wear hats because I don’t feel good in them, while others do. Some woman glow in yellow, I appear jaundiced. The point is that we don’t wear things that don’t look good on us, and I don’t think hair color is any different.
So here’s where I’m at with this. I will continue on this journey because my curiosity is still alive and well. However, if I notice that I’m avoiding going outside for fear of people seeing my hair well then it’s time to make a change. As my friend said to me, “Life is too short not to feel pretty.” I couldn’t agree more.
So another day, another bit of gray. For now, I’m good. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Here’s to never wishing for more time, rather making the most of it!
By Nicki On January 12, 2013 No Comments
O.K. I admit it, I’m second guessing my crossing in to the world of gray. This past week I was being interviewed for a video and after the shoot, it was brought to my attention that the videographer had me pegged at 38 years old. “Really? Wow!” Then I was brought back to reality. Ugh, I’m going gray. Six months from now he’d likely guess my real age, maybe even older. (Vanity enters stage right). I immediately jumped to conclusions bringing on a cycle of negative scenarios of my gray choice. Further, this past week I mastered combing my hair as to discretely cover the gray that now dominates my part. That’s not a good sign, right? The fact that I’m still covering it up and now worried that I won’t look younger than my age? Damn the vanity!
O.K. I need to relax. First of all, it’s becoming more evident that the gray I anticipated will likely be salt and pepper. So, I’m not going to be Barbara Bush gray. Second, my hair is a contemporary style and I’m not wearing orthopedic shoes (no offense to those who do). Third, my whole reason for letting my hair go gray was to experience the process and see if colored hair not only made me look older but feel older. So, I need to get back to the motive for my experiment vs. my vanity. (Vanity exists stage left).
Maybe this is the first of many lessons of my experiment. What’s more important, how I feel or how I look? In the words of Vidal Sassoon, (here’s a link for you youngin’s that have never heard of him), “It’s more important to look good than to feel good.” Personally, I think it’s more important to feel good internally in order to project a positive exterior. I suppose that means if I feel good about my new hair color, I’ll look good. If I look good, I’ll feel good.
So lesson #1, Lighten up! Embrace the process. If I feel good, I’ll project it, if I don’t, I’ll change it. I’ve just got 10 months and 14 days to embrace the process and the new look.
Is it me or is time passing at a snails pace?
Here’s to never wishing for more time, rather making the most of it!
By Nicki On January 6, 2013 4 Comments
I have to laugh when people come up to me asking to see my gray hair. Seriously? It’s only been 5 weeks since my last color! It won’t be a Charlton Heston, Ten Commandments transformation, it takes time. So, there’s no before and after shots yet.
I have to admit, there’s part of me that when I see the gray coming in I’m half proud and half in panic mode. The proud part of me likes the fact that I’ve dismissed societal pressure and I’m doing something that isn’t popular or trendy, or is it? The Libra in me likes things orderly and neat. That gray part of my hair coming in isn’t orderly and neat. It looks like I’m terribly overdue for a color appointment and I feel a bit discombobulated. I find myself explaining why I have this gray streak in my hair. “Just so you know, I’m fully aware of the gray strands, I’m working on an experiment.” Then I realize the lady at the grocery store couldn’t care less.
The other day as I was getting ready to go out, I looked in the mirror to find gray staring back at me. I was inches away from my mascara tube ready to dab that gray right out of my hair! I had to talk myself down from the ledge, “No fair touching up your hair, remember? Au natural!” I got over it, sort of, went out and completely forgot about it. That is until people started asking, “So where’s the gray?”
Interesting, women who ask me where the gray is say, “Oh, I can’t see anything, you don’t have any gray. The guys seem to be intrigued and being men say, “Oh yeah, I see it coming in.” As of today, I feel good about my decision. But today I have nowhere to go, it’s just me and my computer. My computer doesn’t care what color my hair is and as of this moment, I’m not that interested either.
Here’s to not wishing for more time, rather making the most of it!
By Nicki On January 2, 2013 4 Comments
Years ago I made it a practice to forgo resolutions. Although January is commonly known as the month to repent for past indiscretions, it’s no different than any other month on the calendar. Though I once was a resolution setter, like so many others I let my resolutions slide and by February, I was back to same ole, same ole. I felt guilty for the rest of the year. I began to realize that change requires two things, desire and readiness. Just because January is the designated month to “Just do it!” everyone is pressured to make resolutions whether they’re ready or not. Not a good recipe for success.
The truth is that every single day of the year is an opportunity for change. Whether you want to quit smoking, cut your hair, go gray, change jobs, get out of a bad relationship, etc., January is probably the worst time to make the shift. Think about it, you’re coming down from the holiday high, feeling overwhelmed then making commitments that are probably far from realistic. I don’t know about you, but come the second week in January, my decorations are down, my kids are gone, the bills are coming in and quite frankly, I’m Debbie Downer. Why would I want to add to January blahs by pressuring myself to make resolutions that I’m not really passionate about? Bottom line, I can’t be successful if I’m not making changes at the right time for the right reasons.
So for me, January like any other start of a month is simply a time to reflect. I take a look at what I’ve done to date that I’m proud of, and I also review the things that I could have done differently. No pressure, simply reflection.
Rather than making resolutions because we’re just supposed to, each day I see what I can do to make life a little happier, less stressful and more meaningful. I don’t need January to help me do that. Every day is a new day, a new opportunity to set a great stage for yourself.
At the start of every week, I set my intention to live my best life. I set my intention to go for the things I want, taking charge of my happiness and knowing that tomorrow brings yet another opportunity to make good on the things I didn’t quite get to.
As women, we put enough pressure on ourselves to do all and be all. We certainly don’t need one month out of the year to invite guilt for the next eleven. January can certainly be a month of evaluation, but rather than making resolutions that aren’t on track with your desire or readiness level, go for what makes you happy and fulfilled each and every day, not just January 1st.
Here’s to never wishing for more time, rather making the most of it!
By Nicki On December 27, 2012 5 Comments
O.K. ladies let’s talk hair stories, (men feel free to chime in).
I want to talk about 3 things that many of us have or will experience, but never talk about.
First, eyebrow color change. Second, hairline cover ups. Third, hair styles, the good, the bad and the ugly.
In the eyebrow department, I’m good. But until I decided to try this gray experiment, I hadn’t even thought about eyebrows going gray. But like other hair, (other meaning a conversation for another blog) it also goes gray. Hmm. My stylist told me that people who have gray eyebrows have to color their brows to match their colored hair. Now I’m an eyebrow stalker. I always notice people’s eyebrows. Some are barely there, others that don’t quite match hair color, and of course the low maintenance ones, gray that goes with gray. Any of you in to the brow dying?
O.K. hairline coverage. I’d like to think I’m not the only dork here that when overdue for a hair color, resorts to my mascara to cover up those pesky gray hairs. Well, am I? I know, I know there are professional products that cover gray between hair appointments, but when you run out, you have to have a backup plan. For me, mascara does the trick. Leaves hair a little stiff, but no one is running their fingers through my hairline, so I’m good.
My last disclosure, the ugly of hair styles. As you can see, this lovely hairdo was inspired by Whitney Houston.
Somehow she looks significantly better wearing this ‘do than moi.
So, how many hairstyles have you had over the years? Between bad perms, pixie cuts, shag, Dorothy Hamill, etc. I’ve had ’em all. I’m always able to tell what year it is in pictures based on my hairstyle (glasses are the same way, right?) However, there are those that NEVER change their hairstyle, they keep it the same for years.
So perhaps this gray endeavor is simply a phase that will pass, or I may find that I like it and the color will stay. No matter what I choose, styles and trends will continue in the world of hair, so I will find what I like, and try it until the next trend pulls me in.