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Venus Blogs http://venusblogs.com Venus Blogs - Real Talk for Women Mon, 30 May 2016 13:19:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Struggling with the Cost of Health Insurance? Try BrightBod.com for Free! http://venusblogs.com/struggling-with-the-cost-of-health-insurance-try-brightbod-com-for-free/ http://venusblogs.com/struggling-with-the-cost-of-health-insurance-try-brightbod-com-for-free/#respond Mon, 30 May 2016 13:19:25 +0000 http://venusblogs.com/struggling-with-the-cost-of-health-insurance-try-brightbod-com-for-free/ BrightBod.com is a FREE alternative to health insurance for women who can’t afford the real cost of Healthcare; it might be considered “alternative healthcare” for Unemployed women and Part-time employees who cannot afford the Premiums, Deductibles, co-pays, etc., which, ordinarily, prevent people from being able to access real Healthcare. There are 325 million people in the United […]

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How Women in Israel Stay Fit http://venusblogs.com/how-women-in-israel-stay-fit/ http://venusblogs.com/how-women-in-israel-stay-fit/#respond Thu, 26 May 2016 13:45:20 +0000 http://venusblogs.com/how-women-in-israel-stay-fit/

My family and I went to Israel a few years ago to attend a close friend’s daughter’s Bat Mitzvah celebration, which took place under a full moon, the Old City of Jerusalem in the background. The service started at sunset, and the unique sounds of this magical place made it even more special: men praying at the Western Wall; firecrackers set off indicating that Ramadan was over for the day (which sounded like gunfire to some of us); sirens; chanting; church bells.

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You could feel the history, splendor, and strife.Then, there was that one clear, defining moment when I completely understood why so many want a stake in this desert country, and are willing to fight for it. For those of you who have been there, you know exactly what I mean. But, conflicts and politics in the Middle East are not my areas of expertise, so I’ll focus on what I know best: being a woman over 50.

Since writing The Best of Everything After 50: The Experts Guide to Style, Sex, Health, Money and More this year, I’ve been on a mission to gather the best information about being healthy, fit and fearless after 50, and sharing it with other women. Traveling through Israel gave me a wonderful opportunity to talk with Israeli women about how they eat, exercise, approach skin care, hair and makeup routines, and so much more, and to compare it all with what we do in America.

Food and eating are two of my favorite subjects, so I was eager to compare notes. Research shows that eating a healthy diet can help alleviate, or prevent, many diseases (in conjunction with an exercise program). The experts I interviewed for my book gave me strong guidelines for eating well, which include giving up the “white stuff” (sugar, white flour, white pasta, white rice) and replacing it with brown rice and whole grains; eating less animal fat and more healthy fats from nuts, olive oil, and fish; eating less processed foods and more whole foods (very little or no processing); adding more dark, leafy greens in your diet (kale, bok choy, spinach, chard); cutting back on portions; eating smaller, more frequent meals; having your largest meals earlier in the day; and drinking lots and lots of water (with some green tea and red wine thrown in).

The fact is, most American women over 50 do not follow this way of eating, but, Israeli women do. It’s their way of life. Olive oil is a staple and is used to prepare most dishes (instead of butter). One gorgeous, fit Israeli woman who is close to 66 revealed her favorite tip: drink 1/4 cup of really good olive oil every morning, before anything else, and follow it up with a tall glass of water with a few tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Not only does she believe it hydrates her body, inside and out, but she swears it keeps hunger at bay. And, like me, she uses olive oil on her skin and hair. Another home-grown staple is pomegranate juice, which is loaded with antioxidants.

One of my new favorite dishes, which I devoured several times a day in Israel, and has become a staple in my home, is the “Israeli Salad” — a very simple mixture of small cubes of cucumbers and tomatoes, to which you can also add basil, cubed red bell peppers, and a little bit of red onion. Blend it all together with some olive oil, lemon juice and sea salt. Fabulous, filling and very healthy.

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Another Israeli woman I met stuffs it in a whole wheat pita bread and sprinkles feta cheese on top, or serves it with yogurt. (While you have the feta cheese out, cube some and mix it together with small chunks of watermelon and chopped mint. It’s like spooning pieces of summer in your mouth.)

It was gratifying to know that how I’ve been eating these last two years is very close to the way Israeli women eat every day, and I strongly encourage all my women friends (and their families) to get on board. Eating this way helped me to shed my “post menopausal” 15 lbs., and keep them off.

Where my Israeli friends and I part ways, it seems, is in how we deal with the sun. Every day in Israel, I slathered on waterproof SPF 50 sunscreen (which I would reapply every few hours) and always wore sunglasses and a big hat to cover as much of my face and shoulders as possible.

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I got the sense that while my Israeli women friends aren’t basking in the sun as I used to do in my younger days (greased up with baby oil mixed with iodine), they don’t seem to be as obsessive about sunscreen and hats as I am, which, given the extreme heat and almost constant sun, surprised me.

Generally speaking, we didn’t see a lot of overweight or obese women over 50 while traveling through Israel, and my friends tell me it’s due in large part to how they eat. But, they also walk a great deal, which seems to be the most popular way for Israeli women to stay fit.

With makeup, hair and clothes, the Israeli women over 50 I met take the no-nonsense, low maintenance, “less is more” approach, which I embrace completely. Simple, unfussy styles, designed more for comfort than following trends; light makeup that wears well in the blistering heat; and hair that is usually not blow-dried into submission, but free to be what it was meant to be. Or, they often wrap their hair in a head scarf, which is usually worn by religiously observant women, but also by those who just want a chic way to deal with a “bad hair day.”

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Their skin care is also basic. Because so much of Israel is a desert, moisturizer is their key defense. Like me, they are big believers in the power of exfoliating, and use sea salt (from the Dead Sea) for that purpose, followed by a little olive oil to seal in moisture.

There’s a sexy earthiness to the women I met in Israel, and a confidence that I can only imagine comes, in part, from living in a tiny country, surrounded by often hostile neighbors. As one new Israeli friend put it with a smile, “Do we have a choice?”

Staying connected is a powerful tool. Friend me on Facebook and tweet me on Twitter (@BGrufferman). Let’s keep talking . . . 

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The Lady Patch for Urinary Incontinence in Perimenopause http://venusblogs.com/the-lady-patch-for-urinary-incontinence-in-perimenopause/ http://venusblogs.com/the-lady-patch-for-urinary-incontinence-in-perimenopause/#respond Wed, 25 May 2016 12:53:45 +0000 http://venusblogs.com/the-lady-patch-for-urinary-incontinence-in-perimenopause/ I used to think the hardest symptom of perimenopause to cope with were the mood swings.  And they were bad, no doubt.  And well, okay, the insomnia too. But then along came the incontinence. Yes, that “adult issue” that so many of us don’t wish to speak about in polite conversation.  Or really, in any conversation. Who […]

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What Would You Do If You Were Barbara? http://venusblogs.com/what-would-you-do-if-you-were-barbara/ http://venusblogs.com/what-would-you-do-if-you-were-barbara/#respond Tue, 24 May 2016 18:33:06 +0000 http://venusblogs.com/what-would-you-do-if-you-were-barbara/ One of my oldest FOF friends (we’ll call her Barbara) recently called me for advice about how to handle her sister-in-law (we’ll call her Paula), and I decided to share her predicament to get your input.  After you’ve read about Barbara’s problem, let me know what you’d do in the comments section.

Barbara has never liked her sister-in-law, Paula, but suffered her the handful of times she’d see her during the year. “She’s one of the most sarcastic people I’ve ever met. Sarcastic and nasty! Never has a nice thing to say to anyone,” Barbara told me.”I think she’s become an increasingly unhappy person because she hasn’t succeeded like she thought she would when she was young. She always thought she was better than everyone else, but everyone else moved ahead while her (photography) career became derailed. My brother is very successful and has supported Paula for decades, but she would have liked to be a success, too. The only problem is, with her personality, it’s no wonder she didn’t succeed. It’s really impossible to like her.”

To make matters worse, my friend Barbara is a successful entrepreneur, which seems to make her sister-in-law even nastier to her, Barbara said. “When I started my business, Paula put down everything I was doing, and told me it would never work. Imagine her telling me this. She’s failed at one business after another,” Barbara related. “Now my business is doing well. I honestly believe she would have preferred if it had failed.”

paulaBarbara recently went to a family get-together and Paula was as unpleasant as ever to her. “What are YOU doing here?” Paula said to Barbara the second she saw her. “Even though I know she’s unhappy and can’t help herself, it’s still disturbing to be anywhere near her. I don’t know how my brother has put up with her all these years, but maybe she isn’t sarcastic to him because he’s given her a life she knows she couldn’t afford to live on her own.” Barbara said. “I guess I should feel sad about her unhappiness and rotten personality, but I don’t. “It’s all too bad, because Paula is a smart woman who had so much potential. Smart, unfortunately, doesn’t always translate to niceness or happiness. Such a waste.”

If you were in Barbara’s shoes, what would you do? Confront Paula? Ignore her? Try never to be anywhere you know she’ll be? Recommend a therapist?

The post What Would You Do If You Were Barbara? appeared first on FabOverFifty.com.

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Beautiful Ways To Show Your Grandkids How Much You Love Them http://venusblogs.com/beautiful-ways-to-show-your-grandkids-how-much-you-love-them-2/ http://venusblogs.com/beautiful-ways-to-show-your-grandkids-how-much-you-love-them-2/#respond Tue, 24 May 2016 14:45:46 +0000 http://venusblogs.com/beautiful-ways-to-show-your-grandkids-how-much-you-love-them-2/ Ever since I became “Grandma Muffin,” three years ago, I find it challenging to choose gifts for my grandson Primo. Does he already have this toy or book?  Is he too young for this bike or too old for that stuffed animal? What size shorts does he wear now? Will he look good in navy?  I know I’ve struck out on at least a couple of occasions!

leadWhen I received a call from the website Deserves.com, I thought these people have come up with an ingenious way to make gift-giving to grandchildren fun, easy and foolproof. Deserves puts together collections of meaningful and unique treasures for grandmas and grandpas to give their granddaughters and grandsons, on birthdays, for holidays, or simply to surprise them.

These are gifts with staying power, real staying power, not something they’ll enjoy for a few hours or weeks and then relegate to the bottom of the toy bin or left to gather dust under the bed.  I’ve chosen two pieces that your grandchildren would be sure to keep close to their hearts 24/7. And the prices are really, really reasonable!

“I love you a bushel and a peck” necklace
"My Granddaughter, I Love You to the Moon and Back" necklace
Even if you’ve never sang the song to her, your granddaughter will cherish your beautiful message of love expressed on this exclusive necklace. The 18-inch adjustable chain and the charming pendant and heart are made of platinum-plated brass.

 


Grandson, You Are Braver Than You Believe, Stronger Than You Seem and Smarter Than You Think“Grandson, I love you to the moon and back”

Remind your grandson how much you love him with this handsome stainless steel pendant that he can wear around his neck, use as a keychain or hang from his trusty backpack. The .85-inch pendant comes on a 16.5-inch ball chain with a two-inch extender. Quantities are limited.

Deserves.com ships in two to four business days and offers a 100%, no risk, 30-day guarantee. Once you place your order, you will get exclusive offers on gifts, toys, art and other awesome things for you and your family.

to give your grandchildren gifts they deserve!

Remember, you don’t have to wait till their birthdays to send special gifts from grandma! Or, in my case, “Grandma Muffin.”

The post Beautiful Ways To Show Your Grandkids How Much You Love Them appeared first on FabOverFifty.com.

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A New Skincare Line That’s Like “Liquid Surgery” http://venusblogs.com/a-new-skincare-line-thats-like-liquid-surgery/ http://venusblogs.com/a-new-skincare-line-thats-like-liquid-surgery/#respond Mon, 23 May 2016 14:20:57 +0000 http://venusblogs.com/a-new-skincare-line-thats-like-liquid-surgery/ The Unfortunate Truth about the Mass Beauty Brands

ellenThe colossal mass skincare brands that throw out obscene amounts of money to market their products to American women, (L’Oreal, for example) could care less about helping FOFs eliminate OUR wrinkles and fine lines. Their TV and magazine ads and commercials, fancy packages, and drugstore displays eat up so much budget that they simply don’t invest in the finest ingredients for their “anti-aging” lotions and potions. CoverGirl may give FOF Ellen DeGeneres millions to tout its Simply Ageless products, but it’s 30 year olds they really want to court. Even beauty chemists who once worked with the big brands have revealed that their hands were tied when it came to the quality of ingredients they could use. And, I heard first-hand about how the big beauty brands operated when I created the CEO Beauty Summit for Women’s Wear Daily and met the men and women who ran them.

The Happy Emergence of “Indie” Beauty Brands

Enter independent beauty brands, many conceived  by FOF women who only use superior ingredients to create products that really do work on aging skin, including their own. And, they get the word out, not by advertising to audiences of all ages on network TV, but by working with bloggers and websites like FabOverFifty, targeted specifically to women 45+.

Nancy Duitch, 61, is one of these women, and her new beauty brand, SecretSerums, is “filled with so many active ingredients, it’s like liquid surgery” she says.

nancyNancy is CEO of a successful marketing and branding agency, called VisionWorx, which is a woman’s certified-owned business. And she had a 20-year proven track record of helping health, wellness and beauty brands generate over $2 billion in revenue. As a matter of fact, she produced one of the first infomercials for an anti-aging beauty brand in 2000.  “When I told a friend I had worked with in the beauty business that I was tired of spending so much on beauty products, she introduced me to  a formula she was developing with a leading chemist, which included 10 active ingredients that even my expensive Chanel skincare didn’t have,” Nancy recounted. “After I used the products, my husband and friends asked what kind of treatment I had, but I hadn’t had any fillers or Botox for six months,” she  swears.  “I flipped for it.  It felt better than my $400 Chanel Sublimage cream.”

The ‘Secrets’ Behind SecretSerums

Nancy was so taken with the effectiveness of the line, she decided to buy “the chemist, the formula, the whole thing,” she told me. “After building brands for 20 years, I wanted to build a brand for myself,” Nancy said. “We quietly launched SecretSerums at the end of 2015, and we’ve already generated $500,000 just on line!  We’re all pretty excited.”

Advanced Botox Derivative, which penetrates the skin fast; increases moisture content by 52%, and decreases wrinkle depth by 50%. “It performs like Botox, without injections,” Nancy says.

Professional Grade Stabilized Vitamin C, which reduces melanin synthesis by 80%; increases collagen by 50%; exfoliates the skin; provides antioxidant protection, and whitens and brightens the skin

Anti-Wrinkle Peptide, which reduces wrinkle volume by 62%; improves lifting of the skin by 77%; moisturizes and hydrates the skin

Plant Stem Cells, which increases the longevity of skin cells and reduces wrinkle depth by 15% in two weeks

Three Bio-Cellular Peptides working together to help heal and repair damaged cells and help prevent lines and wrinkles

Natural Plant Complex, which increases hydration by 5% in 24 hours

Phyto-Defense, which is especially designed for sensitive skin and reduces neurogenic inflammation as well as skin redness by 3%

A patented delivery system “which helps control the delivery of active ingredients into the skin cells, allows them to work better and longer,”  Nancy explains.

SecretSerums does not have parabens, sulfates, alcohol, petroleum, mineral oil, artificial color, animal by-products or formaldehyde. And it is not tested on animals.

A Renowned Plastic Surgeon Weighs In On SecretSerums

unnamedDr. David Feldmar, a board certified Beverly Hills cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgeon, learned about SerumSerums through a patient, Lynn, who happened to be the same woman who created the formula in the first place.  “I work with mostly men and women who are 40+ and I’d been looking for an effective and simple skin care product,” Dr. Feldmar told me. “So many expensive brands  require women to use multiple products every day.”  

Recommending SecretSerums mainly to patients in their 40s and 50s, Dr. Feldmar reported that he saw “fewer deep wrinkles, skin tightening, and improvements in brown spots and discolorations. I noticed a reversal and slowing down of the aging of their skin. The products actually produced the same effect as some more invasive treatments,” he said.

“The women in Beverly Hills have the money to spend on any product they want.  We’re delighted our products worked so well on their skin,” Nancy added.

Where You Can Find SecretSerums

trioThe three products currently are available on secretserums.com, and once Nancy analyzes the retail scene, she expects they will be offered on one of the home shopping networks and elsewhere. “If you buy the Anti-Aging Treatment and Bye Bye Wrinkles now, you get the Exfoliating Cleanser for free. We want to encourage women to buy all three products because together they do so much for your skin,” Nancy explained.

Based on her decades of experience launching beauty lines, Nancy knows it’s good marketing that gets people to say they’re going to try a product, and then it’s the quality of the product itself that makes them loyal to the brand. “I’d rather spend a little more on the quality of the product,” she explains. “Integrity is important to women.”

My Own Experience

I’ve been exclusively using the three SecretSerums products for the past three weeks and have noticed that my skin tone is more even, and the darkness under my eyes has diminished. The refreshing Exfoliating Cleanser works into a fluffy smooth lather, and I can feel both the micronized exfoliating powder and the fruit acid complex working on my skin.

geri

I massage the Anti-Aging Treatment into my lines and creases, once in the morning and once in the evening, and let it absorb before applying Bye Bye Wrinkles, which I gently tap into the lines to fill them. The wrinkles serum absorbs into my skin and dries to an invisible finish. No flakes!

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FASHION FLASH FOR WEEK OF MAY 23rd! http://venusblogs.com/fashion-flash-for-week-of-may-23rd/ http://venusblogs.com/fashion-flash-for-week-of-may-23rd/#respond Mon, 23 May 2016 14:05:15 +0000 http://venusblogs.com/fashion-flash-for-week-of-may-23rd/

Fashion Flash From South Beach

fashion and beauty tips

 

I’m hosting Fashion Flash direct from South Beach this week – talk about the center of fashion! It’s amazing what you can see around here.

Fashion Flash features articles that range from fashion, beauty and anti-aging to fitness, travel and more from some of the best bloggers online.

This week’s posts:

best of everything for women over 50Barbara Hannah Grufferman, author of THE BEST OF EVERYTHING AFTER 50 and AARP YouTube Host, is wondering if women over 40 get enough protein to keep from losing muscle mass as we get older. As the Bone Health Ambassador for the National Osteoporosis Foundation, she has the inside scoop on how to keep muscles and bones strong . . . for life.

beauty over 40Prime Beauty reviews KORRES Castanea Arcadia Collection that just debuted on HSN. It’s perfect for over 40 ladies with dry skin!

fashionErika from Notes From My Dressing Table wants you to enjoy a delicate rose scent while pampering your complexion with deep hydration and care with Glo Therapeutics Cyto-Luxe Face Cream.

Society WellnessSociety Wellness says pasta salads are perfect summer meals! Society Wellness shares a versatile pesto pasta recipe that you will use all summer long!

No Nonsense Beauty BlogDeb of No-Nonsense Beauty Blog looks at the veggie that is both anti-aging and elegant.

heart-for-beauty-infoAs we age, so does our hair. That’s one of the many reasons Beauty Info Zone likes Pai-Shau haircare. Read to see what you are missing and which product is their superstar.

Second Lives ClubSecond Lives Club discovers Diana Nyad had a dream in her 20’s and failed to achieve it.  So why did she think she would succeed in her 60’s?  Diana proves you’re never too old to chase your dreams.

beauty over 40Chic at Any Age offers a tour of St. Tropez shops. Some great style inspiration.

GlamourGrannyTravelsInka of GlamourGrannyTravels.com recommends the pleasure of 3G Vacations.

Aging BackwardsFinally, check out this article: Can a woman in her mid-fifties look 21?

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Mind Your Muscles: Are You Getting Enough Protein? http://venusblogs.com/mind-your-muscles-are-you-getting-enough-protein/ http://venusblogs.com/mind-your-muscles-are-you-getting-enough-protein/#respond Sun, 22 May 2016 22:51:21 +0000 http://venusblogs.com/mind-your-muscles-are-you-getting-enough-protein/

Break Free 2016 Poster FinalIt’s 3:30pm. Do you know where your energy is?
The next time you reach for that fourth cup of coffee (or worse, a donut) when energy starts to lag and posture starts to sag, consider this: maybe you’re losing steam because you’re losing muscle.

new survey conducted by AARP and Abbott (makers of nutritional drinks Ensure and Enlive) supports the well-known adage: “a body in motion, stays in motion.” It’s true: the more we move our bodies, the more energy and stamina we have.

When we feel tired, fingers usually point to a bad night’s sleep. But, the real culprit could be muscles that are getting weak because they’re losing mass. The National Institute on Aging reports that as we start to lose essential muscle mass after the age of 40, it can cause strength, balance, and flexibility to decline. What’s more, energy and stamina take a nosedive, too, having a direct impact on our daily lives.

Weak muscles can stop us from enjoying many things we love to do that involve physical activity — walking, gardening, picking up children, playing tennis or golf — but can also make simple things like carrying heavy groceries a real challenge.

(Note: I recently attended an event hosted by AARP and Abbott when they introduced the new survey to the media, at which they had a few weights that could be strapped on to arms, legs and torso so you could actually feel what’s it’s like to lose muscle mass. Here’s a photo of me looking chipper, but I sure wasn’t after I tried to walk around, get up after sitting, and lift a heavy bundle. No question that weak muscles make eve2016-05-19-1463688959-9051719-BHGatAARPAbbottEvent.jpgry day life a lot harder. )

We need strong muscles to support our bones.

Loss of muscle mass has a medical name: sarcopenia. And, while sarcopenia may interfere with your ability to play a competitive game of tennis, there’s an even bigger reason why you need to mind your muscles:

Adults with sarcopenia, or low muscle mass, are two times more likely to have osteoporosis compared with those who do not, and osteoporosis can lead to fractures.

Dr. Andrea J. Singer, Clinical Director of the National Osteoporosis Foundation and women’s health expert at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, explains it this way:

In order to better identify those who will fracture, we need to think “beyond the bone.” This includes focusing on sarcopenia, which is defined as “the age-related gradual loss of muscle mass, strength and function.” Sarcopenia, which can also occur due to illness, increases the risk for falling and many osteoporosis-related fractures are due to falls. In other words, bone breaks occur due to loss of bone mass/strength AND loss of muscle mass/strength as we age. As a result, we fall down on weak bones and they break.

Good news: you can stop bone loss and rebuild muscle mass. 

While it’s possible to slow down — even stop — bone loss, it’s hard to completely reverse it. However, muscle loss is reversible! If you’ve experienced age- or illness-related muscle loss, you can turn things around with exercise and proper nutrition. Bonus: strengthening your muscles will boost energy level and help protect your bones.

Put your health in your own hands. 
The really great news is that what’s good for your bones is good for your muscles, too! Except to really get muscles back to where they should be, you need to pay special attention to the amount of protein you’re consuming every day. Here are the best recommendations for strengthening bones and muscles:

  • Move your muscles. Many participants in the survey exercise regularly, but most focus on activities that give them a cardio workout, with very little attention paid to their muscles and bones. One of the articles I wrote in this series about preventing osteoporosis focused on the 5 best exercises to keep bones strong, including running, jumping jacks and push-ups. Guess what? Those are the exact same ones you should be doing to build back muscle mass, too. Check out the full list here.
  • Eat more protein. Almost 62 percent of the adults surveyed believe they get enough protein, but only 17 percent knew the actual amount that they should get, or were actually getting. The ensure_enliverecommended daily amount is 53 grams for a 150 pound adult and 63 grams for someone who weighs 180 pounds; however, research shows that adults over 70 need nearly twice this amount to help preserve their muscles. A few good sources of healthy protein to build muscle mass are lean meats, yogurt, cottage cheese, almonds, broccoli, eggs, and nutritional drinks with added protein, like Enlive, the new shake from the makers of Ensure. A lot of those foods also happen to be great sources of calcium, too, which is essential for keeping bones strong.

Knowledge is power and this is especially true when it comes to your health.

Stay informed and take control wherever you can. For more information on how to keep your bones and muscles strong for life visit www.nof.org

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A Wave Of Sadness Swept Over Me When I Saw Her http://venusblogs.com/a-wave-of-sadness-swept-over-me-when-i-saw-her/ http://venusblogs.com/a-wave-of-sadness-swept-over-me-when-i-saw-her/#respond Wed, 18 May 2016 21:43:35 +0000 http://venusblogs.com/a-wave-of-sadness-swept-over-me-when-i-saw-her/ A woman who was my best friend for about 20 years is dying. We haven’t been pals for the last 20 years because we simply “grew apart,” but I did invite her to dinner a few years ago, and we spent a couple of hours catching up on our kids, our jobs, and our partners.

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When she walked out, I sensed we wouldn’t see each other again, but I surely didn’t think the reason would be her serious illness. She hadn’t told me that she had breast cancer years ago; I learned about it from a mutual acquaintance, and that it had returned and spread.

Then, one afternoon when David and I were walking past her apartment with dog Rigby (L lives 4 blocks away),  I saw her husband and two sons lifting her, in a wheelchair, into a taxi.  A wave of sadness swept over me. I remembered how beautiful and lively she was when we met in our twenties, her blond straight hair the complete opposite of my dark curly hair; her deep blue eyes and porcelain skin stark contrasts to my brown eyes and olive skin.

We were opposite in more ways than our looks: She was always late; I was always early. She dressed impeccably in expensive designer duds; I threw things together. She labored over every word she wrote. I churned out copy a mile a minute. She had to associate with the ‘in’ crowd.  The cool contingent usually looked at me as an outsider. We nevertheless ‘entertained’ each other in ways no one else could.  I found it amusing going to dinner at her house and being served by a housekeeper. I loved getting her older son’s handmedowns for my son. She once told me, ‘I don’t have to go the the theatre when I have you as my friend.’

After seeing her physical deterioration that afternoon, I decided to write to her long-time husband:

Dear C,

Many months ago, as I walked past your apartment building, I saw you and your sons putting L  in the back of a cab and saw she was ill. Despite decades of ‘non friendship’ with L my heart is heavy for her, for you and for your family. I know what a wonderful wife and mother she is, things I never quite mastered as well as she. Please know that she is in my thoughts and prayers.  

I didn’t expect a response, but did get one a few days later:

Thank you for your generously worded email. Geri, I do remember seeing you walk by, and I did call out to you, but evidently, you did not hear me. L struggles every day and is doing the best that she is able.

Because L can communicate minimally, she does not agree to receive anyone; but, if you feel that it is appropriate, you are welcome to stop by and spend some time with her.  She understands everything.

Sincere thanx (sic) for the compliment that you paid to L. I relayed your thoughts to her. Of course, she was pleased to hear them.

Since receiving the email from L’s husband, I’ve learned that she no longer is communicating, and has stopped eating solid foods. I hadn’t visited because I didn’t believe it was appropriate.

When I think back to the hours and hours L and I spent together as young women, it is almost impossible to picture her nearing the end of her life, at 72.

I’ll never forget the winter day, soon after she had her first son in the 1970sswing,when she picked me up from work in her Jaguar, her doting mother beside her, Christmas presents stuffed into the back seat. She seemed to have the world at her fingertips.

It is also hard to believe how the decades have been so fleeting. My thoughts and prayers are with L. her husband, her sons and her two grandsons. I can imagine how much they will miss her.

The post A Wave Of Sadness Swept Over Me When I Saw Her appeared first on FabOverFifty.com.

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Beautiful Ways To Show Your Grandkids How Much You Love Them http://venusblogs.com/beautiful-ways-to-show-your-grandkids-how-much-you-love-them/ http://venusblogs.com/beautiful-ways-to-show-your-grandkids-how-much-you-love-them/#respond Wed, 18 May 2016 15:35:23 +0000 http://venusblogs.com/beautiful-ways-to-show-your-grandkids-how-much-you-love-them/ Ever since I became “Grandma Muffin,” three years ago, I find it challenging to choose gifts for my grandson Primo. Does he already have this toy or book?  Is he too young for this bike or too old for that stuffed animal? What size shorts does he wear now? Will he look good in navy?  I know I’ve struck out on at least a couple of occasions!

leadWhen I received a call from the website Deserves.com, I thought these people have come up with an ingenious way to make gift-giving to grandchildren fun, easy and foolproof. Deserves puts together collections of meaningful and unique treasures for grandmas and grandpas to give their granddaughters and grandsons, on birthdays, for holidays, or simply to surprise them.

These are gifts with staying power, real staying power, not something they’ll enjoy for a few hours or weeks and then relegate to the bottom of the toy bin or left to gather dust under the bed.  I’ve chosen two pieces that your grandchildren would be sure to keep close to their hearts 24/7. And the prices are really, really reasonable!

“My Granddaughter, I Love You to the Moon and Back” Necklace
"My Granddaughter, I Love You to the Moon and Back" Necklace
Once your granddaughter learns to read, or at least knows her letters, she’ll adore this one-of-a-kind piece and think of you every time she puts it around her neck. The 18-inch adjustable necklace, with pendant that measures 7/10”  is made of non-tarnishing brass and plated in rhodium and gold.divider
“Grandson, You Are Braver Than You Believe, Stronger Than You Seem and Smarter Than You Think” Necklace
Grandson, You Are Braver Than You Believe, Stronger Than You Seem and Smarter Than You Think

Maybe your grandson is starting a new school or moving to a new city. Help build his self-confidence and remind him how much you love him with this handsome stainless steel and black charm that he can wear around his neck, as a keychain or hanging from his trusty backpack. The .85-inch pendant comes on a 16.5-inch chain with a two-inch extension.

Fewer than 100 pieces are left.

Deserves.com ships in two to four business days and offers a 100%, no risk, 30-day guarantee. Once you place your order, you will get exclusive offers on gifts, toys, art and other awesome things for you and your family.

to give your grandchildren gifts they deserve!

Remember, you don’t have to wait till their birthdays to send special gifts from grandma! Or, in my case, “Grandma Muffin.”

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