I don’t know about you, but I’m dying for Spring to really, really get here. Every time I step into my closet I try not to hate all my sweaters, black jeans and boots. Yeah…yeah…I’ll be happy to see them again next October, but right now I want to break out my sandals and slides, white jeans, t-shirts and more.
Sometimes a spur of the moment cooking “experiment” turns into gastronomic gold. OK, slight exaggeration. But this side dish is definitely a winner on all fronts — taste, calories (approximately 235 calories per serving), nutrients.
Spring is definitely in my dreams, if not quite in the air. Here in Jersey City we’re still waiting for all of Storm Stella’s now dirty snow to melt. But I love how much warmer the sun feels, how much longer it stays light outside. Don’t you?
I grew up in a classic PreWar apartment on Washington Square Park. Its black and white tile bathrooms with massive tubs still looked Pottery Barn cool when my Father died this past August. Chris grew up in a Turn-of-the-Century Colonial in Scarsdale, NY, which his parents meticulously restored over the many years they lived there. So while sometimes a “Gut Reno” is called for, preservation has its place too.
With Daylight Savings this past weekend, I was wishing Spring felt closer. (You hear that, Groundhog!) Up at our cabin, temps dipped below zero. Made for drinking wine and playing Scrabble by the fire but not for debuting any new “warmer weather” fashion. So…I pulled together a Best Of Look that features some of my favorite “wild things” pieces. Apologies to my PETA followers. I’ve included fur-free options for you too.
When it comes to my mornings, I’m happy to be a creature of habit. Sure I’ll go for eggs over easy, crispy bacon and whole grain toast once in a while. But that’s a “brunch with friends treat” as far as I’m concerned. My typical AMs start with a cup of coffee and almond milk. I’ll have a second cup as I put together some version of a smoothie — my breakfast of choice (or champions?) for decades. No stress about what to eat and pretty much no mess. Smoothie in hand, I organize the five supplements I take every day. I truly believe they are essential components of my 50+ health and beauty regimen.
Probiotic: My favorite is Udo’s Choice Super 8 Hi-Potency Probiotic. The high level of L. acidophilus in this formula helps maintain proper yeast balance in the body — super important in those post-menopause years. This is also an ideal supplement to bring along when you travel as it helps to maintain healthy flora (regularity, folks!) while away from home. Trust me, it does. Because probiotics are living organisms, their potency slowly decreases over time (2% per month) so it’s best to keep them refrigerated. (Tip: I store all of my supplements together on a lazy susan in the fridge.)
Calcium & Vitamin D3: I’m so happy I discovered Nova Scotia Organics. They use the highest quality organic ingredients and many are water-extracted from plant sources. Their Calcium & Vitamin D 3 is free from GMOs, fillers, synthetic or irradiated ingredients. As you know, I’m recovering from a stress fracture in my left knee, and my Orthopedist was relieved to hear I am taking this supplement. Again, a big boost in combatting possible bone density loss.
Glucosamine Chondroitin: Our joints absorb a lot of stress, especially when we exercise. I spent 20+ years taking ballet and modern dance, then switched to running, then switched to the elliptical, treadmill and brisk walking. Then throw in tennis, hiking and skiing.You get the picture. Decades later, my hips and knees just aren’t as young as they used to be! Glucosamine is a compound naturally found within the cartilage of our joints. For me that makes its cartilage-building properties a no brainer. It can also help lower pain and tenderness, plus combat inflammation. Something I also know about as someone who’s had Lyme Disease. These days, I’m liking Nature’s Bounty. They have an over 40 year commitment to making products with only the purest ingredients. No GMOs, artificial color, artificial flavor, artificial sweetener, preservatives, sugar, starch, milk, lactose, soy, gluten, wheat, yeast or sodium. I’ve even got Chris taking it, and he swears his joints feel better than ever too.
Tumeric: Found in a plant in the ginger family, Tumeric is a natural anti-inflammatory compound and can also increase the antioxidant capacity of your body. You may know it as the source of the orange-yellow tumeric spice commonly found in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. And while I really do like cooking with it, I know it’s made its biggest difference for me as a daily supplement — especially as I battled inflammation from Lyme Disease. These days I’m trying (and liking) Nature’s Lab Tumeric Curcumin with BioPerine.
Olly Undeniable Beauty for Hair, Skin & Nails: These almost-sugar-free (just 1 gram each!) grapefruit-flavored gummies are the cute, fun way to get your daily dose of Biotin, Vitamin C and Borage Oil. Why this trio? Biotin is a powerful nutrient that helps your body metabolize fats and proteins — essential for the growth of healthy hair, nails and skin cells. Vitamin C is a key nutrient in the production of collagen, the protein which can contribute to your skin’s strength and “youthful glow.” And Borage Oil is the highest known potency for naturally occurring GLA — an omega 6 fatty acid. I can honestly say my hair, nails and skin all look noticeably better, healthier since I started taking these.
As always, you should consult your doctor before adding supplements to your daily diet, especially if you have any serious health concerns.
If you do try any (or all) of these, let me know what you think!
All photos by MP Allegaert
A few weeks back in February people were actually strolling around in sandals, shorts and tees and dining al fresco. Then March rolled in. It’s gotten chillier by the day, and while I’m dying to break out my favorite new Spring pieces, it’s still too soon to do it from head-to-toe. But…you can mix in the new (long cardigan, pom pom sneakers and white jeans) with cozier layers you already own (turtleneck sweater, cashmere beanie).
Smile…pucker…pout. When it comes my beauty routine, other than lip balm now and then, I can overlook my lips. And Northeast winters definitely do a number on them: chapping, flaking, drying. So…inspired by the K-Beauty craze for masks, I decided to give my lips a “spa” experience. The results? Fuller, smoother, and dare I say “younger looking” lips.