Savvy Senior Services
Anne Goldberg Motivational Speaker for Seniors

by Anne Goldberg, The Savvy Senior

It astounds me as to how many of my peers feel old.  I don’t relate to that at all.  In fact, I recently celebrated my 65th birthday.  While some of you may think, “Oh, she’s just a kid”, others – like my kids – think I’m older than dirt!  They actually call my friends, ‘the old people!’

What is remarkable to me though is that I cannot connect to what 65 is supposed to be.  It really is a matter of perspective, isn’t it?   How I choose to see myself, is just that… my choice.  In truth, I don’t see myself as any age.  I’m just me; the same me I’ve been since I can remember.  I do not define myself by any age and never have.  In fact, the Savvy Senior Mission Statement was born from my resistance to aging.  Every year I was old enough to have a past and young enough to have a future. And that sums up how I feel about every age.

I had my first son at 37 and my second was born when I was 41.  The classroom moms were all ten to fifteen years younger than I and yet we were in the same life stage.  Age was actually quite irrelevant.  We were all dealing with the same issues of bedtime, diapers, homework and after-school activities.  It leveled the age-playing-field.

Now, in my 65th year, I am embarking on a whole new adventure.  Leaving a relationship of almost ten years, I am moving from a 31-year love relationship with Broward County, Florida to new territory in Boca Raton.  Some would be devastated at this change.  Not me!  I see it as a blank page, ready for me to imprint with a whole new life with new experiences and accomplishments.  I can’t wait to spread my wings and see where the wind takes me.  I’m not entirely sure what awaits me in Palm Beach County.  I just know that it’s going to expand my world in ways I can’t even imagine right now.

How do you experience change?  Do you hide from it?  Do everything you can to avoid it?  Or do you embrace it with all the promise the future can hold?  Change offers the opportunity to start new; to look at your own self from a different perspective.  Change can mean new friends and new opportunities to learn and grow.  Of course it can be scary and challenging.  Anything new has those elements.  But rather than focus on the scary, concentrate on the adventure.  You never know what lies on the other side of change.

Be a Savvy Senior.  Consider change as a movement forward in your life.  No matter what that change may be, grab hold of it and ride it for all it’s worth!

 

Anne Goldberg, The Savvy Senior, has a mission to help seniors know they are old enough to have a past and young enough to have a future. Her vision is to create an army of senior volunteers bringing their wisdom and experience back to the community. She helps seniors live into their future with vitality by teaching them how to use computers; with conferences & workshops on The Art of Living Longer ; with decluttering & organizing; and with “Tell Your Story Videos”, preserving the stories & wisdom of your life for future generations.www.SavvySeniorServices.com
• (954) 536-8008

 

Does this sound familiar?  You get out of your car with your keys in your hand, pick up the mail, open the front door and then put everything down because the phone starts to ring, or some other distraction takes your attention.  Then, sometime later, when you are ready to leave the house again, you have no idea where you put your keys.

Whether it’s your wallet, purse, glasses, book or name your own, how much time do you spend looking for things you misplaced?  Oh the frustration. oh the fear… So many seniors worry they are losing cognitive awareness because they are always misplacing, or worse, losing things.  In most cases though, it is safe to say that you are not losing your mind.  What you have lost though is being in the present moment.  In the very moment when the phone starts to ring, if you can stay present to what is in your hands, you will most likely feel the keys and purposefully place them, rather than mindlessly drop them.  It might take a moment longer.  You might have to call the person back, or ask them to hold on while you stop and put things away. But you will know where your keys are!

Mindfulness is at play in all aspects of our health, and particularly when it comes to eating.  For example, let’s look at the simple act of eating a strawberry.  I can be aware that I am eating a strawberry and enjoy the flavor. But… when I take time to examine it first, I notice its bright pink color, the little black seeds and the contrast of the deep green stem; I savor the fragrance with its promise of sweetness and my mouth begins to water. I take my time as I bite into it and pay attention to the juice squirting into my mouth and down my chin, delicious and satisfying.  Chewing the fruit slowly and deliberately allows the flavor to fill my mouth and as I swallow I can feel it pass through my throat and down into my stomach.

You will find life a bit easier and food to be richer and more flavorful when you take time to savor the experience; when you are mindful of what is going on. And, mindful eating has the added benefit of chewing more slowly and thoroughly, which helps your stomach with digestion. And, you will likely eat less and be just as satisfied… so you could lose a few pounds as a bonus.

Be a Savvy Senior   Practice mindfulness and let me know what you discover.

Anne Goldberg, The Savvy Senior, is a Motivational Speaker and Longevity Coach. She has a mission to help seniors know they are old enough to have a past and young enough to have a future. Her vision is to create an army of senior volunteers bringing their wisdom and experience back to the community. She helps seniors live into their future with vitality by teaching them how to use computers; with conferences & workshops on The Art of Living Longer ; with decluttering & organizing; Kitchen Coaching to reduce Inflammation and “Tell Your Story Videos”, preserving the stories & wisdom of your life for future generations.www.SavvySeniorServices.com
• (954) 536-8008

 

Irrespective of the changing laws surrounding medical marijuana, there is still a preponderance of people who don’t now, and never will, use these drugs.  The idea of using drugs is simply out of the question.  The irony is that these same people are likely to fall into the median group of Americans who consume about 175 pounds of sugar per year.  And now, research is beginning to show an alarming connection between the effects of added sweeteners and sugars on our brains and bodies.  And the stunning conclusion is that sugar is as addictive as cocaine!

In 2007 Australian researchers gave rats a choice between water sweetened with saccharine/glucose, or cocaine.  The rats showed a distinct preference for the sweetened water!  In prior tests, they chose cocaine over plain water.  The findings were further confirmed in a 2013 study from Connecticut College in which rats were given the choice of Oreos, morphine or cocaine. The study was designed to measure expression of a protein called c-Fos, a known marker of neuronal activation in the part of the brain that controls the feeling of pleasure. The result was alarming: Oreos beat out both drugs by a significant margin! Now I understand why peanut M&Ms are so annoyingly irresistible to me!

Like illegal drugs, large amounts of sugar can be very bad for you. In addition to obesity and diabetes, sugar can deeply affect your metabolism, impair brain function and make you more susceptible to heart disease and cancer. It can even form premature wrinkles.

In 2013, the New England Journal of Medicine published a Harvard study showing that above-normal blood sugar is associated with an increased risk of developing dementia – with or without diabetes. Research has also proved that there are many similarities in the brains of people with diabetes and the brains of people with Alzheimer’s. The good news here is that diabetes only remains a risk factor and not a sentence. A risk factor because we Savvy Seniors understand that lifestyle choices are responsible for 80-95% of all disease.

We know from the Blue Zones research that there is statistically less dementia, heart attacks, diabetes, strokes and cancer in those areas than in the United States. It always gets back to lifestyle.  Sugar is not the enemy.  Added sugar is the enemy.   Our bodies require sugar to function normally.

Rather than be discouraged, take this information as power. Now you know just how important it is to say no to excess sugar and even artificial sweeteners.  Enjoy sweet treats such as dried fruit, or fresh fruit in season.  Flavor your water with fresh fruit.  Move your body – walk, garden, do yoga. And most importantly, connect with others… get involved… for the true sweetness in life lies not in pie and cookies, but in our personal relationships and the connections we make with each other.

 

Anne Goldberg, The Savvy Senior, has a mission to help seniors know they are old enough to have a past and young enough to have a future. Her vision is to create an army of senior volunteers bringing their wisdom and experience back to the community. She helps seniors live into their future with vitality by teaching them how to use computers; with conferences & workshops on The Art of Living Longer ; with decluttering & organizing; and with “Tell Your Story Videos”, preserving the stories & wisdom of your life for future generations.www.SavvySeniorServices.com  • (954) 536-8008

The new norm with regards to nutrition seems to be the ages-old wisdom of Hippocrates: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

The Harvard Medical school newsletter, in “Nutrition 101: Good Eating for Good Health”, makes the clear connection between diet and health. Within all the specifics they discussed, the one point they made is that “…good eating should not be considered a punishment, but an opportunity.” I couldn’t agree more.

By saying no to foods with green peppers, eggplant, white potatoes, pumpkin and tomatoes (so, pretty much good-bye Italian food L) my indigestion rarely raises its fiery head any more. And when it does, I can always trace it to something I’ve eaten. Given that OTC brands like Prevacid and Xantac inhibit the body’s ability to absorb nutrients, taking them only contributes to a lack of well-being.

So what do you do if you have indigestion? My sure-fire recipe is to chew three or four papaya enzyme pills (widely available at nutrition stores and on-line) with a chaser of 2 ounces of aloe vera juice. (I like OKC brand available at Wal-Mart and some Asian markets.) This combo’s like swallowing a fire extinguisher – without any negative side-effects. An added bonus with Aloe Vera is that it can work wonders for IBS sufferers.

Eating well yields huge rewards in the form of more energy, better sleep, nicer skin and an overall feeling of well-being. The people in the world who live the longest eat 75-80% vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, legumes, some grains and just 0-20% animal protein. And they drink lots of green tea. How does your eating stand up to that?

When you pay attention to your body, during and after eating, you’ll become aware of signals it sends about the food you eat. Heartburn suggests intolerance to something you’ve eaten. Rather than medicating yourself, try and determine which food caused it and then eliminate this food from your repertoire and see if that makes a difference. Some foods cause inflammation and you may suddenly notice that one or more joints begin to ache. Some foods can cause a headache, or bloating, belching and other digestive issues. Sometimes you might wake up and your eyes and extremities are swollen. What did you eat the night before?

When you start to notice any tightening, bloating, swelling with 24 hours of eating something, you begin the process of understanding and mastering food’s powerful effects on how you feel. Then you become in control… and that is the opportunity.

Be a Savvy Senior. Start to notice a connection between certain foods and discomfort anywhere in your body and make decisions about what to eat based on foods that make you feel good.

It’s hard to avoid the news these days. With the turmoil of the world, the arbitrariness of suffering is scary. In point of fact, we are more likely to get the Zika virus than experience a terrorist attack! Yet it tugs at the fragility of life; that, at any moment, the life we know can crack open and fall apart.

And that is the best reason I can think of to take hold of life and ride it full out with all its ups and downs, joys and sorrows. The people who live the longest in the world, those in the Blue Zones, live longer in part because they don’t fret over what they can’t control.  They tend to either let these things go or seek support within their moai –family, tribe or community.

They maintain meaningful connections with others. They have purpose and they know that they matter. These qualities, along with a fresh, natural diet and plenty of exercise are the essential elements that allow them to persevere and flourish up to ten years longer than we do here in the U.S.

How do they do it? Well,  they don’t worry on and on about what might have been or what might happen tomorrow… or ten years from now. Those who live the longest are in the present moment. It’s the only thing that is real. Yesterday is gone, it’s a memory and tomorrow is a dream. Right here, right now is the moment to choose to make these years productive, meaningful and above all, filled with a sense of purpose, whatever that might be for you.

There is no time like the present to connect to the truth that every breath you take is an opportunity to be more, do more and contribute more. What are your dreams? What did you always put off “until tomorrow”? What can you do that would make you feel alive and challenged? Who can you help? Why not do it now?

Develop an awareness about what you are thinking and doing because what you think and what you do in any moment is completely under your control. You get to choose!

Be a Savvy Senior. take pen to paper (or finger to iPad) and start making a list of those dreams.

 

Many seniors believe that they can’t really learn new things… a new language, a new habit or some hobby or game. This thought stops them from challenging themselves cognitively and in ways that will actually result in a better life experience. Overcoming obstacles, learning new things and continuing to grow and expand are hallmarks of the consciously aging senior. But what can be done about this pervasive idea that the aging brain has some kind of diminished power? You may be surprised to know that the science of Neuroplasticity debunks the idea that seniors can’t learn new things.

Neuroplasticity is the science that has proven that the brain is malleable, and can be affected by thought & blood flow. It teaches us that, when challenged, the brain changes itself to meet new demands. Nerve cells, called neurons, in our brains physically grow nerve endings to connect with other neurons when we learn new things! The more we experience and learn, the more connections are formed. And we know that any intervention that successfully prevents or slows decline will have positive effects, not only cognitively, but also in better gait and balance.1 as well as better overall mood and quality of life.

Noted motivational speaker Tony Robbins famously said, “When you stop growing, you start dying.” Learning is part of growing and is an essential component to healthy aging. So what’s the best way to learn something new? The keys are increasing blood flow and repetition. So take a walk, do some chair exercises… anything that will get your heart pumping just a bit faster than at rest.

When it comes to practicing something new, think back to when you first learned to drive a car. Did you know how to drive the SECOND time you got behind the wheel? Of course not, it took practice and lots of it before you were a really good driver. And it’s no different now with anything else you want to learn. You need practice to master a new skill – at any age.

Be a Savvy Senior. Tackle something new! First elevate blood flow and then start learning and then do it again. And again. And again! Repetition is the cement that holds those new memories in place.

Anne Goldberg, The Savvy Senior, has a mission to help seniors know they are old enough to have a past and young enough to have a future. Her vision is to create an army of senior volunteers bringing their wisdom and experience back to the community. She helps seniors reach their goals by teaching them how to use computers; conferences & workshops on The Art of Living Longer; Decluttering and Organizing; and “Tell Your Story Videos”, preserving the stories & wisdom of your life for future generations. www.SavvySeniorServices.com  • (954) 536-8008

1 Center for Research on Health & Aging at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Renae L. Smith-Ray

Life is diverse. Each millisecond is filled with sound, texture, color, movement and emotions – trauma, love, joy and sorrow – and all of these things come at us, sometimes with breakneck speed. To navigate (and stay sane), it serves us to become something of an artist, taking all the various elements and intentionally arranging them on the canvas of our daily life into something that is harmonious and pleasing.

When you can begin to look at life as art… as a way to express your important ideas and feelings, you can begin to understand that you are the artist of your life. You get to choose how you look at and think about what happens, or has happened, in your life. Mistakes can be forgiven with a splash of color- painted over never to be seen or thought of again… for all intent and purpose… gone.

The artist creates with imagination and skill. Einstein knew the value of imagination when he wrote, “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination.” You can begin to see how imagination is critical when deciding how you want to live the rest of your life. And, as the artist of your life, you get to choose the thoughts that populate the canvas of your mind. The science of Quantum Physics is clear that everything begins with our thoughts.  “As you sow, so shall you reap” is not advice from Jesus for farmers! Voltaire wrote, “Each person must cultivate his own garden.” The colloquial expression, “What goes around, comes around” and the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” are examples of the power of intention and imagination as part of our human lexicon that has been expressed through the millennia. 

The art of living longer is about creatively and intentionally choosing what you want on the canvas of your life. And, when you make choices that support your physical, emotional and mental health, your canvas is a picture of health, vitality and longevity.

Be a Savvy Senior.  Follow the Savvy Senior Credo: “I’m old enough to have a past and young enough to have a future. I don’t know my expiration date and so I commit to live into my future consciously, making choices – mind, body and spirit – that will help me achieve a healthier, happier, extended lifespan.”

 

 

 

“A merry heart does good like a medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22)

A Maryland School of Medicine study in 2005 showed that laughter is linked to the healthy function of blood vessels. It seems that laughter causes the tissue that forms the endothelium, the inner lining of blood vessels, to expand in order to increase blood flow.  Stress (caused by any factor) has the opposite effect, constricting blood vessels and reducing blood flow.

When you laugh, blood flow increases and blood pressure rises.  When you stop laughing, blood pressure drops back to its baseline. This relaxing effect helps bring down blood pressure. This generates deeper breathing, which in turn sends more oxygenated blood through the body. The natural conclusion is that laughing more is a great way to achieve cardiac health.

There’s ample evidence that cardiac patients with a negative outlook about their recovery are more than twice as likely as optimists to die sooner. So, one of the strategies for achieving a happy, healthy longer life is to look for reasons to laugh.

In addition to all the great cardio benefits, the Mayo Clinic lists many ways that laughter helps us to be healthier. Laughter strengthens the immune system, stimulates the lungs and muscles, can naturally reduce pain through the production of endorphins by the brain, can increase memory and learning and can help lessen anxiety, fear and depression. Laughter enhances resilience. All of this and you get a good abdominal work-out when you laugh long and hard!

There are some great social benefits as well. Humor plays a huge part by fostering emotional connection. When we laugh with someone, we bond with them and this bond acts as a buffer during times of stress, disagreements and disappointments. Laughing with others is more powerful than laughing alone.

So turn the corners of your mouth upwards and feel the smile begin to grow on your face. Now allow yourself to laugh, even if it feels a little forced. Think about something amusing or a funny joke you heard. Then pay attention to how you feel. Are your muscles a little less tense? Do you feel more relaxed or maybe even a little bouncy? That’s the natural wonder of laughing working its magic on your health.

An elderly gentleman was telling his friend about a new restaurant he and his wife recently visited. “The food and service were great!” he said. His friend asked, “What’s the name of the place?” “Gee, I don’t remember,” he said, “What do you call the long stemmed flower people give on special occasions?” “You mean a rose?” asked his friend. “That’s it!” he exclaimed and turning to his wife, asked, “Rose, what’s the name of that restaurant we went to the other day?”

Be a Savvy Senior. Look for reasons to laugh every day.

Have you heard about the latest research in longevity? Maybe you know about epigenetics? Or about the Blue Zones?

Epigenetics is the science of our DNA that has proven lifestyle choices are more impactful on our health than our genetics. Yep, it’s true. All the latest studies point to the increasingly proven fact that between 80 & 95% of all disease (different research, somewhat different results) are caused by the choices we make vis a vis food, exercise, forgiveness, creativity and how much we laugh! Take a minute and digest that. 80-95% of ALL DISEASE is avoidable. The power is yours.

Then there are the Blue Zones and the work of Dan Buettner.  Dan was commissioned in 2002 by National Geographic to travel the world and find those areas in which people had the longest lifespans and why.  Dan assembled teams of demographers, epidemiologists, sociologists, and other scientists and away they went.

Some 14 years later, he has identified five spots where people live the longest and healthiest with a compelling body of evidence that supports epigenetics…  that achieving a lifespan that is ten years longer (on average) with a much greater chance of reaching 100+ is fully achievable and in your control.

While this information is thrilling, it is also a bit daunting. You mean to tell me that I am responsible for my health? Even though my family members succumbed to (cancer, heart disease, diabetes etc.), that I don’t have to? Are you saying that what I eat, with whom I hang out, the way I move (or don’t) move my body actually makes a difference in my health & well-being?

Yes, that is exactly what this research is saying. In the next few months we’re going to be exploring the latest research and strategies you can employ that will empower and, I hope, inspire you to take control of your health – mind, body and spirit.

We’ll cover the Blue Zones and what it means to lead a Blue Zone life. We’ll also explore the science of Neurplasticity that details how memories are made (hint… repetition, repetition, repetition!) We’ll learn more about Epigenetics, the science that explains how genes for disease actually get “activated” (or not) by our lifestyle choices. We’ll also delve into the 8 Dimensions of Wellness and show how all of the above research dovetails with each other, creating a road map to health and wellness.

Be a Savvy Senior. Recognize that you have the power to create a healthy, happy and meaningful extended lifespan

mindfulness

It’s beautiful here in Florida this time of year. It beckons us to go outside and spend time enjoying the balmy weather.  I always feel better after a walk through the trees and suburban forests of my neighborhood. It just feels good to be out in nature. Why is that? Somehow my mind is easier to quiet. It’s as if it gets decluttered!

Our minds can get as cluttered as our lives and downsizing some of those incessant thoughts is a good idea. We all get caught up in our heads, distracted by worry or fear and that results in our not being present in the right here, right now world. Another way of saying that is that we are not clear-headed.

Mental clutter pulls us off center and disrupts our balance in a way that can get so mish-mashed that we end up lost in our own world… and it can feel like la-la land. The thing is, la-la land can feel like cognitive decline when, in point of fact, your mind is simply too cluttered to be aware of what is right in front of you. How often do you have a conversation with someone and have no idea what they said? How often do you want to leave and can’t find your keys/wallet/purse/glasses? And you begin to think you’re losing your mind when the truth is that you simply are not paying attention to your own actions. The keys are under the mail or with the jacket or in the refrigerator. That’s not cognitive decline. That is not being present; not being mindful of your actions.

Decluttering your mind allows an acute awareness of the here and now. It allows you to reconnect with the present moment. And it is in the present moment that all human connection occurs. It is in the present moment that we can hear, see, smell and taste. There is no yesterday. It is only a memory. There is no tomorrow. Once tomorrow comes, it’s today! Tomorrow is merely a dream or an expectation.

So how do you declutter your mind?  It is an act that requires you to be intentional on where you place your attention and impacts how you spend your time and energy.

Too often we do things out of habit. It’s mindless. And the point here is to be mindful. What do they say, “Stop and smell the roses”? When is the last time you admired a flower or a spectacular Florida sunset? When is the last time you took a walk in nature – at a park, the beach? When is the last time you sat in a chair and just looked and listened to the sounds around you?

Be a Savvy Senior. Be mindful of what’s around you. Being present means you consciously choose your thoughts. Taking a walk in nature. Concentrating on the colors, textures, smells and sounds around you is more than just relaxing… it’s restorative. Breathe. Look. Listen. Repeat.

Anne Goldberg, The Savvy Senior, has a mission to help seniors know they are old enough to have a past and young enough to have a future. Her vision is to create an army of senior volunteers bringing their wisdom and experience back to the community. She helps seniors live into their future with vitality by teaching them how to use computers; with conferences & workshops on The Art of Living Longer; with decluttering & organizing; and with “Tell Your Story Videos”, preserving the stories & wisdom of your life for future generations. www.SavvySeniorServices.com • (954) 536-8008