Showing posts from 2013

Digital Marketing Has Different Meaning to Different Sectors

Digital Capitalizes on Connectedness When you are running your own small business, understanding demographics, mindsets, finances, and culture all affect how you can reach people. Digital marketing budgets are continually increasing, but in terms of reaching specific sectors digital won't be pinned down. Digital marketing embodies the whole shift from outbound interruptive marketing (TV, print ads, radio spots, billboards etc.) to inbound, customer-focused marketing (online ads, blogs, wikis, social media, websites, e-marketing, video etc.). Knowing how your customer views connectedness can make or break your ability to draw people in to find out more about your offering. If people engage, they will probably buy later - and it's all coming from the fact that connectedness is natural, it's primal. Marketers can use it, but connectedness came before marketing.

Embracing the Coolness of a Millennial Mindset Has a Lot of Appeal In my view there is no real digital divide when …

Humidity at Home Helps Reduce Viruses in Winter

Reduce Cold and Flu Symptoms Related to Dry Environments Sometimes it's easy to forget that if you are experiencing more sore throats, colds, flu and allergy symptoms once the heat is on in your home, it's because the air is too dry. It has been said that many viruses actually flourish in dry environments.

You can alleviate these effects by using a humidifier. According to the Effects of Dry Air on the Body, studies have shown that dry air has four main effects on the human body:

Breathing dry is a potential health hazard which can cause such respiratory ailments as asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, and nosebleeds, or general dehydration since body fluids are depleted during respiration.Skin moisture evaporation can cause skin irritations and eye itching.Irritative effects, such as static electricity which causes mild shocks when metal is touched, are common when the air moisture is low.The "apparent temperature" of the air is lower than what the thermometer indicates, a…

The Dangers of Visceral Fat

Is It Belly Fat or Visceral Fat? The dangers of visceral fat are becoming known, but what isn't always known is how to tell the difference between regular fat and visceral fat. Subcutaneous fat, which is stored between the muscles and the skin, is regular fat. That's the fat that we can grab a hold of, say around the stomach or thighs. Here is a good comparison between the two fats:

"In comparison to visceral cells, subcutaneous cells are greater in number. But the visceral cells are actually larger in size per cell. And they get to be so big that they atrophy themselves—at which point they constantly, 24/7, produce cytokines. Cytokines are a hormone with known inflammatory properties. "They promote atherosclerosis, tumor growth, aging, oxidation, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease."

Visceral Fat is Linked to a High-Fat Diet Science suggests that visceral fat is linked to a high-fat diet. According to Dr. David Haslam of the National Obesity Forum, "&#…

Classroom Discussion: Benefit or Detriment?

Taking the Discussion Outside the Classroom Keeps it Real
From research of the many over-40 classmates I've studied with during the past year, the consensus among boomers is that enforced discussion in college or university classrooms is dumbing down lecture content. At the typical college age, we were all "serious intellectuals" taking the discussion outside the classroom creatively and independently on our own, while receiving a full hour or 2-hour lecture from the prof as well. There wasn't a problem remembering the content. In most eras, students naturally discuss what they're learning in nightly gatherings outside the classroom, every era and place having its own hangouts. The dress and aspiration is also era-specific - perhaps young men in black leather bomber jackets and Lenin caps sit beside freedom-fighting women in earnest hippie dresses, all having written or with plans to write their novels or journal articles... or whatever. The main point is that o…

Cure Flat-Footedness With Ballet Exercises

High Arches, Low Arches, or Flat Feet? Since I've been walking to work for over a month now, I am very aware of having flat feet. And although I studied ballet for 16 years many years ago, I never knew that ballet is actually recommended to fix flat-footedness. Ballet exercises and stretches the foot and ankle - and to some degree, strengthens the arch. This can lessen the pain in feet when walking long distances.

Practicing Relevés Builds Foot Strength Practicing relevés is the best way to build strength in feet. To perform a relevé, start with your weight evenly distributed between the balls of your feet and your heels. Slowly lift your heels and roll onto the balls of your feet, resisting the floor as though you are peeling each muscle away from the floor one by one. Then slowly lower your feet to the floor. Do this 10 times each day to build strength in your feet.

The Peroneus Longus Muscle Needs to Be Strengthened to Cure Flat-Footedness
The peroneus longus is the muscle res…

Back to School Resolutions

Back to School Resolutions Are All About Going Forward Forget New Years resolutions - Back to School resolutions are the ones I always make. They do not necessarily relate to being a parent either, since my son is almost finished university and doesn't need me buying his clothes or packing his lunches anymore. They are about my own return to school, my own wellness over 40, and my own improvement in achieving wellness goals and maximizing life in a new age zone.

What are back to school resolutions, anyway? They are the product of the mental reset button we have from decades of closing the chapter of summer and embarking on a return to school. They are from our childhood excitement about starting a fresh new grade each September with a fresh new pencil case full of sharpened pencils and a new 3-ring binder with paper, dividers and a box of reinforcements on hand. (hmm, what I really mean here is a new laptop, cell phone, music and clothes...)

Being a Better Everything I still get …

Health Benefits of Swimming

Swimming Results in Trimmer Hips and Waistlines Whether you swim in an outdoor pool, lake or indoor pool, the health benefits of swimming cannot be overlooked. Swimming not only builds lean muscle and boosts metabolism, it also gives a killer cardio workout if you do the freestyle stroke.

What I like about swimming is that it's a relaxing form of exercise and it's free.

It's hard to find an unhappy person at any outdoor swimming pool. There's something natural about using every muscle in your body while having a surreal weightlessness. It's one place that we can experience the sensation of floating.

Since swimming is good for every age group, it's also an activity that's multi-generational. It's not unusual to see retired people, business people, family people, children and babies all playing together in the middle of the city.

Swimming Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease, Diabetes and Stroke Beyond the alleviation of stress and its relaxing effects, swi…

Digital Media Defies Generational Boundaries

Learning Digital as a Tool of Communication Digital media, like a language, is a tool of communication and expression. What you say within it is still central to its value, and substance is still all. Although 'the medium is the message' to the extent that technology influences how messages are perceived, you still need to start with the message - and content is never dominated by one particular generation.

Is Learning Digital an Advancement or Conformity?  Can digital marketing only be properly understood and managed by millennials because they been raised in a digital world? Just reading titles like this make we wonder whether learning digital is an advancement or has just become another way of being a conformist:

"The Disconnect Between Aging Management and the Younger Workforce""New Digital Influencers: The Coming Youthquake""Meet Generation C: The Connected Customers"
Managing Digital and Social Not a Competition Between Generations Being con…

Reduce Car Usage to Increase Wellness

Reducing Car Usage Helpful for Wellness
Most of us are aware that wellness is linked to our car usage. A 2013 report from Toronto's Medical Officer of Health about the impact of transportation on health and the environment has urged this city to generate funds without delay for the proposed expansion of transportation infrastructure. Many people in the Greater Toronto Area cannot give up their cars because they have no other means of getting where they need to go throughout the normal course of their day. One wonders how the major city within the GTA region of 6 million people can still have only two subway lines to get suburbanites to the city core.

The study reports that "traffic-related pollution caused about 440 premature deaths and 1,700 hospitalizations each year in Toronto. Mortality related costs associated with traffic pollution in Toronto were estimated at $2.2 billion each year. A 30% reduction in motor vehicle emissions in Toronto that could be achieved through v…

Camping for Health

Being in Nature is Good For WellnessGetting away from it all and spending a few days in the wilderness has a nourishing, regenerative quality to it. Whether you sleep under the stars or in a tent, there is nothing quite like the inherent communion with nature that happens when you go camping.
Swimming in LakesDuring the last 20 years or so of camping, our family has spent days reveling in the incredibly white sands of Grand Beach, marvelled at the cleanliness of the northern shores of Lake Ontario at Sandbanks, felt the silky waves against our skin in Muskoka, and gazed in wonder at how far down you can see in the crystal clear water at Manitoulin Island.

Manitoulin's Untouched Quality Recalls a Time Gone ByManitoulin Island has everything transported to it by boat, so there's a retro feel of going back in time when you experience its untouched quality. The icecream is home-made. Everything is a little slower there. The buildings quaintly recall a time gone by. And the combinati…

Cold Summer Borscht

Cool Down With Vegetarian Borscht on a Hot Summer Day
4-5 beets
2 carrots
2 celery stalks
1 potato
1 onion
1 can brown beans
sour cream

Chop up and cook beets, carrots, celery, potato, dill and onion in a large saucepan full of water. Add brown beans and simmer for 1-2 hours. Cool overnight in fridge. Blend mixture in a blender (optional). Add sour cream (or plain yogurt). Dress with more chopped dill and serve.

Toronto Salsa Festival on St. Clair Brings Out the Dancer in Everyone

Dancing on the Street is Good For the Soul Toronto’s famous Salsa Festival on St. Clair opens up the street to Latin life, food, music and dance in a participatory way. It’s not a performance, it’s natural theatre art better than anyone could create for the stage.
Age No Barrier in Street Dancing Looking at today’s turn-out of urbanites happily stepping up their Salsa moves with partners, people of all ages sweating it out in 32° street heat with joyful abandon, there are many, many men and women who are doing salsa and loving it. They are young, old, from every corner of the world, mixed ethnicities, good dancers and bad dancers all strutting their stuff on the Toronto summer streets. 
Anyone at all can turn their romantic sides on and try to move to salsa music. Yesterday and today St. Clair Avenue, the street in my neighborhood where I buy my groceries in Toronto, was turned into a Salsa Festival, and the music transformed our hood into a South American paradise. It was soul-healing…

Red Hot Black Bean Casserole

Easy Black Bean Casserole
2 cans black beans
1 can tomatoes,
3 cloves garlic,
3 stalks celery
1/2 cup red pepper
1 onion
1 tbsp olive oil
1 c. cheddar cheese
hot paprika
cayenne pepper

Cook the celery, onion, red pepper and garlic in a frying pan in the olive oil. Add the black beans, hot paprika and cayenne pepper and let simmer. Squeeze the water out of the tomatoes and layer the tomatoes and black bean mixture, topping it with the cheddar cheese. Cover and cook at 350° for 45 minutes. Serve.

College After Age 40 is Good For Wellness

Am I Too Old For University or College? Students who go back to college after age 25 often worry about not fitting in or being “too old”, but what about going to college after age 40? I was surprised to find how many positive and inspiring stories there are about people who get a college or university degree after age 40 or 50. Among these stories is one about a student who started her BA in International Studies at age 55, maintained a 4.0 GPA, was on the Dean’s list, and received a national scholarship after years of being excluded from jobs because she had no degree.
A huge part of studying over age 40 is learning how to recover from failure and make mental adjustments to one’s approach. I had always felt that university only rewards people who follow the rules. I preferred to learn by “doing” (than by studying), and I found that this was the largest hurdle to overcome. In the 1970s I had left my second year university Russian language and literature studies to learn the language …

Fresh Home-grown Basil Tops Home-made Wheatless Pizza

Home-grown herbs and vegetables in your balcony garden My fresh basil plant grew indoors for awhile, until I could tell it was time to put it outside. So I created a combined herb and vegetable garden in one of my long balcony planters this year, planting basil beside a tomato plant, and even planting a hanging petunia plant beside them for color. Everything grew together comfortably and each species seemed to thrive without killing off any of the other. A truly model ethos for an  urban garden!

Home-made gluten-free pizza with fresh red pepper, cheese, and fresh herbs
Home-made gluten-free pizza, made without wheat, is made with about 2 cups of a combination of brown rice flour, potato flour, and sorghum flour; then 1 package of yeast, 1 tsp of sea salt, and 1 tsp of xantham gum - and that's pretty much it. You just add 2 eggs (or 2 egg-replacements, as I did), 1 1/2 cup warm water, 2 tbsp olive oil to the yeast, stir, and then mix it all together with the different flours and ot…

The Importance of Mental and Emotional Balance

Emotional and Mental Strength Needed to Handle the Death of People Close to You After reading the book "The Year of Magical Thinking" by Joan Didion, I wasn't sure whether to be glad she
had the mental acuity to reflect so deeply on the loss of her husband, or whether to feel sorry for her for being so emotionally dependent on one person during her whole life. Didion is a New Yorker Magazine essayist who documented the various levels of pain and loss she experienced after the death of her husband.

One of the themes of the book is the cognitive effects of experiencing a trauma such as the death of a loved one. Didion states that the brain simply stops functioning for a fairly long period of time while you heal from the emotional loss. Another thing she points out in the book is how death-averse we are as a culture, and that  current social norms do not condone mourning - essential as it is to overcome a close person's death. Learning to cope with the repercussions o…

Chemical-Free Skincare Enhances Wellness

Imagine knowing that everything that you wash with and put onto your body was chemical-free! Recently while searching for affordable soaps, shampoos and skin moisturizers that don't have harmful chemicals in them, I found that they were neither plentiful, affordable, nor easy to get. Some health food stores carry products that are advertised as chemical-free and healthy, but when I looked up their ingredients at the Skin Deep Cosmetic Database, they were rated as harmful in many cases.

Many chemical-free products are advertised online, but most of the ones I found that were rated as safe at Skin Deep were made in limited quantities by small operations in the United States that did not deliver outside of the U.S.A. Since I live in Canada, I decided to search for Canadian-made chemical-free skincare products. And I found Consonant Body Organic Skincare, a manufacturer of 100% natural products that have "no parabens, no sulfates, no petroleum ingredients, and certainly no phthal…

The Best Dill Pickes

Health Benefits of Cucumbers Cucumbers are a fantastic source of hydration in the summer months. According to Natural News, they are good for the skin, for your hair, for fighting cancer, for fighting bad breath, for curing a hangover, aiding in weight loss, and curing diabetes. Whether this is all true or not, they make great pickles.

Baba's Garlic and Dill Pickles This is my grandmother's dill pickle recipe as told to my brother, John Pohran:

For 1 quart of dill pickles (these are "quick-eating" pickles)

1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
4-5 cups of cold tap water
garlic and dill...

Cut garlic and dill and stuff into jars. Put as many cucumbers into jars as possible. Fill with salt brine and cover all cucumbers. Let sit for 4-5 days until "fermentation" has changed the color of pickles. Refrigerate jars.

How to Avoid Preservatives in Food and Products

Preservatives can be avoided by reading labels, researching online, and finding suppliers who sell food and products without them.
BHA in Food If you eat potato chips, lard, butter, cereal, instant mashed potatoes, preserved meat, beer, baked goods, dry beverage and dessert mixes, chewing gum and many other foods, you are eating butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) - a preservative that prevents food from going rotten. The latest environmental research reports that "the International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies BHA as a possible human carcinogen, and the European Commission on Endocrine Disruption has listed BHA as a Category 1 priority substance, based on evidence that it interferes with hormone function."

You can avoid BHA by buying fresh food, cooking and baking yourself, and even making your own beer.

BHA in Skin Products BHA is also in skin products, and is often recommended for aging skin since it has many of the same effects that estrogen does.  On Skin Deep, a…

Wellness and Wheat

Anyone concerned with wellness is now concerned with wheat
There are many ways that wheat affects wellness - from weight gain, to raised blood sugar and many other adverse health effects including heart disease.

One-third of my family are celiac, or disturbed by eating gluten, or allergic to wheat - that's 6 out of a group of 18 counting my mother, my three sisters, my two brothers, and our combined 11 children.

But none of us were remotely affected by wheat over thirty years ago when we used to gather at family celebrations and eat a wheat-based delicacy called "kutia". Most of our family's symptoms have since included stomach problems and breathing problems (kind of like hay fever).

Ways that wheat affect wellness are:
increased appetiteformation of small LDL particles, which combined with increased appetite, creates belly fatbelly fat causes inflammation, higher blood sugar/higher blood pressure = risk of heart diseasemood swingsdepressionjoint pain and swellingac…

Buy Fresh Food and Fast Track to Wellness

Buying fresh food and cooking it will put you onto a fast track to wellness. Buying fresh can be a little more expensive than buying canned or frozen foods, but with a little comparison shopping you can keep your costs down, and it's worth it. Not only do you eliminate many preservatives and chemicals from your diet, it tastes better and you get more protein for your buck.

I also come from a family of fantastic cooks who all cook real food and buy fresh.

In the past year my mother has sent me three wonderful books on diet, Wheat Belly Cookbook, Moosewood Restaurant, and Moosewood Restaurants Cooks at Home. I don't know if other families are like this, but may of my family's emails, phone conversations and visits have some discussion of great recipes in them.

And it has paid off - at 89 my mother looks about 70, is extremely sharp, has the energy of a 50-year old, and is a great role model for Wellness Over 40.

On the other side of the family, my Ukrainian grandmother was a…

Education About Food & Nutrition Increases Wellness

Many people I see in underground fast food malls at lunch in the financial center of Toronto are eating sushi, chicken salads with grains, or healthy full-course dinners with a salad. I noticed this as early as the 80s (except for the sushi) while enjoying my favorite hamburgers and cheese danishes at lunch each day. But over the decades, I became better educated about food. Other boomer friends seemed to know that 'we are what we eat', intrinsically, but I did not. I never ate healthy, and I rarely cooked.

I simply chose unhealthy food once I was on my own because it tasted so good - and it was cheap. For many years it didn't seem to register with me that what I ate had an effect on everything else in my life and how I felt about it.

Later, it wasn't Jamie Kennedy or any other celebrity who finally got me on the track to healthy eating. It was an allergy clinic! After years of suffering from allergies as a teen, my son was treated at The Allergy Clinic in 2006 when th…

How To Maintain Wellness Over 40

As a boomer, I am healthier now than I was at any point between age 17 (when I left home to attend university) and my mid-40's. When I recently summed up the reasons why, I realized that they all revolved around diet, exercise, stress management, yoga/meditation/therapeutic massage, mental stimulation, emotional connectedness/satisfaction, and finances. In fact, I would even put them in that order. And here's why:
What we eat seems to dictate how well we feel and how well we handle things - never mind all of the other associations connected to diet.Exercise also has equal weight to food when it comes to being well - and this seems to increase with age.Stress, or over-stress, is a wellness-killer. It eats up all of the mileage we get from eating well and exercising, so it has to be managed and kept in check.Yoga, meditation, massage, dance, tai chi, and other forms of spiritual physicality are all tools to connect the mind and body and they all increase wellness.Mental stimulati…