Autumn Years Winter 2023/24

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WINTER 2023/24 VOL.10 NO. 3 $4.95

Anna Villa-Bager Promoting Creativity in the Community





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publisher’s letter

O verwhelming . That word best describes how life can be in the midst of conflict and turmoil. When we hear what’s happening in our world, we can be over come by sadness, anger and frustration. Trying to make sense of senseless acts can make your head spin. And sometimes spoken words cannot comfort us. How can we live in a world with such sadness? My answer to that question is to remember we cannot control/change everything but that we can control our own actions and thoughts. Treating others with love, acceptance and kindness is a start. Having a positive attitude and holding onto a thought of a brighter future in times of darkness is the first step. Smiling at a stranger, volunteering at a not-for profit, offering your gifts and talents with no expectations of thanks or praise—these acts may not solve our world problems, but I promise they will make it a little easier to cope with the sadness around us. This issue of Autumn Years highlights a few people who have shared their hearts and passions for a better world and, as always, I am delighted to bring them to your attention. Our cover feature is a woman whose light sparked the growth of an organization that shares compassion and love. Her name is Anna Villa-Bager, and she is the driving force behind the MarbleJam Center for Creative Arts and Enrichment, a place that enables autistic people to express themselves and overcome their personal challenges through creative arts. This former dancer and performer is truly a beacon of light. The future of technology is here and now, and Jack Teadore, the head coach for the Pascack Pi-oneers, is making sure that the cadre of robotics students he helps lead will have the skills to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering, arts or math, and that they will be well armed to collaborate, create and develop as individuals and collec tively as a team. Our talented Bergen County historian Tim Adriance completes the second part of his history of movie theaters in Bergen County. Starting in the 1920s, Tim brings us to present day movie venues and adds an interesting sidebar on the county’s drive-in theaters—did you know that New Jersey was home to the first patented drive-in theater in 1933? Since “retiring 25 years ago” after running a successful marketing, advertising and production business, Barbara and Manos Angelakis have traveled at the expense of tour ism boards, public relations firms, product promotion boards, individual companies and luxury hotels, building a portfolio of published stories and a lifetime of pleasurable experi ences from around the world.



Loved your feature on old movie houses. Though I didn’t grow up in Bergen County, it still brought back memories from my childhood in Queens. My favorite movie theater was The Haven. It cost 25 cents to get in and showed two movies and one or two cartoons. And there were no ads! –Rose Falcone

Glad to see an article relating to pets (dogs, at least). Judging from my neighborhood, we have more dogs and cats than people living here so more coverage of our furry friends would have a good audience. –Bob Zaunor Thanks for another great issue. My family is split between the Yankees and the Mets so your article on Paul Semendinger got everyone’s atten tion. And as a Yankee fan, I enjoyed it very much. –Bruce Hagar I just received the fall issue of Autumn Years and read it cover to cover. All of the articles were inter esting and insightful, and I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the magazine. –Mike Glicksman

I hope you enjoy this issue of Autumn Years and, after reading it, feel renewed in your outlook on humanity and our world. Be well, stay safe and enjoy the season. Heidi




GEORGE MAMUNES After graduating from the University of Michigan, George spent nine years in senior developer and executive

TIM ADRIANCE Tim is a well-recognized historian and a past president of the Bergen County Historical Society. In 2016,

Publisher/Creative Director Heidi Gross (201) 747-2874 Editor-in-Chief Carol Munns (201) 874-6012 Columnists Roger Anthony Fit for Life Stephanie Sass Food for Thought Luke Yeagley What’s Up with Apps Staff Writers Tim Adriance Emily Kratzer Kelly Parr Events Planner/Communications Heidi Gross Marketing Assistant Margie Downs Webmaster George Mamunes Printer Walsworth Printing

technology positions with various companies, including Citicorp Investment Services. He founded Gem Software Consulting in 1997, which specializes in custom software development and web-based solutions. George’s clients include major corporations, as well as smaller companies and non-profits.

Tim received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Bergen County in recognition of his leadership in historic preservation for more than 30 years. A knowledgeable historian, entertaining presenter and expert on historic houses, he is a historical consultant, presenter of programs on local interest and provider of house histories and investigations. executive career in the pharmaceuti cal industry. He is fluent in French and Italian and taught French in a Buffalo college. He has written numerous medical education programs and enjoys writing his “Fit for Life” column for Autumn Years . He is currently a fitness instructor at Holy Name Hospital Fitness in Oradell. ROGER ANTHONY Roger is retired from a 30-year

KELLY PARR Kelly is a freelance writer in Charleston, SC. After holding multiple marketing communications

positions with KPMG, she made a career shift to higher education and worked in the English department and developed interactive e-books for a National Science Foundation grant at Brookdale Community College. She currently works at The Citadel for the former Mayor of Charleston, who is writing his memoir. STEPHANIE SASS Stephanie holds a master’s degree in Science/Nutrition and works as a retail Registered Dietitian for Inserra Supermarkets in the company’s ShopRite store in Wallington, NJ. She provides a range of free nutrition services, including presentations and workshops at senior activities centers. For a cal endar of events at ShopRite stores across Bergen County, go to, and for groups wishing to schedule a presentation or workshop, contact her at

ROBIN FRANK Robin is a writer and public relations professional. In addition to news and feature articles, she specializes

For editorial questions and comments Contact Carol Munns at For advertising inquiries Contact Heidi Gross at (201) 747-2874 or Letters to the Editor should be emailed to the Editor at We reserve the right to edit for style and space. Autumn Years Magazine LLC P.O. Box 104, Allendale, NJ 07401 • (201) 747-2874 Website: Email: Autumn Years published by Autumn Years Magazine, LLC, Volume 10, Number 3, December 2023 (ISSN 2694-2917) is published quarterly free of charge. P.O. Box 104, Allendale, NJ 07401. Periodicals postage pending at 1037 MacArthur Blvd., Mahwah, NJ 07430. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Autumn Years, PO Box 104, Allendale, NJ 07401. Autumn Years is a free quarterly publication dedicated to celebrating life over 55. The purpose is to bring readers information on health and well-being, finance and technology, as well as inspiring stories about the activities and accomplishments of the 55+ population of Bergen County. No part of Autumn Years, whether in print or digital, may be reproduced, in any form or by any means, photocopying, electronic, mechanical or otherwise, with out the prior written permission of the copyright owner.

in writing press releases, website content, blogs, e-newsletters and op-eds. Robin develops public relations and social media campaigns to increase clients’ visibility and enhance their reputation. She speaks, reads and writes fluent Spanish and French. Visit her website:

EMILY KRATZER After a journalism career that stretched from The Desert Sun in Palm Springs, CA, to The Journal

LUKE YEAGLEY Luke is a former field engineer for a major technology company and a current data scientist. A graduate

News in West Nyack and Harrison, NY, Emily enjoys freelance writing. She helped establish the student chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists at California State University at Humboldt and has been a member of SPJ ever since. She served for seven years on the board of the N.J. Chapter of SPJ. Emily volunteers in Washington Township at the public access station

of the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Computer Science and Economics, he is quick to note with a smile that he honed his computer skills early in life by helping his parents and grand parents navigate their iPads.

To subscribe to Autumn Years, visit our website or call (201) 747-2874.



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content s

6 IN MY WORDS “What Is a Man without His Sword?” By Ruth A. Levy, PhD, LMFT 9 COUNTY CALENDAR A selection of activities available in Bergen County and its neighbors 12 HEALTH & WELFARE

22 FINANCIAL PLANNING 22 How to Choose the Right Realtor By E. Scott Miller and Deirdre “DeeDee” Butwin Some guidelines to consider when seeking a reputable realtor, and why it is so important to have one by your side during this significant life transition

24 Everything You Need to Know about Trusts By Timothy M. Duncan, JD, AIF® What exactly is a trust?; here are the basics to help you figure out whether a trust is right for your planning needs

12 Fit for Life Take It Outside! By Roger Anthony

26 Financial Planning Guides Resources for the Road Ahead

As little as stepping out routinely for even a brief walk in the fresh air can provide substantial physical and mental health stimuli; learn more about what the benefits are

Whether you are retired, on the cusp of retiring or considering never retiring, there is still the issue of planning your financial future; these books may help guide you along the way 60 TECHNOLOGY TRENDS 60 Gardening and AI Sprouting New Technologies By Luke Yeagley Learn about a new hydroponic system that incorporates AI and makes growing indoor produce an easy effort, whether you have a green thumb or not How about a few apps designed to help you celebrate the holiday season, from recipes, package tracking, party invitations and even paying celebrities to make personalized video messages for your loved ones 64 BEST BETS 64 How to Stay Safe in a Winter Weather Emergency By Timothy M. Duncan, JD, AIF® Winter weather events can cut heat, power and communication services, putting residents at risk; so it’s important to think ahead and create a response plan to keep you and your family safe 62 What’s Up with Apps By Luke Yeagley

14 Food for Thought Donut Forget Dessert! By Stephanie Sass, MS RD

Some tips to keep in mind when choosing a holiday dessert that is enjoyable but that does not negatively impact one’s health

16 Winter Skin Survival Tips By Kristen Rueb

It is possible to control how you treat your skin during the low humidity and low temperatures of winter; learn how to keep dryness at bay and maintain irritation-free skin

18 Caring for Your Ears in Six Simple Steps By Dr. Ann Marie Olson By implementing these simple steps into your routine, you can make a significant impact on your ear health and overall well-being

20 What You May Not Know about Ankle Sprains By Robin Frank

Once you sprain your ankle, you can be susceptible to future injury; however, the right medical care and good practices after recovery can help prevent another sprain



Going to the Movies, Part 2

Anna Villa-Bager & MarbleJam Kids Affirming Their Talents

By Tim Adriance Welcome back to our two-reel drama on the history of movies theaters in Bergen County; Part 2 begins in the 1920s and moves through the ‘30s, ‘40s, ‘50s, ‘60s and into the 21 century, culminating with the newest theater, the Barrymore Film Center in Fort Lee, which opened in 2022 (there’s also a sidebar on the five iconic drive-in theaters in the county)

By Emily Kratzer Enter a world designed to help autistic people succeed through creative arts that enable them to express themselves and overcome their challenges; its official name is MarbleJam Center for Creative Arts and Enrichment and its founder is former dancer and performer Anna Villa-Bager, whose leadership is reflected in her quote: “You can’t go forward if you’re led by fear”

Jack Teadore & the Pi-oneers Building Robots & Futures

Storytellers Barbara & Manos Angelakis Enjoying Their Second Act

By Emily Kratzer Building a robot may sound like a page out of a science fiction story of the past but these days it is a reality, driven by a desire to promote future careers in science, technology, engineering, arts and math among high school students; meet the head coach for the Pascack Pi-oneers, a robotics team that collaborates each year to build a competitive-ready robot

By Kelly Parr Since “retiring” 25 years ago after running a successful marketing, advertising and production business, this couple has traveled at the expense of tourism boards, public relations firms, product promotion boards, individual companies and luxury hotels, building a portfolio of published stories and a lifetime of pleasurable experiences from around the world




“What Is a Man without His Sword?” By Ruth A. Levy, PhD, LMFT

A n article in the New York Times once asked the question: Why is it so difficult for men to form close friend ships? Immediately, I thought of a follow-up question: Why do some men suffer from poor relationships with their fathers and sons? Very often I have found these two problems exist side by side in many of the male patients with whom I have worked. Their initial presenting problem may be a distant or conflictual relationship with a fa ther or a son. A fuller picture will frequently reveal a lack of close, meaningful friendships with other men. When asked about friends, they may refer to their work colleagues as friends despite never really socializing with them. If they are married, they admit to relying on their wives to provide the couple’s social connections. Unfortunately, when retirement comes to pass many of these same men are disap pointed to find themselves without any meaningful friends. In contrast, by the time retirement age arrives, women can generally name a few close female friends. After all, when women get together, their conversa tion will easily become personal. Ordinarily, when men gather it may be over a work issue or sports event. Generally, this kind of activ ity does not lend itself to talking and sharing of oneself. So, why do so many men come up short when it comes to having close, intimate guy friends? And, most important, why do their connections suffer with their fathers and sons? To help motivate my male patients in thinking about the importance of their rela tionships with the men in their lives, I find it helpful to give a brief history of the men’s movements and the influence they have had for certain groups of American men.

GETTING IN TOUCH WITH ONE'S FEMININE SIDE The first men’s movement was in spired by the feminist movement of the 1970s. If women were now ques tioning the gender traits that society expected of them, why shouldn’t

FATHERS TO SONS The third movement consists of two specific groups during the early 1990s. First, The Million Man March brought together thousands of African-American adult men and boys. The purpose

was to highlight the importance of men sup porting other men and to offer role models to their young sons. Around the same time, evangelical Christian organizations held large meetings called Promise Keepers. Their goal was to re-establish male responsibility in the family. Each of the three movements challenged men to re-think what it means to be mas culine in today’s world. Men can become hands-on-fathers, heterosexual men are given permission to be emotionally close to other men and they can stop putting work before their families. Hollywood reflected these cul tural shifts with the popularity of bromance movies. Television shows joined in with TV dads who were warm and approachable. Even with these observable changes, unfortunately, some men are still suffering from their inabil ity to form close male friends. Conflictual relationships take time to im prove, and making new friends as adults can be equally demanding. Watching or playing a sport can be fun but adding activities con ducive to talking is what will maintain and nurture a friendship. Although making new friends is not always easy, it is still possible. Our self-esteem, our feelings about ourselves will benefit greatly. Ruth A. Levy has a private practice in marriage and family therapy in Engle wood, NJ, and taught psychology courses for St. Peter’s University at Holy Name Medical Center School of Nursing in Teaneck, NJ.

men do the same? The concept of mascu linity and the effect on men’s self-image was challenged. The image of the 1950s father who placed his work life over his home life was rejected. Men began to embrace qualities that were not considered manly, e.g., expressions of vulnerability, nurtur ing, caring for the home. The movement encouraged men to learn from women, since as a group, women knew how to have intimate conversations and how to nurture and care for others. MEN NURTURING MEN The headline above is a quote by Robert Bly, poet and author and considered the father of the second men’s movement. He lamented the passivity and lack of strength in the young men that he encountered. In contrast, women appeared more assertive in their self-expressions. In his influential book entitled Iron John: A Book about Men , Mr. Bly warned against men who embraced their feminine side at the expense of mascu linity. He wrote, “The primary experience of American men is now the experience of being inadequate.” His analysis was that men longed for the emotional connection and approval from their distant fathers. The modern man needed to reclaim his mascu linity by seeking the company of other men.



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PARKS & HIKING DARLINGTON COUNTY PARK 600 Darlington Avenue Mahwah, NJ OVERPECK COUNTY PARK Leonia, Palisades Park, Ridgefield Park and Teaneck, NJ PASCACK BROOK COUNTY PARK Emerson Road River Vale and Westwood, NJ RAMAPO VALLEY COUNTY RESERVATION Ramapo Valley Road (Route 202) Mahwah, NJ SADDLE RIVER COUNTY PARK Fair Lawn, Glen Rock, Paramus, Ridgewood, Rochelle Park, Saddle Brook, Dunkerhook Area Paramus Rd., Paramus Wild Duck Pond Area Ridgewood Ave., Ridgewood, NJ SKI AREAS CAMPGAW MOUNTAIN 200 Campgaw Road Mahwah, NJ HIGH POINT CROSS COUNTRY

MUSEUMS & HISTORICAL EVENTS BOLGER HERITAGE CENTER • January 11, Explore the Hidden Archive: Take a backstage tour of the Ridgewood Public Library’s hidden gems with Local History Librarian Sarah Kiefer. In this rare opportunity you will get a glimpse of what the Bolger Heritage Center has to offer and will also be celebrating the Library’s 100th Birthday! Learn how the library began with a “group of public spirited women” and evolved into the community center it is now. Uncover the historic artifacts and materials in the archive relating to not only the Library’s history but also to that of the Village of Ridgewood. Registration required. Questions, contact Sarah Kiefer at 201-670-5600 x135 or • Through January 7, Taking Space: Contemporary Women Artists and the Politics of Scale • Through June 30, George Inness: Visionary Landscapes • Through August 4, Siona Benjamin: Lilith in the New World Through October 13, Joel Meyerowitz: • Photographs from Cape Cod 3 South Mountain Avenue Montclair, NJ Ridgewood Public Library 125 North Maple Avenue Ridgewood, NJ MONTCLAIR ART MUSEUM

FAIRS, FESTIVALS & SHOWS NEW YORK CITY HOLIDAY MARKETS Every day through December 24 • Union Square Park, University Place and East 14th Street • Holiday Shops at Bryant Park, 42nd Street, between 5th Avenue and Avenue of the Americas • Columbus Circle Holiday Market, 59th Street and Central Park West • Grand Central Holiday Fair, 89 East 42nd Street markets ORCHARD OF LIGHTS • Through December 29 Demarest Farms 244 Wierimus Road Hillsdale, NJ HOBOKEN CHRISTMAS ARTISAN MARKET • December 17 Under the 14th Street Viaduct 1401 Adams Street Hoboken, NJ details/2023-hoboken-christmas artisan-market NEW JERSEY HOME SHOW • January 27 & 28 Meadowlands Exposition Center 355 Plaza Drive, Secaucus, NJ

MORRIS MUSEUM • Through February 4, From Flame to Flower: The Art of Paul J.Stankard

• Through February, Set in Motion: Kinetic Worlds from the Studio of Richard Whitten • Through March 26, Musically Timed: Continental Clock Makers and their Markets 6 Normandy Heights Road Morristown, NJ NEWARK MUSEUM OF ART • Through May 26, Animal Kingdom • Through December 31, 2024, Unexpected Color: A Journey Through Glass 49 Washington Street Newark, NJ THE SCHOOLHOUSE MUSEUM • December 14, Captain Jacob Westervelt: Hidden Hero of the Civil War 650 East Glen Avenue Ridgewood, NJ YOGI BERRA MUSEUM & LEARNING CENTER • Through December 30, 2023, Billie Jean King: Champion, Activist, Legend 8 Yogi Berra Drive Little Falls, NJ

SKI CENTER 1480 Route 23 Sussex, NJ MOUNTAIN CREEK 200 Route 94 Vernon, NJ




SNOWSHOEING PARKS AND TRAILS LAMONT RESERVE AND ROCKLEIGH WOODS SANCTUARY 26 Rockleigh Road Rockleigh, NJ sanctuary PYRAMID MOUNTAIN NATIONAL HISTORIC AREA 472 Boonton Avenue Montville, NJ parks/pyramid-mountain-natural historic-area/ RAMAPO MOUNTAIN STATE FOREST Located in Bergen & Passaic counties Route 287 to exit 57, follow Skyline Drive to parking area mountain-state-forest • December 2-17, A Christmas Carol • January 12-14, In and Out of the Light • February 3-24, Pride and Prejudice 298 Kinderkamack Road Oradell, NJ 201-261-4200 BERGEN PERFORMING ARTS CENTER • December 10, The Temptations & Four Tops • December 11, The Maccabeats • December 12, Vitamin String Quartet • December 13, Cirque Musica Holiday Wonderland • December 14, Bret Michaels • January 13, Bruce in the USA: Bruce Springsteen Tribute • January 27, Tommy James and The Shondells THEATER & MUSIC BERGEN COUNTY PLAYERS

• March 5, The Life & Music of George Michael 30 North Van Brunt Street Englewood, NJ 201-227-1030 MAYO PERFORMING ARTS CENTER • December 9, The Irish Tenors—25th Anniversary: A Family Christmas • December 15-27, New Jersey Ballet’s Nutcracker with New Jersey Symphony • January 11 & 12, Face 2 Face: A Tribute to Elton John & Billy Joel • January 26 & 27, Hairspray • February 2, Forever Motown • February 16, Dionne Warwick • February 23, The Simon & Garfunkel Story • March 1, The Man in Black: A Tribute to Johnny Cash 100 South Street MCCARTER THEATRE CENTER • December 6-24, A Christmas Carol • December 16, Choir! Choir! Choir!— Holiday Show • January 20, The Laurie Berkner Band—The Greatest Hits Concert • February 9, American Patchwork Quartet • February 11, National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine 91 University Place Princeton, NJ 1-609-258-2787 NEW JERSEY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER • December 10, Patti LaBelle • December 15, A Live Conversation with Chevy Chase following a screening of Christmas Vacation • December 17, The Nutcracker, with the State Ballet Theatre of Ukraine • December 26, Cirque Dreams Holidaze Morristown, NJ 1-973-539-8008

THE PLAYERS GUILD OF LEONIA • January 19-February 4, Deathtrap 130 Grand Avenue Leonia, NJ 201-947-9606 RAMAPO COLLEGE BERRIE CENTER FOR PERFORMING ARTS • February 18, Annual Les Paul Concert featuring Zoë Keating

• January 13, Stephanie Mills and the Whispers • January 20, New Jersey Symphony: The American Dream • January 21, Cinderella, with the State Ballet Theatre of Ukraine • February 3, New Jersey Symphony: 2024 Lunar New Year Celebration • February 16, Patrizio Buanne Live! • February 17, New Jersey Symphony: Respect: A Tribute to Aretha Franklin One Center St. Newark, NJ 1-888-466-5722 PAPER MILL PLAYHOUSE • December 6-January 7, Fiddler on the Roof • January 31-February 25, After Midnight 22 Brookside Drive Millburn, NJ 1-973-376-4343 PARLANCE CHAMBER CONCERTS • January 14, Goldmund String Quartet • February 18, Candlelit Music of the Spirit West Side Presbyterian Church 6 South Monroe Street Ridgewood, NJ 1-800-838-3006

• March 1-8, Rhinoceros 505 Ramapo Valley Road Mahwah, NJ 201-684-7500 performance-schedule

RIDGEWOOD SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA • March 1, Beethoven, Coriolan Overture Op. 62; Mendelssohn, Violin Concerto (Nathan Meltzer, soloist); Dvorák, Symphony No. 8 in G major Op 88 West Side Presbyterian Church 6 South Monroe Street Ridgewood, NJ 201-652-1966 THE SHAKESPEARE THEATRE OF NEW JERSEY • December 6-31, A Midwinter Night’s Dream (a wintry re-working of Shakespeare’s romantic comedy) 36 Madison Avenue Madison, NJ 1-973-408-5600


SEASONS NAILS 26 Franklin Tpke Waldwick NJ 07463 SEASONS NAILS 26 Franklin Tpke Waldwick NJ 07463 SEASONS NAILS 26 Franklin Tpke Waldwick NJ 07463 SEASONS NAILS 26 Franklin Tpke Waldwick NJ 07463 Mon-Fri 9:30AM to 7:00PM Sat 9AM to 6:00PM Sun. CLOSED SEASONS NAILS 26 Franklin Tpke Waldwick NJ 07463 Mon-Fri 9:30AM to 7:00PM Sat 9AM to 6:00PM Sun. CLOSED For Appointments, please call (201) 445-7737 SEASONS NAILS 26 Franklin Tpke Waldwick NJ 07463 Mon-Fri 9:30AM to 7:00PM Sat 9AM to 6:00PM Sun. CLOSED SEASONS NAILS 26 Franklin Tpke Waldwick NJ 07463 Mon-Fri 9:30AM to 7:00PM Sat 9AM to 6:00PM Sun. CLOSED SEASONS NAILS 26 Franklin Tpke Waldwick NJ 07463 Mon-Fri 9:30AM to 7:00PM Sat 9AM to 6:00PM Sun. CLOSED Mon-Fri 9:30AM to 7:00PM Sat 9AM to 6:00PM Sun. CLOSED Mon-Fri 9:30AM to 7:00PM Sat 9AM to 6:00PM Sun. CLOSED Mon-Fri 9:30AM to 7:00PM Sat 9AM to 6:00PM Sun. CLOSED For Appointments, please call (201) 445-7737 For Appointments, please call (201) 445-7737 For Appointments, please call (201) 445-7737

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Fit for Life

Take It Outside ! By Roger Anthony It’s a beautiful day. Perfect temperature. Clear skies. And yet, here you are, in your house staring at a screen or just doing “stuff.” You promise yourself to get out “later” to do some errands or “just get out of the house.” And then it doesn’t happen. You’ve spent your day indoors, mesmerized by our increasing reliance on tech nology and your “stuff” still isn’t done. As we age, many of us are spending ever less time outdoors. We are missing out on the ben efits of being outdoors and apart from moving from room to room, we are not getting enough exercise.

“I’m not going outside until the temperature is above my age.” I t is easy to fall into a pattern of “co cooning,” as it is called, which is staying comfortably at home most of the time instead of going outdoors. It can become a way of life that can negatively impact our physical and mental health. I think we can all agree that it is not good to spend too much time indoors, breathing the same air and not moving enough. How ever, the benefits of getting outdoors go well beyond that. As little as stepping out for even a brief walk outdoors can provide substantial physical and mental health stimuli. We all need to routinely reset ourselves with a good dose of fresh air, sunshine and natural environments. Helps you get exercise For starters, it is for sure that we need to get more exercise. While it is true that some of our indoor lives involve move ment, when we are outside, we tend to

five times higher than outdoor concen trations. Opening windows to air out your house from time to time is a good measure, but actually being outdoors, especially while getting some cardiovas cular exercise, can really help lower your risk of respiratory concerns. Cognitive benefits Not surprisingly, many studies have shown that spending time outdoors improves working memory, ability to focus, cognitive flexibility and attentional control. The change of venue and stimuli, however brief, can act as a boost to our alertness and ability to process. Getting outdoors, especially when we are in natu ral environments, can also enhance our creative and problem solving abilities. Improved emotional well-being and mental restoration Too much indoor time can sometimes contain intrusive stimuli. Computer screens, TVs blaring “Breaking News,” noisy appliances, endless chatter, a never ending “to do” list, etc., can become

increase our stride and engage in more strenuous activities. Gardening, playing with your dog or grandchildren, washing your car or for that matter, any outdoor activity that gets you moving and is do able and enjoyable for you is great. Just walking outside makes us more likely to increase our heart rate. No special equip ment needed, no gym membership. Just walk out your door or drive to a favorite spot and enjoy a walk. The duration is up to you, but obviously the longer and farther you walk, the better it is for you. To ramp it up a bit, many parks actually have outdoor exercise equipment available for free, for a quick workout that can be even better for you than working out inside a gym. Even a few minutes on each of the devices can help build strength. As a bonus, routine walks will build stamina and even help you drop some weight. Better breathing While it is true that air pollution can trig ger allergies, asthma and other reactions, it should be noted that indoor concentra tions of air pollutants are often two to


Just getting out in the sun for 5 to 20 minutes two or three times a week can boost your levels. Improved sleep and mood Exposure to sunlight when it enters your eyes also regulates your internal clock, helping you to feel awake in the daytime and sleepy at night and can also help attenuate Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Even though artificial light can imitate natural light, direct sunlight has 200 times the intensity of indoor lights in a closed room. Consequently, sunlight affects your circadian rhythm much more than electric light. It can be social Getting outside provides opportunities to meet and socialize with others. Hu man contact is important to your mental health and well-being. Plan to walk with a friend or meet somewhere to have lunch together outdoors. Participate in outdoor activities that involve others. Engage in conversation with passersby while you are out and about. Start with a simple “hello” and a compliment. You may even make a new lifelong friend! Getting started We do not always “feel like” going out, and it is very easy to default to just stay ing inside. We can become quite accom plished in coming up with “reasons” to justify staying in. “I have a lot to do at home. It’s a bit chilly today. I’m just not in the mood, etc.” I like to remind people that the hardest part of getting out is putting on appropriate footwear and walking out the door. Instead, change your self-talk to “Once I’m out there I

oppressive, and we begin to feel that our brain just cannot keep up. Researchers call that feeling “mental fatigue.” This kind of overstimulation may raise your stress levels without you even realizing it. Getting outdoors for even a short term escape can provide a calming men tal and emotional refuge when you need to unwind and recharge. It can be all you need to reset your mood and relieve un wanted emotions like anger, fear, worry or sadness. Reduced depression symptoms Studies have shown that anxiety, depres sion and other mental health issues may respond to spending time in natural environments especially when combined with exercise. Additionally, outdoor walks have actually been used clinically as a supplement to existing treatments for major depressive disorders. A significant percentage of older adults suffer from vitamin D deficiency, which is needed for our immune system—a Na tional Health and Nutrition Examination survey reported more than 40 percent of the adult participants were vitamin D deficient. Your body needs sunlight to make it the natural way, and vitamin D production from sunlight is better than supplements for your immune system. Sunlight also seems to energize special cells in your immune system called T cells that help fight infection. In addition, it helps keep your serotonin levels up, which helps raise your energy and keeps your mood calm, positive and focused. Helps you get Vitamin D and improves immune function

know that I will enjoy myself and I will feel happier. After being outdoors, I’m always in a better mood and I think more clearly. When I return from being outside, I will be energized and will get more done.” So back away from that computer and head for the great outdoors. Even a little bit of outdoor exposure and exercise is better than none. Those of us who are fortunate enough to live near “green or blue” spaces should get out and enjoy them. Forests, wooded areas and any where close to water provide excellent natural regenerative benefits. Just spending time in these surround ings and actively immersing ourselves in them enables us to enjoy and appreciate their beauty while experiencing the joy and benefits they can provide. Being outside in green or blue spaces supports an active and healthy lifestyle, which has shown to increase life expectancy, improve sleep quality and even reduce cancer risk. Studies also show that being outside in nature is relaxing, reducing our stress, cortisol levels, muscle tension and heart rates—all of which are risk factors for cardiovascular disease. We all have routine activities in our lives. It is important to include outdoor time and activities as part of our weekly routines. Schedule outings. Plan to take a walk while doing errands. At the very least, sit outside and read or just watch the wonderful world go by. Take it out side. Immerse yourself in nature. Breathe some fresh air. Soak up some sun. And stay Fit for Life .



Food for Thought Donut Forget Dessert! By Stephanie Sass Do not ditch dessert this holiday season! Instead, just try not to overdo it. Spending time with our loved ones and eating enjoyable foods releases hormones that make us feel relaxed and happy, making it easier to kick back and eat whatever we want. Consistently eating calorie-dense, sugary and fatty foods can negatively impact one’s health. However, attempting to avoid indulgent foods can lead to binge eating or feeling deprived. Therefore, you should be mindful of your dietary choices but not overly strict or critical. Practicing mindful eating may help individuals maintain their health and wellness goals while allowing room for dessert.

Another way to have a healthier holiday baking season is by swapping classic ingredients for more nutrient-dense items. Use these tips to make these recipes from ShopRite’s Recipe Shop more health friendly. • Whole wheat flour or whole wheat white flour instead of white flour in cookies and cakes • Low-fat or Neufchâtel cream cheese • Replace half the sour cream in a baking recipe with plain, non-fat Greek yogurt • Replace half the oil in a recipe with unsweetened apple sauce • Replace half the butter with pureed ripe avocado (works best in chocolate recipes) • In heavily sweetened dessert, simply cut out 1/3 the sugar instead of full-fat cream cheese • 2% reduced-fat milk instead of whole milk • Unsalted nuts instead of salted

When choosing dessert, keep these mind fulness eating tips in mind: • Before dessert, have a nutrient-dense meal. If available, have vegetables, whole grains and lean protein choices during dinner • Scope out all of the dessert options before choosing • Use a small, 4-5-inch plate for desserts • Pay attention to your food and try not to be distracted while eating • Take smaller bites and chew well • Aim for satisfaction over fullness. It only takes a couple of bites to gain satisfac tion from flavor Carrot Cake Cheesecake Bars Ingredients • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour, divided • 2 cups sugar, divided • 1½ tsp Ground Cinnamon • 1 tsp baking soda • ½ tsp Ground Nutmeg • ¼ tsp salt • 2/3 cup vegetable oil • 4 eggs, divided • 2 tsp All Natural Pure Vanilla Extract • 1½ cups finely grated carrots • 3 (8 oz packages) cream cheese, softened • ¼ cup milk • 1 tsp Pure Lemon Extract

Keeping beneficial nutrients in mind, instead of focusing on the negative aspects of desserts, may also lead to healthier

choices. Look for options such as, • Fruit-based cobblers and pies

Fruits have vitamins, minerals and anti oxidants that support overall health • Oatmeal cookies Whole grains, such as oats, provide fiber and promote fullness • Dark chocolate Has antioxidants

Directions Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Mix 1 cup each of the flour and sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in large bowl. Add oil, 2 of the eggs, vanilla extract and carrots; mix well. Spread ½ of the batter into greased and floured 13x9-inch baking pan. Reserve remaining batter. Set aside.

Beat cream cheese and remaining 1 cup sugar in another large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add milk, remaining 2 tablespoons flour and lemon extract; beat until well blended. Add remaining 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed after each addition just until blended. Drop spoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture and reserved carrot cake batter, alternately over the carrot cake batter in pan. Cut through several times with knife for marble effect. Bake 40 minutes or until tooth pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wine rack.


Banana Pudding Ingredients

Directions In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Set aside. In a blender, puree the bananas. Set aside. In a heavy pot over medium heat, add 3 cups of the milk and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently to avoid scorching. Just as the milk begins to boil, re move from the heat and whisk into the egg mixture

• 2 fresh whole eggs • 1 cup brown sugar • ½ cup all-purpose flour • 2 tsp Simply Organic Cinnamon • 1 lb (approx. 3-4 medium) ripe bananas • 3 cups milk • 2 tsp Simply Organic Pure Vanilla Extract • ¾ lb gingersnap cookies

in a slow, steady stream (this helps avoid lumps).

Return the milk and egg mixture to the medium heat in the heavy pot and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring constantly to avoid scorching. Stir in the vanilla flavoring, then the banana puree and pour the mixture into a clean bowl. Chill for 2 hours and serve. For a decorative twist, layer into parfait glasses, alternating pudding and ginger snap cookies, then refrigerate 2 hours and serve garnished with whipped cream and a mint sprig.

Pumpkin Pecan Coffee Cake Ingredients • 2½ all-purpose flour • 4 tsps pumpkin pie spice • 1 cup and ¾ cup chopped pecans • 1¾ cup brown sugar, divided • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled • 1 tsp baking soda • 1 tsp baking powder • ¼ tsp salt • ½ cup vegetable oil • ¾ cup canned pumpkin

Directions Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line an 8x8 square pan with foil or parchment paper. Spray the foil with cooking spray and set aside. For the streusel topping, combine all streusel ingredi ents—1 cup flour, 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice, ¾ cup brown sugar, ¾ cup chopped pecans, 6 tbsp unsalted butter (melted and cooled)—in a small bowl and stir until crumbly. Set aside until ready to use.

For the cake, whisk together 1½ cups all-purpose flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp baking pow der, 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice, ¼ tsp salt until well mixed. In a separate bowl whisk together the oil, pumpkin and 1 cup of dark brown sugar until smooth, then add the eggs, yogurt and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Pour wet mixture into bowl with flour and whisk until smooth. Fold in the 1 cup chopped pecans. Pour cake batter into the prepared pan, then sprinkle the streusel over the top evenly, pressing it gently into the top of the cake batter. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan completely before removing and cutting into squares Optional: whisk together ½ cup powdered sugar and 2 tbsp milk to create a glaze and drizzle over cooled cake.

• ½ cup canola oil • 2 eggs, beaten • 1/3 cup Greek Yogurt • 1 tsp vanilla extract



Winter Skin Survival Tips By Kristen Rueb The winter season is quickly approaching—meaning cold, harsh temperatures will be wreaking havoc on delicate, aging skin. Falling humidity levels kick off annual dry skin season—skin tends to have the same moisture level as the environment it is in; therefore, as the weather gets drier, we do too. Dips in temperature can exacerbate the problem further, and mature, sensitive, or acneic skin types are particularly affected by the changing weather. However, with the proper winter skincare routine, you do not have to be stuck inside all day and fear the chill of the season.

routine. Use an SPF of at least 30, and if you are out in the sun for long periods of time, reapply every two hours. • Stay hydrated: It is a simple, but ef fective tip. Drinking enough water helps your skin look dewy and plump and gives you that just-walked-off-the-beach summer glow. • Check your diet : Our skin is often a great indicator of what is going on inside. Monitor what you eat and take notice if your skin flares up or feels extra dry after particular meals or food groups. Always consult a physician be fore changing anything about your diet. It is impossible to control the weath er, but it is possible to control how you treat your skin during low humidity and low temperatures. And, if your skin can not take it anymore, you can always plan a trip to a tropical destination where the humidity is high, and your skin can recuperate— just remember to pack the sunscreen!

Here is how to keep dryness at bay and maintain irritation-free skin, year-round. • Avoid harsh exfoliants : If your skin is drying out during the winter months, take a step back from your harsh chemi cal or physical exfoliants. This does not mean you have to stop using them com pletely—exfoliation is important for cell turnover—but pumping the brakes for a few days while your skin resets could prove useful. And if you are still feel ing dry, opt for a natural cleansing oil instead of your usual face wash, which can often strip the skin of natural oils. • Use a low-molecular-weight hy aluronic acid: A low-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid (HA) is recommended for its ability to hold one thousand times its weight in water. HA helps your skin retain moisture and assists in keeping its surface smooth and soft. It even helps calm redness or irritation from particu larly harsh climates. • Layer up: In the winter, it is all about layering—both clothes and sk incare. Start with a serum equipped to handle your toughest skin concerns. For maximum TLC, use a regenerative serum after cleansing. Next up, opt for a cream that is light enough to layer and calming enough to soothe your winter redness. To form a protective seal over the skin

and lock in moisture, apply the cream after the serum. • Apply morning and night: Do not forget to use the serum and cream combo in the morning, after washing your face and before makeup, and in the evening, when your face is clean and ready for bed. • Do not forget your eyes: Our eyes are sensitive to the cold and dry climate of wintertime because the skin around them is particularly thin. Make sure to replenish your delicate eye area with a natural, non-irritating, fast-absorbing eye cream. • Do not forget SPF: Even though it is cold outside, the sun’s rays are still powerful. A physical sun screen, applied in the morning—after your serums and creams—should be part of your daily

Kristen, a stem scientist, is Director of Clinical Research at FACTORFIVE Skincare, which she joined in 2020 as a Cell Culture Scientist, specializing in

creating human stem cell conditioned media. Kristen received her Bachelor’s degree with honors as well as a minor in chemistry and a Master’s degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology from California State University, Chico. She explains: “When I started college as an undergrad, I was really focused on medicine. Human anatomy and physiology have always been fascinating to me so I decided to get my degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology. This exposed me to a wide variety of science classes and research.”


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