When I was born on March 8, 1947, I was one of the first babies who were later designated "boomers." I wanted to create a website where our dynamic generation of women could share our singular style, exceptional experiences, and brilliant recommendations. FabOverFifty is the world's first website for smart, stylish, successful women over 50.
Imagine being a mom whose teenage son blew you a kiss as he raced out the door for school this morning, and shouted to you as he ran down the block to catch the bus:
“Bye, mom. I’ve got basketball practice after class. See you around 6.”
But, he never made it to the gym, and he’s never coming home, because your son was slain by a mass murderer, even before school let out.
Unimaginable to those of us blessed with the good fortune to get to see our kids again, maybe not tonight, or tomorrow night, but again. Right?
Photo Credit: ABC News
But terrifyingly real to hundreds of mothers and fathers (or is it thousands at this point?), whose children got caught in the gunfire coming from a weapon in the hands of a disenfranchised human being. Deranged? Angry? Evil? Maniacal?
““This epidemic of mass slaughter (there have been eight school shootings in the US since the start of the year), this scourge of school shooting after school shooting. It only happens here, not because of coincidence, not because of bad luck, but as a consequence of our inaction. We are responsible for a level of mass atrocity that happens in this country with zero parallel anywhere else,” said Connecticut senator Chris Murphy on the Senate floor during the latest shooting yesterday, at a high school in Parkland, FL.
Representing the state where 20 children died during the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Senator Murphy has long been an outspoken supporter of gun control legislation. “As a parent, it scares me to death that this body (the Senate) doesn’t take seriously the safety of my children, and it seems like a lot of parents in South Florida are going to be asking that same question later today,” he said. “We pray for the families, for the victims. We hope for the best.”
Photo Credit: CNN
Connecticut implemented a law in 1995 that requires people to pass a background check and complete a gun safety course before they can buy handguns. The gun homicide rate in Connecticut decreased by 40 percent, saving nearly 300 lives in the first decade after the law was enacted, according to a study by the non-political Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research. When Missouri repealed a similar handgun-permitting law, gun homicides in the state increased by 23 percent, which translated to about 50 additional murders with a gun each year, the research also revealed.
It matters not whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican; whether you get the biggest thrill of your life hunting, or can’t stomach even the thought of seeing an injured sparrow. Something must be done to address the gun laws in our country. It is entirely too easy to get your hands on a gun, not just for sport, but for mass murder. Besides, the guns a hunter would use to kill a deer are not the same “assault weapons” someone would aim at a high school student.
“STOP ACCEPTING BLOOD MONEY”
Politicians who count on the powerful–and rich–NRA to help support their reelection campaigns “care about the money they get, not about their constituents,” said Sergio Rozenblat, the father of a sophomore at the Florida high school where yesterday’s mass shooting took place.
“Stop accepting blood money. Grow a spine. Think of the kids. They’re my family. They’re your family. When are we going to wake up? You never think something like this is going to hit home. We grow callous, But now it didn’t hit my backyard, it hit my front yard,” Sergio said. At the school during the shooting, he added that “the faces of terror, of pain, of fear” are burned into his conscious. “I wish someone would film the faces of the kids and show them to the politicians continually making empty speeches.
“I’m tired of praying. This is real. I’m not preaching. When are you going to wake up?. What is wrong with us? Let’s not talk about it any more. It’s time to stop making speeches, have some concrete steps, and do something,” Sergio stated powerfully.
When told that Florida senator Marco Rubio said it’s “too early” to talk about this until we know all the facts, Sergio responded: “It’s always too early, until it’s too late. Enough with the rhetoric. We’re letting these guys who sit in Congress, with their pleated pants and $1,000 suits, tell us what to do. There should be an anonymous vote on gun control. We need to vote these people out of office.”
The second amendment of the US Constitution states: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” The amendment has been the subject of vigorous legal debate for generations, much of it well above my head.
But no matter how you interpret it, this is indisputable: Enough is enough.
My 36-year-old daughter Simone needed a physical and blood workup, so I wanted to find an internist for her who practices near my home in Brooklyn, where she’s been staying. Ever since our beloved internist, Stan Mirsky, died seven years ago, Simone hasn’t properly taken care of herself. I found Dr. Roger Boyce on the United Healthcare website, who accepts Simone’s insurance and has an office about two miles from my house.
One of the reviews mentioned that Dr. Boyce doesn’t take appointments (unusual, but interesting, I thought), so I called the office to find out when he sees patients. The doctor answered the phone (unheard of in this part of the world), and told me his office hours, which include Sunday (this is getting more interesting by the minute, I thought).
“I’m curious why you don’t make appointments,” I asked Dr. Boyce.
“It’s not my style,” he plainly responded.
Hoping to avoid a lengthy wait, Simone and I arrived at Dr. Boyce’s office precisely at 11 a.m. yesterday, when he told me he begins seeing patients. Although only one person was in the waiting room, about 10 people had signed in before us, many of their names already checked off. A tall handsome man at the front desk told us to take a seat near the water cooler.
“Are you Dr. Boyce?” I asked.
Of course he was.
Within 10 minutes of sitting down, Simone was called into a room where the doctor’s assistant took down all her info, while I watched Dr. Boyce rotate through his three examining rooms, where patients waited who had arrived earlier. When the assistant got what she needed from Simone, and took her blood pressure (which was excellent), she escorted Simone to the first examining room. By this time the waiting area was starting to get crowded!
Dr. Boyce spent about 25 minutes with Simone. When I was invited into the room after her exam, it gave me the chance to ask the doctor if he’d elaborate on his reason for not taking appointments.
“You told me it’s not your style. What is your style?”
“I’m from Barbados, where we always keep the door to our home open. Neighbors and relatives come in when they want. That’s how I grew up, and that’s the way I’ve always run my office.” Dr. Boyce explained. Simone had obviously told him she’s in a recovery program for drug addiction, because he made a point of telling us that he doesn’t believe in therapy and recommended a self-help book for her to read about overcoming fears and gaining confidence. (If only it were that simple, I thought. We’ll stick with the therapy).
Unlike countless doctors’ offices I’ve visited, where patients are anything but patient while they wait for their appointments (I’ve often had to wait 90 minutes for doctors who do make appointments!), the crowd that had by this time stuffed into Dr. Boyce’s waiting room seemed as if it had gathered at a club. Lots of camaraderie. The office, by the way, is in a handsome old Brooklyn building that the doctor owns, and it has all the original 19th century woodwork. It seems to be meticulously maintained. (I’ve been in many Park Avenue offices of hoity-toity doctors in Manhattan that looked like they were last renovated in 1920, although the doctors’ fees are out of sight and many of them don’t even accept insurance.)
Simone is seeing Dr. Boyce again tomorrow to review the results of her blood workup, and although she and I question the necessity of an in-person meeting for this, I understand it’s his “style.” We still wish Dr. Mirsky was our doctor, but I’m glad Simone is having herself checked out. It’s high time she gives herself the care she deserves.
I didn’t recognize a $68 charge on my December MasterCard bill from a place called FlyCleaners. Since legitimate charges sometimes show up under unfamiliar names, I Googled FlyCleaners and learned that it’s a laundry service. I’ve never used a laundry service in my life, so I called Citibank to report the error on my bill.
Citi credited my account for the $68 error, and I thought that was the end of the story. I didn’t cancel my card because I assumed the charge was an innocent mistake. Wrong! When a new MasterCard bill arrived earlier this week, it included six new charges from FlyCleaners, which totaled around $300.
I immediately called Citi again, this time to cancel my card and get a new one. And, I called FlyCleaners. Turns out, when the laundry company called the number associated with the first $68 charge (after Citi notified it about my dispute), the person who answered said he was “Geri Brin’s assistant,” “had use of my credit card” and was “doing the laundry for her.”
This is pure insanity, I thought. Despite the fact that I had reported the first charge as erroneous, and Citi called FlyCleaners to investigate, FlyCleaners continued to accept my credit card number on its app as payment for its laundry washing and folding services. And Citi continued to let charge after charge on my account move through its system.
Technology may be more sophisticated than ever before, but it’s filled with more holes than a sponge. Fraud is rampant in the retail industry, much of it happening online. I recently heard about a young woman who would open a new credit card, make an obscenely expensive purchase, then call to claim her card was stolen and the charge wasn’t hers. She got away with it a number of times, then abruptly stopped her crime spree for fear she’d be caught.
With so many technological geniuses running around the country, why has no one figured out how to put an end to abuses such as credit card fraud and identity theft?
It’s easy for a waiter (a saleswoman or gas station attendant, for example) to steal my credit card number when I give her or him the card to pay the charge, look up my address, charge something online, and have merchandise sent to a different address. Banks simply don’t check the legitimacy of small charges for products that are shipped to addresses other than the billing address, a former Citi employee told me.
And, guess who ultimately pays for all the cheating taking place around the world? You may say it’s the bank, because it immediately takes fraudulent charges off your bill when you call. But it’s actually all of us. Just think how much interest you pay each month if you make only a partial payment on your bill. Credit card interest rates are out of sight, in part, because the banks are protecting themselves from thieves.
This is not the first time my Citi credit card account has been compromised. It’s happened at least two other times in the last 12 months, which greatly concerns me. Is the same person or group of people getting my new card number, and how are they doing it? Are these people employees of one of the stores or services I frequent? Is a Citi employee(s) who issues new cards the perpetrator? Should I completely stop using my credit card , and only use checks or cash?
Have any of your credit cards been abused by bad, bad people? I’d love to know the details if you care to share them.
I and my cells are about to accomplish one the greatest feats of our lives:
Wrapping up month three of the ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD). I may have decided to embark on this valuable dietary program, but if my cells could talk they’d thank me for giving them a chance to naturally and properly regenerate and rejuvenate so they can give me more energy and stave off age-related illnesses.Face it, ladies. Our cells aren’t going to hang around forever, when we consistently feed them horrible foods until they become damaged and cause all kinds of havoc on our bodies. Some of the bad stuff floating all around us in the air, not to mention the UV rays of the sun, also don’t help our cells breathe easier. All these “stressors” can certainly distress our “cellular metabolism.” If you were as horrid a biology student as I, you’ll want to know that “cellular metabolism” encompasses all the biochemical reactions inside living organisms that keep us alive—and healthy
ProLon® FMD™ has been scientifically shown to positively impact biological aging and related health markers. And, just as the name indicates, this diet “imitates” fasting, but you don’t actually fast. You’ll achieve all the benefits of fasting, but in a safer and easier way that gives you more energy. You’ll eat, too!
The rewards of fasting can be big, including potentially increased longevity, health and wellness, as well as the renewal or elimination of damaged cells and tissues. Fasting can help your cells acts like they did when you were younger, giving you more vitality.
No debate, it’s hard to fast, but you absolutely don’t have to starve or even deprive yourself of many foods you enjoy to enjoy the good of fasting.
A Game-Changing Way To Fast (With Food)
Here’s how it works: You consume a carefully prepared, strictly controlled selection of food with high healthy fat, very low protein, a moderate amount of carbohydrates, low sugar and salt for just five days a month, for three months in a row. You eat your regular diet on the days inbetween.
I’m on the third, and final, five-day round of the ProLon FMD, which has been the easiest of the three rounds. I didn’t feel as headachy on the second day and third days; my mind is clear and bright; my insides feel cleansed, and I’m invigorated.
Regenerate and Rejuvenate!
Hippocrates and Plato were big fans of fasting. And, scientists believe that ever since hunter-gatherers had inconsistent access to food, humans have evolved with livers and muscles that store quickly accessible carbohydrates in the form of glycogen, and fat tissue holding long-lasting energy reserves. We could keep ourselves going for weeks without food, as long as we had water!
Fasting is dynamic because “it pressures the body to shift from using glucose for fuel to using fat,” explained Dr. James Kelley, consulting medical science liaison with L-Nutra, the company that created the ProLon fasting with food program. The fat is converted to compounds, called ketones, during this process, which is a source of energy that can be used by the body when available glucose stores are low, Dr. Kelley said. “But the most interesting effect of fasting for many days in a row is the impact of regeneration and rejuvenation. When the body goes into a fasting state, key nutrient-sensing pathways are turned off, and regenerative pathways are activated. This triggers the whole body to react to optimize itself and become more energy-efficient and generally healthier.”
We need to “stress” our bodies at the cellular level far more than we usually do, at least when it comes to nutrition, Dr. Kelley explained. That means not feeding it the way we normally do. “Americans eat too much food, especially foods that can impede our cells from functioning optimally,” he said. Many of us become overweight and sluggish as we age. We don’t give our cells a chance to naturally and properly regenerate and rejuvenate, so we’re stuck with loads of damaged, poorly performing cells that can cause all kinds of havoc on our bodies, and contribute to age-related problems.
Melting Away Your Fat
Lugging around excess weight takes loads of energy, and if we keep eating more energy than we expend, we just keep getting fatter, more sedentary, and less healthy. The ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet “hijacks the same burn mechanisms in our bodies as if we’re fasting, and melts away your fat,” Dr. Kelley said. “It looks at every single cell in the body and says, ‘are you healthy enough to be repaired or do I need to delete you?’ By eliminating poorly functioning cells and restoring others, the ProLon Meal Program activates a system-wide spring cleaning. You wind up with new tissue sitting next to optimized old tissue.”
When you’re on the ProLon Diet, your body uses the energy you’ve stored, lowers the amount of energy you need, and gets rid of your excess unwanted fat, so your body becomes more efficient!
isn’t magic. “It simply takes advantage of your body’s natural processes that are built into you,” Dr. Kelley explained. The diet can affect a wide range of markers that contribute to aging, including helping to maintain healthy levels of cholesterol, blood pressure, fasting glucose, and inflammation. “The benefits are best felt and last longest if you train your body over a three-month period,” Dr. Kelley added.
The Food on Your ‘Fast’
The ProLon fasting-with-food program delivers all the foods you’ll eat during the five days, packaged in five individual boxes marked Day 1 through Day 5. An insert offers suggestions on what to eat for each meal, but you can consume the foods for the day in whatever order you’d like. They include plant and nut-based energy bars, soups like minestrone and quinoa and tomato, snacks, drinks, and supplements.
The meal program is plant-based, and made up of real food. The minestrone includes peas, vegetable stock, parsley, carrot, and olive oil. The choco crisp bar is made with almond and cocoa butters, chocolate chips and brown rice. And, a tropical berry flavor glycerin drink “is like having a Red Bull, but for fasting, since glycerin is one of the components of energy production when you’re in a fasting state,” Dr. Kelley said. The tasteful and fresh tasting food was created by Italian food scientists, who love good cuisine.
The scientifically developed, plant-based foods optimally nourish your body while promoting regenerative and rejuvenating changes, but not activating any pro-aging processes. They also give you the energy and nutrition you need to maintain lean body mass, which a traditional fast won’t do,” Dr. Kelley emphasized. You’ll eat 1,150 on the first day, and about 800 calories on days two through five, so unless you’re used to eating thousands of calories every single day, you won’t starve!
ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet gives you the goodness of food, combined with the advantages of fasting. You won’t find a smarter way to benefit your body!
to get ProLon today and enter code GERI10 for 10% off your order.
This post was written in partnership with ProLon. All opinions are my own.
*ProLon has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Its product is intended for use by healthy individuals who want to optimize their health and wellbeing, not to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. You can take a health self assessment evaluationto find out if ProLon is right for you.
Impacting approximately 27 million Americans, osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease caused by “wear and tear” that ultimately results in painful joints, which often leads to hip or knee pain. Unfortunately, many women who suffer from osteoarthritis live with significant joint pain almost every day, based on an online survey commissioned by DePuy Synthes of 500 U.S. women aged 45 to 65.
As one of the many women who have struggled with joint pain, 60-year-old Judy Curtis, shared her personal experience with FabOverFifty. A passionate and avid hiker, Judy was hiking in the Rocky Mountains when a misstep caused her legs to be pinned under a two-ton boulder. While Judy eventually recovered, this traumatic incident eventually led to the development of osteoarthritis in her hip and she began to experience pain regularly.
For years, Judy tried everything she could do to alleviate her joint pain. She was hesitant to get a hip replacement because she was afraid that the recovery time after surgery would prevent her from living the active life she enjoyed with her husband and young daughters. Ultimately, her growing hip pain forced her to adjust day-to-day tasks and give up on activities she loved most, including hiking, bike rides and evening walks with her husband. Judy recalls how even walking across the kitchen became so challenging that she started to make adjustments to her daily routines so tasks were easier on her joints, such as keeping items at the top of the stairs to avoid going up and down the steps as often.
After suffering with osteoarthritis for nearly a decade Judy heard about the possible advantages of anterior approach for hip replacement surgery, including the speedier recovery time. She decided to speak to her doctor about hip replacement surgery and made the decision to get the operation.
Judy hasn’t looked back since. She worked hard at rehab and has been able to enjoy the activities she loves since her recovery. Six months after her surgery, she chaperoned her daughter’s school trip to Washington, DC, where she walked miles a day, participated in a Girl Scout mountain backpacking trip, and danced again!
Asked what advice she would give to her younger self about hip replacement surgery, Judy responded, “Once you start giving up one activity that you love – it is time to consider it. It is not worth giving up on aspects of life that are important, whether it is avoiding something simple as going up stairs or your day-to-day activities you love.”
So many women, like Judy, experience hip pain that impacts their day-to-day activities. If you may be living your life on “pause,” you can take action and talk to your doctor about how you can “hit play” on your life. For more information about hip and knee pain or to find a doctor near you to discuss potential treatment options, visit TimeToHitPlay.com.
About the Survey
The survey was conducted online by Edelman Intelligence on behalf of DePuy Synthes Companies between April 21 and May 8, 2017 in the United States among 266 women 45-65 years old who had knee or hip replacement surgery in the last 5 years and 266 women 45-65 years old who are planning to have knee or hip replacement surgery in the next 2 years.
Important Safety Information
The performance of hip or knee replacements depends on age, weight, activity level and other factors. There are potential risks and recovery takes time. People with conditions limiting rehabilitation should not have these surgeries. Only an orthopaedic surgeon can determine if hip or knee replacement is necessary based on an individual patient’s condition.
“Harvey Weinstein was a passionate cinephile, a risk taker, a patron of talent in film, a loving father and a monster.
“For years, he was my monster.”
So begins a riveting essay by immensely talented actress, Salma Hayek, in The New York Times Sunday Review (December 17, 2017, page 3) about her appalling experience with the disgraced man who had captivated Hollywood for decades. At least we thought he did!
Salma offers an answer to anyone who questions why sexually harassed women took so long to speak up: Only 4 percent of directors were female between 2007 and 2016, and 80 percent of those got the chance to make only one film, she reports. “And people wonder why you didn’t hear our voices sooner. I think the statistics are self-explanatory–our voices are not welcome. Until there is equality in our industry, with men and women having the same value in every aspect of it, our community will continue to be a fertile ground for predators,” Salma writes.
The Mexican actress came face to face with her “monster” when she was on a mission in the late 1990s to produce a movie about extraordinary Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, who struggled to make a living from her small, personal portrait paintings until she was about 40 years old, (she died at 47) and started seeing success. Miramax, Harvey’s company, was a perfect fit for Salma’s project because it “had become synonymous with quality, sophistication and risk taking–a haven for artists who were complex and defiant.” Miramax represented “everything that Frida was to me and everything I aspired to be,” Salma continues.
Although Miramax wouldn’t pay Salma for her role as a producer, “not that rare for a female producer in the 90s,” she was thrilled that Harvey had taken a chance on her. He had said “yes” to her, “a nobody.” And, we all well know, it isn’t that rare for a talented woman to think of herself as “a nobody.”
Seems that Harvey’s maniacal behavior reared its ugly head early on during work on the movie.
He asked Salma to shower with him, watch him take a shower, give him a massage, permit his naked friend to give her a massage, and give him oral sex! When she repeatedly rejected his revolting requests, he actually threatened to kill her. “Don’t think I can’t,” Salma recalls him saying in a rage. As a last resort to get her to bow down to his demands, literally and figuratively, Harvey told Salma he had offered the script and her role as Frida to another actress. “In his eyes, I was not an artist. I wasn’t even a person. I was a thing: not a nobody, but a body,” she wrote.
Salma called on a lawyer at this point, not to slap Harvey with a sexual harassment suit, but to claim “bad faith,” since she was convinced he wasn’t going to make the movie or sell it back to her. She was willing to sweep the harassment under the rug in an effort to see her project come to life. Horrendous Harvey retaliated by making impossible demands on Salma, including raising $10 million to finance the film, rewriting the script, and finding an A-list director. She did it all, and Harvey was backed into a corner, forced to make a film he no longer wanted to make, with a woman who had rejected him.
Although Salma claims the sexual harassment stopped, emotional abuse followed. Harvey told Salma her “sex appeal” was the only thing she had going for her, and threatened to shut down the film if she didn’t use it in the movie. Calling herself a victim of “a sort of Stockholm syndrome,” Salma still wanted Harvey to see her “not only as a capable actress but also as somebody who could identify a compelling story and had the vision to tell it in an original way.”
That wasn’t in the cards. Harvey only seemed to notice that Salma wasn’t sexy in the movie, and said he’d let her finish it only if she agreed “to do a sex scene with another woman.” In front of him, of course. He also demanded “full-frontal nudity.” Salma capitulated. “I had to say yes. So many years of my life had gone into this film,” she explains in her essay. Just like a woman who is up against a “powerful” man, but desperate to achieve something big. The day of the shoot, Salma’s body “wouldn’t stop crying and convulsing,” and she started throwing up. A tranquilizer helped her get through it, she says.
Salma did achieve something big. Frida was a box office success and won two Oscars. Harvey never offered her another starring role in a movie, but when she ran into him years later, he told her, “‘You did well with Frida; we did a beautiful movie.’” Those words meant a lot to Salma, she writes, even if they came out of the big mouth of a big man who had harassed her.
Just like a woman. Then. Not now. No. Definitely not now.