Summer is coming to a close, but like the bouquet above of different colored flowers, the change from summer to fall is “multi-colored.” First, there are still plenty of warm and even hot days. This week we have a heat wave that will spill over into September, so there is still time for outdoor activities.
Second, September is the start of school, so there is a shift from “fooling around” on vacation to returning to school and “getting down to business.” And because September is also Jewish holidays, for me September is the start of a new year, which it actually is on the Jewish calendar.
Best of all, my grandson just started Temple University this week and I hope to be able to see him more often than when he lived in State College. So I have “school issues” in my head to share which may be useful, whether you have babies, grammar schools kids, or grandchildren going to high school or college. The book below, which I plan to review, is for the younger set, so if you have a young grandchild, this one might be appropriate.
Because I love Fall, I look forward to the change in seasons, the shift from swimming to returning to substitute teaching, and hopefully this year, also teaching some cooking classes. I miss “playing with food” and sharing the joy of wholesome cooking and eating with others seeking a healthier lifestyle. Apropos to this comment, I plan to feature first this month a chilled soup, since the weather is still warm, and the joy of NOT cooking and eating raw is still important to my diet. Below is a only a photo of my Chilled Mango Soup. I will post the recipe later this week or over the week-end.
Square One Publishing, whose raw food books I reviewed during the summer, sent me a lovely one entitled Embracing Menopause Naturally by Gabriele Kushi, whose mother-in-law is Aveline Kushi, one of the key people, who with her husband Michio, brought Macrobiotics to the states. This book not only has recipes and information on menopause, but also profiles and portraits of midlife women from all walks of life and all nationalities. I love this book and would recommend it to any of you looking for a good place to start reading about menopause or want a gift for a female who is “changing.” Even the cover is inviting!
Since I will be reviewing this book, I think I will use Health Flashes to post health nuggets about menopause. I have not done that for awhile, and as the seasons are changing, this is a good time to talk about changes we all go through as midlife women.
I hope to profile fitness expert Fiona this month, since I missed it last month.
Last month I had planned to profile a young woman I met on our vacation, Fiona, whose exercise classes I took while on vacation. Instead, I inserted a posting on friendship, so I will hopefully post Fiona’s profile in September. I did not realize August 1st was Friendship Day until after I wrote the Home Page for July-August, and I decided the friendship topic was too important not to pass up. And from the positive responses I have received, I made the right decision. There are some “Leftovers” on friendship as more responses come in, and I plan to post some of those, starting with this response from another long-time friend Jo, who helped me through my divorce and beyond. She sent me this wonderful e-mail that I want to share:
A friend of mine just finished taking an evening class at Stanford. The last lecture was on the mind-body connection–the relationship between stress and disease. The speaker (head of psychiatry at Stanford) said, among other things, that one of the best things that a man could do for his health is to be married to a woman whereas for a woman, one of the best things she could do for her health was to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends. At first everyone laughed, but he was serious.
Women connect with each other differently and provide support systems that help each other to deal with stress and difficult life experiences. Physically this quality “girlfriend time” helps us to create more seratonin–a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression and can create a general feeling of well being. Women share feelings whereas men often form relationships around activities. They rarely sit down with a buddy and talk about how they feel about certain things or how their personal lives are going. Jobs? Yes. Sports? Yes. Cars? Yes. Fishing, hunting, golf? Yes. But their feelings?–rarely. Women do it all of the time. We share from our souls with our sisters, and evidently that is very good for our health. He said that spending time with a friend is just as important to our general health as jogging or working out at a gym.
There’s a tendency to think that when we are “exercising” we are doing something good for our bodies, but when we are hanging out with friends, we are wasting our time and should be more productively engaged–not true. In fact, he said that failure to create and maintain quality personal relationships with other humans is as dangerous to our physical health as smoking! So every time you hang out to schmooze with a gal pal, just pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for doing something good for your health! We are indeed very very lucky. Sooooo let’s toast to our friendship with our girlfriends. Evidently it’s very good for our health.
So, as we shift from summer to fall, from trips to the shore to trips to the store, from lounging by the pool to getting kids ready for school, take time to enjoy each day of every season. Wishing summer was still around means you will miss the crisp smell of fall. Instead of being sad that the trees seems to be dying because they are losing their leaves, think instead that fall brings gorgeous colors and Indian summer.
If we can also learn to take care of ourselves and the planet, we will be able to pass the changing seasons onto our children and grandchildren, knowing we have done our best to keep Mother Nature happy and healthy! Think about the bouquet at the top and color yourself healthy!!!
Midlife (and beyond) is a time to reach for the sky, like this tree. Let’s reach!