TruMarine Collagen

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you probably know that I’m on a quest to age as happily and gracefully as possible. This journey was moving along reasonably well until a few months ago when I had a bad bout of food poisoning. A bug called campylobacter invaded my system and totally messed with my digestive tract. It just didn’t go away on its own so, after a couple of months of trying to cure it with probiotics, I had to take uber strong antibiotics to finally kill it. Although I was happy to have it gone, the antibiotics (along with the bacteria) irritated the lining of my stomach and I ended up with bouts of nausea a few times a day. On top of this, after doing my usual yoga class, my joints felt sore and creaky. Let’s just say I wasn’t feeling too happy or like someone who was aging all that gracefully anymore.

beach yoga
I’ve had a lifetime of quickly and easily bouncing back from things so the fact that I wasn’t bouncing back from my stomach issue combined with feeling a million years old after working out, was bringing me down. Was this how I was going to feel from now on? Unhealthy, sad and tired? Is this why everyone is so afraid of aging? I felt like my body was breaking down and this made me feel vulnerable.
But, as fate would have it, I found my solution at lunch one day. Walking into one of my fave spots, Fresh Café, I saw a company called TruMarine doing a demo of their collagen product. I didn’t know a lot about collagen other than its anti-aging effect on skin but I was about to find out all that it can do. Tami, the owner of the company, filled me in on how our bodies usually have trouble keeping up collagen production starting in our late 40’s. She listed the ways collagen keeps us healthy and beautiful:
· Coats digestive tract

· Keeps joints healthy

· Keeps skin young

· Strengthens hair

· Strengthens nails

Tami also told me that people usually start seeing results in about a month. One exception was a friend of hers who is a hard core athlete. Her friend had severe joint pain and found relief for the pain within a month. Then, two months later she started noticing that her hair and skin looked healthier and more vibrant. The collagen goes to the part of the body that needs it the most first and then moves on to improve other areas. Okay, I was sold. I bought a package and drank a dose down immediately. Now, two weeks later, my nausea is completely gone, after haunting me for three months. And my joint pain is almost non-existant, letting me do my yoga thing about three times a week with no problem. I’m not sure about skin, hair and nails but I took a “before” photo a month ago and will take another at the end of next month, so we can see the results together.

When a product is this good, I have to share.

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Ch-ch-chia!

Remember those cute chia pets of the 70’s? Who knew that the little black seeds we used to sprout green stuff out of a hedgehog’s body are actually antioxidant rich super foods?

Did you know that chia…

  • gives a gentle energy boost
  • is full of anti-aging omega 3 oils
  • plumps our skin (yay!)
  • helps get rid of belly fat
  • helps you sleep better (it contains tryptophan)
  • makes your hair shiny and your nails strong
  • increases endurance during athletic events

Yep, that unassuming little black seed does all of that for us. It also, according to Dr. Oz, “can help with a range of health conditions such as heart disease, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes and weight problems.”

So now, my only question is, how can I incorporate this little anti-aging gem into my daily diet?

Well, since chia is pretty much tasteless, it can be sprinkled on salads, incorporated into smoothies, soups and even be an ingredient in baked goods. Another way to get a daily serving of chia is in this easy-peasy, uber-healthy pudding:

Chia Pudding

  • 1/4 chia seeds
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • splash of maple syrup, agave or honey
  • 1/2 tsp. organic vanilla
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • raw, sliced mango

Mix first five ingredients together and place in fridge overnight. The next morning stir in mango and serve. This nutritional powerhouse is a perfect, delicious way to start the day.

chia pudding

Birthdays, Aging and Rene Zellweger

Rene Zellweger’s face seems to be everywhere I turn these days. Twitter, Facebook, TMZ, E-News. You’d think this was the first time a celebrity was noticed having a little nip and tuck done. It’s weird and it feels a little to much like bullying. It looks like she had an eye-lift, yes, but is that really a cause for social media hysteria? It seems like everyone preferred her eyes the way they were before but…so what? Aren’t there way more important and, quite frankly, interesting things going on in the world than the state of Renee Zellweger’s eyes?

Personally, I think she looks great. Who knows? Maybe she never liked her eyes and finally did something about it. Good for her if that’s the case and if it’s not, well, it’s really none of my business anyway. I cannot imagine being a 40 something or, even worse a 50 something female in Hollywood. If you don’t get plastic surgery, you know you’re going to end up on the cover of a tabloid with the caption “She Looks Shockingly Old!” and if you do get plastic surgery, you’re going to end up on the cover of the same tabloid with the caption “Too Much Work Done”. I’m amazed that more stars don’t shoot themselves in the head.

Smart, kooky Russell Brand sums up the situation here. Amen Russell.

And, on the subject of aging, I’m turning 52 today. I haven’t botoxed, injected or lifted anything yet but, never say never. I love the idea of aging gracefully and naturally but, let’s face it, we live in a youth-worshipping society and everyone has to decide how they are going to wrangle this collective fear of aging as the years go by.

I had a birthday dinner on Saturday and I created an event on Facebook that I jokingly titled “The Second Anniversary of My 50th Birthday”, subtitle “I’ve decided I’m not really into getting any older so please help me celebrate the anniversary of my 50th birthday”. One of my friends laughed about it and said she was so excited that we are both turning 50 this year but another friend didn’t see the humour in my dinner party title and expressed her opinion that we should be proud of our ages and not try to hide them even in a joking way. So, on that note, I’d like to share a piece I wrote a couple of years ago when I turned 50. Like most people I’m definitely influenced by the media and images of photo-shopped perfection so I always like to re-read this on my birthday and remember that getting older has some really great benefits and that the ultimate thing to do is be brave, be proud of your age and don’t worry too much about what others may think.

The Journey

birthdayToday is an interesting day. I’m turning 50 today. Yep, 50. And I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the fact that being a fifty-something can have some negative connotations in our youth worshipping culture. The phrase “over-the-hill” being one that immediately springs to mind. I always find it simultaneously flattering and insulting when someone looks at me and says incredulously, and in a loud voice, “I can’t believe you’re fifty!!” So, yes, thank you for saying I look good for my age but what do you think fifty is supposed to look like? Never mind, I don’t want to know.

Happily, I don’t feel like I’m too much past my prime (well…most days). That’s not to say that I haven’t slowed down a bit. I have. Or that I don’t have wrinkles and a few patches of sparkly, silver hair. I do. And some days I look in the mirror and think “ÒMG, my face has fallen and it can’t get up!” But the feeling passes and I don’t feel that my life is over or that it even has lessened really. It has definitely shifted but I’m finding that I like the changes and my life actually feels richer because of them. I’m not so interested in shopping as a sport or late night parties any more and I’ve gotten into nature in a very big way. Also, when I was younger and living in Toronto, I drank and partied enough for a few lifetimes so don’t feel that I’ve missed out on a thing. No mid-life crisis required.

Deep down I feel pretty content with my age, good with where I am in my life and excited about where I’m heading. When I let myself be influenced by the media though, things can shift rapidly. What I really grapple with these days are the never-ending beauty ads, doing their best to keep women unhappy with how they look at any age and especially unhappy when you reach “a certain age”. You know, the airbrushed, photo-shopped, almost unrecognizable faces of models and celebrities gracing various anti-aging products. All of the shadows, lines, and even pores, whisked away by computer technology. Use this product, the ad implies, and you too can have a face that looks like a perfect, blank, and ever so slightly inhuman mannequin. So we look at the flawless, porcelain faces in the ads, then look in the mirror and think, OH MY GOD!! Better run to the drugstore and buy (insert cream du jour) right now!! Since modern day marketing is so pervasive and slowly, subliminally, saturates our brains, these are the ads that I avoid at all costs.

My friend Louise, a fabulous and lovely fifty-something, and I were discussing the subject of aging gracefully at a cocktail party the other night. Our “what not to do” list included the overly filled lip syndrome, also known as “trout pout” (so loved by a certain “Real Housewives” kinda gal), as well as the frozen face look, courtesy of too much botox and too many fillers. This look, unfortunately, is becoming more and more prevalent these days as even dentists have started administering botox. As we talked, I found myself getting quite heated about the whole “be ashamed of and hide your age” message that our society sends on a regular basis. Louise and I both agreed that we feel so much more content and at home in our skin now than we ever did in our 20’s, 30’s or even 40’s and that is, by far, the biggest gift of getting older.

I think my main issue with trying desperately to wipe out our wrinkles, sags and bags is that by doing so we aren’t honouring ourselves or the journey that got us all to where we are now. If we feel happier and more self assured in our 50’s, why wouldn’t we celebrate everything about that? Why would we try to erase any of the years of our unique journey from our faces? Wouldn’t it make more sense to embrace the way we look now and the beautiful, painful, joyful, funny, tragic life experiences that have made us who we are today?

So, ladies (and gentlemen), here’s the moral of my post: Eat right, work out, laugh a lot, especially with good friends over a glass of wine. Get outside, go on an adventure, use a great moisturizer and maybe even get a little injection of botox for that special occasion but don’t try to erase the journey that has made you the uniquely beautiful person you are now. Love your wrinkles, especially if you acquired them doing something great, ie. laughing or lying on a warm, sandy beach.

Don’t hide your age. Be proud of it. Be an inspiration to everyone following in your footsteps and revel in your glorious, wise(r), fifty-something self. When you think about it, why would you want to do anything else?

HAPA birthday