Hint: Not an animal!

We interview Cynthia Vyszenski today about OWLS – Older Wiser Lifelong Scholars. She tells us about the (almost all) virtual classes they are hosting starting October 4th. To sign up, visit Here or call 614.579.2557 if you should have any questions about OWLS or the programs.

Watch our interview for answers to many of your questions.

We have the podcast edition here and the Facebook live edition below 🙂

Here’s the Facebook/Youtube version with video:

Is a romantic river cruise on your bucket list? Here’s one coming up that you’ll love! Cruise the Danube River through countries in Europe, enjoying the amenities that the ship offers, as well as the scenery from each country! Make this cruise your own – stay on the ship, go sightseeing, etc etc etc!

Here’s an interview we did with Cheryl Leitschuh from ‘Let Travel Adventures Begin’ as she tells us about this trip! Let Cheryl know you are a HIP Senior and get an extra $200 ship credit on top of the already great discount of $650 that Cheryl is offering! Please give it a watch here for more information:

Contact Cheryl at:

Cheryl Leitschuh – CCC

Travel Advisor

An Independent Agent of Cruise Planners, An American Express Travel Representative

t: 763-219-2070

e. cheryl.leitschuh@cruiseplanners.com

w. www.lettraveladventuresbegin.com

Here is the video with more information about the cruise and the iternary!

The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis. There are over 30 million adults in the United States that is affected by this condition. When the cartilage in the joints breaks down over time osteoarthritis develops. This condition can affect any joint in the body, but adults often notice it in their knees, hands, hips, and spine. At this point in time, there is no cure for osteoarthritis. However, it has been found that making changes in the diet brings about a nutrition and osteoarthritis connection.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, it is impossible for specific foods or nutritional supplements to cure osteoarthritis. The basic key to relieving the symptoms of osteoarthritis is reducing inflammation and preventing damage. There are certain diets that can improve the symptoms. There are some foods that have anti-inflammatory capabilities which help reduce symptoms while other foods amplify the symptoms.

A balanced nutritious diet will give the body tools it needs to prevent further damage to the joints which is essential for people with osteoarthritis. An anti-inflammatory diet can improve the symptoms. These foods also have antioxidants which are vitamin A, C, and E. They help to prevent further damage to the joints.

Adults with osteoarthritis are more likely to have high blood cholesterol and reducing cholesterol may improve the symptoms of the disease. On the right diet, cholesterol levels can quickly improve. Also keeping a healthy weight can be difficult for some people who have this medical condition.

A healthy meal plan that contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties can be the hallmark of treatment for this condition.

The following foods need to be included in the diet in order to get the benefits of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. There are eight foods that have proven to relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

  1. Oily Fish Oily fish contains healthful omega 3 fatty acids. These polyunsaturated fats have the anti-inflammatory properties. Other fish that contain omega 3 fatty acids are salmon, sardines, and mackerel. If fish is not tolerated, supplements that contain omega 3 fatty acids would be sufficient.
  2. Oils Besides oily fish there are some oils that can reduce inflammation. The extra virgin olive oil contains oleocanthal, which may have similar properties to nonsteroidal ant-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). Other helpful options are avocados and safflower oils that may also relieve symptoms of osteoarthritis and lower cholesterol levels.
  3. Dairy Milk, yogurt, and cheese are rich in calcium and Vitamin D. These nutrients increase bone strength that will improve painful symptoms. Proteins are also in dairy products that help to build muscle. The low fat options of dairy products can help to manage weight and cholesterol.
  4. Dark Leafy Greens Dark leafy greens are rich in Vitamin D and stress fighting phytochemicals and antioxidants. Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption and can also boost the immune system helping the body to fight off infections. Dark leafy greens include: spinach, kale, chard, and collard greens.
  5. Broccoli Broccoli contains a compound sulforaphane which researchers believe could slow down the progression of osteoarthritis.
  6. Green Tea Green tea contains high levels of polyphenols. Polyphenols are antioxidants that can reduce inflammation and slow the rate of cartilage damage.
  7. Garlic Besides giving a very pungent and spicy flavor to food, garlic has a compound called dially disulfide which works against the enzymes in the body that damage cartilage.
  8. Nuts Nuts and seeds are high in alpha-linolenic acid which is known for its inflammatory affects. Nuts are good for the heart and contain high levels of calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin E, and fiber. Walnuts have the highest omega fatty acid compounds followed by peanuts, almonds, Pistachios, flaxseed and chia seeds.

The Mediterranean Diet which has received the #1 rating and best diet by the US and World New Report can reduce the inflammation that contributes to the symptoms of osteoarthritis. As well as helping to reduce the pain associated with osteoarthritis, the Mediterranean diet offers other health benefits such as weight loss, heart disease, stroke, muscle weakness, and premature death. This diet contains all the foods listed above which contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidants properties to relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

There are many simple changes that can be made to the anti-inflammatory diet to make it more like the Mediterranean. These changes include:

  1. Eating high-fiber, starch foods, such as sweet potatoes, beans, lentils, and whole grain bread and pasta.
  2. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  3. Including fish in the diet.
  4. Eating less red meat,
  5. Choosing products made from vegetable and plant oils such as olive oil and safflower oil
  6. Selecting wholemeal options over those containing refined flour.

Besides consuming foods that are beneficial to relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis there are foods to be avoided and why:

  1. Sugar Processed sugar prompt the release o cytokines which act as inflammatory messengers in the body. The sugars that are added to sweeten beverages including soda, sweet tea, flavored coffees, and some juice drinks. These drinks are most likely to worsen inflammatory conditions.
  2. Saturated Fat Foods high in saturated fat such as pizza and red meat can cause inflammation in the fat issue. These saturated fats can contribute to the risk of developing obesity, heart disease and other chronic conditions, this can make arthritis inflammation worse.
  3. Refined Carbohydrates Refined carbohydrates such as white bread, white rice, and potato chips fuel the production of advanced glycation end (AGE) oxidants. These can stimulate inflammation in the body

Arthritis Food Myths There have been claims or myths that certain types of food can make osteoarthritis worse but there is no scientific evidence to support these myths.

  1. Citrus Foods Citrus foods cause inflammation due to its acidity. Scientific evidence has proven this is not the case. In fact citrus fruits have anti-inflammatory benefits as well as being rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants. Grapefruit juice can interact with some medications that doctors prescribe to treat arthritis and high cholesterol levels. Prior to undergoing treatment for these conditions it is best to check with a doctor before incorporating grapefruit juice to the diet.
  2. Avoiding Dairy Products helps with Osteoarthritis There have been claims made that avoiding dairy can help with osteoarthritis . Although milk, cheese, and other dairy products can be problematic due to intolerance of these products. However these foods can have anti-inflammatory effect in some adults. Adults who have inflammatory symptoms relating to gout may find that skimmed and low fat milk can be protective against this condition. An elimination diet can help people to determine whether or not their symptoms improve or worsen with dairy intake.
  3. Nightshade vegetables cause inflammation Tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, and peppers all contain the chemical solanine which has been blamed for arthritis pain. However, the Arthritis Foundations has proven there is no scientific evidence to this myth. Adding these nutritious vegetables to the diet can have many benefits for chronic healthy conditions.

Eating a balanced diet rich in plants, fiber, and anti-inflammatory fats, such as those that the Mediterranean diet includes can help living with osteoarthritis to maintain a healthy weight

Mary Anne Chadbourne

Registered Dietitian, Foodie, baker, cookbook lover, traveler, and skincare consultant

With more than 30 years of work as a Registered Dietitian teaching the general population and veterans about how food and nutrition are related to your health. The old adage ” You are what you eat is very true. Good nutrition can be implemented in everyday life by learning all you can about basic nutrition and how it works in the body. Also being aware of the foods you are eating by learning to read food labels. Counseling sessions with an experienced dietitian will help to create healthy meals that also “taste good”. The recipes provided in these articles are tested prior to publishing them.

Also, good nutrition applies to skincare. With an adequate regimen according to skin condition and healthy eating habits, your skin will be clear and glowing.

It began as a normal workday. My phone rang shortly before 9 a.m. It was Debbie. She’d been watching the Today Show and there had been a horrible accident. A plane had crashed into one of the Twin Towers, she explained. As we spoke, a second plane hit. We knew then it was no accident and the world had changed forever. I slowly arose from my cubicle, hand still clutched to the receiver of my now silent desk phone. From other cubicles, my co-workers heads began to pop up one by one, phones in hand, eyes wide. I couldn’t help but think we were a part of a big whack-a-mole game and the mallet that crushed us was the news that our country had just been attacked.

My boss Len rolled the TV from his office into the lunchroom just in time for all to witness the collapse of the first building. Shortly thereafter we were sent home for the day to be with our families. Hugging our loved ones, we watched the reports in horror until we simply couldn’t watch…or cry…anymore.

We had planned a trip to NYC for the first weekend in October that year with two other couples. The girls didn’t want to go. The guys said, “If we don’t go, they win.” So we packed our bags. In my luggage, I carried an American flag from my company. Every employee had signed it and I was charged with taking it to Ground Zero. NCE sold decorative flags and until 9/11, the flags depicting flowers, holidays or sports teams were far greater sellers than Old Glory. Not now. Patriotism was at its highest since 1941.

I’d been to New York many times, but this was not like other times. Everyone welcomed us with open arms. “Thank you for coming”, said the cab driver, the bellhop, the receptionist, the waiter, the bartender, the homeless man. “Thank you.”

We took the subway to Ground Zero. Coming out of the station near Wall Street was like landing on the moon. Everything covered in six inches of thick gray dust. Storefronts and office buildings dark. What struck me the most was the silence. New York is never silent. We zip tied the flag to a fence already heavy with mementos and said a silent prayer. In continued silence we headed back to Grand Central Station. The walls there were plastered with pictures. Have you seen my husband? Have you seen my daughter? Spent, we returned to our hotel and slept through dinner.

The next morning we rode the Staten Island Ferry and saw smoke still rising from the rubble. As we passed where the towers once stood, the PA system blared the National Anthem, while everyone reached for handkerchiefs and Kleenex.

We’ve not been back to New York since. A trip to the memorial is long overdue.

We visited Shanksville a few years ago as a side trip on the way to Nemacolin and Falling Waters. The morning was damp and gray. A light mist covered the hallowed ground as we toured the site. The weather suited the mood as we approached the rock indicating the area of impact of Flight 93. Again, silence. So many voices had been silenced on 9/11/2001. In the park’s museum, however, you could listen to some of those very voices. When you lifted the phone receiver below a photograph, you heard that person’s final voicemail. The man telling his wife how much he loved her. The woman calling her sister to let her know where to find all of her important papers. The daughter saying goodbye to her parents. Their voices were so calm in the face of death.

It was an ugly cry. The kind where tears came quickly and snot poured from your nose. The design flaw of the museum is the complimentary Kleenex were on the opposite side of the room from the phones. As I type this, I’m crying again and like before, the Kleenex are in the other room. Someday, I’ll remember to keep a handkerchief handy on the 11th day of September. I’ll always remember, however, to NEVER FORGET!

You’ve retired and you are looking forward to traveling. But there’s a COVID-19 pandemic and traveling has been prohibited for the past year and a half. It’s finally starting back up again and you want to go places, but you want to be safe about it.

Where do you stay where you can feel safer, not being in the midst of large crowds or in beds where strangers slept the night before?

Over on our parent site @ OnlineTechLessons.com, we talked about a trip I took a few years back where I planned everything on my computer, including free living accommodations. We were in the United Kingdom for four months. How did I do it? Read the entire story HERE.

Maine is known for plenty of seafood since it is on the coast. While on vacation in Maine, we had lunch at a seafood restaurant. One of the items on the menu was the Salmon Salad. We thought it would be healthy and very tasty. One of the downfalls of going on vacation is the unwanted weight gain since there are so many items available and most people don’t take into account the calories or portion sizes of the meals served in restaurants. Therefore we always choose one of the meals a day to be healthy with fewer calories. The salad item was perfect. It had healthy ingredients and also tasted very good. I asked the waitress how the dressing was made. Restaurants are not too keen on giving their recipes away to the customers. She just named a couple of the items which I wrote down. When I went home I played around with the ingredients that the waitress gave me at the restaurant. I was able to come up with a Salmon salad with the dressing that was very close to the salad I had on vacation. I have made it many times for company and the recipe is always requested.


1 Salmon fillet (6 ounces)

2 Tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette, divided

3 cups fresh baby spinach

1/4 cup cubed avocado

1 Tablespoon chopped walnuts, toasted

1 Tablespoon sunflower kernels, toasted

1 Tablespoon dried cranberries


  1. Place oven or toaster oven on broiler setting.

2. With 1 Tablespoon of Balsamic vinaigrette, drizzle the salmon. Place on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil 3-4 inches from the heat for 10-15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Cut the salmon into 2 pieces.

3. While salmon is cooking, in a large bowl, toss spinach with remaining vinaigrette. Divide between 2 dinner plates. Top with salmon, avocado, walnuts, sunflower kernels, and cranberries.

One day visiting at a friend’s home, where she prepared lunch. A broccoli salad was served. It was so colorful very appealing to any hearty appetite. I requested her recipe. This salad has been made on several occasions and the recipe is always requested.

This recipe is a perfect example of eating anti-inflammatory foods to relieve osteoarthritis pain. It also has many other ingredients that contain these properties. Besides being very healthy and colorful it is a good side dish for a healthy main course.


1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of olive oil

1 tablespoon water

1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon honey

1 garlic clove minced

1/4 teaspoon salt

Dash cayenne pepper

2 cups fresh broccoli florets

2 tablespoons chopped sweet pepper


  1. Combine the first 8 ingredients and place in a jar with a tight fitting lid; shake well.
  2. In a small bowl combine broccoli and red pepper.
  3. Add the dressing and toss to coat the vegetables.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours. Serve with a slotted spoon.

In this 12-part series, we’ll be highlighting the life of a beloved family member: Uncle Al. He was a WW2 Vet, a Ford Motors man, and an amazing storyteller. This is a story about stories, and how those stories had a profound impact on all of us in the golden days of our dearest Uncle Al.

Memory is a fickle thing. When we sat down with Uncle Al to hear his WW2 stories, he would tell them in vivid detail. And if you were lucky enough to hear him tell a story twice, you’d notice that he would tell it word-for-word; exactly as he had done before. If you had heard one of his stories once, then you really had heard it a thousand times. But if we asked him anything that deviated from those stories, he’d have a hard time answering it. We didn’t know it at the time, but Al was in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s. It was now a race against time to preserve the precious memories that Uncle Al held deep in his heart. And this got me thinking: What if we had started this project earlier?

Most people associate natural memory loss with aging. Those associations aren’t misplaced, but I try to bring awareness to the fact that memory loss is constantly taking place from the time we’re born. This becomes most important when it comes to oral storytelling. The sooner a memory can be put into tangible form (audio, video, written word, etc), the more precise, detailed, and authentic it can be. Imagine the stories we’d have if we could have interviewed Uncle Al when he was 21 (or 41, or 61) instead of 95. 

Maybe you or your loved one have stories you’d want to keep in the family and pass down. No matter how old or young you are, your memories will never be clearer than they are right now. We are so grateful to have had a wonderful storyteller like Uncle Al in the family. He made it easy to record his thoughts and feelings, even at such an advanced age. But not everyone will age the same way. Consider how storytelling—and story preservation—can have a positive impact on your family right now. Imagine the joy future generations will have by reliving those memories in the vivid detail of a present moment, because you had the forethought to capture the experience while it was fresh.

Stay tuned for Part 4, where we’ll talk about Memory Artifacts and preserving physical objects in your family

Or, if you’d like to read this series from the beginning, click here for Part 1.

Did you ever cancel a trip because of a bad knee or other mobility impairment? Have you avoided cruises and family events that require travel for fear you’ll need oxygen mid-trip? Relax. Today’s world is more accessible than ever, and for anyone with special requirements for traveling, there’s a world of information and help to wait for you.

It’s disappointing to be left behind or to have to leave a loved one behind because of a physical limitation or special travel need. Not having everyone around diminishes the fun for those who do make the trip, especially if the trip is a family event. Out-of-town weddings, family celebrations, reunions, and multi-generational trips are simply more fun and more memorable for everyone when every member of the family or group can participate.

Here are a few tips to ensure that when the next travel opportunity arises, you are ready to go.

Outline your travel needs

Take time to evaluate the logistics of the trip in relation to your ability to keep pace. What modes of transportation will you be using? Airplane, motorcoach, train, ship, transit vans for ground transfers? Make a list, referring to relevant brochures, your trip organizer, or travel agent to make sure you don’t miss anything.

Now, make a list of your specific requirements. Be honest, what types of special needs equipment do you depend on at home? What do you use or need (or wish you had!) when shopping, sightseeing locally, dining out or going to the movies, attending concerts, the theatre, street fairs, or sporting events at home?

Can you hear and see clearly without special auditory equipment or visual aides? How far can you walk without a rest break? Are stairs difficult? Can you get in and out of the tub or shower at home without handgrips or other assistance?

Travel, whether solo or in a group, is full of challenges. This is no time for being a martyr or trying to “tough it out.” If a wheelchair, scooter, or portable oxygen will make your trip easier, place that item on your list. Many people who do not use wheelchairs or walkers at home feel more comfortable using these mobility aides for tours and excursions. In fact, most of our wheelchair and scooter rentals are for individuals who only use such aides when traveling.

Plan Ahead

If you already own a scooter or portable oxygen, it’s important to know the policy and procedures for bringing that equipment onboard all the transport vehicles included in your itinerary, from planes to taxis to ferry boats. Does that transport have a way to stow your scooter or wheelchair? Is oxygen allowed on board? Some airlines prohibit certain types of batteries, such as wet cell batteries, or oxygen cylinders. Airlines operate under strict rules, so there may be packing procedures to follow if they do allow the equipment. Keep in mind, most airlines need at least 48 hours notice to make special arrangements and be prepared to fill out forms.

Overall cruise ships are more lenient in allowing oxygen, but some disallow certain types of oxygen. All require that the oxygen be delivered to the ship and that you have enough for the entire voyage. Oxygen may never be brought aboard in your luggage. Requirements vary, so check your cruise line for proper instructions. Again, documentation and paperwork are required.

Whether you are headed for a cruise ship, hotel, or all-inclusive resort, double-check for wheelchair access at that venue plus any venues you will be visiting on the trip. Confirm that accessible hotel rooms, resort accommodations, or ship staterooms are available for your travel dates. The earlier you book, the better your chances of securing fully accessible accommodations. And early booking increases your chances of securing a ground-floor hotel room or cruise stateroom near the elevator if these issues are important.

Check on the access to public rooms, restaurants, bars, toilets, the swimming pool, hot tub, beach area, and other amenities. Are there TDD phone devices? How will you get in and out of the shower or bathtub? Are there flashing lights to accommodate hearing? Braille room numbers? Knowing in advance the scope of your needs gives you time to arrange advance rentals of any necessary equipment, scheduled to arrive when you do. Everything from scooters, lifts, ramps, TDD kits, and special mattresses, including special needs cribs, is available for rental.

Will road travel or car excursions be part of the trip? Many car rental companies, such as Avis Access, have vehicles that are modified for drivers or passengers with mobility limitations. Check ahead to make sure a suitable vehicle will be available for your travel dates. If you will be hiring a car or van, make sure the company is aware of your special needs.

When traveling with a limitation or disability, full travel insurance for medical coverage abroad and trip cancellation insurance are even more important and strongly advised.

Ask the Right Questions

When making the final bookings, be sure you ask the right questions, even if the accommodations or cruise stateroom are categorized as “accessible”.

For example, are doorways wide enough for the largest wheelchairs? Do the doors open outwards or into the room?

Are all the public areas of the hotel, resort, or ship accessible? Do you need to make special arrangements in the dining room to accommodate the wheelchair or scooter?

Will the bathroom facilities truly fit your need? Is the bathroom large enough for the wheelchair or scooter? Is there a roll-in shower? Grab-bars?

Are there facilities for companion/assistance animals?

Are there shopping and entertainment facilities close by if you are staying at a hotel or resort?

Onshore excursions or tours, does the van have a lift and method for transporting wheelchairs and scooters?

Simply stated, don’t take anything for granted. It’s easy to arrange for almost every situation, and the world is wonderfully accessible, once you know what’s needed, what’s available, and how to find the necessary equipment.

As a Certified Special Needs Travel Advisor, I look forward to helping you with all of your accessible travel needs!

There have been some old sayings about eating breakfast;”eat breakfast like a king, eat lunch like a prince, and eat dinner like a pauper”. This age-old advice is based on scientific evidence research that recommends consuming the bulk of daily calories during the morning/noon hours before daily activities are performed. Unfortunately, the trend of eating meals in America is the total opposite of the above advice. Therefore breakfast is a misunderstood meal. The largest meal in American homes is the dinner meal when the least amount of activity is done. Breakfast literally means breaking the fast or starting the day with nutrition and fuel, Breakfast can look different for everyone depending on routines, daily activities, and personal tastes. The following Factors provide evidence-based facts about breakfast:

Breakfast: What is it: Breakfast is the first meal of the day and the first opportunity to provide nutrition to our body, which has been fasted overnight. Breakfast kick starts the metabolism, helping to burn calories throughout the day. It is the energy needed to get things done and helps to focus at work or school. When awakened from an overnight sleep the blood sugar and hormone levels are low. Eating breakfast within two hours of awakening helps to stabilize the blood sugar and hormone levels. This is very important for diabetics, who usually have very erratic blood sugar levels.

The Nutrients of Breakfast Related to Weight Loss: Eating the appropriate foods for breakfast can help with weight loss. A healthy breakfast requires protein foods, healthy fats, adequate carbohydrates, and fiber. These foods also provide vitamins and fiber to help control the number of calories eaten. Good sources of nutrients include:

The Top Traps of Breakfast and Weight Loss: Skipping breakfast causes overconsumption of calories throughout the day and limits weight loss efforts. Participants who skipped breakfast were so famished that they were not able to select the appropriate food for weight loss. A recent study found that women who ate breakfast were able to stick to their meal plans and lost more weight than those who skipped breakfast and “cheated” on their diets. The basic reason breakfast is skipped is because of tardiness to work. When breakfast is not eaten, a craving and bingeing cycle occurs. Usually, high-calorie and high-sugar items are selected for breakfast items. The advantage of a healthy breakfast is that it can stabilize blood sugar and hormone levels to prevent potential bingeing and overeating during the day. Eating a healthy breakfast gives the power to pass up those donuts in the break room.

Making Breakfast Happen: In order to have a healthy breakfast, it is ideal to have healthy breakfast foods and ingredients available for preparations. The following are some tips to be prepared for breakfast:

The importance of consuming breakfast within two hours of awakening for an overnight fast has been discussed, there are two recipes included with this article.