Category Archives: Facts

Classic Tuna Salad Sandwich

Who doesn’t love a good tuna sandwich? I love them and here is a recipe that inspired me to mix things up a bit.

Craig Claiborne’s version of the classic lunchbox staple. Celery, red onion, and red bell pepper add crunch; capers and lemon juice lend a little tang.

Ingredients

2 (6-ounce) cans solid white, water, packed tuna

½ cup mayonnaise, preferably homemade or use organic

½ cup finely diced celery

3 tablespoons finely diced red onion

3 tablespoons finely minced red bell pepper

2 tablespoons drained capers

2 teaspoons lemon juice

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Sliced sandwich bread of choice

Preparation

In a medium bowl, combine the tuna, mayonnaise, celery, onion, bell pepper, capers and lemon juice. Mix with a fork until thoroughly combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve on the sandwich bread of your choice.

Bon appetit!

The Art of Being

This March I’ll be celebrating my 64th birthday.

I’m comfortable with aging. I’m healthy, fit, and confident, no major complaints although it ‘d be good if someone handed me a big check!

There are a few things about aging that I find annoying. Fine lines and wrinkles, and a jawline less defined, the remnants of aches from years of skiing, biking, hiking and climbing mountains with the occasional crash landing.

pexels-photo-24746The outdoors has always been my gym, but these days I live more thoughtful of my body, reminding myself I have probably taken my lifetime quota of falls. I now run and do yoga/mat pilates, sometimes ride my bicycle, other than the seemingly unconscious behind steering wheels, they seem pretty harmless activities.

And then there is the reprising of memories mostly in my head of the wonderful, the sad and the unmentionable.

Nonetheless, I have so far lived a very blessed and full life that I’m extremely grateful. There is also something profoundly liberating about aging: an attitude hard earned. What once seemed important, I now hear my soul say to all things and people not worth mentioning; I’m too old for this, and I happily go about my day. There was a time when exasperations would knock me off my perch.

As I approach mid-60, I feel 30.

As a teenager and young woman, there was not a body part or feature that spared judgment. I still want thicker hair and thinner ankles, but one thing I’ve learned with age about beauty is that no one cares.
Somethings stay the same. In the depths of heartbreak, nothing feels right. I think I feel the loss more so now than ever before.

Family and friends, we love each other even more as we watch each other age.

Appreciation. I do appreciate my ankles and hair.
What torture we girls inflict upon ourselves.

In the past two years and three months I have moved twice. From NY to FL and from apt 104 to 208 in the same building. It was easier to move from NY to FL then it was to move one floor up.

Before moving to NY, my mother passed away, and I spent months cleaning out our family home of 60 years. My father never threw anything out because it was “still good.” My mother, on the other hand, put things away because “someday you may need it.” The challenge was finding it when it was necessary.

There was a book case in the den filled with photo albums and boxes of photos buried away in closets. I spent days sitting on the floor looking at photos that told the stories of time past.

There I was as an infant, first grade, graduations, my travels. After all those years spent in despair about my looks, I was now looking for someone who didn’t look so bad! Perhaps when I’m 80 and look at pictures of myself at 60 I will notice the same older, but a still beautiful woman.precision-nutrition-barefoot-running

The smiles, radiant youth, eyes that twinkle all reminded me of my nieces, so young and glowing, but doing the same thing, all girls do -angst over a spot on their skin or their hair.

I’m happy to have the body I have, it’s healthy and fit and gets me where I want to go. I no longer have a need for five and a half inch stilettos. Three inches is fine. Flats are better.

With age comes wisdom. I accept I can only control what goes on inside me; I can’t monitor the world around me. Faith and trust sustain my soul and hope.

My health was saved when I discovered the keys to healthy living and the importance of maintaining healthy hormones balances without HRT in any form.

Today, I continue my pursuit of maintaining my health and hormones and feminine self with herbs, food, exercise and mindfulness.

My quest continues to transform the hormone health of women with safe, natural means one at a time –beginning with you! If every woman just kept her eyes on the ball and followed through each swing, together we would all be healthier, happier and more resilient.

When I was getting divorced my mother gave me a card with the poem The Art of Adventure by Wilfred Peterson. I still have it. It’s about creating the life you envision and never allowing your dreams to die.
The philology applies to life, health, career and family ties.

nature-sunset-person-womanSomeone said by the time you are middle age; you have started over, and over again. It doesn’t matter if it is new health goals or career changes or relationships ups and downs. Resilience is the key to doing that.

One of the finer parts of aging are the relationships that ebb and flow through the years. Women bond with other women in unexpected ways. I’m so fortunate to have known a select few; we have been each other’s friend, buddy, pal and cohort in crime when needed. My two best girlfriend lost their lives to breast cancer, too soon, too young.

I’m not too old for desire or to love again; I never know who will enter into my life or when. It’s much easier to navigate anticipation and disappointment when you’ve had some experience.

I’ll take a pass on unconsciousness, self-absorption, rudeness and bad manners. I rather cozy up with a good book. I just can’t see the sense in squandering valuable time.

That’s my old soul speaking her mind.
I believe with each year comes opportunity. My new mantra is hopefully a goodbye to all that may be holding me back.
To health and beauty,
Sabina

Beautiful Women by Erma Bombeck

Age 3: She looks at herself and sees a Queen.

Age 8: She looks at herself and sees Cinderella.

Age 15: She looks at herself and sees an Ugly Sister (Mum I can’t go to school looking like this!)

Age 20: She looks at herself and sees “too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly”- but decides she’s going out anyway.

Age 30: She looks at herself and sees “too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly” – but decides she doesn’t have time to fix it, so she’s going out anyway.

Age 40: She looks at herself and sees “clean” and goes out anyway.

Age 50: She looks at herself and sees “I am” and goes wherever she wants to go.

Age 60: She looks at herself and reminds herself of all the people who can’t even see themselves in the mirror anymore. Goes out and conquers the world.

Age 70: She looks at herself & sees wisdom, laughter and ability, goes out and enjoys life.

Age 80: Doesn’t bother to look.  Just puts on a purple hat and goes out to have fun with the world.

Healthy Corned Beef and Cabbage with Potatoes

I love this meal! Hardy, warm, gluten free and the best left-overs! I’m having family and friend over to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and dig into some Corned Beef and Cabbage with Potatoes. I’d would also like to serve some good old fashion Irish Soda Bread but still haven’t found a good source for a gluten free version, and when I do I’ll let you know!
The recipe and introductory text below are from Irish Traditional Cooking by Darina Allen.

corned beefAlthough this dish is eaten less frequently nowadays in Ireland, for Irish expatriates it conjures up powerful nostalgic images of a rural Irish past. Originally it was a traditional Easter Sunday dinner. The beef, killed before the winter, would have been salted and could now be eaten after the long Lenten fast, with fresh green cabbage and floury potatoes. Our local butcher corns beef in the slow, old-fashioned way which, alas, is nowadays more the exception than the norm.

INGREDIENTS (serves 4-6)
4 lb corned brisket of beef
3 large carrots, cut into large chunks
6 to 8 small onions
1 teaspoon dry English mustard
large sprig fresh thyme and some parsley stalks, tied together
1 cabbage
salt and freshly ground pepper

PREPARATION

Put the brisket into a saucepan with the carrots, onions, mustard and the herbs. Cover with cold water, and bring gently to a boil. Simmer, covered, for 2 hours. Discard the outer leaves of the cabbage, cut into quarters and add to the pot. Cook for a further 1 to 2 hours or until the meat and vegetables are soft and tender.

Serve the corned beef in slices, surrounded by the vegetables and cooking liquid. Serve with lots of floury potatoes and freshly made mustard.

Bon appetite!

Sabina

Take Twenty-Four: The Importance of Work-Life Balance 

When I lived on the west coast of Florida, I became friendly with my neighbor Father Johnathan, a retired priest. He loved going out to dinner and telling me stories of when he was an active pastor living in a monastery, and I equally enjoyed listening, he was witty and intelligent. These dinners always came with advice that emanated from his deep faith. I may not have always agreed with his position, but I always took note. It is funny how we remember the individual conversation or words when we need then the most.trees-countryside-green-chill

One Sunday over dinner we got on the topic of my demanding work schedule and the pressure I put on myself to succeed.  He made a good point by asking “have you ever stopped to ask yourself why?  You know the Sabbath is a day of rest, and a commandment and its right up there with thou shalt not kill.”

Of course, I know this because I went to Catholic School for 12 years! However, there was a deeper meaning to what he was saying.

That was 15 years ago and writing this post is one of those times I recall his advice.

Today most people live even busier lives with cell phones, tablets, laptops, texts, email, instant messaging, Facetime and blurred boundaries between work and home ─ it is no surprise we feel fried and exhausted.

pexels-photoThe solution is not better time management or being a better juggler; I think it is re-learning something we already know ─ take a one day break out of the seven day week. Sitting in traffic, checking in, getting a jump start on tomorrow, searching the internet, managing job, and household has become the new Sabbath tradition.

Father Johnathan was right, the Sabbath serves as a day to recalibrate the soul, brain and body and unwind, be grateful, and a day to spend with loved ones, even if that means just spending the day with yourself, a superb self-care day. In other words ─ take a complete break for 24 hours out of the 168 hour week.

My friend reminded me of the Christian story of Creation God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh to reflect on the week’s accomplishments and be thankful. For practicing Jews and Christians, the Sabbath is the holiest day of the year even though it happens 52 times a year.

What if everyone in the world adopted the notion there is nothing else to do on the Sabbath except relax, celebrate, and love?

There probably would be more converts, and we would live on a more peaceful planet.

 

Gluten Free Asparagus, Edamame, and Parsley Salad

Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

Living gluten-free is easy; finding good recipes is the challenging part! Here is one of my favorites, so easy and works either as a healthy snack or side dish.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons avocado or olive oil divided
  • 2 tablespoons mirin (sweet rice wine)
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus spears, woody ends trimmed off
  • 6 cups of lettuce, washed and torn
  • 1 cup frozen, shelled edamame, thawed
  • 1 cup parsley, coarsely chopped

Directions:

aa114191763fec5b4c66a03584ec337fFor dressing, combine 1 tablespoon of oil with the mirin, rice vinegar,  salt, and garlic in a small bowl. Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add asparagus and cook for 3-4 minutes, turning occasionally, until lightly browned and crisp-tender.

Transfer asparagus to a large bowl. Add lettuce, edamame, and parsley. Drizzle with dressing to taste and toss gently.

Sex: Mind and Body

The other day I received a call from a young woman I met not too long ago, and we became friendly. We were chatting, and catching up on the small stuff when she asked apprehensively: “Sometimes my orgasms are very powerful and sometimes they’re just okay. Why does that happen?”

Relax, enjoy the moment and dwell on the beauty of life.
Relax, enjoy the moment and dwell on the beauty of life.

I wanted to hug her! I applaud women brave enough to ask embarrassing questions. It obviously was something that troubled her and her boyfriend. It doesn’t matter if you’re 20 or 90; we all have something about sex or our bodies that we don’t quite get. What she’s experiencing is an absolute realistic experience for any women at any age ─ and a reasonable question to ask.

Orgasms are not like Kentucky Fried Chicken where you are guaranteed the same product every time.

Some orgasms may feel nothing more than a pleasant flutter while others are of the peel off the ceiling variety.

Medical explanations of sexuality suffer from a severe case of terminology overload. The basic overview is our physiology and psychological status at the moment can either perk up or muffle an orgasm or mute it out completely.

The basic overview is our physiology and psychological status at the moment can either perk up or muffle an orgasm.
The basic overview is our physiology and psychological status at the moment can either perk up or muffle an orgasm.

Mental attitude, mood, thoughts, feelings, beliefs, the ebb and flow of hormones, where you are in your monthly cycle (if you still have one) foreplay, how many organisms have you already had, the depth of penetration, position, what you ate beforehand, alcohol, medications, vaginal dryness, painful intercourse or simply being too tired ─ these and more all play a role in outcome.

Relax, enjoy the moment and dwell on the beauty of life. If everything was always perfect we would literally astound ourselves!

Are “Natural” Hormones Safe?

Is there really such a thing as a harmless hormone?
Is there really such a thing as a harmless hormone?

Is there really such a thing as a harmless hormone?  “Even hormones made by your body can hurt you,” says Adriane Fugh-Berman, MD, who teaches in the complementary and alternative medicine program at Georgetown University. “There’s lots of data that indicates women with higher natural levels of estrogen are at a higher risk for breast cancer.”

Bioidentical hormones have not been studied in clinical trials in the U.S., which frees promoters to claim that, among other things; Estriol is not only safe but may prevent cancer because it is weaker

Medical journalist and writer Susan Ince.
Medical journalist and writer Susan Ince.

than the other estrogens. But any estrogen needs to be taken with caution. For years, oral estriol was prescribed in Europe without the standard progesterone accompaniment to protect against endometrial cancer.

Then a study in Sweden revealed that taking one or two milligrams a day of estriol alone doubled the risk of endometrial cancer. In another study in Sweden of 5,000 women, published in February 2006, stronger estrogens increased the risk of ductal and lobular breast cancer. That’s really no surprise, but here’s what was — even low-dose oral estriol (about one milligram a day) doubled the risk of lobular breast cancer in women who took it for fewer than five years.

“We need more studies, but at this point, we cannot rule out an increased risk for breast cancer even with the less potent estriol,” says lead researcher Lena Rosenberg, MD, of the Karolinska Institute, in Stockholm, Sweden.

Excerpts were taken from Are “Natural” Hormones Safer? in More Magazine by Susan Ince.

Myth vs Fact : Hormone Therapy for Women

Hormones, hormones, and more hormones. Let’s get real about the subject. There is many myths out there when it comes to treatment, so on today’s post I will do my best to dispel some of the most common misconceptions.

Myth: Bioidentical hormone therapy is natural and therefore superior to CHT. (Conventional Hormone Therapy)

Bioidentical hormone therapy are derived from plant products but are far from natural.
Bioidentical hormone therapy are derived from plant products but are far from natural.

Fact: Hormones used in bioidentical hormone therapy may be derived from plant products such as yams, but they need to be commercially processed to become bioidentical and hence not “natural.” Many FDA-approved estrogen products including pills, patches, gels, sprays, and creams are, in fact, bioidentical products that may be derived from equine or other sources. The term “bioidentical” is not synonymous with “natural.” “Bioidentical” refers to the structure of the product, whereas “natural” refers to its source and processing. Bioidentical is a marketing term and not a medical term.

Myth: Compounded bioidentical hormones are better than CHT.

Fact: Compounding is simply a process of mixing different hormonal preparations. Compounded therapies may consist of FDA-approved as well as non-FDA-approved products. Compounded products cannot be individually FDA regulated because of the variation in types and proportion of hormones in each product.

"Hormone therapy should be individualized by symptom relief and side-effect profile and not laboratory test results."
“Hormone therapy should be individualized by symptom relief and side-effect profile and not laboratory test results.”

Myth: Custom compounding individualized to the patient using salivary hormone assessment is superior to CHT because it mimics the patient’s own natural hormone levels.

Fact: Individualizing hormonal therapy by monitoring hormone levels has not been shown to be efficacious. Salivary levels do not necessarily reflect tissue levels and can depend on time of day, meal times, and dietary intake. Women with similar salivary or serum levels of hormones may metabolize the hormones differently. Hormone therapy should be individualized by symptom relief and side-effect profile and not laboratory test results.

Estrogen products will not go away and they perhaps shouldn’t. But one can only wish as I do that they will be used sparingly and with a great deal of caution based on straightforward evidence and not one-sided journalism.

Let us hope.

Information obtained from Conventional Hormone Therapy or Bioidentical Medscape: Clarifying Myths about Bioidentical Hormones. Désirée A. Lie, MD, December 15, 2015