Paula's Blog

Paula Koppel's background in health promotion, gerontology, and counseling enable her to support individuals seeking to attain optimal health.


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Wednesday
Oct132010

What is Your Favorite Vegetarian Recipe?

Eating less meat and more plant-based foods is one of the recommendations for healthy eating in the autumn edition of The Age Well.  This strategy has received so much support that I consider it a “no brainer.”  But incorporating this strategy into an average American lifestyle can be challenging.  I began making a shift in my own diet about six months ago and found having a handful of easy to make meals to be helpful in my transition.  Below are easy lunch and dinner options as well as an interesting salad.  I hope you will give them a try and also share with the Age Well Be Well community your own favorites.  In this way, we can support each other to eat well and be well!

Mexican Magic

 1 whole-wheat tortilla

½ cup refried beans

1 ounce low fat, shredded cheese

2 tablespoons salsa

Microwave tortilla with ingredients until hot and cheese melts.  Roll up and enjoy.  I like to garnish this dish with sprouts, tomatoes and sliced avocado! 

Eggplant Parmesan

1-2 eggplants

1-2 jars of your favorite pasta sauce

bread crumbs

1-2 eggs or egg beaters

sliced buffalo mozzarella cheese

grated parmesan cheese

basil

1.    Slice eggplant and then coat in eggs or egg beater mixture and bread crumbs.

2.    Bake single-layer coated slices on cookie sheet (covered in parchment paper) 10-15 minutes on each side in oven at 400 degrees.

3.    Layer cooked eggplant slices with cheeses and sauce in baking dish (make sure bottom of dish is covered with sauce).  Add additional 2-3 layers.  Finish off top with sauce, parmesan cheese and basil. 

4.    Cover with foil and cook 20-30 minutes until hot and bubbling.

Warm Mushroom Salad with Endive and Watercress

 4-8 ounces of wild mushrooms (try something besides white)

1-2 heads of endive

1 bunch of watercress

¼ cup toasted hazelnuts, pine nuts or almonds

Dressing: 

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1.    Cut endive in 1-2 inch pieces and toss with watercress

2.    Sauté mushrooms in small amount of olive oil and season with salt and pepper then add to greens

3.    Warm vinegar and sugar until slightly thickened then stir in soy sauce off heat

4.    Toss endive, watercress and mushrooms with dressing mixture

5.    Top with nuts



Monday
Mar082010

Toss A Coin In The Age Well . . . What Will You Be Doing At 70, 80, 90?

What do you want to be able to do or how do want to be when you are age 70, 80, or 90?  This is a question I have been mulling over for several years now and have spent time actually writing down my future ambitions.  It has always helped me to know where I’m going—to have dreams but also tangible goals.  I’m sure that’s why having a Wellness Roadmap is almost second nature to me.  I call these aspirations of where I want to head “waypoints” for my Wellness Roadmap.  They help me stay focused and give me direction.  I know life circumstances may require that they be revised but for now they represent a vision of who I want to be and what I want to be able to do as I age.  These waypoints influenced my 2010 goals which guide the actions plans I'm currently using on a daily basis.     

I am excited about turning 50 this May.  Maybe because it’s halfway to 100 or maybe because it represents a major milestone—my youngest child will be graduating from high school this same month and soon I will become an empty nester!  I envision my fifth decade as a time to establish an expanded identity with more time devoted to my career, special interests and my relationship with my husband.

When developing my waypoints, I try to incorporate any anticipated milestones and events.  This allows me to plan realistically.  For example, in my sixties, I hope to be helping care for both my parents and grandchildren so I plan to build more flexibility into my life during this decade.   

At seventy, I want to be strong and vital.  I expect to still be working professionally but also want to share big adventures with my grandchildren.  I want to travel with them and teach them how to boat, fish and play tennis if they are receptive.  I plan to continue taking college level classes to challenge my mind.

Slowing down a bit in my eighties would be acceptable to me but I still hope to be hiking and biking with my family.  Since my husband is very athletic and disciplined, I know that to keep him in sight I will need to be equally disciplined about my physical fitness.  My routine today at age fifty is to be exercising daily.  But I cross train and try to make smart decisions about my physical training to protect my muscles and bones in hopes that they will be pain free during my eighties.    

Finally, by my ninth decade, I hope to have acquired enough life experience to be considered wise.  I hope to share and preserve my life lessons and historical heritage in an ethical will.  Beyond this, I hope to be able to grow things—planting and maintaining a flower and vegetable garden providing beauty and nourishment to family and friends. 

What is your vision?  I’d love to have you share your thoughts on my blog.  Discovering how others envision these years is so intriguing.  It’s a great way to enrich our own plans and visions.  I can’t wait to hear from some of you!

Be well,

Paula

Monday
Jan182010

What's in a name?

Just as each person's name holds significance and meaning, so too can the name or logo of a company.  The name Age Well Be Well provides insight into our vision.  

Age Well was the initial inspiration and worked for me on several levels.  I loved the idea that it projected such a positive intention--something we all hope to attain.  I loved how Age Well embodied this concept without focusing on aging, per se.  While in reality we are all aging from the time of our birth until our death, this isn't something we like to admit.  Aging isn't something that begins at 40, 50 or 60.  It's not something that starts at menopause or when our hair begins to gray or we find we have lost our desire to run a marathon.  And although our culture explicitly tells us differently, aging isn't something to fear or avoid but in fact, offers many benefits and rewards.  

I also loved the idea that "well" can be used as a noun.  In the past, wells have served as a gathering place in communities allowing individuals to share mutual advice and help while they collected water for the day.   This image corresponds beautifully to the central mission of Age Well Be Well as I envision the company providing guidance, information and support within a community of like-minded individuals.   

Age Well grew into Age Well Be Well overnight as I was reflecting on the importance of being fully present and alive.  For several years now, I have been challenging myself to grow personally by focusing on my own mindfulness.  This has involved gaining an appreciation for who I am at my core versus simply what I do.  This change has brought more joy into my life and helped me to manage the stress that previously dominated my mind.  Adding Be Well to the company's name is a reflection of my passion for living in the moment and my belief in the power of mindfulness to improve health and wellbeing.  

Ultimately, my most compelling reason for using the word "well," relates to my belief in our inherent health.  As organisms, humans are designed to be well.  Any injury or insult to our bodies immediately sets off a host of processes to repair and rejuvenate us.  Our responsibility is simply to maintain this state of health with adequate rest, nourishment,  mental stimulation, exercise, and companionship.  Understanding these basic needs and incorporating them into our lifestyle allows our bodies to be in a state that is quite natural--to be well. 

I hope that the name Age Well Be Well resonates with you as it does for me and that you will join me on this journey toward wellness.

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