Defeating ageism with grace

Defeating ageism with graceThe recent movie, “The Second Best Marigold Hotel,” stars a cast of my favourite older British actors playing the roles of seniors living in India. To me, like the first movie about the Marigold Hotel, this one is not so much about age as it is about life. Whether it is the cranky but wise Muriel (played by Maggie Smith), hilariously dressing down an American waiter on the proper way to serve tea, or Sonny, the young hotel manager (Dev Patel), whose insecurity about his upcoming nuptials threatens to derail the wedding, it’s life in all its tender, poignant and funny moments that is examined, against a backdrop of the color and vibrancy of India.

It’s a shame, though, that the movie is marketed to the silver tsunami crowd, complete with some subtle jokes on ageing. It could so easily have been a great opportunity to more vigorously confront the problem of ageism in our society, as well as celebrate the innate energy, capabilities and wisdom of people of all ages.Continue Reading

Can you knit love?

Fiber artist Rachel Matthews understands the importance of knitting love into everything she creates
Fibre artist Rachel Matthews understands the importance of knitting love into everything she creates

Do you think that knitting is one of those obscure, old-fashioned activities that only old women do in their church basements or Senior Centres? Think again. With many new yarns that are environmentally responsible, and exciting patterns, colours and textures, people of all ages and both genders are falling in love with and learning to knit. Fibre art is in.

And it seems there are health benefits also. A recent worldwide study of 3,500 knitters provided some surprising results.Continue Reading

Vitamins or Spirit – what really nourishes us?

Do we really need a cupboard full of vitamins and supplements to be healthy?
Do we really need a cupboard full of vitamins and supplements to be healthy?

Take a look at any pharmacy or grocery store and there is a section loaded with colourful bottles of vitamins, minerals and food additives. And it is a growing industry.

To be sure of that perfect nutritional intake, many people take vitamins every day. Why? Because we have been educated to believe that it is a good idea.Continue Reading

Cleansing teas and purges – the search for purity

Despite scientific evidence to the contrary, many believe detox and cleansing diets are effective in caring for their health. Is the search for purity tied to how we see ourselves?
Despite scientific evidence to the contrary, many believe detox and cleansing diets are effective in caring for their health. Is the search for purity tied to how we see ourselves?

“Cleansing” and “fasting” are popular health words these days. Teas, juices and various additives are increasingly being touted as a way to purify our bodies of toxins and impurities.

And, even though results of new studies are impelling researchers to debunk these methods, for many of us, the search for purity is commanding a good deal of our money, time and attention. Looking for guidance, we are fed promises of a happier, better self by uber-slim Hollywood movie stars who promote their own brands of purification products, along with a food industry that capitalizes on this trend by frequently using the word ‘pure’ in its advertising.

Taking it a step further, some travel abroad to special retreats and clinics for cleanses that offer mysterious and exotic sounding promises – and drugs – for a total purge and better health. It’s expensive; and, it can be dangerous.Continue Reading