over 50

All posts tagged over 50

From Vegetarian To Paleo To Vegan — And It Feels Like HOME!

Published October 1, 2021 by Maryanne
Eat your veggies! (Photo by Jeff Danze)

I just got off the phone with a new vegan friend. We shared our stories of how we became vegan. I went first and told her mine was long-winded. It was refreshing to share my on-again/off-again journey with someone so sweet and unjudgmental.

As a child, I did not like meat. I’d hide it in my napkin or feed it to the dog. When I was 22, I decided to no longer eat meat. This was in the 1980s and back then if you were a vegetarian, you were looked at as if you had two heads. People thought it was weird that I wasn’t eating pizza. And if I was stressed and had some vegan candy, I’d hear rude comments, “What do you do when you really go off the deep end? Eat meat?”

But I put up with it. For 28 years. (And the comments were worse when I was a raw foodist for a few years, but that’s another story). During these 28 years of being vegetarian, I dabbled in veganism on and off.

Then I hit my 50th birthday and menopause was upon me. I began having dizzy spells and getting kind of sluggish. Three male nutritionists said I’d be better off with some meat. Against my better judgement, I said a prayer to the animals and began to consume grass-fed beef. But I continued to stay away from pork, lamb, and veal. For some time I followed the paleo diet and I did feel better.

Last year during the pandemic, something happened. I changed. For the better. I wasn’t sad or stressed about anything. My husband and I continued to thrive in our careers during the pandemic. However, I did feel a sense of loss because one of my best friends died, not of Covid, but a heart attack. The best thing I could do for dealing with it was look inward.

I used to meditate in the 1980s. I somehow came across the work of Dr. Joe Dispenza and started doing his meditations, and other ones–twice a day. What came out of it was not only being incredibly at peace, but having greater compassion for both people and animals. My husband and I had just took in a feral kitten that was abandoned. My bond grew so strong with the kitten and it led me to study feline behavior.

When I got my certificate, I was looking for a shelter to volunteer at. None of them got back to me. Perhaps because we’re still in a pandemic? I don’t know.

I started following more animal groups on Facebook, to continue learning about cats and other animals.

Pigs were always my favorite farm animal. Protecting them was my biggest concern during my original run with vegetarianism. I never paid much attention to cows. Then watching what loving creatures cows are, on Dodo videos and videos on vegan pages, it inspired me give up meat again.

Then a few months later, while on one of our vacations, my husband and I were in a sea aquarium. A stingray kept going over to him. It seemed they made a connection. Then I saw a beautiful octopus. He winked at me! I can’t eat octopus anymore, I thought to myself. I just can’t.

I’ve been to aquariums before, but this time, due to all the meditation I was doing, I was moved like never before. These are living beings and we are one with them. With that in my head, I decided to stop eating fish. Might as well give up rennetless cheese too. And a vegan was born. Cold turkey. It wasn’t a hard decision to make. All the time I was on the paleo diet, I never stopped buying cruelty free/vegan make-up products. I never stopped going to cruelty free/vegan hair salons. And I never drank alcohol that wasn’t vegan. Absolute Vodka and White Claw were always my go-to drinks.

My husband asked me if I was sure eating vegan was what I wanted to do. He pointed out that I was feeling great, that the dizzy spells stopped, and I was sleeping good. That was all true, so I decided to hire a vegan health coach to make sure I was doing it right this time. I now knew too much, and experienced too much to go back. For months I was following vegan pages on Facebook, educating myself. I saw vegans of all ages thriving on the diet. I knew if I tried one more time I would thrive too. And I wouldn’t go back.

With the health coach, I learned which supplements you needed, and was inspired to experiment with different colored vegetables. I also learned of a service called Imperfect Foods, where you can get cheaper organic produce because it may be bruised or look weird (like a carrot with two legs!)

Now, three months later, I am feeling fantastic and I even lost a few pounds–at age 58! My husband has been eating more vegan meals, and so are my friends when they are around me. I recently signed up as a volunteer for vegan group to help animals.

I’m so happy and at peace with myself. Each day has so much meaning. It’s another day to save animals.

Sometimes I beat myself up and wish I never listened to the nutritionists who told me that I’d benefit from eating some meat. I was a meat eater for almost six years. But I did learn from the experience. The most important lesson is that everyone is on their own journey. People eat meat for their own reasons. Who are we to judge? The best I can do as a vegan, is to humble myself and lead by example. I will never tell a meat eater he or she is a “murderer.” It’s not right. It’s not my business.

But I will go to restaurants and suggest vegan options. I will continue to support vegan companies. I will continue to talk about the fun vegan food I get to eat on weekends (because during the week, I’m a more serious vegan, natural as possible).

It feels good to enjoy oatmeal again, after shunning it for years. And making scrambled tofu brought me back to a beautiful place. It was one of my first favorite vegetarian dishes back in the 1980s.

My husband and I drove past a farm a few weeks ago. He said to the cows, “She’s saving your lives.”

It was a beautiful thing to hear. Yes, I am saving lives. And it feels like home.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, editing, and writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements (via ZOOM during covid). She is now coaching aspiring writers via ZOOM.

Maryanne is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: Love Cats

A Toast to Say Good-bye to 56!

Published August 18, 2020 by Maryanne
DSCF5147
Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta
A toast to say good-bye to a great age, 56! ❤
Today is my last day of age 56; tomorrow I will be 57. I’ve always been a person who looked forward to aging, not against it.
I’m always a person who lives by love and trust, not hope and fear.
My 56th year was a beautiful one. The summer of 2019 was a great one. And I had some kick-ass memories, like promoting at trade shows during autumn, performing my poetry live (something I haven’t done since the 1990s — and thanks to Toastmasters, I memorized all my words). The Covid pandemic hit USA in March of 2020, but that didn’t break my spirit. Loved ones stayed safe, and my business Pear Tree was thriving — and continues to thrive. Dennis and I loved the lock-down, and for the very first time we’ve created together and made a music video, my singing debut, which we’ve shared with many friends. AND during this time, the second edition of my fiction book “Love Cats” came out! I also gave some incredible ZOOM classes which were very well-received.
The saddest thing that happened this year, or any year for that matter, was losing one of my best friends, Vinnie Bordogna. It was one of my biggest losses ever. And I’ve yet to move on, and doubt I ever will.
For my 57th birthday, I asked the Universe for two special wishes–one of them came true already! (Stay tuned, you will know in September). Good-bye to age 56, it was one of my favorite years! (So thanks to everyone who said, last year, “Best Birthday Ever.” — you blessed me for an entire year!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. In addition to Love Cats, she is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: Love Cats

Visit Maryanne’s You Tube Channel here: Be YOUnique

My Response to “Appalled Graphic Designer”

Published June 24, 2020 by Maryanne

Girls Life

Recently, an “appalled graphic designer” changed the cover of Girls’ Life to her liking. Apparently, the original cover wasn’t empowering to young women. You can read the article here: https://womenyoushouldknow.net/appalled-graphic-designer-shows-girls-life-magazine-what-their-cover-should-look-like/

My response is something not many women want to hear, but it’s a reality that isn’t talked about much.

I came from a broken home. My mother worked two jobs to support two girls. I went to a prep high school and did excellent freshman year, but because we lacked the funds, I had to transfer to a public school, which I hated.

Bottom line, I graduated by the skin of my teeth and went straight to work, without college. Nevertheless I got opportunities and became what I wanted to be — a writer!

The first magazine I worked at, I KNOW I was hired because of my looks (back then, I am now in my 50s and just mediocre). And I am fine with that because back then I had nothing else to go on. Prior to that I was a waitress, drinking on the way to work, because I lost my dear grandmother who helped raise me and I felt devastated. I felt hopeless day in and day out. Not every woman is born an Einstein; and not every woman has opportunities. Some of us work very hard at it and if being cute and stylish gives some of us an edge, why not? At the time it might be all we know.

Don’t hate beautiful women, you don’t know their story!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. In addition to Love Cats, she is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: Love Cats

Turning My Back on Age 55

Published August 18, 2019 by Maryanne

IMG_8479Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

Today is my last day of age 55.

It’s been an incredible year. My fourth book was published and I wrote a fifth (which will be published later this year). I’ve helped two other people write their books, while I tried to help even more who have given up on the process. Yet I never give up.

It’s been another year of growth, spiritually and creatively. I joined Toastmasters to become a better speaker. I not only won a spot to present a workshop, “Be Your Own Hero,” but I’ve won “Best Speaker,” “Best Evaluator,” and “Best Table Topics.” I’ve continued to present speaking engagements in libraries.

I also started an anti-bullying You Tube channel. And blogging, lots of it for major companies and small businesses.

I’ve loved hard; and I’ve lost hard. Last summer my husband and I took in a beautiful feral cat, Bennie, who chose us to live with during the final months of his short three years. We gave him a happy last few months, then he was put down due to brain cancer. We’ve also lost some friends who died way too young. As well as some high profiles like Shakti Gawain, who has been inspiring me since I found her book in the late 1980s, “Creative Visualization.”

As always, it’s been a year of much fun. Friends, concerts, trips, and lots of laughter. And yet, another cat we adopted back in April–Sammy, with the full name, Samuel Keane Clemens.

I end the year in good health, for which I never take for granted. Young people still tell me, “You look so young” when I share my real age, for which I am always proud of. Many do not make it to 55, so I am so grateful for each day on this planet, and thank the energy we call God or the Universe.

It’s a great life and I’ve manifested it; being in harmony with the universe. Being myself. Being YOUnique. God bless everyone who is a part of my own little world.

Bring on year number 56! I am ready!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing, and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

UjENA Swimwear, Now and Then

Published August 7, 2016 by Maryanne

SAM_0869Age 52

Several months ago I won a $100 gift certificate from UjENA: https://m.ujena.com/

I don’t know how this company slipped off my radar over the years, because their swimsuits are truly the best! I should know, I’ve been buying them since I was in my early 20s. And now, just 11 days short of 53-years-old, I’m still a fan!

The suit is comfortable, classy, and age-appropriate. Today at the beach my husband couldn’t keep his eyes off me. He kept saying, “That’s a great suit!”

You too can be the belle of the beach with UjENA! You deserve it! ❤

And now for a little retro action, here I am in 1986, age 22, wearing my UjENA suimsuit!

SAM_5900Age 22

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “Love Cats” available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback editions: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Cats-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta/dp/1681020513

Almost Spring in New Jersey

Published March 12, 2016 by Maryanne

SAM_9724Happy “Almost” Spring!

This winter was an unusually mild one for New Jersey, with only one snowstorm.

Now I’m a gal who loves all the seasons, so I love living in New Jersey, but I must say I favor the clothes you get to wear in the spring, summer, and autumn. It’s just so liberating to not be wearing hats, scarves, and boots, though they are cute for a season.

So, spring is almost here, and so comes all the simple pleasures that spring brings: more work because people get motivated, more luncheons with the girls because people want to get out and enjoy life, car shows, bike rides, using the bird feeder again, looking for four leaf clovers, opening the windows, and so on.

Is it spring yet in your area? What do you favor about the spring?

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “Love Cats” — available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback versions: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1681020513

Get White Teeth Naturally, at Any Age

Published February 23, 2016 by Maryanne

SAM_9630Age 52

A few days ago I updated my Facebook profile page with this photograph I took over the weekend. A couple friends complimented my white teeth, so I thought I’d share my secret.

Earlier this year I started a practice called “oil pulling.” You take a tablespoon of coconut oil and swish it around your mouth for 20 minutes. That seemed a bit “much” for me, so I changed the rules a bit. I use less than a teaspoon of coconut oil and swish for 10 to 15 minutes instead of the full 20.

The benefits of doing this is to get rid of bacteria in your mouth, whiten teeth, prevent gum disease, and even prevent heart disease! Just Google “oil pulling” and see for yourself.

Note, I always brush my teeth afterwards. Some people say that you don’t have to, but I do.

Now, to up the anti, I started putting a drop of Thieves Young Living Oil into the coconut oil. This is what gives my smile that “just polished” look. Even after a meal my teeth still look and feel fresh.

This is a much better option than getting your teeth chemically whitened. It’s healthier and cheaper!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the former editor of NJ Health & Fitness and “Here’s to Your Health” columnist which appeared in The Patch. She now gives lectures about health at various libraries and assisted living facilities. She’s also a Young Living Oil distributor and will come to your home for a free demo.

Contact: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

Running with the Winners

Published June 3, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_5993My Ed Hardy sneakers, not for running!

For several days I’ve been meaning to write a blog about exercise. What better day than National Running Day?! Here’s an article I wrote several years ago on the benefits of running: http://patch.com/new-jersey/verona/running-with-the-winners

Maybe some can be inspired by the article, though I must share I’m not a runner myself. I stopped doing high impact exercising in 2010 after interviewing Oleda Baker who said that jogging, running and jumping could hurt the joints. Read the full article here: https://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/2013/08/11/oleda-baker-article-i-wrote-for-the-patch-in-2010/

Whether you’re all for running or prefer other types of exercise, the thing is make sure you are exercising with passion and not disgust. If you’re working out and hating it the whole time, you won’t lose any weight. Why? Because stress turns to sugar.

It’s better to exercise when you’re happy about it. Not when you’re in the mind frame of “Oh, I gotta do this.” A clever suggestion is to break up a work-out into two mini work-outs instead of having one long one where you’re watching the clock. I’ve noticed that when I do this and also take breaks where I don’t exercise for a day or two (and do something else like meditating instead) that’s when my metabolism kicks in and I can eat a lot more and stay at my goal weight (and sometimes surprisingly be under my goal weight!)

Over the past weekend I ate a lot of stuff I normally don’t — chips, hummus, and a seafood dish with creamy lobster sauce and long grain rice. Yet the scale was my best friend — every day I was at my goal weight. I mentioned that to my husband and he reminded me, “Because you’re not stressed.”

As a side note, I eat about 80 percent paleo.

SAM_7122Fit over 50!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is an award-winning journalist, author and public speaker. She is available for the presentation “Paleo for Beginners” which includes a healthy dish.

And for seniors, “Here’s to Your Health and the Benefits of Walking.”

For more information, pricing and availability, contact Maryanne at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com