Liquid Holiday.

( kind of like liquid lunch) 

Drinking is a part of most of our Holidays. Whether it is Egg nog, wine, beer, soda or cocktails. It is fine to enjoy yourself around this time of year and splurge a little, but lets take a look at how many calories a few drinks can add to your Holiday meal. 

Alcohol. 

It’s a Holiday Tradition throughout most of the world. “A wassailing we will go” as the song goes. Wassail is a beer and hard alcohol combination from the 1850s. 

Mom, Uncle Pete and the kids are driving me nuts… I need a glass of wine… who doesn’t feel like that at some point this  time of year. 

A few alcoholic drinks can add hundreds of calories to your Holiday celebrating. 

Wine, my personal favorite. 

Wine is good, or is it bad? Wine can: 1. help you digest food, 2. lower your cholesterol, 3. is associated with cancer, and/or 4. relaxes you. Which is true? Well, they are all! 

An average glass of wine is about 100 calories. Red wine has a few more calories than white. Red wine does have some antioxidants but who really knows if the actual health benefits are worth the added calories. If you have a glass of wine before dinner, with your meal and a cocktail after dinner, this can add up to 500 calories; about the same amount of calories in a small meal, or a snack. 

The Hard stuff: 

A shot of hard liquor is about 100 calories. Vodka has the least calories. If you go to a Fitness Business Party everyone is drinking Vodka. One of those fancy drinks such a  Daiquiri or Margarita can pack up to 500 calories. If you want to enjoy one of those just have one. If you want to drink more, have the liquor that is in the fancy cocktail with seltzer and lemon for the rest of the night. And don’t mix hard liqueurs…ouch, I can feel your hang over from here if you mix Vodka and Whiskey. It is best to drink alcohol slowly and with your meal. 

The Nog

EggNog! I love egg nog. It’s sweet, milky, spicy… what is not to love about this childhood favorite. But kids, it is 500 calories an average serving. The serving size says 1/2 cup on my carton in my fridge. Who is drinking half a cup? The average person is probably drinking a cup and a half of this. Add some rum and you’ve got a 600 calorie drink. I am putting a few table spoons of egg nog in my coffee so I can enjoy it but not get the fat and caloric intake of a serving of ice cream all at once. You can take the half cup at 150 calories and add Seltzer to the rest. You can get that sentimental flavor without busting a gut. 

Soda… boo! 

 I swore off soda, sweetened teas and fruit juices years ago. All they do for you is add unneeded calories to your diet and dump a bunch of sugar directly into your blood stream. But if I do want to splurge on a special occasion, I mix 1/4 of an 8oz glass with soda and pour seltzer in the rest of the glass. It tastes like soda with 1/4 of the sugar. And no that ‘ Mexican Coke”  and ‘ Natural Soda’ with cane sugar is only so slightly better for you than the soda with corn syrup. 

CBD Cocktails: Point /Counter point. 

What is the point of adding a powerful anti- inflammatory ( CBD)  to something that will make you blow up like a balloon ( alcohol) ? I am not sure, maybe to be trendy. CBD is wonderful stuff. I use it myself. I am not sure why I would want to drink and use it at the same time. I mean, it does not taste very good. With CBD being one of the hottest health trends in recent years , you might be offered one of these at a hip and trendy gathering. At least you will have tried CBD. CDB has a cumulative effect, kind of like pharmaceutical antidepressants. You have to take it for 2 weeks to get the effects, so drinking one CBD cocktail won’t do much for your health. CBD cocktails – try it and maybe you won’t need so much wine to soothe your social anxiety at Holiday time. 

Coffee

Coffee is poison, caffeine is bad. Coffee is: 1. a mild natural antidepressant or 2. contains antioxidants. Which one is true? Well again, both are true. Coffee has next to no calories if you drink it black, 4 calories for an average serving to be exact. 

The nice flavor in coffee and the caffeine may help you digest a huge Holiday meal. Again watch the cream and sugar those can add up to 300 calories to your drink.  Those fancy coffee house Holiday drinks are full of sugar and fat. So much so you might as well drink a milk shake. They also contain added hidden fat and flavor-enhancing chemicals. Why do you think they taste so good? These type of coffee drinks would count as a once-a-month treat if you must. Don’t go for the limited-time-only advertising. You can have a milkshake any time!

For the 50 plus crowd: 

Did you know that as you age your body produces less of the enzyme that digests alcohol? You may notice that you get more of an effect from alcohol than you used to, and feel more hung over and dehydrated than when you were in your 20s.  If you are on any type of medication, the effects of alcohol is even more pronounced. This means your pancreas will have to work extra hard to digest alcohol, making you hungry the next day after drinking. This hungry feeling can lead to over eating. 

Enjoy some Holiday Libations especially during these difficult times. Just be aware of the additional caloric intake they can add to your celebrations.

My latest review.

I have been helping a friend recover from COVID and it’s repercussions. This person started with a half hour session once per week about 2 weeks after getting out of the hospital. I increased the sessions to two half hour sessions per week after 3 months. This has not been an easy journey for both of us. It has though, been an effective one.

This has been my best Physical Therapy experience, ever! I recommend Sharissa Reichert in full confidence as an excellent Physical Therapist. After over a month in the hospital and in bed at home with Covid, I lacked strength, stamina, and I was on full oxygen twenty-four hours a day due to lung damage. Sharissa insightfully assessed my condition and put together an effective treatment plan, before commencing sessions via Zoom. Sharissa was alert, sensitive, and anticipatory to any possible pain or struggle I experienced and always kept me safe. The results: I felt my body getting stronger each week, and it was obvious I was able to do things each session that were impossible the prior week. Sharissa is patient, caring, efficient, knowledgeable, and creative in her approach.I have tremendous respect for her kindness and her professionalism. 

Marc R

Going back to the gym

Should You Go Back to The Gym? 

Exercise is one of the best things you can do to protect your health. Today we need to be more careful than ever about protecting our health, not just for ourselves but for others as well. 

I chose to quarantine for 2 weeks on March 22nd. My last trip to the gym was March 15th; I wore rubber gloves and brought my own towels to cover the machines during my workouts on each one. I have not been back to the gym since then, and it’s hard — of all the things I miss about my pre-pandemic life the going gym is number 2 (second only to seeing my family). 

Here’s why I haven’t returned: We don’t know much about Covid, but what we do know is that the virus is spread through water droplets and aerosols spread by other humans. Sweat is a water droplet and gyms have lots of it! Lots of people breathing in closed spaces is also a way to spread the virus, so just imagine what taking an exercise class at any New York gym is like! Until we know more about Covid, I will work out at home. 

Try working out at home 

For about $75 or less you can get a nice home gym set up. To get you started I will share 2 of my favorite pieces of exercise equipment, with you. 

Exercise Pods Fun, versatile, and inexpensive, these pods have thousands of uses. Children especially love these colorful pods (and they are safe for kids to play with). You can do balance exercises, as well as strength and core training with them. They’re about $20 for a set of 2, but I recommend you get 4 to 6 pods. 

Areomat exercise pods, my favorite.

Exercise Loops 

On my hands is a rubber exercise loop, and around my legs is a fabric exercise loop. Both are wonderful tools for home exercise. Hundreds of exercise that can be done with them. And for $5 to $12 dollars each, they are a super-cost-effective piece of equipment. Exercise loops are for strength training. They can help maintain bone density and muscle tone too! Working out at home is fun and convenient. You do not even need a lot of space to work out in. Try a few home exercises today. It is never too late to start. 

About Sharissa Reichert 

Are you still choosing to stay home? Are you concerned about loosing your fitness level because you can not go outside? Are you afraid to go back to the gym with today’s atmosphere? 

Maybe you want to try exercising at home for the first time. 

Get expert on advice the how, what, where, and why of exercise from Sharissa Reichert, a Personal Trainer and intuitive healer with 19 years experience in the field of home based fitness. She also has a specialty in Senior Population exercise . Sharissa is also a ground breaker in the field of Virtual Exercise Classes and Virtual Personal Training with 8 years of experience in teaching exercise over the computer. 

Prices for Virtual Personal Training. 

1 hour $65.00 

45 Minutes $50.00 

30 minutes $35.00 

Email Sharissa Reichert at bene11fitspt@gmail.com or call at 646 248 3386. 

Check out her latest interview on the Bulk Hackers website. 

https://www.bulkhackers.com/sharissa-reichert/

Senior Care Moments: Help from friends during a crisis.

Why Seniors Must Be Proactive Before Crisis Hits: Don’t Count on Well-Meaning Friends

Socializing is so important for our well being as we go through the aging process.

There are many situations where people of a certain age are supporting one another during times of need. We hear nice tales of the group of friends that wants to live together and support each other though the final phase of their lives.

But when you are in crisis, is relying on friends that are going to come and help really the best idea? 

As you go through the aging process, chances are more likely than not, that you will end up having a health issue. When a crisis comes up, things are often a hot mess when it comes to senior care. Upset offspring, denial, siblings disagreeing, the person in crisis also being in denial, confusing information, stressed-out spouses, inefficient bureaucrats, evil opportunists are all too commonplace during times of crisis when it comes to the lives of seniors. But, does it have to be that way?

In my experience, the answer is no: With some simple and realistic planning you can get through this time of your life and enjoy it to the fullest.

I am not saying that your friend will not help you, but more often than not your friend may not be able to help for many reasons.

Here are two situations I witnessed firsthand, which support this:

The scene was terrible. My Stepmom was in bed wearing gerry-rigged children’s pull up diaper. Her ex-husband (my father) and son were in a panic. They had been hand feeding her and trying to get out of bed for 3 weeks. I had been warning my family about her mental decline for years, but again my family was in denial, who wants to think of a family member having dementia? “She always forgets things, she has always repeated herself.” My family told me when I expressed my concern and diagnosis, but now there was no denying it. When the visiting nurse came to assess My Stepmom, they recommended 24-hour care for her. My Stepmom said she was fine, she wanted someone to come on occasion, and was going to have her friends help. Her friends were helping, but the situation was now too out of hand. Friends are not going to change your diaper or clean your bathroom accident up off the floor or give you injections. Her friends meant well, but one of them had to have a shoulder replacement surgery and then got cancer. Her other friend’s sister had a heart attack. Another friend had to attend to her own family crisis.

Even with an arsenal of helpful friends you may not get the help you need during a crisis.

One of the saddest but most practical things I ever had to do was preplan my Stepmother’s Funeral. It was an awful hour and a half of my life. My father had just passed away. The Funeral Home called and suggested we plan my Stepmom’s funeral. I thought it was a good idea and my brother agreed. When we were planning the funeral at the funeral home with the same director that assisted the family with my Father’s passing, all of these unexpected issues came up. We are an interfaith family. I always assumed my Stepmom would want a Jewish funeral. She had become closer to her faith towards the end even though she was a staunch Atheist her whole life. Her will expressly asked for cremation. I was surprised by this but her brother had also chosen that option. When my brother and I left the funeral home after the pre-planning, we both felt as if a brick was lifted off our heads. These things were so uncomfortable and sad to think of. When my Stepmom did pass away we got to mourn in peace, and just feel and deal with her loss. There were no papers to file, no decisions to make. We got to say our goodbyes in a perfect way. 

Next came my Mom’s crisis. She had some weird infection and had to have a picc line put in her arm. I live 300 miles away from my Mom. I could not get to her in time to take care of her. Again she said her neighbor was going to help, and come twice a day. Her neighbor with good intentions came to help once, and that was it.

Friends may causally agree to help in a crisis but upon seeing the situation may find your crisis too overwhelming or sad. Remember your friend likes you. It is emotionally difficult to watch your friends suffer. This also can remind your peers about their own mortality and vulnerabilities. People in your peer group are going through their own aging process. I see that when people get past 70 they start to think about how much time they have left in this world. They want to enjoy what time there is, and can get very focused on what they want to do. And who can blame them? After a lifetime of work and responsibilities we all deserve to enjoy life.

What you can do to help yourself and your loved ones is to be prepared. This is not going to be fun, but plan ahead and have a support system in place for times of crisis. You are not admitting defeat, you are being smart. You may not want to think about the inevitable, but for your families sake you must.

If you have no family making plans is all the more important. I often see 80 and 90 year olds without family get help from kind 60-year-old neighbors in times of need. This is wonderful, but having a solid plan in place will be the best thing for you and your caretakers.

Even for my own situation I was not on point for end-of-life or crisis planning. I was going to fill out my will before my hip replacement surgery, and well, I couldn’t figure out how to edit the Google Doc, then I dawdled, then it never got done. I did have a rough time with that operation, I regretted not taking care of business to protect my son and family.

As soon as the Pandemic hit, I emailed my Son my medication list, and where to find all of my passwords including the password to my cash card. I am considered vulnerable to this new virus, due to the fact that I am 53 years old and had major surgery within the past 6 months. My neighborhood was also hit very hard and many people have died of C-19 . It must have scared my son but we both knew I was trying to make life easier on him if something did happen to me.

What you can do to help your caretakers.

1) Fill out a directive. This is a form in writing about what 

you want for medical care in case you can not make plans yourself. Doctors will keep you alive in any kind of shape, don’t let strangers make your exit plan or health care plan, take control. Fill out your directive and give it to your caretaker.

2) Write a medication list. Give your children or a caregiver your list of all the medications you take.

3) Have a designated care friend or crisis buddy. Pick a friend that can help you ahead of time. Make an agreement, talk about it.

4) Do your research. Find out if there are agencies that can help you in times of crisis

5) Copy your keys. Make sure a trusted friend or neighbor or relative has a copy of your keys.

6) Inform others. Let your caretakers know where all of your important papers and passwords are.

7) Prepare a will, even if you do not have a large estate.

Nobody wants to think of things like this. A few hours of being emotionally uncomfortable and filling out some papers can save you and your loved ones months and perhaps years of work.

* and yes years, my father passed 3 years ago and I am still doing paperwork for him. 

My Fitness Journey Part 2

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Here is a picture of me getting some socially distanced air during my quarantine.

My fitness journey. How and why I decided to heal others.

I started my career at Crunch Fitness Gym in Park Slope, Brooklyn. 3 years later, I was hired as the assistant manager and Personal Trainer at Fitness Together, a personal training studio. When that studio changed ownership, I started my own traveling fitness instruction business, called Bene-Fits P.T.
I have been self-employed for 11 years. I decided not to open up my own studio because many of my clients
have issues with mobility. It makes my clients lives so much easier when I can come to them.

In May of 2017, I noticed that my hip hurt and my gait was off. I thought it was just an over use injury,
common in my field. When I saw my first X-rays of my injured hip, I was dismayed. I had bone-on-bone arthritis, most likely due to scoliosis that I have had my whole life. On October 25th, 2019, I underwent hip replacement surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery. My surgeon, Dr. McLawhorn, is a total genius. He gave me a new hip and straightened out my scoliosis by making one of my legs a little longer during my operation.