This article is part of the CelebrEighty series by Judy Katz… Let’s talk about breakfast. There are countless healthy choices—fruit, yogurt, steel-cut oatmeal, eggs, and all kinds of protein smoothies. However, put together the two words: “almond” and “croissant” and all these other options go right out the window. Don’t even get me started on “chocolate” and “croissant.” If we’re talking about other meals, topping my favorites list would be a Beef Wellington meat pie with a fully-loaded ice-cream sundae. Not healthy foods for sure. Yet I can fantasize because, even at 82, I would prefer to know that I’m “bathing suit ready” all year. Not just for appearance sake, but for health considerations, mobility and hopefully adventures for years to come.
During the Pandemic—I’m sure many of you can relate—I sat on my couch watching everything streaming video had to offer. I’m ashamed to say I put on 20 pounds thanks (no thanks) to Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Peacock, Apple TV Plus—and more. When the Pandemic ended, and I couldn’t fit into my favorite clothing, I decided an extreme makeover was in order. Read more
This article is part of the CelebrEighty series by Judy Katz…For many years—37 to be exact—I have been the proud owner of a three-bedroom, three-bath, terraced co-op apartment in the heart of the Upper West Side. This valuable real estate defined me. More accurately, I allowed it to. And now that I have sold it and am just waiting for the contract and their board package to (hopefully) go through, I will have to view myself differently. Once I move, my “backdrop,” if you will, will change dramatically. I will live in a much smaller space, one I rent, not own. The parties I once hosted and the clients I once wined, dined, and worked with at my ten-foot-long dining and conference table will all be a memory. Like everyone else in my new building, I will have to do my laundry in a basement. The convenience of an in-house washer–dryer is another lost perk to which I will have to reconcile myself. Read more
This article is part of the CelebrEighty series by Judy Katz…A well-meaning friend, knowing that I would like to live well into my 90s and hopefully perhaps even beyond, suggested I read Living in the Blue Zone by Dan Buettner.
I haven’t gotten my copy yet, but living longer is something I think about a lot. Perhaps you do too. I have now read summaries and comments on this book and its author. Buettner travelled the world, interviewing nonagenarians and centenarians on their life-extending habits and lifestyles. Here’s one write-up:
Bestselling author Dan Buettner reveals how to transform your health using smart nutrition, lifestyle, and fitness habits gleaned from longevity research on the diets, eating habits, and lifestyle practices of the communities he’s identified as “Blue Zones”-those places with the world’s longest-lived, and thus healthiest, people, including locations such as Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula; Ikaria, Greece; and Loma Linda, California.
Before I read this book—or you order your copy—here’s a question: What is the value of those extra years, or even an extra decade, if you can’t wake up in the middle of the night, hearing the box of Blue Bunny miniature dark-chocolate covered ice cream cones in your freezer call out your name—and you go to answer that call? Have you even eaten at a fine restaurant and forsaken the salad or fish dish for a juicy hamburger on a brioche with all the toppings, cheese, caramelized onions, mushrooms, an onion ring, etc., while of course saying yes to the accompanying French fries? If you went for the salad or fish, who are you? Read more
A Balancing Act I Would Not Change for the World
Tally the weights of all three of my roommates—they add up to the 20 pandemic pounds I am eager to lose. I am not willing to lose my roommates, even though all three following me into any room I enter, even the shower, can sometimes be disconcerting. Sometimes , a moment before, they were snuggled up with me on the couch, and because I got up, they had to move around again. Mainly though, it’s endearing to be so loved.
Bindy came to me four years ago from The Sato Project, which rescues dogs from Puerto Rico. A month ago, tiny Lia came to me—interestingly, also from Puerto Rico, but from Love of All Dogs Rescue. Both dogs are bilingual. Just kidding: they understand body language, hugs and kisses, good food, and yummy treats.
This story is part of the CelebrEighty Series written by Judy Katz…It was 1958. I was 18, taking the subway from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn to Port Authority, Times Square. A Trailways bus was leaving in twenty minutes for a three-day ride to Los Angeles, California—and I planned to be on it. I’d left no note for my parents. I took off with one change of clothes in a cardboard suitcase and the $500 I had earned as a summer camp counselor.
I was running away from the life my parents had mapped. Live at home while attending Brooklyn College. Marry a doctor, lawyer, or career-track businessman—someone who could take good care of me. Become a mother and school teacher. Big perk: you can have your summers off.
While there is absolutely nothing wrong with these things, the life stretched out before me seemed like a punishment. There had to be so much more. I didn’t know what other kinds of life I could discover and live, but I knew there was “something.” I had to find it.
Writing this now at age 81, I want to shake that thoughtless, albeit desperate teenager and urge her to find a far better way to carve out a dream life without inflicting such fear, confusion, and pain on her mother and father. I disappeared and did not let them know I was all right for three days—days of desperation on their part when they thought I’d been kidnapped or killed. Read more