A Special Day for an Aging Dad

“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me. ” ~ Jim Valvano

There are many people who grow up without a father in their lives. It is truly a blessing to grow up with a dad who has been there all your life, a blessing that plenty of us have taken for granted.

As people grow up and start families of their own, it can be difficult to spend as much time with an aging father. As he becomes older, his memory may not be great and he could be repeating the same stories everytime you see him. Often, an aging father will tell stories about the past that you may not find very interesting. However, Father’s Day should be a reminder of all the sacrafices and support a father provides throughout the years.

Whatever your plans are this weekend, it can mean the world to your father if you take some time to talk to him and more importantly listen to him. You can ask him about his childhood, his youth, or his early years as an adult.  He’ll appreciate it so much more than any physical gift you can buy.

A lot of elders say that one thing they like about their caregivers is that many of them listen to their stories with genuine interest – the same stories their children and grandchildren may have grown tired of. Just imagine how much that attention would mean coming from his busy child who he doesn’t get to see very often!

A Healthier Central Park

The Wall Street Journal had an interesting article about making one of our favorite places in New York City a little healthier. The Central Park cart, which has just opened for its second season is now filled with some healthier options. This is sure to make the diet conscious New Yorkers out there very happy. Jeremy Bearman from Midtown East’s Rouge Tomate designed the menu for the restaurant’s Cart in the Park, aiming to showcase that “a lot of what you wouldn’t think of as healthy could be done in a healthier way.”

Items that can be purchased include green burgers featuring grass fed beef, arugula, salsa verde and an avocado mash in place of the mayonnaise and Moroccan chicken, which uses spices such as cumin, coriander and cinnamon to create big flavors. The Lunch Box special offers soup, a sandwich and a drink (the cart makes its own fresh juices), while the kid’s lunch  includes a kid’s light burger, drink and dessert.

What a refreshing and guilt free snack to enjoy while spending a summer day in Central Park! New York City Summer days just got a little better.

A Healthy Memorial Day

Memorial Day is upon us and it is certainly a favorite holiday. Whether you are in New York City for Fleet Week, Hamptons, Westchester, or Connecticut, one thing that is never in short supply is the food! Here are some tips on maintaining your healthy eating during this holiday weekend:

1. The Grill: Grilling doesn’t have to be limited to hot dogs and hamburgers. Fruits and vegetables taste great right off the grill. Brush with olive oil and throw right onto the grill. Summer squash, eggplant, red peppers, peaches and nectarines all taste great.

2. Side Dishes: Typical side dishes tend to be filled with fattening mayonnaise. A simple trick is to swap out half the mayo with nonfat Greek yogurt and use light mayo in place of regular. You can reduce calories and saturated fat without giving it a strange texture.

3. Drinks: With the warm weather comes fruity and calorie filled drinks. Try to swap these out for some unsweetened iced tea with lemon and mint; fruity water (soak fruit  in water overnight such as lemons, limes, oranges) or seltzer with a splash of juice. Watch your alcohol intake and skip the sugary mixers!

4. Don’t come to the party starving:   Arrive to a party or meal starved and you will overindulge. It becomes challenging to make a healthy food choice when you are really hungry. Reach for a protein and fiber rich snack before you head out to hold you over.  A handful of nuts, hummus and crudités or string cheese and fruit are all good choices to help you eat less at the party.

5. Pick your indulgence: I would never suggest not to enjoy your favorite dishes, but portion size counts. Go into the meal with a plan and decide what your indulgence will be. Choose a small portion and eat your indulgence slowly to really enjoy it. Fill up the rest of your plate with some veggies.

Nanny in a Pinch

Nothing makes us happier than a quick, smooth sailing process to find a client the perfect match for their home.

Last week, Brian got a call from a woman living locally in Chappaqua looking for a nanny. She heard about us from a friend. She has two sets of twins, 2 years old and 4 years old..definitely a hectic household! She was in desperate need of help because her nanny of 2 months was just not fulfilling the position. In the 2 months she worked there, she had taken 8 days off, been late repeatedly, and even had an attitude. It was more work and stress trying to keep up with her.

Brian set up interviews with 3 amazing nannies for the very next day in the comfort of our own Chappaqua office. In between interviews, Jeanne was there to answer any additional questions the client had regarding the candidates’ skill, reliability, and diligence.

After the interviews, our client knew which candidate she wanted to hire. She was so relieved. She no longer has to worry that her nanny will not show up the next day because she knows she had a reliable and trustworthy woman watching her children.

We are a local business, we love helping our local communities in Manhattan, Weschester, and Fairfield- nothing makes us happier than making our clients’ lives easier. Our office in New York City allows us to give this personalized service to the Greater New York Area.

This was a situation where all three parties learned valuable lessons. There are several things that can be taken from this positive experience. When looking for a care provider, it is so important to know what kind of person is best for your family and what exact responsibilities are needed. Personality is also key. Trust your instincts about whether there is chemistry or not between you and the interviewee.

Remember: it is really worth doing research about your candidates. Past experience, driving and background checks, and skill are all key components of finding the right person for your home.

A Quick Clean-Up!

We’ve all had those days where we need to clean the house super quick before company comes over. Here are some tips to get a quick cleaning done in your house before your guests arrive. Follow this checklist and you’ll be all set!

1. DECLUTTER- Do a run through of all the main rooms, picking up visible clutter as you go. Forget about putting things in their proper places. Just collect items such as catalogs, bills, papers, pet toys, etc and put in a closet for now.

2. WIPE DOWN- Get some gloves and carry all of these items in a small cleaning caddy so you can easily move from room to room. Spray an all-purpose cleaner on your kitchen countertop and wipe away grime with paper towels. Remove fingerprints from stainless steel surfaces using a glass cleaner, specialty cleaner, or plain water and a cloth. Wipe down the dining table and other surfaces like a china cabinet. Spray the bathroom sink, vanity, and counters with an all-purpose disinfectant. Spritz all outside surfaces of the toilet with disinfectant and use a toilet brush to scrub under the rim and inside of the bowl.

3. SWIFF- Swiff your coffee table after spraying it with an all-purpose cleaner. Next, the TV and entertainment center and quickly swiff any frames and collectibles on display. Then, swiff the floors in the kitchen, living room, and bathroom — and finish up by defurring couches and chairs with a lint roller.

4. EMPTY- Clear out the sink, empty the wastepaper basket in the bathroom, and take out the trash.

5. RESTOCK- Put out fresh hand towels, a box of tissues, extra TP, air freshener, and hand soap. Replenish your table with fresh placemats if there are stains on the current set, or flip them over to the clean side. Fill the napkin holder.

6. DISPLAY- Take out serving dishes and wine glasses (check for smudge spots) so they are within reach when guests arrive.
Fluff and arrange throw pillows and push in couch cushions. You can make an instant centerpiece by throwing fruit or vegetables into a decorative bowl in the center of the dining table.

Lastly, put a smile on and enjoy a worry free night with good company!

Yoga to Relieve Stress

We all encounter stress in our lives. Bringing balance, relaxation and wellness together is the key to stress relief. Yoga is a great way to take time out of your busy schedule and focus on yourself.

Although there are many kinds of yoga, one thing is constant- breathing. We tend to have a million  thoughts running through our minds not allowing us to consciously breath.

Even beginners tend to feel less stressed and more relaxed after their first class. Some yoga styles use specific meditation techniques to quiet the constant “mind chatter” that often underlies stress. Other yoga styles depend on deep breathing techniques to focus the mind on the breath. When this happens, the mind calms.

There is scientific evidence of yoga’s anti-stress abilities. According to WebMD, there is a decrease in catecholamines, the hormones produced by the adrenal glands in response to stress. Lowering levels of hormone neurotransmitters — dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine — creates a feeling of calm.

So, give it a try! New York City is filled with endless possibilities of finding a true path to stress relief. Whether it is a yoga studio, gym, park, or massage therapist- take real steps towards reducing your every day stress…you deserve it!

I Never Worry About My Housekeeper

Having help in the home is supposed to reduce stress and create a better sense of relaxtion, right? Then why is it that this tends to be one of the most stressful aspects of life? It is something that I find very ironic. Finding good help in the home is key to anti aging and a worry free life. We have so many things to focus on and worry about- home staffing should not be one of them! I know too many people who do not trust those who work in their home.

Being in the business I am, I  never have to worry about my housekeeper. My housekeeper always shows up on time, goes beyond her responsibilities and works extremely hard. Although she has almost no formal education, she is incredibly bright and aclamated to my home very quickly. She has a limited knowledge of English, but communicates so well with me and understands exactly how I like things in my home. My house would be a mess without her and I would be lost.

I am lucky. No I am just not lucky, I have invested in her time and effort. We sit down and have tea- I treat her as the valuable asset she is to my life. She has the code and the key to my home. I trust her as I would trust a family member in my house. She knows exactly what to do all the time and never complains. This should be everyone’s experience with help at home. It is called “help” because it should do just that- help you make your life easier, not more stressful.  I can honestly say I’ve invested in a stress reducing, anti aging solution that makes my life easier!

Caring for an Elderly Loved One

Caring for an elder parent or relative can be a very rewarding experience. it gives you a chance to give back for all they have done for you. While each caregiving experience is different, there are things you can do to make each day flow smoothly and efficiently.

1. Plan a Menu

If there is a certain day that errands are run, such as to the grocery store, make sure to have the menus planned out by then. Make sure to shop according to special dietary supplements or diets that the elder may be on. Examples may include low sodium, sugar free or gluten free. Keep in mind that many elders eat smaller portions than a healthy adult would. Some meals can even be prepared ahead of time to make mealtimes easier throughout the week.

Having outfits laid out in advance may help save time and stress for both of you. Keep socks and undergarments in easily marked drawers for fast matches. Pre-hang outfits in the closet so they can easily be grabbed in the morning or just before bed.

3. Establish a Routine

Establishing a routine is important when caring for seniors. Most of them prefer to have their meals, baths and other daily activities at set times each day. Making sure that you arrive on time in the morning to help them out of bed and make breakfast will set the foundation for a positive day for them.

4. Durable Medical Equipment

Durable medical equipment, or DME, are types of equipment or machinery that help with the care of geriatric patients or those who are not able to get around easily. Items such as over the bed tables, hospital beds and handicap rails can help assist caregivers with care. Wheelchairs, walkers and shower chairs may also help with cleaning and transferring the elderly to and from the bed, chair or bath.

5. Ask for Help

Sometimes one of the best things you can do for your loved one is ask for help. Respite care is often provided privately. You can designate what times you need reprieve and for how many hours. Respite care can also be so you can take time out for yourself, arrange for your own errands or medical appointments or work at a job.

Spice it up!

Do you love spicy foods? I’m not big on spicy but I think I should give it a try considering all the health benefits it offers…

Capsaicin, the active ingredient in spicy foods such as jalapeno peppers, cayenne, red pepper flakes, and hot sauce seems to prevent hunger messages from reaching your brain. It also activates about 20 different fat-burning proteins, which boost your metabolism so your body burns calories faster. That’s not all! It may also inhibit the growth of cancer cells, ease pain, prevent heart attacks, kill bacteria that cause stomach ulcers, and more!

It takes the equivalent of several bites of hot peppers to get the full fat-burning effect. If you want to give it a try, start your diet with a wake-up breakfast by adding jalapeno peppers to a frittata. At lunch time, spice up ordinary soup with hot pepper flakes. Have a spicy curry or turkey chili for dinner. YUM!

Best Anti-Aging Treatment!

We are always searching for the next best anti aging cream…maybe what we should really look for is the best anti aging team!

One of the most stressful parts of life is not being able to find trusted, reliable, help. Nanny nightmares and housekeeping horrors are sure to add some wrinkles and gray hair.Ensuring your comfort, and knowing things are taken care of at home while you’re at work is the best remedy you can provide against aging too soon. Instead of falling for all the magic creams people rave about, I suggest taking real steps towards making your life easier. This is the only long term, true anti aging treatment.If things are running smoothly at home (your kids have an amazing nanny who they adore, your housekeeper leaves your home spotless, the chef has dinner ready and the kitchen all cleaned up by the time you’re home, etc) you will eliminate the stress from your life and therefore will be adding youth back to yourself. You will have more time to relax, go to the gym, and do what you enjoy. It is proven that lessening your stress and living healthier relates directly to how gracefully you age.  So instead of throwing countless dollars away on the next magic potion, why not make a worthy investment in making your life easier? A lifelong anti aging team!