9 Tips On Staying Young


1) Say What
Say yes to eight hours of sleep, antioxidants found in green tea, pomegranate and blueberries;  a Mediterranean diet of nuts, legumes, vegetables, fruit and olive oil and say no to process foods and sugared soda. The latter could have the same aging effect on your telomeres – the parts of chromosomes that affect aging as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day.*
2) Inflame Me Not!
Inflammation is a big culprit in aging, weight gain, disease and even wrinkles. Normally, inflammation is a healthy response to injury, but everything from stress to sugar can push it into overdrive, provoking the immune system into attacking healthy cells – and accelerating the body’s aging process.*
3) No Duh? Exercise.
“Exercise shores up the brain and
hippocampus, keeping memory sharp and preventing Alzheimer’s, and can lengthen lifespan by 4 to 8 years on the average.” Even people who start to exercise in middle age become stronger and ‘younger.'”*
4) Mine Enemy Is Thee Stress!
Stress is when you’re standing in the middle of the train track and you see it coming toward you. Stress is there for acute survival, but it increases blood sugar, blood pressure, arterial aging and the stress hormone cortisone, which can compromise your immune system; cause depression; and memory loss; and help form free radicals which attack the collagen that keeps the skin supple. Meditation, yoga. 
5) Hello Lunch, Goodbye Big Dinner. 
Dr. David Heber, UCLA nutrition expert, is high on protein. His top tip for slowing aging is to get enough protein at meals: 25 grams. Load up early at breakfast with unsweetened Greek yogurt, or six egg whites. For lunch have beef, fish or tofu because after dinner the protein gets excreted without being used. That means your body doesn’t benefit from eating all that protein at night.* 
6) Rabbit Food?
Lutein contained in spinach, avocados, kale, and brussels sprouts promotes brain health and keeps eyesight sharp and eaten once or twice a week may reduce age related macular degeneration. 
7) Them Bones, Them Bones, Them Dry Bones!
You’re kidding me, right?  Bone broth, another hot food trend touted by LeBron James, is rich and amino acids and coats the intestinal lining to help heal the “leaky gut syndrome” which allows aging toxins and microbes to leak through the bowl lining.  Some credit also with helping grow your nails and preventing pretty much every element, from diabetes to lupus. *
8) In-Your-Face Solutions
Bee pollen is anti-aging, good for allergies and boost immunity – also acupuncture for the face. It increases collagen improve circulation, even gets rid of fine lines says dermatologist, Dr. Mao.  It is believed that topical vitamin C will also be away turn back the clock on aging skin.*
9) Young At Heart.
Really! In 1981 Harvard social psychologist Dr. Ellen Langer conducted studies that put over 70 years old in an environment straight out of 1959. They were told to imagine they were 22 years younger and were treated that way, with no mirrors to remind them otherwise. The result? Their memories, attitudes and health markedly improved. Why all the data suggest our minds are far more powerful than most of us realized. I think we will soon be able to prevent many ailments just from the mind body connection.* 
So you had better believe while society waits for stem cells to make us younger I’m going to start thinking I am a forever young Audrey Hepburn, no matter what age I am!
* Partial excerpts from The Hollywood Reporter/ How Not To Age At All in 2015 by Merle Ginsberg.

Start Living With Things That Matter

 At the end of next month we will begin packing up for the summer and traveling North for the snowbird flight we have been making for the last ten years. My wings are getting rather weary of leaving one nest for the other. I am longing to simplify my life and roost in only one nest and start living with the things that really matter. 

Earlier this year we flew to  Los Angeles to visit with a male friend of my husband’s whose wife has decorated their home in museum-quality style. Now I really love this woman. She is kind and intelligent and very generous with her time in helping others. But when it comes to her house, she becomes a different sort all together. 

So it was no surprise as we all showered that evening to go out when I heard a scream that rang from her cathedral ceilings and back again as she ran down the hall. “What! How could he! Arthur is using the guest bathroom!? Nobody uses the guest bathroom!”

 As I opened the door, draped in an ordinary towel I found in the under-guest-guest bathroom, I saw my husband standing there like a sheep-faced child, caught in a dastardly deed. 

Our hostess quickly went into the coveted-never-used guest bathroom and proceeded to wipe the faucets spotless and clean up the chaos my husband made of her perfect-to-look-at room. 

That experience started me thinking about what type of person I am and forced me to look in the mirror at my own idiosyncrasies. 

I learned valuable lessons in Los Angeles. Mainly, the most important was to be a more forgiving wife. And better yet, how to be a more compassionate wife. I had forgotten in my quest to be Martha Stewart, that hugging a mop is not as much fun as hugging a husband.

 When I came home I threw out all of our old ratty towels with strings fraying at the ends and bought big fluffy premiere guest towels for Arthur. Who cares if our bathroom floor becomes the Nile River when he showers, or if I slip into the commode in the middle of the night because he forgets to put down the lid. 

Now, instead of having a post-menopausal fit if I can’t find the new ten dollar herbal soap I just put at the basin, I forgivingly retrieve it in the shower from a cache of soap he constantly steals, because he forgets what he did yesterday.

 This morning  I found on our foyer floor a crumpled baggie carrying a bar he had stolen for the beach. I know Karma slipped it from his bag just for me. 

I have even learned not to straighten up and fluff the couch pillows each time he or the dogs have rearranged them. I leave my grandchild’s handprints for a bit longer than usual on my mirrors. And now and then, when I am really feeling frisky, I tilt a candle in the candelabra just a bit to remind myself life isn’t perfect and human feeling and comfort are worth more than material things with esthetic balance.

Copyright Sandra Hart 2015. All rights reserved.

10 Reasons Why It’s Not Over At Fifty

10 Reasons Why It’s Not Over At Fifty
Sadly, the down economy has put a lot of workers over age 50 in the unenviable position of needing to find a new profession. Don’t believe that old cliché about middle-aged dogs and new tricks, though; lots of wildly successful people found big success in careers they began after their fiftieth birthdays. Here are just a few examples.
  1. Carole Gardner – Zelda Wisdom products.
  2. Grandma Moses- Artist
  3. Col. Saunders – Kentucky Fried  Chicken
  4. Frank McCourt – Angela’s Ashes
  5. Martha Stewart – Lifestyle
  6. Laura Ingles Wilder – Little House On The  Prairie
  7. Tim and Nina Zagat – Zagat 
  8. Takichiro Mori – Architect
  9. Ray Kroc  – McDonalds
10.  Rodney Dangerfield – Comedian

Although Rodney Dangerfield suffered from getting ‘no respect’ he had self-compassion in common with the many late bloomers who opened another chapter in their lives in their 40s, 50s and beyond. 

Late bloomers. I love that title and have been wearing it since I was 21. I wear it proudly knowing that I can bloom again and again and again. I never thought I had to wait until I was 40 or 50.  Some of us are annual bloomers,  or else have so many creative arms that we are perennial and can open new chapters in our lives continuously. We all are only limited by how many years we have on this earth. 
I think it’s getting better, but there still is a stigma associated with aging. We still live in a closed- minded culture, but there is nothing more fulfilling than taking a negative event in your life and turning it into a positive life-changing situation.
For instance let’s take Carol Gardner.  Carol is the creator of Zelda Wisdoms. At The age of 52 Carol was facing divorce that left her with huge debt, a bleak future with no income, and depression. 
It was suggested that she get a dog to keep her company. She did. A bulldog that she named Zelda and she entered a local contest that was giving away 40 pounds of dog food a month free for the winner. So Carol took pictures of Zelda in the bathtub, with hats on and designed a card with a message that said, “For Christmas I got a dog for my husband….Good Trade, huh?”  She won the contest, Zelda had plenty of food and starting with 24 Zelda Greeting Cards, Carol has now created a multi-million dollar worldwide Zelda Wisdom empire. Talk about making lemonade out of lemons! 
Personally, in my 20’s I started a career in television working for others, then in my 30’s overcame the loss of my husband by taking my television skills into marketing while raising my small children. I sent resumes out for a full year before anyone would hire an anchorwoman with small children in a private sector job. But I never gave up. In my 40’s I remarried and became a television producer and entrepreneur. I woke up one morning just before my 50th birthday and realized how fast life was moving for me and I had yet to do what I always had dreamed as a child – to act on the stage. So at 50 I embarked on one of the most exciting journeys in my life doing  theater,  television and film in New York City. 
Nothing was ever handed to me and I had to work very hard opening new doors for each of these chapters in my life,  but I persevered and I had self-compassion and I believed in the impossible dream – just the same as the 10 above ‘second chapter’ successes.   
When I was 61 I opened yet another chapter in my life by writing my memoir,  Behind The Magic Mirror.  I discovered the process so fulfilling that I  continue  to write my thoughts in books, articles, and on a weekly basis through this blog. 
In the end, I hope that I will be open to other journeys in my life. It is not over until it’s over.  As I wrote earlier, only time here on this planet can limit us. Nothing else. It is never too late to rediscover and reinvent your life. It is never to late to make lemonade!
Copyright Sandra Hart 2015. All rights reserved.


  I love clothes. Whether it’s from Anthropology,  Sundance, Walmart, or the thrift shop, it doesn’t matter. I enjoy mixing styles and choosing colors that suit me. I’m not so interested in what anybody else is wearing out there, but I have to admit I’m not as courageous as my daughter Brett. She wins the prize for giving her mother most of her gray hair.  Her creative fashion genius was always in high gear and over the top. 

For instance,  in high school Brett once cut a neck-hole in a black plastic bag, belted it and wore it to high school one day.

First good thing. They must not have had any dress code because I don’t ever remember getting a call from the principal to come and get her.
Second good thing.  My main worry was that if anyone lit a match near her she would go up in flames. They didn’t.
 Whether it is a positive thing or not, I have always allowed my children to follow their own fashion feelings. I have tongue scars to prove it, silently watching my children morph into and out of teenage clothing trends. I hyperventilated for years watching them go out the door wanting to get a large hook or straight jacket and pull them back in. Especially the girls.   Brett loved crazy hairdos and outfits.  Alison loved crazy hats.  The things she put on her head, were remarkable. Hats of every shape and size and color that sometimes made her look like a female version of Bob Denver on Gilligan’s Island.
My son escaped the male ‘fashionitis’ because he was always in either a school or Boy Scout uniform. His craze was rock icon T-shirts. Jeans and T-shirts. His obsession was his guitar.
All of these memories came about as today I am wearing a pair of linen pants that I got at the GAP – maybe 17 years ago. They are my favorite pants and they are in a style that wouldn’t be caught dead in a GAP store today.  They are beige and the linen is worn so thin that by now it’s like fine Egyptian linen and the wide pant legs are frayed from being tortured for years by ground-sliding at the hem. But I absolutely love these pants. The older I get the shorter I get and the more punishment these poor hems go through.  Whenever I want to feel comfortable or I can’t think of anything else to wear, I throw on these pants and I’m a happy woman. Every time I throw them into the laundry I pray that they don’t die.  These pants are my security blanket and a link to my younger days.
I remember the last time I saw my son he was wearing a pair of jeans with holes everywhere. I don’t know how they were staying on his torso.
“Emerson,” I said, “those things are falling apart!”
“But,  Mother,  they’re my favorite pair of jeans.”
And again, I had to bite my tongue, but I also had to laugh at myself thinking about my raggedy linen pants from the GAP waiting for me at home. Those thread-bore pants that are such a part of my “chicken-soup-for-the-soul comfort threds”.
Copyright Sandra Hart 2015. All rights reserved.

What Is Your ‘What If’?




Steve Tilston. Does anyone out there with 1970′-80’s Steve Tilston folk music ears remember the British folk singer?  His songs have been recorded by Fairport Convention, Dolores Keane, Peter Bellamy, and so many others. His instrumental style crosses classical music with Irish and English folk. He also plays an early 19th-century instrument called an arpeggione (bowed guitar). 

Steve’s Story
With all of his commercial success, Tilston at the age of 21 was plagued with the thought that he just might be selling out and corrupting his artistry.
In August 2010, it was reported that John Lennon had  penned a letter of support to Tilston in 1971, though it was never delivered. Lennon had been inspired to write to the then 21 year-oldt folk singer after having read an interview in ZigZag magazine in which Tilston admitted he feared wealth and fame might negatively affect his songwriting. In a ‘as-fate-would-have-it-event’ Tilson did not become aware of the letter’s existence until a collector contacted him in 2005 to verify its authenticity. “Being rich doesn’t change your experience in the way you think,” Lennon wrote. It was signed “Love John and Yoko”.
I’m wondering if Steve Tilston would have changed his feelings about his work, or would have taken his music in a different direction had he received that letter from John Lennon as a 21-year-old. I doubt it, because great musicians put their unique and individual stamp into the musical history books. It’s in their DNA.
With all the albums and accomplishment Steve Tilston has had since that letter was written, it doesn’t seem he has lived with many creative regrets. In February 2012 the title track from The Reckoning was awarded Best Original Song at the BBC 2 Radio Awards. 
Well, Steve is now being immortalized in a new movie starring Al Pacino. Pacino with his tufts of gravity-defying, shoe-polish hair and burnt-orange tan, who for awhile now has been sporting the look of a famous-than-thou aging rock star, has finally gotten around to playing one – which he does, exceedingly well, in “Danny Collins, a familiar late-in-life redemption narrative, based on the life of Steve Tilston. 
So, famous or not, life for all of us is full of ‘what if’s’. What if I hadn’t moved? What if I hadn’t gone out that night?  What if I had only driven another road? What if I hadn’t gone to that audition?  (my true ‘what if’) If  we constantly allow ourselves to live in the past instead of the future, we easily could ‘what if’ ourselves to death with regret. 
The moral of this story is: Throw salt over your shoulder and keep walking forward!

The Reason I Love The Arts

I am one who really appreciates the arts in all of its many forms and I’m especially very sad to see the exhibit The Chosen: Selected Works from Jewish Florida Art Collectors to end here in South Beach. The collection was comprised of many gifted and well-known artists across the spectrum and curated by a wonderful art patron and former owner of New York City and Wynwood Art Galleries here in Florida, Bernice Steinbaum.  

Bernice is quite a character and equally quite brilliant in finding and nurturing artistic talent. 

So this piece today is an homage to Bernice Steinbaum, the artists who thrived under her wings and to us, who have benefited from her discoveries. 

Suarez De Jesus

On a recent weekday morning, Bernice Steinbaum welcomes a delegation of University of Virginia graduates for a tour of her eponymous Wynwood gallery. Outside flutters a giant banner with her picture. The caption: “Know BS.”

Dressed in a lavish red, green, and gold skirt and jacket created from a wedding kimono and smiling widely behind enormous eyeglasses, Steinbaum walks the group through her current exhibit, “The Three Dimensional Gods and Goddesses Meet Their Cousins the Trees,” which features mixed-media-on-aluminum works by local Haitian artist Edouard Duval-Carrié.

As she passionately describes the paintings’ vodou inspiration, Steinbaum, who earned a doctorate in arts education from Columbia University, holds her audience rapt.

Since opening her two-story space on the corner of 36th Street and North Miami Avenue a decade ago, she has hosted hundreds of such tours. “For me,” she says, “it’s always been more about educating the public about art than about sales.”

Next month, the 68-year-old Steinbaum will close her gallery permanently after 38 years in the business. Her departure comes at a time when local artists such as Friends­WithYou, Jen Stark, and Alvaro Ilizarbe (AKA Freegums) have announced they are relocating to Los Angeles. Unchecked gentrification in Wynwood and the Design District has raised fears that creative types and smaller galleries might soon be priced out of the area.

“She is one of the serious galleries in town and will leave a void when she’s gone,” observes Leyden Rodriguez-Casanova, a local artist and one of the founders of the Design District space Dimensions Variable. “Not only was she a pioneer here and represented pretty good talent, but early on she embraced local artists and showed their work.”

Prior to her career as a dealer, Steinbaum worked in the Iowa public school system and was an associate professor at Drake University. While living in Iowa, she had her own TV program, Art Time With Mrs. Steinbaum. Later she was a professor at New York’s Hofstra University before opening a gallery in NYC.

Early in her career, while still in New York, Steinbaum chose to represent artists outside the mainstream and built her stable to include about “50 percent women and 35 percent artists of color,” she says.

“As I visited the galleries and museums in New York several times a week, it occurred to me that many of the women and artists of color —Asians, Latinos, African-Americans, and Native Americans — who were graduating with MFAs were not being shown at these places. And if dealers weren’t exhibiting their works, and critics weren’t writing about them, the museum curators were not going to discover them,” Steinbaum says.

“As a feminist, I realized that the art world would benefit from this plethora of voices, and it became my calling… [Of course] I showed the work of white guys too,” she adds with a chuckle.

Since opening her gallery in Wynwood in 2000, Steinbaum has been a catalyst for the development of the arts scene. She bought her building in 1998 after selling her 23-year-old gallery in New York and moving here to be closer to her children — Carrie, Sarah, and Jeremy — who had been living in the Miami area for 15 years.

“Carrie is 40 years old and a landscape architect who went to Harvard,” Steinbaum beams. “Sarah is 42 and Jeremy 47. They both graduated from the University of Miami. Sarah is an attorney and teaches at UM during evenings. Jeremy is a surgeon and lives in Orlando,” she says. Steinbaum’s husband Harold was also a physician. He passed away two years ago.

After relocating to Wynwood, the dealer dreamed of converting the blighted area into the base of a thriving arts scene. “When I purchased the building, my daughters were furious,” Steinbaum recalls. “The neighborhood was unsavory, and the lot across the street was dotted with rusting shipping containers. My building was being used as a crack house, and people were sleeping behind the walls.

“But they forgot that I’m from New York and had a New Yorker’s savvy. I felt that this could really grow to become a great arts community. Today there are about 70 galleries in the district. Some will remain open and others won’t.”

Steinbaum won’t reveal the amount she paid for the property. “That’s relative. But I can tell you I invested a small fortune repairing cracked windows and clearing the cokeheads and drug paraphernalia and needles that littered the space to turn it into a respectable cultural institution,” she says.

It took Steinbaum two years to convert the space into one of Wynwood’s premier showcases. Today her gallery represents three MacArthur “genius grant” recipients — Pepon Osorio, Amalia Mesa-Bains, and Deborah Willis — five Guggenheim fellows, multiple National Endowment for the Arts award winners, two Annenberg fellows, and other lauded artists.

“They include Ken Aptekar, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Hung Liu, Miriam Schapiro, Faith Ringgold. There are so many I can’t honestly remember all their names now,” she says.

Back in the summer of 2000, Miami artist Karen Rifas caught Steinbaum’s eye. Rifas’s installation consisting of 24 mirrors arranged on the gallery’s walls and floor was on display as part of “Levity and Gravity,” a group show curated by Amy Cappellazzo and Tiffany Huot at Steinbaum’s gallery.

Copyright Sandra Hart 2015. All rights reserved.

Photos Sandra Hart