TDS #10 Jann Freed: Sage with Flavor

Jann Freed, leadership and change coach talks about becoming a sage.

Jann Freed, leadership and change coach talks about becoming a sage.

Have you ever looked at old yearbooks—for me, that would be from 1940s or 1950s—and thought, “Wow! Those young people look so old!”

As a teen in the 1970s, I remember looking at the pictures of people from the middle of the century and thinking that they looked older than I considered myself at the time. In fact, older people in images from those decades appeared unfathomably old to my young set of eyes.

Such is the plight of any generation we harken from. We look at future ages and can’t imagine them, and we marvel at the automatic “agedness” of generations past. In my adolescent world where we printed color pictures and enjoyed Polaroid images, the black-and-white pictures of the past looked even more remote.

Fast forward to now where pictures are produced digitally in the millions of millions, and I’m sure my generation’s past looks charmingly quaint by the standards of young people today. I can imagine how they would consider how incredibly “old” and “dated” the images of my senior yearbook (extending waaaaay back to 1980) look at this point.

However, as a woman on the other side of 50, I can attest that I don’t feel as old as I may appear in spite of those dated photographs. And there is the quandary of what it means to age these days, anyway. We are living longer, working longer, having children later, and ultimately doing more into our later years of life.

Aging, and just what that means, was the subject on my mind as I prepped this week to speak with Jann Freed, my guest on The Delicious Story. She is a leadership coach and speaker who also deals in the subject of becoming a Sage and what it is to age with purpose.


Jann shares her story of how she realized she had to close a chapter in her professional life to make room for the new passions and purposes of her present work. She attests that considering how best to use our time, including who and what to invest in, become essential as we move into the second half of life.

The irony is that, as we age and have fewer familial demands affording us more time, we also realize that time is a much more limited and precious resource. So, we begin to focus on how to use it well and how to build on our legacy as we move forward.

Jann offers tips for what to think about, what it means to become a Sage, and how to transition so that the second half of life is even more exciting and successful. 


Our culture does little to celebrate aging and NOTHING to leverage the bounty that comes with growing older.

What would the consumption of everything in our society look like—entertainment, advertising, fashion, education—if we held up “wisdom” rather than youth as worthy of attainment?

Even those of the baby boomer generation are conflicted. The word “elder,” for example, has connotations for some who consider it “stodgy” (a word defining someone as old rather than a person of honor). What if our society placed a premium on wisdom and the age that comes with it?

Jann is a delightful storyteller with a sense of humor that is contagious. She shares several charming stories about salsa, a precious trip to Mexico as a young mother and one about cookies that was particularly funny.

We delved into the world of people as either bakers or cooks. Which one are you? Or are you ambidextrous in the kitchen? Jann described the differences of the two and how you can determine which camp you’re in.

Carry the metaphor to the cultivation and “spicing” of your life, and perhaps realizing this will make all the difference in your choices going forward.


This week’s recipe is a favorite that Jann has shared with many friends and family, so she assumes it is a good one.


6 flour tortillas

12 roasted, peeled, chopped green chiles or 4 cans chopped green chiles, drained

4 cups (1 pound) grated Monterey jack cheese 5 eggs, beaten

2 cups milk

1 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a 9x 13-inch baking pan.

Cover bottom of baking pan with tortillas, cutting tortillas to fit without overlapping. Sprinkle with ½ the chopped chiles, then with half the cheese. Repeat layers, ending with cheese.

In medium bowl combine eggs, milk and salt. Pour over layered ingredients. Let stand in refrigerator at least ½ hour; overnight is fine.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until strata is slightly puffed and bubbly. Cool 5 minutes, then cut into squares.

Serves 6, great for breakfast


At The Delicious Story we find magic in the stories of memorable meals. Jann shares a story that sums up that sentiment detailing her family’s tradition of bringing family generations together over breakfast.

The power of connection, staying relevant and purposeful are all highlighted in today’s episode. So long as we’re living, we keep to the action of doing so.


Sherry is the founder of Storied Gifts a personal publishing service of family and company histories. She and her team help clients curate and craft their stories into books. When not writing or interviewing, Sherry spends loads of time with her grandchildren and lives in Des Moines, Iowa.


Need a beautiful infusion of inspiration for your storied life? Please check out the Storied Gifts Shop where we offer Wearable Wisdom & Daily Inspirations.