TDS 20 Rebecca Olkowski: From One Boomster To Another...Exercise Your Options
The ability to make choices and act on them is a wonderful gift. Rebecca Forstadt Olkowski appreciates the flexibility of having options and has made the most of them in each chapter of her life. Professionally, Rebecca’s resume reads like an adventurer’s journal, featuring twists and turns and chronicling exciting opportunities she’s tried and mastered.
Success alone isn’t the driver for Rebecca as she has kept her eyes forward to the next transition with her interests and passions in mind, too. More than a dozen years ago, Rebecca trailblazed her way into blogging and marketing to a highly underserved and growing segment of Americans—the over 50 category—and thus, Baby Boomster was born.
Rebecca saw the gap between what was being said to those termed “Boomers” and the reality of their lives. As recently as fifteen years ago, the disconnect was significant and perpetuated across advertising, product offerings, and society. She appreciated firsthand that the truth of the over-50 segment was that they are engaged, active and involved in purposeful lives, and for all those people Rebecca wanted to help by providing better information.
You’ll hear from Rebecca as to how she incorporates her experiences into advice on topics including health, finances, travel, fashion and aging well via Baby Boomster with continuous up-to-date resources and insights.
I’M JUST GOING TO SAY IT…FASHION
To be transparent, my idea of fashion has always been t-shirts and jeans. Sometimes I change it up, however, and wear a skirt and a t-shirt instead. So, I had to play up my knowledge a little when Rebecca talked about fashion and, in particular, mentioned Boho. I think I convinced her I knew what this was and then promptly went on a Google search to learn more. It turns out Boho is fashion shorthand for Bohemian, and I’m in favor of that, most definitely!
As I say, when it comes to fashion, my statement is simple and minimal, but I do appreciate others who practice and create in the space. It is especially inspiring to see any woman not only love fashion but use her own body as a canvas to spread the word that women over 50 are in fashion and are beautiful. While working on this post, I found Patti Gibbon’s blog Not Dead Yet Style to be of a Boho flavor. You can check out her posts for ideas to incorporate.
And, I admit, it was a GoDaddy commercial that sent me in search of Lyn Slater’s website called Accidental Icon. I love her tagline: Fashion for interesting women living ordinary lives. Her use of fashion and her pictures and posts are all works of art that allow women like me to vicariously admire what we, ourselves, might not wear, but which she makes look great.
Over at Baby Boomster, Rebecca loves fashion too, and in her work, like so much that occurs over at Baby Boomster, she brings together tons of resources to help her readers get the best information all in one place. This particular post on fashion highlights outlets that serve particularly well to those over 50 and the kinds of styles they feature.
OVER-50 GENERATION AND OUR UNIQUE RELATIONSHIP TO FOOD
Whether you identify with the term “boomer” or not, as Americans over 50, we share a common food experience. We grew up in a time when fast food and processed foods became the norm. The transition exploded post-WWII as veterans returned and the suburbs expanded. Everyone was rushing to achieve the American dream of a home and a lifestyle that symbolized progress and hope in the future.
Marketers tapped into this enthusiasm featuring a vision of the modern housewife taking full advantage of all the conveniences available. Over at the National Women’s History Museum, Elizabeth Mauer details how marketers featured products and a lifestyle that spoke to the aspirations of the postwar middle class.
I was surprised to learn that, by the late 1950s, supermarket expansion had doubled, particularly in the suburbs, and the freezer became an indispensable and affordable appliance in most homes. We bought up and radically changed how we ate and lived in order to incorporate this vision. The transition of fast and processed foods was so complete that Mauer mentions a study in 2016 which found Americans consume a diet of processed foods that is more than 50%.
Shout out if you ate any of the following as a kid:
Frozen juice concentrate
Flavored potato chips
The late 50s brought in these and many more items that were part of our daily diet. They were indeed fast, easy, and high in salt and sugar but unfortunately took a toll on the concept of nutrition. Rebecca and I ponder how these foods played a role in some of the dietary issues and health concerns of today.
And now that we have THAT era out of our system, the pendulum has swung back to eating ala natural and stepping away from the processed faux foods of the past. We are still in search of ease, but now the trend is fresh food delivered to your door rather than powdered and freeze-dried options.
The Mediterranean diet is back (it never left, but some of us left it) which means less meat and more fruits and vegetables. Kenton and Jane over at Lemon and Olives have a beautiful post that describes how the word diet isn’t operable here but rather think lifestyle and proceed from there. Plus, they share a food pyramid that breaks down where we can enjoy most of our grazing in observance of a healthy Mediterranean approach.
Speaking of food and the Mediterranean, if you love travel and little secluded haunts where delicious food is served, you’ll be enamored with Rebecca’s memorable meal shared during the interview. And if you’re an Italophile that will go double.
I admit I threw Rebecca a curve in the last moments of the interview and asked her about how to deal with avocados and their tendency to go brown in under 60 seconds. I figured any good self-respecting South Californian had good ideas to offer. To her credit, Rebecca does share her experience on how ripe they should be when you select them at the grocery store. However, her secret to the brown issue was more like my Midwest theory of “eat the entire sucker at once.”
Are there any mysteries left now that we have the internet? I don’t think so, and that’s why I was able to find this handy tip over at WKYC3 by Lynna Lai. She tested several theories on how to reduce the speed of oxidation and found that onions are the most effective remedy. This affirms what I’ve always felt about that admirable root as a source of magic in all things culinary.
EXERCISE YOUR CHOICES
No matter your age if you have choices things are good, and if you are over 50 and are wise enough to know you have options so much the better. So long as we breathe there are things to do, places to go and, most importantly, relationships to enrich. We cover a bit of this in our short time speaking with Rebecca of Baby Boomster, but you can tap into more by checking out her website for yourself.
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