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Zestful Aging

Author: Nicole Christina, LCSW

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What makes life worth living as we age? How can we age with purpose, vibrance and deep satisfaction? Nicole Christina, a psychotherapist for 30 years, interviews inspiring and influential guests from a wide variety of disciplines about how they are evolving as they age, and creating their best lives ever.
154 Episodes
Jaclyn Schildkraut is a Professor of Criminal Justice at the State University of New York at Oswego. She’s an expert on mass and school shootings, homicide trends, the effects of media and crime theories. She is the co-author of "Mass Shootings: Media, Myths, and Realities" and "Columbine, 20 Years Later and Beyond: Lessons from Tragedy". Find out more at Jackie recommends "Armoured One" and their website devoted to school safety. More at Find out more about the Zestful Aging Podcast at
Chelsey Clammer is the author of the award-winning essay collection, "Circadian", which looks at the different ways that trauma cycles through our lives. Her first book, "BodyHome", was about the concept of finding "home" in our bodies. She's a freelance editor and also teaches creative writing classes online with "WOW! Women on Writing". Chelsey lives in Austin, Texas, and is working on a new collection of essays about empowering women in her life. She's also an avid knitter and actually knits while she writes and edits. Her next collection of essays, "Human Heartbeat Detected", will be published by Red Hen Press in 2022. Find out more at Find out more about the Zestful Aging Podcast at
Suzka is a fine artist who lived in California until her mother needed caregiving in Chicago. From the start, Suzka experienced her mother’s dementia not as a loss, but as an opportunity to have a very different relationship and live in her mother’s memory-less world. She found the experience enlightening and profound. Her book, “Wonders in Dementialand” is being made into a movie. Suzka also has a podcast on YouTube called Dementialand. Find out more about the Zestful Aging Podcast at
Anne Marie is a nurse practitioner and family therapist in Upstate, New York. She and her husband were passionate birders throughout their married life. After her husband died unexpectedly, she began having unexplainable and highly unusual experiences with Red-tailed Hawks, which led her to write the memoir “Dancing in Two Realms: A Love Story Beyond Death”. She follows the hawks daily at Oakwood Historical Cemetery and Syracuse University. She’s also written a children’s story about hawks, yet to be published. Find out more Find out more about the Zestful Aging Podcast at
Verla Fortier is the former director of surgery in Toronto, Canada. At age 63 she was diagnosed with Lupus. After 40 years in traditional health care, Verla became fascinated by the research showing the benefits of being outside and near trees. She’s developed a system that incorporates going outside to increase health, prevent dementia, manage her chronic illnesses. Find out more at Find out more about the Zestful Aging Podcast at
Dr. Fossel is the world’s foremost expert on telomeres, aging, and age-related disease. He gave the very first talk at the National Institutes of Health on reversal of human aging, published the first articles on the potential of telomeres as a clinical intervention two decades ago, and is the author of the only medical textbook in this field He is now president Telocyte, a biotech firm taking telomere therapy to FDA human trials to cure Alzheimer’s. He’s proud that he babysat, wrestled and communicated with Koko--the world famous gorilla. Learn more at Find out more about the Zestful Aging Podcast at
Ellen Goodman has spent most of her life chronicling social change and its impact on American life. As a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, she was one of the first women to open up the op-ed pages to women’s voices and became, according to Media Watch, the most widely syndicated progressive columnist in the country. Ellen’s current focus is The Conversation Project, a public health campaign and a movement that works to change the way people talk about, and prepare for their end-of-life care. Find out more at Find out more about the Zestful Aging Podcast at
Jo Moseley is the first woman to paddleboard from end to end of her native England, on the 200 year old canals. She paddles for many reasons--exercise, to pick up litter, and to raise money for charities, especially cancer. Paddleboarding came at a perfect time in her life; she was exhausted from being a single mother, caretaking her ailing mom, and suffering from physical and mental symptoms associated with perimenopause. She hit bottom when she found herself crying in the supermarket cookie aisle. A friend’s gift of an old rowing machine changed her life by allowing her to physically exhaust herself so she could sleep. The rest is history, and a movie is currently in the works. Find out more about Jo at: Find out more about the Zestful Aging Podcast at
Dr. Roger Landry is an aging specialist and author of the award winning book "Live Long, Die Short: A Guide to Authentic Health and Successful Aging". He’s the President of Masterpiece Living, a group of specialists in aging who partner with communities to assist them in building environments that empower older adults to maximize their unique potential. Landry’s medical experience includes being involved in a number of significant world events including: the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster, the Beirut bombing of the Marine Barracks, and the first seven Shuttle launches and the first manned balloon crossing of the Pacific. Find out more at Find out more about the Zestful Aging Podcast at
Peggy Orenstein is a New York Times best-selling author, and has been featured on "Nightline", "CBS This Morning", "The Today Show", NPR’s "Fresh Air" and "Morning Edition". For her new book “Boys & Sex: Young Men on Hookups, Love, Porn, Consent and Navigating the New Masculinity”, Orenstein interviewed boys from ages 16-22 about their views on sex. The interviews were in depth and went on for over two years. The book has already received acclaim for its importance and relevance, especially with the advent of the #metoo movement. She discovers that boys are mostly being educated about sex by readily available porn, which is more hardcore than ever. She urges parents to speak with their sons about sex, consent and relationships even though it is intensely awkward. The book is fascinating and highly relevant. Find out more at Find out more about the Zestful Aging Podcast at
Christina Adams is an award-winning writer and the author of the memoir “CAMEL CRAZY: A Quest for Miracles in the Mysterious World of Camels”. Her work has been featured on "National Public Radio", the "Washington Post", the "Los Angeles Times", and many more. Her book is centered around her desperation to help her autistic son. When she came upon an obscure scientific article that described how camel milk could help some of the symptoms of autism, she never looked back. With the fervor of a mom desperate to help her child, she winds up traveling the world learning about the benefits of camels, and ultimately becoming an expert herself. She has been a major force in the popularity of camel milk, which is now available in the United States. Her book “Camel Crazy” is part adventure, part love story and ultimately shows us how life can take some pretty mysterious turns. Find out more about Christina at Find out more about the Zestful Aging Podcast at
Samantha Brown, host of PBS’s two-time Emmy winning (Outstanding Host and Outstanding Travel/Adventure Program) series, “Samantha Brown’s Places to Love,” returns with her third season. This season, Samantha will take viewers to thirteen destinations, both in the U.S. and abroad, uncovering a deeper connection to travel by highlighting the people who are changing, challenging and strengthening the places they call home. The highest-rated show ever broadcast on PBS, Season 3 of “Samantha Brown’s Places to Love” is sponsored by AmaWaterways, AAA and Rocky Mountaineer. Find out more at Find out more about the Zestful Aging Podcast at
What did you cook with your mom? Aimee Lee Ball is an award winning writing, and the co-founder of “Eat, Darling, Eat”, a storytelling website about mother/daughter relationships, centered around something that is fundamental and fun, evocative and provocative, shared across all cultures and generations: food. She is also co-author of four books and a journalist for many national publications, including "The New York Times", "New York Magazine", "Harper’s Bazaar", and "O the Oprah Magazine", writing about health, business, politics, food, travel, and the arts. Find out more at or Find out more about the Zestful Aging Podcast at
Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham is a business woman and athlete who has been battling Alopecia, an immune disorder that results in hair loss, for 20 years. Her story about her life as a bald woman is captured in her new book, “Under the Rose-Colored Hat”. Tracy is also passionate about women’s rights, and is involved in 261 Fearless, which is a foundation begun by Kathrine Switzer, to empower girls and women through running. Find out more at, and Find out more about the Zestful Aging Podcast at
Frailty is not a normal part of aging! Kay VanNorman, President of Brilliant Aging, is an internationally known healthy aging expert. She directed the Kaiser Institute on Aging, serves on international boards, speaks and consults around the world, and has an extensive list of publications, including two books, numerous chapters, scores of journal articles, and a Chinese translation of her latest book. Kay created the Vitality Portfolio® model for lifelong health including resources to make a vitality plan, balance wellness, core, and functional assets, and make regular deposits in our wellness account. Find out more and get some great free downloads at Find out more about the Zestful Aging Podcast at
Sky Bergman is the creator of "Lives Well Lived", a film that celebrates the incredible wit and wisdom of adults 75 to 100 years old who are living their lives to the fullest. Sky interviews forty people who share their secrets and insights to living a meaningful life. Their intimate memories and inspiring personal histories are poignant, humorous and full of life. "Lives Well Lived" has now screened in over 150 cities. Find out more at
Vicki Tapia enjoyed a 30-year career as a Lactation Consultant before writing about her caregiving journey with both parents. Her book “Somebody Stole My Iron: A Family Memoir of Dementia” was a finalist in the High Plains Book Awards in 2015. Vicki’s second book “Maggie: A Journey of Love, Loss and Survival” was inspired by the real-life saga of her great-grandmother. This book was recently named Solo Medalist for the New Apple Literary Award for Historical Fiction 2018 and was also a Finalist in the 2019 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Vicki is a co-founder of, a community of authors sharing personal stories to light the way for others with a vision to lift the silence and stigma of Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Find out more about Vicki here: Find out more about the Zestful Aging Podcast at
Paige Mills is the Program Director of Aceing Autism at Drumlins Tennis Club at Syracuse University. It’s a national program which helps autistic children learn social and emotional skills through tennis, the curriculum is consistent for all the sites. The USTA promotes Aceing Autism through their own clinics at the US Open. Find out more at:
A former New York City fashion expert, Jackie Terribile moved to Upstate New York and created a styling business that includes addressing the needs of older women. She believes that women should experiment with their style and be comfortable in their clothes. She also wants women to accept the body that they have, and appreciate their own individuality. Find out more about Jackie at Find out more about the Zestful Aging Podcast at
Pat Smith, AKA Action Nan, is the founder of the anti-plastic campaign “Final Straw Cornwall, UK” and owner of Bosinver Farm Cottages, where she has won many awards for being an industry leader in sustainable tourism. Pat's work in raising awareness about plastic pollution and climate change at the grand old age of 71 has resulted in international press coverage and viral online videos which have reached and inspired millions of people around the world. Find out more at Find out more about the Zestful Aging Podcast at
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