How Staying Active Keeps This 59-Year-Old
at Her Best, Physically and Mentally


For 59-year-old Iracema Natalie McCann, age is not a hindrance. “Every decade for me has proven to be a learning experience,” she says. Having always considered herself athletic, part of this learning involves listening to her body and adapting her workouts and diet accordingly so she can stay as fit as possible.


Rather than hit the gym four days a week the way she used to, Iracema has been mixing things up with walking, swimming, biking, and strength training. She also recently added Pilates and yoga, taking advantage of free trials offered by different fitness apps. “I'm doing more stretching and low-intensity programs,” she says. “Yoga is a little difficult for me; I'm not as flexible as I thought I was.”

Staying active became all the more important after she was diagnosed with pemphigus vulgaris, a rare autoimmune disease, in 2018. The condition causes blisters and sores on the skin and tissues lining some organs, as well as the mouth and nose. The diagnosis changed McCann's life, but “I've always adapted,” she says. “I address what I need to address.”

In this case, that meant finding a way to slow down while still moving. “The minute I stop being active, I begin to feel more strain and pain,” she explains. “Movement makes my life better. I don't care if I'm walking or riding my bike on the lakefront when the weather calls for it. I feel better, I feel energized, and it puts me in a good space. I feel like I have more clarity when I'm trying to reason, process, and think. I can also sleep so much better.”

What I Eat In A Day

Here’s a snapshot of what one day of meals looks like for Iracema to help you get inspired!


Oatmeal with blueberries and bananas in coconut milk


BOOST® Women Tailored Nutritional Drink


Grilled shrimp tacos with shredded cabbage, cilantro, and cucumber


Sea Bass with
steamed broccoli
and cauliflower


Ice Cream Sandwich

Another change involved her diet. McCann loves spicy foods, but they can cause her pemphigus vulgaris to flare. Crunchy textures and harder foods could hurt her mouth when she has a flareup, so she makes soft meals and even blends them into smoothies.

“This is a blistering disease,” she explains. “Basically, when I have flareups, I feel it in my throat, the roof of my mouth, and gums. It's very, very, very painful.” It's like a canker sore, but far worse, she adds.


When she’s traveling or attending an event where she is unsure whether her dietary restrictions will be met, Iracema comes prepared with BOOST® Women Nutritional Drink. “I swear by it,” she says. “It's what gets me through the day when I don't have the ability to eat.”

While living with pemphigus vulgaris has been a difficult learning experience, particularly since the lifelong condition, while treatable, is not curable, McCann keeps going. “I will do what I need to do to keep myself healthy and moving forward. I wake up every day saying, 'You have another day, you are blessed, now go out and shine your light.’”


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