It has been a little while since I have shared on this blogging platform, and I have missed it. I woke up this morning with the whirrings and tinklings of thoughts. A sure sign a blog is to be written today!
Do you want to live longer? Healthier? Reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease?
Well, duh! Of course, we all do.
This is exactly why scientists, such as Dr Valter Longo have set out to study how we age in the hopes we can slow the process down. The science of longevity and ‘Juventology’ as coined by Dr Longo is becoming a huge area in light of our ageing population, and the diseases, that let’s face it have age as the main causal factor. Dan Buettner, author of ‘The blue zone solution’ is a pioneer of longevity study and has spent years finding connections between the people around the globe that are living past a hundred, happy and healthy. You may have heard of the ‘blue zones’(I have blogged about them in prior posts), they include Nicoya, Costa Rica, Okinawa, Japan, Sardinia, Ikaria, Greece and the Adventist population in California. Dan has set out to work with government agencies to turn parts of American ‘obesogenic’ environments into healthier areas to live. Autophagy is also a word you will start to hear more about as the science hots up, and the fasting tip I have included at the bottom of the post has been found to support this process. Autophagy is a reversal of oxidative damage to the cells, and 12 hours of fasting overnight can support this cell renewal and immune repair. The science around this is so exciting and experts such as Professor Dale Bredesen, Dr S Panda and Valter Longo have already found amazing results. Whoop!
It can get complicated…
Food is medicine, and that can not be ignored, even though really it is disregarded as a preventative treatment in general society. Now, many scientists are finding that it is not just what but also when we eat and when we don’t that matters. Fasting is quite a popular phenomenon now, especially in the UK since Michael Mosley’s 5:2 diet, why not, the science made sense and this type of eating was working to help people lose weight or remain a healthy weight, however, mostly it is men that benefit from this style of fasting for a myriad of reasons, women generally do not do well with fasting through too long a time period.
As I write this post I am painfully aware that eating patterns are becoming more complicated rather than less. This is why I always keep in mind Michael Pollan’s statement ‘Eat food, not too much and mostly plants’ because there is so much advice out there, it can get you tied into knots. Hopefully, I can support you in understanding what is right for you, and at the end of the post, you will find longevity habits that you can introduce over time that have come from a range of literature, including epidemiology, clinical research, population studies and basic understudying of our bodies and the ageing process.
Over the years I have read countless diet books in search of the perfect way to eat. I have picked up many great points from a range of literature and then focused on listening to my body. Because many of us are also searching, I think it is so important to be discerning when you read any diet book, and any book that tells you that this is it ‘the way to eat’, focusing on only one way, can be even slightly mistrusted. A great book to support you in your health journey is Dr Chatterjee’s ’The 4 pillars’. A book that shares the science and supports you with behaviour change is going to help us all become healthier.
Protein or carb cycling- what is it all about?
There is a bit of a buzz around the macronutrient cycling at the moment and so I thought I would touch on that. Some experts are focusing on the protein cycling, some the carbohydrates and both have the same idea. There is a lot of sense/science in this as it does go back to how our ancestors ate, which I am a very big fan of! When I am reading the information I tend to check the publications they have used and check it also against previous work in that area. If you think about it, we would have had times of high protein, an abundance of food, high-intensity exercise, alternating to no food and then low on the aforementioned, and so it makes sense that eating the same way every day is probably not a good idea. If you look around you at those who are a healthy weight, (who have never been on a crash ‘diet’ in their lives) they will listen to when they are hungry, some days they will go longer without eating, which is fantastic for our gut health, digestion and overall health. What I have learnt is that when you try and force yourself into these ways of eating because they are in a diet book, it backfires because we are missing a step, this important step is to be listening to our body and gradually making the changes for long-term health.
How do I change or add healthy habits?
Over the years I have given myself 21 to 30 days to introduce a healthy habit or replace an unhealthy one, this tends to help you become aware of how you feel and if this habit is a keeper. Some habits I have kept for good, and some I have thought ‘no’ this doesn’t feel good long term and I don’t feel I am nourishing my body here.
I hope this has helped you think differently when you are looking for a quick fix to change your eating or kickstart you into health. You are amazing and when you work on giving yourself the best and appreciating your body, it all comes together. You can sign up for our ‘Release me’ sugar-free programme which is 21 days, during which time you will receive an email a day to support your knowledge and behaviour change all-round. The participants who have joined my closed Facebook group, have had amazing lasting results and real mind shifts. Recently we all set ourselves a 12 hour fast (overnight), which is a well-studied amount of time to support the slowing of ageing cells, for 21 days.
If you are a parent of teens, or younger you will love my new book, ‘Nourish your teens’ set them up for success in their health, and they will grow up to be naturally discerning and make self-care a matter of importance.
8 tips to slow down ageing and keep your mind sharp and healthy!
- Have a good sleep routine, go to bed at a similar time each evening and rise at a similar time each morning.
- Go without food between 12-16 hours out of 24 each day, the easiest way to do this is having your last meal before 8 and eat breakfast after 8 the following day (change the times to suit your schedule)
- Keep hydrated, drink plenty of liquids, water and herbal teas
- Eat at least 8 servings of veggies and make it a rainbow! Lots of greens…
- Eating fermented foods will help your gut health, (and or taking probiotics powder/capsule form)these could be any of the following: Yoghurt, KImchi, Sauerkraut, Kefir, Miso, Tamari
- Eat berries and beans a few times each week – in the countries where people are living longest, berries and beans play a role in the longevity diet. If you eat meat, reducing your meat to once or twice a week and replacing with beans/lentils will support longevity
- Omega 3, consume omega 3, through sustainably sourced fish once or twice a week and include flaxseed and walnuts in your diet. If like me you do not eat meat or fish, you can supplement your flaxseeds and nuts with an algae omega 3 (I purchase from Cytoplan)
- Move every day, walk, swim, do some high-intensity exercise a few times a week if you can join a yoga class. Ideally outside to make sure you are obtaining enough vitamin D (Public Health England recommend you take at least 10 micrograms of D3 in the Uk from Autumn to spring)
Please do not hesitate to contact me through social media if you have any questions, and I wish you amazing health,
Much love and light,
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