How Can You Hack Aging?? Read on…..
I am in the midst of writing copy for my next ABC interview….the producer and I narrowed topics down to one that has become of particular interest to many of my clients and myself…ahem, because, let’s face it….we’re not getting younger, but I also believe in making the BEST of our circumstances and what’s the alternative, really? I don’t think anyone I know wants to be 15 years old again…we have gained so many experiences, insights and wisdom over the years that I bet we wouldn’t trade it for anything!
With that being said, I’ve learned a few things about how to maximize the health of our brains and bodies that these tips are worth sharing with my followers!
No surprises here…you want to maximize the quality of foods that you eat. Here are some of the most important food strategies to support optimal health of mind and body:
- Eating highly pigmented/anti-oxidant rich foods like blueberries, cabbage, pomegranates, grape skins/seeds, coffee and dark chocolate. These foods, in particular, help to protect our gut, brain cells and reduce inflammation. And if you read my prior blogs, podcasts, etc on inflammation, you know how important it is to keep this in CHECK. Consume these with high quality fats to improve absorption.
- Consuming foods that support neurotransmitter production, those chemicals are mainly produced in our guts, but they impact our ability to fight disease, brain function and impact our MOOD. Examples of these include: serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine. We can find these building blocks in salmon, turkey, beef, avocado and almonds.
- Eating lots of healthy fats (again, bio-individuality is key…we are only as good as the food we digest, so some people need smaller portions), especially saturated fats from coconut oil, butter, ghee and animal fats as well, pastured egg yolks, EVOO and fatty fish.
- And, MOST importantly, LIMITING or ELIMINATING dairy, gluten, trans-fats and vegetable oils which drive inflammation and frankly most people are intolerant to.
You also want to consider my FAVORITE technique of Intermittent Fasting (IF) ( blog post on intermittent fasting), but this is incredibly beneficial:
- IF forces our liver to break down ketones, which are a preferred fuel source for our mitochondria, those little powerhouses in each cell that are vital as we age and impact energy, and our brains. We want to be FAT Burners and NOT sugar burners
- IF increases the energy produced by the body, reduces free radicals (damaging chemicals) and increases secretion of GABA, which is a neurotransmitter involved with a sense of peace and calm. You DEF want to maximize this!
Lastly, you definitely want to consider the net impact of chemicals and toxins we are exposed to in our environment, medications, personal care products and foods and how these impact the aging process:
- artificial light (aka-junk light); esp blue light from electronics is profoundly damaging to our cells and bodies. This light impacts the secretion of melatonin in our brains and cortisol (our fight or flight hormone) in an adverse and negative way.
- heavy metals (lead, mercury, arsenic, aluminum just to name a few) are very damaging to our mitochondria as well as our thyroid and aging in general
- pharmaceutical drugs (antibiotics, antidepressants, statins, Tylenol, etc) can be beneficial and also damaging to our mitochondria, can impact our bodies ability to support antioxidants, like Co-Q10 and others disrupt the Krebs cycle, which is crucial to energy production in the body.
- Mold...enough said
- endocrine disrupting chemicals in our personal care products and plastics and pesticides sprayed on produce, plants, etc. All of these can impact the endocrine system; they can impact our ability to lose weight and our bodies can be so confused with toxins that they may also make us gain weight in an effort to wall off the “poisons”.
What can we do?
- consume high quality foods, plants, fats
- engage in movement/exercise, which helps improve circulation, helps excrete toxins stored in the body, improves blood sugar control, increases endorphins (happy chemicals!) and reduces inflammation. Examples are endless, but include strength training, yoga, HIIT or Tabata.
- practice meditation, which changes the brain at the structural level and is amazing at stress reduction!
- consider purchasing LED lights to balance the blue lights in electronics
- ensure you are getting high quality sleep
- write down what you are grateful for daily. This simple exercise can be profoundly important for helping to keep us grounded and gain perspective about our lives.
- Consume chlorella to help bind to toxins you are exposed to on a daily basis; consider CoQ10, carnitine and fish oils as well.