As I watch my classmates on facebook posting their 40 year old birthday parties, it shocks me that so much time has passed. It prompts me to look in the mirror. Do I LOOK like I'm getting older? While my brain feels as though I've stored more experiences and I can think clearer, I don't FEEL like I'm older, I still feel like I'm a fun loving college student, on the verge of exploring a new day.
I care for my body and always have. I didn't just start doing that because I was fearing "aging". I love my body and nourish it. I am intent about what I put on my skin. Stress, however, has been more of the challenge to maintain my youthful glow. Life factors, such as an emotionally unresolved divorce, stressful living make me wonder what I can change in my life to reduce the stress, or at least my beliefs and reaction to it. Enter Conceptology. It is the way I keep my emotions from controlling me and dictating what my life will look like.
I also try sleep and beauty regimens because I want my body, my spirit, my skin, my energy, and heart to know I love them and thank them for their work for me. Also, never more important is the feeling of gratitude, and that I really ENJOY my life. Never more have I wanted to simply live each day, sharing love and expanding the greater good.
When I work to help people adjust their lives, and re-direct their health experiences, this is the end goal. It is interesting to me to note how many are giving effort towards their bodies and, in my opinion, will have less struggle come the time when aging is starting to be noticeable.
However, the idea of "aging" is changing as it is. Just as any time of our lives, it is yet another season in which we simply need to learn to love ourselves and what we bring to the table, spending more time in gratitude and less time in lament and regret.
I came upon a wonderful article where I took a snippet to share with you. If you want to identify and become aware of 4 simple ways you can push backward the hands of time, it is worth a read.
In the article called "Ageless Being" written by Kathleen Barnes in Natural Awakenings magazine(you can read the full article here), I quote, “Manage the four horsemen of the aging apocalypse,” encourages nutrition and longevity expert Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., a Los Angeles board-certified nutritionist and author of The Most Effective Ways to Live Longer. He says the aging process, including disease, loss of physical or mental function and the general breakdown of systems, is caused by one or more of four factors: oxidative damage (literally rusty cells); inflammation; glycation (excess sugar, metabolic syndrome); and stress.
“Collectively, they damage cells and DNA, wear down organs and systems, deeply damage the vascular pathways that deliver blood and oxygen to the entire body, and even shrink brain size,” explains Bowden.
While it may seem like a tall order to make lifestyle changes that vanquish these four horsemen, Bowden says they can be broken into manageable elements by employing an arsenal of healthful weapons: whole foods, nutrients, stress-reduction techniques, exercise, detoxification and relationship improvement. “All of these actually do double duty, battling more than one of the four processes that can effectively shorten your life,” he reports, based on his 25 years of study.
Consider what rust does to metal. That’s what free radical oxygen molecules do to cells. Over time, they damage them and cause aging from within. “Oxidative damage plays a major role in virtually every degenerative disease of aging, from Alzheimer’s to cancer to heart disease and diabetes, even immune dysfunction,” says Bowden.
His recommended key to destroying free radicals is a diet rich in antioxidants, including lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and healthy fats, nuts, grass-fed meats and organic dairy products. Avoid environmental free radicals that show up in toxic chemicals by eating as much organic food as possible and avidly avoiding residues of the poisonous pesticides and herbicides sprayed on crops eaten by people and livestock.
Long-term inflammation is a silent killer because it operates beneath the radar, often unnoticed, damaging blood vessel walls. Like oxidative damage, inflammation is a factor in all the degenerative diseases associated with aging, says Bowden.
His suggestion: First, get a C-reactive protein (CRP) test to determine the levels of inflammation in our body. A CRP level over 3 milligrams/liter indicates a high risk of a heart attack. Anti-inflammatory foods like onions, garlic, leafy greens, tomatoes, beans, nuts and seeds have all been widely scientifically proven to reduce chronic inflammation.
This is the result of excessive sugar that glues itself to protein or fat molecules, leaving a sticky mess that creates advanced glycation end (AGE) products that damage all body systems and are acknowledged culprits in the dreaded diseases associated with aging.
The long-term effects of physical, mental or emotional stress are tremendously damaging to the human physiology. Sustained exposure to the stress hormone cortisol can shrink parts of the brain, damage blood vessels, increase blood sugar levels, heart rate and blood pressure and contribute to chronic inflammation, according to well-established science recorded in the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Bowden warns, “Stress management is not a luxury.” In its many forms, including prayer, meditation and breathing exercises, it should be part of any agelessness program. Deep, restful sleep is as vital a component as ending toxic relationships, having a nurturing circle of friends and doing familiar, gentle exercise such as yoga or tai chi.
Overall, Bowden adds, “Rather than thinking of such endeavors as anti-aging, I strive to embody the concept of age independence. I admire former Supreme Court Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, who resigned from the court when he reached age 90 because he wanted to play more tennis.”
Bowden recommends embracing the concept of “squaring the curve”, meaning that instead of anticipating and experiencing a long downhill slope of poor health leading to death, “I look at a long plateau of health, with a steep drop-off at the end.”
Wellness guru Dr. Michael Roizen, chair of the Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute, contends that although our chronological age can’t be changed, “Your ‘real age’ [calculated from data he collected from 60 million people] is the result of a wide variety of factors that are within your control. Dietary choices alone can make you 13 years younger or older than your actual age."
Since we know anti-inflammatory eating can have a huge impact on the health experience and subsequent appearance of anti-aging, it would be worth a look into DrFoodie's recipes.
Happy health everyone, and happy holidays!