We all have the power to make ourselves well. So what are the steps to feeling good and looking great? Living the Ageless Diet!
Number one is diet. Diet, diet, diet. What you eat matters. A lot. You are what you eat. Are you eating organic, whole foods? Have you eliminated allergens from your diet? Foods like dairy and grains with gluten. Have you given up sugar? The most inflammatory thing you can consume is sugar. Drop it and you’ll see a difference in the way you feel and you look immediately. When you elevate one area of your life you’ll find the other parts are improved. Eat foods that nourish and support you. Eat for an Ageless You. Kickstart your life, try the Ageless Diet for 6 weeks – feel better, look great. This is an easy way to change the way you feel and improve your body inside and out.
What is inflammation and why is chronic inflammation bad for your mind and body?
“Inflammation is not complicated — it is quite simply your body’s natural defense to a foreign invader such as a bacteria, toxin or virus. The cycle of inflammation is perfect in how it protects your body from these bacterial and viral invaders. However, if we chronically expose the body to injury by toxins or foods the human body was never designed to process, a condition occurs called chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is just as harmful as acute inflammation is beneficial,” writes Dr. Dwight Lundell. He is the past Chief of Staff and Chief of Surgery at Banner Heart Hospital , Mesa , AZ. And this is what causes heart disease – inflammation. What’s most inflammatory. Well, he writes that sugar is the worst thing for you. How does a simple thing like a sweet roll inflame your body so much that you become sick?
“Imagine spilling syrup on your keyboard and you have a visual of what occurs inside the cell. When we consume simple carbohydrates such as sugar, blood sugar rises rapidly. In response, your pancreas secretes insulin whose primary purpose is to drive sugar into each cell where it is stored for energy. If the cell is full and does not need glucose, it is rejected to avoid extra sugar gumming up the works.
When your full cells reject the extra glucose, blood sugar rises producing more insulin and the glucose converts to stored fat.
What does all this have to do with inflammation? Blood sugar is controlled in a very narrow range. Extra sugar molecules attach to a variety of proteins that in turn injure the blood vessel wall. This repeated injury to the blood vessel wall sets off inflammation. When you spike your blood sugar level several times a day, every day, it is exactly like taking sandpaper to the inside of your delicate blood vessels.”
We all want to eat delicious food that energizes and nourishes us. What’s holding us back from eating this way? Well, most of us don’t know what’s good and what’s bad. This is why people like Michael Pollan have become so famous. They seem to have a key to a formula that used to be pretty basic. If we eat mostly plants, real foods, like Michael Pollan exhorts us to, then we would be eating the diet of our great-grandparents. And that’s good. But there’s something that’s even better. That’s eating the diet of our forebears who foraged for wild greens and game. But especially wild greens. Eat like our Native American friends from 300 years ago. Is this even possible? Check out this recent piece in the New York Times by Jo Robinson about modern world produce:
“If we want to get maximum health benefits from fruits and vegetables, we must choose the right varieties. Studies published within the past 15 years show that much of our produce is relatively low in phytonutrients, which are the compounds with the potential to reduce the risk of four of our modern scourges: cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and dementia. The loss of these beneficial nutrients did not begin 50 or 100 years ago, as many assume. Unwittingly, we have been stripping phytonutrients from our diet since we stopped foraging for wild plants some 10,000 years ago and became farmers.
Wild dandelions, once a springtime treat for Native Americans, have seven times more phytonutrients than spinach, which we consider a ‘superfood.’ A purple potato native to Peru has 28 times more cancer-fighting anthocyanins than common russet potatoes. One species of apple has a staggering 100 times more phytonutrients than the Golden Delicious displayed in our supermarkets.
Each fruit and vegetable in our stores has a unique history of nutrient loss, I’ve discovered, but there are two common themes. Throughout the ages, our farming ancestors have chosen the least bitter plants to grow in their gardens. It is now known that many of the most beneficial phytonutrients have a bitter, sour or astringent taste.”
So grow some real arugula and go pick some dandelion greens from a clean (over-run) garden or lawn. One free of pesticides and bad soil. Eat more basil, parsley, cilantro, chervil, and dill. They’re delicious, and they add to a salad, making it so delectable, fresh and vibrant. Get on the herb train. Eat more kale. Eat more chard. Eat more bitter greens (they’re so good with sweet, organic olive oil and lemon juice, salt and pepper). Remind yourself of how good real food and nutrient rich plants taste. Retrain yourself to savor a bite of peppery arugula, raw walnuts, roasted tomatoes in a freshly made olive oil vinaigrette instead of a processed cheese and meat sandwich with chips and soda.
The other big thing that will make you feel much better and help you to look great, is exercise. Do something everyday. Move your body through space. It’s great for your well-being (studies show that daily exercise is a better way to deal with depression than almost anything else), mind and body. Go for a walk, take a yoga class, ride a bike, work out with weights, dance, jump up and down, hike, run down the street, do spin classes, cross fit… all these and more are great options. You’ll feel so good. Exercise is one of the very few things in life that gives you more energy than you expend. Just do something everyday, for about 20 minutes. More is better, but you’ll see results after 4 weeks of moving your body through space for 20 minutes a day
For your spirit, meditate. Everyday. 5, 10, 20, 60 minutes. Do what you can, everyday. If you can meditate an hour, that’s great. If you can only do 5 minutes, do it. You’ll be happier. It calms you, gives you focus, elevates your mood, and helps you make better life decisions. It also gives you that space to get back to who you are and discover what you really want. There have been hundreds of peer-reviewed studies that extoll the benefits of meditation and mindfulness. Mindfulness is when you are present in your day-to-day world without judgement. And meditation is transforming your mind. The simplest way to meditate is to sit quietly, close your eyes, and focus on your breath. As for mindfulness, there are those in the business community offering “mindfulness training,” which can give workers’ a competitive edge. By doing less we accomplish more. Companies like Google, Goldman Sachs, Apple, and many more are now asking employees to employ mindfulness training. Of course, the benefits in practicing both are many. Meditation is an anti-inflammatory. Inflammation = aging. Both mindfulness and meditation thicken the brain’s cortex; they lower blood pressure, and practicing these two things can even heal psoriasis. So, what are we waiting for? Meditation is free; it’s (relatively) easy, and it doesn’t take much time. And living a more mindful life, day in, day out, helps us handle stress and the vagaries of life that normally bring us down with greater ease!
For your mind and body? Sleep. Get 7-9 hours of sleep a day. You’ll feel better and look younger. If you can’t sleep, start going to bed at the same time every night, meditate during the day, and then do a quiet meditation before bed. Stop watching TV in bed and use your bed only for sleeping and sex. If you still can’t sleep, contact us on our site, and we will help you change that part of your life. (As part of the Ageless Diet recommended supplements, we have a great sleep targeted serotonin support program.)
And lastly, think more positive thoughts. You are what you think. So think what you think about. Tell yourself better feeling stories about who you are and where you’re going.
These are tips for getting healthy and happy that work for me. And I hope they’ll help you. Let me know if you have any advice that really makes a difference in your life. Here’s to a happy Ageless you!
About the Author: Tania Van Pelt is the creator of Happiness Series. She is a writer and content creator, working in film, tv, and online. She wrote the popular lifestyle book "Ageless Diet," published in late 2015. And she is currently working on her next book. She also developed a sitcom pilot set in the restaurant business called "Employees Only TV" and is developing another web series comedy about Denver.