The 3 Pillars to Healthy AgingOct 23, 2018
The 3 Pillars of Healthy Aging
Hello. We are the Foolish Couple. We believe that healthy relationships start with health and we help couples achieve total success in health and in relationships through nutrition, exercise, mindset and lifestyle. Over the next couple of weeks, we will be talking about "Healthy Aging".
To us, healthy aging means:
- to slow down our body’s aging process
- having a sound body and mind
- free from pain and diseases
- looking and feeling younger, and
- having lots of energy
We came up with the 3 pillars of healthy aging. And today we’ll talk about the first one.
Pillar #1: Healthy Eating Habits
The first pillar to healthy aging has to do with our eating habits. Too many of us eat like it’s our last meal. They eat whatever they feel like, without thinking about the consequences of how the food affects their bodies.
Good foods can heal you, but bad foods can really hurt you. Your choice of food is critical to your well being.
Everything that you put into your mouth have a direct impact on how quickly your face and skin ages, and how quickly your body deteriorates. Not only are we eating too much, we are also eating too often. Most importantly, we are eating the wrong proportions of food groups. We are eating way too much carbohydrates and bad fats, and not enough lean proteins, healthy fats, and vegetables.
What do we need to change in our eating habits? We came up with 3 healthy eating habits that we suggest that you start developing right now.
Healthy Habit #1:
First, eat breakfast later, and eat dinner earlier. The goal is to give your digestive system a rest between dinner and breakfast, so that your body has time to actually digest all the foods that you ate during the day.
When I worked at a startup company, I watched these people who came in to work after their breakfast, and the first thing they do once they came into the office is to grab their coffee and a bagel or a donut. Then 2 hours later, they would grab a cookie or an energy bar, and another cup of coffee. Another couple of hours they get so famished that they must have a huge lunch that’s usually heavy in carbs, such as a sandwich of a pasta dish. Then what happens in the afternoon? They crash, they had to grab another coffee or energy drink, take another sugary cookie or protein bar. And then they get off work, go home, eat a big dinner and desserts and then head right to the bed to sleep. No wonder they cannot get a good night sleep!
They are sluggish throughout the day and their digestive system is constantly fighting to digest all these foods that they put into their bodies.
If you are munching all day long, you need to really figure out why you need to constantly eat. If you are constantly hungry, maybe your body is looking for vitamins and nutrients, not sugars and caffeine.
You need to rest, and your digestive system also need to rest. Let your digestive system rest so that it can properly metabolize the foods you are eating.
Constantly eating throughout the day is literally aging you at a cellular level. The more you eat, the harder your body tries to process that food, creating free radicals that damage your DNA and wear away your telomeres.
What are Telomeres?
Telomeres are like protective caps that protect your DNA from erosion. They start off long when you are young and get shorter as you age. The faster your telomeres wear away and shorten, the faster your cells age, causing wrinkles and fine lines on your face and all sorts of chronic diseases to your body.
Over the last 3 months, we have adopted this new habit where we would eat within an 8-hour window. Outside of that 8 hours, we would drink water, and maybe 1 cup of coffee or tea. For example, if you choose to eat between the hours of 10am to 6pm, then before 10am you can only drink 1 cup of coffee or tea, and all the water you want. After 6pm you should only be drinking water.
This doesn’t mean you should shove as much food as you can during that 8-hour window. For us, during that 8 hours, we only eat 2 meals. And we really do learn to properly portion our foods so that in each meal, we eat about
2 fistfuls of veggies,
1 to 2 palm size of proteins and
about 1 cup of healthy carbohydrates which includes starchy vegetables and fruits.
Avoid highly processed carbohydrates like rice, pasta and breads.
Always included at least 1 tablespoon of healthy fats such as coconut oil.
Eat organic whenever you can to avoid chemical exposures.
This will not only allow your body to rest and properly digest your foods, but will also ultimately give you more energy, lose weight and perhaps even look younger!
Healthy Habit #2
The second healthy habit that we want you to develop, is to balance your fats. Fats come in 2 main forms: Omega-3 fatty acids and Omega-6 Fatty acids. We need both fatty acids but they must be in the proper ratios to function properly.
The proper ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 should be 1:1, or a maximum of 1:3.
However with the standard American diet, or even the typical Chinese diet, that ratio is closer to 1:20 or even 1:30. Meaning that most people have really high levels of Omega 6 and are really lacking in Omega3 Fatty acids.
Omega-3 is anti-inflammatory, reduces oxidative stress and protects our telomeres from erosion.
Omega-6 causes inflammation to our cells and actually shorten our telomeres, therefore aging us faster.
For us to bring up our levels of Omega-3, add more foods that are high in Omega 3’s such as wild-caught salmon, tuna, sardines, flax seeds or chia seeds and cook with oils that are high in Omega-3’s such as coconut oil and avocado oil. And of course, to reduce your level of Omega-6, you need to cut back on oils that are high in Omega 6’s such as corn oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, and other vegetable oils.
Healthy Habit #3
The third healthy habit that we suggest that you develop, is to eat more lean proteins and less processed carbohydrates. A typical American diet or a typical Chinese diet is high in processed carbohydrates such as rice, breads, noodles and pasta.
Eating these types of carbs will release sugars into your blood stream. This triggers the release of Insulin to remove the sugars, causing cravings for more carbohydrates and sugar foods.
Eating lean proteins slows down the release of sugars into your blood stream, balancing your blood sugars and helps to fight chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and even type brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s, which is now called type 3 diabetes.
Protein is an important building block for our hair, skin, nails, muscles and cartilage. If you do not eat enough protein, you will lose muscle mass. Losing muscle mass will give you more muscle and joint pains because your body will break down your muscle and cartilage for fuel.
Your body needs proteins to regenerate cells so if you have thinning hair, weak nails or flaky skin, you may be low in protein. Lack of protein will also lower your immunity because immune cells are made of protein, and immune cells are used to combat and fight viruses and germs. Brain fog, poor concentration, and depressed mood may also be signs of low protein because some neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine, are all made of proteins.
Make sure to have enough lean protein in your meals. Most people don’t eat enough protein and they are left feeling hungry. To overcome that hunger, they eat more processed carbs such as rice, pasta or breads.
However, carbs spike your sugar levels and overworks your digestive system. That’s why when you load up in carbs, you tend to crash a couple of hours later, making you even more tired and not wanting to move.
Rather than carbs, fill up with more lean proteins to regulate the sugar spike. You will also feel fuller longer. The recommend portion size for women is about the size of one palm, and for men about two palms worth.
Make sure to eat clean protein such as free-range organic eggs, wild caught fish, organic poultry and grass-fed beef. For non-meat eaters choose quinoa, beans, and chickpeas. A super food we recommend that we use every day is spirulina because spirulina is a complete protein that has the full range of amino acids that your body needs.
Next time, we’ll talk about the second pillar to healthy aging. Until next time,
love what you live, and live what you love
We believe that healthy relationships start with health and we help couples achieve total success in health and in relationships through nutrition, exercise, mindset and lifestyle. If you know someone who can benefit from this blog, share with them. Let them know that you care about them. And of course, leave us any comments below. We love to hear from you.
PS: Our ebook ‘Gut Matters’ goes deeper into the issue of our gut and the action steps that we can take to repair our gut and bring our bodies back to an optimal, healthy state.
This ebook is free for you to download and all you have to do is follow the link below and we will send you a copy.
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We are not medical doctors. This blog is not intended to diagnose medical condition, or replace your health care provider. The contents of this blog are for informational purposes only. Statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Always consult your personal physician before starting any fitness or exercise program or changing dietary habits. The content of this site is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is not a substitute for a medical exam, nor does it replace the need for services or counsel provided by medical professionals. However, we do hope to inspire you to become healthier, more self sufficient, and more aware of options.