“I used to be able to eat whatever I want and not gain weight.”
Every decade is different.
“I used to have all the energy I needed on 7 hours sleep.”
Every decade is different.
“My knees just can’t take running anymore”
Every decade is different. I’m saying this a lot lately.
Your body is constantly renewing itself, in a seven year cycle, it is often said. So you really are completely different every decade. How you take care of yourself influences how you will feel in the years to come.
Here are some simple things you can do from a Food First perspective to help you enjoy what each decade offers.
Hydrate. I often think of aging as a slow drying out. Compare the moist skin and fat rolls of a healthy baby to the dry hanging skin most of us will have in our 70’s and 80’s, if not before. And it’s just not your skin, it’s your entire body! Dehydrated organs don’t work well, so take your body weight and divide it by two. That’s the number of ounces of water to drink every day. Add a quart more for every 30 minutes you sweat. To the same end, reduce or eliminate dehydrating beverages such as alcohol, soda pop and coffee.
Nourish. Your body needs live, fresh food to renew itself. Everything you eat or drink now is raw material for building you, today, tomorrow and ten years later. So shop the edges of the grocery store, or better, get to your neighborhood farmers market. Reduce or eliminate packaged foods. Enjoy two fist sized servings of vegetables with every meal, including breakfast. Eat a small amount of cultured foods daily such as sauerkraut, kimchi or kombucha. Try juicing. You can learn more about it my August column. Never learned or forgot how to cook from scratch? Find a cookbook and dive in or take a cooking class at a local health food store or holistic practitioner’s office. Forget the chef shows. Simple food is quick, easy and delicious.
Detox. The daily activities of our metabolism cause us to accumulate waste. Then add that we breathe, eat, drink, and absorb via our skin toxins from our chemicalized world.
First, reduce toxins that go into your body. Filter your water. Buy organic vegetables and fruits. Eat wild fish and game, and grass-fed to point of slaughter meat and poultry. Clear the most common inflammation promoting foods from your diet: milk products, gluten-containing grains and sugar.
Second, assist your body in clearing toxins from your body. Start your day with 1 TBSP natural apple cider vinegar mixed with 1 TBSP lemon juice. Add a small amount of local honey if needed. Drink as a shot or add water. Hydrate to help your body flush toxins out of your body. Eat two servings of vegetables with every meal, including breakfast—get that? Have a liquid diet day every other month. A day of smoothies, juices, pureed soups and broth can give your body a break from assimilation, allowing it to direct its energies toward elimination. Ready for more? Juice fast for a week to ten days two to three times a year. I’ve written about fasting many times over the life of this column.You’ll find all past articles at HealthSpanKC.com.
Remember, you can successfully change only 20% of your habits at one time. So pick something and stick with it for three months, then choose another. With every sip and every bite, you’ll be shaping your next decade. Yum!