Growing old is a privilege. Eleanor Roosevelt said it perfectly. “Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.” Prioritize health and paint your life a museum worthy masterpiece. Live vibrantly. Aging doesn’t imply acceptance, complacency or the time to retire to a rocking chair.
Reading this article is your official sign to rethink aging. Getting older equals embracing change in all areas of life and taking significant steps to minimize the bad while maintaining and maximizing the awesome aspects of aging. The fountain of youth is not a secret. Consistency is the name of the game. Staying physically active, eating a nutritious diet, drinking ample water, sleep, sunshine, and limiting stress are the keys to slowing down Father Time.
As a personal trainer and nutritionist, I feel very grateful to be trusted with designing protocols to help people address health concerns and diagnosed conditions. Every client is unique and their journey one-of -a-kind. The stars aligned and I had the pleasure to be a part of a dynamic 64 years young woman’s journey in pursuit of holistic healing. Deborah is a former pharmaceutical rep who spent 30 years on-the-go, juggling work and family. It was a struggle at times to eat healthy and escape to the gym she admitted. Even in retirement not a lot changed but Deborah did trade her suitcase for a golf bag and city living for picture perfect New Hamburg. She even tapped into her artistic side by taking up jewellery design and makeup artistry.
Deborah was enjoying the retirement ride but bliss was short-lived. She was thrown the cancer curveball and two surgeries soon followed. With the onset of Covid, life was a series of hills and valleys, enduring five more surgeries. By the time our Covid world was winding down, Deborah had gained 43 pounds on her 5’2 frame. The woman in the mirror was now unrecognizable. No stranger to exercise and diet trends, she set out to take back control of her health. Although Deborah felt she was, “eating clean and managing calories”, it was proving harder than she imagined.
As a nutritionist, re-educating people about calories, carbohydrates, sugar, protein, and water requirements plus the importance of fabulous fibre can be frustrating at times. There’s an onslaught of new information, studies and trends at your finger tips. Reading and understanding labels is essential to mastering ones health. Designing a protocol that is catered to a client’s lifestyle, favourite foods and troubleshooting obstacles ensures long term success. After careful consideration of all her intake forms and Deborah open to change, she welcomed the idea of intermittent fasting. This is not a diet but rather a lifestyle revolving around meal timing schedules involving fasting and non-fasting. Methods include alternate-day, periodic and daily time-restricted feeding. A 2019 review concluded that intermittent fasting may help with obesity, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and inflammation. It appeared to be the perfect fit given Deborah’s pattern of eating. She now maintains a daily food schedule that involves eating within an 8 hour window. Deborah and her super supportive husband dine at 6:30 or 7pm and enjoy a glass of wine no later than 9pm. After 9pm, nothing other than black coffee, herbal tea and water is allowed until 1 or 1:30 pm the following day. She has always prided herself on an endless supply of energy but admits she is shocked how intermittent fasting upped the pep in her step.
Deborah has increased her water intake massively and realized fibre is a friend not foe. “My GI system has never been healthier!” she pointed out. Knowing how she suffered with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) for years, I am smiling ear to ear. The daily addition of raw nuts and seeds, fresh fruit and the goodness of greens has me gushing! I did recommend a few key supplements that are also an astounding addition for supporting the aging process. Probiotics promote overall gut health and boost immunity. Medications, antibiotics in particular wipe out good bacteria and probiotics are fabulous for feeding the flora. Magnesium is found in fresh produce but unless you are eating abundance, 7-10 cups daily, you too are deficient. Magnesium is not just for stress, sleep and relaxation. Do you suffer from high blood pressure, constipation, fatigue, insomnia, muscle spasms, restless leg syndrome or an irregular heartbeat? The list of ways this marvellous mineral supports optimal health is endless. It’s an inexpensive game changer as Deborah quickly learned.
Aging is unavoidable. Staying physically active, eating a nutritious diet and choosing supplements to support deficiencies in an ever-changing body is a first class ticket to awe-inspiring aging! There’s no magical potion to drink, but rather a powerful pull within you to glow brightly and go strong at any age. It takes a brave person to step out of their comfort zone. You just may need to shake up your world in pursuit of optimal health.
Don’t wait to start taking care of yourself but rather set a new self-love standard and be an extraordinary example for those who cross your path….. along a dirt trail, at the gym and definitely wandering the produce aisle!
*Always consult your MD, ND or health practitioner before starting any health program.
Mercedes Kay Gold is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist and Certified Personal Trainer who loves helping others live their best life when not spending time with her children and grandson Theodore.