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Starting a healthy lifestyle should not be dictated by your or your loved one illness. Sadly often illnesses are the reasons why people focus on the importance of healthy choices in their lives.
I have been always healthy. However, the illness of my father put the perspective of being healthy on a whole new dimension.
To generalize people think they become healthier when they eat more fruits and vegetables and exercise regularly. That i a good start but there is much more to a healthy lifestyle.
I have been looking for my ‘perfect’ diet for about a year. I learned more about plant-based, vegan, keto, paleo, rainbow or Mediterranean diet and various other diet types people are on. The amount of webinars, papers and books re diets I saw is insane. Sadly I am none the wiser what is a ‘healthy diet’…
Many popular diets seem to be attractive as they have many benefits but are they sustainable long term?
I don’t think some as many of them are not that healthy long term… With that, I won’t become just plant-based or just keto. To me, the most important is to have a diet that offers me nutrients needed for my body to be healthy and also works on mitochondria the way they don’t get damaged causing aging.
Therefore an anti-inflammatory healthy diet should help my cells to thrive and protect me from any chronic conditions leading to serious illnesses. That doesn’t mean that I will avoid meat.
Every time I try to be purely plant-based I suffer from anemia and extremely cold feet and palms. I hate it, ok I could use B12 and iron supplements. I believe it is better to eat meat from time to time instead of relying only on supplements.
Why I will eat meat sparingly?
Ok, I am not happy that eating meat shortens the telomeres. Telomeres shorten each time a cell duplicates itself, however, the important DNA stays intact. Telomeres do not shrink significantly until old age in healthy people, because the enzyme telomerase ensures regeneration.
However, in the end, telomeres get so short that the DNA strands either stop replicating or start combining together, which causes cells to age and stop working properly. That’s why telomeres act as the aging clock in every cell. That often encourages tumor growth.
Several studies have shown that high red meat consumption can increase the incidence of colorectal and breast cancer and DNA damage. Greater intake of red meat can induce DNA damage and may have an impact on the “Telomere Length” (TL). The main sources of DNA damage are oxidative stress and inflammation.https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12937-016-0189-2
As per the linked paper, it concerns predominantly red meat and it’s important to understand that meat consumption is one of many things that affect our telomeres ( they get affected by obesity, smoking, lack of exercise etc.). So one trade of in place of a bit of poultry and liver meat won’t cause an irreversible loss.
To me, the benefits of a little amount of meat in my diet seem to outweigh the disadvantages of eating it. Furthermore, organ meat so unappreciated nowadays is a great source of minerals and vitamins such as vitamin D.
So when staying on a plant-based diet I will occasionally allow myself to eat meat or fish and will increase the antioxidants level and keep meditating to protect my telomeres from shortening.
They function to protect the ends of chromosomes from binding to each other. Telomeres do not shrink significantly until old age in healthy people, because the enzyme telomerase ensures regeneration. However in the end telomeres get so short that the DNA strands either stop replicating or start combining together, often encouraging tumor growth.
Why controlling glucose level is more important than sticking to a particular diet?
Too much sugar in the blood can cause long-term damage to body tissues. It can harm vital organs, increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, vision problems, and nerve problems not to mention increases inflammation which often leads to chronic illnesses and cancer. S
o whatever diet you choose for yourself ensure there is ideally no more than 25g of added sugar per day for females and 38g of added sugar per day for males as per the American Heart Association (AHA).
I am not going to share with you an arm long list of exercise benefits as you probably know them from many articles on this subject. For me the most important are:
- Maintaining telomere length/anti-aging (your metabolic rate is higher for hours after the workout)
- Toning my body
- Mood boost
I am a fan of HIIT as many studies show that this type of exercise allows women for best fat burnout and weight loss than any other exercise type.
The studies from Bowling Green State University found that HIIT training provides more health benefits to women than men (better ability to maintain the highest intensity, better increases in VO2 max, plus average %HRmax values are 4–5% higher in women vs. men in this study, not to mention there is a higher percentage of their oxygen consumption).
I am easily motivated not only by HIIT benefits but also by competition with my mates. That’s why I use freeletics. It is an app that gives me personalized training and tracks mine and my and my friends’ scores.
Cosmetics and Household
I try to avoid:
- cosmetics full of chemicals and house detergents and cleaning products full of harmful ingredients..
- scented cancels or any air fragrance
- plastic produce
- anything which cause toxicity to my liver & body
Mental & emotional wellbeing
As my beloved dad used to say ‘a healthy body = healthy mind’. He was so RIGHT as any illness does affect the body and the MIND so deeply…Apparently, the ancient philosopher Juvenal said ‘A sound mind in a sound body’/ ‘Mens sana in corpore sano’.He knew that a person is only healthy when he is active both intellectually and physically.
I know that too hence highlight the importance of the right diet and exercise but we need to top it up with ensuring we get enough of quality sleep and take care of our mental and emotional wellbeing. How do I do that?
I use a fabulous app to create new habits. This app reminds me at 10 pm tat its time to go offline and start preparing for downtime time:-) I try to read and meditate before I fall asleep.
When I wake up I try to be outdoor for at least 15-20 mins ( sometimes I run) to get natural light exposure so that my body starts producing serotonin and then after the dusk melatonin is released.
I try not to be on my screens and if I have to I ensure they have flux installed. If I had a particularly stressful day I take ashwagandha and may relay on the honokiol for relaxation help. If I can’t fall asleep within 20-30 mins I get up and take 3-5mg of melatonin.
I am a big fan of Joe Dispenza so follow him online and love his guided meditation. I have recently discovered Emily Fletcher and am impressed by her coaching employees at Google and many other corporations as well as actors.
Right breathing techniques including my favorite 4-7-8 help me destress almost instantly and I often take 5 such breaths ahead of my sleep time 🙂
I go to the woods as often as I can as being in the green space reduces the risk for many chronic diseases and improves overall good health. Also, our dog finds woods more interesting to sniff around than her local park 🙂
I am an introvert but I do keep a point of seeing my loved ones from time to time 🙂 We enjoy game nights too:-)
Gratitude makes me a better human being and happier too. Therefore, I keep doing that for a few minutes every morning before even I get up.
My hobbies keep me sane from motorcycling, cooking to blogging.
I am always busy yet happy to discover more of new things hoping I will develop more due to liking new activities. As we know its co important to try new things to keep the grey mass alive!