Are You Making These Healthy Aging Mistakes?
Thank you Douglas Laboratories for sponsoring this post. I was selected for this opportunity by Douglas Laboratories and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, healthy aging is about more than just your present age and is a concern at any age. We’re always aging, and the choices that we make today effect how our health will be impacted tomorrow.
When I first embarked on a gut healing journey to remedy my leaky gut and hashimoto’s disease, I didn’t initially realize that what I had done for the first 20 years of my life brought me to that point. All of the sugar, all of the stress, all of the time not taking care of my health… it brought me to a state in which I needed to heal from that caused severe stomach problems, food allergies and autoimmune disease.
It’s not always obvious when we’re making mistakes that effect our health in the future. Heck, we make them every day… I make them every day. That’s why I wanted to share some of the most common healthy aging mistakes or health mistakes in general that we so often make and how to avoid making them!
Mistake #1 : Eating too much sugar, carbohydrates and caffeine.
I grew up eating carbohydrates are my main food group. Bread, pasta, oatmeal, sandwiches, even healthier carbs like fruit and starchy carbs… whatever it was, I ate way too much of it. So many of us fall into this trap of believing that bread and pasta should be the base of our diet or even eating too many natural carbohydrates. We’re also made to believe that caffeine is a natural part of surviving the day, when really, that doesn’t have to be our reality.
Contrary to popular belief, sugar isn’t the only thing that spikes your blood sugar. Carbohydrates like bread, pasta, and even fruit in excess as well as caffeine spike it as well. Ever get hangry, shaky, or feel the need to constantly snack? That’s your blood sugar spiking. Our blood sugar spiking raises our cortisol and our insulin which can be extremely catabolic to the body. Over time, if we stay in this state of high insulin our body stops responding to the spikes and we can become insulin resistant. Not only does this effect our cravings, but it plays a huge role in hormone balance, the health of our nerves, and even our skin. Did you know that excess sugar even depletes your body of magnesium? No wonder we’re all magnesium deficient!
Though this may sound like something that only diabetics need to worry about, I actually started seeing signs of insulin resistance when I was 23 all as a result of eating too many carbs. My hands and feet would go numb after eating a bowl of oatmeal which was a sign of my nerves becoming damaged from the excess of insulin and this reaction happening for over 20 years.
Though I was able to reverse this, I was only 20 and not even overweight when I saw the negative effects of excess carbs in my diet.
So, what do you do, and what did I do?
- Make non-starchy vegetables the base of all of my meals.. even breakfast!
- Ditch carb-y breakfasts like oatmeal and toast and thought outside of the box
- For myself to manage my Hashimoto’s as well, I went grain free
- Begin eating fat and protein at every meal… avocado, egg yolks, ghee, olive oil, yum!
Mistake #2 : Not eating for nutrient density.
We all too often see eating as resulting either in us being overweight, underweight, or at a normal weight. It gives us energy, or makes us tired. Rather, it’s so much more than that. The food that we eat has a powerful impact on our overall health and vitality as we age throughout life.
A lesson that I’ve had to learn the hard way is to eat for nutrient density rather than weight loss, energy, or pleasure. So, how do you eat for nutrient density?
- Choose grass-fed and pasture raised meats and wild caught fish
- Go local and organic when possible and make vegetables the base of your meals
- Include leafy greens every day! That doesn’t have to be salads… sautéed greens, smoothies… whatever floats your boat
- Enjoy processed convenience foods in extreme moderation
- Eat fruit and starchy carbs in moderation
Mistake #3 : Not supplementing wisely.
Clearly, I preach real food… and I believe in it and have healed with it. However, in the same breath, I’d be lying if I said that I don’t use wise supplementation with my own clients, and that I haven’t supplemented for myself. Real food heals, but real food isn’t what it used to be. Our soil isn’t as nutrient rich, and we don’t necessarily even digest what we’re eating if our digestion and gut health is compromised.
When it comes to aging and health in general, proper nutrition is what supports our overall health and wellbeing. The complex chemical reactions that keep us alive are dependent on the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that we consume. When we’re depleted, our health can deterioriate in a number of different ways.
I got the opportunity to talk to Dr. Shel, a physician in Houston and author of the book, I Am A Woman, about the important of smart supplementation in our modern world…
“In 2004 a team of researchers from the University of Texas Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry conducted research on the nutrients found in 43 common garden fruits and vegetables. The study revealed that the nutritional content in our food supply has plummeted by an average of 30 to 60 percent in the last 50 years, and continues to decline every year. Supplementation with high quality, medical grade supplements has become essential to getting the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy.” – Dr. Shel.
Of course, it’s still the first on my list to get as much nutrition from food as possible, but I wouldn’t have been able to heal my gut and get to the point where I am with my autoimmune disease if I didn’t supplement wisely.
So, how do you supplement wisely? Find out what works for you by talking to your own doctor (I’m not a doctor) and talk about a high quality supplement routine that’s tailored for you. We’re all bioindividuals and our supplementation is unique and changes. Just because we took a supplement years ago, doesn’t mean it’s still appropriate. I’ve spoken before in my post on maintaining gut health the importance of checking in with your doctor periodically on an appropriate supplementation routine is one of those things to stay on top of.
Mistake #4 :Taking on too much stress.
Stress of all kinds is incredibly harmful to our health. From contributing to extra cortisol, to being emotionally draining, stress tears us down both mentally and physically. I always think of the before and after pictures of presidents before they got elected and 4-8 years later… they tend to look like they aged 20 years. Stress can age us on both the outside and the inside
With full time jobs, friends, spouses, kids, school, hobbies, bills, and more, life gets stressful. Some stress is unavoidable. I can’t stay away from annoying drivers and I can’t avoid bills forever. However, there’s a threshold that everyone has that they may not always recognize when it all begins to be too much… and that is where it starts to tear us down and become harmful to our health.
I always ask my nutritional therapy clients, “What’s one thing that’s stressing you out that you don’t really need to do”. Maybe it’s small, but there’s always something. One by one, knock out the low hanging fruit of what’s causing you excess stress.
Mistake #5 : Too much screen time.
Screen time is a blessing and a curse. On one hand, I’m loving sitting in front of my screen and writing on my blog to you lovely people. On the other hand, I’m also wearing super thick glasses that have only gotten thicker as my eye health has gotten worse throughout the years which hasn’t been helped by all of my screen time.
Screen time not only messes with our circadian rhythm and harms our sleep, but it also harms our eyes. I find myself having to look up and dart my eyes around the room every 30 minutes or so, but it’s still not enough.
I got my first pair of glasses at 10 years old and it was attributed to too much screen time at the time. Though that’s hard to say that it’s 100% due to screen time, I’m sure it hasn’t helped. My eyes have only gotten worse with time and I’m likely not going to go off the grid and ditch my screen anytime soon. And let’s face it… our vision is super important! I need it for good photography, for reading, for writing… basically everything!
Limiting screen time is hard, but necessary for maintaining our vision and even decreasing stress. Douglas Laboratories reached out to me and let me try their product Macu-Support, which can be a great way to help support eye health.
Again, I’m not a doctor and don’t give medical advice or treatment, so speak to your own doctor for the appropriateness of wise supplementation. 🙂
Mistake #6 : Wearing too much makeup and not washing it off.
Why is it so hard to remember to wash off your make up at night? Or is that just me? Because it’s hard for me to remember 😛
Wearing too much makeup and not washing it off can do a number on your skin, which can be an easy place to notice aging. Even in my mid twenties, I can notice when I haven’t been good about a makeup routine the very next day. I look tired, my skin is dry, and I’m more likely to break out.
Always be mindful about washing off your makeup every single night. I use a mix of coconut oil and coconut sugar to both exfoliate and wash my makeup off every single night. I’m also mindful about not over doing it with makeup.
We may feel more pressure to wear more makeup as we age, but I encourage you to not lean on it! Makeup is a fun form of expression and I love to talk about safer makeup, but remember that you’re beautiful without it! <3
Mistake #7 : Neglecting Healthy Movement.
One of the best ways to keep up our ability to remain active throughout our lives is to be active now. Ever have the feeling at the end of a long day sitting where you feel like you’ve aged 10 years? You back hurts, your joints ache, and you just don’t have any energy. Guilty!
The more that we move throughout our lives, the easier that it becomes to maintain as we age. Not to mention that our joint health is greatly influenced by weight bearing exercise!
You don’t need to be a marathon runner or a crossfitter to be healthy and active. All it can take is just a short walk in the evening, or an at home strength training routine.
All in all, healthy aging and health in general is about finding your routine. It’s about testing, trying new things, working with a doctor to find what’s best for you, and forgiving yourself for making mistakes and learning from them!
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.