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.
Growing up as an American girl in a society that puts so much weight on physical appearance, and body size, I was equally as obsessed. I saw poor choices that I would make in my health as a teen as effecting my appearance, and nothing more. Healthy food would make me look good, unhealthy food would make me look bad… and that’s all that mattered, right? Even now in my mid/late twenties I take my health seriously so I feel good now... and that’s all that matters, right?
In reality, our present health and habits clearly have an effect on our present state, but it plays an equally as important role on our health in the future.
Though we may see health just as looking good or feeling good when we’re younger, we need to take our healthy aging seriously regardless of our age.
Why does healthy aging matter at any age?
Regardless of what age we are, the choices that we make now effect how our health looks tomorrow.
Anything from what we put on our skin, to how much we stress ourselves out all plays a part in how healthy, capable, and able bodied we’ll be in the coming years.
Health is not just a present concern regardless of your age.
When I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease in my teens and multiple food allergies in my 20’s, I was struck with the harsh reality that the health choices I made when I was younger, had played a part in bringing to me where I ended up. In my childhood and early teens, I ate an incredibly nutrient void diet that harmed my gut health and over used antibiotics and NSAID’s. This harmed my gut health as well as weakened my immune system.
Of course, genetics play a huge role in our health and in my development of autoimmune disease, but my poor diet and lifestyle certainly didn’t help.
When do we start to see the effects of poor health choices?
It’s said that it can take up to seven years to start seeing the effects of deep mineral deficiencies, and the tipping point for imbalances like adrenal dysfunction and hormone imbalance can come randomly. It’s not always obvious that you’re leading yourself down a path that’s harmful until you’re already deep into it.
I hope my story makes you realize that you don’t have to be in your sixties to start seeing poor healthy aging consequences. I first faced the reality of my poor choices at 17 and am still living with the effects years later.
Though those with autoimmune disease, and other chronic illness, may be more genetically predisposed to developing these illnesses, the choices that we make at any point in our life can have a powerful impact of how greatly the symptoms effect us.
How To Live with Healthy Aging in Mind at Any Age
1. Eat real food.
This should be a give in, but it can more complicated than that.
When it comes to health food, there so much noise and conflicting information. With marketing for processed foods masquerading as healthy foods, and a million different opinions on the internet about what is and isn’t healthy, actually making healthy choices can be difficult.
However, my simple advice is to always go as close to the source as possible, and stay close to home. What does that mean?
- Swap pasture raised and grass-fed meats for organic
- If you eat dairy, swap organic for grass-fed and even raw when possible
- Rather than buying all fruits and vegetables at the grocery store, find a farmers market or Co-op
- Don’t fear natural fats like animal fat, egg yolks, coconut oil and grass-fed butter or ghee
- Cook at home as often as possible and only lean on convenience foods in the rarest of occasions
- Follow a healing protocol like paleo, or autoimmune paleo when the time calls for it
2. Move your body daily.
The human body was made to move and be active. And before we all became chained to desks and cars, we did just that… we moved daily.
As a fellow desk jockey, I get it… it’s hard to find time to exercise. I can barely find time to post on Instagram daily (#firstworldproblems ????) so I know what you’re thinking… “With a full-time job, kids, everything else, how am I supposed to find 15 minutes to drive to the gym, an hour to workout, and another 15-20 minutes to clean up and get back home and then make a super health “eat real food” dinner?!”
Well first, I feel you. Second, it doesn’t have to be that complicated. Moving your body daily can be anything that fits in your schedule. Though I had an hour a day to workout at a gym 4-5 times a week in college, I’ve had to shift my routine to whatever I can fit in.
Here are some of my favorite ways to move daily…
- Taking 30 minutes during lunch to take a walk
- Turning on a tabata or yoga YouTube video to get in 10-20 minutes of movemenet
- An hour long walk after work with family/spouse that also doubles as quality family time
- Homework out plans like 30 day guides, videos, etc.
- Switching weekly outings to a hike rather than a restaurant visit (my husband I do this and we love it!)
3. Recognize that stress is incredibly harmful to your health.
Even in retrospect, it’s pretty ridiculous how stressful your teen and college years are. Between holding down a job, going to class, studying, doing extracurriculars, and trying to have social life, those years were incredibly stressful to me. Even elementary and middle school can be equally as stressful.
Though we have this weird expectation that we can handle all of this stress when we’re younger, I beg to differ.
Chronic cortisol as a result of stress at any age output leads to serious longterm hormonal imbalance that can result in weight gain, hair loss, menstrual changes, and even infertility.
We all handle stress differently and all have our limits. However, I urge you to be mindful that stress is more than just inconvenient at the time… it has long term effects on our health.
For my clients who are dealing with particularly stressful lives like work and school, or family struggles, I ask them to consider that following…
- “What’s the one thing in your life that’s causing extra stress that you can actually change? For example, having your partner help with the dishes, saying “no” to a commitment, etc.”
- “Where is one hour a week, or a few minutes a day that you can just take to yourself? What would you do with that time? Read? Exercise? Meditate? Pray? Just sit alone and do nothing?”
No amount of de-stressing is too little… take what you can and embrace it.
4. Be mindful about your hair, skin and nails.
I may only be in my mid-twenties, but I’m already starting to see the negative effects of me not taking care of my skin and nails when I was younger. I often kick myself for not taking better care of acne scaring earlier. However, that doesn’t mean that I should have used harsh chemicals in my teens, or that I’m going to use
So, how do you treat your skin, hair and nails right and be mindful about their health?
- Say “no” to nail polish as often as you can. It’s unnatural and super damaging to your nails!
- Dye your hair wisely. Do your research and only dye if you really feel necessary.
- Always wash off your makeup with a natural makeup remover! I opt for a 50/50 mix of vanilla coconut oil and coconut sugar that doubles as an exfoliator and a makeup remover! You could literally eat this stuff. (pictured below!)
- Use natural products free of dyes and coloring like tallow balm (also pictured below).
- Supplement wisely when appropriate and okayed by your doctor.
Even with eating a real food diet, it’s not always feasible to get every needed nutrient from food alone. With depleted soil quality and more, I’m still not in perfect health. Not only is my skin showing signs of me being a lazy teenager, but my nail health is always the first thing to go. I’ve struggled with weak nails on and off my entire life even with eating all of the vegetables and drinking all of the broth.
One of the things that I’ve done in the past to help give me an extra boost is supplementing with a biotin, zinc, and other minerals like Ultra HSN from Douglas Laboratories. I’ve had tons of success with adding biotin to my beauty routine in the past an can’t wait to start incorporating it more again! Always talk to a doctor to make sure it’s right for you, because I’m not a doctor 🙂
So, the moral to the story is this… don’t wait to tackle healthy lifestyle routines that influence healthy aging! You can do it at 16, 30, 60… anything. We’re always aging, and every day is an opportunity to make a positive impact on your life in the future!
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.