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Category Archives for "aging"

How to become a superager with Jim Owen

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Jim Owen (author of the book Just Move: A New Approach to Fitness After 50 is a 40-year veteran of Wall Street and is also the founder and CIO of the center for Cowboy Ethics and Leadership. He is the best-selling author of The Try, The Secret to Success in Life and Career, Cowboy values, recapturing what America once stood for, and the Prudent Investor. On his 70th birthday, he looked in the mirror and didn't like what he saw. He committed to change. And now at 82, he's in the best shape of his life. He shares many of his super-ager strategies and tactics during this interview.

Transcript

Let's Say Hello

[00:01:18.550] – Allan

Hey, Ras. How are things?

[00:01:20.460] – Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:01:22.810] – Allan

Well, we are now out of the closet, out of the bedroom, into the house. My wife Tammy got covid, so we've had her quarantined for this week. And I've been living upstairs in one of our rooms, which is not bad. It's a really nice place, but just having to take care of her, having to take care of everything else. And it's been a lot. But it's a good week.

[00:01:52.840] – Rachel

Yeah. She's feeling better?

[00:01:54.650] – Allan

She is now symptom free, so she's gotten over it.

[00:01:58.420] – Rachel

Good.

[00:01:59.320] – Allan

She had tested positive on Monday and she tested herself and then she tested positive again. She went to the hospital and tested and got a positive. So this at home test, you can get false positives sometimes she got a positive, I got a negative. And then we quarantined her. She went to the hospital the next morning and it was positive. So she finished up her fifth day yesterday, the day before yesterday, and then just out of precaution stayed another day and a half, two days. So she's just now coming out of the apartment today.

[00:02:36.110] – Rachel

Cool. That's good news. Very exciting.

[00:02:40.030] – Allan

How are things up there?

[00:02:41.570] – Rachel

Oh, great. Mike and I went camping this weekend and had a great weekend out. Our first weekend of camping. And it was a beautiful time. Nice, peaceful, relaxing. It was a good time. Nice to be out.

[00:02:55.330] – Allan

All right. Well, are you ready to have this conversation with Superager Jim?

[00:02:59.090] – Rachel

Sure.

Interview

[00:03:35.350] – Allan

Hey, Jim, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:03:37.820] – Jim

Thank you, Allan. I'm delighted to be here.

[00:03:40.640] – Allan

You know, you're in your 70s, mid-70s now, I guess, right? 76, maybe.

[00:03:46.380] – Jim

Allan, I will be 82.

[00:03:50.290] – Allan

Okay, we're going to play some of the video. We're going to save some little clips here and there. And so I want people to look at this because you don't look like a normal 82-year-old. Not by normal, I mean an American 82-year-old man. You look very different than most of us think we're going to look or would look when we're 82. And a lot of it is the stuff that you shared in this book.

[00:04:15.600] – Jim

And that's kind of the real story, because I'm nobody special, believe me, if I can do this, because when I was 70, very different story. That's what we're talking about, my story.

[00:04:28.710] – Allan

Okay, well, the book is called Just Move: A New Approach to Fitness after 50. And I started when I was in my mid-40s, realized that my job was killing me. My life was killing me. I was unfit, unhealthy, and just going downhill and fairly miserable. So I started making some changes. And those changes reflected who I changed into. And in many ways, it's the same for you. You came upon it, said, hey, I got to do something, and you started making some changes. Can you talk a little bit about your story?

[00:05:02.770] – Jim

Well, Allan, when I turned 70, I was in terrible shape. My back was killing me. I'm not talking about a little back pain. I'm talking about excruciating back pain. Both knees were shot and my right rotator cuff was frozen. If that weren't enough, I was probably 20 to 25 pounds overweight. But when I think about it, and I'm sure that many of your listeners had the same thing, the worst of it all was low energy. I just didn't have the energy I had when I was younger. And I said, boy, I said to my wife, I look in the mirror. I don't forget as long as I live on my 70th birthday. And Allan and I said, My God, I'm an old man. And I said to my wife, I'm an old man. She said, Sweetie, don't worry, you've still got game. She paused and then she said, unfortunately, that game is being gone. That's a true story. So that got me thinking, okay, I got to do something. Today, I'll be 82 in October. And now I'm in the best shape of my life. I couldn't do one push up on day one on my 70th birthday, I could not do one push up.

[00:06:40.490] – Jim

I can bang out 50. I don't do it every day because it's not good for your shoulder. But I can bang out 50, and I weigh less than I did today than I did in high school. And I look back and say, yeah, it's transformation. But, Allan, I think the takeaway for your audience is I'm just an average guy. So if I can do this, go from being weak and overweight and so on, anybody can do it. I'm nobody special. I'm not a Superman or any of that stuff. I think the basic message to your audience is, if you want to get more fit like you did, you want to get healthier, you can. It's never too late. Doesn't matter. Obviously, if I'd done this earlier in my life like you did, I wouldn't have had to have worked as hard. Let's be honest about it, okay. But if you're 75 years old, you still get more fit. And still now 82, and all I can say is I'm in the best shape of my life. I feel lucky. But it wasn't a gift. I had to show up and do the work. And that's the basic message to your audience.

[00:08:06.800] – Jim

You have to show up and do the work, and you have to have kind of a long term view. And maybe you can help me out. If there's a secret, if there's a pill I could have taken, there's a shortcut. I never found it, frankly. I just showed up, did the work. But anybody can do this. You don't have to kill yourself. You don't have to have a gym membership. You don't have to have a personal trainer. Not really. So that's my story.

[00:08:39.280] – Allan

Well, if there is a magic to it, and I think this is where most people struggle is, and you would have struggled with this a lot as well. You hurt, you're in pain, but you're in a bad place. And you know that there are two directions. You're kind of at a fork in the road. And as you said, it's your stark reality.

[00:08:59.140] – Jim

Absolutely. Fork in the road is a great way to look at this.

[00:09:04.510] – Allan

And now for you, it seems, because I was looking at it kind of the same way of saying I'm either going to keep dying or I'm going to start living. And that's the way I kind of looked at it. But being inactive was really, I think, one of the big problems both of us kind of faced at that point in our lives. We weren't active. What are some of the risks that we were facing when we're not moving our bodies and not doing the things we're supposed to?

[00:09:30.370] – Jim

Well, this is one of this book I wrote. I wrote this book, I guess five years ago, published by National Geographic. They've never done a book like this, but they were sort of fascinated by this whole concept. Let me just say this, Allan. I came across one statistic that I want to share with you and your audience, and this is really what got me motivated. If you make it to 70. Statistically, out of a very large sample of people, I'm not talking about ten people from Denmark. I'm talking about 100,000 people. Statistically, you will live another 15 years on average. And I said to myself, If I feel this bad now, can you imagine? In 15 years, I'll be in a wheelchair, I'll have a cane, I'll be slumped over, whatever. That was my motivation, to be honest about it. What happens if I do make this? So the reason that you and I are on this health kick I think, it has nothing to do with I need to lose 10lbs or I need this or that. It's not about living longer. Maybe this to you. It's not to me. Okay. But I want to live as happy and as full of life as I can.

[00:11:05.010] – Jim

The killer. And that's why this book is called Just J-U-S-T I'm a Southern accent. Just move. Is that one of the problems is that all of us today, or most of us sit too much. The average adult. This is not my opinion. This is, I think, Harvard or somebody, or maybe I think it's Harvard Medical School says the average American adult sits between 8 and 11 hours a day. That's between the computer, hunched over a computer, watching TV, kind of relaxing, whatever you want to call it. That's part of the problem. That's why my basic thing is just move. It doesn't matter what you do, as important as you've got to do something as opposed to sitting. The reason that sitting is bad. I know it's a cliche, Allan, but sitting is kind of the new smoking. If you sit, you will have aches and pains. There's no doubt every doctor will tell you that. And the doctors themselves probably sick too much. Okay, we all do. That's just part of our culture. I've worked hard my whole life. I deserve some relaxation, that's all true. But you will have aches and pains. You will have tight hips.

[00:12:35.250] – Jim

Absolutely true. The tight hips are often what leads to this back pain. I didn't know that. Again, I'm not a doctor, I'm not a kinesiologist. I don't have an advanced degree in Gerontology. I'm just an ordinary guy. That said, if I feel this bad now, how am I going to feel in 10 years or 15 years? And that was the motivation for me.

[00:13:04.890] – Allan

Yeah. I was looking at my life with my daughter going on and doing things like CrossFit and obstacle course races. And I was thinking to myself, she wants me to come and be there with her. But she was thinking of it in terms of me being a spectator.

[00:13:24.330] – Allan

Sit. And watch her do her event. And when she started talking about those things, I was like, Well, I don't want to spectate. I want to participate and I can't. I'm not there.

[00:13:36.630] – Jim

That sums up. And I did.

[00:13:38.710] – Allan

And then as I really got into thinking, about this long term what this means as far as my path, my aging curve. I noticed my grandfather, he was in his ninety s and he could not take care of himself. And so then it became this mantra of I want to be able to wipe my own butt when I'm 105. So it's kind of funny, kind of silly, but it's kind of those concepts of I want to be able to do the things I enjoy doing with my family. We didn't have mud runs when I was younger, so now we have mud runs. And when I have grandkids, I don't know what they're going to be doing. But I also don't likely want to be a spectator for much of it if I can participate in any way. And the only way I'm going to do that is to keep myself healthy and strong. The only way I'm going to live to see 105 and still be healthy and strong is if I'm doing the right things day in and day out. And the next thing is avoiding mistakes, because I can tell you over the course of the eight years I was trying to figure all this stuff out because we don't come with an operating manual, although now your book gives us a lot of that.

[00:14:41.730] – Jim

Right.

[00:14:42.280] – Allan

Your book does give us a lot. What are some common mistakes that we make as older individuals trying to start an exercise program?

[00:14:50.970] – Jim

I would say the first thing is that most people and I live in a senior community, as we call it. Okay. And I see people I'm probably a young person, to be honest about it. My wife and I, we've been married 52 years.

[00:15:08.860] – Allan

Congratulations.

[00:15:10.240] – Jim

I think the biggest mistake is that people don't have a goal, which I don't ask you where it came from just out of my head. But when I started this program, I had one goal, and it was I want to be 80 years young. And at the time, I was 70 years old. So I wrote this down. I'm 80 years old. I want to be 80 years young. What do I have to do? And Allan, again, I'm not an exercise nut or some freak or gym rat. I didn't know what to do to be honest about it. And observing people was part of this, Allan. And what I noticed was that there were people who were 60 who looked and moved like they were 80. There were people who were 80 who looked to move like they were 60. And I said, what do these folks know who are 80? I said, I want to be one of those. And I call these super-agers. That's my term for it. I don't know if that's not a medical term. I call them super agers. Now let me be clear. I didn't say super men and I didn't say super women or Wonder Woman.

[00:16:47.710] – Jim

These are ordinary people who made a decision Allan, just like you did. What do I have to do? Okay. To lead a happier, more full life, not to be 100 years old or whatever. I'm not saying you can exercise every day, but one big lesson out of all this is that DNA is not your destiny. And what I did, I talked to people who were what I call Supe-Agers, people who are 80 years old, 85 years old, what the heck do they do? And there were some very common traits of these people, and that's how I developed a plan. The other mistake people make is they say, okay, I want to get fit. Okay. Do you have a plan for getting fit? No, I do the treadmill. I go walking. Well, I'm going to tell you, walking alone is not enough. People in your audience you're going to go, he doesn't know what he's talking about. Well, I love to walk. Okay, so let's make it real clear. Walking alone is not enough. So whether you have a gym membership or work out at home or whatever it may be, there are other activities you have to do if you want to get more fit.

[00:18:28.050] – Jim

And I talked to the experts, for what that's worth, there are lots of conflicts of interest. There's a lot of showman in the fitness industry. I'm a little bit cynical, as I suspect you are about the industry itself. Everybody's promoting something, but it doesn't matter when I talk to the experts, plus people who are actually what I call Super-Agers. And that's where I developed a program and I want to show you my T shirt. I call this, Geezer fitness is what I call this. So the best advice I got ever, I want to share with you and your audience and I can get a kick out of this. The best advice I ever had, somebody who was probably 85 years old, I was never quite sure how he was, but he looked like a million dollars. And he said, Jim, if you want to get motivated and stay motivated, I'm going to give you a secret. I said, Gosh, we love secrets. What's the secret? He said, Buy a couple of compression shirts. I said, what is a compression shirt? And he showed me, he says, what the athletes wear. So on day one, I show up and I had a double, the highest thing you could have, okay, whatever it was.

[00:20:02.610] – Jim

And people looked at me on day one and said, this guy has no pride at all. And the fact you try wearing a compression shirt if you're 5lbs overweight the fat hangs out. And people would look away and say, this guy has no pride at all. And to be honest about it, that's what kept me motivated. Pretend I've worn one every day since, and I love putting stuff on here. I've got one called Spartacus. So if I'm really at my best shape, I say Spartacus. If I'm not such good shape, and now I'm wearing a medium. So that's kind of what kept me motivated. People just couldn't believe it. Does this guy know how awful he looks? So try a compression shirt. And if you're 10lbs overweight, it's really embarrassing. So anyway, that's what I did and it kind of worked. It just kept me motivated day after day. And all of a sudden I started wearing a large and now wear a medium T shirt. And for a guy, one problem that men have is that they develop that punch okay and very difficult to get this off. So one mistake that people make, Allan, which I didn't know about, I didn't know what core meant.

[00:21:29.610] – Jim

I thought core referred to a six pack. Now, core is a band that goes around your upper extremity. It starts about here and goes down to your thighs. And if your core is weak and mine was incredibly weak, you will have back pain, I guarantee you. So one mistake that I would guess that 80% of people make in your audience, they don't do enough core. Again, I didn't know this. I'm not a medical doctor, I don't have a PhD. But what I found out the hard way was one reason for my lower back pain was a weak core. So for the first, probably two or three years, I would guess at least a third of my workouts exercising was on the core. Here's the good news, Allan. I'll be 82. I have zero back pain. None. Nada. So I look back and say, whatever I did seem to have worked. But a big part of this was the core. So it's not about being in a dynasty, it's not about Allan how many pull ups can you do? I can do. It has nothing to do with the ego. It has to do with, quote, functional fitness.

[00:22:58.030] – Jim

So I'm going back to what I said earlier about mixing it up. There are basically five dimensions of functional fitness. Now, when you're young, you're motivated. I want to look good in a bathing suit. Nothing wrong with that, okay. Or I'm getting married in four months. I need to lose 15lbs. So it's very vanity driven when you're older, older, being 50, 60, 70, 80, whatever. Presumably you're less vanity driven and more driven, as you said you were, by the desire to be functional, to be able to go through a day without aches and pains, without being slumped over like this, being able to stand up straight, not having a Walker, not having complaining all day about, oh, God, my back hurts this and that and so on. And so that's what it's done for me. When I say I'm in the best shape of my life, well, I have no aches and pains. What is that worth any amount of money? I can tell you that had a good career in the investment world. All I can say is the hour a day that I spend on exercising working out is the best investment I ever made.

[00:24:21.580] – Jim

How do you put a price on this? I don't know how to do it. I can say all the money in the world if you're 80 years old and let's say you're a rich person, whatever that means, and you end up in a doctor's office three or four times a week, what have you achieved? So, Allan, I call all this stuff winning at life. That's how I frame what I do. My goal, I want to win at life. How do you look back on your last days and aches and pains and the doctor you know your doctor better than you do your kids and your loved one? I don't think that's winning at life, personally. I don't think being dependent upon your kids to take care of you when you're older. I don't think that's winning at life.

[00:25:13.150] – Allan

Let's take a quick step back, because before we get too far away from the functional fitness, I think this is important for someone, particularly someone that's just starting out to understand. So the gym culture. I've been in the gym a lot over the course of my life. There's this thing, and you'll notice all the cardiovascular machines are really close to the door. And that's where 90% of the people that come in, they stop right there at the treadmill because it's easy. They understand it. You turn it on, you walk, you turn it off, you go home. And kind of the funny thing is you might live a mile away from the gym, but you're going to walk 3 miles on the treadmill and not walk to the gym. But a lot of people stop there and they look to the rest of the gym, either by not knowing what to do or even having, like you said, a plan. And for the plan to be successful, as you mentioned, it has to address functional fitness. And you mentioned Core. And we were going to say, yeah, the walking and cardiovascular endurance is important. Those are two facets of functional fitness.

[00:26:13.420] – Allan

But what are the other three that we should be looking toward to be a super ager?

[00:26:18.850] – Jim

Well, a clear one is strength. And when you say that, wait a minute, I'm not a muscle head. I'm not trying to be Mr. or Ms. Adonis. I'm not talking about that. Here are the statistics. When I did this book just move the National Geographic, it took me about two years to do the book. And when I got through and turned in the manuscript and they said, this is great. Oh, by the way, we need to have an expert read every page and evaluate it. I said, what?

[00:26:55.690] – Jim

Oh, yeah. Well, I said, I don't think anybody can do that or would do it. They found somebody out of Duke University who was, I guess, a gerontologist, and she read every paragraph. And so we agreed upon that. And then they said, Jim, oh, by the way, one more step. You have to source everything you said. What does that mean? Well, we don't want your opinion. You have to say, where did your opinion come from? I said, why don't you tell me about that? Because you would never have signed the contract. So I had to source it. And I said, because there's so much BS in the fitness world. So when I threw out these statistics, it's not my opinion. It could be Mayo Clinic, it could be whomever. But the book was not my opinion says this or that. Okay. But what I learned was from the experts is that how important strength training is. And that does not mean lifting heavy. That's what people get in trouble. You can do a lot of stuff with very light dumbbells. So my advice to your audience is maybe you're using 15 or 10 pound dumbbells. That's okay.

[00:28:22.450] – Jim

I can show you some exercises that you're going to say, I suspect you're in good shape, that you're going to say, Gosh, this is hard, Allan. 15 lbs can be hard depending on what you do. Okay. But here's the reason why in a nutshell, is because you lose strength as you get older, that unless you do something to offset that, here are the statistics. You're going to lose about 40% of your muscle mass by the time you're 70 or 75. And this often leads to the problems. So you have weak bones and so on. And so, again, I'm not a medical expert, but that's what the experts says, not an expert alive they wouldn't agree with that. That strength training and it's not being a muscle head and it's not lifting heavy at all. It has nothing to do with that. You don't need a gym membership. You can do it at home. I can show you exercises to do, just push ups, that kind of stuff that anybody can do them. You don't need a trainer, although a trainer is very helpful in sort of laying this out. But the first one is strength training that you have to do as an adult.

[00:29:46.790] – Jim

And the second, the other one is balance. So here are the statistics. One in three, there could be one in four adults, 65 and over fall every year. Now think about that again. I'm living in a senior community. Allan, if I told you how many friends we have or acquaintances where you want to call them fall, you would not believe it. And typically it's at night and for some reason it's in the bathroom. I don't know why, but we'll see somebody said, Where's Joe? Where's Nancy? Oh, man, she fell last night, banged her head. Then you're talking about something that's pretty awful.

[00:30:36.090] – Allan

Yeah. One of the statistics you had in the book that I'd like to share is that a quarter of a million people fall and go to the hospital with a hip fracture every single year. That's insane.

[00:30:53.370] – Jim

It's stunning. And these are people who are not in such bad shape. Something happens. Now let me explain to you. I fell myself and broke my wrist three months ago. Say what? Yeah. I got through working out, had a cup of coffee in my right hand, tripped. We have Oriental rugs, for better or for worse. We have Oriental rugs, tripped on the rug and said, If I spill this coffee, my wife is going to really kill me.

[00:31:31.230] – Allan

That thought would be it, but that was the thought in my head.

[00:31:34.830] – Jim

I think I did.

[00:31:38.190] – Allan

You flung the cup across the room.

[00:31:40.280] – Jim

No, I didn't spill the coffee. I fought with one hand. If I fell with two hands, guess what? I'd catch myself. Broke my wrist. I was in the cast for it's been four months now, and it's still not quite okay, but I'm a lot better. And so this goes to show you and my wife said, what happened? I said, well, I didn't spill the coffee, but I broke my wrist. It was a clean break, thank goodness. But even so, it could happen to anybody. In my case, I tripped on a rug after working out. It could happen to anybody. So you could fall this afternoon because you're walking along with a friend or your daughter and you're talking and you're not looking down. And there's whatever reason, the concrete, there's a bump in the road, whatever it may be, in the trail, for example. You'd be surprised how many people are trail walkers and they trip because of, who knows, a branch comes in, they're talking, not looking down. And so you have to do something about some kind of balance training. Now, we're not talking about this takes 2 hours. One thing that's very important. There's a big difference between training and exercising.

[00:33:12.890] – Jim

I didn't learn this in year one or year two, but training is what I've been doing. Training means you're working toward a goal. Exercising, Allan, is what most people do. They go to the gym, they do a slow slog on the treadmill while they're watching the news. That's most people who are older.  I don't think that works. So when you're working toward a goal, you tend to be more efficient. So when I see an hour a day, in order to do that, you've got to be efficient. I think the magic number for me, at least is 30 minutes of walking. I do walk and think everybody needs to walk some kind of cardio endurance. I think the magic number personally is 30 minutes. I think it's diminishing returns. If that's the only message I'll leave you with today, there's diminishing returns in all of this stuff, whether it's walking or push ups or sit ups or whatever it may be. And you have to sort of understand and you learn this the hard way because the goal is to be efficient. What can I do? How can I use this hour efficiently? And what you learned, what I learned is that people who are in shape learn how to be efficient, how to squeeze stuff that's essential into 1 hour.

[00:34:56.860] – Jim

It could be 45 minutes. And nobody says that you can't exercise for 20 minutes three times a day. No big deal, 45 minutes a day. But I find out that works for me is an hour a day. And I do balance. I do my cardio on the days I do strength training. What I should have told you was, here's my program. I do strength training three times a week. Okay. I do cardio three times a week. So I walk pretty actively. But I don't run. I don't jog because my knees, I walk. Stretching is critical. If you don't stretch, it's a big mistake when you're older. You will have aches and pains. There's no way around that. Now you can say, Jim, I do yoga. Great. Pilates. Terrific. Okay. But these are the main things that someone has to do, and every older person is I don't know what to do. I don't have a plan. Well, there's some trial and error, and you sort of have to learn what works for you. The best motivation on is getting results. Here's some good news for you. If you're in bad shape like I was, the results come very quickly.

[00:36:23.770] – Jim

That's what people don't realize if all you do is walk. When I started out, I literally out on day one, could not walk more than probably four blocks. And I was huffing and puffing. That's how bad the shape I was in. But I said, you know, I'm going to do a 30 day deal now. Why 30 days? I have no idea. I just said 30 days. It could have been 45 days or 20 days. I was amazed by simply every day trying to do a little bit more. I wasn't running or jogging or any of that stuff, just walking. At the end of 30 days, I felt so much better. You have no idea. My wife's friend said, what is Jim doing? What do you mean? He looks so much more energetic. When you're older, that's what happens when you walk. Okay. And so what I found for me was the sweet spot was about 30 minutes, and I do it three times a week. Beyond 30 minutes, it's kind of missing returns. I'd rather use those other 30 minutes to do strength training and other activities. That's all it is.

[00:37:40.960] – Allan

right. Well, in your book, Just Move, there's a ton of these types of tips. You talk about how much time you dedicate from each workout, the different things you have images of some of these exercises. So there's a lot in this book. But if you wanted to just say, what are a couple of your favorite takeaways from the book that if someone were thinking about buying your book that you want them to know, want them to look for, what would that be?

[00:38:05.240] – Jim

Well, that's a great question. And I think what I would say is you have to find your why. What is your why? Why are you even thinking about taking up some kind of a program? Okay, now your why might be, I don't want to be a burden to my kids. I don't want to say, well, I'm sorry I can't go with you on this trip. I've got to take care of my dad. Man, I don't want that. I want to be able to play with my grandkids. Everybody has their own try, but that's sort of the motivation. My motivation again, was I want to be 80 years young. That may not be your goal. It was my goal. Okay? You have to find that. And the other important takeaway is you have to have a plan. Without a plan, a goal is just a dream, in my opinion. So a goal and a plan. And then you have to actually show up and do the work so you can talk about this stuff all day long. I think the only mistake the other takeaway is the goal is not perfection. So I know you like to exercise and it's really improved your life and that kind of stuff, but perfection is not the goal.

[00:39:31.830] – Jim

The exercises that I do, I don't do very well. I try, but we all have our issues. So the other thing I want to make sure that everybody understands is you can work out every day, okay. And it's true that your DNA is not your destiny. That's an important concept to me. That means you can do activities that will help lower the risk of a serious disease. Heart attack, stroke, okay? Certain cancers, all that's true. But I have to tell your audience this. When you get 80 years old, you will have issues and no amount of exercise, no amount of eating right. No amount of managing stress, none of that good sleep habits. You will still have stress. I don't know anybody who's 80. It's like having a car. Okay? You have a great car, but there's a certain mileage. I don't know. It's 150,000 miles. Your car is going to break down. Well, guess what? Your body breaks down, but it's okay because you're in shape. And I've had some issues. I don't want to go into them myself other than a broken wrist. But the big pay off from all this stuff, Allan, the big pay off is what you have to think about,

[00:41:03.900] – Jim

What's Jim want to payoff from all of your exercises, all of your hard work? You know what it is? It's the confidence that whatever life throws at me, I can deal with it. And what I'm suggesting is the real benefit of all this stuff is mental as much as physical. So given where I came from, getting where I am now doesn't mean I'm not going to have issues. That's just BS. I do have issues. I will have issues. But it's the confidence I can deal with whatever life throws at me. I don't care what it is. If I get hit by a truck, if I get cancer, if I get all the bad things that happen because of the confidence that comes from hard work and getting results, you can deal with it. The other thing out of the book that I want everybody to really kind of think about, these are all just insights. There are no rules that I know of, but they're insights. The other big insight that I think is important is that attitude is so critical. Okay, so all we're talking about here is looking forward and not back. Allan, I cannot tell you how many people I know who live in the past and every single one of them is in bad shape.

[00:42:43.270] – Jim

I'm looking forward. Now, I'm going to say this to your audience, and I believe it. I honestly believe my best days still lie ahead. Is that positivity? That's a critical element. If somebody says I don't need exercise, I don't need to eat healthy or eat clean, I don't need any of that stuff. Okay, that's fine. That's your choice. Ok. The problem is you're going to end up at some point, you might lose your loved one, then you're going to be by yourself. Okay, maybe you have a caretaker, but your world is going to shrink. It's the opposite out of what you said. Your world is going to shrink. You spend your day in a small apartment when you're 80 or 85 years old. Loneliness. And all of this is what tends to lead to depression, but even worse, Alzheimer's and dementia. Now, I may end up with dementia or Alzheimer's, but I'm doing everything I can. Okay. Staying active. And also, I want to share with you one last thought is that we talk about physical fitness, and that's very important because fitness is the foundation of healthy aging. That's the other message. But there's more to healthy aging than that.

[00:44:18.830] – Jim

There's also mental fitness, and there's emotional fitness, and they're equally important. So in my case, the reason I'm doing this interview is not to sell books. If my story can inspire somebody to get off the couch and just move, as opposed to just sitting, that's my legacy. To be honest about it, I wrote a best selling book called Cowboy Ethics. 160,000 copies. Best selling book. This book maybe 25,000 Max. You don't sell excise. Books like this don't sell unless it's written by George Clooney or Brad Pitt. That's the truth. So the money I make off this book is not worth even talking about. To be honest about it, it doesn't matter. This is for me, is a legacy. If my story of going from incredibly bad shape and back pain and terrible feeling and so on to where I am right now in the best shape of my life, I weigh less I did in high school, and I'm just an average guy. I'm not anything special, okay? If that can inspire somebody that's more important to me, that's my legacy. I want to look back on my life and say, and this is the whole idea of purpose.

[00:45:50.270] – Jim

Now, you're too young. I suspect even think about this.

[00:45:55.340] – Allan

I'm 56 years old.

[00:45:57.590] – Jim

That's young. You're a kid.

[00:45:59.990] – Allan

I am a kid. I agree.

[00:46:04.070] – Jim

But what keeps you going, what keeps you alive is that having the passion or the purpose. I look back on it and say, I will look back on my life on the last day of my life and say, Did I leave things better than I found it? If it's true that I did it's because of my writing and my speaking, I made my money, so to speak, in my career. Not that I'm a rich, rich guy, but I have enough money. Okay? So I'm lucky on that score. But the legacy is what's important to me. It's not the books I think sells on Amazon for $15 or whatever. Okay. And if you think somebody is going to make a living off of writing a book, well, I guess Michelle Obama can do it, but most of us can't do it. I sure couldn't do it. But it's the legacy factor that is so critical to me. And that's why I do all this stuff. You have no idea. I get emails from so many people, and I'm not big computer guys. I told you to be honest about it. That's just not me.

[00:47:21.520] – Jim

I don't like emailing, any of that stuff. But if my story can make a difference and that's why I do all this stuff, that gives me more satisfaction. I also did a film. I produced a film called The Art of Aging Well, and it took two years. Now, when I say produce, what does that mean? Well, producer of a film hires the people. I'm not behind the camera, hires the people, oversees the quality, and basically does the marketing. Okay. Jim Havey, who's out of Denver. I've known Jim for 30 years. Jim has won three or four Emmys. I've not won an Emmy, but we did a film together again. He's the film guy. The Art of Aging well, and just when we got it finished, this pandemic hit, I can't go on the road and speak about this. I'm basically a communicator. That's kind of what I do. I get in front of an audience, it could be 20 people, it could be 1000. I don't get rattled with an audience. And I said what I'm going to do, I've got two years invested. I can't go on a plane and go any place anymore.

[00:48:42.640] – Jim

So I said, maybe, just maybe a PBS would carry this thing. Well, we got on PBS, and I'm very proud to say 124 PBS stations carried this. And your audience, there's no charge for it. I raised the money from I had sponsors. That's what I was. But your audience can look at it's called theartofagingwell.com. It's free.

[00:49:13.830] – Allan

Okay, cool.

[00:49:14.980] – Jim

I'm very big on what you're doing. For example, I really think it's the emotional connection that you make with it's, not the information. If information was the answer, everybody would be working out, eating clean, managing stress, getting a good night's sleep, that kind of stuff. Information doesn't do it. I can give you a 700 page thesis. You're not going to read it, much less take action. But what you're doing with your communication skills, I hope what I'm doing with my writing and creative process inspires people to make these changes. And all I can say is small steps add up over time. So don't think about, that's why I had a ten year goal. My ten year goal was to go from being 70 years old to 80 years young. I never found it. If it was a pill, believe me, I'd be taking it right now. I don't know where the pill? There may be a pill that I do.

[00:50:29.870] – Allan

There's a pill. It's called exercise. And you're doing it six days a week.

[00:50:35.230] – Jim

To me, I would rather spend. So I look back on that and say, Jim, what have you learned from all this stuff? Well, me, I'd rather spend an hour a day doing what I'm doing right now. Okay. As opposed to an hour a day in the doctor's office. And that's what it's going to be like. I don't want to be in a wheelchair. I don't want to have a Walker. I don't want to be bent over like this. I want to be as healthy and as alive and have the energy as long as I can. Having said that, there will be a time. It could be tomorrow. But, Allan, it ain't going to be today. Okay, that's all you can do.

[00:51:22.370] – Allan

Jim, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:51:30.520] – Jim

that's beautiful. I think you've done probably a better job of this stuff than I did. Again, I'm just an ordinary guy. But one of the messages is one, it's never too late to get started. Don't think for a second when I'm 75, there's no point now. I might as well have that three dips of chocolate ice cream or something like that. It doesn't matter with your the sooner you start, the better. There's no question. Now, does Jim Owen wish he had started this program when he was your age? Absolutely. Okay. There's no question about that. But I didn't. I started at 70. You can start at 75. And it's not about getting fit. It's about getting more fit than you are. Now, I had took a long view. Ten years. Okay. I guess you could say I'm fit. I don't know what else I can do, but your DNA does play a part in these underlying conditions. But I like to think that 75% of your health and wellness is lifestyle driven, and we can argue all day long about this. Well, maybe it's more like 60%. I believe it's about 75% lifestyle. Now what does lifestyle means?

[00:53:04.990] – Jim

Exercising, eating clean, okay, managing stress, which is critical. Okay. Getting sufficient sleep, it's that kind of thing. But also and this is what the exercise people don't talk about all that's great. But that's physical health, physical wellness. There's also that mental wellness and emotional wellness, and that's what I'm into now. I want to be a better husband, a better father, a better friend. And that to me today, means more than saying, Gosh, I just had a personal best with pushups. I suspect that I'll be in no better shape in two or three years. I am right now. I don't know what I could do because you can get injured when you're older. So if you do too much with your shoulders or whatever, maybe legs, whatever, you can have a problem. So do I work out as hard as I did before? No. The reason is we all have low energy days. That's another message I want to give to your audience. At my age, you have to recognize the recovery days are critical. So today I'll be working out this afternoon. Do I work out as hard? No, but I work out pretty hard for me.

[00:54:49.550] – Jim

But do I work as hard as I did five years ago? No, I don't think anybody does, but I do cover the bases. I do push myself, but it's incremental. It's not major changes. I don't know how to do that. Can I get more lean? I could probably lose a pound or two. That's about it. Can I lift more weight? Maybe, but do I want to take the risk of hurting my shoulder? Not really. And the recovery days become much more important. So the other message take away from all that we've talked about is when you're older, you have to listen to your body, not to Jim Owen, listen to your body. And I think that's the best guide that I can give you. Listen to your body, particularly when you're older, but you've got to have goals. You've got to have a plan on how you're going to get from here to here. And if you don't just kind of, you have to cover the basis. And you do have to continually improve. And that's sort of the hard thing to understand about this. Let's take a push up, okay. If all you do is plane pushups after you can do about 25, I think you're better off progressing.

[00:56:19.510] – Jim

So I keep progressing. I do more difficult exercises than I did before. That's how I progress. So I do stuff that I probably couldn't have done five years ago, but I don't do squats with barbells on my neck and stuff like that. Or let's just take push ups, okay. A diamond push up, push ups like this. So in every exercise. This is what makes ourselves so fascinating. You think about push up as a pushup. No, it's not. You're going to put your hands like this, like this. You're working your body different ways. The core is the critical part. You've got to have a strong core to do what I do. I guarantee you that. And that's why when you say, Jim, every once in a while I'll take part in the competition with my peers. They want to hear where I live. I live in La Jolla, okay. And I won against all other people my age. Okay. And why? Well, I work out. That's why. A lot of people could do one thing, but they couldn't do the whole thing. This is a test, if you will, but it's great fun. And I want to say one more thing on this.

[00:57:44.900] – Jim

Is that the one regret I have in life? This may surprise you. I want to get your take on this than anything to have been a great athlete. Anything. My brother, who's older than me by two years, was a star athlete and scholar, baseball, basketball, football, and track. The best athlete in a pretty damn good high school. We're from Kentucky and great high school. He was number one. I never scored a touchdown. I never hit the winning home run. I'd have given anything to have been that gifted athlete, which I wasn't I had learned in football. What's interesting about this is I found my inner athlete and I have an athlete's attitude about what I do. And that's why it's fun for me. The exercise part is challenging and fun. And guess what? No surprise to you. A lot of terrific athletes in high school and College, when they get my age, they don't do anything. They got burned out. I can't tell you how many people I know who were good athletes. And so finding your inner athlete to me has made a tremendous difference in terms of confidence and attitude. And the attitude is what kind of keeps you going again to repeat it, I look forward.

[00:59:14.860] – Jim

I don't look back. So many people my age continue to talk about the past. I can't tell you I get so sick of this. Well, when I was in high school, when I was in prep school, how about looking forward? What are you doing now? What's your challenge now?

[00:59:33.470] – Allan

And that's the big thing with me. I was the athlete in high school. I was a very good athlete and then fell out of it in my 30s. But I was an excellent athlete. I was in the US imagery, military. I was super fit all the way up until my thirty's. And then I let it go. And it took me a long time to get it back. But I can tell you all the things I ever did, all the winds, all the shots, everything that I did do all of that, none of those compared to the feeling I got running across the finish line with my daughter at a tough Mudder and knowing that I could keep up with her. She didn't have to wait on me. I was as good an athlete as I'd ever been, and I was able to do that. And you talk about the looking forward. I've got another tough Mudder scheduled in three months, so I'm going to be back up in the States. I'm going to be doing another tough Mudder because I can, because I want to, and I train for it. As you said, train, not exercise.

[01:00:34.880] – Allan

I have a goal. I have a mission. I have a plan. All of those things that you brought up here

[01:00:41.630] – Jim

I'm so impressed. You have no idea. My daughter, we have two children. They're both adopted at birth. We couldn't have kids and married 52 years. Our daughter's name is Allegra, and she's 38 and she's an athlete, and that's her. And she does this tough mudder. I've never done one. She says, dad, when are you going to do a father daughter thing?

[01:01:06.830] – Allan

Yeah, do one of the smaller ones. The tough Mudders are now broken up. So the original one was like 12, 13 miles. So it's pretty tough. Now, that's what they call the 15K, which is, I guess, closer to 9.5 miles, but they have a 5K version. And so the obstacles are going to require upper body strength, grip strength, that type of thing. You're not really running a whole lot because the obstacles are probably no more than a mile away from each other anyway. So you pretty much jog to the next obstacle, and then you wait your turn to get on that obstacle. But they are a ton of fun. And based on looking at you right now, I don't see any get your wrist completely fixed, but I don't see any reason why anybody that doesn't set their mind to do something like that couldn't do it. And if there's an obstacle you can't do, there's no shame in that. You give it a shot, you do your best, and then you move on to the next obstacle. It's a lot of fun. And yes, if you're doing it with your daughter, that's going to be a special day, I promise you.

[01:02:11.320] – Jim

Well, I cannot believe this. I cannot believe this. And I have never talked about this with anyone except my wife. But when I hear your story, are you ready for this? I want to be in the senior Olympics in my age category again. So I'm not competing against somebody who's 75 it's every five years. And I would be in the 80-85.

[01:02:38.520] – Allan

Just started creating those age groups because they figured I got these people in the 80s that are now having to compete with people in the 60s that wasn't right. So they've corrected that. And because they've got Centurions doing it now, they have an over 100 category, and I have no doubt. Yeah, I have no doubt. Within ten years. They're going to have to start breaking that up because it's not fair for 115 year old to run against 100 year old. So good. Congratulations on that. 

[01:03:09.850] – Jim

Well, you may not be aware of this. I live in San Diego, in La Jolla. San Diego. San Diego started this instead of in addition to track and field, they also have and now for the first time in the season, and they have an exercise thing. So I'm not going to run 100 yards because of my knees. Okay. I can't do a lot of stuff that you can do, but I have a feeling I can compete in the 80 to 85 senior Olympics in the exercise part, and I can train for that. And I've never talked about with anybody. But hearing your story, It'd be a blast to do it.

[01:03:58.470] – Allan

Let's stay in touch and talk about that.

[01:04:00.390] – Jim

It's about doing your best. I did my best. And guess what, pal? You beat me this year. Next year. That's part of the motivation stuff. Yeah, that's great.

[01:04:13.450] – Allan

So, Jim, if someone wanted to learn more about you, more about the book, Just Move. Where would you like for me to send them?

[01:04:21.630] – Jim

Well, what I would do, frankly, is go to Amazon. This book is going to cost you, I think, $15 and change. Two years of work. And this is like a cup of coffee. So it's not like Jim is getting rich off a book. I think the book is really well done, if I may say this. Okay. And it covers the gamut. And I can tell you there's nothing in this that you don't know. So the book is not really not written for you. You're an athlete, okay. It's the person who, in fact, is a couch potato. I'm not sure where to start or how to do this stuff. I believe in the basic core exercises that everybody needs to do, and you can make all this stuff complicated. And I want to leave you with this one idea. If you want to make what we talked about today complicated, be my guest. I don't think it has to be at all. It's pretty simple stuff. You got to mix it up. You got to keep progressing. You've got to do more than just walk. But you don't have to have a gym membership if you don't want to.

[01:05:40.800] – Jim

You don't have to have a personal trainer if you don't want to. Okay. But you have to move. And you say, I love to move. We have a friend in Santa Barbara who's 92 years old, who is a competitive ballroom dancer. I'm talking about competitive, like on the national stage. That's pretty damn. You can do kayaking, you can do bicycling. There's all kinds of ways to move. If you say, Jim, I'm just not the gym rant type, okay. I've told you what I do. It's worked for me. But if you want to do kayaking, bicycling, Pilates it's all good stuff as long as you are moving and not sitting. But I've built the case here that the cardio endurance is not enough. You should do the other stuff. But I'm not here to pound the table and change somebody's life unless they want to. This book was written for somebody who essentially is skeptical like this. Tell me why I need to do this. Okay. Here are the reasons, but it's not my job to try to. I'm not a personal trainer. I'm not selling protein powder. I have no wax to grind. It's not going to change my life.

[01:07:09.920] – Jim

If somebody says I'm a couch potato, I'm not going to change your call. Good luck, because I can tell you what your life is going to be like when you get my age. You're going to have aches and pains, spend half day in the damn doctor's office. If that's what you want, it's fine. Me, I'd rather not do that. So that's kind of the takeaway. But the book, I need a wonderful book for somebody who is a couch potato, who says, I don't need to know more about this. I want to know more. But I'm not a personal trainer. I'm not a life coach. No, I'm just a guy who said, here's my story. If my story can inspire somebody, then that's my legacy, and that's why I do it.

[01:07:57.380] – Allan

Thank you, Jim. And thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[01:08:00.800] – Jim

Well, listen, I have to tell you, you inspired me, and it's not used to inspire me, but your story, you have a terrific story. You're a terrific communicator. Okay. And I think you've got a terrific life ahead of you. It's all I can say.

[01:08:21.040] – Allan

Thank you, Jim.


Post Show/Recap

[01:08:29.130] – Allan

Hey, Ras.

[01:08:30.460] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. That was so fun listening to a successful story like his at 85, he sounds like he's the fittest he's ever been. Oh, 82.

[01:08:39.690] – Allan

He's 82. Yeah, he's 82 now. He started his journey when he was in his 70 years, when he was turning 70, because he just had that moment. And most of us that go through some form of transformation like this, we come up to this moment and it's like, oh, I have to do something. And what he was is he just 70, and he felt old and he didn't like the energy level. He didn't like anything about it. And he determined that he was going to change that and committed to changing it. And his overall vision was that by the time he turned 80, he wanted to feel younger than he did when he was 70. And he has and he did, but he did some important things. And normally I try to drive these conversations. Jim is a Rambler. So he went on and on and on, but there's a lot of gold in there. Don't poopoo that like he did. I think it's worth our time to listen to people who've done what you want to do. Listen to people who've struggled through this and learn everything you can from them. So I was more than happy to just sort of hand the mic over to Jim and say, okay, run with it, because it's a good conversation.

[01:09:55.590] – Allan

But one of my key takeaways here is that he didn't play around with this. This wasn't that he dabbled at getting more fit, and it took him all these years. He went straight in and said, I'm hiring a trainer, and I'm going to make this change. And he got a good trainer, and a trainer made him younger, helped him exercise, get stronger, add muscle. And so now he is effectively from a biological age, probably younger than he was twelve years ago.

[01:10:28.980] – Rachel

My gosh, that's just incredible. And I love that he does all the things that we all should be doing Besides cardio. He does strength work. He does balance, which is really important. Even I need to work on that as a runner. And then he does the stretching. The other thing I need to do more of as a runner. But it's awesome that he dedicates his time to doing all of these different modalities each week.

[01:10:52.920] – Allan

Yeah. And so his schedule has him doing exercise for 1 hour, six days a week. That sounds like a lot of people say, oh, my God, I couldn't give an hour and go to the gym every day. You probably spend that much time watching Netflix in a week, 6 hours. And if you really look at it, 6 hours is a fraction of available time you have in a day. So I know we all feel like we're busy, but if you don't make this a priority, it's never going to happen. This is not something you phone in. He had to go to the gym and go through those workouts, and he's working on the other modalities and getting better there, too. And that's one of the cool things about this is when you really dedicate yourself and you put the time in, particularly at the beginning. We call it newbie gains, but you're going to see change really quickly. And that can be very motivating. But you got to start.

[01:11:55.740] – Rachel

Right. I love how he also said that he would rather spend an hour working out than an hour in the doctor's office. And I have to agree with that wholeheartedly. I would rather be exercising once a day or several times a week and just feel healthier and stronger for it. There's a lot of his lessons that I've learned at a much younger age. But again, going back to his age of 82, I'm just flabbergasted that he has put so much time and dedication into his own routine, and he's sharing it in his book. I just love to see people in this age bracket working out like he does.

[01:12:34.370] – Allan

Yeah. Now, a lot of books, when I'm talking to the author and I've read the book, it's like the same style the same thing. So I almost feel like as I've read the book I've already had a previous conversation with this individual. But I will say this Jim's book is much better organized than this podcast episode was. Jim knows his stuff and he put a lot of effort into writing the book. It's very well organized. There are workouts, there are stretches with pictures, all how to do this stuff. He does tell his story in there, which is very uplifting to know for sure. There's always a chance, but you got to get started and then it's a very well organized book for you to have a full program to get yourself started. But I'd still encourage you to look at getting a trainer and I know that's an investment the time is an investment and actually doing the work is an investment, but those investments pay off huge dividends, particularly in our current era where we need to keep our bodies as healthy, as strong as they can to just deal with everyday crap.

[01:13:43.710] – Rachel

For sure. Yes, for sure.

[01:13:47.830] – Allan

Because if you're starting from a better base, you're better off in the end. Regardless.

[01:13:54.570] – Rachel

Going back to his story, he started off with back pain and knee pain and all these things and now he doesn't feel that anymore. He's changed his lifestyle so much that he's healthier and more fit now than he was at age 70. It's just incredible.

[01:14:10.140] – Allan

Yeah, it's a good story and there's a lot of gold Nuggets in this episode. Even more in the book, so it's a good one.

[01:14:19.460] – Rachel

Yes, I love that. Great interview.

[01:14:21.580] – Allan

All right. Well, Rachel, I will talk to you next week.

[01:14:24.880] – Rachel

All right. Take care.

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Transcript

Let's Say Hello

[00:07:58.530] – Allan

Hey, Ras.

[00:07:59.650] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. How are you today?

[00:08:01.520] – Allan

I'm doing all right. How are things with you?

[00:08:03.960] – Rachel

Good. Well, we have spring again for now. And you might hear my voice. It's a little raspy. My allergies are the bane of me. As much as I love spring, it does not love me back. So I'm a little bit struggling right now. The beautiful flowers.

[00:08:19.660] – Allan

Well, yeah, you can't have the flowers without the pollen. And depending on where you are in the country, pollen, it can be a bit of a bear.

[00:08:28.800] – Rachel

It is a little bit, but I'll make it through. I'm just happy to have spring today.

[00:08:33.110] – Allan

Good. Yeah. We kind of have spring every day. Lucky.

[00:08:36.150] – Rachel

Lucky you.

[00:08:37.890] – Allan

Choices.

[00:08:39.570] – Rachel

That's right.

[00:08:44.590] – Allan

We are just now finishing up our busy season on the island. So I think we were full all the way through Easter weekend, which is when high season is supposed to end. And so as we're recording this, we just finished up our Easter weekend. We now have people checking out and then not people checking in. So it will be kind of interesting as we kind of end up with just one or two rooms booked versus having four to six rooms booked kind of what that new pace of life is going to be like.

[00:09:22.300] – Allan

so I've been trying to take on some additional challenges here. I'm actually sitting for right now, another certification, the precision nutrition. So this one is a pretty big one. This one is going to take a lot of effort, but I'm in it. I'd say right now probably about a third of the way through, maybe a quarter through, but it's just getting started on it. So it's pretty intense.

[00:09:48.210] – Rachel

Awesome. That sounds exciting.

[00:09:50.250] – Allan

Yes. Well, I always like to have a challenge, so I'm ready for the tough Mudder, and I might have a little bit of extra time as we go into these next few months. And then Tammy's planning a trip with one of her friends to travel. I'm like, okay, so that's two weeks that she's not going to be here, so I need to have a hobby.

[00:10:12.530] – Rachel

Oh, my goodness.

[00:10:14.040] – Allan

I'll get another certification.

[00:10:16.070] – Rachel

That's awesome. How exciting.

[00:10:18.050] – Allan

Yeah. All right. Well, are we ready to talk about aging?

[00:10:22.810] – Rachel

Sure.

Interview

[00:11:05.850] – Allan

Dr. Levine, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:11:09.510] – Dr. Levine

Thank you for having me.

[00:11:11.220] – Allan

So today we're going to talk about your book, True Age: Cutting-Edge Research to Help Turn Back the Clock. And I think from the perspective of a lot of the books that I've read on aging, obviously, yours being the most recent, there's a lot of good science coming out lately, and you Chronicle a lot of it, and you go way back. We're not just talking about we've started talking about these things. Now you take the research back and you say, what did we know 50 years ago? And how does that reflect what we're doing today? In some cases, there are gaps. We learned a little something like the blood flow between young rat and older rat. And then people just stopped. And now they're kind of saying, well, wait a minute, it wasn't there sort of something there that maybe we want to dig a little bit further. And I think the way you said it is some people are not going the Dracula vampire route. They're going more, okay, let's figure out why this is happening. So maybe we can do something about it. That's cool. And there's a lot of that in the book.

[00:12:15.660] – Allan

But I also like the fact that you took the time to give us some practical things that those of us in our 40s, 50s and 60s can start doing today to reverse our bio age.

[00:12:28.530] – Dr. Levine

Yeah. I think it's critical to not just talk about all the exciting science that really, even though some of it might have been started a century ago or even more, is actually because of where technology is today, we're actually able to understand what is driving this and how to actually implement it, but to give people actual practical things they can do in their everyday life rather than just waiting for new breakthroughs and discoveries, because I know even personally, I don't want to sit around and just hope that something comes out in the next ten or 20 years. I want to know what I can do today. And actually, most of our control that we have over our aging process are just behavioral things that we can actually do. And we don't have to wait for science to catch up there.

[00:13:15.850] – Allan

Right. And that's the good thing, because if you have a base that's a little lower when that stuff does come out, more than likely you're going to see better benefits from it in the long run anyway. No one wants to get to 80 and frail and then say, oh, yeah, now I'm going to reduce five years off of my lifespan, whereas if they felt like they were in their 60s, going back to 55 would feel pretty cool.

[00:13:41.190] – Dr. Levine

Yeah, it's probably easier to prevent than reverse would be my guess.

[00:13:46.410] – Allan

I completely agree. As a personal trainer, I don't think you'd expect anything different from me.

[00:13:51.580] – Dr. Levine

Yes.

[00:13:52.150] – Allan

Now, one concept you got into the book, and I agree with you at some front that we talk about aging as a disease. And I agree, if we want to get researchers and people looking at it, then it's really good to get it classified as disease because then there's a backing to it. Okay, well, we can solve the problem, then there's money and there's. Ok, now there's medical people are not just going to treat something because that's what you want. I'd love to have a third arm, but I'm not going to find a doctor that's willing to do the research to figure out how to make that happen. But I also think of aging as sort of, if you will, just something that's natural and happens to everybody. So for me to think of aging as a disease, I'd have to think, well, is puberty as a disease? No. Can you talk a little bit about why aging can be considered a disease and what we want to take away from that?

[00:14:56.370] – Dr. Levine

So technically, there are a lot of people in the field who want to classify aging as a disease. I'm actually not one of them. As you kind of mentioned, there are benefits for doing this because the FDA, if they're going to approve anything to go after aging, they need some kind of primary outcome, they call it. So people want to say, oh, aging is a disease, because then they can say, oh, we can treat and tackle it. But I actually agree with you that aging in and of itself is not a disease, because usually when we define a disease, it's a state. So a transition to some state. We know diseases are part of our continuous process, but we usually have to have some criteria for where we say this is a disease state versus non disease state. And like you said, there is no clear way to do that with aging. You can't just say 65 is when you entered some disease state or you can't take the number and classify that as disease. And if you want to treat it, what does it mean to treat aging? So how much do you have to reverse it or prevent it to say you've actually treated or prevented some disease?

[00:16:09.930] – Dr. Levine

And very much like you said, aging doesn't start later in life. It starts, some people believe, before we're even born. So are we already transitioning this disease state? So I like to think of aging not as a disease, but as the kind of basis for most of the diseases that people suffer from today.

[00:16:30.870] – Allan

And I think this is where we can come up to this general split in thought. Okay, we all have a birthday. We all know our birthday. We tend to celebrate it a lot when we're really young. We tend to want to skip some of them once we hit what is it for women age 29 or sometimes it's 39, but there's a full gap stop there. And then they want to reverse it and say, well, maybe I'm going to be 38 next year, but that's our chronological age. Now, there's a concept called biological age, but I think we all know that. We went to high school with all of our friends. My friends posted on Facebook. We're about to start planning our 40 year class reunion.

[00:17:13.410] – Dr. Levine

Oh, wow.

[00:17:14.280] – Allan

Yeah. Everybody's posting like, oh, my God, don't tell me it's 40 now. I feel old, but we've watched classmates pass. We're in our mid 50s at this point. We've watched classmates pass. We see some of our classmates that look just like they did in high school, practically. And so there's this huge divide over how old we maybe really are inside. And there's an emotional component to it. If you act young, you feel young, and maybe you look young, but there's something else going on there. Can you talk about that?

[00:17:55.650] – Dr. Levine

Yes. So as you brought up, once you reach a certain age, your birthday is not something that people tend to celebrate. I mean, you still go through the motions, but you're not necessarily excited about advancing that kind of year. And the reason for that is because your increase in age is actually accompanied by biological changes, most of which you can't see, but eventually they manifest and you see them in terms of wrinkles or loss of mobility or loss of stamina or even these diseases of aging that we're talking about. But it's not the chronological time itself that's the problem. It's this kind of biological change of the whole organ system that ends up being the problem. And the interesting thing that you brought up that scientists have been studying is that the rate at which these changes occur or accumulate are not the same for everyone. So even though people might have been alive for, let's say, 50 years, chronologically some people will have gone through more of these changes and others less. And so that's kind of how my lab and others have actually tried to quantify biological aging. So do you have kind of the degree of change that's representative of someone who is the same chronological age as you are or hopefully someone who is younger than you rather than older than you?

[00:19:23.820] – Allan

Yeah, I think we've all seen those pictures of the 85 year old woman sitting in the wheelchair, just stuck, probably unable to even stand on her own. And then you see the 85 year old bodybuilder or the 100 yard dash winter who's breaking world records at that age. And it's drastic. It's really drastic. And so what you guys are trying to do with your studies and trying to come up with a biological age, a true age is, okay, how old is your essence, your body? How old are you really? And what are you capable of doing? Now, you talked in the book about kind of three models. I called them three models. I have to put things in my head a certain way because there's a lot of information. And you had a quiz, which is kind of that low length, easy one. Just sit down and do the quiz. And that's going to give you some baseline data, at least an idea, and you can look at what those questions were and ask yourself, okay, why am I answering a one or a half or three quarters on this one? The score I get.

[00:20:30.590] – Allan

You also have kind of a blood measures test, a phenotypic age that you can measure, and then you go in the book really deep into DNA methylation, which is really kind of how all this happens. Can you talk about each one of those? I guess I'm going to call a testing methodology, if you will, just to simplify it. But you can go a little deeper into what these are and what they're telling us.

[00:20:54.630] – Dr. Levine

Yeah. Even Besides the ones I cover in the book, there are tons of ways in which scientists are trying to quantify this kind of biological aging process. And the idea is that the changes are starting at kind of what we would call the lowest level biological organization. So this molecular level. So we and others have developed ones that capture those changes. So this is kind of the DNA methylation or epigenetic measures that you mentioned. And basically what that is, is we can look across your genome. Usually we do this from cells in your blood or saliva, and we look at hundreds of thousands to millions of sites and just say, what are the proportion of cells that have this chemical tag there, which is DNA methylation? And just based on the pattern of those chemical Tags, we can approximate something like a biological age using kind of the AI and machine learning. So it basically just says yourselves have this pattern of change that's representative of someone of a given age. And the reason that epigenetics is so exciting is it doesn't change your DNA sequence like the ACG and T. But I like to think of it as like the operating system of the cell.

[00:22:13.210] – Dr. Levine

It gives your cells their state. So it differentiates different cell types that all have the exact same DNA. But what makes a neuron different from a skin cell is the epigenome. But it also differentiates old cells from young cells. So this is kind of how we can do it. So once the molecular changes reach a certain point, you can start seeing this at a higher level in terms of changes in your physiology. So that's where you get the steenotypic age measure, which you can basically calculate from a standard panel you would get at your annual physical. So CDC blood cell counts, and also kind of a metabolic panel that looks like kidney, liver, all these different organ system functioning. But then the most basic one, once your aging is reached almost like the highest level is you see this functionally, this is what we perceive as aging both in ourselves and in others. You can see it physically. You can feel it in your body. So there are other ways, just very simple, almost doing a self assessment to kind of say, has my level of aging reached this point, given this quiz? And then you kind of look across the whole quiz where you kind of stand.

[00:23:33.040] – Allan

Yeah. And I think the advantage of all this, I've always said to my clients, yes, you can go get a blood panel and talk to your doctor. Yeah, you can do. And now you've made it easier that we can do a saliva test or a blood test if you want to go that far and find out. Okay, how's your methylation going as far as really getting down to the detail where we're talking about maybe down to a 10th of a year kind of concept versus this quiz is saying, yeah, you're a little younger than you are chronologically. The quiz will give you some basics to get started in the book, which I like. So if you just answer a few of those questions, you've got some low hanging fruit, if you will, to get started. And these actions, though, I think what's really important is many people look for something to say. Well, is what I'm doing working. And I know in your field, science, that's everything measurement is everything. Now, a lot of us love to do the easy measurements. So there's some easy ones, some really easy quizzes, one so you can get the Cosmo magazine and answer our quiz.

[00:24:38.700] – Allan

And it'll tell you whatever you are. They're on Facebook, too. The quizzes are fun quizzes will tell you a lot. But if you get a little deep, more detailed with the way that you're doing this, then you're going to have better data and make better decisions. Now, one of the data points that a lot of people love to use for measuring their health is weight. And in a minute, we're going to get into talking about nutrition and exercise. And a lot of people, the only reason they think about nutrition and exercise is because of what the scale says. But now you're telling them there's this much more important scale that you have potentially easily in front of you that is a better measure of health. Weight is important. I'm not going to poo poo it at all. It is important. There are some risk factors associated with. But why is this type of measurement something that someone should consider over just saying I'm going to step on the scale every day.

[00:25:45.670] – Dr. Levine

Yeah. And I'd also talked about this a little bit in my book, actually, when we measure our weight or calculate our BMI, which is based on kind of a weight height ratio, this is actually not a great predictor of health. Yes, we know obesity tends to be associated with increased risk of disease, but BMI itself can be due to a number of different things. Muscle mass is also heavy, so people can have the same BMI and have very different body composition. And actually in older ages, we find that a higher BMI is slightly protective than a lower BMI. So it's a very complicated relationship. But the whole point is that the reason we usually associate higher weight with risk of disease is because it tends to basically drive a lot of these changes that are actually age related changes. So it accelerates them. So rather than just assuming, oh, my BMI is probably too high, it's probably driving these it's better to actually just try to directly measure the consequences of this, which is on the pathway to disease versus just inferring something about your weight. And I also think this will get people less kind of weight obsessed because you see heavier people are actually quite healthy and thinner people who are actually unhealthy.

[00:27:06.770] – Dr. Levine

So it's better just to get a direct measure of what's going on. As much as you can approximate it.

[00:27:12.810] – Allan

One of the metaphors you had in the book, which I really enjoyed, was you talked about the Hill. And so as we're younger, we have this, for lack of a better word, inertia keeping us younger. As we go up the Hill, there's this inertia that keeps us in a condition so we're more resilient, we're stronger, we're faster, we're prettier, we're everything. And the older we get, the more we were. But then we top that Hill at some point, we can call it midlife or we can call it 35 when sarcopenia and ostopenia start to become a thing. And then we're going down a Hill. And now that inertia is not helping us. In fact, it's pushing us. And particularly if we're over 40 or over 50, we're going down that Hill pretty quick unless we do a few things to stop it or at least slow it down, maybe we can't stop it. We'd love to stop it for at least a little while. Enjoy this year more. One of the key ones I don't think you could have this conversation without it is to talking about nutrition. What we eat has a profound effect on our health and the scale in many cases.

[00:28:32.830] – Allan

So if we're looking at measuring this from either a health perspective or weight perspective, we have to talk about nutrition. And you went very deep in the book and talking about some of the nutritional strategies that we can have to have the best bio age possible. Can you talk about a few of those?

[00:28:51.230] – Dr. Levine

Yeah. So nutrition has actually been studied quite a bit in the aging field. Most of the original work was just looking at kind of calories or amount of consumption. So dating back actually, I think it's more than a century now. Scientists discovered that actually what would be called calorie restriction or dietary restriction can extend the lifespan of in this case, it was a rat. And actually since then, there's been calorie restriction studies and a number of different species mostly showing the same thing that it seems to be associated with improvements in kind of disease prevention. So elongation of what we call health span. So longer time disease free, as well as possibly longer lifespan as well. And calorie restriction isn't a severe malnutrition, so it's basically reduced calories without malnutrition. So in some of the human trials that are going on, it's about a 12% reduction in total calories. Since then, people have actually become more interested in basically fasting because the idea that someone's going to maintain a caloric restriction diet for their entire lifespan is probably unlikely. And so are there ways that are actually easier that we can do easier that mimic the same benefits?

[00:30:18.390] – Dr. Levine

So people have been really interested in different types of fasting, like time restricted eating, where you try and compress the number of hours each day that you're eating. So maybe you only eat between an eight or six hour window. There's also times where you can kind of some people skip a whole day of eating but then eat fairly normally the rest of the time. Or you can do these kind of short bursts of five day. They're not full fast, but very low calorie fast and do them maybe a few times a year. And we don't have what I would say definitive proof that this is slowing aging. But at least I'm looking at some of these biological age measures that you mentioned. There seems to be some indication that they might be. And then, of course, it's not just how much you eat, but what you eat as well. So a lot of research going into kind of plant based diet and whether plant based or things like Mediterranean diet are actually beneficial. And this seems to be supported looking at individuals who live in these very, what are called blue zones where you have very long lived individuals, but also looking at observational data, just people in, for instance, the US population.

[00:31:35.910] – Allan

Yeah. And I think it should go without saying that we know because we see it in practice. The person that looks and feels younger, at 65, they don't eat a lot of crap and they're not overeating. That's the other side of it. And so some calorie restriction. And as you said to kind of put that in context, if you're eating a 2000 calorie diet, that 12.5%. We're talking about 50 calories. We're not talking about really starving yourself. Now you may feel a little hungrier. And guess what? Hunger doesn't kill you. It might actually keep you alive longer and healthier, because we did talk about we are talking about health span, which I think is another aspect I didn't get into a lot. But we could all live long and not be healthy or we can live short and pop just be done. All those are part of our health span and how that aligns with what we're doing. And so I think we all know this if we're eating good whole foods, cause I don't think they had a reason to study this 100 years ago because corn pops and Twinkies and Hohos and Haagendazs didn't exist back then.

[00:32:56.610] – Allan

And now 95% of our grocery store is that stuff. And so I think most people know if they're eating a whole food diet and they're eating a predominantly plant based diet, Mediterranean style diet, you almost naturally eat less, really hard to overeat spinach and quinoa and those types of things. It just is. So you end up then losing some weight, maybe your calories are a little lower, because again, you're not taking in some calorie dense foods that you would otherwise. Now you got into just a little bit. You talk a little bit about ketosis, and the ketosis that you're talking about really comes about from these fasting protocols. So whether you're going to do true calorie restriction, you're going to do your five too fast, you're going to do some time restricted eating, or you're going to go into a full fast mimicking type diet like the prolonged diet with Baku Vanga. In a lot of cases, folks are at least for parts of time getting into ketosis and producing ketones. Can you talk a little bit about why ketones would be beneficial for us?

[00:34:13.930] – Dr. Levine

Sorry. My throat. Yeah. So I think I'll do the pause. Okay. So I don't think we actually know specifically why we think ketosis might be beneficial for us. And this is actually not something I study. But there are definitely colleagues at Yale who study ketosis. But we're actually starting to have kind of some clinical trials in humans potentially looking at ketosis. And there's some indication that this is why fasting might be beneficial, because as you mentioned, it puts your body in these kind of short cycles of ketosis. And there is some evidence that actually you don't want long term ketosis. And actually it is a cyclical kind of going in and out of it because your body actually can adjust and over compensate in the other way. And again, this is all very preliminary. We don't know specifically what I would say to is it's going to probably to some degree depend on what you're eating if you're on a ketogenic diet, because you can actually have a fairly unhealthy ketogenic diet as well, even though you're not getting a ton of carbohydrates and sugar, if you're eating a lot of very kind of animal heavy food sources, very high in certain types of fat, this also might not be beneficial.

[00:35:54.230] – Dr. Levine

And I think it's probably pretty hard for people to stay on a plant based ketogenic diet. So we'll see, I guess, as the science kind of progresses.

[00:36:05.030] – Allan

Yeah, I've talked to people all the way up from Carnivore all the way down to vegan keto. It's doable.

[00:36:12.790] – Allan

But like most things, the more strict and stringent something is like calorie restriction at 25% or saying, okay, I'm not going to eat a certain food group for a long, long period of time. The more restrictions you put typically, the harder it is because those things are just there. Like you're not going to walk around and not have food like our ancestors, where you got to go Hunt and find it or dig it up or climb up a tree or whatever you got to do to do. We don't have to do that now. My refrigerator, quite frankly, is like maybe 10ft away from me right now. So if I wanted something to eat within a minute that things open and I'm eating it. So, yes, these things can be very difficult to maintain. So finding the right way. And again, that comes from measurements. So if you've measured and you have a baseline and then you do a protocol, and then after appropriate period of time, you test again, that's going to give you some of that personalized evidence, some of that information that you could use then to know if a protocol is right for you or not.

[00:37:24.530] – Dr. Levine

Yes. Because again, it comes back to what you're actually going to be able to implement in your life and what you think is worth implementing. There are definitely people who can be on very health what seems like a very healthy but very restrictive diet. But that's not going to work probably for 95% of the population. They just won't be able to maintain it. So I think the important thing is to do what you can but acknowledge to have kind of the accountability for what you're doing. And if you can't go maybe and keep the most ideal diet, but you can do it 90% of the time or you can work in some of these other things and take these small steps. I think that's how people are going to get the most benefit.

[00:38:06.980] – Allan

Yeah. I think the cyclical approach is a very sound way to try something for a while, get some data, and then if it's working like you mentioned, just even with some of the fasting is doing the fast like three times a year or five times a year or every other month or something like that where you have a protocol and say, okay, I'm on a five day fast. I'm still going to have some nutrition that my body needs, but I'm going to do it in a very controlled way. So I know that I'm getting the nutrition my body needs. And then after I come off my fast, I finish that protocol. I can remeasure if I want or I can continue this. And then I now have some data that says, okay, yeah, this way of eating works. One, it has to be sustainable. But then beyond that, yes, I'm actually seeing measurable results in my bio age. And then the other side, you go back to the quiz, look in the mirror when you wake up in the morning, how do you feel? Are you stiff? Are you hurting? Are you aching? Is your arthritis acting up?

[00:39:12.010] – Allan

What are the things going on that your body is telling you, hey, we're not 100% here. Then you know that what you're doing is either working or not.

[00:39:23.450] – Dr. Levine

Yeah. And the other important thing that I don't think I touched on is that different things are going to work to different degrees for each of us. So there isn't one optimal diet that can be optimal for everyone, even in terms of the health benefits. So not just in terms of what we can each kind of maintain. And it's really hard to know what that diet is. So some people probably will do a little bit better on purely plant based where some people might need some kind of animal protein in their diet. And I think it's hard to use kind of genetics to predict what the optimal diet is for a person. And there are companies and scientists trying to do that. But it is just easier if we can actually have valid and reliable measures that give us feedback on how the things we do in our everyday life are affecting us.

[00:40:15.480] – Allan

Yeah, that N equals one experiment where you're the single subject. And I can tell you if you're doing an N equals one experiment, that's a very important sample size to have because you are getting real information of what's working for you at that point in time. Now, there's another area that's really important for aging, and you go into a few several in the book. And yes, we can wait for science to do a few things that's going to probably help us in the long run. They'll come up with some pillar shot or something that's going to be better for us and help us in our health, but it's exercise. And it's interesting to me. I've always said to people, it's like if you can take one more breath, you can do something to improve your health and fitness. But the way you said it in the book I really enjoyed here is this, no matter your age, disease status, or athletic proclivity, nearly everyone can benefit from staying active. And I appreciate you saying that. I really do. Why is exercise so beneficial for us in actually slowing down or improving our true age?

[00:41:27.890] – Dr. Levine

Yeah. So I think we don't truly know on a mechanistic level how exercise is improving health. But from decades and decades of research into exercise, we know that it is. And it seems to be not conditional on who you are. As you mentioned, even when they do these kind of interventions in very frail individuals who are kind of in nursing homes, physical activities seems to have a benefit for them. Of course, there's going to be a limit, right. You have to do it within a safe environment to not push past your abilities. But all of us benefit from exercise, and it's probably because our bodies are these complex dynamic systems. So something that's going to kind of prime that and, you know, make it more resilient is something that's going to be dynamic. And it doesn't necessarily act through one pathway or one kind of mechanism. It's probably honing in on our entire system and really kind of improving our resilience and robustness and our system's ability to function because it's needing to be adaptive to this very mild stressor, which in the long run will actually make it stronger.

[00:42:47.210] – Allan

Yeah. I just imagine our ancestors running sprints and doing push ups just for the sake of doing them. And they weren't they were climbing because they needed to get to the top of that tree either to get away from something or to get to something. They were walking or running long distances because that's how they could hurt and catch the animals that could run out faster than them but eventually would run out of the aerobic capacity and we would catch up to them, and then we would eat meat that night and then again digging for roots. When you don't have a backhoe, it takes some work. So work and exercise were a big part of our upbringing. Now, one of the things you said in the book, and I think this is where a lot of people can kind of put this together is exercise is a stress on the body. And we're kind of led to believe that stress is a bad thing, that there's good stresses and there's bad stresses. And even some of the foods we eat are hermetic, in effect, meaning they stress our body, but we produce good things as a result.

[00:44:02.150] – Allan

But the states that you went through was the homeostasis, which our bodies love balance. So stay balanced. And then we put a stressor in front of it, and then we have allostasis, which is the improvement, and then we have a return to Homeostasis. Can you talk about that process? So if I decide, yes, I'm going to start running, I'm going to put some stress on my body that it won't necessarily like me for doing initially, but it's the right thing to do. Can you talk about that process that way? How that's working?

[00:44:38.870] – Dr. Levine

Yeah. So exercise, as you pointed out, is a perfect example of this concept of homeostasis. So this very mild stressor, which is actually going to kind of prime your system and actually make it more robust in the end. And when we're in a steady state, our bodies are trying to maintain homeostasis, which is a given temperature and all these kind of biochemical ranges that your body tries to maintain. As we encounter stressors in our life, we go through allostasis, which is kind of your body's response to that stressor. So it needs to move out of homeostasis to respond to the stressor. And then the idea is that it should move back. And actually if you do this, you kind of dynamically can have these mild stressors, and then you move back to homeostasis. Our bodies get better at doing that and better at adapting to stressors that might come up in our lives. You can imagine, though, if you have a huge stress or your body might not actually be able to move back very well or you might end up in a slightly different kind of state. So the idea is to have these mild ones that our body can adapt to, and then there's potential that actually they can get a little more stressful over time, but you're better at adapting to them.

[00:46:03.530] – Dr. Levine

The important thing is something we see in exercise, too, is also the recovery. So you have enough time for your body to move back to this homeostatic kind of steady state space. And this is where we see things like chronic stress being a problem because your body never has time to move back to this adaptive states. So we know there's a lot of chronic stress in terms of psychosocial stress that people undergo that just never lets up. And I think this is kind of maladaptive stress. But actually these acute small stressors can actually be very beneficial to our overall functioning.

[00:46:38.640] – Allan

Yeah. And the way I like to look at it is one is these are the gentle nudges. So you're doing a little bit more work than you did before because you can't compress 30 years of not working out into a few workouts. Trust me, that won't work. But then, yeah, your body adapts, it gets stronger and the fact it can keep getting stronger. I think one of the data points you had in there was that they were taking what we basically call frail older people and putting them through a resistance training program. They increased their strength by over I think it was 112%. That's phenomenal. When you start thinking of doubling in probably was a matter of five, six, eight weeks. Most of these programs don't go more than twelve just for a cost perspective, that they were able to double their strength in that little amount of time, doing it in a safe environment. We're not putting them in the gym and saying, okay, we want you doing Olympic lifts here. They put them in a safe environment, they train them. And being trained, they become effectively better people, better athletes. And probably had you measured their bio age, which you weren't part of that experiment, but they probably would have come back a little bit better.

[00:47:57.930] – Dr. Levine

Yeah. And I think for a lot of these conditions that we see that arise with aging. So I think you mentioned before Sarcopenia, which is this muscle wasting, and it's also accompanied by loss of strength, also things like osteoporosis. Some of the best interventions we have are exercise. And I know people who are developing these might feel, well, I'm getting too weak to undergo a stressor like exercise. But actually that's what their body needs to kind of push it back into a stronger state. It needs that kind of you want like the push to come both ways. Right. If nothing's kind of pushing back on it, just continue to deteriorate.

[00:48:38.950] – Allan

Yeah. I like to think of nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress all of those are information. So our body, as you will, is literally just a computer, if you will, and it's collecting information about your environment. And if you're able to just sit on your butt every day and do nothing, in its mind, you're doing nothing but using your brain. You're not moving. You're eating foods that are not beneficial. You're giving your body information. That okay, it's time to shut down. It's time to just sort of just collect some fat. That's great. And then we're shutting down versus the opposite when you start giving it the information, hey, I'm going to need you to start actually lifting a little bit more weight. I'm going to need you to be able to travel a little bit further on your feet or in a wheelchair even. But you're moving more. You communicate to your body that it needs to be better and it reacts appropriately.

[00:49:41.970] – Dr. Levine

Yeah. Our bodies are amazing dynamical systems that will react to our environment and behaviors and all these inputs that we have the ability to kind of use to kind of Hone in on a better kind of overall system.

[00:49:59.730] – Allan

The good news of your book, True Age, is that this is not something we have to wait for somebody else to solve for. This is not even though we can say or they want to classify aging as a disease. It's not a disease that we can't reverse or at least control. It's something that's in our control and our lifestyle choices are a big part of how we age.

[00:50:24.570] – Dr. Levine

Yeah, I think I say this in the book. If someone had a pill that had the same benefits that we get with exercise, this would be one of the biggest breakthroughs, I think, in modern medicine. And the thing is that it already exists. We just have to kind of take the time out and actually do this. And yes, there might be really exciting discoveries down the road we're working on and colleagues, and we're very excited about those. But in the meantime, people don't have to sit around and wait for them. There's very impactful things that they can do right now.

[00:51:00.270] – Allan

And as you said in the book, there's a Goldilocks zone of this exercise. So we're not saying you need to be able to do an ultramarathon to consider yourself doing exercise. It's starting where you are doing a little bit more and then just finding that spot where you're optimizing how you feel and potentially how you look and how your body actually is responding to that stress and now potentially getting stronger and younger and all of that.

[00:51:35.070] – Dr. Levine

Yes, this comes back to this kind of acute stress versus chronic stress. You don't want to go out and just do so much, and then your body can't even really kind of recalibrate from that. But yeah, you do these little acute stressors enough to feel it like it shouldn't be easy per se, but enough to kind of break a swipe, get your heart rate up to a decent high level for a short amount of time, and then we can slowly build from there. But yeah, you don't need to be able to run a marathon. You can go for a 30 minutes walk or whatever kind of works for your lifestyle.

[00:52:08.130] – Allan

Dr. Levine, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:52:19.110] – Dr. Levine

For me, I would have to say one is figure out what works for you. So, you know, if you can't stick to a diet, then that diet is not going to help you. We all kind of overestimate, I think what we will stick to in the future. So I would say find something that actually works for your lifestyle where everyone's busy, but just make sure you're trying to get that little bit of exercise or eat plant based or whole foods most of the time. I'm not saying you can't have cake on your birthday, but figure out what you can actually manage in your life. The other thing I think related to that is just to know your numbers, to actually have some information about how you're doing so that you can make those choices on whether something is worthwhile implementing in your life versus not. And this makes you accountable for your decisions you make. But also, I think, can give positive feedback that what you're doing is actually benefiting you. And then probably the last step. And I guess this may be relates a little bit to number one is you don't have to go from zero to 100.

[00:53:40.090] – Dr. Levine

You can take small steps and then get there. You don't need the perfect diet on January 1st. But you can start by implementing one thing at a time and over time kind of get to a healthier lifestyle. And in doing that, cut yourself a little bit of slack. Right. You need to be accountable and not cut yourself too much slack. But everyone messes up. I eat unhealthfully occasionally and we have to don't be so critical and set on being perfect and let that kind of ruin your progress overall.

[00:54:17.250] – Allan

Great. Dr Levine, if someone wanted to learn more about you or more about your book, True Age, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:54:28.930] – Dr. Levine

My book is coming out, I think, today May 3, so you can buy it on Amazon or other outlets. To learn more about me, my lab has a website. I think it's morganlevinelab.com. I also people feel free to follow me on Twitter or Instagram. I like to post a lot about aging research where we are the new science coming out and also talk a little bit about what I do in my everyday life. So those are probably the main outlets for people who want to learn more.

[00:55:03.440] – Allan

You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/536 and I'll be sure to have links there. Dr. Levine, thank you so much for being a part of 40 Plus Fitness.

[00:55:15.070] – Dr. Levine

Thank you so much for having me.


Post Show/Recap

[00:55:26.690] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:55:28.170] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. What an interesting interview about aging. There's a lot to talk about here.

[00:55:33.640] – Allan

Yeah. I think in less than three or four months we've had three different guests now talking about aging and from different perspectives. One guy's in the technology aspect of it as kind of we were this time, companies providing services like how do you get your true age and what are the things we can do to deal with it? But the reality of it is we're not learning anything new. And I hate to say it that way, but you probably have heard common themes. What do I have to do for weight loss? And it's like manage your nutrition manager, movement manager, sleep, manage your stress. What I do is if I want to age slower, same four things.

[00:56:22.290] – Rachel

Sure.

[00:56:23.750] – Allan

So these foundations of health that we go over week in and week out, there's a right way for you. There's the right size for you. And the sooner you get on it, the better, because we talked about that Hill and how the inertia or the momentum of aging kind of works in your favor for the first half of that Hill where the ball is trying to roll back against you and you've got much more resilience and much more strength and much more everything. And then you hit a point, a tipping point, and then now aging is running away from you. And if you're not doing the right things, it could end really badly and out of your control. Loss of independence, loss of health, loss of fitness. It can go bad, fast. And for some people, we're in our 40s and 50s. I don't know about you, but you get on Facebook and every other day there's this diagnosis, that diagnosis. And you're like, okay, sometimes that's just enough to get them to start fighting that inertia that aging inertia. Sometimes they're already past the top. And now it's just, okay, this is where I'm going.

[00:57:35.770] – Allan

And so we have a lot that we can do in four fundamental areas to manage our health and wellness. And it plays out over and over in all the different themes about how to have better strength, how to have better bone mass, how to feel better, how to have more energy, how to all four basic pillars that if we're working on those on a consistent basis, we're improving our health, we're improving our existence. And as a result, our true age is younger than potentially our chronological age.

[00:58:15.830] – Rachel

That's an interesting concept right there. To think that if you could manage your health in such a way that you might feel younger than other people at your age, we have an interesting, I don't know, concept of what aging feels like. When I was a kid, I thought 50 would be crazy old and I'd be slowing down and not doing the things that I'm doing right now. And here at 50, I'm still running marathons and doing some fun stuff, and I have no intention of stopping. This is how I like to spend my time, and it's giving me a higher quality of life. I mean, it's social, it's entertaining, and I'm doing what I can to maintain my age. And I just really wish people would also find something that they love to do at this age to keep them active.

[00:59:06.090] – Allan

Yeah. And it doesn't have to be running. It doesn't have to be weight lifting. It doesn't have to be super strenuous. I mean, it can be something as simple as pickleball or just something that's slightly active. Get out in the state park and go for a hike, find a group that's doing something that some movement involved and make it a thing. They're out there. And I think that's the point. There's running clubs, there's hiking clubs, there's pickleball, there's all this different stuff that's out there. Or it might be just something as simple as the Zumba class at your community and you don't have to be able to dance. Just go out there and have some fun and move at your pace at your thing and just enjoy yourself because you only get one shot.

[01:00:05.590] – Rachel

Right. I just think that's the best part, though, like Zumba class would be just a hoot. And I've got an aunt and uncle. They do Taichi a beautiful, graceful movement for them and they enjoy it. They have friends at the gym, and it's just such a fun, social atmosphere for them. And they're having a high quality of life. They get out of the house, they do these fun things, and they're healthier for it. You don't have to let aging just happen. You don't have to just get old and sit around and do nothing. How boring would that be?

[01:00:39.690] – Allan

Well, we see it. I mean, that's kind of what's interesting, as you were saying. It's like, okay, there was the great grandma who was right at the end and forgetting things and always sitting in her rocker. And then there was the grandma and yeah, she'd Cook a meal and then she'd sit down, and then there was mom, and then there was us and we're running around like wild animals, and everybody else is sitting and not and they're not playing and they're not doing these things. It wasn't done. It wasn't a regular thing. In fact, at one point, women couldn't even run a marathon. They weren't allowed like, well, okay. And that's probably why, again, if you're not going to let somebody do something, then they're going to want to do it that much more.

[01:01:33.680] – Rachel

That's right.

[01:01:34.490] – Allan

So, yeah, you can't do this exercise thing. Don't listen to us. You can't do yeah, Yes. But it's like it's not a button. It's not easy.

[01:01:47.630] – Allan

But you have tools. You have the capacity, if you take a breath to do something, and if we're just going to sit around and wait for them to come up with the easy pill, that one pill thing that you're going to take, that's going to be your exercise for you. You're going to pass before that happens. Science is great, but it's not going to be that great. In fact, what science is more likely to do is to keep you alive in a bad health state. So your health started declining in your 50s and you lived until your Eighties. It was 30 years plus maybe of poor health that you had to endure. And it's within your control to eat better, move better, sleep better, and manage stress better. Every little bit of that that you're able to do is going to help improve your lifespan and your health span.

[01:02:46.770] – Rachel

And the quality. The quality of life. Yes. You don't have to take aging sitting down, get up and get active.

[01:02:53.930] – Allan

Get out there. Yeah. And realize that if you are on the other side of the Hill, you can slow the descent. It's not this fixed aging curve where you have to live the way that you saw your parents live or that you see older siblings or relatives live. You can slow that curve with the right interventions, which are not medical. They're physical. They're what you put in your mouth or what you put in your brain. They're what you physically move around and do. It's all information. And if you're informing your body that you need to be active and manage an active lifestyle with good food and all that your body responds is like, oh, well, we still have to do stuff versus if you're just sitting around and you're not getting the exercise, you're not eating well, you're communicating to your body that it's okay for it to go ahead and start shutting down. That's a bad message.

[01:03:48.060] – Rachel

It is a bad message. Not very fun. Not fun at all.

[01:03:52.140] – Allan

No. So again, I'll probably still keep having guests on and we'll keep talking about aging because it's an important topic. But just recognize that all of my shows are the same show. They are. We're talking about the same four things but your four things are different than my four things and so you just have to find your four things and how you move, how you eat, how you sleep, how you manage stress and doing the best that you can with what you have, where you are. And if you're doing that then you're aging at a slower pace than you would have otherwise and you're going to have a longer, better life.

[01:04:33.750] – Rachel

Yes, that's perfect.

[01:04:36.490] – Allan

All right, well, rach, we'll talk next week.

[01:04:39.050] – Rachel

Sounds great. Take care, Allan.

[01:04:40.670] – Allan

You too. Bye.

[01:04:41.770] – Rachel

Thanks. Bye.

Patreons

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Another episode you may enjoy

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February 21, 2022

How to be a younger you with Dr. Kara Fitzgerald

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

We grow up celebrating birthdays, marks of our chronological age, but that can differ drastically from our biological age. In her book, Younger You, Dr. Kara Fitzgerald shows us how we can slow and even reverse our biological aging.

Transcript

Let's Say Hello

Ra

[00:01:13.450] – Allan

Hey, Ras.

[00:01:14.590] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. How are you today?

[00:01:16.190] – Allan

I'm doing all right. Good and bad. Like I said, the last time we talked, there were some things going on with me here with the gym in particular. My landlord decided that it was time for them to Mark up my rent. What they felt was full market on the space. And in the past, the agreement had kind of been that they wanted a gym next door, that it was good for them to have a gym next door. And so they agreed to a moderate reduction in what would be considered market rent. But now they just full out want market rent. And we've been open over a month, over a year since covid. We just had a year when they decided to do this. And so it was just bump. There's a 45% increase in rent. And I can tell you, the gym business is not a high margin business. In general, you have members, they pay. There's no contracts here. So this is not like I've got people locked into a year and they pay and they don't show up here. If they don't pay, they don't show up. They don't show up, they don't pay.

[00:02:20.310] – Allan

And so it's just that I can't. There's no way you tell your members, okay, rent went up 45%. I need you to pay me 45% more. I would lose all my members. So I decided it was a good time for me to go check out this thing called the market. And he was absolutely right. They wanted to mark it up to a market price and all that. I'm like, well, that's great. But I knew if I paid market, I could probably get something better, something that was more suitable. They've been having issues with their hostels. What they are hotel hostel. And so some of their members are right on the other side of the wall of our gym. And so people are in their lifting weights or the music's playing maybe just a little louder than you need it. And so they get complaints, and it happens about once every four or five months. Someone will send me an email saying, you guys got to cut the music off and move away from the wall. And I'm like, no, I'm done. Anyway, and also the gym doesn't have a bathroom, so now I've found a space.

[00:03:24.940] – Allan

We're going to have a bathroom. It's going to be a fair amount of space. It's not as big as what we have, but it's something we can make work and it's still right in town. So I think it'll be a good move for us from the perspective of having something solid locked in and then be able to run the gym, at least with some expectations that our landlords not going to come after us. Rent increases.

[00:03:50.350] – Rachel

Ouch.

[00:03:51.050] – Allan

Yeah. So how are things up there?

[00:03:53.300] – Rachel

Good. I just got back from a race, and my training that I've been doing with the trainer has been paying off. I had a great race day. And I'm excited for what's up ahead. My marathon will be in a few more weeks.

[00:04:08.090] – Allan

Oh, good.

[00:04:09.100] – Rachel

Fingers crossed.

[00:04:10.990] – Allan

no, not fingers crossed. You've got this. Put the work in.

[00:04:14.970] – Rachel

Yeah.

[00:04:15.420] – Allan

You put the work in.

[00:04:16.190] – Rachel

Yes. Doing the work. Making progress. That's right.

[00:04:19.650] – Allan

It's not luck. This is dedication and investment.

[00:04:25.630] – Rachel

Absolutely. My trainer has been really great, so it's definitely paying off.

[00:04:30.850] – Allan

Good. All right, well, you want to have this conversation with Kara?

[00:04:34.670] – Rachel

Sure.

Interview

[00:05:17.080] – Allan

Dr. Fitzgerald, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:05:20.050] – Dr. Fitzgerald

It's great to be with you today.

[00:05:23.050] – Allan

I'm going to admit I'm a health geek. That's why I do what I do. And your book Younger You: Reduce Your Bio Age and Live Longer Better. I so geeked out on this book. I don't want to scare anybody away. It is a great book for a geek, but it's also very easy to understand. You've written things in a way that anyone can go through and kind of pull this together and say, hey, all those words that were out there that used to just kind of confuse me, they now make so much more sense.

[00:05:59.350] – Dr. Fitzgerald

Got it. So appreciative to hear that. That's very high praise. We worked hard. Kate Hanley worked with me in writing this, and she really got in there and translated so that it is understandable and the analogies make sense and people can do it. So thank you.

[00:06:16.470] – Allan

Now one of the quotes, the good books. I'll just say when I find a good book, I'll usually find something in it like this, just this nugget of quote. Typically a quote or it might be a stat, but usually a quote that I'll say, okay, this is important, and this is something that needs to be shared over and over and over again. And here's the quote I'm taking from your book. When you give your body what it needs without beating it over the head with Pharmaceuticals, synthetic hormones, you empower your body's own innate wisdom to lead the way. And that is such a powerful statement.

[00:06:53.610] – Dr. Fitzgerald

Yeah. Just allow trusting the body wisdom.

[00:06:57.640] – Allan

Yeah. And your younger you program. That's exactly what you're doing.

[00:07:01.500] – Dr. Fitzgerald

That's right.

[00:07:02.460] – Allan

So I want to start out with some definitions because this is a technical issue. When you start talking about genetics, we're not talking about carbs and protein and fat, and we're not talking about bench presses and barbell curls and things like that. Those are complicated for a lot of people. But when you start getting into genetics and epigenetics and those things, it can seem very intimidating to someone that didn't study this or isn't really comfortable with the science of all of this. Can we talk about chronological age versus biological age or bio age?

[00:07:38.980] – Dr. Fitzgerald

Yeah, absolutely. It's simple. Chronological age is how many years we've been here on the planet. You can't change it no matter how much we might want to be 29 again, we're not changing that. Biological age is really the measurement of our physiologic age, how healthy we are, what our wear and tear looks like. Are we breaking down faster physically than our chronological age, or are we breaking down more slowly? And obviously, we want the latter.

[00:08:15.880] – Allan

Yes. And in the book, you give us some references to places we can go to get this done, like in a lab situation. But you also give us some easy tests, like just take this test and this will give you a general idea, plus or minus how well you're doing. So I appreciate you making that easy for someone to go out there and just say, okay, Where's my starting point? And then after going through some of this, actually be able to see progress, because progress is what makes us what motivates us to keep doing these things. So I appreciate that being a part of this book.

[00:08:47.240] – Dr. Fitzgerald

We have it online now. So that biological age subjective questionnaire you're referring to is online. And I'll give you the link. It's youngeryouprorogram.com, and then you can just do it yourself. Easy peasy. And as many times as you want. And it is fun and it is illuminating.

[00:09:04.330] – Allan

Now, let's talk about what genes are and what epigenetics is.

[00:09:11.320] – Dr. Fitzgerald

Yeah. Okay. And I want to make sure that I fold into that at some point how we actually measure biological age, because that's tucked into this epigenetic conversation. Our genes are hardware basically. They're just kind of tucked into the nucleus of the cell, really not doing anything unless they're called upon to turn on. So we've got about 23000 genes, far, far less actually than most plants. Our genome is relatively simple. And when we mapped the genome out back in the early two thousands, there was a belief that we were going to be able to find a genetic cause for all of the chronic diseases that we are swamped with. And upon completion of the genome, it was clear that it was too simplistic of a goal and that ushered in the era of epigenetics or epigenomics. Epigenetics has been around for a long time, but there's a lot of attention here now. And what that is epic is above and genetics is our genetic material. So above the genetic material or how we regulate genetic expression. And this is where the rubber meets the road. This is how our diet and lifestyle habits, our mental and emotional experience, our stress, our toxins, et cetera, all of these things that we're interested in in the health space, it influences genetic expression.

[00:10:57.850] – Dr. Fitzgerald

And you're looking at those changes right here in epigenetics. So it's where environment meets genetics.

[00:11:07.030] – Allan

The way I kind of understand it is okay. I used to think a gene was either on or off, but as I understand, it's sort of like a dimmer switch and the epigenetic aspects of it are kind of okay, is this more on, more off or all the way off or all the way on? And some of these genes, like you talk about tumor suppression genes that over time kind of get turned more off, more off, more off as we get older or as we deal with toxins or we just don't take care of ourselves. So the epigenetics aspect of it is really kind of almost toggling on how much is the gene working versus not working?

[00:11:41.740] – Dr. Fitzgerald

Yeah, perfect. That's exactly right.

[00:11:43.990] – Allan

It's different then I can't toggle my different colors by messing with my epigenetics. Some of these things are hardwired, but a lot of the health aspect things that we're seeing, like cancers and other diseases of age, mostly diseases of age and lifestyle, we're seeing those are controlled by epigenetics.

[00:12:02.290] – Dr. Fitzgerald

Yes, that's right.

[00:12:04.790] – Allan

Okay, now you're diving one layer deeper. Okay. So we're going to take this next step down and this is a very important step because this is the basis for how you've organized everything you do, and that is DNA methylation. Can you first tell us what methylation is and then what is DNA methylation?

[00:12:25.220] – Dr. Fitzgerald

Yeah. So methylation is a process that's happening and really everywhere in the body pretty much all of the time. This isn't scientifically correct, but it's like oxygen. We know we need to be breathing all of the time or will die. Methylation is like that ubiquitous and really maybe more so. And it's a methyl group is a carbon with three hydrogens. It's very simple, very fundamental. We're making methyl groups in the methylation cycle, and then they are carted off in the structure of a compound called S adenosine methionine. People might know it as Sam or CME. So this compound, CME, hangs onto a methyl group and then it goes off to the myriad enzymes that use a methyl group and just engages in a whole lot of biochemical reactions in the body. We use methylation to detox. We use methylation to make hormones, things like adrenaline or dopamine or noradrenaline. What else do we use methylation for? To make really important fatty acid associated compounds like phosphatidyl choline, and choline? You know, just on and on. I think at last count there were over 300 reactions requiring a methyl group.

[00:13:53.290] – Allan

Okay. So the way I like to look at this, just from a simplistic and maybe it's not simplistic, but to me it's simplistic because I didn't grow up around computers, but I spent a lot of time with computers is I look at genes is kind of being like you said, it's sort of the hardware and the operating system. You bought an IBM, you're an IBM or you're an Apple. You operate a certain way. And then the epigenetics is sort of the software we decided to put in there. So do I want to do graphics work and I'm going to be over here doing cad and working with drawings and things like that, or am I going to do crunch big numbers and do spreadsheets and databases? So you use a different software that is going on in that sort of deciding how you're operating and you're doing things. And the methylation is the data entry. It's the bits and pieces that go in there to say, okay, so if this, then that well, now what's the if? What was that if? And it's like if you ate whole food, then this, if you ate crap, then this.

[00:14:50.270] – Allan

And so the software is already there and we're affecting the DNA methylation, hitting that kind of stuff with our lifestyle and our food and everything else.

[00:15:02.530] – Dr. Fitzgerald

That's interesting. I haven't thought of it in that way, and I'll have to ponder it a little bit. There are a lot of biochemical processes involved in epigenetics, involved in gene regulation, and DNA methylation is one of them. So I have to ponder your analogy. At a glance, really it makes sense, but it's one of the software programs and I think it's one of the big guys software programs to regulate what's going on in us.

[00:15:38.650] – Allan

Okay, now you have a formula in there, and this formula, I think, kind of helps us drive how we approach this whole your whole younger you program is built on.

[00:15:48.360] – Allan

Okay. We've got this group of things. We got to think about this group of things and this group of things. So you put them into three buckets, but it's a plus plus plus. And then that's going to equal where you are with your younger you. First is methyl donors, which, as I understand, is basically things that are going to help, that are going to be donating the things that are going to go into that process, the DNA methylation adaptogens, which are going to kind of be the enzyme, but things are going to make that happen. And then the lifestyle practices that are going to define how well it happens.

[00:16:21.910] – Dr. Fitzgerald

Yes. So donors help with fundamental methylation. We need to be effectively methylating all the time, and we need to supply the body with the ingredients in order to do that. And as we age, we actually do it way less efficiently. The adaptogens are foods or compounds that sort of direct where they go. And I think that that's what you said. And our lifestyle pieces also influence what is happening at DNA methylation as well. So maybe they're refinements. I look at them as further all important support in regulating optimal genetic expression.

[00:17:06.070] – Allan

My thought process goes like this. It's like I can't really control methyl donors. It's not like I could have a switch on my shoulder or something. It's like turn it on or turn it off or make it move here, make it move. The same thing with the methylation adaptogens, but the lifestyle practices, I have a little bit more control now. I do have control of my food, which is where a lot of these donors and adaption come from. So let's talk a little bit.

[00:17:30.910] – Dr. Fitzgerald

They do. They all do. So, I mean, I would challenge you on that. I would say you do have control over what you're putting in your mouth.

[00:17:37.910] – Allan

Yeah. Okay. So let's talk about the food. You have a lot of different aspects to it that I think are really important. Can you talk about food and this approach and why it's giving us the methyl donors and the DNA methylation adaptions?

[00:17:59.350] – Dr. Fitzgerald

Yeah. So going back to that first quote about giving our body the ingredients it needs for optimal chain expression, our food is information. It's extraordinarily complex information, actually. Scientists are really just unpacking it. They were just learning how extraordinary it is. And it's not just the isolated ingredients. It's the interaction between the ingredients that are on your fork and then the interactions with your gut, microbiome, et cetera. It's just the food matrix is beautiful and extraordinary. And my appreciation is always sort of expanded as the science grows. So we want to be consuming foods. So we want to be consuming these methyl donors that we need a lot of instead of an isolated vitamins. Actually, I shouldn't say instead of because there are times when we need isolated vitamins. So I want to be clear that I'm not suggesting we stop isolated vitamins as needed, but eating as many in a food matrix will yield more bang for our buck. And so that means leafy Greens, that means spinach, that means kale, asparagus. That means mushrooms like shiitake or Inake that are just maitake that are just loaded with Folate and B.12 If you can do it, have some eggs.

[00:19:29.650] – Dr. Fitzgerald

If you're a fan of eating eggs, eggs are loaded with choline, beets. I try to have a couple of small beets every day. They're packed with the methyl support nutrient Batine. Another methyl donor superfood is liver. We like people to do about three servings of liver per week, so not loads. And the eggs we look at in a weekly serving as well. So you don't have to have them every day, but maybe five to ten eggs per week. We do have a vegetarian/vegan program that one can follow. We just didn't do our research study on it. So you'll have to stay tuned. We're actually continuing to research. So stay tuned there. But this original study was used using animal products. So those are methylation adaptogens. And then those are the methyl donors foods, and then the methylation adaptogens. These are the beautiful polyphenols that seem to direct how the methyl donors behave and where they go. Top ones include green tea, the catechins egcgb most famous. Rosemarynic acid, and Rosemary, quercetin, curcumin, luteolin. What else? Resveratrol. All of the beautiful compounds and blueberries and berries in general. So think andanal methane, sulforaphane.

[00:20:57.800] – Dr. Fitzgerald

So cruciferous vegetables. We want you to just be just fill your cup with these nutrients. And I think together they just pack a really profound punch. So I'll just stop there and see if you can.

[00:21:09.730] – Allan

No, that's great, because a couple of things that are there is yes. If you eat keto, if you eat vegetarian, if you eat Paleo, if you eat Mediterranean, all of these stack on top of the way that you're approaching this. But you're just saying there's some very core things here. High quality whole food. You didn't say Twinkies or Twiskets or anything like that. These are high quality whole foods. It is plant forward because a lot of these methyl donors and the adaptogens that we need, they're going to come from plants. In fact, I think this week was the first time I've ever bought fresh Rosemary in my entire life.

[00:21:52.650] – Dr. Fitzgerald

Well, good. Oh, it's great. Cool.

[00:21:56.150] – Allan

And a lot of the foods that you mentioned, I love. I love beets, I love liver. And so those are normal things. But it just kind of reminds me to make sure that they're in the rotation enough that I'm getting enough methyl donors. As you say, one thing that I think is going to be kind of interesting to a lot of people is that your approach is sort of keto leaning, not necessarily all the way to ketosis all the time, but at least leaning towards keto and utilizing intermittent fasting.

[00:22:23.650] – Dr. Fitzgerald

Yes.

[00:22:24.220] – Allan

So why are those two a part of this? What do they do?

[00:22:27.780] – Dr. Fitzgerald

Well, we know that ketones are extremely helpful. Before I jump into the answer those two questions, I just want to underline the comment that you made about how stackable this is. We used this in clinic practice years before we got to research it. And so we layered these principles into the myriad very individualized diet program. So if we had a strict keto protein restricted keto with a cancer patient, we could layer in these principles. If we have somebody with profound allergies or on a fodmap or any of the myriad diets that one might use in clinic practice or even out in the world, that the diets that people might be exploring, these principles are designed to be layerable layerable layerable. This is not exclusive. The only time you might consider doing this and following it exclusively is if you really want to get the results from our study. And that's an eight week chunk of time. And so that's when I would say.

[00:23:31.930] – Allan

But it is a reduction of over three years of bio ages which you are finding in your study. It is eight weeks and it's restrictive and it's intensive. It's called intensive. We're going to talk about it a little bit more detail later, but it has some pretty profile. At least it was a small group. But to be fair, pretty profound findings from just that small trial in just eight weeks. I think anyone here can sit there and say, I can do anything for eight weeks, particularly if you see the benefits that I think you'll see if you do this. And then the other side of it is if you're eating a certain way and you hear about some of these other foods, you might have thought, okay, well, I'm in keto, and beets are root vegetables, so therefore I shouldn't be eating them. You can still stay in ketosis and eat beets. I do it all the time. It's just a function of being aware of how much you're eating, how many carbs you're taking it and what your tolerance is. And if you get your insulin resistance under control, which is a part of what this diet does as a part of the anti-aging aspects of it, you will probably be able to tolerate more natural sugars from things like beets.

[00:24:39.310] – Dr. Fitzgerald

That's exactly right. That's a great point. Yeah, right. Absolutely. And you can figure out when you may consider eating your beets, perhaps after you've done something cardio. And we're not talking about a ton of beets. I think two medium beets a day, so you can cut them in quarters and just have a bite of beet if you're working with blood sugar issues. So ketone bodies are important. I think epigenetic signal molecules. And I think the data around ketones as epigenetic regulators is just emerging. So they're included. We wanted it to be keto leaning for that reason, but also just the potent anti inflammatory potential of having background ketones, their brain fuel. I mean, they just serve so many having some circulating ketones, having our bodies exposed to some circulating ketones daily, even for a limited period, I think is really important in long term health and longevity.

[00:25:49.150] – Allan

When someone gets the metabolic flexibility to be able to use Ketones in addition to glucose, what I found is that the cravings for glucose go away because the energy source is always there. We carry enough body fat to pretty much function for a long time. And we already have enough blood sugar and basic available sugar to last us for a couple of hours of even intermediate level work. So for most of us, if we get that metabolic flexibility, we're not constantly hungry, not constantly hungry. And so having the ability to utilize Ketones gives us that capacity to choose give us some freedom. For a lot of people, then that also leads into the intermittent fasting and how easy it becomes once you're adapted to using Ketones.

[00:26:39.770] – Dr. Fitzgerald

Yeah, that's right. And of course, we know that Longo has done lots of research and data continue to come out showing the benefits of different fasting structures. And we wanted something doable. We didn't want this study to be about intermittent fasting or fasting. We really wanted this program to be easy to be doable for a large population. So it's 12 hours on, 12 hours off. It's very gentle. But the data on fasting, on time restricted eating and biological age is just growing. And I think it's good. It's impressive.

[00:27:20.020] – Allan

Yes. And these are not extremes and these are not low calories. Eat cardboard stuff.

[00:27:28.390] – Dr. Fitzgerald

That's right.

[00:27:29.310] – Allan

You're eating healthy, high quality foods. You're not trying to blast your body with a bunch of supplements. You're supplementing as necessary. So this time of year up north, probably some vitamin D if you're vegan, probably some vitamin B12. Just kind of making sure that you're putting the right things in your body. If you can't get it from your nutrition or your body can't make it itself, then you do some supplements.

[00:27:56.960] – Dr. Fitzgerald

Yeah, we do. In our study, it was very simple. We didn't want to lean on supplements. But I agree with you. And there's actually in the book there's a supplement section in the book where I talk about just some workhorse nutrients, as you said, like vitamin D or if you're vegan, B12, and possibly iron in some circumstances, fish oil. There are some basic things we want in our background if we're not adequately consuming them in the diet or if we're not consuming them at all. But in the study, we only used a Greens powder to get just another little hit of those all important polyphenols that I mentioned. And we used a probiotic Lactobacillus Plantarum. And the reason we use Lactobacillus plantarum is this particular strain has some nice science on it for a variety of healthy gut reasons. But it's also been shown to be able to increase bacterial production of folate. And we make a lot we make a ton of vitamins. A healthy gut makes lots of vitamins that we need. And we know. So beyond just making vitamins. We know that the microbiome regulates host epigenetics, and it plays a lot of roles and it's just continually being unpacked.

[00:29:10.700] – Dr. Fitzgerald

We're just starting to wrap our arms around it. So we know that a healthy gut microbiome is an essential component. So those were just the only two things we used in our study.

[00:29:19.240] – Allan

Yeah. There were a couple of things that I took away as you got into this as far as supplementing and things like something as simple as put your mushrooms out in the sun for a little while and they'll have some more vitamin D.

[00:29:30.090] – Dr. Fitzgerald

Isn't that cool? Like an easy mushroom hack? Yes.

[00:29:33.740] – Allan

Just put it out there. If you got high quality sun, put it out there for an hour or so. If you can put it out there longer and it's going to soup up the vitamin D you can get from those mushrooms. Also, you talk a little bit about how folate but typically when we get a supplement for folate, we're getting folic acid, which is problematic.

[00:29:55.330] – Dr. Fitzgerald

Yeah. I do want to acknowledge that food folic acid fortification, grain fortification has reduced birth defects in this country and other countries. So we have to acknowledge that public health success. But we also have to acknowledge that that means there are some people get ingesting a lot of folate, be it folic acid and fortified foods or the other so in grains, but also in milk, in alternative milks. And it's a huge issue how much fortification goes on. If you buy soy or almond or cashew milk, etc. That's been any degree processed, it will be fortified with various vitamins. And so we need to keep our eyes open. Folate exists in a U curve. And actually, let me finish the folic gas piece first. Folic acid is synthetic. It's not bioidentical to the folates that we use. And so it has to be active. And I think your listeners probably know you've talked about this I'm sure that it takes a few steps. It takes more steps, and we don't all activate it equally well. And circulating folic acid has been associated with issues as far as DNA methylation goes, imbalanced methylation isn't going to come from folic acid, though, so I don't follow that thread in the book too far.

[00:31:20.230] – Dr. Fitzgerald

Imbalanced DNA methylation can come from folic acid has to be activated into a body usable, a bio dentical form, and then it could go on to influence DNA methylation. So any excess forms of any I think isolated vitamins can in some people probably be problematic. And it is not black and white. This does not mean that you throw your supplements out at all, but it does mean that you recognize if there's excess and you're paying attention and if you're taking isolated vitamins, you're doing it for a reason. You know why you're taking that much? Are you taking it long term? If so, why is someone managing that, et cetera, in the age of epigenetics. So in the Omics era, where we can see our genome, our microbiome or epigenome, et cetera, in this era, we are able to see nutrients, lifestyle vitamins, influence on our physiology more than at any other time. And because of this, I don't think we can any longer say we'll pee out the vitamins we don't use, et cetera. I think we need to be a little bit more mindful.

[00:32:35.890] – Allan

Yeah. And you're wasting money

[00:32:39.010] – Dr. Fitzgerald

right.

[00:32:43.450] – Allan

so let's jump into some of the lifestyle things. And in there, you had pretty much four things. And the reason I want to talk about these four things, in addition, is this is the message that we hear over and over. You can take this back to Buettner when he was talking about blue zones. Doctor Day, the probably the last, I would say the last ten episodes if we didn't talk about these four or five things. We talked about food, we talked about exercise, we talked about we talked about stress management in some cases we talked about toxins, which I kind of lump in with stress management. So it's emotional stress or actual chemical stress and then social connection. Those four things, exercise, sleep, stress management, and social connection are so important. But they're affecting us at this level. They're at this level. This is not just, oh, I feel tired because I didn't sleep. We're doing something to DNA methylation.

[00:33:39.450] – Dr. Fitzgerald

Yes, it's pretty crazy. So here we are in this era where we can see what the heck is happening. And, yeah, we need these lifestyle practices for a reason. We evolved moving our bodies. We evolved getting a certain amount of sleep, and you can see that people. So originally it was animal studies. There are animals and human studies, but most still are animal. But just one poor sleep session. In an animal model, damages the central nervous systems. There's neuronal damage, the regeneration of neurons or the maintenance of neurons. It becomes problematic. And we see in humans insomnia being very proaging, as measured by DNA methylation. So sleep is important. And then just going beyond specifically looking at DNA methylation. So we see that it's disruptive there, but we see that poor sleep is linked to all of the chronic diseases, which are all fueled by aging. So it comes full circle. So, yeah, it's essential for us to get sufficient sleep for those of us who want a healthy longevity and a good health plan to go with our longevity, we really need to be considering sleep. We need to prioritize it. I talked a lot about sleep in my book and how to do it because I was a bad sleeper.

[00:35:08.190] – Dr. Fitzgerald

I think of all of the components of our program. Sleep was the hardest for me. And so how did I improve it? It was a lot of little steps. Probably the biggest one was going to bed early enough to actually allow my body to get 8 hours and not staying up in this anxious state of ‘oh my gosh, I'm not going to fall asleep' and we're going to talk about meditation in a minute. That's a great way to bring the body down into a sleep place. Making sure my room is dark enough. I put an air conditioner in the window in my bedroom so the rest of my house wouldn't be cold to turning down the central air because I sleep better in a really cold room. I think most people do, so just little hacks along the way can add up to good quality sleep. I love using a sleep tracker. I wear an aura ring that motivates me because I'm a data Hound. I like looking at it. I feel excited when I get sufficient deep sleep and REM. And I can also track did I exercise too late? When I exercise a little bit too late, my heart rate doesn't drop and I tend to be a less efficient sleeper.

[00:36:16.210] – Dr. Fitzgerald

I'll have more disruption if I exercise in the morning. However, I can really get fabulous sleep, so it helps me, but there's a timing component and I just kind of move through some of those things when I wake up at night. So I have a toddler at home. Honestly, I wake up most nights with her and then I need to be able to fall back to sleep. And one of the ways that I've done that actually an important tool. I got this from her, right? I would play white noise for her or rain sounds, et cetera. And I just started doing that for myself. And now it really makes a difference when I need to kind of bring myself back down into sleep in the middle of the night when I've been woken up.

[00:36:56.170] – Allan

Yeah, I also use the white noise and keep the room cool. Now that my wife is menopause, she agrees with me. The room should be colder. Before we were ten degrees difference in where we wanted the temperature of the room to be. We're much closer now, but it is that what is something. And so mine was an internal dialogue. Meditation, if you will. It's a very different thing and that I just visualize myself doing something. At first I was struggling with stress of being under a house, a dad of a house, and then it's very expensive house. We're having troubles with contractors and everything. So it was stressing me out. I actually was laying there when I think that I'm under the house, but it's on sand and so all I have to do is just start digging and I would dig out and I would see blue light and then I would feel the Sunshine, smell the air, hear the noises of the waves and the birds. And then I'd climb out and I'd start walking and I'd be asleep. And what I found was every morning then I found myself. It gets easier and easier to dig out.

[00:38:06.640] – Allan

I'd be out and I'd be walking down the beach earlier, and I would sleep better. And then one night I was just already standing on the beach.

[00:38:15.190] – Dr. Fitzgerald

Well, that's pretty cool.

[00:38:16.400] – Allan

And so I'm not going to call it a dream as much as just when I was just sitting there thinking about my state of mind and where I needed to be and where I was and what was going to take it was going to take me digging through the sand. And so every night I would just kind of mentally dig myself through the sand and just say, okay, this is easy. I'm just digging through sand. I can do this. Blue light. Okay, great. I'm moving in the right direction. I'm doing the right things. And then I'm asleep. So it's just for me, it was a unique thing. Now I don't have that house. I don't have those problems. So now I just visualize myself.

[00:38:48.460] – Dr. Fitzgerald

And you live on a beach.

[00:38:49.550] – Allan

I live on a beach, but I've just visualize myself somewhere I want to be that I would enjoy. And I start thinking about the sun on my face and how that warmth feels and how the air smells fresh and you can just kind of feeling in the waves and all of that. When you start doing that, it kind of clears your brain of anything else because you're trying to sensory perceive yourself somewhere. Everything else just falls apart. So if there's things that are bothering you over the day, it's like that guy cut me off in traffic. Damn it. I should have got his driver's license. He should have his plate number and turn them into you're not thinking about that anymore. You're thinking about the sun on your face, or maybe you like skiing and it's the brisk and the cold and you can see your breath and those types of things. For me, the big point of sleep is to just find a way to turn and yes, white noise is a big part of that, too.

[00:39:42.910] – Dr. Fitzgerald

I think the take home what you're doing, it just sounds perfect, is that we can succeed at this for people who have struggled with insomnia. And I am right there. Stress induced insomnia, like what you're talking about. I've absolutely struggled or just being woken up a lot because of my daughter. But both varieties, simple steps, we can do it. And there are times I know we have other areas to talk about, but I want to just say that because I know people listening are going to say this or think this any insomniacs out there. Yeah, that won't work for me. Yeah, that won't work for me. There's just this discouragement. And I've also been there. And the fact of the matter is it can work for you if you continue to return yourself to whatever the exercise is like. Ok. If you return yourself to the stand and to the blue light, and then your mind goes right back to being under the house and stuck under that debt. It's so overwhelming. Then just return. It is a meditation practice. It's not like a meditation practice. It is, but you just have to keep with it.

[00:41:01.050] – Dr. Fitzgerald

I'm sure there were times when you didn't do when you failed at it, and then you'd have to keep returning.

[00:41:06.080] – Allan

Yeah. Other things were going on. Yeah. And then I'd get stuck again. But the other thing I found was, okay, if there's something you can't do, what's important is for you to focus on what you can do. So if when I injured my shoulder. Okay, well, I couldn't exercise the way I wanted to exercise, but I could exercise some ways. I didn't feel like I was making the progress, but I could really focus on my nutrition. I could really start focusing on my stress if I can't be in the gym for an hour and a half, because that's what I enjoy doing now, my basic workout because I can't work parts of my upper body. My workout was done in an hour. I now have a half an hour. What do I do? I go home and I sit down and I just do a quick meditation, a 15,20 minutes meditation before I take my shower. And I use that 30 minutes to change something or I made sure I made good meal prep. So I know my lunch is packed and everything is ready to go. So I've had a good breakfast. I'm going to have a good, healthy lunch.

[00:42:03.740] – Allan

And so it's just do what you can with what you have, where you are.

[00:42:07.160] – Dr. Fitzgerald

Yes, that's right. Amen to that. Okay. Do we want to move on?

[00:42:13.880] – Allan

Yes, we're going to move on. But the only reason I said is I want to back up a little bit because earlier I talked about the software piece, and you got the hardware with the operating system, the software and the data. And in my mind, the food, the exercise, the sleep, the stress management and the social connections. That's all information. And the information is not just something that's out there. It literally goes to your genes. It goes to the expression of your genes. It's the information that makes that stuff happen, good or bad.

[00:42:43.880] – Dr. Fitzgerald

That's right. That's exactly right.

[00:42:45.330] – Allan

You talk a lot about trauma in the book and how trauma carries forward all the way to our DNA to the point that we can take it forward to the next generation.

[00:42:53.470] – Dr. Fitzgerald

Yeah.

[00:42:54.090] – Allan

So this is not a little thing. This is the information that drives your life. And it potentially is driving future generation. A lot of us are not of age where we're going to have children again. But just be thinking about it in terms of your daughter's, son looking at having children. If they start using some of these practices, they're setting that child up for a much better future because their DNA is made of their DNA, which means that all that encoding is some of it's going over. And the more we can clean that up now, the better.

[00:43:29.490] – Dr. Fitzgerald

That's right. And we do the best we can. And it does exist on a continuum. So you can see changes after one healthy meal or one exercise event. But clearly you're going to see stronger and more deeply rooted favorable changes on DNA methylation or the epigenome with continued practice. I just want to say, because it's so cool, is there's a study looking at exercise and the heritability of that and you've can pass some of those beneficial genetic changes down. I just think it's so cool. I mean, we know this for food, and I think trauma has been probably better studied than almost anything the heritability of trauma. But it's just if you're doing your crunches and you're going to conceive, I mean, go you. You're doing your power lifting or whatever, you can hand some of that down and actually just thinking about exercising in older people, they get more of an epigenetic bang for their buck than younger folks. So you had brought up those tumor suppressor genes. These are cancer fighters in our body. And as we age or if we have cancer, these genes get really kind of turned off. And exercise helps with re-expression. So it's neat. It acts like a methylation adaptogen.

[00:44:52.370] – Allan

So now I want to quickly talk about alcohol because you talked about an adaptogen and everybody thinks, oh, great, I can have a few glasses of wine every night and all I'm doing is putting antioxidants in my body and I'm good. Maybe the story is not that clean.

[00:45:13.420] – Dr. Fitzgerald

Yeah, it's not. Sorry, guys. I feel for you. I'm not a drinker at all. But I appreciate people who want to have a drink. It inhibits methylation. I mean, it's not via a variety of mechanisms. It kind of shuts methylation down. So I think if you're going to drink well, if you want to do our intensive and if you want to get that three year biological age reversal that we got on our study participants, just like offers eight weeks, just eight weeks after that, we've got an everyday program that you can resume drinking if you like to, but it's modest. We don't want you pounding back the sauce a lot because you will mess with methylation and DNA methylation. You can have some wine. So have some dark red. I think it's helped. That's a good variety, a good type. Have it be low glycemic or do some clean, gluten free vodka or something like that. But keep it modest. And maybe if you're into it, consider having an extra serving of some methyl donor food that you particularly like in conjunction with that. Just to support it.

[00:46:29.430] – Allan

Let's get a little into the program, because what I really liked and part of the reason that your book is as thick as it is is that you gave us every tool imaginable to make this manageable for everybody. Meaning there is an intensive program you recommend eight weeks. That's how your study was designed and got great benefits. There is an everyday version, which is kind of a light version of this is a little bit more leeway to do some things. But even in the book, you talk about how you can walk your way into this by just picking one or two things to do a little differently and get there. You provide meal plans. If someone wants to follow something stringent, you give us kind of guidelines. If we want to have a little bit more give and take of eating the kind of foods in a way we want to, you show us how we can layer it across different ways of eating, like vegan, vegetarian, keto, Mediterranean paleo, which pretty much is already paleo if you really map it out.

[00:47:31.210] – Dr. Fitzgerald

Yeah.

[00:47:31.790] – Allan

And then at the end, you give us a bunch of recipes to kind of make all this work and shopping list. So you didn't leave anything out. It's like you literally take the shopping list going, okay, here's the recipe to make this dish. This is my meal plan for the week. And quite literally, you've laid everything out. It made the book over 490 pages, I think. It's weightlifting, just think of it that way. You pick it up off the ground, use your legs. It's a big book, but it's got everything in there to kind of walk us through this program. So is there anything else you want to talk about with the program that someone should know?

[00:48:11.410] – Dr. Fitzgerald

I appreciate you highlighting that because I have an amazing nutrition team in my clinic practice. We have a nutrition internship program that's world recognized, and it's competitive. So we get just the best and the brightest nutritionists. And they did a lot of the heavy lifting and establishing our recipes and doing tasting and establishing the macro and the micronutrient on each of the recipes. And we worked so hard together as a team. And I just always need to give them a shout out. And our founding nutrition director, Ronald Hodges, actually worked on birthing our original program back in 2015, 2016. And so, yeah, it's been built by really brilliant minds. And so they'll certainly appreciate you just giving all of this work, this hard work a call out. In fact, you're the first person who really has brought it to light.

[00:49:08.510] – Allan

No honest truth. I've done over 325 of these interviews, and almost every one of them, they'll do their book and they'll have a plan or program eat these foods, do eat this way, and then they follow it up about a year later with a cookbook. So you bought the first book and now you buy the cookbook. So if they have a best seller with the first book, then the cookbook is going to be a best seller, too. That's typically the way that math works. You've just put both books together, but you've done it very well in that it's completely thought out. I'm not going to say it's dummy proof because you still have to go to the grocery store. You still have to find these things. You still have to Cook it. All those are good things. This is going to teach about nutrition. This is going to teach you about cooking. You're going to have some delicious. And I wish I had been in the tasting rooms when you guys are putting these dishes together. You guys had some great meals, I'm sure.

[00:50:03.450] – Dr. Fitzgerald

Yeah, we did. They're so good and they're satiating. I want to say that the dummy proof program is in the app, so you can link to that in the show notes. It's the three YY program, but you can find it at younger youth program. You can find a link to the book and then a link to the app. And that's where we'll really hold your hand through doing it. And then all of the sort of next generation younger you content that we're interested in will be in the app. And actually, we're going to continue to research in the app. So if anybody is interested in participating, that's where you want to go. I want to say one more piece here. Just given your appreciation of this nutrition component and the attention we gave. So we ended up needing to create. I just had to and I'm so glad the publishers let us kind of nudge it in what we call the younger you hybrid. It's half the intensive layered some of the everyday principles in. It's for when you're getting ready to conceive for men and women, because if you read the book, you'll see men in the world of epigenetics, yeah you're a big player in what happens with your baby, both in utero while your partner is carrying the baby.

[00:51:20.260] – Dr. Fitzgerald

But then the genetic expression pattern that they inherit, you play a huge role here. So how do we prepare for conception, men and women? What do we want to be thinking about during pregnancy and breastfeeding? And so we designed this younger you hybrid for that. It just seemed such a hugely important time in DNA methylation and demethylation. It's such a huge important time that I just couldn't leave it out of the book. So that information is in there as well.

[00:51:53.920] – Allan

So it's going to be a great reference for you today, for your kids today, for your grandkids, tomorrow. Now, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:52:08.350] – Dr. Fitzgerald

I love it. I love that. I think that's just such a beautiful, you know what? If somebody's going to be the healthiest fittest and happiest, I think that they're going to be epigenetically young as well. When I read your definition and just sat with it, what I thought was get into the driver's seat of your genetic expression. When we age in this country, in the United States, the final 16 years, we have at least one diagnosis and most of us have two. We're on multiple medications. We end up turning over our life savings and all of our hard work to Pharma, to skilled nursing care facilities, to hospitalizations. Like all of our hard existence, we just fork it over to the medical establishment. And it's just so sad to me. So aging is the biggest risk factor for all of these chronic diseases that we just want to avoid with every fiber of our being. And it looks like these diseases, the whole aging journey, take over our genetic expression like they get in the driver's seat. And so I would say that we want to be in the driver's seat of our genetic expression.

[00:53:31.840] – Dr. Fitzgerald

We want to take it back from these chronic diseases. We want to take it back from the aging process and do it. This program will allow you to do that. So I would say bathe your genes in methyl donors and adapt in the healthy way we outline. Get enough sleep, exercise, and well, this is more I'm going beyond your three, but community connection would be the final.

[00:54:01.570] – Allan

Right. Dr. Fitzgerald, if someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book Younger You, the Younger You program and the app that you spoke about, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:54:15.250] – Dr. Fitzgerald

Very simple. It's just youngeryouprogram.com.

[00:54:19.500] – Allan

Great. Well, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/526, and I'll be sure to have all the links there.

[00:54:26.540] – Allan

Dr. Fitzgerald, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:54:30.340] – Dr. Fitzgerald

Oh, it was my pleasure. It was really great talking with you today.


Post Show/Recap

Post show with Rach

[00:54:40.970] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:54:42.470] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. What a really interesting conversation with Dr. Fitzgerald. We've always been told how eating and moving and all these lifestyle changes are good for our health, but now it sounds like the science is out there to kind of prove it. As far as our genetics go.

[00:54:59.470] – Allan

Yeah. I think people feel like they are genetically wired to be a certain way.

[00:55:05.520] – Rachel

Right.

[00:55:05.860] – Allan

Obviously, you have blue eyes or you have Brown eyes and that we know why that happens, but there's a lot of things out there that are not so solid state, and they can be changed over time through the process called epigenetics. And the mechanics for that is this process called DNA methylation. And so basically what she's showing us here is that the lifestyle and the food all blend into that communication. It's the information that drives our epigenetics that makes our genes do what they're there to do. We used to buy an IBM computer. It had all these little dip switches on the back. So you'd read the manual and you'd set the dip switches for different things. And it felt very complex. And of course, they made software that started doing that stuff. And now with data, you can say, okay, and I'm user Allan or you're user Tammy on the computer. And it's a whole different experience. And so it's just the complexity of all that is there in our genes. So it's just a function of saying if you do the right things and she goes into detail in the book how to do that with her program, then you're going to be able to slow the aging curve and be biologically younger.

[00:56:33.420] – Allan

And it's fascinating with how quickly some of that change can be seen and measured as far as your genetic age, your bio age, it can be flipped really quickly.

[00:56:48.530] – Rachel

Yeah, it was really fascinating how you described it as also a dimmer switch. You're right. I've got Brown eyes and Brown hair. But our overall health can kind of vacillate. It can kind of change based on our lifestyle habits.

[00:57:05.450] – Allan

Yeah. Well, it's things that we knew. We knew genes were going to drive us to be certain limits, certain things. And we knew that, okay. If you have a particular gene, when they first started doing the coding of that and getting the whole code, the map of the human genome, when they started putting that all together and it took a long time and a lot of money, they thought they were going to have the answer to everything. They thought that this $3 billion in years and years put into this program to get the first one done and now $100, $125, you can have that done over the course of a week or so. But that didn't answer all the questions. And then they realized, well, okay, jeans can be turned on and turn off is what the initial premise was. For a long time, that's what we thought. And now they're realizing, no, some genes are always on. Brown hair, Brown eyes. Some genes are set on dimmer switches. And those ones that are on these, like dimmer switches, we have some control over based on things that we do, what we eat, our stress management, our movement, social connections.

[00:58:26.690] – Allan

And if we put good practices in, we put good food in, it's this information that goes in and says, hey, slow this process down and speed this process up. And so it allows our body to age slower. It allows our body, in some cases to reverse age biologically now, not chronologically. You're still 56 years old. I am 56 years old. So I can't reverse that. But I can reverse my biological age. If I take the time to implement these strategies that she has, you can see that difference. She can measure that difference.

[00:59:15.110] – Rachel

And the strategies are the things that we talk about all the time, which is eating high quality nutritious foods, having some level of movement, getting good sleep, reducing stress, which is not always easy, but is important. And it's all these things that make for a healthier lifestyle, which it's interesting to see that actually show in the science.

[00:59:39.490] – Allan

Well, you go back to the blue zones. I mean, when Buettner wrote The Book Blue Zones, It has to have been 15,20 years ago now, I think. But he wrote the book about why are people living past 100 in all of these different areas? And he tracked what they ate and how they lived and it was the social connection. It was low stress. It was high regular movement. Not necessarily intense stuff, but just they're walking and they're moving and they're doing stuff and then it's the food. And so you go through that process and you say, okay, if I go ahead and start improving these things, I'm going to slow my aging curve. And it goes even a little bit beyond that. It's also about not just living longer but living better. And that's also in the subtitle of the book Is that most of us will get to an age and then we'll just decline really quickly and that's the aging curve. And it's a scary slope when it starts to happen that way you can delay that and have that slope happen later in your life if you take the time to do it.

[01:00:47.450] – Allan

We live longer because it keeps us alive longer, but it doesn't keep us healthier. Medicine doesn't do that. So what we have to do is do the right things with the foods we're eating movement, the sleep, the stress, doing the things that put good information in so that the dimmer switches are turned on and off in a way that help us live longer and better.

[01:01:09.490] – Rachel

Yes, that sounds great. What a fascinating interview.

[01:01:12.500] – Allan

Yeah, it's a good book if you're interested in the science of all of this. She did a lot of research on these different things and even some of the kind of more fruitful things that are out there that you can try, but this is just a real good solid. Okay, this is how it works. Understanding this formula, you go through the process and you start trying to eliminate bad things and add good things and it works.

[01:01:39.170] – Rachel

Awesome. That sounds great.

[01:01:41.570] – Allan

All right, well, talk to you next week.

[01:01:44.130] – Rachel

Great. Take care, Allan.

[01:01:45.570] – Allan

You, too.

[01:01:46.420] – Rachel

Thank you.

Patreons

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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy

Less...

How to rock your midlife with Ellen Albertson

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

Many people look at midlife as the beginning of a downward path to the end. In her book, Rock Your Midlife, Ellen Albertson shows us how to make our last chapters our best chapters.

Transcript

Let's Say Hello

[00:01:34.290] – Allan

So, unfortunately, we're not going to have Rachel on the show this week. But she'll be back next week, I promise.

Interview

[00:04:58.400] – Allan

Dr. Ellen, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:05:01.130] – Dr. Ellen

Thank you, Allan. It is so awesome to be here.

[00:05:04.170] – Allan

Yeah. As you got into your story and some of the things that you've done, it's really kind of fascinating because I'm not going to say there's parallels in our lives, but it's like you were a fitness trainer and then you kind of went on and started doing coaching and doing a lot of things online and offline and just kind of building a practice, if you will. Your book is called, Rock Your Midlife: Seven Steps to Transform Yourself and Make Your Next Chapter Your Best Chapter. And I like the title well enough. But there was a quote in the book, and I have to read this quote out loud because this is pretty fascinating and really touched me in a way that I'm like, okay, this is why I do what I do. And it's this, at midlife, you're gifted with an entire second adulthood to know and love yourself on a deeper level to figure out who you are and what you want. And I just thought that's magic. If people would wrap their mind around that one quote, their midlife, the after midlife, after 50, after 40 age, suddenly they're like, hey, this isn't a downward thing I'm facing. This is an opportunity.

[00:06:17.710] – Dr. Ellen

I love that you started with that quote from my book. And thank you. I'm glad it touched you because you were sharing a little bit of your story. And I think we're both finding that I'm having a gas. I mean, I'm almost 60 and I feel fabulous. Why it's so important that there are people like yourself who are telling people, this is how you can be healthy. I've met so many people who are at the healthiest in their 40s, their 50s, even their 60s, and then deciding who do I want to be when I grew up? Because I know my story and I think a lot of us, we were like, climbing this ladder of success, but it was up against the wrong freaking building. You're clawing your way up, you're sweating, you hate going to work every day. And what you can do at midlife is take everything that you've learned, really get to know yourself, what you love to do, what your talents are, the genius you're here to share with the world and create an incredible next chapter. I think that's what we're really here to say, that we're changing the pace of midlife.

[00:07:12.070] – Dr. Ellen

It's not about crisis, it is about difficulty transformation, often with people. But you can really create an amazing 20,30 decades.

[00:07:22.750] – Allan

As I got into my journey because I was in my early, late 30s when I realized I had a massive imbalance in my life. And I was so focused on career that my relationships were sour, my family life was sour. Everything else in my life, fitness and health, everything else, I was just not even scoring zeros across the board. And then career 100. And I was like, So this is not working for me. But it took me about eight years of hitting this, trying this. And I realized one of the problems that I had the whole time through was that I was focused on an outcome of weight loss, thinking that was kind of what I needed to do. And I think most of us approach this problem of midlife. It's weight loss. And most of my clients say, hey, I need to lose weight. But the reality of it is that's a byproduct or a side effect of you actually just getting your life in order. Can you talk a little bit about that? Because you brought up that concept in here. We're focusing on the wrong problem.

[00:08:33.220] – Dr. Ellen

Right. The reason we focus on way, honestly is it's such a specific, easy metric to look at. Like, how do you measure happiness, right? Like, that's really subjective weight you get on the scale. And people are like, wow, I lost 10 pounds. I feel good about myself, but as you said, and I have a lot of clients coming to me too. The first thing they want to do is lose weight. And we start with looking at their life because the reason that they're having that threesome with Ben and Jerry's or that Chardonnay Cheddar cheese have it in the evening is because they're not enjoying their lives. And so by the time 5:00,6:00 hits cocktail hour is like the thing that makes them feel good. So during the day, we're experiencing so much stress, especially right now with so much uncertainty and the pandemic still happening. So what happens when we get these cortisol rushes all day long? All cortisol is the hormone of fight and flight. So we're feeling stressed out, we're feeling tired. We're not very happy. And rather than saying, hey, what do I need to do to manage my stress, to create a life that I love, to find purpose and meaning? We're leaning into dopamine.

[00:09:38.020] – Dr. Ellen

Dopamine is the chemical of reward. It's the sex, drugs, rock and roll, food, alcohol, gambling, shopping, all of those kinds of things. And so again, like with weight, it's easy. We lean into the dopamine. I'll just have this threesome with Ben and Jerry's. Instead of looking at my life and going, okay, what's not working? What do I need to feel more fulfilled? And so when I start to work with people, it's so interesting. We start to work from the inside out. The self talk, the self compassion, the self care, all of these things about treating yourself well and feeling like you're enough. And then come 5:00, 6:00, they're not interested in the food because they're feeling good and they're feeling energized all day, and they're giving themselves what they need throughout the day. But again, I think we're leaning into weight because we think that that's the solution. And I think there's so much in the media about these quick weight loss solutions. You'll feel good about yourself. And particularly for women, our self worth is so much based on our appearance. And when we're happier, we don't feel confident, when we don't feel very good about ourselves.

[00:10:43.070] – Dr. Ellen

But I also tell people, too, that weight needs to be an outcome, not the goal, because we don't have control over it. I've seen people, I'm sure you have as well, who are eating right, who are moving their bodies. And the scale isn't budging. They feel a Plateau. And what happens is if we make weight the focus of our journey, when the scale doesn't go down, even when we've been doing the lifestyle change, we feel bad about ourselves. And then we're just like, screw it. I'm going to go ahead and just eat whatever I want in this vicious cycle of beating yourself up and being good and then not good. And I just work with my clients. It's just like, get rid of the diet books, get rid of the weight mentality, and let's focus on health and happiness.

[00:11:27.190] – Allan

Yeah. I remember going to the gym when I was actually doing things right. And so about every third day or so, I would be on the elliptical just burning up a sweat, doing some hit training or something like that. And there was this one woman, and she'd been coming in there for roughly the same amount of time I had. She'd been in there five, six months. And every day she came in and got on the elliptical and just killed herself for the whole hour and a half I was in the gym. So one day I'm finishing up my hit training. It's 20 minutes, and then I'm done. And she just says, what are you doing? You're losing weight. You lost a lot of weight over the course the last little bit of time. And I said, well, I stopped actually paying attention to weight. I actually started paying attention to other things and things I enjoy doing and making myself be myself. And you have a seven step program that is in a big part. I think I stumbled into it. It took me eight years. Someone now can buy your book Rock at Midlife, and you pretty much have given them seven direct steps that will take them the same path.

[00:12:36.970] – Allan

Can you talk about the seven steps and briefly what each step does?

[00:12:41.170] – Dr. Ellen

Yes. And I went through it myself, too. So I've lived it. I've lived with my clients, so I didn't just get there overnight. But the first step is authenticity. And authenticity is so important because if you don't know yourself and if you're not being authentic, there's no way that you can create a midlife. The next chapter that's going to feel fulfilling and good for you. Because if you're being someone else, if you're wearing a mask, if you're trying to live someone else's story or agenda, you're going to keep running into those walls. Why don't I feel good? Why am I not enjoying my life? So what I do is I take people through this is stuff that I've worked on through my PhD and through years of working with positive psychology. Lots of journaling questions and prompts. People can ask lots of various tests that people can take. Like a lot of my clients, I have them take the VRA test, which is a test that looks at various character strengths. It's free. You can get it online to really see what am I really good at? What do I really love to do? What have I always been curious about?

[00:13:46.360] – Dr. Ellen

What did I want to be when I was a kid and sort of just really getting to know yourself, just like you would get to know a good friend. And I think a lot of people don't really take the time to figure out what do I love to do? For me, I had an older sister who is a very accomplished musician and artist, so I kind of didn't do that in my own life. But I always wanted to do more art, more music. So I just bought a ukulele. I just got myself some pencils, and I'm drawing and rediscovering these kind of varied parts of ourselves. So the first step is authenticity. Really get to know who are you? And it's also about embracing your flaws. We're not all good at everything and figuring out what am I really good at? What do I need some help? What do I love to do? What lights me up? And it's a really great initial Breadcrumb on this quest to make an amazing next chapter. That's step one. Step two is to love yourself and really learn to treat yourself like you would a good friend. And this I grew from my studies of self compassion, which I was fortunate enough to study with a woman named Kristin Neff.

[00:14:54.850] – Dr. Ellen

She's kind of a pioneer in this area. A lot of people like question, how do you love yourself? And this self compassion is really the how of loving yourself. And so it's really all about learning to treat yourself like you would a good friend. And when I start working with people, I have them think about when a friend that you love goes through something, how do you treat yourself? I'm sorry, how do you treat them? And then how do you treat yourself when you go through something? And the whole idea is to start to put yourself in those sort of befriending shoes or pretend that you had a wise friend and ask, how would she treat me? And then do that thing. So that's step two, loving yourself is such a game changer, because when you love yourself, you attract what's in your best interest. So you go to the gym, not because you're punishing yourself, but because you want to be healthy, you want to have a healthy life. Personally, I love to exercise. I don't know where we got on this whole bandwagon of exercise is punishment. I woke up this morning and I went cross country skiing first thing in the morning.

[00:15:57.720] – Dr. Ellen

It was a blast. So you start to eat right, take care of your body, get in relationships that are positive, do more things that light you up because you love and care about yourself. So that was a game changer for me. I'm curious, have you practiced much self compassionate for men? It's kind of a different ball of wax.

[00:16:13.580] – Allan

It was. And I'm going to say this word if it bothers you, if there's kids, cover their ears. But I literally thought of myself as a fat bastard. That was literally the words that were in my head as I was going through the beginning of my journey. And that was the wake up. The wake up was, who am I? And I woke up, I was actually I was hungover and I was in Malaysia. And I've been working on this for eight years, this and that, and then just failing over and over, I was back in the same spot. And I just remember waking up and thinking, why can't I do this? Because I'm so good at everything that I have ever wanted to do. I wanted to be good at football in high school, I was good at football. I tried out for the tennis team. I made the tennis team. In College and high school, if I wanted to make a grade, I made the grade. If I wanted to pass the test, I passed the test. When I wanted to get a job, I got the job. I almost had no failure. And I was like, why did that always happen?

[00:17:14.910] – Allan

And then it's not happening in this facet of my life, what is different? And then I realized I woke up. I'm like, nothing's different. The only difference is I'm not treating myself well and I'm not committed. And if I were committed, I would treat myself like someone I love. And the way I kind of equate it is, if you told your spouse that you were going to be at the airport at 05:00 in the morning to pick them up, guess where you are at 05:00 in the morning? And if you treated your spouse the way you treat yourself, you always do that. You never do that. If you use those words, you can't do anything right what you're saying in your head to yourself. But if you ever said that to your spouse, you're probably facing a fight or a divorce. We can't divorce ourselves. So if we really think about self compassion and love, then we stop using those words. We catch ourselves when we're doing it, and we say, I would never, ever say that to a friend. And if a friend ever said that to me, it would really hurt my feelings.

[00:18:18.870] – Allan

So as soon as you can start getting past those words, then you can open up to the possibilities of who you're really supposed to be. That's where we get to the next few steps, where you're talking about getting energy and reprogramming and empowering yourself and doing those things. But until you get past this point, because I think in my opinion, a self love, self compassion piece you have to do this step.

[00:18:45.430] – Dr. Ellen

And it's a beautiful story. And it all starts with that self talk. And the interesting thing is that self critic, as you said, I think you said the fat bastard. We developed that inner self talk before we're ten years old. We developed this inner critic because our caregivers criticize us, right? They tell us to finish everything on our plate and keep our room clean and get good grades. And if we don't do these things, we are in danger of not being loved and cared for. So when we get to be adults, we internalize the voice of our early caregivers. That inner critic becomes very real in our lives. And we think and this is an interesting thing that I realized in so much of my research is that we think that we need the inner critic to motivate us, like you said, to get on the tennis team and to get that job and be successful at work. But the research really shows that the self criticizing actually undermines motivation. Because when you criticize yourself, you shut yourself down, you generate cortisol, you feel bad about yourself. Whereas with self compassion. We want to do those things because we want to be happy.

[00:19:51.970] – Dr. Ellen

And actually, self compassion is very energizing. And unlike self esteem, which for a long time, psychologists really emphasize self esteem, self compassion actually is not contingent on anything. You can love yourself and support yourself regardless of how well you do at the gym, at your job. It's a muscle that you can build that constantly grows. That's why it's such a focal point of my work and the book that if you don't love yourself, you can't create a next great chapter. And it really comes down to being kind yourself rather than critical. To be mindful when you're struggling and suffering. So to stop and notice and say, oh my gosh, that was a tough time right now, particularly the kind of days that we've had. I've talked to so many clients and friends who have had so many losses. And with Covid it's been really difficult, extra challenging to stop and say, what do I need right now? And treat yourself like a good friend. And also to understand this concept of common humanity that we all make mistakes, we all fail. It's part of the human condition. So I'm so glad that you have been discovering this yourself.

[00:20:55.810] – Allan

Yeah. So now the next, the third step you have is about energizing yourself.

[00:21:02.290] – Dr. Ellen

Right. So if you want to have a next great chapter, you've got to take care of your body. So in this chapter, I really just summarize my 30 something years in the health and wellness field. So diet, it's not complicated. The media wants you to think that you have to go on some crazy diet and eat really weird foods or cut certain things out. But it really comes down to eating more plants. So really personally, I try to get between seven and ten servings of plant foods every single day. Plants are so important, they help to reduce inflammation. If you are trying to lose weight. Plants contain fiber, which is the part of the plant that we don't digest. They fill you up without filling you out. If you're going through menopause, those plant fibers can help you with menopause symptoms. And it's really in my work, I've really found if people add more plants in, it crowds out other things. So eat more plants. Don't eat anything your grandmother wouldn't have eaten. So really sticking to whole foods, foods that aren't processed, staying away from things like added chemicals, added sugar, and then eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed

[00:22:11.510] – Dr. Ellen

So if we did those three things, if we ate more plants, ate more whole foods, really didn't stuff ourselves, we would really be healthier and get to a healthy weight. Certainly with movement, I recommend at least 25 minutes a day. I think at midlife, less is more. We still need to build muscle. At midlife, we start to really lose our muscle mass after 30. If people don't do strength training, their muscle mass really erodes at a very quick level. It's also one thing I found so interesting in my book is that women at midlife need more protein. So the protein requirement in general is .8 grams/kg. At midlife, we need one to one and a half grams per kilogram. So we actually need more protein to support that muscle mass. The lower estrogen levels we think about bone loss, but we also can have muscle mass loss due to the estrogen. So the bone building is really important. Stretching is also really important to do that with your exercise and of course, cardio. And as far as nutrition, D is very important. You live in Panama, so I'm sure you get plenty of D.

[00:23:18.520] – Dr. Ellen

But here where I live in Vermont, I take vitamin D every day. Most people living in the north are deficient in vitamin D, but 50% of people are. So it's super important for your immune system, for bone health, for even how your mind functions. And then I think rest is really important. It's so important to rest between workouts, giving your muscles time to heal and grow stronger. It's also really important to make sure that you are managing stress and resting during the day and also getting 7 to 8 hours of good sleep and of course, also staying hydrated. So things we've heard before. But I think again, just having really simple, smart goals for yourself, maybe getting an accountability buddy, hiring some help, someone like yourself who can help people get that accountability and hit the mark is so important. But taking care of your health is really important. A lot of people are just blaming it on I'm getting old, I'm getting tired, I'm gaining weight. But you really can reverse any kind of health challenge that you're experiencing at midlife. So that's number three and number four is to reprogram your brain. So I think at midlife we do start to not be quite as sharp.

[00:24:29.860] – Dr. Ellen

I know myself sometimes it's hard to remember everything. I think part of that is that our minds are so full of so many things and we're not as mindful as we could be. So we're not just focusing on just doing what we're doing while we're doing it. So mindfulness is really important for your brain. It's interesting to note that at midlife and at any point in your life, you're always making new neural connections. So your nervous system, your brain, your neurons are always making new connections. So if you've experienced issues in your life, whether that's trauma, depression, memory issues, you can reprogram and rebuild your brain through things like mindfulness, through taking time and writing things down, which helps commit things to long term memory by really doing more of what lights you up, what's important. And of course, exercise is super important for your brain. And eating right is also important for your brain. Your brain is one of your most nutrient hungry organs in your body. It uses about 20% to 25% of your calories every day. So taking care of your brain means taking care of your whole body. There certainly is a brain body connection.

[00:25:44.450] – Dr. Ellen

And also a lot of interesting things I talk about in Rock your Midlife, about the microbiome. I don't know if you have come across some of the research which is this. We have an organ that's not really part of our body. It weighs about 4 pounds and it's made up of microorganisms. So bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, a lot of them are very good for our health. They help with our digestion. They actually can help with your immune system and with your mood. And you can build a healthy microbiome again, eating more of those plants, eating less sugar, having less alcohol, less additives, and then also eating what's called probiotics. So you're eating some healthy organisms yourself, so you can take a probiotic supplement, or you can also eat things like sauerkraut, kombucha, yogurt, which contain these microorganisms. So that's step four is reprogramming, working on your brain.

[00:26:40.930] – Dr. Ellen

Step five is about empowering yourself. So for me, your empowerment really starts with that step one, authenticity. So knowing that this is who I am and this is what I'm meant to do in the world, it's all about having power from within. So often we look from power from without, so we look to other people, we look to our job or organizations to make us feel good.

[00:27:05.340] – Dr. Ellen

But empowerment is really drilling down and saying what makes me happy? What do I want to do in the world? What are my geniuses and what are my strengths? And also I combine in Rock your Midlife this idea of authenticity with the law of attraction, which is simply this idea that, like attracts like. So the energy that you put out attracts energy to you. So if you are positive, if you're working on yourself, you're practicing that self love and that self compassion, you're going to attract opportunities and people in your life who are going to feed your soul and feed what you want to do in your next chapter. If you're walking around complaining and feeling bad about yourself in your life all the time, then that's where you're going to be stuck. It doesn't mean that you need to be a Pollyanna. And difficult things happen. And we need to hold ourselves when we're sad, when we're grieving, when we're frustrating, but we need to not sort of push those emotions down, but really take care of the difficult emotions. And then we can sort of get to this neutral ground with things like gratitude.

[00:28:14.540] – Dr. Ellen

And then we can really work on more of those positive emotions, like joy and happiness. And so that empowerment is some emotional up leveling, as well as really being yourself and putting yourself out in the world in the most powerful way you can.

[00:28:29.140] – Dr. Ellen

And then moving to step six. So I love step six because what happens is after you've done step one through five, you start to change. It's like you've been that Caterpillar, and then all of a sudden you're like, oh, my gosh, I'm coming out of my Chrysalis. I'm the butterfly. My wings are drying. The only problem is the people in your life might see that and think that you're still the Caterpillar, and you're like, no, no, I'm a butterfly. Can't you see? Like, I'm colorful and I'm flying and I'm eating nectar. And so in this chapter, which is called Rehab Your Relationships, I give people three specific techniques to really work with the people in your life. So the first thing with that is really to get your people pleaser. And you're a good girl. A lot of us have people pleasers. It kind of goes back to what I was saying before about early caregivers, wanting everybody to like us.

[00:29:20.850] – Dr. Ellen

So really saying yes when you mean yes and know when you mean no. Putting yourself first, it doesn't mean that you're selfish. It just means you've got to put on your own oxygen mask right before you can support other people. I teach people something called the nonviolent communication. So specific techniques to communicate with people, which really involves getting your needs met and then also setting boundaries. So really, I have people go through an exercise where they create a personal bill of rights, where they really decide, this is what I stand for. This is my bottom line. And if you cross it, these are the consequences. And I think we don't do that a lot. I don't know how good how it is with men so much because I work mostly with women, but having a bill of rights and just deciding this is what I stand for, whether it's with work, whether it's people that you're in intimate relationships with. But it's super important to get your needs met, to set boundaries and to really work on those relationships.

[00:30:21.130] – Allan

I think with me, like you talked about men, and I think the reality of it was that I was so focused in one facet of my life that those relationships were gone. Any of them that I still had were the toxic ones that just seemed to cling on because they'll cling on till the end. And I was like, okay, I have to get rid of the toxic people in my life, particularly the ones that I can, because there were some that I couldn't because they were like my boss. Get rid of some toxic things and then start looking and seeking out the people that bring you joy, the people that you know are good people for you, the people that are going to support you. Jim Rohn says you're the sum of the five people you spend the most time with. And 15 years ago, if I would have put that list together, wrong people. And so now I make a point of spending the time, my time with the people that I care about the most, and I know care about me. And so they're lifting me up versus tearing me down all the time.

[00:31:31.230] – Allan

And so even as a guy, you might not think about it a lot. But if most of your time is spent with your drinking buddies at the bar after work and you guys are just tearing down beers, buying each other rounds, and that's all good and fun, but that's your path. That's who you're surrounding yourself with, and that's going to leave you stuck. So you've already done these things. You're trying to beat us butterfly. Maybe not a butterfly for a guy. Maybe we're moths, I don't know. But you've become something better than that and it's time for you to move on.

[00:32:06.650] – Dr. Ellen

That's awesome that you did that. It's difficult, though. I know myself before I made these changes, I left 25 year marriage and substances were a part of our social life, and now I'm so much more judicious. I mean, I might drink occasionally, socially, occasionally have a glass of wine, but my new man in my life may be on say, we practice kind of yoga together. We go cross country skiing, we got a tandem bike, and we have a tandem kayak. And I think that's really the relationship thing is so important because often when I start working with people, I'm sure you noticed this, too, Allan, is that people are really scared. If I make these changes, what's it going to do for my relationships? If I lose the weight, how am I going to go out to that restaurant and order things and say, well, I don't really want to drink, I don't enjoy doing this anymore? Or what's going to happen with my primary relation, my marriage? If I lose weight and I get in shape and I change my lifestyle and my husband or wife stays the same, what's going to happen? Am I going to lose friends?

[00:33:04.060] – Dr. Ellen

And so that's a difficult question that I think a lot of people when they're sort of thinking we're sort of at the beginning of the year and people are thinking about change, and I think covid made people really reevaluate their lives. A lot of thinking, gosh, if I change, what if, what if this happens? And what if that happens? And that's again, I talk about this a lot before the steps, talking about getting unstuck and immunity to change. Often we have something deep seated. So I'm sure it was hard for you to think about, gosh, if I change my life, if I'm going to get up at 05:00 in the morning and get to the gym, well, that means that I can't go out for those drinks with those guys. And if I say, Gee, I really want to start finding new friends, what's going to happen with those relationships? But I know myself when I cleared away some of the old relationships, new relationships is space for new relationships. And there's lots of really amazing people out there who can support you and love you, who want to have a healthy lifestyle. But there's a lot of fear, I think around.

[00:34:00.670] – Dr. Ellen

And that's something that I also, when I work with people looking at this immunity to change. I've had a lot of clients who don't do the self care because they want to be available 24/7 for the grandkids. And they think, well, if I join the gym or if I take that yoga class or that self development thing, then I won't be available to babysit all the time. And they don't even realize that they've got this underlying belief feeling like, well, I won't be needed then. So sometimes you have to really look very deep. And I think this weight loss spiral keeps people in a very stuck place where they never have to look at what would happen if I really did change, what would really happen if I stopped dieting? And I just said, you know what, I'm going to start focusing on my lifestyle and really make some deep changes.

[00:34:46.070] – Allan

Let's talk about the 7th step on this. And then I do want to jump in and talk a little bit more about fear, because I see that a lot.

[00:34:53.230] – Dr. Ellen

Sure. The 7th step is enlightenment. So enlightenment spirituality is really all about connecting with your passion and purpose. And we're all here for a reason, and there's a lot of problems in the world. So we all have talents and gifts to share with people. So this is really all about how to connect with your soul and your spirit. You might want to rediscover religion that you experienced when you were younger or just experience a new spiritual path. So I give people a lot of specific things they can do to create a spiritual practice, to create a relationship with their soul. I like to say that you are a soul having a human experience, maybe flip that around, said thinking, I'm a human, I have a soul, and I kind of go to Church on Sundays, and I experience it to see what's it like to connect with your spiritual self. I mean, for me, a lot of that is doing various yoga practices, certainly being out in nature, nothing to me connects me more with all that is than just being outside and seeing the birds and the snow and the trees. So lots of specific things that people can do, because I think when we get to the midlife, we're wiser and we want more of that type of connection.

[00:36:08.520] – Dr. Ellen

And hopefully we've created more space and time. And we know that so many people at midlife are quitting their jobs. Right. They're just thinking about gosh, you had that same experience saying that, I don't want to do this anymore. It's not making me happy. So the big piece of being happy is finding your passion and your purpose, connecting with things like gratitude, so I really dig deep into spirituality as well as sort of the positive psychology behind things people can do to really be happier, more joyful.

[00:36:38.960] – Allan

Yeah. Now with fear, you had two acronyms, and I think these kind of sum it up of the kind of the two sides of this. And the first acronym was false evidence appearing real. And the second was face everything in rise. And the two sides that I see there is the first one is most of the fear we have is not rational. And it's more of like a worry, something like you said, the what if, what if this were to happen and then you're afraid. It's like, well, I don't want that to happen, so I just won't do this. Or the other side of fear is just a point where you sit there and say, you know, I've put up with being this way or being unhappy, and I deserve more. And you talked in the book about how there was, like you of happiness down to midlife. And now we're in this bottom of the trough. And as soon as we recognize that, then the fear should start to dissipate because of the opportunity, like I said, the opportunity to go back up the other side of that view of what we see over the course of most people, not everybody but most people is that opportunity to find the same kind of joy we had when we were children.

[00:37:53.330] – Allan

So can you talk a little bit about fear and a little bit how we can overcome fear?

[00:37:58.070] – Dr. Ellen

That's a great question. Yeah. Well, the first thing is to understand the neuroscience behind fear. So we have this living brain, which is our amygdala that's in the back of our brain. It's the primitive part of your brain that is there to protect you from danger. It doesn't care if you're happy, doesn't care if you're fulfilled. All he wants to do is keep you from being eaten by a Saber tooth Tiger. So it's great if it's 100,000 years ago where, yeah, you could get eaten. You had to protect yourself. There was danger around every corner. But in today's world, if you're listening to this, you're not in any danger of getting eaten right now, right. Where you're perfectly safe. But we have to understand.

[00:38:39.900] – Allan

Well, the lady at the PTA meeting might shoot my head off, but that's about as bad as it's going to go.

[00:38:44.800] – Dr. Ellen

Yeah, exactly. We've got this part of our brain that is really trying to protect us. And then we've also got what's called the default mode network that runs down the center of our brain, which is constantly scanning the environment for what could go wrong in self definition. So again, your brain is just looking around, and this part of our brain evolved again hundreds of thousands of years ago when we were in tribes. There was a lot of social comparison where you had to figure out where do I fit? So maybe somebody was good at cooking and somebody's good at hunting and somebody's good at healing and somebody's good at creating clothes. So we all have to sort of figure out where we fit. But now we've got this crazy social comparison where we literally can be online with millions of people comparing ourselves to other people. So we're constantly scanning the environment for what could go wrong? My check could bounce. I could lose all my money, or I could lose my job or I could lose my marriage. So we're constantly worrying about that. Worrying about where do I fit in, what's my status? So the first thing is to really just call it out.

[00:39:49.910] – Dr. Ellen

Just fear is really in your mind. So what I like to say is name it you tame it. Just say, this is just fear. This is just my brain. And a lot of times it shows up. The worry shows up in rumination, which rumination comes from the root of it is ruminants, which are I live in Vermont, so I don't know you probably don't have a lot of cows in Panama

[00:40:10.070] – Allan

there are some

[00:40:12.590] – Dr. Ellen

we've got goats and cows and sheep and ruminants chew their cod. Right. They chew the grass and then they chew it again. So it's chewing things over and over in your mind. Again, the neuroscience we do this because if I think about my problems all the time, if I think about 04:00 in the morning and I'm worrying about, like, my boss and I didn't get this assignment on time and what's going to happen to me? We think if we worry about it, we're going to solve it. But Ironically, what happens is it keeps us stuck and out of problem solving mode because all we're doing is chewing the problem over and over again in our head. So the first thing is just to name it, just to call it out and say, this is just fear.

[00:40:51.350] – Dr. Ellen

It's just part of being human. May be giving yourself a little self compassion because you're having this thought mindfulness can be really helpful. Learning how to focus your thoughts. Whether you start a meditation practice just you just have to be long. Just watching your thoughts for five to ten minutes a day or finding ways throughout the day to sort of focus on your breathing. Calm yourself down. So the first thing is name it you tame it and then feel it you heal it. So where's fear showing up in my body? So emotions are felt experiences in your body. So often fear will show up maybe it's a tightness in your throat because you don't want to speak your truth. Or you might feel it around your heart because it involves a relationship or often it's in our bellies. Right? We're afraid. So name it you tame it and just let it come and go. And then a couple of other tricks that I like to use, see if you can change fear into excitement. So fear and excitement or anxiety and excitement are very similar in terms of the physiology. So when we're excited or we're anxious, our pulse might go up, we might sweat, we might flush.

[00:41:56.360] – Dr. Ellen

But if we turn that into excitement, like when you're in a roller coaster. Right. You're like, this is scary, but you know that you're safe. So see if you can just flip it around and say, you know what? For me, I love public speaking, but it also creates a lot of anxiety. So I turned into excitement. I'm really excited to speak today to share my truth and my passion for midlife. So change it in excitement if you can. And then I think my favorite technique is just focusing on breathing. So even the Navy Seals use this four X four X four X four breathing. They call box breathing. So what happens is when you breathe in for four, hold it for four, exhale for four, hold for four. It calms down your physiology. So what happens is you turn off that fight and flight, that cortisol, and you fire up your rest and digest. So simply doing a few minutes of deep breathing or simply breathing in really long exhalation, the long exhalation really helps to help you reset your physiology. There's so much that we can do. Listening to music is another powerful thing.

[00:43:08.300] – Dr. Ellen

So if we listen to music, that either you could listen to Rocky. Right. If you wanted to turn that fear into excitement, or you might listen to something that kind of calms down your nervous system. That's really helpful. And essential oils are really great. So those are just a couple of techniques. But I talk about fear a lot in the book because frankly, it's something that keeps so many people from moving forward. If you look at the research, it's so interesting that children, they have their fear animals, they get over it. Right. If you see an animal that's fearful, they go through their stress and then they reset. We don't do that as much at midlife. Right. We stay in this chronic stressful situation, which, of course, is creating a ton of inflammation and is really at the root cause of so much of our health. So maybe for motivation, see if you can really work on your fear and anxiety and your chronic stress as a way to help yourself heal and feel great in the coming year.

[00:44:03.500] – Allan

All right. Now, for a lot of us, this is never going to be a straight line. So even if we go through the steps and seems kind of linear because there are seven of them and some of them might take us a little longer, I think we all know that. But eventually, as with all things, issues are going to come up. And one of the things you said in the book that I thought was really interesting because I used to say this about my brother that he was happily miserable. But you used the term comfortably uncomfortable. And that kind of touched me because I was going to go one of those moments that you're saying for a lot of us, we don't want to get outside our comfort zone. Now in the book, you had 21 tips for getting unstuck. Can you just share some of your favorites?

[00:44:47.810] – Dr. Ellen

Sure. I would say it's interesting. There's so many things you can do. One of the greatest things to do is create a new habit. So if you take a look at the research on breaking habits, making habits, it's better to replace a habit that is not serving you with a new habit. So I'll give you an example. Let's say, for example, every day at 03:00, you get hungry, which is kind of your cue to eat. You go to the vending machine and you have a candy bar and a soda. And then the reinforcing reward is you kind of get a little bit of a lift from your fatigue so you could create a new habit. So instead of that habit, you can go ahead and stock up and have snacks in your desk, things like healthy portions of nuts, fruit, maybe sugar free yogurt and water to stay hydrated. And so when 03:00 hits, you get that hunger sort of fatigue thing going on. Instead of walking to the vending machine, you grab your healthy snack, you grab your water bottle, and you go for a 10,15 minutes walk. And your reward is that you feel energized, you feel good, but it's not this kind of energy that comes from sort of the sugar caffeine high and then crashes.

[00:46:03.440] – Dr. Ellen

So creating a new habit is a really great thing to do. Another unstuck thing I love to do is declutter. Declutter a drawer, declutter a closet, declutter your garage. It is so freeing and energizing to declutter some aspect of your life, and it creates space for something new. It creates a sense of accomplishment. I think we all love to do it. So just put something on your calendar for some time that you're going to do a little bit of decluttering.

[00:46:32.330] – Dr. Ellen

Another thing is to just do something new. So go somewhere new, drive to a new place at work, read a new morning newspaper, make a new friend. Just create some newness in your life. Create a new hairstyle, change your hairstyle, change your hair color, wear a color you don't normally wear. But just doing anything new, I think, again, we are creatures of habit. It's so interesting when you look at the literature, something like 45% of the things we do every single day are automatic. Things like we tie our shoes, we make our coffee, we take our shower, either first thing in the morning or at the end of the day. You've got to shake it up and try something new.

[00:47:12.230] – Dr. Ellen

I really also like rising with the Sun, super energetic to really get into the circadian rhythms where you are living. So I get up usually with the sun. I love watching the sun set and the sun rise in the morning. You actually have more energy when you're kind of on those vibes with the sun. So just really just trying to do some new things. And I give 21 tips in my book, so if you're feeling stuck, just do something new. Getting accountability buddy, is really awesome as well. So having somebody who's also trying to make some changes in your life, learning something new. So I think I was saying earlier in the episode, I just got myself a ukulele, and so learning to play the ukulele, I'm creating those new things, those new brain neural connections in my mind, which are so awesome. Make a bucket list. That's another awesome thing to do. Make a bucket list. Actually, we don't even have to call it a bucket list. We can call it the next chapter list, right? So it's not about things I want to do before I leave the Earth, but things that I really want to do in this next chapter, I think we have space and time.

[00:48:21.960] – Dr. Ellen

Kids are empty nests. Maybe we're downsizing a little bit from our work. We're downsizing our home. But don't just fill it up with the same old, same old. Do something new because there is really a million things to do in the world and everything is so accessible right now. So get really conscious about it too. Maybe a little bit less television. I think it's so tempting to fill our days with TV. So maybe being a little more judicious with your media time and really picking something that you want to learn and do this year.

[00:48:50.810] – Allan

I love all of those. I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:49:01.610] – Dr. Ellen

the first thing I would say, progress, not perfection. So we haven't really talked about perfectionism. I talk about it a lot in the book. Rock your midlife. But perfectionism will just kill any wellness strategy because let's say, for example, you set this goal and you say, I'm going to work out every single day or I am going to eat this perfect diet. I've got this diet plan. I'm going to follow it. If you are a perfectionist, if you mess up what happens? You give up. You're just like, okay, I didn't do it right. I feel bad about myself. And I see this all the time with a lot of the people I work with are recovering chronic dieters. We see this. They go on these diets, they do it perfectly. They fill out their Journal, they do all the things, and then all of a sudden they blow their diet. They have one dinner out, or maybe they have a little bit of alcohol and inhibitions go down and they have slip up and then they go right back to the same old crappy, standard American diet, same thing with workouts. You miss a workout and then all of a sudden you miss too.

[00:50:06.960] – Dr. Ellen

And then you stop working out completely. So focus on the progress that you're making. Focus on the fact that I'm going to just carry an Apple in my bag and when I need a snack, I'm going to eat that or I'm going to start a walking program and I'm going to walk for 25 minutes every day. Maybe you'll do 45. And I love this idea, too, of set smaller goals to say, I'm going to just do three push ups. And while you're down there, you'll do ten, but you've got to sort of start out with small things that I love. You're probably familiar with Mel Robbins, who talks about the five second rule. Another great way to get over fear is just count to five and just do it. Do something small and focus on the progress you're making, not perfection. And when we're talking about goals, it's so important to set smart goals, which I'm sure Allan, you help your people set smart goals, which stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time sensitive. And these are things that you have control over. A lot of people set goals like, I'll lose 25 pounds. Well, that's not a smart goal and you don't have control over.

[00:51:10.290] – Dr. Ellen

But you have control over something. Like every day after lunch I'm going to take a 20 minutes walk or something I've been working on. One of the things I struggle with is eating late at night and my fiance and I are really trying hard to eat earlier in the day and just say, okay, we're going to not have anything after 08:00 and I'd like to move it to seven. But setting a smart goal, maybe even like three nights a week, we're going to have dinner at 07:00 and we're going to stop eating by 08:00. So set smart goals. And then I would say a thing too is and this is something that I focus so much on in my work and my book. Have fun. We've got to get away from this punitive attitude around weight loss. When I started my career 30 years ago as a registered dietitian, people would come into my office and I would say, Why are you here? And they said, well, my doctor told me I had to see you. And then I would ask them, what did you have to eat last night? And they would say, Well, I knew I was coming in to see you.

[00:52:11.730] – Dr. Ellen

So I had a double stuffed crust pizza, an ice cream or a steak. And they didn't want to be there and they weren't at the stage of readiness to make change. And it was all because you've been bad. So now we're going to punish you by eating this diet that is this draconian, 1200 calories or 600 calorie diet. And you're going to be miserable. Healthy eating is really fun. Like my partner is an amazing gardener and I am so inspired by what he grows and what I can Cook and we love to work. I don't even want to call it work it out. I mean there's nothing we like better than getting on our town and bike and going to the next island and biking for three or 4 hours. You're exhausted but it feels fabulous. I love doing yoga and I love lifting weights and I love eating healthy. So just get away from this attitude that being healthy is some punishment for your earlier sins in life. And I guess at a fourth, no matter where you are at, if you are breathing more is going right than wrong. You have like 32 trillion cells and all they want to do is keep you alive.

[00:53:21.650] – Dr. Ellen

So thank your cells. I like the dog barking to emphasize that right. Thank your cells. Treat your body. Weld stop beating your body up and learn to love yourself, practice and self compassion with my research really showed is that it really will help you with your body image. Focus on your function and feeling good. Don't worry so much about how you look. I think we also need to focus too on you can be sexy and beautiful. I'm at 60 and I feel more beautiful and sexier and healthier than I've ever felt in my life. I'm slowing down a bit but I think I'm gorgeous and I love my life and I'm having so much fun.

[00:54:01.470] – Dr. Ellen

Thank you, Dr. Ellen, if someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book, Rock Your Midlife, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:54:09.720] – Dr. Ellen

Just go to themidlifewhisper.com and I'm easy to find. That's my website and I'm the only midlife Whisperer in the universe as far as I know. Also you can just go to Amazon and put in Rock Your Midlife and the book will come right up for you.

[00:54:24.730] – Allan

You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/525 and I'll be sure to have links there. Dr. Ellen, thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:54:34.330] – Dr. Ellen

Thank you, Allan. It's been such a fun conversation. I'm looking forward to more conversations in the future.

[00:54:39.640] – Allan

Absolutely.

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Transcript

SPONSOR

This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Organifi.

Organifi is a line of organic superfood blends that offers plant based nutrition made with high quality ingredients. Each Organifi blend is science backed to craft the most effective doses with ingredients that are organic, free of fillers and contain less than 3g of sugar per serving. They won’t take you out of ketosis, if that’s your way of eating.

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Go to www.organifi.com/40plus and use code 40plus for 20% off your order. That's O R G A N I F I dot com forward slash 40plus and use code 40plus  for 20% off any item

CHALLENGE

Last week, I heard someone say Halloween is the start of eating season. Is that what happens to you, too? How would you like to not be beaten by it this year? Introducing the 40+ Fitness Crush the Holidays Challenge. This five-week challenge runs from November 20th through December 24th. Stay motivated with daily videos. Surround yourself with like minded people in a private Facebook group and crush the holidays this year with me, Coach Allan

The cost of this five-week challenge is $25. That's less than the cost for one pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks per week, and cutting just those five drinks will cut out 2000 calories, win-win. Oh yes, win-win. There are weekly prizes, including some of my favorite health and fitness books. Amazon gift cards, 40 plus fitness swag, and one challenger will win an opportunity to do a six-week, 40+ Fitness online training program I'm launching in January absolutely free.

Go to crushtheholidays.com to join the challenge. Don't let the holidays put you further in the hole. Crush the holidays at crushtheholidays.com

Let's Say Hello

[00:03:46.270] – Allan
hey, Raz, how are things?

[00:03:48.430] – Rachel
Good, Allan, how are you today?

[00:03:50.530] – Allan
I'm doing all right. Kind of settling into my life back on the island. Getting things going. Lulu's is open, and I'm happy to say that Tammy got her first online reservation.

[00:04:03.310] – Rachel
How exciting.

[00:04:04.570] – Allan
So, yeah, that's looking at her. I think they're staying later, like in December, sometime around middle of December something like that. But that said everything went through. She sees the reservation. PayPal, we're using that to process right now. She figures out the whole accounting and banking and credit card acceptance, but basically ran it through PayPal. And you can also use a credit card with PayPal because the way they're all set up, but yeah, so looks good. Looks like we're on track and she's got herself a bed and breakfast.

[00:04:38.470] – Rachel
That's awesome. Congratulations. That's so exciting.

[00:04:42.850] – Allan
I'm really excited for her because she's a little nervous about all this and how things are going to happen and opening right as we go into the busy season. So it's not like we've run through with monthly renters. So as far as running the building, I think she's comfortable with that. But it's just going to be making sure that back end stuff of the booking and all that computer stuff is all working and people are finding it. So if you're interested in coming down to Panama Lula's bed and breakfast in Boca del Toro and you can go to lulabb.com.

[00:05:16.390] – Allan
And that's where you'll find her website. You'll see some pictures, see the rooms. You can book the rooms there. And if you have any questions, just email us and message me and I'll let you know what's going down.

[00:05:28.690] – Rachel
Sweet. That sounds great.

[00:05:30.910] – Allan
How are things up there?

[00:05:32.530] – Rachel
Good. It's getting cold. Saw some Frost today. Run faster. I'm in a taper right now. My last big race for the year is in a couple of weeks from now at the end of the month. And Mike and I both are actually running the Cal haven it's going to be about 33 and a half to Mike garments has said 34 miles. So it'll be my last big race of the year. I'm looking forward to it.

[00:05:59.510] – Allan
So Mike's going to do an ultra, huh?

[00:06:01.310] – Rachel
He is. He's going to be official. Officially official.

[00:06:06.350] – Allan
1% of 1% of runners out there.

[00:06:08.210] – Rachel
That's right.

[00:06:09.290] – Allan
Have done something like that. Good. I want to hear how that goes for you.

[00:06:13.130] – Rachel
Absolutely. Sure will.

[00:06:14.630] – Allan
Obviously cold, but you're not going very far south to that one.

[00:06:20.270] – Rachel
I'm pretty happy about that. I'm glad it's not going to be in the dead heat of the summer. So this will be nice, I think.

[00:06:25.370] – Allan
Yeah. Mine was in March in Mississippi, so it wasn't too bad.

[00:06:29.750] – Rachel
Yeah, it could have gone either way, though.

[00:06:31.910] – Allan
Yeah, but it was in a pine forest. Humidity and heat would have been the only problem in a situation like that, because it's not a lot of wind for the most part, but it was what it was, but good. So you got your big race coming up. Good luck with that.

[00:06:50.450] – Rachel
Thank you.

[00:06:51.350] – Allan
All right. So let's have a conversation with Sergey Young.

[00:06:54.770] – Rachel
Sure.

Interview

[00:06:56.810] – Guest Intro
Our guest today is a longevity investor in Visionary with a mission to extend healthy lifespan of at least 1 billion people. To do that, he founded Longevity Vision Fund to accelerate life extension technological breakthroughs and to make longevity affordable and accessible to all. He is on the board of directors of the American Federation of Aging Research and the development sponsor of Age Reversal XPRIZE Global competition designed to cure aging. He has been featured as a top longevity expert and contributor on Fox News, BBC, Sky News, Forbes, and Thrive Global with no further Ado, here is Sergey Young.

[00:07:37.430] – Allan
Sergey, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:07:40.490] – Sergey
Hi, everyone. I'm so excited to be here. I'm 40 plus, right. So I'm 49, and I'm turning my 50 in the next month.

[00:07:51.950] – Allan
Happy birthday. Happy birthday. There you go. And I'm 55. So we keep you in the club even after you turn 50. So you're going to stay in with us okay.

[00:08:02.090] – Sergey
Love it.

[00:08:03.170] – Allan
Now, your book, The Science and Technology of Growing Young, an Insider's guide to the breakthroughs that will dramatically extend our lifespan. And now my favorite part and what you can do about it right now. Because as I was reading through some of this and you even acknowledged that it sounds like science fiction. But if I start thinking back to the science fiction I read when I was a teenager, author C Clarke and others, some of that stuff is actually happening right now. We don't quite have flying cars like the Jetsons, but there's a lot of cool stuff that's happened just in the last ten years.

[00:08:38.990] – Allan
That is really quite striking when you start thinking about where we were and how fast things are moving. And so,

[00:08:48.230] – Allan
As I got into this, I was like, this is pretty exciting. This is pretty exciting. And to know that at 55, I'll probably see a lot of what you talked about in this book come true.

[00:09:01.790] – Sergey
I agree. Yes. We live in an exciting time like we can see in the next 5-10 years from now, we're going to see just a lot of transformational and fundamentally different things offered to us and massively available. And we're going to go today for the example, what is on the horizon and actually two Horizons, like near and far horizon of longevity innovation. But what is more exciting? There's so many things that we can do right now to stay on longevity breach while we wait for all this revolution to happen.

[00:09:37.370] – Sergey
So let's cover this today as well.

[00:09:40.610] – Allan
I think when we use the term longevity, it seems that most people will think, well, that's just living longer, which is not really all that exciting. Like the Queen song, Who Wants To Live Forever? The reality is nobody really wants to live forever if they just keep getting weaker and weaker and sicker and sicker.

[00:09:59.990] – Allan
So in the book you talked about the three dimensions of longevity, and I think all three of them are important if you're really going to have I guess what I would call good longevity the right kind of longevity, not just longer, but better. And you can talk about those three dimensions of longevity..

[00:10:18.890] – Sergey
So we actually use the term like, in addition to life span, which is basically the quantity of your years. We use the term health span, which refers to quality of your years or the years in your life when you have healthy and happy State. So that's important as well. The good news, all of the technologies that we are supporting through longevity Vision fund investments. Right,

[00:10:47.210] – Sergey
And through our proponent work, they work both on health span and life span. It's not like we're just trying to add 5, 10, 20 more painful years to your life. So I think it's important to recognize. When you talk about three dimensions of longevity, I think it's very interesting to observe how the science of longevity and the science of medicine has changed over the last few decades. What we've done so far and this is the first dimension we've been just avoiding early death. That's, like the sole focus of the medicine, the sole focus of everything which we've been offered so far.

[00:11:35.570] – Sergey
And if you look at the figures, we've been pretty successful with that. So in the last 100 years, the average life span in developed world increased from 35 to 40 years 100 years ago to 75 eight years today. So we doubled our lifespan average lifespan on Earth in the last hundred years. Well, this is a good news. Like the bad news, the maximum lifespan, which is today somewhere around 122 years, to be precise, because of this beautiful French woman who died 20 years ago was still the same.

[00:12:16.670] – Sergey
So what we're doing, we're just moving statistical average. A lot of people avoid dying at an early age. And obviously there was a huge impact of infant mortality, which was ridiculously high 100 years ago. That's why this whole notion of medicine was just like making sure you don't die early. And currently, if you look at the 50 plus, like, 90% of deaths are happening because of four diseases, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and neurogenerative disease. So that's, like, 90% of that, this is our killer monster diseases.

[00:13:01.610] – Sergey
And I think we've done a lot in this field. What we haven't done so far is two other dimensions. One is life extension, just literally adding years to our life. That's one. And the third dimension, which is even more revolutionary, is reversing aging. Right now, we already know all 3000 genes in our DNA, which are responsible for aging processes inside our body, and therefore they're responsible for longevity. So if you look at centenarians where we look at genetic research of centenarians, centenarians are people who live 100 years and beyond on this planet, these 3000 longevity genes tend to work better in their bodies.

[00:13:51.570] – Sergey
The idea is if we can influence aging on many levels, including the genetic one and make sure that all these 3000 genes work in a proper way, we can actually become younger.

[00:14:03.570] – Sergey
And that's beautiful.

[00:14:04.470] – Sergey
You can do it on genetic level. You can do it on epigenetic level, right? Like the way these genes manifest itself inside our bodies. But even today, like on the lifestyle level, I've seen some studies where in the course of eight weeks, simple changes in sleep, diet, physical exercise only list three things, eight weeks reverse biological age of people in the study by three years. So they all became, on average, three years younger.

[00:14:40.350] – Allan
That's fantastic. And I like that you put sleep first because as a personal trainer, everybody thinks that's kind of odd. But I actually think sleep is the missing link for a lot of us as far as.

[00:14:54.330] – Sergey
It was the biggest discovery. For me, sleep is like the last thing that we think about when we're trying to redefine our lifestyle. And for me, the big change was actually reading Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker. It was my book of year 2019. Before that, I was just boring hours from my sleep. I can do more sports, I can do more work, I can spend more time on traveling. And literally I was just sleeping like five, five and a half of hours during Monday to Friday.

[00:15:32.010] – Sergey
And after reading this book, my rule is 8 hours in the bath, which is at least 7 hours of sleep. And I use a lot of devices to track my sleep. So like Whoo Apple watch, et cetera. So that's important. I do remember the quote from my discussion with Dr. Jake Cradle from London. He's the founder of one of the longevity clinics in London. So when we met first time, I'm asking, Jack, Jack, what is the number one thing? If you have literally 1 minute, what would you suggest?

[00:16:09.450] – Sergey
And he's like, Sergey, every evening we have an opportunity to visit the best clinic in the world. We go to bed and we sleep. And I thought, what a beautiful way to underline importance of sleep on our coronal health. Like all other aspects of our health.

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[00:18:14.990] – Allan
Now, as we talk about longevity, and one of the things I think we look at is we'll see that picture of the 95 year old or 85 year old woman who looks fit and is athletic and she's out doing living like she's 30. And then you see the 85 year old woman that's in a wheelchair and can't really stand on her own and she's lost all of her independence. I think we look at aging as comparing those two people, but they're the same chronological age. So when we're talking about longevity, one of the concepts you brought up in the book by Carlos Lopez Otin was the nine hallmarks of longevity.

[00:18:52.490] – Allan
And I think the reason I'd like to talk about these is because if you're starting to put together a strategy for your health, for your wellness, it's really important for you to understand the underlying tenets of what's going to help you get there and why these things are so important. When we're talking like we're just talking about sleep, what does sleep allow us to do? Balance our hormones, get our energy systems working, our mitochondria resting and doing their thing. And so can we talk, just go through them pretty quickly.

[00:19:22.190] – Allan
But just overview of what they are. The Nine Hallmarks.

[00:19:25.730] – Sergey
So for many centuries and decades, we've been trying to find and develop unified theory of aging, and we fail. Like there is no unified theory of aging. You ask different people in scientific circles and they would give you, like the different answers. So there are still a lot of people are working on that. But we use in terms of scientific framework for our effort to reverse aging and fight age related diseases. The thing which was published I think it was back in 2013 and it's called Nine Hallmarks of Aging.

[00:20:09.750] – Sergey
And I do think it was pretty important work by a number of reasons. So one thing, it shows you that you need to look to basically all of them. There's no silver bullet for human health and performance and fighting age related disease or the aging process into your body. It's not going to be like in 510, 20 years from now. It's not going to be like one silver bullet and one solution to aging. You always need to appreciate the complexity of human biology and looking at the problem of aging or your health and performance through different lenses.

[00:20:45.990] – Sergey
And they all complementary and probably in your workout. You've seen it a lot. People kind of asking you like, what are the one thing that I need to do to change my life and improve the level of my health and physical health and mental health? There's no such a thing like one thing. The first important thing about nine hallmarks of aging is the fact that none of nine of them, and they mutually nonexclusive. Right.

[00:21:14.130] – Sergey
They're complementary if you can use complementary in the context of aging and age related diseases. So second thing, it gives all of us investors, entrepreneurs, scientists, an opportunity to look on a more comprehensive scale and influence different parts of it and appreciate the complexity of this call. And I want to give our audience the flavor of what are the components? What are the dimensions of aging and what levels they happen inside our body? So the first thing is, it's called genomic instability is basically mutations of our DNA, of our genetic code inside our body.

[00:22:01.770] – Sergey
And sometimes they occur when we were born. So we kind of inherited this from our parents.

[00:22:12.730] – Sergey
Sometimes, it happens because of the external, environmental or our lifestyle choices influence as well. But if you ask scientists, many of them would say that our longevity and level of health and actually happiness, like 30% to 40% predetermined by our genetic set up. And we've done a lot of progress in this field, like, 30 years ago, it took 13 years and $3 billion for US to sequence human genome. Right now, it's just a few hundred dollars and few hours. So that's really important. And as always, you've probably seen it in so many cases.

[00:23:00.550] – Sergey
Like, the first step is just literally understand that. So sequencing human genome was, like, important first step to develop gene editing and gene therapy on the later stage. So that's one thing well, second thing is, it is about telomeres. And some of you probably heard about telomeres before. So telomeres in a very simple way, it's almost like protective caps of our chromosomes.

[00:23:31.630] – Sergey
Right. So what they do, they protect chromosomes. But then when cells are going through divisions, right? They basically worn out and it's actually limit, like, a number of times our cell can divide. And with the time what is happening is attrition of telomeres protective cups. And that's why we kind of becoming older. And then finally, we die the third one. And we already touched on this a little bit in the beginning of our conversation. Is it's called epigenetic alterations? But what it really does is remember we discussed genes.

[00:24:23.990] – Sergey
Genes are expressing themselves inside our body through the very complex mechanism. I'll not go into details of that right now, but what is actually happening is you can basically influence the way certain gene or genetic combination express itself in the body. So you don't need to change your genetic setup, right? You just literally can switch on, switch off some of the genes. And with the time, specifically, in the last probably 5-10 years, we've seen a lot of positive developments in the sales. So think about, like, one thing is to change your genetic set up and a genetic code.

[00:25:07.310] – Sergey
And this is really important. This is really expensive, sometimes inefficient difficult and risky. Well, the other thing, if you can have an opportunity or ability to switch on switch off some of your genes.

[00:25:23.450] – Sergey
And that's a different level of complexity. It's still difficult, but it's much easier than just changing your DNA. So that's important as well. What else you've heard about mitochondria in our cells? So mitochondria is almost like a power plant. This is the thing which are responsible for bringing the energy within the cell. So sometimes what is happening? They become dysfunctional because of the disease or particular medical condition. And it's obviously changed the whole work of the cells. And then aging process starts inside your body. What is more interesting, like stem cells exhaustion.

[00:26:20.190] – Sergey
So sometimes the stem cells, which are responsible for immune system and overall, inside our body, we just run out of it. And I don't know if you heard about the organ called thymus. It's right here on our chest until we turn somewhere around 20, thymus are in a good healthy condition. It's actually responsible for high immune level that the younger adults and kids have, starting from age 18 or 20, time starts to shrink. So therefore, your immune system starts to degradate. If I can use this word, and therefore it produces less and less of the stem cells, and therefore it has lower ability to fight external and internal enemies inside your body and inside your mind, actually as well.

[00:27:28.330] – Sergey
And I'm just looking at hallmarks. What I find also interesting is there's a hallmark related to cellular senescence.

[00:27:40.510] – Sergey
So, it's basically when we're losing the ability to take away dead cells outside of our body, they just waste. And the volume of that cells are increasing inside our body. And therefore it negatively influenced a lot of processes inside our well, first healthy body. It's basically this number of hypothesis and number of ideas why we each and I do think it's just very interesting to look at this from a different perspective and understand there are so many things that you need actually to influence in parallel at the same time to fight aging.

[00:28:30.370] – Sergey
And we're looking at the companies and probably all nine of these hallmarks. And it's really interesting how science and technology can help us to fight aging inside our body on many levels. On, like, genetic level, epigenetic level, on cellular level, et cetera. Yeah.

[00:28:50.170] – Allan
And like you said, everybody wants a simple one, simple rule. Give me one thing. Tell me what to do. And we can see it's really not that simple, but it's not outside of our control. And particularly as technology gets better, I think we're going to see better opportunities for us to fine tune, like, all of these knobs just don't be thinking about. Okay. I got one knob that does everything the steering wheel. Now you're going to be able to turn all of them. And that's where I want to talk about this concept of precision medicine or personalized medicine.

[00:29:23.230] – Allan
You probably heard some things about, but the gist of it is this normally you go into your doctor and you tell your doctor what's going on. He does a couple things, maybe a couple of tests, and then he comes back and says, okay, we're going to try this and the this that he's giving you the pill or whatever the treatment is, it helps 80% of the people. And that means 20% of the people it doesn't help. And so you try that and it doesn't agree with you or it doesn't work.

[00:29:49.810] – Allan
And now we've got to try something else that helped 80% of the people. And it didn't help 20%. Then there's a third thing we can try and on and on and on. But with precision medicine, we're getting closer and closer to understanding why it doesn't help those 20% and why it does help those 80%. And as a result, they can go directly to maybe medicine number three and make that work. Can you talk a little bit about why we're able to do precision medicine now? And what are some of the things coming up that's going to make it even better?

[00:30:23.410] – Sergey
So we're talking about completely different approach to medicine. And this is happening already. And the whole transformation will happen in the next ten to 20 years. And it's happening. The main fundamental reason is that finally we have an ability to process data related to human health. And before that, it was all in the head of the doctor that he or she would need to quickly grasp what is the problem with you recall from his or her memory? Like, these symptoms, they usually mean that you're suffering from that.

[00:31:08.350] – Sergey
And it was just a hypothesis, right. You can go through a certain diagnostic. It was pretty generic. And then there's, like, a set of protocols, like, for this disease, you can try this, this and this. It usually works for, like, 60 or 70% of people you're right.

[00:31:25.990] – Allan
I guess I was just a little optimistic.

[00:31:28.330] – Sergey
Yeah. That's true.

[00:31:29.590] – Sergey
I mean, we've seen therapists which working, like, 40% to 50% of people sometimes. So this is what happened so far. And as you can see from my description, it was very symptomatic.

[00:31:42.010] – Sergey
So, you would need to live for the disease until disease will manifest itself. Some of the diseases, some of the indications it's solvable, but in some it's like dangerous, like cancer. Cancer just a few decades ago was kiss of death because people discovered that usually in like, stage four, when disease manifests itself, there was not a lot of diagnostic developed on that diagnostic tools developed for that. And they are all pretty expensive, invasive, like colonoscopy, gastroscopy, some of the cancer markers in a blood test. So what is happening now?

[00:32:28.210] – Sergey
Well, the beauty of this, like early detection and prevention of the diseases, give us much better chances for recovery and sustaining the quality of life. So stage four cancer survival rates are 10, 20, 30% depending on the cancer type. Right?

[00:32:48.910] – Sergey
I'm just generalizing it that's simply the figures. So this is what happens when you just wait until disease will manifest itself at the level when you just decide to see a doctor like early detection of cancer, like stage one, for example, recovery rates for some of the cancer types are 90% or even 100%. Well, that's amazing. And what is more important? It's cheaper to treat early stage cancer and it's much more effective in terms of sustaining inequality of your lifestyle. So that's beautiful. So how are we doing this day?

[00:33:30.430] – Sergey
Well, first of all, it's generating and taking a lot of data. The whole feedback loop feedback cycle and our ability to grasp this data is changing. I'm wearing like, Whoop and Apple Watch. You can wear Samsung watch or fitbit doesn't really matter. Our wearables are becoming personalized health care devices and things will change. Right now, I'm using this account, like 10,000 steps today, so you can use Apple Watch to do extra cardiogram to detect five different type of Rhythmia. Or if you fall down on the street, you can call ambulance for you.

[00:34:11.390] – Sergey
So that's just the earliest signs of this becoming diagnostic devices. So a lot of data needs to be collected and can be collected today through different diagnostic tools, including wearables, DIY boxes, et cetera. Or like full body MRI, CT, et cetera. So that's kind of one thing. This call feedback cycle as compressed, you can actually detect a problem really early. Rather than wait for your annual discussion with doctor and see if something wrong with your body. Second, we finally have artificial intelligence to process all this data.

[00:34:57.810] – Sergey
And this is extremely important. If you look at statistics, I know the figure for US. I think it was 25% to 30% of all data in US are health related. It's just massive amount of information which there's no way the human being can process that even in the context of one person. So that's the beauty. Like last two years, when I've done annual screening, my full body MRI was first scanned by artificial intelligence. And then I had a discussion on radiologist. And just to give you a little bit of flavor of that average radiologist working under time pressure, which I would assume their everyday condition can detect early stage breast cancer from MRI from the scan in 38% of cases because it's early stage.

[00:36:00.450] – Sergey
Right. You're not sure or it's not detectable with human eye. But if you empower the same person with artificial intelligence, the detection rate goes up to 98% to 99%. Can you imagine that? So that's the beauty of that. We're talking about MRI. We have a lot of diagnostic tools right now. You can look at your genomic setup, you can look at your microbiome and we just go on and on. There's so many data we can collect about our physical and even mental health, which is super helpful to define the therapy, the intervention for you personally.

[00:36:44.830] – Sergey
So it's much earlier. It's much more personalized. It's obviously data driven and technology based. So that's like a new version of medicine that we are currently creating.

[00:36:58.930] – Allan
Yeah. And it does the huge thing of eliminating human error in most of these cases because it's got a lot more capacity than any of us would have, even as a collective group, it's going to outperform us.

[00:37:13.390] – Sergey
It is. So the other important thing is actually, it's not only eliminating human error, but it leaves human, like, the most interesting and enjoyable part of work.

[00:37:24.550] – Sergey
Right? You don't need to spend, like, 13 minutes to go through the scan. I enjoy discussing with my radiologist for, like, 30 minutes. And this is amazing. More human interaction, more focus on your needs on your particular situation and more emotions. And what I also like about this whole thing is the small, convincing power that I can get from this conversation with doctor. He or she can tell me like, well, Sergey, you need to change that and that try this change. So I'm on the path for, like, improvement and optimization.

[00:38:04.450] – Sergey
And doctors can spend more time working with me, trying to convince me and support me on this path.

[00:38:12.610] – Allan
Cool. Now another topic I wanted to get into. And just to preface this, I'm not a doctor. I'm not a medical doctor. You're not a medical doctor. So we're just talking about this from the perspective of just understanding what this is. And maybe some of the issues that will come up with it is stem cells. So more and more we're hearing about these stem cell treatments. As you said in the book, only a fraction of them, a small number have been FDA approved. So there's these people popping up with stem cell therapies and they're very promising.

[00:38:46.030] – Allan
The science is extremely promising. They can show you study after study after study. That shows really great things. But it's not all upside. But in the future, it might be very important therapy. Can you talk a little bit about just generally what it is and what we should be watching out for if that comes up in a conversation with our doctor or a clinic.

[00:39:09.250] – Sergey
Okay. So stem cells, which has the potential to develop itself into any other different type of cells in our body.

[00:39:24.050] – Sergey
Right. So they pretty generic. They are responsible for our immune function, and they basically serve as repair system inside your body.

[00:39:36.170] – Sergey
so, they can become specialized, like become a blood cells or muscle cells or brain cells. And that's really important repair mechanism developed for us by modern nature.

[00:39:55.310] – Sergey
So, having said that, so that's important. And it's great that we discovered number of interventions and treatments and approaches to use stem cells in treating different conditions. So that's kind of good news. They still are really early stage of going through the trials and really early stage of regulation. So I do believe that if you have particularly difficult condition and it's a matter of life and death for you, you can take a look at stem cells treatment and interventions today. So you just need to be much more considerate with your choices of treatment. For the rest of us,

[00:40:47.630] – Sergey
I do think it's okay to wait another five to ten years until all of this will go through FDA approval cycle. And we'll give more clarity not only on potential benefits of using stem cells treatments, but on potential downside effects as well.

[00:41:05.750] – Sergey
So, as you can imagine, right. I'm part of longevity community. I'm really passionate about this whole thing. I've been offered so many times to do stem cells. What I don't like, well, Sergey, we kind of do it in US, come to Costa Rica or Panama, in Bahamas, and we're going to do it there. Why should I? So I'm 49, and I do believe that at least for another ten, probably even 20 years, combination of my lifestyle intervention, early diagnostic use, the benefit of technology, which technology can offer to us today is a great plan to stay on longevity bridge.

[00:41:57.670] – Sergey
And in 5, 10, 15 years from now, we're going to see more regulatory approvals in the field of regenerative medicine, whether it's stem cells or organ regeneration or organ replacement and a lot of different things. And not only that.

[00:42:14.830] – Sergey
Like, the major part of my book about the near horizon of longevity innovation. You've seen it, Allan. And a number of chapters then we go to DIY diagnostic, regenerative medicine, genomic medicine, which is genetic, gene therapy, etc. And this is all very promising. What I like that we're going to see almost like a mix, a combination of different breakthroughs in different areas which can use for our special specific situation. The other thing which we will see in the next ten years is longevity and build. So it's going to be new, completely different class of drugs which would address aging problem and its core.

[00:43:04.750] – Sergey
So right now, every drug should have an indication and it should fight particular disease. They disease specific but we're going to see completely different drugs which will influence aging processes inside our body and therefore will help us to fight and minimize risk of getting it related diseases. As we discussed cancer, heart disease, diabetes, neurogenerative diseases as well. So I'm really excited. It can be existing drug reposition and repurposed like Metformin, the old diabetes generic drug or Rapamycin, Immunosupression, or it can be drug developed with the help of artificial intelligence.

[00:43:45.430] – Sergey
Like a Longevity Vision fund. We invest in two companies which used artificial intelligence to compress the discovery cycle. And they do the impressive things. And for the audience to know, like developing a drug is like super expensive exercise. It's like in the US, it's twelve years. It's $2.6 billion for every drug to develop. So our AI technology big data will help us to compress this process and make it cheaper or more efficient as well. But there's so many exciting things happening. Like my other favorite example is what we discussed in the field of gene editing and gene therapy, like genomic medicine.

[00:44:36.550] – Sergey
Remember the case that I brought the first human genome has been sequenced in the course of 13 years. They actually wanted to stop. I think after the first two years of the exercise because in the first two years, they managed to sequence only 1% of genome. That's it. The whole story is in the book.

[00:44:57.310] – Sergey
It's amazing. Like fast forward today we are all participating in a global experiment in the field of gene therapy because MRNA vaccines like Moderna, some other Covid vaccines are the outcome of gene therapy work. And well, for me, it's positive, not sure about the rest of the audience.

[00:45:17.950] – Sergey
And I was just looking at the article a couple of months ago and it starts with moderna vaccine has been developed in a course of two days.

[00:45:28.990] – Sergey
This is amazing.

[00:45:30.310] – Sergey
Obviously, they put a lot of work before that, right? It probably was decade plus even more. And a lot of great scientists and entrepreneurs work on that. But just an ability to develop vaccine against the new virus. I think we managed to sequence genome of the virus in just in the course of days, if not weeks after we discovered that the dangerous thing called Covid is here on the planet. So this whole Covid response, I do know this. There's just a lot of skepticism and criticism in almost every country that I went in terms of the covid response because we were fighting with a known enemy.

[00:46:12.190] – Sergey
But the rest is just amazing. See how fast we've been able to sequence genome, develop different tests to test against corona virus develop vaccines. So I'm really amazed by our ability to respond like 200 years ago, we would have Covid on Earth 25 to like, 50% of population would just die.

[00:46:37.210] – Allan
Yeah, it would have been so much different than Spanish flu. We just toughed out for the most part and did some things. But in a two year process, which I guess we're going to go through a two year process here, too. But in the realm of it, you're right. We do have to kind of open our minds to the fact that medicine will move faster, not slower. Things are going to be introduced that are brand new that we would never have conceived of even years ahead. In the book, you talked about the first Orville brothers and flight and how it was 500 years in the making, and they went against the paradigm, which was you have to flap like a bird to build an airplane.

[00:47:20.290] – Allan
And even after they flew, it took a long time for people to recognize that that's actually still possible as possible just because one person did it, they didn't feel comfortable that everybody should do it. And now almost all of us at some point in our life, anyone listening to this podcast has gotten into an airplane at one point in their life and traveled across the country. And it's opened us up to all these freedoms and opportunities to see things we would never would have seen in the past, not without huge time investment.

[00:47:49.750] – Allan
And so I think that's the concept here. That's what's so exciting about your book. You give us the near term, and we would be on this call for hours if I went into the long term because it's so exciting, I would let you off the call. I just want you to know.

[00:48:06.130] – Sergey
Look, I'm going to be living another 150 years and majority of us are going to be living longer or radically longer than we expect. So we have time, Allan.

[00:48:15.970] – Allan
Yeah, we have time. Then I'll get you on again. We'll talk about that. Sergey, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:48:36.110] – Sergey
Okay. Number one, it's importance of early diagnostics. And I always say, like, the most important day of your life every year is the day of your medical screen. I do think it's super important. We underestimate. You can even imagine. I'm an investor. I'm not MD. I saved so many lives just by pushing people doing screenings. So that's one.

[00:49:05.930] – Sergey
The second I think, is importance of the diet. And we delegated all our diet choices, like in terms of quantity and quality of our food to other parties, like big food, supermarkets, government, et cetera. So it's time to take back control and recognize the importance of the food. And this is like, the easiest way to influence our epigenome. This is the easiest way to make us healthy and body response to that is just amazing. If you switch to more plant based, I'm not saying you need to become vegetarian or vegan.

[00:49:43.850] – Sergey
You need to be religious about this whole thing, but just like decreasing your calorie and take fasting doing more plant based looking at it not only quantity but the quality of your food, avoiding growth hormones, antibiotics and equilibacterias and industrial meat and fish. It was a source of one of the most enormous change that I went through while responding to high cholesterol crisis that I had back in 2014.

[00:50:16.060] – Sergey
And the third thing is just recognizing this whole connection between mind and body. So our health and the way we age and our biological age, like how young or how old we are, is very much defined by our psychology as well.

[00:50:36.050] – Sergey
It's extremely important. So my mantra, I know it's completely responsible to dream about living 200 years today. There's no way given today's science and today's technology, I'm going to be living to 200 years. But every morning I wake up, my mantra is like, I'm going to be living 200 years in the body of 25 years old, man, and your body responds to that. Look at the book. I think this part of the book will think and grow young. And there's so many studies like, if you literally believe that your age is 5, 10 15, even 20 years below your calendar chronological age, you will become younger.

[00:51:17.990] – Sergey
That's amazing.

[00:51:19.070] – Allan
Yeah. I completely agree. I signed up for a tough Mudder in August, so I'm training for that now. But it's so funny because all of my friends that are around my age like, you're too old to do that stuff. And I'm like, but it's fun and I'm excited about it. And so, yeah, I completely agree that those are wonderful. Thank you, Sergey. If someone wanted to learn more about your book, The Science and Technology of Growing Young, or just learn more about you, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:51:49.190] – Sergey
Well, the book is available everywhere.

[00:51:51.650] – Sergey
Again, it's called The Science and Technology of Growing Young. It's an important tool for me to change the world, to change our mindset, to push more of us, to take back responsibility and control for our health, and be excited about the future and recognize, like, new developments in medicine. And it's been already on the Wall Street Journal bestseller list. Usa Today bestseller. Number one on Amazon in multiple categories. I'm, like, really happy. This is the easiest way to connect with me, to understand well, my religion, my promise and exciting things, which we can do today in the next 10, 20 years.

[00:52:30.770] – Sergey
You can go to Sergeyoung.com and sign up for the mailing list. Every month we're sending out amazing newsletter, translating signs in very simple words to more exciting news. And I couldn't tell you the statistics about this, but I was just looking at statistics for newsletters all around the world. We have one of the highest open rates and click rates, and people are really excited. And I'm not selling anything. I'm an investor, right? I'm just trying to change the world to bring affordable and accessible version of longevity.

[00:53:05.390] – Sergey
So Sergeyyoung.com sign up for newsletter or SergeyYoung200 on Instagram.

[00:53:12.110] – Allan
Sergey I really appreciate your mission. Thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:53:18.110] – Sergey
Thank you, Allan. You're doing a great job. So thanks for helping all of us to spread this message across. And I just wanted to thank our audience for being with us today. Stay healthy and happy.


Post Show/Recap

[00:53:38.190] – Allan
Welcome back, Raz.

[00:53:39.810] – Rachel
Hey, Allan, that was a really exciting and interesting conversation about longevity. Actually, I don't think I've ever thought about how you can define the aging process. I just never gave it a thought, actually.

[00:53:57.390] – Allan
Well, you'll see it on Facebook all the time. They'll show you these memes where there's a woman that's 85 years old and she's still a professional bodybuilder and a woman who is 85 years old and about ready to kick the bucket. You see it all the time because we're all on our own aging curve. And some of that is defined by how our genes. But they're finding more and more. It's really lifestyle choices that we've made all along the way that determine how quickly we get to go down that curve and how fast that curve crashes to our end state.

[00:54:31.710] – Allan
And if you're doing the right things for your body, you can do some things to extend it. We talked earlier and you mentioned on the podcast that just doing some exercise, eating right, sleeping, doing those basic blocking and tackling things that we talk about here every single week. Add years to your life.

[00:54:52.890] – Rachel
Well, Sergey said sleep, diet and exercise, even for as little as eight weeks, can reverse aging by three years. I've never heard that before. And that's astonishing.

[00:55:05.430] – Allan
Well, we saw it. I don't want to get too deep into this, but we saw it in covid. If you have comorbidities, then covid is a scary thing. And age is one of those comorbidities. But you see plenty of people in their 80s and 90s that lived through it.

[00:55:19.290] – Allan
Okay. They got covid, and they maybe suffered a little bit, but they came out maybe didn't even have to get hospitalized in some cases. But if you had a comorbidity, if you weren't taking care of yourself at some point in your life, and you find yourself further and down below that aging curve, then it's a killer. It's a killer straight out. And so it's just kind of one of those things of the better you take care of yourself each day, the more likely you are to have another one.

[00:55:49.770] – Rachel
That's a good point.

[00:55:53.310] – Allan
That was one of the principles of why he's believing that 150 and 200 or even permanence being effectively immortal. He believes that those are possibilities for the human race. Because if science moves fast enough to add one more year within a year, then you've effectively pushed your age your expiry date, if you will, one more day and that one more day means they get one more day to have science to solve. The next thing that would kill you. We think about in terms of okay, what's killing us?

[00:56:32.650] – Allan
Heart disease, cancer, medical malpractice, the things that are killing us, most of them are lifestyle choices. But that said, if you can have a newborn that's born and you're feeding it the exact diet that that individual baby needs throughout its entire life. It's eating exactly the nutrition that it needs. Then it's going to be a healthy baby. It's going to be a healthy teen. It's going to be a healthy young adult. It's going to be a healthy, older adult. And the other things that would kill us, we start dealing with, they have artificial hearts now, they have artificial hips, they have artificial knees.

[00:57:15.290] – Allan
And so the basic principle being, they don't know where the limit is or if there even is a limit to what the human being can live, because we haven't really pushed the envelope all the way. We've doubled our life expectancy in less than 100 years. And that's just because mostly people aren't dying as babies. But beyond that, people are living longer, and we see it. We see more Centenarians than they ever have been. And you start asking them what they're doing, and they're not necessarily doing anything special.

[00:57:53.510] – Allan
Drink a glass of whiskey and drink a smoke cigar every night.

[00:57:56.990] – Rachel
You never know.

[00:57:57.770] – Allan
Okay, well, I don't think that's great health advice, but it obviously didn't kill them.

[00:58:02.750] – Rachel
It worked for them. Yeah.

[00:58:06.290] – Allan
That kind of takes me to the next thing is, well, we don't even know right now why that is why someone can do something or why something works for someone and doesn't exactly work for someone else. And that's where the precision or personalized medicine, to me, is maybe the most exciting thing out of all of this, because with artificial intelligence and all the data and things we know, we talked about the hallmarks, and you think about all those hallmarks. And if you were capturing that data for everybody or most people, the data that you would have available and the things you would know about someone when they walk in there, it's a person comes in with a rare disease, and there's no way this particular doctor would ever have seen it because it happens to one in 100,000 people.

[00:58:55.970] – Allan
And so he hasn't had 100,000 patients in his career yet. So he probably hasn't even seen anybody with this problem. And he stopped. Because if then that symptom, try this. Symptom, try that. Symptom, try that. And so what we are going to have with precision medicine is this opportunity for someone to walk in and all that data be there. The bloodlabs, the microbiome, the genetic, all of it is all in there. And they're like, oh, you have a predisposition for this particular problem. And that's why you're having the symptom.

[00:59:37.370] – Allan
And then you can just say something simple. Stop drinking milk. And we're going to compound you something that you take for the next so many months or years, maybe. Or maybe it's something you might have to take permanently. But at least at that point, they know that it's worked for people with your situation and how often and the likelihood based on your genetics and your blood type and everything, how it's going to work for you. And then over here, they know they're not giving you too much.

[01:00:02.990] – Allan
And they know they're giving you the right doses. And they said, okay, your opportunity for side effects is much lower.

[01:00:10.670] – Rachel
Oh, gosh, that would be amazing to have all of that data aggregated into somebody's AI platform. And it would be so helpful. Just like you said, with the side effects, you go in and you've got a problem, a gallbladder problem or a heart disease or something. And if they could look at things like your blood glucose or your cholesterol levels, maybe they could fine tune the medicine that you need to help to get healthier without having all of the weird side effects that are out there.

[01:00:44.990] – Allan
It will trickle down to everything. So, like, here's an example. Maybe you just have hay fever and you get the runny eyes, the runny nose, the itchy, the sneezes and all that. And you go into your pharmacy and based on your medical stuff, all that data and you step on a scale and they say, okay, this is how much you weigh today. This is the exact dose of medication you need probably still antihistamine, but it's going to work best for you. So it's a particular one compounded a certain way at a certain dose and just enough pills to get you through what you're dealing with.

[01:01:27.110] – Allan
So you don't end up with all these expired things. The medicine cabinet goes away because you don't need it anymore to store things that, you know, I'm probably going to get it again next year, but you only need three pills and you make it through the pollen season and you're done.

[01:01:43.190] – Allan
There you go.

[01:01:43.670] – Allan
You got three pills at the perfect dose for you, specifically for you. And it helps eliminate errors. It helps eliminate overdosing. It helps eliminate a lot of this if then and that they'll probably even know things like, what's the propensity for you to be addicted to opiates? Exactly how much pain medication does someone in your situation need to get there? So it's not one of these, the doctors overshot on the opioids because it was easy. You're in pain here's an opioid, and then they overdose, or they get addicted.

[01:02:24.530] – Allan
And then the other side of it is now they're afraid to give you pain medication at all. So they're on the exact opposite swing. Whereas with AI, it's an AI driven decision. The doctor is there a judgment call to say, hey, this is the right thing. And then they can sit there and spend that three to seven minutes they have with you and just really talk about the risk of taking opioids. They say, well, AI says it's probably not a problem for you. So here's a week's supply.

[01:02:55.970] – Allan
If you don't need them all, please bring them back to the office so we can discard them properly.

[01:03:02.630] – Rachel
That'd be nice.

[01:03:03.470] – Allan
Right? And they give you just enough. The dosing is just right for you, so that you're getting the pain medication that you need without a lot of the risk side effects and all that. So the opportunity there is there. And obviously people are working towards this because there's money involved in medication, there's money involved in health care. And so people are working toward it. And one of his things was he was really wanting to see when the medical society, when they'll start actually recognizing aging as an illness as a way of dying.

[01:03:43.130] – Allan
Almost no one ages out at this point. So very few people, very little money relative is going into aging. Whereas you talk about cancer research, heart disease, so much money is pouring into those because they're seen as the killer. But at some point, hopefully with AI and everything else is going in there, they'll start solving that problem. Why does this chemo work for this one and not for that one? And what's the best chemo for you? And what's the best treatment protocols that starts working and they become less and less a factor.

[01:04:20.390] – Allan
They're still probably just going to be a point where someone just takes their last breath and that's like, okay. So he's looking at it saying, when aging is not just a comorbidity, because they will put that on your death certificate. If you just really old and have cancer, they might put that on your death certificate, but he wants it to be a medical classification. So businesses will start trying to solve aging as a problem. He invests in those types of companies, but they're little bitty companies, tech companies, typically that are coming out with these things.

[01:04:55.610] – Allan
The science is there, but there needs to be more money behind it before it really becomes the thing.

[01:05:02.270] – Rachel
Yeah. It's a big project, though, because I can just think all of my medical records, everything's electronic now. I don't know when electronic health records became mandated, and it might have been a state by state thing, but I probably have maybe 10, 15 years of electronic records, but they're spread all over the place because I've moved. But if someone could aggregate my data, even just my data from the different networks that I've had medical procedures done in, it sure would present an interesting picture for a doctor or even this AI to mash through and see what's in there and what they could pull out of that they would be fascinating.

[01:05:44.870] – Allan
And that's what it will be. They'll say, okay. Someone with this genome with this microbiome that's this age, these are the elements and things that they're most likely to see. You could know. Okay.

[01:05:58.310] – Allan
Yeah. We talked about colonoscopies and screenings and things like that. You could know. Okay, I need to go at age 45 and get screened.

[01:06:08.330] – Rachel
Sure.

[01:06:09.650] – Allan
And maybe it's even something simple. You just know. Okay. Every year, I got to get screened for something or the other because I'm at a higher risk because of all the stuff we know about it. But you're improving your diet, you're improving your exercise, you're trying to sleep better. You're doing stress management. You're doing those lifestyle blocking and tackling things and not waiting for science to catch up to. You right. There are things we can do today, and we need to be doing today, which is why I think you guys are going to really enjoy the episode next week with Delatorro.

[01:06:45.470] – Allan
He's exciting. He's fun. It's about mindset, but he talks about it. It's like you've got to lean in. You've got to put the weight on this. You got to make this happen. And he's absolutely right. So just realize, don't wait for the science to come up and save you, help you live longer, live better. The types of things we talked about, the three dimensions of aging. Don't wait for that to happen. Every action you take today is a part of making those things happen.

[01:07:16.430] – Rachel
Well, I'm really inspired by the existing genetic technology today, and I think after listening in, I'm going to talk to my doctor about having my genetic testing started. And if I can get my mom and my daughter to get their genetic testing done, it sure could paint a very interesting picture by our personal health. And who knows, between my mom's data and my data, that could help my daughter with her health and fitness in the future.

[01:07:44.630] – Allan
Absolutely. Data is going to be important. They might have some data on me. I don't know, because I've been all over like you have scattered. And in some cases, I don't think there was a computer record at all that I was ever there, especially down here.

[01:08:05.150] – Allan
but that will be important. And if you know, you have a history or something, it's worth definitely. And you do. So it's definitely worth going in and trying to get some of that data, not to panic, not to freak out, but just to say, okay, am I doing the right thing? Am I getting the right screenings and those things we should be doing? We know we should be doing that's going to be important. If you like real science, some of it is science fictiony.

[01:08:37.190] – Allan
Because we can already do some of this stuff. We just haven't heard about it. He's in the forefront of this because he's an investor in that space. So he's giving people money on the front end to do some of these things. And he does have this premise. He believes at some point we might just be immortal, that we just continue to exist. We have our normal life and we have our normal reproductive years, and then we can continue. And if you think about some of the most brilliant people or some of the most kind people or some of the most wonderful people that you've known, if they could have lived another 50 to 100 years, what would we be able to accomplish on this planet with the people?

[01:09:23.510] – Allan
Now, there's a lot of ethical things. He gets into some of that in the book, too, about living forever and what that constitutes. And is this something that just the rich people are going to be able to afford to do versus everybody else and all of those things. He has a lot of that in there, too. So if you like geeking out about almost science fictiony stuff, but it's that kind of science fiction stuff that isn't just pie in the sky. It's real stuff that could be benefiting human race.

[01:09:55.310] – Allan
It's a really interesting read. He took all that techie techie techie stuff and turned it into a readable book, which is totally cool.

[01:10:02.870] – Rachel
That sounds great because that interview was a little bit techie, but not terrible to follow.

[01:10:09.530] – Allan
And he's a businessman, his principles, he can learn the tech or at least know the tech well enough to know where he wants to invest his money and he's in that space. So it's a little easier for him. But, yeah, I'm not going to say he dumbed it down for us, but he made it readable. He made it something where you can look at it and say, oh, okay. I don't have to know how the microbiome works. I just have to know that it is one of the things that affects my health, and as a result, their ability to analyze it, to be able to maybe even make recommendations on how you can improve it based on what you eat or sleep or stress, because they all have an impact on it.

[01:10:50.390] – Allan
Then you've got practical, real advice that works specifically for you and all that's just really cool. And then, of course, replacement parts, things like that. We get into all that kind of stuff, too, and just what constitutes being a human. So it's interesting book if you like science and you like science fiction, it's just a cool read, and it's not so deep that you wouldn't understand it. He's not trying to throw words that you wouldn't know or dive down so deep into a rabbit hole that you can't get out.

[01:11:27.210] – Allan
It's just some really cool stuff.

[01:11:29.010] – Rachel
That does sound cool. The interview was great. It was really fascinating to listen to this.

[01:11:33.630] – Allan
All right. Well, Rachel, I'll talk to you next week.

[01:11:36.630] – Rachel
Great. Take care.

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Another episode you may enjoy

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How to customize yourself for better health with Chuck Rose

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In his 50+ years and his mother's 110 years, Chuck Rose has learned a thing or two about health and aging. In the first of his Customize Yourself books, he explains how you can improve your health and live longer through improved nutrition.

Sponsor

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Transcript

Let's Say Hello

[00:02:26.580] – Allan
Hey Raz, how are things?

[00:02:28.940] – Rachel
Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:31.220] – Allan
I'm doing all right. We got a lot of rain this weekend, so I wasn't really able to get out and do as much as I wanted to, but I'm getting there.

[00:02:39.470] – Rachel
Good.

[00:02:40.360] – Allan
It is a very rainy time and then I'm getting prepared for my vacation. So I think this episode goes out, I will actually be on that vacation. Really, really close to getting on a plane for that vacation on my way, for sure. So I am going to take a week off and the only work I'm going to do during that week is going to relate to taking care of my clients, existing clients. I've kind of let that roll down a little bit. And so if you're listening to this right now, I'm not taking new clients, and I won't be taking new clients for a little while.

[00:03:17.560] – Allan
But I will be starting back up with the training in October. So look for something coming out in a few weeks. Probably once I get back or get my feet under me. When we're traveling around the US, I'll start putting together when I actually want to come back to work.

[00:03:34.560] – Rachel
Isn't that a nice feeling?

[00:03:36.840] – Allan
And then when Tammy and I get back in October, I'm going to be launching this. I'm also probably, I'm thinking I might start seeing if there's some interest on personal training in person, some small group stuff, maybe in focus here. And then, of course, Tammy is doing the bed and breakfast, so she'll be opening up the bed and breakfast, and I'll be doing these things. So October will be a really busy month for both of us. But I'm going to down shift and really down shift for the first week.

[00:04:11.140] – Allan
I'm just turn the car off, throw the keys away.

[00:04:14.880] – Rachel
That sounds wonderful. You got to do that every now and then. That sounds great.

[00:04:20.220] – Allan
Well, and we missed it. You know, it's like we had scheduled the trip to take the vacation, and then it got canceled. We did go last fall to see family, so we do need to go back. But it was like one of those things, we had the vacation plan. It's like, this really doesn't seem to make sense right now. And then we moved it. And the airline I booked with was a bad airline because they wouldn't even refund the money. They're like, no, you canceled it. Every airline on Earth is giving you a credit.

[00:04:47.980] – Allan
At least give me a credit. And they're like, no, if you're not on the plane, I'm like, Is the plane even flying? Anyway, so this whole other story. But anyway, it was just one of those things where this is timeshare. And every year I build up a week. And one of those it's not a lose it or use it, use it or lose it thing. But it's just one of those where I now have two weeks to use in one year. And I don't know that I'm going to go back twice, so I just need to make sure I use this week and push and see if they'll let me roll my weeks out.

[00:05:19.160] – Allan
We'll see. So this is just a good time for us to go back, get some sun, maybe have a few cocktails, play some volleyball. And this place I'm going is where my whole story started for my health and fitness journey as I was there. And I was really unhappy with my life and my things, and I need to change. And so going back there is going to be kind of interesting again, because it's just that all that stuff is there, the feelings, the emotions and where I come and where I was and how much things have changed over that time, because this is episode 501.

[00:06:00.460] – Allan
So if you'd ask me back, then, do you know at some point in your life, you're gonna do a podcast? Well, actually, podcast didn't exist then, but it's a very different lifestyle than I thought I would have at this point in my life.

[00:06:14.030] – Rachel
Well, Allan, that sounds like a great time to reflect on how far you come. I think it'll be really incredibly rewarding for you to have that time back there.

[00:06:23.560] – Allan
And place some volleyball. And then when I get back, get back, hopefully have some energy then that travels through the Southeast. I'm going to stop everywhere these serve oysters because it's been over a year, almost a year as I've had any oysters. So I'm going to eat all the foods I can't get down here and do it with reckless regard because I'm off, and I'm going to take that break as a detour. And then when I get back, get busy with my businesses and get busy with myself and make the right changes and get back on that highway.

[00:07:01.630] – Allan
And right now, I'm just kind of thinking about what I want to do next. What's the next challenge? What's that next fun thing for me?

[00:07:09.380] – Rachel
Neat. That sounds like a great way to start your vacation. I hope you have the world of fun.

[00:07:14.180] – Allan
How are things going for you?

[00:07:15.990] – Rachel
Good. You know, I was in Hell the other day. Mike and I did a race in Hell, Michigan. The race is called the Run Through Hell. It's been on my wish list for years, and I've just never been able to be in the right place at the right time to participate in this race. So it was a five miler in hell, and it was so it was just a load of fun. We both did really well. Mike got second place in his age group, and I got third place in my age group at that race.

[00:07:49.190] – Rachel
So we ran well in Hell and had a fun time doing it, and we made it through. We're back home now.

[00:07:57.590] – Allan
Well, you know what Winston Churchill said?

[00:08:00.380] – Rachel
What was that?

[00:08:01.020] – Allan
If you find yourself in hell, keep going.

[00:08:03.380] – Rachel
Oh, that's what we did.

[00:08:07.700] – Rachel
Yeah. Perfect.

[00:08:10.110] – Allan
Okay. Well, you ready to have a conversation with Chuck?

[00:08:13.050] – Rachel
Sure.

Interview

[00:09:02.350] – Allan
Hey, Chuck. Welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:09:05.380] – Chuck
Hey, Allan. Great to be here. Thank you.

[00:09:45.280] – Allan
So your book, Customize Yourself: Nutrition- And What I learned From 110-Year-Old mother, obviously as a health and fitness guy, I'm intrigued. Someone's on this Earth for 110 years. They're obviously doing something right. And if your mother is 110 years old, that tells me you're right in my sweet spot demographic of probably being in your 40s, 50s, 60s, maybe even older. Yeah, but no, that's cool because you're in terrific health. Your mother is in good health. I think since I wrote the book, I guess she's 111, maybe 112 now.

[00:09:56.520] – Chuck
She will be 111 in August. I may have to change the title of the book, but the book just came out, so she's only 110. So the oldest person in New Jersey now.

[00:10:45.590] – Allan
Okay. Yeah. I was reading some statistics that said they fully expect by the year 2030 for someone to have lived 120 plus years. I know there's one or two I've heard of, but they're fully expecting 100 years old to be something within the realm of possibility for a large number of people. And I actually saw another statistic that said by 2060, they expect there to be over half a million Centurions in the United States. So we are getting older, particularly as a baby Boomer generation is coming through because we had a lot more information about health and welfare and taking care of ourselves.

[00:11:20.690] – Allan
So people are living longer with better medicine, better science, better just to sometimes doing the right thing. But there's a large percentage of us that are not. Obesity and overweight. We're talking astronomical numbers, and that's getting bigger, too, which is kind of frightening. Your book, though, goes through a kind of a process of saying, okay, if I want to reinvent myself, my path is not everybody else's path. I get to choose my own path ergo the title Customize Yourself.

[00:12:05.880] – Chuck
Yes, absolutely. If you look at I actually have a customized yourself fitness book coming out next year, which I've already written the first draft. If you look at why people fail with diets, why people fail with fitness, and you're a trainer, you see it all the time. It's because they are told to stop doing what you're doing with diets. Stop eating what you're eating. You know, you've gained weight. You're eating not a great diet. Stop that. Now eat this. It's such a shock to not only to the system, physically and psychologically, you know, consciously, like, well, maybe I don't love all this food, but unconsciously and subconsciously, there's all sorts of alarm bells going off that you're not even hearing yet because it's such a radical change.

[00:12:34.090] – Chuck
And I think that's the same thing with fitness. You probably will lose a student if they just get scared after one or two sessions because my knees hurt, and I'm afraid to tell this guy that my knees hurt. So if you don't think to say, how do your knees feel when you're on that leg machine, they won't say my knees hurt. So really, it's so critical in the beginning with these changes, or if you're a couch potato just to get up and walk down the street just to walk one block if you're not used to it.

[00:13:05.750] – Chuck
I mean, you and I work out seven days a week. A 1 hour workout for us is probably nothing. For me, I do it every day. I need it. I need it psychologically as much as physically. But to get people, you have to do it gradually. That's why I say to customize yourself approach. And I found that when I was reading and looking for things to educate myself with, everything I found was like either a radical approach or a horrible approach. There was no gradually do this one step at a time thing.

[00:13:37.340] – Chuck
And I think you'll find that you're your best students, your most loyal students are the ones that you break in slowly. I've watched for over 30 years. I'm going to be 69 years old this week. I've been in gyms for 40 years. I have watched in gyms in Los Angeles, New Jersey, Florida. You know, I was a total gym rat until the pandemic hit. I've watched trainers work with first time clients, and what they do usually is the same thing with each first time client, which is absolutely wrong because they're not all the same.

[00:13:59.790] – Chuck
And they literally scare their clients away because they don't say, hey, you're scaring me away, but you can see it in their eyes. Like, I'm not comfortable doing this. And it's like, how do you get comfortable? You have to customize. And so I have this very simple approach that I've been using for myself for 50 years. So I went to look for that approach in books, and I couldn't find it. So that's why I wrote the book.

[00:14:36.190] – Allan
Yeah. I think you see it a lot in the fitness industry. You see it a lot in nutrition, too, but it's just not as visible because someone will come on a website and say, okay, or on Facebook. And they'll say I'm going to change my entire diet, and I'm going to go carnivore, and I want to lose. I know all these guys I see all these success stories of people that went carnivore. And so they're asking, well, is ketchup carnivore? And everybody on the group is like, no. I think what happens is people get excited and they want to do something extreme for themselves, and they want to do it all.

[00:14:56.560] – Allan
And they want to do it all now. And so they kind of run at this with an all or none approach. And there's some of us, like myself, I'm wired for all or none. I'm the kind of guy where I put my head down and just do it. So if I decide that I'm going to do a certain thing, I just do it because that's how I'm wired.

[00:15:26.360] – Allan
Now, I know like you said, a lot of my clients aren't some of them are, but a lot of them are not. So what you're providing with this book and the subsequent books that are going to come out in this area is that this is for the person that wants to have a structure to moderation. So it's not an if for this and get away from that or thing. It's all okay, look at something, make a decision about it intrinsically, and then start walking yourself away from it.

[00:16:00.070] – Chuck
And, you know, I think it's also if you want to be an Olympic athlete, I would say use my approach and take five years to become an Olympic athlete. You're not going to become an Olympic athlete in four weeks. And I think it works for an absolute couch potato. And I think it works for somebody who is a regular into their nutrition or into their fitness and has gone halfway down the road to take the additional steps. Like, I hope it works for them, too. But you're right.

[00:16:29.450] – Chuck
I think if you're going to dive into something, maybe it's an age thing. Maybe I Dove into things when I was younger. I don't know, but I like that I'm skeptical about everything. So I like that gradual approach. I want to feel good with this. I don't want to do anything I'm not going to stick to. I mean, I do 1 minute of yoga a day. Now, I know I should do 1 hour a day, but because of my weight lifting, running, swimming and biking, I can't do 1 hour of yoga a day and still get my work done.

[00:16:38.000] – Chuck
So there will come a day when I do one hour but I want to do it right. That's me. But I still do 1 minute. So I know how good it is.

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[00:16:57.500] – Allan
But that's what I like about your book, because it just kind of has a different feel to it than most of the stuff that's out there, because it goes through and tells you all this bad stuff. Don't eat this stuff. Don't do that stuff. Don't do this. Do this and eat this. And for someone who's coming at it, it's a lot.

[00:16:59.270] – Chuck
You're not going to stick to it.

[00:17:30.980] – Chuck
I quote a few studies in the book and just in general. And I want to compliment you, too, because I've read some of the transcripts of your podcast, and you do a tremendous job getting your point across without using too many numbers. Like earlier in our discussion, you mentioned obesity. I would have immediately jumped on and said the CDC said the obesity rate was 42% in America in 2018, and the New England Journal of Medicine just came out with a study in January saying it's going to be over 50% in 29 out of the 50 States in America.

[00:17:56.450] – Chuck
And you would I had to put a bag over my head to stop. I just would have kept going with statistics. I love the way you get your point across without doing that, because I think some people blur when you do that, I get excited. I'm like you jumping into something new. I want all the numbers. I want all the details. I want to read all the studies, but I think most people are like, stop. You're killing me here. I'm not going to process all this stuff, but I love that you do that in your podcast.

[00:18:00.650] – Chuck
I think that's a great strength. And I forgot what I was going to say because I had to tell you that.

[00:18:33.010] – Allan
Well, I appreciate that. And it is part of saying, okay, each of us has our own individual path. Each of us okay. Do I need to lose some body fat? Do I need to get a little stronger? Could I use more stamina to keep up with my grandkids? We know that for ourselves. And one of the approach you take here, I love the phrase that you use to basically more harm than good foods. And I think most of us know those foods, the foods that are not serving our body.

[00:19:05.420] – Allan
But the thought of going like cold Turkey and you mentioned ice cream, a particular ice cream, and all of that, you would not want to live your life without that ice cream, at least occasionally. And so you've listed some what you call them more harm than good foods, and you actually have a little table. And so there's a kind of where you make a commitment to just making a reduction. I want to go through some of them that you have in there, because I think these are really important.

[00:19:10.130] – Allan
And I think most people will see these as their top not with more harm than good thing.

[00:19:13.400] – Chuck
I got to tell you one more compliment. Before you do this.

[00:19:37.070] – Chuck
You use a great word and I noticed this in your other podcast. The word commitment. That is so much better than saying you need discipline. You need motivation, which are wonderful things. But commitment is such a great word. I just want to thank you for stressing that because we all have commitments to certain things. That's something we all have in common, you know. And I love that. Sorry to interrupt, but go ahead.

[00:19:37.700] – Allan
That's fine. Can you kind of talk through just a little bit quickly the process of the more harm than good foods, the table and how you make a decision on what you're going to do and how you track it? And then, of course, the very end my favorite part is the party.

[00:20:31.540] – Chuck
Yes. I found this simple way of doing this and I discovered it by reading. I went to the Barnes and Noble in Monmouth County, New Jersey, this giant store. I went through the health food. I'd say about 500 books in the health related sections looking for a better way to do this. And I read or skimmed 100 books and the best 100 books, It took me 20 visits, and I couldn't find something as simple as this. It's so simple. A lot of people get turned off when their dietitian or their advisor says, you got to make a list.

[00:20:56.890] – Chuck
You got to weigh your food. You got no, no, it's much simpler. Your list is just foods that, you know, do more harm than good. You can list ten foods. You can list three foods. You can list one food. If you're having ice cream four times a week and you know that's too much, most people would say, look, stop eating ice cream. That would be the best thing you could do. All that animal fat that's not serving your well, it's winding up on your gut. Sugar and fat too much.

[00:21:27.470] – Chuck
Okay, but people won't do that. It's too hard to do. So what you do is you just say, okay, I'm eating ice cream on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. I'm going to skip Friday. That's it just one day. And if I get to a Friday and I'm craving ice cream, I know I can have it on Saturday, and I will have it on Saturday. So there's no loss there. So what you do is you just say that one day, one day of ice cream, then on your calendar, whether it's on your wall, on your iphone, on your wrist, wherever your calendar is six months from that date, You write 25% less ice cream. And you do two things when you get to that date, it's really easy.

[00:21:49.280] – Chuck
After the first week, you're not going to miss one day of ice cream. You're going to enjoy those three days even more. But if you stopped eating ice cream, you'd probably be miserable. I know I would. So you get six months down the road. You get to the calendar. It says 25% less ice cream. You do two things. One, you celebrate. It really is something wonderful. That's all you do.

[00:22:13.430] – Chuck
You do nothing else. You don't reduce your bagels, pizza, bacon or French fries. If you just reduce your ice cream by 25%, you really have accomplished a lot. It really will be good for you. And you should celebrate. The second thing you do is you ask yourself a question. Now, I'm going to put this down on my calendar again in six months. 25% less ice cream because I'm going to celebrate again. But I have an option here. It's only an option. You don't have to do it.

[00:22:45.170] – Chuck
Just think about it. I might put down 50% less ice cream. I might cut out one more day of ice cream. I might only have it two days a week. But you don't have to do that. And if your list has more than one item more harm than good. If you have French fries and Donuts on there, you can say or bacon or whatever rolls or I was killing myself with rolls. I had to reduce my roll intake, but I did it slowly, and it worked a few weeks from now after you used to having ice cream, do it again, you can have another party six months after that.

[00:23:06.880] – Chuck
You can be having parties all over the place celebrating your success. And you should. And then you decide whether to reduce it or not. And you'll see this mught work with your fitness clients. You can do that with exercise, too. You can do that with running. You can do that with distance. You can do it with time. You can do it with swimming. You can do it with biking. You can do it with weights on a machine that same flow. Like, I'm just going to do this a little bit, see how it works.

[00:23:32.590] – Chuck
And if nothing hurts a certain amount of time from now, I'll go on to the next level. And that's how you become an Olympic athlete. Or you just stay at that one level. If you've only reduced one harmful food by 25% and you took my book and used it to wrap fish or in your bird cage, it would be great. I'd be happy. I feel like I succeeded. And it's that simple. I couldn't find that anywhere. That's why I put it in the book.

[00:23:39.010] – Allan
Now the first food that you go after in your more harm than good foods is French fries.

[00:23:39.300] – Chuck
Oh, I love free.

[00:23:45.730] – Allan
Let's talk a little bit about why French fries might be first on the list.

[00:24:12.950] – Chuck
I can tell you stories about French fries. I'll try to keep it short because we don't have hours and hours, but when I was a kid, I love French fries. In the winter I had a scheme to get them three or four times a week. In the summer, I could get them five or six times a week because my parents couldn't keep an eye on me. I even went so far as to dip my French fries in ice cream. That's how much I like French fries. And as I got older, I realized that fried foods were really not good for you.

[00:24:45.770] – Chuck
Unconsciously, without knowing I was doing the customize yourself approach, I reduced my intake of French fries. Another thing in just one anecdote here. I spent ten years as a lifeguard on Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey, and somehow people would always come up to us for advice. I don't know why 18 19,20 year old kids, adults who would ask us what to do with their lives, but I guess they had nothing better to do in the summer. And we also used to track these teenage girls who were always under 18 and they were too young, but they would fall all over us, and they would want advice, too.

[00:25:21.890] – Chuck
The one line we came up with, which seemed to stick, and I don't know who said it was an anonymous lifeguard was, this was our advice to these girls, stay away from French fries and married guys. That was the best thing we could come up with. That line stuck for some reason. And I find the thing with French fries, if that's your thing, if you're eating French fries four times a week and you just cut out the French fries one day when you get to that six month celebration, think of that's 26 weeks later, that's 26 orders of French fries that you didn't eat.

[00:25:51.400] – Chuck
Think of that mountain of 24 pile that giant hunk of French fries that's not on your gut, that's not on your butt, that's not on your thighs. It's there on the floor because you didn't need it. And you really can celebrate. And then six months later, you'll have another mountain of 26 orders of French fries or you'll have 72 because you went to 50%, which is optional. But I think French fries is a perfect example. I actually cut out all fried food within a few years without any work, without any effort.

[00:26:05.980] – Chuck
But if you tell somebody who's living on fried foods, just stop eating fried foods. I mean, it's good advice, but it won't work. It's just too much of a shock. They won't do it. But let me tell you, the gradual approach works. I've done it, and it's absolutely simple. Anyone can do it.

[00:26:41.600] – Allan
Yeah. Because what ends up happening in this situation is okay. I tell myself, no fried foods whatsoever. And then I go to a family reunion or I go to a football game or I go to something, and invariably I smell it. I see it, I want it. I eat it and then eat more of it. And then the next day I'm back at a fast food restaurant eating more fries, and I'm frying food at home. Healthier, right? Having worked in fast food, I tell you, if you're frying at home, it's probably a healthier, because if you don't want to even look in those Friers at the fast food.

[00:27:11.780] – Chuck
If you fry, this at home, if you really want to prove something, eat a baked potato with dinner and weigh yourself. The next night, eat fried potatoes and weigh yourself. You'll probably notice that you've gained a half a pound or a pound, just the difference of eating a baked potato and eating a fried potato in one day. I think, again, just as a demonstration. I did that once, and I did it twice, and I proved it a couple of times. It really does happen. That extra grease just lays there.

[00:27:13.070] – Chuck
It doesn't go away so fast.

[00:27:41.360] – Allan
Now, one of the other foods that I want to talk to, and that's when we talked about a few times on the podcast. But I really want to send this home. Is that for a lot of people that are against meat eating and particularly for ethical reasons, but they're, I think, more focused on the factory meat. And you consider factory meat one of those more harm than good foods. Can you talk about factory meat and why we should be avoiding it?

[00:28:10.600] – Chuck
Absolutely. Factory meat. Now, I decided to stop eating me 30 years ago, and I talk about in the book how as a kid I craved me. I had to have it twice a day. I couldn't live without it. Once a day was not enough. And somehow I figured it out step by step by step. That all the problems, heart disease, cholesterol, and now all the environmental factors involved. And then I stopped eating meat a long time ago. But what we know about factory meat now, factory meat is toxic.

[00:28:41.580] – Chuck
I mean, if you're going to eat meat, I'm not going to talk to you out of eating meat. What I'm going to say is stick to grass-fed organic meat and in reasonable portions and you'll be fine. But if you're going to eat meat, really avoid factory meat because there are so many, if you look at pre COVID-19, there are several epidemics that have broken out that have come out of meat packing facilities because they're just full of virus and blood and guts and they're really unsafe and unhealthy.

[00:29:27.620] – Chuck
Also, millions of acres of in Central America, South America are just being wiped out for cattle grazing. The methane gas coming out of cow butts and mouths is about 15% of the CO2 problem for climate, and you can go on and on it takes to make 1 pound of beef. Now I learned as a freshman in College to make 1 pound of beef. It took 8 pounds of grain. And I thought, wow, I was also taught in my ecology class that you could feed the world. You could wipe out hunger easily if people ate less meat because it's 8 pounds of grain for 1 pound of beef.

[00:30:00.630] – Chuck
What I didn't know then. It also takes 2000 gallons of water, one gallon of gasoline and all sorts of other resources to make that 1 pound of beef. So at the rate we're going, we will literally kill humanity with beef production in I don't know how many years, but at the rate we're going a couple of decades or 50 or something like that, we really have to cut down to save the planet. Besides saving your heart, your arteries and a few other things. So there's just so many reasons why factory meat, I'm forgetting half of them.

[00:30:13.530] – Chuck
I go through it in the book. I mean, there's just so many reasons why factory meat is so bad, but I'm not completely anti meat. If you're a meat eater, just do it the right way. That's all I'm saying.

[00:30:48.520] – Allan
Yeah, the struggle I have because if I'm going to get meat, I want to get it from a local vendor, local farmer, grass fed grass finished that's what I want. Most of what I eat is that way. The issue I really have with factory meat is that these are not well cared for animals. They're crowded, they're put into little places, and they're fed grains, which is not their natural food. They're fattened up. And if they get sick because they are going to get sick, they don't even wait for them to get sick.

[00:31:17.410] – Allan
They're shot up with antibiotics. They're shooting them with steroids to make the bigger. And just like some of our vegetables, they've bred these animals to basically outgrow their frame to be bigger, heavier fatter than they were ever intended to be as happy animals. So that's just for me, it's the toxicity of the antibiotics and steroids and just unhealthy animals.

[00:31:36.170] – Allan
There's no way I feel that that's giving me the nourishment I need. And what I found is, if I go ahead and pay up for a steak and get a grass fed, grass finished steak, what I am paying, like maybe two to three times more than I would pay for the regular steak and same for hamburger. But what I found is I eat it about two thirds or half less. And so, you know, not to throw a lot of statistics at you there, but you could do the math and basically see, it doesn't really cost you much more to buy a higher quality product.

[00:32:06.930] – Allan
If you can get the nourishment you need by eating less. And so that's how I approach it is I don't eat as much beef or chicken as I used to because I don't need the large portions because I get the nutrition I need from the smaller portions. Therefore, it doesn't cost me any more to eat the way I eat.

[00:32:44.310] – Chuck
I would emphasize what you just said about, do I want to consume these hormones? Do I want to consume these antibiotics? Do I want to consume these steroids? When I eat that factory meat, I'm consuming all that. What is that going to do to me? How long am I going to live consuming all those steroids and antibiotics and hormones? I mean, what's that going to do to my health? The business about what it costs? I would say when you look at what you spend on sugar or liquor or going out to eat, even if you go out to eat a lot, even if you spend a lot of money there.

[00:33:12.420] – Chuck
Now, compare that to what you spend on your mortgage, insurance, car, clothing, children's education. Food is really not that big an expense. If you wind up spending 20% or even 50% more eating healthy, Organics, whatever the benefits far outweigh. And plus, if you're even a couple of pounds thinner, you're gonna spend 50 or $100,000 less on medical bills and the rest of your life. I mean, you really come out way ahead of the game financially. If you just take a few basic steps.

[00:33:15.780] – Allan
It's way better than investing in the stock market, for sure.

[00:33:18.430] – Chuck
Even that. Food is better.

[00:33:25.290] – Allan
Okay. You mentioned it. So let's jump into that. Let's talk about why sugar is one of those more harm than good foods.

[00:33:56.710] – Chuck
Yes. Sugar is just, you know, sort of as a Lark. As I was writing the first draft of the book, I started writing about comparing sugar to cocaine, and I thought, well, I'll just do this for fun. And then I realized I started looking at the pharmacology of sugar and the pharmacology of cocaine and the business of sugar and the business of cocaine. And it became a couple of short chapters in the book because it's amazing when you compare sugar to cocaine, how much they have in common. And the biggest difference, I'll just give you the bottom line.

[00:34:26.890] – Chuck
The biggest difference between sugar and cocaine is sugar is cheap and legal, and cocaine is expensive and illegal, and you really, really should cut down on your sugar. That's the reason why you're overweight. That's the reason why you're buying these expensive food products instead of food. And again, make that distinction. Always try to buy food, not food products. We could talk about labels for a while. If something doesn't have a label, you're better off with it, then you don't have to read the label. But I read a thing today.

[00:35:09.190] – Chuck
I went to USC and I was reading this USC science article, and it said that American diet is made up of 16% sugar. I didn't even know that. I thought it was much lower than that. The average American their diet is 16% sugar. It's really easy to cut that in half, and it will make such a drastic change in your life. You'll be thinner, you'll be more vital, your brain will work better. Everything. If you have cancer, it won't explode as fast. I mean, there's so many reasons to cut down on your sugar, and it's really not that hard to cut it in half, but certainly 16%.

[00:35:09.800] – Chuck
I was shocked when I read that.

[00:35:11.320] – Chuck
I just found that out today.

[00:35:36.400] – Allan
With my clients, when I start working with them and I have them chart their nutrition and we start that conversation. Many of them are just shocked with how much sugar they actually eat because they don't feel like they're eating a lot of sweets. They feel like they're just eating what they've always eaten, regular food. But unfortunately, the food companies, they love making us eat more. They love keeping us addictive.

[00:35:43.290] – Chuck
They make money off it. The more sugar, the more they sell. The people buy the sweet stuff. I put more sugar and they buy the sweeter stuff.

[00:35:51.310] – Allan
Right. And so the best way for someone to know how much sugars in their food, if it's in a box, bag, can or jar, is to read the label.

[00:35:51.750] – Chuck
Absolutely.

[00:36:01.490] – Allan
So talk to us a little bit about reading labels, what we should be looking for, and how now we're getting good stuff versus stuff we don't necessarily want to eat.

[00:36:24.380] – Chuck
Absolutely. I found out the problem with reading labels when I happen to mention to a few people, well just read the label, and people I know with College degrees, we're yelling in my face, how dare you tell me to read a label? I'm a busy person. I don't have time to read labels. Well, you don't have to go in the store and read every label in the store. Just read one label. Each time you go in, pick up something you're going to buy. Just read that label, and I'll make it even easier for you.

[00:36:51.190] – Chuck
Don't read the whole label, don't read anything on the label, but the ingredients. Don't read the endorsements. Don't read how good you'll feel. Don't read how long they've been in business. Just that one little square or rectangle that's white with black printing in it that says ingredients. Just look at that. They'll take you 20 seconds. You will be shocked how much sugars and everything you're buying, and you can easily there's something probably right next to it that as they have the sugar that you'll be just as happy with.

[00:37:21.660] – Chuck
And the most shocking example is this giant supermarket that I go to that should remain nameless because I'm hoping to work with them from the inside. They have built up this huge natural food section, the likes of which few supermarkets, except they're really expensive, like Wegmans they have it. But they have this huge section and they have, like, a whole aisle of box cereals and package cereals. And I started reading the labels on those. I could not find a single item in there that had less than 6% sugar, and most had 8 or 10 percent sugar.

[00:37:48.680] – Chuck
And this is in the Health Food Isle. Cheerios and corn flakes and the other side of the supermarket have less sugar than these so called natural foods. I mean, it's just shocking how much even the natural food industry is packing their stuff with sugar. And they may call it cane sugar. They may call it Brown sugar. They may pull it maltodextrin. There's 1000 names for sugar, and I got 50 of them in the book. I mean, they're just a fructose that you look for corn syrup.

[00:38:07.250] – Chuck
Okay. You know, that's bad. But even the fructose that's in fruit, it's sugar. I mean, you add all that up, it adds to your sugar. It's just shocking how much there is. So if you're a little bit aware of it, you can cut way down on it with very little effort. You can find substitutes that you like that you're happy with, and it really will change your life. I mean, it's such a huge, huge thing.

[00:38:28.010] – Allan
Just swapping one or two things can drop the sugar dramatically. But the only way, you know that is to look at the label and see, because we've lost that capacity to taste a lot of this sugar because we're eating so much of it. And then as a result, it doesn't taste sweet, but there's quite a bit in there.

[00:38:33.680] – Chuck
And you know what? When you cut down on sugar, you'll be amazed other food start tasting better because you can taste them. Your taste buds adjust.

[00:39:10.000] – Allan
Which leads me to my next item on the agenda, vegetables and fish. The two of my favorites. I try to have fish two or three times a week. I have vegetables every single day. They make up most of my dinner plate, and I eat low carb. So a lot of people think, okay, we're all just meat eaters and we don't actually eat healthy foods. It's not true. You can eat healthy any way of eating you want to eat. But I would say that most of us are not getting enough vegetables and fish.

[00:39:49.940] – Chuck
Absolutely. I mean, I hate to admit it, but I hate fish five or six times a week. And the reason I say I hate to admit it because there's a lot of issues with plastic in the ocean now. And I'm working on projects to, you know, help out a little bit. Just do whatever I can. But if you eat organic fish or small fish, I eat sardines once a week, not because I like them, but because they are small fish and the bigger fish, I really try to avoid tuna, although there's a couple of tuna companies that only sell small Tunas, which have less Mercury and chromium and everything else and aluminum and zinc and everything.

[00:40:29.860] – Chuck
If you can eat smaller fish, that's better. Vegetables. Everybody can find vegetables that they love. If you don't love certain vegetables, if certain vegetables don't love you. I mean, I know, for instance, for myself, I have problems digesting cruciferous vegetables, so I found the ones that don't bother me so much. Kale is a phenomenal cruciferous vegetable, but don't eat too much of it. It's like anything else. Don't overdo it. But you really if you play around, if you experiment, if you customize, you can find a mostly plant based diet that you're happier with, then you're mostly not plant based diet pretty easily, and you don't have to go vegan.

[00:41:01.630] – Chuck
You don't have to go all the way, but you can just go a little bit of the way. You're absolutely, you'll feel better. You'll be better. Everything will function better. Everything in your body, down to the molecules will work better because those nutrients are what you really need to function well and be healthy and live a long time. I credit vegetables to my success. I'm going to be 69 years old this week I work out with the Manasquan Beach Lifeguards. They're one of the best lifeguard cruise on the Atlantic Ocean.

[00:41:31.740] – Chuck
These guys are great athletes. They're mostly in their 20s. I can pass the Lifeguard test. I can swim and run fast enough to be a lifeguard. Every summer. They offer me a job there, and I'm thrilled to be offered the job. But most of the people I know my age can't do that. They're overweight. They're stuck on the couch, and a lot of it has to do with they're burdened with sugar. They're burdened with not enough nutrients because they're not eating enough vegetables. It's amazing how good vegetables are for you.

[00:41:36.680] – Chuck
I got them on the cover of my book. There's Vegetables. Can I show the book? Is that okay?

[00:41:36.890] – Allan
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

[00:42:05.170] – Chuck
My two favorites here are bananas and carrots. So if you're stuck on a tropical island or in Panama like you are, you got plenty of bananas. If you're stuck somewhere else, you'll find the carrots. Those are my two favorites. But any vegetable that you like, you can absolutely make your life better with and they'll fill you up. It's better filling yourself up with bananas and carrots than it is filling yourself up with bread and French fries. And I can attest that because I've done it both ways.

[00:42:26.500] – Allan
Yeah, I agree. And it's not again, to customize yourself approach here is not a you must do this or you must do that. It's really a okay, you know the foods that are not serving you and you mentioned one that everybody else would be able of course, you want to eat more of this blueberries. You struggle with blueberries.

[00:43:04.710] – Chuck
Right. So I found blackberries. Now I have been hearing, I think all the news and marketing on blueberries. A lot of that is created by the people who sell and market blueberries, who have convinced you that blueberries is the magic food or super food. A lot of things are called superfood walnuts. Superfood, another superfood. I have an issue with. Walnuts make me vomit most people, and it's a great superfood. Blueberries don't agree with me. But then I found blackberries. Blackberries agree with me just fine. So if there's a great super food that people say, oh, you got to eat this.

[00:43:29.370] – Chuck
Like I just told you to eat bananas and carrots. If those don't agree that those don't work, try something else. You'll find that's why I say the whole customized thing. You'll find stuff that you like. I mean, I gave up on blueberries after trying many times, and then I discovered blackberries by accident. I was at somebody's house, so there was a BlackBerry there, and I said, oh, that works. Now I buy blackberries every week, but I buy organic blackberries. The thing with berries is they really, the pesticides.

[00:43:30.030] – Chuck
Stick to the berries. So I know it's a dollar or two more, but really, if you're going to spend anything on organic food, do it for the berries, the strawberries, the raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, whatever Berry you're into, find one or two you like. And I really urge especially organic there, because the pesticide problem is great with that. But it's the same thing. I've gotten way into nuts and seeds, and as a kid and a young adult, I hardly ever had nuts and seeds. I didn't realize how much I even like them, how good they are for you.

[00:43:59.820] – Chuck
And again, find the nuts and seeds that work for you. Walnuts didn't work for me. So I go to cashews. I go to Pistachios. I go to almonds. I mean, again, customized, find out. Try different things. You'll find stuff that you love. It works like magic.

[00:44:16.440] – Allan
I was very fortunate my mother would fill our Christmas stocking with nuts so that she didn't have to give us as much candy. But I fell in love with Brazil nuts as a kid. And so I'm very much a rabid nut eater.

[00:44:32.960] – Chuck
Selenium, don't go overboard.

[00:44:35.430] – Allan
But I know, but I love them. And so, yeah, I don't go overboard on them. But I do have them from time to time.

[00:44:42.000] – Chuck
And I eat one a week. That's how much selenium. But I could eat ten a day. I mean, they're great.

[00:44:47.940] – Allan
They are great. They are great. So, Chuck, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:45:00.080] – Chuck
Well, you know what? I know you're going to ask me that. So I wrote down a few things. One is what we talked about. It's slow and steady wins the game. It's the gradual approach we really went over that most of these things I know you love to jump into things. I don't want to dissuade you of that. But I have just observed in the gym in life with food, with weight issues, with weight control, that if you take this gradual approach, that's the one I advocate.

[00:45:32.110] – Chuck
And the way I would describe it is think evolution, not revolution. I think that you're going to evolve. A revolution is sexy and dramatic, but you can also get shot between the eyes and it's over like that. But evolution, it really is why we are still here on this planet. So that's what I urge. The other thing I've noticed is I call the book Customize yourself. But I could also call it customized for yourself, because I have run into a lot of people, especially older women in their 40s and 50s, who are having weight issues.

[00:46:08.980] – Chuck
They sort of know that as you get older, your metabolism slows down and you gain weight. And that is the fact. I mean, you really have to. It doesn't take much. You can exercise ten extra minutes a day and not gain that pound a year that you don't even notice as you're getting older past the age of 30. But what I've noticed is a big problem is they'll go home to their mother or their grandmother or their spouse or their group of friends or their roommate or whoever with a different way of eating, and they're like, oh, no, don't do that.

[00:46:39.210] – Chuck
My grandmother taught me how to make this bread or taught me how to make this stew or whatever. It's wrong if you change the way you eat, because our family has proven this is the right way. And there's a lot of people who are like, oh, God, I'll feel guilty if I don't eat my mother's home cooked baked bread or whatever it is. You really have to get over that. You don't have to proselytize. You don't have to tell your mother she can't eat a bread, but you really have to think about it for yourself.

[00:47:06.600] – Chuck
And that's something. I've noticed it. And be grateful for it because you have something that is will help you to get older and be healthy and not just be vital and not deteriorate like everybody else. So I proselytize. You proselytize world how to. But to everybody else, I just don't let somebody lay a guilt trip on you. Like, oh, don't do that because the family doesn't do that or something like that. And the third thing I would say is don't rely on food to make you happy.

[00:47:37.340] – Chuck
A lot of people are literally ingrained with, it's very simple. Everybody's heard this before. Don't live to eat. People live to eat, don't live to eat, eat to live. First time I heard that, it's just a light bulb on off over my head. Well, that's really easy. I can do that. And I find most people live to eat. And if you eat to live a better thing and find other things to be happy. So I'll give you one more thing, and this is a guaranteed way to make be happy.

[00:48:07.870] – Chuck
That's another thing I want to compliment you on,you make a point in wellness that happiness is an important component of that. I have never heard a trainer say that. I have never heard, you know, even nutritionist say that. I think it's so important that you include that in what you teach to your students and what you tell your listeners. Because people do want happiness. It's one of the things that we have in our Constitution, happiness. So I will give you a sure fire way to be happy.

[00:48:36.980] – Chuck
And again, no trainer ever told me this. I guarantee this will make you happy every day. Play with a dog. If you don't have a dog, find a dog, play with your neighbor's dog. Go to a dog park or get a dog. I'm telling you, five minutes playing with a dog. Two minutes playing with a dog a day will make you happy. I just guarantee it. And you can find simple things like that. It is really that simple. Don't make it complicated. Make it simple. So play with a dog is my last one.

[00:49:04.290] – Allan
Yeah. One of my favorite quotes is I aspire to be the guy my dog thinks I am.

[00:49:09.300] – Chuck
Oh, yeah? Or just watch a dog. Look how happy the dog. I watch dogs and I go, Why can't I be that happy? Why can't I jump in the air and do a back flip and roll around on my back and run up to another dog and nip their ear. You can't do that with people because you'll get in trouble, but yeah, I wish I could do that.

[00:49:29.840] – Allan
Chuck, if someone wanted to learn more about you or learn more about your book Customize Yourself Nutrition. Where would you like for me to send them?

[00:49:38.080] – Chuck
You can go to either Amazon. Amazon is where you can buy the book. Just look up Customize Yourself: Nutrition. Or you can go to my website, which is Customizeyourself.org. Very simple. Customizeyourself.org. Either way, you know, you can find your way to me and I'll be happy to be your friend and I hope I can help a little bit.

[00:50:00.470] – Allan
Thank you. You can go to 40PlusFitnesspodcast.com/501 and I'll be sure to have the links there. Chuck, thank you so much for being a part of 40+Fitness.

[00:50:11.240] – Chuck
Allan, thank you so much. Anytime. I had a blast, I will do this with you anytime. I am at your service.

[00:50:17.220] – Allan
Okay, well, you got the nutrition book coming out next year, so we'll be in touch.

[00:50:21.680] – Chuck
Okay. Great. Thanks a lot.


Post Show/Recap

Post show wit

[00:50:29.670] – Allan
Welcome back, Raz.

[00:50:32.210] – Rachel
Allan, oh, my gosh. We have a lot to talk about here. But before we talk about customizing ourselves, which is just brilliant, I got to go back to what you guys said at the beginning about having a half a million Centurions by the year 2060. How is that even going to be possible?

[00:50:52.300] – Allan
It's really just a function of numbers. Okay? It's not that there's going to necessarily be a larger percentage of Centurions than there are today. Just means there's going to be a lot more people. So our population is unless something tragic happens, our population will continue to grow. We're approaching 8 billion people now. By that time, my guess is we'll probably be somewhere in the 9 billion, maybe closer to ten somewhere in that range. So you just added over 20% more people. When you have those more people, then of course, the percentage of whoever's going to make it to 100 goes up.

[00:51:34.160] – Allan
And then the other thing is there's an expectation that technology will extend our life expectancy, some. At one point, our life expectancy was below 45. And then within 100 years, we now have it up to, I think for women is something like 78.8. For men, it's hovering somewhere or just high 77 point something. So you look at it, the average person in general is going to live until they're late 70s. And then you have these statistics is a Bell curve of people that are going to live one standard deviation longer.

[00:52:10.870] – Allan
That's a few years, and two standard deviations and three all the way out. And then those outliers that they live to 100 is just like on the other side of that average of the kids that die at birth. And so the average is really just a function of math to say, okay, if we can keep more kids from dying and making it even to age one, then that shifts the average. But when you start looking at the outliers, it's really if you have more people and the even the number of outliers goes up.

[00:52:42.150] – Allan
So it sounds like a big number, but you can take it and round it. I kind of look at it from a percentage of people 50 million relative to, say, 10 million, 10 billion. You still see it's a very small fraction of people. It's effectively a rounding error, if you will. It sounds terrible, but what it speaks to is when people know there's the potential to live longer because they're fixing the medical care, they're making us live longer. The question isn't, will I make it to 100?

[00:53:19.070] – Allan
It's like, how much am I going to like being 100 in the last ten years of my life? What are those going to be like? So I want to be able to wipe my butt at 105 comment is really me acknowledging that there is a potential for me to live that long. And if I'm going to be here that long, what do I want my life to be like?

[00:53:44.500] – Rachel
That's a good point. I had mentioned to you earlier that I had great grandparents that live until 103 and 104, when they both passed within about a month of each other. And they are like my example of what potential I have to have a long and healthy life because they didn't leave their home. They lived in their home until they were 97 years old, and then they went into assisted living. And I recall my great grandfather used a cane, but I don't recall either of them requiring a wheelchair to get around until maybe later.

[00:54:24.810] – Rachel
But they were both very healthy people until, obviously, until they decided to get some assisted living. I think they were just tired of the upkeep of their farm property at that point. And God bless them, they deserve to relax a little at that point. But, yeah, I've always had that example in my life, and my grandparents did live into their 80s and 90s. So I do have some not quite Centurions, but close. And they all lived very long and very healthy lives. And I think Besides the genetics, their lifestyle kind of rubbed off on me.

[00:55:01.960] – Rachel
So that's probably why I'm as healthy as I am.

[00:55:05.040] – Allan
Yeah. And that's one of the core is that genetics is sort of the blueprint, if you will, for what's possible with your body. If you have the right genetics, then you can be an elite athlete, if you do the training. It doesn't mean you're an elite athlete just because you have the genetics of an elite athlete. So you have to do something to make those genetics matter. And so I like to think of it in terms of the blueprint, and you can decide if you're going to build your house out of steel and wood or whether you're going to build your house out of fluff.

[00:55:41.580] – Allan
And so if we're building our house the right way and we're using good materials, those materials will serve us over those years. The house I'm in right now, I mean in Lula's. This house was originally built over 80 years ago. Now it's been rebuilt over and rebuilt over and everything else. But we tore up the floors here in this particular room, we could see where they had literally just set wood on dirt. And you just don't do that. If you want that house to stand for a long, long time, that's how you do a barn.

[00:56:15.910] – Allan
People build barns, and sometimes they do that. Sometimes they put footings, but a lot of times they'll just let the wood sit on the dirt. And that barn is not going to last more than 20 years. And then it's going to be gone. So the fact that this thing was still standing was huge, and we didn't realize that they started tearing out the wall, and some of the structure was gone. As a result, we saw the house starting to shift. You couldn't open the doors in here.

[00:56:39.740] – Allan
And so when the contractor showed up that day, I'm like, we got to do something, because when you can't open a door, it's an indication that something bad is happening. And so the main contractor got in here. Yeah. We got to shore up these walls to day.

[00:56:54.580] – Rachel
Oh, my gosh.

[00:56:55.780] – Allan
All over. And that's the whole point. Is the structures there, blueprints there, if you're using quality materials and doing things right, so you're feeding your body the right foods, you're building your body the right way, then you have the capacity to last a lot longer. And for the quality of that lasting to be there. So if this wall had fallen and part of Lula's would have fallen, whole thing wouldn't because a large percentage of it is concrete. But we would have this caved inside the house, and it's kind of the same thing.

[00:57:30.060] – Allan
It's like if you're not taking care of yourself and you have a stroke or a heart attack, you have to have bypass surgery or stents put in all of those things, they're basically making it harder. They're slowing you down or if you fall and break a hip, it's that concept of the healthier you are before you go into something, the better off you're going to be. And so that's where the concept of centers. And the reason I want to bring it, because his mother is now 111.

[00:58:00.490] – Rachel
Oh, my gosh.

[00:58:04.600] – Allan
I'm gonna listen to her.

[00:58:05.010] – Rachel
Oh, yeah.

[00:58:06.640] – Allan
And Chuck has a fitness book coming out. And as soon as his fitness book is out, I'm going to have him back on to talk about that because, yes, I'm absolutely going to listen to people who are living that, you know, we had on Barbara and Margaret a couple of weeks ago who are going into their 70s. And I'm like, yeah, I'm going to listen to them because they're there where I'm going to be. There's an opportunity for us to look into the future and see things we can change now.

[00:58:37.270] – Allan
So we're not dealing with that in the future because we're not going to have a time machine and be able to come back and fix ourselves now. They're not going to come back and sit, say to our 40 year old selves or 50 year old self, please exercise more. Please don't eat that crap.

[00:58:54.460] – Rachel
Yeah, I'm sure as I sit here as a 50 year old, I look back in my youthful days and I think, well, maybe I should not have celebrated with McDonald's after a half marathon because I did, but I don't anymore. But you know what Chuck mentioned or his whole theory about customizing, I think, is so brilliant, because we want the right diet. We want the right exercise regimen. But it's not one thing. There's so many options of diets to follow or different type of exercise modalities to follow.

[00:59:32.600] – Rachel
And you can't just assume that you can put A and B and get to C. You just need to customize it to see whatever suits you.

[00:59:42.600] – Allan
Yeah, we're all different. Chuck is really good. And we talked about this on the episode of Moderation, where he will set a goal for himself to cut back on one of his more harm than good foods and say, instead of eating pizza four days per week, I'm going to only eat it three times a week, and that's 25% decrease in the amount of pizza that he's ordering and eating. He can do that. Me, I would be thinking about that pizza the whole time. I don't do Moderation well.

[01:00:20.950] – Allan
And knowing myself that way, it's like, if I tell myself I can't have pizza, then I'm going to be like, okay, right now, I mean, I live close enough to a pizza place, but my thing was pizza, and that was the thing I want to get rid of. And I lived across the street from my favorite pizza restaurant, and I knew that I could order it. And I love it. It's called Chow here on the island. So if you're ever coming to Bocas Del Toro, make sure you go to Chow.

[01:00:44.160] – Allan
Yes, it's the best pizza on the island and wonderful owners too. But that said, they're open, I think, four days a week. And so they're open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Those are open days right now. And so I said, I'm going to have their pizza every single day and that I can. I'm going to order a pizza every single day. And then I say, okay, well, I'm eating pizza four days a week. I'm like, I'm going to skip one of those days. And so I just decided I'm gonna skip Thursday.

[01:01:13.770] – Allan
I'm going to be thinking about that pizza all day on Thursday. And then what's going to end up happening is I'm probably going to order two pizzas on Friday. That's just my mindset. I was like, oh, I love this pizza. And I'll have some for breakfast, and I'll have some for lunch. Whereas I normally wouldn't have done that. I would have ordered my one pizza, I would have eaten about half of it. And then, yes, for breakfast the next day, I would have eaten the rest of it.

[01:01:35.720] – Allan
But that was just my approach, if I were eating pizza every day. And so it's good that Chow is a good probably about good, let's say 3 miles from 3 and a half, 4 miles from here. So not some place I walk to every day to have pizza. But I only say because everybody is different and the foods that your body is going to naturally love is a little different. But what we do know and you know, is that there are those more harm than good foods.

[01:02:09.050] – Allan
They're the processed meats. They're the fast food. They're the sugar, the french fries. And so find your poison. Find the things that you're eating that you know are not serving you, and then just do a little less of them. And I'm pretty sure when we get to his fitness book, I'm assuming it's going to be a very similar message of just try to do a little more.

[01:02:33.080] – Rachel
I love it.

[01:02:33.860] – Allan
If you're not doing anything now, just try to walk for 15 minutes in the evenings.

[01:02:41.580] – Rachel
I love that idea, because, like you said, if you just take it, well, like he said, slow and steady wins the race. If you just try a few things, like change an unhealthy breakfast. If you have cereal, which you know is laden with sugar and junk, change cereal to maybe oatmeal or to maybe eggs, just take one meal and change it. Or take one afternoon snack and change it to a fruit or a vegetable snack that you wouldn't normally eat. If you just do little things, all accumulates to big results.

[01:03:14.070] – Allan
When I'm talking to a client about we're talking about their food, and there's a food that kind of fits that same category of more harm than good, I usually talk to them in terms of three things, because there's three things you can do. If there's a food which you know is doing you harm, okay, you can eliminate it. So I'm not a moderation person. So for me, that's the clear path for me is just eliminate it, Okay. For a lot of people, that's not something they can do.

[01:03:43.520] – Allan
So we want to reduce it. So that's Chuck method. Where Chuck saying, okay, if you want French fries, and you usually eat them five days per week. Can you cut one of them out? And at least that's a 20% reduction over what you are doing. And you can do that then that's great. So that's reduction. And then the third way is replacement. Okay. And so a lot of folks that will get into keto will use cauliflower as a way to avoid eating potatoes. So they'll make mashed cauliflower.

[01:04:19.090] – Allan
They'll also use cauliflower for the crust of pizza. So they're doing away with a lot of the carbs that would come in their pizza. So using cauliflower, they've effectively reduced or replaced what they were doing before. So it's a replacement. So the three ways are eliminate, reduce or replace.

[01:04:40.140] – Rachel
I love it. Great tips.

[01:04:42.730] – Allan
And a lot of people do that with soda. So they drink regular soda, coke, soft drink, whatever you want to call it.

[01:04:48.760] – Rachel
We call it pop.

[01:04:50.340] – Allan
I think I got all of them. I'll just call them soft drinks for the sake of clarity. Let's say you're used to drinking a soft drink. Maybe it's even just one per day. You have your one soft drink per day and you look at it and it's 39 grams of sugar like, wow, you know, actually, that's a lot. A little twelve ounce can. And you say I'll just replace that with a diet soft drink. That is better, but it's not optimal.

[01:05:22.010] – Allan
And you know that, you know, this is a more harm than good food. His second stage of the customized process is then after you've accomplished that, you've shifted from the regular soft drink to the diet soft drink. The next stage for him would be to look at that again and say, can I make another foray into this? Can I cut back on those? So maybe that's a volume thing rather than just an exchange thing. But finding the way that you can reduce your exposure to something that's doing you harm, it's going to be good.

[01:05:58.720] – Rachel
I love that. He said eat to live and not live to eat. And if you can think of the foods that you choose in terms of how they benefit your overall health and fitness, it sometimes a little easier to get rid of some things. I know that for me, bread doesn't serve me. It doesn't give me any energy. It doesn't give me any building blocks of protein. It's just to me, it's a useless item for me in my diet. So it's easy for me to slip that off.

[01:06:31.080] – Rachel
But I also focus instead I focused on protein because I need that for all of the weight lifting and running that I do, I need to make sure my muscles are healthy and are rebuilding when I push them too much. So it's just different attitude towards what you choose.

[01:06:47.820] – Allan
Well, again, I'll just go back to the concept of there is a genetic blueprint for you, and then you're making decisions about how that blueprint is used. And so the food that you're putting in your mouth are building blocks and they're going to determine how healthy your muscles are, how healthy your bones are, how healthy your ligaments and tendons are, how healthy your brain is. And so if you're not putting the right building materials in there, you are building your body out of fluff.

[01:07:22.900] – Rachel
True, true.

[01:07:24.600] – Allan
And too much of that means that you're going to be building weakness into your frame. Now, you might lift weights and you might run. You might be this tremendous athlete. But if you're still eating Taco Bell and other crap and rebuilding your body with those and every cell in your body dies and is replaced by something else, another cell of the same meat and model. But it's made with what was available at the time. Now you can recycle some of the amino acids and things from that.

[01:07:57.600] – Allan
Some fats from the cells. But in a general sense, we have to keep eating those building materials to replace those cells. And if you're not getting adequate protein, you're not getting adequate nutrition. Calcium, magnesium, all of it. That healthy fats. If you're not getting those things, then now you're building the cell membranes, the cells themselves out of bad stuff. And that's like Lula's wall that was built on the dirt, wood on dirt and it rotted through. And as soon as we took away just some of the support, we could see the damage.

[01:08:35.580] – Allan
And so just any little thing happening to your health and fitness, you're going to be impacted a lot worse than if you had done less harm.

[01:08:45.270] – Rachel
Just one last thing I want to point out real quick is that where you get those nutrients, like the calcium and magnesium and proteins and stuff can totally vary from person to person. And you don't need to be a vegan or vegetarian or paleo or keto or any other named diet. And like Chuck had mentioned, he can't digest cruciferous vegetables or he does not like walnuts. They don't agree with him.

[01:09:11.520] – Allan
or Blueberries.

[01:09:13.283] – Rachel
or Blueberries.

[01:09:14.030] – Allan
Blueberries.

[01:09:15.040] – Rachel
Truth be told, my mom is actually allergic to blueberries. So no matter how much of a super food it is, she can't eat them. But that's exactly my point is that if you choose not to eat meat, fine. Then find those important building blocks in the vegetables and nuts that you choose to eat instead. Or if your body can't digest kale and cruciferous vegetables, then maybe a more meat based diet is appropriate for you. But there's such a diet war out there, and that's what I want to get across is that, like Chuck said, you have to customize it to what your body needs and don't get hung up on one diet or another.

[01:09:55.420] – Rachel
Just choose the right foods that your body needs.

[01:09:58.740] – Allan
Absolutely. Alright. Well, Rachel, with that, I guess we'll go ahead and call it a show and I'll talk to you next week.

[01:10:05.450] – Rachel
Alright, take care, Allan.

[01:10:07.030] – Allan
You too.

[01:10:07.750] – Rachel
Thanks.

Patreons

The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:

– Anne Lynch– Eric More– Leigh Tanner
– Deb Scarlett– John Dachauer– Margaret Bakalian
– Debbie Ralston– John Somsky– Melissa Ball
– Eliza Lamb– Judy Murphy– Tim Alexander

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy

Less...

Is your inner cake baked with Barbara Ballinger & Margaret Crane

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

Septuagenarians Barbara Bollinger and Margaret Crane share their wisdom on aging, relationships, and finding passion. On this episode, we discuss their book, Not Dead Yet: Rebooting Your Life After 50.

Sponsor

This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Haka Life Nutrition, the maker of GLX3, I am really glad to have Haka Life Nutrition as a sponsor. Omega-3 is one of the few supplements I take regularly. But even with years of experience and having interviewed hundreds of experts in the health and fitness field, I have struggled to find a great solution, until now.

We all know farm raised meat doesn't give us the right balance of Omega-3 to Omega-6, and that Omega three helps reduce inflammation, which reduces joint pain and is heart healthy. Getting enough omega-3 isn't as straightforward as it should be from the mercury in the fish to poor production controls, it's really hard to find a high quality product that gives you what you're after. That is until GLX3.

Made from green-lipped mussels from New Zealand. This is the only natural source of ETA. I'm not even going to try to pronounce the full name. This version of Omega-3 is particularly effective at reducing inflammation and therefore reducing joint pain. That's why my wife is taking it now. I take it for heart health. Go to Hakalife.com/40plus and use the discount code 40plus to get a buy one get one free deal on your first order which gives you a two-month starter supply. GLX3 is my go to Omega-3 supplement going forward. It can be yours too by going to Hakalife.com/40plus and be sure to use the discount code 40plus for the BOGO deal.

Transcript

Let's Say Hello

[00:04:03.840] – Allan
Hey Raz, how are you doing?

[00:04:05.640] – Rachel
Good. How are you today, Allan?

[00:04:07.440] – Allan
I'm doing OK and I'm feeling pretty good. It's been really, really busy. Trying to get a lot of things done.

[00:04:13.680] – Allan
We're planning a trip back to the states and so looking all that travel and getting all organized and just stuff that's going on, it's like, OK, I got to get all this stuff done and get it done before, you know, this date. Sure, everything's organized and ready because, you know, there's still a lot of moving parts in my life that aren't fully within my control.

[00:04:34.320] – Rachel
Right? Oh, yeah. It's a big trip for you guys coming from down there all the way up here.

[00:04:39.750] – Allan
it is. We're going to fly up and then drive the circuit that includes Pensacola, north northwest Indiana, North Carolina and Miami. And I think there's even a stop in New Orleans in there. Yeah, round trip. I just measured it out. You know, you go and Google Maps and you plot it all out. It's 3500 miles driving.

[00:05:06.000] – Rachel
Oh my.

[00:05:07.290] – Allan
There we're going to do in a little over three weeks.

[00:05:10.290] – Rachel
Oh my goodness. Look at you. Well, it's a good thing you have the time. Maybe you could spread it out a little.

[00:05:16.110] – Allan
I might listen to a podcast.

[00:05:19.620] – Rachel
That would be one of my favorite things to do, that's for sure.

[00:05:23.590] – Allan
How are things up there?

[00:05:24.880] – Rachel
Good, enjoying the summer. Got a couple of camp outs planned this month and watching the Olympics. The Olympics have been fun to watch the last two weeks. So, yeah, just enjoying a relaxing time.

[00:05:37.760] – Allan
Yeah, I was sitting there last night. It was so funny because I had signed up for a sling account to try to watch some football. And I thought, OK, you know, I watch the football games on Sling and none of the games that were on that I wanted to watch, you know, and I didn't turn it off. So it kept billing me and I would say, OK, I got to remember to cancel this and I wouldn't do it.

[00:06:00.760] – Allan
And then that's another fifty dollars. So finally, I sat there before this billing cycle, right after this billing cycle because I saw the bill hit, I'm like, that's it. I'm cancelling. But they told me I had one month left. So I'm like, OK, I better get on there and see if there's any movies or shows that I want to watch. And so I got on last night and got the women's volleyball was playing Italy and that's one of my favorite sports, volleyball.

[00:06:25.060] – Allan
So I decided to go ahead and watch them.

[00:06:27.370] – Allan
And fortunately they did take out Italy. But I think this is just a qualifier around. So it's just identifying who's going to be the group that's going to play later on. And I think there's going to be four teams that move on and Italy will still be in that four, along with Russia and the United States, and I forget who the other one is. But right now, they're just working on how the seating of all that's going to work.

[00:06:51.340] – Allan
OK, so, yeah, it's good stuff.

[00:06:53.860] – Rachel
It is. It's fun to watch these athletes in the prime, you know, just doing what they do best. It's been really fun to watch.

[00:07:01.000] – Allan
Some of them are scary good.

[00:07:02.800] – Rachel
Oh, my goodness. They are. World records are dropping everywhere. It's pretty amazing.

[00:07:07.960] – Allan
And then you have Karch Kiraly.

[00:07:10.240] – Allan
For those who don't know who that is. He was a pretty famous volleyball player in his day, playing, playing indoor in college. And then he went outdoors and started playing pro and went to the Olympics a few times.

[00:07:24.310] – Allan
And but he's their coach. I was kind of like, this guy's still out there.

[00:07:27.910] – Allan
You know, he's still in the game, which was really cool.

[00:07:30.640] – Rachel
That's fantastic. It's amazing to see a lot of the coaches are former athletes, in one way, shape or form. And it's incredible to see them still enjoying getting the most out of their sport. It's really fun to watch.

[00:07:43.060] – Allan
All right. Are you ready to have a very fun conversation with Barbara and Margaret?

[00:07:48.620] – Rachel
Sure.

Interview

[00:08:07.450] – Allan
Barbara. Margaret, welcome to the 40 Plus Fitness.

[00:08:10.780] – Barbara
Thank you for having us.

[00:08:12.160] – Margaret
Yes, thank you.

[00:08:13.870] – Allan
The title of your book. And it's kind of one of the things we're talking about before we got on here is like, did you entertain? And absolutely. And just even the title of the book was entertaining, Not Dead Yet. And then the subtitle is Rebooting Your Life After 50. And the concept of that just really hit home for me. I mean, I'm fifty-five years old. I did go through covid this year. It wasn't nearly as bad as it has been for a lot of people, but it was just one of those moments, one of those phrases where you kind of get a little smile on your face and then you realize, well, I'm not.

[00:08:47.140] – Allan
So what's next? And I was really excited to get an opportunity to read your book and then have you on the show so we could have some really good conversations.

[00:08:56.860] – Barbara
Good. Thank you.

[00:08:58.240] – Allan
All right, now. You start out the book, probably the way that I wish a lot of books started out with something just completely actionable, I'm a very actionable cut type of person. I love tips. I love things I can learn from other people. And I can say in the last two years, almost two years now, if you break it down, we've had a lot of reasons to not be optimistic.

[00:09:23.530] – Allan
We've had a lot of reasons to be pessimistic and to look to the future and think, oh, my God, where where is this country going? Where is this world going? What's going to happen next with all of the things that are going on? It's almost like they piled on a little more than they should have, if you will. But in the book, you share some tips for maintaining optimism. And I loved every single one of them.

[00:09:49.540] – Allan
There were at least, I think, a dozen of them. But could you go through some of your favorites and talk about them?

[00:09:55.300] – Barbara
OK, I'll start. And this is Barbara. I think sometimes when we would get down, whether when we were hitting that a big milestone birthday or we are sick or there was another ache or pain as we were aging, it was almost like we talk daily as friends. And also because of our work, it was almost like, stop it. We're so lucky in so many ways. And I think that's one of our biggest things as we need it to remind ourselves of ways things, whether it's people, activities, things that we could be grateful for.

[00:10:31.090] – Barbara
We both had roofs over our head during covid and other times we had food on our table, sometimes too much. We had TV we could watch. We had work that we were very blessed having. We had health care. So we try to do that. And it's Meg's idea to wake up and think about one thing that we like about ourselves, because sometimes we'll say, oh, we don't like our hair today or we don't like our body or whatever it was, again, almost stop it.

[00:11:00.370] – Barbara
There are a lot of good things and we try to reinforce that in each other. Our grown children and other people. We also both like people, we like to socialize. And we're optimistic that we're lucky to have people. We're lucky to have family members. We're lucky to have friends to reach out to for help, to laugh. Laughter is big in both of our lives. So those are a few of the things that I think about being grateful for.

[00:11:31.660] – Margaret
OK, I, I think one of the things we talk about one of our points is to stop worrying about the small stuff, focus again on, hate the cliche, but the glass half full and be appreciative of again, what we have a roof over our head, too many carbs on the table and all the good things. It's more like zeroing in on our assets rather than our deficits, sort of like, you know, taking stock of what we have and appreciating it and then realizing that what goes down will come up.

[00:12:14.620] – Margaret
If one day is tough, the next day is bound to be better. And that's something I learned. It took me many years to learn that. Other ways to stay optimistic, be healthy, exercise, sleep. Learn something new and feel good about it every time I learn something that's related to technology, I feel so fabulous and like I really conquered, such as learning how to work and plug in these earphones. It took some checking on Google and YouTube.

[00:12:52.200] – Margaret
So there are many ways to feel good about yourself and be happy when you wake up in the morning, have a new routine stretch, start new habits, try different things. There's no one grading you. You're not in school anymore. Take some risk.

[00:13:08.010] – Barbara
I think one other thing is that both of us either we're born with it or become through different challenges. We're both resilient. We both faced in our last book, suddenly single after 50, we both experienced the loss of a spouse. Mine was through a divorce. Meg's was through death. And we managed some time from that generation that married very young. We managed to navigate singlehood and build new lives. And we've done that with other parts of our lives, with new friendships.

[00:13:43.230] – Barbara
So that's something we're grateful for, that we have that inner, whatever it is that pushes us forward.

[00:13:52.050] – Allan
Yeah, you touched on a lot of great points, and one of the things you talked about was to be thankful and I think that's probably one of the hardest things to do unless you really take the time to build a gratitude practice. I mean, so many times we sit down and it's just so easy to to look at something and say, well, why did that happen to me, you know, versus well, you know, think about all the good things that happened to me over the course of the last 10, 15, 20 years, you know, meeting my wife, having our family, some of the wonderful trips we took, just kind of looking back at the experiences that I've been able to have, you know, each and every day, it's sometimes it's really hard to slow yourself down and kind of have that conversation.

[00:14:39.400] – Allan
So how, I mean, obviously, as we as we go through and we age, there's life changes and things like that, kids move out of the house, parents move back in the house, kids move back in the house, all the different things that go on. How do you ladies take the time or when you find yourself slipping off that optimism path, what are some things that you do to kind of get yourself back into besides the.

[00:15:06.480] – Allan
I love the upraise, you know, stop it. I don't know if you what I'm pretty sure you watch Bob Newhart back in the day. And yes, I'm old enough to know who Bob Newhart is. But my favorite clip from him and you can actually watch it on YouTube is Stop It. And he's a therapist and a woman comes in there and says she's got this problem and his answer is, stop it. You know, just like that.

[00:15:29.960] – Allan
And she's like, I don't like this therapy. And then he said to stop it, you know? And so but it was just it's hilarious. This hilarious clip. If you go through it, obviously some people have some issues and some mental health things that are going on. But if you're just someone who just occasionally finds yourself being a little negative on things, what are some tips to get us back on that path?

[00:15:52.390] – Barbara
Well, I think, again, having a network of people you can talk to, I mean, you can have your own things like I like to take a walk in my village once or twice a day. I like to garden. I paint when I have the time, but I feel so blessed to have a friendship with Meg. We talk in our book about, oh, there's a book called Friendship, which is just wonderful. And they talk about a big friendship.

[00:16:17.500] – Barbara
We don't just grab our selves as best friend. Meg has a really close friend from childhood. I have other friends, but we have a very honest, authentic friendship where we know we can talk. We know we can be brutally honest about what's going on. We know it's not going to go anywhere. We know how to make each other laugh. You know, even some of that laughter where you're almost peeing in your pants. Laughter. We've had a good time working together.

[00:16:44.320] – Barbara
So I say to people, find a person you like. You don't need a huge network. You need a few people who make you feel good about yourself. I think that's so incredibly important. We're blessed with we have good kids. Do they annoy us? Of course they do at times, but then we laugh about that. So I think that I think that's made a huge difference in our lives. And we've seen, we also have friends and acquaintances who are very negative and not and that's hard sometimes for us to be around.

[00:17:19.360] – Barbara
We know we have to be empathetic and sympathetic, but so we try to do our best with that by sharing. I think that's a big thing.

[00:17:28.670] – Margaret
I was going to say Barbara and I both like to process out loud, hence, you know, I wake up and I'm in a terrible mood and the first thing I do is I pick up the phone and I call. Said, you're not gonna believe what my son said to me today or vice versa, what my daughter asked me to do. And we process it and we talk about it. And then in our heads probably saying to ourselves, stop it.

[00:17:56.870] – Margaret
Or Barbara will say, Meg, what? I talk to you these days. I hear a lot of ugh ughs and you know what's going on and laying it out there with someone you trust is so important. And oftentimes what I'll do is I will get extremely busy. I start thinking of story ideas or I love to play opera. It puts me in a good mood when I play classical music. I have all these little coping skills. And I think you do, too, Barbara.

[00:18:30.710] – Barbara
I do one thing that I greatly admire about Meg, and we share this. I think it's very important to help stroke each other people not send your kid every kid home with a trophy kind of thing or every friend. But Meg does a lot of volunteer work. Its course covid put a damper on that, but she was tutoring children in reading and now she's doing on Zoom, If I'm correct. I've done a lot of work, not of late, but with my college and think getting out of ourselves and thinking about other people, we think that's really, really essential.

[00:19:10.370] – Margaret
Good point.

[00:19:11.210] – Barbara
To again, to be thankful and know that we're incredibly lucky not every single day and not with every single thing. But other people are so much worse. So much. Yeah. And we need to help them. We need to do something about it.

[00:19:26.810] – Margaret
Now, what Barbara saying is really important, I think, and I've told this to friends who are going through a depression or a hard time, do something to get outside yourself. It is so soothing and so nourishing and important. Makes you feel great. The right hormones are released.

[00:19:46.820] – Barbara
We also, we both participated in Zoom's with childhood or high school or different friends from Meg did with her friends from St. Louis. Now that she's in New York, that's been a lot of fun to play. You know, I mean, we've all had zoom pretty good times and maybe some one of my Zoom groups, I think is sort of starting to shut down. But that's been a lot of fun. We've had celebrations online. We've attended Shrivels online of just that constant connecting, knowing there are other people out there.

[00:20:21.830] – Allan
Yeah.

Sponsor
This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Haka Life Nutrition, the maker of GLX3, you know, the benefit of Omega-3 reduced inflammation, which helps with joint pain and heart health.

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[00:22:35.590] – Allan
You got into that, and I think that's really kind of important. I've seen with my parents, my grandparents and others, as we age, relationships change, obviously. relationships with your children change. Your relationship with your spouse may change.

[00:22:53.770] – Allan
Obviously, your relationship with your parents will change over time. Why is relationship and intimacy so important? And how do we maintain the right relationships and the right level of intimacy in our life as we go through those kind of changes?

[00:23:11.090] – Barbara
I think you have to take almost a constant temperature check. But I'm not talking about daily. But if someone, a friend isn't making you happy, is critical finding fault with you all the time? I'm not talking about people should speak up and be honest and authentic if you hurt their feelings or whatever. But at times not every friendship has to last forever or doesn't have to be in your life on a daily basis or weekly basis. And I think you need to do that.

[00:23:42.910] – Barbara
I think you need, I think our generation has been so eager to be friends with our children more so than our parents generation, that sometimes maybe we haven't parented even our grown children, as we should. Telling them, I don't appreciate if you speak to me that well or can you understand that I don't understand this technology the first time you try to explain it to me, it takes me a bit longer or I'm directionally challenged.

[00:24:16.360] – Barbara
I need help in getting to your new destination. So I think we need to do that with each of our parents. I'll speak for myself with my mother as she aged, and I was very much a caregiver for her and with her a lot of the time. I took on that usual role of becoming the adult and it was very uncomfortable initially, but I knew someone had to do it. So I did it and it didn't. I wasn't always good at it.

[00:24:48.910] – Barbara
And I would sometimes say to Meg, I think I'm really not doing the right thing or the right job. And I'm annoyed with her. I have incredible guilt about that when she would repeat the same thing ten times.

[00:25:02.860] – Margaret
Relationships are as critical as to our lives as oxygen is to keeping us alive. Statistics have shown or studies have shown that loneliness can be the death knell. Having good social interactions can make you live longer. And I've had friends. I talked to someone the other day, lives in Portland. She had moved there from St. Louis who said, I'm new in town. I don't know anyone. I can't make friends at age seventy five. It's impossible. And Barbara and I would have said to her, that's not true.

[00:25:42.370] – Margaret
And read our book and you'll find out how to make these friendships. There are many different kinds of friendships that we address. There are the big friendships like Barbara and I have. There are acquaintances. There are close friends from childhood where you share a history. But again, good chemicals are released in the brain. When you have those close friendships, when you sit down and you can really hang out with these people and be yourself. And how do you find friends?

[00:26:14.830] – Margaret
We list tons of ways you can make and find new friends by joining things, you know, by taking classes and going to an art gallery or standing in the grocery line. Did you meet someone in a grocery line once, Barbara?

[00:26:31.390] – Barbara
I talked to people. I mean, when I was dating during my marathon dating after my divorce, I would look at men's hands to see if they were married or not, see if there was a ring. Not that every man wears a wedding band. And I would look in the cart as a single serve stuffers, frozen spinach or whatever. And I'm sure I talk to people.

[00:26:55.090] – Margaret
Well, you and I talk to everybody we do. I've met since I moved to New York City. I have met more people just sitting on a subway, on a bus, standing next to them on the street corner and working on projects, doing a project did one for the homeless. I tutor kids. Barbara mentioned that. I've met great women who are also tutors, we're part of a team sometimes. But all of that is so important to feeling good.

[00:27:23.710] – Margaret
And a lot of women would say, well, you know, I don't know how to meet a man at this age or a woman at this age. What do we do? How do you meet these people? Barbara, you're the online dating queen, so you talk about that.

[00:27:40.390] – Barbara
I went on a lot of dating sites when I was first divorced. Some people don't. And ironically, after all the dating I did, then I was fixed up with someone who's I call him my beau.

[00:27:53.860] – Barbara
But also I was going to say that it takes time to build a really close friendship. So I would say the new people I've met since I moved to my village, for the most part, I have some good friends where I live, but they're not of the same depth of some of my former friends. So I think you have to accept the fact that not every friend is going to be your bestie.

[00:28:17.410] – Margaret
But how would you define a really good friend?

[00:28:21.130] – Barbara
I would define a good friend as someone who calls you, not just text you and says how are you? That sometimes picks up the phone, wants to see you in person when it's acceptable. Who shares about themselves. Both of us like people where they're sharing, where it's not just us doing will be revealing or whatever. So you know, that I think about a really good friend would be someone, if I move from here, that I would want to keep up with, not just who's been in my life right now on a temporary basis.

[00:28:52.960] – Margaret
But we've also talked about good friends.

[00:28:55.450] – Margaret
They bring you chicken soup. They even feed the chicken soup. If you can get that little spoon in your mouth, they drive you to the colonoscopy is you know, they cook for you. They would drive and pick up your mail or pick up your kids at school.

[00:29:13.360] – Barbara
You pick up or they go and they pick up a friend for you and bring them on the line from kindergarten. It was a baby shower the other day from my older daughter and this friend of mine when she knew she was coming, she said, I'll go pick up Meg so you don't have to come into the city. A wonderful friend is that? And that's one thing about us. We like sharing our friends.

[00:29:38.020] – Margaret
Yes, we do.

[00:29:38.590] – Barbara
Not everybody does.

[00:29:40.450] – Margaret
They also help us celebrate big events in our lives. You know, they're the ones we want with us. And, you know, I have a big birthday coming up. And, you know, they're there when we need them.

[00:29:55.140] – Allan
Yeah, we moved to an island called Bocas del Toro. Islands called is the Colon, but it's a part of the Bocas del Toro archipelago. And it's one of the cool things about the people on this island is it's like that village you were talking about. It's like we all know each other. We all hang out together if we need something you quite literally just post it on Facebook and say, hey, any of my friends, are you going to the states?

[00:30:20.520] – Allan
I need to mail a letter. So a friend has to sit and paperwork for Social Security to mail a letter from here to the United States would cost you about 40 to 50 bucks. versus the getting someone on an airplane to carry a letter. You're building it for what? Postage, what, 40, 55, 60 cents now in the United States? So you put postage on an envelope and they carry it to you.

[00:30:41.670] – Allan
They'll do that. If you need something like your something in the United States that you can't get here, it's like, hey, would you mind carrying this in the suitcase? It's not big. Sure, we'll do it. So there's these just these little things that we all do for each other to make our lives on the island better. And yes, it's great. Those relationships mean a lot to me. And so it's yet you have that from out from a structure.

[00:31:03.330] – Allan
And I had Vivian King on a few episodes back and she had a stroke when she was at a benefit and a lot of her friends were there. And if not for her friends, she would not have gotten care as quickly as she did, and she may not have gotten to full recovery. So having those relationships, having all of that in your life is important. Yes, from a practical perspective, yes. From a fun perspective. And then.

[00:31:28.560] – Allan
Absolutely, Margaret, as you said, from a an emotional perspective with the chemicals and everything that comes on from having those close relationships in the time together, something that as a kid, you know, if you started thinking about, well, my parents certainly aren't intimate right now. They're not doing things like that because they're not enjoying themselves. Well, exactly where they were and they still are. And so it's kind of that thing to look forward to is to sit there and say, OK, you can you can think it's not happening or not going to happen, but it's going to happen if you want it to.

[00:32:02.350] – Allan
Obviously, you can you can decide that that ship sailed and just decide it's not going to happen anymore. But for the most part, that's still an important part of your life as you get older. And so making sure that you have the fitness and have the health and to be able to do the things you want to do, because if you're already considering the blue pill guys, you need to talk to your cardiologist because it's probably not what you think it is.

[00:32:25.830] – Allan
It's probably something else. And it's worth looking at your health first and then the blue pill if all else fails. But beyond that, and not necessarily from an intimacy perspective with someone else, how do you continue to find passion in your life as you go through things? Because things that were important to you when you were in your 20s are no longer important to you when you're in your 30s and on and on and on. So as we get older, how do we continue to keep passion in our lives?

[00:32:54.510] – Barbara
Well, I when I move to my new location, I bought a house. It was the first house that I bought on my own as a single female, which is one of the largest groups of home buyers in the country. And this became a passion. And sometimes it's a nightmare because I'm in an older home and I was determined to make it into the house, into the home, a place where my family could come. My friends came. At one point I thought I was renting it in as my friends or wanted to come see where I lived.

[00:33:33.300] – Barbara
I became a gardener, a farmer. I stopped doing that after about eight years because of all the animals eating my vegetables. I hated a lot when I was younger and in college, I went back to that to a weekly class. When I have the time. I love to cook and entertain. The entertaining went out the window during covid but two daughters who are good bakers and they were making holidays so I looked to how they were making bagels.

[00:34:02.130] – Barbara
So I made a bagel. Meg would be cooking. We got a little competitive about some of our cooking, who made the better this or that or inspired each other. So just being curious about different things, we found different passions. I took up pilates when I came here. I'd only done it a little bit. I don't know if that's a passion, but TV became a passion during covid. I mean, literally, I was watching every night. I love is it Frankie and Grace or Grace and Frankie?

[00:34:35.430] – Barbara
And you know, right now, Line of Duty is a British detective that I'm obsessed with. So it's always trying knowing that there's something else to do and to see.

[00:34:48.120] – Margaret
Well, I have a new life in New York City, I moved here twenty two months ago and I am walking everywhere, in St. Louis., you drove everywhere. And this is a passion. I love the walking. I love the energy in the city. One of my passions is working with kids. I immediately started tutoring in East Harlem. I love music. I and my son works for a classical music organization. And I immediately started going to concerts there to fulfill that part of my life that I love.

[00:35:22.380] – Margaret
But there are so many things you can do. People say to us, well, I don't know if I have any passions, how do I find my passion? And we talk about we give a pretty extensive list in the book, ways to tap into that, you know, make a list of all the books you want to read, even the ones you read in high school that you want to re-read. I mean, Barbara, how many times have you read Great Expectations?

[00:35:45.450] – Barbara
About to read it again.

[00:35:46.920] – Margaret
Yeah, OK. You know, trace your roots if you're interested in your ancestry, anybody can do that. Hey, I love the piano. I always want to learn to play it. My mother didn't give me lessons as a kid. Take it up now. You don't like it quit. You shouldn't do anything that makes you feel terrible or stressed. And again, you're not in school. Nobody's grading you on what you're doing. Ramp up your cooking chops.

[00:36:13.110] – Margaret
Start experimenting in the kitchen. Everyone likes to eat. Maybe you have retired and you're not sure what to do with yourself. Set up a consulting business, perhaps you're PR professional, and this is something you can do. There are so many options out there. You can get ideas from where can you get ideas from books, TV stores, newspapers.

[00:36:36.690] – Barbara
I think you need to take sort of a read on yourself what you like. Meg has always said, I hate exercise, but she started pilates during the pandemic for it was for physical therapy. Is that correct?

[00:36:53.250] – Margaret
Well, it started in physical therapy. She allowed me to try those machine things and I was complaining the whole time, but I actually didn't mind it. Somebody asked me how I liked Pilates. I said, the best I can say is I don't hate it. So, yeah, unfortunately, the pandemic put the kibosh on that, but I'll do it again.

[00:37:12.330] – Barbara
Listening to what our friends are doing, what we read in the newspapers, see on TV, just being open and knowing nothing.

[00:37:21.210] – Barbara
I think one of our big lessons now that we is living more in the moment and knowing that everything doesn't have to be forever, we try this class or that class or it doesn't have to be forever. And we get to explore a lot of these ideas. We're very lucky. In the weekly blog, we write life lessons at 50 plus. We sort of like we take it. It's a cliche, but I use it. Nora Ephron, who said, you know, everything is copy of, which is, I think, what her mother told her, which is very true.

[00:37:54.270] – Barbara
We go through something and then we test it out. I have my list of the 15 places I'd like to go before I am dead.

[00:38:03.430] – Margaret
Also, another thing we talk about, this is a great time, if you think about it, because it is perfectly OK to really do nothing. If you want to sit around and listen to NPR in the mornings or your podcast or, you know, put on a daytime soap or just sit on a bench and look around and enjoy the people and the fresh air and the birds that fly by, mostly pigeons in New York City. Why not? Nobody is telling you. You don't have a boss telling you what to do anymore.

[00:38:33.090] – Margaret
You are your own boss now, hopefully, unless you're still working and a lot of us aren't working for someone else or doing what we want, it's a great opportunity.

[00:38:46.650] – Barbara
Very bossy kids who tell you what you should be doing.

[00:38:49.260] – Margaret
Well, our bossy kids. Right, right. They love to tell us what to do.

[00:38:53.310] – Allan
Well, if you're listening to my podcast, you don't need to be sitting down. You can walk and listen to a podcast. So put the podcast on. Put your headphones in. But be careful. Make sure you're watching out for traffic. But yes, go for a walk.

[00:39:05.130] – Margaret
Absolutely.

[00:39:06.540] – Allan
Ladies, you had a topic in your book, the concept in your book that I just I love. It's going to probably be my mantra, one of my mantras going forward for sure. And it is your inner cake baked. And I love that from the perspective of we you know, I talk to my sixteen year old daughter and I told her, I said, by the time you are twenty four, you're not going to recognize yourself relative to who you were.

[00:39:35.940] – Allan
Sixteen and then she was twenty four. And I said by the time you're thirty you're not going to recognize who you were at twenty four as being you. You're just, you're always evolving and maybe those steps take a little bit more than six years later in our lives. I'm not sure I think I do change enough in six years that I look back and say, who was that guy? But, you know, we have this opportunity today to write the next chapter of our book, to write the last chapters of our book.

[00:40:05.670] – Allan
And we can make that change today. And is your inner cake baked? We keep baking the cake until it is. And once we decide the cake is done, we pull it out of the oven and we are who we are. It sets and then that's the cake. Good or bad, burnt or not, that's our cake. And so can you talk just a little bit about that concept from your perspective of inner cake baked?

[00:40:30.900] – Barbara
Well, I thought that after we wrote our last book that the cake was baked. This is the way life was going to be. And I found in town that we were both surprised that different challenges arose a lot. With regard to health. I'm not trying, but fortunately not serious illness, but things that needed to be corrected. So I'm evolving, trying to take better care of myself that because I think I took it for granted that I would always be healthy.

[00:41:01.920] – Barbara
And now I've had some problems. And, you know, I'm not always healthy. I think also aware I'm a little bit more aware, especially of late, of what kind of people I like to be around. So I'm not rushing into some friendships and letting things maybe take a little bit longer before the values. I grew up in a house which was semi religious. I mean, there was a regular temple going but I really didn't feel I knew enough about my religion, something that I wanted to become more observant, but I wanted to know more and become a little bit more spiritual.

[00:41:43.050] – Barbara
So I took two and a half year program on my religion fairly recently and made some actually very good friends. So that's one way I have evolved that I care much more about that than I ever thought I would. It really matters to me.

[00:42:02.700] – Margaret
In my case, losing my husband to cancer meant my whole life changed. And in doing so, I used to have friends who lost a child or a spouse or a parent. And I felt sympathy, of course, but I really didn't understand what they were going through. And I have really changed in how I view loss and my compassion quotient. It is so very different having been there, done that. Our recipes can change. And that's the good news.

[00:42:38.100] – Margaret
We don't have to keep the same recipe. I think we quote in our book, and I actually wrote this down, Daniel Levitin, who wrote successful aging quotes, Lewis Goldberg, who I think is considered the father of scientific concepts of personality. And he says you can improve yourself at any stage and personality traits. They are very pliable and influenced by certain situations. And as we get smarter about certain things, relate to our kids differently, learn how to handle different situations.

[00:43:18.140] – Margaret
I think one of the benefits of aging is we don't stress out about certain things anymore. Would you say, Barbara, we're much more relaxed and if we have a toxic friendship, who needs it? We don't have to continue that friendship where for some reason in the past we thought we did.

[00:43:37.550] – Barbara
May I interrupt?

[00:43:38.780] – Margaret
Yes.

[00:43:44.150] – Barbara
We always interrupt each other.

[00:43:44.150] – Allan
Barbara, you're being very polite by asking if you can.

[00:43:48.390] – Barbara
Yeah, Meg gave me strict instructions not to. No one going to interrupt each other like we can finish each other's sentences. I think we've both become better. And Meg I think maybe was better at this than me. And I've learned from her. We've become better listeners.

[00:44:05.240] – Margaret
Yes. Good point.

[00:44:06.770] – Barbara
And we hold off jumping in. You tell me you have an ailment.

[00:44:11.130] – Barbara
I'm not going to right away tell me what to do or which doctor I'm going to listen to you and then maybe suggest something. Meg said something shortly after her husband died. I said something. Well, I know how you feel. I didn't say exactly like that, thank goodness. But I said it close and she stopped me and she said, no, you don't know how I feel. And she was absolutely one hundred percent right. So I think listening is the way we've evolved.

[00:44:42.500] – Margaret
I think listening is the most important thing you can offer anybody right now. It's the only way we're going to mend some of these crazy differences we have with people and in all areas of our lives and society. And that is a skill we have honed and not just because we interview a lot of people and we report and so forth. This is more listening in our interpersonal relationships and it has really helped us grow closer to friends and family members.

[00:45:15.080] – Barbara
We also try not to make as many assumptions. We're very good because we're writers. We write scripts in our head. In our head, we write them in emails. So-and-so didn't call me back, so they must hate me now or this happened or that happened. We're trying to stop it. I don't think it's something that's going to it doesn't happen easily. Let me say.

[00:45:38.630] – Margaret
OK, Bob Newhart.

[00:45:42.890] – Allan
Yeah. Two years went out, I love that. So Margaret, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:45:54.620] – Margaret
Well, OK, first of all, being mentally fit, you know, as Barbara said, take your temperature, metaphorically speaking, if you're having a really tough time, find a therapist. There are so many different kinds out there and there's no stigma attached to doing so. Barbara and I joke that it's the people who don't get therapy who are the really screwed up ones. And I'm using a good word there. The other thing. I think stay healthy physically, eat well, sleep, get enough sleep.

[00:46:33.400] – Margaret
I'm on an eating well kit now because of reflux problem and I joke with Barbara, I'm literally eating like a bird. And that doesn't mean small portions. It means I'm eating seeds and nuts and it's ridiculous diet. But I want to be healthy. I don't want to live the rest of my life with stomach issues and get a good support system. If you have a good support system, that is a really wonderful thing, which we've alluded to a bunch of times.

[00:47:02.290] – Margaret
Those are my three things.

[00:47:03.520] – Allan
Great. Thank you, Barbara. I'll ask you the same question.

[00:47:07.630] – Barbara
I agree with Meg. I think being active physically, as I said, I take a lot of walks in my village because I love seeing the houses and seeing the gardens and seeing people out. So I've done that. It's been on more streets in this tiny little place I live. I work out with a trainer, especially trying to work on balance. I fell five years ago because of ice and snow. But as we age, our balance is less good.

[00:47:41.290] – Barbara
I saw my mother fall, have major accident. Giving of yourself, I think, is a way which we've talked about already, is really picking up on clues from people when they're a little sad or big sad or reaching. I have a good friend in St. Louis who's a widow, and I, I really try to when after her husband died, I was calling her almost daily, but it was I call her at least once a week or sometimes more.

[00:48:12.855] – Barbara
If I don't hear from her, I call her again because I want her to know that I'm there. I'm not physically there, and I'll give her the time. And then I think both of us also where it is, we're in a new stage where we're learning to take better care of ourselves emotionally in the sense that it's OK if we buy that pair of shoes. It's OK if we spend a little more money on ourselves or in Meg's case, she used to buy the better chocolate.

[00:48:45.900] – Barbara
I think it's important to indulge ourselves a little bit because we don't know.

[00:48:51.250] – Margaret
How much time we have left, right?

[00:48:53.470] – Allan
Yes, always buy the better chocolate.

[00:48:55.780] – Margaret
Absolutely. I can't eat chocolate on this crazy diet and it's I'm like going nuts.

[00:49:01.900] – Allan
OK, let's get that stomach squared away so you can get back to eating some good.

[00:49:06.310] – Margaret
Will you send me some good chocolate from Panama? So they have it there?

[00:49:09.760] – Barbara
Ask her about the brands and she'll tell you.

[00:49:12.700] – Margaret
Oh yeah I am the expert.

[00:49:15.550] – Allan
Awesome. Well ladies, thank you so much. If someone wanted to learn more about the book, Not Dead Yet or learn more about you and your blog, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:49:26.080] – Margaret
Well, to our website, www.Lifelessonsat50plus.Com. The book is on Amazon. It's on our publisher's website, Broman and Littlefield. It's in libraries. It'll be in all the libraries soon and in independent bookstores. Where else?

[00:49:48.830] – Barbara
Yes, in my town they have another bookstore. These small bookstores are important.

[00:49:56.710] – Margaret
In St. Louis. Left Bank Books in St. Louis. Hopefully.

[00:50:01.750] – Barbara
And our blog comes out. If you sign up, it will land in your email every Friday morning about 7:00 a.m. and we think it's a great way to start the weekend a little early with your cup of coffee or whatever. And some of them are funny, some of them are heartfelt. It's a mix. We have some guest bloggers sometimes come on and talk about an important topic and a lot of variety.

[00:50:30.830] – Margaret
Our blog is a good habit to begin.

[00:50:33.820] – Allan
The book was awesome. I appreciate having both of you on the show. Barbara, Margaret, thank you for being a part of 40 plus fitness.

[00:50:41.060] – Margaret
Thank you. It's great meeting you.

[00:50:43.090] – Barbara
And we may be coming down to visit you.

[00:50:45.220] – Allan
Good, good.

[00:50:46.090] – Margaret
That would be fun. When the weather's freezing here.

[00:50:48.900] – Allan
It's never freezing here.

[00:50:51.670] – Margaret
So jealous. Thank you.


Post Show/Recap

[00:50:58.400] – Allan
Welcome back, Raz.

[00:50:59.880] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. My goodness, what a fun discussion, but their book title says it all, Not Dead Yet.

[00:51:06.890] – Allan
Yeah, you know, we're going to talk a little bit about how the podcast is made and how I pick guests next week. But that was kind of one of those things. I was scanning through upcoming books on Amazon. And then you see that title in you're like.

[00:51:22.850] – Allan
I can't not have these people on. I got up. I hope they say yes, because that's going to be a fun conversation. And it was.

[00:51:30.770] – Rachel
It sounded like. Yeah. You know, nice ladies.

[00:51:35.150] – Allan
If if if you're in good health, generally good health when you get older, life doesn't get a ton harder.

[00:51:43.310] – Allan
And I think that's one of the things they kind of show, is that they were in reasonably good shape. They take care of themselves.

[00:51:49.430] – Allan
They do what's necessary. You know, they're not going to be out there winning any Olympic medals or anything. But, you know, they're having fun and they've got good relationships in their life. And they're not looking at this as if it's over.

[00:52:03.470] – Allan
You know, the concept of is your inner cake baked is really important because I think so many people think that, well, what I've done where I am, I'm locked in. And I was fifty two years old and I get laid off from a job and I'm like, I'm never going to get back to that income again, you know, it's just not going to happen. I'm not going to I'm not going to be able to invest my effort and energy to get there.

[00:52:30.440] – Allan
And I didn't want to.

[00:52:31.280] – Allan
So I literally used that as the pivot to become, you know, what I'm doing today with the podcast and the training and all of that.

[00:52:38.330] – Allan
And, you know, so just recognizing that you can teach a dog old tricks, can do different things. And if you're not bringing joy in, then, yeah, you're not going to be who you want to be when you're older.

[00:52:54.740] – Rachel
Good point. You know, having just turned 50 myself, I can tell you that I am not the same person today than the person I was when I was 40 or even the person I was when I was 30. You know, so much of my life has changed. Priorities have changed. And I get that pivot that you just had in your life around the same period too. You know, I don't want that old life that I used to have when I was much younger.

[00:53:19.250] – Rachel
And there's a lot available. There's a lot open to me right now, a lot of opportunities right in front of me. And it's I think sometimes we get stuck in that mindset about age. Like, I know fifty sounds old, but it certainly doesn't feel old. And in even sixty I'm looking at sixty think, and that doesn't sound a whole lot older than what I'm doing right now. So, you know, there's just because we hit a certain milestone age doesn't mean life is done or it's stopped or it's over.

[00:53:48.260] – Rachel
You know, there's a lot available to us.

[00:53:50.720] – Allan
Well, sixty is twenty percent more.

[00:53:56.040] – Allan
It's a bigger number.

[00:53:56.960] – Rachel
Yeah, sure.

[00:53:58.610] – Allan
But no, I mean, you know, I think it's one. Yes. Fifteen years ago when life expectancy was in the sixties, sixty mattered. Life expectancy for most people now is well into their seventies other than last year was the first time life expectancy went down since World War Two. And so we do have to kind of look at that and say, OK, what does all this mean? But in a general sense, if you're healthy, if you're taking care of yourself, your fifties can be as good as your forties or 60s can be as good as your forties.

[00:54:34.140] – Allan
Your seventies can be as good as your forties. It's just going to be that you have different priorities. And so maybe you're not pushing yourself to do ultramarathons when you're in your 70s, but you're still going to be a runner. I believe. You're still be doing things that you love. And that's really what this book was all about, is making sure that you have the relationships where you are living a full life. It might be redefined.

[00:55:03.500] – Allan
You might have some health issues that are outside of your scope of control.

[00:55:07.790] – Allan
But if you do, you still have opportunities to introduce gratitude and joy into your life every single day.

[00:55:14.630] – Allan
And if you don't, you're missing the opportunity because you only have so many revolutions around the sun before it is over.

[00:55:22.250] – Allan
And you need to take advantage of every single day you have and live it to the fullest that you possibly can.

[00:55:28.430] – Rachel
That sounds great. And those ladies, Barbara and Margaret, they sound like the best of friends and enjoying time together and with their other friend groups. That sounds like they're really taking advantage of this time.

[00:55:39.800] – Allan
Yeah, they are doing something kind of interesting. They basically it's like they bought a big house as a collective group of ladies and they're all moved in together. And so it's basically a group of women. They all know each other. They know that they're friendly and that they can get along in closed quarters. But they bought it in such a way now that they know that their independence is sort of much assured much longer than if they were living independently.

[00:56:07.750] – Allan
So they're going to be able to have people around them that they know and care about and have those relationships in those conversations every single day without having to go into a home or lose some independence because they just weren't able to do it on their own.

[00:56:25.540] – Allan
Yeah, so just realized sometimes you think outside the box, sometimes you do other things, but your training, your nutrition, your sleep, your stress management and the relationships that you're building and keeping and maintaining and maybe getting rid of some that you need to get rid of, you know, build, build the life that you deserve. Spend the time to make that investment in yourself of time, effort, money, whatever it is to make sure that you're building the life that you need because no one else is going to do it for you.

[00:56:54.940] – Rachel
That's true. Yeah. The best years are right ahead of us, I think.

[00:56:59.230] – Allan
Yeah.

[00:56:59.650] – Allan
Now the best episode is right in front of us. Next week we're going to have Episode five hundred and that's going to be kind of a special episode. You know, I'm going to give a lot of behind the scenes stuff. They're still going to be a lesson. So please come back and listen to it. It's not going to be all about me talking about what Allan did over the last six years. It's going to be a lot of that.

[00:57:21.250] – Allan
Yes. But it's also there's a lesson there's a very important lesson because you don't interview 311 people or books that authors three hundred eleven interviews and learn a few things.

[00:57:33.190] – Allan
And there were things that I thought I knew when I started this journey with this podcast six years ago. And a lot of it was wrong. And now I know things a little bit better. I've learned what works. And so I'm going to share what I call the wellness system.

[00:57:51.610] – Allan
And like I said over and over on this podcast, I love acronyms and lists, but this is going to be an acronym system. So join us next week and we will talk about the seven necessary things in the wellness system.

[00:58:05.650] – Rachel
That sounds great. Can't wait.

[00:58:07.300] – Allan
I'll talk to you next week, then.

[00:58:08.830] – Rachel
Take care.

Patreons

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