This week’s blog is inspired by something the talented Chris Martin, front man of band Coldplay, said in a radio interview.
“There are only 2 alternatives: you either get older or you don’t”
As I celebrated a birthday last week, I thought appropriate to talk about aging and what we can do, should do(!) to live longer and healthier because as Mr Martin says – live or lose.
A lot of my clients use age as an excuse for ailments It’s called age Tara, for cutting their exercise sets shorter Agghhhh I’ve done enough, even for their shortness of breath Phew I’m a bit out of breath, must be getting older
Truth is, the better you look after yourself – inside and out – the best possible chance you give yourself of living longer. With as little as 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise (think 30 minute sessions 5 times a week: jogging, swimming, brisk walking), you increase your lifespan by 3 years or so. 3 years? Doesn’t sound like a lot, but hey, I’ll take it!
By increasing your heart rate through exercise, you strengthen your muscle (the heart) which in turn performs better by pumping blood throughout the body. Blood flows helping your cells send messages to the brain – you are also feeding your brain and keeping it healthy. It’s a win win situation.
There are so many articles and studies that have found if you exercise, even in older years, you increase the chance of living longer and smarter. One article even mentions it doesn’t matter if you smoke and are overweight, if you exercise your longevity is increased - not sure I quite agree, but I'll leave that up to you to choose.
Dr Mike Stroud, Arctic explorer and author of Survival of the Fittest, said the results could be explained by evolution. 'Because of where we came from in evolution, we are meant to be active and our whole biology is designed for us to be active. You do not need to be in the gym every day. Two hours of gardening uses up the same amount of energy as a half marathon.' Well thank goodness for that! I love being the garden but running 21kms....hmmm not so much.
It is not just moving that we need to consider when adding the years on, we need to look at what we eat and how we can lengthen our lifespan by eating the right foods.
Foods that enhance heart, brain and bone health for long life
Nuts: Oh No – too much fat! I hear this all the time and yes, you are right but it’s mostly unsaturated fat which is what we need to protect us against heart disease.
Fresh Fruit and Vege: bit of a no brainer really. Choose organic or at least market fresh produce where possible. Always give it a good wash before enjoying the deliciousness.
Blueberries and other antioxidant rich foods: ongoing research in the US suggest that foods especially high in antioxidants, for example grape juice and walnuts, protect against age related changes in the brain that lead to memory loss and even dementia. Check out the recipe below which features blueberries.
Fish: Omega 3 – Oi Oi Oi! Fish and shellfish have been shown to protect against irregular heart rhythms which can lead to heart failure. There is also talk that the fatty acids, such as DHA and EPA found in fish oil (and ALA in flaxseed) offer a defence against depression and age-related memory loss.
Calcium rich foods: dairy is the first thing we think of when talking calcium. However if you are like me who has chosen not to include dairy into the diet, or very limited quantities, there are other sources to keep your bones strong and healthy. Dark leafy green vegetables (collard greens, spinach, broccoli), egg shells (I saved some organic shells, turned them into powder and put a teaspoon in my smoothies).
So what are your plans this weekend to start living longer? Farmers Markets to get some fresh produce, swim/jog/sport to get that heart rate up or going fishing to eat your catch? I'll be moving and eating clean - bring on those additional 3 years of life!
Stay Active inthe Season you are in......and stay hydrated. It's getting warmer. Summer's coming!
Celebrated my birthday with this cake using farm fresh blueberries, which are in season this month. A great raw cake that can be prepared ahead of time.
Recipe adapted from HippieLane App
Image by Tara Jayne
BLUEBERRY JAM CHEESECAKE
140g shredded coconut
Pinch Himalayan salt
120ml maple syrup
2T filtered water
2t black chia seeds
2T filtered water
310g blueberries (thawed or fresh)
2T maple syrup
450g cashews (soaked min 4hrs or overnight)
Zest of 1 lemon (zest before squeezing juice)
120ml freshly squeezed lemon juice (apprx 1.5 lemons)
80ml maple syrup
120ml coaco butter, melted in a double boiler
Pinch Himalayan salt
100-200g fresh blueberries, to garnish
Prepare a round spring form tin. Pop some baking paper on the bottom before tightning the sides. This ensures the bottom doesn't stick plus easier to transfer to your presentation dish.
1. Food Processor: cashews, almonds and coconut ...small peices
2. Add salt then while processing, add maple syrup and water until sticky
3. Press crust in your prepared tin and pop into fridge.
1. Stir chia seeds with water ina small bowl. Allows to soak and thicken into a gel-like consistency for at least 10-15mins if not longer.
2. Mash half the blueberries with a fork in a bowl. While the other half goes into a food processor. Process until smooth.
3. Add maple syrup to food processed blueberries and mix.
4. Add everything together in the bowl (ie. all blueberries mixtures plus chia seeds)
5. Keep in fridge for now.
1. Drain and rinse cashews.
2. Food Processor: cashews, lemin juice, maple syrup and melted coaco butter ...until smooth and creamy. I find when I have soaked cashews over night, or upto 8 hours, they proicess smoother.
3. Fold through salt and lemon zest.
4. Pour half the mixture over the Crust. Top with half the Jam, then the rest of the Cheescake.
Set the cake in the freezer for 3-4 hours.
To serve: take out of freezer and allow to soften (about 30-60minutes) and garnish with remainder of jam and fresh blueberries.