The messaging ingrained in American society about getting older is drastically different than in other countries and cultures, and I’m not into the “anti-aging” vibe. Aging is a privilege. Anti-aging means that we are against aging. If you are not getting older, what are you doing? The physical alternative is that you’re dead. Harsh? Maybe. Truth? Yes. The key isn’t anti-aging, it is doing what you can to promote longevity.

This is where my candor can hit hard, but when I started viewing it this way, my entire perspective changed. I appreciate that I get the opportunity to age. I am aging. You are aging. This idea of getting the privilege to grow up makes me want to make the most of it. And if I’m going to do so, I’d like to be both physically, cognitively, and emotionally able to do so. In health. And I would like to help others to do the same. 

Within the fire service we talk about the now, but how do we make decisions that allow firefighters to get to and enjoy retirement? Within the general public, we tend to believe that getting older is the pits and involves more health issues. What if it didn’t have to be that way? Instead of anti-aging, can we age gracefully? Approach longevity? That’s what I’m here for because I’m not getting any younger, and neither are you…

Q & A: How to Shift the Mindset to Promote Longevity

WHAT CAN YOU DO FOR YOUR HEALTH NOW THAT WILL HAVE THE MOST IMPACT AS YOU AGE?

  • Simplify it
  • Pay attention to ingredients
  • Take a holistic approach to health
  • Eat for health and enjoyment

WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 3-5 LIFESTYLE CHANGES TO PROMOTE LONGEVITY?

  • Decrease inflammation (main things are to decrease added sugar and inflammatory oils)
  • Decrease processed food
  • Decrease takeout and restaurant food (if you’re not preparing it then you don’t know what’s in it)
  • Make your own meals (you control the ingredients)
  • Other starting points: take a holistic approach looking at the following:
  • Movement
  • Focus on hydration and adequate mineral intake (think electrolyte balance)
  • Stress management (find coping mechanisms to lower your cortisol levels)
  • Adequate sleep (the most underrated pillar; prioritize this and aim for 7-9 hours of restful sleep)

WHAT ARE SOME NUTRITION FADS OR THINGS THAT AREN’T WORTH SPENDING TIME OR MONEY ON?

  • Nutrition is a one size fits all situation: Friends, it isn’t. We are all bioindividualized – what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another.
  • Meal plans: meal plans do not work for lifestyle changes. When’s the last time you followed the same meal plan daily for years? Could you do it for the rest of your life? Should you do it for the rest of your life? So many people reach out to me asking for meal plans. While I can teach you how to make a balanced meal and provide inspiration, I will not prescribe you food to eat for the rest of your life. Let’s not forget that your body evolves with time, as does nutrition.
  • Plus life might interfere with the plan. For example, maybe you go to a social event or thousands in your lifetime. Do you expect to not eat there?
  • Anything that’s supposed to be a magic pill or supplement (especially ones that use buzzwords to make you think it’s the best like probiotics or antioxidants); particularly one that’s not researched or third party tested
  • Demonizing or vilifying macronutrients: Fat and carbs, sometimes even fruit has made the list of foods that have been vilified in the media. Let’s ditch the negative feelings towards certain foods made by placing them in the “bad category.”
  • All or nothing mentality: this is a quick fix fad and the most popular one I see within the fire service especially.

REMINDER

The biggest outlook I’ve had is to keep it simple, take small steps (because they add up), and know that it is possible to heal. CONSISTENCY deserves to be in caps – if you can’t continue a certain behavior, it cannot become a lifestyle change (it will be short term and called a quick fix). Quick fixes do not promote longevity.

Interested in learning more in detail (without spending hours on Google or social media trying to figure out what’s truthful and what’s not)? I only scratched the surface in this post (so much to say)! I’m inviting you to grab a workshop!  By the end of it, you’ll feel confident and have the tools to trust yourself to be the compass of your own health and decisions. You’ll learn more about inflammation, promoting gut health, and a holistic approach to wellness by purchasing a Wellness Foundation before they retire.  

HOW I CAN HELP

In addition to free content, I created these services out of realizing there was a need for them. They are here for now, but they won’t always be. I’m inviting you to participate in either of these options by the end of 2023.

The workshops contain an approachable and comprehensive breakdown of a nutrition topic of interest. Ditch the diet culture and all-or-nothing mentality and find what works for you. Find out how easy it can be on your own terms with a minimal investment compared to nutrition coaching. 30-ish minutes of clear and concise video plus an extensive resource so you don’t have to take notes – I am so proud to be able to offer this to you. Topics are chosen based on common themes I see in my virtual nutrition practice and your requests. Check out 365 WellnessDietary and Lifestyle Approaches to Reduce Inflammation, and Gut Health 101

THIS IS FOR YOU IF:
You want to make some positive changes, but you are confused about where to start with all things health and wellness.

This is my most extensive package and it is meant to support you so that you can reach your health and wellness goals using a sustainable approach. No more quick fixes, we are focused on the long run here! This package comes with monthly zoom calls, email access, check ins, and a copy of each Wellness Foundations workshop. 

If you think this is for you, I encourage you to fill out an application to work with me here and book a free consultation call to see if we are the right fit. 
LIMITED SPOTS EACH MONTH

THIS IS FOR YOU IF:

  • You want a simplified and individualized approach to nutrition with lots of support.
  • You’ve dipped your toes in typical diet culture and realize it doesn’t work for you.
  • You’re looking to create a balanced lifestyle and want to be able to sustain it.
  • You want to better understand how nutrition affects your body.
  • You’re looking for accountability and support to help you create better health.
  • You want to establish sustainable healthy habits (not follow a fad diet) to reach your goals.
  • You’re ready to shift how you think about food for the better.

BACK TO BASICS

You can file it under old school living. It involves decondition and relearning. Avoid the quick fix. The back-to-basics mentality truly works here.

Eat like your great-grandparents ate, bonus points if they lived in the Blue Zones. Understand that technology is cool but can also be overwhelming and overstimulating. Start to flex those critical thinking muscles. Use Google wisely – remember that you can find any answer to fit your narrative. Focus on the foundations – diet, movement, sleep, toxic load, and stress management to start. If any of these pillars are off, please know that your foundation is unstable and can crumble at any moment. 

DID ANY OF THESE THEMES RESONATE?