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8 Tips for a Long and Healthy Life

FREE Food Mistakes Guide

5 BIG Food Mistakes (and how to avoid them)

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by Wendy Goldman in Healthy Eating

I recently watched a new multi-part documentary about longevity. It was about 10 hours long (really). They talked to dozens and dozens of scientists, researchers and doctors. They also travelled around the world and interviewed people in communities noted for their people living exceptionally long and healthy lives. Their conclusions?

Exactly what I’ve been teaching my patients and students for the last 20 years, and what we’ve known in Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years!

To save you the 10 hours of watching, here’s a summary of the most important parts.

8 Tips for Health and Longevity

1. The gut is super important.

There is a lot of research going on right now into the microbiome, which is the system of bacteria that lives in your gut. This is good bacteria that breaks down and helps digest the food we eat and is a big part of our immune system. This is a very hot topic in medicine and research right now. But you know what? What they’ve found is most beneficial for having a healthy microbiome is eating a wide variety of fresh, locally grown, organic fruits and vegetables. Where have you heard that before? In almost every email I send you. And taking good care of the digestive system is critical in Chinese medicine and nutrition, and is the foundation of the Eat Right Forever system.

2. Get outside in the sunshine and move.

Another hot topic in research and medicine these days is Vitamin D. Many people are diagnosed with Vitamin D deficiency, and it’s linked with a lot of chronic diseases. The best source? Sunshine. Normally, when the sun hits our skin, the body turns it into Vitamin D. Yet we’ve been told for years to avoid the sun. Is it any wonder that there’s now an epidemic of Vitamin D deficiency, and the diseases that go along with it? And, nobody knows if talking Vitamin D supplements works the same way as getting it from the sun.

All of the long-lived healthy people interviewed said they got outside every day and walked. Many also gardened, and grew what they ate (organically, of course). The scientists confirmed that walking has shown great health benefits. Not lifting 8 bazillion lbs. of weights at the gym. Getting outside and walking.

There’s an old saying in Chinese medicine: “walk 1000 steps after a meal and live 100 years”.

3. Be part of a community.

The long-lived people were all part of a community that did things together and looked after each other. These days, a lot of us are isolated. That can cause a lot of stress. We may not live near our families or be close with them. We may not have people we can rely on if we need help. If that’s your situation, create or join a community of like-minded people you feel comfortable with. Sure, it takes time to develop these relationships, but you need to start somewhere. And being part of a community and having social interaction (face-to-face, not online) has been repeatedly cited as an important factor in longevity.

4. Deal with your emotional crap and let it go.

The people interviewed often said that living peacefully and harmoniously with others was an important factor for long life. We all know that stress is terrible for the body. Emotional drama causes stress. Yes, things happen in life that cause emotion. Hanging onto those emotions past the event is what causes long-term problems. In Chinese medicine, the internal organs all have emotions associated with them. Hanging onto emotions causes energetic damage to the organs, which over time can become actual physical pain and/or illness. Again, Chinese medicine talked about this over 2,000 years ago!

5. Get good sleep.

I know you’ve heard me talk about this before. We have to balance work and rest. Despite the current popularity of sleeping less and working more, people who are doing this are setting themselves up for health problems down the road.

Years ago, when I was doing medical research, I had friends in the sleep lab. Their research showed that working “graveyard shift” was so bad for health, that the government suppressed the release of the results. That was 30 years ago. More recently, the truth about how important sleep is has come out. Not getting enough sleep has been shown over and over in research to correlate with weight gain. In Chinese medicine, we talk about the importance of balancing work and rest. And, we even talk about how the balance changes with age, health, weather and the season. Western medicine hasn’t caught up with us in Chinese medicine yet!

6. Limit blue light and EMF exposure.

Ok, nobody talked about this in Chinese medicine, because there were no computers 2,000 years ago. EMFs are ElectroMagnetic Frequencies put out by computers and electronics. Research shows that they “amp up” the brain and put it into a more active state that can take 1-2 hours to calm down. They also emit blue light, which is not the same frequency as natural light. Too much time in front of electronics can interfere with sleep, and in some people also causes eye problems, headaches and more. Hint: don’t take your electronics to bed to read.  

I manage my EMF exposure a couple of ways. One is to adjust color settings on your electronics to a “warmer” tone. That reduces the blue light. I also recently bought blue light-blocking glasses that are clear glasses that only block blue light. I’ve definitely noticed less fatigue in front of the computer when I wear them. Amazon has a ton of different ones and they’re pretty cheap. I recommend them if you spend a lot of time in front of electronic screens of any kind.

7. Detoxification.

We live in a really toxic world. Our food, water and air are contaminated with tons and tons (literally) of chemicals, and it’s only been in maybe the last 50 years that this happened. Our bodies are overwhelmed, and we haven’t had time to adapt to the toxicity. The best way to deal with this is to cut out the chemicals. That means buying as much organic food as you can. And it also means cutting out the chemicals from your cleaning supplies, cosmetics, lotions, potions and shampoos. There are good natural products that work, without all the chemicals. Now, I’m not saying to throw away everything in your cupboards right now (although you can, if you want). When you run out of these things, replace them with more natural options. Read labels! I know you’ve heard me say that! Do it. Only good can come from reducing your toxic exposure.

And let’s not forget the garden. Research shows that Roundup weed killer causes cancer. Please, please, do not use it in your garden for any reason. And a lot of garden chemicals also cause cancer, so use as many natural garden products as you can. I’ve gardened naturally for many years. Yes, sometimes you have to deal with bugs and weeds, but that’s nature. It’s better than getting cancer.

8. Genetics.

This is another hot topic of research these days. There was a lot of material in the program about genetics, and I’ve been following the developments in this area for years, because it’s fascinating. I’m just going to give you the most important things you need to know.

What they’ve found is most important is not the genes you’re born with, but whether they’re turned on. The genes you’re born with only show the possibility of that gene expressing itself. For example, if someone has a cancer gene, it doesn’t mean they’re going to get cancer. It means there’s a possibility, if the gene turns on, and it may never do that.

Genes can turn on or off. What turns them on or off? Numbers 1-7 above. Research found that diet, exercise, sleep, toxic exposure, etc. can all turn on or off genes. So if you eat junk food, sit on your butt all day and don’t move or get out in the sunshine, that has a negative effect on your genes. It can turn on the bad ones and turn off the good ones. It can also damage the DNA in the cells so cells don’t live as long or reproduce properly. Think about that for a minute. That’s huge.

No drugs. No supplements. No magic pills. No crazy diets. No crazy diseases. Just eating real, whole natural food, cutting out the chemicals, and getting outside and moving. Plus the other points. It’s all really simple. Living a long and healthy life is not complicated. It’s simple. It’s what we’ve been teaching in Chinese medicine and Chinese nutrition for over 2,000 years. It’s proven to work and countries in Asia that follow this type of eating and lifestyle have very low rates of obesity and chronic disease.

And, I live this stuff. I just had one of those big round number birthdays. I’m incredibly healthy and productive and live a fairly peaceful life, because I follow the rules above. I know this stuff works, because I live it, and I’ve been doing it for decades.

And that’s why I share it with you. I want you to be able to live a long and healthy life, too. That’s why I created the Eat Right Forever program. And that’s why I’ll be creating other goodies that can help you live a healthy life.

If you need some help getting started on your healthy journey now, reach out and let me know. I’m here to help.

FREE Food Mistakes Guide

5 BIG Food Mistakes (and how to avoid them)

Get It Now!