Well, it’s finally happened! I’ve reached that milestone birthday! The great SIX OH.
I must say, it is still a thing, even if I was trying not to make it a “thing”. I had a few friends, who whispered in hush tones “yes..but how are you feeling?” with concerned, sympathetic empathetic expressions. BUT I have to say, after a bit of a “rebrand”, I feel better than ever! So, no more concerned looks and wringing of hands, please! Let’s all aim to be sensational (whatever your age!) but no excuses if you are at 60 and feel anything less!
You are definitely not your age, but your energy – so if you have no wind in your sails, whatever your age, you are old, and perhaps before your time. What if you have brilliant energy, don’t feel tired (and not propped up with caffeine type of energy)?
I have looked around a some of my contemporaries – and by now means all my contemporaries (so this isn’t aimed at you, I promise), I really am taken aback by some already consumed by poor health – and this isn’t a dig, as it could happen to any of us, of course. Good health is a mix of good luck, good genes and good environment, after all. However, we know, that a huge proportion of that rude good health comes from what you put in your mouth. Some estimate disease and back health can be mitigated by 80% of your environment (including food). So, what you put in your mouth plays a hugely influential role
In how you are playing your health cards!
Food plays quite a complex role in health – perhaps we have only one view about food that comes in only viewing food as a source of energy (heat), and a breakdown of calories, and energy in the sense of the heat it produces. But perhaps obviously our relationship to food is much more complex biochemically. The nutrients in food play a hugely important role in how energy organelles (mitochondria) are powered. We need micronutrients for these to fire up, and a diet, which can of course be calorie sufficient can be devoid of real nutritional power. All minerals in the diet are important but really missing in the modern diet is adequate magnesium (through depletion of the soil) and iodine (from a rich seafood diet, and in the old days through iodised salt). But nutrients are not just about deficiency in one or two key players, it’s about how all the nutrients interact with each other, producing sustainable and effortless energy. Choosing food that is nutrient-rich, “real food” and I think organic (if you can run to it) – organic isn’t magic but at least it is not sprayed with pesticides (in theory!) and if you can choose food that is locally grown, so much the better!ss
Of course, I have spoken a lot about the importance of hormone balance in the body (the key being blood sugar balance) but this is the very first step – step two is looking at the role the micronutrients play not only our immediate energy, but our long term health outcomes. Diets lacking key minerals (including iodine, and selenium) can impact that other critical energy factory – the thyroid! My nutritional colleagues are seeing an explosion of thyroid-related conditions. The question we always ask in nutritional consultations is WHY? Why should this happen? With thyroid disfunction, the root cause can be complex, but we see stress as a huge player – it unbalances hormones, and puts a strain on resources. Having happy hormone health is therefore key. Underactive thyroid and good energy are incompatible. Symptoms of low thyroid function can really vary – from feeling the cold to weight gain, constipation to feeling low and/or depressed – it’s a sign that one of your key areas of energy production could certainly do with a little TLC (if you think you have a thyroid condition, obviously have a chat with your doctor first – eating more seafood at that point will be quite hard word to reverse the condition!) But if you want to be Sensational (at 60) or any age, then taking care of your thyroid is key!
Food is also important for the social interaction it brings – sharing, cooking, and eating together is critically important – what I call “social health” – Humans are social animals and we need other people. Eating together is such an ancient, bonding, and meaningful experience – and if you are looking to be SENSATIONAL then you need to eat, as often as you can, with others.
If you want to be SENSATIONAL then movement is key – the old “use if or lose it” phrase comes to mind here. Actually, running marathons might not be the best as you get a tad more mature – this type of exercise can pressure the adrenal glands (where your stress hormones come from) – Try Yoga, or my favourite, Qi Gong! And most recently, my mini trampoline! Certainly, gets everything moving!
Being Sensational at 60, then, is more than possible, in fact, you should demand it! There is no excuse to lack energy, and sit down in a chair with a load OOMPH. Of course, bad luck aside, if health is within your control, especially through your dietary choices, and the choice to keep all your joints well-oiled with movement, you enjoy.