Aging is inevitable, but with a proper routine of self-care, sprinkled in with some self-love, the process can be graceful and slowed considerably
Defying the aging process is a daily commitment.
Without a doubt, consistency is the key.
As I say to my clients: You wouldn’t wear sunscreen only one day per week and think that you are actually fully protecting your skin from the aging effects of the sun. Well, shocker… the same thing applies to exercise, eating well, meditating, sleeping sufficiently, and a skincare routine. It’s a daily grind of self-love!
We don’t live in the futuristic world of the Jetsons, where you get on a conveyer belt, as you passively allow machines to not only brush your teeth and comb your hair, but also apply your anti-aging skincare, stand you on a treadmill for a designated amount of time, and with the press of a button, deliver you a perfectly proportioned organic meal. Not yet, folks! And until that time comes, it’s going to take some effort on your part.
Most of us don’t get the proper amount of sleep required for optimum health. In a bustling world made even more chaotic thanks to the imposition of the internet and social media, our competitive drive to “keep up with the Joneses” (or, these days, the Kardashians) has, unsurprisingly, created an ever-growing population of functioning zombies, complete with bloodshot eyes and lagging energy. Many sleep-deprived walking dead wear this as a badge of honor, often bragging about how little sleep they need to be “on top of their game.” They proudly stay jacked-up on venti-double-shot lattes and the appropriately named, highly-caffeinated, ‘monster’ drinks to make up for their lack of shut-eye.
I’m exhausted just writing about it! But here’s the thing. It’s nothing to brag about.
There are serious health risks involved with sleep deprivation. Health advocates can speak until they are blue in the face, scream their latest research results from the highest mountaintops, or plaster their statistics on billboards across the country… and still, most of us don’t take the topic seriously. “I can sleep when I’m dead,” I’ve heard people say. Well thatmay be sooner than you think if you are sleeping less than 7 hours per night. And if that did not get your attention, maybe this will…
Sleeping less than 7 hours every night will make you FAT!
If I’ve woken up prior to reaching my 8-hour sleeping goal, I use that time to meditate. The evidence that meditation is good for your state of mind, as well as your physical well-being, is indisputable. However, like many things of value, it’s far easier said than done. It takes practice to do something as seemingly simple as paying close attention to your breathing.
There are many tricks to staying focused during meditation, but I like to inhale to a count of 5, then exhale to the count of 5. It’s more difficult for your mind to wander off if you are pairing your breath with counting. Especially if you’re, like me, not inherently math-minded.
Next, while still in bed, I hydrate. My rule is to drink a large glass of water before I do anything.
Often, we mistake dehydration for hunger so make it your first response to reach for water before you reach for food. Water is medicine, so my morning prescription is 1 glass of water, followed by 3 cups of green tea.
At some point I do get out of bed. And, with that, I devote at least 10-30 minutes a day to strength training. I know that doesn’t seem like much, but you can get a lot done in that amount of time. I designed a series of exercise routines to tone your body in just 10 minutes a day for my YouTube channel.
Resistance training is also very important, as we begin to lose muscle mass beginning at the age of 30. A decrease in muscle mass not only decreases our general strength and endurance, but it also slows down our metabolism. Although cardio is great for the heart and circulation, it does not have the same benefits asresistance training as we age. When you weight train, you actually create tiny tears in your muscle fiber, tears that need to be repaired by your body.
Repairing the muscle takes energy and building it takes even more. In short, muscle is a calorie-eating machine.
On the subject of exercise, we all know we should be stretching, but we often forget to devote a portion of our day to maintaining this important aspect of our health. Yet, as we age, stretching, along with strength and resistance training, are vital in maintaining a healthy body.
If I’m working out at home, then my morning skincare routine follows my workout. If I’ve ventured out to take a Pilates, yoga, or a circuit training class, then my morning skincare routine is done before I leave the house.
My morning skincare routine may be more extensive than that of many people, but here are my basics that never falter: 1) Wash with a basic soap like Phisoderm, 2) Exfoliate with ZO Skin Health Exfoliating Polish (to slough off dead skin cells and stimulate collagen production), 3) Fight Free Radicalswith Skin Ceuticals CE-Feurulic Acid Serum, and 4) Apply Nurse Jamie EGF Eye Complex.
But none of that matters without the mother of all skin care: sunscreen. When you hear “never leave home without it,” don’t think credit card, think sunscreen. Even on days you’ll be inside, slather it on. Everywhere. I like ZO Skin Health Sunscreen + Primer SPF30 for my face and a combination of Oil of Olay SPF 15 on my body and Neutrogena Dry Touch SPF 100+.
After all that, it is time for breakfast. I am a big believer in Intermittent fasting, so breakfast is actually off the table (metaphorically and literally). I don’t eat anything (or drink any calories) before noon. My fasting period is around 14-16 hours a day, which basically means I don’t eat after dinner and I skip breakfast.Instead, I have a big lunch and a sensible dinner.
Our ancestors did not have refrigeration. They went hours, if not days, without eating anything. Our bodies are designed to go long periods of time without food.
When our stomachs (and bloodstream) are depleted of glucose, our bodies reach into our fat cells to supply the needed energy.
Don’t get me wrong: I don’t deprive myself of life’s pleasures. I don’t deny myself a cocktail or two at a party, and I will never pass up popcorn at movie theatre. I have what I like to call my ‘90/10 Rule’ — 90% of the time I eat really clean while 10% of the time I allow myself to indulge.
So now having slept 8 hours, mindfully meditated, exercised, and taken care of my skin, I’m off to start the rest of my day. There are client meetings with several of my Live Young clients (many in person) to help them not only lose weight and improve their overall health, but also to help take years off of their appearance with proper skincare and various treatment suggestions. In my quest to stay up-to-date on the latest available treatments available, I meet many times each week with various doctors, dermatologists, plastic surgeons and managers of medi-spas. I also take classes because I love to learn and continuing your education and learning new things every day is anti-aging for the brain.
You want to stay young? Keep learning new things.
And then finally, it’s time for lunch— my first (and biggest) meal of my day. I start with a cup of hot water and lemon. (Remember? Water first, then food.) Whether I’m preparing my own meals or I’m eating out, I don’t believe in ‘diets’. If the multi-billion-dollar weight loss industry was actually achieving sustainable results, Americans would all be skinny, and the weight loss mega-companies would be broke. So I don’t diet,and I never coach my clients to do so. Instead, my philosophy is to add fiber-rich healthy foods into your diet, which leaves less room to polish off that pint of ice-cream.
I call my way of eating a ‘Real Food Program’. If a food is processed, I try to avoid it. For lunch, I’ll either warm up a meal that is left over from last night’s dinner, or pick some lettuce from my humble garden and grill a piece of salmon or organic chicken breast to add on top. I also love my Beauty Berry Smoothie, which is 1/2 cup kale,1 cup frozen organic blueberries, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 scoop collagen powder, and a dash of cinnamon. My go-to healthy recipes are on my website, LiveYoungLifestyle.com.
I cook diner almost every nightbecause I like to feed my family healthy meals, and I want to know exactly what I’m putting into my body.
Over the years, I’ve discovered that even the ‘healthy recipes’ found in cooking magazines and websites can be made healthier… and still taste delicious.
My adventurous family has been my guinea pigs for all of my cooking triumphs and failures. As someone who likes to experiment, many times I have ruined entire meals, but the important thing is to keep trying. I tell my clients: don’t be afraid to try a new recipe, the worst thing that could happen is you ruin it, have a good laugh, and order takeout. But you never know — some of the recipes you try may become family favorites.
Another good incentive to eat well is that healthy eating promotes healthy skin. Nutritious food and healthy supplements work from the inside-out, while daily skin care works from the outside-into combat the ‘battle scars’ that manifest on our faces as wrinkles, sun spots, loss of collagen, lost elasticity… all of the things that show our age.
When my day is done and it’s time for my 8 hours of sleep, it’s important to thoroughly wash the day off.
I never go to sleep without completely washing off every last stitch of makeup, sunscreen, and other products.
My nightly skincare routine is when I use my power-house products and treatments. First, I thoroughly wash my face with Phisoderm using a Clarisonic brush. To stimulate collagen and promote cell turnover, I start by dry-brushing my entire body every night before I shower. After showering, I apply ROC Retinol Correxion Max Daily Hydration Cream to my body, especially my arms and décolletage. This product exfoliates without overly dying. Your neck and body secrete water, so moisturizing those parts are essential.
Your face, on the other hand, secretes oil, so if you over-moisturize your face, your skin cells will become lazy and will not produce moisture from within. It seems counter-intuitive, but your skin will begin to make its own oil if you dry out the outermost layers.
Unlike the products I use for my body, my night time skincare routine for my face is drying to promote cell turnover, stimulate collagen, and shrink pores.
After washing, I scrub with ZO Skin Health Complexion Renewal Pads, followed by an application of ZO Skin HealthGrowth Factor Serum.
I’m also a big believer of micro-needling at home, so every night, I use Nurse Jaimie’sSkin Stamp around my eyes and on my eyelids, and once a week I use it on my entire face and neck. It’s a micro-needling stamp, which creates tiny perforations in the skin that helps to stimulate collagen and aids in product penetration. I love Nurse Jamie’s EGF Eye Cream, which I also use every morning. My last step is prescription-strength .05% Retinoic Acid Cream(Tretinoin). Originally marketed for acne, it’s now one of the leading ingredients in anti-aging skincare. Continued use does make you more susceptible to the sun, so sunscreen is still a must!
There you have it —a day in the life of an anti-aging consultant. I do what I canto defy aging because until that futuristic Jetson’s cartoon becomes a reality, keeping myself healthy is an act of self-love.
NOTE: Any and all products that are not my own are mentioned here because I believe in them. I make no money as an ambassador for any product or procedure.
You may also enjoy reading The Awakening of Sleeping Beauty: Tragedy, Humanity… and Lipstick by Zainab Salbi