How I Age Backwards

Heidi DeCoux

This year I’ve been on a mission to get into the best health of my life.  I’ve been told I’m aging backwards (I’ll take it!), and I get asked all the time what my secrets are, so I’m spilling them all right here, right now.

Pictured here is my best friend, Selena Soo, and I in July celebrating her 40th birthday (I turned 44 in June).   

The Inside

Health & beauty start from the inside.  My first step was finding out how I’m doing on the inside and where I need to make adjustments, so I got a plethora of tests done.

The Tests I Took

1.  Viome – This is a simple at-home stool & blood test which analyzes your microbiome and cells with new mRNA technology and AI-powered platform. It gives you 50+ health scores that may highlight underlying contributors to poor health.  Their user-friendly app shows you based on your specific body which foods are your superfoods, which foods you should minimize, and which foods you should avoid.   

2.  The DNA Company – this is a simple at-home saliva test and is far more comprehensive than 23andMe and DNA Fit.  You can see all of the data they give you here.

3.  Complete Physical – regular physical + Complete Blood Panel (CDC), Metabolic/Thyroid Panel, Urine Analysis, Electrocardiogram, and Bioimpedance Analysis. 

I joined a concierge medical clinic (Pravan Health) which provides all of these tests annually (included in membership).  After completing the tests they have you meet with your doctor, a nutritionist and a sports medicine doctor to go over your results and get recommendations.  If you live in Puerto Rico, I recommend joining Pravan (in addition to being the universal health insurance available in Puerto Rico).  If you decide to join Pravan, tell them Heidi sent you and you’ll get 10% off your first year. 

4.  Vibrant Wellness Labs – This is at-home urine & stool test which tests for mycotoxins, heavy metals, environmental toxins and gut health.

5.  My Healthy Beginning – I got a heart scannutritional supplement testingIonCleanse, and a BrainTap.  Based on my in-office test results along with my blood, urine & stool sample results, my practitioner (the amazing Nichi Hirsch Kuechle) creates my vitamin supplement plan, and then adjusts it based on my bodies needs throughout the year. 

What I Did With The Information

The good news is that I found out my biological age is 10 years below my chronological age.  And I found that there is still room for improvement, especially with my gut health, so I made some tweaks to my day-to-day lifestyle and am tracking my results and continuing to adjust as needed.  

My Day-to-Day Lifestyle

Supplements – I have custom designed supplement plan that changes throughout the year based on my bodies needs.  The supplements come from different companies but are all organically compounded (I never take synthetic supplements).  In addition, I take:   

Water – I drink distilled water.  This article outlines the differences between RO and distilled water and the reasons why I choose distilled. I add these minerals to my water.   

Fasting – I now fast for 14-16 hours, 5-ish days a week.  I do a pure water fast for 13-ish hours.  Then I have a splash of Apple Cider Vinegar in a glass of water, followed by half a lemon squeezed into a mug of water, followed by a cup of Four Sigmatic Coffee with a dash of Bulletproof MCT Oil and a few sprigs of fresh rosemary.

Collagen + Butter Coffee – At hour 14-ish, I have 1-2 additional cups of coffee blended with Kerry Gold Grass-Fed Butter & Aspen Naturals Collagen.  I blend the butter, collagen, coffee with a dash of organic pumpkinnutmeg & cinnamon spices in my Vitamix blender.  It makes a frothy yummy coffee that feels like a latte and kicks your brain into high gear. 

Diet – I generally eat breakfast around 10am and I generally keep it Keto (so that I’m in Keto until lunchtime which is generally around 1pm for me).  My breakfast is usually a “scramble” of zucchini, mushrooms, chicken sausages, leeks or fennel made in grass-fed organic ghee with spices.  Sometimes I’ll have bacon instead of chicken sausages and one or two days a week I’ll have eggs.  I always get pure nitrate-free bacon with no-sugar (finding bacon without sugar is sometimes challenging).  Lately I’ve been getting great organic chicken sausages from Costco which only contain organic chicken and spices – no sugar or other junk.

I have a chef that comes every Monday and cooks 8 healthy meals to that meet my optimal dietary needs based on my Viome & DNA Test results.  He puts my meals into these glass containers (the plastic ones are SO toxic).  He gets wild-caught fish that was caught that morning and then goes to local farms to get grass-fed/free-range meats and organic (or semi-organic) produce.  I generally go out to eat 2-3 times a week and for those meals I pretty much eat whatever I want.  For the other meals, I make simple fast healthy dishes.  I generally don’t drink alcohol more than 1-2 times a month, but that varies based on my social calendar. 

I rarely eat snacks.  Sometimes I’ll have breakfast later (like at noon) and then just have two meals that day. 

I started eating on this schedule after reading the book Fast This Way by Dave Asprey (which I highly recommend).  Dave encourages you to find the eating & fasting plan that works best for your body and shows you how to figure out what works best for you.  This is the plan that currently works best for my body at this point in my life (your body changes as you age).   

I actively work to keep the inflammation, metals and toxins down in my body by:

– Avoiding toxic inflammatory oils like Canola, vegetable, and seed oils like grape seed and sunflower.  At home I only use virgin coconut oilavocado oilgrass-fed butter and ghee, and pure real olive oil (most olive oil isn’t pure even though the label doesn’t indicate that so I buy it straight from this family vineyard in Italy).   

– Keeping my vitamin D levels up through sun exposure (which is easy living in the Caribbean) but because I travel a lot, I also take a D3 supplement.

Heidi DeCoux

– Buying organic when possible, and when I can’t get organic I stay away from the Dirty Dozen which are the foods highest in toxic pesticides (strawberries are the worst!).

– Taking an organic chlorella tablet whenever I eat fish to help the mercury pass through my system (I eat wild caught fish whenever possible but pretty much all fish has mercury in it because we’ve polluted our planet).

– Avoiding fried foods including crackers and chips (unless they say baked on the package, they’re fried).  My favorite chips are these baked cassava nacho chips (they’re amazing!).

– Having turmeric & oregano in my breakfast scramble everyday.

– Using this aluminum-free deodorant.

– Having this filter on my shower head to filter out chorine and other chemicals.

– Purifying my air.  I live in a city in the the Caribbean where air quality can be a problem at times so I have two air purifiers – this one in my bedroom which runs 24/7, and this one in my living room which is large enough to clean the air in the rest of my condo.

– Keeping mold out of my home.  Because I live in the Caribbean and mold is an issue here, I have two of these large dehumidifiers that run all of the time and I use Oxiclean laundry soap because it’s the only one that kills mold and keeps whites white in the Caribbean (whites get yellow here).  I have a clothesline on my terrace and dry most of my laundry out there so it gets sunlight (which kills mold) and saves energy.   

– Keeping mattress toxins from my body.  Mattresses are a big source of toxins and you spend 6-9 hours everyday on your mattress. I have this mattress encasement to help keep the chemicals from me and these organic bamboo sheets (which are a splurge but worth it). I have less expensive but still amazing bamboo cooling sheets on my guest bed, along with a mattress encasement and this organic bamboo topper.  Everyone that’s slept on my guest bed has gushed about how comfortable the bed is and how great the sheets are (and they’re affordable!).  There are some great toxic-free mattresses available but living on an island I don’t have access to all of the stuff available in states.  All of the mattresses in my home are Leesa’s from Costco which are low in toxins, affordable and great to sleep on.   

– Primarily using cleaning products that are free of toxic chemicals.

– Primarily using cosmetic products that are free of toxic chemicals (I do make some exceptions).

– Only using pure sea salt.  The the four salts I use are: HimalayanCeltic Sea SaltTruffle Sea Salt (amazing on popcorn!), Herbamare Herbed Sea Salt.

– Avoiding processed foods.  I do eat them sometimes but I keep it to a minimum and try to choose ones that don’t contain toxic oils like sunflower and safflower (I look for ones with avocado or coconut oil), that contain real food ingredients, and that are baked not fried.

– I generally don’t drink alcohol more than once or twice a month.  When I’m out socializing I usually order a Pellegrino with lime, a low-sugar mocktail, or a SOCIAL sparkling wine. My friend Leah created SOCIAL which is a low alcohol, organic, gluten-free sparkling wine with only 1 gram of sugar… and tastes amazing.  Clearly Leah’s a genius.  You can check out her creation here.

Dental – I use Wellnesse Fluoride-Free Toothpaste + Kopari Charcoal Toothpaste (alternate) and the Burst electronic toothbrush with a charcoal head.  I floss everyday and get my teeth cleaned once a year.  I use the copper tongue scraper every morning. I put a couple drops of Heal Thy Mouth on my toothbrush once a week (or more accurately, whenever I think of it). For whitening, I use these natural teeth whitening strips and occasionally use the White Glo which is charcoal based and doesn’t cause sensitivity (and is less toxic). Fortunately I have really healthy teeth – only had one partial cavity and that was years ago. 

Workout – I workout most weekday mornings.  I generally go to the gym twice a week to lift.  The other days I do an at-home workout from an app.  Tone It Up is my fave.  Oftentimes my workouts are just 15-20 minutes + I run sprints on the treadmill 1-3 times a week and I walk for 30-60 minutes most nights after dinner.  I recently took up rollerskating!  And this year I’m committed to scheduling more play dates with friends at the beach and rainforest.

Heidi Decoux

Sleep – I really like getting good sleep so I do a lot of things to help ensure it.  A few years ago I took an online sleep course from America’s #1 Sleep Doctor – Dr. Michael Brues.  He gave some strategies and tips I had never heard before which have worked really well for me.  You can check out my full sleep tips post here.   

Periods – I use organic titanium dioxide-FREE tampons and pads (Cora applicator-free are my faves), and Thinx Period Panties

Meditation – I’ve wanted to have a regular meditation practice and was never able to stick to anything, until recently.  After trying more than a dozen different methods I finally found one that works for me.  I meditate for 1-5 minutes most morning now before I get out of bed.  If you want a regular meditation practice the key is to keep trying them all until you find the method and timing that works for you. 

Bodywork – I get regular massages, chiropractic care and reiki.

Friendships – I have tight beautiful incredibly supportive friendships – we see each other through it all, are each others cheerleaders, consolers, playmates & business-besties.  Life is so much easier and more rich when you have a high quality squad.  My #1 piece of life advice is to find your people and cultivate deep relationships with them.  It takes work to find them, vet them (be VERY discerning!), and then build and maintain deep relationships with them, but the return on investment is life-changing.  

The Outside

Although health & beauty start from the inside, you definitely have to take good care of the outside too.  I do as many natural things as possible.  I’ve never had botox, fillers or plastic surgery.  I’m not opposed to any of that stuff, I just haven’t felt the need for it – yet.  I am going to be doing Sculptra on my smile lines for the first time at the end of this year. 

Skincare – I’m not loyal to any one skincare line, I cherrypick.  BeautyCounter and Kiehls are two of my current faves.  My biggest secret is the Droplette Machine with collagen pods!  It noticeably disappears fine lines and tightens your skin within a week of use.  I use this pure organic jojoba oil as my body moisturizer and when I’m in a dry climate or trying to extend a spray tan, I’ll mix organic shea butter cream with my jojoba oil.  My favorite eye cream is the Coffee Bean Caffeine Refresh by 100% PURE and my favorite toner / hydration mist is Honest Beauty.  To wash my face I use Miceller Water with these fantastic reusable makeup rounds by Last Object (you just throw them in the wash machine!).  I almost never get zits, but on the rare occasion one pops up, I put this Burts Bees Spot Treatment on it and in two days it’s gone.

Face Masks – I use a sheet mask once a week (or so).  Every time I’m at Marshall’s I buy a bunch of random sheet masks, and occasionally I use a Jade Roller that I keep in the fridge. I also use these collagen eye masks.   

Heidi DeCoux and Lana Schlafer

Dry Brushing – I always dry brush before I shower.  Benefits + details of dry brushing are here

Age Spots – I’m careful with my sun exposure and I get my sun spots and cherry angiomas removed by a doctor on an as-needed basis.

Eye Lashes – one of my besties bought me Rodan Field Enhancements Last Boost for my birthday and IT WORKS so well.  I just swipe it on every night before bed and after a few weeks my lashes were at least 30% longer and seem to be continuing to grow.

That’s a recap of how I “age backwards” from the inside out.  I’d love to hear your strategies and tips.  Hop on over here to Instagram and share them with me.

Love,

Heidi DeCoux