Years ago, I was flipping through Oprah Magazine and saw a feature on people making positive changes to our planet. I was drawn to this beautiful, vibrant, well-dressed woman who looked to be in her early 70’s. Under her photo, it shared the work she’s currently doing (which sounded like two full-time jobs), her 5-year goal (which was to start another nonprofit with a big mission), and her age… 104.
I gasp when I say her age.
Then I got a huge smile on my face thinking about this beautiful glowing 104-year-old woman with a BAHG (Big Audacious Hairy Goal), lit up about life, probably wise as f*ck, and doing meaningful work full-time.
I quietly said to her… thank you. Thank you for showing me what’s possible.
My besties and I often talk about how much better life is as we age (you couldn’t pay us to go back to our 20s) and how excited we are for our 50s… the decade where we’ll still be smokin’ hot, plus wiser, richer, more accomplished and grounded, and un-f*ck-with-able.
I feel like there is so much to do, see, and experience in this lifetime, and I want to have the time, energy, and health to do it all.
I wrote a post over a year ago on my birthday outlining exactly what I’m doing to age backward. Most of that still applies. And I’ve added quite a few new things to my routines recently (outlined below).
I went through a significant health challenge this year. Although I was already living a very healthy lifestyle, the silver lining in going through the health challenge was learning so much more about how to better care for myself.
There are simple, cheap, easy things we can all do to keep our inflammation down and our immunity strong and to prevent ourselves from getting infections and viruses (did you know that when you’re in a fasted state, you can’t get a virus?!).
Here’s what I’ve added to health routines…
The Easy Stuff
- When I get up to pee, I now do 10-20 air squats before sitting down again. I’m also focusing on using my standing desk at least 1/3 of the workday. And when I’m on the phone, I pace around my apartment.
- I’m trying to create the habit of moving after each meal for at least 5 minutes. It does wonders to regulate blood sugar, which has one of the biggest impacts on aging. It’s so effective for regulating blood sugar that people are reversing diabetes by simply walking for 10 minutes after each meal and eliminating snacking! Of course, the drug companies are not interested in that tidbit of info being widely spread.
- I started using the red light therapy machine with a vibrational plate a couple of times a week at Planet Fitness. I noticed that most of my age spots started crusting off from it – BONUS!
- I don’t have access to a cold plunge, and my shower doesn’t get cold, so I started putting my face in a bowl of ice water on the mornings that I do a quick HIIT workout. Apparently, most of the receptors are in your face, so you get about 70% of the benefits of doing a full-body cold plunge by simply submerging your face. And it’s great for your skin!
- I put a Castor Oil Pack on my liver once a week, generally at night while I sleep. This one is super easy to use. It’s a cheap, simple way to help keep your liver detoxed. In today’s world, we’re exposed to an insane amount of chemicals and toxins. Our livers are on overload, which causes all kinds of problems in your body.
- I NEVER thought there would be a day that I would write this sentence, but here we are…. I started doing coffee enemas. If you get the right kit, they’re actually pretty easy to do and not messy. And the health benefits are WELL WORTH IT. This is the coffee enema protocol I follow. I’m doing them 2-3 times a week to clean out the plethora of parasites I have and to detox my liver. Most likely, I’ll do one once a quarter over the full moon to kill parasites, keep my liver detoxed, and repair my system. All my tips and hacks for making your coffee enema a smooth, easy process are here.
- I took up yoga and love it! On a regular week, I go two times. The week before my period, I go 3-4 times. It’s recommended that menstruating women only do yoga, stretching, and walking on days 23-28 of their cycle (or 23 to whatever day your cycle ends), and take it easy on your workouts days 19-22. I generally just do yoga and walks now on days 19-28.
- I rid my body of parasites. Due to the effects of the modern world we live in, parasites plague us all. A lot of common health conditions are a result of parasites, such as fatigue, bloating, excessive gas, constipation, diarrhea, insomnia, teeth grinding, anxiety, depression, joint pain, a variety of skin issues including eczema, and many others.
Fasting and ridding your body of parasites are probably the two fastest, cheapest ways to immediately improve your health, feel better, sleep better, digest your food better, and ward off disease. All my tips for successfully evacuating parasites from your system (and keeping them out) are here.
Optimizing Your Energy & Hormones
I’ve learned a lot about cycles. Men’s bodies operate on a 24-hour cycle, and they only have one hormone – Testosterone. Women’s bodies operate on a 28-30-day cycle, and we have three different hormones that get produced at different times throughout the month. Day 1 of your cycle is the day your period starts. I use the Flo app to track mine.
Our entire world is pretty much set up on men’s cycles, and women are expected to adjust, which is quite detrimental to our bodies. It’s up to us to create our individual world around our cycles.
Day 1-10 – Do cardio & weights
Day 11-15 – Do cardio & heavier weights but slow movements
Day 16-18 – Push your workouts hard
Day 19-28 – Yoga, Stretching, and Walks. Days 19 & 20 are great days to eat more carbs (you can splurge these days). Also, try not to schedule any major events, keep meetings to a minimum, build space, and rest into your schedule these days. If you have a male partner in your life, put them in charge of all housework these days or hire help, and if you have kids, have them (or hired help) do most of the work during these days. This is a good time to retreat and do quiet, focused, detailed work and finish projects.
I have all of my workouts and health practices as repeating events in my calendar. Then, on Day 1 of my cycle, I’m now sitting down and adjusting them for that month based on my cycle.
Over the last few years, I dabbled in intermittent fasting, and now I’m hooked on fasting! It’s probably the simplest, fastest, cheapest way to improve your health, have a rock-solid immune system, and age backward. Did you know that when you’re in a fasted state, you can’t get a virus?!
Annddd… I generally don’t get celebrity crushes, but Steven Bartlett… swoon.
Below are my Cliffnotes on the types of fasting I’m experimenting with. There are many different types of fasts that produce different results. Based on my health goals, below are the fasts I’m currently experimenting with.
Some Basic Rules I Follow Whether or Not I’m Fasting:
- I don’t eat for at least an hour after I wake up (usually longer) and at least two hours before bed.
- I generally don’t snack.
- I drink at least half my body weight in ounces of distilled water every day (and I take a lot of minerals).
- I try to eat fermented food once per day. Sauerkraut, kimchi & kombucha are my go-to’s.
- I start my day with ½ a lemon or lime and a pinch of plastic-free sea salt in a mug of water, then a shot of organic apple cider vinegar in water (I drink both of these drinks with a metal straw). Be sure NOT to take your probiotic within an hour of taking ACV. I follow those up with a cup of mold-free, mineral-rich coffee with MCT oil or grass-fed butter (depending on if I’m fasting and what type of fast I’m doing).
- When I’m ready to break my fast, I have another cup of coffee with grass-fed butter and marine collagen.
- My go-to grass-fed butter is Kerry Gold butter (unsalted is best for your morning coffee).
– Stabilize your blood sugar before your fast with healthy fats.
– Break your fasts with high-quality FAT. For example, an avocado, a cup of grass-fed butter coffee, or a cup of bone broth with some grass-fed butter or MCT oil in it. Dr. Mindy recommends Keto Cups (I’m allergic to chocolate, so those don’t work for me, but many people love them).
– Drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water every day.
– When doing longer fasts (24 hours or more, be sure to get electrolytes). This is a good one to take.
– Don’t fast for more than 13 hours during the progesterone-building part of your menstrual cycle (days 17-21), or you’ll inhibit your progesterone production. Also, don’t do keto on these days. These are great days to eat pumpkin, squash, tropical & citrus fruits, nuts & seeds, cruciferous vegetables, and grass-fed beef – all of which support progesterone production. You can splurge on carbs on days 19 & 20 of your menstrual cycle – in fact, it may help you feel better when you’re on your period.
– Don’t fast for more than 13 hours the week before your period (if you have a 28-cycle, that’s days 23-1), and don’t do keto these days. These are good days to eat more carbs.
– Your body loves to fast when it’s producing estrogen, which happens during the first 10 days of your cycle.
Day 1 is the first day of your period.
Regular Intermittent Fast
- I do a 17-hour fast approximately 4 times a week (except on days 17-21 of my cycle). During this fast, for approximately 12-13 hours, I only drink water. At around the 12-hour mark, I have ½ a lemon or lime and a pinch of plastic-free sea salt in a mug of water, then a shot of organic apple cider vinegar in water (drink both of these with a straw). I follow those up with a cup of mold-free, mineral-rich coffee with either grass-fed unsalted butter or MCT oil. None of these things break my fast. The way this works for me and my schedule is I finish eating dinner at 6 p.m. I wake up around 6 a.m. and have my lemon water, ACV, and coffee. Then, at 11 a.m. I break my fast with another cup of coffee with grass-fed butter, and I add protein-rich marine collagen to this one. Then I have breakfast.
- On other days, I fast for 13-ish hours.
Repair Your Body Quickly – Autophagy Fasting
Autophagy fasting has been proven to:
- Repair your cells and body’s ability to heal itself
- Boost your immunity
- Increase lifespan
- Improve metabolic health
- Reduce inflammation
- Repair stem cells and hormones
- Clean your liver
- Prevent cancer and other diseases
- Lower your biological age
I’m now committing to do an autophagy fast once a quarter. I may do an extra one to fight off a cold or if I was exposed to a ton of germs (like attending a big event or something). It’s best to do this fast on days 1-13 of your cycle (day 1 of your cycle is the first day of your period). Definitely don’t do it on days 17-21 (days 22-28 are okay, days 1-13 are best) – refer to the visual graphic above on how to optimize your menstrual cycle.
Autophagy starts at 17 hours and goes to 72 hours of fasting. Between 48 and 72 hours, you have deep healing in your body.
During your fast, you can have:
– Pure filtered water – be sure to drink at least half your body weight in ounces
– Sea salt in your water for electrolytes
– Plain organic black tea and coffee (but limit it to 1-3 cups a day, spread out)
– For maximum healing benefits, you ideally want to have close to zero calories and no fat or protein. This allows your body to be in deep repair mode.
If you’re new to fasting, start with intermittent fasting, then do the Immunity Boost + Fat Loss Fast below (which includes some autophagy fasting). Then, try a 36-hour autophagy fast and work up to doing a 72-hour one.
Immune Boost + Fat Loss Fast
If you need an immune boost and/or to drop a few pounds, this is a great fast to do. Don’t do this fast on days 17-28 of your menstrual cycle. Days 1-13 are ideal, 11-16 are great (day 1 is the day you get your period). For men and women without a cycle, you can do it anytime and repeat it.
During your 17-hour fasting periods, you can have:
– Pure filtered water – be sure to drink at least half your body weight in ounces
– Can add ½ fresh squeezed lemon or lime and plastic-free sea salt to your water for electrolytes
– Plain Organic Tea
– Black Coffee with some MCT oil OR unsalted grass-fed butter (no cream, sugar, collagen, or anything other than black coffee with either MCT or butter)
During your 24-hour fasting periods, you can have:
If you stick to this list of things to consume during your 24-hour fasting periods, you’ll have the added benefit of getting some deep healing and cell rejuvenation from autophagy fasting, and it’ll be a bigger immune boost for you.
– Pure filtered water – be sure to drink at least half your body weight in ounces
– Add plastic-free sea salt to your water for electrolytes
– Plain Black Organic Tea (NOTHING added)
– Plain Black Mold-Free Coffee (NOTHING added)
Technically, you can add butter or MCT oil to your coffee and tea; however, if you do, your body won’t get as deep of healing because it will be processing the fat instead of repairing your cells and organs. For deep healing during these days, stick to the list above.
IMPORTANT ADDITIONAL STEPS:
– Ideally, test your ketones and blood glucose throughout these two weeks. I used the Keto Mojo test kit (which tests for both). Many people love that test kit, but I struggled to get enough blood on the strips and gave up on it after a couple of days. You want to keep your body in ketosis most of the time, but if your ketones go below 8.0, break your fast. Ideally, keep your mmol blood glucose between 3.9 – 5.0. If it goes down to 2.8, break your fast, and keep your mg/dl between 70 – 90 mg/dl. If it goes below 50, break your fast.
– Go for a 10-20 minute walk after your largest meals (ideally after every meal).
– Sleep 7 to 9 hours every night, ideally closer to 9. You can take melatonin each night. If sleep is a struggle for you, here are 26 sleep strategies that actually work.
– Do a quick HIIT workout three times a week, ideally two hours after waking up when your cortisol levels are peaked (this will help you feel calm and focused all day).
– Ideally, do cold therapy a few times a week. If you don’t have access to a cold plunge, put your face in a bowl of ice water for 15-30 seconds. A good time to do this is after your morning HIIT workouts.
– Dry Brush every day before you shower.
– Ideally, put a Castor Oil Pack on your liver three times a week while you sleep.
– Ideally, do a coffee enema once a week during this 2-week fast (not required, but it’ll supercharge your results with both weight loss, detoxing, and kill off parasites which we all need to do).
During the 2 weeks of this fast, these are the food guidelines to follow (even on your feast days):
- Ideally, eat a clean, unprocessed keto diet (but you could have some low glycemic fruits such as berries, grapefruit, and oranges)
- Eat lots of low glycemic keto-friendly vegetables – have as wide of a variety as possible
- No bad oils (canola, corn, vegetable, soy, cottonseed, safflower, sunflower, peanut, grapeseed)
- No artificial colors, flavors, or ingredients of any kind
- No processed or canned foods or sugar
- No soy
- No alcohol
- No food for at least an hour when you wake up
- No food for at least two hours before bed
- No snacking
- Have at least one fermented food each day (days that you eat)
- Ideally, make 60% of your food intake healthy fats. Some good options are: coconut/avocado/olive oil, tallow, duck fat, grass-fed butter & ghee, eggs, avocado, fatty fish & meats, olives, full-fat cheese, and yogurt (ideally raw organic full-fat dairy). Be sure there’s no sugar or additives in your yogurt.
- Try to eat as organic as possible so that you’re not adding toxins to your body as you’re detoxing.
- Avoid other toxins such as PFOA’s (found in non-stick cookware), and Phthalates (found in plastic, air fresheners, fragrances, and many beauty products).
- Avoid antibiotics (found in non-organic meat and dairy).
- Eat only grass-fed / pasture-raised meats.
This is a new journey for me. I’m just now starting to experiment with all of this. I’ll keep you posted on my progress and results. If you’re experimenting with any of these, please share with me over on Instagram.
P.S. If you like this post and want more of my hacks for optimizing your business and life, jump on my email list – I generally only send one email a month (or less) with links to my most popular content that month, plus some special stuff I only share in email. 🙂