Modern medicine has a way of keeping us alive even when our health is terrible. The United States Census Bureau reported that the 90-year-old are among the fastest growing demographic.

In the US, Medicare insurance for seniors spends 75% of its resources on chronic illness, the conditions that don’t kill you but can affect quality of life.

At 50, it can be hard to imagine what life will be like at 70, 80 or 90. And yet, doing so can be a strong motivator to look at how you are living today and how that will impact the reality of your older years.

I remember someone warned me at age 20 that if I kept smoking I would have trouble climbing a flight of stairs by age 60. Being able to run up a flight of stairs quite effortlessly at the time, I didn’t believe it.

Luckily, I stopped smoking at 24. Now, as I grow older, I keep that early warning in mind and appreciate that what I do now will impact my 70s and 80s.

I can always do better and remind myself that it will pay off in later years. For me, more aerobic movement is a goal for 2018. Do you have changes/improvements you want to make this year?

This is my 20th year helping women with nutrition and lifestyle. What I’ve seen over these two decades is our enormous potential to heal, to improve overall health, even when our earlier years may not have included many healthy habits.

Perhaps you were a fast food fan or never ate vegetables. When you shift to better eating, you will enhance your future health.

What Exactly Is Eating Well?

Eating well means your diet consists of high quality nutrients, mostly plant based. This would include beans, lentils, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds. High quality meat without added hormones might be a choice for you as well. Eggs too. And clean water.

This way of eating has much greater value than simply counting calories. What you put in your body, good or bad, becomes your body. Eating an adequate amount of high quality foods pays off in both weight and health.

Nutritional Healing Protocol for Lifelong Wellness

A true nutritional healing protocol consists of 5 steps, only the first of which is food-related. The rest define the way we live which impacts our nutrition in very deep ways, because the way we live is how we nourish – or don’t nourish – ourselves. Here are the 5 steps:

Eat Simple Whole Foods

Simple whole foods are those foods that come in their original form, unprocessed and without additives and preservatives. Eat local when you can, and organic when you can. Your own garden is ideal.

Move More

Movement is very important. I don’t say exercise, as that word can be a turnoff. Instead, think of the way you like to move your body, and do it a lot. Dance, practice yoga, run, swim, walk, climb, play pickle ball. It’s natural to do whatever it is you like more than a prescribed exercise.

Just Chill

Stressors are a part of our lives that we can’t escape. What we can do is follow the centenarians’ advice to stop worrying as everything has a way of working out. Surely, these hundred-year-olds have had their share of stressors through life, yet this is their message.

What is damaging with stress is not the stress itself, but your response to it. Find ways to let things go. Identify what you have control over, and let go of the rest. You can hear a sampling of my stress meditation or read about it.

Cut the Negative, Add the Positive

Surround yourself with positive things, experiences and people who make you laugh and who appreciate you. Filling your mind and your life with positive thoughts and positive people is one of the healthiest things you can do for mind, body and spirit.

Find Your Purpose

No matter how simple or how profound, figure out a reason to get up in the morning. It is the most energizing thing you can do. It is how we express and embrace our true self.

Which of these steps is already a part of your everyday life? Are there any that you feel you haven’t given much time to but feel they would help you?

When our lifestyle includes the whole package, it lowers our risk for illness. What’s better, it can be a great source of the kind of energy that puts a spring in your step and a true love of being alive.

What’s your secret to staying energized and looking forward to a long and healthy life? Please join the conversation below.

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