“The Longevity Book” by Cameron Diaz.
“Because the best way to age healthfully is to live fully.
To take care of your body and your spirit in this moment, where you are now.”
Longevity? Ageing? (or Aging)
I’ve read quite a few books on longevity and health, and diets. Fitness, movement, healthy lifestyle.
The recent two are by Cameron Diaz.
“The Body Book: The Law of Hunger, the Science of Strength, and Other Ways to Love Your Amazing Body”
Both of them are like encyclopedias — so much in-depth information. But also both are like personal diaries with Cameron’s own experiences, thoughts about everything, personal daily practices.
Such a delightful read!
You can dig as deep as you want, read about all the science, about the ways our body functions, and also all about aging process that starts on a cellular level and ends with our whole selves.
Or you can only read about practical stuff and apply it to embrace your beautiful self fully. Just like Cameron Diaz does.
Now “The Longevity Book”.
PART I: THE SCENIC ROUTE: Living in the Age of Longevity
1 Beauty Is Timeless, Wisdom Is Priceless: What We Talk about When We Talk about Ageing (What is aging in our society today? What is associated with aging? What youth is? How our attitude changed with time turning into absolute negativity towards age, shaming it, hiding it. I still don’t get it, why some people try to “excuse” their age and every time they talk about how old they are they try to say something like, “but I’m still healthy or I still have lots of energy”, like I can’t figure that out by spending time with them. Besides many young people these days are lazy and sick and NOT full of energy. Age is not a definition for the quality of vitality one experiences)
2 How Your Life Got Longer: The Story of Longevity (All about our longer lifestyles. Why we get to live twice as long as we used to, and why now for many people lifespans get shorter, not longer, and definitely not better)
3 The New Science of Getting Old: How Ageing is Studied Today (Now many scientists understand that aging is a cause for many degenerative diseases. We get lots of health issues not necessarily and always because of our worse-than-before lifestyle choices and environmental conditions, but because before, we were simply dying younger, when cell degeneration didn’t have a chance to show itself fully through all these different health issues like osteoporosis that seem to appear with age. Basically we used to die before all that accumulated damage — aging — occurred. Science starts to look at different conditions through the lens of aging — how aging might be the biggest cause of all the undesirable conditions that often come with older age)
4 Sex, Drugs, and Bikini Medicine: How Being Female Affects Your Health and Your Healthcare (We all know that women in any culture tend to live longer, right? There are many factors that influence that, but finally now scientists start embracing the idea fully — that women’s healthcare might need to be quite different from men’s, because even on a cellular level women bodies are different. It’s not just our sexual organs that are different. No! It’s our hearts, our lungs, our hormones — everything. Drugs affect women differently, we deal with stressors in life differently, our brains work differently, we have different mechanisms for decision making. In the world of science and medicine it still for the most part is not talked about, not dealt with — and that is a huge issue. Women’s and men’s physiology are much more different than we tend to think. We don’t only need two separate doctors for our special parts, we also need to separate female and male medicine for all body parts and all issues we deal with)
PART II: STEEP GRADES, SHARP CURVES: The Biology of Ageing
5 Time Is Relative: The Biological Impact of Genes, Choices, and Attitudes (All about effects of genotype (our genes) and phenotype (everything else in our environment that affects genes) on aging. Conclusion: for the most part how we age is defined by our choices — nutrition, activity levels, connections we build, environment we choose to surround ourselves with, our mental attitude, our habits)
6 The Mirror and the Microscope: The Secrets of Cellular Ageing, Revealed (It all starts with a simple cell and it all ends there too. We start aging on a cellular level and then we see all the results outside. If we want to reverse aging we got to program our cells for longevity. The chapter talks about every piece of a cell, all the parts, how we age on a cellular level, and how science deals with “old” or senescent cells)
7 Shape-Shifter: How the Female Body Changes Through Time (Female hormones, how they work, what they do, what changes with age, how all our body parts and systems age — nervous system, digestive organs, musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems. And how as a result our body starts to look and feel different)
8 The Case of the Hot Flushes: Investigating the Mysteries of the Menopause Transition (All about menopause, hot flushes and other symptoms of ageing for women. How to deal with them physically, mentally and emotionally. All the terms, all the science behind the whole process — so that you understand what is happening with your body at this stage of your life. For me it was very interesting. I don’t think I really understood how female body works before, and what happens to women as we get older. Made me think about my mom and what she is going through right now. Loved this chapter, nothing better than getting to know our bodies better)
PART III: YOU ARE HERE: The Art and Science of Living Longer
9 Brick House: Building a Stronger Body with Food, Fitness, and Rest (How three pillars of health and choices related to them affect the way we age — importance of food, movement and sleep/relaxation. Plus Cameron shares what she does/did daily as her body changes/changed with age)
10 Chill Out: Support Your Immune System by Managing Stress (Immune system. What it is, how it develops from the young age to our now. How to cultivate and support immune system — importance of a healthy gut for a strong immune system, meditation and other stress relief practices to boost our immune system, decrease chronic inflammation and slow down aging on a cellular level by lengthening telomeres — meditation and mindful practices are that powerful! And so taking care of your gut bacteria. And we certainly got to chill out — but we got to know how. The chapter is all about it)
11 How to Program Your Supercomputer: Building a Stronger Brain (What is our brain? How does it work on a cellular and macro level? How our brain affects our entire life — our body, our personality, our emotions, our choices, the quality of life we experience. Understanding conditions like dementia from inside out. What to do to have the best possible brain for the best life — nutrition, movement, sleep, stress reduction, meditation, constant learning, new experiences, music)
12 Love Big: Celebrating the Joys of Connection
“Friendship, happiness, joy; sharing laughs and sharing tears; these are not just the elements of a good life, they are the elements of a long and strong life. Friendship affects health. Happiness affects health.”
“All these common causes and markers of ageing — inflammation, cognitive decline, telomere length — have been tied to social activity, happiness, and community.”
“That is how we build community — by opening up and by being open. Sometimes it’s about seeking advice from an expert or a mentor; sometimes it’s about being someone else’s mentor or expert; and sometimes it’s about listening to what the next generation has to say. Part of the wisdom that comes with age is the confidence to heed the counsel of somebody who is less experienced or younger than we are. I don’t care if you are the CEO of a Fortune 500 company with all the experience in the world, I promise you that there is a junior assistant or an intern somewhere in your corporation who understands something that could benefit you. And the truth is that as we get older, our doctors, lawyers, and even bosses will be younger than us. Connection can come in many shapes and sizes and ages.”
“To me, that is one of the gifts of ageing. The ability to be present. To be confident. To be fully, unapologetically, yourself.
“So I would like to propose a new way to think about getting older. I would like to boldly suggest that we take those years back. No hiding. No apologizing. No deleting. No erasing. Instead of dreading midlife, instead of fearing forty or fifty or whatever the magic number is for you, decide now to honor it and to own it. Let’s push the midlife crisis off a bridge and throw ourselves a party instead.
The midlife celebration: a personal holiday that celebrates the journey we’ve made to get here, and the unexpected places we have yet to discover. Because the best way to age healthfully is to live fully. To take care of your body and your spirit in this moment, where you are now. You can spend your energy on love and not on worry. You can love the world, you can love the people around you, and you can love the person you have spent all these years becoming. Yourself.”
I don’t think I can say anything about aging, that is better than what Cameron said. Beautiful book.
I believe, we can change the world, so we choose how many years we can spend in this body, being youthful and embracing life fully.
But I also believe, that before we do, we need to learn how to accept and embrace the way our physical body changes. Not trying to hide it by some questionable beauty procedures. Not trying to “fix” aging by “fixing” our cell functions. But by accepting and appreciating the process for what it is, EXACTLY the way it is, trying to learn from it, to understand the reasons behind it, the driving mechanism.
And then we can move forward toward super-longevity. Working with reality of nature of our physical selves not trying to fight it, fix it — it’s not broken, there is a reason for everything.
And till we crack the code of possible immortality, here are a few steps to keep you as vital and youthful as possible at any age. (All the things I learned consuming information on health and longevity since I was a kid).
Learn to breathe properly. Deep diaphragm breathing. (http://www.breathmastery.com/)
Drink lots of good quality water. (The Fourth Phase of Water — What You Don’t Know About Water, and Really Should)
Meditate. Be mindful. Do I really need to still talk about whys on that one? Look it up! You got to be blind and deaf these days not to know about benefits of mindful practices! But always good to learn more and refresh memory. Seriously. Look it up!
Build true lasting social connections with supportive people, people you truly want to spend time with.
Work on being well. Happiness is an inside job — work on positive, joyful, playful, growth mindset.
Eat good food. The best you can afford. Give your body what it asks for. Not too much. Eat when hungry. Fast when not. Healthy food is simple — the closer to nature, the more simple, the more colorful and whole the better. And STOP CHEATING! You can’t cheat your health or longevity. Look forward to taking care of your body through healthy food, NOT to putting shit in your body on weekends. Do you want your brilliant mind, your unlimited spirit, your genius to live in a temple/beautiful palace or in a junk yard?
Move. As much as possible. Play. The body is designed to move, otherwise we’d be born with a stationary head or as trees. Seriously. Get up and move. NOW! Move anywhere, everywhere, anytime, all the time. No gym or running required. Just move — it’s that simple. Stop working out — move, play, have fun! Stop sitting — stand. Stop driving — walk. Stop sitting at the meeting — take the meeting outside. Don’t sit when offered a chair — say, “I’m ok standing”, are you sick or disabled to be sitting down all the time? The more you sit, the less energy you have, the sicker you are, the less you live.
Sleep. Just fucking sleep. Stop trying to hack it. Want high quality of life? Get some high quality sleep. When you steal from yourself your own sleep hours — you steal life and vitality from your own self. It’s not a gift or a talent to be able to “survive” on less sleep, it’s robbing yourself of life. That being sad — when you learn not to waste energy in your life (through poor nutrition, lack of movement, all kind of stresses) you might just need less sleep. When it comes to sleep — fall asleep fast, sleep till you naturally wake up rested, get up, go. If you can’t — time to fix your life and health.
Want to learn all you need to know about healthy living/aging as a woman? From one of the most amazing beautiful inspirational talented smart women out there? And a whole army of experts she talked to and did research with?
Pick up the books with all the science and lifelong practices the results of which you can’t question.
“The Body Book: The Law of Hunger, the Science of Strength, and Other Ways to Love Your Amazing Body”
P.S. Guess how old Cameron Diaz is?