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My name is Matthew Lake, and I will be sharing my experience as I practice my CR diet.
I should probably tell you a little bit about myself…
I live in Wales in the UK. I’m currently a student and studying science in college, with the hopes of attending medical school after I finish. My second option would be going into biomedical science and then going into the field of aging to develop therapies which reverse aging.
A few years ago I came across a guy named Aubrey De Grey – he’s awesome! He’s such an amazing guy for getting the message out there, traveling all over the place, talking at conferences, and getting more people to listen to the idea of reversing aging and living in a world where we don’t have to get sick from old age.
I should first thank the people that got me involved in CR: April Smith for the help with getting CR started and pointing me in the right direction, and Michael Rae for all the help on supplements – thank you! 🙂
The first book on calorie restriction that I read was “The 120 Year Diet” by Dr. Roy Walford. In the book, he explains all of the science behind calorie restriction and also some of the early results from human studies. I highly recommend reading this book if anyone wants to try the diet. Not only does it delve into the history of CR, but it also the science and how to practice the diet.
There are also lots of recipes in the book for low-calorie meals which meet all of the body’s needs. These include vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, protein etc. He has a short chapter on the benefits and dangers of supplementation, which is quite useful. I don’t personally take a lot of supplements, but if you’re not able to get enough of a particular nutrient, taking a supplement is probably a good idea according to Roy.
And finally, I’m also grateful for Ray Kurzweil and the books he has written. Age of Spiritual Machines was the first book I had read in full! It captured my imagination about the future of humans and technology. And after reading his essays and books I became really excited about the future! I think without coming across Ray Kurzweil’s work, my life may have been very different. It changed the direction of my life in a big way.
A little about my CR Diet
I am 5ft 7″ 108 lbs and have been doing CR for just over 20 months, but I’ve been eating healthily since I was 18. I actually started being a bit more conscious about the foods I eat before I found out about CRON.
I was regularly having fruit on my cereal, stopped having sugar in my tea, and just avoided junk food on and off for at least a year or so before CR — and this led to a bit of weight loss but it couldn’t have been too much because I’ve always been quite thin (I’ll share a picture of me when I was younger).
So making better food choices started when I was around 18-19 years old, and my CRON diet started when I was 20. I guess I eased into CR over a longer period of time than most people, and this has been helpful for me to adjust to the diet and stick at it.
People I meet now think I am much younger than my age. They usually guess that I’m only between 15-16 years old. So perhaps the diet is working? Some people would be skeptical because I’m still so young, but that’s understandable.
It will be interesting to see how the diet affects my aging process as I continue to practice it over a period of decades. I suspect that CR will work very well and that the results will mirror that of what we see in rodents who have their lifespan dramatically extended.
If it doesn’t work, then I hope to be in as best shape as I can possibly be in for a time when real anti-aging therapies exist. I figure the healthier I am, the better my chance of responding to such therapies in the future.
The first therapies which will be available will more likely be risky and costly. So, maybe I wouldn’t want to be the first subject to be tested on!
That being said, if I am very old by the time anti-aging therapies exist, then I may have no choice but to go for it anyway.
What I eat
Overall, my diet is mainly focused on plant foods: these include lots of fruits and vegetables, but I also eat a lot of nuts. I only meat sometimes, but not often. And it’s usually fish. The food I eat really fills me up, and so I hardly ever feel hungry on the CR diet!
Update: As of 2007, I stopped eating meat and became a vegetarian. Then in 2012, I became a vegan! You can read my article on starting a vegan diet, where I share all the basics about how to do the diet safely.
Article updated and reviewed: February 2019.