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Skincare and Picture Update

So, I’m still alive. I’ve not abandoned the blog or anything, but I’ve had other things I’ve needed to do which is just taking priority over this blog at the moment. I’ll try to update more frequently though from now on. Anyways, here’s a little update to my skincare regimen!

I’ve used Skinceuticals CE + Ferulic since around 2009, and it worked great! But I felt I wanted a change and to try skinceuticals other serum called Skinceuticals Phloretin CF and I’ve been using it for about 1 year now in combination with the advanced pigment corrector by skinceuticals. Both of them contain vitamin C, which is great to boost collagen, but this serum is more targeted at clearing up hyperpigmentation and also inhibits the breakdown of elastin and increases elastin synthesis. I’m on my second bottle now, each one lasts approximately 6 months when I use them every morning, and so although it’s quite expensive, it does go a long way. 🙂

My diet has been excellent lately, I’ll go into that on my next post very soon. Although I haven’t been exercising nearly as much as I should be. My friend offered to sign me up to go to the gym nearby and I get a discount for the initial payment, but now that summer is almost here, I think I’ll leave it until summer is over… as I don’t mind exercising and going running in this weather anyway.

31 years and 7 months. BMI 19. Calorie intake at 1750 k/cal a day.

Is Mild Calorie Restriction Enough?

Even a Modest Reduction in Calorie Intake Might Extend Your Life

Calorie Restriction is known for extending lifespan in animals and does so in proportion to the degree of restriction. In a long running experiment by the NIA, rhesus monkeys were split into groups, where one group would eat ad lib and the other group would be put on 30% Calorie Restriction. The researchers set up the study so that the control fed animals were actually restricted by 10%, so they wouldn’t become fat or obese. The calorie restricted group would receive 30% less calories. Unfortunately, unlike the Wisconsin study which showed a significant increase in lifespan, this study showed no increase in mean lifespan in the adult-onset CR group. There could be many reasons for this, which I already discussed in my review of the studies here

It was already known that in certain strains of lab animals, 10% restriction can result in as much lifespan extension as 30% CR. Could the contradictory results of the two monkey studies be explained by the fact that the level of restriction in the NIA monkeys was already enough to elicit the maximum lifespan increase in rhesus monkeys? I’m not so sure that is the answer because the rhesus monkeys failed to exhibit important changes their health parameters that match rodents and people who do calorie restriction. However, in both groups the monkeys lived to around 35 years old, which is old for a rhesus monkey when you consider the fact that in previous cohorts, monkeys tend to live to an average of 27-28 years. That corresponds in human years to about 21 years extra life. They also noted that 4 calorie restricted monkeys lived to beyond 40 so far, and only 1 ad lib (10% CR). And out of 3264 rhesus monkeys looked at on record, only 2 monkeys had ever reached this age before. So that tells you something… maybe that ageing was indeed slowed. And we are still waiting for the final results from both studies which will be here in a few years time. And also, cancer incidence reported at the time was zero for the 30% CR group in the NIA study.

The researchers wrote about the monkey studies saying

“The possibility that lower levels of DR are as effective in increasing life span as high levels of DR could help explain the contradictory results reported on the effect of DR in rhesus monkeys in studies that were conducted at the University of Wisconsin and the NIA. One of the major differences in these two studies was body weight and the amount of food consumed by the AL monkeys. Body weight and food consumption were significantly greater in the AL monkeys in the study at Wisconsin compared to the AL monkeys at the NIA, suggesting that the AL monkeys at the NIA were slightly restricted compared to the AL monkeys at Wisconsin. Therefore, the lack of an increase in longevity reported by Mattison et al. could be because of the AL rhesus monkeys in this study having achieved a level of restriction necessary for an increase in life span, and a further restriction did not further increase lifespan.”

Study in Rats Comparing 10% CR and 40% CR

344 rat

In a study conducted in rats, the researchers looked to compare the difference in lifespan and disease in rats fed an ad-lib diet, 10% CR and 40% CR. What was interesting and what came to my attention before I had finished with the paper was that the mean lifespan was similar for both restricted groups, and that there was a significant increase in 10% survival and maximum lifespan for the 40% CR compared with the other two groups. This is similar to the trend that has been noted in the NIA rhesus monkey study. Because of genetic differences, monkeys may respond differently to varying levels of CR. You can see that quite a few rats in the study below died earlier than the 10% CR group, but the groups diverged near the end of the lifespan curve and the rats who ate 40% less lived far longer. Ad lib group max 1026 | 10% CR max 1180 | 40% CR max 1400.

So for a lucky few who do engage in more strict CR, the pay off might be significant. Although, on average, perhaps even a modest reduction in calories will increase your lifespan by quite a few years.  The rate of declining health for the ad lib and 10% CR group was similar, there was no real difference. However, only in the 40% restricted group was the slope of the gompertz curve altered, reflecting that the ageing of these animals was slower and they remained healthier and had a slower rate of decline in their health. The earlier deaths of some of the 40% CR group suggests that perhaps it was too much for some of the animals.

Calorie restriction in rats

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2015 Dec 22. doi: 10.1111/nyas.12982. Significant life extension by ten percent dietary restriction. Richardson, Austad, Ikeno, Unnikrishnan, McCarter RJ. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26695614

Humans who practice calorie restriction have greater control over the level of CR and can micro-manage their diet and supplements. We can also use tests to guide our practice and ease back when it might be too much. This gives us the best chance to see the best possible results from calorie restriction without compromising our health.

You can find the full paper here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/nyas.12982/epdf

 

 

Setting Goals

Always Set New Goals 

Not too long ago I was thinking that I hadn’t really challenged myself much lately or set goals for myself. Calorie Restriction can be a challenge at first, but eventually it does become routine for most of us. Some of us would spend a lot of time learning about nutrition by reading books and science articles to understand more about nutrition, health, and longevity. Although there’s a lot of new information come out all of the time about nutrition and the benefits of certain foods on disease and health, we learn learn plenty to be able to sustain ourselves on a calorie restriction diet and practice it safely. From that point we are essentially on autopilot. Many of us move onto other interests, while also maintaining this lifestyle.

Learning New Languages

So, back to what I was going to say: It’s normal that once we get comfortable with things how they are, we stay there and don’t take steps to move out of it. When we are children we have so much curiosity and are always exploring new things. Some people stay curiosity in life, while others stick to what they know and rarely venture outside of that for whatever reason. In life it’s important that we don’t get into a routine that makes us become stagnant and stops us from growing as a person. We should always explore new things, keep learning new skills, take up new hobbies, and meet new people. Ultimately it is up to us to make life the best it can be.

 

languages

 

I was introduced to K-pop last year by a friend and instantly loved it. At first it’s a bit ‘sensory-overload’ – but after a while you get used to it. Then I started to watch popular Korean Dramas and loved those too! They were different than the one’s I’ve watched in the UK or from the US. In my opinion, the dramas I’ve watched so far, including “Shine or Go Crazy and “My Love From The Star” are very good. My love from the Stars was streamed 14.5 billion times.

I think the Korean dramas have a more authentic style, better connections between the characters, beautiful fashion and costumes, and they are just wonderful to watch. What they sometimes lack with special effects, they more than make up with very good plots. They are funny, cute, interesting, and can be addicting!

After a while of learning more about Korea I’ve started to learn more about the history of Korea and their culture. It’s all been a fascinating experience so far. It’s almost like a new world opening up. And I guess that’s one of the best part about learning a new language.

Now that I’ve fallen in love with South Korea, I’ve begun learning the language because I would love to be able to communicate with the people when I eventually visit the country. (I will also visit Japan on the same trip). So I’ve set myself a goal to become quite fluent by next April, which I think is more than enough time given how much time I spent actively studying. For now I’ll study at home and look for South Korean stores and places here where I live so I can practice the language, as well as using Skype to talk to Korean friends of course. I’ve been researching a few Korean places local to me, and luckily there’s a few! Most South Koreans that come to the UK reside in London, though.

My Plan

When I get a good handle on Korean I will then start to introduce another language. Right now I still have a good grasp on Spanish, so I will listen, read, and try to speak more so I can improve to where I can converse easily. When I was studying it before I never really spoke much, and speaking is much more difficult compared to just being able to understand what is being said.  But for now my most active language will be Korean. At some point over the next few months I will also start to learn Japanese, too. But I won’t stop there! I intend to learn many languages… So far the one’s that I plan to learn are as follows:

Korean

Japanese

Spanish

Chinese (Mandarin)

Why Learn All of These Languages? 

Firstly, why not? Once you’ve learned them you can enjoy all that these countries have to offer. By learning these languages I will be able to speak to people from these countries and create new opportunities. Here where I live we’ve also had so many university students from China in recent years, too! And language learning also helps you think differently. It improves your memory and keeps the brain young!

As I was trying to look for tips on learning new languages, I came across a guy who speaks 50 languages – not all fluently, but many of them he is exceptionally good at. He also has a love for Asian languages and culture. You can see him converse in them in the video below.

My experience in learning Korean has been great so far. I love every minute of it. It doesn’t even feel like I am studying because I enjoy it so much. And that’s the way language learning should be! 🙂 It feels amazing to just be able to understand suddenly a few verses in a song that you couldn’t a few weeks ago. Over time things that were just “noise” become clearer. It’s these little achievements that make me excited! But the real benefit for me would be able to speak to people in their native languages. This is my goal, and I will achieve it!

Okay, that’s all for now. There’s lots more to update you on with regards to new goals of mine, but I wanted to stay on the topic of language. 🙂

30 Years Old – Picture Update

I haven’t done a picture update in quite a while, and since I was in the mood today, I took a few pictures! I’ll be 30 years old in just 10 days – and about 12 years into my anti ageing diet. The effects of Calorie Restriction on ageing are not only observed internally and with the various health improvements we see in our blood tests, but calorie restriction can also keep you looking younger for longer too!

See my other post on How To Look Younger

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Creating The Right Attitude To Achieve Your Goals

Creating The Right Attitude To Achieve Your Goals

Why is it that some people can achieve their goals more easily than others? Well, you can assume that they simply have more willpower; but if everything was a constant challenge, eventually, even the most determined person will slip up and either get poor results or just quit altogether. You know how it is when you start to exercise again… At first it’s really hard and challenging, but eventually you get into it and it becomes easy. You don’t dread that morning run, you actually start to enjoy it and you feel energised and ready to take it on! You’ve conditioned your body and mind and now it makes you feel good. It’s a positive cycle! You associate running with all good things, not the aches and pains the morning after as most beginners find out. So when you start a new healthy lifestyle, you want to make sure you’re getting positive things from it, and not make it about a life of deprivation. This is negative thinking and will no doubt be the cause of your failure.

When achieving something, it comes down to your belief in what you are doing — this determines whether or not you’ll take it seriously and work hard to achieve your goal. If you don’t believe this diet will work in helping you drop some weight, make you healthier, and increase your lifespan, then the chances you’ll stick with it are slim. So if your belief is low to start out with, then you’ll never achieve the results that you should and could get. So changing how you think is critical to your long term success.

When I embarked on this journey, I already held a strong conviction that I would a) Be healthier by doing it b) I would stay looking younger for much longer. c) I would live to over 100 and therefore give me a greater chance to reach a point in time when science could effectively rejuvenate the body and cure aging.

I remember thinking when I was younger that I could see myself being 30, but only looking only 20. Or I would project into the future to where I was 50, but had the body and mind of a 30 year old. In my mind, this wasn’t a possible reality, this was the only reality — this is what was going to happen, I thought to myself. Whether or not these were entirely realistic goals didn’t matter so much. They were necessary for me to stick with the plan when I had many people all around me telling me to quit and eat a “normal” diet like everyone else. Now I am almost 30 years old and so far I seem to be doing just fine. If you do what your friends and family are doing, then don’t expect to have radically better health. You have to do something different! Otherwise you’ll likely experience the same kind of diseases as they suffer from as you age.

 

What you can do to change your mindset and create positive reinforcement

  • Fast forward: Close your eyes and imagine that you’ve achieved your goal weight. How happy does this make you feel? Feel how light you are on your feet, how radiant you look, and how free you feel. Think of all the things you can now do! See yourself in that favourite dress or suit you’ve wanted to wear again. Hold onto that image and the feelings of happiness associate with it. Remember, this is not just a ‘possible future’, this is your future.
  • Surround yourself with people who live active and healthy lifestyles (positive examples). The environment you’re in can have a great influence on whether or not you stick with the changes that you’ve made.
  • Set realistic goals – track your weight and progress over time – reward yourself for good behaviours and reaching targets that you’ve set.
  • Write a small journal about how you feel, as this will give you something to look back on and see how far you’ve come. Sometimes we forget what it felt like before we started the diet. Most people don’t just become overweight and unhealthy over night – it’s a process that takes months or years – so subtle changes are missed.
  • Get blood tests to determine your current health and redo them periodically (every 12 months). Seeing the dramatic improvements in glucose, cholesterol, inflammation, and other health biomarkers can be a great motivator to keep doing what you’re doing. The more feedback we get from our body, the better we can make decisions and tweaks to get the most optimal results.
  • Keep learning and experiment with new recipes and foods. Keep it fun and new! Living healthy does not have to mean boring and bland foods.
  • Join the Calorie Restriction group on Facebook to get support from others who are thriving on this diet.

Recommended watching:  Tony Robbins: Why some people take massive action and others don’t 

Diet and Supplements

There hasn’t been that many changes since I last gave an update. I did become a little less strict on my eating habits during the time I was in Los Angeles, but since that time things have returned pretty much to normal. Occasionally I’ll have something that isn’t quite so healthy but I don’t make it a habit.

STATS
Height: 5ft 7.5″
Weight: 8st 8lbs (120 lbs)
BMI: 18.5
Blood Pressure: 90/60
Resting Pulse: 50bpm
Ear Temperature: 36.0 Degrees Celsius (average)

Right now I don’t have any intentions of lowering my weight further as I’m quite happy where I am for the moment. In the future that might change.

MY DIET AND SUPPLEMENTS

This doesn’t represent what I eat every day!

Lemon Green tea (2) with Fresh Ginger Powder
Now Foods Quercetin + Bromelain
Now Foods Adam Multivitamin 1 Cap
Allicin Max 2 Capsules
Now Foods Beta Glucan
Now Foods, C-500
Vitamin D3 5000IU
L-Arginine 500mg

Breakfast Green Smoothie
– 300-400ml Water
– 200g of Kale or Spinach
– 2 Bananas
– 1 Red Apple
– 100g Blueberries

Lunch
– 1 Medium Sweet potato with Skin
– 200g Broccoli
– Tomatoes
– Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– Soy Burger  (sometimes I’ll have this separate with Avacado and wholegrain bread)
– Ketchup (low salt and sugar)
– Lemon Green tea (2) with Fresh Ginger Powder

Dinner

– Bolognese (1 medium jar)
– White Button Mushrooms
– Red and/or Green Peppers
– Whole Grain Spaghetti
– Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– Spices: Cumin, Mixed Chillies, Cinnamon

Desert
– Yogurt, Blueberries, Almonds and Walnuts 
– Healthy Origins, Probiotics 30 Billion CFU’s

–  Bowel of Frozen Mixed Berries (strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries)
– Lemon Green tea (2) with Fresh Ginger Powder
– 1 cup of Organic Green and Blacks Hot Chocolate with Organic Soy Milk. 

Bedtime:
200mg L-Theanine
2 Allicin Max

I usually take other supplements too but right now I’m trying to cut back and save some money. They can get quite expensive!