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’m currently using other serum called  Phloretin CF and I’ve been using it for about 1 year now in combination with the advanced pigment corrector. 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.

Related articles:

premium vitamin c serum comparison 

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

30 Years Old – Picture Update

Calorie restriction diet at age 30

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-aging diet and skincare regimen.

One of the things I expected when I started CR was that it would help keep me young. I think it seems to be working so far because I often get a lot of comments about how young I look. Most people I meet are surprised to hear how old I am when they find out my age.

In animal studies, calorie restriction has been consistently shown to slow down the rate of aging internally and externally. Of course, it’s not just about calorie, the amount of sun you get and also the quality of the diet is important too.

Nevertheless, I’m glad I continued to stick with the diet. I think as I move into my 30s I’ll continue to see the benefits of CR!

It’ll be interesting to see how much I age in my 30s compared to my sister and friends I went to school with. It’s been so long now, but I don’t feel much different. I guess I don’t look much different either. 🙂 Except maybe I’m a little skinnier.

I think I want to gain a bit of weight though. My BMI is quite low right now. The lowest that it’s been in a while actually. And although I feel fine and have no health issues, I think I look better with a few more pounds. So I’ll probably begin to eat a bit more food, maybe gain 5-7 lbs and then see how I am and decide where to go from there.

Anyway, this was going to be just a short one to share a picture update for you all! I’ll try to most post them more frequently.

Benefits of CR

The effects of Calorie Restriction on aging 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

5

 

 

Why I changed from an omnivore to a vegan diet

I’ve been reading and participating in various health forums on the internet since around 2003. It’s surprising how people can be so set in their beliefs about diet. It’s almost like a religion. If new evidence is presented that contradicts what they are doing, it’s quickly dismissed.

Maybe there’s an emotional element and people get attached to their diets and their way. I understand that not everyone is able to interpret scientific papers and understand them, but educating yourself and keeping an open mind is very important – especially if you’re into extending your life. On  the other side, you have people who are constantly changing their diet every few weeks or months and don’t know which way to turn. Indeed, diet and supplements can be confusing, but perhaps we overcomplicate things too much sometimes?

I’ve had times in my life when I used to eat so bad! Days where my diet would consist of nothing but cereal, biscuits, chocolate, sweets, fizzy drinks, yet I felt pretty good! So we have to be careful with how we feel in the short term and use a little common sense, rationality, and look at the science as well as objective measurements of our health to judge whether or not a certain way of eating is good for us.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that I’ve mostly been consistent with my diet over long periods of time. I’ve only made a few big changes, the rest were minor tweaks. Over 10 years a lot can change as we get new information and this can and should help guide us to make better choices. But we have to stay open to new ideas.

Changes I’ve made

I became vegetarian: I quit eating meat on my birthday on the 21st of October  2007. It was a very easy thing to do as I was never a big meat eater anyway. Unbeknownst to my parents, I would often give the meat to my dog. 🙂  Since becoming vegetarian,  my compassion for animals had grown to a point where I feel it’s no longer acceptable to eat animals because of ethical reasons. So I’ll never go back to eating meat ever again.

To replace the protein from meat I chose whey protein as a replacement. Unfortunately back then we didn’t know eating a high protein diet – especially whey – could prevent the decrease in IGF-1 hormone which has been linked with longevity in animals and humans. It’s also thought to now be an important part of why calorie restriction works to slow down aging.

I lowered my protein intake: As more evidence was coming in showing low IGF-1 is an important factor in longevity, and possibly part of the reason why calorie restriction extends lifespan, I decided to lower my protein intake by removing whey protein from my diet.

I had held back on making this change for quite some time after a study was published in 2008 showing that we had to lower both calorie intake as well as protein intake to achieve the desired decrease in IGF-1. I guess I was still questioning just how important this hormone was in the CR-effect.

By 2010 I was convinced that there was sufficient evidence to make the change. This was 5 years after I began CRON. I don’t regret consuming the whey protein for much of that time as I had been using it to help heal from bilateral achilles tendonitis which was caused by an antibiotic I took in 2007.  The problem persisted for two years and then went away.

Prior to 2010 the macronutrient ratio of my diet was 40% carbs, 30% fat, 30% protein.  In 2010 I changed it to 55% carbs, 30% fat, 15% protein. This still wasn’t at the 10% level that was recommended, but a significant decrease from before.

I went Vegan: After coming back from California in 2012 I had decided to become a vegan. I didn’t anticipate any real changes in my health from doing this, but I thought it was the right thing to do. From a health perspective, I wasn’t convinced that being a vegan was better for you than being a vegetarian.

In fact, I believed that most vegans were not paying close attention to their diets and were likely to be missing out on important nutrients.  Having spoken with vegans in the past, it became obvious that not all understand the risks and deficiencies associated with such a diet. I remember having a debate with a girl who told me she didn’t need any b12 from her diet. She had been vegan for 6 months and felt totally fine.

The problem was that she didn’t understand the body stores significant amounts of b12 and it can take years for any b12 deficiency symptoms to show up. I always thought vegetarianism is the safer option for children and adults, simply because of the lack of education on nutrition to be able to safely eat this way.

So anyway, now that I’ve taken out dairy and eggs from my diet, my protein dropped to about 10% of my total caloric intake.  As expected, no real big change in how I felt other than one small difference: I could breathe more easily than before. I guess I hadn’t realized that I had a problem at all because it was so minor! But removing these animal products from my diet cleared up this issue very quickly. Perhaps I really did have some reaction to the dairy. It’s not that uncommon.

See my article on starting a vegan diet as a beginner.

Supplements: The other big change that I made in 2012 was changing my supplement regimen. I’ve taken a lot of supplements in the past. I would read through forums to find the best ‘ anti-aging’ stack, as I used to believe it would enhance the effect of calorie restriction. I’ve never thought supplements could actually replace calorie restriction as an anti-aging strategy though.

Over the years we’ve seen reports that taking supplements could actually do more harm than good. None of us really wanted to believe this, but sometimes we have to facts. Supplements have repeatedly failed to protect against cancer in multiple clinical trials in humans. Studies have shown that supplements may even increase mortality. Yikes!

Early 2013 a study was published that questioned the use of dietary supplements in life extension. Stephen Spindler conducted a study on F1 Hybrid Mice by giving them a mix of supplements which were thought as the best candidates to mimic the effect of CR or improve health in some other way. These supplements not only failed to have any effect whatsoever.

In 2013 another study was published showing that not only did supplements fail to extend lifespan, in some cases, they actually decreased lifespan! And some of the supplements used are very popular brands and used among many in the life extension community. Now I only take supplements to correct any deficiencies in my diet like vitamin D3, zinc, omega 3 and Allicin.

 

Be Open to Change

Nutritional science is always changing our ideas what to eat or how much to eat. We all strive to find the best diet that works for us. It can take a while before you find your feet and figure out what works best.  We have to stay open-minded and change when necessary. Remember it’s not just about how you feel at the moment, but it’s how you will feel 10 years from now. You might feel ‘energized’ by eating 30 bananas in a day, but what is that going to do over several years? Be careful with what you read and question things more. Do your own research! This is why I often provide scientific references in my posts. 🙂

Becoming vegan was definitely one of the best changes. I feel it is the right choice from an ethical perspective as well as for my health and longevity. And being vegan is super easy! There’s plenty of different foods. It’s really not limiting at all.

Forever Young

Update on my diet, supplements, and cosmetic routine

Skin: I wash with Neutrogena Gentle Exfoliating face wash and then apply Skinceuticals CE + Ferulic Acid to my face (3 drops). Apply Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 from Skinceuticals (mainly in the summer). At night time I will use cleansing wipes and apply Aloe Vera Gel from Aubrey Organics.
Lips: Blistex Lip Brilliance SPF15 or Burt’s Bees Lip Balm – Pomegranate (I apply throughout the day when needed).
Hair: Every few months I will switch between L’Oreal – Elvive Nutri-Gloss and Herbal Essences Beautiful End Shampoo. I use Pantene Pro-V Clarifying Shampoo once a month. Conditioner either from L’Oreal or Herbal Essence.

Morning supplements: Vitamin D3 1000IU, Vitamin B Complex (every other day);  B12 on the days I don’t take B Complex. Zinc (15mg), Mangesium (300mg), and AllicinMax (Allimax in the US) 2 capsules with breakfast. And pycnogenol.

Breakfast:  Wholemeal bread (sometimes lightly toasted) with EVOO + 2 capsules of Allicin. Shortly after:

Oatmeal, Blueberries 80g, Almonds, 2 Brazil Nuts, 2 squares of Lindt Dark Chocolate 70%.

Lunch: Banana, Apple, Kale or Spinach Smoothie

Dinner a: Carrots, Corn, Green Beans, Peas (700 grams); Extra Virgin Olive Oil (1 tbsp), Ketchup (low sugar/salt); 1 cup of Soy Milk with Green and Blacks hot chocolate. OR
Dinner b: Broccoli, Cauliflower, Carrots, Peas (700 grams); Extra Virgin Olive Oil (1 tbsp), Ketchup (low sugar/salt); 1 cup of Soy Milk with Green and Blacks hot chocolate.
Desert: Anything that I want so to reach my calorie intake target; usually fruit.
Evening supplements: Allicin Max – capsules (I increase the amount I take if there are any bugs going around). l-theanine 200mg

Drinks: I’ll have various drinks throughout the day, these include:
– Pukka 3 Mint Tea: Peppermint Leaf (34%),Spearmint Leaf (34%) ,Fieldmint Leaf (32%) – 4 tea bags per day.
– Licorice Tea
Sencha Green Tea (I add ginger) – 5 cups a day minimum (2 tea bags per cup).
– Twinings Camomile And Spearmint Tea – 2 cups in the evening.

I try to keep my diet fairly consistent without much change as this makes it much easier. I enjoy everything that I eat, so it doesn’t bother me if I eat mostly the same every day. Occasionally I will go out for a meal with my friends, but this is just a few times a year.

A recently published study showed that various supplements have no effect on longevity so I have since discontinued taking them as there could be a risk of them interfering with the life-extending effect of CR, or are simply just a waste of money! Another study showed that people taking large doses of multiple supplements had no effect on health (2).

One supplement in particular that I have kept on taking is the Allicin Max. As long as I am taking this supplement, I haven’t come down with any colds, flu, or stomach bugs that go around. If I feel that I am more at risk of catching something, I will sometimes increase the number of capsules I take during the day. This seems to be the most effective supplement that I’ve found to prevent infections.

I had some blood tests done a few weeks ago and had a few surprising results. I barely slept the night before the test and this might have caused my neutrophil count to be higher than it normally is. I found a few studies that suggested even one night of sleep deprivation causes an elevation in white blood count, specifically neutrophils (reference in my blood test results link to the right of this page). My C reactive protein was undetectable, indicating no inflammation or infection either.

My lipid profile was still good, but not where I want it to be. I suspect the reason for this is because in 2012 I got depressed after a serious breakup and went off CR a little by including bad foods in my diet and not getting much exercise. Since early on this year I’ve been back on a more strict CR diet and very focused. Overall the blood results were still excellent.

I feel back to myself now and so much happier than before. I’ve focused on my diet, exercise, relationships with family and friends, and the things I really want to do with my life. I feel so much healthier, I sleep very well, and things are just looking so much better right now. There’s going to be big changes to come in the near future that I’m very excited about. I’ll share with you soon!

1. Spindler SR, Mote PL, Flegal JM, Teter B. Influence on longevity of blueberry, cinnamon, green and black tea, pomegranate, sesame, curcumin, morin, pycnogenol, quercetin, and taxifolin fed iso-calorically to long-lived, F1 hybrid mice. PMID: 23432089

2. Soare A, Weiss EP, Holloszy JO, Fontana L.
Multiple dietary supplements do not affect metabolic and cardiovascular health. Aging (Albany NY). 2013 Sep 4. PMID: 24036417

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 Avocado 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!