My friend Jan gave me a book some twelve years ago that made a profound impact on my health and well being. While Alternative Aging by Suzy Grant is chocked full with great ideas, there were three that really appealed to me and the science behind them supported their effectiveness. So, here are 3 secrets to aging well:
1. Drink a glass of warm lemon water first thing in the morning.
Drink warm water with the juice of half a lemon as soon as you wake up each day. Warm lemon water is a natural diuretic and toxin remover. It can not only help you fit into your pants more easily, but will naturally cleanse the blood, kidneys, bladder, and other organs so your body can more easily eliminate toxins from the body. This one little remedy is said to boost your immunity during cold and flu season, get rid of bloating, ease irritable bowel syndrome, and even lessen urinary tract infection. The purpose of warming the water is to help the body process it without having to utilize energy to change it to body temperature. Suzy suggests it as a wonderful drink to replace your morning coffee, but I draw the line there. While I do drink the lemon water first, I quickly move on to my cup of coffee.
2. Perform the Five Tibetan Rites.
If you’re not familiar with the five Tibetan rites, let me first say they are not any sort of spiritual ritual. The Tibetan lamas were so convinced of their ability to maintain a youthful body they named them “rites.” They believed the only difference between youth and old age is the spin rate of the chakras – the body’s seven major energy vortexes – and the quickest way to regain health and vitality is to start these energy centers spinning normally again. There are five simple exercises that accomplish this.
You should gradually increase the number of movements over a ten week period until you are doing twenty-one repetitions of each. You need to do them daily (they take less than 10 minutes to do) and Suzy recommends you do them before or right after you drink your warm lemon water. I think that is fine if you are in your 40’s or 50’s. For those of us 60+, it is better to let the body warm up for an hour or so and then do the exercises before getting dressed for the day. Of course you can do them later in the day, but I’ve found if I don’t do the exercises in the morning, I often forget to do them. The best way to learn the five Tibetan rites is by watching a video.
3. Eat Flaxseed.
Once you’ve had your warm lemon water and done your five Tibetan rites, eat a serving of flaxseed (1 tablespoon of whole seeds soaked overnight or 2 tablespoons ground). You can either do as my friend Jan does and mix the soaked flaxseeds with a little orange juice and down them all at once or you can do what I do which is to mix them in my yogurt, protein shake, or sprinkle them on cereal with fruit. If you want regular bowel movements with what Suzy refers to as “the perfect poo,” then this remedy is for you. Flaxseed will change your life. Like drinking warm lemon water and the five Tibetan Rites, consuming flaxseed has been around for awhile. Flaxseed was cultivated in Babylon as early as 3000 BC. In the 8th century, King Charlemagne believed so strongly in the health benefits of flaxseed that he passed laws requiring his subjects to consume it. Now, thirteen centuries later, there seems to be good evidence that Charlemagne was right. In addition to the perfect poo, research proves that daily consumption of flaxseed may help reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes – not bad side benefits!
I know there are a lot of recommendations out there on how to maintain optimum health (aging well) and vitality, but these three have stood the test of time. Try them for a few months and see if you don’t find your body not only functioning better but feeling more lithe and toned. We are all going to age, but that doesn’t mean we Prime women can’t do it gracefully.