How has the definition of “healthy aging” changed and clarified during the past 10 years?
Healthy aging is more than living long, but rather, living wisely and living well. My view of holistic health recognizes not only the cultivation of a healthy body, mind, and spirit, but also our responsibility to create a healthy environment, culture and global community that supports our evolution, and protects our life force. Our elders are rich with historical and earned wisdom that is vital for younger generations to experience and embrace.
Aging is the accumulation of life lessons, skills, and relationships that are simultaneously happening across all age groups, ethnicities and socioeconomic strata. We grow well or ill together. Sharing light, love, and support is a recipe for healthy aging that will never go out of style.
What are both the newest and most compelling theories about how humans age?
Aging is an outcome of our D.I.E.T., which stands for daily intake of everything. Ninety percent of the way our genes express themselves toward health or illness is influenced by the quality of the food we eat, the environment we live in, our thoughts and feelings, and the company we keep. This is called epigenetics. We are in the midst of biocide, killing our biosphere by synthetic toxins. We are an intimate part of nature.
With the well-documented contamination of our air, food, and water, has come a rise in pre-mature, chronic mental and physical illness, and even a shortening of life for those who are poor and sick, overmedicated, and undernourished. The degeneration of human ecosystems called the microbiome, and environmental ecosystems, called the microbiome can be altered. Over time they can also be reversed with the regeneration of our soil through organic, biodynamic farming practices, using mushrooms and algae to clean up our water, and a return to a local, chemical-free plant-based (80% or more) diet. Plastics and toxic chemicals have to be reduced.
Much of this can be accomplished by conscious, climate-friendly consumer shopping decisions.
Please discuss what aging areas you are focused on and any research you are excited about.
I created a diversified, global, whole food model, called Eating for Health™ to serve as an alternative to the USDA MyPlate. Eating for Health™ can be customized to meet the needs, conditions, and commitment of an individual. It serves as the food foundation for Bauman College’s professional and community programs.
Bauman College has recently released an Affordable Nutrition program and workbook to teach individuals, families, and organizations how to eat well on a modest budget. Our aim is to educate people and to remind them that the way they eat influences the health of their cells and the vibrancy of their community. As one changes the way they shop, prepare and consume food from a mindset of cost and convenience to value and nourishment, they are literally and figuratively stepping up to the plate to enhance their health, longevity, and inner peace.