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James Clear said, “Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity.”
Building a routine becomes pivotal for creating the life that you want. Many wonder how I have managed to stay healthy, vibrant, and youthful at age sixty-three while many of my peers are winding down. It all comes down to my daily habits.
We all know that life gets busy, but to stay healthy, you have to have a set of non-negotiables that you make time for daily. Today I want to share the non-negotiables that have kept me strong in body and mind despite having multiple jobs and days of travel. Knowing all the possibilities to slow and reverse aging may feel overwhelming, but you have to choose what resonates with you. I hope this will inspire you to build your routine.
6:00 a.m. wakeup
Before I check my phone or answer emails, I spend twenty minutes meditating. This is my opportunity to set the tone for the day. If I reach for my phone and read an email that makes me feel hurried or anxious, my whole day is thrown off. Meditation is an opportunity to reclaim my mind and peace. Studies also show that meditation can reduce inflammation, increase stem cell production, regulate hormones, and so much more. If twenty minutes sounds like a lot, start with five and work your way up.
This is a good opportunity to get some sunlight in and reset my circadian rhythm. The eyes are actually a part of our brain that is participating out in the world to help us regulate our internal rhythms and genetic expression. Using them to take advantage of light helps us in so many ways including improving our sleep. I love to enjoy a cup of coffee outside or go for a short walk.
The time that I work out changes daily depending on my schedule, but on an ideal day I work out in the morning. Four to six days of aerobic exercise or strength training. I also do hot yoga when possible. It changes daily, but I always make time to move. If I have time I’ll do a cold plunge or sauna, which I try to do a few times a week. This is my time to use the power of hormetic stressors.
I break my fast which is typically 12-16 hours overnight depending on the day with my longevity shake. It’s a combination of plant foods, nut milk, polyphenols, probiotics, and prebiotics. I like to include berries, greens, avocado, and enough nutrients to keep me full until lunch.
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
I set up my mornings and evenings to support these hours when I have meetings, work, podcasts, patients, and more. I want to be resilient in the face of stress, and I want to show up for the people in my life which means protecting my mornings and evenings.
This is a good time to decompress. I do another meditation after the day winds down to let go of work and transition into my evenings. Here’s more about the type of meditation I follow.
When I’m home, I make dinner every night. I love to have my friends and loved ones over, crank up some music, connect with people, have great conversations, and make a Pegan dinner! Lots of veggies, some high-quality protein, and some good starches like sweet potato or wild rice. No phone during dinner. Just good food and good company.
Time to put on my blue blockers. Since I’m on my computer most of the day, I want to protect my eyes and my brain especially as I wind down. I try to limit screens later in the day when possible, and if I can’t, I wear blue-blocking glasses.
I like to do some sort of wind-down activity at night before I go to bed. Sometimes I’ll take a bath with 2 cups of Epsom salts and some lavender oil. On other days I’ll read or listen to an uplifting podcast or audiobook. Once a week I meet on Zoom with my closest friends, and we talk about our personal and professional wins, losses, and more. Sometimes I also like to watch a movie with my partner before I go to bed.
These are the basic supplements that I take daily.
>> 5,000 IU of vitamin D
>> 1-2 grams of Dutch Harbor Omega fish oil
>> A high-quality multivitamin
>> Prebiotics, probiotics, and polyphenols in my morning shake
>> Magnesium glycinate before bed
This might seem like a lot, but I make time for each of these things daily because not only do they fill me up, but they keep me healthy. I know for some folks who work multiple jobs and have young children, this might seem unrealistic; but I want to encourage you to find at least two things a day that will fill your cup and give you energy. It could be as simple as 5 minutes of meditation and 5 minutes of sunlight in the morning. It could be a long walk while you listen to your favorite podcast. It could be having dinner with family every day. These small but meaningful moments add up to create a healthier you.