I spent most of last Sunday at The Longevity Workshop in London’s Bethnal Green hearing the latest insights from one of my heroes: David Wolfe, someone who has certainly influenced my own thinking around food and nutrition. Much of the content validated my own thinking, but also filled in a number of gaps, so here are my key takeaways – all geared towards keeping you strong and healthy to be able to live your life well. I have organised the list into the quick wins and things to consider:
1. Forget the 5-a-day, 7 is where the sweet spot is. David highlighted research from University College London that shows that people who eat 7 vegetables and fruits – that’s five vegetables and two fruits – were the healthiest part of the population.
2. Ever wondered why nature designed plants in different colours? According to Chinese medicine, colour is a really important contributor to health, with different colours working together
to keep us in balance. An interesting point is that nature never mixes colours to create new colours like in art. The five key colours are:
- Black – Linked to jing energy and life-force. What’s black? Well, how about black olives and raw chocolate, both of which contain a lot of zinc.
- Red – Represents fire power which provides chi energy, or everyday energy, helping you mobilise your immunity response and supporting your blood and heart. How many red foods can you think of? Well, there are beets and tomatoes, which contain Lycopin the red compound. I have been experimenting this week with some recipes, so look out for a couple of future posts if you like tomato soup and/or beet root juice!
- Yellow – Is all about happiness; is anti-inflammatory and supports life. The key point here is that the food itself needs to be yellow, not the peel; hence, a banana doesn’t count in your yellow quota as it’s actually white!
- Green – I love green foods, as they are all about detoxifying and getting rid of the nasties. We’re attracted to green foods when we’re feeling unwell, as green is cleansing and will keep clean on the inside. Chlorophyll is the green compound which gives greens their colour. There are so many green vegetables to chose from – kale, spinach, and broccoli are my favourites.
- White – A colour without a colour. White helps the lungs and the respiratory system. White foods include: banana, cauliflower, astragalus, and gin sing.
3.’The best herbs in the world won’t do anything for us, unless we take them’. Tonic herbs have been given to us by nature to help keep us well, so experiment under guidance. There are so many to choose from, but all are not equal. The key message was to focus on the top ones: Ginsing, Pioni, Chaga, Reichi, Astagalis, and Goji Berry. Reichi mushroom is the most studied herb in the history of the world; studies consistently show that there’s a big link between reichi mushrooms and wellbeing. Actually, I’ve been taking it every day this week in my smoothies!
4. ‘Grass is where the love is,’ according to Anne Wigmore. To get your energy up, drink wild grass juice in the morning. Chaga is a good herb to bring your energy down at the end of the day to help you sleep. Try it as a tea with goji berries and some honey – it’s delicious.
5. Take greens with fat to help absorb the goodness. Remember, it’s not only what you eat, but it’s also how your body absorbs the vitamins and minerals. It won’t do you much good if it goes straight through you! According to science, adding some fat to a green smoothie makes a big difference. For instance, studies show that people who eat salad with fat-free dressing don’t get the same absorption benefits as someone who has fat on the salad.
6. Add in rather than take away. Changing any habit is hard; therefore, focus on just adding to what you already do, so that you don’t shock your body. There’s no one right diet for everyone, but we can find the optimum eating plan for us based on our personality, lifestyle and genetics. Ultimately, you’re looking to upgrade your food choices which, over time, will have a ripple effect throughout your life.
7. Cleanse your body. The average person is exposed to 140 synthetic chemicals, so a strategic approach to cleansing your body is really important. Again, this is a habit – and an area that has been a big focus for me this year – and I have learn’t a lot by studying Elwin Robson’s external detox programme.
8. Bone marrow can help arthritis. Bone marrow is the new you, but as we age, our bones become harder and calcified, which means that the soft tissue in the middle is blocked from getting into our blood stream. David told us the story of his mother who was in a wheelchair with arthritis. She went to see someone in Mexico who gave her this bone marrow treatment. To cut the story short, four hours later, she was running around the place. Seems hard to believe, perhaps, but definitely worth looking into further.
9. Try to control your environment as much as possible so that it supports you. How do you do that? Reading is a powerful way to maintain attention and stop your mind wandering; also, try to stay around people who bring you up.
So there we have it. It was a good event and I am glad I went, but I’m also interested in your views. Do these 9 steps resonate with you or not? Let me know by writing a comment below. Until next time!