Thursday, 7 October 2010

Life Expectancy

I've been 4 weeks without caffeine now. 
The first week was torture, but after that I changed my focus from 'desperately missing' my cappuccino to rejoicing in how much better I felt. I was falling asleep easily each night (and staying asleep), my brain wasn't racing on overdrive all day, and the pains in my chest disappeared.
We've had some major stress issues the last month and I am very aware that I handled them with greater peace of mind simply because I had no caffeine in my body. Even though I wasn't eating as healthily as I had been previously, that one simple thing of tossing away the coffee and tea helped me cope.
My hot beverage these days is Dandelion Tea, which is a wonderful liver tonic first thing in the morning...
...and once a day I make myself a Red Clover Tea because it's so helpful in aleviating my menopausal hot flushes.
Cow's milk has also been avoided as much as possible. I changed to soy milk (also to help with the hot flushes) and had a hard time adjusting at first, but now I am hooked. As long as I have one glass morning and night I can keep the flushes down to 5-8 per day - a huge improvement on the 20-30 I had been having previously.
Lots of green salads are back on the daily menu...
...and a fresh vegetable juice is my morning tea. 
In 2006 I spent the entire year as a vegetarian. I can honestly say that was the healthiest I had ever felt, so guess what? I'm going to retrace my vegetarian journey and get this 51 year old body back in good shape again. I also think the vegetable juices are having a definite effect on reducing the flushes. 

I just did a 'biological age' test HERE at Blue Zones. Being that I do not drink, smoke, or have any diseases, walk a fair bit, and normally eat a very healthy diet, the test results gave my biological age as 46 (yay! 5 years younger that my actual age!), and my life expectancy as 90!
My disease free life expectancy was 82. I have to tell you that these results have certainly inspired me to stay the course of a healthy life, but there were some negative issues the test brought to light - my BMI is high, and (usually) I tend to feel anxious or stressed for at least half the month.
For years I have had an ongoing battle to remove the Cortisol Hump at the base of my neck. A friend of mine is a wonderful masseuse and she completely removed the hump in 2007 with a 2 hour 'hot rock' massage just over the neck and shoulder area, but since then it has returned. A Cortisol Hump is caused by too much cortisol in the body which equals too much stress. That same over abundance of stress induced cortisol causes excess tummy fat as well. 
If you cut way down on animal proteins and fats you can reduce cortisol production, so another 'tick' in my plan to go veggie once more.

I just bought a Tai Chi DVD to help with slow movement, stretching, and calming my mind. Prayer is my greatest mental calmer, but I still feel 'stress' in my muscles and neck most of the time, and my mind can wander a lot to 'what ifs'.
I also need to work on the weight loss to lower my BMI. I have about 13 kilos to lose, and once lost that would put me in the upper percentage of 'healthy' weight for my height and age.

Why don't you do the Blue Zones biological age test, too? Sometimes we just need to see where we are with our health to inspire us to change our direction or keep on a healthly path.

Healthy hugs

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