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Remain Young Looking After 40

Updated on December 21, 2016
TessSchlesinger profile image

In 1983, with doctors unable to cure me, I studied the human body and diet. Since then, food as medicine has been a strong interest.

Looking 45 (When You're Actually 65)

“You haven’t got a single wrinkle!” So said a friend from school days last night. I hadn’t seen her since her wedding forty years ago. However, she isn’t the only one who has made that observation. I hear it on a regular basis. When I go to pensioner events, there is an immediate query as to my age. “You don’t look like a senior,” they say. People have said similar things to me in California, the UK, and now in South Africa. “Your ID must be fake,” they tell me.

And, no, I have not had work done. None of my late mother’s twelve sisters or brothers look as young as my sister and I do. My late father was begining to line at 40, but he still had a head of dark hair. My late mother was pretty much a round ball of obesity by her 60s, a journey that started in her mid 40s.

However, my sister and I do have a secret to looking much younger than our true ages. I’m going to share it with you.

That's me, Tessa, at age 59, San Diego, California
That's me, Tessa, at age 59, San Diego, California

6 Habits to Aways Look Young

Remaining young in late life has a lot to do with how you lived your earlier life. It’s never too early to start practicing these six good habits. They will keep you slim, healthy, and looking a lot younger than your age.

Active older people resemble much younger people physiologically.
Active older people resemble much younger people physiologically. | Source

Habit # 1 - Exercise Daily

You do not lose weight by doing exercise. You lose weight by eating fewer calories than you expend. However, exercise keeps your blood moving through your system (vital), your heart pumping, your muscles in good trim, etc. When this is not happening, you will age more rapidly.

My sister, who is constantly told how good she looks, gets peeved when people immediately negate all her hard work with, “Oh, but it’s because you’re a dancer.”

Actually, no. Charmaine does 97 sit-ups (the hard ones) every morning, does the splits when she’s painting the walls, goes to dance classes twice a week (even in her retirement), hikes at least twice a week, and more.

For myself, I swim between 20 and 40 laps three or four times a week, plus walk for two or three hours every day, without exception.

I gave birth to my daughter when I was 34. The doctor asked me if I was an athlete because of my level of fitness (cycling 35 miles a day or walking for two or three hours each day). When I left the hospital after giving birth to my daughter, I slipped right back into my pre-pregnancy clothes, without a stretch mark in sight!

My sister, Charmaine, at 63 years old. Sedgefield, South Africa.
My sister, Charmaine, at 63 years old. Sedgefield, South Africa.

I do 300 crunches in bed in the morning and 60 at night, on a cushion, feet tucked under the bed. Never miss the mornings, maybe once or twice in 10 years, and I think those were because I was sick, bed time, sometimes, if I am really tired, or to bed late.

— Charmaine Schlesinger (my sister)

Habit # 2 - Maintain the Right PH for Your Body

It’s important for our bodies not to be too acidic. When the acidity level in our bodies tips over a certain point, there are certain signs of imbalance in our bodies. We begin to put on weight. We begin to get gout, arthritis, aching bones, sore hands, etc. We develop digestive problems, immune issues, and all sorts of auto-immune diseases. While nobody will come out and say this, I can tell you that the moment I feel an ache in my hand (I’m 65) or my ankle begin to ache, I had straight for the bicarbonate of soda to make my system more alkaline!

The best way, however, is to eradicate highly acidic forms of food and drink from your diet. These include all sugars (sugar, honey, stevia, etc.) and starches (potatoes, grains, bread, pasta, pizza, rice, etc.) Rice is about the most neutral of them all, but it’s still not perfect. Potato tends to be less acidic than sweet potatoes, and tomatoes only become acidic once they are cooked. Coffee increases your acidity, can increase your cholesterol if you make it with a French press (coffee oils), and will increase your blood pressure.

Greens are more alkaline than most carbs, and they are very good for you. I, of course, am not fond of most greens, so I have my little cheats. And if you want to live happily and healthily and remain young, then you will develop your cheats as well.

I have given some recipes below that take all the factors required into consideration. I use them on a daily basis.

Daily Exercises at 62 years old

Habit # 3 - Kill Off Unhealthy Bacteria

Harmful bacteria in your gut is number three.

A side effect of having a system that is too acidic is that it is provides a thriving eco-system for all sorts of bacteria detrimental to your health. It is vital that your body doesn’t have any harmful bacteria, and it is so difficult to know whether it does or doesn’t. We haven’t yet reached a point of medical sophistication where routine tests are given to determine what kind of bacteria we have in our stomachs.

However, we do know that some substances have a reputation for killing off bad bugs. They include garlic and a concoction of apple cider vinegar and bicarbonate of soda.

I take a full clove of garlic in my smoothie every morning. When I feel my system becoming too acidic (there will be pain or itchiness), I mix two desert spoons of apple cider vinegar with half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda, tot up with water, and drink. It's best to drink this in the morning as it boosts your energy and you do not want this is the evening. Incidentally, the side effect of this is it increases energy and lowers appetite so it's a good drink if you're on a weight reduction diet.

My sister and me, 55 and 57 years of age. San Diego. California.
My sister and me, 55 and 57 years of age. San Diego. California.

Habit # 4 - Eat Food With a High Level of Nutrients

It was Albert Schweitzer, the missionary in Africa, who noted that aging was more rapid and disease came more quickly to those who were lacking in adequate vitamins and minerals. Now it’s true that you can take these through pill popping (and I used to in my 30s), but evidence shows it’s better to eat a diet that is high nutrient and low calorie.

If you stick to a diet of greens, some fruit, some oily fish, nuts and seeds, you should be doing fine.

The diets that are health include Paleo, Banting, and Naturopathic. That’s it!

Charmaine at 62 years

Habit # 5 - Eradicate the Bad Stuff

Coffee, tea, pop soda, alcohol, bread, cake, grains, sugars, starches, candy, smoking, drinking, recreational substances all harm you in the medium to long term – no matter what industry says at the moment. By the way, the oils in coffee make you fat!

It’s tough to get rid of bad habits, but it depends what you want more – to remain young and healthy or to indulge in momentary pleasure (instant gratification).

Me, age 61, on the train somewhere between LA and San Diego!
Me, age 61, on the train somewhere between LA and San Diego!
One review in the journal Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology looked at studies on intermittent fasting and found that an average of 7 to 11 pounds was lost from 10 weeks of intermittent fasting.
One review in the journal Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology looked at studies on intermittent fasting and found that an average of 7 to 11 pounds was lost from 10 weeks of intermittent fasting. | Source

Habit # 6 - Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is number six.

Both your liver and stomach need time between meals to make more bile and enzymes. When you eat all the time, or when you snack every two or three hours, you prevent that. The fewer meals per day, the better. I tend to eat about nine or ten in the morning, grab a raisin, date, or nut for lunch (very little), and have a small meal in the evening. I don’t eat after 5 pm and before 9 am. Those six hours are vital for solid digestion.

In addition, if you have it in you, fasting one day a week does marvellous things to the body. It’s not easy, but it is doable. Despite what the gurus tell you, don’t drink fruit juice. Either drink good, clean water when you’re thirty or make a bone broth (from grass fed, organic bones) and sip that during your 24 hour fast.

You can also do a coconut oil fast. For this one, you get some virgin coconut oil, and every time you get hungry, you eat a teaspoon of coconut oil. Not more than nine teaspoons during the day.

Charmaine, age 62, painting the wall. Every opportunity is used to get some exercise - in this case doing the splits! Sedgefield, South Africa.
Charmaine, age 62, painting the wall. Every opportunity is used to get some exercise - in this case doing the splits! Sedgefield, South Africa.

Examples of Anti-aging Recipes

You can eat any of your meals at any time of the day. By that I mean that there are no traditional foods that can only be eaten for lunch or breakfast or supper. I personally tend to have breakfast about 9 or 10 in the morning, my dinner at about 5 in the evening, and a banana or orange during the day.

Green Smoothie

1 clove of fresh garlic

Two stalks of chopped up celery

¼ to ½ avocado pear

About 3 inches of chopped up cucumber

A green banana (it has resistant starch)

½ packet gelatine (made from pig trotters and unsweetened). This is for collagen.

Mix together in processor until smooth.

Anti-Aging Muffins or Bread

The trick here is to make bread or muffins using only seeds or something like psyllium husk flour. Each country has different products available, so it’s difficult to give a recipe here. I have used chick peas, soy, flax seeds, psyllium husk, coconut flour, etc. The recipe is very basic. Mix flour with an egg or two. Add a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil, some milk or water until it’s in a soft consistency. Pop into a silicon tray. Bake for fifteen or twenty minutes, and serve with unsalted butter.

Me, age 65, on the beach, wind-blown, no makeup, Cape Town, South Africa!
Me, age 65, on the beach, wind-blown, no makeup, Cape Town, South Africa!

But You Never Got Fat!!

If you for one moment think that this happens naturally and we're just lucky, you're wrong. We both work our butts off to remain young and healthy. We have both gotten fat and ugly at time, and then we worked very hard to get rid of it. I'm including some photos!

Just this morning, I was up at dawn in order to make myself a green smoothie, then take myself off to the swimming pool to go do 30 laps. I'm happy to say that I can swim them quickly with no break and that I'm not even out of breath when I get out of the pool. In addition to that, I walked a good few miles to and from the pool. This is called exercise! It's necessary in order to retain health and youth.

I would also like to add that as people have become more and more accustomed to obesity, that what was regarded as normal weight throughout human history is now regarded as too thin. That is simply not true. I seldom saw obese people before I left South Africa in the 90s, and if you check various medical records, you will see that whenever cultures or nations start eating a western diet (as defined by America), they gain weight and become obese.

If you want to look young, you have to be slim! It just works that way. Weight adds age to your face.

Quick Fried Fish with Hemp Batter in Coconut Oil

Dip fillited fish in hemp flour.

Heat up pan with coconut oil.

Fry fish in coconut oil. Takes a few minutes.Do not use any other oil.

Serve with a salad comprising loads of lettuce, avo, green onion, and celery. You can also have about four small boiled potatoes with your fish. The potatoes must always be boiled with skin on and should be served with butter. Don't fry potatoes.

That's me, well on my way to fat-land in 2003, somewhere on the Costa Del Sol in Spain. That's my daughter with me! I was 52.
That's me, well on my way to fat-land in 2003, somewhere on the Costa Del Sol in Spain. That's my daughter with me! I was 52.

Winter Soup

A quarter of cabbage

One or two chopped onions.

A chopped clove of garlic.

Some chopped up ginger.

Some Seafood Thai curry (1 tablespoon)

1 teaspoon turmeric.

Sea salt.

1 stock cube to your taste.

Cook for fifteen minutes until cabbage and onion is soft. Add a piece of fish and cook until soft and fully done. Be careful that you don’t overcook the fish as it will go hard very quickly.

I do get fat. And I do age. Just the same way others do. Remaining young is a matter of discipline, eating well, having good habits, and exercising. And the good news is, you can undo the damage. Me, age 63, San Diego, CA
I do get fat. And I do age. Just the same way others do. Remaining young is a matter of discipline, eating well, having good habits, and exercising. And the good news is, you can undo the damage. Me, age 63, San Diego, CA

Instant gratification means you eat now and pay later. What would you prefer?

See results

A Bit of a Cheat, But It Works!

I used DPL equipment on my face for about three or four weeks in San Diego in 2008. It made quite a difference! I looked young without it, but the effects were so amazing that when I used to go dancing, people assumed I was in my mid 30s. Not bad for a woman approaching 60 at the time. It also is pretty good at removing bags from underneath your eyes, plus removing age spots from your skin. In addition, depending on how far the infra red penetrates, it will cure aches and pains. I've healed several injuries using it.

And, no, I haven't used this equipment since then. I do, however, want to say that it does work, and if you wish to get even better results, this is a good investment.

Anti-Aging Way of Life

Remaining young has a lot to do with a lifestyle. We choose when we are very young whether we are going to over-indulge or whether we are going to live a disciplined life. Highly nutritious food prepared from scratch in small quantities, plus daily exercise, are the basic ingredients for remaining young and healthy.

Can damage be undone? Yes, if it hasn't slipped too far. The human body is incredibly adaptable, and no matter what age you start practicing these six healthy habits, you can easily look ten years younger in a matter of three or four months! I kid you not.

It's that simple.

© 2016 Tessa Schlesinger

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    • SakinaNasir53 profile image

      Sakina Nasir 10 months ago from Kuwait

      Yeah you are right! :)

    • TessSchlesinger profile image
      Author

      Tessa Schlesinger 10 months ago from South Africa

      I started when I was 16. I saw a picture of Sophia Loren and she was 36. She looked the same age as I was. That is when I started. The later one starts, the more one ages. Remember, it's the long term that counts. Certainly, you can take off 5 years in a few months - even 10 years. But 20 years - that's the habit of a lifetime. :)

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image

      Sakina Nasir 10 months ago from Kuwait

      Tess I would surely appply your tips when I get older. I am 20 years old. ☺

    • TessSchlesinger profile image
      Author

      Tessa Schlesinger 10 months ago from South Africa

      Do you think they'll listen? I don't think there's anything that I have said that hasn't been written and can be read about. I guess

    • Navaya Dunwell profile image

      Navaya Dunwell 10 months ago

      u guys should talk @ peoples school about how people look and how beautiful they r

    • TessSchlesinger profile image
      Author

      Tessa Schlesinger 10 months ago from South Africa

      Go for it! Promise that's the best way. :)

    • Happymommy2520 profile image

      Amy 10 months ago from East Coast

      You guys look awesome! I was just reading a book called "Green For Life" which focuses on including a lot of greens in your diet. I love your tip about the fasting as well. Great job!

    • TessSchlesinger profile image
      Author

      Tessa Schlesinger 10 months ago from South Africa

      Thank you! ;) It's doable. You can do it, too! :)

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image

      Sakina Nasir 10 months ago from Kuwait

      You are beautiful! You look like you're in your 40s seriously! ☺ Your sister is very pretty too. Can't believe my eyes still! Haha!