Beauty, Wellness, Recipes, Food
Autophagy is the key to delaying aging and possessing wellness as we age. It is the name of the process by which your body clears out old and damaged cells. Proteins, lipids, cell debris, damaged mitochondria, and other cell parts that are no longer functioning well are broken down or released from the body through autophagy.
The rate and degree to which your body engages in autophagy dictates not only how long you live, but more importantly, how well you live. It is the process that allows us to thrive throughout aging, especially as it relates to our cognition.
When the mechanisms for autophagy are overwhelmed or dysfunctional, your cells cannot function optimally, disease has more opportunity, and aging accelerates.
Significantly, neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are marked by the accumulation of damaged proteins and cell debris. It is clear through research that impaired autophagy causes disease although causality is not fully understood.
We do know it is important. And to live our best life, we must support this natural process through nutrition, lifestyle, stress mitigation, and environment.
So how do you optimize autophagy?
1. Leave a 12 hour window between dinner and breakfast. This creates a window of low sugar and low insulin which triggers autophagy, especially in the liver, brain, muscle, and fat. Regular detoxing of these systems contributes to cognitive function, hormone balance, and mobility.
2. Eat plants. Enzymes used to degrade damaged cellular material require vitamin cofactors found in plants. These cofactors are necessary for autophagy. In addition, plants provide antioxidants to reduce oxidative stress which inhibits autophagy. Foods that are especially helpful to autophagy are berries, sprouts of cruciferous vegetables, green tea, turmeric, and ginger.
3. Avoid pro-inflammatory foods like sugar and processed foods. Inflammation impairs the power center - the mitochondria - within your cells. Mitochondria play an important role by signaling the pathways for autophagy. When they function poorly, autophagy is impaired.
4. Exercise. Exercise increases blood flow and facilitates the release of degraded cellular material.
5. Nighttime sleep. The glymphatic system - the system responsible for performing the rinse cycle on your brain - and autophagy are extremely active during night time sleep. They work together to improve the health and function of your brain. Good sleep is supported by maintaining the circadian nature of your brain. Support this by having a regular bedtime and waking time. Go outside every morning for morning sun. Keep your meal and exercise times consistent. Routine and rhythm help you attain better sleep.
6. Reduce your toxic load by using clean beauty products on your skin, reducing chemical usage, avoiding environmental toxins, and eating pesticide free foods. The less time spent clearing these toxins means that energy, antioxidants, and cofactors can be direct to autophagy.
7. Seasonally detox with a cleanse. Occasional low calorie spurts help upregulate autophagy. This is one of the main long lasting benefits of cleanses and resets.
8. Release stress naturally with time outdoors, gentle exercise, and quiet time. Although it's not clear how, stress suppresses the immune system including autophagy. In the same way, emotional and traumatic stress inhibits autophagy. Resolving that stress is also important for longevity and youthfulness long term.
Autophagy is a wonderful way the body works to protect our cognitive ability and overall health. Modern eating and life work against this process, but if we intentional support it we make an investment in our wellness and mind longterm.
The beauty of the body is that it is never to late. Even at the point where we are seeing aging and cognitive decline, these practices can slow or stall the progression.
For more guidance, feel free to contact me.
Digestion is an interplay between your body and your food. The food you eat directly impacts your digestive health. This means that every bite is an opportunity to heal, protect, and support digestion.
Adding flavor to your food at home with herbs and spices is an easy add that will make a huge impact on bloating, indigestion, GRD, intestinal churning, and intestinal gas.
Here are the top five that we use at jolie for maximum health impact and flavor.
1. Lemon. Technically not an herb, but in cooking it is used as one. Many digestive and absorption issues begin in the stomach. Low digestive enzymes prevent adequate breakdown of food prior to emptying into the small intestine leading to painful digestion and malabsorption. Adding lemon naturally increases digestive enzymes allowing food to be more completely digested.
2. Parsley is in many jolie dishes - finely chopped so the flavor does not become too strong. Parsley helps reduce intestinal gas and maintain regularity. We prefer flat leaf parsley for texture and flavor.
3. Cumin enhances the activity of digestive enzymes and aids in the production of bile which you need to digest fats - both plant and animal based fats. Using ground cumin is easiest. Add it when you are cooking the onion and garlic base of a dish or a sprinkle before roasting vegetables.
4. Ginger you know as an anti-inflammatory, but it also soothes the stomach, reduces nausea, gas, bloating, and intestinal spasms. We prefer to use fresh ginger in sauces and cooked dishes. You receive maximum benefit this way and can more easily control the flavor by how finely you chop or grate the ginger.
5. Coriander is an herb and spice. We use both. The fresh herb is added to a dish raw. The spice is used in the initial stages of cooking. Coriander is great for speeding up recovery from stomach illnesses and diarrhea. It is also being research as an plant medicine for colitis and ulcers.
6. Here is your + 1 - Turmeric helps the stomach by reducing bloating, heartburn, and gas. It too is an anti-inflammatory that also benefits digestion. Turmeric we use fresh and powdered. I prefer fresh turmeric for flavor, however, at home it is easier to incorporate a sprinkle of turmeric in your dishes.
Many of these you can benefit from in a tea form. Our Digestive Tea (soon to be renamed Happy Belly) contains all the herbs above except parsley. It also has other spices that benefit digestion that we didn't mention.
Another way to integrate these spices is with the jolie Digestive Spice blend which contains cumin, cardamom, coriander, ginger, turmeric, and a pinch of black pepper. You can also make your own by blending the above spices. Use 1/4 teaspoon per 2 person serving - if you want the spices to be more faint, use less.
Just like we were forced to yield to the hormonal changes of our teenage years, in this other part of our life we also must surrender to and find new ways to take care of our bodies.
You are a beautiful person inside and out. Is it hard or easy to feel that? Can you feel your beautiful qualities as much as you feel your external beauty? Humans are beautiful creatures. Babies and children feel their innate irresistibility.
Beyond that age maintaining that sense of beauty is intentional because so much negative body image energy intrudes on what we once knew ourselves to be - beautiful.
Negative body image comes in many forms: self hate, self criticism, non-acceptance, denial, and even abandonment of the self. Rather mild or extreme, not fully believing yourself beautiful inside and out limits what you feel capable of, what you think you can achieve, your self worth, how you take care of yourself - how you feed and nourish yourself.
Feeling beauty confidence is something that I have worked for; as a mother, I worked also for my children to always feel beautiful. And, at the heart of jolie, I want everyone to fall in love with themselves and feel beautiful.
So, how do you do the work of seeing your beauty? Here are my practices and practices that have moved clients into greater self love, feeling beautiful, and acceptance of their body.
1. Look at yourself. Children love looking at themselves, not out of vanity, but because they like what they see. Bring yourself back to that age and behold yourself in a mirror.
Find something to admire, to give loving attention to for a moment. If this is hard - as you look repeat "yes" to yourself. If this is easy, go further admire more, blow yourself a kiss, tell yourself how special you are.
2. Use negative self talk as ideas to challenge. How do you know the idea is negative? If you have to ask, you know it is not one of love.
I view negative self talk just as a storyline that gets repeated. That story line can be edited or revised at your discretion. You are the chief scriptwriter for your thoughts.
I always suggest revision - its a non-resistant path to change. If you are recycling a self criticism, begin by softening the criticism. Then, once you've mastered that - entertain the thought that the opposite could be true. Explore evidence for that new thought. Over time you will change the thought through non resistance and curiosity.
3. Up the volume on what you do find beautiful about yourself. Write down what you love and focus on reminding yourself of those things. This allows you to spend more time in positivity. Positive thoughts magnetize other good feelings.
4. Exercise improves your outlook as well as how you appreciate what our bodies can do. Part of negative self image is not allowing yourself to celebrate what your bodies can do. When emphasis is placed on what you cannot do or on illness, you lose sight of your physical achievements and your wellness.
5. Nature is as a great healer as food for your body and mental outlook. Sometimes I meditate on the quote by Hermes Trismegistus “As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul…” The beauty you see all around you and the wonder of the universe is simply a reflection of the beauty within you and the beauty that is you.
6. Be patient with physical change and habits that support a healthier you. The body can change and heal. Yet, it takes time. So, if there are parts of you you are unhappy with, give yourself 6-12 months to work on the change you want to see. If you don't want to commit the time to change, commitment the time to accepting that part of yourself.
7. Take care of yourself. Attention is love. The more attention you give to yourself, the more in love you will fall. Take time to take care of yourself every day.
8. Decide you are beautiful. Your perspective is as much a determinant of reality as anything else. I hated New York when I first moved there - but one day, I just decided that I was going to love New York City. So everyday, I’d look for one thing to love. Now, I can't see myself with it.
It’s never to late to start loving yourself and seeing your beauty. And, there is no limit on beauty or love.
Words to Live By
I am not a heroine, but I have chosen the person I want to be.