Good Vibes

By Sandeep Mall

Good Vibes - Issue #40

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Good Vibes
Good Vibes - Issue #40
By Sandeep Mall • Issue #40 • View online
“Age is just a number. It’s totally irrelevant unless, of course, you happen to be a bottle of wine” : Joan Collins
They say that age is just a number. As Rich Roll says in one of his podcasts, I think ageing is a perspective. Ageing can harden you to long-held beliefs that don’t serve you or it can bring you wisdom. Ageing can restrict your sense of possibility or it can unlock your further potential. Ageing can be used to excuse yourself from new experiences and challenges or it can be the catalyst for pursuing your most meaningful goals. Ageing happens to everyone but allowing it to limit you is a choice, so the question becomes, are you going to let ageing defeat you or are you going to leverage it to empower you?”
For the last one year or so I am reading Bhagwat Puran to my Grand Mom. That’s a great ‘us time’ and one of the most cherished part of the day. A story that I read in one of the chapters (and many of you, who have seen Mahabharata may recollect) -
Story of Sharmishtha, Devyani and Yayati
Sharmishtha was daughter of Danav king Vrishaparva. She was of similar age as Devyani. One day Sharmishtha was going to the nearby lake for picnic with her friends and maids; and suggested Devyani should also join them. 
Devyani accompanied Sharmishtha and her entourage in their picnic. After taking shower in the lake, somehow Devyani and Sharmishtha’s clothes got exchanged and they started fighting over it.
Devyani started saying unpleasant words about Sharmishtha and her father, which angered Sharmishtha to the extent that she pushed Devyani into a nearby well and went back to her palace along with her entourage. 
Around the same time King Yayati was passing through the jungle and he stopped by the well to drink water. He heard Devyani’s cry for help from inside the well and pulled her out. Devyani thanked him and introduced herself, “O King! I am daughter of guru Shukracharya, Devyani. The way you have held my hand to rescue me, I wish you hold my hand forever and marry me.”
Yayati was taken aback by this sudden proposal from Devyani and said, “Hey Devyani! Your father is the best among the Brahmins and I am normal Kshatriya. We cannot be together.” 
Yayati and Devyani parted ways and went back to their respective places, however they kept thinking about each other. 
When Devyani reached the hermitage of his worried father, she told him about her fight with Sharmishtha. She told him, how Sharmishtha called Shukracharya a servant of her father, the king. This angered the guru and he decided to leave the kingdom of Vrishaparva. 
When Vrishaparva heard about his guru’s decision, he came running. He pleaded to his guru to change his mind. Upon Vrishaparva’s repeated insistence, he left the decision to his daughter, Devyani.
Devyani said, “O Danav king! My father can stay in your kingdom under one condition only, that is if your daughter Sharmishtha agrees to become my servant for life.”
Keeping the welfare of her father and his kingdom in mind Sharmishtha agreed to Devyani’s condition and moved to the hermitage as Devyani’s maid and started taking care of her needs. 
One day Devyani along with Sharmishtha were roaming in the jungle, when king Yayati happened to be out on a hunt. When Devyani saw Yayati, she said, “O great king! You are the first man to hold my hand and I wish to become your wife.”
Yayati repeated the answer he gave her last time, “I don’t think your father will approve of our match considering you are a Brahmin and I am a Kshatriya.”
That day after returning to the hermitage Devyani told his father about her feelings for king Yayati and asked for his permission to marry him. She said, “Father! That day when Yayati held my hand to pull me out of the well, I have fallen for him. I wish to marry him and want your blessings for this union.”
Guru Shukra was reminded of Kach’s curse and knew that his daughter will never find a Brahmin husband, also he loved his daughter too much to refuse any of her desires. Shukracharya sent her daughter’s marriage proposal to Yayati, which he gladly accepted. 
After wedding Devyani went to live with King Yayati at his palace. Sharmishtha, as per agreement joined her as her maid. Yayati arranged for her lodging in a nearby palace, as per Devyani’s request. 
One day Sharmishtha started talking to Yayati and told him that she was daughter of Danav king Vrishaparva. Danav princess also told Yayati how she had to agree to become her maid to satisfy her ego. 
Yayati felt bad for Sharmishtha and started conversing with her often. As time passed Yayati fell in love with Sharmishtha and started visiting her in her palace.
In time Devyani gave birth to two sons Yadu and Turvasu and Sharmishtha to three sons Druhyu, Anu and Puru.
When Devyani found out about Yayati’s relationship with Sharmishtha she was filled with rage and left the palace to live in her father’s hermitage. 
When guru Shukra returned from Himalaya after finishing his penance of many years, he found Devyani living in the hermitage and asked for the reason. When Yayati visited the hermitage to meet Shukracharya, he cursed him to become old instantly.  
Yayati repented and asked for a way out from his curse. Guru Shukra said, “If someone born out of your blood willingly accepts your old age, you will get his youth.” 
Yayati called for his five sons and told them about Shukracharya’s curse. He requested his sons to accept his old age in exchange for their youth. All of his sons refused except for the youngest son Puru.
Yayati experience all the worldly pleasures for years only to realise that real pleasure in not in consumption but in sacrifice.
He called his son Puru to return him his youth and went to jungle to live the life for a sage. After many years of penance, he went to heaven.
I am not sure if it’s a true story or it’s just a mythological story but in today’s time it’s possible to pause your ageing process. And also reverse it. In the last few years, scientists have shown that it’s actually possible to partially reverse aging: they succeeded in making old organisms younger. 
There are many ways to do this, via cutting-edge bio technologies, and via specific lifestyle interventions. In the next couple of issues we will cover every possible tool that I could research on and am aware of, to reverse or slow down ageing process. Don’t experiment blindly with everything and you may want to consult your doctor before starting anything new.

Blue Zone & Longevity
Dan Buettner, an author and longevity expert, and National Geographic joined forces to figure out what factors contribute to longevity. They studied areas all over the world, where there are a large number of people who live long and healthy lives. These studies also led to the creation of Blue Zones around the world, areas where longevity is common.
These were the five locations identified in their study.
  • Barbagia region of Sardinia is a mountainous region that has the highest concentration of males over 100 years old.
  • Ikaria, Greece is an Aegean Island with one of the world’s lowest rates of middle-age mortality and the lowest rates of dementia.
  • Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica has the world’s lowest rates of middle-age mortality and the second-highest concentration of males over 100 years old.
  • Seventh-Day Adventists around Loma Linda, California live 10 years longer than their North American counterparts.
  • Okinawa, Japan has a group of females over 70 who are the longest-lived population in the world.
Compiling the common factors in these five zones, here is a short summary of lifestyle habits followed by the people there.
Just keep moving. They don’t go to the gym but they don’t spend hours in front of the computer. They are average people living average lives that include activities that require them to move a lot.
Know your purpose. When you have a purpose in life, whatever it is, you can add many years to your life. As long as you feel that you have a valuable contribution to make, you feel valued and that is healthy.
Manage Stress. No one is able to completely avoid stress. It’s a natural part of life. But living in constant stress will remove years from your life. You should know how to manage your stress.
Eat Less. If you eat too much, you shorten your life. This doesn’t mean fasting or fad dieting. Studies show that people who live longer lives tend to stop eating when they are 80 percent full. And they don’t snack into the evening.
Eat more plant. Most long-lived people eat a plant-based diet. They might eat meat once a week, but they always limit the amount to a small portion. 
Drink wine moderately. The key phrase is regular moderation. One to two glasses a day seems to be the healthy amount to drink. If you can’t limit yourself, don’t drink at all.
Community. By being part of a faith based community and meeting around four times a month, you can add four to fourteen years to your life.
Family first. If you keep your ageing relatives close by, it benefits them and the rest of your family. If you commit to a life partner, you are likely to live longer.
Choose your social network carefully. If you are in a circle of friends that support healthy lifestyles, you’re likely to live that way as well. It’s self-fulfilling. Groups of friends that have known each other for a long time, and are committed to each other for life, tend to live longer lives.
The Funny Quirks of Ageing.
Some funny things about growing old(er):
Our ears get bigger as we age but we start to hear less.
Our nose keep growing but we poke it more in others’ lives. 
Our once lovely full luscious lips thin down as we age, too. Kisses no more remain the same.
Nails either grow thinner and slower, or they become thick and hard. I don’t know which is worse?! They can also develop ridges and lines and they may discolor too - all are considered normal, unless caused by an underlying health problem.
Our feet go through many changes as we age. Developing calluses, corns, bunions and ingrown toenails are fairly common as we age. 
And hairs start to get thinner and grey. Most of us experience baldness starting from the crown.
I’m not even going to get into what happens to the rest of our bodies because that sh*t isn’t funny. But then who cares. Life is always good at every stage. 
Follow a longevity diet
What, when, and how much we eat impacts the rate of aging. Nutrition is the most powerful lifestyle intervention to live longer. Some general tips:
  • Shy away from sugary foods, like soda drinks, sweets, candy, cake, pastries, doughnuts, cookies, candy bars, and chocolates. Be also wary of seemingly healthy products which contain lots of sugar, like low-fat yogurt, vitamin waters, sport drinks, health drinks (e.g. flavoured green tea), granola and health bars, ketchup, fruit juices, breakfast cereals, salad dressings, and vegetable milks (choose the low-sugar varieties). 
  • Reduce your intake of starchy, empty-calorie foods like bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes. These foods cause high and protracted glucose peaks in the blood, leading to cross-linking and the (over)stimulation of ageing mechanisms (e.g. insulin and IGF receptors). This also includes whole-grain products. 
  • Don’t consume too much animal protein (especially red processed meat). Too much animal protein accelerates ageing. If you do eat animal protein, eat white meat (poultry) and fish. Some scientists advise even to only eat fish and vegetable protein (e.g. nuts and legumes). If you consume fish, opt for species that have low mercury content and don’t eat too much high-mercury fish like tuna, swordfish, mackerel and halibut. 
  • Avoid unhealthy fats such as trans fats and omega 6 fats. In general, try to avoid fried foods, fast-food, and bakery products. More specifically, reduce your intake of crackers, cookies, cakes, and other baked foods, refrigerated dough products (e.g. cinnamon rolls, biscuits, etc), snack foods (e.g. microwave popcorn), fast-food (e.g. frozen pizza), ready-to-eat meals, various vegetable shortenings (made from partially hydrogenated vegetable oil), french fries, and omega-6 rich oils and fats, like sunflower oil, corn oil, safflower oil, margarine, sesame oil, mayonnaise and many salad dressings. 
  • Consume lots of vegetables, legumes, mushrooms, fruits, nuts, seeds, white meat, and fatty fish.
  • Consume foods that have been processed as little as possible, e.g. foods your great grandmother would recognize.   
  • Eat specific foods that improve longevity, like blueberries, pomegranate, broccoli, kale, salmon, chia seeds, dark chocolate, and many others. 
  • Don’t drink too much alcohol: that means maximum one glass per day, ideally more alcohol-free days. 
  • Drink lots of water. Drink green tea or coffee (yes, coffee can reduce the risk of various ageing-related diseases). 
  • Eat less. Try to eat two meals a day, with breakfast being the most important meal of the day. Eat within a 12-hour period, so your body can fast for 12 hours. Fast for ideally 3 days a few times per year, like at the start of every new season. If you are up to it, practice caloric restriction. We will discuss fasting and various longevity diets in upcoming issues.
So in a nutshell, consume lots of vegetables, legumes and mushrooms – instead of bread, pasta and potatoes. Eat little animal-based food, and if you do, try to eat white meat (poultry) and fatty fish instead of red meat. Consume healthy fats from olives, olive oil, walnuts, flaxseeds, or avocados. Don’t drink soda and animal milk. Be mindful of drinking too much alcohol.
Specific longevity foods are green leafy vegetables (kale, broccoli, spinach, Brussels sprouts), fatty fish, mushrooms, dark chocolate, blueberries, pomegranate, green tea, strawberries and walnuts. 
More on ageing and longevity
Here’s podcast of Andrew Huberman in conversation with David Sinclair. Dr. David Sinclair is Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and an expert researcher in the field of longevity. Dr. Sinclair is also the author of the book Lifespan: Why We Age & Why We Don’t Have To, and the host of the Lifespan Podcast. This episode includes lots of basic science and specific, actionable protocols, right down to the details of what to do and when. By the end, you will have in-depth knowledge of the biology of aging and how to offset it.
Technology and Ageing
From Readers Digest
From Readers Digest
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We have also archived all the old issues and you can access them at www.sandeepmall.com. They contain some very good tool kits to take charge of your well being.
See you next week .
Sandeep Mall
The information provided in this newsletter is not medical advice, nor it should be taken as a replacement for medical advice. I am not a medical Doctor so I don’t prescribe anything. Most of the tools suggested are based out of scientific research and my experiments with them. Your healthcare, your wellbeing is your responsibility. Anything we suggest here, please filter it through that responsibility. 
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Sandeep Mall

Helping people achieve deep health and balance in life is my passion. This weekly newsletter is about things I am passionate about, tools I use and experiences I love to share. Connect at me@Sandeepmall.com

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