We all want to stay young. Feel vibrant. Have tons of energy.
But our bodies keep taking us down the path of aging.
Fatigue. Aches and pains. Forgetfulness. That middle-age paunch.
Should we just accept our fate? Or are there ways we can get our health and vitality back?
Judy Gaman has been asking those questions for years.
She’s a health and wellness expert with a degree from the prestigious George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. She’s written two books on aging—Age to Perfection and Stay Young—and she shares her anti-aging advice on the airwaves on the nationally syndicated Staying Young Show.
In this week’s YBTV interview, she encourages us to get back to the basics. Sleep right, eat right, and stay off the computer.
What You’ll Learn
When we take care of our gut, we take care of our entire body.”
It’s tempting to think that staying young requires injections, creams, lasers, and space-age gadgets.
But Judy Gaman disagrees.
If you can get a full 7 to 8 hours each night in bed and you support your gut microbiome through good eating habits, you’ll probably feel quite happy with your health.
“You always have to start with the basics,” she says, “and sleep is probably the #1 thing.”
She explains that when we’re in a stage of deep sleep, “our brain actually washes itself like a washing machine.” But you can’t just close your eyes and fall into restorative sleep. You go through number of sleep cycles each night, each one taking you a little deeper.
“If you can get a good seven-and-a-half hours of uninterrupted sleep, that’s perfect,” she says. She warns against too much of a good thing, though. More than 9 hours of sleep can have negative effects.
Not everybody has a life where 8 hours of sleep a night is even possible. For them, it’s important to take 15 to 20 minutes of downtime during the day where they shut off their brain and just do nothing. Not even look at their phone or a book.
Back when her kids were young, Judy had a policy of 30 minutes of quiet time every day. Everyone went to their room or wherever they wanted to be, and no one talked for half a hour. Even now her kids remember those quiet times fondly.
Having time during the day to shut off is especially important now that technology has become so pervasive in our lives. You should never spend more than 6 hours a day at the computer, Judy cautions. Not only can screen time give you wrinkles, but the blue light can keep you awake when it’s time to wind down for bed.
That includes your phone, too. Looking down at your phone puts pressure on the back of your neck. Staring at the screen can cause dark circles under your eyes. As much as you love your phone, absence really does make the heart grow fonder.
The second big piece of the anti-aging puzzle is supporting the gut.
There was a time—and not that long ago—we really didn’t appreciate or understand what was going on in the gut. We thought our bodies were governed by our brains and somewhat by our hearts. But the gut turned out to be arguably the most important part of our body.”
Researchers are learning more all the time. They just discovered a new neural circuit that the gut uses to communicate directly with the brain. They’ve also learned that people with depression or bipolar have commonalities in their gut microbiome.
Your microbiome is made up of microorganisms that live in your gut. It’s a perfectly balanced ecosystem that can get disrupted when you eat the wrong things, like packaged or processed foods. When it’s in good health, you’ll see the difference in your skin, hair, memory, and health.
“We now know that 80% of our immunity lies within our gut,” Judy says. “So if you want to heal yourself, you’ve got to start with your gut.”
What we put into our bodies can either support that balance or kill off good bacteria and irritate the gut lining.
For example, antibiotics kill off good as well as bad bacteria. If you absolutely have to take a course of antibiotics, you should talk to your doctor about steps you can take to restore your microbiome.
Eating yogurt isn’t enough, especially if you buy the flavored kind. “More and more research shows that if we’re going to use a probiotic, we really need to use like a pharmaceutical grade multi-strain probiotic” that’s been kept refrigerated, Judy says.
She explains that “probiotics are the actual organisms that we need [in our gut, while] prebiotics are the food that those organisms need to live off of.” One of the best sources of prebiotics is vegetables.
If you’re thinking that giving up late nights and eating your vegetables isn’t worth the extra years, then Judy has someone she’d like you to meet.
While she was working on her book Age to Perfection: How to Thrive to 100, Happy, Healthy, and Wise, Judy interviewed a spirited centenarian named Lucille … and fell in love.
“We became best friends,” Judy says. “She went out on my book tour with me, she became a longevity expert herself, and she was the walking, talking, breathing example of everything that that we talked about.”
At Executive Medicine of Texas, where Judy is director of business development, “people fly in from all over the globe to come there to learn how to be like Lucille.”
Living longer doesn’t mean giving up on what makes life fun. That’s what Lucille taught Judy, and it’s a message Judy is passing on through her memoir Life and Lucille, out at the end of 2019.
Jump to Topics of Interest
2:35 The importance of sleep
4:51 Why kids need quiet time
5:40 Impact of screen time on aging
8:06 Follow the money: natural versus synthetic supplements
9:06 Lifeline stem cell cream
10:07 The importance of the gut to healthy aging
12:15 Overuse of antibiotics
14:34 Probiotics, prebiotics, and why you should eat your vegetables
17:17 Heal your gut, heal your whole body
18:00 Working at a computer can cause wrinkles
18:44 The centenarian that changed Judy’s views on aging
21:01 Take small steps
A true inspiration, Judy Gaman is an award-winning author, speaker, and radio show host. A graduate of the prestigious George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences and the School of Professional Studies, Judy learned how to tie together her knowledge of health and wellness and her desire to educate and inspire others. When she is not writing, she co-hosts the nationally syndicated Staying Young Show with Drs. Mark Anderson and Walter Gaman. Find out more about Judy.