It sounds like the holy grail of the diet world, eating and anti-aging are the two hottest health topics around and by combining them how could you resist?
Well as someone who has easily resisted any form of dieting (considering chocolate not only to be one of the major food groups but a daily staple) I confess that I approached this with some misgivings. Like most menopausal women I have attracted a few extra pounds. Knowing that this is nature’s way of compensating us at menopause for the declining oestrogen levels by shifting production to the fat cells of the stomach, abdomen and thighs is no comfort at all.
Describing itself as an ‘eating plan’ rather than a diet is a good psychological move and Elizabeth Peyton-Jones starts you off with a jolly ‘how youthful are you quiz’. The good news is that my youthful age is over 60 – which given that I am well over 60 seemed like a bonus though to be honest I had hoped to slide in under the bar of 50+.
The ‘Aging and Youthing’ Food Factors
You can find out what five processes age you most and the five most aging foods (here’s a hint – cake is right up there). The major items to reduce are the usual culprits: sugar, salt, dairy, meat and fats – so that’s every item you eat covered! You may need to do some rethinking on the weekly shopping. She does however recommend butter over margarine so that’s a bonus from my point of view, never having abandoned it – whatever the hype about ‘healthy’ margarines. To quote my favourite nutritionist: ‘I trust cows more than chemicals.’
More good news is that there are also five ‘youthing’ foods, so buy that mega pack of lemons while on offer in the supermarket because that hits the charts at number 1 and garlic lovers can celebrate too because that has so many health benefits I don’t have room to list them.
This is not rocket science, the way to stay young is to eat healthily, exercise regularly and support your body for optimum health. The bonus with this book is that the recipes really are delicious and simple and would be the basis for a whole new way of approaching how you eat on a daily basis.
If you are into juicing – and that is one of the simplest and fastest ways to increase your vitality, energy and improve your skin – then she has some good combinations that sound delicious plus meal ideas that include puddings. See I am just not a natural at this dieting stuff! Creamy coconut and pineapple black rice pudding I can almost taste by reading the recipe – always a good sign.
The hormone factor
What can also be a problem at menopause is that switch to oestrogen production I mentioned earlier can also increase your fluid retention – and so increase your weight. Rebalancing any oestrogen dominance with progesterone will help drop some pounds, and that in itself is definitely going to improve how you feel about yourself. That is one of the biggest factors in looking younger and more vital.
The book is a recipe for a very healthy lifestyle and the way Peyton-Jones presents the information is clear and concise. Vegetarians have a lot of delicious sounding options, and if you eat fish that’s well covered too but meat eaters may need a conversion course to get the most out of it.
Eat Yourself Young by Elizabeth Peyton-Jones is published by Quadrille at £12.99