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Michelle Stewart

Michelle J. Stewart is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian and better known as The Nutrition Planner. Founder of Michelle Stewart Consulting & Associates who has been leading the way to a healthier you for more than 25 years. She is zealous when it comes to wellness from the inside out and empowerin...

Category of Expertise:

Health & Fitness


The Nutrition Planner

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10/19/2012 06:23pm
Good Health at Any Age

I get a lot of questions on food choices... "How can I avoid wrinkles, belly fat, loss of skin elasticity and reading glasses?" In short, folks want to know my anti-aging secrets. My first response is look at the up side----did you think about the alternative to aging? OK now that I've helped them get life in focus, here are a few of my anti-aging guidelines for good health at any age.

You'll need to eat well to look and be well. What you eat is essential to keeping a youthful glow. There is no magic food, just make sure you choose a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, good for you fats, lean protein, whole grains and water.

Fruits and vegetables will contain the nutrients that are needed for a healthy body. The more colorful the better. For example, red beets provide vitamins and minerals including vitamin C which promotes immunity and tissue repair. Folate which aids in red blood cell function and potassium, which helps regulate mineral and fluid balance; magnesium for strong bones and antioxidants.

Pomegranates, also are power-packed they're good sources of vitamins C and K. Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting and plays a role in building bone. Dark green leafy vegetables---spinach, kale, broccoli and collards are excellent sources of vitamins A, C and K. Additionally they are a good source of calcium, iron and fiber.

Fats in the diet carry flavor, but it is best to limit fats to polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Polyunsaturated fats are most often found in plant-based foods and oils. Research studies have shown that these fats improve cholesterol levels and are beneficial for heart health. Omega-3 fatty acids also a polyunsaturated fat is found in fish such as salmon and trout, walnuts and flaxseed. Monounsaturated fats are sources of the antioxidant vitamin E, and are found in olives, avocados, hazelnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, and olive, canola, and peanut oils.

Sleep is critical---the sleep-deprived will need to change their habits, adjusting their schedule to get six to eight hours each night. A good night's sleep goes a long way toward ensuring that people are rested, alert and able to manage stress.

Exercise is also a key; 30 to 45 minutes of exercise 3 to 4 days a week are a major factor in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If you feel like you don't have time to squeeze in any exercise, get a pedometer and clip it onto your waistband to make sure you log 10,000 steps a day. To help get to this number, park further from the door when you head out for errands and consider taking the steps and not an elevator when you can.

Last but not least, stay hydrated. Make sure you drink plenty of water---8 to 10 glasses of water a day will help keep you alert, and hydrated, providing ample moisture to help maintain a healthy complexion. In addition to water, add a healthy smoothie to your weekly diet, and try this recipe for my favorite smoothie-I call it the Fountain of Youth!

Fountain of Youth Smoothie

Cherries, blueberries, and cranberries are all fantastic sources of vitamin C and anthocyanins, antioxidants that may protect against some types of cancer. Vitamin C supports the growth of strong collagen fiber. Collagen fiber is found in soft connective tissue and bone and may help prevent some of the affects of aging. Enjoyed on a regular basis, I'll claim this smoothie as just one of my secrets to staying young.

1 cup low-fat cherry yogurt

¼ cup cranberry juice

1 cup frozen pitted cherries

¾ cup frozen unsweetened blueberries

Combine the yogurt and cranberry juice in a blender. Add the cherries and berries. Blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

Makes about 2 ½ cups; serves 2

Per serving: calories 230; calories from fat 2g, (8%); total fat 2g; saturated fat1g; cholesterol 8 mg; carbohydrate 49 g; fiber 3 g; protein 5 g.

The take-away: Make sure to plan daily meals to include a variety of foods, plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and 8 to 10 glasses a water. Exercise and 8 hours of


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