What do you think about first when you ponder healthy living strategies?  Do you think salad?  What about exercise?  I would venture to say that you are reading this because you want to fully live while you are alive here on earth.  The more I study, the more I’m convinced that vitality is not just about food and exercise.  Relationships and a sense of purpose are equally important to LIVING YOUNGER.

I was recently listening to a lecture by a functional neurologist, an M.D. who encourages his patients to incorporate lifestyle changes to improve their lives and improve brain health.  He relayed a true story about a retired patient whose wife had forced him to the doctor for evaluation because he was experiencing memory problems.  The patient was adamant that he was “not going to change my eating and don’t you dare tell me to exercise.”  But the cognitive changes he was experiencing were serious and the wise physician asked if he would be willing to change just one other thing besides food and exercise.  

“Would you be willing to volunteer somewhere at least once a week?”  

The gentleman reluctantly agreed because he knew that he needed to do something to make his wife happy.  Within three months his general health, as well as his memory, improved.  He had increased purpose in his life and began learning new skills.  He met new people and enlarged his social circle.  He was naturally more physically active with his new responsibilities and had a reason to get up and clean up.  

Recent scientific studies have established strong evidence for the benefits of social connection and purpose on health.  I’ve seen this over and over in my 30-plus years of caring for patients, what I term, “my front row seat of life.”  People who serve others are healthier and happier in every way. Nutrient-dense food and exercise are important but that may not be the place to begin.  Your START SOMEWHERE may be engaging with a group of people who are working to make the community better.  Food pantries, library tutoring programs, and churches always need a helping hand.  LIVE YOUNGER with small changes.  You can do it.  I will help you.

#AskDrDebbie: “What do you think about Sourdough Bread? Is it easier to digest?” – Robin R.

This was fun research!  The interest in sourdough bread has “risen” in popularity lately!  (Pun intended)  One of the oldest forms of grain fermentation, sourdough is believed to have originated in Egypt around 1,500 B.C. and was the major form of bread leavening.  It relies on lactic-acid producing bacteria and “wild yeast” to make it rise.  Other fermented foods like kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and quality yogurts also contain lactic acid and are a great strategy in the quest to LIVE YOUNGER.  

A “starter” is required and the fermentation process enhances the nutritional profile for several reasons:

  1. Non-fermented breads contain phytic acid, also known as phytate.  Phytates can bind to the minerals, including magnesium, potassium, phosphate, and zinc, that are in conventional whole grain bread and are considered as “anti-nutrients” because this binding reduces the absorption of these valuable minerals.  The lactic acid helps degrade these phytic compounds.  
  2. The process of sourdough fermentation can result in an antioxidant increase as well as increased levels of folate.
  3. The longer fermentation time results in a heightened texture of the whole grains, which are rich in fiber.

Sourdough bread may be easier for some people to digest because of it’s probiotic-like nature.  This fermentation process degrades gluten to a greater extent than regular baker’s yeast.  Gluten tolerance varies from person to person.  I limit gluten in my life because it makes my joints stiff but I want to experiment with sourdough and see what happens.  It would be great to be able to make a delicious, nourishing loaf of hot bread! Apparently, sourdough bread produces less of an insulin spike, which is key to LIVING YOUNGER.  

For my START SOMEWHERE experimenting with sourdough bread, I’m going to consult The Nourished Kitchen and I’ll keep you posted.  Thank you so much for that great question, Robin!

Slow Cooker Stuffed Cabbage Casserole (Bowl of Delicious)

You will need:

  • ½ Cabbage, roughly sliced
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, finely chopped or minced
  • 1.5 lbs. Ground Beef (grass-fed if possible)
  • 1.5 cups crushed Tomatoes (1 small can)
  • 2 cups prepared Cauliflower Rice
  • 4 tablespoons Ghee / clarified Butter (or regular butter)
  • 1 heaping tablespoons Italian Seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon crushed Red Pepper
  • plenty of salt and freshly ground Pepper
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh Parsley

Here’s the drill:

  1. Stir together all ingredients except fresh parsley in a slow cooker, making sure it’s well combined.
  2. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 3.5-4 hours, or until beef is fully cooked.
  3. Stir in fresh parsley.
  4. Serve!

What I’m pondering this week:  “By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life.  We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.”  2 Peter 1:3

Vitality is not just about food

Vitality is not just about food