Ageless Living in a Culture of Youth

By Victoria Moran, Author, urban vegan, life and health coach

I had a birthday recently. I took the day off and worked out in the morning, and a friend treated me to lunch at Pure Food and Wine, a luscious raw-food restaurant here in NYC. I got a manicure and pedicure in the afternoon and dined that evening with my family at Zen Palate. Then we saw “The Book of Mormon” on Broadway, which was way more “South Park” than “South Pacific” but somehow uplifting and altogether satisfying. I’m ready for a great year.

And yet my culture tells me that I shouldn’t be. I’m over the hill, maybe even the whole mountain range, but I don’t see it that way even one little bit. One of my mentors on this issue is Cherie Soria, founder and director of the Living Light Culinary Institute, an academy for raw gourmet chefs in Fort Bragg, Calif. Cherie is a woman who defies chronological age, and people often comment on how well time treats her. “But that’s not it,” she says. “I’m aging normally: everybody else is aging too fast.”

She has a point. The lifestyle typical of most Americans couldn’t be more pro-aging. We’re stressed to the max and call that good — we’re going to succeed, by golly, and once we do, we’re going to stay on top! We don’t sleep nearly enough. We work at desks and entertain ourselves in front of computer and TV screens. We drink coffee and soda and dirty martinis, figuring our kidneys are stupid enough to accept these as water. Most of our food has been either literally slaughtered or simply processed to death, and yet we expect, either through good genes, good luck, vitamin supplements or cosmetic surgery, to get that full-of-life glow. It’s an illogical premise.

Enter the feel-great/look-amazing/age-later lifestyle encapsulated in the acronym M.E.N.D.: Meditation, Exercise, Nourishment, Detoxification. Anyone who incorporates these regularly into his or her life can make peace with the calendar. Here’s how it works.
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