On Vitality

The neuroscience of creating vitality

Anti-Aging, Healthy is Hip Generation Has Arrived

The information generation is making healthy choices at younger ages.

In my last blog, I shared with you the amazing story of my dear friend Liliana Retenly and how following our serendipitous meeting she has inspired me to always look at the bright side of events and live with optimism.

Today’s blog comes from another very serendipitous meeting. This summer, I had the pleasure of strolling through New York City’s Central Park and began talking with a man who was out walking his dog. After about an hour of conversation, we discovered that we were cousins by marriage! The next day he asked me to join him at his friend’s studio and there I had the great fortune of meeting Talia Fuhrman.

Talia is about half my age but I almost immediately discovered that she may be twice as smart! And when it comes to nutrition she is infinitely wiser, so I asked her to share her wisdom on this site. Talia is vegan and has been all her life. Upon speaking with her, it is clear that she is on a mission to help people understand that eating healthfully and taking care of our bodies can be fun, delicious, and easy. She was raised in an extremely health-conscious family; her father is Joel Fuhrman, M.D., author of Eat to Live and numerous other best sellers, and she has been guiding me to improve my eating ever since our chance meeting.

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I asked her to share her wisdom in hopes that her words will inspire you too:

 

The information generation is the generation I was born into. We can access any fact, any study or any article at the click of Google’s search button. We can purchase any book on our e-reader with an effortless touch of our finger to a screen. We have never been able to learn so much information with so little effort. I also come from the generation of the American obesity epidemic, and a time in which health care costs are soaring and we are witnessing unprecedented heart disease and cancer rates.

The combination of these two factors has made my generation the anti-aging generation with a healthy is hip mentality. As a young 20-something female living in the cosmopolitan environment of New York City, I am keenly aware of a burgeoning new trend in health and wellness practiced amongst my friends and acquaintances thanks, in part, to the wonderfully endless supply of nutritional, anti-aging, and disease fighting resources available to us. This trend is about practicing preventative health habits before chronic health conditions develop, eating healthy foods and exercising to ward off later life diseases and inspiring each other to reach our healthiest, happiest selves. We want to make the right decisions now so that we feel our best later on. We are living by the mantra "we are what we eat" and we are avid believers in treating the cause and not the symptoms.

We are reading all the books. And there are hordes of them. We follow popular health and wellness blogs. And they abound on the Internet in unparalleled numbers. We are talking about what we read and we are motivating each other to follow what we are learning. We don’t want to spend our later years in a hospital fighting the most common diseases of today’s elderly population, so we are doing the best we can and putting the odds in our favor with this new access to health and wellness resources.

I don’t believe that I am living in a bubble or that this is a trend only seen amongst the wealthy. While this mentality obviously cannot be generalized to everyone who is a young adult, I believe that a growing awareness that we have the power to take control of our health is growing from the ground up, regardless of financial resources. I like to believe that we can inspire each other more and more, talk about what we learn, and help each other understand the facts because it has never been easier to educate ourselves. I see my generation giving the obesity epidemic a serious threat that it is not going to survive because we are not going to let it beat us.

I understand that there are always going to be people who smoke cigarettes, live off processed and fast foods, and don’t exercise, but my hope is that the number of people who practice such habits is on a steady decline. Preventative health practices can be as simple as learning why whole grains are better than white flour products, why omega-3 fats are so important for our brains, or why green vegetables are nutrient powerhouses, all of which can easily be read about online. I believe that the information age of today’s youth is one of our biggest boons in the fight against the most common diseases of the developed world. I am inspired by this exciting time of change and growing awareness and I hope that the media, writers, and health experts realize that the demand is there for the science. My generation realizes that to be smart means to care about our health, and that kale really is the new beef.

Eva Ritvo, M.D. is vice chair of psychiatry at the University of Miami and co-author of The Beauty Prescription: The Complete Formula for Looking and Feeling Beautiful.

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