The Fountain of Youth
"Immortality is a long shot, I admit. But somebody has to be first." - Bill Cosby
First, I must explain the concept of the "Fountain of Youth". The fountain of youth is an American idiom referring to that elusive (some say non-existent) over-marketed snake oil which makes lots of money for multi- level marketers, and does nothing for those foolish enough to pay $19.95 (to their nephews who cannot get a traditional job) for something which costs eleven cents to manufacture.
See: Acai berries...
The term "Fountain of Youth" has lured dreamers for many centuries. The first use of the phrase was applied to Spanish conquistadors who invaded Cuba to rape and pillage the natives and steal their gold and silver. One clever Cubano found a gullible solder named Ponce de Leon. He conned Ponce by pointing to the north while standing on a Cuban beach, suggesting that if he sailed thataway, he would find a stream in which those who bathed gained eternal life.
Ponce was so taken in by the tale which was intended to rid the Caribbean island of invaders, that he took his wife and kids and sailed 90 or so miles straight up the longitudinal and discovered Seminole Indians living just South of a place that would become known in the future as a vacation destination for mouse lovers, duck lovers, and two talkative chipmunks named Chip & Dale.
Unbeknownst to Ponce de Leon, the Seminoles were cannibals, and they made the de Leon family their dinner, presumably before Ponce found his magic stream.
Now for the genuine fountain of youth. This is not a hypothetical construct. Today's Notmilk letter delivers the real deal and is free for your taking.
The Fountain of Youth: 10 word or less Summary (beginning with the ending)
Eat a plant-based diet Exercise hard Sleep well
We obtain our energy three different ways. We gain energy from the foods we eat. We get energy from starch and fructose which the body converts into glycogen and stores like dollars in a bank.
Glycogen is that fuel which marathon runners deplete somewhere around the 18th mile of their 26-mile effort and then "hit the wall" or bonk. Although most medical books will reveal that glycogen is stored in the liver, it is also stored in liquid form in the cytoplasm of every one of the body's cells. In that manner, it is easily and rapidly converted into muscle energy when needed.
The third way we get fuel is the key to bathing in the authentic "fountain of youth".
I have been searching for the fountain of youth since 1973 when college colleagues performing marine science experiments postulated that there was a youth hormone within the bodies of lobsters. The hormone was never found.
Lobsters can live forever, if not for their genetic weakness...their Achilles heel of sorts. What betrays them is the fact that lobsters grow, and with each growth stage, they shed their outer rock-hard exterior, and at some point grow so large that there is nowhere to hide from predators who adore the taste of lobster muscle.
Each time lobsters molt, they reproduce all of their internal organs and cells. A one-pound lobster, on average, is seven years old and has gone through the molting process twenty or more times.
But there is no youth hormone. A lobster's ability to live "forever" is based upon a cellular mechanism, and that is the key to understanding this unique fountain of youth concept and how magnificently it relates to humans. Lobsters continuously work out. Their environment is their gym.
The mechanism is this. The lobster never stops moving. Every moment of its life is used either as an offensive or defensive maneuver. I do not suggest that you could possibly maintain the same lifestyle as a lobster, but one of the tines of the multi-pronged fountain of youth fork is to keep moving each day...a lot. I'll be more specific in a moment.
I previously listed two of the three ways that we get energy to power our muscles. The third way is the key to eternal youth and to increasing longevity.
Ever hear of mitochondria? Of course you have. Eighth grade biology. For me, I first learned about mitochondria two score and seven years ago.
Mitochondria are not really human cells. Mitochondria are their own cells with their own DNA, not ours. They descend from the mother's womb and do not reproduce in the human body. Never. Mitochondria manufacture a substance called adenine triphosphate, otherwise known as ATP.
ATP is that chemical which powers fast twitch and slow twitch muscle fibers. ATP supplies muscles with explosive energy which gives bicyclists the ability to scale steep hills, or gives boxers the knockout punches to deliver during the tenth round of an exhausting fight. Explosive energy. That is what separates the old athletes from the young athletes.
When tested, elite 50-year-old athletes are found to have about half the mitochondrial DNA as elite 25-year-old athletes.
Once mitochondria die, that's it. No more. Bye-bye. Mitochondrial death signals cell death, and ultimately, the death of the human being.
The trick then, is to get mitochondria to reproduce in the body. Medical books and scientific literature suggest that they cannot reproduce.
I have discovered a way to make them grow big and fat and divide.
As an example of nature's most profound symbiosis, these tiny creatures take oxygen from our cells and nourish human muscle cells with ATP. Oxygen is their fuel for growth. How does one supply them with oxygen? By getting aerobic. Do not confuse the word aerobic with group exercises in a spa. You are not getting aerobic by walking easily around the block for twenty minutes each morning.
Every person has a different aerobic zone based upon their age and weight. There are charts to be used as guidelines. For me, my aerobic zone is between 126 and 140. The way to define your own personal aerobic zone is this. Get on a treadmill and begin to walk. Turn up the speed until it is a bit of a challenge. When you begin to huff and puff and sweat profusely while being able to conduct a conversation with your neighbor, you're probably in your aerobic zone.
Work out too hard, and you are in what exercise physiologists call the anaerobic zone. Slow down!
For me, it takes about twenty minutes to get into my aerobic zone. Once there, I set the clock. In order to pump up the internal secretions of ATP, you've got to do two hours per day of aerobic exercise. It does not have to be consecutive. You can select four gym machines such as the Stairmaster, elliptical, stationary bike, and treadmill. Do 30 aerobic minutes on each machine.
I never claimed that this would be easy, but it will work to keep away wrinkles and keep you looking and feeling young. This is not just a youthful cure. It is the fountain of youth. Keep on exercising this way ever day for the next two hundred years and we shall reassess.
The second prong of our fountain of youth fork is to get plenty of sleep each night. Eight hours is the minimum. Not to worry. Giving up prime time television is easy! I successfully weaned myself from the boob tube two years ago and do not miss it at all. Early to bed. Early to rise. One needs lots of sleep to repair the damage done to your muscles from the previous day's intense workouts while getting aerobic.
How does one make strong muscles? My creating microscopic tears in existing muscles. During sleep, those tears are repaired so that the muscles grow stronger.
The third prong of the fork is to eat a vegan diet. A raw food diet is best. Why? Because if you eat a steak and potato and salad and dessert, your body will require eight hours (or so) to digest your stomach contents. All of that energy should be used for muscle repair, not for digestion. A raw food vegan requires 30 minutes of digestive energy. The other 7.5 hours can be used by the body to repair the previous day's microscopic muscle tears. In this manner, we build strength.
It is time for a book recommendation. The 80-10-10 diet by Dr. Doug Graham. Check out what an old man should look like, and I use those words with great respect, admiration, and love:
Doug might be called middle aged according to his chronological age, but his raw food diet movement is growing, and I consider myself to be one of his biggest fans and supporters.
After three score years, I cannot remember a time in my adult life that I have felt better. The past ten years of my life, I have had pain getting out of bed each morning. I was the picture you once saw in the dictionary under the phrase "couch potato".
Today, I am growing stronger and re-defining my life. I love each moment spent in the gym and swim over a mile a day while spending an hour in the weight room and working on the aerobic machines.
Are vegans better athletes than meat eaters? There is no evidence to make such a claim, but vegans do recover better from injury because we can.
Diet. Exercise. Sleep. It's really a rather simple formula and the reward is great.
If you are the typical American eating the SAD diet, (Standard American Diet), your first step to discovering the Fountain of youth is this:
The difference you feel after giving up all dairy will be so astonishing that you will soon write to me and ask, "What's next" and I will then lead you along my path.
Working out...sleeping...exercising...might seem like too high a price to pay, but I am offering you immortality and the cumulative cost represents the bargain of a lifetime.
"Immortality is not a gift, Immortality is an achievement; And only those who strive mightily Shall possess it." - Edgar Lee Masters
"Once in one's life, for one mortal moment, one must make a grab for immortality; if not, one has not lived." - Sylvester Stallone
"Surely God would not have created such a being as man, with an ability to grasp the infinite, to exist only for a day! No, no, man was made for immortality." - Abraham Lincoln
"The only greatness for man is immortality." - James Dean
"I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying." - Woody Allen