Negotiating with age… wisdom from Dr. Barbara Polla

Mom (aka Dr. Barbara S. Polla) came to visit me in DC and Louisiana over Labor Day weekend – her first visit to “my world” in 5+ years. We had many plans, including a beautiful boat ride on the Natalbany River.

Not planned: mechanical boat problems.

Not a problem: while people who know about boat things worked on the boat, we sat on the dock and patiently waited and talked. This “broken boat moment” was a blessing in disguise, as she shared some of her secrets about looking great at every age (for the record, she is 67). “I negotiate” she explains. Not with someone else – but with herself, with her body. “As we age, our body changes. Our metabolism slows. Our bones become more fragile. Our skin changes. To name a few.” Mom explained to me that the way to handle this is to accept these changes, embrace them, and make compromises – what she refers to as negotiating with yourself.

Fascinated, I asked for more details and examples. This is what I learned.

  1. For every year you age, spend one more minute in your bathroom taking care of your face and body.
  2. Eat less. More protein, fewer carbs.
  3. She also shared with me her supplement secrets. This is what she takes:
  • For her asthma, a non-steroid anti-inflammatory, every day. Singulair. While she is taking it for asthma, she feels it helps with various inflammatory conditions related to aging.
  • 1 gram of vitamin C per day. Her brand of choice: Bioganic GIsand. She has been taking this for the past 10 years.
  • To make the vitamin C more effective and protect it from oxidation: 200 md of vitamin E, by Burgerstein.
  • She avoids any supplement that contains iron –based on her research that excess iron accelerates aging and the formation of free radicals.
  • A lot of coffee. Coffee is a great antioxidant– actually, a cup of coffee contains more antioxidants than many fruits. Coffee is also an excellent source of magnesium, vitamins B2 and B3, ad copper. Coffee decreases the absorption of iron by the body – meaning it slows aging (see above). “Coffee is magical,” she says.
  • To keep her hair thick and beautiful, she takes 2 Pantogar pills daily during the fall, 1 during the rest of the year.
  • Calcium for her bones: Calcimagon D3 Forte, which contains 1000 mg calcium and 800 IE Vit D. One every 2-3 days.
  • And finally, when her travels involve a change of time zone (more than 3 hours), she takes Melatonin (Circadine 2 mg) for 3 weeks.

As my birthday month approaches, these are recommendations I must heed.

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