Luis Camacho – His Aging Youthful Secrets

Every day I meet and read about people defying their age and doing some amazing things people decades younger would have a hard time to match. When Mark and I lived in Florida, one of the favorite people we met, albeit briefly, was Luis Camacho. At a time when many people his age are sitting in rocking chairs doing crossword puzzles, Luis was opening a boxing gym.

At the young age of 77 Luis Camacho was opening a boxing gym

As a former Golden Gloves Boxer himself, Mark came with me when I went to the Grand Opening as a Chamber Ambassador. When we met Luis, we immediately fell in love with his infectious smile and charming personality. We were impressed when we saw him in the ring, holding the mitts for a couple of young boxers putting on an exhibition.  When one of his pro fighters stepped in the ring with him we were in awe! Luis was as light on his feet as the boxer he was training and taking the knockout hits with his hands like it was nothing!

Underneath that serious coaches face, is one of the kindest, hardest-working 80 year olds I know!

After the exhibition was done, we hung around afterward and knew we just had to meet him. We both just about fell on the floor when we found out Luis was 77 years old! Um yeah, 77! When I came up with the idea of the “Six Questions” others who are aging youthful, Luis was the first person I wanted to feature! While Luis is pretty succinct in his answers, I believe you can get a feel for his awesome, positive personality through his answers and that winning smile in his photos!

Luis Camacho still training boxers at 80!

Name: Luis Camacho
Age: 79 (His 80th birthday is in July!).
Location: Ocala, Florida

Were you always active?

I ran the mile in high school and Cross Country in the Air Force.

Did/do you still participate in sports?

Still training boxers at Camacho Boxing Gym

Luis in his early days...this coach had more hair back then, but he's just as fit today

Do you watch what you eat and do you supplement?

I take my daily vitamins, drink home made herb tea and eat balanced meals.

What are your favorite activities?

Dancing salsa, sleeping 8 hours and chasing young ladies keeps me in shape (hahaha) and drinking a lot of water from my well.

Luis Camacho, Dancing Salsa and chasing young ladies keeps him young!

What is YOUR secret to staying young?

I run 1-3 miles, depending on the day and the weather, but I prefer running on the beach!  Gardening is one of my favorite ways to stay fit! I do most everyday, cutting trees, digging ditches, transplanting, etc.

Gardening is one of the things that keep Luis Camacho young!

What do you say to people who tell you you’re too old to do something?

Ha ha I laugh and tell them “just try to do what I do and I will buy you lunch…if you can’t, you owe me lunch.”

Luis Camacho...just keep punching

If I followed Luis around for a week, I’d be buying a week’s worth of lunches. Just keep punching Luis!

The Benefits Of Celery Juicing – My Four Week Journey

The Benefits of Celery Juicing – My Results So Far

In my last post  “The Benefits of Celery Juicing – My Story”, I shared the background story of losing my thyroid and subsequent 20 years of not being medically treated properly and how competing in a fitness competition with a prep coach who only cared about getting paid. This combination put my body into a downward spiral for the last five years where my body quit responding to my thyroid meds, extreme bloating after eating, inflammation and adrenal fatigue. The 20 year journey has been one of highs and lows, and I shared a few bullet points to help you understand how much my health has changed in the last six months.  In Part 1 I shared how a posting about the benefits of celery juicing on Facebook by an inspiring friend, Kristi Youngdahl, changed my life.

After Kristi’s posting, I did a little more online research about celery juice and what it can do for the body and a couple of weeks later I ordered a cold-press juicer from Amazon that fit in my budget to get me started. I chose this VonShef slow masticating juicer from Amazon as I had read slow that masticating juicers keep more nutrients intact as it’s a “cold” process and centrifugal juicers get hot and some nutrient loss happens. While I don’t think it’s a huge deal since I drink it immediately after juicing, if I am going to drink celery juice, I am going to make sure I got as many nutrients as possible, ya know?? Now that I’ve been consistently juicing for six months, I’m looking to upgrade to a larger machine where I can just wash the stalks and put in the juicer. Currently I have to wash and chop into small pieces which translates into lots of time chopping when we go through around 10 bunches a week for Mark and I to each have 16 oz. of fresh juice a day.

The VonShef slow masticating juicer I currently own for celery juicing

Celery Juicing – What I Noticed In Four Weeks

Within the first two weeks of juicing I noticed a couple of things: First, I wasn’t bloating as much or at all when I ate, which was a sign that my stomach might be breaking down the foods I was eating better. The second thing I noticed was the day I put on a normally tight fitting sweatshirt and the arms were loose for the first time! That was a sign of retained water from inflammation leaving my body. And lastly, I had started to break out, a sign of toxins leaving my body.

In those first couple of weeks, I worked myself up to 8 oz. of juice, thinking that’s all I needed and after the first few weeks, hadn’t seen too much more in physical changes. However, I know when it comes to natural remedies, change isn’t going to happen overnight, it’s consistency over time that yields results.

Life-Changing Book

When I read the book The Medical Medium in early March, author Anthony William recommends 16 oz. every morning on an empty stomach. Once again I thought to myself “yuck” but with the changes I had seen in the first few weeks, I had to give it a try. Holy moley Batman…with one week, I noticed even more change in how I felt after I ate and I also could SEE changes when I looked in the mirror. The biggest “holy $h!t moment was three weeks after upping to 16 oz. a day when I sent my check-in photos to my lifestyle/competition prep coach, Amy. The day I took those photos, I felt bloated as I had been a “bad girl” the night before and had ice cream. I begrudgingly took the photos and thought to myself, it is was it is, and was FLOORED when I attached the side shot photo to the email. I did like a quadruple-take as I couldn’t believe what I was seeing…my “bloated” stomach this week, was flatter than my not-bloated stomach from two weeks before!

The benefits of celery juicing - my changes

While I still have a long way to go in my journey, I am amazed at how far I have come in the last six weeks. I’ve had more positive body changes, both physically and visually, than I’ve had in the last 20 years combined, sans contest prep “dieting down”.  I know people will say it has to do with my diet and exercise plan, but since January, I have been back to working out and eating “on plan” most of the time,  I hadn’t seen much change until I upped from  8 to 16 oz. Just today I “came out” to my coach that after I started upping my juice, I also upped my fruit intake, beyond what is on my custom food plan. In the book, Mr. William shares how our society has made us afraid of fruit because it causes diabetes and a host of other diseases. In truth, we are depriving our bodies of healthy-cell building nutrients!

I have a my next thyroid and it’s collateral lab work in June and for the first time in a long time, I am excited to see my results. Stay tuned, I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, whether you have thyroid, hormone, auto-immune issues or not, I would recommend reading one or all three of Anthony William’s books.

The Medical Medium: The Secrets Behind Chronic and Mystery Illnesses.
Medical Medium Life-Changing Foods: Save Yourself and the Ones You Love with the Hidden Healing Powers of Fruits and Vegetables.
Medical Medium Thyroid Healing: The Truth Behind Hashimoto’s, Graves’, Insomnia, Hypothyroidism, Thyroid Nodules and Esptein-Barr. (This will be released later this year).

We go through about 10 bunches of celery a week to have 16 oz. of fresh pressed celery juice for both Mark and me each day.

While you may not think celery juicing is for you, I would urge you to at least learn more about how foods are medicine and if we give our body the nutrients it needs, most of us would need less chemical medicine and be healthier in the process.

We would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or share on our Facebook page what you would like to read more about. Next up on the blog is a new incredible protein waffle recipe and a story from The Aging Youthful Dude!

The Benefits of Celery Juicing – My Story

The Benefits of Celery Juicing – My Story

In late November of 2016, I was mindlessly scrolling through Facebook (as I usually do) and came across a Facebook photo and post about the benefits of celery juicing from Kristi Youngdahl, who I incredibly admire:

My friend Kristi Youngdahl's Facebook photo and posting about the benefits of celery juicing that changed my life.

So grateful for a husband who not only does dishes… 😍 but also juices our celery every  morning! Why celery juice… because it transforms the gut! Our gut is linked to EVERYTHING! Seriously.

Celery is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory foods, because it starves unproductive bacteria, yeast, mold, fungus, and viruses that are present in the body and flushes their toxins and debris out of the intestinal tract and liver—at the same time, celery helps good bacteria thrive. Celery is the most powerful way to alkalize the gut. Celery offers enzymes and coenzymes, and it raises hydrochloric acid in the stomach so that food digests with ease and doesn’t putrefy. In addition to the above, celery can improve kidney function, helps restore the adrenals, and can even bring ease to one’s mind and thought patterns, with its mineral salts feeding electrical impulse activity and supporting neuron function. When it comes to celery, think electrolytes. It hydrates on a deep cellular level, lessening your chances of suffering from migraines. It is one of the greatest healing tonics of all time.

Drink a full 16 ounces of fresh celery juice daily—and make sure it’s on an empty stomach to raise hydrochloric acid levels most efficiently. We prefer first thing in the morning before our breakfast shakes! CHANGED OUR LIVES! #gamechanger #teamwork #celeryjuice

When I read the first two sentences, I first said to myself “WHAT???”…I wasn’t talking about the part where her husband does the dishes, I was talking about the part where they drink 16 oz. of celery juice first thing in the morning. My second thought was “GROSS!!!”, and I only kept reading because I admire her so much and I HAD to read what the benefits are of celery juicing. I will be forever grateful I DID keep reading. Like she says at the end of her post “CHANGED OUR LIVES”…it has changed MINE!

My Background Story

For those of you that don’t know my history, in 1997 I was diagnosed with Graves’ disease and had my “extremely dangerous hyperactive” thyroid killed in order that it wouldn’t kill me.  There’s a long story I won’t bore you with about what finally made me go see the doctor, but thankfully I did, as I was on the verge of congestive heart failure. At that time thyroid removal by surgery or killing it with radioactive iodine pills were my options given by my doctors. At that time, I took whatever the doctor said as gospel (I no longer do) so I chose the less-invasive option. For the last 20 years, I’ve struggled with low energy, bloating, inflammation, nutrient absorption, digestive issues and more (reducing all these are some of the benefits of celery juicing!). Thankfully in 2011 I was introduced to Isagenix as it gave me back energy and helped me get the micro-nutrients my body was CRAVING as the protein shakes are more easily absorbed due to not having to have hard digestive breakdown like a piece of chicken would. However, Isagenix cannot cure disease and conditions and the root cause of the underlying reason why my body wasn’t breaking down foods and absorbing nutrients wasn’t being addressed.

To Make Matters Worse…

In 2012 I did a figure competition using a trainer who put me on a Ketogenic diet (please, do not do this diet unless it’s for medical reasons, in which case you stay on it for life) for 16+ weeks prior to the competition and had me doing two hours of cardio a day the month leading up to the contest. The photo below showed up in my Facebook memories this past weekend with the posting “How’s this for a sweat session coach? Cardio #1 done for the day, I’ll be back at it later.” (UGH! If I knew then what I know now, but then again I wouldn’t have this story to tell to hopefully help someone else).

Little did I know my marathon cardio sessions would send me to adrenal fatigue and other hormone issues.

This combination took my already messed up hormone system to a whole new level. The bounce-back after the competition was awful; within a month post competition I had gained back the 20# I lost prior to the competition and fell into adrenal fatigue. Slowly over the next couple of years, my body quit responding to my thyroid medication, I had horrible bloating almost every time I ate and created and inflammation cocktail inside my body that had me gain an additional 20 pounds over the last couple of years.

Symptoms:

  • Adrenal fatigue: I was finding myself having a hard time getting out of bed in the morning. Once I got moving  I was fine until mid to late-afternoon I’d have a major crash and would struggle to stay awake driving home from work. I would get home, struggle to get through the evening but when I went to bed, I couldn’t fall asleep. If I did fall asleep, I would find myself waking up around 2:30 AM unable to fall back to sleep.
  • Food absorption issues: With almost anything I ate; full meals or just protein, veggies or fruits by themselves, my stomach would feel  like someone pumped air into a balloon in my stomach. I would wake up each day with a semi-flat stomach, but within a couple of hours, as soon as I ate something I looked like I was in a third tri-mester of pregnancy!
  • Other issues: as a result of the two problems above, I had bad water retention/inflammation all over my body. I had a huge “pooch” in my lower belly, and dimply upper arms, especially in my tricep area.

I THOUGHT I Was On The Right Path

When we moved to Fairbanks I found a naturopath I liked at first. She said all the right things; “we need to get to the root cause, I suspect you aren’t absorbing nutrients and have adrenal fatigue, etc. etc. etc.” While many of the things she thought I had going on seemed to make sense, low hydrcholoric acid in the gut that wasn’t breaking down the foods I was eating causing the bloating, adrenal fatigue creating my sleep problems, low progesterone (that’s a whole other story), etc. etc. etc. again. I started out with a new off-the-shelf  “more natural” thyroid hormone and a hydrocholoric acid supplement to take with every meal along with an iron supplement (my iron levels are extremely low too). I was excited at first to finally feel like I was on the right path, but with each passing month, nothing seemed to change and created other issues. While most people supplementing with iron tend to get constipated, I had the opposite reaction!

Supplements or Medicine: Too Much Is Too Much

At each visit I was prescribed another supplement (or three) and  after a few months, she had me on so many supplements I couldn’t keep track of them all! Not to mention paying a ton of money with very little results, and of course to also not to mention, all these supplements are available in the clinic she works. She even went so far to suggest that I trade out a couple of my “expensive” Isagenix supplements for cheaper versions in her office. I don’t know what price list she was looking at, but the Isa products are cheaper to buy wholesale than what she had in her office. She also refused to take more than a quick look at the products I was taking before discrediting them and how they had helped me. (I will make the disclaimer  I also not only earn enough money each month to get Mark and my products paid for, I also earn enough residual income to pay more bills).

I finally had enough and late last year found a new doctor I’ve been working with. He confirmed that the supplements weren’t doing much for me and cut me back to only my thyroid hormone in a very high dose with the hopes of reducing it as time goes on and my body starts absorbing and utilizing the hormone more.

There you have it…the SHORT version (yes this is the short version) of my background story. I don’t want to make this too long, so next week I will share changes I’ve seen in my body since I started celery juicing. Just like Kristi said in her Facebook post, it’s been LIFE-CHANGING!

The benefits of celery juicing

Easiest Meal Prep Ever

A while back I wrote a post on how to make a weeks worth of salads in 30 minutes or less to share how food – prepping CAN be quick and easy. Today I’m here to share the easiest meal prep ever: having someone else do some of the work for you.

With getting focused on my goal of competing on the stage at the Fitness America competition in November, it is time for me to get serious about my workouts and nutrition. I have been teaching six fitness classes a week, working full-time, blogging and sharing our superfoods nutrition, putting my food prep (not to mention my own workouts) on the backburner. I’ve been making most of my meals at home, but they haven’t necessarily been the proper macro-nutrients I need for optimal performance. As a result I started researching meal-prep services in the area and was very excited when I found Fit on the Go right here in Fairbanks….AND their prices are extremely affordable!

image Continue reading Easiest Meal Prep Ever

A Northern Girls Guide To Low Daylight Survival

With the daylight minutes getting shorter every day there are a few tips I use for low daylight survival. Right now with the sun not coming up until almost 9:00 and going below our tree line around 2:30 in the afternoon, I sometimes feel like I want to hibernate. Being a Northern Minnesota girl for the first 47 years of my life, I’m used to shorter daylight hours, but living in Fairbanks has taken it to another level. I have learned a few tricks over the years I’l like to share with you.

Low Daylight Survival Tip: Get Outside

“Back in the day” of having an average of 50 sled dogs in your front yard, we thrived on winter, snow for our trails and the colder weather to keep the snow around. We also spent a minimum of two hours a day outside doing dog chores, and the need to hibernate was lessened as being outside, even when it’s freezing, is good for a persons mood. There are times when it’s so cold taking a deep breath can be challenging, but nothing a nice warm neck gaitor pulled up over your nose can’t fix.

See and Be Seen To Survive Low Daylight

Now that I don’t have sled dogs I have to force myself to get outside and get our Aussie, Takum, out for a walk. Even if it’s just a mile or so around the neighborhood, he loves stretching his legs to run. With the aforementioned lack of daylight, sometimes our walk is after dark. Thankfully I still have a few headlamps leftover from my mushing days to see where I’m going. The one in the photo below is a Princeton Tech Apex Pro. We have at least a half dozen around here, including one in each of our vehicles in case of a breakdown.

See and be seen in the dark, a northern girls tip to surviving low daylight.

Another thing I learned from running sled dogs in the dark; wearing something reflective is just as important so others can see me! A few weeks back, a sponsored ad showed up on Facebook featuring hats and scarves with reflective fibers woven into the yarn used to make the products. I just HAD to click on the link and check it out. I was pleasantly surprised when I sent them a message about their products, they offered to send me a couple hats and a cool light up sweatshirt to try! The other night I took them for a test spin with Takum. While I kinda look like a goon in the hat with my short, round head, the fleece-lined hat was nice and warm (it was below zero that night) and the sweatshirt was super cool! (Sorry for such bad quality, it was below zero and my fingers were getting cold!). Night Light Clothes gets a thumbs up from this girl!

A Light To Make Me Happy

A happy light can keep a girl happy in low daylight hours

Another one of the tools in my low daylight survival toolbox is a “Happy Light” a friend gave me when I moved to Fairbanks last fall. The lights are designed with the right light to combat the effects of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). I have the light next to where I sit on the couch to read, work and hang out. I turn it on high as soon as I come downstairs in the morning and have on for a few hours before the sun come up. I usually will have on low in the evening for an hour or so before bed. I was skeptical of it working at first, but  have found a difference in my mood and energy level if I miss a day.

Light Your Body With The Proper Fuel

Low light survival tip: Eat healthy food to light you up from the inside.

Eating healthy is also very helpful. I find when I eat like crap, I feel like crap. Getting in foods full of nutrients is important. Vegetables, fruits, complex carbohydrates and lean protein make up the bulk of the foods I eat. I tend to have a hard time getting all my leafy green vegetables so I supplement with powdered greens. I also tend to crave indulgent treats and when I find one that is healthy I’m all over it! I went searching for a healthy brownie recipe this morning and thanks to Pinterest found this gem for Paleo Brownies from Paleo Grubs. Today was a “stay-in-my-jammies-day” or I would have run to town an picked up all the ingredients! I’m excited to try them later this week. I’ll let you know how they turn out!

There you have it, a few of my low daylight survival tips. If you have something that help you, I’d love to have you share. Feel free to leave a comment below or visit our Facebook or Instagram pages with a comment.