Many people unfortunately assume that "aging" means losing physical ability, mental ability, and a dramatic decline in skin. Of course, we are not supposed to "look" 20 when we are 50. But surely, there is no need to "look" 50 when we are 40. And sadly, for so many women this is the case because they have never been informed about caring for their skin on the inside AND the outside. Most of us have some damage to our skin from the years in which we were unaware of the effects our behaviors would have. I can tell within 5 seconds by looking at someone's face if they a) drink alcohol and b) smoke. Those are the two substances, above all others, that age a woman. In addition to that, it is fairly easy to spot a "dead" diet over a "living foods" diet, and just how much greenery and water-filled, high energy, life force foods a person consumes. Also, hydration level is evident in the face. Of course we know that stress, lack of sunshine, and poor sleep also have deep and devastating effects on the appearance of the skin. Creping, wrinkling, sagging and just a total lack of elasticity is NOT the norm, and is NOT a required part of aging. Currently, the growth in toxic injections like Botox and fillers is exponential. Women are concerned about their appearance, and are turning to toxic products. There is SO MUCH you can do to prevent, reduce, and in many cases even reverse damage done to your skin.

The first thing to note is to reduce or avoid compounds called AGE's - advanced glycation end products. These compounds also contribute to cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, so you are REALLY doing yourself a favor by avoiding these!

AGEs naturally form inside the body when proteins or fats combine with sugars (glycation). This affects the normal function of cells, making them more susceptible to damage and premature aging. AGEs are particularly high in animal-derived foods that are high in fat and protein, such as meats (especially red meats), which are prone to AGE formation through cooking. Sugary foods and highly processed and prepackaged products also are high in AGEs. Cooking methods that use high temperatures to brown or char foods, such as grilling, roasting, and broiling, have the largest impact on the amount of AGEs consumed.

Foods High in AGEs
• Sugary items such as candy, cookies, cakes, soda, and pastries
• Processed foods, including packaged meats and cheese
• High-fat (especially red) meats
• Fats, including butter, margarine, and oil
• Fried foods

Foods Low in AGEs
• Fruits and vegetables (especially unpeeled fruits which slow the absorption of AGE's in the digestive tract)
• Whole grains
• Nuts and Seeds

Cooking Methods
• Use a slow cooker
• Cook foods in water through boiling, steaming, or poaching
• Marinate foods in acidic or citrus-based sauces

Healthful Lifestyle Changes
• Get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep per night
• Exercise