How to live long and die young
Jason Elias: Acupuncturist, writer
BY PETER BOWES | LOS ANGELES | AUGUST 4, 2021 |11:57 PT
There are some people who just never seem to get any older. Whether it be their appearance or mental attitude, the passage of time eludes them. How do they do it? There are myriad explanations; our genes, physical and dietary lifestyles, mindset and perhaps an element of luck. The truth is that all these factors – and many others – likely play a role is determining our destiny. Jason Elias is the author of The Seven Graces of Ageless Aging: How to die young as late in life as possible, a collection of stories and longevity lessons based on decades of practice in the fields of Chinese medicine – treating patients with acupuncture and other tenets of eastern medicine.
Recorded: June 25, 2021 | Read a transcript
Connect with Jason Elias: Website | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | Book: The Seven Graces of Ageless Aging: How To Die Young as Late in Life as Possible
Summary: In this LLAMA podcast conversation, Jason explains his unique recipe for a long, happy life – embracing, as he does, daily walks, ancient remedies and an infectious zest for living. We discuss the concept of ageless aging, the power of the mind to heal and the life lessons gained from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Live Long and Master Aging podcast, a HealthSpan Media LLC production, shares ideas but does not offer medical advice. If you have health concerns of any kind, or you are considering adopting a new diet or exercise regime, you should consult your doctor.
Peter Bowes: [00:00:21] Hello again and welcome to the Live Long and Master Aging podcast. I’m Peter Bowes. This is where we explore the science, tell the stories and meet some of the enduring characters, experts from around the world, all with a common goal of helping us live longer, healthier lives, human longevity. Today, I’m joined by Jason Elias. Jason is the author of the recently published book The Seven Graces of Ageless Aging, with the intriguing subtitle How to Die Young as Late in Life as Possible. Jason is also an expert, a long time expert in private practice since the 1970s, treating patients with Chinese medicine, herbal remedies and is a teacher specializing in practices such as acupuncture and spirituality for the modern age. He is an eloquent proponent of lifestyles that are focused on maximizing our healthspan. Jason, welcome to the Live Long and Master Aging podcast.
Jason Elias: [00:01:19] Well, thank you very much, Peter. Pleasure to be here.
Peter Bowes: [00:01:23] Yeah, wonderful to talk to you. ageless, aging. It sounds like an oxymoron. What do you mean by that?
Jason Elias: [00:01:30] I mean, it’s the concept that getting old is always 10 years older than where we are. You know, it’s the the concept is when we’re engaged with life, fully aging happens in the body, which can be worked with. But spiritually, emotionally and to some degree physically, we we can stay young as long as we believe that we can stay young. The mind is very powerful here.
Peter Bowes: [00:02:01] And that train of thought, that way of thinking is based on your lifetime of work in this area. So we’ll tell your story. I’d like to go right back to the beginning and interesting reading in your book. You’ve really been around herbal remedies ever since you were a young boy, haven’t you?
The influence of grandma
Jason Elias: [00:02:19] I have. My great grandmother was called the little doctor on this island in Greece called Kastoria and people would go to her with remedies. And my grandmother, her daughter moved to take care of us when my father’s wife died. And she catered to us with herbal remedies and poultices. So I grew up with them and it was always a fascination. I’d go and cut grass clippings from the corner a lot and pretend to use that as a healing model. So, yes, it was in my life since I was probably five years old.
Peter Bowes: [00:02:59] Do you have any particular memories from that time? I know childhood memories and the things that you learned very early in, especially in the area that you’ve just talked about. Do you have any memories that really stick in your mind that have helped to frame your life?
Jason Elias: [00:03:12] I feel it was this sense for heat. You know, when she did that, there was something in me that was triggered. I wanted to be a doctor. My first toys were a little doctor kit with a black bag. But, you know, and I grew up, you know, trying to treat people and talking to people. And there was this sense that that was that was the energetic vortex that was grabbing me. But I never really had the mathematical skills to go ahead and be the doctor. So I kind of moved in to healing through psychology and over time, through through energy, through yoga.
Peter Bowes: [00:03:54] So tell me about that learning process as you went to school, as you went to college, focusing not, as you say, on being a traditional medical doctor, but really looking at healing, using alternative, alternative, and still a lot of people and alternative still today to a huge number as well. How did you focus your mind on that area of helping people?
Jason Elias: [00:04:19] I wasn’t sure how to do it. The truth is, I was wounded. I was brought up in a home really dominated by the Holocaust. My father lost his brothers. One brother came back who was released from Auschwitz, and our home was very broken. And I felt like I didn’t belong. So when I went to college, I thought psychology would be a way for me to heal myself, that that I could understand why I felt so fragmented and isolated and alone. And the truth is, it did help. I mean, I learned that there are underlying mechanisms that work. And I the idea that I had early that I could work with others materialized. And I started working in psychiatric hospitals. One of my teachers had a center for autistic children. So I started giving back and feeling, this feels right. This is I can feel myself when I give to others. And that continues to this day. I feel I need to share whether it’s the wisdom that people have shared with me or the herbal remedies, you know, that I’ve studied in different cultures.
Mastering the skills of eastern medicine
Peter Bowes: [00:05:30] And then you really dig deep into it, beginning an understanding of Chinese medicine and acupuncture as well. Where did you learn and how did you learn those skills?
Jason Elias: [00:05:41] Acupuncture. The truth is, I was doing body work as a psychotherapist. I went to S01, which was a place for innovative therapies back in the 60s and 70s. It still exists.
Peter Bowes: [00:05:56] Where is that?
Jason Elias: [00:05:56] It’s called the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. And they Alan Watts, I mean, many, many people, Joseph Campbell, you know, there were people who taught therapy or philosophical ways of being in the world. And I was drawn there to learn how to do Gestalt therapy, because by then I was a psychologist. But when I was there, people were getting it’s called Rolfed. They were getting deep massage, which was deep enough to trigger feelings, and they were encouraged to express those feelings. And I realized we carry so much of our emotional baggage in our musculature. So when they worked on me, all of these feelings came to the surface. So I wanted to know how to do that. So I stayed and I did a month with Ida Rolf because she was doing a training. And then I came back to New York and got involved with other forms of body work. And it became clear to me that the body and the mind were one, that the feelings were locked in the muscles that, you know, it’s it was which entry we choose to penetrate, to create healing. We can go through the body and affect the mind and we can go through the mind and affect the body.
Peter Bowes: [00:07:14] And so this turned into a career for you and I guess at a time and again, very similar to today, where conventional medicine still dominates. What was your driving force? And you’ve explained your understanding of mind and body and the connection there. But I’m interested to maybe just dig a little deeper into your real sort of driving force to make this the lifetime career that it’s become.
Jason Elias: [00:07:37] I felt the whole journey, you know, which I wrote the memoir about the kissing Joy as it flies is really about tapping in to an energy, a synchronicity. I realized that when I was following that, when I felt whole in myself, I needed to follow that. And it was all for healing in some way. But acupuncture came to my life when I was back in New York training and the body work. And the one that was running the school I went to was an acupuncturist before it was even known in New York. And the idea of needles repelled me. I didn’t like the idea of needles, but I saw the effect and I didn’t go back to acupuncture school until later, you know, back around 1980. But it was it seemed to come to me. And I feel when we tap into the life force that which is moving us forward, we feel at peace. When I’m out of that vortex, I really feel discords. So for me, people say it was very brave to go around the world or study here. And I said it would have been, I don’t know, braver. But, you know, to do the conventional I just felt that people came into my life that were leading me. And I think at this point in my journey, I feel at home that I can share. I never felt, you know, that I had that knowledge to teach others in that way. And now I feel it’s not my knowledge. It’s the knowledge that I’ve learned from others that I’m kind of passing along. I’m going to say one more thing, which I start every one of my books with a quote by Hugh Kerr that says, All wisdom is plagiarism, only stupidity is original. And I feel we’re you know, it’s true. When you say something, it’s something that’s been said before, maybe in a nuanced way.
Prioritizing preventative medicine
Peter Bowes: [00:09:33] But you have I think it’s fair to say, a unique perspective on what you’re saying and your your life’s work. And I’m wondering to what extent is your emphasis preventative medicine as opposed to the treating of disease? Because I’m sure over the years many, many people have will have come to you with a problem, a pain here, an ache. They’re saying, what can you do for me, Jason? And whether it’s mind, body, spiritual assistance that you’re offering or whether it’s acupuncture, you can maybe, well, cure that ache or that pain. But bigger picture, when we’re all aspiring for a great and I talk about healthspan a lot, the emphasis is really on preventative medicine, isn’t it?
Jason Elias: [00:10:13] People do usually come to me when they’re symptomatic. And I explain to them that the Chinese say that it’s like digging a well when someone’s already dying of thirst, you dig the well, have access to the water. That health is about maintenance of health and, you know, living well so that we create the the body is like a garden. If it’s tended, if we give it its needs, you know, the garden naturally resists infections and infestations by noxious elements. Same with the body. If and you know, those are the saving grace or ways to maintain health. But that’s that’s they they call that superior medicine and Chinese medicine. Inferior medicine is when someone comes with a symptom that needs fixing.
Peter Bowes: [00:11:04] And do you notice the the paradigm in terms of health care changing or have you noticed over the years with with a greater emphasis on not waiting until something needs to be fixed? But perhaps now there is a broader understanding of exactly what you’re saying. That’s it is the preventative side of health care that is the most important.
Jason Elias: [00:11:24] Yeah. And I you know, I used to be ostracized when someone was going to a gynecologist and a woman would come for fibroids or infertility and mentioned that they were seeing an acupuncturist, an herbalist. They say, well, you go and find another gynecologist. It’s very different today. It’s like, oh, well, there’s a lot of research that that can be helpful if you like it. You know, it’s not a full embrace, but there’s an opening. But I think it’s also, I guess my cynical mind says that hospitals are making money because people want that. So rather than have them go outside, let’s offer, you know, a complementary medicine within our domain. And I think it’s working. We’re complementing each other, Western and Eastern or the garden in the battle.
Peter Bowes: [00:12:13] Field, which is all important, isn’t it? And I know there are some people perhaps in your field who rail against new conventional medicine quite a lot, but equally, people like yourself acknowledge the complementary nature of Eastern and Western medicine.
Jason Elias: [00:12:32] Absolutely. I mean, that’s my biggest dream. I don’t call myself a practitioner of alternative medicine. We’re not an alternative to Western medicine. So I call myself a complementary medical practitioner that there are things Western medicine is wonderful that don’t come to me, go to the doctor, you know, you know, broken bones. I mean, there are so many things Western medicine thrives at mostly acute things, chronic things really, I think, work much better to me in the domain of complementary, of lifestyle, of diet, of psychology, how we look at ourselves.
Dealing with modern life and stress
Peter Bowes: [00:13:10] Let’s dig into some of the issues. I’m sure the common issues that people come to you for help with. And you write in your book about the role of stress in modern life and the struggles that we sometimes have that are related to stress. And let’s face it, we’ve all been through a very stressful 12, 15 months with the Covid pandemic, which I think has clearly impacted people in more ways than just the disease, that the sheer stress and lifestyle changes that people have had to endure. But during normal times, stress is a huge issue, isn’t it?
Jason Elias: [00:13:46] Absolutely. And it’s oxidative. I mean, we knew back, you know, in the old days, you know, that sort of adrenaline, cortisol, these are the stress hormones, really injured the body, depleted the immune system. And today, you know, really progresses aging significantly. So, you know, we have in the old days, the stress was the sabertooth tiger or what we went out to deal with today. The stress is more in our minds. It’s more in our fears, in our projections. So the same hormones that are released that are really negative, they’re positive when it comes to dealing with the situation, the fight or flight. But then when that situation is gone, we come back to balance. But today, those wheels are turning constantly and really interrupting our immune systems, aging us prematurely and preventing us from appreciating the beauty that’s here all along. We’re in our heads.
Peter Bowes: [00:14:48] And in terms of lifestyle interventions to deal with stress, what do you talk to people about?
Jason Elias: [00:14:56] I used to speak a lot. I mean, meditation to me is a trick word because people think of it as some spiritual practice where you sit cross-legged and do a mantra, you know, but the truth is, it’s what immerses you in the now. So I tell people the best way for most people to connect with nature, with nature, with with that moment is to go to nature, to stand outside with green around you and feel your feet planting you into the earth and open your senses to the sounds and the sights and the fragrances. Because when we’re in our senses, we’re not in our heads. The head creates the stress. You know, when we’re in the here and now, we’re really present. So in a way, it’s meditation because these are the concepts of meditation. But I’d like to simplify it when people say, well, I don’t have the time to sit cross-legged. It really is very simple. Was finding something that immerses you totally and brings some joy to your heart. And that’s meditation.
The value of nature
Peter Bowes: [00:15:58] You talk about getting close to nature. Are you a believer in grounding this technique where people talk about physically being grounded to the Earth by walking bare feet on some grass or on the beach or on soil or something that is a direct connection with the Earth?
Jason Elias: [00:16:19] Yes, I I’ve done that my whole life. It’s really my sense is that our energy I do tai chi. I’ve done it for many, many years. And Tai Chi, if you look at people doing it, their legs are squat, their knees are bent, they’re really grounded. But yet the upper part of their body is really being pulled up to the sky. So I call it we are a bridge between heaven and earth. So the grounding keeps us connected. But then if we feel connected, we can trust, you know, to move in other ways. And, you know, barefoot I like. But I’m more really concerned with feeling our legs into the earth, never locking the knees, because I feel when we like the knees, we’re not grounded. We don’t have our balance. If you let your knees just be soft, you’ll feel your bodies sinking. And it’s that real connection with the Earth. I like playing with it visually as well, that the you know, just like the roots of the tree ground the tree they feed it to. So, you know, you’re connecting into the earth, but you’re also absorbing energy from it. And then it allows our leaves. We’re like movable trees.
Peter Bowes: [00:17:36] There is valid science to support this, isn’t there?
Jason Elias: [00:17:38] Yes. You know, and also there’s valid science to support being in nature, which is like in Japan, it’s required that people that work there go into green spaces because they find not only are they calmer, you know, when when they’re in green spaces, but they’re more efficient at work. You know, there’s always both. But, yeah, there’s a lot of science that, you know, connects the grounding.
Peter Bowes: [00:18:05] Reminds me of being a child and going to the seaside and getting entirely buried in the sand. And in that sort of relaxed mode, as you describe it, you’re not tense or standing up. You’re completely engulfed in the sand apart from your head. And there is a certain feeling of a connection there that is quite unique. And I think that’s what you’re talking about.
Jason Elias: [00:18:27] Yeah, I think so, too. And I think most people, if they think about it, may have had something like that experience. I mean, it’s that, you know, really feeling connected. If I if we feel connected to the Earth, we give ourselves permission to move in other directions if if we’re not a pushover, so to speak.
The power of the mind
Peter Bowes: [00:18:47] Now, you write in the book about the power of the mind to heal and make the point in one chapter that oftentimes in experimental studies there is the effect of the placebo, really, that results in quite a significant group of results. In other words, the placebo to explain that this is when you might be taking a water solution as opposed to a drug. So there’s a drug being tested, but you are actually not taking the drug, but you still exhibit the effects that scientists believe the drug might cause. Now, what is the significance of that?
Jason Elias: [00:19:26] The significance is that we have the biggest pharmacopeia, the biggest pharmacy in our bodies by our thinking, you know, when you’re on a roller coaster, ride your body. If you like it, your body is creating. You know, oxytocin is creating various hormones that give us a sense of well-being and support the immune system. Now, if you hate roller coasters or you’re on a ride, you’ll be producing adrenaline and cortisol, which will deplete you. But it’s amazing that the body creates the chemicals. And the truth is belief again and again in tons of studies is very, very powerful. They say at least 35 percent of healing is the belief in the healing. So the mind is and the studies show, you know, that if you take the sugar solution or the water, it will have the same effect as the drug. But, you know, they’ve also found not only if you believe it, you know, sometimes the placebo has an effect in spite of belief. But the mind is huge and is powerful.
Peter Bowes: [00:20:41] This is the power of positive thinking then.
Jason Elias: [00:20:43] It is. You know, so if I think of myself as young supporting those energies that keep me young, if I say every time I sit in a chair, I’m getting old, if I say, oh, you know, this is too much for, you know, those those statements that we do have a direct effect instantly on our wellbeing, for good or for bad. There’s a concept called nocebo, you know, which is believing negative things and they, too, will happen. The mind is very powerful, so it’s much better if we can enlist that power rather than be run by it, because so much of the nocebos are things we’ve heard from parents, from clergy, from you know, it’s like I believe that when someone was 35, they were old. Now I’m 74 and I feel like a kid and I literally feel better physically than I think for most of my life. But part of it is thinking and part of it is staying active.
Peter Bowes: [00:21:45] How do you help people get over those negative thoughts? Because I think even with the very best of intentions, almost everyone will get to a point in their lives when they will do exactly as you suggested. Oh, I can’t get off this chair because I’m old. Oh, I can’t do this thing at the weekend because I like to have a lie in and my bones are feeling a little creaky and I’m not up to it anymore. I think that’s almost human nature, isn’t it?
Jason Elias: [00:22:11] Absolutely. And we do repeat. What we’ve been told, you know, that aging is equated with uselessness. That’s the word retire. What does that mean? You know, so I try to give people catches, in other words, to put little pieces of paper up, you know, to be aware when they say those things that have negative imprints. But actually put it it’s like the every day in every way I’m getting better and better, you know, those affirmations. And I say, put them. I’m getting younger on your refrigerator, put it in different places and just, you know, to remember that the mind is working all the time and we so easily fall into those old habitual modes that usually really take a toll and we can change it. But we need the awareness. It’s not the should, because if I say I shouldn’t do this, I’m feeding the negative because the should is part of that chain, that habitual chain where I should do this. You shouldn’t do this. You know, it’s part of that patriarchal. Whereas if I bring awareness to it and I say, OK, watch it, that’s an old tape delete, you know, you can use different techniques to bring it to awareness.
Learning from the pandemic
Peter Bowes: [00:23:24] Now, I mentioned the impact of the covid pandemic earlier, and we are we are still emerging from that. I think there’s certainly very much light, a strong light at the end of the tunnel. And we are seeing normal life again. At least some of us are not necessarily everyone around the world. I think there are still challenges. But for you, what are the major lessons that we’ve learned during this time about our everyday lifestyles?
Jason Elias: [00:23:49] I think one of the things is mortality, which is big. Most of us have had people we know that got really sick from it or died from it, that it discriminated a bit toward the elderly. But the truth is, it affected everyone. And I think the positive there isn’t morbid. You know, it’s not focusing on death, but I’m focusing on the fragility of life that if we don’t take a bite out of the apple now, when, you know, is there going to be a tomorrow, and it’s this something very positive to me about I know because I’m getting older and people who tend to this book know there they are mortal, that their years are numbered. They’ve probably lived more years than they will live. So we need to come to grips with it. But a lot of the youth are also getting that. And I think that’s important.
Peter Bowes: [00:24:47] And there is also perhaps another lesson. There is an awful lot more that we can do just to pursue a healthy lifestyle every day. And I think we’ve we’ve all learned things about ourselves and the way that we live in terms of of hygiene and that kind of thing that I think is clearly going to help us as we move forward.
Jason Elias: [00:25:05] I agree wholeheartedly. I mean, even in my own sphere, you know, that’s one of the things most of my friends, relatives and patients kind of came out with is I never took care of myself before. I can take walks, now. I can eat healthier. I can. So, yeah, I really feel that benefit of coming back to ourselves and not just living up for other people’s expectations is big.
A day in the life
Peter Bowes: [00:25:32] So let’s talk about your lifestyle, your daily lifestyle. I’m sure based on your decades of learning and experience, you mentioned you’re 74.
Jason Elias: [00:25:42] I’ll be 74.
Peter Bowes: [00:25:43] And you feel much younger.
Jason Elias: [00:25:44] I feel much younger. I’m doing more than I think I’ve done. You know, it’s I keep because I keep expanding the envelope. I’m I’m playing pickleball. I don’t know whether many people have heard of pickleball,
Peter Bowes: [00:25:57] But a lot of people are talking about it.
Jason Elias: [00:25:58] Yeah. It’s like, you know, it’s a cross between tennis and ping pong, but it’s stuff that I would have said, you know, maybe I’ll hurt myself. You know, I’m you know, and I don’t I really. So the more I do, the more I get out, the more I break the boundaries of, you know, I’m getting more fragile. I shouldn’t you know, studies show that we’re not fragile as we get older. I mean, if you don’t have terrible osteoporosis and the more you do, the stronger your bones get, the stronger your muscles get and the younger I mean, even physiologically we become you know, there are studies that would measure, you know, various I mean, because there’s no such thing as aging in the sense of science. It’s, you know, it’s years. So it’s deterioration of certain senses because some people can be 90 and young, some people can be thirty and ancient.
Peter Bowes: [00:26:45] That’s an interesting phrase. There’s no such thing as aging.
Jason Elias: [00:26:48] You know. Not from a medical point of view, because they base it on parameters with strength, with visual acuity, with various things. But it has nothing to do with years on the planet.
Peter Bowes: [00:27:00] So what does your day look like? How do you start how do you get going in the morning?
Jason Elias: [00:27:05] Right now I get up and I sit in bed. I wake up at about five, five thirty in the morning. According to the Chinese, that’s lung time, you know, every organ has a different time and lung is about the word for breathing in. We call inspiration and that’s what the Chinese say. Yes, that’s the time to be inspired that we bring energy and through our breath. So I like getting up at that time in any monastery. That’s the first prayer or meditation is usually at that time because they say we’re closest to heaven. So I try to wake up and I don’t go out. I just sit up in my bed and I just. Allow myself to be so I’ve been doing meditation for so many years, it’s not a thing, but I spend about a half an hour, 45 minutes just connecting. And then I if when I can, I start the day with a walk. I’m blessed that I live on a lake and there’s a walk around it. And then I go to work and, you know, a lot of my clients are getting frightened that I’m in my 70s and, you know, are you going to be working? I say I will never retire. If the body one day says I can’t do it, I will stop. But it keeps me plugged in. I think as long as I’m plugged in and you love what you do, you know, you’ll you’ll keep doing it and, you know, to stay creative and active. And then I see patients I spend some time writing because that I find now, you know, I used to consider myself a writer, but not an author. And suddenly with this book, I feel I really want to get this out. I used to write the books and I said, well, I’m really an acupuncturist. I’m you know, I’m not going to promote it. So I feel like I would love to promote it. I somehow am learning how I’ve avoided that. But we’re here.
Peter Bowes: [00:28:56] Tell me about your morning walk. It’s something that I do every day. Quite a vigorous walk to get the heart rate up and to really get some serious exercise. It sounds beautiful around the lake. How how far do you go? How how energetic is it?
Jason Elias: [00:29:10] Half of it is energetic and half of it is Tai Chi. So I have places where I stop. It’s a two mile walk. So it’s really a nice long walk around the lake. And, you know, for the first half I’m walking briskly and I get my heart beating a little. And then there are these beautiful views and I call them Stations of the Chee like Stations of the Cross where I stop and I look at the lake and I do the taichi form. So to me, I can’t recommend Tai Chi strongly enough for people who might be listening to this or people who are aging because I feel for balance, stability. One of the things when you get older is you become more afraid of falling. And it’s such a wonderful practice. Everyone in China does it. Who’s over fifty? You look at the parks and you’ve got hundreds of people doing the form together. So I stop and I do the form while I’m looking over the lake. So I’m very blessed to have that. If you don’t have that, you can do the form in the house and there’s a nearby park which you can walk in. So there’s no excuse not to not to walk.
Peter Bowes: [00:30:21] Yeah, it sounds idyllic and I agree totally, totally with you. It is the easiest form of exercise. It it doesn’t cost anything. You can walk out of your front door and off you go and you don’t have to live around the lake. You can improvise pretty much wherever you live. As you look forward in your life, you’ve clearly got a very optimistic disposition. Do you have goals? Do you have aspirations still about the years, hopefully the decades still ahead?
Jason Elias: [00:30:49] Yeah. I mean, it’s not a goal goal. I mean, I feel at this point very impassioned about sharing, sharing this. I feel, you know, I, I mean, I my my aunt, who I write about in one of my books, who was a Holocaust survivor, she’s 95 and she calls me about once a week. She picks up The Seven Graces and she’ll read a sentence. And she said, I love you. I love you. This is, you know, and it’s like, wow, the book just for that was, you know, so worth writing that something in her taps into to that. So I feel like I love being able to share this wisdom that I’ve been taught from such great teachers that so my aspirations are I’ll continue to work, but, you know, because it’s my play. But I just look forward to each day I want to get out. I want to meet people. I want to, you know, but it’s not a goal goal.
Peter Bowes: [00:31:50] And I haven’t asked you about your diet, which, of course, is so important, at least I believe it is. What do you eat during the day and how much focus do you put on it?
Jason Elias: [00:31:59] I put more focus on organics. I really feel that the chemicals and the food colorings are awful and they really are detrimental to health. I also feel that refined carbohydrates are very detrimental to health. So, you know, I tell my clients to get off the sugar. I mean, I was the first to admit that I’ll have a one, a cookie or I mean, I’m not rigid, but I tend not to add the white flour and the sugar to my diet. But I’m an omnivore. You know, if I eat chicken or meat, which is not as often I make sure to get it organic, I don’t want hormones and chemicals and antibiotics in it, so a well-rounded diet, plenty of vegetables restrict the refined carbohydrate, which is the sugar and white flour, and drink plenty of real water. People say, well, I drink coke, I drink coffee. I said, yeah, drink it if you really need to. But make sure for every glass of that you have at least a glass of water to get hydration.
Peter Bowes: [00:33:05] Sounds like a good lifestyle. Sounds like a good plan. I’m curious and I often ask people, people who are older and who’ve had a fascinating life and career like yourself, if you had the option. We don’t. But if you had the option to speak to your younger self, you could speak to the Jason of age. What would you say to him in terms of advice about how to live his life?
Jason Elias: [00:33:30] It’s what I tell my son, actually, and I finally am living up to it, you know, to to follow your passion. You know, it’s don’t be obsessed with things. Don’t be obsessed, you know, with what you show, but really be into your passion. I would tell myself not to worry so much. I was always afraid that I wasn’t living up to someone’s expectations. I was afraid that there were people who were better at what I was studying than me. And maybe I would never be the best herbalist, acupuncturist, psychologist, whatever. All these things were things that I did. But my nature is to, you know, experience different things and let them find a compliment within me. So I’ll never be the best that any of the things, but I’m the best me. So if I could tell myself, don’t worry, so much would be the main thing.
Peter Bowes: [00:34:25] And, you know, just not so fascinating to me because I often ask this this same question to people who have lived accomplished lives and had great achievements. That is almost always the first response that they wish that they hadn’t worried so much as a younger person aspiring to achieve things. And then very quickly comes the thought that you enjoy what you do, you enjoy the moment, and you don’t worry yourself about impressing other people. That seems to be a really common trait amongst people.
Jason Elias: [00:34:56] Yeah, and it’s such a blessing with aging, you know, that you don’t have to impress others. You know, it’s like you can if there was a book, which I love, it was written mainly at older women. But it says, when I’m older, we’re wear purple, you know, and it’s all these stories of people, you know, moving into menopause, actually, and the freedoms that that gave them. It’s very sweet.
Jason Elias: [00:35:21] Jason it’s been a huge pleasure to meet you and to talk to you. I thoroughly enjoyed this conversation. Thank you very much indeed. Well, thank you.
Jason Elias: [00:35:28] This has been a pleasure. I love sharing.
Peter Bowes: [00:35:30] Yes. Thank you. And a pleasure for me, too. And if you would like to delve a little deeper into Jason’s work, including his book, Seven Graces of Ageless Aging, I will put the details into the show notes for this episode. You’ll find them at the Live Long and Master Aging website, LLAMA.com. LLAMA.com. You’ll also find us at all of the major podcasting platforms, including Apple podcasts, Stitcher, Pandora, Audible.
We’re now also being shared by our friends at A Mighty Good Time, AMightyGoodTime.com, which is really a valuable free resource, a one stop shop for events and activities for people who are 50 and over. In other words, in the prime of your life, we interviewed the site’s co-creator, Amy Temperley, a little while ago. You can check out that episode at our website or your podcast platform of choice. Just search for Amy Temperley in the index. It’s episode 141 of the podcast.
LLAMA is a Healthspan Media production. Do take care and thank you very much for listening.