Today’s post features a few key takeaways from a recent Wellness Your Way podcast interview. Find the full episode here, and be sure to subscribe to Wellness Your Way so you don’t miss future episodes!
Guest Bio: Dr. Alka Patel
Dr. Alka Patel is an international award winning speaker and TEDx speaker. She is Founder of Lifestyle First®, Creator of The Lifestyle First Method® and host of The Lifestyle First Podcast. She is also a GP, Lifestyle Medicine Doctor, and Longevity Coach, with expertise in optimizing healthspan and lifespan.
She empowers and equips passionate changemakers to connect to their D.N.A. and Discover, Notice and Activate who they are, what they want and where they are going so that they can outSMART stress and outLIVE life with Stress Modifying Age Reversing Techniques for a life of Longevity, Intention, Value and Energy- it’s time to LIVE! Her own biological age is almost 30 years younger than her chronological age and she believes yours can be too! Dr Patel’s mission is to help 1 million people reach their potential to live a 1-million-hour life.
Top Insights from Dr. Alka Patel’s Interview
- When we can shift to wanting to be responsible for our health, instead of looking for a quick fix, we can finally be empowered to change our health. Patel experienced a shift in constantly prescribing medication to her patients, towards constantly prescribing lifestyle, and the changes are more impactful and empowering.
- Health is not an object. Instead of wanting to “have” health, we should treat it like a skill – something we’re constantly upgrading and optimizing.
- When we feel our best, we’re able to achieve peak performance. We can better show up in the world, achieve our goals, and live as our best selves when we’re taking care of our health.
- Finding one’s life purpose starts with asking one question. Ask yourself, “what do I really want?” And maybe “why do I want this? What does it give me and what does it give others?” This will help you find your purpose and gut-check whether or not you’re aligned with it on a daily basis.
- Awareness of stress is a huge first step. Alka asks herself how she feels on a scale of -10 to +10 and simply by being aware, she’s better able to shift to a less stressful state.
- Breathwork is a powerful stress shifter. Focusing on slow breaths for 60 seconds engages your parasympathetic nervous system and allows your brain to relax. Patel recommends 4 count inhales and 6 count exhales, repeated 6 times (for one minute total).
- Inflammation is at the root of aging. When we reverse inflammation, we reverse aging! Glycans are simple sugar molecules attached to immunoglobulins, and they are increased with inflammation. Measuring these can help us identify how our body is aging. We reduce glycans with lifestyle and diet that lowers inflammation.
- Stress causes physiological damage. Even small stresses like losing your keys, when repeated constantly all day, can contribute to chronic stress that damages our bodies.
- “Heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia are preventable simply by shining a light on your lifestyle. Your health, your lifestyle, how you sleep, rest, move, eat, connect doesn’t just impact you but those around you.” This is a quote from Dr. Patel’s TEDX talk. She elaborates on this in the interview, sharing that mindset is the first intervention to chronic diseases.
- Food is a powerful intervention. Patel referenced the SMILE trial, which compared a Mediterranean diet with traditional medications for depression. 8% of the medication participants reversed depression in 12 weeks, vs. 32% of the Mediterranean diet participants. It is amazing that we’re not talking about this more often!
Want to hear the full episode, including the first question Dr. Patel asks her patients when she gives a diagnosis, the 3 most important pieces of data she believes we should collect on ourselves, and so much more?
Head over here to catch the full episode with Dr. Alka Patel!
Now it’s your turn! What is one thing you learned from this interview? What’s one thing you’re committed to changing after learning from Dr. Alka Patel?