Gardening is a holdover from my own childhood, when I spent hours upon hours messing around in the dirt. While my mom tended to her flowers, I gathered weeds to make magical potions. Entire worlds existed only in my head and backyard. As an adult I moved onto growing my own food. I learned that carrots actually have a smell and how cherry tomatoes taste straight off the vine. I found it so rewarding that I wanted to pass that appreciation and those skills on to my kids. If you try to measure, it may appear that you are not making many ketones, when in actuality, your body is just becoming really good at using the ketones that you have made. If you are trying to gauge your success based on ketone readings, this could lead to frustration. Don't let this happen to you! Instead, as long as you find that you have increased energy during the fast and greater mental clarity, know that your body is doing just what it needs to do, and no measuring is required. You'll need to get through the adjustment period called the FAST Start before you experience the magic of increased energy and mental clarity. Now, let's talk about another important piece of the metabolic puzzle: how fasting preserves (and even increases! Preserving muscle mass is important, because increased muscle mass is linked to a higher metabolic rate and also to a number of other health benefits. Instead of being in an antilipolytic state, we have actual lipolysis! On the flip side, if you are following a standard low-calorie diet and eating frequently during the day, your body releases insulin over and over in response to each eating (or drinking) experience. You can't tap into your fat stores very efficiently due to the high levels of insulin, and so your body is going to use whatever it can find for fuel, and that may include some of your muscle tissue. To answer that, we first need to talk about the biological gift that keeps on giving. It's called. The Survival Instinct We've all got one.

It's part of the genius of our built-in biology. And it's designed to save our lives, when necessary. The most basic expression of our survival instinct is the fight-or-flight response. It is this biological mechanism that could be responsible for the perpetuation of our species back in caveman times (or caveperson times, to bring it around to the twenty-first century). Without the fight-or-flight response, early men and women may never have survived all the hyena attacks (supposedly, that was a thing! Getting an up-close-and-personal view of hyena choppers triggered their biology to kick in, with their adrenal gland releasing the hormone of adrenaline that prepared their body to fight or run. Private business paid for 19. Employer-Sponsored Insurance Employers arrange for--or, in technical terms, sponsor--health insurance for their employees. In 2018, employer-sponsored health insurance cost $6,690 per individual and $18,764 for a family. On average, employees pay out of pocket 18% of the premium for individual plans and 31% for family plans. But the extent of services covered by insurance and the amount employees pay for in premiums vary significantly among employers. On average, the insurance provided by smaller employers is less generous and is accompanied by higher employee payments. In addition, there are out-of-pocket costs for deductibles, co-payments, and uncovered services. Both economic theory and empirical data indicate that the employer contributions are, to some extent, taken from wages--that is, if the employer did not offer health insurance, the amount the employer contributes would, over time, go back into employees' cash wages. Finally, employees pay no taxes on the employer's contribution to their premiums; In addition to asking them about their habits, we asked them why they thought they lived so long, and all in all, their responses were not what I was expecting. Here are the top ten reasons they gave us: Many of our 477 SuperAgers volunteered and worked in service of others throughout their lives, even past the century mark. At age ninety-five, Fanny Freund serves as a vital link between the generations as a volunteer for the Dorot Foundation, which creates mutually beneficial relationships between seniors and younger people.

During visits facilitated by the foundation, she hosts students at her home for discussions of her family's experiences during the Holocaust and her time on a kibbutz in Israel. Another SuperAger, 104-year-old Lilly (Brock) Port, wrote Access: The Guide to a Better Life for Disabled Americans (Yonkers, NY: Consumers Union, 1978), one of the first articles to empower the disabled with economic information specific to their situation, during her time as director of consumer education at the Department of Consumer Affairs. She also provided education by way of a consumer affairs radio show. And Irving Kahn served as a trustee emeritus for the Jewish Foundation for Education of Women and founded the New York City Job and Career Center, which helped prepare high school students for the workforce. I assumed that a good many of our SuperAgers would mention God or spirituality as a reason for healthy longevity, because when we ask them how they feel, they often say something like, I'm feeling good, thank God. But only 6 percent included spirituality among their reasons for longevity. We don't grow much, but it's enough to learn something and start a conversation about the broader food system. When we can't get produce from our garden (which is the vast majority of the time), we try to get as much of it as possible from local farms. Depending on the week, that could mean a trip to the farmers market, picking up a box from a local farm, or picking our own fruit from a nearby orchard. Even though my kids hide behind me when I talk to the farmers, they still like mooching samples off of me or selecting the vegetables they want that week. When I say that something is from the garden, farm box, or farmers market, my kids are more willing to try it. While there are never any guarantees, it at least gives us an in to a new food. Local food can also be more socially and environmentally sustainable than food from the grocery store. When you grow your own food or buy from local farmers, you have more knowledge of and control over how that food is grown. At the grocery store, all the information comes from labels alone. While the U. This is why you might actually lose weight more quickly on a traditional low-calorie diet than when following an intermittent fasting lifestyle; You should understand that we don't simply want to see the scale number go down. We want to see actual levels of body fat go down, and total muscle mass should either stay the same or go up. The good news is that this is exactly what we see in intermittent fasters!

One of the main reasons IFers are better able to build muscle tissue is because fasting leads to a natural increase in our levels of human growth hormone, or HGH. Several studies have shown this increase, which is absolutely thrilling! Having this happen naturally is one reason many forward-thinking bodybuilders have embraced intermittent fasting. Sometimes this confuses people. They say, But, Gin! I am not going to the gym. Now back to the twenty-first century. When it comes to the survival instinct in our regular, workaday lives, most of us are rarely faced with life-or-death situations (no, your in-laws don't count as hyenas). But for those who struggle with anxiety, their life is threatened on a daily basis. Well, not exactly, but that's what their brain is telling them. In actuality, their survival instinct is being erroneously triggered in the face of no real danger, just perceived danger. In our twenty-first century daily lives, we rarely need our survival instinct triggered for protection. For example, a man afraid of small spaces steps on an elevator and his survival instinct springs forth with its adrenalized alarm bells. Something is wrong here, though most can see there's no life-or-death situation at hand. This man's survival instinct has gone haywire! His brain is sending his system false fear messages, triggering his fight-or-flight response. The federal government finances and administers Medicare. But each of the 4 parts is financed differently. Part A for hospital costs is financed by a mandatory payroll tax of 1. For well-off individuals and families there is a Medicare surtax, an additional 0.

All workers pay this tax, including those under age 65, those with other forms of insurance coverage, and those not eligible for the program. Part B for physician services is financed by income-linked premiums assessed on individuals who elect coverage (covering around 25% of costs) and general federal revenue (covering the remaining 75%). For most elderly who earn under $85,000, the premium in 2018 was about $130 per month. Part C--Medicare Advantage--is financed by the federal government and flows through private health plans. The private insurance companies can charge enrollees additional premiums, but they can also offer additional services such as dental care. Part D, the drug benefit, is financed similarly to Part B, with only those who elect coverage paying premiums. That said, though, a significant number of our SuperAgers still keep the faith. Fanny is among those who regularly attend synagogue and remain active in their spiritual practice. She says that when her husband of sixty-three years was alive, the synagogue kept them so busy at their separate duties and activities that they rarely saw each other except nights and weekends. We weren't surprised that luck made a showing on the list, but we were surprised that it placed so highly. Even at age ninety-seven, chemist Morton Rosoff--a scientist--largely credits luck for his longevity. And that's coming from a SuperAger who's been defying the odds from the start. Six weeks after Morton was born, he came down with pneumonia and doctors didn't expect him to survive, but he recovered, and in the nine-plus decades since, he's also recovered from heart bypass surgery and a pulmonary embolism that involved such a large blood clot that, again, doctors considered him a lost cause. Though he acknowledges that it's not very Einsteinian, he seems to speak for many of our SuperAgers when he says he thinks life span is largely a matter of chance. But Morton also happens to have an older sister, one-hundred-year-old Dorothy, so he may have more than luck on his side. Forty-seven percent of men and 43 percent of women said staying busy was a reason for their longevity. Department of Agriculture Organic label provides useful information--such as that farm doesn't use synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides--it only tells part of the story. Organic certification is expensive, can take time to earn, and is lost if farmers use any techniques that aren't allowed. In addition, it doesn't describe how the farm is treating its workers. Farmworker organizations have criticized some very large, well-known organic companies for underpaying and abusing their workers.