My 2023 Longevity Protocol
Practical Tips on Exercise, Food & Supplements, Sleep, Love
Hi everyone! This is Aastha from Live Longer World.
Before I dive into today’s post on my practical 2023 longevity protocol, I wanted to give a few updates.
Firstly, I know I’ve been a little quiet lately but it feels great to be back - thank you all for sticking along! I was exploring some projects in the realm of education and writing on how the schools of today are failing our children and what a better education system could look like. (If you have thoughts here, please message me). This is part of the reason Live Longer World was on a bit of a pause.
Also, as a personal update, I got married earlier this year! It was such a beautiful time with loved ones and I feel incredibly lucky.
Lastly, welcome to the new subscribers! As a brief intro, Live Longer World is a newsletter and podcast. Through my newsletter, I share my longevity journey and the research I’m learning about, and hope to distill it into a more practical, action-oriented format.
On my podcast, I interview scientists who are at the forefront of aging science and delve deep into their research. Sometimes, these can get a little technical, but I try my best to relay the science in a simple manner while not dumbing it down.
That’s it for updates. Going forward, I hope to release more podcasts and newsletters this year and beyond, so please stay tuned. Again, I’m happy to be back and do reply to this email and write to me with your updates as well. I respond to every email from readers :)
My Pillars of Health
I think about my health on 5 major pillars:
Food & Supplements
Oral health + Other
Happiness & Love
(There is a 6th tangential pillar which is diagnostic health tests - it’s more a way to measure my health and then use the data to manage it better. But diagnostic health tests calls for a post of its own which I’ll write about soon).
This post focuses on my personal routine for managing my health along these 5 pillars. I’ve kept the post very practical and pointed, giving details on specifics of what my exercise, food, supplements, sleep, oral health routine looks like.
I’ve also linked to some of the exercises and product brands I use as I often get these questions. I have no endorsement affiliations with any brand. However, if you purchase any of the products using my link, I will be earning a small Amazon affiliate commission and you will be supporting my work. I’ve only linked to products I myself use.
My routine is inspired by everything I learn from doing longevity research, longevity scientists and influencers like Peter Attia, Bryan Johnson (Blueprint), Rhonda Patrick, and what works for my body.
Hopefully my longevity protocol might help you structure yours as well!
One of my initial posts on this newsletter discussed how I think of exercise as the best longevity pill we have so far. I still stand by it.
Exercise is the single biggest lever you can pull on to improve your health and longevity. There is countless research on this, but for today’s post, I’m going to discuss what my exercise program looks like.
My exercise is categorized into strength training, high-intensity interval training, and cardio. I do think each category confers different (+overlapping) benefits, so it is in fact important to focus on each if you’re training for longevity.
I do strength training about 3-4x a week with 1 day for each:
Leg workout: Squats, Lunges, Hip-thrusts, Kettlebell swings
Back muscles: Assisted pull-ups, barbell rows, Lat pull-down, TRX
Chest muscles + Core + Shoulders + Grip strength
Muscle mass and strength is critical for longevity. After the age of 30, we start to lose muscle, so it’s important to build it up and preserve it. Your bone health is also tied to the strength of your muscles. With weak muscles, older people develop sarcopenia and are more prone to injury from falls. Strength training is a non-negotiable part of longevity exercises.
V02 Max / High-Intensity Interval Training
I’ve been battling a broken bone on my right foot, so sadly haven’t been able to work on this in the last 3 months. However, high-intensity training is a top priority for me to improve my V02 max score which is one of the better predictors of longevity. I plan on doing it 1x a week to begin, focused on:
Sprint interval training
Bike interval training
We end up getting in cardio workouts 3-5x a week:
We are big fans of tennis and play 3-4x a week
We’ll go running 1-2x a week wearing barefoot Xero shoes
Over the summers, we bike a lot in national parks
I’ve also been swimming lately while my foot is healing
Rucking: This is a new exercise we’ve started this summer inspired by Peter Attia. It’s hiking mountains with weighted vests. I actually quite enjoy it!
Sauna: I do this at the end of every strength training session at the gym, so 3-4xa week. Temperature of ~194F for ~15 minutes.
Stretching + Stability Training
This is not something I focused on much last year but am increasingly coming to understand the importance of it, specially as I nurse my broken foot, and as we’ve amped up our exercise. Stability training is important to avoid injury as you grow older. I’m going to link to some of Peter Attia’s content on this that I follow, albeit irregularly, and am striving to get better at:
Stability exercises like this step-up
Food & Supplements
I’ve made a few changes to my diet since I last wrote about my weird hassle-free longevity diet.
What hasn’t changed is that it’s still hassle-free!
Protein + My Food
I’ve known for a while that I should prioritize protein specially as a vegetarian and given my exercise levels, but I didn’t act upon it until recently. Now, I’m striving to get 1gm of protein for my body weight and my food is mostly centered around getting in adequate amount of protein.
Protein is essential for preserving muscle, and as you get older, you probably need to account for protein even more. Protein aside, I eat a low-carb organic diet since I feel best on it.
What I eat:
Breakfast: 4 Eggs cooked in olive oil with some tasty vegan pesto on top (+ kimchi sometimes)
Snack 1: Whey Protein shake in Walnut and almond milk
Snack 2: 100% dark chocolate
Post workout: Whey Protein shake in Walnut and almond milk
Option 1: Spinach and kale salad with some cooked tofu, olive oil, and guacamole
Option 3: Coconut Thai Curry with cruciferous veggies
Option 4: A big cooked veggie pot: Broccoli, tempeh, tofu, cauliflower, mushroom and okra cooked in tumeric and curry powder
Option 5: Amy’s Tofu scramble
Dessert: Vert rarely I’ll have unsweetened coconut yogurt with some berries for dessert
Our delicacy snack / lunch over the summer is avocado toast from our local café. It’s the best avocado toast I’ve ever had so we can’t resist at times!
If you’re overwhelmed by what to eat and all the talk on nutrition science, read my post Longevity Foods: Let’s Cut through the clutter.
I used to be a lot stricter with my intermittent fasting schedule of at least 16 hours and sometimes up to 20 hours. But I’ve become less convinced of its efficacy for healthy people eating healthy food.
It’s also hard to get in enough protein if you are intermittent fasting. Your body does not absorb more than 40-50gm of protein in one sitting so you have to eat it over several meals to get your 1gm per lb of body weight.
So, I don’t track my intermittent fasting schedule as rigorously as I used to and will eat in the morning when I get hungry. Even still, I end up intermittent fasting for ~14-15 hours on most days.
My current supplements stack is:
Turmeric (new addition)
Omega-3 Fish Oil (Rhonda Patrick recommended brand)
Creatine in my protein shake
Amino complex in my protein shake (inspired by Bryan Johnson’s Blueprint)
Collagen in my protein shake
Organic Green banana flour in my protein shake
The biggest change to my sleep routine is that now I’ve completely migrated off of alarm clocks unless I have a flight to catch in the morning. It’s been the best change ever - I hate waking up to alarm clocks and I let my body wake up naturally. As a result, I get my proper sleep, and I feel energetic and happy when I wake up.
I sleep ~9 hours a day. Sleep probably has the single biggest impact on my mood and my brain’s clarity levels, so I definitely do not skimp on it. Plus, I love my sweet dreams!
Here is my sleep routine:
Hot shower after gym at night which relaxes me and aids in sleep by keeping a cooler body temperature. Sauna at night helps with sleep too.
Could get better at finishing dinner ~2-3 hours before bedtime (not the best at this)
Phone on airplane mode and out of the bedroom
Use an Eight sleep cooling mattress or keep the temperature ~67F if traveling
I use an Ergonomic Neck pillow (I love it)
Dim the lights before bed
Dark room with blinds or keep eye masks close to you
No alarm clocks to wake me up!
Morning sunlight within an hour of waking up to regulate my circadian rhythm
If you live in a place that doesn’t have much morning sunlight, consider getting one of these lights that mimic morning sunlight
I’ve reduced my coffee intake to 3/4th cup a day, finishing before 12pm. Not because it was disrupting my sleep, but just because I think I was drinking too much subconsciously.
For more on sleep, see my previous post: Best Sleep Optimization Tips
Oral Health and Other
Oral health is an often neglected component of health, but it’s important, specially for healthspan. There is research that points to the fact that some brain disorders might start in the mouth. Regardless, if we want our teeth to be healthy as we age, this is something to care for. I’ve borrowed my oral health practices from Bryan Johnson’s Blueprint.
Brush AM and PM with fluoride free toothpaste
Tongue clean 1x a day using tongue scraper
Water pik AM and PM post brushing teeth.
Floss AM and PM (I need to get better at this though)
Rinse mouth with tee tree oil (same brand as Bryan Johnson)
Wear mineral organic sunscreen before stepping out in the sun
Started oiling my hair with coconut oil 1x / week
Happiness & Love
I’m not going to say much here except that no matter how much we can extend lifespan, life may seem too short. Enjoy time with loved ones and care for your happiness :) A long unhappy life is not worth it.
If you want to read more on these health pillars, I have previous posts on each of these where I dive a little deeper into the science and also lay out my protocols.
That’s it for now - stay tuned for more posts soon! In the meantime, please feel free to write to me with any feedback or just to say hi.
And you can connect with me on:
Live Longer World is where I write about practical health optimization tips and interview scientists at the forefront of longevity science.