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cracking the aging code

cracking the aging code

just finished reading this book “Cracking the Aging Code.”  it’s one of the most thought-provoking ones we’ve read in a while.  we try to get through at least 1 new book per week, in addition to podcasts and scientific literature summaries.   this book was very good.

most people’s common sense and logic would go like this – if I have plenty of food, I should live longer.  if I go through life with less stress, it’s better than more stress.  and if I shield myself from “bad things” whether sun damage, pathogens, radiation, etc., I should be healthier and live longer.


part of cracking the longevity code is understanding that aging has been built into evolution since the very beginning of life.  it’s a population-based evolution, not individual.

  • for those of us that always have plenty, are shielded from everything possible, and never stressed, we may live well, but we won’t live long. ⁠
  • for those of us that are stressed hormetically (enough stress to induce a stronger adaptation response), and routinely, we increase the chances of adding significant time on our lives – we won’t just live well, we will live well stronger longer. 

how hormesis plays into aging:

  • hormesis reduces the risk of over-population when times are plenty and things are easy.  if everything is abundant and there is little stress, populations grow easier, and aging has to play a bigger role.
  • hormesis safeguards the population with extra strength and longevity when times are scarce.  if things are scarce and difficult, populations grow slower, and so aging is mitigated to ensure the population continues, and continues strong.

here are our recommended takeaways:

  • the body is less fuel and nutrient efficient when there is plenty to eat.  solution?  don’t eat all the time, and don’t eat too much too often.  go through periods of “space” experimenting with various fasting protocols.  we do this automatically with all of our protocols.  most of us eat 1 or 2 times a day, and most of us noticing eating less food in general.
  • focus on nutrients vs total food intake.  we’re on a mission now to eat as much nutrient density as we can.  which is why we’re always eating organs and bugs, and mixing up my combinations of plant matter to get the highest polyphenol content and other nutrients possible.  eating for nutrient density allows us to eat less food (or at least it feels like it), but still get everything the body needs.  most people eat for energy.  WE eat food for nutrients, and we train our body’s metabolic flexibility to tap into excess bodyfat stores for energy.
  • exercise and fitness do NOT add wear and tear – they enhance strength and longevity.  in fact, the broader the spectrum (strength, conditioning, mobility, flexibility, varying time domains, intensity, etc.), the more beneficial.  reading this book confirmed what we’ve always intuitively known about Crossfit and what we do at The CrossFit Combine.  it builds strong and resilient human beings, esp when combined with the SHT way of eating.
  • expose your immune system to stressors daily.  punctuated sun exposure is extremely healthful.  not only do we get the synergy of nutrient synthesis at the level of the skin, but the “damage” from radiation is also actually hormetic in and of itself.
  • if we are exposed to various pathogens naturally, and we have a healthy immune system, our immune system gets even stronger.  hand sanitizers, and being neurotic about everything being clean all the time may not be the healthiest thing in the long-term, although short-term it may keep us from getting sick.  long-term, being exposed to more pathogens = more robust and adaptive immune system.  PICK THAT DROPPED BACON UP OFF THE GROUND AND EAT IT!  unless it’s in a puddle of chemicals :)
  • community and cooperation reward individuals as well as the group!
  • vision and purpose = thrive to survive.  if we have vision and purpose, or if we are seeking vision and purpose, this gives our unconscious and higher intelligence a reason to keep pushing forward.  even if we don’t know our “purpose” (which btw, we all have an infinite number of purposes, it’s a matter of perception :), seek to have vision and purpose daily.  live intentionally.

summary in summary:

  • eat for nutrients.  don’t eat too much. and don’t eat too often.
  • train your body to be self-sufficient and metabolically flexible.  nurture space (no eating) all the time.  experiment with fasting.
  • exercise regularly, going for functionality, variety, and intensity.
  • get sun exposure most days, but not so much that you burn.
  • when washing, use regular soap (like ivory) vs anti-bacterial soaps and sanitizers.  don’t be so concerned about getting dirty. dirty people really are healthier.
  • spend time with others, spend time helping others.
Paul C. Tijerina

Paul C. Tijerina | BS MFT CPT NLP | Nutritional Therapist & ATAVIST Life Coach