· Photo credit: Kwaku Alston
Sara Gottfried, MD, shares a typical day on the Younger protocol.
My day begins at 6 a.m. and ends at 10 p.m. The main elements of my day include: nutritious food, quality exercise, positivity from my friends and family, drinking enough filtered water, and commitment to my meditative rituals.
These guideposts keep me on track toward physical and mental health, as well as ensuring my life is rich and meaningful.
Here is what a daily routine that includes the basic rituals from weeks 1 and 2 of my seven-week Younger protocol might look like. This is a typical day for me — a normal day with better choices. Modify as you see fit.
Wake up, floss, and brush teeth with electric toothbrush.
Take supplements on an empty stomach.
Drink a green tea collagen latte or a steamy mug of matcha. I encourage my patients to replace their coffee with tea to decrease their intake of caffeine, which can make you feel stressed and disrupt your sleep if you’re like me and have the slow CYP1A2 gene variant, meaning you metabolize caffeine slowly.
Meditate for 10–30 minutes.
After meditation, I eat breakfast with my husband and daughters. I take three deep breaths before I eat because my old habit was to shovel in breakfast while speed-reading the newspaper. I have to actively and consciously slow down before my meals in order to create new neural pathways. Breakfast is often two eggs and one serving of fruit, or some organic quinoa with fruit.
Take my daughters to school.
Exercise (barre interval class, yoga, or brisk walk around my neighborhood).
Sip a drink containing branched-chain amino acids.
Drink 1 liter filtered water afterward.
Assemble lunch. It’s the same basic framework each day — 4 ounces of protein, 6 ounces of cooked vegetables, and 6 ounces of a salad, including fermented vegetables — usually all leftovers from the day before. I occasionally enjoy a fresh green shake loaded with protein powder and fiber.
Brush and floss.
Work while walking between 2 and 7 miles on my treadmill desk.
Drink 1 liter filtered water.
Pick up kids, drink more water.
Drag kids to sauna at the gym, if they’re game. The sauna is a great way to detoxify and turn on the longevity gene, FOXO3. One study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that saunas for 20 minutes, four times per week, reduce mortality by 40 percent.
Meditate for 10 minutes or call a friend.
Prepare dinner (make double recipe so there’s leftovers for lunch). Dinner follows a similar formula as lunch. Last night, I enjoyed 4 ounces of wild-caught Steelhead trout; 4 ounces of Spigariello raab; 2 ounces of homemade fermented turnips, red beets, red onion, and juniper; and a 6-ounce salad with 2 ounces of avocado.
Me time or family time — when you metabolize food and the day.
Shut down backlit screens and artificial light at night — one of the most important parts of my day. At least an hour before bed. I step away from the smartphone, tablet, computer, and television in order to protect my body’s natural release of melatonin, the hormone that encourages sleepiness. Artificial lights at night (ALAN) throw off our bodies’ natural rhythms and make it harder for us to fall asleep and get a good night’s rest. So I reduce ALAN and enjoy quality time with my husband and daughters before bed.
Brush and floss.
Go to bed, lights out.