Learn more about the natural anti-aging process, and what you can do to slow yours.

15 06 17 reading

Do you make time in your schedule to read regularly? You might want to make some space on your nightstand; we have three anti-aging book recommendations for your must-read list this summer.

14 06 30 Book 11. The 5-Minute Facial Workout, by Catherine Pez

The Book

To combat telltale signs of aging, like sagging and wrinkles Catherine Pez created a workout specifically for the face Facial gymnastics tighten our muscles and can redefine the structure and shape of our face.

Did you know that there are 50 working muscles in our face? —That’s a lot of potential for improvement if we are using them to the best of their abilities! Pez divides the facial msucles into lower, middle and upper regions. Working the muscles in the lower face maintains our oval shape, lifts the features and refines the chin. The muscles in the middle section act as  our principle muscles of expression. Working on this area pulls up our cheekbones, rounds out the cheeks, and prevents crow’s feet and nasiolabial folds. Lastly, working the muscles in the upper region relaxes our eyelids and prevents frownlines. Pez’s workouts can be done anywhere, with no need for special equipment.

Why We Like It

You can spend hours at the gym working on toning body parts that are largely covered up—why not spend some time to get your face looking just as good? My favourite exercise: Number 22, Around the Eyes. This feels especially great after a long day spent staring at the computer.

Image: Courtesy of The 5-Minute Facial Workout: 30 Exercises for a Naturally Beautiful Face by Catherine Pez, 2014 © www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission.

 14 06 30 faceworkout1

 Image: Courtesy of The 5-Minute Facial Workout: 30 Exercises for a Naturally Beautiful Face by Catherine Pez, 2014 © www.robertrose.ca. Reprinted with publisher permission. 

14 06 30 Book 22. 28 Days to Younger Skin, by Karen Fischer (link?)

The Book

As a former model, now nutritionist, Karen Fischer understands the desire for flawless-looking skin and possesses the know-how to achieve this from the inside out. The 28-day regimen is suited for quick results, but even if you aren’t preparing for an event, you’ll be able to incorporate her suggestions into your diet.

Fischer focuses on the negative effects of AGEs (advanced gylcation end products). Glycation is the naturally occurring process by which a sugar binds to a protein in the bloodstream, producing an AGE. Glycation is part of the aging process, but AGEs can accumulate with UV ray damage and by consuming certain types of foods. Foods that are cooked at high temperatures (searing, grilling) are culprits for high AGE content.

You’ve surely heard the term “eating a balanced diet”, but Fisher stresses the importance of the balance between acidic and alkalizing foods. Our bodies have a natural pH balance between 6 and 7.5 (depending on time of day, when you’ve eaten, etc.). If we eat foods that are too acidic overall, our bodies rob our bones of calcium (very alkaline) to supplement the acid. The first three days of the 28-day program are high in alkalizing foods to detoxify the body.

Why We Like It

The program is fully laid out in meals with a wide variety of foods, so don’t  think you’ll be forced to survive on just celery and cucumbers! My favourite recipe: Fisher’s sweet potato salad (see below, from p. 195). This meal is incredibly savoury and filling, and I love the black sesame seeds for extra crunch.

Just remember it takes 28 days for the body to produce new skin cells, and for them to travel to the upper most layer of the skin, so to really see the results from your hard work, mark your calendars accordingly.

Image: Courtesy of 28 Days to Younger Skin: The Diet Program for Beautiful Skin Including More Than 50 Recipes by Karen Fischer 2014 © www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission

14 06 30 Book 33. Keep Your Brain Young by Dr. Fraser Smith, with Dr. Ellie Aghdassi

The Book

Keeping your brain engaged and active are both important to combat disease and signs of aging, but did you know that there are certain foods that are good for your brain-health? There are approximately five million Canadians over the age of 65. Epidemiologists predict that by 2050, 16 million North Americans will have Alzheimer’s disease. Start taking care of your brain now, starting with your diet.

Insulin spikes can actually cause damage to neurons in our brains, so it is important that we consume Low GI (gylcemic index: a ranking system measuring how quickly foods turn to glucose after we eat them) foods. When we eat, our bodies release the hormone insulin to break down the nutrients: the higher the GI, the more insulin needed. High GI foods (for example, white flour products) turn to sugar very quickly, which can be harder on our brains to process. Low GI foods (for example, leafy green vegetables) take longer to break down, which make them easier to process, so put down the white bread!

Many antioxidant-rich foods are good for our brains, as the help repair damage done from free radicals. They can also prevent plaques from building in the arteries, formed from cholesterol. Plaques act as road blocks in the arteries, and restrict blood flow, which can lead to clotting or stroke.

Why We Like It

For a tasty low GI, high antioxidant combo, try our favourite of Dr. Fraser’s recipes, fragrant rice-stuffed peppers (see below, from p. 278). I love how quick and easy this meal is, and left-overs are easy to pack for lunch the next day: I like to chop up the pepper and put it on a bed of spinach for a nutritious, filling salad.

Image: Courtesy of Keep Your Brain Young: A Health & Diet Program for Your Brain Including 150 Recipes by Dr. Fraser Smith & Ellie Aghdassi 2014 © www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission.


Sweet Potato Salad

This is not an old-fashioned potato salad; the sweet potato stays whole while it’s baked to perfection. Add some canned tuna or raw almonds for protein and variety, or serve with Oregano Chicken Skewers (page 208). Double the recipe so you have leftovers to enjoy the next day.

•      Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C)

•      Baking sheet, lined with parchment paper

2  small sweet potatoes  2

1tsp lemon juice 5 mL

1 tsp rice bran oil (see tip) 5 mL

Sea salt (preferably Celtic)

1 sprig fresh rosemary or lemon thyme (optional) 1

4 Handfuls mixed salad leaves 4

1 lime wedge 1

2 Kumatoes or vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced 2

Avocado and Thyme Dip (see recipe below)

Black sesame seeds (optional)

1.  Place sweet potatoes on prepared baking sheet. Combine lemon juice and oil; rub or brush onto sweet potatoes. Sprinkle with salt and top with rosemary (if using). Bake for 30 minutes or until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork.

2.  Halve sweet potatoes lengthwise and open them like a hot dog bun. Place on serving plates and arrange salad leaves to the side. Squeeze a little lime juice over both potato and salad. Top sweet potatoes with Kumatoes and dollop salad with dip. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired.


If you have oily or blemish-prone skin, replace the rice bran oil with extra virgin olive oil.

To speed up the cooking time in step 1, cut the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise before baking.

Makes 2 side-dish servings

Avocado and Thyme Dip

1 ripe avocado 1

2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice 10 mL

2  sprigs lemon thyme, leaves stripped and chopped 2

Sea salt (preferably Celtic) and cracked black pepper

In a bowl, use a fork to mash avocado, stirring in lemon juice. Stir in lemon thyme leaves. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Makes 2 servings

Recipes: Courtesy of 28 Days to Younger Skin: The Diet Program for Beautiful Skin Including More Than 50 Recipes by Karen Fischer 2014 © www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission

Fragrant Rice-Stuffed Peppers

This dish uses the pleasing-to-the-senses jasmine rice, along with crunchy walnuts, to create a delicious stuffed pepper.

•     Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C)

•     Baking sheet, lined with parchment paper

•     13- by 9-inch (33 by 23 cm) baking dish, lightly oiled


1 cup brown jasmine rice 250 mL

13⁄4 cups ready-to-use vegetable broth 425 mL

8 beets, trimmed and peeled, beet greens, reserved 8

5 tbsp olive oil, divided 75 mL

31⁄2 tsp balsamic vinegar, divided 17 mL

1⁄2 tsp salt, divided 2 mL

1⁄2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided 2 mL

2  green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced 2

2  cloves garlic, minced  2

3⁄4 cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts 175 mL

4  yellow or red bell peppers 4

1. Filling: In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine rice and vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 50 minutes.

2. Cut beets into 1⁄4-inch (0.5 cm) pieces and toss with 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the olive oil, 3 tsp (15 mL) of the balsamic vinegar, 1⁄4 tsp (1 mL) of the salt and 1⁄4 tsp (1 mL) of the black pepper. Spread beets onto prepared baking sheet and roast in preheated oven until softened and slightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes.

3. Remove and discard tough stems from beet greens, coarsely chop greens and set aside. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and let pan get hot. Add 2 tbsp (30 mL) of oil and tip pan to coat. Add green onions and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 1 minute. Add beet greens, 1⁄2 tsp (2 mL) of balsamic vinegar, 1⁄4 tsp (1 mL) of salt and 1⁄4 tsp (1 mL) of black pepper and cook until most of liquid has evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cooked rice, roasted beets and toasted walnuts, mixing to incorporate. Taste and adjust seasonings.

4. Cut tops off peppers and reserve. Remove and discard seeds and membranes and slice a thin strip off pepper bottoms to level. Arrange peppers in prepared baking dish and spoon in filling. Replace tops and drizzle peppers with remaining 2 tbsp (30 mL) of oil. Bake in preheated oven until peppers are tender and slightly charred, about 30 minutes.


Leaves and tender top stems of beets are often trimmed and tossed away. These leaves, also referred to as beet greens, are delicious and a source of nutritious antioxidants.

Toast walnut halves in a dry skillet over low heat, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes or until fragrant. Transfer the toasted nuts to a plate and let cool before chopping.

Makes 4 servings

Recipe: Courtesy of Keep Your Brain Young: A Health & Diet Program for Your Brain Including 150 Recipes by Dr. Fraser Smith & Ellie Aghdassi 2014 © www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission.