My grandmother is often mistaken for my mother, and my mother is often mistaken for my sister. As an American-born Chinese, I know I am not alone. Asian women are infamous for looking years (or sometimes even decades) younger than their actual age. The secret to aging gracefully and staying slim lies in the Asian lifestyle and diet. Here are 8 tips for inspiration:
1. We drink tons of green tea. Green tea is a powerhouse when it comes to health benefits. Packed with antioxidants and metabolism-boosting properties amongst many other health benefits – it is a must for every diet.
2. Soy is a huge part of our diets. Plant based proteins are all the rage at the moment, but we have been eating soy-based for millenniums. Miso, tofu, edamame and soy sauce… all are delicious and healthy alternatives to spice up your dinner table.
3. We get moving. In metropolitan and crowded cities like Hong Kong, the super efficient public transportation often beats driving your own car. This means a lot more walking on a daily basis, which is definitely a healthy habit to keep that waistline slim!
4. The sun is not our friend. I’ll admit, some of us are pretty extreme about staying out of the sun: we carry umbrellas and wear hats with UV face shield protection on sunny days. Though this may be a bit more conscious than necessary for some, the lesson learned is that we are absolutely religious about skincare and sunscreen. The sun in all its beauty is unfortunately the culprit to aging and skin cancer if measures are not taken, so slather on that SPF!
5. Dessert is usually just fresh fruit. Contrary to our western counterparts, dessert for us is usually fresh fruits. If we want to get fancy, most Asian desserts are fruit, nut or tofu based. This radically reduces your caloric consumption, though a piece of cake is divine in moderation!
6. We love ginger. In stir-fry, in soups, in tea – we love our ginger. It stimulates circulation, improves the immune system and is even an aphrodisiac.
7. Our dairy intake is very minimal. Dairy is quite minimal for the standard Asian diet. There are plenty of reasons why we should ditch dairy, one most obvious is that milk was made to turn a 100-pound baby calf to a full-blown 1,000-pound adult cow. Now I don’t know about you, but that’s very eye-opening for me!
8. Chinese medicine teaches us to heal from within. While typical western medicine usually provides an immediate cure with pharmaceutical drugs, Chinese medicine has ingrained in us that health needs to be improved from the roots. Instead of providing drugs that may instantly conceal the problem and take away the symptoms, we often opt for long-term internal healing soups and medicine. This mindset is a huge factor in our health, as we listen and focus on our bodies more often!