Holding Back The Years…

I recently appeared in the Daily Mail’s ‘FeMail’ in an article covering the secrets to remaining youthful as the years goes by. While I’m certainly not against growing old gracefully I do think that certain actions (or regimes if you like) are beneficial not so much to your looks but to your health and enjoyment of later life. Here’s the tips I shared with the journalist and a few more besides:-


I’m obsessed with olive oil. It soothes dry hands and elbows and makes a great natural make-up remover for sensitive skin. Choose a good-quality version. I buy mine in Tuscany, but Waitrose Duchy Organic Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil would work just as well (£4.25, waitrose.com).


It’s amazing how fit you can get while you’re doing something else. I have a standing desk at work, and at home I balance on one leg and hold in my core while brushing my teeth. When my husband and I watch TV, we do press-ups and squats.


Within eight months of starting a low-carb diet, I lost a stone. My husband was diagnosed with a gluten allergy and type 2 diabetes, so he had to give up pasta and bread. I changed my diet to support him. My eczema and arthritis is much better now, too.


I love to treat myself to a personal shopper in big department stores, but I can recreate this in High Street shops by visiting during the week, preferably on a monday morning, when assistants have more time to help. I like to approach women of a similar age for assistance. I trust them more if they are honest and occasionally say: ‘That looks awful! Try this instead!”


With the risk of sounding self-righteous I don’t eat ultra-processed food. (Processed food includes cheese and ham so I can’t say I don’t eat them). At home we cook everything from scratch and I mean “we”. The kids cook too or at least share the workload. Since they were little and I have been writing cookbooks they have helped in the kitchen. They used to sit each side of our induction hob and stir, tear up mozzarella or chop veggies up with scissors. I hadn’t got time to play lego with them so if they wanted to be with me, it was the kitchen or not at all. Sometimes it is hard after a long day but we have perfected some really quick recipes to knock up that please the family. We always share these recipes to encourage others to get into the kitchen more and cook their own food.


Surround yourself with inspirational women. When I hit my mid-40s, I joined a women’s networking group called Athena (theathenanetwork.com). It’s a good way to make friends and boost your confidence. One member, a drama teacher, gave me advice on how to overcome my fear of public speaking, such as standing with my legs apart in a Wonder Woman pose. It changed my life, as I do book tours for work. My phobia is now an enjoyment.


When I look in the mirror in my 55th year I can of course see the wrinkles and marks of a well spent life. However rather than focus on something I am not prepared to alter I smile at the mirror; the wrinkles turn to laughter lines and I have a postive, happy image of myself in my head!

Read the original article HERE.

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