Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Die Young Late In Life: Interview With Leslie Kenton

Leslie Kenton debunks the ageing myths.

Would you cut sugar and carbohydrates from your diet, walk thirty minutes a day and follow a weight training programme four times a week if it meant you would reverse high blood pressure, lower cholesterol, lose excess weight and experience an abundance of energy and zest for life like never before?

A New Zealand television documentary followed eight participants who did just that. In only five weeks their biomarkers, the medical measurement of age, had either normalised or were well on their way to a healthy level. Every participant had increased vitality, a renewed sense of adventure and drive to accomplish their dormant dreams.

Health guru, broadcaster and journalist Leslie Kenton now aged 60, was asked to make the documentary whilst writing Age Power, the book which and exposes our false but commonly held notions about ageing. Using the latest scientific evidence she readdresses the lies, myths and statistics which govern our perception of health.

“Forget birthday’s. It’s your biological age that matters, not your chronological age. By making simple changes to the way we eat, use our bodies and align ourselves creatively or spiritually, Age Power can enable us to die young late in life.”

A complete anti-ageing Bible, Age Power takes the reader along the path to achieving complete rejuvenation and includes chapters on beneficial herbs, Alzheimer’s, prostrate cancer and the menopause.

It takes a holistic approach to health, incorporating body, mind and soul. Living with Age Power isn’t simply a matter of physical health, it also concerns spiritual wellbeing so that as human beings, we can live to our full potential.

“The internal and the external, the psychological and the physical are so bound together holistically, there’s no way you can separate them. Shifting things on one level, on the physical for example, helps shift things on a psychological level so gradually, people become genuinely autonomous and learn to trust themselves.”

Living With Age Power

Age Power examines what the body is genetically programmed to thrive on and in doing so, returns to the lifestyle of our Palaeolithic ancestors. From them we have inherited the genes which predispose us to the age degeneration we are so familiar with, but how we live dictates the way these genes behave.

Leslie returns to the diet of our Palaeolithic ancestors, debunking the low fat, high carbohydrate regime experts currently recommend.

“Genetically, over a million years of human evolution we have eaten in a particular way, whether we lived in the South Seas or in Northern Siberia. We have always been hunter gatherers, eating masses of non-starchy herbs and vegetables. Not potatoes and not grains. These only came into being during the agricultural revolution which peaked 4000 years ago. It takes 10,000 years to genetically change the development of the body, so today our body’s are processing foods we do not have the genetic material to handle.”

“In terms of changing how we eat, it means cutting out the foods our body has never been able to deal with and which we now eat in massive quantities. This means sugar and all its derivatives found in convenience foods. It means the masses of grains the government is still telling us to eat, the pastas, breads and pizzas.”

“What’s more, eating masses of non-starchy, bright coloured vegetables also provides the body with phytonutrients which scientists now know are more important than vitamins and antioxidants in preventing age degeneration.”

Our current diet and genetic makeup is also responsible for the rise in obesity which has tripled in the last twenty years. Currently, nearly two-thirds of British men and over half of all women are overweight.

We've been trained by our parents, largely by the education system but also by the media and government to listen to the so-called experts and never trust ourselves.
“Carbohydrates are the reason people get fat, but sugar is a carbohydrate too. Carbohydrates raise blood sugar levels very high, where as if you’re eating non-starchy vegetables, blood sugar levels are raised, but only very gently so they do not cause an insulin reaction.”

“Insulin is the most important factor that determines how quickly we age. A diet which rapidly creates high blood sugar levels forces the body to secrete masses of insulin in order to control it. When this happens, insulin is unable to escort glucose from the blood sugar into the cells to create the energy which runs the metabolism."

If insulin cannot start the production of energy, the body is unable to burn calories efficiently. Genetically, the majority of us have inherited the ‘thrifty gene.’ Essential throughout our evolution, this gene encourages the body to store fat so we can survive famines and harsh winters, but today, our current diets hinder the body’s ability to burn calories and this gene stores them as fat.

"There’s so much heart ache out there, particularly amongst women. They spend their lives thinking that they’re not as good as others because they gain weight, but it’s a biological thing.”

“This is major stuff. It's so life changing, if only we can get more people to understand it, it will literally transform the face of health throughout the world but it’s hard when we’ve still got the media out there pumping us full of nonsense about fat and carbs. It took me two months to get my head around it because I, like everyone else, had been so brainwashed.”

Taking Control Of Your Health

Questioning wide-spread authoritative opinion and taking responsibility for our own health is central to Age Power.

“We've been trained by our parents, largely by the education system but also by the media and government to listen to the so-called experts and never trust ourselves. My goal has been to share with people the techniques, information and hopefully inspiration that enables them to come to a point of balance in their own bodies so they can hear from within what is good for them, what suits them and what doesn’t.”

Leslie also blames the media and gerontologists for perpetuating our negative image of age.

“I hear people talking, ‘Oh I’m just hanging around waiting for the bits to fall off' - what!? Three years ago I became a photographer quite by accident but I really liked it. I’m now writing my own film script, I have things I want to do thank you very much and I don’t want my life inhibited by not having enough energy to do whatever I want.”

“I’ve been a mother for 42 years. It’s one of the most enriching things in the world, but that’s it, I’ve finished. I want to do other things and that was the most exciting thing we found with the television documentary. The participants’ self-esteem just soared, they became excited about life and many changed their jobs because they had the energy and confidence to do so and this is what health is all about. Age Power is nothing more than expressing your creativity, energy, enthusiasm and adding to your life whatever feeds you psychologically.”

“Health is the foundation that makes it possible for us to use the gifts each of us has to express. Age Power has enabled me to experience a deeper level of joy because as you live this way so much of what really doesn’t belong to you but has been learned or accumulated on a biological level and made your body toxic, falls away and genuine rejuvenation takes place.”

Age Power is available at all good book shops, priced £13.99, or you can purchase it from Amazon, priced £9.09.

Rachael Hannan: 2002

Published on 50connect.co.uk

Fact Box 1

Biomarkers are the medical measurement of biological age. They include;

Cholesterol Level
Blood Pressure
Bone Density
Muscle Strength
Lean Body Mass (BMI Index)

Fact Box 2

Leslie's Meal Suggestions


Live yogurt topped with slivered almonds and fruit.

Omlette packed with fresh vegetables such as peppers, tomatoes, spring onions.

Grilled fish such as kippers or salmon, served on a bed of rocket.


Large salad topped with chicken, turkey or tuna. Salads should be made from any selection of raw vegetables. Use as wide a variety of vegetables as possible (cabbage, grated carrot, beetroot, broccoli, peppers, apples, radishes) not simply lettuce, cucumber and tomato.

Dress with olive oil, lemon juice, chopped herbs and spices to create different flavours.

Cottage cheese on cos lettuce services with slices of peach, apricot and apple.


Sautéed sea bass with garlic, steamed broccoli and courgettes with slivered almonds. Strawberries with fresh lemon juice and mint. Slice oranges with shaved coconut.

Grilled prawns served with aioli and salad. Strawberries dipped in finely ground almonds.

Bunless turkey burger - combine minced turkey with finely chopped onions and red pepper. Grill with courgettes, onions slices and Portobello mushrooms.

Stir fried chicken with bok choy, bean sprouts, ginger, green onions, garlic, water chestnuts cooked in coconut oil with a coconut cream sauce sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds. Watermelon balls with ginger.

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