Interview with Karen Salmansohn
The bestselling author and healthy living expert offers wellness tips aplenty in her new book, Life is Long!
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Having a baby at age 50 might sound exhausting, but it only fired up self-help author Karen Salmansohn. “I’ve always taken good care of my health, but when you have extra motivation—like being around for as long as possible for your child—you kick it into high gear,” says the energetic mom, 58. “My son means the world to me. So I said, ‘Ari, I’m gonna be 100 for you.’ He said, ‘Mom, live to 200.’ I bargained him down to 100, and he accepted my counteroffer,” she adds with a laugh.
The self-described “research geek” soon realized she had her next lifestyle tome. “I wanted to create a book that was comprehensive but not complicated,” says the founder of the lifestyle website NotSalmon.com. The result: the fact- and fun-filled Life is Long! 50+ Ways to Help You Live a Little Bit Closer to Forever (Ten Speed Press).
This inspirational guide has already transformed Salmansohn, who recently stopped eating meat and processed food—and no longer craves sugar. “My whole mindset has changed,” she says. “I try to mainly get nutrients from whole foods and spices, but I do take some supplements.”
In addition to a liquid vitamin D3 with K2, Salmansohn takes the following:
This combination “is a potent anti-inflammatory and terrific antioxidant,” she says. “It’s recommended to have black pepper with it, which contains piperine, which enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2,000 percent. I also have turmeric tea at night. Plus, I love kombucha with turmeric in it—there’s one brand I have all the time.”
Loaded with free radical-fighting antioxidants, oregano is also reported to help ward off bacteria and viruses and boost oral health, Salmansohn says. “You apply it with your finger to teeth and gums. Or put it in water and swoosh.”
This co-enzyme “is well-known for protecting your heart, lungs, brain, immune system—nearly every body cell,” she says. “It basically helps your mitochondria burn fuel more efficiently.”
Green Tea Extract
“This gives your body a quick, easy boost of antioxidants, which reduce oxidative stress by fighting cell damage caused by pesky free radicals. And the catechins in green tea extract help reduce blood pressure, improve blood fat levels, boost heart health, enhance skin, power up memory—even help reduce cancer risk.”
“I was told that because I don’t consume meat and/or dairy that I should take a B12 supplement.” This vitamin, she adds, “plays an important role in red blood cell formation, good bone health, and good energy levels—and has even been reported to help with the risk of age-related macular degeneration.”
Staying In Step—And Feeling Vital—After 50 (And Through 100!)
Midlife motherhood hasn’t slowed down Salmansohn, who walks a mile each weekday morning with her son to school—and a mile back. She repeats this when picking him up in the afternoon. “I now walk four miles a day without even trying, and I love it!” she says. “And when I walk with him, we have the best conversations. On the way home, I clear my head. It’s part mindfulness and meditation, and part physical.” Weightlifting at the gym and yoga round out her fitness.
Research shows that intermittent fasting can boost mitochondrial energy efficiency and expand longevity, so she occasionally skips breakfast. The self-styled “pesca-egg-atarian” starts her day off with an avocado smoothie and eggs, while favoring fish, veggies, and fruit for lunch and dinner. Her favorite snack: brain-boosting walnuts.