10 Easy Habits of Eating Well Living Well with Swee Lin
The Pass It On series is an interview segment where BioMark sits down with trail blazers who have strived to make health and wellness work for their lives on their own terms. We hope this inspires you to find the best fit for yourself, too.
BM: Hey Swee Lin, welcome back! Also, congratulations on publishing your book. Would you like to share a little on what motivated you to channel your knowledge into pen and paper?
SL: Yes, the book I wrote is 10 Easy Habits of Eating Well Being Well. It started because a lot of people wanted to know what I’ve done to maintain my health. It also started off very cosmetically. I realised many people wanted to know more about weight loss than how to prevent chronic ageing. But if you are managing yourself well, keeping your body at a state of homeostasis, and giving it all the nourishment it needs, then you can actually age really gracefully. So while I put all of that information into teaching people how to manage their weight, a lot of it was designed to prevent chronic illnesses and, hence, unnecessary ageing.
BM: That’s great how you framed the cosmetic to the preventative in health and wellness. What are some of the methods you use to track the changes?
SL: That’s a good question. There are different ways. Directionally, do a bit more everyday until you reach a state where you’re feeling sufficiently energised. I think one of the simplest way of assessing if you’re in good health is to look in the mirror and ask yourself if you have a natural looking healthy body. I’m not talking about bumps or blemishes where we get overly focused on being perfect. Rather, go back to simple sensibilities such as – do I feel well, do I sleep well, do I have enough energy.
When you learn how to get in touch with your own body, you know inherently if you’re doing the right things and if you’re eating the right foods for you. Ask these questions instead of becoming so dependent on that Fitbit number or the weighing scale which can be misleading. We each come in genetically different body type. So, work with what you have been blessed with and optimise them as much.
BM: That’s a great point on how we should get in touch with our own bodies and being your best self. Do you have experience with blood tests that you can share?
SL: I am aware of looking at key health markers that we should look at over our lives such as cholesterol levels. Taking your age group into consideration, maybe do some blood tests for cancer markers. Also, depending on what your age and needs are, you can look at a range of hormone tests to assess if your body is actually balanced. For some people who seem to be feeling more fatigued, despite eating right for your body type, you should ask questions on the possibilty of adrenal fatigue. If you can’t lose weight then do you have some sort of thyroid imbalance or is insulin resistance kicking in?
This is where blood tests are important for us to figure out where are we. It is always useful if somebody can afford the tests to start off with getting a baseline before embarking on a health programme. Do it as you can afford the tests. And even before testing, add foundational health habits like drinking more water, eating more vegetables, and getting more sleep.
BM: All these new ideas sound great! Would you be putting them in a new book sometime, or do you have any new projects?
SL: I will mainly be putting them into a new book. The old one was focused primarily on nutrients and hydration and didn’t focus enough on all these other elements of holistic health – so the new book will start to feature them.
BM: That’s great. Do you mind sharing with us what’s one health and wellness message that you would send to:
(a) the person you were twenty years ago &
(b) the person you’ll be twenty years from now?
SL: I think if I spoke to my younger self, I would definitely tell her to sleep more, drink more water, and to teach her quick hacks in stress management. Because again we don’t want to get that cortisol down so that even the quality of your sleep goes up. And then for my older self twenty years out, I would remind her that whatever fears and risks she took in this new career path was unfounded and that we manage to help many more people to get into great health by sharing our past mistakes.
BM: Thank you so much for joining us Swee Lin. Before we end, what’s the one quote that has guided you through your journey in the last few years.
SL: It’s not necessary a quote but it’s an image of myself. It’s an image of me, when I’m much more elderly, sitting in a rocking chair, looking back my life and being incredibly content, laughing, and smiling because I know what an incredible life journey I’ve had.
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For more information, check out Swee Lin’s page here.
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