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A Day in the Life of David Stewart

David is constantly refining his best practices for vitality, based on what he reads or advice he receives from our network. Here, he breaks down his day.

I often get asked, by people of all ages, how I appear to be so vital at what some seem to think is an advanced age. I will leave the interpretation of what advanced age means to others, but this has inspired me to share a monthly iteration of what I am doing in my day-to-day. I am constantly informing and refining my best practices based on what I read and what some of the very smart people in our network suggest. Nothing I do is that hard or, truthfully, I wouldn’t do it. This is meant as a window into my particular world with the hope that you may find a nugget that may be useful to you. 

Wake Up and Don’t Move

I wake at about 6 or 6:15 and make a point of not moving until around 7. For me, it is a time when problems get solved, creative solutions appear, and bolt-out-of-the-blue ideas hit me. The key is not to move, not open my eyes, and just lay there and wait for the magic to happen.

Rehydrate First

At 7:05 I have 16 oz of water with a pinch of pink salt and a squeeze of lemon. This rehydrates my whole body, and especially my brain. I have found that if I don’t do this first thing, I’ll start to get a headache and my thinking will be not be up to snuff. I try to drink at least 64 oz of water by the end of the day. It is something I really need to pay attention to, as it is one of those rather essential daily upkeep chores that is easily forgotten.

Meditate

I take my phone, turn on Insight Timer, my meditation app, and without looking at my email or social, I do 15 minutes of meditation. I tried unsuccessfully for 20 years to meditate. Then I got an app with guided meditations. After about a year, I outgrew the guided versions, and now I use my much-loved Insight Timer. My favorite setting is to have gongs every 2 minutes. If my mind is wandering, they snap me back to focusing on the meditation. I’ve been doing this same routine for 5 or 6 years and it has made an enormous difference in my level of happiness and my effectiveness at work.

Make Morning Movement a Habit

Directly after meditation, I strap on my Fitbit, grab the phone, put on a jacket, and zoom out the door for a 20-minute fast walk around the neighborhood. Go, go, go — this gets my brain and body ready for action. I say hello to the same people every morning, most of whom are strolling with their dogs, adding a very pleasant human touch to my day before the digital screen-time assault begins.

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Two Basis Capsules and Green Tea

Now it is about 8 am and time to engage with the world. I make a green tea and a double espresso with some MCT fat to supercharge my brain. My world is all about performance: how I can get the most out of my day, and the most really good days in my life. With my tea, I take my two Basis capsules. I am very interested in sirtuins and how they affect my cellular energy — and I like how Elysium has combined nicotinamide riboside with pterostilbene to increase NAD+ levels *and* activate sirtuins. Sirtuins are extremely important proteins that play a vital role in cellular health.

Pterostilbene is similar to resveratrol, the natural compound discovered in 2003 to be in, among other things, red wine. In yeast, it seemed to induce gene expression changes that gave researchers reason to believe the compound might be beneficial to humans. But 15 years and thousands of scientific studies later, and resveratrol hasn’t lived up to its initial promise. The trouble is, it disappears from the body in roughly 15 minutes — meaning, in scientific terms, it isn’t very bioavailable. Pterostilbene seems to have similar benefits, but its slightly different molecular structure allows it to hang out in the body longer. This is a very good thing for a beneficial compound.

I’m very happy with the science behind Basis, and the scientists they have on their board. Coming from a science and engineering background myself, before I take any supplement I want to make sure the science looks good and the manufacturing is done right.

Fuel Up

By about 9 am I’ll have some breakfast. The current version is big on plant fats. I’ll have some tahini, a scoop of sunflower seed butter, and maybe a couple of eggs with some broccoli. This will keep me going at a nice pace for hours.

Managing Work Days

In my work life, I have two kinds of days: phone call days and creating days. Monday and Thursday are phone days; Tuesday and Wednesday are creative days; and Friday, well, that is a clean-up day. I like to manage my week in this manner because these different tasks engage completely separate sections of my brain. I also break the individual days into sections. Turbocharged thinking time is for the mornings. I try not to allow any actual face-to-face meetings in the morning as they have a way of depleting my very finite amount of daily creative energy. I love meeting people and being exposed to new ideas, but these are saved for the input section of the day: the afternoon. 

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More Fuel

By noon I need sustenance. Protein first, then a huge trough of green vegetables. Think of a rabbit with pescatarian tendencies.

Work It Out

At about 4 pm I go to the gym. Norma Kamali told me this was her best time to exercise and it seems to work for me, too. The gym takes about an hour and 15, during which I have my phone with me to stay in touch as needed. This is often my favorite part of the day. It is when I can really let go and have at it with some big, dumb weights. The chemicals released into my body will activate new ideas and solutions for problems. It will also invariably leave me with a big, happy smile on my face as I have just metabolized a lot of silly stress. 

Dinner

15-minute walk and I am home starving. The fridge is raided, some sort of protein and vegetable dinner is prepared. I like to have my dinner done by 6 or so, which will give me 14-16 hours of not eating before breakfast.  

Night Moves

The night work session is usually about 6:15 till 8 pm. No good problem solving happens after 8 pm, so at that point, the laptop is shut, and I read till about 9 pm. Then the evening speed walk for about 30 minutes, stretching my always-tight posterior chain for about 15 minutes, followed by my preparation for bed. No screens allowed. Lights are dimmed, and I am in bed around 9:45. It was a great day. At 10:10 I am out for the night.

See The AGEIST Guide to Living Well: The Body 

David Stewart
David Stewart
David is the founder and face of AGEIST. He is an expert on, and a passionate champion of the emerging global over-50 lifestyle. A dynamic speaker, he is available for panels, keynotes and informational talks at david@agei.st.

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