Recently we picked the brain of the driving force behind the book ‘Fast Living, Slow Ageing’, read on to find out what Kate Marie thinks about ageing and the anti-ageing industry.

Kate Marie collaborated with Professor Merlin Christoper Thomas and many other health experts to produce the latest updated edition of ‘Fast Living, Slow Ageing’. The book provides guidance on a range of health topics to do with the ageing process -diet, hormones, stress management the list goes on. Kate Marie recently gave us some insights into the aim of the book and her thoughts on ageing.

1. In one sentence describe the essence of Fast Living, Slow Ageing.

Slow ageing is a philosophy and set of principles that can help people embrace ageing in a positive way, be engaged with their own health so they can age successfully. The book provides evidence-based guidelines around how people can extend their health span and covers all systems of the body as well as a comprehensive nutrition and exercise plan.

2. What prompted you to compile a book like Fast Living, Slow Ageing?

Frustration with the lack of clear direction and guidelines. Ageing is multi-factorial and we need to get advice from a raft of experts so I got 30 or more involved, informed decision making is critical and we typically don’t do this (we give away our decision making to parents, doctors, food companies, pharma industry and the like and assume we will be OK), I wanted a comprehensive guide so I knew what to do each and every day and could be strategic in my approach and wanted everything under my fingertips (hence a book), wanted to be assured I would not get down the track in 30 years and had wasted time and money on things that didn’t work (hence trying to take an evidence-based approach as much as possible and planning and reviewing and testing regularly).

3. Why does the anti-ageing industry frustrate you?

It mostly peddles pain to women and promotes a feeling of disconnect so that when women look in the mirror they are told that a younger person physically should be looking back out at them.

They are “not good enough” at their age and need to look younger. 50s are the new 30s etc is the wrong message. We can be healthy at any age and as long as we feel good we shouldn’t have to worry too much about how we look. It is like we are told to focus on weight when if the message is to focus on eating for health then the weight will drop off.

4. What is your top tip concerning health and slowing down ageing?

Do weights/resistance training. It seems to have a good all round effect. Most efficient way to reduce fat, increases energy and stamina, you look fantastic, reduces risk for all diseases. 2nd on list is to eliminate added sugar as these contribute to the development of advanced glycation end products which case ageing.

5. What do you think Brisbane residents have to be particularly aware of when it comes to ageing?

The sun is a key contributor to ageing skin and so causes oxidative damage to the body as ironically in Brisbane you need to be particularly careful to use sunscreen otherwise you’ll get accelerated ageing of the skin. But the downside is that you have some of the highest deficiency of vitamin D in Australia due to not being exposed to the sun. I can’t think of anything else that would be specific to ageing in Brisbane.

Dehydration happens at any age but I guess if people’s health is compromised to start then they might not be drinking/utilising water adequately but I’d need to get Merlin to respond to that. If elderly and exercising then there is some research to show that a hot climate + exercise can put additional strain on an ageing heart.

6. What was it like collaborating with several different experts and scientists?

It was fantastic and I was very grateful for their input. There are some wonder researchers internationally more than Australia that are prepared to get behind public education. It was hard in Australia as the scientists here were not helpful mainly. Merlin was a God-send and really made the project successful.

7. Do you follow the advice in the book?

Yes I try to be compliant but I struggle too. I still drink too much alcohol at times and am a bit of a sugar addict and 2014 is going to be the year to change that! I am religious now with my weight control and training, I take heaps of supplements, do all the testing and see several practitioners.

I struggle with stress management and keep trying new things for that. All in all I’m a human guinea pig and enjoy seeing my body change and get more healthy. I have understood it is a long term thing so try to be kind to myself and this is key to any major process around change.


Do you believe it is possible to slow down the ageing process?