Investing in Longevity - Scott Fulton

August 29, 2020 Hanh Brown / Scott Fulton Season 1 Episode 31
Investing in Longevity - Scott Fulton
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Investing in Longevity - Scott Fulton
Aug 29, 2020 Season 1 Episode 31
Hanh Brown / Scott Fulton

Scott has spent his career in innovation and change, testing the paradigms, constantly moving and learning.

He got turned on to longevity when he started doing marathons and Ironman triathlons in his forties.

Today he focuses on practical methods to extend healthspan and longevity.

Scott works on the five key elements of longevity; the same five key elements that produce the best health because longevity is really a function of PR prolonging health and delaying the onset of disease, or what we typically refer to is age related or, or early onset disease if it's happening younger. Generally around mind, and in simplest form, that's really got a lot to do with attitude and getting your life organized and in shape the things around the environment that's around you.

Scott Fulton, an engineering technology graduate of St. Lawrence College and former researcher, Scott works closely with the health sciences community and is a member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.

Scott teaches longevity at the University of Delaware campus and online. His courses span the 5 pillars of longevity, Mind, Environment, Diet, Exercise and Community.

He is also founder of Home Ideations, an online design firm devoted to creating exciting spaces for Boomers who value high function without sacrificing aesthetics.

Scott serves as Treasurer for the National Aging in Place Council and is a frequent guest speaker.

Scott's Links:

Longevity Advantage:
Home Ideations LLC:

Show Notes Transcript

Scott has spent his career in innovation and change, testing the paradigms, constantly moving and learning.

He got turned on to longevity when he started doing marathons and Ironman triathlons in his forties.

Today he focuses on practical methods to extend healthspan and longevity.

Scott works on the five key elements of longevity; the same five key elements that produce the best health because longevity is really a function of PR prolonging health and delaying the onset of disease, or what we typically refer to is age related or, or early onset disease if it's happening younger. Generally around mind, and in simplest form, that's really got a lot to do with attitude and getting your life organized and in shape the things around the environment that's around you.

Scott Fulton, an engineering technology graduate of St. Lawrence College and former researcher, Scott works closely with the health sciences community and is a member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.

Scott teaches longevity at the University of Delaware campus and online. His courses span the 5 pillars of longevity, Mind, Environment, Diet, Exercise and Community.

He is also founder of Home Ideations, an online design firm devoted to creating exciting spaces for Boomers who value high function without sacrificing aesthetics.

Scott serves as Treasurer for the National Aging in Place Council and is a frequent guest speaker.

Scott's Links:

Longevity Advantage:
Home Ideations LLC:

Hanh Brown: [00:00:00] Today. My guest is Scott Fulton. Scott teaches longevity at the university of Delaware campus and online his courses span the five pillars of longevity, mine environment, diet, exercise, and community. He’s also the founder of home ideations in online design firm, devoted to creating exciting spaces for the baby boomers who value high function without sacrificing aesthetics.

[00:01:40] Scott serves as the treasurer for the national aging in place council. And is the frequent guest speaker. Well, Hey Scott, how are you?

Scott Fulton: [00:01:48] Good, good, good to meet you.

Hanh Brown: [00:01:50] I appreciate you being here, sharing with us about aging successfully and wellness. Can you share with the listeners, your background, your story, and how you got here?

Scott Fulton: [00:02:00] Uh, I’ll try to give the short story because I I’ve been the ping pong ball in a bunch of areas. My background is mechanical engineering, but long before that, I think I had, um, the impressions were made on me around aging, by my grandmother. She had a tremendous influence on me. My engineering work brought me into a lot of accessibility and transportation.

[00:02:19] So I. Didn’t realize I was developing an eye for accessibility needs as they evolve through life. And as I was sitting in my corporate office and the top floor of one of the, the international companies, I decided that really wasn’t my thing. I wanted to get back to work back with people. And so it pulled me back into really where my roots have been all along.

[00:02:41] It’s really around human health. That really changed in the direction of what’s possible for people, because I looked at it and said, there’s tremendous opportunity here that were, that very few of us are taking advantage of. So how do we make it that available to more people?

Hanh Brown: [00:02:56] Great, welcome. And, uh, mechanical engineer to another.

Scott Fulton: [00:03:02] well that’s w Jack of all trades master of none.

[00:03:04] And I would, I would certainly fit that mold very well.

Hanh Brown: [00:03:09] Hey, thank you. Thank you so much. So you talk about. Successfully aging. How does one acquire the knowledge and know what to ask as better questions? Because I know a lot of what we’ve been told all of our lives has set us up for failure. Can you elaborate on that?

Scott Fulton: [00:03:26] When I started down this journey, um, my background is also as a researcher. And so by nature, I tend to ask maybe harder questions than, uh, than the average person and realize how difficult it was to find the information, uh, to be able to make good choices that ultimately led to. I teach that longevity and aging place at the university of Delaware.

[00:03:47] And so it becomes keenly apparent when you’re in front of a classroom of people asking hard questions to realize a lot of times. Really smart people really well-educated just don’t know where to go. They hear a lot of the there’s so much noise out there now, and that’s clearly no matter what we’re looking for, if I can’t find it in the first 10 lists on Amazon, it’s hard to find.

[00:04:09] So in the aging space, there’s the combination of. Myths that we were raised with that just weren’t based on fact or the fact that we had at the time. And we now know a lot better. About 10 years ago, human health science made a tremendous shift. And that really comes out of the genome project, which really started to look at that understanding.

[00:04:31] How genetics really works as opposed to the hard wiring piece. And so my goal is really to help people ask better questions. There’s tremendous amount of information out there finding it as hard. So I really work at trying to narrow it down into some organized areas to look at and then get people enough information, to be able to start to ask better questions and tailor whatever their aging solution is.

[00:04:55] To meet their needs because we, we want to start with some end game in mind and say, how do I get to my end state of what I would like that to look like? And what would I like my journey to be. Yours is different than mine. Each one of your listeners is going to be different again. So you just need the factual base to be able to ask better questions and accumulate the information that’s relevant for you and identify where your gaps are.

Hanh Brown: [00:05:21] In the senior living industry. We have the vibrant engaging group, the independent living, and as you migrate to the assisted and then dementia care every. Um, milestone every place has its own healthy capacity. So what do you suggest at an independent. Living, what are some things that one can do to live vibrantly and successfully?

Scott Fulton: [00:05:48] Sure. The interesting thing is it’s pretty much the same solution for almost everybody at almost every age, which is really good news. And so you should be hearing if you’re listening in this space, Some fairly consistent themes and that’s a good indication of, Oh, there must be something behind that.

[00:06:04] What I really work on is the five key elements of longevity are also the same five key elements that produce the best health because longevity is really a function of. PR prolonging health and delaying the onset of disease or what we typically refer to is age related or early onset disease if it’s happening younger.

[00:06:25] So that’s generally around mind and its simplest form. That’s really got a lot to do with attitude and getting your life organized and in shape. The things around the environment that’s around you. So if you’re an independent living, for example, and you want to stay there is that environment that you’re in going to sustain you five, 10, 20 years from now.

[00:06:46] And a lot of us, unfortunately, that’s just not the case, but we don’t know. Even what that means. So that’s why I say, as you start to understand what a universal design is, for example, on why that would be a good idea for you to incorporate this naturally, start to ask better questions. The next one would be diet.

[00:07:04] So generally I think most would have heard. Hopefully it will tell you again. Okay. We want to get less meat and less processed food into our systems. And we want to get more whole foods and probably have the single food that would help most people, uh, change. Everything would be adding more. Fiber is the one thing that helps clean up all of the mistakes.

[00:07:24] Every even eating clean. We’re going to bring some things along with it. Fiber fixes more things than probably fiber and water are probably the two things that will fix more things than anything else. So exercise would be the other one. So general recommendation is 150 minutes per week of active exercise.

[00:07:42] Active is relative to what age you are and what ability you’re at. But ideally we want to be getting our heart rate elevated to some safe levels, um, on some frequency. And that’s not 150 minutes of hard exercise. That’s 150 minutes of variable exercise to a. Very nice walking pace, for example. And if we can do a light jog, if we’re able to do that’s even better to work some of that in, but also varied up.

[00:08:08] It’s not doing the same thing every day. It’s varying up our exercise, getting variety, doing it with friends. And then the last one is a community which kind of rolls into, if you can work some community into your exercise, work community, into people who eat the way you would like to be eating, uh, tell people, yeah.

[00:08:27] Imagine trying to quit smoking. If you’re the only one in the house who wants to quit in a household of smokers, versus if you’re the only one who’s a smoker, that’s going to be much easier. So the community that you surround yourself will have a huge influence on how successful you are. So be very selective around how you choose your, the community around you.

[00:08:45] And it’s also the professional services. That are available to you. Like you want to have convenient services so that you’re not isolating yourself by, by nature of being too isolated geographically.

Hanh Brown: [00:08:57] Yeah. You definitely need that support. Your surrounding will encourage you, your camaraderie and everyone is in the same place in with the same objectives, pushing each other along that’s.

[00:09:09] That’s great.

Scott Fulton: [00:09:11] Yeah. We’ll refer to it as finding your tribe. That’s true. That’s true. Yeah. Shared values. Everything gets easier. Everything gets to be more fun and it’s, it sounds easy. But of course, if you’re not in the right tribe, that’s not an easy thing necessarily to, to just extract yourself out without some consequences and some fear.

[00:09:31] And that’s, that’s very understandable, but in terms of health and longevity, it becomes really important. We’ve known that for a long time. We just have to look at, at every culture has been successful at aging, and that’s a very common theme throughout, and it’s all the things that go with being at any tribe that is geared around longevity.

Hanh Brown: [00:09:48] Absolutely. Okay. So let’s say we migrate to assisted living. What recommendations can you make?

Scott Fulton: [00:09:56] I think in assisted living again, probably community is the biggest. My focus is clearly much more at the early end of aging, compared to where most of the world is. But we see the results there and assisted living is still very much a, you know, a level of activity and you can live in an assisted living for any number of reasons.

[00:10:16] There could be some simple physical limitation that affects your minimum daily functions that you need to do that you just need some help with because perhaps you’ve lost your partner or some other reason assisted living. Is does nothing does not mean a nursing home. It doesn’t mean any of those things necessarily it can purely, you just need help with the daily chores of daily living.

[00:10:38] So again, it comes back to, and particularly if you’re thinking about moving into a facility, I would look really hard at what are the food options that are there, because that will have a huge impact as we age. It’s a little bit like in circle of life. We take great care with our babies to make sure that they food and things that are exposed to.

[00:10:59] We can really give careful consideration because their bodies are so vulnerable. We see the same thing. As we get older, our bodies become less tolerant of toxins, less tolerant of things that potentially would do us harm. So even less tolerant of food, right? So we need fewer calories when we get older.

[00:11:17] Not simply because our activity level may be down, but because our system simply can’t handle the same level of. Caloric intake. So food becomes really important if you’re in any assisted living environment. And then what would be the things that would help you with exercise? You’re naturally going to have a community around you as soon as you’re into that sort of environment.

[00:11:35] Anyway. So I think that those would be the things I would clearly focus on for any family thinking about that.

Hanh Brown: [00:11:41] Now there are some key health biometrics, right? Can you go through what those are and why is that relevant.

Scott Fulton: [00:11:50] again? If in order to be proactive, we need to be able to know where we are and it’s a.

[00:11:56] Yeah. we tend to, as a society, we’ve avoided the whole aging and death thing to our own detriment. And so we live for decades in fear. Um, and we see people that don’t go get their physicals because they might get bad news. If you’re one of those individuals, I’m sorry to tell you, but you’re just your likelihood of success is pretty low because you’re relying on luck and the luck of the odds are certainly.

[00:12:21] A lot better in Las Vegas than they are taking that strategy. So I’d really try and encourage people to. Make sure you get your annual physical, but also make sure you get some key markers of what your what’s in your blood panels. So things like we all know about cholesterol around the importance of lowering cholesterol and the, the consequences of that.

[00:12:42] But there’s also things like inflammation, markers are now becoming more common, but not many. Primary care physicians will order. So the most common one is a CRP. It’s a C-reactive protein. So that’s a great leading indicator of, is there some disease going on within your body that you have? Absolutely no awareness of.
[00:13:02] It’s the first indication of what might be coming. It’s an indication that your body is fighting something. Could be any number of things that trigger it, but that’s one of the first indicators. So we want to look at things like that. We want to look at things particularly on cholesterol, around LDL levels, those two and some other biomarkers.

[00:13:22] So we have them on our website. If anyone’s interested, they can go take a look at it, but you can get your own blood test and fill them into, we’ve got a table in there and it’ll calculate what’s your. Biological ages. So if you’ve been following this space in the world, so there’s some, a lot of work has been done in the last again last 10 years or so to understand how has our body aging relative to our chronological age.

[00:13:48] So if I take myself, for example, today’s sitting before you I’m 61 by my chronological age. So I happen to know that my biological age is 11.7 years younger than my chronological age. And so the reason why it’s because of my lifestyle, which includes has include years of, of healthy eating and regular exercise.

[00:14:13] It’s not magic that I felt do anything particularly special. I don’t. I enjoy meditation. It’s not, I wish I did it more, but it’s, it’s just a number of things that gives you an indication of what’s the overall health within your body. And again, the earlier that you can find this out, the more opportunity that you have to make some improvements.

[00:14:34] So finding out when you’re a hundred, that your biological age is 90, probably really isn’t a big surprise. You’re living that long, finding that out at 50. To say it’s actually older than I am. Boy, I really I’m really getting behind here, but the good news is I have years to catch up. So the more, the earlier you can get on to this and start to work on it, the more opportunity, and these things are slow moving over time.

[00:15:00] This isn’t like getting over a head cold is going to be a week to 10 days and you’ll be feeling fine. These are the things that, that are lifestyle habits and lifestyle changes that impact your body over a period of weeks and months. But again, the good news is the biomarkers change relatively quickly.

Hanh Brown: [00:15:19] That’s the key word, right? Because it takes months to years to form a habit. Then it takes just as long, if not longer to break a habit, don’t give up. If it’s not where the numbers or the span that you’re your, see, don’t give up,

Scott Fulton: [00:15:33] set yourself a goal. And again, if you can do this way, any program where you’re doing it with others is always going to be easier, but set yourself a near term goal and midterm goal and a longer-term goal and work to hold yourself against it.

[00:15:47] Yeah, there’s no point beating. If you’re beating yourself up over it every day. There’s some other things that you need to step back and think about, but it’s really important to have goals. It’s really important to recognize none of this is about living. Perfect. So that’s true because we’re imperfect.

[00:16:04] We are human. We are imperfect. It’s not an excuse to always go get chocolate every day, if that’s our vice or ice cream, but at the same time, Yeah, we have to be tolerant that we’re in situations or there’s, you know, at birthday cake, it’s my goodness. It’s your birthday. And you don’t wanna have a birthday cake because you know that that’s not reasonable.

[00:16:24] We don’t need to go to that extreme to make it’s, to make inroads. It’s really the habits that we form every day that accumulate that little bit over time, that in time make a difference. So I look at it too, as an investment in your health. So if you were to advise a one of your children or grandchild to say, If you put a little bit in the bank, starting very young, that compounds and really starts to meet, be meaningful in years down the road.

[00:16:51] Everything you need to do and your health is exactly the same. So if we adapt or adopt an investment attitude around our health, we don’t necessarily see the near-term benefits, but certainly long or mid. And long-term tremendous benefits for us.

Hanh Brown: [00:17:08] Absolutely. No. You said, uh, go to your site to find out what your chronological and lifespan is.

[00:17:14] What is the name of that site typically? What do you need to enter in? What are some of the inputs?

Scott Fulton: [00:17:19] Well, the website is a longevity Longevity advantage all one and you’ll find a tab on there for your biological age. And so it’ll list out. I think there’s six different markers that you put in there.

[00:17:35] And so when you go to get your annual blood work, or if you’re someone who’s curious and want to get it done, you can just ask your physician to order some lab tests and you go get it done. I think it’s probably about $50 worth of. Lab tests, but yeah. So again, that the CRP is going to be part of that till you keep them hemoglobin count.

[00:17:53] I don’t remember exactly which they all are off the top of my head, but th what they will come back with are, will be correlations to DNA methylation. And you don’t need to know anything about DNA methylation, other than it shows up in your blood markers as part of your blood work. So you don’t have to know anything about how.

[00:18:12] Oh, how DNA works and why that, and how inflammation works within your body to be able to get you that kind of a result. But obviously anyone who’s interested in longevity. Again, if you have some goals in mind, it’s good to have a benchmark to say, where am I today? And then come back in six months, five years, whatever, and do some checks along the way to say, how am I progressing?

[00:18:36] The beauty of doing it is we get early indications of potential health. Uh, risks that we may want to mitigate while it’s easy to do. So if I’m doctors right now, we’ll be very diligent about testing for diabetes. So we know diabetes levels are so high. The consequences of diabetes are really devastating for people, but they don’t show up until later years, but the earlier we can catch it, the earlier we reverse it.

[00:19:06] Very easy to reverse diabetes and most people if we catch it early. So there’s a great example of you will end up living longer and healthier as a result by deferring. A diabetes diagnosis. So all these things roll in. It’s not a simple black and white of which one it’ll help you. It’ll help you. It’ll help you with heart disease to pick up.

[00:19:26] So the other one I would put in on heart disease is a coronary artery scan. So it’s a CT scan. Uh, again, you’re someplace you can go in and get it yourself, which typically 75 to a hundred dollars. So it’s an x-ray of your heart. So it looks at the chambers of your heart. And what it’s looking for is calcium deposit.

[00:19:46] Great indication of heart health. So plaque deposits turn into calcium over time. They start at a very young age. They started giving younger than, than ever now because of what today’s diet looks like generally, depending on what it’s at, the calcium isn’t necessarily reversible, but heart disease itself is reversible if we catch it early enough.

[00:20:08] So again, That’s something we should go in and get done. There’s a scale that will an angstrom scale that will tell you where you are relative to where you should be against an average population. A very inexpensive it’s about a 15 minute test. You. You put a gown on lay down on the table and it cycles you through the scanner and you get a result very quickly and it will, it may surprise you and it may come back at zero and that’s, that’s great.

[00:20:34] But the point is you’ll have data to be able to make some good decisions on, do understand where you are in your health future.

Hanh Brown: [00:20:42] It sounds like, um, for a person to do this, you really need to be committed and take ownership of your health. You can’t say I’m in the dark and I don’t know what to do. There’s a lot of tools.

[00:20:54] uh, information out there. If one wants to take ownership of their health and longevity and be more proactive.

Scott Fulton: [00:21:04] Yes, there is. It is one of those things. No one will take ownership of your health for you. So you might think that your physician has ownership. They don’t right. If you don’t. No one does.

[00:21:16] And so in that regard, I would be looking for what people ask me, who should I go to as a doctor. So I would say always look for a doctor who is a member of the American college of lifestyle medicine. So a CLM doctor. So they’re going to have a more holistic view of health and are not necessarily their regular doctor.

[00:21:35] They can write prescriptions and order anything like any other doctor, but they’re going to have a more holistic view to say, You know what I think if we did this and did some things with your diet, they’re going to have a conversation with you. And the other would be a functional medicine doctor, both are very similar in their approaches.

[00:21:51] It’s, uh, it’s relatively subtle what the differences are between the two, but those would be if you’re looking, if you don’t have again, It’s part of your community. If you don’t have the right doctor, it makes taking ownership of your health more challenging. And yes, there’s great information out there, but the internet is a dangerous place.

[00:22:10] And when you have a good physician on your team, you’ll naturally get the checks and balances and not be taken in by you read something online with somebody who had a certain disease. Oh, that sounds just like what I have. We’ve all heard the stories. Um, but it is it’s your health. It’s important.

[00:22:26] Absolutely take ownership and it, boy, the chains that people have a pedicure, if someone has been through a weight loss program, The change that happens to them is just abs. It’s just so exciting to see. And as I talk about weight loss for that’s an issue for a lot of people, I said, if weight loss is your goal, you’re not ready to lose weight yet because it is so much bigger than that.

[00:22:48] It’s weight loss is the first step. To taking ownership of your health, because there will be a number of things that start to happen. And if you’re not ready for the other to live the bigger life, that’s the yo-yo syndrome. Somebody loses weight. And they thought they were done. No, you’ve only just started.

[00:23:06] And it’s a beautiful journey. Once you understand that you want to be involved, you want to be engaged, you want to be healthy. And it’s just, again, it’s asking better questions, having a deeper understanding of what it is we’re trying to do here for ourselves that allow us to do some things and you find some inspiring people out there.

[00:23:24] That’s one of the things that I try to do with longevity, vantages, too, to bring in some people it’s inspiring story to say, if they could do it, I could do it. I get cardiologists and experts in as well, but it’s important. I think to show examples of people who really have turned their lives around and it’s just that to see them, it’s just a, it’s a miracle and I to enjoy them.

[00:23:45] And I’m so happy to meet those people.

Hanh Brown: [00:23:47] It’s great. I look at this with regard to weight loss. Let’s say if a person is only driven by the number that they’re looking to lose, they won’t really. Fully reap the benefits of longevity because losing that number or reaching that number, it’s just one goal to live flourished and the longer, and the extending the quality of life.

[00:24:10] That’s that ought to be the mission. Um, losing so many pounds is certainly a step towards a bigger. Bigger vision.

Scott Fulton: [00:24:20] Yeah. And it’s for, we see that this all the time people have was the Atkins diet. And today it’s the keto diet and tomorrow will be something else. And there are many diets that help people lose weight.

[00:24:32] And that sometimes is helpful to address a disease condition that they’re trying to deal with. But at the end of the day, A whole foods. Plant-based diet doesn’t mean it doesn’t mean you have to be vegan, but you certainly want to be shifted in that direction for longevity. There is no diet in history that people have ever demonstrated longevity that doesn’t come from whole food plant-based they may have a little bit of goat milk.

[00:25:00] They may have some fish in their diet. They may have a little bit of meat from time to time, but they’d look nothing like what we would call the standard American diet. And I’d throw keto out there as the one that’s got popular because it’s hard to move people off it once they have. Had weight loss because they’re afraid it’s going to go back.

[00:25:18] Unfortunately it is one of the most dangerous diets longterm. So use it as a tool. It can serve as a tool on your journey, right? Life is a journey. And now how do I transition into the next phase of my life to really realize and take advantage of where I’ve got to today.

Hanh Brown: [00:25:35] That’s great. Very good advice. As far as the ability to slow down aging with regard to let’s say differing chronic disease, whose smart balance, uh, mind environment, diet, exercise, community.

[00:25:48] So everything that you described so far. Those are very doable and that’s how you can take ownership of differing illnesses, aging vibrantly. Do you want to add to that?

Scott Fulton: [00:26:00] Yeah, it’s a, and that’s really my focus. My background is, uh, done a lot of saves research and I’ve spent most of my time in the science community.

[00:26:08] And while I’m fascinated in the world of genetics and what that means, really my goal is to bring it down to things that people can do every day in their life. That cost. Half, potentially nothing. So, so there’s very simple choices that we can make that will have big impacts and against that taking ownership.

[00:26:28] So I’ll use an example of when we go to the grocery store, the person buying the groceries is in a huge power position. You far more important than you probably realize around the things that you put in that grocery basket. So things like the processed foods in the middle. Generally are going to be problematic.

[00:26:47] So while you’d like to bring treats home and that’s our, again, our culture is all about treats. And again, it’s not a treat when it’s every day, it’s a treat when it’s once in a while. So that would be one example of when we’re choosing our vegetables. Yeah, really, if you can, if you look at the grocery stores today, what you’re seeing is the organic sections are growing.

[00:27:08] And if you, I, I was in one recently and the rest of the whole area was empty and everybody was over in the organic section. That’s probably, I think the message is getting up to take you around COVID and things. And the reason why is that there are a number of pesticides in those vegetables. We understand what that means now and why that’s, why that becomes a risk to us.

[00:27:28] And it’s actually inherited, we pass along to our children, unfortunately, and they end up suffering more from it often than we do. So these are some choices we can make that say, well, I have a budget of whatever I’m going to spend it on quality. I’m not, I don’t have to spend more. I have a budget I can stick to my budget.

[00:27:45] The exercise thing is very doable experiment, variety. Variety is everything. Diversity is everything. Diverse foods. Don’t eat the same breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. That’s not helpful to you mix it up, mix up your exercise, invest in community. It’s not always just one friend. You don’t talk to anyone else.

[00:28:05] All of these are very easy things. Once you start to. So I say, once you understand what these five elements are and you slowly over time, start to work more and more of them into your daily routine, you very quickly see the change and I will have a. And occasionally we’ll get a note back from one of my past students.

[00:28:25] And it’s typically about a year after and they said, I took your course and it totally changed my life. I just can’t believe how different it is. It as a teacher, you don’t see it at the end of class. Everybody goes off and you don’t know what they’re going to do with it. And say, I teach adults who are.

[00:28:40] Yeah. Typically, well-educated who aren’t expecting to learn a whole lot around stuff. They thought they knew. And it’s not that it’s rocket science. It’s just, it’s undoing a lot of the things that we’ve been exposed to our whole lives. The dairy industry milk does a body. Good. We know now that. Milk really has very little value and has a lot of, uh, negative associations to it.

[00:29:01] In spite of what we may have been told for decades that doesn’t get undone, just because they heard somebody say a once, but there’s a lot of undoing to do and relearning. And if you’re willing to do that, and if you’re curious and you’re humble, And I would say, hum, humility is the baseline. If you’re not humble, you’re probably not going to make progress in any areas.

Hanh Brown: [00:29:21] You’re humble. Meaning you’re open to trying some new food and also discipline humbling or discipline is humbling because you really have to submit to all these new flavors and perhaps even spend a little bit more or less. so,

Scott Fulton: [00:29:39] yeah, I think our culture has taught us. We’re supposed to be getting wise as we get older.

[00:29:44] And so w we want to fake it til you make it. And reality is we’re being wise around things that really are, are really not so wise at all. And it, and none of us in the science community, I work with scientists, their whole career around a certain specialty to imagine telling a scientist with a 40 year career in a specialty.

[00:30:04] That all the work you did unfortunately, was based on some wrong assumptions. And that it’s actually a difference, a different method here at play. They’re not going to be open to it. We’re no different. We’ve been doing the same things for years. We do not want to accept that we were wrong for 40 years.

[00:30:21] That’s it’s human nature. So the more open we are to saying, you know what. Huh. I make mistakes every day. This is just another one, but I have an opportunity to make a, an adjustment and that one wasn’t life-changing and it turns out I discovered some other things. Most people on the diet side, once they start to make a shift, you see them get re get excited about food again, because it’s like a whole new world of places to play, but you just have to get through that, to that phase and commit to it.

[00:30:51] And if it will happen almost on its own, once you get over that hump, that’s when the fun starts.

Hanh Brown: [00:30:59] That’s it’s like a rebirth, right? It’s a restart on your life and taking ownership.

Scott Fulton: [00:31:03] Yeah. Yeah. But, but people think particularly on the diet that somehow, um, it’s eating salads all the time and that is not what, that’s not what a plant-based diet is at all.

[00:31:13] I would say. Yeah. For, if you think that it means, again, you’ve not been very humble. You would discover spices and flavors that you never even tasted before, and there will be things happen around your taste. That in a matter of weeks will shift so sodium as the great example, everybody knows about salt.

[00:31:31] So we know that salt too much salt. Isn’t good for us. And it’s really hard to avoid, especially if you travel and if you take it out of food immediately, your food tastes bland. But if you take it out and talk to somebody after they’ve done it for a few weeks, it’s like the flavor just starts to coming back.

[00:31:47] Your body will adapt to good or bad. You might as well have it adapt to good and you’ll get benefits from it.

Hanh Brown: [00:31:53] That’s true. When you cut down on salt, things just taste bland, but then over time, your taste buds kind of rebirth and it’s wow. What used to be bland? It’s actually pretty flavorful and cutting out and sweet and low or things like that too.

[00:32:08] Using alternatives like honey, raw sugar, things of that nature.

Scott Fulton: [00:32:13] Sodium I think is just a great example because it’s everywhere on the world. The only point in my life when I had high blood pressure was because of sodium because I was traveling so much. It’s so hard to avoid when you’re eating out. Which so again, eating at home is always going to be easier and that you discover with more plant-based diet is way more convenient.

[00:32:33] Uh, meals become simpler. You can do batches of things, but you’ll also discover when you have something that is, has a high level of sodium is, Oh, that’s odd. Like it really tastes awful. Um, and it’s, I can’t eat. There’s nothing. Um, self-righteous about it. It really just doesn’t taste very good. And you realize that?

[00:32:52] Yeah. That’s like food used to taste like, and I didn’t realize because you get desensitized to it.

Hanh Brown: [00:32:59] Sure, sure. Okay. Let’s talk about. Developing your own health investment plan, like you would a financial plan. So how does one do that?

Scott Fulton: [00:33:11] So you start really by taking a first look at what does doing a bit of a log of what do you do today?

[00:33:19] So what does your health profile look like? So monitored over a period of time. So things like that, a lot of, um, dieticians will have you record. What did I have for breakfast? What’d I have for lunch, and you can do that on your own for you don’t need anyone to, to walk you through that. It’s pretty straightforward, a piece of paper and in the kitchen, or to take around with you and the other would be what, what am I doing for exercise?

[00:33:42] Those would probably be the two first things. And there’s again in engineering. We know that as soon as we start to measure something, the human response is to adjust it. The mirror, the mirror act of measuring will cause you to change because you started to measure for a reason. So it said I was ready to change.

[00:34:06] So now I see a reason that I can measure performance. I want to have something to measure myself against because I want to, I like that it re it’s like getting a little gold star from, from your teacher that, Oh, good job. You did whatever every day. So as you start to see what’ll happen is that you’ll begin investing and feel a different approach to what your health is.

[00:34:26] And so you’ll start to see things like, again, your blood work. So if you do your blood panels, As part of your annual physical get cholesterol. And then you come back and measure that in six months. And that’s why you want to do measurements. Cause now I can see direct improvements, not just me feeling better.

[00:34:47] I’ve got evidence now of, um, I’ve seen, I’ve seen, for example, my cholesterol has come down by 40 points. I didn’t believe I could really change it that much. Guess what I can. And so that becomes self-fulfilling. I can now see, I can get it maybe to that level is the doctor recommended. And so I’m going to now double down on it.

[00:35:07] And so that’s how that compounds to play forward.

Hanh Brown: [00:35:12] These are measurable, uh, visual and it’s taking ownership and actually seeing results. And I think we do that for our retirement plans. Invest in stocks, real estate. All of those are very, um, tangible. We should do the same with our health, extend our longevity.

[00:35:33] Like you say,

Scott Fulton: [00:35:34] Yeah. So when I teach aging in place, it’s one of the places I really like. You spend some time on an economic model with people and say, you spend all this time around your financial investments, around watching what, where you want to have them. And watching them grow, there will be nothing in your life that will have a bigger, negative impact on your financial status than if you need intensive care.

[00:35:58] And so that depending what your insurance is, that could be health event. It could be if you need to go into assisted living at a relatively young age. So that happens, unfortunately, all too frequently, someone needs to go in at a relatively young age, but their partner doesn’t want to go in with them there that they still want to continue to live in the community.

[00:36:18] So now people can find themselves one of them in assisted living, one of the many in a house. Think about what the housing costs are alone for that. So you’ll see, we call it falling out the financial cliff. So the idea is I don’t want to spend time or money on my health and some plates, some things to make my home safe and secure for the long-term.

[00:36:38] I’m going to invest it because that’s a better place to put my money. And I’d say, I’ll walk you through and I’ll show you what a bad investment that is. There’s again, investing in your health. The more you can push your health out, the lower your total living costs will be. Right. Cause that’s all you’re doing is drawing down that all the time.

[00:36:56] And that’s what your biggest threat is to your equity is going to be a health event. So just like you, you certainly can’t have any influence when the market goes through a big adjustment, but even that will be trivial compared to what will happen if you have a health event. And that has some long-term conditions and waiting until that happens.

[00:37:19] I’m sorry, but it’s too late.

Hanh Brown: [00:37:20] Yeah. That’s a great analogy. I love it. Everything you describe, it’s more forward thinking. This is way before independent living. It’s really it all lifespan. The sooner you start, the better you’ll be off. I appreciate your time in inspiring this message to many listeners. Is there something else that you would like to share?

Scott Fulton: [00:37:42] I think I would say really for everybody is step back and choose one thing. Choose one thing that you think you can do that will make a change. Test yourself, get out of your comfort zone and just dig in a little bit more and look forward to how this might benefit me for years. And the earlier that you do that.

[00:38:03] So if you’re 40. It’s not too late, not too early. It’s not too late. If you’re 50, it’s not too early, not too late. Do it today. And you’ll immediately start to feel. Thank yourself tomorrow. You guaranteed 100%. That’s been my experience with everybody that I’ve worked with.

Hanh Brown: [00:38:20] Thank you. How can listeners get ahold of you?

Scott Fulton: [00:38:22] So best way they can reach is through longevity, We’ve got some courses that we’ll be putting up there that people can do. Some at-home learning, everyone’s familiar with zoom. So what I’ve really trying to do with that is to take what had been doing at the university in the classroom and make it available more broadly with the public.

[00:38:39] We’ve got some experts from around the country that, uh, that. That, because what we’re doing is so unique that have jumped on board and they want to be part of it. So that’s the best place to reach out. And, and we’ll, we’ll see where to go from that. I’ll do some work with workshop, with some groups and things as well.

[00:38:54] So there’s, it’s a fun space, but boy, there’s so much going on that it’s really hard to keep up, but it’s, it’s a fun time in life. I’ll tell you. I just wish I had been been at my whole career.

Hanh Brown: [00:39:05] Thank you. Thank you so much. I hope this will inspire many. It certainly has inspired me. I’m a believer it’s never too early to take ownership of your health because it isn’t just your own life that you’re affecting is your family, your loved ones.

[00:39:20] The longer you live in the longer that you can do for any kind of illnesses, you get to enjoy them.

Scott Fulton: [00:39:28] yeah, everybody wins when you get proactive.

Hanh Brown: [00:39:31] Absolutely. Thank you so much.