The Long Life Plan, by Faye James

The Long Life Plan, by Faye James

The last few weeks have been marked with the tragedy of those who died before their time. We share a common grief at young deaths but, if we thought about it, a long life wasted is just as tragic.

The aged are revered in most Eastern cultures, whereas in Western cultures we are preoccupied not only with living a long life but, even more so, with staying young.

With a plethora of ‘self-help’ books available, it’s refreshing to see a life guide written by someone qualified to do so. Author Faye James is a food, beauty and health journalist and editor with over 20 years of experience. Moreover, this book has a ring of authenticity and wholesomeness. With constant references to the author’s childhood, it is written from the heart.

So, what is a ‘long life plan’? ‘The Long Life Plan’ deals with two sides of the life puzzle: firstly, the way to live in order to prolong life. Humankind has long sought immortality. How can we extend our life?

Many scientific studies have sought to identify the factors leading to long life. What they have found are correlations rather than causations.

Though the book’s title may signify otherwise, fortunately James makes no false claims about factors that prolong life.  Instead, she concentrates more on the second part of the puzzle: how to make the most of your life by prolonging your youthfulness of mind and body. As my 98-year-old father told me a few years ago: “Old age is all very well, but the quality of life is even more important.”

From the outset, ‘The Long Life Plan’ is a guide to taking ownership of your own well-being through self-healing. It is all about establishing good habits and routines, combining life style, exercise (such as 30-minute yoga and pilates exercises to increase strength and flexibility), beauty and skin care routines (including how to make homemade beauty products), and healthy eating guidelines and recipes (including some suitable to batch cook) to enhance your life and health.

“Being healthy isn’t about restriction,” James says, “…it’s about making the right choices.”

The foreword by Charlie Goldsmith takes wellness even further into other dimensions: mindfulness, other-centredness and spirituality (in its broadest sense): “Be kind. Keep people in your life that want the best for you. Be honest…Help people. Accept help. Listen to advice. Learn lessons. Give. Face fears. Love without expectation. Keep an open mind…” Live life to the fullest and focus on the positive. It’s a message equally as important as that written by James herself.

Beautifully styled and printed on good quality semi-gloss paper in a firm soft cover, this book contains many simple but delicious recipes.

It’s not only a book to give away, but also one to buy for yourself. Life is as much about the journey as it is about the destination.

The Long Life Plan, New Holland Publishers RRP$35.00 available from all good book retailers or online,