How a 72-year-old stays looking 40

November 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Anti Aging Articles, Featured

Being voted “World’s Sexiest Vegetarian” would be an honor at any age — but imagine receiving the title at 72.

We recently chatted with Mimi Kirk, recipient of this award and long time vegetarian. Not only is she beautiful, but she possesses an energy that would make people in their 30s envious.

“I wake up in the morning and feel like I’m in my 20s. I pop out of bed mentally alert and physically excellent.” According to Mimi, the secret is simple: a clean diet, packed with raw fruits and vegetables.
Mimi has been vegetarian for 40 years but in the past 3 has shifted towards more raw foods and has never felt better.
“In the first 2 weeks of going raw, my skin looked younger, my face looked younger, my teeth looked whiter.”

The basis of Mimi’s diet is drinks rich in dark, leafy greens and fruits. “I was drinking a lot of wheatgrass.”

Her blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as any arthritic pain, have all decreased. Unlike other women her age, Mimi has not experienced significant hair loss: “my hair is so thick right now!” Mimi’s own hairdresser was shocked to see her hair growing in darker when she went in for a touchup (learn more about how to reverse grays here).

Mimi’s Top Tips for Staying Youthful:

  1. Eat a clean diet full of raw foods
  2. Use natural skincare products, like Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
  3. Hold your nose and chug down that wheatgrass!
  4. Keep skin clean and exfoliate with glycerine and quality salt
  5. Stay active and social

Mimi’s story is so inspiring as it proves that it is never too late to make changes.  “I’m living proof that if you eat well, you can stay looking healthy and young, it doesn’t matter how late you start, even in your 60s and 70s.”

To learn more about Mimi, view her Facebook Fan Page, and stay tuned for her upcoming book Eat Raw, Stay Hot due out in April 2011

To learn how to go raw yourself, try going on one of our raw retreats in Blue Mountain, Ontario.

Guest Author Kristen Mehendale is a Holistic Nutritionist in Toronto, Ontario. View her website at and follow her on Twitter @HappyCellsKM.

How cumin prevents wrinkles

August 4, 2010 by  
Filed under Anti Aging Articles, Featured

The University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences at a University in India recently found that ingesting cumin immediately after being exposed to UV rays significantly prevented photoaging to the skin.

Photoaging is simply skin aging, which induces wrinkles, leathery skin, collagen damage, age spots, and cancer due to exposure to the sun.

The researchers studied what happened to the skin of mice when exposed to UV rays and then immediately ingested cumin capsules, compared with those who received a topical cream mixed with cumin. The cream did not significantly change the results; however, ingesting cumin significantly prevented the formation of lesions and other damage. (Please note that the House of Verona does not advocate the exploitative use of animals in medical testing when harm is incurred.)

Here are some of the favourite raw food recipes from the House of Verona kitchen which incorporate cumin:

Raw vegan sprouted hummus recipe


1 handful sprouted chickpeas
2 tbsp raw tahini
4 tbsp soaked sesame seeds (optional, but gives it a calcium boost)
Half a zucchini
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp hemp or flax oil
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp cumin
Sea or rock salt

Combine in a food processor [or blender, but add some water to start the process] and serve.

Raw vegan falafel recipe


1 handful sprouted chickpeas
2 handfuls soaked walnuts (any other nut or seed can be substituted)
Half an onion
1 clove garlic
Quarter bunch of parsley
Quarter bunch of cilantro
Quarter cup tahini
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp hemp or flax oil
1 tbsp cumin
Sea or rock salt

Combine in a food processor [or blender, but add some water to start the process], form into balls and serve.

Raw vegan Moroccan vegetables


Half head broccoli
1 bunch bok choy
4 stalks celery
Half head cauliflower
Handful soaked seaweed of choice (ex. wakame or arame)
4 tbsp hemp or flax oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp curry powder
1 clove garlic
Dash of your sweetener of choice
Half a handful of raisins
4 black mission figs, quartered
Fistful of chopped mint leaves
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp cinnamon

For the sauce, combine the cinnamon, cayenne, sweetener, garlic, curry powder, cumin, lemon and oil into the bottom of a large bowl and let it marinate while you wash and chop the other vegetables.

Chop the broccoli, bok choy, celery, cauliflower, mint, and figs. Throw them into the bowl along with the raisins and seaweed. Combine and serve.

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Resistance Exercise Reverses Muscle Aging

August 21, 2009 by  
Filed under Anti Aging Articles, Featured


6 months of resistance exercise training can reverse aging associated with mitochondrial impairment and muscle weakness, reports a joint study from researchers at the Buck Institute for Age Research in California, McMaster University’s Department of Pediatrics and Medicine in Canada, and the Center for Genetics, Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute in California.

When we age, our skeletal muscle atrophies, meaning that a decrease in muscle mass is experienced. This is also known as sarcopenia.

Much evidence shows that a main cause of sarcopenia is mitochondrial dysfunction inside cells. (Mitochondria are the cell’s “power plants” as they generate cells’ chemical energy.)

Researchers took skeletal muscle biopsies from 25 healthy older and 26 younger adult men and women and compared them with gene expression profiling.

14 of the older adults had muscle samples taken before and after a 6-month resistance exercise-training program.

Before exercise, older adults were 59% weaker than younger adults, but after 6 months of training, strength improved significantly such that they were only 38% weaker than young adults.

“As a consequence of age, we found 596 genes differentially expressed.” (To learn more about gene expression, watch this TED video from Dr Dean Ornish on how Your Genes are Not Your Fate).

Prior to the exercise training, a large enrichment of genes associated with mitochondrial function with age was seen.

However, following exercise training, aging was markedly reversed back to that of younger levels for most genes that were affected by both age and exercise.

Researchers concluded that mitochondrial impairment and muscle weakness in healthy older adults can be partially to substantially reversed with 6 months of resistance exercise training.

The best way to start a resistance training program is to partner with a certified personal trainer. This way, they can observe your movement and correct improper alignment, in order to prevent injury and ensure that you see results.

At the House of Verona, we work with Adam Mogelonsky, who is by far one of the most qualified personal trainers in Toronto. He has a degree in Life Sciences from Queen’s University, and can be reached at 647-448-2326 or


Melov S, Tarnopolsky MA, Beckman K, Felkey K, Hubbard A (2007) Resistance Exercise Reverses Aging in Human Skeletal Muscle. PLoS ONE 2(5): e465. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000465

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