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How to Age Gracefully in Midlife with Susan Neal
Episode 14210th June 2024 • The BraveHearted Woman • Dawn Damon
00:00:00 00:20:27

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Dawn Damon: Hey, all you beautiful, bravehearted women. Welcome to this episode. I'm so glad that you are joining us. I'm here to help you with your bold, courageous living so that you'll find your brave, live your dreams, and conquer your mindset for midlife.

Hey, today I have a very special guest for you! My guest is an RN. She's an author. She's a speaker. She's a health coach and she has her master's in health science, an MBA. After suffering a health crisis, she began teaching and helping others learn the tools that they need so that they can reclaim their body's health, live their ideal life, their ideal weight, all the things, and her newest book, 12 Ways to Age Gracefully: How to Look and Feel Younger is now available. Please welcome to the bravehearted woman, my guest today, Susan Neal.

Hi, Susan.

Susan Neal: Oh, thanks so much, Dawn, for having me. You're just a doll!

Dawn Damon: Well, thank you for coming on and we were talking earlier before recording that our messages are so aligned for women. We both have that same passion which is to help women live bold and brave, but you don't want to just have a good mindset if your body isn't right. So it goes hand in hand, right?

Susan Neal: Yeah. I was listening to your podcast show about the five points in your book and getting that mindset and saying, Yes, I can. Yes, I can. Yes, I am. Yes, I will. Then I was thinking, Oh my gosh, your listeners, they need to get your book and get that right mindset and then get mine about. You know, how to age gracefully in the combination of the two.

Dawn Damon: Wow. Transformation. Absolutely and that's what we want to talk about today. I want to dive right into the meat of it. I want to hear a little bit about your health crisis. So tell our listener what happened to you and you have made a huge 180 in your own life.

Susan Neal: Oh, yeah. 12 years ago when I was going through menopause, I was just a train wreck. Absolutely a train wreck. So I just have compassion for those who have lost their health because I lost mine. I was 49 and I had an abscessed tooth. They didn't know it was an abscessed tooth and it just caused issue after issue.

First, it was depression, ovarian cyst, a hole in my retina, anemia, hormonal imbalance, and adrenal fatigue. I mean, over nine months, it just went on and on and on to where I could barely get out of bed. I had to have two surgeries. The one for my eye was emergency surgery. They wouldn't let me leave the facility without having a hole in my retina lasered. I was just a mess, and could barely get out of bed.

So I used my knowledge of health science and medicine. I had three different doctors and they all did as much as they could for me, but they could only bring me so far and I had to use an alternative therapies, alternative treatments to heal myself, and ultimately found I had a candida infection of the gut and I had to resolve that because I was overeating because that makes you crave sugar refined carbohydrates, or alcoholic beverages.

ll walk and not faint. Isaiah:

Dawn Damon: Yeah.

Susan Neal: Well, hopefully the show can help them and bring them hope.

Dawn Damon: I love that because, you know, honestly, when someone were to look at you right now, you are so filled with vitality. You just beam with the joy of the Lord. Your skin is beautiful. Your hair is beautiful. You have a sexy little body. I mean, I'm just saying. You're a beautiful woman and to think that if you had not advocated for yourself and really done the research, you could have been a statistic of someone who just did not age gracefully, but struggled in your health and your body.

I love how now you advocate for women, your book, 12 Ways to Age Gracefully: How to Look and Feel Younger empowers women. Listen to this list, you all. Then let's talk about it, how to boost your energy levels, how to improve your senior brain health, how to feel better about yourself, how to develop better stress management, how to fulfill your God-appointed purpose, and how to renew your vigor. I mean, who doesn't want that?

Okay, so you say 12 Ways to Age Gracefully: How to Look and Feel Younger. What are the top three?

Susan Neal: Well, we've all heard of. We've all heard of diet and exercise, but another one is the microbiome. Another one is the brain health.

A lot of us as we age, are afraid of getting Dementia or Alzheimer's and there are contributing factors some of those include low vitamin levels like vitamin D and vitamin B12 that can give you symptoms, and then there are toxins and plastics, different toxins in our environment, we must be careful of what we put on our skin. I have an app on my phone that then me can check everything that I'm using for a cosmetic to make sure it doesn't have any toxins in it. It'll give you red, yellow, or green is okay. This is fine to use in red. You do not want to use it. Because the skin is our largest organ and whatever we put on, it absorbs.

Dental health is very important to prevent dementia. If you get periodontal disease, that's a contributing factor. Even social isolation is a contributing factor to Alzheimer's and dementia. So we need to look, Oh, also heavy metals. You know, we grew up in the time when there was lead paint and we pumped unloaded gas and we have amalgams that are mercury-filled. So I've replaced all mine to get the clear nonmetal.

Dawn Damon: And you're talking about in our teeth, the killing, right?

Susan Neal: Yes.

Dawn Damon: Yes. I've heard so many people who have had mercury poisoning over the years and they, it took them forever to figure it out and almost lost their life.

One friend of mine with deep depression and all of the poisons, I want to go back a minute and maybe you want to comment on that too, but you said microbiome. I think that's not something a lot of people understand. Sometimes when we feel bloated or there's a lot of acid reflux, that is stomach pain. Could that be part of the microbiome?

Susan Neal: Oh, yes. So your microbiome is your environment and your gastrointestinal tract. God made a perfect balance of the different little probiotics in there, like over a hundred of them. But when we take an antibiotic, it strips our gastrointestinal tract of the good guys. Then this bad guy, like I had called candida, it's a yeast, it overgrows. That yeast, like I said, loves the sugar and the carbs, okay?

So, if your listeners are craving sugar-refined carbohydrates or alcoholic beverages, they could take a quiz that I developed called, and that can tell them if they might have this overgrowth. But what we have to do is if you've taken antibiotics sometime in the past five years, it would be good to re-inoculate your gastrointestinal tract with the God-given probiotics that are in sauerkraut and in probiotics that you can purchase from a health food store. When you go to purchase those probiotics, get one that has 10 different strains of probiotics. Then when you finish it in a couple of months, bring the same bottle back and look at the bottle and get a different bottle with six different strains, or maybe eight more strains than the first one.

Dawn Damon: Interesting. Is that to keep your body guessing so it keeps working? You don't get immune to that?

Susan Neal: No, it's because we have over a hundred different probiotics, and if you keep taking the same one, you get immune to it.

Dawn Damon: Well, what about the other 90?

Susan Neal: Oh, I see. So like, if I get on antibiotics, then I take probiotics for an entire year. I change the bottle each month. That's so wise.

Dawn Damon: Yeah.

Susan Neal: So then I've gotten over a hundred different probiotics in my gut and if you are experiencing digestive issues, bloating, a lot of times the bloating in the gas is due to lactose intolerance or dairy. So if you remove dairy from your diet for a week, see how that goes and then try it back. Or if you have the bloating and the flatulence again, well, you know, it's dairy and I can't eat dairy. So yes, it's a loss, but you can survive.

Dawn Damon: Yeah, well, you know today we don't just get to eat anything that we want anymore because All the food has been so modified from its original creation, if you will, that, you know, we don't know if we're getting toxins, hormones, all the different, you know, so many friends of mine are gluten-free, they can't have the gluten and that's you included, right?

Susan Neal: Yes.

Dawn Damon: But the trade-off is like you're saying, you feel better, you eat better. You have more energy, you feel younger. While reading your book, how does someone start this education that they need to do to figure out what's going on with their bodies?

Susan Neal: Well, if you feel as though you might have a gluten issue, I wrote the book, Solving the Gluten Puzzle: Discovering Gluten Sensitivity and Embracing the Gluten-Free Lifestyle (Reclaim Your Health) and I also created another quiz at That will lead you to the symptoms to see if you might. You're right, I'm gluten-sensitive. So when I ate gluten, I got brain fog and lethargy. I had no motivation. I was negative. I was a downer, just not, you know, happy. Then slowly I realized this and then I actually had a test for it. So that will guide you in that direction.

But for the 12 Ways to Age Gracefully: How to Look and Feel Younger, the first two chapters are all about diet and your microbiome, and it even has an area about how you can heal your gut.

Dawn Damon: So powerful. So these are really lifestyle changes, aren't they?

Susan Neal: Oh yeah.

Dawn Damon: This isn't like spending a fortune on products. We have to spend all kinds of money. This is about making small tweaks or modifications, maybe some a little bit bigger than others, but that's in our power to do, right?

Susan Neal: Oh, it is. Just, you know, adding, you know, dental cleanings, get a, you know, one to two a year, you know, checking your cosmetic products, right? Buying a probiotic. Yes, about processed foods versus non-processed, I try to make it simple about diet. Look at your plate. Is the food on the plate, did it come out of a garden or off of a ranch? If it did, Eat it. If it has been shredded and put into a shape and a different color, and you don't know what type of food it was before. Don't eat it.

Dawn Damon: Well, that's very good advice. I mean, just like eating God's food. I mean, that's so basic, right? But how often do we just indulge in food and we don't really know where it is or where it came from? But so that makes you think is food alive or is it dead, right? Is that how you put it?

Susan Neal: Yeah, so like, you know, spaghetti noodles or pasta, you know, or white flour, that can sit on your shelf, on the grocery shelf for months, for months, and, you know, rodents won't even eat it.

Dawn Damon: Yeah.

Susan Neal: I've thrown bread outside on the front porch, and ants won't even eat it. There's no nutritional value.

Dawn Damon: Wow and they're sensing that. That's incredible. Well, as you talk about your book, there are other things that you might bring up in there. Like we, you did also mention exercise and I know that's one that we can all think about, but how many of us are really moving our bodies in powerful ways that keep us, you know, somebody once said, if you rest, you rust. And boy, have we found that to be true at the 50 and beyond age. What about exercise?

Susan Neal: Well, what I found the secret to exercise. is do something you love. I love swimming. I live in Florida, so I have a pool. So from May 1st through October, sometimes I swim in my pool twice a week. I first start out with just 10 laps because I'm going to start out slow and then I go to 11 and then I go on up to 15 and then slowly until probably by the end of July, after three months of doing this, I can get to 20 laps. So I want to go slow. I want to do something I love. Someone else may enjoy walking, you know, someone may enjoy tennis. Do what you love.

Dawn Damon: Keep your body moving and that's good for all of you. I mean, it's good for your brain. It's good for your body. It's good for your psyche, you know, our attitudes. But there's one last thing that when I think about staying youthful, maybe we don't connect these two, but a vibrant spiritual life, knowing our purpose in God that keeps us, right.

Susan Neal: Yes, finding that divine purpose, you know, and for me, other than, you know, raising my children for that 25 years, my divine purpose, I really founded in being a Christian author. So, find your divine purpose.

People may go and, you know, work as a volunteer at a hospital, just delivering patients or doing, you know, whatever they are, they might go to an assisted living facility, or they may go to a church and work with the youth or in the nursery with those babies. Find that divine purpose. When we're in our senior years, we usually have more time. God has given all of us a mission, all of us a purpose, figure it out, and fulfill it. And when you work on being healthy, you can fulfill it better.

Dawn Damon: Yes, that's so well said and kind of a good place for us to bring this to a conclusion, but it's all entwined, isn't it? We, our health with our mind, our body, our soul, and our spirit, it's all connected. It's all interconnected. So the beautiful thing about it is that we very often have control over almost all of those domains, at least we have a good amount of control, and we can make those choices. And we can take care of our bodies.

Susan Neal: Yes. I think the last chapter in my book is about healthy habits and incorporating those healthy habits into your life as you have with your morning 6:06 am, right?

Dawn Damon: Yes. Absolutely. Yeah, the 606 rise method. That's exactly what we do. We move towards healthy habits that little bits over time incrementally bring us to the destiny that we want. That's a good point too, that we don't have to do everything overnight all at once. We can make those baby steps, right? Just start making those small tweaks and you'll live God willing more vibrant, healthier, younger, and just that happiness, content, and satisfaction.

My guest today is Susan Neal. She's coming to you with her brand new book, 12 Ways to Age Gracefully: How to Look and Feel Younger There it is. Look at the beautiful cover and that's you on the cover.

Susan Neal: Yeah, this is me at 57 and my mother-in-law at 87.

Dawn Damon: Oh my goodness. Well, she's the epitome of that. You look beautiful. Both of you. Thank you for sharing that today. We have your social media things that we'll put in the notes, but if someone's just listening to the audio, where can they find you?

Susan Neal: At my website, That's the letter SUSANUNEAL dot com.

Dawn Damon: Wonderful. Any final words to our women who are listening today?

Susan Neal: Be sure and drink lots of water. Half your body weight in water is how many ounces of water you should drink per day. So drink up. Drink up.

Dawn Damon: Good counsel. Thank you so much for being with us once again.

And hey, all of you who are listening and watching on YouTube, I'm going to leave you like I always do. Dawn Damon, your Braveheart mentor. Here is a sure moment to find your brave and live your dreams!



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