Dr. Ruth Heidrich: “My friends…they too thought I’d fallen into the hands of a quack, and that I’d come to my senses soon. But no; I was more convinced than ever.”
Almost anyone can be healthy at 20 and build enough fitness to run a Triathlon if they’re willing to work hard enough.
But what about at 81? What sort of diet and lifestyle regimen does it take the preserve enough of your body’s functionality and mental capacity so that you can still suit up for the starting line in your eighth decade of life?
In today’s podcast I talk to Dr. Ruth Heidrich, who’s run more than 60 marathons and triathlons and taken home more than 1,000 medals, held three world fitness records for her age group, was once voted among the top 10 fittest women in North America, and accomplished most of this after beating cancer of the breast, bone, and lung.
In the interview we talk about the singular dietary strategy she used to beat cancer and fuel her athletic pursuits, as well as:
- How she’s aging physically and mentally in comparison to her peers.
- Beating cancer, arthritis, and building her bones.
- What keeps her enthused about life at 81.
- The heavy opposition and derision she faced when she upgraded her diet in the 1980s.
- What she eats on a daily basis.
- What daily training looks like for an 81-year-old triathlete.
If you’re not interested in the whole interview, you can skip around to the specific topics you’d care to hear about with the show notes list below.
Subscribe and download the podcast episode on Itunes here.
Selected Links From The Episode
Dr. Ruth’s Books:
- A Race For Life: Dr. Ruth’s story about beating cancer and thriving athletically.
- Senior Fitness: Ruth’s exercise and diet strategy for thriving as we get older.
- Lifelong Running: Running destroys your joints? Women shouldn’t run? Ruth takes on commonly-believed running myths.
- The Chef Cook/Rawbook: An ebook with Dr. Ruth’s favorite recipes.
Dr. Ruth’s website.
4:51 How Dr. Ruth got diagnosed with cancer and decided to eat a vegan diet instead of getting chemo.
10:45 – How her family adapted to her changing diet
12:30 – What Ruth Heidrich’s initial diet change looked like
12:45 – How quickly the improvements came
13:50 – Ruth Heidrich’s sudden interest in triathlons.
15:13 – Deciding to become the oldest triathalon racer, the only one fighting cancer, and prove a vegan diet could work for athletic performance.
16:20 – What fellow athletes thought of her vegan diet
16:43 – Her prior meat and cheese-centered diet
17:39 – Ruth Heidrich’s Improved athletic performance on a vegan diet
18:30 – Fitting training into her work day.
19:36 – What happened to the tumor in her lung
21:06 – Why she never cheated on her diet
21:49 – When did she notice the first effects of her diet change
23:12 – Vegan diets vs cancer and The China Study
24:10 – How has Ruth Heidrich’s brain has been aging compared to her peers.
26:28 – Dr. Ruth’s meditation practice
28:55 – The Evolution of Ruth’s exercise regime over time
24:22 – How she came to write “Senior Fitness.”
35:30 – Her current fitness program
36:53 – Her daily mini triathalon
38:36 – How many hours she spends exercising every day
39:07 – The energy her diet gives her
40:12 – How she stays engaged and excited about life at age 81.
42:39 – On converting her children and grandchildren to veganism without being preachy.
46:24 – How she ditched her arthritis
50:17 – Does Ruth have osteoporosis?
52:12 – Reversing osteoporosis for those already with it.
57:36 – Why Dr. Ruth doesn’t have anyone to run against.
58:20 – Her raw vegan diet
1:00:00 – Does she eat breakfast?
1:00:50 – What does she eat at lunch?
1:02:10 – How many calories does Ruth Heidrich eat?
1:03:15 – Why 20 year olds need to start thinking about aging well.