Kathryn Boling, M.D., worked as a nurse for 30 years before enrolling in medical school at the relatively advanced age of 49. Her marriage had fallen apart—she was grieving—and she made up her mind to pursue the dream she’d pursue “if money and age were not a factor.” Today, at 58, Boling’s a family physician with Lutherville Personal Physicians—and thanks to her commitment to (mostly) healthful eating, strategic supplement-taking and rigorous physical and mental exercise, she’s one of the most youthful people I know—who better to get anti-aging advice from, right?
How did supplements help your high-level study process?
At the age of 49, I needed something to help my brain and memory! I took a multivitamin, vitamin C, fish oil, vitamin E (I have since stopped) and a B complex vitamin.
What do you take now and why?
A multivitamin: Like most people, I do not eat foods that contain all the necessary vitamins and minerals every single day, and the multi helps make up the small deficits. Vitamin D (2000 IU): In Baltimore, our sun is too far from the equator for us to metabolize vitamin D the way we should to have normal levels. Plus, we cover up in the winter and use sunscreen in the summer—all of which interferes with vitamin D metabolism. Phosphatidyl serine (300 mg): for brain function. Ginkgo biloba: also for brain function. Fish oil (2000 mg): It helps decrease inflammation throughout the body as well as helps keep skin supple. Aloe vera capsules: for skin and bladder health. Magnesium (250 mg): I had heard from many of my patients that taking magnesium supplements helped decrease and even, in some cases, stop leg cramps at night. It has worked for me as well. Probiotic: to keep my digestive system healthy.
What is the No. 1 mistake Americans are making health-wise or nutrition-wise?
Drinking soda (regular or diet) and the amount of sugar we consume.
Do you believe in any certain eating plan?
I am currently following a hybrid diet of my own creation that is low in carbohydrates, no processed foods, very little sugar and a reasonable amount of calories. I feel good on this diet and am the same weight at 58 that I was at 30 (120 pounds with a 21.3 BMI).
How do you maintain good skin care?
I rarely wear make-up and wash my face with water (almost never soap). Sometimes I use a vitamin C face cream as a moisturizer and sometimes I use Retin A as an exfoliant. I also occasionally use coconut oil (from the cooking aisle) on my face, and once every couple weeks, I apply it to my hair.
What is your worst health sin, temptation or weakness?
I love Lay’s potato chips dipped in sour cream—not just a few, but the whole bag.
How do you work out?
In the warmer months, I walk outside—two to four miles a day when I have the time. I think being outdoors is good for your soul and reduces stress. I have a gym in my house, and year-round, I lift weights a few days a week.
Any final tips?
You are only limited by the boundaries of your imagination. Visualize yourself as the woman or man you want to be. Believe it is possible—and then take the steps to make it so.