By peoplestaff225
Updated December 03, 2020 03:04 PM
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Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver gave himself a truly special 40th birthday present: commitment to his health and well-being.

The result? He trimmed 27 lbs. off his frame in three and a half months.

And while he followed some general rules like eating more nutritious foods, cutting back on sugar and getting plenty of exercise, it seems like the chef’s turnaround has a lot to do with two surprise elements: sleep and seaweed.

In an interview with The Sunday Times UK magazine, the Brit talks about adopting a new food and lifestyle regimen after studying nutrition and consulting with sleep experts.

“When you come to 40, you think you’ve got a while, but it’s ticking,” he said. “You start to realize that you’re half dead, so let’s get on with it. I want to get as old as possible, and to do that you’ve got to live a certain way. That’s the rules of the game.”

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The TV star – who founded Food Revolution Day and has worked hard to reform school lunches – said algae still plays a big role in his diet. “I thought seaweed was hippie, globetrotting stuff but our ancestors ate seaweed. It’s got a load of iodine and it’s the most nutritious vegetable in the world,” he recently told the Radio Times. “It’s like dynamite – fiber, nutrients, all the minerals, aids digestion – unbelievable.”

In the same interview, Oliver — who used to only get three and a half hours of sleep — also described how his sleeping habits have changed. (And with four young kids, it can’t be easy to get enough rest!)

“Sleep has become profoundly important to me,” he said. “I was never getting enough of it and I didn’t understand the value of it. And I treat it like work. Just like I do with little Buddy [his 4-year-old son]: When I tell him to get to bed, I get to bed! I have little vibrating things that shake me when it’s 10pm.”

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–Michelle Ward Trainor