Grow Younger, Live Longer is an update on Ageless Body, Timeless Mind. The authors describe the Ayurvedic principles (practiced in India for many hundreds of years) of self-healing in a more detailed and understandable way than in any of Dr. Chopra's earlier books. Long-time practitioners of Transcendental Meditation will find little new in the book. Those who do not meditate now will find the book an easy, comfortable way to begin mind-body integration in ways that will probably help physiological and psychological health.
The authors argue that by forming ten new habits (by following the recommended practices for at least 10 weeks), you can "reset your Biostat (your biological or functional, age) up to fifteen years younger than your chronological age." Your Biostat is determined by various measures of your body's functioning, as compared to the average of people of the same sex and age. That point is not proven, however, in the text of the book. Many references care made in the notes. I am aware of studies done by practitioners of Transcendental Meditation that show such effects, which may be part of what the claim is based on. Some scientists have criticized the studies for potential bias because practitioners conducted almost all of the studies. The authors are not recommending TM, but rather other versions of meditation. Some nutritional and relationship studies have shown reversals of such biological markers.
You are encouraged to psychologically reframe aging to "an opportunity for greater wisdom, love, creativity, meaning, joy, and increased mental and physical capacity." "The real purpose of the book is to remind you, the reader, that this deeper reality, the domain of pure potentiality of spirit, is who you really are." "To know a person's body in the future, examine their experiences now." This sort of writing will remind you that Dr. Chopra likes to use Quantum physics as a metaphor for explaining the potential benefits of spiritual practices....
I also found much more scientific explanation here than in his earlier books about why these changes should be helpful. These were most detailed in the nutrition and exercise sections. The recommendations were explained in enough detail that I think that most people could understand and follow them. You will also find at least half of these food, water, and exercise recommendations in the better health books. The emphasis on spiritual and pscyhological practices is much stronger here. A good book on the importance of love from the scientific perspective is Dr. Dean Ornish's Love and Survival. The book also ends with a long section of vegetarian recipes from various cuisines (Thai, Chinese, Italian, Mexican, French, American, and Middle Eastern) for seven sample menus. These have fairly extensive lists of ingredients, and you may need to buy some provisions you don't have now. Tamari sauce is a good example of something that is not present in many American larders.
This book will probably be most appealing to a retired person who finds her- or himself feeling disconnected from a meaningful purpose. The practices here would be most helpful in that situation, and a retired person would have the time to take on the many new habits suggested here. Although middle-aged people with children at home would feel like they could never take the time to do these things, they would probably benefit even more from the stress reduction that these practices could bring.
I would also enourage you to learn about practicing TM. With that change, you would probably find it easier to make these other changes that Dr. Chopra suggests. Most cities have TM centers where you can locate a teacher. You can go to introductory sessions at no charge. The yoga in this book will make a nice complement to your meditation practice.
Take life's unexpected events less personally and with more curiosity!
The supposed scientific criticism of this book is based on the arrogant assumption that spiritual realities have little connection to or impact on our physical well-being. Heck, if we can't detect it with all our new fangeled toys, it doesn't exist! Give me a break. Does anyone believe that all of our modern scientists put together have discovered all of the dimensions of reality?! You can't even put them all together without starting a civil war of differing perspectives.
Chopra's prescriptions for health and longevity are based on both spiritual and scientific realities and he has expertise in each of these disciplines. After 31 years of spiritual ministry, much of it done in the world of health care, I advise you to not let the "smarty pants" M.D.'s and Ph.D's scare you away from this valuable health resource.