Latest And Greatest Health Finds of August 2017 (Plus Noteworthy Throwbacks)

Latest And Greatest Health Finds of August 2017 (Plus Noteworthy Throwbacks)

Anti-Aging / Longevity

  • Gratitude is one of, if not the best anti-aging emotions even at a telomere-shortening mitigating level.

Biohacks

  • Heat Therapy

    • “Saunas are being used by some doctors to stimulate the release of toxins from the bodies of their patients. They have found that a lower temperature (105º-130ºF) sauna taken for a longer duration is most beneficial. These low temperatures stimulate a fat sweat, which eliminates toxins stored in fat, as opposed to the high temperature sauna, which encourages a water sweat.”
    • Sauna is best after exercise vs before.
    • Avoid depletion during sauna: Celtic Sea Salt Electrolyte Powder Mix
    • Support for niacin and sauna detox: http://saunadetoxprogram.com
  • Intermittent Fasting

    • Fasting optimizes repair. Longer fast (2-4 days) offer an order of magnitude more autophagy than standard 16-8
    • Fasting increases growth hormone, which is inversely tied to insulin (from eating).
  • Cold Therapy

    • Cold therapy right after training blunts hypertrophy. Better to wait an hour after training. Heat therapy is better after training.
  • Miscellaneous

    • Get sunlight as early in day as possible.

Breathing

Chemical / Toxin Mitigation

  • Great air purifier: airdoctorpro.com
  • Ozone and UV light generator to clean pool instead of Chlorine
  • Think Dirty app: scan cosmetic products for their toxicity/chemical level
  • Dr. Mindy Pelz: Knowledgeable resource

Dental Care & Hygiene

  • Add hydrogen peroxide to Waterpik water for killing of bacteria (can replace flossing).
  • Reverse cavities naturally
    • Fermented cod liver oil
    • Vitamins D
    • Vitamin K
    • Coconut oil pulling

Emotional and Mental Health

  • Here’s what brain research says will make you happy:
    • Ask, “What am I grateful for?” No answers? Doesn’t matter. Just searching helps.
    • Label those negative emotions. Give it a name, and your brain isn’t so bothered by it.
    • Decide. Go for “good enough” instead of “best decision ever made on Earth.”
    • Hugs, hugs, hugs. Don’t text — touch.
  • In their fascinating study “Would you be happier if you were richer?”, published in Science, Princeton professors Alan Krueger and Daniel Kahneman, winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize for his work in behavioral economics, found that perhaps the best indicator of happiness was frequency of eating with friends and family.
  • Unseen Therapist – Gary Craig 
  • Tension, Stress, Trauma Release: Watch the 8-minute Tremors video on T.R.E.’s official website to see how it works.

Essential Oils

  • Oregono oil drink diluted to kill bad bacteria and help heal gut. Honey and oregano oil only kill bad bacteria.

Mobility / Posture: Muscle, Joint and Skeletal System

Naturally Increase Testosterone

Nutrition

  • Supplements

    • Vitamin B-Complex Caps. This covers all of your bases for the B vitamins. These pills are free from common allergens, like soy, yeast, barley, wheat, and lactose.
    • Clean Chlorella and Spirulina: ENERGYbits
    • Krinos Mastic gum to help stave off hunger during fasting and for stomach health
    • Take Organifi (or greens powder of choice) 2x/day once per day, once in morning first thing on empty stomach, then in middle afternoon after lunch for optimal results
    • Restore 4 life to heal gut and fight against glyphosate
    • NSF database to check which supplements are certified. Most rigorous supplement certification.

Self-Quantification / Testing / Wearables

From Zero to Shredded and Cancer-Free Hero: Intermittent Fasting How-To

From Zero to Shredded and Cancer-Free Hero: Intermittent Fasting How-To

This headline is a bit ‘punny’ because the bigger takeaway is the app Zero that I’ve been using to aid in my intermittent fasting journey.  Intermittent fasting, or time-restricted eating, has a growing body of research validating a whole host of benefits ranging from body recomposition, human growth hormone production, to purging cancerous cells. Regardless of your health goals, I’m confident you’ll find something on the benefits menu appetizing enough to give it a shot. Let’s run through the 80/20 of what you’ll need to capitalize on this free health hack.

PICK A PROTOCOL

Anything past 12 hours of fasting yields some benefit, but the two recommended protocols are:

  1. 16-hour fast, 8-hour eating window – 7x/week (enshrined by LeanGains, the unofficial godfather of intermittent fasting for physique transformation).
  2. 24-hour fast, 1-2x/week

The former is better and more lifestyle friendly.

ASSEMBLE YOUR MOTIVATION FOR COMPLIANCE

Dr. Rhonda Patrick has as of late been touting the benefits of intermittent fasting, but prevention (i.e. thwarting off cancer) is not the best way to motivate people to action, as any marketer will tell you. The immediate benefits of HGH production and hormone optimization result in the body transformations to which many can attest. Don’t take my word for it, let’s listen to what Wolverine has to say.

STAVE OFF HUNGER

There will be an adjustment period, like anything else. Don’t let it deter you. Common hacks to pierce through that 30-minute hunger strike are coffee and/or sparkling mineral water. If you can raw dog it, more power to you, but keep the calorie-free liquids flowing.

TRACK YOUR PROGRESS

I’ve tried baking intermittent fasting into my routine so that I simply break my fast a noon daily, but I find that to be unrealistic if you’re serious about the 16-8 protocol. Allow yourself some flexibility of when you finish eating at night. So if you happen to finish dinner at 9 pm, for instance, you’d have to remember to break your fast the following day at 1 pm. But does “remember” sound like life optimization to you? In response, I (or Kevin Rose, rather) bring to you Zero, the 100% free and simple AF app to help you track your intermittent fasting, You can customize it to any protocol and it will even notify you when it’s time to stuff your face.

A NOTE FOR THE LOVELY FEMALES

Intermittent fasting is considered “eustress,” meaning a beneficial stressor to the body that makes you stronger thereafter, similar to physical exercise. When taken in aggregate, your body registers the additional stress, “healthy” or not, as simply more stress. Lifestyle factors such as environmental, mental/emotional, and work stress can compound rather quickly, rendering intermittent fasting less advantageous. Specifically, women can run into menstrual cycle issues when taking fasting past their body’s threshold (also common for female athletes/fitness enthusiasts who push it to the extreme). Bottomline: listen to your body and adjust accordingly, always. If you’re not in fact lovely, but female, this still applies (though exceedingly unlikely by virtue of you reading my blog).

 

Is intermittent fasting one of the most potent free health interventions? Is becoming Wolverine our now shared primary goal in life?

Unlocking the Gates of Mindfulness Through The Power and Benefits of Nasal Breathing

Unlocking the Gates of Mindfulness Through The Power and Benefits of Nasal Breathing

I stumbled upon what’s called the Buteyko method years ago when my friend told me he swore by it as the ultimate panacea to his anxiety, back pain, you name it. Buteyko method is essentially retraining your breathing patterns to combat chronic over-breathing attributed to our sedentary, hunched-over sitting culture. From that, we lose our natural diaphragmatic breathing and move toward the less healthy and metabolically inefficient chest breathing. The Buteyko method revolutionized my perception of breathing’s importance and the fact that apparently, I was doing it wrong my whole life. It was a lot to handle to find out your lifelong belief was wrong (reminding me of the scene below); I didn’t realize there was a HOW to breathing, I just took it for granted that it was more of a binary pass/fail situation.

There’s a growing consensus suggesting that nasal breathing is better for you that mouth breathing, for various reasons from better blood oxygenation to increased nitric oxide production during workouts. Sleeping, walking, or working out, it appears you’re better off breathing through your nose. 100% nasal breathing during exercise is challenging, particularly during high-intensity workouts or sprints. It’s an adjustment that you can make though, as I have done it. If it’s not embarrassingly obvious to you already, if I can accomplish something, you really have no excuse.

The issue is, developing new habits can be an arduous process; consistency and motivation often dwindle. Learning how to hack your motivation for something is your best bet. For instance, I am more motivated by the fitness and health benefits of nasal breathing than I am by the anxiety-reducing and calm of mind promises of mindfulness. Like most things, we know what we’re “supposed” to do, but we still don’t do them for whatever reason.

“If information was the answer, then we’d all be billionaires with perfect abs.” – Derek Sivers [BRIAN: This begs the question if there’s any use in this blog.]

The “hack” here is using the habit formation process for nasal breathing of constantly coming back to your breath throughout the day as a vehicle for increased mindfulness. Coming back to breath or any part of your body is an opportunity to pause and ingest the present moment, i.e. mindfulness. In effect, you’re killing two birds with one stone, but using your interest in killing the first bird to enable killing the second. Morbid, but hopefully intelligible.

The meta-lesson here is figuring out what motivates you, and how you can leverage that get to the other tasks on your list that have fallen by the wayside. I’m giving you 7 puzzle pieces to a 400-piece self-improvement set. Or do you think it’s closer to 3, or 30 pieces? Let me know below!

 

How Bad Is Your Fish Oil? (And How to Find the Best)

How Bad Is Your Fish Oil? (And How to Find the Best)

It was a truly disheartening and tragic day when I found out my go-to, widely recommended fish oil brand (Green Pasture Fermented Cod Liver Oil) is apparently rancid. Rancid in the oil world is precisely defined as a colossal waste of money and an atrocity to your health. In god we trust, all else bring data, so here is the report if you care enough to read it (likely not if you’re a true Leveragist): Hook, Line & Stinker: The Truth About Cod Liver Oil.

Here’s a piece from the report:

“Lab tests indicate the Green Pasture Fermented Cod Liver Oil is rancid; putrid; low in the fat-soluble vitamins A, D and K; apparently diluted with a trans-fat containing vegetable oil — and not even from cod. We have reliable reports that the X-Factor Gold Butter Oil comes from Argentina, not the Great Plains, and it tests rancid as well. And contrary to Green Pasture’s advertising, Dr. Weston A. Price’s own words make it clear that these are not products he would ever have endorsed.”

If you’re in the health world at all, you’ve likely heard of Green Pasture. If not, who cares, that’s why you’re reading a watered down blog like this one. What happens when one of the most widely recommended and marketed fish oil brands turns out to (potentially) be less than it claims?  We learn, we adjust, and we only go with brands meeting the highest levels of certification.

I don’t have any allegiance/affiliation with any brand, but if you consume fish oil of any kind, with all it’s wonderful, science-backed health benefits, you owe it to yourself to verify that you’re getting a non-rancid/oxidized, mercury and toxin-free supplement. There are two ways to accomplish this.

Supplement Independent Analysis & Review Sites

The first, less robust way is to leverage sites like LabDoor to get a stack ranking of several brands, with their respective rankings on label accuracy, product purity, nutritional value, ingredient safety, and projected efficacy. These sites aren’t perfect, but LabDoor is the best I’ve found, and it doesn’t heart to cross-verify your purchases with this site. They go well beyond fish oil, so you may use them for the most popular forms of supplements, ranging from BCAAs, creatine, probiotics, and now even dark chocolate and green tea! Look at that, a supplement review site that doesn’t know the definition of supplement! Kidding…I love that they are expanding constantly into all popular health inputs.

Third Party Certifications

The gold standard for supplement quality assurance is to verify that they have the valid 3rd party supplement testing certifications. The gold standard of that gold standard is the NSF Certified Dietary Supplements. If you were hyper-diligent, you could use their database to check if the brand (field: manufacturer) you’re using is certified with NSF. Carlson is another popular fish oil that I’ve used and was dismayed to find it lacking here. Positive note: not all brands that aren’t certified are necessarily low quality, but all brands certified are reliably high quality – basically.

My Recommended Fish Oil

If you’ve tired yourself checking the review sites and certification databases before even commencing, you’re not alone, and there’s a final solution: find someone else who took the time to do so. Thanks to the steadfast diligence of Dr. Rhonda Patrick, I happen to know a brand that passes the NSF certification test: Nordic Naturals. She also happens to make me feel dumb listening to her, and I like those kinds of people.