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 the 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

  • Oregano 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?

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.

Your Environment Simplified: 6 Things to Consider That Could Be Make or Break Your Health and Hormone Balance

Your Environment Simplified: 6 Things to Consider That Could Be Make or Break Your Health and Hormone Balance

Male fertility has dropped all over the Western world. Sperm counts have fallen by half between the 1930s and 1990s and an additional third since 1904. If you’re buying and using normal, conventional products and taking life as it’s handed to you, you’re surely doing your health a deep disservice. If you’re looking at health through the narrow lens of food, diet, and sleep, let’s broaden your aperture.

I often complain/exaggerate that health is a full-time job, and this article will help elucidate that belief. Everything you come in contact with affects your health, for better or for worse. Common sense for most, but most aren’t properly accounting for everything they come in contact with. Let’s review the big hitters. Use this as a checklist to see where you may fall short and adjust accordingly.

Without it, you could be messing up your hormone balance and taxing your body’s detox system if you’re still using the run-of-the-mill crap out there.

Air (Indoor & Outdoor)

Both indoor and outdoor air quality plays a massive role in your health. Avoid busy, traffic-congested streets as much as possible (or at least live a fair distance from the heavy traffic and pollution areas). If that sounds too impractical then (reconsider, and) start with some easier wins: a high-quality air purifier and some indoor plants. Most furniture and upholstery contains formaldehyde, fire retardants, and other toxic chemicals that off-gas into your living environment – a no-go for your health.

Indoor Houseplants

Solution? Drape your house with plants. The Spider Plant and Peace Lily are effective for absorbing these toxins, but really kind any will do – at least that’s what my friendly neighborhood houseplant seller told me. I love plants because you only have to give them some water attention once a week and they’ll still love you.

indoor plant, houseplant

Air Purifier

A nice couple with your indoor nature-fest is a high-quality air purifier. HEPA is always a bare minimum. Beyond that, recommend brands are IQAir, Blueair, Austin Air, and AllerAir. Trust me, I’ve done my research, or at least someone else has and I leveraged their hard work. Keep one of those bad boys running in the background and you’ll be golden-er.

Breath

Take stock of how you are breathing. Ideally, you are breathing through your belly/diaphragm, versus your chest. If you’re diligent enough to do some slow, deep breaths as a form of meditation, focus on slowing down the breath hold and exhale. Simply put, the more you can prolong the exhalation, the better your body is able to detox itself via breathwork. If you find yourself sneezing after 5-10 mins of slow, deep, diaphragmatic breathing, you’re doing it right as your body is detoxing itself. This is baked into my morning routine for at least 10 mins a day. If you don’t have 10 mins, you don’t have a life. What if you have 10 mins but you still don’t have a life?

Sun

If you’re pounding the vitamin D and think you are good here, don’t let your eyes glaze over this section. Vitamin D, as with magnesium, is one of the power cofactors affecting so many of your metabolic functions that you’d be sorely remiss to miss this one. Beyond vitamin D, science is now proving that there are measurable benefits that you can only receive from direct sun exposure, as opposed to just taking a vitamin D supplement. Boosting mood, energy, and hormone balance/production, be sure to get at least 20 mins of sunlight, or stock up while it’s available to you.

sun, tanning, vitamin d

Water

As per usual, the process towards better health begins with elimination. Eliminating the chlorine, fluoride, VOCs (volatile organic compounds), and heavy metals in water is a worthy investment. These substances will drain your energy and tax your liver. We live in a toxic world and you’d be hard-pressed to avoid everything sabotaging your health, so the idea is to limit your exposure as much as realistically, still-have-a-life, possible. Brita won’t cut it here, though it will help with the chlorine.

A reverse osmosis water filter system is your best, most practical solution. I was fortunate enough to have a friend help me install the under-sink version, but if you don’t have a friend/handyman available, I recommend the Aquatru Countertop Water Filter. Quality you can afford, and install via not having to install anything.

If you really want to go the full nine, you can also get a shower filter as well since your skin absorbs the same toxic chemicals and substances in your shower water.

Chemicals & Toxins

The short answer is everything you come in contact with (touch, breathe, smell, and taste), has the potential to harm you. We’re at the point where there are pharmaceutical compounds in our drinking water from people pissing out all the prescription drugs we taking – ‘Merica at it’s finest. We either need to stop urinating or stop taking so many drugs, and I’m uncertain which could happen first. It may feel overwhelming initially, but once you buy and use the right natural products, it’s literally zero extra time to your day to manage this.

I provided you with a headstart on which healthier natural products to use for your home and bathroom care here, but if you want to dig through it yourself by checking your current products and comparing them with healthier alternatives, I recommend these resources:

Social

We’re wired to be social creatures, but more interesting to me, your social relationships greatly dictate your health. Social pain activates the same brain circuitry as physical pain, so think twice the next time your ego gets in the way of forgiveness or resolving issues in your relationships. The Blue Zone centenarians (people in pockets of the world with abnormally high longevity) all have social, family, and community as a big part of their daily lives. Instant messaging and phone calls won’t suffice, so go for the real, raw, and untamed.

If you have that energy vampire you need to cut from your life, now’s the time. Go find someone you at least marginally like and give them a hug, as it releases oxytocin. Connect deeply like your life depends on it because it does.

 

Hopefully this expands your awareness and understanding to better empower you to take control of your health and environment. Take stock of every person, place, or thing you come in contact with and make the simple tweaks in your favor. Most of the items listed above are set-it-and-forget-it solutions, so I encourage you to start chipping away. Post below if you have any questions, save for how to set up a reverse osmosis water filter system. Much love, more thanks.