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

Biohacking Simplified: 6 Health Hacks to Supercharge Your Health and Energy and Heal Your Gut

Biohacking Simplified: 6 Health Hacks to Supercharge Your Health and Energy and Heal Your Gut

Health really shouldn’t be that hard, but the human mind is wired to seek the ever-more complex solution. The final frontier is the next frontier for us. You’ve undoubtedly heard the term “biohacking” thrown around as it’s gained great momentum over the past few years, largely popularized by Dave Asprey the Bulletproof Exec. It’s basically a fancy term for Type-As experimenting with new contraptions, electrical stimulation devices, heat therapy, cold therapy, and other such widgets and practices (guilty as charged). Rather than share with you all the money I’ve wasted on biohacking products (which I’m open to doing pending request) I wanted to tease out for you the top six biohacks or health hacks that are worth your time, money, and effort.

Leading with the appropriate disclaimer, you are not obliged to do all or any of these on any consistent basis. View them as extra credit upgrades for your health, as best your time and doll-hairs permit. In fact, if you really want to get 80% of the way there simply follow these requirements:

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” – Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food

You’re much better off starting there, but if you feel like you have the foundation, let us begin.

1) Fermented Foods

Simply put, fermented foods=probiotics=improved gut health and gut bacteria=improved holistic health. You have a few options here, including homemade kombucha, sauerkraut, and kefir. Homemade requires more time but is much more cost-effective, so find your balance/preference. If making your own fermented foods is too daunting and/or you have the disposable income, make a trip to Whole Paycheck to start incorporating into your diet on a weekly basis.

sauerkraut, fermented foods, probiotic

2) Bone Broth

Bone broth raises the dead. It’s also received huge hype, but the research backs it up. From improved joint health, digestion, immunity, hair, skin, to pretty much any health benefit imaginable, bone broth delivers. Try adding to your slow cooker/Crock-Pot, or warm up and drink as a standalone. The two best bone broth vendors I’ve found for grass-fed and no added preservatives are The Flavor Chef and Kettle and Fire. If you want to price-hack Kettle and Fire, order through Thrive Market.

3) Organ Meats

Fun and tasty? No, but damn good for you. Organ meats (heart, liver, and kidney) are one of the few food sources of harder to come by essential nutrients, like vitamin A (not beta-Carotene). If you can clock in with these at least once a month, you’re doing well. The convenient thing about fat-soluble vitamins is that your body can store them up. Get your fat-soluble vitamin A for the proverbial winter. My reliable organ meat assurance plan is the beef liverwurst from U.S. Wellness Meats – a mixture of grass-fed beef trim (50%), liver (20%), heart (15%), and kidney (15%). If anyone knows how to make organ meats more palatable than lazily throwing it in a slow cooker with sea salt and pepper, I’m all ears.

4) Cold Thermogenesis

The harder the nipples, the better you’re doing it – that’s a true fact. Submerging yourself in cold for a brief period of time is a form of eustress, flippantly defined as good stress. Similar to the concept of working out, you are subjecting your body to external stressors, prompting your body to rebuild and recover that much stronger. Options for cold thermogenesis run plentifully: cold showers (most accessible); a dip into a cold pool, lake, or ocean; Cryotherapy; or pretty much any environment below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Build up to 20 mins or so for a whole host of benefits, most interesting being the development of brown fat/adipose tissue which increases your metabolism to turn you into a fat-burning machine.

5) Heat Therapy

The opposite and equivalent of cold therapy/thermogenesis. Same eustress concept, with slightly different yet still buzz-worthy benefits, like detoxification and skin purification. A dry sauna is preferred over the steam room and Far Infrared Sauna is better than the traditional dry sauna. Marginally less crazy than it sounds, if you are die-hard about your health, detoxing, and heat therapy, you can purchase your own Far Infrared sauna. Just be sure to go with a low-EMF sauna so you don’t microwave yourself with damaging electromagnetic pollution. The best I’ve found is the Clearlight Infrared Sauna. If you’d like more information on sauna and detox benefits, protocols, and options, check out the Sauna Therapy Detox Facebook Group. To prove my insanity whilst showing I practice what I preach, below is a photo of my Clearlight Infrared Sauna jammed into my San Francisco apartment – so much room for activities! Bonus tip: heat and cold therapy work well in tandem, so bounce from one to the other (i.e. sauna session straight to cold shower).

6) Nature

Grounding, earthing, forest bathing…as long as you are in some way in touch with or exposed to nature, you will reap the benefits. Science is now proving what we know to be obviously true: if you lock people in concrete and noise-polluting jungles (#citylife) their stress and cortisol rises, but going on a hike or getting in touch with nature is the simplest antidote to reverse these deleterious effects. Even smelling pine measurably lowers one’s cortisol. Free, fast, fun, go outside, find your nature, and take off your shoes.

Give a few of these biohacks a shot, and track as best your can your own improvement in energy and well-being. If there’s one life pillar to double down on, it’s your health, in my less than humble opinion.

What other biohacks or health hacks have you found to help? Let’s learn from one another.

4 Simple Steps To Get 7 Days Worth Of Kombucha In One Hour

4 Simple Steps To Get 7 Days Worth Of Kombucha In One Hour

The Health Gain

Swap “Chew Big Red” with “Drink kombucha” and I would wholeheartedly concur. Kombucha is my favorite probiotic food (I’ve bounced around making homemade kombucha, kefir, and sauerkraut) so now it’s going to be yours as well. If you’ve taken at least 5 seconds to read anything health-related in the last couple years, you would have heard about the vital importance of gut health/microbiome and probiotics. If you have delved in further than that, you would have observed the debate between probiotic supplements vs. fermented foods as to the best solution for optimizing your gut health. The answer today (to the best of my knowledge and bounded rationality) is fermented foods, so I’m going to teach you how to make kombucha, at scale, so you can have a multi-gallon supply at your disposal for the week.

The Economic and Time Gain

Most “how to make kombucha” posts/videos show you how to do it with just a regular mason jar. I’m going to assume you’re like me, too lazy or time-starved to make a new mini-brew every day or so. As with most activities, a more intelligent approach would be to batch process it. So this is about saving you time, without compromising your health gains.

What of the financial gains? this costs a little over a dollar a gallon to make it yourself. Store bought is up to $32 per gallon. This means each batch saves you about $120 each week, requiring less than an hour a week to produce.


Step 1: Required Supplies

You will need the following items to produce 4 gallons of kombucha a week. You don’t have to drink all 4 gallons a week to still benefit from the large quantities to consume at your leisure.

Glass Beverage Dispenser

It’s best to use all glass and or stainless steel vessel and parts. No plastics whatsoever are allowed. Kombucha is very acidic. Acid over a period of time will leach large amounts of plastic into your brew. This can disrupt your hormones.

I recommend a 5-gallon square glass beverage dispenser. Five gallons will net you up to 4 gallons per week or any smaller amount you want.

Spigot

You will need a stainless steel spigot. There is a common myth that says never use stainless steel with Kombucha. This is easily dispelled when you learn that most commercial brewers use stainless tanks.

Temperature Control

Professionals agree that we should brew between 74-84 degrees and ideally at 78 degrees. Most people find that a difficult to accomplish, until now. We will place the glass dispenser in a 48-quart cooler with night lights. This will prevent temperature fluctuations and will allow almost exact temperature control.

48-Quart Cooler

Thermometer

Night Lights

Extension Cord

Tea

Kombucha prefers black tea as the SCOBY (bacterial culture) is just starting to develop. Black tea is ideal for the first month or so of brewing to let the SCOBY grow. After you have an enlarged SCOBY you can wean it off of black tea and on to other healthier teas. Two types of tea each with amazing health benefits are green tea and Tulsi tea. Tulsi tea is an adaptogen (helps you fight against stressors). I recommend usingY loose tea as it is much easier to work with and is much more affordable per batch.  

Organic Sugar

Mason Jars

Kombucha SCOBY


Step 2: First Time Setup & Prep

Getting The Right Temperature

Connect the extension cord to an outlet, and add 1-3 night bulbs (play with 4, 5, and 7-watt bulbs). Place the lit bulbs and thermometer in the cooler and close the cooler lid. Wait a few hours and adjust the number of bulbs and/or wattage until you achieve 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Again, the optimal temperature range is 74-84 degrees. Professionals brew at 78 degrees for 7 Days. This will achieve the best flavor and ease of scheduling.

Installing the Spigot and Gaskets

Remove the existing plastic spigot on glass beverage dispenser. Install the stainless new spigots. Tighten with pliers or hands.


Step 3: First Brew

  1. METICS TO NOTE:
    • 2 tablespoons (TBS) of loose leaf tea per gallon of water.
    • 1 cup of sugar per gallon of water.
  2. Boil two pots of roughly 1/2 gallon water each on stove.
  3. Turn off stove once water boils.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of loose leaf organic black tea to one pot.
  5. Add 1 cup of sugar to the second pot of water.
  6. Wisk sugar water until sugar dissolves.
  7. After 5-20 minutes of tea brewing, use a strainer to pour the pot of tea into another pot to separate the tea leaves from tea.
  8. Wait another 30 minutes to let all the water cool to less than 100 degrees.
  9. Pour tea and sugar water into glass beverage dispenser.
  10. Add SCOBY to glass dispenser.
  11. Now that the glass dispenser contains all the necessary ingredients (SCOBY + sugar water + tea) fasten a paper towel or thin cloth at the top of the glass dispenser’s opening using rubber bands.
  12. Place whole glass dispenser into cooler (temperature controlled at about 78 degrees) and wait 7 days.
  13. Ideally, you will check the cooler and temperature every day or so to ensure you are still in the 74-84 degree range. Extra credit/OCD if you hit 78 degrees daily.
  14. After 6-8 days, carry glass dispenser out of cooler and drain kombucha into glass mason jars.
    • NOTE: Do not drain completely; leave a few inches of kombucha in the glass dispenser to continue the SCOBY fermentation until the next batch.
  15. Bravo! You now have 7+ days worth of kombucha and may repeat the steps above to batch for the following week (minus the adding of the SCOBY).

Step 4: Second Brew & Beyond

On your first 10 batches, you will want to gradually work your way up from 1 gallon to 4 gallons. This will allow your SCOBY to grow and your body to adapt to larger amounts of probiotics. With each brew, gradually increase the total water volume from 1 gallon to 4, keeping the tea leaves and sugar proportions in check (see METRICS TO NOTE above). 

On day 5 taste test daily for sweetness. You want a hint of sweetness and some bitter or sour. Brew until you achieve this. It usually takes 6-8 days at 78 degrees. The higher the temperature the faster the brew.  Adjust the temperature accordingly to accommodate for the convenience of making this once a week or at your preferred cadence. 

Transitioning From Black to Green or Tulsi Tea

Start with black tea for the first month. On the 5th brew or so add 1 Tablespoon of tulsi, green, or other tea of your choosing and subtract one TBS of black tea for each batch. In 8 weeks or so you will have weaned it to 100% the tea of your choice. I do 50% tulsi 50% green tea, so 4 TBS tulsi, 4 TBS green tea for the 4-gallon batch. 

A Word of Encouragement

If you made it this far, you are well on the road to gut health victory, a battle worth winning. This probably seems like a lot or somewhat complicated but you will get the hang of it after the first couple batches. Never let perfection get in the way of good enough. Post below how it’s working out for you after you’ve given it a stab. If you are a kombucha queen or king and have other tips to share, let us hear it!

 

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Top 5 Healthy Purchases On Amazon For 2017 That You Might Have Missed

Top 5 Healthy Purchases On Amazon For 2017 That You Might Have Missed

Kick off 2017 right with these semi-unique products that likely flew under your radar. They each solve a problem you may not even be aware you’re facing. These are my lead dominos to reap greater benefits, like more time or energy. Let us begin.

Mother Dirt Biome Cleanser

“Where can I find a chemical-free facial cleanser that clears up my skin without irritating it or blowing a bunch of money on pills and potions?

Solution: Mother Dirt. They are taking a whole new approach to skin: it’s not about cleaning, it’s about replacing with the right bacteria. That makes sense for your gut, why not for your skin too.

Blue Light Blocking Glasses

“How can I use my Kindle/iPad/tablet/computer at night without throwing off my circadian rhythm/sleep?”

Solution: Throw these or any similar brand on an hour or two before you go to bed. If you need further convincing from someone undisputedly cooler than myself, check out my buddy James Swanwick’s site (buddy=I met him at the Bulletproof conference last year and he wouldn’t recognize me from Adam).

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Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen 

“I don’t have time to each breakfast. How can I stave off my hunger while still improving my health?”

Solution: Add to your morning coffee or really anything. Collagen protein is tasteless and great for your hair, skin, and nails. If someone finds a catch-all word for that trio please let me know so I never have to say that again and can still maintain a semblance of masculinity. Bulletproof also offers an equally high-quality collagen protein powder, but this one is cheaper without any discernible drawbacks. Always optimizing.

Fermentation Crock Pot

“How do I jump on this probiotic health trend efficaciously, without wasting money on over-priced supplements and Whole Paycheck sauerkraut bags?”

Solution: This non-plastic, gallon size crock pot will do you justice. Throw in some chopped cabbage, sprinkle some sea salt, compress it all down, and come back in a week for an explosion of healthy probiotics. The gut microbiome plays a HUGE role in your health, so start fermenting your own foods. Kefir and kombucha are other great options, more on that later.

Mandoline Slicer

“How can I use the Crock Pot above without inventing the lengthy chore of finely chopping a pound of vegetables?”

Solution: This is the logical add-on item to the Crock Pot above so you can shave down your cabbage or any vegetable with a high degree of function and ease.

 

Post below your thoughts and experiences if you opt-in to any of these. What products have you found to move the needle on your health, time, or wallet in the right direction?