1. Get Sun & Water First Thing in the Morning
Getting sunlight directly into your eyes first thing upon waking up helps to regulate your brain's neurotransmitters that control sleep and wakefulness. Sunlight has blue light, which basically wakes your brain and nervous system up, setting off a cascade of body "events" that get your whole body started for the day. Even if it's cloudy out, open your curtains or shades as soon as you can after you wake up. Working with your circadian rhythm is hugely beneficial to energy levels and your sleep cycle, so getting natural blue light in the AM can actually help you be more alert for your day and sleep better in the PM!
Besides light, drinking filtered (room temperature) water first thing in the morning is something I highly recommend. Better yet, make it warm water and add lemon and freshly chopped ginger for extra liver stimulation and support. Filtered water is vital; tap water contains tons of TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) which are detrimental to the body over time. A reverse osmosis filtration system can help reduce TDS to almost 0. It's a bit of an investment, but it lasts for a long time!
2. Move Out of Joy, Not a Need to Burn Calories
Many of us are conditioned over the years to believe that we have to exercise in order to "burn off" calories we've eaten. This can often make movement and exercise feel more like a chore than an opportunity to move our bodies, which not only creates stress and negative association around exercise, but causes many of us to avoid it all together.
A concept I like to employ is to "move out of joy." This can mean different things to each of us, but it's rooted in the idea of moving your body in whatever way, for whatever amount of time feels right at the moment. It's about listening to your body's needs. It's also about non-judgement and self-care. A 15 minute walk is just as important, beneficial and valuable as a 60 minute spin class or CrossFit workout. My biggest question for you would be to ask yourself: did you have fun while you were moving?
3. Eat 100% Grassfed, Pastured & Wild Animal Products
Grassfed meat, pastured poultry and eggs, wild fish and seafood ALWAYS: for so many reasons! Not only are they healthier for you in every aspect, but the farming practices of these animals and fish are much healthier for our planet (watch The Littlest Big Farm to see exactly how it all works).
4. Simple Biohacking: Sweat, Light, Cold, Brain
Biohacking can get complicated and expensive, but there are also simple ways you can practice at home with very low financial or time investment.
SWEAT: try to sweat once a day. Exercise or sauna are easy options. Sweating is your 3rd detoxification pathway (after urination & defecation), and it's hugely beneficial to utilize it in order to help your body process toxins we're exposed to daily.
LIGHT: Red light (Near Infrared) can be used to help so many things: skin quality and fine lines, muscle recovery, boosting metabolism, increasing cellular energy, reducing inflammation, improving circulation, improving hair loss, enhancing collagen synthesis. Investing in a red light panel is a one time cost that reaps loads of benefits. My favorite is GembaRed - they're a small business with high quality products.
COLD: Cold exposure causes cold thermogenesis, which can reduce depression, help autoimmune disease, reduce white fat and decrease inflammation. You can get cryotherapy if there's a facility nearby, or you can simply immerse yourself in an ice cold bath for 3 minutes.
BRAIN: Taking care of your mental health is a huge biohack because it affects every other thing you do day-to-day. Meditation is probably one the best ways to start. I am a huge fan of Transcendental Meditation. It used to be very expensive but they've recently made a sliding scale so it's more accessible for people to learn.
5. Regulate & Monitor Your Glucose
Glucose regulation is vital for longevity, energy levels, aesthetics and overall health. It's something I recommend everyone try. Start with monitoring yourself: a low cost investment to try is a glucose monitor, which can be bought on Amazon for approx. $20. A higher cost investment that yields more data is a CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitor) like Levels or NutriSense. If you're using a finger prick monitor, try testing your levels at the following times to get the best idea of how your body is processing glucose:
- Upon waking (ideal: <90 mg/dl)
- 1hr after eating (ideal: < 140mg/dl)
- 2hrs after eating (ideal: <120 mg/dl)
Moderating the amount of processed foods & refined sugars can greatly reduce your glucose spikes which will not only help you feel better and have more energy throughout the day, but will help your brain stay healthy and potentially ward off brain disease as you age.