Create and Curate

10 Habits To Help You Biohack Your Life

September 25, 2018

The secrets to optimizing your health and happiness are contained in your little daily habits. Biohacking is how you create the conditions of life, to “hack” your body’s biology and create the best version of you.

 

Nothing complicated about wanting to get the most out of each day and deciding to design a life of passion and purpose. Maximize the first 60-120 minutes after waking, and prepare to slay each day.

 

Here are 10 habits to make your own and help you get started:

1. Get out of bed when your alarm goes off. Letting yourself fall back to sleep undermines the body’s readiness to start the day. Don't let your mind talk you out of getting up. Your brain wants to tell you just 5 more minutes, but that is the worst way to start your day. Pick a time to get up and stick with it.

2. Rehydrate. During sleep, your body is fasting; the first thing you should do upon waking is break the fast with 8-12oz of room temperature water. This will help you re-hydrate, flush toxins, and stimulate the digestive system. Add the juice of half a lemon to boost health benefits and  add vitamin C. Use a straw to protect tooth enamel. Coffee and tea can wait!

3. Take a probiotic. While you are drinking that warm lemon water, pop a probiotic. Probiotics are most effective when taken on an empty stomach. Look for a brand with at least 10 beneficial strains of bacteria and 10 billion CFU count. 

4. Eat more fiber. Fiber is necessary for removing toxins from the body and supporting optimal gut health. There are 2 kinds of fiber — soluble and insoluble. The body needs both, and you can jump start your day by incorporating things like steel cut oatmeal, chia seeds, ground raw flax seeds, and a variety of fruits and berries into your AM routine. Skip the dairy, sugar and gluten; which all have an opiate like effect on the brain.  Rather, add more fiber-friendly, plant-based foods.

5. Write it down. Spend 10 minutes writing down your creative thoughts, ideas, and goals. Just let it rip — hold nothing back; these are notes to you, from you. Take a few mindful minutes for yourself, and set your intentions for the day.

6. Take a cold shower. The vagus nerve is the longest cranial nerve in the body, and controls the parasympathetic nervous system. It is connected to all the important stuff from your gut and heart to your sex organs. A cold shower, cold rinse at the end of your shower, or splashing your face with cold water, all help to stimulate the vagus nerve.

7. Exercise like you mean it. Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to improve your health. Mix it up — take a dance class, get a trainer, go for a walk. Varying your routine maximizes the benefits. Be sure you are doing strength and balance training, as well as cardio and stretching. Be conscious to walk more, take the stairs, and look for everyday exercise opportunities.

8. Drink more water. If you are not measuring your water, you are not drinking enough. Proper hydration helps the body flush toxins, benefits all the organs, and keeps your brain happy. Even being a little dehydrated can take your productivity level down, and signal your brain that you are hungry, when, in fact, you are actually thirsty. 

9. Have a daily food plan. Stop simply buying food, and start shopping for meals. Make a plan for the week that includes snacks and meals. Shop and prep on Sunday; understanding that weekday food is fuel and an essential tool for productivity, energy and health.

10. Practice good sleep. Your room needs to be cold, dark and quiet. Turn the thermostat to 65, shut the shades, and get off your gadgets an hour before you want to fall asleep. Take a moment of gratitude and review your plan for tomorrow.

(Photo by: Kristen Coffield)

 

Take 30 minutes at the end of each day to review your accomplishments, set intentions for tomorrow, and prepare for restorative sleep.

 

You can customize your habits to create the life you want to live.

 

Want daily inspiration to help you stay focused and motivated? Follow me on Instagram @kristencoffield. You can also get my FREE information-packed  Live Like You Mean It Playbook! at www.theculinarycure.com 


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Detoxify Your Home With Natural Cleaning Products

July 8, 2018

Indoor air pollution is a serious problem. Most people are unaware that the residue from chemical cleaning products used in their homes creates a lingering, toxic load affecting their health.

 

We are inundated with chemicals daily, and every person in the United States has measurable levels of synthetic chemicals in their bodies; many which are fat-soluble and stored indefinitely in fatty tissue. Indoor air pollution is actually more toxic than outdoor air pollution. This is due to the amount of particulate matter that is generated by electronics, furniture, and other household items. 

 

I recommend that everyone invest in a good HEPA air filter for their bedroom. It is especially important that your bedroom be a clean air sanctuary that contributes to restorative, detoxifying rest. There are other things you can do to minimize indoor air pollution, like changing air-conditioning and heating filters three times a year, opening windows to ventilate, and avoiding plug-in room fresheners and anything with artificial scent.

 

One of the easiest ways to minimize toxic residue in your home is by using household cleaning products that are free from synthetic chemicals. You can check www.ewg.org for a list of acceptable products. Even better, environmentally safe cleaning products can be easily made with inexpensive and effective ingredients. 

 

I recommend using up the cleaning products you currently use. As they run out, replace them with homemade versions, or with a brand that is made with natural, nontoxic ingredients. Once you see how easy and cost effective it is to make your own cleaning products you can lower your carbon footprint by reusing the same spray bottles or containers over and over. 

 

DIY Safe Household Cleaning Products

 

Disinfectant: 

2 teaspoons Borax

1/4 cup white vinegar

3 cups hot water

Combine and store in a spray bottle

 

 

Glass Cleaner:

1 cup white vinegar

1/2 cup 70% rubbing alcohol

4 cups water

3 drops essential oil to add scent (optional)

Combine and store in a spray bottle

 

All-purpose Cleaner

1/2 cup baking soda

2 quarts warm water

Combine and store in a spray bottle


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What’s The Deal With Supplements?

June 26, 2018

How do you sort through all the conflicting and confusing information about taking supplements, and figure out what might be helpful for you? Vitamins and supplements are big business. Every day there is something new being splashed across media channels promising to keep us young and cure what ails us; while, at the same time, talking heads are urging caution and citing concerns.

 

The Standard American Diet (SAD) is a contributing factor in creating a diet that does not meet all of the body’s needs. Americans are the most overfed and undernourished people on the planet. Shockingly, in the next 18 minutes, four American’s will die from illnesses related to the food they eat! Foods that are processed, homogenized, pasteurized, contain genetically modified ingredients or artificial ingredients are killing more people than terrorism, war, murder, accidents and all other diseases combined. 

 

If you want to maintain optimum health, it is vital to understand the importance of diet and supplementation in an ever-changing nutritional landscape. Vitamins and supplements are not regulated by the FDA in the same way as pharmaceuticals; so it is important to understand why some brands are superior to others. You should also speak with your physician before starting a supplement program.

 

I am a huge fan of David Perlmutter, MD, the author of Grain Brain, Brain Maker and The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan. If you have not read at least one of these books, I highly recommend that you order a copy and read it as soon as possible. Dr. Perlmutter has a simple guide for supplements that focuses on gut and brain health. It is worth considering if you want to add supplements to your diet.

 

I have long been a fan of adding natural supplements of nutrients that are hard for the body to obtain through a normal diet. In addition to what Dr. Perlmutter suggests, I  take a whole food compounded Activated C Food Complex, a Stress B-Complex and Magnesium with B6.

 

Supplement Guidelines:

 

Buy whole food compounded supplements and vitamins. Whole food means the nutrients are derived from food sources and are not made from chemicals.

  1. Purchase probiotics in small quantities and rotate brands. You want to look for at least 10 billion strains of beneficial bacteria and 10 billion CFU count. I always have 2 brands in my refrigerator at a time.
  2. Prebiotic fiber is essential for gut health and serves as the food for probiotic bacteria. When supplementing with acacia gum, be sure to buy USDA organic, Non-GMO Project verified, vegan, gluten free labeling. Make sure it’s free of psyllium, sugar, soy or artificial ingredients.
  3. Take your supplements at the same time daily with filtered water.

Supplements:

 

DHA: Docosahexaenoic acid, which is an omega-3 fatty acid that makes up more than 90 percent of the omega-3 fatty acids in the brain. 1,000 mg daily.

 

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is a great source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), reduces inflammation, and is a super fuel for the brain. 1-2 tsp daily  used in cooking, or consumed in a warm beverage.

 

Turmeric: Well studied for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-apoptotic properties. It is a member of the ginger family and is the seasoning that gives curry its bright yellow color. 500 mg twice daily.

 

ALA: Alpha-Lipoid acid is a fatty acid that is found inside every cell in the body where it helps produce energy for the functions of the body. ALA also crosses the blood-brain barrier acting as a powerful antioxidant in the brain. 300-500mg daily.

 

Vitamin D3: Have your doctor check and monitor your vitamin D levels. Vitamin D3 is technically a hormone, not a vitamin and has far-reaching beneficial effects on the body and brain. 5,000 IU daily.

 

Prebiotic Fiber:  Key for optimized gut health, nutrient absorption, and maintaining healthy body weight. 1-2 tbs. acacia gum with water daily. Start with 1 tablespoon in water 20 minutes before the evening meal.

 

Probiotic: Look for a probiotic with at least 10 strains of beneficial bacteria and 10 billion CFU. Take on an empty stomach first thing in the morning.

 

In an ideal world, we would get all of our nutrients from the food we eat. In today’s world, we have to be more vigilant and proactive to make sure we are giving our bodies what they need to stay healthy. 

Eating a largely plant based organic diet, filled with a colorful variety of foods, will nourish you with micronutrients and fiber. Embracing healthy fats like organic coconut oil, organic extra virgin olive oil, avocados and fatty fish will help maintain a healthy weight and support brain function. Avoiding artificial ingredients, processed carbohydrates, sugar and artificial sweeteners, GMO’s, gluten and too much protein can reduce inflammation in the body. You can control how you spend your consumer dollars — decide what you want to put into your body and take charge of the future of your health by being proactive; start with nutrition.


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