Focus your energy. On what helps you most.
The health universe is massive — and there are too many options.
Endless fad diets. A thousand social media figures clamoring for attention — and profiting big when they get it.
Do we see simplicity, sustainability, and balance?
Can we find true, long-lasting results that don’t wear off — or have to be abandoned after a few months?
After all, trying a “health” approach — only to abandon it entirely — can leave us feeling like we’ve gone backward, or wasted time.
At some point on our health journey, the best approach will be to build a lasting foundation upon which we can erect a powerhouse of health wisdom.
Not an approach we must abandon, later.
9 Concepts for Health
Blue light is rapidly becoming a hot-button issue in the health world.
Its effects on brain chemistry, stress hormones, the thyroid, and — most of all — sleep, are quickly moving this issue from a “fringe topic” to a mainstream concept.
The most direct negative effect blue light has on your health is on sleep quality. Why? Your body needs darkness at night for melatonin to rise properly.
Bright light — made bright by high-intensity blue light — instantly lowers melatonin levels in the brain. Exposure to blue light at night — when melatonin needs to rise to initiate sleep — will disturb your ability to fall asleep, stay asleep, and (most of all) wake up feeling refreshed.
Blue light at night impacts everyone, but is most harmful to those struggling with health challenges.
How to Reduce Blue Light at Night
When melatonin is low at night, sleep becomes less restorative.
This is because bright, white light at night harms melatonin levels in the brain. Reduce exposure to evening blue light.
Read more about blue light and the circadian rhythm.
Dark Nights and Bright Mornings
Darkness at night needs its counterpoint: Morning sunlight is one of the most healing, restorative habits available.
The circadian rhythm is being proven to control nearly every function and organ in the human body.
Morning light revs your circadian rhythm exactly as nature intended it to: by lowering your melatonin at the beginning of the 24-hour wake/sleep cycle.
Morning sunlight is much brighter than indoor light, yet gentle and rich in healthy red spectrums. This wakes you up and signals to your brain the precise time of day.
Studies show bright morning light is healthy for many reasons (even for weight loss), but its effects on the circadian rhythm are certainly the most profound. Researchers who found morning light to be effective for weight loss suggested even this result was due to the light’s circadian rhythm benefits.
The circadian rhythm impacts every single aspect of the body. If you want to fix your health, first restore your circadian rhythm.
Morning light also tops the list for its impact on your mood and mental health. Who wouldn’t benefit from a better mental state as we improve and recover our health? Of course, there are also additional benefits from merely being outside in the fresh air.
With immense benefits for the body and mind, morning sunlight is the best way to start the day. With this practice, we give the body its best chance for a robust sleep cycle — and robust health.
THE FACTS: Food Digests Poorly in Illness.
Therefore, eating habits often become haphazard and unstructured.
If that sounds like you, here is an opportunity to greatly improve how you feel.
Why? When you eat may be more important than what you eat — and what you eat is quite important!
There are many common mistakes concerning meal timing:
Eating at the best times also locks in the circadian rhythm more deeply: The act of eating signals “daytime” to the human brain. When combined with wise light habits (morning light + limited blue light at night), smart meal timing will set the stage for deeper sleep.
A proper feeding schedule back is critical to improving and recovering your gut health, restorative sleep, and vitality.
How to Time Meals
With some slight wiggle room, the best times for meals are:
Not hungry at the appropriate time?
When recovering from poor health, we’ve got to train the digestive system to tolerate and expect meals at the optimal times. Therefore, try to eat at the proper time even if hunger isn’t there. Over time, this will establish the correct meal times in the body’s clock.
Sleep will improve, digestion will improve, and many other benefits will manifest along the way. Over time, eating at optimal times becomes easy — and even empowering.
Meal timing can also profoundly improve blood sugar regulation. As this levels out, 1) eating an appropriate number of calories becomes possible (rather than a dependency on over-eating) and, 2) eating earlier in the evening becomes beneficial for sleep and bodyweight goals.
Every cell, every organ, and every bodily system runs on a schedule — including the digestive system. Eat at the right times to optimize digestion, heal the gut, and fix the circadian rhythm.
Explore meal timing more deeply.
Consistently go to bed & wake up early.
While it’s enjoyable, the random late night with family and friends may be worth the price we pay with our health.
What is the price of a single late night? The following areas can be affected, negatively, by a single late night:
- Gut health
- Hormone production
- & more
The trouble for health compounds exponentially when late nights become a trend: Chronically late bedtimes and wake-up times are destructive to health & longevity.
The circadian rhythm is among the most important regulators of the body, controlling digestion, inflammation, immunity, mental acuity — and more. It’s paramount that we protect sleep and wake times at (nearly) all costs when trying to recover or improve health.
Enjoy more energy, digestive health, immunity, and brain function — just by shifting sleeping hours forward.
The Perfect Sleep Schedule for Optimal Health
Sleeping on a schedule — an early one — for a few weeks and look for the benefits. When combined with the other concepts in the Sleep section, the circadian rhythm becomes a powerhouse for health and recovery.
Many diets ignore the macronutrient ratio.
The “macro ratio” refers to the amounts of carbs, protein & fat eaten in a day (or in a meal).
Why is Balancing “Macros” Important?
First, all three macros are required to make hormones (which directly affects sleep, digestion, immunity, and energy levels).
Excellent macronutrient balance also supports balanced blood sugar levels, making it a staple of diabetes management.
Your body is actually made of all three macros, too: Many people might know the body is made of fat and protein, but even carbohydrates are utilized in cell membranes to keep the cell stable in solution.
Muscles store energy in the form of glycogen, a carbohydrate. The body may have a pound of glycogen stored throughout the body, to be used for energy.
We need all three macros — and for them to be balanced in the diet.
What’s a Balanced Macronutrient Ratio?
The 2:1 Carb-to-Protein Ratio
This ratio is a perfect middle-ground that can support the metabolism, optimize gut health, and supply proper nutrition.
Highly active folks may need more carbs — perhaps a 3:1 ratio of carbs to protein.
Begin by exploring the carb-to-protein ratio (2:1 vs 3:1 or maybe 1:1), then figure out how much fat is required per day. Fat intake may affect hormone production: so watch sleep and libido.
Low fat is typically be less than 50-60g per day, while high fat might be doubling that (this will, of course, vary by body size).
The macro ratio is an important step in any journey to health.
Use Cronometer to track calories — for a few days or weeks — to observe your natural eating style. Then shift to a better macro ratio — something like 2:1:1.
Ultimately, all nutrients matter for health.
On the other hand, not all are equally important, right now.
Here are three big nutrients you need to figure out before you worry about other things.
While some have overdosed on Vitamin D supplements — a very bad thing — most folks with chronic illness are deficient.
There are reasons for this. Vitamin D is not very present in the diet, even with fortification. Sunscreen has been popular for decades, blocking UVB-rich rays that stimulate Vitamin D production in the skin. In both modern life and chronic illness, it’s common to stay indoors most of the time, reducing exposure to healthy sunlight.
Therefore, in normal scenarios, Vitamin D levels are almost always low.
Sodium is not harmful in and of itself. It’s an essential nutrient that many people need more of.
How can this be?
Here’s how: Most who limit sodium intake don’t need less sodium, they actually need more potassium (along with other important minerals like magnesium, calcium, etc).
It’s being low in these other minerals that makes sodium high in the mix — in its balance with other important minerals.
Sodium levels exist in the body in relation to other minerals, and bringing levels up of those partner minerals will better bring sodium back into balance.
Too much (sodium) may be harmful, but too little can also have serious consequences.https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-dangers-of-sodium-restriction#TOC_TITLE_HDR_8
What about those struggling to recover health? We often need extra sodium. This is because a slower metabolism causes the body to waste sodium, among other nutrients.
Most people with health issues are low in nearly all nutrients (with some notable exceptions) — and levels for all nutrients will struggle to rise until we bring sodium levels up, first.
By contrast, most people will need to raise potassium levels, first. Increasing potassium intake is easily done via diet (fruits and veggies) or a simple potassium supplement (these allow for a clear “personal test” of one’s response to taking potassium).
And of course, there are many other nutrients to think about (around 30). However, first, bring up these big nutrients, and then bring up the rest — by using wise multivitamin and multiminerals products and smart individual nutrient products.
Trying any health approach without first understanding vitamin D, sodium, and potassium levels could impede your progress.
The modern indoor environment is a smorgasbord of factors that can negatively affect health.
There are three main ways an indoor environment can noticeably harm your health recovery:
Air quality suffers for several reasons in modern buildings.
Number one is trapped air. Modern buildings are tightly sealed spaces with little airflow from outside — where the air is almost always much cleaner.
Trapped air means that chemicals on new products (flame retardants, etc), and cleaning agents remain in the house for long periods of time instead of dissipating.
Trapped air can lead to condensation and humidity, increasing mold growth. Mold’s VOC’s, mycotoxins, and spores build up over time in trapped spaces, and subsequently, inside the body. This can cause the body to become more and more sensitive to these harmful compounds.
Trapped air can also mean radon & chemicals from new products and cleaners build up over time. Mice feces and urine in buildings are incredibly toxic and infectious. Mice must be quickly eradicated for your own safety, and buildings with extensive mouse problems, currently or in the past, are not safe to live in.
Oxygen levels can also be depleted quickly in modern, trapped air.
AIR QUALITY SUMMARY
Notice indoor air quality as you go about your day. Clean regularly, maintain building systems, protect your home from water damage, and use your nose to detect musty smells.
EMF in Your Home
EMFs are the fields surrounding all electronics.
In fact, your body’s electrical currents create its own, natural EMF.
A primary source of harmful EMFs are the radio-frequency fields emitted by all wireless devices.
Notable, common wireless emitters are all WIFI devices, bluetooth devices, and other smart devices. Wireless functionality needs to either be disabled (airplane mode), or the devices need to be turned off completely. This is particularly important at night, during sleep.
A different source of harmful EMF are electrical and magnetic fields that surround all electronics.
A primary source of dangerous “e-fields” and magnetic fields is ungrounded electrical wiring in older homes.
You’ll need an EMF meter to adequately test wireless, electric, and magnetic fields in your home or work. The Cornet d88t is the best meter without spending over a thousand dollars.
Do not sleep near EMF emitters — including electrical outlets, wireless devices, and breaker boxes. Every bit of increased distance from strong EMF sources will improve how restorative sleep is.
Sleeping or working next to strong EMF sources may crash your blood sugar, lower melatonin, cause inflammation, and cause more metabolic stress. Put distance between EMF sources and your bed — and learn to disable wireless functionality when not in use (or leave it off, like I do).
Light in Your Home
The ideal living space has natural sunshine pouring in all day.
If this isn’t possible, use incandescent and halogen bulbs rather than LEDs and fluorescent bulbs — which are harmful to sleep, the brain, the eyes, and hormone balance.
The older types of lamps (incandescent & halogen) are full spectrum and emit lots of healing, soothing infrared light. Newer bulbs do not, saving energy, but harming health.
Make the home dim prior to bedtime. Bright light in the eyes directly inhibits melatonin levels and deep restorative sleep.
The light in buildings can promote health — or harm it. Take steps to improve the healthful properties of indoor light sources.
Healthy buildings promote health, and sick buildings make people sick. Maintain awareness about the health of your home or building.
Does your gut need help?
For most people, improving gut health can be as simple as take 1-3 proven supplements, cleaning up your diet, and improving the circadian rhythm.
In more difficult cases — which are becoming extremely common — gut health can feel tricky. Addressing gut problems can be uncomfortable and even feel overwhelming.
What’s Happening in the Gut?
When the symbiotic relationship in our gut microbiome begins to fail, it can be very, very uncomfortable. These are living organisms living inside us, digesting our food, and affecting our tissues, nervous system, hormones, and even emotions.
Improving the health of the gut is important for long-term health.
Don’t wait to address your gut health.
You can incorporate gut supplements, improve your diet, and focus on other areas that improve gut health (light, sleep, movement, environment).
One of the most consistently beneficial practices found in health research.
There is a lot of hype about infrared light these days — and for very good reason, the research is excellent. There is an equal surplus of products.
Studies show that many frequencies of infrared light stimulate, soothe and protect nearly all bodily functions, including:
View the Research
Over 90% of the (traumatic brain injury) patients had complaints of irritability, insomnia, anxiety, and depression. Six of the ten patients had persistent headaches and 50% had cognitive difficulties, attention problems, and other signs of executive dysfunction. After a course of ten treatments of NILT (20 treatments in four patients), each patient experienced significant clinical improvement. Many of their symptoms resolved. Sixty percent had no residual symptoms after treatment. The remainder had mild or greatly reduced symptoms. Cognitive function appeared to improve since all disabled or impaired patients had returned to work, although cognitive tests were not performed. The quality of life dramatically improved in all cases.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4870908/
If you haven’t experienced how incredible infrared light can be — when properly applied — find out for yourself soon.
Few things are as important for health recovery as daily infrared light.
Endless Paths to Follow
In your health journey, there are endless directions you could go.
Most paths, especially the extreme ones, are fraught with imbalance. Beyond being a waste of (limited) time and energy, they can cloud the picture with incomplete ideas that might be hard to abandon.
Ultimately, what matters most is what works in the long run — not the short run.
The nine concepts in this article fit well with most any health approach.
Too, these concepts are so foundational that ignoring them could impede your recovery.
So many folks don’t know about these deeply true, important concepts — and, unfortunately, continue to wonder why their sleep, digestion, mental health, and energy levels aren’t improving.
On the other hand, these steps can certainly ignite your progress, pushing you far your path — much further than you’d achieve without them.
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