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Big Picture

9 Concepts

A thousand health experts. A thousand paths. Which concepts make sense?

Focus your energy on what helps the most.

The health universe is massive.

There are too many options.

Competing fad diets.

A thousand social media figures clamoring for attention — and profiting when they get it.

Where is the simplicity, sustainability, and balance?

What will deliver true results, even after the initial excitement — and overcorrection from previous habits — wears off?

1

Blue Light

Why Is Blue Light Bad?

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 — and especially 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.

Bright light at night as been linked to cancer, as well as many other diseases.

Blue light at night impacts everyone, but is most harmful to those struggling with health challenges.

BLUE LIGHT
LOWERS MELATONIN

100X MORE
THAN RED LIGHT

How To Reduce Blue Light At Night

  • Screens — Dim your screens: TVs, computers, smartphones, tablets
  • Indoor Lighting — Choose low-wattage incandescent bulbs, amber bulbs, or red LED bulbs. Around 8pm, lower the lighting around the house. Wear yellow, orange, or red glasses before bed to block blue light.
  • Bedroom — Use blackout curtains to block light from LED streetlights, and don’t allow electronics in the bedroom that have bright lights.

SUMMARY

When melatonin is low, sleep will suffer. The best way to harm your melatonin? Bright, blueish light at night.

Read more.

2

Morning Light

Dark Nights. Bright Mornings.

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, fix 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.


  • OUTSIDE — Get outside within the first 2-3 hours after sunrise. Heat lamps are a viable alternative when sunlight isn’t available due to weather or your schedule.
  • SIT OR STAND — Grounding via hands or feet is superior. Grounding in water is optimal.
  • GAZE — Gaze at the horizon, in the direction of the sun.
  • DURATION — The longer you take in the sunrise, the greater the effect on your circadian rhythm — but even a few minutes is highly beneficial.

SUMMARY

Morning light has immense benefits for the body and mind, and there’s no better way to start each day. With daily morning sunlight, we give our body its best chance for a robust sleep cycle — and robust health.

Read more.

3

Meal Timing

When chronically ill, food often digests poorly.

As such, eating habits can become haphazard and unstructured.

If that sounds like you, this 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 pretty important).

There are many common mistakes concerning meal timing:

  • Eating too late in the day.
  • Skipping meals (especially breakfast).
  • Eating & grazing all day.

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 + reduce blue light at night), smart meal timing will set the stage for a deeper sleep.

Getting a proper feeding schedule back is critical to improving and recovering your health.

The Bodily Rhythm Should Look Like This:

Eat, then digest.
Eat, then digest.
Eat, then digest.
Sleep.

Every day!


How To Time Meals

With some slight wiggle room, the best times for meals are:

  • BREAKFAST — 7AM — Or, within 30 minutes of waking. (6:30-7:00AM is the optimal wake-up time).
  • LUNCH — Noon (or slightly before)
  • DINNER — Finishing before 7PM.

Not hungry at the appropriate time?

Try to eat at the proper time anyway — over time, it will establish the correct meal times in the body’s clock.

Sleep will improve, digestion will improve, and many other benefits will arise along the way. After a while, eating at the right times can get much easier and begin to serve the body well.

SUMMARY

Every cell, every organ, and every bodily system runs on a schedule — including the digestive system. Eat at the right times every day to help optimize digestion, heal the gut, and fix the circadian rhythm.

Read more.

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4

Sleep & Wake Time

Consistently wake up and go to bed early.

Late nights can be fun and absolutely worth the time spent deepening friendships and making memories.

However, what more typical evenings?

Chronically late bedtimes and wake-up times are certainly harming to health.

The circadian rhythm is among the most important regulators of the body, controlling digestion, inflammation, immunity, mental acuity — and more. It’s important to 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

SLEEP: 9:30PM
WAKE: 6:30AM (or sunrise)

SUMMARY

Start sleeping on a schedule. Just give it a few weeks. When combined with other steps in the Sleep section, the circadian rhythm can become a powerhouse for health and recovery.

5

Macro Ratio

So 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 in balance in the diet.

What’s A Balanced Macronutrient Ratio?

A 2:1:1 ratio (carbs : protein : fat), measured by calories.

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).

SUMMARY

The “macro ratio” may be a huge step in journey to health.

Track your calories for a few days (using Cronometer) — and then figure out if you need to improve your ratios to something like 2:1:1.


Read more.


6

The Big Nutrients


Ultimately, all nutrients matter for chronic illness — a lot.

However, not all are equally important, at first.

Here are three big nutrients you need to figure out before you worry about other things.

Vitamin D

Many folks with chronic illness are low in Vitamin D.

Sunscreen has been popular for decades. In illness, it’s common to stay indoors a majority of the time.

If these two scenarios present, and there has been no supplementation, Vitamin D levels are almost certainly low.

How To Fix Low Vitamin D

UV LIGHT

Vitamin D is created from UV-B light.

SUNSHINE — Get UV-B light via sunshine!

  • 20 minutes every day with skin exposed) weather
  • Minimum: 2x/week

TANNING DEVICE — at home or a salon

  • (1x/week — bed must contain both UV-A and UV-B).

SUPPLEMENT

Low-dose Vitamin D supplements (2000-4000 IU/day for 1-2 months).

  • Supplements are inferior to sunlight for vitamin D, for many reasons
  • Go slow. Overdosing on Vitamin D is common and harmful

COFACTORS

Vitamin D’s partner nutrients are necessary to support absorption and allow Vitamin D to function properly in the body.

The main cofactors for Vitamin D are:

  • Magnesium, Vitamin A, Vitamin K2
  • Smaller cofactors: Zinc, Sulfur

Sodium/Potassium Balance

Sodium is not harmful in and of itself — it’s an essential nutrient that most people need more of.

How is this possible? Most people who limit sodium intake actually just need to increase potassium (and magnesium, calcium, etc). It’s being low in these other minerals that makes sodium relatively high. Sodium is high in relation to its partner minerals, and bringing levels up of those partner minerals will bring sodium back into balance.

And those of us who are struggling to recover our health? We often need extra sodium. This is because the body wastes sodium (among other nutrients) in hypothyroidism. It seems that most people with health issues are low in all nutrients — and those levels for all nutrients can’t rise until we bring sodium levels up, first.

A more healthy person will need to bring up potassium levels, first. Most young, healthy folks should make their first step raising potassium levels via their diet or a simple potassium supplement (which can allow for a clear “personal test” of one’s response after taking potassium).

And yes — there are many (around 30) other nutrients to think about. But you’ve got to bring up these big nutrients, first, and then bring up the rest.


SUMMARY

Trying any health approach without first understanding (and mastering) vitamin D, sodium, and potassium levels could amount to time and energy being misused.

Read more.


7

Your Environment

The modern environment is a smorgasbord of variables that can negatively affect your health.

Here are the three ways your indoor environment(s) might make your health worse:

  • Air Quality
  • EMF
  • Light

Air Quality In Your Home

Air quality suffers because modern buildings are trapped spaces with little air flow from outside (where 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 means mold issues get worse. VOC’s, mycotoxins, and spores given off by mold growing (in walls or in HVAC systems) builds up over time — causing your body to become more and more sensitive to these harmful compounds.

Trapped air means humidity can rise in your home. Trapped air can also mean radon can build up over time. Really, trapped air means any levels of anything troubling can rise — air turnover is what protects against this.

Unfortunately, oxygen levels will never rise inside your home from trapped air. Oxygen is depleted as inhabitants breathe — and the highest concentrations of oxygen are in outdoor air.

AIR QUALITY SUMMARY

Notice air quality as you go about your day. Clean regularly, maintain building systems, never let water damage your home, and use your nose to smell for musty smells.


EMF In Your Home

Cell towers within 1000 feet of your home can present a problem, too.

EMFs are fields around electronics. Radio-frequency fields are emitted from all wireless devices — you should limit your use of this technology. Become aware of WIFI routers, bluetooth emitters, and smart devices. Either disable their wireless functionality, or turn them off completely. This is particularly important at night, during sleep.

Ungrounded electrical wiring also presents a large risk to your health — as do grounded wiring that wasn’t installed correctly. You’ll need an EMF meter to adequately test fields in your home or work, and I highly recommend you purchase on. The Cornet d88t is the best meter without spending over a thousand dollars.

Make sure you aren’t sleeping close to EMF emitters — including electrical outlets, wireless devices, and breaker boxes.

EMF SUMMARY

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 would have lots and lots of natural sunshine pouring in all day. If this isn’t possible, you’ll need to get incandescent and halogen bulbs rather than LEDs and fluorescent bulbs — which are very harmful to sleep, the brain, the eyes, and hormone balance.

The older types of lamps (incandescent & halogen) are truly full spectrum and emit lots of healing, soothing infrared light. The newer bulbs do not.

Remember to make your home dim before bedtime. Bright light in the eyes directly inhibits deep restorative sleep.

LIGHT SUMMARY

The light in buildings can promote health, or harm it. Take steps to improve the healthful properties of indoor light sources.


SUMMARY

Sick buildings make people less healthy. Become educated about buildings and their health. Sleep, thyroid, gut health, blood sugar, and more are affected by building health.


8

Mind The Gut

Is now a good time to improve gut health?

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 it can be uncomfortable and overwhelming, even.

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 your gut is incredibly important for long-term health.


SUMMARY

Don’t wait to address your gut health. You can 1) incorporate gut supplements, 2) improve your diet, or 3) focus on elements that indirectly improve gut health (light, sleep, movement, environment).


Read more.


9

Daily Infrared

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 every bodily function

  • digestion
  • sleep
  • energy
  • metabolism
  • mood
  • wound healing
  • recovery after exercise
  • recovery after injury
  • recovery after surgery
  • liver health
  • brain health
  • digestive health
  • immunity

If you haven’t experienced just how incredible infrared light can be, I urge you to find out soon. Make it one of the first steps you take.


We feel most infrared wavelengths as heat.

SUMMARY

Few things are as important for the improvement of health as daily infrared light exposure.

Read more.


10

Discussion

Endless Paths To Follow

In your health journey, there are so many different directions you could go.

It’s possible some ideas will bring you progress and relief. Unfortunately, it’s also possible some will be a waste of time — or worse — cloud the picture with incomplete ideas that will be hard to let go of.

Ultimately, what matters is what works in the long run. To find that path, it helps to know what helps most people and, ultimately, what works for you.

These 9 Concepts Are Compatible With Any Approach

The 9 Concepts will fit with nearly any health approach.

Make these nine steps the foundation of your sustained improvement.

To ignore these critical steps could hold back your recovery. So many folks don’t know about these truly foundational concepts — and continue to wonder why their sleep, digestion, mental health, and energy levels aren’t improving.

Finally, these steps can certainly kick start your progress, pushing you further along your path than you’d achieve without them.

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