Basic, Essential Steps

First steps for any health situation. No matter the approach, start with these concepts.

Basic, Essential Steps To Health

Get these steps right, first.

1 — Blue Light
2 — Morning Light
3 — Meal Timing
4 — Sleep To Wake Time
5 — Macro Ratio
6 — Big Nutrients, First
7 — Your Environment
8 — Gut Health
9 — Daily Infrared
10 — Discussion


Blue Light

Blue Light At Night Is Terrible

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 biggest negative effect blue light has on your health is on sleep quality. Why? Your body needs darkness at night. Bright light — and especially blue light — dramatically lowers melatonin. 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 impacts all ages, but will harm those of us most who are facing health challenges.

SUMMARY: When melatonin is low, your sleep WILL suffer. The best way to crash your melatonin? Bright light at night.

How To Reduce Blue Light At Night

Reducing blue light involves several steps:

  • SCREENS — Dim your screens: TVs, computers, smartphones, tablets
  • INDOOR LIGHTS — Choose low-wattage incandescent bulbs, amber bulbs, or red LED bulbs. About 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 keep electronics that have bright lights.

Read more in the Light section.

Read more in the Sleep section.


Morning Light

One of the most healing habits you can have.

The circadian rhythm is being proven to control nearly every function and organ in the human body.

Morning light exerts its beneficial effect by starting your circadian rhythm exactly as nature intended it to — lowering your melatonin with bright morning sunlight.

Morning sunlight is much brighter than indoor light, yet gentle and heavy in healthy red spectrums. This wakes you up, and signales to your brain exactly what time it is.

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.

Morning light also tops the list for its impact on your mood and mental health. And who wouldn’t benefit from a better mental state as we improve and recover our health? Additional benefits are gained from merely being outside and breathing fresh air.

SUMMARY: Morning light has immense benefits for the body and mind, and there’s no better way to start a day. When you get daily morning sunlight, you give your body its best chance for a robust sleep cycle.

How To Get Daily Morning Light

Follow these steps for great morning light:

  • 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.

Read more in the Light section.

Read more in the Sleep section.


Meal Timing

When I was ill, I didn’t digest food very well. So my eating habits were haphazard and unstructured.

Well, if this is also how you eat: DON’T make this mistake any longer.

Why? When you eat is more important than what you eat (or at least, AS important).

There are MANY mistakes to make when it comes to how we time our meals.

  • Eating too late in the day can slow the metabolism.
  • Skipping meals can mean you don’t get adequate calories in everyday, which can also slow the metabolism.
  • Constantly eating ALL day disrupts your gut’s immune system against pathogens, interferes with your body’s natural cycles, and can make it difficult to get enough calories without causing digestive issues.

Getting this schedule back is critical to recovering your health. Eating at the right times also locks in your circadian rhythm even deeper, so combine your smart light habits (morning light + reduce blue light at night) with smart meal timing to set the stage for deeper and deeper sleep.

SUMMARY: The body runs on a schedule — every cell does, every organ does, and so does the digestive system. Optimize your digestion, heal your gut, and fix your circadian rhythm by eating at the right time, every day.

Our Bodily Rhythm Should Look Like This:

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

Every single day.

How To Time Your 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 optimal wake-up time).
  • LUNCH — Noon (or slightly before)
  • DINNER — About 6:30PM.

No hungry at the appropriate time? Eat at that time anyway — it will further establish the correct meal times in your body’s clock.

Read more in the Sleep section.


Sleep & Wake Time

Make sure you’re consistently waking up early and going to bed early.

If you’re doing them, late bedtimes and wake-up times are harming your health. I’ve seen it too many times — the circadian rhythm is too important to your body. You’ve got to protect sleep and wake times with every bit of energy you have.

The flip side? You’ll have WAY more energy, digestive health, immunity, and brain function — just by shifting your sleeping hours forward.

SUMMARY: If you’re concerned about your sleep, start sleeping on this schedule. Just give it a few weeks. You WILL see the difference — especially when you add the other steps in the Sleep Protocol.

The Perfect Sleep Schedule For Optimal Health

WAKE: 6:30AM

Read more in the Sleep section.


Macro Ratio

There are so many crazy diets out there these days.

And most all of them have highly imbalanced macronutrient ratios. (Which just means the amounts of carbs & protein & fat they contain are not balanced with each other.

Why is balancing “macros” important? Well, for starters, we need all three macros to make hormones (which affects sleep, digestion, immunity, and energy levels). Your body is made of all three macros, too: Many people might know the body is made of fat and protein, but even carbs are utilized in cell membranes to keep the cell stable in solution.

We need all three “macros” — and in balance with each other.

The Most Balanced Macronutrient Ratio

What’s a good balanced diet look like?

Something like 2:1:1 (carbs:protein:fat) by calories.

Twice as many carbs as fat or protein (by calories).

Are you scared of carbs? Afraid they’ll feed bad bugs in your gut? Don’t be. Your body most likely needs them from the right sources, in the right amounts, at the right times, and combined with other nourishing foods to actually fix your gut and your thyroid health.

SUMMARY: If you don’t have a “macro ratio” nailed down, you may be skipping a huge step in your health journey.

Figure out what you’ve been doing — by tracking for a few days (with a calorie tracker like Cronometer) — and then figure out if you need to improve your ratios to something like 2:1:1.

Check out the Food section to learn more.


The Big Nutrients, First

Ultimately, all nutrients matter — but not all are equally important, first.

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

Vitamin D

Chances are STRONG that if you don’t feel so well, your Vitamin D is low. Perhaps you stay indoors most of the time and wear sunscreen when outdoors. If so, your Vitamin D is probably low (barring higher-dose supplementation, which can cause problems).

How To Fix Low Vitamin D
  • LIGHT — Vitamin D is created from UVB light. Get UVB light via sunshine (2x/week in summer weather) or mid-level tanning bed (1x/week — bed must contain both UVA and UVB).
  • SUPPLEMENT — Lower-dose Vitamin D supplements (2000-4000 IU/day for 2-3 months).


Sodium is NOT bad — 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. My experience has found that MOST people with health issues are low in ALL nutrients — and we can’t bring levels up for all nutrients until we bring sodium levels up, first.

A more healthy person will need to bring up your potassium levels, first. Most young and/or healthy folks should make their first step to raise potassium levels via their diet.

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) your Vitamin D, Sodium, and Potassium levels most likely will amount to wasting your time and energy.

Read more in the Nutrients section.


Your Environment

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

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

  1. Air Quality
  2. EMF
  3. Light

#1 — 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.

SUMMARY: Your home might be making you sick, and you need to educate yourself to see how much your home’s air quality is affecting you. You also can make great strides by cleaning regularly, take care of your machines and systems, never let water damage your home, and using your nose to smell for musty smells.

#2 — 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.

SUMMARY: Sleeping or working next to strong EMF sources may be crashing your blood sugar, lowering melatonin, causing inflammation, and making you feel more stress. Put distance between EMF sources and your bed — and learn to disable wireless functionality when possible.

#3 — 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.

SUMMARY: The light in your buildings can promote health, or harm it. Take steps to ADD to your health via your indoor light sources.

SUMMARY: The buildings you live and work in can seriously impact your health, via your sleep, thyroid, gut health, blood sugar, and more. Don’t ignore the potential impact of your immediate environment — even if it seems daunting to consider. You will NOT regret becoming skillfully aware of the health of your surroundings.

Read more in the Mold section.

Read more in the Location Effect.

Read more in the Light section.


Gut Health

How and when should you start tackling your gut health?

Well, there’s never a bad time to start… but there’s also never a good time to start.

Why? Because gut health is tricky and addressing it can be uncomfortable. When the symbiotic relationship between our digestive tract’s microbes begins to fail, it can be very, very uncomfortable. These are living organisms living inside us, digesting our food, and affecting our tissues and nervous system. When we try to control them, they can try to control us back. And it often isn’t comfortable.

SUMMARY: Don’t wait too long to address your gut health. You can either begin slowly incorporating some gut supplements (as you address other areas of your health), or tackle other important steps first (circadian rhythm, light, nutrients) first — and then address your gut health aggressively.

How? Read more in the Gut section.


Daily Infrared

Infrared is one of the most healing things we’ve found in health science.

It stimulates, soothes and protects every cell and function in the body. Digestion, sleep, energy, metabolism, mood, wound healing and more are improved by infrared light.

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 things you do.

SUMMARY: There are few things as important for recovering health as daily infrared light exposure.

We feel most infrared wavelengths as heat.

Learn more about the best sources of infrared light — in the Light section.



There Are Endless Health Choices

In your health journey, there are hundreds (and hundreds) of different directions you could go. It’s possible some of these ideas will bring you progress and relief. Unfortunately, it’s also possible some will be a waste of time — or worse — fill your brain with dangerous ideas that will be hard to let go.

Ultimately, we need to find what works — and this website is dedicated to what works. Only the best, most universally-applicable ideas.

These Steps Are Compatible With Any Approach

Best of all, the steps listed above should fit with nearly any health approach. Make these nine steps the foundation of your sustained improvement.

On the next step in your health journey — bring along the basics laid out here.

To ignore these critical steps may seriously hold you back. There are thousands of folks out there who don’t know about this truly foundational stuff — and wonder why their sleep, digestion, mental health, and energy levels aren’t improving.

These steps may even kick start your health progress so much you don’t need to try radical experiments.

My hope is that these steps are truly what you need to know — to begin improving for good.

Let’s put all the pieces together — and improve.