General Health Recommendations

Recommended Holistic Podcasts

The Strive for Great Health Podcast

Huberman Lab

The Drive

General Resources

I highly recommend two books to help with habit change, The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg and Atomic Habits by James Clear.

A health coach can also help you achieve your goals. You can find a health coach through the following website.

If you are looking for a great evidenced based personal trainer who also helps with nutrition, I recommend Joseph Murci at Murcit.

I recommend using a health tracker like Oura Ring to help keep track of your health progress (what isn’t measured, doesn’t get done).

The Carbon Diet App is a great app if you are looking to add lean muscle and reduce body fat.

Nutrition

I highly recommend the book Flexible Dieting by Alan Aragon

Here are 5 simple tips that can help improve your overall nutritional quality.

1.) Get 80% of your calories from single-ingredient whole foods such as cruciferous veggies, nuts, seeds, legumes, fish, fruits, and other meats. 20% of your calories can be discretionary foods that you enjoy. Have a calorie budget just like you would a monetary budget. If you overeat at one meal, you can decrease your overall caloric intake the rest of the day to make sure you do not overspend. A great way to to do this is to eat until you are 80% full. This will allow your body to respond better to the signals of feeling full and help prevent over eating.

2.) Prioritize protein. When you construct your meals start with protein. Aim for 0.6 to 0.8 g/lb per day of protein, preferably from lean meat sources. Next think about fiber, women should consume at least 28g of fiber per day and men 35g per day. If your counting all your macros, fats should be between 0.4 to 1 g/lb (if overweight use lean weight body weight). Carbohydrate amounts depends on activity levels: moderate activity 2-3g/lb, high activity 3-4g/lb and intense activity > 4g/lb. These results can be individualized based upon our goals and preferred dietary pattern (keto, paleo, plant based, etc).

3.) Eat your calories do not drink your calories. We can overconsume calories when we drink them (especially in the forms of juice), and we also lose some of the natural signals our bodies send when we are full. Overall, this can make it harder to regulate our calorie intake and expose us to excess sugar. If you are going to juice, have that juice with a meal and ensure the juice is mostly vegetables. You can add healthy fats like nut butters, avocado, and protein powder to make the juice resemble a complete meal. Be sure to take this into account with your calorie budgeting.

4.) Eat the rainbow. The different colors in fruits and vegetables mean there are different nutrients present in the foods. By eating various colored foods, we decrease our chances of missing out on crucial nutrients our bodies need to function.

5.) Don’t fear fat. There are things called essential fats; these are fats our bodies cannot produce that must be taken in by our nutrition plans. I would not recommend over consuming saturated fats, but I wouldn’t recommend out right avoiding saturated fats either. Healthy fats include whole foods like olive oil, nuts, fatty fish (salmon, sardines, anchovies), cheese (real cheese), whole eggs, coconuts, full-fat dairy (without added sugar), chia seeds, flax seeds, dark chocolate, and avocados. Avoid using excess oils as this can add a significant amount of calories. My favorite oils to cook with are olive oil and ghee.

Time Restricted Eating (TRE)

It’s not magic, but is a great way to reduce daily calorie intake. Overconsumption of calories is a primary driver of disease. Fasting has been clinically proven to lower blood sugars, body fat, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, improve mood, improve willpower, and make us smarter!

What I recommend is shortening our eating window to between 8-12 hours a day. The 16/8 form of fasting is popular where you eat all your calories in an 8 hour time period per day and fast the other 16. I try to have my eating window during periods when the sun is up because our metabolism is better during daylight hours, but the best program is the program that you can do. You may need to supplement electrolytes like LMNT while you do TRE.

Hydration

Adequate hydration is key to overall health. Dehydration is associated with impaired kidney function, metabolism, cognition (in fact its the same as being legally drunk), heart function, hormone function and more. 70% of people are dehydrated every single day. It takes a loss of 2-3% of the total amount of water in our bodies for us to feel thirsty. This means by the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Drink water throughout the day. Your urine should be light yellow. Your kidneys are excellent at helping to maintain water concentrations and light yellow urine is a great indicator of adequate hydration. In general half to 2/3 of your body weight per day in fluid ounces is the goal for adequate hydration. Replacing electrolytes lost during sweating or fasting is important as well. My favorite electrolyte brand is LMNT as mentioned above.

Movement/Exercise

8,000 steps per day is recommended for overall health maintenance. Below 4,000 steps per day increases the risk of death from all medical causes while getting 8,000 steps per day lowers that risk by an astounding 50%. Sitting all day is the new smoking as far as health risk!

After 30 we start to lose up to 1% of our muscle mass per year and sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass) is one of the biggest contributors to chronic disease. It is associated with diabetes, heart disease, strokes, cancer, dementia, fatigue, obesity, and more. We also need to do at least 2 days of strength training per week (the goal is 75 minutes a week). This can be with weights, kettle bells, the gym, or body weight. Here is a link to a 7 minute HIIT exercise you can do twice a day 2-3 x a week. Here is a quick HIIT type workout for beginners. It is a good place to start your fitness journey! If you are looking for a personal trainer I highly recommend Joseph Murci at MurciFit.

Stress Management

Stress is an insidious root cause of chronic disease because the effects are not felt until something catastrophic happens. High levels of stress are associated with mental illness, cardiovascular disease, dementia, diabetes, and many other chronic illnesses.

There is two components to stress, a mental component and a physical component. The mental component is the feeling of being stressed/anxious. The physical component is the hormone responses that occur that are maladaptive if chronic. For stress management I recommend a meditation practice. 20 minutes 3-4x a week can make a dramatic difference in our stress levels. Headspace, Insight Timer or Calm (phone apps) are great resources to begin a practice.

Mindset by Carol Dweck is a great book about the Growth Mindset which is essential for dealing with the mental component of stress. I also highly recommend Grit by Angela Duckworth which talks about the science of resiliency.

I also recommend a daily gratitude practice. Every morning say three things that you are grateful for. Every day do at least one thing where someone was grateful that you were there and reflect on this moment. Keeping this in a journal can be very helpful. This can really help shift our focus and reduce our stress and improve happiness.

Daily breathing exercises can also help with stress and have many other beneficial effects on our physical and mental health. Here is an article that outlines some simple breathing techniques. My friends at Breath Fitness can help you get started.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the first line treatment choice for stress along with mindfulness. CBT helps us change our associations and thought patterns. Talk Space offers online CBT. Happify is an app that provides fun games and scenarios that are evidence based.

Non-sleep deep rest protocols are also effective for lowering stress like Yoga Nidra. Here is one that I do before bed or when I feel like I need to destress my nervous system. Research shows NSDR protocols can reduce the amount of sleep we need to properly recover.

Sleep Hygiene

The goal for sleep is 7-9 hours of sleep a night. More or less than that is associated with increased inflammation, higher blood sugars, higher calorie intake (200 to 400 more calories a day), higher stress hormones and numerous diseases including cancer, obesity, diabetes, dementia, heart disease, and strokes.

Here are a few tips that can improve your sleep quality and sleep duration:

Have a fixed sleep wake up time .

Go to sleep when you are sleepy even if this time is earlier than your usual or desired bed time
Avoid daytime naps longer than 20 minutes in duration.
Avoid watching TV at bedtime (at least 1 hour, optimal 2 hours before bedtime)
Amber glasses from UVEX or Solar Shield help filter out blue light which tells your body to stay awake. Blue light during the day helps wake us up, avoid blue and bright light at night.
Red light may help us fall asleep. Dim the lights at night and use floor lamps to avoid sending wake up signals to your brain.
Try to get 2 – 10 minutes of sun exposure to your eyes before 10 AM and then again around sunset. This helps set our 24 hour light dark cycle.
Use bedroom for sleep or intercourse only
Avoid eating within 2 hours of bedtime
I recommend meditation at least 3x a week for at least 5 minutes. You can always meditate more. Insight timer and headspace are two good meditation app
Have a fixed the sleep and wake up time including weekends
Remove the alarm clock in the bedroom and avoid looking at the clock when you wake up
Avoid alcohol and cigarette smoking near bedtime
Avoid staying in bed for a long time. Get out of bed after about 20 minutes of estimated elapsed time and go to a different room where he or she may read and nontechnical Tambocor a magazine or listen to light music. Computer use or TV watching at that stage wouldn’t be recommended.
the sleep environment and he can be kept quiet and dark as much as possible.
Keep the room cool and sleep with minimal amounts of clothes on
Exercise early in the day can help promote sleep at night
De-caffeinated organic Green tea or lavender/chamomile tea 30 min to 1 hour before bed can help induce natural sleep.
Lavender essential oils used as aromatherapy can help reduce stress and induce sleep.
CBD can also help with restoring natural sleep patterns, I use CBD Health Collection.

Toxin Avoidance

We live in a very toxic environment usually from the water we drink and the products we use. I recommend getting an at home testing kit via amazon to test your water. Mountain Valley is a great home water delivery company. Also, I recommend looking at the cleaning products, soaps, and cosmetic products you use. Many of the ingredients have been linked to obesity, diabetes, hormone disruption, infertility, inflammation, higher blood pressure, higher blood sugars, and increased risk of early death. Environmental Working Group is a great resource for seeing what are safe household products to use. An air purifier can help remove toxic substances, I use the Air Doctor at home.

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