Moving From Healthy to Healthier in The New Year

Recently, I posted an article called 6 Simple Steps for Success in the New Year. Which was great for those looking to turn their health around in 2017, but wasn’t much help for those already ‘Living It.’

If that’s you, and you’re looking to make the jump from ‘healthy’ to ‘healthier’ this year, here are 6 things you can do in addition to following Live It NOT Diet!

1. Blue Blockers

Whether you want to accept it or not, technology is a problem; especially when we consume it at night. The blue light tells our brain it’s still day-time. Meaning we don’t secrete melatonin like we’re supposed to, and our sleep and circadian rhythm (daytime wired, night-time tired) is disrupted.  Leading to poor performance, a bad body composition (high fat, low muscle) and hampered health.

“The cumulative long-term effects of sleep loss and sleep disorders have been associated with a wide range of deleterious health consequences including an increased risk of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, depression, heart attack, and stroke.”

The easiest way to prevent this problem is to restrict or eliminate your exposure to blue light in the evening. But let’s be honest, Vikings, House of Cards, Suits and Game of Thrones aren’t going to watch themselves.

So we block it instead. Using amber-tinted glasses like the ones pictured below.

They’re definitely not cool, and you will get made fun of. But it’s a small price to pay for a sound night of sleep, a high-muscle low-fat physique, and a lower risk of degenerative disease.

2. Fermented Foods

By lowering your carbohydrate intake and avoiding inflammatory foods (like grains and beans) you’re preventing the bad-bacterial overgrowth and gastrointestinal damage now ‘common’ in the majority of the population. Although, as we discussed in Live It NOT Diet, adding healthy bacteria to out-number the bad stuff is just as important for optimizing gut health.

The simple recommendation is taking a probiotic supplement. But now that you’re a seasoned nutritional-connoisseur, there’s no reason why you can’t start looking to fermented foods; like sauerkraut, kimchi, and kefir.

Depending on your dietary past, an adjustment period will likely be required in order to implement these foods on a regular basis. So, continuing to take a probiotic supplement on days when you don’t consume any fermented foods is recommended.

That being said, transitioning to these ‘real food’ supplements is highly encouraged. Especially when you look at a fermented food like kefir, which has MORE bacteria, and MORE diversity than a probiotic pill.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar

Digestion and gut health go hand-in-hand. And unfortunately, both have been compromised in the 21st century with the over-prescription of antacids and antibiotics.

antibiotics

The sad part is, acid reflux and heartburn is your stomach’s way of telling you there isn’t enough digestive juice to breakdown your food; while it tells your doctor to recommend an antacid that makes you secrete even less stomach acid.

Other than taking a digestive supplement, eliminating indigestible grains, eating slower, and trying to avoid drinking water while eating, you can start incorporating more vinegar into your meals. Either using it directly in your salads and stir-fry’s, or taking a swig before or after eating.

Interestingly, this little shot of vinegar not only supports better digestion, but it lowers the blood glucose response from your meal!

4. Squatty Potty

To steal a quote from Eat Meat And Stop Jogging:

“Just because that’s the way it’s always been, doesn’t mean that’s the way it has to be.”

We’re so quick to fluff-off alternative ways of doing things because we don’t know any better. Even though our short life, and the life of our parents and grandparents, is not even a speck in the 2-3 million year timeline of human history.

The toilet was only invented in 1596, and prior to that we were squatting low and crapping in a hole. I use this rationale for explaining why it’s important to ‘Deep Squat Daily’ in 1% Fitness, but we should also be looking to it as the proper pooping position.  Which, according to a study from 2003, appears to line up the organs better, promote elimination, and prevent constipation.

“The squatters experienced full bowel emptying after a duration of 50 seconds on average, while the sitters reported a ‘less satisfactory experience’ that took nearly 3 times as long (130 seconds).”

Unfortunately, if you don’t live in China – where the floor toilet is the preferred technology – you’re stuck with the Standard American toilet.

Fortunately, the Squatty Potty, or a small stool (no pun intended!), can help mimic that same position.

blog - squatty potty

5. Bone Broth

In addition to quickly forgetting the health habits of 500 years ago, we’ve also forgotten the health habits of 100 years ago. Like how our grandparents utilized ALL of an animal, not just the perfectly manicured muscle meat.

chicken breasts

Sure, better food quality, higher activity levels, and more sleep probably has a lot to do with their superior health. But the regular consumption of organ meats and bone broth, also has a lot to do with their stronger, more resilient body….at least when compared to the the low-fat, over-medicated, baby-boomers.

As discussed HERE, bone broth is very cheap and very easy to make on your own. And other than balancing your amino acid intake from muscle meat, with glycine and proline, and supplying an extremely useful dose of collagen and chondroitin (for better skin and bones) it can help heal the gut and stimulate the secretion of digestive juices (from gelatin).

6. Wheat-Free Feast

By following my plan in the book, and turning Phase 3 into a lifestyle, you will live a very long, lean and healthy life. Even if you are going for a big-time indulgence on the weekend with a Cheat or Feast Day.

Cheat-Day

In saying that, there’s one highly-recommended final step that was almost included as ‘Principle #15.’ And since I’ve lived it myself for the last 6 years, and seen drastic improvements in my own health (and those around me that have implemented it), I encourage you to do the same. Especially if you’re dealing with recurring gastrointestinal problems, a nagging skin condition, or sub-optimal mental performance.

It’s going completely Wheat-Free (even on Feast Days), and sticking to non-gluten containing cheat foods (rice, corn, etc).

Try it for 3 weeks and see if you notice a difference.  For me it was less overall inflammation, and a SIGNIFICANT improvement in my cognitive ability. Which once you read this, this, and this, shouldn’t come as surprise.

Stay Lean (& Get Healthier)!
Coach Mike


RELATED ARTICLES:

Can't Sleep? Blame Technology

6 Simple Steps to Success in the New Year

Beyond Live It NOT Diet! - The Wheat-Free Feast

Apple Cider Vinegar Each Day Keeps The Doctor Away

Pushing For The Perfect Poop - Using Your Stool as a Prevention Tool