Tired of feeling awful and like your healthcare provider isn’t listening? Overwhelmed with all the health and nutrition information out there? Does it seem like being healthy will require a lot of money, time and effort?
Great news! There are little things you can do daily that can improve your health. Our bodies are actually designed to feel good. That is the natural state we gravitate towards. Only makes sense to do natural things and behaviors to feel better.
Be warned, everything mentioned below can drastically improve your mood, health and thus life. Side effects may include, but are not limited to, clearer skin, improved sleep, less gas, healthier weight, motivation, more beautiful smile, detoxing, better work performance and a new found love of feeling great. Additionally, it should be noted that all of these are gateways to more healthy behaviors.
Oil pulling is said to doa long list of things including, but not limited to: preventing cavities (some even claim it heals minor cavities), reduces build up on teeth (linked to buildup in heart/veins/arteries), whitens teeth, pulls toxins from your body, helps with hormone imbalance and even reduce headaches and migraines.
On the note of headaches and migraines, oil pulling may actually cause mild headaches at first as a result of pulling toxins from the body. Think of it this way: toxins are embedded in the tissue of your body and your body has compensated for the space and functionality they’re monopolizing as best it can. When you remove the toxins, there is a gap where they once were.
It’s like getting a nail in your tire - agreeably a bad thing. The nail needs to be removed and then a repair patch needs to be put in place (unless it’s in the sidewall, which renders this entire metaphor moot). In removing the nail, the entire tire will quickly deflate. Do you leave the nail (metaphorical toxin) in and constantly keep airing it up (metaphorical quick fixes that don’t really work)? No! You air that bad boy up enough to get to the tire repair shop and let them fix it.
Start by oil pulling 5 to 10 minutes every day and gradually build up the amount of time you do it, until you reach 20 minutes. 20 minutes is said to be optimal as it’s enough time to get maximum toxins out, works on all those other health benefits, but doesn’t allow enough time for all those toxins to leach back in.
Those in the know say to oil pull in the morning prior to any food or beverage or even teeth brushing. You can use this time to reflect on life, pet your dog, shower, social-scroll or even write a health article. After your 20 minutes is up, spit oil into garbage. Rinse your mouth with warm water and brush teeth. Bang biscuit! You’re winning at life before evening leaving your home.
Drinking Hot Lemon Water in the Morning
Drinking hot lemon water is said to boost metabolism. Moment of clarity: metabolism is the absorption and utilization of nutrients NOT a fancy word for “get skinny.” When you are absorbing and utilizing nutrients well, you will reside at a healthy weight.
This is another detoxification activity. It helps you excrete toxins. Toxins have to come out somewhere and in this case it’s via urine and feces. Thus, drinking hot lemon water aids in regularity and decreasing water retention. Because toxins are going down the toilet, your body won’t be force to push them out through the largest escape hatch it has: your skin. This means that your skin clears up!
Here’s what you do: bring water to a boil and add lemon juice. Drink said hot lemon water. Either fresh lemon juice squeezed out of a lemon or thin lemon slices. Don’t use the bottled nonsense unless the only ingredient is lemon juice and the bottle is glass.
As is the case with most things that aren’t exciting or expensive (read sensationalize to the point people shell out money for research), there isn’t a lot of scientific research on dry brushing to back any of these claims up. It’s also highly probable that if the reduction of cellulite was significant, than dry brushing would have taken the world by storm and become expensive in the interim. That said, it’s something that can’t hurt, but potentially can help. If you have skin abrasions or rashes, don’t dry brush the area and make things worse.
Here’s what you do: Take a natural bristle brush and brush it over your naked body starting from your feet and working your way up, always brushing towards your heart. Take a shower. That’s it.
Dry brushing is said to leave your skin looking younger and healthier, as well as massage lymph nodes to push out toxins (metaphorical tire nails). To what degree it does all this is unknown, and also dependent on a myriad of factors (age, frequency, technique, etc.), but what is true is that for the most part it feels good (if you’re being kind to yourself), costs nearly nothing and takes very little time.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Here’s what you do: It depends on what you’re doing with ACV, but for the most part you dilute ACV in twice as much water and apply it to whatever you’re working on. To get the benefits of consuming it, the pros say to strive for a minimum tablespoon a day. This can be done by adding it to a glass of water in the morning or a teaspoon with a glass of water at every meal, especially good for acid reflux sufferers.
The key is to use apple cider vinegar that is organic, raw, unfiltered and with the mother. That means that it has the enzymes in it to do all the awesome things it does. Filter apple cider vinegar is great for cleaning and that is it. Add ACV to recipes to get even more of it.
Vitamin D is actually a hormone needed to make all other hormones. Consequentially, deficiency can affect your sex drive, fertility, penile function and gym performance.
Those living in northern regions (draw a line from the bottom of the Colorado state border across US) do not get vitamin D from the sun from October to March MINIMUM due to the angle the sun hits earth. You cannot override the axis tilt of the earth and our proximity to the sun. Age, weight, skin color, sun skin, stress, many medications and factors all affect vitamin D status.
Here's what you do: take vitamin D (bottle will say D3) daily and have your vitamin D levels tested immediately. This is one supplement you will feel kick in.
Probiotics are linked to improved mood, clearer skin, better sleep, better blood glucose control, better bowel movements, better health (markedly less colds and flus) and even decreased pain (some pain is caused by bad bacteria sitting in your joints).
Here’s what you do: Get a probiotic supplement containing a Bifido- and Lactobacilli- bacteria
strain. The key is to take one and stop saying you walked past the yogurt section so you think you’re golden in the probiotics department. Also don't take only when you're on antibiotics and don't take at same time as an antibiotic pill.
The good bacteria you’re taking may have to ride into battle with a host of bad bacteria in your gut causing upset stomach and gas for a day or two. After that, digestion is smooth sailing.
On top of your probiotic supplement, eat fiber rich foods to feed your health microflora. Additionally, consume fermented and probiotic enriched foods as well. I’m a huge fan of Kevita probiotic drinks. They’re like soda, but healthy instead of evil. Plus when you recommend them to people they thank you for getting them hooked on something that makes them feel awesome. Be that guy that gets the thank you’s!
Kill the Lights
That smartphone you’re reading this on as you lay in bed, you know the one you’ve dropped on your face countless times while pinning away on Pinterest, accidentally liking your ex’s Instagram pic or mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, yeah…that smartphone, may be slowly killing you. Put that bad boy away an HOUR before you knock out for the evening.
May be the hardest thing for millions to do, but more and more studies are finding that are phones are killing our health and quality of life. Blue light emitted from smartphones, tablets, televisions and computer screens interrupts our brain’s natural chemistry needed to fall and stay asleep. This results in decreased amount and quality of sleep.
No understatement, sleep deprivation ruins your life. If you’re not sleeping well, you’re not functioning well throughout the day. It can lead to depression, anxiety, weight gain, impaired thinking, carb cravings, decreased satiety (you can’t believe you ate the whole thing) and more. It affects everything from your waistline to your relationships to your bank account.
Do yourself a solid and turn off all tech an hour before you go to bed. Cover all lights in your sleeping area, ESPECIALLY the blue ones. Black electrical tape works magic. Since you’re not typing away on your laptop until you fall asleep anymore, you won’t have its tiny lights interrupting your sleep from your nightstand or out from under your bed.
But you’re smartphone is your alarm clock! Commit to what time you’ll be waking up in the morning an hour or more before you go to bed. Additionally, smartphones are smart. You can have an alarm that goes off the same time every day or Monday through Friday.
Being one of the millions who use their phone as their alarm means keeping it next to your bed, where people of the past kept devices known as alarm clocks, radios or, get this, alarm clock radios. Strict hippies will tell you to ditch the tech in the bedroom as a whole, meaning leave your phone in living room at night. Realistic hippies know that phones go next to beds and also are important if someone absolutely needs to reach you in the middle of the night.
To reiterate, smartphones are smart and so are you. There is a ‘do not disturb’ mode that allows for individuals you select to be able to call you in case of an emergency, everything else is on silent. Simple to do. This feature allows a call to ring through if a person calls more than twice in a short period of time. Utilize this feature or turn your phone on silent all night.
The biggest step to feeling better is believing you deserve to feel better. Silencing your phone while you sleep is a great way to respect your right to feel good. You deserve uninterrupted sleep. All those notifications will be there in the morning when you get up. You can read through them while you oil pull.
Let's Hear It!
What health hacks do you swear by? Are you going to try any of these out? Are you strong enough to put down your technology an HOUR before bed?