Here are a few of my favorite “Bio-Hacks”* to combat stress that are simple and perhaps easy to do if you’ve got the right ‘tude…A Bio-Hack is a way of modulating your epigenome...why bother? These lifestyle choices largely influence how your DNA is expressed by turning on healthy genes and silencing unhealthy genes.
Never coffee on empty. Not only is the histamine forming action of coffee rough on the delicate stomach lining (gastritis), but the adrenalin surge one gets from caffeine on top of a low blood sugar state (being on empty) causes a release of glycogen (stored sugar). If it’s a big release, blood sugar spikes, causing insulin to surge and when glucose can’t be absorbed quickly enough by the cells for energy (insulin resistance) the glucose is then stored as fat. This is a simplified explanation. Secret empowering tip: this is the caffeinated American way that is pushing nearly all of us in the direction of pre-diabetes/diabesity...and by daily making this small switch, you literally dial the process back.
During the Autumn and Winter, go to bed one hour earlier. There are myriad good things that sleeping in the hours before midnight do for your adrenal gland health, your circadian rhythm, leptin/ghrelin balance (and therefore endocrine system/waistline). I know, I know...so difficult to do. However, for those who are willing to exercise a little self mastery to implement this highly beneficial habit, amazing clarity, double efficiency and productivity happen due to your properly restored vitality the next morning. Insider's tip: I put a timer on my modem and I cannot access internet after 10:30PM. This has been just the push I need to not do "just one more little thing."
Gluten and Mood: it just keeps getting worse! All kidding aside, emerging evidence about gluten mediated auto immunity against the cerebellum reveal the mechanism for gluten's contribution to anxiety, depression, and loss of coordination as we mature. More on this topic coming soon. The upshot, being 100% gluten and oat free is well worth it and easier than ever...for a calmer, happier mood during the festivities of the Season. Why not take on the challenge of creating a GF Holiday that is still totally delicious?
Bone Broth and the Gut: one of the most universally healing substances to the gut: bone broth. It contains collagen and glycosaminoglycans that specifically heal the gut lining. Now that many of us will have the carcass of our organic roasted turkey leftover, relax the day after and make this bone broth. You can freeze it and use it in soup bases or as a nourishing consommé throughout the year...here's the Turkey Bone Broth Recipe I use, adapted from Cook's Illustrated.