“Blue Blocker” Sunglasses

A Pair of Sunglasses

 

Excuse me, what?

This is a relatively unknown topic related to modern living that is getting more and more attention these days.  Like sitting at desks, eating processed foods, and sitting in bad electronic pollution; we are finding another caveat to our modern lifestyle.  Enter “BLUE LIGHT.”  Light itself has its own complications, but blue light seems to be more problematic.  What is blue light?  We are talking neons.  We are talking the blinker lights on your wireless routers and television screens.  The glow from the alarm clock.  The blue LED nightlight in the bathroom.  It is hard to escape this stuff in a modern household.  What is the problem?  Our bodies have evolved rhythms revolving around the sun for thousands of years.  It isn’t just light for us.  It literally stimulates the production or restriction of certain hormones in the body.  Sun comes up, wake up, move around, think, exercise, etc.  Sun goes down, slow down, sleep, recover, rest.  What happens when these hormones get tricked?  

More and more research is piling up suggesting that light (especially blue light) interferes with our bodies own mechanisms for producing or inhibiting hormones.  A big one is melatonin.  So logging onto your email at night may end up keeping you awake.  Is your insomnia actually from looking at your computer or television screen late at night?  Can you not fall back asleep because you check your cellphone at night?  Maybe that blue light in the bathroom wires you back up.  The problem is that we are only subtly aware that these things are happening.  So what is an average “JOE” to do?  Surely you don’t want us to sell or give away all of our technology, ask us to turn the T.V. off, and check all emails before 7 at night RIGHT?  Correct =)

Enter “Blue Blocking Sunglasses.”  These are inexpensive.  They are effective.  They don’t interfere with our lives much at all.  What are they?  Basically just plastic sunglasses that have strong filtering technology.  They are specifically designed to filter out 100% of that specific light spectrum.  Keep a pair or two around the house for work at night.  Just pop these babies on and go about your business.  This is even more important in the winter when the sun goes down early.  

BENEFITS?  Better sleep.  Improved mood.  Deeper sleep.  Easier to “unwind” at night.  Better recovery from exercise and stress.

That’s it guys.  Simple.  Other tips?  Replace as many “blue” or LED lights from your living space as possible.  Switch to old-fashioned night-lights and battery or wind-up alarm clocks.  Try to get as much computer work done before bedtime as you can.  REST WELL.

-JOE 

 

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Foundational Health Building

GM Sky Scrapers

What do I mean by foundational health building?

We build houses.  We build skyscrapers.  We build cars and trains and buses.  We build computers.  We build countless different things in our country.  What do they all have in common?  They have FOUNDATION.  They have a structure that has to be in place before the other stuff can be added.  Health and our lives are no different.  We simply cannot have healthy lives or bodies without having some foundational support first.  Without going into too much detail, what are these foundations?  Let’s take a quick look.

ENVIRONMENT:  This is step number one.  Make sure your living environment and workspace are good.  Clean air, low stress, good lighting, etc.  Hectic, stuffy environments just will not work long-term.  Taking in fresh air, clean water, sunlight, and grounding are great foundations.  These are the basics.  

NUTRITION:  We have physical bodies guys.  We simply need good nutrition for our bodies to perform optimally.  This is like having the right parts and tools to build your house.  The directions may be great, but if the materials are not there it just doesn’t work.  Different people have slightly different “parts required.”  This may be akin to different genetics, and why people tend to do best on different diets.  Focusing on super-foods and fresh local food is best.  Fruits, vegetables, organic animal products are great.  Let your body guide you.  Cutting out the junk, as always, is a good step as well.

GOD/SOURCE:  This is a super-deep topic that is beyond the scope of this post.  Ultimately, you need to personally figure out who or what GOD means to you.  Is he a good guy?  Is he a bad guy with a whip?  Does he owe you something?  Are you thankful for him in your life?  Your view of God is HUGE in your personal life.  This may be one of the most important foundational principles to work on.

FAMILY:  Family is big as well.  Having healthy family relationships is paramount to a healthy life.  When we are running around with conflicted relationships, unresolved issues, and unspoken resentments; things don’t tend to work out too well.  Focusing on fixing these damaged or broken relationships is challenging work.  However, working on family issues is critical if you want to have solid foundations.

MOVEMENT:  Life is movement guys.  We were born to move.  Not to sit at desks all day.  We don’t need much.  Anything helps.  Light cardio, jogging, biking, swimming, kayaking, mini trampoline, strength training, hiking, walking, bodyweight stuff, whatever.  Anything you will stick to is great.

SLEEP/R&R:  Sleep is where we recover.  It is where we integrate our day.  Dreaming is where our unconscious mind comes out to play.  Are you sleeping enough?  Are you relaxing enough?  Sometimes we are relaxed but don’t get enough sleep.  Sometimes we get enough sleep but we can’t relax.  Both are foundational to health and healing.

Those are the big ones guys.  Everything else comes on top of these.  Let’s fix the foundations and build from the ground up.

-JOE

Doing Enough?

Uptight.

Are YOU doing enough today?

Are you doing enough at your job?  I’m sure you could be doing better.  What about your health?  Your eating clean.  But are you exercising?  Are you getting daily sun exposure?  Are you working on your emotions?  Are your kids happy?  Is your wife happy?  When does it end?  Most of us are taught something here.  THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS DOING ENOUGH!  There is always something else we could be doing better.  There is always something we could be resolving.  So where do we find a balance?  Many people are truly not doing enough.  Many of us are trying to do too much.  So how do we figure this out?

PRIORITIZE:  Create priorities for your life.  We tend to focus too much on the things that don’t really matter and not enough on the stuff that really matters.  The ironic thing here?  When we focus on the stuff that REALLY matters, we find that we don’t strive so much on the little things.  What are the things I would advise working on?  Focus on the big things in life first.  GOD, FAMILY, HEALTH, RELAXATION, PASSION, PURPOSE, INNER PEACE AND HAPPINESS, FRIENDSHIPS, etc.  Don’t stress so much about how clean your car is, how much you can bench press, what your “macronutrient” ratios are, what you are NOT doing, etc.  These just are not important.  In fact, when we find ourselves focusing too much on TRYING to be perfect on superficial things; it often tells us that we are not listening to something bigger going on.  Why do you feel the need to vacuum your house every day?  Why do you feel like you have to defend yourself against what people think about you?  Why do you change the channel to avoid viewing something uncomfortable to you?  We need to build our houses with the proper foundations.  Tomorrow I will discuss the proper way to do this.  In the meantime, remember you’re a human being.  Remember that most of us are doing the best we can.  Often, it is WHERE we are putting our efforts that is the problem.  Remember to take time to rest and relax.  Remember you ARE doing enough in a lot of areas in your life. =)

-JOE

Metabolic Typing

Mixed salad leaves with candied bacon, crouton...

What is “Metabolic Typing”?

Honestly, this is just a fancy way of categorizing the way we eat.  Ever wonder why there seems to be so many different diets out there that people SWEAR by.  There are vegans.  There are paleo people.  There are starch eaters.  There are low-carbers.  They all think that their way is best.  Are they all right?  Are they all wrong?  What is going on here?  Enter Metabolic Typing.

METABOLIC TYPING:  In my own words, metabolic typing is a dietary theory that leaves room for differences in genetics, ancestry, climate, age, and location.  We come from different areas of the planet.  Our ancestors ate different things.  Humans have traveled the world and filled the globe.  We are all human, yes?  Yes, but we all come from different places.  We are in different phases of life and do different activities.  Trying to fit EVERYBODY into the same box just seems a little arrogant and crazy right?  Ultimately, there are infinite numbers of metabolic types because we are ALL different and unique.  For the sake of sanity, most people break down the types into three main categories.  Let’s take a quick peak and give a few tips on how to succeed as each one.  Keep in mind that your metabolic type can and often does change with the seasons, age, activity levels, and so forth.  Listening to your body and eating real food is always a good guide.

PROTEIN TYPE:  This is the realm of the “modern paleo” diet trend.  Lot’s of meat and fat.  Regardless of what vegetarians or “vegans” tell you, some of our genes require meat and fat to do well.  How much?  It depends on the person.  Protein types are usually people who feel best having some sort of animal protein a few times a day.  They usually crave dark meat, rich meats, eggs, butter, fat, full fat cheese, etc.  Nuts are often sought after as a snack.  This person is usually inclined towards strength-training and doesn’t do quite as well with cardio exercise.  They need a bit more sleep than most to feel good.  What gets this type into trouble?  Overeating.  Especially on crappy food.  These include all pasteurized dairy products, grilled or heavy cooked protein foods, fried eggs, too much bacon or preserved meats, roasted nuts, etc.  How to balance this type?  Focus on QUALITY over QUANTITY first.  Get yourself good quality, grass-fed meats, fish, fats, and eggs.  If you kilter towards animal foods, go with raw cod liver oil, raw butter, raw or lightly cooked eggs, rare fish and other meats, bone marrow, etc.  If you kilter towards plant foods (most don’t), go for the avocados, olives, coconuts, raw nuts, etc.  Another pitfall for this type is eating too many carbs or sugar.  They will usually crash if eating a lot of sugar by itself.  An example would be drinking a LARGE glass of orange juice first thing in the morning without anything else in your stomach.  People naturally slide more towards the protein type on the scale in the winter months.

MIXED TYPE:  Ah, the mixed type.  These are the “middle-of-the-road” people.  They are usually the least picky of eaters.  They can get by on pretty much everything as long as it is fresh, real food.  Cravings will shift often.  Sometimes we want some juicy rare lamb.  Sometimes we want a big bowl of vegetables or some fresh juice.  Maybe I didn’t want any fat for lunch, but boy does it sound good at dinnertime.  Mixed types are exactly how we sound.  Everything in moderation right?  The best foods for you?  Fresh fruits and vegetables as they feel right.  Some fresh juice in the morning maybe.  Moderate amounts of animal foods.  You may find a super heavy breakfast will weigh you down.  For example, a mixed type usually will do better with a lighter breakfast, as opposed to a big plate of eggs and sausage links.  The mix between preferences for animal and plant foods usually is mixed as well.  Sometimes animal fat does the trick.  Sometimes plant fat hits the spot.  Keep a wide variety of foods around and choose what feels best at the time.  This type usually likes some bodyweight exercise as well as cardio.  Problems?  It is easy to go off-balance.  Sometimes we eat too much protein and fat and get bogged down.  Sometimes we eat like the carb type and get jittery or anxious.  This all has to do with learning your own bodies preferences.  As usual, things change with the seasons and activity levels.

CARB TYPE:  The carb type eh?  This is usually where vegetarians lie on the scale.  Personally, I believe that most people need SOME high-quality animal products to be healthy long-term.  There are few people who do well in a cold climate on a carb diet.  My guess?  Most CARBS and heavy sugar fruits grow in tropical climates.  Some of us evolved in those regions.  Others evolved in colder regions.  So what are the characteristics of the carb-type?  A little hyper.  Quick to move.  Quick to think.  Usually favors cardio exercise.  These people often get cold easily in the winter, but LOVE the summer months.  Sometimes they are mixed types in disguise.  (If I eat a ton of sugar I will be very FAST for a while also.)  The difference?  This type of thing sustains the carb-type during the day.  What are the best foods for carb types?  Primarily fruits and vegetables.  Relatively little meat and fat here.  These types usually prefer plant sources for the bulk of their protein and fat.  Maybe a few eggs or some white fish or chicken here and there.  An example of a BAD meal for the carb-type would be a giant breakfast with a lot of rich meat, butter, bacon, or fatty fish.  Being a carb-type is NOT an excuse to go eat a bunch of “junk-food.”  Just as the protein type has to be wary of bad fats and overcooked proteins, the carb-type needs to watch it with the processed starches and sugars.  Things like potato and corn chips.  Granola.  Cereals.  Sweets.  “Healthy junk.”  Gluten, processed foods, and sugar are best avoided by everyone.

So those are the types guys and girls.  As a general guideline, you will slide more towards a protein type in the winter and when you are doing strength training, or are under stress.  You will usually slide towards the carb type in the summer months, doing a lot of mental-activity, and doing more cardio exercise.  Don’t “LOCK” yourself into any one category.  We change just as the seasons change.  Let your body be your guide.  Metabolic typing can be a good system to help you figure out where you are on the scale and adjust accordingly.  Happy hunting =)


-JOE

“ACTIVE” RELAXATION.

Dandelion wind

You REALLY should relax man!  Take a deep breath.  Find your center.

Is taking a small break from our stressful lives really all that we need?  A moment in the midst of calamity can do wonders, don’t get me wrong.  But are we actively unwinding our clocks on a regular basis?  Stress winds us up a lot.  We don’t usually take much time to just BE and RELAX.  This is especially true if we are going through stressful events, rough jobs, health problems, bad relationships, problems with children, etc.  Add to that bad food choices and malnutrition.  It is so easy to wind up and never unwind.  Enter “Active Relaxation.”

ACTIVE RELAXATION:  This is something you set aside time for.  It can be anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour or longer if you wish.  10-20 minutes would seem ideal for most people.  What does active relaxation look like?  It can look like anything you want it to.  The main ideas?  SLOW your breathing, relax, and let go of tension.  Some good examples of activities that promote active relaxation of the body would include tai-qi and qigong, some slow yoga, very slow walking, belly breathing to meditation music, laughter, slow spiritual reading, or plain old meditation.  Affirmations is a great way to relax as well.  Repeating phrases with our breathing can help rapidly calm the system.  Phrases like “I unwind and relax with ease,” or “I deserve a breather” are great.  Affirmations can be anything you want them to be.  Anything that helps put you in a state of deep calm.  For most of us, we only realize how stressed we have been when we truly relax.  It is unfortunate, but most of us rarely reach the state of true relaxation.  We let the worries and stresses of the day wind us up more and more, then we get stuck there!  So let’s learn to un-stick ourselves and practice a little “active relaxation.”  I can’t help but share the 5 principles of “REIKI” with my readers.

JUST FOR TODAY I WILL NOT WORRY

JUST FOR TODAY I WILL NOT ANGER

JUST FOR TODAY I WILL DO MY WORK HONESTLY

JUST FOR TODAY I WILL HONOR ALL LIVING THINGS

JUST FOR TODAY I WILL COUNT MY MANY BLESSINGS

Enjoy =)

-JOE 

HEAVY METALS

English: Glam metal/Heavy metal and Hard rock ...

No, not the music.  

Most people have heard of “heavy metals” before.  Especially things like mercury, lead, etc.  Mercury is the big one most people talk about.  What is the problem?  The levels of these poisons is ever larger in our environment.  It is in our air and water.  It is in our food.  It is in our dental work.  This stuff is NOT designed to be inside the human body.  Add to this the fact that most people are highly deficient in minerals and vitamins.  Our bodies need this stuff.  When it does not show up, the body will often use another substance in its place.  Enter heavy metals.  There is also an interesting emotional link with heavy metals.  Toxins tend to get trapped in areas of the body that have stored emotions.  For example, the liver will store anger and frustration.  The lungs and heart may hold death frights and grief.  When we don’t acknowledge these feelings, the toxins can’t move freely.  This has always been a problem and is the reason spirituality has been a part of healing since humans have been around.  The problem now?  There are astronomically more toxins coming into the average persons body!  The other problem with metals is that they seem to be harder to remove than some other toxic substances we have been dealing with for much longer such as alcohol, tobacco, etc.  Heavy metal poisoning has been linked to most illnesses.  Especially included are the “modern” or “untreatable” conditions like autism, MS, some cancers, autoimmune conditions, and lyme disease.  This is NOT good stuff.  It also happens to be an area of a lot of disagreement between practitioners.  There are several different methods of treatment.  Some are somewhat dangerous.  There are risks that go along with most styles of chelation.  Honestly, I am no specialist in heavy metal detoxification.  I feel that working with an advanced practitioner is a smart idea with this one.  However, nature has blessed us with some amazing substances to help MILDLY get this stuff out of our bodies.  Let’s look at the natural things we can do to start lowering our heavy metal count without jeopardizing our immediate health.

FOODS:  Food truly is our best medicine most of the time.  There are certain herbs and foods that have been known to chelate metals gently from the body.  Among them are common kitchen herbs like CILANTRO.  This is the big one used in most supplements designed to remove metals.  Combining cilantro with a binding agent such as GARLIC or CHLORELLA is often a good idea.  This prevents the bad stuff from moving around to other areas of the body somewhat.  Garlic is said to be a mild chelator as well.  HEALTHY FATS are great mobilizers of metals.  Think raw fats.  COCONUT OIL, OLIVE OIL, RAW BUTTER, BONE MARROW, EGG YOLKS, AVOCADOS, ETC.  They provide our body with a lot of helpful stuff to get this gunk out.  KELP and some other seaweeds may help replace minerals.  An easy recipe I learned from Klinghardt is to make a “cilantro pesto” to use regularly.  Take maybe a cup of olive oil, a few bulbs of raw garlic, and a bunch of cilantro.  Blend it up to make a pesto.  Add a little sea-salt.  Store in the fridge and use with your food or on salads.

HEAT THERAPY:  Sweating has long been used as a way to purify the body.  Heavy metals can be sweated out.  Using things like saunas, steam-rooms, epsom salt baths, steam-showers, etc all can mildly eliminate these substances.  Be careful not to overdo though.  I would also advise adding in plenty of minerals into your diet, as you will sweat some of these out as well.

MILD CLEANSING:  Mildly helping the liver, kidneys, and lymph to eliminate their poisons will always be useful.  Using herbs, juicing, coffee enemas, and other mild things should help give your system a breather.

EMOTIONS/SPIRITUALITY:  This is a big one with metals.  A lot of us have repressed emotions.  A lot of us have bad mental conflicts going on inside of ourselves.  How big are yours?  Do you have a problem with God?  Do you feel unloved by your parents?  Did you get in a bad divorce?  What is causing you problems?  Maybe there is a lot of repressed anger you could deal with.  Figure out where your conflicts lie and address them.  This often means working on deep childhood issues for many of us.  It is worth the effort to restore health and balance to your system.

There are other therapies guys.  Hardcore chelation.  Injections.  Synthetic vitamins, etc.  These are best left for people who really know what they are doing.  Removing the sources is always the biggest first step.  Avoid fish and other foods that are contaminated.  Drink spring water from a clean source.  Try to breathe clean air.  Work on the emotions.  These are the main things.  Let’s start building awareness and get this problem on its way out =)

-JOE

 

 

ILEOCECAL VALVE?

English: A Globe Valve. The valve body is colo...

HUH?

I seem to be on a digestive kick guys.  What is the ileocecal valve?  Like hiatal hernia problems, this little guy goes relatively unrecognized.  His importance plays a big factor in our health.  Most people haven’t heard of the ileocecal valve before.  So what is it?  

ILEOCECAL VALVE:  This “valve” is a small, golf ball sized part of our lower digestive anatomy.  It connects our small intestines to our large intestines.  The point of this valve?  To keep the sewage from the large intestines separate from the stuff happening in the small intestines.  With unhealthy lifestyle choices this valve can get stuck open or closed.  This is a problem folks.  What do you get?  You can have sewage flowing into the area you are supposed to be absorbing your food.  You can also have waste not properly able to flow out.  Let’s look at a few reasons the valve gets stuck and what we can do to fix it.

CAUSES:  The culprits always seem to be the same don’t they.  These are a little different, yet still similar.  Processed foods are among the worst.  Gluten, pasteurized dairy, improperly prepared grains and cereals, sugar, etc.  Roughage can also irritate this valve.  Too much raw salads, raw carrots, or under-ripe  fruit can cause this valve to spasm a bit as well.  EXERCISE, or lack thereof is a huge issue as well.  Our systems are all PUMPS.  They are designed to be PUMPED!  Digestive system, detox system, circulatory system, lymph, etc.  Most of these systems have their own pumps.  But they are designed to have help.  Exercise stimulates digestion big time.  Mixing it up is always a good idea.  Bicycling may be especially good for this problem.  Stress is a big one too.  When we are stressed, we don’t digest our food properly.  What does this lead to?  A “back-up” in our bodies.  Traffic jams.  This is no good.  We want to be relaxed and well rested when we eat.  Ultimately, removing the sources of your stress is a big help with almost all problems in the body.  So what can we do about this issue?  There are a few simple steps.

SOLUTIONS:  The first solution is to remove the causes.  Clean up the diet.  Eliminate the roughage foods for a little bit.  Focus on soft stuff.  Try eliminating gluten, most grains, hard veggies, and irritating spices like hot peppers, etc.  Going off  these things for a few weeks can help calm this valve down.  Exercising more regularly, deep breathing, sleeping more, and getting rid of stress all will do wonders.  As with the hiatal hernia, sometimes our parts like a little help to regain proper functioning.  There are several techniques that you can do on yourself that help get this little guy back up and running.  There is another valve on the other side called the “Houston’s valve.”  The principle is the same.  Let’s look at how to find these valves and I will post a short video on massaging these spots.

LOCATION:  The best way to locate your ileocecal valve is to imagine a line connecting your belly button to the front of your hipbone.  Find the midpoint of that line with your fingers.  Next, go down an inch or two until you find a small, tender spot.  This is likely your ileocecal valve.  Most people have soreness or tenderness in this area.  The same is true of the Houston Valve.  So let’s look at a quick clip on how to fix this up.  Keeping your digestive system and all of its parts happy and healthy is a great defense against all types of ailments.  Let’s get the system back up and running on all 8 =)

VALVE CLOSING

-JOE