Kelly Spencer - Happy Healthy YOU
(A wellness column by Kelly Spencer: writer, life coach, yoga & meditation teacher, holistic healer and a mindful life enthusiast!)
The title of a recent article I read included the word 'biohacking.' That is what caught my eye. I had seen this term a couple of times before, but did not fully understand its meaning.
“I think the biggest innovations of the 21st century will be at the intersection of biology and technology... A new era is beginning.” - Steve Jobs, Apple CEO and iPod shuffle creator.
He predicted a wellness revolution.
Biohacking is a fun name for the desire to be the best version of ourselves. The main thing that separates a biohacker from the rest of the self-improvement world is a systems-thinking approach to our own biology.
Energy in equals energy out.
We are an intertwining complex system that is directly affected by what we are taking in. What goes into us affects what comes out of us. What we eat, breathe, think, focus on, surround ourselves with scientifically affects our behaviors, our health, and our performance in all areas of life.
If we want better output such as to have more energy and focus, to be free of disease, to have a better memory, to perform optimally in business or athletics or whatever, then we need to understand that the things we put into our body, mind and energy field can be optimized by what we choose as input.
Biohacking is the process of making changes to your lifestyle to 'hack' your body’s biology and feel your best. By biohacking yourself, you can transform your body and mind so that you feel more energized, more productive and overall, feel like the best possible version of yourself.
“You are what you eat” is a common phrase but let’s take that quote and expand it. You are what you eat, think, how you move your body, and what you are surround yourself with.
This can seem a little overwhelming but ultimately when we know that we can use the biological reactions within and around ourselves, to better our health and happiness, it is empowering. It is powerful knowledge to know the choices we choose and energy input we decide on, directly correlates to the output of our health.
The word biology alone can be daunting, but this doesn’t mean we turn into mad scientists but rather we use 'hacks' or already proven scientific information for betterment of our lives but trying and feeling it as proof for our individual selves.
This subject is big and extensive, but here are a few biohacks that you can easily access to increase and heighten the quality of your inputs.
1. Bullet-Proof coffee. Starting the day with a cup of coffee with healthy fats, can create greater focus, decrease caffeine spiking, and curb excessive appetite. Black organic coffee, with 1-2 tablespoons of organic, grass-fed butter and a tablespoon of coconut oil, or its more concentrated cousin, MCT (medium chain triglyceride). MCT is broken down into ketones, which some research suggests, can be a good source of fuel for the brain. Blend all for 20 seconds. Its like a creamy good latte.
2. Elimination Diet. If you have food sensitivities or have trouble digesting foods, experience skin issues like eczema and acne, or find yourself constantly fatigued, it’s probably time to bio-hack your nutrition. This can seem a little overwhelming but try for 3-4 weeks to cut out foods that create unease in the body, an acidic body and/or inflammation. Gluten, soy, dairy, peanuts, canola, sugar and corn are all known food triggers to cut out during this time. Give it a try and see if the input changes the output. Eat more veggies, healthy fats, high quality protein and eliminate added processed sugar and food sensitivities.
3. The Elements. The air we breath is cellular nutrition. Natural outdoor air is more rejuvenating than the moldy air in our homes. Go outside and fill your lungs by breathing deeply through the diaphragm to absorb oxygen most effectively. Sunlight, full of Vitamin D, is good input for our skin, our eyes and our energy. When the weather is warmer, go “earthing” where you walk barefoot on the grass or on the dirt. Tap into the Earth’s natural electrical charges. Hug a tree!
4. Stand up for yourself. Literally, stand up. Sitting extended periods is not healthy. Try every hour, on the hour to get up and stand, stretch and take a little walk around the room or office. It can assist with a healthier blood pressure, blood sugar levels, body fat around the waist and cholesterol levels.
5. Yoga, Meditation and Mindfulness. What we feed our minds is just as important as what we feed our bodies and meditation is the ultimate brain bio-hack. The benefits of yoga and meditation are huge: from reducing pain and increasing sleep quality to lowering inflammation and boosting and optimizing productivity of mental and physical health.
6. Gratitude bio-hack: Thinking, feeling and expressing appreciation and gratitude is a simple and effective scientifically proven bio-hack of good input. With plenty of health benefits, this simple act can be done by journaling (what are you grateful for?), gratitude walk (get outdoors, walk and appreciate all the beauty surrounding you) or write a gratitude letter and then read it to someone (write a letter of love and gratitude to someone important to you and read it to them - this is very powerful)!
7. Get your Zzzzz’s. Biohacking your sleep routine to obtain 7-9 hours of sleep is crucial for our immune system, hormones and physical and emotional health. Natural supplements such as Calcium and Magnesium can help. Diffusing essential oils such as bergamot, lavender, sandalwood and frankincense can also assist getting enough shut eye by effecting the biology within.
Ultimately, it doesn’t have to be a fancy scientific experiment but simply developing and nurturing a relationship with yourself. Biohacking brings mindfulness and awareness to the input you are allowing in your life and what the direct effects are that create the output. It is figuring out what your being prefers and how to get it feeling its best by making lifestyle changes to optimize the way our body and mind functions by finding natural ways to improve our health and happiness.
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