Step 1- Lay a Strong Foundation and Keep it Strong

You must first establish a strong foundation of health. The cornerstones of optimal health must be established and maintained to optimize physical and emotional wellbeing, build a strong immune system, and maintain a healthy body composition.

What are the foundation stones of health?

(This list is not exhaustive)

– You must maintain an optimized nutrient status – amino acids, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, other micronutrients, hydration, phytonutrients, calories (note that calories come last for adults)

– You must prioritize your circadian biology (biological clock system) and get sufficient sleep

– You must move your body and engage in consistent exercise (preferably strength training).

– You must balance your overall stress environment so that you maintain a balanced nervous system

– You must optimize your environment so that it supports your health rather than erodes it

In addition, attention to the following list will fortify your foundation:

– Get as much natural light as possible and spend time in nature

– Charge your electromagnetic battery – grounding and reduce overall EMF exposure

– Express a more comprehensive version of you – hormetic stress exposure:

  •  heat exposure – sauna.
  •  cold exposure.
  •  fasting (many different types depending upon specific goals)
  • optimize your biome – fiber and fermented foods, play in the dirt, and love on your pet

Maintaining Emotional Wellbeing

– Mindfulness, especially gratitude practices

– Morning light exposure and increase overall natural light exposure as much as possible

– Reduce screen time

– Optimize your sound and lighting environment

– Exercise consistently

– Show yourself some love

– Spend time in nature

– Control your breath- proper breathing and calming breaths- more out than in

– Reduce alcohol intake and don’t rely on caffeine for alertness

Supplements for Emotional Wellbeing

  • Omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Magnesium L-Threonate.
  • Amino acids
  • Phospholipids – phosphatidylserine and phosphatidylcholine
  • Adaptogens – Ashwagandha.
  • Kava.
  • PharmaGABA
  • Theanine
  • Reishi mushroom
  • Rhodiola rosea
  • Cordyceps
  • Lion’s mane
  • Taurine
  • Creatine

How to Improve and Optimize Body Composition

Follow the timing principles of eating

  • Do not consume food or beverage calories within two to three hours of bedtime
  • Delay calories (non-caloric beverages such as coffee are fine) for at least one hour after waking
  • Use timed-restricted feeding and minimize snacking – try to maintain at least a 12 hour overnight fast and a 12 hour feeding window, and if possible, try to maintain a 14 or 16 hour overnight fast with a 10 or eight hour feeding window.

Create strategic calorie deficits to compensate for times that you eat more – for example, eat less than 1200 to 1500 calories four or five days of the week and eat more permissively (but don’t overdo it) two to three days of the week. If you know you’re going to a great party with a lot of good food in the evening, fast through most of that day but still consume protein earlier in the day (protein powder, essential amino acids, or food-based protein)

– When it’s time to eat, prioritize protein. Increasing your protein intake reduces hunger and supports the structure and function of your body. It also helps you maintain your lean mass when you’re consuming less calories. For women, try to get at least 100 grams of protein a day, and for men, try to get at least 120 grams. Even better would be 120 to 150 grams. When you start to get hungry, first think about eating protein

Increase physical activity to increase metabolic rate, which will increase calorie flux. Move more, take walks, fidget more, stretch more. Stand instead of sit. Walk around in the evening while you’re watching a show or talking to a friend

Consistently engage in resistance training to build muscle. The more muscle you build, the more fat you lose. Also, the more muscle you build, the better your metabolic health and the lower your risk of the chronic diseases associated with aging

  • If you are going to an event where you will consume more food, especially sugar, or you end up eating something sugary, try to perform light exercise after eating for 30 minutes which will rapidly lower blood glucose by moving it into the muscles
  • If possible, prior to eating a larger meal, perform 2-3 minutes of more intensive exercise to deplete glycogen in your muscles- body weight squats, jumping jacks, etc.

Supplements for Body Composition

  • Multivitamin, omega 3’s, vitamin D, Magnesium, minerals
  • Essential Amino Acids
  • Creatine
  • Berberine
  • Fiber if well tolerated
  • D-Ribose

How to Optimize Immune System Function

– Attend to all the foundational items discussed at the top of this outline.

– Try to get more sleep if you have an increase in stress or you’ve been exposed to infectious diseases

– Consistently practice breath work, which has been proven to improve immune system function

– Maximize natural light exposure.

– Optimize protein intake.

– Consider taking additional vitamin D.

– Increase your intake of phytonutrients, such as anthocyanins and polyphenols – organic coffee, green tea cacao, turmeric, leafy greens, berries, and many others

Supplements to Support Immune System Function

(this could be a very long list, so I’m focusing on the heavy hitters)

  • Whole food vitamin C supplementation rather than just taking ascorbic acid
  • Elderberry (Gaia, that’s my favorite brand)
  • Turmeric – especially when combined with ginger and black pepper
  • Quercetin
  • Minerals
  • Optimize Nitric Oxide and Glutathione availability
  • Mushroom products
  • Turkey tail
  • Reishi
  • Maitake
  • Shiitake
  • Chaga

How do I do All of This?

This may seem like a lot, but it’s actually not. The main thing is to establish the foundation. Then you pick one or two of the items on these lists that you feel like you could easily implement and start. Set reminders so you don’t forget to engage in the new habits. Just keep stacking the habits until they’re automated. The end result is that you’ll continue to experience improvements in emotional and physical wellbeing and your overall health.

Regarding the supplements, there are many products that combine these different options into one formulation that’s easy to take. For most people, using a maintenance regimen of a high quality multivitamin, additional vitamin D in the winter, Omega-3 capsules, magnesium, and trace minerals is sufficient. You can then keep different options available for when you need to increase focus and alertness, calm your nervous system and improve sleep, improve your immune system, or support metabolism.

If you begin to establish these habits today and slowly add others, it will not take long before you’re doing most of what is on this outline on a daily basis.

Habit stacking makes this easier. For instance, if you wanted to get morning light exposure, increase your time in nature, get cold exposure, engage in a period of grounding, work on your breath, and increase overall physical activity, you could walk outside barefoot onto the ground after waking up and spend 15 minutes performing stretches or light calisthenics. You can combine that with breathwork to add in another habit. You could then walk inside and relax and enjoy coffee or however you like to spend your morning. In 15 minutes, you will have charged your electromagnetic battery, engaged in a hormetic stress exposure (if it’s cold outside), improved your circadian biology, increased time in nature, increased your metabolic rate and connective tissue health, engaged in breathwork, and balanced your nervous system. All in 15 minutes