lifestyle

Podcast #115 Dr. Tim Gerstmar on Autoimmunity and How to Beat It

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#115 Dr. Tim Gerstmar on Autoimmunity and How to Beat ItToday's Guest

Dr Tim says: I use clinical nutrition (primarily Paleo, Weston A Price and GAPS) & lifestyle counseling, botanical medicine (herbs), functional medicine, homeopathy, and anything else I think would be helpful for you.

Keep up with him at aspirenaturalhealth.com and pick up his new guide for free, The Autoimmune Answer here.

The show

Click here to listen to the show on iTunes where you can listen, download and subscribe to the show.

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Today we discuss

  • What is autoimmunity?
  • Why has autoimmunity become so epidemic?
  • What are the root causes of autoimmunity?
  • How can you treat autoimmunity naturally?
  • How stress and other lifestyle factors can lead you to autoimmunity!
  • The right steps to protect yourself against autoimmunity

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How Minimalism Can Improve Your Life

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I am here to present a simple task to spark some energy into your life. Our goal is to tidy up our work and living space. I have several reasons this can help you.

In a consumer-culture that we all live and participate in, we must question whether this lifestyle is truly contributing to our happiness and fulfillment.

I've discovered after moving across the country several times that you need very little to be successful, happy and fulfilled.

While it's human nature to hold on to special items and trinkets, it's best to keep them limited.

This way of life is considered "minimalism" and has many numerous benefits.

There are several books, blogs and other resources of information across the web discussing minimalism and the benefits and personal journey towards minimalism that many people face.

Do you own or possessions or do they own you?

How Minimalism Can Improve Your LifeLet's talk about the workspace and how cleaning it up can help you.

Clean workstations = focused mind

The items I keep on or near my desk in the winter are a full-spectrum light box, an essential oil bottle, a plant and some headphones or speakers.

A minimalist living area can be relaxing

I am a fan of art and decorative mood lighting, but I try to keep a minimal living area beyond the essentials. I use very few cooking utensils such as 1 large pot, 1 small pot, 1 12'' skillet and a baking pan. Clutter just reduces my productivity and creates too many obstacles to deal with!

The less you have, the less you have to keep up with, maintain and clean

Even my Grandparents have adopted a minimalist lifestyle without even knowing that it had a label.. pretty funny! My grandma comes from a time when minimalism was the norm, but it makes perfect sense.

Among the minimalism, at least keep some plants around

We are designed from nature itself. If we strive for happiness, we need to keep reminders of nature around us at all times. It's the times that we are locked up in concrete buildings, office cubicles and hallways that we feel out of place, unfulfilled and non-human.

Office workers need to read the popular How to Be a Healthy and Happy Office Person Guide.

The benefits of indoor plants such as air purification and stress reduction are well known facts.

My plants are Cactus, Small Beech tree (left), Bella Palm (Back), and a Ficus tree (right).

Plant's are a fun and healthy hobby.

It's relaxing to be around them and takes minimal work besides giving them water, misting their leaves to prevent pore blockage and occasionally giving them nutrients or bigger pots when they get too big.

Where to start?

  • Look for clothes you don't need and give them away to someone in need
  • Take your extra pots and pans and have a garage sale or give them away
  • Clean out the "clutter drawers" and keep what you truly need
  • Convert pictures and other sentimental items over to a digital format if possible
  • Reduce the amount of "wants" and focus on the "needs"
  • Naturally ease yourself into having less clutter
  • Feel the stress of maintaining things melt away
  • Downsize your living space
  • Simply buy less
  • Count the things you use on a weekly basis and determine if the other stuff is worth keeping around
  • Figure out what you would put into a large duffel bag if you had to leave the house with 30 minutes notice
  • Research minimalism on other sites besides a Paleo blog to get the full take on this lifestyle

This is just some personal tips that I've come up with from adopting a minimalist lifestyle. There are benefits for everyone.

Whether you are an office person in the 51st floor of a New York city building or are a homesteader in the mountains of Colorado, we can all use MORE time. This happens when you have less stuff.

Let me know your experiences with this subject, I'd love to hear from you below.

3 Reasons You Don't Get Quality Sleep

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3 Reasons You Don't Get Quality SleepWhen's the last time you hung out by a campfire? Many of us in the ancestral health and Paleo community talk about all the ways that we are "primal" and reenacting our ancestors by eating certain foods and performing certain movements.

The real white elephant in the room is the rituals and daily practices that we've committed to for thousands of years.

We didn't necessarily do it for pleasure and fun, but for survival.

What rituals are we lacking that are essential to quality sleep?

We never see true darkness

The night time used to be a time for rest and repair, now people wait until 11pm to START their adventures. This is both backwards to our circadian and quantum clock, but detrimental to our hormone regulation and immune function.

If lights and sounds are present when the late-night growth hormone release process is supposed to begin, it won't happen. This is how late nights with or without alcohol can negatively influence health and more importantly for the athletic types, muscle growth and repair.

Also, when exposed to light, cortisol rises as it is evolutionarily programmed to do. When cortisol rises, your hormone cycle is sped up.

When you experience a full day and then stay up at night, you are essentially going through 2 days by using up 2 days worth of hormones and chemicals to mobilize you through the night.

Artificially creating 2 days worth of time in 1 cheats time. Nature doesn't like this. The day will come off the end of your life. Indirectly, staying up at night exposed to lights is shortening your life.

As mentioned in the book Lights Out by T.S. Wiley, "is going to bed at 9pm going to impact your social life? Yes, but so is cancer and death."

Go to bed early after dark, get up early, be productive and extend your life.

We don't sleep in a natural environment

Remember the times you went camping and couldn't stay awake past 8pm? This is how it's supposed to be!

Our neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin are regulated and influenced by light exposure. These two neurotransmitters are responsible for personal drive, motivation, ambition and a positive mood.

Think of a dark winter morning in your warm cozy bed, who wan't to get up and get moving? Conversely, think of a bright sunny morning shining through your windows that motivates you to jump out of bed and start your day.

Our neurotransmitters, hormones and even blood sugar patterns are controlled by the natural processes shaped by millions of years of sunrises and sunsets. When we create or avoid our Earth's sunrises and sunsets, we are denying the experience and knowledge stored in our DNA that controls everything, including our master clock.

How many times have you said, "where has the time gone? why is time going so fast?".

These feelings are directly attributed to artificially altered circadian rhythms and light cycles.

Spending more time in nature is one of the best regulatory actions you can do for your health and sanity.

We think we don't need much sleep

We're the only mammals on the planet crazy (or smart) enough to create artificial sun-balls around the planet. As Dr. Hansler mentioned on the podcast, the entire planet's inhabitants are being negatively affected by our excess of light.

Turtles are having trouble figuring out when to lay their eggs and are very confused. Florida State has passed regulations about the amount of light allowed at the beaches to attempt to preserve the natural light-dark cycle and allow the turtles to reproduce.

Even though the TV shows, pop culture and movies convince people that midnight is the time when the "real parties" happen, they are dead wrong.

At some point, we would have spent time around the fire in ceremony, stayed up late to keep the fire burning and to protect others from animal invaders.

However, the spectrum of light from a fire is orange in color. The blue and white spectrums of light are what impair melatonin production.

This sets off a cascade of biochemical and hormonal responses, melatonin is just the first step in the process.

If you must stay awake at night, spend time near fire, orange colored bulbs, wear blue-blocking glasses and don't perform any strenuous activities (except for sex!), as this will create another spike in cortisol, our action hormone.

You need REM Rehab

Learn more about the program here.

5 Reasons Your Paleo Lifestyle Isn't Working

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You've been into the alternative health and Paleo game for a while, or maybe you're new to Paleo. However, you feel that your lifestyle is not working for you.

Here's 5 potential reasons why Your Paleo Lifestyle isn't working

1. You're not fully committed

If you're only committed when you feel like it, your results will be sub-par. Sticking to the diet as listed in my Ultimate Food Guide only during the work week may not be enough. Even the slightest exposure to gluten can trigger sensitivities and an inflammatory response.

2. You are chronically stressed

Stress can wreak havoc your mind and body. When we are in the flight-or-fight mode, our blood sugar rises. When this happens, B-Vitamins are burned up like a piece of paper in a fire.

When a B-Vitamin deficiency occurs, common sense and a study shows that your mood and sanity are compromised. Nervousness, depression, anxiety, hair loss and even aggression are common symptoms.

3. You are still healing your gut

Speaking of B-Vitamins, when your gut health is compromised from the consumption of gluten, grains and legumes, your absorption of B-Vitamins is reduced greatly.

Along with the extremely popular condition known as leaky gut, which is the process that allows toxins and foods from the stomach to "leak" into the bloodstream, B12 deficiency is one of many results!

B12 is one of the major vitamins that is not properly absorbed when our gut flora is not healthy. The flora that digest B12 are also killed when exposed to gluten.

Since optimal gut health and function is an ongoing process many people whether you're new to the ancestral eating plan or not, bypassing the digestive system is the best method to vastly improve bioavailability and absorption.

This is done by using a sublingual liquid form where the absorption process will begin in the mouth.

One of the highest quality sublingual vitamin B12 is available here on Amazon.

To use in combination with B12, the amino acid L-Glutamine will begin to rebuild the gut lining to reduce the amount of toxins and foods into your blood stream.

With the addition of L-Glutamine, eventually your gut flora may be healthy enough to tolerate and properly absorb capsule vitamins!

4. You're exercising too much (or not enough)

There is a sweet spot, for lack of a better word, when it comes to exercise quality and quantity.

Three factors that determine the "what type" and "how much" for your exercise routine are:

  • The level of physical activity in your job (desk jockeys usually don't overtrain)
  • The amount of carbohydrates you consume daily (the more intense exercise, the more carbohydrate needed)
  • The level of stress you are under (the more stress, the less high-intensity exercise you should perform)

For the average person, regardless of stress level, walking, hiking or biking for 10 minutes a day is essential for proper stress management, weight loss and metabolism support.

Sports is an easy way to run!

5. You're reading more than acting

Technology is a double-edged sword.

Simply reading about health and the actions we need to take can make us feel better.

Just the thought of changing your diet or eliminating a bad habit feels great doesn't it?

The problem is, we forget to actually act on these thoughts and end up repeating this cycle. Make sure that your words, social media status' and other places you speak out about your lifestyle actually become reality.

I can write to you and even do 1-on-1 coaching with you, but I cannot force-feed quality grass-fed beef and a small handful of berries down your throat.

In the end, your food choices and the items that you pick up (or don't pick up) are up to you.

If you don't purchase your food and are dependent on someone else to purchase food for you, that's okay too! Just lead them to my free Ultimate Food Guide and get them to understand what and why to eat.

This article was inspired from my friend Nora Gedgaudas book Primal Body Primal Mind- Beyond the Paleo Diet for Total Health and a Longer Life.

What has prevented you from success?

What have you discovered?

Comment below!

10 Steps to Reduce Stress and be Content With Everyday Life

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10 Steps to Reduce Stress and be Content With Everyday LifeIt can be simple to reduce your stress and enjoy day-to-day life.

From friends and family, to random strangers I meet in the park, dealing with the stress of everyday life can be enough to put people over the edge.

The reason that this is titled being "content" with everyday life versus happy with everyday life is just to make this article more realistic.

We all can't wakeup laughing and smiling to our favorite song, or can we? ;)

1. Start the morning with peaceful sounds or music.

Do not use an alarm tone. I wrote more about alternatives here.

I don't know who made it popular to use some annoying, loud and simply disturbing noise to wake up to.

Normal alarm tones wake you in a state of panic, which causes a surge of adrenaline into the body, in turn priming your body for stress and anxiety throughout the day.

2. Change your alarm tone to music and let it play.

Waking up and hearing something peaceful at least makes me smile for a second. Also, it prevents me from banging my alarm until it stops and covering my head back up under the covers like many people do.

Once you start your day on the right foot, everything will become a little bit more enjoyable.

3. Gather your food for the day while steeping some green tea with a little bit of Stevia.

Remember, you never want to use sugar alternatives such as Splenda, Agave Nectar or Sucralose.

Stevia is a safe alternative, it comes from a plant known as the "Sweet Leaf".

This routine will give you a small boost of energy and a meditative state to the beginning of your day.

Why does green tea relax you? It contains an amino acid called L-Theanine which causes relaxation without the overstimulation that coffee can cause.

After loading up my meat, almonds, berries, local beef jerky and any other snack I've deemed delicious and nutritious, I head out to tackle the world.

4. Drive defensively but passively to yield the least stress on your commute.

I worked and drove in Las Vegas for a few years and learned that many cities have absolutely insane paces of driving and levels of aggression on the road.

Getting irritated and irate before you even step into the workplace is just a disaster for stress, sugar cravings and an unproductive day.

It's up to you to safely ignore the weaving and speeding style that many do. It's dangerous and leads to fits of rage! Ok, sorry for being your dad.

5. Once at work, lay down a framework of priorities for the day and week.

This helps to regroup yourself along with the people that are on your team.

A simple to-do list on your phone or a sticky note are usually all that's necessary. After eating some form of fruit and protein for breakfast (preferably 30g of protein), start working.

6. While others take cigarette and soda breaks, take time to go outside for sun exposure, fresh air and the ability to take a look at the trees and sky.

You were not programmed to look at unnatural objects and operate in that environment throughout the day. This could explain part of the irritability people experience working indoors.

7. For the commute home, keep stress levels low by listening to my podcast or soothing music.

You will not get home much faster by speeding, running red lights, tailgating, weaving and any other dangerous driving habit you may have developed.

8. Walk with a significant other, workout, ride a bike, throw a ball or frisbee, cook together, and reconnect with your family.

You married your significant other, not your job.

9. If you're too fatigued to eat, at least make a smoothie.

I have an ultimate smoothie recipe, you can eliminate or change ingredients as needed. Great way to get some vitamins and protein before bed.

10. Take a warm bath an hour before bed and lay down to sleep within a couple hours after sunset.

If doing late night work on the computer, use a program called f.lux to turn off the blue colors that the screen emits.

If you insist on watching television or being around artificial light at night, wear these glasses.

Here are two hours worth of podcasts explaining the extremely detrimental results of being immersed in artificial blue light at night.

Speaking with Physicist Dr. Richard Hansler podcast #1 and #2.

These colors have been linked to reducing melatonin production, therefore causing sleeping problems such as insomnia, obesity and depression.

After all, melatonin is a precursor to serotonin. You can't have one without the other :)

Bonus #11  Go to sleep, smile at what you are grateful to have and do it all over again.

Life goes on and the stress will melt away if you don't think about it all night.

If this list helped you share using the buttons below and come say hello on facebook or twitter.

I love hearing from you all.