1. Coconut Oil

I am so happy that I found coconut oil. I use it for so many things. I put it in my bulletproof coffee (see next bullet point), I cook with it, I bake with it, I rub it on my skin. It’s simply the best. To see more amazing ways to use coconut oil, check out my previous article.

2. Bulletproof Coffee

Speaking of coconut oil, Bulletproof coffee is why I began using coconut oil in the first place. Dave Asprey is known for creating the Bulletproof Diet as well as many bio-hacks. Dave has spent years with the top researchers to find out what is the most efficient diet for optimal brain function. It turns out that high quality fats, such as coconut oil, or the Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil, is great at improving brain function and decreasing brain fog. Since starting to drink Bulletproof coffee, I can definitely see a difference in how my morning boost affects my mind. It has also helped me curb the need for sugary coffee every morning.

3. Primal Pit Paste

Over a decade has passed since I stopped using antiperspirant or “normal” deodorants. I was in my early twenties when I read some research on how the aluminum in these products can lead to serious conditions such as Alzheimer’s and unnaturally clog the pores that release sweat, which is a very important bodily function. I still didn’t want to be stinky, so I started experimenting with natural deodorant products. It turns out that baking soda is a natural antiperspirant that doesn’t have any negative side effects. I tried every natural deodorant I could find and they all seemed to fall short, either needing multiple daily application, or not doing a bit of good at all. About five years ago, I finally found Primal Pit Paste and it was love at first dab. They have several scents to choose from, of which I’ve tried many. It contains baking soda, coconut oil, and a few other ingredients. The price is a bit higher than you might find for your normal deodorant, but you need much less and my sticks last about 7-9 months per stick! Check out their website to learn more about them. My favorite “flavors” are Lemongrass/Thyme and Lavender.

4. Supplements

I often prescribe supplements to my patients, but don’t be fooled I take them myself as well. No matter how clean our eating is, our food is still often lacking in the complete nutrients we need. I use things like Functional Medicine supplements from Apex Energetics or Designs For Health to get a little boost of the key nutrients such as Vitamin D3. I also prescribe and use Chinese herbs from Chi’s Enterprises. Dr. Chi has taken traditional Chinese herbs and formulated them to their highest potency without losing the synergy of the plant or formula. For more information about these products or Functional Medicine in general, please contact me.

5. No cell phone in the bedroom

I have had chronic, poor sleep my whole life. It has ranged from full-on insomnia with days of sleepless nights to the less-severe, non-restful sleep. I’ve studied sleep hygiene for years and the last thing that I refused to give up was leaving my cell phone in another room. I always used the excuse, “but it’s my alarm clock.” Finally, one day, I was listening to a podcast that was promoting cell-phone-free bedrooms and the speaker called me out (and everyone else like me) on the alarm clock excuse. He said to buy a cheap, old-school, analog alarm clock. He even said he’d buy it for anyone that couldn’t afford the $10. He was right, I had to do something different, so I did. My cell phone stays on the kitchen counter at night, and I definitely sleep better without it. It’s no longer sitting on my nightstand, calling my name every time I wake up in the middle of the night. Now, instead of checking my phone at 2am, I roll over and fall right back to sleep. The first week was pretty tough since I didn’t have my phone right by my bed to start checking emails, etc. when I first woke up. I’ve learned how to start my morning without all that stress and anxiety about how to begin my day. Whether or not you have sleep issues, I recommend leaving your cell phone (and tablet) in another room while you sleep. It is a huge stress-reducer.

6. Essential Oils

I have started to use essential oils for just about everything. What used to be my Chinese herb cabinet at home, has morphed into my essential oils cabinet, which is nice because the oil bottles are a lot smaller than my powdered and raw herbs 🙂 I use my oils to fall asleep quickly in the diffuser in my bedroom; I use the oils topically for skin issues and blisters or cuts; I put one drop of lemon oil in my water sometimes to give it a little flavor; and I use the Deep Blue Rub from doTerra (see number 10 below) for all aches and pains. Like anything new, I was skeptical about these oils, but I’d prescribed them to patients in the past who are very sensitive to supplements and the oils seem to be less harsh on their system, especially since they don’t have to be taken internally. What sold me was when I got a common gym fungus (Ringworm) on my leg. I’d had it before and the expensive, toxic fungicide prescriptions from the doctor didn’t even work. I looked up which oils can treat Ringworm, made a little roller-ball concoction and in two days, it was gone! Be careful about which essential oil brands you buy. Most of them are low quality, but in my research there are two brands that are worth the money: doTerra and Young Living, both based out of Utah.

7. Tabata workouts/workouts in general

It’s no secret that I love fitness! In fact, I love it so much, I teach fitness at least twice per week. I also have a very busy schedule, so it can be hard to find 30 to 60 minutes sometimes to get my fitness fix. That’s where Tabata is AMAZING! Tabata is a high intensity interval workout where you work hard, preferably at your max heart rate, for 20 seconds and then take a 10 second rest, which is only enough time to quickly catch your breath and do it again. Most Tabata sets are 8 rounds for a total of 4 minutes. Who doesn’t have four minutes? You can get a lot accomplished in four minutes, or do several Tabata sets together for up to 30 minutes for a complete (and exhausting) workout. The point of Tabata is to train your heart and lungs to work hard and then quickly recover. It is a very efficient way to increase your endurance and cardio-pulmonary efficiency. Check out PopSugar Fitness for many at-home or anywhere workouts including a lot of Tabata options.

8. Reducing grains/choosing high quality carbs

This goes along with Bulletproof coffee and the Bulletproof diet. When choosing what to eat, I try to pay close attention to how certain foods make me feel. It turns out that many grains make me sluggish, bloated, with a muddled mind. Not all carbs are created equal, so I stick to the ones that come from the earth with little or no processing (think sweet potatoes, not sweet potato fries). Experiment with the grains and carbs that you eat and see how they make you feel. If you feel like you need a little more direction on how to choose high quality carbs and reduce grains, contact me here.

9. Meditation/Deep Breathing

I have played with meditation and deep breathing for over a decade, but never consistently until now. Deep breathing has always been there for me in times of severe stress or anxiety, but adding a daily meditation practice to my morning has been INCREDIBLE! I never knew how calm, and open-minded I could become, and it’s only just the beginning. Meditation doesn’t have to be hard and you don’t have to do it for hours. I meditate for about 10 minutes each morning and when I’m done, I feel energized, happy, and filled with love. I currently use the Calm app for guided and non-guided meditation. It’s a great place to start because Christi will teach you how to meditate without judgement. Give it a try, your life will be better for it.

10. Deep Blue Rub by doTerra

This goes along with the Essential Oils section above, but this particular product warrants its own bullet point. doTerra makes an essential oil blend called Deep Blue and now they’ve put it in a lotion/rub. Recently, after running a 9.3 mile race up many steep hills, my knees were a bit sore post-race. I gave this rub a try later that day and was amazed at how I could instantly feel the blood flowing and the healing taking place. It felt great, smelled great, and the next morning my aches were gone. Contact me if you’d like to know more about Deep Blue or any of the doTerra essential oils.

11. 4-week Clean Eating Jumpstart

{Add in eBook page} I’ve developed a four-week plan that can help you get on track to eating clean. During this program, you’ll benefit from clearer skin, better sleep, low-to-no brain fog, digestive recovery, and healthy weight loss. If you’re ready to get started on your journey to health, hit me up at this link.