Free Kindle downloads this weekend in honor of the audio book release! You can also get the audio book for free here.
Click on the link under Get the Book to grab your free copy starting tomorrow.
Free Kindle downloads this weekend in honor of the audio book release! You can also get the audio book for free here.
Click on the link under Get the Book to grab your free copy starting tomorrow.
After being a slave to my blood sugar for years, I knew fasting wouldn’t work for me. I tried those juice fasts everyone did back in the day, and I was ready to kill someone on day 2, so that was it for me. I was NOT trying it again, I didn’t care who said what. Enter a hormonal imbalance and a hefty tire around the middle, and suddenly I was a little more open-minded.
I was all in for the low carb diet and even adding fat back into my diet. My energy skyrocketed when I did that, and the pounds melted off, until that dreaded last ten pounds. Reluctantly, I agreed to try Intermittent Fasting for a few days, mostly because my mentor promised I would see a benefit and I wanted to prove him wrong so he would stop hounding me about it.
The theory behind intermittent fasting, also known as IF, is that it forces your body to use its stored fat instead of having a steady supply of food to use. By restricting calories to certain intervals, it prompts your body to release Human Growth Hormone (HGH) and insulin, both of which are the primary hormones that cause release of fat stores. Insulin also regulates blood sugar, and when properly released into your system, you can use your stored fat for energy instead of crashing.
I decide to go for a 16 hour fast because that apparently has the best benefit. I thought I was going to die at about hour 12. I was used to getting up, having bulletproof coffee and working out, followed by breakfast. But on this morning I watched the sunrise over black coffee, worked out fasted and was then flat on the floor until hour 16. Keep going, my mentor said. I was promised it would be worth it and that it would take a few days to adapt.
It took three days to adapt. Those three days were rough, I have to admit. On day three, I limped through my workout, made it to hour 16 and gulped down a bulletproof coffee, and then it hit me. I had more energy than I knew what to do with. My brain was firing on all cylinders and then some. I was insanely happy. A new day had dawned for me, and I was officially in.
So much for proving my mentor wrong. It was looking like I was going to have to tell him he was right.
I kept it going to for a few weeks, during which time I was so energetic and happy I could barely stand myself. I even had someone tell me I was too happy and needed to be brought down, because no one wants to be around that. (To that I said ‘Fine!’ and walked away. If I am too happy for you, that is your issue, not mine.) My waistline decreased noticeably, and so did my appetite. It all but went away and I would forget to eat. Who forgets to eat!
I still wasn’t entirely convinced for some odd reason, so I let the fasting go when I went away for a weekend. I noticed an immediate change in energy and mood. When I returned I went back to it, and BAM! Back to being happy.
Ok, I said to myself, this is the real deal. I played with timing, anywhere from 12-16 hr fasts, even going as high as 26 hours on a couple of occasions. I have found 16 hours to be my sweet spot, when I get the most impact on energy, appetite and mood.
Unfortunately, as I write this I am just coming off a lengthy illness, during which time both the keto diet and IF fell off for me. My mid-section can tell, so I am getting back into both again and it feels amazing to be doing so. I graduated into 16 hours of fasting this time, so I didn’t feel like I was ten seconds from a murderous spree. It took about a week and I am back to 16 hour fasts and back to feeling the way I like to.
If you are interested in trying IF, graduating into it is a good way to do it. Start with 12-14 hours, whatever you can handle, and work up from there. Before long you will start to notice changes in your appetite and it will feel natural to go longer and longer. Once you have experienced the elevation in energy and mood, you will want to keep going. Experiment with different fasting and feeding periods to find what works for you. A 9am – 5pm feeding period works for me, and fasting overnight. (I do take exogenous ketones pre-workout to give me enough energy to get through a strenuous workout; watch for the blog post on that.) You can vary your fasting/eating times to tailor it to your schedule.
Don’t believe me yet? Here are a few resources for you to do your own research.
Here is a Google search of people who have had success with IF.
Here is a post on LifeHack, a biohacking website.
Here is an article from Healthline Magazine.
Here is a post from Diet Doctor.
As with anything I post about, I recommend you do your own research. If you decide to try it, let me know what you think. I would love to see you on one of the above searches as a success story!
Endless lettuce, always tired, perpetually starving and uncontrollable grouchiness is what dieting means to most people. Sounds like heaven, said no one, ever. With the keto diet, there is a better way.
I have been low-carb for as long as I can remember. Going back to the late 90s, when Jennifer Aniston became the new It girl and was on the Zone Diet, she introduced us all to a diet of lean protein, fruits and veggies with no processed carbohydrates or diary. I figured out then that I felt better without carbs, and had been doing some modification of that formula until I discovered the keto diet.
If you read my book, you know that I wasn’t just low carb. I was also low sugar (limited fruit) and low-fat (no dairy), which didn’t leave much out there for me to consume. I was addicted to anything that claimed it was low fat and low sugar, and stuck in a never-ending cycle of eating what I thought was right, starving, binge eating carbs because I needed energy, and feeling bad about myself for doing it. It’s no wonder I was grouchy and a slave to my blood sugar. All that changed when I found ketones, and shortly thereafter the keto diet.
In a nutshell, the keto diet is an ultra low-carb diet that limits all foods that contain sugar or convert to sugar. However, you eat healthy fats, so your body still has something for fuel. I eat bacon, olive and coconut oil, nuts, cheese, red meat, and even red wine in moderation. I don’t eat pasta, potatoes, rice, or any other grains. I must admit that I will cheat with the occasional sweet potato. I love those. Aside from that, I don’t really miss any of it. I am happy, energetic and satiated. All the time. Not many people on a “diet” are able to say that.
Am I super skinny? No. I never will be, I am not built that way. What I am is in decent shape, strong and happy. That works for me. I also don’t feel like I am on a diet. I eat this way because I choose to, because it is what feel right for me. It is what fuels me and allows me to do what I do without diet pills, stimulants or other “miracle” pills.
The science behind the keto diet is strong and compelling. Unfortunately, so is the army of uninformed that are against it. In my opinion, those against it fail to understand that different diets work for different people, based on each person’s makeup and circumstances. That aside, lets talk about what the science has found in support of keto.
The name keto comes from ketones, which is a what your body produces when food or carbohydrates are restricted for an extended period. Put simply, ketones are what happen when the body converts your stored fat to a fuel that your body can use.
When in a state of ketosis (producing ketones), your body will use stored fat as its fuel. This helps with weight loss and energy. It also helps with memory and focus, because your brain uses this same fat for its fuel. With a steady supply of healthy fat and ketones, your brain is never lacking in what it needs to function, so you don’t feel brain fog, scattered or like you just can’t think straight. (Not from food, at least. Life still happens.) With a constant source of usable energy, you don’t get blood sugar dips accompanied by grouchiness and tiredness.
The science is best explained by those who do it for a living, so I will defer to Dr. Josh Axe, who explains the principles behind the keto diet and why it works here, and the Ketogenic Bible by Dr. Jacob Wilson and Ryan Lowery. There is more information in this book than you can imagine, and it runs the gamut from how to do the diet to its potential effects on diabetes and cancer. It’s definitely worth a read.
If you aren’t up for a big book, check out the podcast Keto for Normies at ketoconnect.libsyn.com.
For an easy to follow guide, check out the Diet Doctor website, which you can find here: https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/keto. You will find tips, tricks, recipes, and a great explanation of how and why the keto diet works.
I could go on about keto all day (which apparently I do, and I am often told to pipe down at home) so I will stop here. If you would like more information on this subject, check out the people above, or just let me know. I am happy to expound. My family will be happy that I have someone else to talk about it with too.
Biohacking is essentially over-riding your physical system to make it behave how you choose. There are many different systems in the body, and thus, many different biohacks. How do you know where to start? For most people, it starts with a problem you are having that you need to find an alternative fix for. This was the case for me. Once I learned that I could control things in my body, I started trying more.
To keep you from getting overwhelmed, I am sharing my ten favorite biohacks that I have found. These are my every day, go to solutions for every day issues. They are not in any particular order, and I use each of them every day.
I will delve into each one in subsequent posts, but for now, here is the list:
For now, let’s talk about Bulletproof Coffee.
First, let’s get this out of the way… above when I said they were not in any order, that was not entirely true. Bulletproof Coffee is my probably favorite biohack. The others have become equally important to me, because of what they do, but this is the easiest one for anyone to try and has an immediate and noticeable effect. For that reason, it is the one I share most when I am asked about biohacking.
If you are not familiar with it, Bulletproof Coffee is coffee blended with butter and MCT oil. MCT oil is essentially coconut oil, which I will explain in more detail when we discuss coconut oil, and that is what makes it easy to try at home. (View my video here on how to make it at home.) Simply add a tablespoon of coconut oil and a tablespoon of butter to your coffee and blend. No cream, no sugar, just these two ingredients. It sounds weird but it is actually quite tasty. Assuming you like the taste and the effect, you can invest in MCT oil, as it will make a marked difference in the effect.
What is the effect? Energy, and lots of it. It is not the jittery energy that you get from several cups of coffee, though, You just feel like getting up and doing something, and you feel that way for hours. The reason is the butter and oil. You will get the best effect from using grass fed butter. This is exactly what it sounds like, butter from cows that were fed grass. There are no chemicals or toxins introduced into the cow from commercial feed, so what comes from the animal is pure, usable butter fat, which then converts to energy in your body. Regular butter is not processed by our bodies quite the same way. You will still notice an effect if you use it, but it will be decreased slightly. Healthy fat is one of the main sources of energy production within the body, and providing it in an easy to use form will give you a jolt of energy that will last for hours.
MCT (medium chain triglyceride) oil is the other component of Bulletproof Coffee. To explain this, I will include an excerpt from my book, Midlife Mom to Supermom: How to Turn Stressed and Tired into Happy and Energized:
MCTs are one of the main components of coconut oil. Complete coconut oil contains lauric acid, which takes longer for the body to process into energy than the MCTs. For this reason, MCT oil filters out the lauric acid to become a concentrated, energy producing oil. The concentrated form takes three steps for the body to process it into energy, versus twenty-six steps with unrefined coconut oil. MCTs are a favorite of bio – hackers for fast, long lasting energy production, combined with clarity of mind and the ability to focus.
MCTs come in many forms, my current favorite of these is Brain Octane Oil from Bulletproof (www.bulletproof.com). This is the formula of Dave Asprey, a well know bio-hacker and the founder of Bulletproof Coffee.
The benefits of MCTs go far beyond energy, which we will discuss in deeper detail in the post on coconut oil. What I do want to mention now is that it has a noticeable effect on cognitive function. You will have a clear mind, be able to focus deeply and, over time, you will notice an improvement in your memory.
The combination of instant energy from the coffee and butter, and the longer lasting energy from the MCTs, will change your coffee drinking experience. I went from drinking 4-5 cups per day to one Bulletproof in the morning, and sometimes one in the afternoon, if I am dragging or have an event to attend late into the evening.
I am happy person and generally enjoy life. However, life on Bulletproof is that much better. If you are ready to check it out, you can click the link to the right to take you to Bulletproof.com, or check out the video above on how to try it at home.
Let me know what you think!
Midlife Mom to Supermom: How to Turn Stressed and Tired into Happy and Energized was recently reviewed by Greek health blog Thirsty 4 Health.
Read the review here: http://thirsty4health.com/book-review-midlife-mom-to-supermom/
Thanks for the great review, glad you enjoyed the book!
I was working the day job this week, which had me in the home of a woman who I had met briefly once or twice before. It was a cold (by southern California standards, anyway) winter day, and I was bundled up like a small child on a ski hill. This poor woman had all the doors and windows open, and was clothed in a tank top and jeans with bare feet. Hot flashes, she explained. Not wanting to self-promote too much, I shared with her my fantastic vitamins that have all but nixed the hot flashes from my life, and moved on to the business at hand.
Later in the day I realized I had done this woman a disservice by not sharing more with her, because I had information that could help her feel better. I contacted her and shared my book with her.
Several hours later I got the most amazing message from her. She had read most of the book and was deeply grateful that our paths had crossed. She went on to share her current reality, and how excited she was to try the tips I suggest. That made my day. Okay, it made my week. This is precisely why I wrote the book, and I was very happy that it had helped someone.
On that note, here is a short video that an awesome friend and designer put together for me.
If you know anyone struggling with energy, hot flashes, mood, decreased cognitive function, or any of the joyous things we experience after our thirties, please share this with them. Let’s create an army of happy women that feel great!
It was September, 2017. I swear it was sauna month. It started with my daughter, who wanted a sauna membership for the health benefits. Next it was my mentor, who did at least four podcasts on how great it was. Finally, it was my day spa, who gave me a free session for by birthday. Fast forward to January 2018, and I am hooked.
To me, the sauna was a hot, steamy place at the gym filled with smelly bodies in various states of undress, and that just seemed like a hotbox of bacteria to me. I could not understand why my child wanted to start doing this. According to her I had it all wrong, and there are multiple health benefits to the new saunas. Who listens to their children, though, right? But when my bio-hacking mentor started talking about it, I started to pay attention.
Still skeptical, I wasn’t on board yet, but I gave in to the daughter and got her a membership at the local day spa where I go for monthly massages. Then my birthday rolled around and I was given a free session. Why not, I said.
On the day of, I was presented with a towel wrap and a small, dark box. “Hop in,” the clerk said cheerfully. She showed me how to work the light and radio, and said, “okay, now you just sit and sweat!”
Feeling a little odd, I donned my wrap and climbed in. It was a two-person, infrared sauna. It wasn’t steamy, no smelly bodies aside from mine, and my choice of music and heat level. It’s a dry heat, so I was able to tolerate 130 degrees with no problem. (Yes, dry heat really does make a difference.) The zen-like music of the spa and the aromatherapy scents filtered in the through the dark glass. In the solitude of the darkened box, I completely relaxed. And sweat I did! I emerged thirty minutes later feeling like a new person. The ever-present plantar fasciitis pain in my foot was decreased, my allergy symptoms had lessened, and my entire body felt rejuvenated.
Still thinking this might be all in my head, I headed home to do some more research on this. I found that infrared sauna is used to detoxify the body, reduce inflammation, enhance metabolism, and reduce anxiety and depression. This is basically what I had just experienced.
To explain a little further, infrared sauna ignites your cells at a metabolic level, promoting cleansing and rejuvenation at the cellular level. When your cells are detoxified and functioning better, it makes sense that you will feel better and perform better. Your circulation improves, heart function improves, inflammation reduces, which decreases chronic pain, and your mood improves. (For a more scientific explanation of the benefits of infrared sauna, please visit https://draxe.com/infrared-sauna/.)
Saunas are now being used to aid and/or treat skin issues, metabolic conditions, diabetes, anxiety and depression, arthritis, digestion problems, chronic pain, aid in weight loss, and many other issues. There is also some rumination about infrared saunas being anti-aging, although this is still being tested. (I volunteer to test it! Guinea pig here!)
The benefits of infrared sauna can be seen in as little as 15-20 minutes, but I prefer 30 minute sessions, as I now use my sauna time to meditate to increase relaxation and cognitive effects. I have also noticed improved skin, a decrease in chronic pain and an overall decrease in allergy symptoms.
In a few short months I have grown to look forward to my sauna time and miss it when I am not able to make it. I don;t know how I lived without this, or why I waited so long to try it, but I am now a believer.
If you are already in, you can find personal infrared saunas on Amazon here. Otherwise, check with your local spa or gym to see if they have an infrared sauna, and if they do, hop in and give it a try. Many day spas now offer monthly memberships as well.
You will not regret it if you try this. Let me know what you think after you do!
Ah, the age-old question…. You didn’t realize they meant coffee, did you? 😊 Just kidding of course. We all know the answer for me is yes to the coffee. But, I don’t mean the coffee either, for once. I am referring to the product line.
My bio-hacking journey began with Bulletproof Coffee to try to keep myself awake during a challenging health issue. I have now taken bio-hacking far beyond the coffee, but I am back to talking about the coffee today because I recently had an interesting experience that I wanted to share.
I am training for a Spartan Race at the end of January (2018). It’s my first one, so I was doing what I assume most people do, which is going crazy with the workouts so I am strong enough to haul myself over walls. Everything was humming along, I was getting stronger by the day, and then, WHAM! I couldn’t motivate myself off the sofa.
This was around the beginning of December. Keep in mind that I am not one to skip a workout. I get up early to make sure I have time for them, and often schedule my appointments around workouts. I am also not a person that has trouble motivating myself.
Am I getting sick? I wondered. A week passed and no illness, but still no motivation. Was I burned out? I took a week off to recharge, and still no motivation. Was it mind over matter? Meditation, deep thought, soul searching… and nothing. It didn’t appear to be in my mind.
I just didn’t have the level of energy I am used to having. My days can be mentally taxing and although I love what I do, it was zapping me. I was not used to this, so I tried more caffeine, using MCT oil in unorthodox places, and still nothing.
I also noticed I was forgetting things, and didn’t have the word recall I usually have. As I was pouring MCT oil into my coffee one afternoon and fumbling over whatever I was trying to say, my husband casually remarked that I needed to use more because the brain octane clearly wasn’t working.
“I am not using Brain Octane, “I replied. “This oil was recommended to me by a friend and I decided to try it.”
“It’s not working!” he said. We laughed and went on with our days.
However, I kept returning to that comment. Could it be that this oil wasn’t working? Isn’t all MCT oil the same?
I was running out of the MCT oil, so I started doing some research on MCT oils in general. Turns out they are not the same. They are all made differently, using a widely varied quality of ingredients. Bulletproof has always touted its quality of ingredients, and is one of the reasons I believed in them and supported what they do.
I already knew that the Brain Octane Oil was made with superior quality and uses a proprietary blend of MCTs, but after my research I decided to go back to it and see if it really did make a difference. I put in my order, waited a few days while I finished up the other oil, and then I was back on the brew.
Well, guess what? It does make a difference! I noticed an immediate difference in the way my system handled it. (Let’s just say the other oil didn’t make things run as efficiently.) I also noticed a marked difference in my energy level. I was not only off the sofa, but I got more done in one morning than I did the previous week. It was like when I first discovered the coffee all over again! I was back to working out, back to being happy, back remembering what I wanted to do that day, and back to holding an intelligent conversation.
The point of all this? It is my opinion that Brain Octane Oil is worth its weight in gold. There is no substitute. I have now completed my unwitting experiment, and it is just not worth the functioning at a sub-par level to save a few bucks. After a few days of being back on Brain Octane Oil, my cognitive function was back to normal, my energy level was back to normal, and my system was back to normal.
Bulletproof knows what they are doing, and I am sticking with the original from this point forth.
What has your experience with MCTs been? Let me know in the comments, or click the social media buttons at the top of the page and leave your comments there!
I don’t sleep. I haven’t since I was a kid. That was, until I got the Athlete Recovery Sleepwear. The day I got these pajamas, my life changed.
I know, that sounds dramatic. I assure you that it is not. I thought I had found the answer to hacking my sleep with California Poppy Seed extract, but I was wrong. The answer is this sleepwear.
Created by TB12, aka Tom Brady, and Under Armour, the Athlete Recovery Sleepwear is specifically designed to help athletes recover faster. According to the website, its patented “bioceramic print on the inside of the sleepwear absorbs natural heat and reflects Far infrared back into the skin, helping the body sleep better and recover faster.” When you sleep, you recover, so it makes sense that when you sleep better, your recovery will be enhanced. There is also a growing amount of information about the benefits of infrared on the body, one of which is that is promotes healing on a cellular level. (Here is a great article from Dr. Axe on the effects of infrared on the body.)
Bioceramic. Hmm. Sounds comfortable, right? Surprisingly, it is. It is incredibly soft material. I have the shorts and t-shirt, because I am constantly plagued with mid back soreness and tight hip muscles. They fit true to size, with just enough room to not be overly snug, but not enough to bunch in the night.
At the time I write this, I have only been using these for about a week. I can’t provide evidence that I am healing faster. However, on the morning of the first night I tried the sleep set, I did a trial run for a Spartan Race, where I completed 12 of the more challenging obstacles. (And fell off one; I am not that bad ass.) I expected to wake up feeling like I had been hit by a truck, but I didn’t. I was a little sore, but when you climb ropes, scale walls, carry buckets of rocks, throw a spear and fall from a log 6’ above the ground, you should be REALLY sore. I wasn’t.
I can provide evidence that I am sleeping better. Courtesy of the Sleep Cycle app, I have been tracking my sleep quality over the last few months. On the average, my sleep quality ranges from between 35-50% (left photo). This means that only 35-50% of the time I am asleep is quality sleep. (No wonder I need coffee to stay awake.) Since using the Athlete Recovery sleepwear, my sleep quality has improved to 80-85% (right photo). That is a marked increase in quality sleep. I still use the poppy-seed extract to fall asleep quickly, but now I am staying asleep, and waking up ready to go.
From what I have seen so far, I want more of these. I want the pants, the tank top, and the sheets. They are pricey (fortunately mine were a gift) and they rarely go on sale. The pajamas range from $59.00-$99.00, and the sheets from $100.00 – $350.00. I will be buying more. For me to say that at these prices, they must be worth it.
Regardless of whether you love or hate Tom Brady, you will love this sleepwear. I highly recommend it, for everyone, not just athletes.
If you want to check them out, click here. You can thank me later.
Fudge for breakfast? Count me in! This is the recipe for my morning fudge. I am going to give you the recipe first, then the why below, because it drives me nuts having to read 2000 words before I get to the recipe I came to the post for.
Good Morning Fudge
Melt butter and coconut oil in glass measuring cup. Mix in remaining ingredients, except coconut flakes. Sprinkle coconut flakes at the bottom of ice cube tray or muffin cups for added texture if desired. (You can also mix them in; after having done it both ways, I prefer them at the bottom of the cups.) Pour into silicone ice cube trays or muffin cups (1/2 full). Refrigerate until set, about an hour.
This recipe, originally derived from Phat Fudge (https://paleochef.com), makes a great jump start for the morning. Before I started intermittent fasting, this was my morning staple, along with a cup of Bulletproof Coffee. Now its gets mixed into my day somewhere during my eating period, usually when I need a little boost of energy.
The coconut oil, organic and unrefined, gives a quick boost of energy. It also aids in weight loss and digestion, and boosts immunity. (For some additional benefits and uses, see https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/oils/health-benefits-of-coconut-oil.html.) Grass fed butter is a healthy fat that provides fuel for your brain and body, and will keep you going for hours. It’s better to use grass fed butter, because you are getting organic fuel that you can use, versus chemical by-products created by hormone-infused cattle feed.
Tahini is high in B vitamins, which help with energy and skin health. It is also high in calcium and healthy fats, and contains nutrients that assist in liver detoxification.
Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory, it helps reverse oxidative damage from free radicals, and it aids in brain function. It can also delay aging and helps treat age related chronic disease (Heck, yeah – sign me up!)
Cayenne is a metabolism booster and allergy fighter. It also has digestive benefits for most people. I keep the dose low because it has the opposite effect on me, so feel free to add more when you make your batch.
Acai powder is loaded with anti-oxidants and has been found to help with overall cholesterol. It also adds a deeper chocolate flavor to the fudge.
Maca is loaded with vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants, and is used to reduce menstrual symptoms, and improve libido.
Cinnamon aids in circulation and heart health, it helps regulate blood sugar, and it boosts metabolism. And, it tastes great in this recipe.
Honey is more for taste, as you don’t get much of a health benefit from the small amount used. However, honey has cancer fighting properties, increases stamina and performance and aids in fighting allergies. All good reasons not to skip it.
For more information on the fudge and the ingredients in it, check out my book, Midlife Mom to Supermom: How to Turn Stressed and Tired into Happy and Energized, available 12/1/2017 on Amazon.