December: Healthy Relationships
Healthy relationships are critical to mental health. Making the time to nurture relationships and friendship is a key factor in finding and maintaining happiness, especially as we age.
Micronutrients (vitamins, minerals) can be difficult to find in conventionally grown and raised foods, fast-foods, and ultra-processed foods. Even many organic and other whole foods are lacking sufficient micronutrients for our modern living. Therefore, targeted supplementation can support the natural bodily processes. Notable vitamins and minerals:
Unless you are consuming animal liver and other organs, then you might need supplementation with fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K2. Notes:
- These vitamins must be consumed with fats for absorption.
- Plant sources of vitamin A must be converted in the body for use, and the process is inefficient. Only animals foods (liver, eggs, dairy, fat, seafood) has true vitamin A.
- Vitamin K2 is only found in animal foods, cheese, and Natto.
- Vitamin E is an antioxidant and found in inflammatory (PUFA) foods. Therefore, it can be more beneficial to supplement without eating the foods it is in.
How do you get the best vitamin A, D, and K2? Cod liver oil, beef liver, sardines. We suggest the Rosita Cod Liver Oil as it is minimally processed and considered a real raw food. Desiccated beef liver pills from Vital Proteins, Ancestral Supplements, and Heart & Soil are great alternatives to eating fresh liver.
- Xymogen OptiMag 125 (Magnesium Glycinate and Magnesium Malate)
- Xymogen OptiMag Neuro (Magnesium Threonate, Magnesium Glycinate, Magnesium Malate)
- Mother Earth Minerals Magnesium (ionic magnesium)
October: Dental/Gum Health
Team at work
Groups and Clubs
|Nasal Breathing||Mouth Breathing|
|Conditions the air for optimal use||Causes dry mouth|
|Retains moisture from exhaled air||Causes excess release of water|
|Filters bacteria, viruses, allergens before entering the lungs||Allows all particles into the mouth, throat, and lungs|
|Assists with parasympathetic nervous system activation||Triggers sympathetic nervous system activation|
|Provides air resistance for optimal breathing volume(10-12 bpm)||Causes over-breathing(18-20+ bmp)|
|Maintains oxygen and carbon dioxide balance in the blood for more efficient respiration||Dysregulates carbon dioxide in the blood|
|Supports anatomical development in the oral cavity (teeth, jaw, palate)||Leads to anatomical malformation during development|
|Helps with sense of taste||Leads to inflammation in the oral cavity and throat|
Known causes of chronic inflammation:
Common diet sources: gluten/grain, dairy, eggs, nuts, yeast, PUFAs
Less common diet sources: corn, soy, nightshades, citrus
Environmental toxins (molds, chemicals, smoke, etc.)
What is it?
How to care for it?
Prebiotics - foods and fuel for the microbiome
Probiotics - foods or supplements that contain gut bugs to help restore the microbiome
Postbiotics - byproducts and metabolites from the gut bugs which can have a therapeutic effect
Antibiotics - drugs that treat bacterial infections and disrupt the microbiome
Many people do not realize the negative effect chronic stress has on other 4 pillars for a healthy life. The underlying effects of chronic stress dysregulate sleep, hormones, and metabolism. This means digestion, mood, energy, and choices are compromised in some fashion everyday.
In general, long-term or chronic stress (months, years, decades) has a negative affect on the individual. This is characterized as distress. On the other hand, short term stressors are normal, if not beneficial, and are known as eustress. Finding ways to reduce chronic stress and/or distress are imperative for a healthy lifestyle.
Our bodies can and will adapt to chronic stress so identifying the stressors might involve some combination of introspection, collaboration efforts, therapy, and/or taking a sabbatical. Unlocking the circumstances of the chronic stressors is paramount as some can be removed or reduced while others might not (at this point in time).
Talking to someone or a group
Moving to a new location
Finding a new job or career
Finding a happy place (location, hobby, activity)
April: Exercise (and movement)!
The importance of exercise and movement cannot be understated as one of the 5 pillars of health. Whether it is solo or group activities, high or low intensity, inside or outside, any resistance or weight then it counts!
One saying that resonates with the longevity mindset is "muscle knows no age". It's never too late to get stronger, although as we age it can become more difficult to build muscle. Consequently, maintaining muscle mass is key and crucial for healthy aging.
Muscles support our bones and all of our movement. We need healthy muscle to recover from a long day of working, a fall in the shower, working out, and any active hobby. Maintain and/or build your muscles doing any of the following:
Sports (Pickleball, basketball)
Walking with a partner
Resistance training and weightlifting
Stretching and breathing
There isn't a shortage of nutrition and diet information available!
Where to start? Where to look for info?
A good question to begin with is what did my ancestors eat? Is there someone in my family that lived a long healthy life that I can learn from? Unfortunately, there isn't a diet that works for everyone. Our personal nutritional needs change all the time depending on the status in each of the 5 pillars as well as our environments.
Eat seasonal whole foods
Limit ultra-processed oils: canola, vegetable, soybean, corn, safflower
Cook with healthy fats like ghee, tallow, avocado oil, coconut oil
Avoid sugary drinks and smoothies both diet and non-diet
Chose a variety of colors
Grass-fed ruminants, pastured poultry, pastured eggs are most nutrient dense
The following foods works for some and is a problem for others:
Dairy and fermented dairy items
Rice and rice products
Grains and breads
Legumes, seeds, and nuts
February: Focus on Sleep!
Sleep might be the most disregarded pillar of health, yet disrupted sleep or no sleep at all will negatively affect us in every aspect of our lives. Our internal clocks, or circadian rhythms, operate optimally with routine, which sleep seems to be mostly affected. Creating a sleep routine in regards to preparation, location, temperature, disturbances, and timing will provide quality sleep for recovery and regeneration.
No matter what type of learner you are there are resources we recommend:
- If you are methodical person or prefer lists then read through the 21 strategies that Shawn Stevenson provides in his book "Sleep Smarter". There are many solutions that everyone can benefit from in order to help their sleep hygiene. Shawn's interview on the Health Theory with Tom Bilyeu is another great resource.
- For a quick read (or listen) then check out "How to Sleep" by Dr. Rafael Pelayo. He provides practical solutions for sustained sleeping through the night. Dr. Pelayo is a sleep specialist at the Stanford Sleep Medicine Center.
- For a full masterclass on sleep check out “Why We Sleep” by Matt Walker. He’s a well-known, knowledgeable sleep scientist and professor at UC Berkeley. Highly recommended to read (or listen)!
January: It's water month!
So many of us do not drink enough water throughout the day. Depending on various factors and specific body requirements, most people need at least 48-64 ounces of water per day. We found a few tricks that help with water consumption:
- Drink Water Reminder App
- Dedicated water bottle
- Consume different water types:
- Water additions:
- Reverse Osmosis (RO) water with mineral add-backs like Home Master Filters
- Unflavored sparkling water
- San Pellegrino
- Spring water like Mountain Valley Spring
- RO with fruit/veggies added