The Kitchen - Reduce the Frustration

Meal preparation can be daunting with a busy lifestyle. Changing where things are stored and what areas are utilized to work from along with their proximity to the supplies can play a part of making things "flow" better.

Here is one thing that always seemed to be a frustration. Can you say "a mixed bag of Tupperware"?
You know, where you spend 10 minutes looking for the right lid because there are three different kinds. Because there are three different kinds they don't stack well, take up more space than is needed, or how about this .... they fall out of the cupboard when you open it making your heart race and your adrenaline rise.

So here is an example of making the change, reducing the frustration and making the food preparation just a little less daunting.

Note the is one outlier in the fridge that is just waiting to do to the trash ;-)

Morning Drink - Kombucha, NAC, Vitamin C

Kombucha can be a great drink to (as a medium) to mix NAC and Vit C with.

Kombucha is a fermented drink and provides the gut with healthy bacteria. You "must know" by now how important that healthy microbiome is.

NAC (N-acetylcysteine) offers numerous benefits including:
  1. precursor to development of "glutathione" - the bodies largest/most potent "anti-oxidant". Antioxidants are key to minimizing cellular oxidative stress from free radicals generated during normal energy production (although excessive with hypercalorie diets), excessive physical activity, and/or disease.
  2. also breaks down the "biofilm" that encapsulates pathogens/yeast in the gut - protecting them from gut antibiotic and natural treatments. An example of a biofilm is the slime that coats hamburger when it is kept to long (not pretty, but a good example)
Vitamin C is a key antioxidant.

How Old Are You On The Inside?

You might have seen calculators on-line that help understand the difference between our "chronological age" and our "actual age". In determining the actual age, the calculators usually ask for certain lifestyle practises associated with facilitating good or bad health conditions such as smoking or exercising 30 minutes a day.

There is now an innovate technology that brings an age old approach to understanding our "internal age" using "Pulse Wave Velocity" and mobile phone software with low cost portable equipment. The company introducing the product to the market is iHeart. The software is free and the equipment looks just like the device place over the finger to measure SpO2 (blood oxygen saturation) taken with vitals during medical visits. One caveat is that this is not an approved medical device and consequently only suitable for general health and fitness references.

iHeart uses pulse wave velocity to evaluate "aortic stiffness" as a means to understand "internal age". iHeart discusses it this way: "Aortic Pulse Wave Velocity is closely related to and is a measure of stiffness along the spinal column. Increased stiffness of the spine results in decreased mobility of the body’s core regions affecting chest wall and diaphragmatic motion. When pulse wave velocity
increases in speed, Core Mobility is reduced and the Internal Organs receive less of a massaging action with each breath. This decreases organ circulation, affecting organ function, overall health and longevity. Aortic Pulse Wave Velocity not only assesses risk of illness but also shows improvement with attention to diet, exercise and stress management. Aortic Pulse Wave Velocity is a way to 'look inside' and can help people objectively appreciate the benefit of positive lifestyle choices."

What does it look like?

During the reading, the application presents a sinusoidal heart rate pattern. The image and data below is presented upon completion of the measurement. In this example, the persons actual age is 58 with an internal age estimation of 39.

The readings are also trended as illustrated below. The reading is affected by other factors of a persons day, so time of day and activity level among others play a factor (as with any type of measurement).

In case someone would like to research the background on Pulse Wave Velocity, a link to the article "Aortic Pulse Wave Velocity as a Marker of Cardiovascular Risk in Hypertensive Patients" is provided. This study concluded that Pulse Wave Velocity is strongly associated with the presence and extent of atherosclerosis and constitutes a forceful marker and predictor of cardiovascular risk in hypertensive patients. The study points out that "arterial stiffness" increases with age and hypertension and is also enhanced in subjects with diabetes mellitus, atherosclerosis, and end-stage renal disease. It also points out that the Pulse Wave Velocity measurement is highly related to cardiovascular risk as assessed by the standard Framingham equations. The Framingham equations are the result of a greater than 5000 person, greater than 12 year longitudinal studies with no one lost in follow-up. Links to the Framingham study can be found here.

So how is all this relevant? Your body composition is a symptom of your health. Your health is a result of your lifestyle. These things are inseparable.

Physical Activity Guidelines - A Guide for Adults

This link is to Be Active Your Way - A guide for Adults prepared by the department of health and Human Services.

Sections include:

Part 1. Getting Started
Part 2. Making Physical Activity a Part of Your Life
Part 3. Keeping It Up, Stepping It Up
Part 4. Being Active for Life

So how does one decide what activity or exercise to do? Two considerations are: 1) is it something you enjoy - a hobby or time with friends and family and/or 2) the effect it has on health and longevity.

The "enjoy" piece is pretty easy to figure out. The effect on health and longevity can be a little more complex.

Physiologically we should consider the effect of exercise/activity on:

1) minimizing muscle loss (sarcopenia)
2) minimizing bone loss (osteopenia/osteoperosis)
3) maintains the ability of the neurological system to effect good balance and stability (the neurological system improves or degrades based on imposed demands and creates routines in the brain that it remembers or forgets based on exposure)
4) effect the ability of our bodies to intake and utilize oxygen (our cells need oxygen to make their energy) - and so consequently vascular, respiratory and metabolic systems are important.
5) effect the production of endorphins favorable to mood and mental well being.
6) effect metabolic health - our cells up regulate and down regulate their capacity to utilize energy sources (fatty acids, glucose, amino acids) and produce energy. The effect of physical exercise affects muscle cells such that it pulls glucose from the blood stream without reliance on insulin - very important to those with low insulin sensitivity.

So there you go... find activity/exercise that meets the above physiological requirements ... and you enjoy!

Are you a Bear, Lion, Dolphin or Wolf?

Bear, Lion, Dolphin and Wolf are "Sleep Animals" used to explain the 4 main Chronotypes. Identifying your chronotype may help you organize the rest of your daily activities in ways that they work better for you - or understand why the structure of your day does not work for you. Notice how for example some people will do better with morning exercise, some will do better with evening exercise. Chronotypes are a component of circadian rhythm described in your Lifestyle Individual Program Plan.

You can take this quiz to learn which chronotype you are!

Chronotype refers to the behavioral manifestation of underlying circadian rhythms of myriad physical processes. A person's chronotype is the propensity for the individual to sleep at a particular time during a 24-hour period. Sleep is one aspect of daily circadian rhythm.

Circadian rhythms are physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a roughly 24-hour cycle, responding primarily to light and darkness in an our environment. A "master clock" in the brain coordinates all the body clocks so that they are in synch.


SP02 stands for peripheral capillary oxygen saturation. Levels are read with a pulse oximeter.

You have your reading checked as part of your Lifestyle program and as one of your vitals readings during a medical check up. 

Normal pulse oximeter readings usually range from 95 to 100 percent. Values under 90 percent are considered low.

The percent oxygen saturation reflects the degree of oxygen one’s red blood cells are carrying oxygen. As red blood cells pass through the lungs, they carry 95 to 100 percent of oxygen. For people suffering with lung disease, other respiratory diseases or other medical conditions, red blood cells are depleted of oxygen. People with a low blood oxygen level have a difficult time breathing and may need oxygen. This measure gives insight to one’s capability for physical activity and especially aerobic activity.

So... what are natural means to improve SP02%

This article provides 5 Ways to Improve Your Oxygen Levels. A couple of the approaches will add to the pleasantry of your home environment such as adding plants (Chinese evergreens) or air purifiers (bamboo charcoal)

Two interesting approaches to improving your oxygen levels are also used for stress reduction: deep (diaphragmatic) breathing and pursed lip breathing. These methods are detail in our 14 Day Stress course (just ask if you would like to take it). Its interesting how some things have exponential benefit to our health.

Certain fitness trackers are now incorporating SP02% measures. This device offers this functionality and gives a good description of how the technology works.