The term ‘hacking’ likely doesn’t fill you with a warm and fuzzy feeling, but more of an uh oh about what part of your life you’re about to lose to the hacker. Then there’s hacks that make life easier; something quick and speedy like breakfast, lunch or dinner hack. Hacks to get yourself or kids in bed. The list goes on to infinity with shortcuts to make life easier. There’s another hacking phenomenon going on in a slightly underground way to do with health and it’s called BioHacking. It’s becoming less underground now, and people are catching on, realizing that BioHacking has the potential for you to better yourself with some easy, intentional and not too taxing ways. At first, BioHacking might sound like you’re going to become part Borg from Star Trek but it’s really all about individualistic self-improvement. There are numerous ways to incorporate methods of biohacking your body and mind into your daily routine. But first, what exactly is Biohacking? One definition that I came across said that: biohacking your body means changing your chemistry and your physiology through science and self-experimentation to increase energy and vitality. Sign. Me. Up. Does it mean you change yourself from who you are to become a better human? I’d say that it’s optimizing your potential. We all know what the human body has the potential to do; we see athletes break world records, we see people around the world turning 100 years old and still thriving. We know that the minds of many create world changing events like inventing air travel and going to the moon. While all those mentioned are the peak of their potential, what if you, the person sitting on the couch watching these incredible feats, could have a piece of that human potential for yourself? Seems overwhelming and not possible? I get it. Maybe for you, biohacking is to combat the loss of energy, to speed up your recovery that seems slower than before, or that you want strength, not weakness that you’re feeling more than years gone by. If you’ve listened to this show and podcast before, you’ll know that I encourage every betterment of anything, with one step and one mouthful at a time, and biohacking or optimizing your human potential is no different.
So today on EAT THIS with Lianne, Biohacking 101 and five ways that you can start to hack your human potential, uplevel your health and longevity.
You’ve seen the hacks online right – from how to make a beer cooler out of the beer box that they came in and a plastic bag, to how to cut an onion from start to finish before you start bawling. There are crafty hacks, hacks that make your life easier and get dinner on the table hacks. Biohacking yourself means becoming the best possible version of yourself. You might think that you’re already there, but I have yet to see perfection so know that we all want to do the best we can for ourselves, and live a better, more energetic life while we are alive. When I first heard about biohacking I thought I’d need to get hooked up to IV’s with magical potions, inject myself with super powered somethings that would give me wings or something, but after looking into it, I found that I’m actually already working on some of the foundational aspects of biohacking, and as I go through them today, you might find that you are too.
The overarching goal of biohacking is to defy your chronological age, be in optimal health, avoid or reverse disease and maximize your energy and cellular potential. Some might call all that optimal health. So in fact all this is a journey in finding the balance of what’s draining you versus giving energy, to put it all in a nutshell. Does that sound a bit less ominous? If you’re here and are a regular listener, I’m going to say that you’re in the biohacking space already because under it all is the desire to be the absolute best version of ourselves. If you stop and think about what influences there are in your day and how differently music, to thoughts, to foods, drinks and people around you make you feel, you’ll also know that what we put into ourselves, also comes out; our behaviors, our health, and our performance in all areas of life are outputs driven by what goes in.
Before I get into the steps to biohacking, you have to know that there is NO one size fits all with this. You know when you see someone using a gadget, eating a new food that you didn’t know about or think that you’re behind in some way if you don’t have X or Y. Well this is YOUR journey, not Bob, Sue or Charlie’s. What works for them may not work for you.
To start this, ideally you are aware of your current state of health and know yourself as to where you are at now, and what are your optimization goals. At least you have an idea … better memory, more muscle mass to keep you agile and avoid injury, have energy to keep up with all that you want to do spring into my mind. Knowing yourself could mean a DNA test like from thednacompany.com/eatthis that I did a deep dive into in episodes 101 and my results in episode 111, so I know my potential for diabetes for instance and know that my detoxification potential basically sucks so I need to put my focus and attention there. You might update your blood work, but further to the doctor’s options – listen again to episode 103 with Dr. Davis Brockenshire, a functional medicine expert, to know what to ask for as an extra. Knowing your level of inflammation with a c-reactive protein test that measures the level of c-reactive protein (CRP) in your blood is a good add on for sure. From my DNA test, I know that I take in vitamin D well from the sun, so during the summer months, I’m likely alright, but I’ll add that to my blood work in the dead of winter for sure. Functional medicine doctors and naturopaths have access to more blood tests than doctors are aware of, so that might be the best route if you’re looking to know more. Take a self assessment of where you’re at with my free download on sproutright.com/takestock and start a food diary – with honesty of all that you eat and drink.
- Start using wearables like the FitBit or the Apple Watch to track the way you operate. Yes, knowing that you do 10k steps a day is good, but what was your heart rate during the day, while you sleep, during a HIIT class or fast sprint for the bus or grab a kid from falling off their bike. That interval style training sends your heart rate to its max, and knowing how you react to a 150bpm – whether you’re hyperventilating or it’s like a walk in the park, what your heart rate is today and in 3 weeks will help know your progress and if what you’re doing is working. Not that this is all stats and numbers, but the information that you get from wearables and apps do both keep you accountable and not end up thinking that you’re sleeping more than you are, or that your daily walks, are in actual fact only twice a week. I heard a story of a doctor who asked his patient to show him the Oura ring app and he called her out on her ‘healthy lifestyle’ by seeing her Heart Rate Variability, her sleep pattern and the fact that on her phone she had a fast food joint sticker for quick check out. No this wasn’t a local doctor but in Singapore, and wow do I wish that something like that was a part of our medical visits. While none of the wearables are a cheap option, if you do have something, find out how to get the most out of it. I have an Oura ring and still struggle to read it and don’t open the app enough and use the information so I’m going to hold myself accountable to that and use the technology to its max.
- Compression therapy uses controlled pressure in targeted areas to increase blood flow from your lower limbs and heart. It also improves lymph flow and lymphatic drainage as a way to improve circulation, get your blood and lymph moving around your body. That helps to clear out your cells on a deep level. There are a few options for this … there’s compression therapy which is a pneumatic treatment that you go and have at a clinic. Your at home treatment is by way of wearing compression socks, sleeves,wraps, bandages, gloves for arthritic hands. It helps to alleviate muscle pain, remove that painful lactic acid after exercise because it’s a waste that just needs to be cleared or you end up in pain trying to sit down on the toilet after a big leg day! It helps speed muscle recovery, can help improve flexibility and range of motion, and decrease muscle fatigue. I’d couple this with some of Physica Energetics drainage remedies like Drainage Milieu, Lymph 1, 2 or 3 which you’ll find on SproutRight.com as a way to help your cells clear out their waste and essentially cleanse on a much deeper level.
- Use light – but the right kind of light. I shared my experience with Orion’s red and near infrared light in episode 99 and while it was an impulse buy, I sure have got my money’s worth out of it so far. I hope to speak with an expert next week, so we will delve more into this, but the highlights here are that with the different colour light, blue being one that we get WAY too much of from screens, phones, tablets and lightbulbs and it’s not good. Red light is a low wavelength red light. This type of light can get deep into our skin where cells can absorb and use it as an energy source. The extra energy may give cells the ability to help the body respond to damage and restore itself. So that can help improve skin health – think acne and antiaging, wrinkles, scars and wound healing. It can help hair growth, reduction in pain like muscles, joints and even help with bone recovery and is antiinflammatory. I know it sounds magical and slightly unbelievable but I’m a believer and I’ve used it on my daughter’s back and face for acne and mental health, for my own soreness, aches, headaches and for anti-aging. It also slows me down because I sit or lay in front of it for 20 minutes. I went for it and bought the Orion Pro with the stand and I love it. If you haven’t heard the episode, head back to ep 99 and remember that you can use EATTHIS10 to get 10% off your purchase. Go to https://www.orionrlt.ca/ and use code EATTHIS10 for your discount. At the time of recording, there is a 30% off sale, and I believe you can also use the code to get 40% off!
- Next up is cryotherapy or cold therapy method that exposes the entire body to very cold temperatures. No this isn’t putting your head in the freezer like Chris does to cool down and come out with a tub of ice cream, but exposure to cold – like the hot sauna then rolling in the snow. The cold temperatures cause blood vessels to restrict and limit blood flow – also called vasoconstriction. Once out of cryotherapy or when your body returns to normal temperature, the blood vessels expand and a rush of blood comes back to the tissues—bringing nutrients and minerals and can even give you an endorphin rush making you feel just amazing. The best part of cryotherapy is that it takes only three minutes. It’s worth it for this invigorating, restoring experience. The number one way is to get into a cold lake or ocean. Like a polar dip kinda thing. Experts who break down the various ways; cold shower or cold plunge all advocate for the grounding experience of a real body of water. When I go for my walk in the morning, I could be tempted to jump into the lake for three minutes, but truly the crap that’s in the area where I am is a total turn off, so I can’t see myself doing it super close by. So instead, after my morning warm shower, I turn the tap to as cold as it can go. At first I could manage 10 seconds. While hyperventilating of course. After increasing it, I can now stand for at least a minute and also put my face in. Before I had the hand held shower at my throat to get my thyroid. Recently I went to a nordic spa and went from the sauna right into the 55 degree cold plunge. The first time I went up to my waist and stood there for 30 seconds. The second time I got up to my neck and stayed for a minute. It hurts, but I focused on my breathing and kept telling me that I was warm. It totally worked! When I got out, my body felt so alive, it was amazing. I get a version of that after being in the shower. It is truly invigorating. There’s a nice list of benefits to putting yourself in this crazy situation and that includes pain relief and muscle recovery, weight loss which is where directing the cold over the thyroid comes in, anti inflammation and reduction in pain, can help to reduce anxiety and depression, improving eczema symptoms, and helpful for treating migraines which is another reason that I do it. I’m not hitting the mark on preventing migraines of late and they’ve been coming at me about once a week.
- Last but not least on this list of biohacking is your diet with eating refined and carb-light meals, eating the right kinds of fats, abstaining from sugar as much as you can and eating more superfoods like greens, dark chocolate, berries and adding in my Take This by Lianne KID BOOST so your cells behave more like when you were a kid. Then there’s intermittent fasting. I went into this in episode 80, but giving your body time to use it’s stored fat for energy is a very good thing. Fasting may also provide a number of other significant benefits including improved cognitive function, cancer prevention, increased cellular waste removal that’s called cellular au-tophagy and lower levels of inflammation. intermittent fasting is a happy in-between to thinking that you have to fast for a whole day or more than 24 hours. The eating pattern of eating for 8 hours and fasting for 16 is idea, but know that you can work up to that with having a minimum of 12 hours without food to start. When your body is allowed to rest during the fasted state – which can be up to 4 hours after your last meal, there are a number of benefits. When you fast, you increase your levels of growth hormones as much as five times their normal rate, which boosts your metabolic rate – the speed at which you burn calories. Fasting can also reduce your insulin resistance, which lowers your blood sugar and makes stored body fat more accessible to burn. Some experts say that intermittent fasting may also reduce LDL cholesterol or what’s called the “bad” cholesterol, which is a known risk factor when it comes to heart disease.
There are other biohacking ways like practicing gratitude, listening to music that has a positive effect on your brainwaves called functional music with binaural beats and tones to synchronize with your brain waves and induce a meditative, relaxed state. Speaking of meditative state, meditating fits nicely into biohacking as well as focusing on cardiovascular and skeletal health, but all that I’ve covered today is a good start for now.
Do you want to be CEO of our own health? Large and in charge? Biohacking could be the way forward in becoming the best version of yourself.
A quick recap – where are you at now? What’s your genetic potential? Get my self assessment tool from sproutright.com/takestock and if you want to dig into your DNA and genetics, head to thednacompany.com/eatthis for an automatic $50 off with that link. Of my list of five check out the wearable options that are out there to have some metrics on your sleep, movement, and the effects of stress on your body, your heart rate and heart rate variability. Compression therapy with a treatment, socks, wraps, gloves or similar for circulation, drainage and lymph flow to clear out inflammation and waste. Then there’s red light therapy that I’m loving and if you’re ready to give it a try, go to orionrlt.ca and use EATTHIS10 for 10% off. When they have a sale, that code still works for the extra off. Number 4 on the list is to get cold! Cryotherapy and that cold blast or jump in a lake or plunge pool will make you feel like a million dollars once you’re out. Takes some getting used to but truly, the discomfort is worth it on every level. Last but not least is your diet and fasting. It’s daunting at first, but the research on it truly is so positive, work towards it if you aren’t quite sure to start. Start with 12 hours and move up to 16 from there. Fourteen might be your sweet spot, and then when you do eat, go for the super foods and include KID BOOST from sproutright.com, eat those good fats, clean protein and avoid the processed foods and sugar.
I hope all this brings you into the underground movement of biohacking and maybe you’re already on track with one or two, so move along the suggested list, knowing that this is about YOU and your own journey. Sure you can get inspiration from others, but it’s not only something to try and if it works, keep it. If not, move on. In the coming weeks, we will talk to more experts and touch on this topic more.
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I thank you for being here, taking responsibility for your own health and wanting to be the best version of yourself. With all that said, please remember to eat this one mouthful at a time.