What is Bio-hacking?
Bio-hacking has been gaining increasing popularity, but there are still so many people that don't know what it is. To put it simply, Bio-hacking is the process of making changes to your lifestyle in order to hack your body's biology so that you can feel at your best.
There is a popular saying that "You are what you eat," and while this does ring true- everything that we put into our bodies including food, thoughts, and physical movement effects our biology and how we behave. By bio-hacking and discovering ways to optimize performance in many of these areas, we can actually help ourselves to feel more energized and become more productive. Overall, the goal is to feel like the best possible version of ourselves.
In an age where the health & wellness industry rides on selling the newest programs, and gadgets in order to help yourself reach a new level of you, it's important to remember that when making small lifestyle changes you should give your body time to adjust in order to see how you feel. When it comes to bio-hacking, it's actually about doing as little as possible to get the biggest effect. In my experience, I feel so much better health wise when I stick with the things that are working for me, and ditch the things that don't. Regardless of whatever is on the market, I've learned to trust my intuition and become an expert when it comes to how my body feels.
7 Ways You Can Bio-hack Yourself Today
1. Try an Elimination Diet
If you are struggling with food allergies, or are having trouble digesting certain foods try experimenting with an elimination diet. An elimination diet may sound intense, but it's really just a short-term eating plan to determine if certain ailments such as skin issues like eczema and acne, chronic fatigue, or inflammation is a response to your diet.
Here's how it works: For one month you'll remove foods from your diet that are well known allergens. This should be an adequate time to allow any inflammation to subside so that you can begin on a clean slate. The main foods to cut out during an elimination diet are gluten, soy, dairy, peanuts, and corn. Then, slowly you should re-introduce these foods back into your diet while paying close attention to how you feel, and how your body responds physically. If you have any inclination that a food you've added back is an irritant, you'll remove it again immediately to see if your symptoms clear up. The goal is to pinpoint your intolerance to particular foods so that you are able to make more informed decisions about what you are eating.
An elimination diet is one of the best bio-hacks because it really forces you to listen to your body, and trust your intuition. What you don't know, you don't know. Most people have no idea how amazing they would feel without certain irritants, but once they discover for themselves there's no turning back.
2. Change When You Eat
Ever heard of intermittent fasting? It's true. You can bio-hack your body simply by changing when you are eating. There are several ways you can intermittent fast. Some people choose to alternate day fasting which is fasting for 24 hours once or twice a week, while others fast during certain periods of the day. I personally really liked choosing a window of time during the day that I could eat food, and then fasting the rest of the day. Intermittent fasting has been linked to weight loss, normalizing insulin levels, and the prevention of chronic diseases like diabetes.
3. Sleep More
Many conversations that revolve around loosing weight and improving health and mood don't even mention the importance of sleep, and that's a major mistake. Sleep deprivation puts you at risk for a plethora of health problems including a higher risk for chronic disease, a weakened immune system, depression, trouble concentrating, irritability, increased hormones, and irregular hormones.
There's only one goal to bio-hacking your sleep: GET MORE OF IT! Personally, I've found effective natural sleep aids to be the best remedy for a restless mind, and insomnia. Some of the best hacks I've used to bio-hack my sleep routine is by:
- using CBD to promote restful sleep
- turning off electronics and plugging my phone in away from my bed
- weighted blankets to raise levels of serotonin in the body to prevent insomnia
4. Zen Up With Meditation
Feeding our minds is just as important as feeding our bodies. Meditation is the ultimate brain hack. I've found the benefits of meditation to be a total game changer from reducing pain and increasing sleep quality to lowering inflammation and boosting my productivity. If you are someone who has struggled with stress or anxiety, meditation can be an extremely effective way to naturally deal with symptoms. If you are able to establish a daily meditation practice, it will be even more beneficial to your mental and physical health.
Not sure where to begin? Don't worry. Journey Meditation can help you get into the habit. It's the world's first LIVE-STREAMING meditation app of iOs users. Nothing is pre-recorded, nothing is canned, and it's all in real-time. Meditations are only 15-20 minutes long, and the teachers are from all walks of life, and extremely knowledgeable.
How often do you walk barefoot in the grass or feel the sand between your toes? Grounding, also known as earthing means allowing your feet to connect with the surface of the earth. Our feet act as electrical currents allowing the natural electrical charges that the earth produces to flow through us. Grounding has the amazing ability to improve sleep, reduce inflammation, and encourage you to enjoy nature while getting your dose of Vitamin D.
Fun Fact: Sometimes I take a short walk to the mailbox barefoot, or kick off my shoes at the dog park while my fur babies play. Bio-hacking experts suggest to fight against our domestication and opt for more time outside, eating less processed foods, drink fresh water, be exposed to more sunlight, and learn to love the outdoors because our bodies biology was created to thrive this way.
6. Stand Up
Many people spend their days going from sitting in our cars to sitting in our desks, to sitting at on the couch at home which may be as dangerous for our health as smoking. There's a way to fix this! Bio-hack your way to better health by standing often. You can even invest in standing desk at work! I like to challenge myself daily with easy to achieve stand tasks. I do this by simply getting up and talking to a colleague vs. sending an email, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. I even have a sub-conscious habit of pacing around the room during long phone calls. Do you have an Apple Watch? One of my favorite features of the Apple Watch is when it randomly tells me to stand up. This simple feature is such an easy reminder to get up every 60-90 minutes and take a quick lap around the office, or house.
7. Red Light Therapy
If you haven't heard of Red Light Therapy you've come to the right place. It's one of my favorite technologies in my bio-hacking toolkit, and something I highly recommend. Red light therapy is a safe, and effective way to optimize skin health, fat loss, muscle recovery, hormone levels, joint pain, inflammation, thyroid function, and more. Red Light Therapy has been studied and tested across hundreds of peer-reviewed clinical trials with overwhelmingly positive results.