Bio Hacking Basics-My Top 5
By Sandra Miller L.W.M.C
July 18, 2015
Ain’t about how fast I get there, ain’t about what’s waitin’ on the other side,
It’s the Climb” Miley Cyrus
Bio Hacking basics are necessary to ensure that you start the process at the beginning and build your foundation upon this. This Miley Cyrus song reminds me of what it was like going through the processes that I knew would take me to my most optimal self. I wanted to LEARN about myself almost as much as I wanted to feel better. Most of us want to feel better NOW and we want to know that what sacrifices we are making are going to give us the health that we desire.
Our bodies are like a moving target and things are always going to be changing so we must remember that this is an absolute journey and not a destination. You may get to where you want to go but understand that your journey is not over at that point. Our environment, diet, stress level, sleep and so many things-change. The world is changing and becoming a toxic soup and we are stewing in it. If you want to find YOUR optimal, I will give you 5 steps to get you started. So let’s get right to the goods. No matter what health challenges you are facing now, or if just trying to begin the optimization process so that you avoid the ravages of modern living, then the FIRST of the four pillars is where you start from. Always. In this game you do not pass go and collect $200 until you REMOVE.
But what needs to be removed?
The REMOVE process begins with an elimination diet that takes out all or most of the foods that possess challenges to the human digestive system. One way to tell if a food is causing an issue in the body is to look at the symptoms you have. Not all of the foods I am suggesting that you remove for a period of time will have the same effect on everyone. Starting with a foundational diet helps us to identify which of those foods do have an effect. First things first.
Ask these questions of yourself. Are you?
- Bloated or gassy, constipated or have loose stools?
- Have mood disorders, depression, anxiety?
- Joint aches and pains or headaches?
- Food intolerances?
- Skin disorders/eczema or psoriasis/
- Getting poor sleep?
- Memory problems
- Thyroid disorder or symptoms
- Hormone issues like hot flashes, weight gain, painful periods, fibroids? (women)
- Moodiness, weight gain, loss of desire (men)
- Autoimmune conditions such as: fibromyalgia, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Hashimoto’s etc.
Out of the things that I just mentioned, if you suffer from even ONE of these then you would start at the remove phase. Simple enough right? All of these are symptoms requiring going back to square one. None of these are symptoms should be considered normal. They are signs that our bodies are not tolerating foods that we are currently eating and/or signs that we are toxic and need to remove poor quality foods and chemicals from our lives. We do not go further until we address some of these things. Vitamins and probiotics are wonderful for rebuilding health but are of no value if you do not remove foods that cause sub-optimal gut function. All of these symptoms above tie either to hormones or gut issues and the interconnection they share. Don’t forget pick up my free e-book when you sign up for my newsletter as it will be instrumental in your process in future stages.
I am also going to make it pretty clear that NO ONE CAN BE OPTIMAL if they are eating gluten containing grains. Glutens effect every single person because we are simply incapable of breaking down the protein of gluten into smaller amino acids. Sorry, but there is just no way around this. You may be able to add other grains back in later on down the road. Humans will ever be optimal if they are eating modern day wheat, rye and barley. With that said, let’s cut to the chase and where you should begin,to remove things that could be triggers.
1)Bio Hack-Elimination Diets
What is typically removed?
Removing the causes of inflammation in your gut is must be the first step. As Hippocrates said “All disease begins in the gut.” We must find out if it is coffee, gluten, GMO’s dairy, legumes or eggs, or even certain complex carbohydrates. Every single person is bio individual so one person may tolerate eggs but not another. Understand that we are also profoundly affected by also by our personal care products, cleaning products, food containers and all sources of toxins present in our homes and the environment. See this page to help you with removal of toxins. Members Area. Root cause must be addressed. If you have tried to treat symptoms only to find the issue returns, it is because the root cause was never addressed.
Inflammation is like a fire that won’t ever be put out until the food culprits and toxins are removed to the best of our ability and for a period of time. Many of us humans are triggered by the same culprits. Elimination diets bring our physiology back to a time before food was processed, manipulated and depleted. We must quell the “fire” in our bodies and calls off the troops known as “antibodies.” Removing the foods I mentioned will help to do just that. It is important to also remove industrialized seed oils like corn, canola and soybean and eliminate fried foods which leads to a tremendous amount of free radical damage. This means damage to our precious DNA. As our gut and metabolism heal we will feel more energetic, get sick less often, lose weight and gain energy.
REMOVE all grains, all dairy, all legumes and all processed foods for 30 to 60 days. Your diet would consist of lean grass fed meats, organic chicken and farm raised eggs, wild game, wild caught fish and shellfish, fruit, organic vegetables (unless on the clean 15 list) sprouted or soaked nuts and seeds, grass fed butter, coconut oil. If you want a “step by step” with recipes, I have provided two great resources here to get you started. Both follow the same “whole foods” principles. You can learn more and fast track here!
Dr. Sara Gottfried
We must clean ourselves out of body fat that holds onto many years worth of abuse of NSAIDS, acid blockers, antibiotics, some pharmaceutical drugs, birth control pills, environmental toxins and recover from years of cheap, worthless supplements and foods. Food is INFORMATION to your body. The body is like a computer. What you put in with food and supplements is like the software that tells the body (the computer) what to do. We all have cancer cells in our bodies but here is the million dollar question: What are you doing today to hinder those cancer genes from going rogue? 1 in 3 women and 1 in 2 men will get cancer in our lifetime and if you wait another few years to make changes the odds worsen. there are some chemicals in our environment that will never go away while other can last 40 years or more. Do nothing and you become the statistic. Hoping you won’t get cancer IS NOT AN ACTION STEP!
If you are vegan or vegetarian then cutting out the grains is still recommended for you as well. At the end of the REMOVE period, some folks may do ok with a bit of white rice or quinoa on occasion as long as you remain symptom-free. Obviously, meatless folks are more limited in their meals and in must rely on supplementation with the proper forms of certain vitamins or risk illness from deficiency. It is absolutely crucial for every vegan as most are extremely nutrient and mineral deficient. Omega 3’s are scarce in the plant world. I was never more unwell in my life as my time spent as a vegetarian.
For severe autoimmune symptoms, diabetes, joint aches, and pains, ADD/ADHD it may be wise to consider a more stringent approach to the remove phase by following an SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) or A GAPS diet. What is good for one person’s genotype may be poison to that of another’s. In some cases, certain carbohydrates are the issue. If symptoms persist after 60 days it might be best to take it a step further. your way to wellness that much faster.
We have a saying in functional medicine; “WHY GUESS WHEN WE CAN TEST?”
2) Bio Hack-Take Out The Trash
A good detoxification strategy is also a must. I am implying specifically a detox of the chemicals in our immediate environment first and foremost. This will go along way when combined with elimination of food irritants. What good is eating properly but continuing to contaminate ourselves with chemicals in our cookware, plastics, body care products and more. Too much time on our cell phone and computers change the structure of liquid in our cells and contribute to poor health also. These environmental saboteurs have more influence on our health than you may think. Opening up the channels of elimination is the key to feeling our best, and once a simple detox is mastered, removing toxins on a daily basis will keep your DNA in good working order. This is the functional medicine way. If we use our bodies own natural resources for elimination our healing begins naturally. All of the methods below are important. We need:
- Antioxidants to reduce cellular trash
- Sweating (exercise, steaming baths and near infrared saunas)
- Activities that stimulate lymphatic drainage (like rebounding)
- Intake of naturally chelating foods ( a chelator is a food that clings on to a toxin and escorts it out of the body)
- Grounding or earthing naturally and/or using tools that do the same
- Supplements that boost glutathione (our body’s major antioxidant) or assist in liver detoxification
- Colon elimination enhancements such as coffee enemas, colonics, fiber, bentonite clay.
- Supplements that support digestion and elimination
Apple pectin is a great source of fiber and helps with the eliminations. Not only must we mobilize toxins that have been stored for years by some of the methods above, but we must assure they are escorted out of the body and not be allowed to recirculate. My favorite fiber is Renew Life Acacia fiber . I also have used activated charcoal, bentonite clay, chlorella or foods such as cilantro and garlic are used and recommended by many IFM and Naturopathic doctors to assist in safe removal of toxins. Getting guidance in using these tools is essential so that this is done in a safe manner. These alone or in combination will help with the healthy removal of toxins that currently exist in our bodies. Detoxifying too quickly is something that happens to novices all too often. I will help you get started when you join my “Clean, Green and Lean Challenge” and join thousands of people in cleaning up the toxins in their environment, diet and mindset. We will educate, activate (get ready) and eliminate (get started) and you will learn about the most common toxic challenges to our bodies and I will share extra special strategies and some of the top functional medicine protocols to get your body cleaner and leaner and your environment greener! Stay connected by going to my http://biohackingwellness.com/ Home page and find the blue box.
Special guest webinars will be included on removing toxic emotions and mindsets and I will provide some behavioral strategies as well. No matter where you are beginning your journey you can begin armed with knowledge and supported by professionals. Remember bio individuality is critical and respected here. It is like getting a beginner to intermediate bio hacking education so don’t waste time signing up for our newsletter and joining the movement so we can let you know when this is all happening!
3) Bio Hack- Supplementation Is A Must
There are a lot of people today who think that supplements are a waste of money. I am afraid to say that you cannot be optimal without them. Even if you eat the cleanest organic food, our soils are depleted. The body needs 90 nutrients to function, and the category of nutrients that are critical but absent from our foods today are minerals. Up to 80% of our population is deficient in magnesium. Magnesium is responsible for over 400 bodily functions and DNA and RNA synthesis depend on it. So many people take calcium thinking that they are doing their body some good but this does not really fix the problem. Without magnesium, calcium is almost useless.
Two important functions of magnesium are that it affects heart rhythms and relaxes skeletal muscle. The ratio of your dietary intake of calcium to magnesium may affect your risk of developing colorectal cancer, according to a large clinical trial from researchers at Vanderbilt University and reported in a 2008 “American Association of Cancer Research” publication. Calcium was 32% more effective when magnesium was given along with it. The mineral selenium is the most talked about mineral in the “anti-cancer” crusaders circle these days. Brazil nuts are extremely high in Selenium with” 6-8 nuts containing over 544 micrograms of Selenium or almost 10 times the recommended daily intake” according to the Budwig Center for Natural Therapies. Could a few nuts a day keep the cancer away?
Though everyone should be supplementing, this does not take the place of the proper diet but rather, would be bio individual in nature as to the type of supplementation needed. Again, testing reigns here. Organic acid testing can help identify if we have too much or too little of any specific nutrient. Understand also that all supplements are not created equal. Quality supplements are absolutely worth the money.
“Selenium is the most potent broad-spectrum anti-cancer agent
that has yet been discovered” – Dr. E. J. Crary
4) Bio Hack: To Test Is Best
Everyone who is embarking of a life that is optimized should have some basic lab values done as a baseline for future comparison. Every one of us should know these numbers. If you have not had these tests done you should ask your doctor to do them. Note that some insurances do not cover the hsCRP but most cover all the rest of the testing. You will also need to look at more factors in your cholesterol profile.
These are the basic to get you started on your experiment of “ONE”:
- Fasting blood glucose (65-99 mg/dl is normal)
- Fasting blood insulin (should be somewhere between 3 and 8)
- VAP test or LPP (LDL particle SIZE and DENSITY (LDL-P) and NOT just HDL, LDL and triglycerides (see article in the above link)
- LP(a) inherited gene that increases LDL (this helps to identify what type of diet will be best for you)
- Hs CRP-high sensitivity CRP-a test for the markers of inflammation
- RBC folate-a better test for determining folate status)
- HbA1C- shows index of average blood glucose for the previous three to four months.
These would be the minimum testing needed to begin the bio hacking process. We must inspect what we expect. You will never get to optimal without knowing where you are starting from. I have seen many people who have had a fasting blood sugar in the normal range only to have an elevated HbA1c. Myself included. Fasting blood sugar, for example, is only showing you the level of blood sugar on “the day” of the test. Blood sugar overall may be elevated over the course of several months but nobody tested it. Get a glucometer and test yourself daily. Note what foods overly spike your sugar and use them rarely. Many times these glucometers can be obtained free or charge.
I am not going to get into all of the details with cholesterol testing here in this article but everyone needs the LP (a) test to see if there is a genetic predisposition to high LDL. This is good to know. This would indicate your diet should consist of a bit less saturated fat than someone without the gene.
I will be doing an entire article and interviews on cholesterol very soon. Just understand that if you have not had a VAP or LPP test done by your physician, you may be at great risk for heart attack or stroke EVEN IF YOUR LDL, HDL and Triglycerides ARE NORMAL! If your doctor won’t at least do a VAP test, find a doctor who will. This is a must do test for any hacker and without it your head will continue to be in the sand. All my cholesterol numbers were great for many years and one of my doctors did the VAP test. I found out that I was at great risk for a heart attack because my LDL were small, dense and numerous. NOT GOOD. Your doctor is not doing the testing needed to assess your risk. Ask for it.
5) Bio Hack- Early To Bed
If we can learn to eat cleanly on a realistic budget, shop smarter, live cleaner and greener we be making our own environment healthier for ourselves and our families. We will suffer less illness. It will also benefit future generations and it is a legacy of knowledge you can leave to your children and grandchildren. In doing this we will be making global changes by forcing companies who want to continue to profit from product sales to come up with better solutions. We will become a force to be reckoned with that will demand with our dollars that we be provided safe and nutritious foods and products free of chemicals that are hazardous to our health and that of the planet. Are you in?
We must unwaveringly committed to limiting buying into the allopathic medical system offers (drugs) and spend less time and money for medications, doctors and hospitals who are trying to make us squeeze into a shoe that does not fit. Every step you make toward bio hacking YOUR wellness (THE CLIMB) is an educational step up and away from the living among the statistics and of the ravages of premature aging and disease and into a life of true vitality, which is our birthright. Let me be the GPS for YOUR DNA!