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How to Overcome “Lockdown Fatigue”and Biohack your Emotions, Energy and Sleep for Radiant Health.

 

If it feels like you are still slogging though times of uncertainty, apprehension and exhaustion, you are most certainly not alone. After 10 months of living through social distancing protocols, working from home, and cold winter months inside, most people are quite simply “over it”. I know I am. 

“Lockdown fatigue” is a common term used to describe the sluggish, lack of energy, and low moods that have a grip on many of us during these tedious and uncertain times.

While short periods of lethargy and inactivity are not harmful, long periods will age the body in unfavorable ways.  This may show up in the form of symptoms such as unwanted weight gain, brain fog and depression to name a few. 

 

With spring just a few steps ahead, this is the perfect time to reboot your health to support better moods, energy and sleep. Do this easily by making small changes to your day to day life.

 

1. Hack your Sleep 

Its no secret that sleep or lack there of will make or break your day. Poor sleep habits leave you with lower energy levels and fewer positive emotions. Poor sleep patterns are often due to stress levels both internal and external. Considering the confines of COVID, the amount of time spent under blue lights on your computer or screen is  an internal stressor that will affect how much of the sleep “hormone” melatonin you produce. Below are some bio hacks that can be used to strengthen your sleep cycle.

 

Break from your screen for at least an hour before bed.

Short wave blue light is emitted from electronics. Blue light  adversely affects mitochondria and disrupts melatonin production. If you can't take an hour break before bed, wear blue blocking glasses and use light filtering devices such as flux on your computer to block the light. (I wear caddy's and use flux on my computer but there are many different tools, just make sure they are proven to block the blue light frequency affectively).

 

Use blackout curtains. 

This simple adjustment in the bedroom will help you attain deeper sleep cycles. Studies have shown that people that are exposed to more light when they sleep deal with more depression than people who sleep in pure darkness.

 

https://academic.oup.com/aje/article/187/3/427/4056592?login=true

 

Turn off WIFI at night.

WIFI emits a non ionizing form of radiation when in use. This radiation is also known as a Electromagnetic field or EMF. EMF's exposure creates free radicals in the body that can be reduced if you switch off WIFI while you sleep and the less inflammation in your body, the better you will sleep. 

 

Melatonin 

Melatonin taken half an hour before bed to support deeper and more restful sleep. Our bodies produce the sleep hormone naturally but melatonin can also be used as a supplement to support your sleep cycle. 

 

Magnesium L -threonate 

This unique form of magnesium penetrates the blood brain barrier and is especially helpful for calming the nervous system which helps with anxiety, depression and sleep.

 

CBD 

A safe and non psychoactive cannabinoid used to both calm the nervous system and help to facilitate sleep. Its important to do your research before you buy CBD so you know what you are getting. Some brands will offer a CBD isolate while others use broad- spectrum CBD containing other cannabinoids and terpenes. 

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6326553/

 

For more information on CBD: 

https://www.radiantrealitynutrition.com/2019/04/18/5-health-benefits-of-cbd-and-why-our-bodies-are-designed-to-thrive-with-it/

Sleep Tracker

If you benefit from looking at your personal data and your sleep is not where you want it to be, you would likely benefit from using a sleep tracking device  such as a fitbit or an aura ring. Sleep tracking devices will monitor your oxygen levels, heart rate, body temperature to name a few and is able to collect data like your sleeping duration, interruptions, snoring and how much light deep and REM sleep you are getting. 

 

For more information on the benefits of sleep : https://www.radiantrealitynutrition.com/2016/09/25/your-sleep-can-make-or-break-your-health-9-ways-to-elevate-your-sleep/

 

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9 Lifestyle Hacks to Reduce Inflammation, Boost Energy and Enhance your Resilience in 2021

Welcome 2021

I think most will agree 2020 was pretty much a sh** show and the fallout from this past year will take some time to clean up. So in the light of the new year, I  am setting some intention to both refine and bring in new patterns and habits that will support longevity and health. I will admit, for some, goal setting can be a wash, especially at the start of the year. But given all we have moved through in the past year, I am inviting all who read this to create some concrete goals or intentions to commit to. 

 

As we begin this new year, I wanted to write a blog about biohacking inflammation to create more energy to live a resilient existence. Resiliency is key to recovering from challenges. Resiliency makes us stronger and allows us to overcome difficulties. However, in order to build resiliency you must cultivate energy. 

This blog covers some of my favorite anti-inflammatory strategies to help you regain your energy so you can rebuild and bounce back.

It feels appropriate given our current situation. Living through a pandemic is going to create stress which creates inflammation. It is the nature of the beast. On top of this, most people are already inflamed. After all, we are the result of the lifestyles that we live. 

Our levels of inflammation depend on how sedentary we are, the foods we eat, our stress levels, injuries we carry and illness we harbor. Ultimately, Inflammation signals are important red flags that the body produce when it is under any form of stress.  Inflammation usually sets in at the lowest point of resistance in the body in the weakest tissue so it's important to take note of the areas in your body that need more support in times of stress. 

 

Inflammation can be an ally if you learn to listen to it. 

This took me years to learn! When I was younger, it was much easier to overwork, operate on little sleep and eat poorly, but now in my 40’s these actions are super depleting and my body lets me know very quickly when I am off track. 

I see this reflected in my practice as well. People come to my practice who have been inflamed and in pain for years. It is truly the American way to reach first for bandaids instead of looking for the root of the issue. The use of NSAIDS, prescription pain meds and steroids used to numb our way back to normal, simply does not work long term. Pain is a signal and the signals get louder the longer you ignore them!

 

What is inflammation?

 

The inflammatory response is an important part of the immune response and serves as a tool for healing tissue. Inflammation is the net result of a cascade of immune cells that are triggered whenever body tissues are damaged and acts as a defense against pathogens. 

 

Most of the body defense elements involve an interaction of immune cells including lymphocytes, macrophages and neutrophils. When a part of the body is damaged, inflammation is a means that the body uses to trigger defense cells and chemicals to enter the tissue around the injured or infected site. The inflammatory response is usually triggered by physical trauma, heat, chemical exposure and infections by viruses and bacteria. 

 

 

 

 

Common Chronic Inflammation Complaints Include:

Joint pain and loss of mobility

Chronic fatigue 

Insomnia

Depression, anxiety and mood disorders

Memory and cognitive issues

Weight gain

Digestive issues

Hormonal imbalances

Cardiovascular issues

Blood sugar imbalances

Skin issues such as psoriasis and acne

Frequent infections

 

Two types of inflammation: Acute and Chronic

The acute stage

This stage triggers chemicals known as cytokines to act as “emergency signals” to bring in the body’s immune cells, hormones and nutrients to come it the bodies aid. In the process a hormone substance called prostaglandins create blood clots to heal damaged tissue and trigger pain and fever to aid the healing process. As the body comes back to homeostasis, the inflammation gradually subsides. 

The chronic stage 

This stage of inflammation is another beast entirely. This is a low grade inflammatory process that produces a low level of inflammation throughout the body for a long period of time. When inflammation is longstanding and uncorrected, it begins to contribute to the development of different diseases.

 

Factors that contribute to inflammation

Inflammatory diets

Blood sugar imbalances

Leaky gut syndrome

Sleep loss

Chronic stress

Environmental toxins

Chronic infections

 

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9 Ways to Hack your Estrobolome for Radiant Hormone Health

As gut health becomes increasingly popular in both functional and conventional worlds of medicine, more and more people are becoming educated about the importance of cultivating a healthy microbiome for longevity and health. 

 

Did you know that the bacterial colonies of your gut are directly linked to your hormone health as well? This involves your estrobolome otherwise known as your estrogen microbiome.

These two systems, your microbiome and your estrobolome are intricately interconnected! They work together and effect the amount of circulating estrogen that moves throughout your body. The estrogen ends up downstream affecting your sex drive, mood and weight. 

 

Why does hormone health matter?

 Hormones plays a vital role in your bodies overall health. Hormones are chemical messengers that when balanced, keep your body functioning mentally, physically, and emotionally. However when hormones are out of balance, symptoms arise.

Studies show that 80% of women struggle with hormone imbalance with up to 70% largely unaware that any hormone imbalances are at play.  The majority of women that  notice issues with their hormones cite PMS like symptoms. However, there are more extreme forms of reproductive health issues such as endometriosis, PCOS, infertility and cancer that affect women’s lives in more detrimental ways. 

 

 

 

Signs of estrogen dominance include:

PMS

Painful periods

Acne

Bloating

Irritability

Fatigue

Headaches

Low libido

Hair loss

Depression

Anxiety

Sore breast tissue and fibrocystic breasts

Endometriosis

Infertility

 

 

If these symptoms are part of your struggle, it may be helpful to  look upstream at root causes and one important yet often overlooked connection is tied directly to your GI health.

 

What is the estrobolome and how is it connected to the microbiome?

 Your microbiome is directly connected to your estrobolome via the microbial community that lives inside you. The population of microbes that occupy your GI system also colonize your bladder and reproductive organs. 

 

Estrogen is produced in the ovaries, adrenal glads and fat cells and circulate in the bloodstream before they are broken down in the liver. This is known as phase 1 and phase 2 detoxification of estrogen. 

It is through this process that estrogen get packaged up to be eliminated through stool.

This is where the estrobolome gets involved. AKA phase 3 of detoxification.  

 

Heres the kicker. Your estrobolome contains organisms that either aids in the removal of estrogen or interferes with estrogen removal which then recirculates estrogen and leads to a host of estrogen related imbalances. 

This process involves an enzyme called betaglucuronidase which is produced by the microbes that live in your gut. High betaglucuronidase levels are directly connected with an unbalanced microbiome and will aid in the reabsorption of estrogen rather than help your body to release it via the stool. This is no beuno!

 

This process often is connected to estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance effects both women and men and is the result of unhealthy levels of estrogen circulating in the tissues.  When estrogen becomes dominant, there is a lower amount of progesterone in circulation. This leads to many hormone imbalances.  

 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28778332/

 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28778332/

 

9 Ways to Support your Estrobolome

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5 Ways to Upgrade your Immune System as we Move into Fall

Tennee | Aug 19, 2020

Radiant Reality Nutrition Blog | 5 Ways to Upgrade your Immune System as we Move into Fall
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My Journey Biohacking Body Pain using Four Pillars of Support

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