The truth is, there’s no shortcut to epic health…BUT there are some things that make the journey a whole lot quicker. I call these “health hacks”.
Health hacks are to your health like cheat codes are to video games.
Basically, these are extremely powerful things you can do daily that will give you the most bang for your buck. Way beyond just eating steamed broccoli or something. These are things that will get you the most results in the least amount of time. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, get better skin, have more energy, or just be a bad ass, these habits will help get you there much, much quicker. I promise.
HEALTH HACK #1:
Eat cultured and fermented foods
Fermented foods are incredible. They’re one of the most beneficial types of foods you can put into your body. Why? Because they contain probiotics, or beneficial bacteria that your digestive tract (and consequently your entire body) need to function perfectly.
These types of foods are made by letting friendly, natural bacteria (which are either already present in food or introduced from a specific strain or culture) digest the sugars of that food. Yogurt is probably the most well known example of this. This process produces literally BILLIONS of strains of friendly bacteria that your body can use to repopulate your gut. Billions.
SIDE NOTE: Don’t get weirded out when I talk about bacteria. These little guys are normal and they are EVERYWHERE. They are in all of us. You have about 35 pounds of bacteria in your body right now at this very moment.
BOTTOM LINE: You need bacteria to survive and, more importantly, to THRIVE. Specifically, friendly bacteria like Lactobacillus acidophilus. Weird name, don’t worry about remembering it. The point is, you need it and you can get it (and many other types of healthy bacteria) from eating fermented foods like the ones below. You can find these types of foods at any good health food store, like Whole Foods or Sprouts. Just make sure they are RAW and UNPASTEURIZED. Heat kills good bacteria.
- sauerkraut - raw cultured vegetables were known to provide essential vitamins on long sea voyages back in the 1700′s.
- kimchi – the Korean version of sauerkraut :)
- kefir - originating in the Russia, kefir is a fermented milk based drink high in probiotic cultures. Can also be made with coconut water.
- kombucha -a tangy/sweet “mushroom tea”, referred to as the “immortal health elixir” dating back to the Chinese Qin Dynasty
- miso - a traditional Japanese food made from grains, beans and koji spores. Studies have shown that women who consume the paste on a regular basis are less likely to get breast cancer
Benefits of friendly bacteria:
- Prevent the growth of problematic bacteria responsible for poor digestion (and therefore poor skin)
- Aid digestion by breaking down food, helping the body deal with sugar more efficiently, extracting nutrients and even manufacturing certain nutrients like vitamin K, vitamin B12 and biotin.
- Produce hormones that regulate fat storage
- Fortify your immune system
HEALTH HACK #2:
Drink fresh, raw GREEN vegetable juice
When’s the last time you ate two pounds of veggies in one sitting? You can essentially do this with juicing.
The concept of juicing is to get all the goodness of vegetables—all of the vitamins, minerals, water, chlorophyll, etc—into your body in a way that they are completely absorbed by your body. The great part is, your body doesn’t have to break down any fiber so it can just focus on taking in the nutrition from the veggies. It’s the ultimate way to cheat the system—DRINK your veggies.
Green vegetables are where the magic is. It’s where all the good stuff is that your body needs to be in optimal health. Some of the strongest and most robust animals in the wild live on a diet rich in grass and leaves (e.g. gorillas and bison).
Yes it’s true, you won’t find a juice machine in nature. But you also won’t find muffins, fried oil, BPA from plastic, exhaust fumes and all the other toxic crap that we’re exposed to everyday. To counterbalance such a concentrated amount of the WORST STUFF EVER, we need an equally concentrated amount of the BEST STUFF EVER.
The point is that vegetable juice is a more like a supplement and less like a food. In fact, it’s the best multivitamin supplement EVER. The difference is that you don’t pee out all the nutrients like you do with a synthetic pill made from vitamins made in a lab.
It’s also an excellent DETOXIFIER. Drink at least 16 oz of the stuff daily and you’ll begin to clean out environmental toxins as well as those introduced through poor diet.
PRO TIP: Don’t want the mess and hassle of juicing yourself? Go to your local Whole Foods or juice bar and ORDER ONE!! It’s like Starbucks, but….not.
HEALTH HACK #3:
Drink green smoothies
When you’re green on the inside, you’re clean on the inside.
There’s no way around it, you gotta eat your greens. But this doesn’t mean chewing endlessly on salads (although salads have their place).
You can get all the nutrients from green vegetables like kale, spinach, parsley, collards, arugula and chard from blending them into smoothies.
Three main benefits of blending your veggies:
1) On average, you’ll be able to eat around 3-7 times the normal amount of greens you would be able to eat otherwise.
2) Since most of us don’t eat a whole bunch of greens, the fiber (cellulose) that they are made up of might be hard to digest if you start eating salads everyday. Blending makes digesting greens a breeze, since it predigests them for you.
3) You’ll hardly be able to taste the greens because you’ll mix them with fruit!!!!
Seriously, try this: Throw three handfuls of spinach into a blender with about 8 – 10 oz of your favorite juice—I usually use O.J. Next, toss in a couple handfuls of FROZEN FRUIT. Berries are excellent. Add a few raw, unsalted nuts for fat and blend. You now have an awesome tasting green smoothie. The vegetable taste will be mostly drowned out by the fruit flavor. You’re welcome.
This is life changing stuff here. If you give these disciplines a try—just a try—you’ll notice that you’ll start to experience a level of health you’ve never experienced before.
I’d love to hear what you guys have to say about these 3 health hacks and the experiences you’ve had with them!!
In abundant health,
P.S. Check out my green smoothie from the other day :)