The Science of Optimal Dopamine: The Key To A Limitless Mind

Hey guys, here's a guest post from Alex Eriksson.
 
“Alex Eriksson is the founder of the testosterone blog Anabolic Health, dedicated to providing honest and research-backed advice for optimal male hormonal health. Anabolic Health aspires to become a trusted resource where men can come and learn how to fix their hormonal problems naturally, without pharmaceuticals. Check out his guide on foods that boost testosterone or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.” 
 

DOPAMINE

It is known by many names - pleasure chemical, the feel-good hormone, happiness drug, and more recently the neurotransmitter of motivation. But dopamine is more than just a chemical that allows humans to see be in the best of moods. This neurotransmitter (a.k.a. brain messenger) can make many things possible, or at least, give you the motivation and drive to derive pleasure from archiving great things.

If you are still searching for some magic pill to allow your mind to go beyond the limits, well, you’ll be disappointed because these magic pills aren’t real – but dopamine could be the next best thing. Dopamine brings you into a happy state and allows you to keep on going and do what you have to do. And the best part is, it’s already in your body, you just have to learn how to reap it's benefits to the max.

Dope a what?

Dopamine was recognized as a neurotransmitter only in 1958, a year after it was first identified as a brain chemical. If you are wondering, yes, dopamine is both a drug and a naturally occurring brain chemical.

In its synthesized form, dopamine has been around since 1910. Today, it is used to treat various conditions, including cardiac arrest, low heart rate and low blood pressure. While there is no shortage of research, studies, and literature about dopamine and its functions remains to be one of the most misunderstood neurotransmitters.

As a neurotransmitter, it is known for telling the brain to stop moping and start feeling good. This is probably the reason that it earned a reputation as the feel-good chemical produced by the brain.

Are you happy? Satisfied? Depressed? Must Be Dopamine.

For years, scientists and researchers believed that dopamine was the “pleasure chemical.” This connotation was mostly due to the belief that it was responsible for the high that you get while doing something pleasurable. But that is just one of the things dopamine can do.

In recent years, scientists have found that dopamine is not only responsible for the effect—happiness and pleasure—but also for pushing you to act, persevere and achieve results that could either be positive or negative. Thus, dopamine, according to researchers at the Universitat Jaume I of Castellon, is also important in understanding conditions such as depression and addiction.

What If There Isn’t Enough Dopamine In Your Body?

Motivation, pleasure, happiness - these are feelings you can get when the right amount of dopamine travels in your neurons. But what if your brain does not have enough dopamine? You get a laundry list of neurological conditions. Think Parkinson’s, depression, lethargy, lack of motivation and low libido, among others.

Is There Such A Thing As Too Much Dopamine?

Dopamine is good for you. But too much of a good thing can lead to problems. This is true with dopamine. What would happen to you if there was too much dopamine in your system? Schizophrenia and psychosis are just two of the possible outcomes. Some scientists speculate that this could be one of the reasons that many amphetamine and cocaine addicts eventually suffer from schizophrenia and other forms of psychosis.   

What to do with a dopamine imbalance?

Now you know that dopamine levels must not be too high or too low. But what is the “just right” level of dopamine? Determining that on your own might be an exercise in futility, but recognizing the symptoms will allow you to act before things go from bad to worse.

As mentioned, dopamine has been synthesized as early as the turn of the 20th century. But taking a dopamine-boosting medication/drug should be the last option. Over the years, many natural dopamine supplements have hit the market that is in general better for you.

Take note, though, that supplements alone will not allow you to achieve optimum levels of dopamine. A healthy lifestyle and balanced diet should accompany dopamine supplements to achieve the best results. Below we will briefly outline the best supplements for dopamine, but you can also find a more in-depth guide over at AnabolicHealth.com.

Boost Dopamine Levels with Tyrosine

Don’t let its name fool you. While tyrosine may sound highfalutin, it is a common component of many everyday foods. What is tyrosine you ask? It is a natural building block of dopamine that can be found in foods such as soy, spinach, cottage cheese and the old reliable egg yolk.

According to a Leiden University and the University of Amsterdam study, eating tyrosine-rich food boosts dopamine production. If eating spinach or cheese is not your thing, don’t fret because of tyrosine, which is turned into L-dopa through biosynthesis, is also available in supplement form from a very amazing herb.

An Aphrodisiac to Increase Dopamine? Why Not?

The velvet bean or Mucuna Pruriens is a legume found in the Caribbean, Africa and Asia, including India. Traditionally used as an aphrodisiac and infertility cure, Mucuna Pruriens contains high levels of L-dopa, which is actually a toxic compound in its artificially man-made form. But when L-dopa from velvet bean is consumed, it becomes a good source of dopamine. No wonder it is used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, one of the most famous conditions associated with low dopamine levels.

Dopamine, Testosterone, HGH: Anti-Aging Triumvirate

If you are looking to delay aging, maintaining high dopamine levels will be a good start. This is one of the reasons Mucuna Pruriens is popular not only for those who are looking to boost their libido but also for those who want to stay young looking.

How can dopamine be an anti-aging agent? First off, increased dopamine is known to decrease prolactin secretion. Prolactin affects gonadotropin-releasing hormone, which is responsible for telling the testes to produce more testosterone. As you can see, the more dopamine, the testosterone.

Where does HGH or human growth hormone come in? Dopamine is known to regulate sleep or the circadian rhythm of your body. Growth Hormones secretion is also affected by the circadian rhythm. Thus, with balanced dopamine levels, it follows that growth hormone production will also be stimulated. The improved regeneration at the cellular level will help keep signs of aging at bay.

Cold Exposure, Tea and Porn: What connects them to Dopamine?

Who knew that being doused in cold water can help increase dopamine levels and give you a perk-me-up like no other. A study shows that a daily cold shower has the potential to stimulate some of the dopaminergic pathways, resulting in increased dopamine production.

Tea and other stimulants also play a role in maintaining dopamine balance. Drinking a tea like matcha helps your mind reach an equilibrium. Matcha is known to contain theanine—a potent dopamine boosting amino acid that in combination with the caffeine, is one of the most potent nootropics on the planet.

Why is porn mentioned here? Because it can mess up your dopamine receptors. Constantly bombarding your brain with pornographic stimuli will eventually lead to your brain rejecting the pleasure that you derive from watching porn at the start. It's simply too much for your primate brain to handle.

It’s all about maintaining the balance

The right amount of dopamine in your system enables you to experience happiness and pleasure and doing the things that you want. If you can get by without supplements, good for you. But if necessary, dopamine supplements and stimulants can be of great help in achieving balance. After all, coffee is the most consumed drug in the world for good reason!

Other articles:

3 THINGS NO ONE TOLD YOU ABOUT ANTI-AGING, HORMONES & MOON-CYCLES

3 THINGS NO ONE TOLD YOU ABOUT ANTI-AGING, HORMONES & MOON-CYCLES: A Contrarian Perspective

Written by

Tomorrow 

 

 So many times in HIStory women are not given the credit they deserve. Anybody who follows Primalhacker is first a T.S. Wiley fan.  If you wear blueblockers, you can tell T.S. thank you.  She has given our spheres of health nuts something new to talk about: LIGHT, HORMONES & HEALTH. 

In her book “Sex, Lies and Menopause” she delivers a cascade of knowledge from the inception of “the pill” to the interesting startup “planned parenthood” to radical ideas about hormones, biology, childbirth.  She maintains that our (female) “Biology” is set up for reproductive phasing.  Puberty, impregnation, lactation, and menopause.  

 

1.  ITS ALL ABOUT OUR CYCLE: 

How many cycles you have in a lifetime, a year, a month, 

how many babies your have, 

how many babies you breastfeed, 

and how young you are when you have babies to begin with. 

 

2. DID YOU KNOW -All these variables can have a dramatic affect on how you age?  Aging is based on the reproductive cycle and the food supply.  Cancer, Diabetes, and Autoimmune diseases are hosts that come late to the dinner party in the world of the female.  What used to be 1 in 90 women who will develop breast cancer is now 1 in 7, over the age of 40. 

 

3. WE ARE HAVING BABIES TOO LATE? 

We are also having less babies 

we nurse less 

and rhizomatically we are taking on more male roles, that ruin our nurturing estrogen and progesterone, creating stress that turns our bodies into disease.  

For us that usually means breast cancer and heart disease. 

The dogma of our society that shames a woman for having babies too young according to Wiley is the very thing that could help us prevent breast cancer and heart disease, not to mention our happiness, joy and pleasure hormones.  Wileys angle is triangulated from her expertise in anthropological studies, biology, and common sense.  After studying many Indigenous tribes, Wiley suggests they suffer way less from the diseases wreaking havoc on our female bodies than in America. 

Although we don’t want to hinder our daughters hopes and dreams by having children at a young age, Wiley gives us another perspective from a biological standpoint. However to us, this biology perspective is accompanied with the shame/ guilt stigmatism.  

 

This actually hits home with me as I had a child at 21. The shame burned me like a scarlet letter when my own father wouldn't speak to me during my 9 month gestation period.  It wasn't until the day my oldest son was born that my family “accepted me” back into the “family circle of trust”.  That was so traumatic for my emotional state.  

 

This weirdness around puritanical ideas and childbearing is incredulous.  We are the creators of life.  Men used to worship us as the life givers.  I appreciate T.S. Wiley for the contrarian information she has put together to give us something really to think about.  

 

Wiley's book is thick with science and biology but the message is clear.  What we are doing isn’t working. What are we getting all wrong? Something to think about.

 

Many times when I’m talking to new people and I bring up how young I was when I had my first child, the woman in front of me says “I had mine when I was…”  its amazing how we've been shunned to be embarrassed about it.  The truth might be we actually have unconsciously promoted healthy longevity for ourselves.  Again something to think about.  Thank you T.S. for a new perspective.  

 

P.s I just wanted to share these ideas with you all, if you have kids or not or anywhere in-between.  Our health statically as a nation isn’t great and its getting worse as a whole. Every society needs a contrarian, to shake up the status quo.  

 

Let me know your story, thoughts? How did that affect you?  If you chose career over children… or children over career or both? How does this affect you now?  This is a sensitive subject.  Im just trying to start a conversation about our health, aging and longevity based on what I've read.

 

Reference: Sex, Lies, and Menopause -T.S. Wiley

 

peace and so much love to all our sisters.

-Tomorrow

5 Crucial Tactics [That You've Never Heard of] for a Better Body

Pssst - Wanna know a secret?

I've got 5 Powerful ways for you to be a better version of you!

If you've ever wanted a better body and are fed up with the recycled magazine headlines, things friends told you about that didn't work, and pushy trainers trying to get you to do just one more rep, then maybe it's time to try some underground techniques that no one ever told you about. 

And they WORK!

YES, I Know if you want to gain muscle you have to eat additional calories. However, we're learning more and more secrets about how hormones influence what your body does with the calories it consumes. We know by feeding animals hormones they gain more weight on the same feed. Let's take a look at some of the missed additives to your routine.

By understanding how human biology works on a deeper level, scientists are unlocking secrets every single year to a better body. 

Mostly those secrets go unnoticed. 

Scientists get paid to work on big ideas, and usually ideas funded by big pharma and other companies that focus on diseases. 

They aren't usually paying attention to how to use the ideas generated for building a better human. 

By looking deeper into their studies, a group of people calling themselves biohackers are mining the data for new secrets into human biology. 

Biohackers are interested in optimizing their own bodies and minds to look good and live longer while feeling better. 

They experiment on themselves and then tell others when they find something that works. 

Now, you can benefit from these experiments. In fact, I've tried all these things myself and found that they worked for me.

The first four tactics are built into humans by design so they are [mostly] free, we only have to unlock them by doing the right things. 

SUNSHINE

What? The Sun gives you a better body? YES!

Literally the #1 thing you can do to optimize your health and look you best. 

Sunshine reduces obesity, diabetes, heart disease and more. 

Sunshine lowers all-cause mortality, that means every disease known to man is lowered with sunshine.

Sunshine does this by providing information to the cells in your body. You can't get this information anywhere else. 

Humans and most life on this planet were designed to live under the sun that powers this Earth. 

Information from the sun programs our cells to make vitamin D, melatonin and set our body's circadian rhythm. 

Most people have no clue how important proper circadian rhythm, and thus Sun, is for a better and healthy body. 

To look your best you need

A. The right hormones to be produced at the right time of day.

B. Information transfer to your cells to clean up damaged cells.

Sunlight can provide this information. 

One study showed that growth hormone was produced in higher amounts in the summer vs the winter. One more reason to get out in the sun.

Growth hormone has been shown to increase muscle mass and bone density and decrease body fat.

There's a reason this is the #1 tip everyone. 

It's free. 

Everyone can access it anywhere on the planet. 

Just step outside. With as few clothes on as possible. 

In fact, you can pick up one of these swimsuits or t-shirts that allows you to be naked without being naked. 

Your best bet is to get 5 minutes minimum of sun within an hour of sunrise. Ideally, you will stay outside from sunrise all the way till UV light makes an appearance. That time changes based on the season. 

If you can get out again around noon, do that. 

In the winter you have two choices:

1. Head down south as often and for as long as possible. 

2. Get outside anyway (yes in the cold) and supplement with healing lights like a Gembared, Joovv and UV tanning type light. 

You have to be careful with tanning lights, so do your research, but don't neglect the sun. 

We call it Vitamin S. Get some. 

FASTING

 Some form of fasting is present in all cultures and religion. 

There is a reason. 

Nobody wants to tell you to stop eating. But guess what? The truth is that it works!

Fasting is easier and far more effective than you think.

According to Dr. Peter Attia and Dr. Jason Fung, fasting can rest our hormones that code for obesity and optimize them for appropriate body weight.

Fasting once a week for 24 hours or multiple times a week for 16-18 hours (that still allows you two meals a day and is called intermittent fasting) means eating less total calories.

Most people find that they don't even miss the calories when they go back to eating after fasting. 

Fasting has also been shown to increase growth hormone, which can increase muscle mass and decrease body fat. 

Fasting for 3 days once or twice a year can also be very beneficial. Obviously, consult a qualified medical professional before and during this type of fast. 

Personally, I do not do that. The human body is designed to fast. But because our modern world is very far from the way humans were designed to live, many people will require medical professional support. 

Fasting once a week for 24 hours is just going from dinner Sunday night till dinner Monday night. You get to eat dinner both nights. In fact, Sunday you eat all three meals, and then just skip breakfast and lunch Monday and now you've made a 24 hour fast. Easy. 

Other people choose to do daily intermittent fasting. 

You can fast for 14-18 hours daily. That means finishing dinner at 6 pm and not eating again until the next day at 10 am. Really, that's not too bad. 

When you fast, your body is using your own body fat for fuel. 

Find out what works best for you and incorporate fasting each week. 

SAUNA

 Getting uncomfortably hot helps with lean muscle gain. 

A 20-30 minute sauna session increases growth hormone. 

Growth hormone can be increased more by extending the session out to an hour and by doing multiple sauna sessions in one day. 

Sauna also has been shown to increase VO2max and cardio performance. 

Ideally, you would use the sauna immediately after a workout and do two 1-hour back to back sessions followed by a 30 minute break. 

This has been shown to increase growth hormone by 16X. 

But who has time for that? And is that even safe? 

Stick to a 20-30 minute session immediately following a workout. 

 COLD

Nobody likes to be cold. 
Yet cold can reduce inflammation, help

  • increase brown fat
  • reduce body fat
  • improve sleep
  • extend your lifespan
  • improve athletic performance
  • improve brain performance
  • allow you to eat more and weigh less

 Shivering has been shown to deplete muscle glycogen similar to an intense workout, thus increasing human growth hormone (HGH) which builds lean muscle and burns fat.

You can lose weight without even working out if you get cold.

We have a whole post on getting cold. 

Find ways to get colder during the day. You don't have to do it for long. 

20 minutes in a tub filled with cold water is a good start. 

You can even wear a hat, gloves, and booties in there. I put on scuba boots and a hat and gloves when I do this. 

This device goes under your sheet when you sleep and keeps you cooler. It's great for someone who likes to sleep cool while their partner sleeps hot.

Use cryo, walk outside in the winter, get in a cold tub. Find a way to cool your body.

PEPTIDES

Increase your own levels of growth hormone!

NASA states that growth hormone increases energy levels, increases metabolism, accelerates recovery, and helps rejuvenate the body. 

Wouldn't it feel great to get up in the morning feeling great and looking like you work out every day?

Primed is made up of designer peptides formulated to increase your body's production of growth hormone.  

Growth hormone releasing peptides have been shown to increase the body's own growth hormone levels.

You can cheat using peptides that help stimulate your body's own growth hormone.

How You Can Use Heat to Lose Fat and Build Muscle

Let’s face it, most of us don’t like to be uncomfortably hot. We use air conditioning and even special clothes to keep ourselves cool.

What if allowing yourself to sweat for just a bit could help you build muscle faster and lose fat?

You still don’t want to be uncomfortable?

Studies show that people who get hot tend to live longer and be healthier Specifically, those who use sauna the most live the longest.

Sauna can also be used to put on muscle and lose fat.

WHY DOES HEAT BURN FAT?

Heat acclimation

  1. Burns calories
  2. Increases growth hormone
  3. Improves insulin sensitivity
  4. Reduces fat through norepinephrine release leading to increased metabolism

HOW DOES SAUNA BUILD MUSCLE?

Heat induces muscle hypertrophy. To optimize muscle gain, use a sauna immediately following a workout. Do not get into a cold shower or cold tub.

Cold will mitigate the benefits of your workout. Upon finishing your workout, spend 20-30 minutes in the sauna.  

If you have more time, do two 20-minute sessions with a 30-minute break in between, which has been shown to double growth hormone over baseline. Doing this multiple times a week has been shown to increase growth hormone even more.

A 30-minute sauna session was shown in one study to increase muscle regrowth 30% more than those not using a sauna.

SAUNA USE AFTER A WORKOUT HAS BEEN SHOWN TO

  • Increase GH which leads to muscle synthesis
  • Increase heat shock proteins
  • Decrease overall stress
  • Improve athletic performance
  • Reduce protein degradation

This is a super simple hack to massively speed up fat loss and build lean muscle.

Finish your workout and hop in the sauna for 20 minutes.  I usually bring a book and get some reading in during y sessions. I’m also detoxing heavy metals and phthalates at the same time, so bonus!

It can take a few sessions to get used to the heat and feel comfortable sitting and sweating for 25 minutes, but after years of doing this, I rarely get uncomfortable in the sauna. A side benefit is that you are more comfortable in the heat of the summer while everyone around you is sweating and complaining.

I’ve had great success combining a short but intense workout session with sauna. I’m able to keep more muscle while spending less time at the gym floor and enjoy my experience at the gym more because 30 minutes is spent relaxing and reading in the sauna.

Make sauna sessions a common addition to your workout days!

The Yearly Primal Conference You Don’t Want to Miss (Paleo f(x) 2017)

Did you miss Paleo f(x) this year? Do you even Paleo, Bro?

Don’t worry Brah, we have you covered with this conference review.

There’s certainly lots of bro’ing out down in Austin. But in a good way.

While there were certainly dudes running around shirtless (Ben Greenfield, I'm just sayin'. Ok, and me at one point), and lots of fit gym rat looking people, the reality was that everyone was there to learn, share and grow. Everyone I talked with from celebrities to doctors to bloggers were friendly, accessible and open. And really, most people there would rather workout anywhere but a gym. We need a whole long article about why we need to avoid the gym and how it's making us less healthy! So even though many people looked super fit, often we found out it was through non traditional means. Hello Dean from ManFlowYoga, Aimee Rose, Ben Greenfield and so many more have found that gym training is just downright boring and even toxic. You can get hellu fit without ever setting foot in a gym. 

Paleo f(x) is a huge group of people focused on personal growth and using the medium of a paleolithic diet to come together. The paleolithic diet is really just a concept of eating food that’s as close to nature as possible. The more processing that’s done to the food, the more removed from nature and usually the less healthy the food. Paleo types also avoid grains (for the most part) and beans. It is thought that our ancestors did not eat much if any grains and legumes and our consumption of such things only came about with the advent of agriculture, which also brought with it numerous diseases that we belive did not occur in our hunter/gatherer ancestors.

Originally Paleo f(x) was put together to bring experts on paleo lifestyle and diet into an accessible format. So many people back in 2012 were becoming interested in a paleo diet and it’s ability to increase health but often found that they were the only person they knew who was doing this. Typically people moved from eating a processed low-fat diet to a higher fat, unprocessed diet through paleo eating and found increased health. Because it was seen as a fad and a fairly new one, people wanted to learn more about how others were living the lifestyle and increase their knowledge on what works and why it works. Paleo f(x) was created and has been a huge success every single year. People came to be with others who were like them. They came to learn how others were living the paleo lifestyle (which often goes way beyond eating and delves into overall health, wellness and mind) and came to have a good time. From late night parties to jumping into healing springs and even freezing in a local cryotherapy pod people found unique experiences and left better than they came. 

The atmosphere had a hint of competiveness with the RealFit competition going on throughout the 3 days of the conference, but all the competitors were fun, accessible and helpful. Both men and women competed against each other in multiple contests. The winner of last year's competition even coached me through the rowing portion this year (He used to row competitively). This was significant as you’ll learn later.

While movement classes and fit bodies are ever present, it’s not the cult of crossfit and it’s not all about fitness and competing. Often paleo style eating gets lumped into crossfit cultism. And it's true that many crossfitters eat paleo. In fact most people are not there for the competition but to learn, connect with old friends and make new ones. Aaaand to eat! By far the most prevalent vendor booths were showcasing food of some sort. Sometimes paleo f(x) seems more about a way of life that revolves around food. And some people make the mistake of stopping there, but it’s the other aspects that actually make a bigger impact on your health. As we’ll see.  

 We’ll tell you who was there and what we learned.

PRIMAL AND ANCESTRAL CONFERENCES 

There are two primal/ancestral conferences to attend if you want the latest on ancestral health, Paleo f(x) and The Ancestral Health Symposium (AHS for short). If you want to join us at the AHS use the discount code primalhackerAHS

AHS is put on by the Ancestral Health Society and is focused heavily on the science of health from the perspective of our ancestors. The conference is structured much more like a presentation of information and is more of an academic conference.

Paleo f(x) on the other hand is an exhibition. Yes, there are talks throughout the entire conference, but the talks are more general level information and the action tends to focus on the exhibition floor vs the speaking stages. Paleo f(x) focuses on living the paleo/primal lifestyle vs presenting academic papers about it. I’m all for the science side and I love digging into it, but seeing how people actually live it tells me whether it’s working. I can tell you that there’s lots of confusion out there.

If you want the latest science behind ancestral health and how it relates to food, fitness and living, go to AHS.  If you want to get down and live a primal lifestyle and learn how others are doing it, head to Paeo f(x). 

WHERE AND WHEN 

Paleo f(x) 2017 took place in Austin, Texas May 19-21, 2017 where it has taken place every year for the last 6 years (2012 was the inaugural Paleo f(x) and it’s fun to look at photos from that conference. Some of the biggest names in the business today were definitely more low key back then).

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COST

Tickets are so cheap for what you get.  $299 for the full conference purchased 1 year in advance or $397 for the full conference purchased any time before the event. That’s a pretty sweet deal for 3 days of conferences, free food, talks by A-list authors and entrepreneurs, instant friends and more. Compare that to other conferences costing well over $1,000 for a similar experience. Throw in the fitness competition, the ability to get in a workout each day, getting outside every day and the overwhelming number of vendors and it’s a solid deal.


If you want to skip the talks, which is what we did this year, then it’s only $79 in advance or $87 for all three days. This allows you to take any of the movement classes, wander the exhibit hall every day and be part of pretty much everything except for going into the rooms where the speakers are presenting. This is such a good deal I find it hard to even tell you how great it is. Pair that with an Airbnb rental with a few others you’ve met on the Paleo f(x) Facebook page, ride shares from the airport and it’s an inexpensive way to learn, build, network and grow.

Don’t feel like you need to go to every talk or even any of the talks at a conference to get the most out of it. Especially at Paleo f(x). Much of what’s discussed on stage can be found in the presenters’ books and social media. Use your time to cruise the expo hall, make new friends, eat free food and do some movement.

If you want to find out what’s new, make new connections, network and eat some great food, then stay out of the talks and focus on the exhibit floor. Here is where you will meet people like Ben Greenfield, Mark Sisson, Doc Parsely and more. And you can actually talk with them. Instead waiting in a huge line to talk with them as soon as they leave the stage after a big presentation, you can just walk up to them and say hi.

Of course, going to the talks can be fun and you get to hear some the latest in the paleosphere.

HERE’S OUR SUMMARY OF THE 2017 PALEO F(X) CONFERENCE 

Drink Butter Coffee (Bulletproof, Caveman Coffee and others were there serving free coffee all day long, yes with butter and yes it’s good!)

 

Wear blue light blocking glasses with other people who get it (check out Thaddeus's TEDx talk on why YOU should have a pair)

 

Eat Paleo approved food, yes including donuts and chocolate cake

Get in some movement sessions 

Meet new friends

 

Meet online friends you’ve never seen in person

 

Learn the state of the Paleo Union and how others are living the lifestyle

Try out unique products like cryo, infrared saunas, align foot inserts and all the protein powder and beef snacks you can hold down.

DAY 0 HEADING TO AUSTIN 

What do you pack for a conference like Paleo f(x)?

Packing – Last year we came home with so much stuff we needed an extra checked bag. We had stayed until the last day of the conference and at the end, the vendors didn’t want to go home with all their product, so they literally just gave it away. We ended up with about 6 giant tubs of protein powder, supplements, greens powder and more. This year, we packed an extra duffle bag just in case. So a checked bag is key because you never know what liquids or products you may come back home with. 

Knowing that we wanted to go for a dip in Barton Springs, we packed some towels and swimsuits. Well, Chris forgot to pack a towel so he had to drip dry. Somehow I forgot to pack any sandals. Pack a pair of sandals that can get wet in case you want to dip in the river like we did.  The conference combines movement, outdoor time and a very relaxed atmosphere, so t-shirts, shorts and athletic shoes are really all you need and what we packed. We also added our blue light blocking glasses and key supplements like magnesium, Qualia and methylated B vitamins.

Flights

Chris left from Indianapolis and Thaddeus from Minneapolis. We spent the time before the flight walking, doing some wall sits and supplementing with CoQ10, Astaxanthin, Vitamin C, Chlorella, Glutathione and a baby aspirin. Flights longer than an hour are an all out emergency to your body. This is no joke. Some people might feel just fine, but the radiation from being so high in the atmosphere, the intense sunlight coming in the window and the Wi-Fi signal bouncing around the inside of the metal box (plane) combined with LED lighting is destructive to your body. Check out this article by Dr Jack Kruse about what is occurring and how to hack it. And yes, I did take my shoes off and ground myself to the aluminum seat frame by keeping my foot in contact with it the whole time I was seated. And I got up and walked, watched a movie while standing in the isle and made friends with two people in the absolute last seat on the plane. Standing and moving is key when on long flights.

These Vivo Barefoot shoes are perfect for airports, conferences, and walking around town. I've used them for everything from hikes to corporate presentations. 

 

WholeFoods – It’s pretty much mandatory that you stop at whole foods on your way in from the airport and grab some water, coffee or a kombucha and some food. We ended up meeting some other biohackers and Bulletproof coaches there randomly and that’s what happens every single time we do this. We also met Andy Hnilo from Alitura and sat down with him and his friends for a while. We picked up lunch, spring water and some snacks for the upcoming conference. The Whole Foods store in Austin is so big you could get lost. We saw so many business lunches there, which was unusual for us. People dressed in suits and business attire meeting and eating inside the Whole Foods. It was interesting. They had a Texas Barbeque stand, seafood and so much more. Definitely the largest Whole Foods I've been in. 

Barton Springs – Having met up with some old biohacking friends at Whole Foods, we drove over to Barton Springs. It’s an amazingly large, blue and cold pool filled with mineral water and it is said to be healing. 

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It was closed. Closed every Thursday for cleaning. This was sad and would be the 2nd time in Austin without getting into the pool. Last year it was closed due to flooding. We decided we really needed to get into the water, so bypassed the pool and walked around a kids train ride and down a slope to the actual Barton Springs River. We stripped down and headed right into the river. The water felt great!

Healing spring water and cold immersion complete!

Our Home Away from Home – This year, instead of an Airbnb, which we love, we stayed with a friend. We met Krisstina at the Bulletproof Coach training and again last year at Paleo f(x). She lives in Austin and opened her home to us. She had a beautiful home, and a pool out back with views. We quickly found that it was impossible to turn on the hot tub. After searching for a switch or button for a half hour we texted Krisstina and were told everything is App based. There is no button, except on her phone! So a hot tub session is just a text away.

The house was comfortable, relaxing, and it was so great to stay with friends and get to know them better. As if the pool, our own bedrooms with bathrooms and a hot tub wasn’t enough, they had one of those fancy espresso/coffee makers. Did we mention we’re Bulletproof Coaches? Being able to make really good coffee at the touch of a button and mix in some grass-fed butter and Brain Octane Oil (both of which they had in bulk) was simply awesome. That’s not a feature you get even at the fanciest of hotels.

 

After some Qigong on the back deck I headed to bed. Chris had brought along the Delta Sleeper SR1, and used that each night and sent it home with me to try out for a month. As for the beds, they were great, but the AC was set to 82 and we all slept too hot. A cold sleeping environment is best for sleep and the next night we found the Nest thermostat and turned it down quite a bit.

DAY 1 AUSTIN, 1ST DAY OF CONFERENCE 

Up early for a swim and qigong. Man was it nice being in Texas and having a pool outside. Minnesota was 40 degrees when we left. Texas was comfortable at 70 degrees and swimming in the cool pool to start off the day was divine. I didn’t want to do any exercise in the morning as I knew I was going to compete in the RealFit challenge and would get a FULL workout in at the conference.

After Bulletproof Coffee for everyone, we headed out. Krisstina was giving a presentation, speaking on a panel, working a booth with Doc Parsley and podcasting the entire conference. She spent the morning recording audio for her millionaire money course (Wellthy Wealthy) and came to the conference ready to WORK.

Arrive and head into the wonderland

It is a little like walking into wonderland for us. The Palmer Events Center is large and as we entered we immediately saw some old friends. We gathered a group and headed straight to the Bulletproof Coffee Station. We had lots of friends working the booth, filled up on Bulletproof Coffee (hey, there’s never too much Bulletproof Coffee) and grabbed some Collagen Bars while chatting with Kristen Strate and others.

There is so much to see and so many booths that it’s a bit overwhelming.

I immediately headed over to the realFIT booth to sign up for the fitness challenge. Expecting it to be the same as last year I was surprised to find out they have replaced the pullups and deadlifts with an obstacle race and an ammo box shoulder press.

I wanted to get in an early workout for the day and also get one portion of the fitness challenge done before it got busy. I headed over to the ARX booth and warmed up with a bench press and row.  After that, I went right over and did the jump portion of the test. This involved jumping as high as possible without tucking in your legs on the way up or down. There is a mat I jumped up and down on that records my height. I did well, beating my score from last year, so felt satisfied.

Next it was back to the ARX booth to perform the bench press and leg press for the competition. I have been using ARX for three months, so had a pretty good idea of how I’d do on this one. My scores on this put me in the top 5, up there with men who can deadlift 600lbs like it’s nothing. I felt really good about this score.

After that I wanted to do one more test. This was a new one and involved lifting a 30lb ammo box over my head as many times as possible in 2 minutes. The military standard that Marines have to pass is 67 and the most that they expected anyone to do ever was 120. The box was heavy and awkward and the whole time I was lifting it, all I thought about was not letting it drop onto my nose. 117 reps later and I was done. Until Ben Greenfield picked it up and did 131 reps, I was the leader.

Chris had a kettlebell class with Peter Hirsh from KettleBell Movement where they worked on goblet squats, swings, cleans and snatches. Peter is a great instructor and we highly recommend him as an online source for kettlebell training.

Once that class was over he headed over to get some ribeye and filet samples and washed it down with free samples of protein shakes and some Bulletproof Coffee.

Neurohacker Collective was at the conference with a booth showcasing their Qualia product. Here is a link to the review we did last year. We’ve talked with these guys on the phone many times, but had never met them in person. It felt like a reunion meeting up with Taylor and James and team. We got a special nootropic from them, handed one to Ben Greenfield and were ready to rock and roll.

Chris checked out Instagram and Ben Greenfield had posted that he was going to lead a workout in the park the next morning at 8 am. We made plans to be there and continued on.

Check out these videos for a summary of some of the vendors.

Most of the vendors were sampling foods of some sort. Beef jerky, meat snacks, protein powder, grain free flours made into cakes, donuts, cookies, breads and more.

After running through all the isles to get a good look at the vendors, I headed outside for the obstacle race portion of the fitness challenge. Alex Fergus (LINK) was out there, the winner of last year’s challenge, and so was Dean XX (LINK) who has placed second for 2 years in a row. Alex is a fitness coach, ex-bodybuilder, ex-rower, ex-rugby player who lives over in New Zealand. He’s a beast!   Dean runs ManFlowYoga and is totally ripped. I chatted with both of them as the staff told us how we had to run the obstacle race. They are both really great guys.

I was the first of us out there to run through the course. You can check out our video (HERE). I should have practiced the race first and it would have gone much faster. The dummy I had to drag was so much heavier (150lbs) than I thought it was going to be.

All in all, my time was decent and I was so exhausted after the race that I had no desire to try it again.

Here's a video recap of the realFIT challenge

I found Heather and we headed down the outside aisle of vendors to get some grass-fed beef for lunch. XXX was giving out samples of ribeye, filet mignon and burgers. Their portions were HUGE. I easily got 2 ounces of ribeye and fillet and half a burger. I paired that with an avocado from my bag and had a nice little lunch, outdoors in the sun, sitting next to a camel.

Chris stopped by the 10th Planet Jiu-jitsu table to chat and @curtishembroff invited him to their class on Saturday and even offered to show him a few moves right then and there! After a few mat burns and quite a bit of learning, Chris walked away SUPER excited about learning more.

The rest of the day until 6pm was spent talking with vendors and checking out their products.

We drove to Whole Foods on the way home and headed back to Krisstina’s to swim in the pool.

DAY 2

Workout with Ben

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Up early and outside to do some qigong. After 10 minutes in the sun and qigong on the back deck, I came in and got out the ingredients for Bulletproof Coffee for everyone. We headed out to the conference to park and then into Butler park next to the conference venue. We met up with a few others looking to workout with Ben. Eventually he wandered in with Heather, who had been parking the car, and got us ready. Shoes off, barefoot in the park and shirts off to get some sun we began. Ben led about 20 of us through an exercise routine that had our muscles shaking and us breathing hard by the end. It was a great way to start the day. After talking with Ben for a bit and getting some mandatory selfies, we headed into Day 2 of the conference warmed up, grounded, sunlighted and worked out.

10th planet Jiu Jitsu

We met @nogipris and at 10 am got onto the mats in the middle of the event center and took an hour long jiu-jitsu class. We went through three moves and learned a little more about 10th Planet BJJ.

I stopped by the RealFit booth to finish my fitness scoring for the competition. I had a shuttle run, 1,000 meter row, 40 yard sprint followed by a 40 yard backward sprint and a medicine ball throw. After completing all of it, I was definitely done with movement for the day. My legs were jelly. I could barely stand up after the row. But my scores put me at #1 on the leadership board. That was 5 places ahead of Ben Greenfield, 1 place above Dean and others. I felt really great to have done so well against people who are fitness professionals. I’ll be sure to detail my workout routines in a future posts. I rarely workout for more than 30 minutes, usually no more than 15 minutes and certainly don’t train every day.

I stopped by Biohacked, Dave Asprey’s company and picked up a pair of blue blocking light glasses from Peter. Peter curates the Biohacked boxes. The glasses they had were something I’ve been wanting to try since I heard about them. They are called TrueDark and come in two flavors, Daywalker and Nightwalker. The Daywalker’s are typical blue light blocking glasses that you can wear when in windowless rooms during the day or doing computer work. The NightWalkers are meant to wear 1-2 hours before bed. They block more than just blue light. They block blue and green, the two spectrums that can affect our biology after sunset. I wanted to see how much different these would be than typical blue blockers like Swannies (link).

Wow, are they different? First of all, when I put these on the first night, they made every single light bulb look red. Second of all, the light filtering into my house at night allows me to see without turning on any lights. I can easily get around. Once I put the TrueDark NightWalkers on, I couldn’t see ANYTHING. Unless I turned on some overhead lighting, it looked pitch black with these things on. I literally couldn’t see where I was. I’m adding these to my nighttime routine and will now put them on 1 hour before bed each night. They block so much light, I simply can’t use them any earlier.

Heather supplied me with a paleo donut, which I used as my carbohydrate to refuel after the Realfit challenge. It was a little heavy, but otherwise, tasted really good. Nothing compares though to a real, moist, airy donut. I haven’t had one of those in so many years I can’t even remember when I last had a real donut.

We caught Krisstina’s talk on the Paleo On Ramp Stage about the connection between health and wealth. She did a fantastic job and brought so much energy to the stage it was great.

So many vendors and conversations later, and it was 5pm. We talked with Dry Farm Wines and got a few bottles of wine for our get together that night. We also picked up some collagen bars and Primal Mayo from Mark Sisson’s Primal Kitchen.

Saturday night is a night of parties and get-togethers. There was a charity dinner put on by Paleo f(x) as well as tons of parties at private homes and Airbnbs in the area. Just make sure to ask around at the conference and you’ll quickly find out what’s going on. These are great times to get to know your fellow attendees and vendors a little better. Krisstina had some of the Bulletproof Coaches over to her home after the conference.

DAY 3

Day 3 is the last day of the conference. It’s a great time to check out the rest of the vendors you missed and try out products and technologies that were too busy on Saturday. The conference is still going on and there is always a great party that night, but we headed home..

CONCLUSION

Paleo f(x) is a great conference for anyone interested in ancestral health. Whether you are new to the paleo lifestyle or are wanting to learn more or even wanting to market a new product, this should be on your list of conferences.

No matter what your job, niche or interests are, there are definitely conferences that cater to them. 

Here is the whole video of our time in Austin

 

Escaping The Matrix with Neurohacking – Are We Trapped in Our Mind?

If you don't feel like you are trapped in The Matrix, then stop reading right now. You’re either completely free and then likely not reading these words anyway, or so deep into it that I probably can’t help you.

 Your sovereign power has been taken away and you’ve been labeled a resource, a consumer. Since when did we become “human resources” and “consumers” and stop being free human beings?

The attitude that corporate profits must forever expand means you must be kept anxious, lonely and depressed. If you remain in a constant state of fear, always wanting more and never being satisfied with what you have and who you are for very long, then you’ll begin looking for the next product or service to purchase to stop the pain. 

Marketing, advertising, and even school are designed to shape and mold you into a worker and consumer. You are a commodity from which to extract energy and resources and have been trapped into giving up your sovereignty. You’ve been molded into good factory worker making money for a group of owners. Welcome to modern day slavery, corporate sharecropping.   Welcome to The Matrix. 

Are You Ready For The TRUTH?

 

FORCED PUBLIC SCHOOL WAS DESIGNED TO MAKE FACTORY WORKERS AND GOOD SOLDIERS

 Get up only when the bell rings. There is only one right answer and one way to get it. You have to eat lunch at this exact time. Oh, there's another bell, lunch is over, time to attend the next State required subject.

Did you ever wonder why you were taught only specific subjects in school? Originally public schooling was a way to create good little factory workers for the capitalists that needed them so badly. They needed a mildly intelligent but easily controllable population of workers.  Thus the buzzers and bells to accustom you to moving about at preset times without someone telling you to do so, but rather conforming to the thought that the bell tells you to move. All this is documented by a school teacher in the wonderful book, the Underground History of American Education. It’s a wonderful book that documents the history of public schooling and why it came about as well as details the many genius souls who never attended forced schooling, like Einstein, Tesla, Newton, and Edison. Sometimes genius needs to obsessively focus on one subject to the exclusion of others to truly shine. Have you wondered why we don’t have any modern-day Edisons, Teslas or Einsteins?

 

If you don't know about Nikola Tesla, it's time you become introduced. This was my first exit port from the Matrix. Simply learning about Tesla helps you understand how much has been hidden from you. Here's a totally FREE kindle book on Tesla for you. 

In order to focus, find their passion and get REALLY good at something, the genius of times past did not study 7 subjects in school. They were not forced to move from math to literature by buzzers ringing. No, they moved from math to literature if and only if they wanted to and only when they wanted to. When they had a need or a passion for learning something, they dove in headfirst. They didn't spend 45 minutes a day studying it, they immersed themselves in it, read for hours, days sometimes. Then they went to meet the people who wrote the books or at least corresponded with them to learn more and pry into the secrets there. 

Our modern world takes you from the school to the office where you continue to live by and obey the clock and sometimes even the bells. I work at a manufacturing plant where there's a buzzer that goes off when it's time for break and again when breaktime is over. Just like in school. Thankfully I don't work in the manufacturing portion of the plant and can ignore the buzzer. But not everyone can. 

When you’re not at work, you're kept distracted from yourself through media, shopping, and the internet. We're all becoming increasingly more anxious, depressed and lonely. We're spending too much time living in our heads and thinking about messages that are implanted there from others. The news, movies, television, and commercials give us the landscape on which we create thoughts. Try driving to work or bike riding to work without any media on. Notice what you think about. Now turn on the radio and again notice what you think about. Still, don't think your mind is being influenced and co-opted? 

I call this The Matrix. As have many others. I am not a unique voice here. But I do think my way of escaping the Matrix is unique. Wouldn’t you like to know how to Escape The Matrix?

WE'RE STUCK IN OUR HEADS

All this forced schooling and government forced learning of very specific subjects makes some of us crazy! We start to retreat into our heads, into story. We tell ourselves stories over and over again, sometimes disengaging with the real world. 

I bet you spend so much time in your head that we miss enjoying some of the best moments of your life. Sometimes, the only way you can enjoy memories is looking at old pictures or reliving a scene from the past in your head and realizing how great that moment was. At the actual time the memory occurred, it didn't even register as special. 

Eckhart Tolle says that the only difference between that crazy person on the street talking to themselves and us is that we don’t say what’s in our head out loud. Yet most of you are stuck in your heads having conversations and reliving the past in a way that’s quite insane. You're talking to yourself all day long, just like that crazy person. You just keep it to yourself. 

I used to constantly have conversations in my head. I’d be imagining the worst-case scenario, like getting caught reading a book on the job. When I worked in pharmaceuticals I’d often have an hour waiting for the mixing process of a batch of vaginal suppositories to finish. Hey, someone’s got to figure out how to make these things. I would sit down and read a book. No one came into the pilot plant but me, so why not. I could read a book a week this way. But instead of focusing on the book and my work afterward, I was caught up in the story of my boss coming in and catching me. I would think about what to say if I was caught and then what he would say and how I would respond and so on. Often I would think about what would happen if our world had a major crisis and where I would go. Did I have enough food stored? Should I buy gold and silver? How much should I buy?

All this scenario planning and worrying and anxiety for something that hadn’t happened. It was all put in my head because of what I was hearing on the news, reading in magazines and reading on the net.

Most of us are stuck in this loop of worrying about what people are thinking. Is everyone I walk by looking at this stain on my shirt? Does my hair look out of place? Is there a booger hanging out of my nose? I’m just going to rub it and check. Now that I did that, is this person thinking I’m doing that because they have a booger and I’m trying to signal to them?  I think I’m going to have a big salad for dinner tonight, now I’m reliving a totally pleasurable sex scene from my past. Oh, right, what am I supposed to be doing? I can’t even remember why I came in here.

We’re rarely able to focus and stay focused on the present. And this is causing many of us to become anxious, unhappy and unable to enjoy life.

Neurohacking is about finding our Minds and then letting go. We must learn to set a goal, create a plan, do the work and let go of the outcome without getting caught up in the story and without attaching our self-worth to the final result. We must learn to live in the present moment and move our attention into our bodies and out of our head. This is where psychology, stress relief and cognitive performance and advances are going.

Check out this video explaining a little about this:

BUT HOW DO WE GET THERE AND HOW DID WE GET HERE? WHAT THE HECK IS NEUROHACKING? 

I don't think it's anyone's fault in this day and age. Forced public schooling was originally instituted to make good factory workers and soldiers and now it's thought that we need it to be competitive with other countries for scientists and engineers. Notice how no one questions the fact that we're forcing public schooling to teach us to make more money for the corporations. We're so deep into this that we all forgot it's OK for some people to study just ONE subject. In so much depth that they become the WORLD expert on that subject. If someone is passionate about primal movement, let her dig in at an early age. Have her train with the best in the world. By the time she's 20 she will be an expert, if not THE expert and plent capable of making al living doing what she loves and what she's good at. 

Instead, we force her to give up that passion and conform. To learn math and science and read old books that offer no value to her. She becomes rebellious or she becomes docile and passive. At some later time in her life, she wakes up and suddenly wants to break free!

But How?

It's time to hack the system!

The Neurohacker Collective says neurohacking “involves applying science and technology to influence the brain and body to optimize the subjective experience.

The desired outcomes of neurohacking cover everything from focused productivity, to expanded creativity, more restful sleep, reduced anxiety, enhanced empathy, and anything else that contributes to the psychological well-being and emotional health of whole, thriving human beings.

The technologies of neurohacking run the gamut from chemical technologies like nootropics and entheogens, probiotics to support the gut-brain connection, bioelectrical technologies like neurofeedback and transcranial stimulation, photic therapies like low-level laser therapy and all the way to embodied practices like somatics and meditation. So long as there is a scientifically accessible biological mechanism for effecting subjective experience, it belongs in the domain of neurohacking.”

Neurohacker Collective was designed to radically change human consciousness and break us all out of The Matrix. Their first and flagship product is an epic nootropic stack to fundamentally make you feel more like yourself. It's called Qualia. And it's awesome. Watch this company closely if you want OUT! They're up to big things. 

It's called Qualia. And it's awesome. Watch this company closely if you want OUT! They're up to big things. 

We all should be neurohacking because…

OUR WORLD IS A MINDFUCK

The modern world is fucking with your biology, your relationships, and your mind. And you’re letting this happen. Realize that you are passively consuming information that becomes embedded into your mind and you are therefore letting it influence your mind.  You wonder why anxiety, loneliness, and stress are at all-time highs and yet the shit we feed into our psyche is designed to keep us in this state.

Big brand companies never want you to be satisfied or they can't grow their bottom line. 

School forces us to learn the same exact things as everyone else. 

School forces us to only associate with peers of the exact same age (give or take 18 months at most). 

Working for someone else can be thought of as modern slavery in that you do most of the work for absent owners who collect the majority of profits as dividends and may not work at all. 

Media tries to get us to think we can all be rugged individualists, living alone, fighting back nature and providing for all our own needs without relying on anyone else.

Our minds are rented out by media, advertising, and our corporate workplaces that force their way of thinking into the deep of our minds.

We all need to implement the right tools and practices to unfuck our modern lifestyle.We need to reclaim our mindspace and kick out the renters taking up that space and giving us nothing in return. 

DUNBAR’S NUMBER 

Imagine someone from a tribal community 10,000 years ago, hell someone from just 100 years ago, hearing and seeing us communicate with one another from across the world instantaneously, or even flying overhead in metal tubes. Maybe even a livestream video of what the other person is doing, in that instant appears. Is this magic? Is it astral projection?

Arthur C. Clarke said that “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”

Long ago it was the Shaman’s role to use magic and communicate with spirits and entities and receive information from far away. If it was the shaman in the tribe using a cell phone or Skype to communicate with a pilot in the air or another shaman across the ocean, then it might be overlooked as magic. Today, this “magic” allows us to communicate with so many people far away, that your biology thinks your 9000 Facebook friends are part of your tribe. This gives a false sense of kinship and tribe. Ideally, you would be in physical contact with the majority of people you share energy with.

We’re designed to communicate with about 150 people, locally. This is referred to as Dunbar’s Number. In person communication with which we can form comfortable relationships is sustainable and natural. We were meant to break bread, touch, feel the energy of and meet the families of the people in our community.

Now, alone in your bedroom, disconnected from the natural world, you stare into screens and message your Facebook or Instagram “friends. Instead of seeing someone’s face and demeanor to tell how they’re feeling you send cartoon emoticons of how you’re feeling.

You type in one line status updates to make sure everyone knows you’re an alpha male or popular female, having fun and doing great things. Meanwhile, you frantically check the photos of others doing amazing things and make plans to get out of your bedroom tomorrow and actually do something, off the computer. Tomorrow. Always tomorrow.

But most of your friends are not truly friends. People you met once, long ago, or visit a few times in our life or perhaps have never met and never will. These relationships can still be beneficial and wonderful but are largely inauthentic and shallow.

These shallow and inauthentic relationships only stress your body, mind and nervous system more.

By spending too much time alone, yet thinking we have relationships with faraway people makes it easier for you to be controlled. 

We have lost the tribe, the community with those closest (literally in close proximity) to us. 

AN OUTDOOR LIFE FOR ME

You were designed to be an outdoor creature, a creature of the light. You weren’t born to live indoors.

It used to be and still should be that Naked, we stand in the sun, connected to the earth and absorb nutrition from light, align our biology to the magnetic field present at the surface of the earth and energize from the oxygen given off by plants.

We now hide from the sun, breathing polluted indoor air that the EPA says is up to 5X more polluted than outdoor air. We cover our bodies with clothes, hats, sunscreen, and sunglasses. Did our ancestors cover their bodies? According to Dr. Jack Kruse, this is similar to throwing a tarp over a tree and expecting it to grow, much less thrive. We are natural creatures to this earth and sunlight provides key nutrients. This fact is missed by nearly every health expert and researcher in modern history.

Do you think hiding from the sun might be affecting your health? See THIS and THIS and THIS ("Vitamin D3 is just the chemical signal made after unpolarized light is captured by our skin and in the pill form, it does not the power of the sun’s light or photons.   Taking supplemental vitamin D3 is like trying to hire someone else to do your push-ups for you" Dr. Jack Kruse).    

 If you live an indoor life, it has a real impact on your mind. 

Studies have shown that even just looking at a picture of nature increases healing and decreases depression. We should be getting outdoors as often as we can if we want good mental health. 

SIT DOWN AND BE QUIET!

You were designed to move, often, at a slow pace, all day long. You are meant to be a curious creature and follow your passions. You are meant to explore.

Now you sit. In school, you were taught to sit and not fidget. You were taught to move only when the bell rings and then only in an orderly fashion, no dancing to running. You spent your childhood learning how to function in a corporate office or factory floor.

Finally, as an adult, you are free of the bindings of school rules. What do you do? Sit! You obey the clock! You eat dinner at 6 and play only on the weekends. Our homes look like they were designed for a species that has trouble moving.

Office chairs, beds, dining chairs, the couch, chairs in our cars and even for sport (spin classes and row machines) and leisure. Maybe you punctuate 23 hours of sitting still with 1 hour of intense movement performed indoors under toxic lighting in gyms filled with toxic gasses coming from the poorly manufactured materials of the equipment and mats and mold in the air ducts and locker rooms.

1 hour of movement a day does not make up for sitting the rest of the day and often leads to increased injury when you put stress on otherwise sedentary muscles.

As Katie Bowman says, if we have “activewear” that we put on for our workouts, then we have to acknowledge that the clothes we wear the rest of the time must be our sedentary wear.

IT'S DARK, GO TO BED

For nearly all of history we went to bed when it was dark. After sunset, it should be dark. We see and commune with the stars, the universe.

Now light pollution both indoors and outdoors is so bad that we not only bathe in the wrong type of light indoors but outdoors we can see only a handful of the brightest stars.

This photo from Darksky tells a whole story. One you have likely forgotten even existed. 

We have lost the wonder of connecting with the stars and galaxy above us.Fire at night was the only other light at night besides starlight. Fire warms us and gives off red and infrared light. It contained no blue light, which was only ever present during the day, until now

 (See this SLEEP article for more about this).

Blue light is high energy light and signals to your body to wake up and energize. Fire gives off light you can feel. The red and infrared light from fire and the sun can heal you and are longer wavelength, lower energy light that signal to your body to relax and wind down.

Now CFL and LED lights brighten you home, your office and even you streets at night. There is no infrared component, the part that warms you, comforts your biology, and that we can feel.

These artificial lights are based on high energy blue light that is harsh and tells your body to wake up and be active, at the wrong time of the day.

Check out this short TEDx talk by Thaddeus about the harm of blue light at night and during the day.

Artificial lights may save you money but aren’t worth the long-term harm. Artificial light is artificial. It’s really just processed sunlight. Like processed and junk food, this processed and junk light contains only a fraction of the total sunlight spectrum and is too high in the type of light that can harm us and devoid of the light that can heal us.

CRAFTING NO LONGER MEANS CREATING A TANGIBLE OBJECT BUT REFERS TO MESSAGES WE TYPE INTO LAPTOPS 

As in, “I’m crafting an update to share with my friends.” We used to make things with our hands. Writing things down using our fingers and thumbs, building, forming and sewing. We cooked only after the food was sought out, harvested and prepared.

Leave me alone, I'm creating a masterpiece.

Today we create meals by pulling a box out of the freezer and throwing it into a magic machine that sends energy into the food to make it hot. We create spreadsheets on computers by facing a cold blue screen and saving them into a folder that no one may ever see. The next day we get up and produce another useless piece of the corporate machine and go back home again.

The crafting of goods, food and a life is now so meaningless to many of you that it’s hard to find joy. Manipulating with your hands, finishing a long project and creating with your mind something tangible and useful it fulfilling. Typing into a computer and sending off digital currency to buy something that a machine made does not fulfill you.

WHAT’S THIS DOING TO YOUR MIND?

These modern adaptations to our world have an impact on our minds. We’re driving ourselves insane.

We used to feel our emotions in our body and let them out through ceremony, coming of age transcendence processes, wrestling each other and grappling with nature.

Now you’re trained to hide your emotions, to push them down and hold them there, trying hard not to let them show when they bubble up. You tell yourself “I’m not nervous” when you are. You think, I’m really happy and post a selfie to social media, then check your status over the next hour to see who responded. You think being busy is the equivalent of being successful and lack of sleep is a badge of honor. You are losing the ability to authentically connect with others, and yourself.

Meaningless work, isolation and distorted messaging on Facebook and Instagram combined with disconnection from the sun and earth are fucking with you. Your psychology is being distorted and disturbed.

It’s time to find the path to healing. A lifetime of learning to be a good factory or corporate worker followed by actually becoming a corporate follower, I mean worker and then spending your nights spent watching TV to feel closer to your human tribe and less isolated are out of sync with your biology.

How do you find our playful self and be the creative and curious child again?

ENTER NEUROHACKING

Remember the movie “Matrix?”

Don’t worry, you don’t need to plug your head into a computer using a headjack like they did in the movie.

While it may be kind of cool to be able to download new skills and knowledge into your brain at any given time, that’s not quite possible.

You still have to learn things the old fashion way.

Well…sort of. Let's figure out how to use Neurohacking to find your way out of The Matrix.

WHAT IS NEUROHACKING?

Neurohacking is one type of the many various “hacking” movements. It seems like hacking something is all the rage today. From biohacking to life hacking, you can find people applying a systems model to anything in an effort to try and optimize, change or “hack” every aspect of their lives.

The thing that really stands out with many of these “hackers,” is their voracious appetite for learning, researching, self-experimentation and the sharing of that knowledge with other people. Biohacking and neurohacking are citizen science movement at it’s most fundamental level.

Using the latest research in neuroscience, new and ancient techniques, supplements and technology, neurohackers attempt to influence these aspects of ourselves.

WHAT IS THE PROMISE OF NEUROHACKING?

Neurohacking is a way out of The Matrix. It’s a way of hacking into the mind to make it better, or at least more useful by reversing the programming stuck in there over years of feed from the TV, school, and media. By understanding more about your mind and your biology, you can tap into your own operating system and change things so that your experience on this planet is more pleasurable.

HOW TO PRIMALHACK IT (STEP BY STEP MATRIX ESCAPE)

Here at PrimalHacker, we try to approach any and all issues from a primal or ancestral health viewpoint before we resort to technology or “biohacks.” While we love biohacking and have found huge benefit from various technology, we strive to use our own minds, body, and environment before bringing in the big guns.

Get Outside

There are many reasons that people living in urban environments are at a much greater risk for anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses. We believe the biggest reason is the extreme disconnect from nature. Even if you can’t get out of the city regularly, there is a way that you can limit the negative impact it has on your mind and body.

Just taking a walk in nature can improve the way your brain works in profound ways. In fact, we agree with a few leading scientists that removing ourselves from nature can have dire consequences. Living 10 or more stories up in a steel apartment building surrounded not by trees and sky, but by wifi signals and cell signals bounced around the building endlessly looking for connection points. What does that do to our body and mind?

Being outside in nature can give you one of the most reliable improvements to your mental and physical well-being. Any time that I feel a little fatigued or mentally overwhelmed, all it takes is a little walk in the woods or through a park to help clear my head and get me focused. Most of my best ideas or breakthroughs come from just talking a walk outside. Even if you can’t get out into nature for a walk, there are many studies that have shown that even looking at a picture of nature can give you some of these benefits.

But don’t take my word for it. Here are just a few of the numerous studies that prove this point.

Remove Sources of Junk Lighting

Lighting, like food, comes in many flavors. Most of it, like food, is junk. Does light affect your mind? You Bet!

Find out how to light your home and office with biologically appropriate lighting RIGHT HERE

Junk lighting effects your mind. It also massively effects your sleep. Disrupted sleep actually leads to shyness, depression, and anxiety due to poor levels of neurotransmitters.

Move Often at a Slow Pace

A healthy mind and a healthy body go hand in hand. And you don’t need to kill yourself at the gym every day, in fact, it’s probably better that you don’t. Gyms are filled with toxic emissions and toxic lighting and often toxic and desperate people. The energy in these places can be awful.

Walking, biking and functional movement can help you stay mobile, increase blood flow, reduce stress and maintain a healthier mind.

Think about the times you feel most depressed or anxious. If you’re like me, it’s when you are ruminating and stuck in an infinite mind loop of negative self-talk and images, often imagining the worst. Now think about the times you have been hiking, walking or exercising outside. Do you associate those times with anxiety? 

Walking for an hour a day is great. Preferably outdoors. Get off the treadmill at the gym, get out from under the toxic artificial lights and get OUTSIDE.

Taking frequent movement breaks is also necessary. Do not sit or stand in one place while working for more than an hour without moving for at least 5 minutes. It seems easy in theory, but most people do not practice this, no matter how much they agree. Knowing all this, even I find it hard to leave my desk and move about every hour. I want to just stay and finish one more thing or check my email and then get sucked into another hour of stationary work. Don’t fall for this trap. Get up and MOVE!

While it’s not for everyone, we encourage 1-3 workouts a week with the specific goal to build muscle. After age 35 our bodies begin to lose muscle and bone each year and the right type of workout can reverse this, keep us optimally healthy and looking our best. 

That doesn’t mean going to the gym for 2 hours or even 1 hour. To us, it means getting outdoors and using a kettlebell, mace or the kid’s jungle gym at the park.  In the winter it might be 30 minutes of lifting really heavy weights or a 12-minute session on an ARX. Trust me, all these things can make you ripped if that’s what you’re going for. You don’t need a gym.

Take Care of Your Food

Have you ever stopped somewhere to have dinner and then after leaving felt tired and noticed that your brain was kind of foggy? Maybe you intended to get in a workout afterward but just felt like curling up and taking a nap.

Most people have felt this way a few times in their life. While it may be a little hard to pinpoint exactly what caused that decline in energy and brainpower, there are a few likely culprits.

  • Toxins
  • Excess carbohydrates
  • Low quality and processed ingredients

The food we eat has a HUGE impact on the way our brains function.

In fact, in one study out of Ohio State University examined data from 11,740 students and found that children that ate fast food in the fifth grade four times a week scored 20% lower on tests in the eighth grade than children that consumed none or very little. Even kids that just ate the processed food 1-3 times a week still scored lower than the ones that didn’t eat any. 

 Considering that your brain is made up of at least 60% fat, you need to make sure to consume enough healthy fats to give your brain the fuel it needs to thrive. This includes saturated fats from animal proteins, butter and coconut oil.

Another thing that is lacking in many people’s diet is a good source of omega-3’s. Omega 3s are a very fragile fat that helps keep our cell membranes fluid and not stiff and is thought to be the reason we have higher brain functions than most animals. Omega 3’s are most often found in seafood, but also in grass-fed meats and eggs.

Since so much of our brains are made of fat, we need to make sure we have plenty of sources of good fat, specifically omega-3 essential fatty acid. Omega-3’s help to build strong neural connections and contributes to the myelin sheath that protects your neurons from damage.

Food like oysters, sardines, anchovies, and salmon can support you in reducing inflammation and building a healthy brain with high amounts of Omega 3s. Skip the fish oil pills because they are often rancid and toxic.

You also need to make sure that you are getting good amounts of essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Some of the major ones that contribute to optimal brain health are also the ones that most people are deficient in.

  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin B6
  • Folate

Make a plan to get wild caught seafood every single week and ensure adequate intake of the key micronutrients shown above.

Get the Fluoride out of Your Water

Lions and tigers and fluoride, Oh, my! 

Yes, it’s true fluoride is a part of what makes up teeth, but so are many other minerals. And fluoride that we swallow down in water is not easily sent back up to the teeth. In fact, many people claim it’s calcifying our pineal gland and causing us to be easier to manipulate!!

I don’t know what your take on all this is, but fluoride is a drug (LINK) and it’s the only drug I know that we’re adding into the water supply and giving to everyone! I can’t support this.

Further, there are likely other drugs in your water. When people take pharmaceuticals, the pills aren’t all used by the body. Some of the drug stays in the digestive system or is excreted from the body in the urine and feces. This goes down to the toilet. Water treatment plants are not equipped to get rid of these drugs and thus they end up in someone else’s drinking water.

Add a filter to your water. This is not an option. Your best bet is a reverse osmosis or to drink pure spring water

FIX YOUR HEAD

Acknowledge your emotions, welcome them. Image this ball represents your emotions. You are constantly holding down and restraining these emotions.

When we feel sad or anxious we tell ourselves not to be anxious, to be calm, whatever. This is not being true to what we’re feeling. Suddenly these emotions bubble up and we’re slammed with anxiety, or a panic attack or anger, seemingly out of nowhere. Instead of suppressing our emotions we should allow ourselves to feel them fully.

The next time you are anxious, just slow down and feel where that emotion is in your body. Say to yourself, “I am anxious. Welcome anxiety, I’m glad you are here.”  Now feel where that emotion is in your body and say silently for example, “I am anxiety in my chest and I am freedom”  Just breathe into that area, don’t try to make anything happen. Allow yourself to feel your emotions, welcome them and feel where they are in your body.

Do this often. This is your practice.

DO SOMETHING MEANINGFUL

Worry, anxiety, and loneliness often stem from meaningless rushing about.

I’m not going to belabor this point. Find your true purpose. Find something meaningful and work towards it. If possible, make this your entire career. You will immediately feel better when you are on this path!

EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)

I have found great success with this technique and apparently, many others have too. It involves tapping on energy meridians in the body and is best explained here.

Try it out for a month.

Anxiety to Excitement 

Feel where your anxiety is. Feel where it is in your body. Getting in touch with your body is so important and often ignored.

Welcome your anxiety and think about the fact that anxiety is just ruminating on the unknown and the future that hasn’t happened yet and may never. This is really just excitement. Can you feel the excitement in your body? I bet it’s the same feeling as anxiety. See if you can transmute your anxiety and fear into the excitement of the unknown.

Find a coach

You can’t do this alone. A coach or therapist can help you work through the blocks and blind spots. Begin living your life from your place of truth.

I used to think that a coach or counselor was a bad thing and to be avoided. I thought it was a failing if I had to resort to using someone else to help me. Boy was I wrong. After working through the Bulletproof Coaching Program (LINK), I had many hours of being coached and coaching others. I came out with a brand-new appreciation for coaches and how they can help us make progress faster and achieve our goals easier.

Most successful people have a large bench of coaches and mentors.

Have a Practice

Prayer, meditation or my favorite, Qigong and tai chi. I don’t like to sit. Qigong and Tai Chi are basically moving meditation. Hey, who said you can’t combine moving often at a slow pace with meditation, we’re hackers! That’s what I love about qigong and tai chi. I can move while meditating.

Find your own form of practice. Remember it’s practice, and your goal is to get better than you were yesterday. Some people chop wood, some hike, some run and others sit on a cushion and meditate. As long as you approach it as a practice and not as something to master and move on you are doing it right.

When it’s a practice you just need to focus on the skill and getting 1% better every day.

Extra Help and Support

Finally, if you need extra support, bring in the Neurohacking tech!

Neurofeedback

This could be considered today’s headjack. While you aren’t able to download information straight to your brain with neurofeedback, you can get some pretty amazing results.

What is it?

A great way to hack your brain is by using a computer or other type device. Also called neurotherapy or neurobiofeedback, is a kind of biofeedback that allows you to train to better harness and even increase your brain’s power.

Better yet, continued use helps train new, more useful patterns into your brain and therefore increasing whole body wellness in the process. 

Basically, you hook yourself up to some type of electroencephalography (EEG) and either play brain games, meditate or just follow the instructions of the person giving you the session or the instructions on the screen.

Neuroptimal, Brain Trainer, and MUSE are examples of this technology. MUSE is relatively inexpensive and uses a less powerful brainwave measuring device to help you understand when you are performing meditation in a useful manner.

Neuroptimal and the Brain Trainer hook electrodes up to your head to measure your brainwaves and work to train your brain into a state of optimal function by guiding the brain waves to change.

Neuroptimal and Brain Trainer

Neuroptimal and the Brain Trainer are very expensive, but with the use of a practitioner can be purchased in sessions, rather than buying the whole machine. It’s like personal training for your brain.These techologies are said to be able to create whole body and mind health.

Neuroptimal hooks up 4 electrodes to your head and uses a laptop based computer program to help train your brain to more optimal patterns of thought. You just close your eyes and relax and the computer and music in your ears do the work of training your brain. If you’re in the Twin Cities you can hit up my buddy Rob Biohacker in Hudson, Wisconsin for a Neuroptimal session. I’ve enjoyed the 10 or so sessions I’ve had so far and even used the device the night prior to my TEDx talk.

I’ve purchased a Brain Trainer and plan to use it on myself and then rent out sessions to locals.

MUSE

The MUSE is a type of neurofeedback device for meditation. Using headphones and the headband, the MUSE gives you real time feedback about your meditation by translating your brain waves in to the sound of wind. When you are calm and your mind is relaxed, then the wind is soft. When your mind starts to wander, the wind intensifies so that it reminds you to refocus on your meditation.

While this device can be a great addition to your neurohacking toolkit, so people have stated that the MUSE gives them a headache. If you are very sensitive to EMF, then you may want to skip this device. Thaddeus got a sharp pain in his temples whenever using this device.

Think about using brain training to guide your mind out of fear and stress and back into creative freedom.

Nootropics

According to Corneilu E. Giurgea, the Romanian psychologist and chemist that coined the term nootropic, a nootropic should have the following characteristics:

  • Little to no side effects of toxicity
  • Enhance learning and memory
  • Protect the brain against physical and chemical injuries
  • Enhance resistance to conditions that disrupt learned behaviors

This is a great foundation for nootropics, but let’s define it a little more.

If I had to describe nootropics in one sentence, this is what it would look like. Nootropics are any compound, either synthetic or natural that increase one or more areas of cognitive function with limited to no side effects.

That being said, many people only concentrate on the “Limitless” like effects of nootropics like increased focus, memory and learning ability. I think this is really selling nootropics short. We can’t leave out things like anxiety and stress reduction along with HUGE improvements to overall emotional wellbeing.

Some of the greatest benefits I’ve noticed from my experimentation with them fall into these categories.

Some people are afraid to take nootropics and others think they are cheating.  A recent Harvard Business Review article likened the idea of nootropics as cheating to someone stealing a copy of the test answers and instead of using the answer sheet to cheat, goes to the library and studies ten times harder. This has totally been my experience as well. I don’t use nootropics to be lazy. I take them when I want to be incredibly productive and work really hard. They allow me to stay on task, get into flow easier and be more creative. I think the only form of cheating that nootropics can create is a type of class cheating. Many of the potent nootropic effects are created by combining multiple substances together and this can get expensive. Consistent use of nootropics may be out of reach for those with less money and thus differences may be created between those who can afford the compounds and those who cannot.

Nootropics can help calm, focus and motivate our minds. They can help us create space to be creative, get more done and make fast mental connections. We can use these as a tool to do the personal work we need to do to reconnect with our bodies and our creativity.

Neurohacking requires work. Nootropics help make that work easier.

This article by a friend of ours is a really good nootropic primer.

In the modern world, these substances can be a game changer. I think we’re already well past the speed, the rate of information and the relationships and knowledge our minds were designed to handle all at once. That’s not to say our minds aren’t powerful, but the combination of our isolation, the speed of information, barrage of stimuli and lack of nature is stressful to our bodies and minds and make it hard to relax enough to do important work.

Qualia

Our favorite nootropic is Qualia, which was designed by Neurohacker Collective as a broad-spectrum cognitive enhancer. The 42 ingredients that make up this nootropic stack are some of the most powerful and thoroughly researched ingredients when it comes to cognitive enhancement.

Neurohacker Collective was founded to help unleash the power of our minds, be more creative, and feel more like ourselves. They invented Qualia to help us lead more extraordinary lives.

While Qualia isn’t the drug NZT from Limitless, we have found quite profound benefits. Over time, the mind-blowing effect of this supplement quieted down to a capable knowing. Where the first few times we used Qualia, the effects were extremely noticeable and intense, over time those effects became less noticeable physically and more noticeable in the way our mood, creativity, and sense of ease was enhanced. We have come to appreciate this and notice that we Qualia enhances our sense of feeling capable of meeting anything life throws at us. That’s because the nutrients in the stack support cognitive function. The adaptogenic herbs modify your body’s response to stress.  Using this tool can free up energy and mental space to focus on the internal work you need to do.

Qualia nootropic stack has become a very useful tool in our toolkit when we want to perform at our top level, cognitively AND PHYSICALLY. Using Qualia as a pre-workout has given us more energy, endurance, and the determination to go the extra mile.

Remember, Nootropics aren’t the answer or even the most powerful of the tools, but can help you build the other tools internally by giving you the space to take on the changes you want to experience. Nootropics can make you feel more like you, fire on all cylinders and welcome the world from a place of openness and calm.

If you want to learn more about Qualia go HERE to read our review, or here to try it out for yourself.

Remember these are all just tools. A hammer doesn’t build a house for you but allows you to build a house easier with the proper tool. You have to use the tool in the right way and put in the work and build your internal house from the ground up.

SUMMARY

Relax

Connect deeply with others – locally

Open yourself up and pay attention to what’s going on in your body. Really pay attention to how you respond during the day and check in before responding.

Acknowledge what is going on and welcome it. Now react and act from a place of purpose.

Get outside and welcome the sun, feel the ground beneath your bare feet, and breathe.

Clean up your Food and Water - they definitely impact your mental health. If nothing else, stop consuming fluoride in your water!

Find a tool that works for you. EFT, Coaching, Neurofeedback,  Qualia. We use all these and more. They all have a place in our toolkit.

Look deep inside and find your TRUTH, then live it! Living a purpose filled life leads to increased happiness and peace.

It’s up to you. Become human again.

PrimalHack on