Get More Done

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Follow these easy, effective tips for getting more done in the 24 we have.

Productivity Hero—Your Action Plan

1. Get enough sleep. Whoever coined the phrase “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” didn’t have all the facts straight. Not getting enough Zzz’s could hinder productivity at work, so try to get those recommended seven to nine hours of snooze time !

2. Create routines. Make a habit of, well, sticking to habits. Schedule actions like writing emails at a certain time or hitting the gym after work, and try to do them daily. Soon that routine will happen on autopilot.

3. Wake up earlier. As long as you’re still able to squeeze in enough sleep, try extending the day by getting up an hour earlier—when it’s still quiet and there are fewer distractions.

4. Step away from the inbox. Incoming emails can be a nuisance. Make a habit to only check the inbox at certain times of the day to avoid getting sidetracked with requests and responses.

5. Make a daily to-do list. Stay away from huge to-do lists. Instead, create a daily list of realistic jobs to tackle, like folding laundry, scheduling a doctor’s appointment, or paying the cable bill. Break up big goals into micro-tasks, like going to a yoga class over getting six-pack abs, or writing a page over completing a thesis. Soon, the small things will add up to big accomplishments.

6. Take a midday workout break. Got writers’ block? Can’t fathom cleaning the bathroom? Try hitting the pavement. Working out during the day could actually boost productivity, so the time spent exercising could actually help us get more done later .

7. Don’t multitask. Our brains aren’t wired to juggle too much at once, and we can work nearly twice as fast if we do only one thing at a time . (And nope, we’re not talking LOST time-travel.) . So remember those childhood manners and finish tasks one at a time.

8. Silence the phone. When it comes to getting stuff done, sometimes silence is key. Turn off email alerts and the cell phone ringer—that’s what voicemail is for!

9. Make a to-don’t list. Bad habits are just as significant as good ones. So make a list of things not to do because they make you unproductive (we’re staring at you, Netflix), and stick to it.

10. Brainstorm. Take some time to sit and get those creative juices flowing. Without distractions, brainstorming may be the way to come up with killer ideas in record time. Bonus: Creativity can make you happier.

11. Do those MITs. Nope, this isn’t college talk. MIT stands for most important tasks, and it’s a way to highlight the items that matter most on that to-do list. At the start of each day, write down a few things that must get done. Commit to tackling those tasks, and let the rest of the chips fall where they may.

12. Hit inbox zero. Sort every email once that inbox is open. Respond, file, draft, or delete. Keeping the inbox clean is key to staying organized and on point. (Just remember not to keep the inbox open when you aren’t organizing it.).

13. Stay healthy. Just like… don’t get sick. (It may be easier said than done.) But health and productivity go hand in hand, so be sure to maintain good health habits, like eating well and washing up after hitting the gym !

14. Keep a pen and pad on hand. Make like Richard Branson and carry pen and paper (or your smartphone) to catch any useful thought that may come to mind. Up the creativity ante and make your own moleskin DIY style.

15. Shut off social media. Sayonara, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Social media can be a huge time suck. Studies have found that it can take up a significant chunk of time at the office, and may even predict lower grades in school. Make it a habit to unplug whenever you need to get something done.

16. “Eat the frogs.” We swear it’s a real term. Each day, once you’ve figured out your Most Important Tasks, do the task you’re least looking forward to first. That way, you’ll get it out of the way early and feel super productive, to boot. (No guarantees Prince Charming will emerge.)

17. Slow down. Read. This. Slowly. Getting stuff done isn’t always a matter of making it to the finish line first. Take time to reflect, brainstorm, and recharge. The added energy will make you that much more productive when you put your nose back to the grindstone.

18. Track time. Take a day to record how much time is spent writing emails, reading blogs, texting, etc. You may be surprised at how much time certain activities (ahem, browsing Pinterest) take up every day. Once you’ve figured out how your time is being used up, make it a point to prioritize what really matters to you (and cut out what doesn’t).

19. Don’t bounce around. Box off a specific amount of time for every task on your to-do list each day. Assign a chunk of the day for one project, and stay focused on that project during its designated time. Once that time is up, move on to the next mission.

20. Tune out. Those headphones will help tune out any distractions. Plus, coworkers and friends may be less likely to interrupt if they see we’re tuned in.

21. Look back. Schedule some time toward the end of each week to reflect on what you accomplished and make any necessary schedule tweaks for the following week.22. Set triggers. Leave reminders around your workspace and home to help you remember what needs to get done. Place bills that need to be paid or books to be read out in the open, and stick post-it reminders on the fridge!

23. Eat well. What we scarf down for lunch may do more than satisfy hunger. Certain foods, like salmon, almonds, and carrots, can give us a much-needed boost of energy. So forgo the take-out and be picky at the cafeteria!

24. De-clutter. Get rid of anything that may cause distractions. Put away the dishes, fold clothes, and get rid of excess papers on the desk so you’re less likely to get sidetracked. Up the ante by implementing some Feng Shui principles in your workspace.

25. Say no. Don’t stretch yourself too thin. Learning to say no—to going out for drinks when you’re tired, to extra projects when you’re swamped—keeps us focused, prevents overwhelm, and may even ward off sickness.

26. Take a break. Carve out some quality “you” time each day to keep a balance between the busy world and your own inner life.

27. Download help. Still need to get sh!t done? Luckily there’s an app for that.

http://greatist.com/happiness/27-ways-get-more-sht-done?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_newsletter_2015-01-21_mails_daily_new_header


LINKS:

21 Online and App Resources to Help You Boost and Improve Productivity

Autoimmune & Green Tea

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  1. The initial T cell response is called a “Th1 response”.
  2. The secondary B cell antibody response is called a “Th2 response”.

In a healthy body, there is balance between the Th1 (T cell) and Th2 (B cell) parts of our immune system. And that’s the desirable state.

th1 th2 balance Green tea health risks: Could green tea actually be bad for you?

However, sometimes an imbalance of the Th1/Th2 system can be beneficial. For example, during pregnancy women have a tendency to shift towards a Th2 dominance, which is advantageous since a Th1 shift would induce rejection of the fetus.

Autoimmune disease: An immune system out of balance

Virtually all autoimmune diseases -– conditions where the immune system begins to attack self-tissue –- have either a Th1 or a Th2 dominance.

Put another way, autoimmune conditions generally have either a T cell upregulation and B cell suppression (Th1 dominant) or the opposite (Th2 dominant).

th1 dominant 300x178 Green tea health risks: Could green tea actually be bad for you? th2 dominant 300x178 Green tea health risks: Could green tea actually be bad for you?

It’s imperative that people with autoimmune disorders maintain Th1/Th2 balance.

When the immune system is dysregulated and starts attacking body tissues, the more out of balance the immune system is, the more voraciously it will attack those tissues.

For example, in someone with rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune condition where the immune system attacks cartilage, the more out of balance the Th1/Th2 system is, the more cartilage destruction will take place.

When healthy foods are unhealthy

According to research, a number of natural compounds have a tendency to push either side of the Th1/Th2 balance.

Green tea is one such substance.  The active components of green tea have a tendency to push the Th2 system to be more dominant by inhibiting the Th1 side of the immune system.

Therefore someone with a Th2-dominant autoimmune condition (see table below) would be wise to stay away from green tea or products containing concentrated green tea (such as a green tea supplement), because it can upregulate an already dominant system and lead to more tissue destruction.

Conversely in someone with a Th1-dominant autoimmune condition, green tea would be beneficial because it inhibits the Th1 side of the immune system.

Another common example most people know of is the herb echinacea.

When people get sick with a cold or flu, echinacea helps boost the T cells (Th1 response) involved with the initial attack of a foreign invader.

However, in a Th1-dominant autoimmune condition, echinacea will likely make the condition worse and is therefore be something to be avoided.

Real world example

We had a patient come into our office and report that she took a single antioxidant capsule one night before bed and experienced an array of symptoms including heart palpitations, anxiety, “inward trembling” and insomnia.

The patient had been previously diagnosed with hypothyroidism, a low thyroid condition characterized by weight gain, fatigue, and depression-like symptoms.

The number one cause of hypothyroidism in the United States is an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s syndrome (or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis).

The patient’s symptoms after taking the antioxidant indicated an upregulated, or increased attack on her thyroid gland, which then released extra thyroid hormone into her system causing what are classically hyperthyroid symptoms.

When we looked at the ingredients in the antioxidant, it made sense.

Two of the main ingredients –- green tea extract and curcumin -– have been shown to push the immune system towards a Th2 dominance.  Given the symptoms she experienced after taking the antioxidant, we concluded that she suffered from a Th2-dominant Hashimoto’s autoimmune condition.

We surmised that the green tea and curcumin stimulated her already lopsided immune system into more aggressively attacking her thyroid gland.

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/rr-green-tea-hazards


Autoimmunity. Green tea also has immunomodulating effects due to EGCG. Numerous animal studies identify and support the use of EGCG as a potential therapeutic agent in preventing and ameliorating T cell-mediated autoimmune diseases (20). The mechanism involves decreasing T cell activation, proliferation, differentiation, and production of cytokines (20). Of course research on humans demonstrating these effects would be even better, but the animal studies seem promising.

I came across an interesting article by two authors discussing whether green tea can alleviate autoimmune diseases (21). Their observations showed that EGCG is associated with suppressed proliferation of autoreactive T cells, reduced production of proinflammatory cytokines, decreased Th1 and Th17 populations, and increased Treg populations in lymph nodes, spleen and the CNS. What I found interesting is that they converted the doses used on animals, and found out that the average person would need to drink 2.5 liters of green tea per day to receive the same benefits on their immune system. Since this isn’t feasible for most people, they suggested taking EGCG capsules (400 to 2,000 mg/day).

Although I commonly recommend an herbal complex which has a small amount of green tea extract, I haven’t yet tried using higher doses of EGCG on my patients. But after doing research for this article it very well might be something I try out in the future. I still think it’s a good idea to drink one or two cups of green tea per day, but perhaps combining this with EGCG capsules will further help to suppress the autoimmune component of people with Graves’ Disease and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. However, one also needs to be cautious, as there is evidence that consuming a concentrated green tea extract can be toxic to the cells of the liver (22). Although this might be rare, it should make us cautious about taking large doses of supplements and herbs.

Can Green Tea Inhibit Thyroid Gland Activity?

There is some evidence which shows that the catechins present in green tea might have antithyroid activity when consumed in high doses (23) (24). However, these studies were performed on rats, and as I just mentioned, involved high doses. I don’t see a problem with most people with hypothyroid conditions drinking one or two cups of green tea per day. On the other hand, people with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis might want to be cautious about drinking larger amounts of green tea on a regular basis.

With the possibility of high doses of green tea inhibiting thyroid activity, some people with hyperthyroid conditions might wonder whether drinking a lot of green tea can help with their condition. I personally haven’t tested this out on my patients, but it would be interesting to find out if drinking a lot of green tea on a daily basis (i.e. five or more cups) would inhibit thyroid activity.

Another potential concern of green tea consumption is that there is fluoride present in green tea. Although the studies I listed attributed the antithyroid activity to the catechins in the green tea, it is also possible that the fluoride was responsible for inhibiting thyroid function. I’m not sure if there is enough fluoride in one or two cups of green tea to have a negative impact on one’s thyroid health, but if you want to play it safe you can purchase green tea that is fluoride-free.

In summary, there are many different health benefits of drinking green tea. As a result, most people can benefit from drinking at least one or two cups per day, and drinking more than this can offer further benefits in preventing the development of certain chronic health conditions. By modulating the immune system, regular green tea consumption can also benefit people with Graves’ Disease and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. However, while drinking large amounts of green per day might offer certain benefits (i.e. provide protection against cardiovascular disease), drinking a lot of green tea might have a goitrogenic effect. Although this might be beneficial for those people with hyperthyroidism and Graves’ Disease, those people with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis might want to limit their consumption of green tea to one or two cups per day.

http://www.naturalendocrinesolutions.com/articles/green-tea-thyroid-health/

Hashimoto’s 101

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Interview with Jill Grunewald, holistic nutrition coach.

Jen: What are some signs/symptoms of Hashimoto’s?
Jill: Hashimoto’s is autoimmune hypothyroidism (low thyroid function) and it’s estimated that 90 percent of people who have low thyroid function do, in fact, have Hashimoto’s. Having thyroid autoimmunity means that there are antibodies in the blood that are launching a “mission sabotage” on the thyroid gland. Whether hypothyroidism is due to Hashimoto’s or from iodine deficiency (the cause of the other 10 percent of hypothyroid cases), the telltale symptoms are the same: unwarranted fatigue (even after a full night’s rest), difficulty losing weight, gaining weight with no change in diet or exercise, hair loss and loss of hair luster, difficulty getting and staying warm, constipation, depression, brain fog, fluid retention (edema), poor ankle reflexes, and dry skin. You can read a lengthier list of symptoms here.

A significant difference between Hashimoto’s and iodine-deficient hypothyroidism is that in cases of Hashimoto’s, some people swing back and forth between hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism — or overactive thyroid. So while the diagnosis may be low thyroid function, some experience a “push-pull” and have days where they feel hyperactive, energetic, anxious, and can have heart palpitations. This hyper state is a sign of excess thyroid hormones in the bloodstream due to increased autoimmune attack on the thyroid.

Jen: How do you get tested?
Jill:
 Thyroid testing includes a full range of thyroid labs (bloodwork) or an at-home BBT(basal body temperature) test, which involves taking your basal body temperature first thing in the morning for three days, then determining the average. If it’s less than 97.8, you’re likely hypothyroid. When it comes to labwork, it’s important to work with an open-minded, functional medicine doctor who isn’t TSH-happy. TSH stands for thyroid stimulating hormone and reveals very little of overall thyroid function. (See this link for the labs I recommend.) See “Testing in the Lab” in this Experience Life article for functional reference ranges, which can more readily determine an imbalance. You can also order bloodwork on your own. There are several online sources, and the one I recommend is HealthCheck USA. The Ultimate Panel includes the thyroid labs I feel are most telling of overall thyroid function.

We live in a numbers-happy society: “Numbers don’t lie.” Or, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” Yet some functional medicine doctors say that when it comes to managing hypothyroidism, the real litmus test of whether your thyroid is functioning optimally is how you FEEL. Hear hear!

Jen: Why did this happen (i.e., is it my fault)?
Jill: Many of my clients ask, “What did I do wrong? How did I cause myself to be hypothyroid? What did I do to myself to acquire autoimmunity?” For 10 percent of those with hypothyroidism, they’re simply iodine deficient. That’s an easy fix. (See below for dietary recommendations.) For those with autoimmunity, it’s more complex. There is a long list of autoimmune conditions, including lupus, multiple sclerosis, Type 1 diabetes, celiac, rheumatoid arthritis — the list goes on. One in twelve Americans has an autoimmune condition, making it more prevalent than heart disease and cancer. But it’s rarely talked about as an epidemic. While there are differing expert opinions on what has caused the drastic rise in autoimmune conditions, including genetic predisposition, scientists worldwide concur that the root cause is environmental — a result of our Industrial Age and 21st century lifestyles. Exposure to chemicals, toxins, pesticides, and processed foods has caused our immune cells to become confused and for some of us, to launch an attack on our own bodies. I realize this is sobering, but I don’t dwell on the doom and gloom — I like to look forward to ask what we can do today to heal and to protect ourselves. To learn more about the sudden rise in autoimmune diseases, I recommend Donna Jackson Nakazawa’s book, The Autoimmune Epidemic.

Jen: What’s the way out?
Jill: Autoimmunity or no autoimmunity, thyroid drugs or no thyroid drugs, there are several things you can do to jumpstart a sluggish thyroid and start alleviating symptoms. Diet is your first line of defense. And I don’t mean “dieting” — many people who are struggling with thyroid-related weight gain go on calorie-restrictive diets, which can backfire.

There is no pharmaceutical cure for any autoimmune disease and managing autoimmunity can be multi-faceted. Generally, it’s critical to rethink what you’re eating and to eat whole, unadulterated foods (steer clear of factory-made and factory-farmed food); eat organic as often as possible; supplement wisely; address the stressors in your life; and shield yourself as much as you can from everyday chemicals, including cleaning and bodycare products.

Jen: What foods should you avoid?
Jill: It depends on the level of hypothyroidism and the adrenal fatigue that typically accompanies hypothyroidism, but more often than not, it’s a good idea to stay away from sugar and caffeine, both of which can up the ante on the overproduction of stress hormones — namely adrenaline and cortisol — that can hinder thyroid function. Goitrogens — broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, rutabaga, and turnips are the heavy-hitters — can also hinder thyroid function by causing a goiter, or enlargement of the thyroid gland. While there is some controversy about the degree to which cooking inactivates goitrogenic compounds, generally, I believe that cooked goitrogens are fine. They’re certainly not deal-breakers. You’ll also hear wildly differing opinions on soy, and my opinion is that it’s fine if it’s fermented (tempeh, for example), in moderation. Being 100 percent gluten free is non-negotiable if you have Hashimoto’s. Because the molecular structure of gluten is almost identical to the molecular structure of thyroid tissue (so weird), ingesting gluten can make the body say, “Invader! Attack! Attack!” and increase the autoimmune assault on the thyroid.

In addition, do not eat a low-carbohydrate diet, which can contribute to brain fog, hair loss, and can inhibit your body temperature regulation. It can also inhibit T3 production and increase Reverse T3, which can block thyroid hormone receptors.

Jen: OK, so what should I eat?
Jill: Here is my shortlist:

  • Get protein at each meal. Protein helps boost T3, your active thyroid hormone, and helps convert T4 to T3.
  • Get plenty of wholesome, dietary fat. Fat and cholesterol help build proper hormonal pathways.
  • Selenium, found primarily in Brazil nuts and sunflower seeds, helps boost T3 production. Zinc, copper, and iron are also important, as is a range of B vitamins, “the anti-stress vitamins.”
  • Vitamin D is particularly important, and most people are deficient. Not only does Vitamin D help transport thyroid hormone into our cells and help contribute to proper hormonal pathways (it’s actually a hormone, not a vitamin), it’s also an immune modulator, meaning that it can help modulate and regulate wayward immune function.

For more information, see “Nutritional Dos and Don’ts” in this article.

For those with non-autoimmune hypothyroidism, amp up the dietary iodine intake with seafood and sea vegetables, the best sources. Seasnax, roasted sea vegetables, are strangely addictive. (I don’t recommend iodine supplementation, unless it’s food-based, as from kelp.)

Jen: Can you work out if you have Hashimoto’s?
Jill: Absolutely. While severe fatigue is often the case for those with low thyroid function, it’s important to move. For those with more advanced fatigue, walking and yoga are sufficient. Some functional medicine doctors say that for people who have severe adrenal dysfunction and crippling fatigue, it’s best to not exercise at all during the healing phase. Later, people can transition to restorative exercise – yoga, tai chi, light pilates, walking, or the biofeedback approach you take at Movement Minneapolis. White-knuckling exercise and having a “I gotta do this because I’m overweight” attitude can be counterproductive. I’ve given many clients permission to take a break from exercise and they’ve broken through weight loss barriers. Why? Because non-restorative, “distress” exercise can induce a stress response, which can cause overproduction of adrenaline and cortisol. Cortisol, nicknamed “the belly fat hormone,” then sets up camp around our midsection and also hinders thyroid function. So it’s a vicious cycle. “Eustress” exercise, on the other hand (thank you, Jen, and the other rock stars at Movement Minneapolis for introducing me to this term) is restorative and gets people better results.

Jen: What lifestyle changes can I make to support thyroid health?
Jill: There is a significant mind-body component to thyroid health. The thyroid gland corresponds with our 5th chakra, the throat chakra, and is between the 6th and 4th chakra, which are the head and heart chakras, respectively. Chakra means “wheel” or “turning” in Hindu and our chakras are energy centers in the body. Our throat chakra is associated with the ability to communicate clearly and effectively. When there is conflict between the head and heart, we can have a thyroid imbalance. The best way to work through this conflict is to journal, meditate, pray, breathe, or practice visualization. Any spiritual practice, including yoga, which was designed to support all of our chakras, will help resolve this imbalance.

http://www.jensinkler.com/easing-out-of-hashimoto-thyroid/


Your Dietary Defense

Making dietary changes is your first line of defense in treating hypothyroidism. Many people with hypothyroidism experience crippling fatigue and brain fog, which prompts reaching for non-nutritional forms of energy like sugar and caffeine. I’ve dubbed these rascals the terrible twosome, as they can burn out your thyroid (and destabilize blood sugar).

1. Just say no to the dietary bungee cord. Greatly reduce or eliminate caffeine and sugar, including refined carbohydrates like flour, which the body treats like sugar. Make grain-based carbohydrates lesser of a focus, eating non-starchy vegetables to your heart’s content.

2. Up the protein. Protein transports thyroid hormone to all your tissues and enjoying it at each meal can help normalize thyroid function. Proteins include nuts and nut butters; quinoa; hormone- and antibiotic-free animal products (organic, grass-fed meats, eggs, and sustainably-farmed fish); and legumes.

Note: I’m not a fan of soy and soy products: tofu, soy milk, fake meats, energy bars, etc. Even when organic and non-GMO, soy can impede cell receptors and disrupt the feedback loop throughout your entire endocrine (hormonal) system.

3. Get fat. Fat is your friend and cholesterol is the precursor to hormonal pathways; if you’re getting insufficient fat and cholesterol, you could be exacerbating hormonal imbalance, which includes thyroid hormones. Natural, healthful fats include olive oil; ghee; avocados; flax seeds; fish; nuts and nut butters; hormone- and antibiotic-free full fat cheese, yogurt, and cottage cheese (yes, full fat, not skim); and coconut milk products.

4. Nutrient-up. While nutritional deficiencies may not be the cause of hypothyroidism, not having enough of these micronutrients and minerals can aggravate symptoms: vitamin D, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, zinc, copper, vitamin A, the B vitamins, and iodine.

A few highlights:

  • It’s commonly believed that hypothyroidism is due to insufficient iodine, but this isn’t true. Dr. Kharrazian states that if you have Hashimoto’s, taking supplemental iodine is like throwing gasoline on a fire, so eschew iodine supplements and iodized salt. Primary sources of iodine: sea vegetables and seafood. Secondary sources: eggs, asparagus, lima beans, mushrooms, spinach, sesame seeds, summer squash, Swiss chard, and garlic.
  • Optimal vitamin D levels are between 50-80 ng/mL; anything below 32 contributes to hormone pathway disruption.
  • Omega-3s, found in fish, grassfed animal products, flaxseeds, and walnuts, are the building blocks for hormones that control immune function and cell growth, are critical to thyroid function, and improve the ability to respond to thyroid hormones.

5. Go 100% gluten-free. The molecular composition of thyroid tissue is almost identical to that of gluten. So for those with Hashimoto’s, it’s a case of mistaken identity. Eating gluten can increase the autoimmune attack on your thyroid.

6. Be mindful of goitrogens, which are foods that can interfere with thyroid function. Goitrogens include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, rutabaga, turnips, millet, spinach, strawberries, peaches, watercress, peanuts, radishes, and soybeans. Does it mean that you can never eat these foods? No, because cooking inactivates goitrogenic compounds and eating radishes and watercress in moderation isn’t going to be a deal-breaker.

7. Go for the glutathione. Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that strengthens the immune system and is one of the pillars of fighting Hashimoto’s. It can boost your body’s ability to modulate and regulate the immune system, dampen autoimmune flare-ups, and protect and heal thyroid tissue.

While few foods contain glutathione, there are foods that help the body produce glutathione: asparagus, broccoli, peaches, avocado, spinach, garlic, squash, grapefruit, and raw eggs. A plant substance found in broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage, (those goitrogens), helps replenish glutathione stores.

8. Address underlying food sensitivities. Just like the body’s attack on the thyroid in the presence of Hashimoto’s, the body will also see offending or inflammatory foods as an invader and will up the ante on the autoimmune response.

9. Do a gut check. A whopping 20 percent of thyroid function depends on a sufficient supply of healthy gut bacteria, so it’s best to supplement with probiotics (friendly intestinal bacteria).

10. Address silent inflammation with whole foods nutrition. Systemic inflammation and autoimmunity often go hand-in-hand.

11. Address adrenal fatigue. There is an intimate connection between your thyroid and adrenal glands and it’s uncommon to have hypothyroidism without some level of adrenal fatigue. The thyroid and adrenals are like Frick and Frack – so tightly in cahoots that it’s not effective to address one without the other.

12. Look at your stressors and practice relaxationThe thyroid is a very sensitive gland and is exceptionally reactive to the stress response.

13. Ask for the thyroid collar. The thyroid is sensitive to radiation, so next time you’re getting an x-ray at the dentist, ask for the thyroid collar. Do not let your thyroid get zapped!

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-3139/13-Ways-to-Treat-Hypothyroidism-Naturally.html


NUTRITIONAL DOS AND DON’TS

Autoimmunity or no autoimmunity, drugs or no drugs, it’s vital to treat the thyroid well by eating a thyroid-friendly diet. Here are some of the nutritional recommendations Minneapolis-based holistic nutrition coach Jill Grunewald recommends for her clients.

MACRONUTRIENTS

The big three macronutrients — fat, protein and carbohydrates — all play key roles in regulating thyroid function.

  • A low-fat or nonfat diet or a diet high in nasty trans fats will weaken your immune system and can wreak hormonal havoc. But cholesterol is the precursor to our hormonal pathways, so healthful fats are necessary for energy and hormone production. Quality sources of fat include olives and olive oil, avocados, flaxseeds, fish, nuts and nut butters, hormone- and antibiotic-free full-fat dairy, coconut oil, coconut milk products, grass-fed meats, and many types of wild fish.
  • Protein is required for transporting thyroid hormone through the bloodstream to all your tissues. Protein sources include meat and fish, eggs, dairy, nuts and nut butters, legumes (lentils, beans, etc.), and quinoa.
  • Low-carb diets are not a good choice for those suffering from impaired thyroid function. Decreasing carbohydrate intake leads to diminished levels of T3 hormones, crucial to your metabolism. Try the complex carbs found in vegetables, legumes, fruits and whole grains.

MICRONUTRIENTS

Nutritional deficiencies play a significant role in thyroid dysfunction. While they aren’t the cause of hypothyroidism, not having enough of these micronutrients and minerals can exacerbate symptoms.

  • Vitamin D — Egg yolks, fatty wild fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, halibut and sardines), fortified milk and yogurt, mushrooms, fish liver oils. It’s best to supplement with vitamin D, as since it’s nearly impossible to get everything we need from food sources. An adequate level of vitamin D is essential, as because it helps transport thyroid hormone into cells. (The standard minimum of 32 ng/mL won’t do it, as levels below this can contribute to disruption of hormonal pathways. Optimal vitamin D levels, I believe, are between 50–80 ng/mL.)
  • Iron — Clams, oysters, spinach, white beans, blackstrap molasses, organ meats, pumpkin seeds, lentils
  • Selenium — Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, mushrooms, tuna, organ meats, halibut, beef
  • Zinc — Oysters, sardines, gingerroot, whole grains, beef, lamb, turkey, split peas, sunflower seeds, pecans, Brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts, maple syrup
  • Copper — Beef, oysters, lobster, crabmeat, mushrooms, tomato paste, dark chocolate, barley, sunflower seeds, beans (white beans, chickpeas)
  • Iodine — Primary sources: sea vegetables (kelp, dulse, hijiki, nori, arame, wakame, kombu), safe seafood; secondary sources: eggs, asparagus, lima beans, mushrooms, spinach, sesame seeds, summer squash, chard, garlic

FOODS THAT WEAKEN THYROID FUNCTION

Eating right for thyroid health also means avoiding these foods:

  • By definition, goitrogens are foods that interfere with thyroid function and get their name from the term “goiter,” which means an enlargement of the thyroid gland. If the thyroid is having difficulty making thyroid hormone, it may enlarge as a way to compensate for its inadequate hormone production. Goitrogens include cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, rutabaga and turnips. Though research is limited, it appears cooking helps inactivate goitrogenic compounds, so don’t shun these foods, especially considering their cancer-fighting superpowers. Foods that are less goitrogenic are millet, spinach, strawberries, peaches, watercress, peanuts and soy.
  • Soy is one of the most controversial foods out there. Many believe that it is not fit to consume unless it’s fermented and only then in moderation. Fermented soy includes tempeh, natto (fermented soybeans), miso (fermented soybean paste), and shoyu and tamari (both types of soy sauce). Fermented soy doesn’t block protein digestion like unfermented soy and isn’t a menace to your thyroid. Unfermented soy contains goitrogens, which can stifle thyroid function. Unfermented soy products such as soymilk, soy ice cream, soy nuts and tofu, are reported endocrine disrupters and mimic hormones. Soy blocks the receptor sites in your cells for naturally produced hormones and interrupts the feedback loop throughout your endocrine system.
  • Sugar and caffeine are the terrible twosome. These rascals can do a number on your thyroid by further stressing your system. When you have compromised glands, especially hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue, the last thing you want to do is amp your system with sugar, caffeine and refined carbohydrates like flour-based products, which the body treats like refined sugar.
 https://experiencelife.com/article/repair-your-thyroid/

Grain Free Receipt Blogs:

FYI: Pastured Eggs vs. Pasteurized Eggs

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I needed clarification as I too was confused on the difference:

What’s The Difference?

Pastured eggs come from hens that are born and raised on a pasture. This vast expanse of chicken utopia allows our feathered friends to walk and prance about a large pasture while eating directly from the land – just as Mother Nature herself intended. The end result is pastured eggs consisting of richer yolks and livelier whites.

Pasteurized eggs, on the other hand, refers to the process of pasteurization, which consist of heating the egg for a set amount of time before immediately cooling it down to combat spoilage resulting from microbial growth. An example of this would be heating an egg yolk in the microwave to kill pesky bacteria without actually cooking the yolk. This is a process that’s fairly common when whipping up a batch of mayonnaise.

As you can see, the terms “pastured eggs” and “pasteurized eggs” might sound similar when spoken aloud, but they mean two incredibly different things.

http://blog.sigonas.com/2012/03/09/pastured-eggs-vs-pasteurized-eggs-whats-the-difference/

Free Range vs. Pastured Eggs

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Eggs are one of the most economical ways to increase the nutrients in your family’s diet. Eggs are full of vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin E, omega 3 fatty acids, beta carotene, cholesterol (which is good for you), and saturated fat (also good for you).

Why Pastured Eggs?
I don’t just buy any eggs. I only buy pastured eggs from local farmers who keep their chickens outdoors and let them roam around in the sun, eating bugs. I also only buy eggs from farmers who do not feed their chickens soy.

From what I had read, organic free range eggs were the best.

I knew supermarket eggs were bad. The chickens are crowded in cages. They don’t even have room to move or turn around. They’re pumped with antibiotics and fed genetically modified feed. They’re sick and very unhealthy — which is why it’s so common to find salmonella with factory farm chickens and eggs.

So I always bought “organic” “free range” eggs. It was about a year and a half ago that I discovered truly pastured eggs. The definition of “free range” or “cage free” is that they give the chickens “access to the outdoors”. What does that mean? Uh, nothing. Do they really go outside? No, usually not. They’re crowded into large, windowless sheds and they rarely ever go outside.

They may be “organic” and “cage free” but these are not truly healthy birds. Since they’re not given antibiotics, they are very susceptible to disease. The people who work at these “big organic” chicken farms have to wear cleanroom suits when they go in to visit the birds.

Here’s the thing: chickens need to be outdoors to get vitamin D from the sun. Chickens are also not vegetarians. You always see egg crates boasting a “vegetarian diet”. Guess what, folks? Chickens are supposed to eat bugs and worms. That’s where they are supposed to get their protein!

It was around that time that I discovered this article, Meet Real Free Range Eggs on the Mother Earth News website. They did a study in which they compared the nutrients in real pastured eggs to supermarket eggs.

Just look at these numbers! Compared to supermarket eggs (from factory farms), real pastured eggs have:

5 times more vitamin D
2/3 more vitamin A
2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
3 times more vitamin E
7 times more beta carotene

But What About the Cost?
It’s true that pastured eggs cost more. But isn’t it obvious that it is worth it? You’d have to eat 5 supermarket eggs to get the same amount of vitamin D from one pastured egg. You may be able to buy a dozen eggs for a buck or two at the grocery store, but you get what you pay for. The national average for pastured eggs is about $4-5 per dozen. However, they are worth that in terms of nutrient density.

I did a little figuring to see how economical pastured eggs really are.

Let’s say you pay $5 for a dozen pastured eggs. That means each egg costs about 42 cents. A “large” egg is about 2 ounces, so you’re paying 20 cents per ounce.

Twenty cents, people. How does that compare to other foods of a similar nutrient density? (The prices are based on what we pay here in California.)

Raw grass fed organic butter ($8 per pound): 50 cents per ounce
Raw grass fed organic cream ($7 per pint): 44 cents per ounce
Pasteurized grass fed butter – ($5 per pound): 31 cents per ounce
Grass fed organic ground beef ($4 per pound): 25 cents per ounce
Grass fed organic beef liver ($3 per pound): 19 cents per ounce
Raw grass fed organic milk ($10.50 per gallon): 8 cents per ounce

Where Do You Find Real Pastured Eggs?
When I made the switch from free range eggs to real pastured eggs, I had no idea where to get them. I had no idea that they were right under my nose at the local farmer’s market. (I’m pretty sure one of them does feed his birds soy, so I only buy from the other two, Rocky Canyon and Healthy Family Farms.)

http://www.cheeseslave.com/how-to-buy-organic-eggs-pastured-vs-free-range-eggs/

Reduce & Manage Stress

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1. Have Fun

This is the most basic and easiest way to reduce your stress level.  It sounds simple, but many people don’t practice it enough.  To me, this means spending time with my kids, cooking, climbing mountains, talking with my wife, or even biohacking.  I’ll cover this more later in the series, but for new realize that it’s common for adults to forget to spend time having fun. Family and career considerations – and the ever-present email waiting for replies – can suck the fun out of life. It’s your job to schedule fun time the same way you schedule meetings.

2. Synchronize Your Heart & Brain with Heart Math

This is my “Honda daily driver” of brain upgrades. There are more expensive, sexier ways to hack your stress, but nothing comes close the the  Heart Math technology when it comes to reliably training your heart and brain to work together.  A healthy, relaxed person has high heart rate variability (HRV)  which means that amount of time between each heart beat is different with each beat.  Low heart rate variability is a sign of intense stress.  When your sympathetic nervous system is under stress, your body will release stress hormones, and your heart develops an inflexible unchanging beat. This state is correlated with a host of diseases and even overall mortality from all causes.

The emWave2 is a device smaller than an iPhone which uses infrared sensors to calculate your HRV.  When you have low HRV, a red light appears.  Your job is to do everything possible to make the light turn green while following the device’s guidance, which steers you to breathe in and out every five seconds.  You can also listen to music to help, meditate (See #3), or do anything else you can think of that doesn’t make you move around a lot.  Spending at least ten minutes every day working with your heart rate variability is transformative. Doing it before bed can fix sleep problems, and it can help with emotional eating, daily stress, and even physical performance. This technology changed my life and career. It is simple to do and everyone I’ve ever known who did it for a month had huge positive changes in the way they felt and the way they treated others simply because they learned to consciously control their fight or flight responses. This stuff belongs in every school.

3. Meditation

The goal of meditation is to become more mindful, be more directive and choiceful with your attention and responsive (not reactive) to your thoughts.  Meditation allows you to identify, observe, and master your emotions.  Instead of blindly reacting to outside stimuli, you can optimize your thought process and react as you see fit.

Several ways to practice mediation are counting, reciting mantras, breathing, practicing mindfulness and positive self talk.

You can reduce the amount of stress you experience through mindfulness of your thoughts and feelings.  At the same time, you become better able to cope with the stress you still face. When you learn to meditate right (hint: Heart Math is a head start), the stressful voices in your head start to silence themselves.

In fact, mine are gone. There is silence when I want it, available on demand, at any time. No songs stuck in my head, no critical voices from my past, no worrying. Just me.

4. Pranayama Yoga

“When the Breath wanders, the mind is unsteady, but when the Breath is still, so is the mind still.”

– Hatha Yoga Pradipika

You need to learn how to breathe.  Most people suck in air using the intercostal muscles of their chest.  The right way to breathe is with your diaphragm, also known as belly breathing.  This kind of breathing helps you relax and control your heart rate.

The best way to describe this type of breathing is to describe Pranayama Yoga.

Pranayama is the art of Yoga breathing.  One of the five aspects of yoga is breath control.  According to pranayama yoga, there are three kinds of breathing:

High Breathing.

This is also known as clavicular, or collarbone breathing.  This means you are breathing primarily with the upper chest and lungs.  High breathing is shallow and inefficient, since a large amount of oxygen fails to reach the lower lung. This is the worst form of breathing, and it is the one you revert to when stressed or angry.

Low Breathing

This is the best possible form of breathing.  It utilizes your lower abdomen and diaphragm to pull air in and out of your lungs.  To practice low breathing, breathe into your stomach as you suck air through your nose, and your stomach will compress first on your exhale, following the breath up.  Your chest and shoulder blades will not move much – only your stomach.

Middle Breathing

As you might expect, this is somewhere in between high and low breathing.  It’s “better” than the former, but not as good as the latter.

There are four phases of proper breathing.

1. Inhale (Puraka in yoga-speak)

This should be a continuous, long breath.

2. Pause & hold (Abhyantara Kumbhaka)

This is a pause before exhaling.  You should not move any muscle during this process.

3. Exhale (Rechaka)

This should be a controlled, relaxed, continuous exhale.

4. Pause After Exhaling (Bahya Kumbhaka)

This is just like the first pause and starts the cycle over again.

Controlled breathing is a great first step to mastering stress. Even a few minutes a day, done for 2 weeks, can have amazing effects. Add it to your morning routine and see what happens.

You can use this technique any time you experience discomfort or tension.  Instead of kicking a trash can or thinking dark thoughts about that screaming baby in the airport when your flight gets delayed, take a few slow deep breaths and put your focus only on what it is like to breathe.  You’ll feel better – I guarantee it.

You can learn more about Pranayama Yoga by clicking here.

My favorite two breathing techniques are:

The One Minute Breath

  • Breathe in to the diaphragm for 20 seconds.
  • Hold for 20 seconds
  • Exhale for 20 seconds

4-4-6-2 Breath

  • Breathe in to the diaphragm through the back of the throat for 4 seconds
  • Hold for 4 seconds
  • Breathe out slowly through the back of the throat for 6 seconds
  • Hold empty breath for 2 or more seconds

At first, it is common to feel like you’re going to die when you hold your lungs without air in them for even a second or two. Your brain rewires itself to be calmer when you practice slow breathing.

5. Art of Living

The Art of Living Foundation is a global resource for people trying to reduce stress.  Their key principle is that “Unless we have a stress-free mind and a violence-free society, we cannot achieve world peace.”  It was founded in 1981 by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, a spiritual leader who in 2010, was named the fifth most influential person in India by Forbes Magazine.

Their introductory course is focused on simple breathing exercises to give you “more energy to handle the stress of daily life.”  There are workshops all around in the world where Art of Living practitioners work with you to perfect your breathing.  If you are interested in trying the course, click here.

It’s a simple, repeatable method used by 25 million people worldwide to reduce stress, including severe stress like that found in war survivors. It works, and it is not a cult or a religion in any way, or I wouldn’t recommend it.

https://www.bulletproofexec.com/hack-stress/

Hack Your Hangover

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BulletproofAlcoholInfographic_R00141223_draft15 Steps To Hack Your Hangover

Step 1 (optional): Choose the alcohol that will cause the least hangover problems.

There are tons of types of alcohol but the most common ones are represented here. What you choose can make a huge difference in how you feel the next morning. Some alcohols have a lot more toxic byproducts from fermentation than others. They are, in order from best to worstVodka, gin, tequila, whiskey, other distilled spirits, dry cider, dry champagne, dry white wine, white wines, red wines, dessert wines, beer.

Tragically, beer has the most toxins of any common alcoholic beverage…

Step 2: Hydrate heavily by drinking a glass of water for every serving of alcohol you consume – ideally at the same time or right after.

Before you can eliminate toxins, your body dilutes them with water so they don’t harm you on the way out.  The water either comes from your tissues or water you drink – so drink water.

Step 3: (critical) Block the conversion of alcohol into aldehyde, the most hangover-causing metabolite that also causes very fast aging, wrinkles, etc.

Before each drink, take one Vitamin C capsule, along with a capsule of Unfair Advantage.

Step 4: Do more if you want.

Best:  The most powerful detoxer for the liver I know of is lipoceutical glutathione. That’s what I use if I drink.

Good: Add Vitamin B-1 and/or Alpha Lipoic Acid and/or  N-Acetyl Cysteine before each drink, or at least before your first and after your last drink.  Those links have the correct dosages and are low cost per drink (I recommend those ones for fastest absorption.)

Step 5: Mop Up What’s Left.

Take 4 capsules of Activated Charcoal after you’re done drinking (or if you chose beer or wine, take 1 capsule with each drink).

https://www.bulletproofexec.com/alcohol-without-the-hangover-bulletproof-partying-business-networking/