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A Morning Routine Must

Whether it’s a morning routine, bedtime routine, or meal prep routine, I think the routines we build play a significant role in our health and happiness. But I’ve recently discovered something that I now believe should be incorporated into everyone’s morning routine. Something that kickstarts our day into peak alertness, clarity, and energy. And something that will downregulate our body at nighttime for optimal sleep. And it’s not only free but accessible to everyone. Let me introduce you to… the morning walk. Now I know you were probably expecting something cool like a superfood energy supplement or a Bikram yoga power flow but let me explain why the morning walk is all that and more. All of us have a circadian rhythm which is like a 24-hour internal clock. And based upon the time of day, our circadian rhythm will regulate our… Read More

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How to Like Healthy Food… Even Vegetables

If I asked the average person to try my daily oatmeal bowl, salad dish, cup of soup or even my black bean brownie, most of them wouldn’t immediately fall in love with it. They’d much rather stick to their processed cereals, oil dressed salads, heavily salted soups and sugar laced brownies. And when I say, “much rather,” I mean they’d cling to their current favorite foods as if their life would be over without them. Honestly, it’s a little disturbing once you understand the science behind it. But for those who’ve adopted a whole foods plant-based diet, these same healthy meals that processed food lovers dislike, are thoroughly enjoyable. So, why is it that healthy people enjoy healthy foods more than the average American? Why is it that so many people seem to be nearly addicted to these highly processed foods? And how can you not only like healthy… Read More

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Optimal Sauna Usage for Longevity

I always used to think that sauna users were just lazy gym goers who didn’t feel like lifting weights or crushing cardio. Instead, they’d rather sit down in a nice warm and cozy sauna, and pretend like they’re losing weight… which obviously would be gained back with the next bottle of water consumed. But, after spending a week going through much of the scientific literature and attending four sauna sessions, my perspective has done a 180. Can sauna usage be used for lifespan extension? Disease prevention? And improved immunity? And if so, what are the appropriate parameters for optimal sauna usage? Well, I got the answers. Let’s get into it! Many places that offer sauna sessions often promote a multitude of benefits ranging from detoxification, skin rejuvenation, and weight loss, all the way to improved cardiovascular function, improved… Read More

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Sleep Efficiency – Are You Sleeping Enough?

We should all be getting 8 hours of sleep, right? Kind of, sort of, yea that’s mostly right depending on your age. It’s a rule of thumb we all understand. So, if I go to bed at 11pm and wake up at 7am then I’ve hit my 8-hour sleep goal, right? Wrong. Today I’m going to explain sleep efficiency, why you’re likely calculating your sleep duration wrong, and why you may need to spend more time in bed. And I’m going to do that all with some fancy charts, fun facts, and maybe a joke or two. Let’s get into it! Our sleep duration is the amount of time we spend asleep. And below are the sleep duration recommendations provided by both the CDC and the National Sleep Foundation. Although everyone’s sleep requirements are slightly different, there’s a 99% chance you fall within these guidelines. But there are a few genetic mutations of DEC2, ADRB1, or NPSR1… Read More

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How I Pick 401k Investments

The other week my employer’s financial advisor held a retirement training session for all the employees. His goal was to describe the investment options available to us through our organization’s 403b plan (a 401k for non-profits). In doing so, he made a broad recommendation that the best investment option for all employees was a target date fund. And I thought about this and was like he’s not wrong… but he’s also not right. This may be the best option for employees who are new to investing or want a set-it-and-forget-it option, which is most people I’d say, but there was something here that made me cringe just a little bit. Normally I’m all about target date funds if they’re low-cost. But our target date fund options aren’t. And if you’re willing to spend 1 hour per year reviewing your investment portfolio, you could easily save an… Read More

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Coffee and Caffeine… Healthy?

The consumption of moderate amounts of coffee increase energy availability, energy expenditure, physical performance, motor performance, cognitive performance, alertness, wakefulness, feelings of energy, concentration, focus, short-term memory, problem solving, decision making accuracy, and neuromuscular coordination and while decreasing physical fatigue, mental fatigue, and risk of dementia, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and mortality. And yet, I’ve never once consumed a cup of coffee. Never buddied up with the world’s best friend Joe. I’ve stayed away from caffeine for nearly all my life despite the publicized benefits of coffee and caffeine. And it’s made me wonder, have I made the right decision? Am I missing out on America’s healthiest beverage? And should I start consuming coffee? Well, I did a lot of digging and… Read More

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2 Steps To Maintain A Habit Forever

If you find yourself in a lot of debt, struggling with financials, without an easy way out, you may think that a quick influx of cash would solve your issues. If you could be reset back to the baseline, then there’s no way you’d get yourself in that situation again. But many times, that’s not the case. Take lottery winners for example. Research cited by the Washington Post says that up to 70% of large lottery winners go bankrupt within 5 years. One day all your financial issues are solved, and within a few years you’re right back to where you started. What about those who are obese or overweight? Many of those people say that if they could reset themselves to a healthy weight, it’d be much easier for them to maintain it and keep themselves from becoming overweight again. But this too isn’t the case. Take extreme caloric restriction or crash diets as… Read More

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3 Steps To Build A Habit Today

The other weekend I was helping my brother clean and declutter our parent’s house. Apparently, he’s like the male Marie Kondo of our family. And while we decluttered the Zerbe household, we stumbled upon a pile of notebooks that seemed pretty old and started to page through them. We quickly figured out it was my dad’s old notebooks from when he was a teenager in high school. We saw his fishing log, random to-do lists, and even a highly detailed mechanical drawing of a boat engine. No idea what he was thinking back then. Maybe he used that drawing to impress my once single mom into going on a boat outing. 🤷 If so, I guess it worked. But shortly after that we saw his workout programs outlined with exercises, sets, and reps. This was pretty neat! And then we saw his progression documented not only by his weights increasing as he got… Read More

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The Story In My Head

At times, I forget how much I enjoy nothing. And by nothing, I don’t mean putting on a mindless tv show or watching my favorite YouTuber. I don’t mean using technology as an escape or activities as a distraction. I mean the exact opposite. I mean going for a walk without headphones in. Or driving in the car without the radio on. Or sitting on a bench at a park in silence. Or standing in my living room, leaning against the wall, looking out the window. I mean excluding myself from all external stimuli to pay attention to the thoughts running through my head. To spend time examining the feelings I’m having and stories I’m telling myself. To enjoy the slow rush of peacefulness that floods over my mind. It’s weird to explain, but in these moments there’s this calmness I experience that I can only describe as serenity. It’s an untroubled, unstressed… Read More

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Average American Expenses. How Do You Compare?

Have you played the latest Call of Duty Warzone game? Or Minecraft or Animal Crossing? I’m sure they’re great games but would be even better with a newer console and upgraded controller. Have you gotten a pet lately? They’re fun and loving but would be cuter with a new collar, toys, and obviously a hot dog bed (🌭 + 🛏️). What about an indoor garden? With dozens of plants that require new pots and shelves and fertilizer. These were a few of the hottest consumer trends throughout the past year that nearly everyone participated in. Trends that cost most people hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Trends fueled by relentless consumer marketing, personal fear of missing out (on the hot dog bed), and lack of financial education. Well, as I watched these trends pass by on the sideline… distracted by my fear of missing out on the perfect sleeping posture… Read More

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