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How to Like Healthy Food… Even Vegetables
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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

Optimal Sauna Usage for Longevity
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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

Sleep Efficiency – Are You Sleeping Enough?
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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

How I Pick 401k Investments
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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

Coffee and Caffeine… Healthy?
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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

2 Steps To Maintain A Habit Forever
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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

3 Steps To Build A Habit Today
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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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