· Sleep 8 hours a night so you aren’t living on cortisol. In the 1920s the average American slept 9 hours a night. We have not evolved physically since then, instead we allow artificial light and activities to distract us from sleep. Lack of sleep leads to high cortisol, stress and obesity. Sleeping in a dark room or with a blindfold has been shown to be more beneficial.
· Clean up your diet because sugars and starches can increase cortisol and give you false energy. While there is no single diet that is right for all individuals, none of us need sugar, trans fats or processed foods. Look for foods that your great-grandmother would recognize as food. Eat real food, mostly well-mineralized vegetables, high quality protein and not too much.
· Avoid caffeine, yerba mate, Red Bull or other artificial stimulants. You want your energy to come from within.
· Take bitters (radicchio, decaf, a slice of lime in water where you bite the peel, angostura bitters, Fernet branca) before meals. Bitter tastes cue the body to produce bile, to digest fats, to move food through the gut (where most serotonin is made) and prevents waste metabolites from being reabsorbed.
· Exercise regularly, especially engaging your mind and spirit in your movements. Yoga, tai chi and qi gong are examples of intentional exercise, but you can apply your mind and spirit to any kind of exercise by projecting your thoughts into the movement and gathering energies from the earth and sun. Interval training is the most time-effective form of exercise, where intense bursts of exercise for a few minutes are interspersed with moderate aerobic activity. Strength training is important to build muscle mass. Stretching helps the body recover
· Take anti-inflammatory fish oil, sufficient to get 1000 mg DHA (several capsules.) This makes your cell membranes more permeable to serotonin and nutrients.
· We are nearly all deficient in Vitamin D. Without a blood test you can take up to 10,000 iu per day of Vitamin D3, unless you have scleroderma, lymphoma or abnormal calcium metabolism
· Magnesium is calming and has dropped by a third since the 70s in the food supply. It is more important to supplement than calcium. Take 800 mg in the absorbable forms of Magnesium citrate or orotate, or ionic magnesium.
· Trace minerals are important. Use ionic minerals, sea salt, stinging nettles, and sea vegetables. Leafy greens and edible weeds are also good sources.
· Have a genuine spiritual practice that allows you to get deep into your source. Meditation or contemplative prayer help balance activity.
· Have a community you are active in, where friends support you and help you when you are down. If you help others, your own problems will seem less draining.