What does it mean to live an optimal lifestyle?
It’s living a life of strength and health, both physically and mentally, while trying to remove as much stress and negative emotions as possible. While that definition may sound simple, actually achieving optimization is extremely HARD! That’s because life is well – it’s HARD! We have bills to pay, mouths to feed, bosses to please, and yet we still need to find time for own personal development. So yes, it can be HARD, to find the time for everything especially for ourself…
But luckily for you, I have been pursuing this optimal lifestyle for several years and as a result I have made some discoveries that have had a huge impact in my overall health, strength and happiness. Because these discoveries or “life hacks” worked so well for me, there is a high probability that they will work just as well for you!
So, without any further ad0… These “life hacks” are:
2016 has become the “YEAR OF THE KETTLEBELL”!…
This year, I have completed two high-level kettlebell certifications, StrongFirst (SFG) and Strength Matters (SMK). This means that the majority of my strength training over the past 8-months has been strictly kettlebells. The result? I have never felt stronger! But it is more than just an improvement in overall strength, I now also have better range-of-motion, increased balance, increased body awareness, improved cardio, a stronger mind and I have become harder to kill! It’s true! I completed SEALFIT’s 20x challenge despite having done little-to-none of their recommended training. How is this possible? Well in the Hardstyle-kettlebell world this is known as the “What the Hell” effect.
The “What the Hell” effect, is when someone does mainly kettlebell training but has significant improvements in non-related kettlebell activities. Sure these are antidotal stories but they are all over the place. For example many people have done nothing but kettlebell swings and turkish getups and increased their max deadlift, did their first pull-up, and even improved their time 5k running time, and the list goes on and on…
So if you are looking for the ultimate workout, it’s hard to find something better than kettlebells!
How to start:
Kettlebells are a great way to exercise and extremely safe provided you learn how to do the movements properly. So find the nearest certified SFG or SMK trainer to learn the basics. Then once you learn the basics it will be only a matter of time before you experience your own “what the hell” effect!
2. Bulletproof Coffee
Out of all the “hacks” that are listed in this blog post, bulletproof coffee is not only the most delicious it might also be the most beneficial. Bulletproof coffee allows you to receive all the benefits of fasting (intermitted fasting) while providing you energy and most importantly keeping you satiated.
I am not going to go into any real detail about the science behind fasting, so if you want to know more please read this and this. If you don’t care about the science all you need to know is this — drinking bulletproof coffee allows you to easily fast for 16-to-18 hrs everyday. Why is this important? Because while you are fasting, you are burning FAT!!!
Benefits of drinking Bulletproof Coffee
- The fat from the butter satisfies your hunger, while allowing for proper hormonal functions. Not to mention that the fat allows for a slower absorption of the caffeine from the coffee which prevents the coffee “jitters” and gives you more consistent energy through out the day.
- MCT oil – This oil converts to Ketones which is an energy source preferred by the brain. The result? More mental clarity and another source of energy.
- Caffeine – No explanation needed, we all love caffeine and we all know the benefits…
- It is delicious!!!
How to start:
Brew your favorite cup of coffee, add some butter (1 to 2 table spoons), add some MCT oil (1 to 2 table spoons), blend until frothy, then enjoy!
For more information: http://www.bulletproof.com/
3. Grounding (or Earthing)
Have you ever noticed that anytime you walk barefoot through the sand or grass you seem to immediately feel better both physically and even emotionally? Well this is because walking on the ground barefoot is actually really good for you, it’s called grounding (or earthing)…
This is a controversial subject but the truth is we have lost contact with the earth. Think about it – We live in cities, walking on concrete or carpet (and many other types of flooring) most of the time, usually wearing rubber soled shoes, so it should come as no surprise that our feet (or skin) rarely makes direct contact with the ground.
The idea behind grounding is we, just like our electronics, need a “ground” to release excess energy. Like I mentioned, this subject has many skeptics but the truth is, walking on the earth barefoot makes you feel better almost immediately. And if you don’t believe me, go try it!
How to start:
Find a patch of grass (or sand, or dirt), take off your shoes and just walk around for 10-mins!
4. Audio books (or podcasts) on double speed
Do you want to get smart? Then listen to audio books. Do you want to get smarter faster? Then listen to audio books on double speed!
In a world of information ignorance is a choice
We are surrounded by a wealth of knowledge, but we often fail to pick up a book because it is hard to find the time to sit still and read. The solution to this problem is the audio book! Audio books are amazing because they allow you to learn while doing mundane tasks such as commuting back and forth to work, cleaning the house, doing yard work, waiting in line at the DMV or running on the treadmill.
For an audio book all you need is your phone, which I am guessing never leaves your side and a pair of earbuds. Suddenly some of the most boring tasks, become opportunities to learn. And it gets better! Most audio books are recorded with the speaker speaking really slow. This means that you can easily understand the book on double speed. So now you can listen to an 8-hour book in just 4-hours. And it gets better still! If you really enjoy the book, listen to it twice on double speed. So in the time it would take you to listen to in once on normal speed you can listen to the book twice, giving you an even greater understanding of the material!
5. Meditation/Breathing/Cold Water Therapy
I put these 3 in the same category because they complement each other very well and produce similar results. The results are: Mindfulness (increases focus), reduced stress, improved sleep, improved immune function, improved happiness, mental clarity, improved body awareness, greater connection of your mind and body, improved circulation and expanded consciousness.
Meditation – The goal of meditation is to focus on nothing! That’s right! And it is much harder than you think. But the more you do it the better you feel because you are giving your mind a chance to clam down.
Tools to help you with meditation:
- Muse – I have used this device for about 1.5 years and I absolutely love it! It give you real time feedback on your meditation! This feedback allows you to make corrections immediately which means you get better at meditating very quickly!
- Binaural beats – Are an audio “biohack” that help your change the frequency of your brain waves. For example, the best mediations happen when your brain is operating at the frequency of 3Hz-to-8Hz which is also known as the Theta State. Binaural beats produce a frequency (there are many different frequencies to choose from) which helps your brain arrive at at its desired state. The app I use can be found here. I also just discovered some amazing Binaural audio tracks created by Aubrey Marcus and Cory Allen which also include a couple of guided meditations, and these can be found here.
- Headspace – This is an app for your phone that provide lots of guided meditations. While I personally have not tried this app yet, the reviews are outstanding. There is a free 10-day trial. I am starting my trial ASAP!
Deep Breathing Exercises – Improves circulation of oxygen throughout the body which increases overall energy and mental clarity. It also helps release endorphins, decrease stress, improves sleep. Helps improve focus, and increases brain function.
Cold Water Therapy – Improves circulation, improves immune system, improves sleep, improves cold tolerance, and most importantly it makes you tougher!
Tools to help you with Breathing and Cold Water Therapy:
Wim Hof Method – I did this about 5-months ago and it has changed my life! I was never able to deal with cold water, now I search it out…First watch this:
If you find what Wim did interesting, I highly recommend you check out his website and join his 10-week challenge. It will be the best $200 you have ever spent!
6. Book – You are the Placebo
This is by far the most influential book I have ever read! Unfortunately there is no audio version, however you can get a ebook which means you can read it ASAP. You can find the book here.
I have just recently started composting and let me tell you, it’s fascinating! You take most of your food waste – egg shells, vegetable scraps, yard scraps, coffee grinds, and even certain paper products, put it in a container, mix it up and before you know it, you have this amazing nutrient rich soil! It is like watching the circle of life happen before your eyes. What starts out as “dead waste” soon becomes thriving with life. The best part, is I use the compost to provide nutrients to my yard, which I then practice grounding on. I am not sure if there is any scientific proof to this practice but it sure seems that they healthy your yard, the healthy you become!
How to start:
Get yourself a composting tumbler and begin! It’s that simple. The tumbler I use is this one.
These 7 “Life hacks” have played an enormous role in the quality of my life and the best part, they are relativity simple to-do and fairly inexpensive. So I highly encourage you to give this “hacks” an honest try. However I understand there is a chance these hacks won’t work as well for you as they did for me and that is OK, we are all very different. But before you make that decision I encourage you to try for at least 30-days before giving-up. If these hack do work for you let me know, I would love to hear your story. Now go get started!!!