Wellness

I started following Brittany on Instagram a long time ago and was instantly drawn to her because she offers such tangible tricks and tips to live your best life – something I stand for and you know that if you’ve been following along here. Brittany is Nutritionist, biohacker, and podcaster. She helps her clients optimize their hormones, gut, and skin.

So I was very excited that she agreed to come on the All Gussied Up podcast to discuss it all from skin to the benefits of sunning to cold baths for your face and body.

In the episode, you’ll learn how she got into nutrition and biohacking, what the top biohacks are for optimal health, and she recommends a sunscreen that is a new favorite of mine.

With that, I invite you to listen to our conversation HERE.

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Wow wow wow…LIGHT is such a huge topic…especially for me recently. It all started when I listened to Matt Blackburn’s podcast episode about the changes he would make if he had cancer (edit to read: HOW TO NOT GET CANCER) <– but we know of the censorship that goes on. Zipping my lips on that now.

Anyway, in Matt’s podcast episode he spent quite awhile discussing light and how it affects our cells, our eyesight, and our circadian rhythm. Much of the information I had no idea about, such as how bad most LED lights are for humans (and animals, too), and how red light can benefit everyone. I will be writing a whole blog post on light another time, but today we are focusing in on red light.

So let’s break it down and get into specifics.

What is red light therapy?

Red light therapy is also known as RLT, photobiomodulation (PBM), low level light therapy (LLLT), biostimulation, and photonic stimulation or light box therapy.

Red light therapy uses specific wavelengths of light to accomplish various outcomes.

Studies have shown that different wavelengths affect the body in different ways, and the most effective wavelengths of red light seem to be between 650-850 nm.

How Does Red Light Therapy Work?

These specific wavelengths of red light create a biochemical affect in our cells that serves to increase mitochondrial function. This improves ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production in the body.

Why should that matter?

ATP is the source of energy for every cell in the body. Without it, we don’t function at all. Without enough of it, we don’t function well.

When your red light(s’s wavelengths range is between 650-850, the light penetrates about 8-10 millimeters into the skin which can positively affect all skin layers, blood vessels, lymphs, and hair follicles. {via}

The History of red light therapy

Red light therapy is not new, but it wasn’t really talked about in the US for a long time. In 1903, a Nobel Prize of Medicine was given to a scientist by the name of Niels Finsen for the use of light therapy; once known as photo therapy. Research progressed and by the 1960s photo therapy – was being used primarily in Eastern Europe for treatment of chronic pain, arthritis and associated conditions, joint rehabilitation, and soft-tissue injury along with other medical ailments. During this same time this therapy was being used in a small sector of the United States by equestrian practices for animals with joint and soft tissue injury. When I was researching the history of red light therapy, I saw that there are many studies done in Russian that have not been translated to English and aren’t really shared in the US.

The benefits of red light therapy

These are all evidence-based benefits:

♡ Beneficial for skin to reduce eczema, rosacea, and acne

♡ Stimulates slow healing wounds.

♡ Helps fade scars and stretch marks.

♡ Can prevent recurring cold sores, or herpes simplex.

♡ Red light activates the lymphatic system for potentially improved detoxification.

♡ It helps to repair sun damage.

♡ Helps with sleep.

Personally I have noticed that I am getting WAY better sleep and I feel more energized in the morning using red light bulbs. The only lights in our bedroom are red, so if the lights are on, they are red and we only use them at night and just allow the natural sunlight to provide light during the day.

I also feel so much more relaxed at night. Red light is so much less jarring than bright lights and I really noticed the contrast when I went in to another room after being in red light flooded bedroom. It was a JOLT, let me tell you. Since then, we have replaced all light bulbs to either red or yellow. More on that when I share more about light in general.

Where to get red lights

Red light therapy usually refers to using a panel of red light, although you can purchase red light bulbs that will provide many of the same benefits as using a panel.

There are many options for an at home red light therapy device (panel) but after doing quite a bit of research, GembaRed is superior.

If you’re looking to purchase red light bulbs, avoid LED lights and go for A19 bulbs. Unfortunately home improvement stores such as Home Depot and Lowes don’t always carry this kind of light bulb but you can find them on lightbulbs.com which is where I purchase all of our bulbs. Here are the ones that we use in the bedroom. No dirty electricity/EMFs from these lights.

Have you used red light therapy? What are your thoughts?

xo, Lynn

More sources:

  1. A Controlled Trial to Determine the Efficacy of Red and Near-Infrared Light Treatment in Patient Satisfaction, Reduction of Fine Lines, Wrinkles, Skin Roughness, and Intradermal Collagen Density Increase
  2. Red Light and the Sleep Quality and Endurance

Rosacea is a real bitch to deal with. Let me tell ya, because I have dealt with it since the age of 10. Riiiight as I began to go through puberty, I was also slapped in the face with rosacea – literally.

So since I am an expert on the topic, I have some tips for you to help you deal with rosacea.

First things first, what is it? Rosacea is a common chronic skin condition characterized by flushing and skin redness on the face. Key symptoms are facial redness with swollen red bumps and small visible blood vessels.

Fun shit, right?

There is no magic potion to treat rosacea, HOWEVER, it can be managed with diet and the right products.

SO TA-DA, my top 3 tips to deal with rosacea:

♡ Remove or reduce inflammatory foods. When I did this for other reasons (overall health), my rosacea immediately got better. I used to have textured skin where I have rosacea – which is on my cheeks – but that went way down after I cut out gluten, processed dairy, vegetable oils, and processed foods. Of course I still cheat and eat processed foods sometimes, but cleaning up my diet has resulted in big improvements for my skin. Not only for my rosacea but also for my keratosis pilaris.

I feel like in the health community, the gut and diet is not addressed first, and it really should be. You know that term ‘you are what you eat’…? It’s so true and I have experienced the positive affects of eating well to help this issue.

I could write a whole post on cutting out processed foods, but here are some important tidbits that have helped me over the last several years:

  • Dairy: this food group is known to be inflammatory and I cut it out completely 5 years ago for 3 reasons: ethically I didn’t feel good about it (that has since changed), physically I felt sick eating dairy, and then the inflammation piece. Since then, I have learned that raw milk and cheese is the clean and obviously not processed. There is a gross-out factor for me, but if you love milk and cheese, look into raw.
  • Cut out packaged foods with more than one ingredient.
  • Eggs: totally a staple in our house. Most of the nutrition is in the yolks, so don’t leave those out. Try to avoid the carton white eggs.
  • Stick to unprocessed meats: we literally JUST cut out bacon. I know, SAD FUCKING DAY. I don’t restrict when I eat out, but at home, I make breakfast sausage using spices and ground turkey instead.
  • Fish: Most fish is considered clean, just be careful of the mercury content found in most fish today. Make sure that you are buying sustainably. Check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium web site for up to date info on what fish is safe to purchase in any given season.

♡ Clean your water. Yep, your water. After reading Hidden Epidemic and doing further research on disparaging minerals found in our water such as fluoride, I purchased this water filter for drinking water and this shower filter. The combination has seriously helped to improve my rosacea but also my overall skin health (and internal health), because we should not be ingesting and absorbing the shitty chemicals found in basic drinking water and bathing water. I will write a full blog post on this topic soon!

♡ Vitamin E oil and cream. Omigod this is this a skin saver. I just started using Vitamin E oil and cream after learning more about the amazing benefits of Vtiamin E. It is anti-inflammatory when ingested and it provides insane benefits for the skin when applied topically. It tones down redness and strengthens skin barrier functions. It’s also SUPER moisturizing, so I only use a liberal amount of pure Vitamin E at night. During the day, I do use a tiny amount as it protects the skin from the sun.

If you’re struggling with rosacea, try these tips. You will not be disappointed. I make it a point to share things that actually work here, and not things that are 85869603020 million dollars.

Off to slather my face with Vitamin E!

xo,
Lynn

Woah boy is this a big topic…one that I have wanted to write about for a long time.

WHY I QUIT VEGANISM.

If you’re vegan or if you’re not vegan, I hope that this post helps you in one way or another. I’ve compiled facts and resources for you if you’re inclined to dig deeper and do more research on this topic. More on that as we go.

2000 was the year that I stopped eating all red meat after my family and I drove by Harris Ranch on I-5 as we traveled to LA from Northern California. Seeing those cows packed into confinement made me so angry. I declared right then and there that I was done with red meat. Looking back, I totally get that this was Speciesism. 

But I stuck to my word and never touched red meat again…after one last In ‘n Out burger because they were my FAVORITE. Spoiler: I wish I knew better and did not stop because NOW I am grossed out by it and don’t have the desire to eat red meat. 

I continued with everything else though: poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy. Just no beef.

In 2014 I decided to go vegan for ethical reasons. I hate the idea of exploiting animals. By the beginning of 2016, my body was screaming at me to stop. I spent several months prior to quitting veganism trying to ignore my body’s cues. I experienced extremely dry skin, indigestion almost all of the time even after eating the ‘right’ combinations of foods and eating little to no ‘junk’, fatigue, and the list goes on. Side note: one of the junky foods I would eat a lot were Beast Burgers from Beyond Meat. Finally an option packed with protein! Until I came to learn that Beyond Meat products are packed with bad-for-you ingredients. Occasionally I’d cheat and eat fish. To my dismay, I would feel SO. MUCH. BETTER. My digestive issues resolved, and I felt satiated. The way that I felt started to really nag at me and I constantly weighed my options: feel good in my body but feel guilty AF about the impact of my choices. 

I lumped animal products into one evil category of factory farming. You know those horrifying videos of animals being abused. I have not watched one purposely and I never want to. But I do know what goes on at many factory farms. I saw it with my own eyes at the California State Fair with a dairy cow. What I was not aware of was a whole other world of meat, eggs, and dairy, grown by independent farmers who practice regenerative agriculture. “In short, regenerative agriculture is a system of farming principles and practices that seeks to rehabilitate and enhance the entire ecosystem of the farm by placing a heavy premium on soil health with attention also paid to water management, fertilizer use, and more. It is a method of farming that improves the resources it uses, rather than destroying or depleting them”. {via}

These farmers use techniques that enhance their environments and treat their animals humanely, allowing them to engage in their natural behaviors and eat the food they’re meant to eat. The additional benefit is that the meat, dairy, and eggs produced by these farmers are more nutritious than your run of the mill shitty factory farm. 

I chose my health and my body as my priority and having the education behind independent farmers and the benefits, I do not place any guilt on myself for consuming animal products now. I am very selective about where my meat and eggs come from – I still don’t consume dairy because it grosses me out and I am lactose intolerant. Tip: If you’re looking to forego grocery store meat, I highly recommend visiting your local Famer’s Market to support your local farmer(s).

Let’s get into the specifics of why and how eating meat is not something that you should feel guilty about – because this information helped me a lot. All of this information is via The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and Paleo Leap. You can visit their site to read more about the biological benefits as well as environmental benefits, but here is a brief list:

♡ Meat contributes greatly to our overall health and contains many nutrients that cannot be obtained in any amount from plants:

  • Carnosine, a molecule found in meat sources, is an antioxidant that protects against degeneration.
  • Vitamin B12, found in meat, helps make DNA, prevents certain types of anemia, and contributes to the health of nerve cells.
  • Meat is a complete protein source with a higher biological value.
  • Meat is a good source of the difficult to get vitamin D, contains vitamins B1, B2, B6, and the minerals zinc, selenium, and iron.

Book recommendations:

Nutrition and Physical Degeneration

How to Heal Your Metabolism

The Vegetarian Myth

Nourishing Fats: Why We Need Animal Fats for Health and Happiness

There you have it. I hope this helped you if you’re vegan and feeling guilty about the thought of adding animal protein in to your diet, or if you’re just looking to make healthier choices in general. Because I wish I would’ve read something like this when I was struggling.

xo,

Lynn

This post was a looong time coming. I have not calculated the days that the gym has been closed, and I don’t want to, but I have some tips for you today to help you take your fitness from bleak to amazing if your gym is closed or if your usual routine has been affected.

Before I jump in to all the tips, I have to let you know that perfecting my routine took a good 3 months. When I found out Daisy had cancer and during her steep decline, my fitness routine went off the rails – and that was in the middle of having anxiety about all that is and was going on. NOW, however, I am in a consistent routine and feel comfortable and confident sharing what has worked for me.

Perfect your night time routine. This one is huge and I think it deserves its own blog post, but make sure that your sleep hygiene is on point. I like to go to bed at the same time night, and that starts with a HOT shower with the lights off and the salt rock night light on, a skincare ritual with lots of oils, calm tea, and 30 minutes of reading a book (no phone). Right now I’m reading Hidden Epidemic <– more on that at a later date.

Wake up with a cold shower. I wrote a blog post on getting cold last year, and this is something I still do everyday. I hop in the shower for as long as I can handle it COLD, usually about 1 minute these days, and it wakes me the fuck up. Getting cold changes your physiology which helps your circulation among many other things. For the purpose of getting my fitness in, I find that getting cold helps me feel physically ready for a workout.

Calendar your workout. My workouts are set for everyday at 6:30 AM in my Google Calendar, and they’re color coded to yellow. Yellow is such a happy color and that is how I always feel after a workout. I’m sure you’v heard the saying “You’ll never regret exercising”…but we’ve all regretted NOT exercising. Having my workouts scheduled makes a WORLD of difference in just getting it done.

Do something different each day. By different, I mean a different workout than what you did the day before. It keeps things interesting, it keeps your body guessing, and limits fatigue of certain muscle groups. I like to focus on upper body or lower body and add in cardio days in between. These days cardio looks like a rigorous hike. They used to look like 45 minute HIIT workouts on the treadmill or a SoulCycle class. I have tried to run outside and I injure one of my ankles each time…so I’m done with outdoor runs for now.

If I’m not feeling very creative with my workout, I’ll refer to fabulous trainers that I’ve been following for years. These amazing women don’t disappoint. When I’m not making up my own routine, I am doing a workout with:

Blogilates: Cassey’s workouts are approachable and they’re FUN. I always get a good workout when I follow her routines. Usually I’ll pair two workouts one after another for 30-45 minutes of upper body or lower body. I recently did this thigh workout paired with a different leg workout and my legs were on fire for days.

Whitney Simmons: I started following Whitney YEARS ago, like 2012 or 2013 when Instagram was just popping up on the social media scene. Her funny posts had me coming back for more and now I follow her routines if I want new ideas for body weight or dumbbell moves.

Pamela Reif: If you want an amazing workout, Pamela is your gal. Her workouts are super easy to follow and they’re ALL challenging, just how I like my workouts.

Sarah Bowmar: Sarah helped me track my macros several years ago (I no longer track macros) and she has been a nutrition and fitness inspiration to me for years. Her body is insane and she has the BEST weight lifting workouts. I referred to them more when I was going to the gym but I do modify many for at-home dumbbell workouts.

xx,

Lynn

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