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  • AVAP Vegan Strawberry Tartlets with Ariane Sommer

    RECIPE:
    Crust
    1/4 cup of medjool dates
    1/4 cup of coconut chips
    1/4 cup of oats
    1/4 cup of mix coconut cream and coconut oil
    blended smooth in a food processor or Vitamix

    Molded into little tartlets and put into the fridge or freezer for about half an hour

    Filling:
    3/4 cup of coconut cream (the top of a full fat can of cream kept in the fridge overnight)
    chopped strawberries
    1/4  cup tocotrienols
    2 Tablespoons Pine Pollen
    1 Tablespoon Pearl Powder (Optional)
    Liquid Stevia to tase

    TRANSCRIPT:
    - Welcome back to the Addictive Wellness channel. My name is AnnaBlanca, and I'm so excited, like a kid before Christmas time. I can do the little happy dance in here because this time I have one of my dearest and most amazing, hold on guys, I have to give her a hug, this woman, we've known each other practically all our lives and I'm just excited that she's joining us today. Her name is Ariane Sommer. She is an author. She is a novelist, she's a columnist, and she's a wellness and health activist. Now, that is a mouthful guys, and this woman is doing it every single day. There's nobody I admire more than she.

    - AnnaBlanca, thank you so much for the introduction. I should keep you around all the time because you just make me feel wonderful and all the lovely words you've said, I can just give back, I am--

    - I would work for free if I can hang out with her all the time. Sorry, honey. Love you, too.

    - A lot, her.

    - So tell us more because you said that you were actually... Okay, I was almost jumping ahead. She traveled the entire world because she grew up in a diplomatic household, which gave her an unparalleled exposure to the entire world.

    - Yeah, I was very fortunate. My dad was an ambassador for Germany, so when I was eight weeks old, I was yanked out of Germany straight into West Africa, Sierra Leone, and then every three to four years, another place. India, Spain, Germany, United States, and at some point, and this is the wonderful thing, AnnaBlanca and I actually met in Munich many many years ago 'cause, as you guys probably

    - We were partying.

    - very well know, she's also an international globetrotter and seen so much of the world. And there we met, yes? We actually met at a fabulous club in Munich.

    - Oh yes.

    - Then bumped into each other--

    - We were shaking our booties, yes.

    - She's an amazing dancer.

    - And then we bumped into each other in London and Los Angeles.

    - Yup.

    - And in L.A., we found out that, even though our ways sometimes parted, and then we came back again together, we both ended on the wellness path. Not just in our businesses, but as a lifestyle philosophy.

    - Indeed. And thank God, can you imagine where we'd be today if we didn't have?

    - We would not be so vital and perfectly, glowingly healthy as we are right now. We're not telling you guys our ages, okay? So tell us about AVAP.

    - Well, AVAP is my personal philosophy that I've developed over the last few years. It's an acronym, and it stands for As Vegan As Possible, and also As Vital As Possible. So that's how I've learned to live my life. I've been living in California for 14 years now, and I've been so fortunate 'cause I've been exposed to some of the best teachers, circle of friends, like you and Sage. I've learned so much from you.

    - Thank you.

    - Both of you, including Sage. I like to call whatever he is so generous to share Sage advice, and turned around my life, living in California, being exposed to all these wonderful, innovative, thoughts, lifestyles, products, that we're right now sitting on top of here in Los Angeles.

    - Cannot imagine living anywhere else. We are so... I don't know any other words. Lucky, fortunate, blessed. Okay, yes. So As Vegan As Possible and As Vital As Possible.

    - Yes, you've gotta imagine me, having German roots, I used to eat so much meat. I mean, German, they'd make our birthday cakes out of meat, kind of, yikes. I've never had a problem with the flavor of meat. I mean, I probably am guilty of devouring entire herds of cows. Back in the day, but--

    - I'm Hungarian, my dad was a veterinarian. We had meat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, every day.

    - Oh my God.

    - Every day.

    - But probably straight from the farm, right? Nothing of those farm-ready--

    - Only.

    - Mass-produced.

    - No hormones, no GMOs. You neither, right? At the time, when we were growing up.

    - Yeah, not from my parents, but once I was on my own, oh my God, I ate so much fast food, and I was in my late teens and early 20's, I really had a lot of different afflictions from the physical, not to go into TMI here, but it could be acne, it could be psoriasis, just having brittle nails, brittle hair that wouldn't grow. For the women out there who probably can relate to this, a lot of, you know, UTIs and just not feeling comfortable in my skin having a lot of mood swings. Even battling, not with clinical depression, but being very unhappy and feeling disconnected.

    - When you travel, it's very hard sometimes to live a healthy lifestyle. And that time, we didn't even have the information to look into the details of what can be causing this.

    - Exactly.

    - So you as well, as I'm quite sure, many people, took charge of your health. And then you went into a search and research what can help you. So what helped you the most? What created for you right now?

    - What really helped me the most was switching my nutrition from a pretty meat-based one, even though at a certain time, I even switched to organic meats, but to one that is 95% plant based. It didn't only change me physically, it also changed my mental focus and wellbeing, and something happens on a metaphysical level as well. Not to get too woo woo...

    - Oh we like "woo woo"

    - Love it, love it

    - I'm the one, I'll wear crystals in my bra, I'll burn candles. Okay, we won't go there today, but

    - Some other time, do you guys wanna hear more about what we do?

    - Which crystals you should wear in your bra?

    - Leave a message, we'll get back to you.

    - No, but anyhow, it really changed the way I related to myself, I related to others, the contexts in which I saw myself and the world, I felt like I was part of something, a bigger thing than just myself. I didn't feel this separate little ego thing floating around in a hostile universe anymore. I just reconnected to

    - I can never imagine, but I understand, because it's a journey, and I think most of us go through it

    - Yes. In our twenties, trying to find ourselves. And then, we were talking about this earlier, how when you developed AVAP, it really allows people not to have to defeatist, "oh, crap, I let myself down again."

    - Yes. I think that's I have found that if you wish to implement change in yourself, or even in other people, the best thing is always to lead by example, so telling someone "you need to do this," we all don't like this. However, there's

    - It's like raising children. You teach them, forget it. But show as an example, they soak it up. Right?

    - Yes.

    - Or like, in writing, there is a rule for writing "show, don't tell." And that also applies to real life. So I have discovered, not only for myself, but also for others, and I've actually also spoken to some neuroscientists about this. We human beings, our brains love success. We like feeling good about ourselves.

    - No kidding.

    - Yeah. So whenever we encounter something in life where we feel like we failed. Let's say, New Year's resolutions. Stop smoking, or exercise, go vegan, whichever it is that you wish to change in your life, then it's normal, sometimes you fall off the wagon. Let's say your mission was

    - Who sits there on December 31, waiting for midnight and saying okay, so did I go through with this? With a checklist. Anybody ever does that? I can't imagine.

    - No, no. And the thing is, when you have a very severe dogmatic paradigm that you want to live in, or a checklist that you wanna adhere to, once you fail, you get that negative feedback in your brain that "I failed," meaning most people, actually once they feel like they failed, they will just throw overboard the entire mission. So I think when you're less dogmatic, less fanatic, let's say your emotion is, "I want to go plant-based." And, hey, okay, maybe your grandma's eighty-fifth birthday, you'll have a piece of cheesecake. That's okay.

    - We don't wanna hurt grandma, right?

    - Yeah, exactly. But you know I like to tell my friends when they're embarking on a big lifestyle change, in order to better themselves, help them mentally, I tell them, you know what? When something doesn't quite work out, think about how you would advise a dear friend of yours. I bet you would not be as hard to your friend as you would be to yourself. Be kind to yourself. That's so important. That's also at the core of AVAP. You're human, we all make mistakes, or get a little weak at times. Don't beat yourself up too much, Just follow the red, or in the case, the green thread, and, yeah. Go on.

    - Speaking of follow, this girl has an amazing Instagram page already, so follow AVAP.

    - Yes. AVAP. A-V-A-P.

    - A-V-A-P. And give us some love on her page, and today we are going to make something extremely delicious, and we are going to make a vegan and an AVAP version. And I am so in love with this. So stay tuned, because right now, we're gonna create some magic. Are you ready?

    - Yes.

    - One, two three.

    - Well, now that this table magically appeared here for us, the recipe is from Ariane, so I'm going to take your lead. Show us how you make this.

    - Okay, so you probably already know, 'cause we share this, we love super healthy food, but also super yummy food, so the kind of life that we live, our mission to be our optimal selves, we don't go for forgo flavor, we go for full-on flavor.

    - Our dinner parties now may have dinners together and our significant others.

    - So today, I wanna try something we haven't made together yet.

    - No, we have not.

    - It's a

    - This is new for me super food strawberry coconut whipped cream tartlets, and it's very quick to prepare because there's no baking involved. It's basically a raw dough and it consists all of very good-for-you foods, and the result, how it tastes, is just heavenly. You can fool even people who "I don't wanna eat healthy, I don't care what you" Give them that, they're just gonna be like, Oh yum.

    - Yes.

    - So that's what we're gonna make today. It's pretty easy, quick, and delicious. So we're going to start out with a cup of oats, which are very nourishing, especially for us women, and as a sweetener, I'm using this medjool dates

    - Nice. And I once heard fascinating, that you could actually survive on dates alone for a very long time.

    - Really?

    - Yes, 'cause they're one of the most nutrient-dense foods on this planet. So we're using also about a cup of dates

    - One didn't want to make it.

    - Maybe not quite a cup.

    - This guy didn't want to be in the bowl.

    - He wanted to get inside earlier.

    - That was somersault that he jumped out. Okay, go.

    - And then we're using coconut flakes. We put all this inside. So this will be our crust, and now all we need to do is, I usually use a food processor at home, but you said you have an amazing magical tool that we're gonna try.

    - We're gonna give this a try.

    - Go ahead.

    - We do not know if it's gonna work, but let's give it a try.

    - I like how you're redecorating your place. Coconut looks good.

    - I think we might need to make it in a

    - Yep.

    - It's going in but I think we're gonna put this in a Vitamix.

    - Vitamix. Okay, let's magically summon a Vitamix. One, two, three.

    - Don't you just love magic in the kitchen?

    - I love magic, and I mean, who needs cauldrons? Modern witches use Vitamixes. And yes, Vitamix, you may use this.

    - As long as you pay us for it.

    - Okay, we love our Vitamix. It's so powerful. But we also realize it's a little bit too dry without it, so what did you say we should put in there to

    - Well, we're gonna try first to mix it as is, but in case it doesn't get sticky like it does in the food processor, we're just gonna cheat on my original recipe. Or actually not cheat, we're gonna enhance it, and we're gonna use some coconut milk and a little bit of coconut oil. But we'll give this a whirl first.

    - Turn it up, baby.

    - Check the consistency,

    - I think dry.

    - I think we're gonna

    - We're gonna cheat a little bit.

    - Let me guess, coconut milk mixed with the coconut.

    - Yes.

    - All right, let's turn it on again. Are you ready?

    - Yes. Excellent.

    - I think we got it. By George, she's got it. Okay, so I have this fantastic Sweetheart? Will you bring the spoon?

    - House elf?

    - No, he's not around. I gotta go and get it. Sage?

    - Excellent.

    - Excellent. Best spoon to get things out of the Vitamix is Tovolo.

    - I love it.

    - I gotta get one of those.

    - So what we're gonna do is, we're gonna

    - I give this to you and I gonna put this away.

    - We're gonna spoon out a little

    - Oooh, that's perfection.

    - Makes little balls out of them and then we're going to set them in these bowls. You can do this ideally, also, in tartlet forms, then you can actually also get them out very easy.

    - Oh, this is so nice. Look at this.

    - And in our house, the rule that we strictly follow is, play with your food. So important to have fun and enjoy your food. The preparation of it, experiment, and if something goes wrong or doesn't pan out right, whatever, just keep going. It's part of the fun.

    - I agree.

    - So we're gonna stick this into the fridge. Then, in the meantime, we're going to prepare the super food whipped cream.

    - Okay, so one of the secrets is to make sure that you keep your cans of coconut cream has to be full fat, and keep it in the fridge.

    - Yes.

    - Because the fat rises to the top

    - And then you just skim that off and use a whole lot. So delicious. And whip it up, and that in itself can be enough, but we like to upgrade our coconut whipped cream.

    - Right. What would you like to include?

    - So first of all, we're gonna use a little sweetener. I personally like to use Stevia.

    - Stevia. So do I.

    - And there's some fantastic ones out there. You know there's no bitter aftertaste.

    - How many drops?

    - I go by feeling. I think this was eight drops right now.

    - That's as good.

    - I like it sweet, and I eat it too. And in order to really upgrade this coconut whipped cream, we're gonna add some super foods. First of all, here we have tocotrienols.

    - Tocotrienols, yummy.

    - This is made from rice bran, and it's chock full of Vitamin E. Most of us are Vitamin E deficient.

    - Almost everybody is now.

    - Yes. And Vitamin E, so it's great for our brains, it's great for our skin, it's great for our bones, and it gives it an extra creamy taste, consistency, slightly sweet too. I just love it. I put tocotrienols into everything. My smoothies, my coconut whipped cream. You could also make a great face mask with a little bit.

    - Oh my god, I haven't tried that.

    - Mix it in.

    - This is getting creamy.

    - It actually gets even more of a thick custard consistency Let's turn it around a little bit so you guys can see it.

    - Nice and thick

    - And then, so here we have something super super special.

    - I'm excited.

    - I know you and Sage also love. This is pine pollen. It's one of the most nutrient-dense substances on this planet. There are over 200 vitamins, minerals, active biological compounds in there. And especially for vegans, you don't wanna use bee pollen, this is an outstanding alternative. It tastes pretty neutral, maybe slightly resinous, like how the scent of frankincense, an old church smell, for me, at least.

    - Oh my God, you're absolutely right. And I always loved it, and one of the reason I love it because it's a very unusual plant. Most plants, some of them have effects on your hormones. And many of them, of course, you know that you have to stay away from because it will give you too much estrogen. Soy, flax. But pine pollen is androgenic. Actually it helps you with a little bit of testosterone. Gently. Of course, women need one thirtieth of what a man would need, but still its' good to have a little bit of testosterone.

    - It makes us feel good, ladies.

    - A spring in the step, that "come hither" look to your honey.

    - Yes. Gives you a good focus, you feel good about yourself. It's good for muscle tone building.

    - And for to have that striving feeling, of course. It comes from testosterone.

    - And excellent for your libido, for the lads and the ladies alike. So in with this wonderful stuff.

    - This is gonna be some good dessert. I mixed it first before I turned it on. And we have another explosion. All right.

    - We do it scarface style. The healthy way, the AVAP way.

    - Exactly. Oh yeah, you got some on your dress?

    - Doesn't matter.

    - So, this right now is the vegan style. What would we do if you wanted to make it AVAP?

    - Now, if you wanted to make it AVAP, as Vegan as Possible, but do it sustainably, of course. So you could use bee pollen, as mentioned before. Just make sure it comes from beekeepers who work sustainably, that treat their bees well. And another thing that a lot of people like to use, it has a neutral taste, it's also creamy, is pearl powder. Pearl powder is fantastic for your skin, for your bones, for a peaceful disposition.

    - It's a shen herb so they say it's almost like lighting a light from the soul. It's very good for your skin. It's very good, it cleanses the liver. It's magical.

    - And again, as with everything, that is not purely I mean, as with everything, period, but especially with everything that's not 100 percent plant-based, just know your sources, and support the kind of people and companies that work together with our planet and not against it.

    - A lot of pearl powders are not sustainably sourced, which is one of the reasons you can't do it in an AVAP program, because you still wanna have respect for their environment and their world.

    - Absolutely, yes. But today, our version here is completely vegan.

    - So let's go and check on what's going on

    - Yes, let's check on our crust. It's nice and cold and set, and then we're gonna bring it over here and then we're gonna fill the tarts.

    - Layer it. Yeah.

    - Oh my, I'm getting really hungry.

    - This is my favorite Oh, can you grab this and eat this please?

    - Thank you. The things I have to do on alter of health and wellness video shooting.

    - This is my favorite part, just filling up these beautiful little tartlets, and as you can see, don't be shy. This is a super healthy, superfood cream. And it's just fun to throw it.

    - Yes. Yes.

    - As she said earlier, she likes to play with food.

    - Yes. Play with your food. It's good for you. There you go.

    - Just nice, thick dollops. Okay, one left. One left.

    - Good portion, girl.

    - I think this is gonna be mine.

    - Yes, it will. And since it's going to be yours

    - She really is going to fill it up perfectly.

    - Yes, excellent.

    - Ooh, I like it like this, let's leave it messy.

    - There you go. Okay, so now

    - Strawberries.

    - For this part, we just plop strawberries all around, you know?

    - Easy peasy, just stick them right in there and, oops.

    - As you can see, I just cut them in big chunks. Some people might like them a little bit finer, so just, whatever you like, whatever your preference is. I just like big ol' pieces of fruit.

    - [AnnaBlanca] Oh, perfection.

    - [Ariane] I love to chew.

    - It is our company's philosophy, everything is better with a little bit of melted chocolate.

    - And especially with your chocolate. This is actually my favorite chocolate of yours, the Love Chocolate. And I think the particular herbal ingredients go so well with the pine pollen and the libido boosting properties of the pine pollen.

    - Oh my god, okay, so

    - You think our guys are going to be lucky guys?

    - I think you should take some of this home to your honey tonight. Thank you so much for joining us tonight, and we're so happy that you got to meet Ariane.

    - Thank you for being here, for sharing your time with AnnaBlanca and me. I hope we could inspire you a little bit and open you up to the AVAP life.

    - Oh my god, this is so good.

    - It's actually delicious.

    - This is amazing.

    - Oh yeah. Honey, do you want one?

    - [Sage] Yeah.
  • CANDIDA RECOVERY - The Complete Guide on the SuperFeast Podcast

    Overgrowth of Candida albicans can take place following use of broad-spectrum antibiotics, birth control pills, and oral corticosteroids. Those with weakened immune systems are also at higher risk of developing candida. Symptoms can include chronic fatigue, mood disorders, recurring UTIs, oral thrush, acne, sinus infections, intestinal disturbance, brain fog, skin infections, and hormonal imbalance.

    On this trans-Pacific episode of the Superfeast Podcast, join Mason Taylor, Sage Dammers, and Naturopath Dan Sipple as they walk through all the details of the candida recovery and analyze all the most effective tools to expedite the return to health!

  • The Ultimate Guide to Healthy Sleep

    TRANSCRIPT:
    - So, I'm so excited to introduce Sage. I've actually had the honor and pleasure of knowing him for many, many, many years. We are in a very similar health vortex community, and I highly recommend you guys checking Sage out after tonight. Even though we're friends, I secretly stalk him on Instagram, 'cause he's constantly giving the most empowering, epic tips and tricks on how to truly live this healthy lifestyle. He is the co-founder of Addictive Wellness, the chocolate that we sell here at Pause. It's literally one of the only chocolates I put into my body because it is sugar-free and filled with adaptogenic herbs and tonics, I mean.

    - Tonic herbs.

    - Yeah, tonic herbs, thank you. And that's really Sage's specialty. So not only is he the founder of this, but he really specializes in nutrition and herbology, and he gives you this amazing alternative look into the wellness space. So I'm so excited to introduce him, and he's going to give us all the life hacks to have us sleeping wonderfully so we can be better humans on the planet. So, take it away.

    - Thank you so much, thank you.

    - Thank you.

    - Thank you to everybody for being here, and thank you to Tamara, everyone at Pause for having me. I'm super excited to talk with you guys about sleep. To give you a little quick background on me, I had the good fortune to grow up in and around the health world. My parents had a meditation center when I was a kid. They opened a wellness center when I was a teenager. So I grew up going and taking infrared saunas as a teenager, and now my parents work with Clearlight Saunas, the infrared saunas they have here. So kind of just growing up in and around this, and from my mid-teens, I just got super excited and inspired about it, thinking, like, I would see all these people coming into their wellness center who were maybe in their 50s, 60s, and dealing with this back problem or this problem or that problem, and I just got to thinking, okay, they're all working at fixing these problems once they've already happened. What if I just got into all this stuff now when I'm fresh and have nothing wrong? What would that mean in terms of my potential, what I can do with my life, how good I'll feel every day, and long-term, longevity, what can I achieve in life extension? And so the more I started doing and trying different super foods and herbs and dietary practices, the better I would feel. The better I would feel, the more stuff I would do. The more stuff I would do, the better I'd feel, the more I would wanna learn and discover new things, and eventually got into traditional herbal systems of indigenous cultures and deep into nutrition and all kinds of things, and it was just this beneficial cycle that just kept snowballing, snowballing, snowballing, eventually leading to doing consulting with hotels around the world to incorporate elixir bars into their cafes and restaurants, and then to starting Addictive Wellness, doing sugar-free raw chocolates with all these different herbs and elixirs and also bringing these individual herbal extracts, since people were asking us, where do I find this, where do I find that, and we wanted to be able to do that with the best that we were already using. So that's my background. But you didn't come here to hear about me. You came here to hear about sleep. Sleep is such an important component of health. It is really the most performance-enhancing thing you can do, period, is getting quality sleep. And before we jump too far deep into it, I wanna go a little bit into a couple technical terms that are gonna be important to understand. There's basically just two terms, and if you can remember these, it'll make everything else a lot easier to understand as we go through a lot of the science of sleep and the different stages of sleep and things like that. Now, I promise, this is not gonna get too boring. I'm trying to make it as interesting as possible, the sleep stuff. But if you do happen to fall asleep, that's okay. We're here to support sleep, so I'm not gonna make you feel guilty for falling asleep during a talk about sleep. It's okay. Whatever form you can get your sleep, you do your thing. Okay, so but the two terms I want you to try to remember are REM, R-E-M, and non-REM, which is abbreviated NREM. So these are the two basic ways of categorizing sleep stages. Now, technically, non-REM is broken up into stage one, two, three, and four, but for simplicity, we're gonna talk about REM and non-REM. REM is the part of your sleep when you are dreaming. It's normally called REM because it stands for rapid eye movement. When you dream, you're going through all this crazy stuff in you're head, you're basically having the most insane hallucinations anyone's ever had, and your eyes are darting around nonstop while you're sleeping. So they call it REM sleep. The other part is non-REM sleep, so you're not dreaming. You have stages one and two of non-REM, which are the lighter stages of sleep, and then three and four, which are the more medicinal ones. These are the deeper stages of sleep. But all stages of sleep are important. They're like food groups. You can't just have protein all day long or just have fat all day long. You need everything. You need your fiber. You need a modest amount of carbs. You need a good amount of healthy fats. You need good protein, amino acid building blocks for your cells, just like you need all these stages of sleep. So, to go a little bit back into the history of sleeping, so many people these days are looking at sleep as the enemy, something to be conquered, as if if you do enough stuff or you push hard enough or your willpower is strong enough, you can get by without sleeping as much. And this is a loosing battle, really not worth fighting. Literally every animal on the planet sleeps, every single one. So you're not gonna be the one member of the one species that managed to get away without sleep. It's not gonna work out, no matter how hard you try, right? Now, there's a lot of differences in how much animals sleep, the stages of sleep that they experience, how they sleep. If you look for example at, say, bats, they're sleeping 19 hours a day. On the other hand, you have elephants, four hours a day. Huge differentiation. Then there's differences in the amount of REM and non-REM that we see in different animals. For example, some of the more primordial animals like reptiles and insects and fish, they don't do REM sleep. It's all non-REM. So they're not dreaming, really interesting. So that crocodile, he doesn't dream. He just goes deep and that's it, very simple. On the other hand, well, actually, also, aquatic mammals, they're not doing REM sleep either, like dolphins. No REM sleep, and you might ask why. During REM sleep, your brain paralyzes your body so you can't act out your dreams, and this is important in a number of ways. So you can't move. Anyone who's ever experienced sleep paralysis knows that. Has anyone ever experienced sleep paralysis here? Where you wake up and you can't, and it's horrible, right? You can't move. Your eyes are awake. You can kind of semi-control your blinking and breathing. It's kind of an error that has happened in your nervous system when you're awake, but your brain has not unparalyzed the rest of your body. It can be freaky. Nobody's ever died from it or gotten stuck in it. I know that's what everybody, when you're in it, right, 'cause I've experienced it quite a few times, that's what you think. Like, what if I'm stuck here? It's not a fun place to be, and there's hallucinations that come with it sometimes and a lot of fear. But anyways. So, dolphins are not gonna go into REM sleep because they need to keep moving their bodies to come up and breath periodically. So they never go into REM sleep. They also do this other weird thing where they only often sleep with half of their brain at once, while the other half stays semi-awake. Now, you guys may be thinking, oh, yeah, I do that. Like when I'm in that business meeting after lunch, and they're just like droning on, I kind of do that. I sleep with half my brain and the other half is semi-there. No, it's not true. Humans can't do that, as much as you might think you can pull it off. That's another thing where you just can't get away with it. So that's dolphins, and then you look at, for example, the other great apes, something similar to us, and wonder, okay, what are they doing? Interestingly, they do have REM sleep, but not nearly as much as we do. It's a huge differentiator between us and all the other great apes, is that they get way less REM sleep than we do. They need more sleep in terms of total number of hours. They're looking more like 10 to 15 hours. But they get way less REM sleep. Why is this? Evolutionarily, they're up in the trees. They go into the trees because it's a safe place to avoid all the predators on the ground. You're not gonna have to worry about tigers and things like this when you're safely up in the trees. However, there's other dangers that come with being in trees, is that if you're asleep in a tree and you fall from 40 feet up, you're out of the gene pool. You're not passing on your genetics in the evolutionary game, that's it. So, it's dangerous to be up in a tree and in a state of paralysis, where if there was a bit of wind and the tree swayed and you were kind of tipping out of the tree, you couldn't very quickly readjust or grab onto something or something like that. So all the great apes that tried having lots of dream sleep, they died, basically, and were not able to pass on their genetics. However, things changed when Homo erectus evolved and essentially descended out of the trees onto land, and this was kind of a chicken and egg situation around the time that Homo erectus also is said to be the first to have use of fire, and fire was now the new way to protect Homo erectus from the threats that previously drove us up into trees. So now we could sleep on the ground, a lot safer. Nobody fell off the ground ever, unless you're sleeping on the edge of a cliff, which is just not smart. You're taking yourself out of the gene pool for other reasons, right? So now we're sleeping on the ground. Now we could experience much more REM sleep, and that later led to the evolution of Homo sapiens. Now, why is this significant in the story of evolution to become this spectacular species that we are now in comparison to beautiful and wonderful but somewhat simpler great apes, is that REM sleep builds cognitive intelligence, creative problem-solving, and emotional intelligence. These are cultivated and built up during REM sleep. So the less you have of this, the less you have of those. So this, there's many factors that led to the evolution of humans being so interesting, but this, there's a big hypothesis out there, and I think it's very legitimate, that this played a huge role in that. So, that is just amazing, that sleep, basically lying there doing nothing, is actually amazingly evolving you as a person. There's so much good stuff that happens while you're sleeping, and we're gonna get into that in a second. But now that we know where this thing comes from, what's creating sleep in the body? And I promise, I know you guys all want the tips and tricks. We will get there. But first, it's kind of like when somebody gets kidnapped, and they kind of wanna humanize themself to the kidnapper. I wanna humanize sleep to you guys. You have sleep you control. You can get that sleep, but I want you to know where it came from, know it has a name, it has friends. What is sleep like? So, sleep comes from two main sources. There's two main driving forces, not just one. It's kind of like nature realized, okay, if I just cause sleep, if I do only one thing to cause sleep, these guys are smart. They'll figure out a way to get around and trick it. But if I do two, they won't be able to beat both of 'em. So the two factors that are causing you to need sleep or to help you fall asleep are one, you have this substance that builds up in your brain, and it's building up, building up, building up, and it's causing, at the end of the day, what's called sleep pressure. This is not necessarily a pressure like a headache, but this is a pressure to where you get tired. The weight of sleep is growing and growing upon you. That's one. So as the day goes on, sleep pressure builds, sleep pressure, sleep pressure, sleep pressure builds. And then the other part that you may be more familiar with is the circadian rhythm. So this is where you have this part of your brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus, a really badass name, and this is responsible for secreting melatonin at the right times. So, it responds most effectively to two factors: light and temperature. So we'll get into this a little bit later and how you can use those to your advantage, how to sleep effectively at the right times. Sleep, as far as the suprachiasmatic nucleus and melatonin, is controlled by the temperature and the light that you're being exposed to. So you have these two factors. So the sleep pressure's building, and then the circadian rhythm. It's interesting when you look at what happens when you're taking coffee or when you're having caffeine in the system, because it is blocking the receptors that the compounds that create the sleep pressure would sit in. So they are being produced all day long, and the coffee is taking up those seats. It's like a game of musical chairs. The compounds that produce the sleep pressure in your brain have nowhere to sit, so they're just building up and standing around. Caffeine has a five- to seven-hour half life. So, if you drink two cups of coffee, five to seven hours later, you still have the amount of caffeine in your system as if you had just drunk one cup of coffee. So you don't wanna drink coffee or have any kind of caffeine too late in the day because it's gonna block these receptors that create the sleep pressure. Now, when eventually you get that caffeine out of there, you have a ton of these other compounds that are gonna create this sleep pressure that just jump on you. That's why eventually, the caffeine wears off. You'll crash, and if you do an all-nighter, well, then you're really gonna be feeling it. But interesting, the next morning, it's not gonna be so bad because then in terms of the circadian rhythm, that's waking you up again. So at least you get 50% of this equation supporting you the morning after an all-nighter, right? So you're like halfway there, but then, if you wait 'til the next afternoon, evening, you are gonna be dying, because now, you have triple the sleep pressure, and the circadian rhythm is not supporting you anymore 'cause melatonin is now being secreted. So then, that's where you're in real, real trouble. But to get in a little bit more about the differences between non-REM and REM sleep, again, REM is when you're?

    - [Audience Members] Dreaming.

    - Dreaming, there you go, right? Then the other one, non-REM, is when you're going deeper. So, different benefits. I want you to understand why you need them both. So important. So with REM sleep, as I mentioned, it's for emotional intelligence, cognitive intelligence, creative problem-solving, and it's basically where your brain is able to take in the new information that you got during the day and integrate it with the existing information that's already there. It's kind of like doing a software update. It's taking all this new stuff and seeing, okay, how am I gonna take all these new rules, bits of information, things I've observed, integrate them with what I already know, to now be functional knowledge. It's like taking information and turning it into functional knowledge and wisdom. They have actually shown that when people are learning new languages, especially new grammatical rules, that you can teach it to 'em, and they'll intellectually get it, but they're much better at functionally using it after experiencing a REM sleep. So, this is an amazing processing time. It happens the same with kids when they're first learning language. You can kind of teach 'em some new things, but they don't really be able to use it effectively until after they've had a good amount of REM sleep. Then they've even shown this in mice and learning new information and sending 'em around mazes and things like that. So this is something that exists across species. And then we go to the non-REM sleep. This is a little bit different. This is when you have this aspect of your body, it's actually basically an organ system that was only recently discovered. It's called the glymphatic system. You may know the lymphatic system, but this is with a G, and it's referring to the glial cells, the glymphatic system, and when you're asleep, in these deeper non-REM sleep stages, it is flushing out the brain, rinsing out the brain with cerebrospinal fluid and washing out all the metabolic toxins, washing out all these compounds that are creating this sleep pressure, and leaving you with a clean, fresh, ready-to-go brain the next day. Deep sleep is also where you're destressing, and it's where you're getting, in a lot of ways, the most restored. It's where you are secreting the most growth hormone, which has the cascade effect of other hormones as well, 'cause it affects the levels of DHEA that you're gonna have. That also is gonna affect estrogen, progesterone, testosterone. So many macho guys love to say, oh I don't need sleep. I do four or five hours, I'm good. Well, something interesting that those guys should know, our president being one of them, is that if you're chronically under-sleeping like that, four or five hours, your testosterone levels as a guy are gonna be the same as a healthier person 10 years older than you. So you are drastically accelerating andropause, which is the male version of menopause, where your testosterone is just going way down. It's not good news for guys at all. Of course, for women, there's also other hormone imbalances that will stem from this. And deep sleep, so you get the hormone effect, and hormones just control so many aspects of your health. And this all becomes really interesting, because you don't experience these sleep stages in the same amount through all parts of the night. If you look at the way the sleep cycles work, in the start of the night, you spend a lot more time in the deep non-REM sleep. In the second half of the night, you're spending a lot more time in the REM sleep and a lot less time in the deep sleep. So if you are somebody who only sleeps five, six hours, you are depriving yourself of what you're gonna get in that latter part of the night where you're getting that REM sleep. Now let's look at some people who are chronically doing this, especially as teenagers because of early school start times. Getting up at five, six, 6:30 in the morning, it's a problem, because teenagers have something that changes with their circadian rhythm during the teen years where their body wants to stay up a couple hours later, and this is evolutionarily so they start to gain a little bit of independence from the family and start to kind of have an independence that builds up slowly instead of like, okay, it hits you all at once when you're 18. They've got these couple hours of the nighttime that are kind of their own time. And they wanna sleep later, obviously. The whole thing slides a little bit later. And what happens is you when we're getting them up bright and early to go to school, we are cutting off their supply of REM sleep. Again, REM is cognitive development, emotional intelligence development, taking in new information and integrating it. This is what they need most, and they've actually shown in studies where they took schools, looked at what their standardized test results were, shifted start time back to nine o'clock, and then looked at the standardized tests afterwards. Huge improvement in learning and performance. So it's amazing. The other sleep group that is very misunderstood is the elderly. We often hear people saying, oh, old people, they don't need as much sleep anymore. Now, that's not actually true. They actually need it more than anybody probably, because, especially these deep stages of sleep, this is when you're washing out the amyloid plaque out of the brain, which is a huge factor in Alzheimer's. This is the most restorative. It's the best for your immune system. And the problem is elderly people develop a problem with sleep generation. They have a hard time with the biological processes that create sleep. That doesn't mean they don't need it. If I looked at somebody who didn't have much money and said, oh, he doesn't need money just 'cause he doesn't have it, that's not a very good logical, well thought out conclusion. Maybe he just has a hard time finding a job or a hard time sticking to a work schedule. That doesn't mean he's not hungry. Or that's like looking at a starving guy like, oh, he doesn't need food. He's transcended that. No, that's not how it works. Just 'cause you can't do something doesn't mean it's not a good idea to be able to. So, those are two sleep groups that are very misunderstood. But of course, at all levels, if you're not getting between seven and nine hours of sleep, and good quality sleep, there is gonna be significant and measurable declines in your performance in so many areas, mental, physical, immune function, learning abilities, emotions. After you've not slept enough, how are you gonna be at handling a potentially confrontational or challenging emotional situation, compared to when you're well rested? We're in so many ways not the best versions of ourself if we've not slept enough. So your immune function is gonna go down long-term. That brings up cancer risk a big deal, right, because when you look at cancer, you're basically looking at how can the body control these cancer cells and make sure to get 'em out of there real quick as they start to pop up. It's when the immune system is not able to keep cancer cells at bay that it goes wild, and you get into all kinds of real serious problems. Also with Alzheimer's, all these degenerative diseases are at much higher levels of risk if you are not sleeping. And you gotta get these different sleep stages, as we mentioned. And also, when you're not sleeping, you're not, as I said, emotion processing. You're not taking information as well, you're not learning, and it goes beyond really what is just about you. Quality sleep is gonna make you a better version of you, but there's another kind of, I don't mean to get a little darker, but there's a darker side to sleep deprivation and drowsiness that is really important to keep in mind, and this is drowsy driving, huge, huge problem. And the crazy thing is, when you are sleep deprived and drowsy, when you're sleep deprived, you cannot judge clearly how sleep deprived you are and how much your performance has declined. You lose that ability. So it almost doubles up on how bad it is. It's like you're drunk, but you're so drunk, you can't tell how drunk you are, and so much so that if you have, and they've studied this by doing reaction time tests and also putting people in driving simulators. If you have either been up 19 hours, so that'd be like, okay, I got up at seven o'clock for work, and it's Friday night. Now I'm gonna stay out late and go out with friends, but I'm not gonna drink. I'm gonna be the designated driver. I'm safer, right? But I'm coming back at two or three in the morning. So if you've been up 19 hours or more, or you've only slept four hours the night before, your reaction time and driving abilities are equivalent to that of somebody who's at the legal limit of being drunk. Every 30 seconds, there is a driving accident caused in America by somebody who's drowsy. Drowsy driving, an accident every 30 seconds and causes more accidents than alcohol and drugs combined, which is just stunning. And they even tend to be worse accidents, and here's why. When you're drowsy driving and something goes wrong, right, it goes too far, you're either falling asleep, or you're doing what's called a microsleep, which is where you kind of semi fall asleep, just for a couple seconds, like your eyelids semi-close, but you lose really awareness of what's going on. So you're not having a delayed reaction of a drunk person. You're having no reaction. You're just plowing through whatever, and it's bad. So, this is something where not just you stand to benefit from you getting a good night sleep, but everybody, and I would almost go as far as to say if you're getting in an Uber or a Lyft, ask that driver, said, how many hours have you slept in the last 24 hours? 'Cause these guys are hard workers. I respect what they do, and they're trying to provide for their families. But so many of them work insane hours trying to make a living, honest living. But it's dangerous. You wouldn't get in a taxi who a guy who was at the limit of alcohol toxicity, right? And so, this is the same thing. So, what are we gonna do about all this? How are we gonna make sure that you get this epic night sleep, well rested, and get all these sleep cycles just right so you can enjoy all the performance benefits, all the cognitive benefits, of all this. So is it sleeping pills? What do you guys think? Lunesta, Ambien, is that gonna get us there?

    - [Audience Members] No.

    - No, and I just wanna tell you a little bit about why, 'cause this is something that so many people, it's massive in America, the amount of people who are taking sleeping pills every single night. The way that they work is they are simply sedating. They are just going directly into the cortex of the brain and acting as a pure sedative. They don't put you into a natural sleep, and you're not gonna get the natural sleep cycles. Not only that, but they're not working as good as most people think. And it's funny, because first, they only slightly outperform placebo in sleep latency, which is the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep. You can get better sleep latency over taking nothing at all, but a placebo gets you almost just as good of a benefit in terms of sleep latency and falling asleep as fast. Then during the night, people report via their subjective report afterwards that they slept well. However, when they actually put these people in sleep labs and hook electrodes up to their brains, it's not the case at all, totally different. They don't get the right sleep cycles, they have many more awakenings at night, and there's also side effects of doing things you don't remember, being too drowsy the next day, not having good information recall the next day. The problem is, they don't remember if they had poor sleep the night before 'cause they were basically unconscious, not sleeping well, but unconscious. So it doesn't actually get you these sleep cycles, and you're especially not getting deep sleep. And deep sleep, I also wanna explain there something that happens in your deep sleep that's real important is this transfer of information, short-term to long-term memory from the hippocampus to the cortex. This is so important, and also, what's happening there is pruning of information you took in during the day. Your brain, it's amazing, can actually, it goes through and makes a decision on, okay, what's important that we're gonna transfer to long-term, and what can we throw out? And they've studied this by telling people, okay, giving them a list of facts and saying, okay, here's the ones that are really important, and they're much more likely to remember those than the other ones. So you're pruning information, deciding, what am I gonna throw out and what am I gonna put into storage? Because obviously we take in so much information every day, if you try to transfer it all into long-term storage, it would be very difficult. You'd be going crazy. So you're not getting that information transfer, which is bad news. It's good now that so much more knowledge and awareness is spreading around this, and now doctors are much more inclined to recommend the new recommendation, which is called CBTI, cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, which is actually outperforming many of these sleep drugs, which is great, that people are seeking out this alternative and it's available to them. They basically put you through a lot of the sleep practices that we're gonna talk about in a moment and sleep strategies, along with some other cognitive behavioral stuff, but it's so cool that for insomnia for patients, this is now out there. Now, another thing, getting a little bit more away from the artificial and more natural, another thing we like to rely on a lot is wine and cannabis. What do you guys think? Are these gonna do the trick when it comes to really good sleep? I know I don't wanna have to take these away from you. I feel like a jerk taking these away from you, 'cause I know you love 'em.

    - [Audience Member] Together, or separate?

    - Either way. They do kind of work in the same way, in a certain sense. So what happens here is that they are impairing your REM sleep. You're not getting this dream sleep, again, where we're doing emotional processing, dealing with traumas, cognitive processing, creative problem-solving. They are stopping you from getting enough of that. Similarly to the sleeping pills, they're allowing you to fall asleep faster, so improving sleep latency, that's what it's called. And you think, people subjectively think that they're getting a better night's sleep, but they're not realizing what happens when you actually put somebody in the sleep lab and look at them. You have less restful sleep and more awakenings during the night, and you're actually not getting as restful of a sleep. So those are not optimal. Now, interesting questions, what about CBD? That's everywhere these days, right, it's blowing up. Interestingly, so it's still kind of early days on the research of CBD and sleep. Sorry? You're not familiar with CBD? Oh, CBD is called cannabidiol. It's a non-psychoactive hemp/cannabis-derived substance that's a neuroprotective. It's a very good anti-inflammatory and helps with sleep actually, looking at the early stage research. And it doesn't appear to interfere with REM sleep and have the sedative effect in the way that THC does, which is great. So there's actually a tool there. So that's something. And let's talk about what others tools and strategies we can implement here. So, really, when it comes down to it, the idea sleep is something that you wanna start planning for at the beginning of the day. So, you get up at the beginning of the day, and within the first two hours, you wanna get as much light as possible. Ideally, the ultimate is if you can get like 20 to 30 minutes of bright sunlight. That sets your circadian rhythm. It tells your suprachiasmatic nucleus, okay, this is daytime. Don't be producing melatonin now. You've gotta wait, because remember, we were talking about the suprachiasmatic nucleus. It's what controls your melatonin production. Very sensitive to light. So you wanna get this great light in in the beginning of the day, and then in the morning, if you can do 20 or 30 minutes of light to moderate aerobic exercise, that will set you up really nicely, gets your blood moving, gets your heart going, tells your body, okay, this is the daytime. Time to be alive, time to be awake. We're trying to set the circadian rhythm really solidly. And then as you go, later in the day, you wanna make sure that if you're having caffeine, by two o'clock, absolute latest, you're cutting it off, 'cause remember, we said caffeine has a half life of five to seven hours and is gonna block what are called your adenosine receptors. Adenosine is a substance that is creating the sleep pressure that builds up in your brain. So you have this adenosine building up all day long, but you're blocking those receptors for the adenosine as you're having caffeine. But as soon as that caffeine's out of there, adenosine pours in. But if you've had so much caffeine late in the day, it hasn't cleared out yet, so there's nowhere for the adenosine to come in and give you that sleep pressure. Now, sleep pressure sucks if you're feeling it in the middle of the day, but you want this adenosine that makes sleep pressure in the evening, 'cause that's what's gonna put you to sleep. It's so much easier to fall asleep when you're actually tired compared to when you're totally awake. So we don't want this in the day. That's why we do so many of these things we're gonna talk about, like the exercising and getting the sunlight. But then you want this at night. So by the nighttime, you wanna have caffeine long gone so that those adenosine receptors are opened up and the adenosine can get right in there and put you to sleep. Now, also in the afternoon, some time between 12 and five is a great window to do your more intense exercise. So you do light aerobic stuff in the morning, and then afternoon is great for intense, so whether it's high intensity interval training, strength training, weightlifting, things like that, great to do in the afternoon. And then you want to make sure you're not eating dinner too late. Early dinner is good, because you don't wanna go to bed on a full stomach. There's a risk of indigestion happening, and it's gonna diminish the restfulness of your overall sleep if your body's having to devote a lot of energy to digesting. And it's interesting, because if you have slept well, this is another reason to really wanna get good sleep, if you sleep well, your metabolism becomes so much more regulated, 'cause you have these two hormones called leptin and ghrelin. And these are, they sound like little hobbit names. Leptin and ghrelin. And leptin is the hormone that makes you feel full. Ghrelin is the hormone that makes you feel hungry. They're kind of on the two sides there. You got the dark and the light side. So, leptin, when you have had a good amount of sleep, your leptin levels are great. You're not too hungry. When you got a bad amount of sleep, your leptin levels crash, and your ghrelin levels go up. So you are super hungry when you haven't slept enough, and you're gonna consume 300 to 400 more calories on average if you've slept less than six hours, and because your judgment also becomes worse when you haven't slept enough, you are, and they've shown this in studies. They've put out different food options for people who are sleep deprived and see what they actually go for compared to people who had eight hours of sleep. You have worse food, you make worse food decisions. You're more inclined to eat much sugarier, junkier food if you're sleep deprived. So that is a huge part of the weight control issue with sleep loss and sleep deprivation, as well as also in terms of diabetes. When you are sleep deprived, you're not able to as effectively clear out the glucose out of your blood. Your insulin is not working as well. So when you're sleep deprived, you're right on the path towards developing pre-diabetes and diabetes. So as you can see, there's not a single area of your health that better sleep will not improve. It does everything. It's better than the best multivitamin you'll ever encounter. So you wanna have this dinner not too late, and of course, you wanna minimize stress during the day. The less stressed you are, the easier it's gonna be to fall asleep. Come for a float, come for an infrared sauna. Do these things, do meditation and just create a life that's less stressful. But I know when you're stressed, the worst thing is hearing somebody say to you, you need to stress less. Is there anything that makes you more stressed than being stressed and somebody tells you, stop being so stressed? So I don't focus so much on telling people to stress less, but I like to give you tools on how to manage stress in terms of lifestyle practices, exercising, getting good sleep, supplements, which we'll get into in a second, and it's kind of like when you're doing things wrong, they make other things go bad. Like if you're stressed, you're not gonna sleep as well, and then you get even more stressed, 'cause you didn't sleep as well. It's just this horrible cycle. If you can jump in there with a couple tools and kind of start pushing things in the other direction and really turn that tide, you can develop more of a beneficial snowballing cycle of things. So you wanna have that dinner not too late, and then later, if you need to, you can have a small snack. One thing that's actually been shown in studies to be beneficial is having two kiwis at night within an hour of going to bed. Random, but it works. And it helps you actually maintain balanced blood glucose while you're sleeping. Kiwis nice 'cause they're minimally sugary, but they have a good amount of water in them, good amount of nutrients and fiber and things like that. And then, now let's look at what you're gonna do in terms of light. Remember, we talked about light being so important as something that's affecting the suprachiasmatic nucleus, which is controlling melatonin production. Bright lights are not something that we evolved experiencing in the nighttime, right? Think back to our evolutionary cave-dwelling pasts. We had great bright sunlight during the day. That's why we wanna make sure we get that in the morning hours to signal your body, this is daytime. Then at nighttime, you are not under bright blue lights and streetlights and staring into computer screens. This is not something we evolved to deal with. So, this is really throwing you off. If you are on an iPad, they've shown this in a study, where, for an hour before going to sleep, reading on an iPad, your melatonin production will be pushed back three to four hours. So when you are exposed to bright blue light at night, it suppresses your melatonin production, because you're telling your body what? It's still...?

    - [Audience Member] Daytime.

    - Daytime, right? The sun's still shining. You better not produce that melatonin, 'cause I'm gonna fall asleep right here in the middle of the day. So, it's really problematic. Now, there are solutions. You can get blue-blocking glasses. You can get 'em in orange, or even a real hardcore way to do it is go for the red ones at night that block out all the blue light, really fantastic. It'll help you tremendously with your circadian rhythm. They also have now software for the computer, like you have f.lux, or the Macs have Night Shift on them, which is already built in, where it's scheduled, and your computer will start changing to more of an orange tone at night. And that's good, but it's not blocking all the blue light. Like if you're on your computer, there's still blue light coming out. So on f.lux, there is a setting you can go into called, go into Darkroom mode, and that will turn the whole thing into nothing but red and black. It's very weird looking, takes a little getting used to, but that's a great way just to do whatever business and emailing and article-reading you feel like you need to do at night and not be disrupting your circadian rhythm, or on your phone, I don't know how this works on Android, but on Apple, there is a way, naturally, they add the Night Shift mode now, which is good, but there is a way, you can go into the settings, and if you go onto Addictive Wellness, youtube.com/addictivewellness YouTube channel, we have a video tutorial there on how to do this. So you can check this out later. There is a way that you can set it up so that with just three taps of the home button, you can turn the phone into all red so it's safe to look at at night, which is huge, because technology is here to stay. I don't think I'm gonna have have much success if I had to tell you guys, stay off your devices for the last three hours before bed. Okay, but who's really gonna do it? So, I'm all about the functional tools to sort these things out, and that's a great way to do it. And why is red light okay at night? Evolutionary, think back, what kind of light did we evolve having at night?

    - [Audience Member] Fire.

    - Fire, there you go. So that red-orange temperature, that's acceptable. That doesn't throw us off. Interesting, if you are looking at light red, it doesn't interrupt your night vision. It doesn't dilate your pupils in the same way. So you can have, like if you need a nightlight in your house or something, 'cause remember, those are really bad for circadian rhythms, if you can get a red bulb in there, that's great, because you can still find the way to the bathroom and not kill yourself, 'cause dying is bad for like, everything. But you're not gonna be disrupting your sleep cycles, which is great. And this is also another reason why you want your bedroom to be completely dark, not have any light coming in. Have a sleep mask if you need to, but if you can get blackout curtains, it's really fantastic. And then temperature is also a big factor, right? The other thing that affects your suprachiasmatic nucleus is temperature. Your core temperature needs to drop three or four degrees for you to really get to sleep. This is amazing, and it's so natural because what changes do we experience naturally in the wild environment? Hot temperatures during the day, cold temperatures at night. It's the natural cycle of things. So when you're getting outside and exercising in the morning, getting up with a little bit of aerobic exercise in the sun, you're raising your core body temperature. It's daytime. Nighttime, you wanna cool off. So you wanna ideally have a cooler sleep environment. And so, the ideal temperature they found in studies is between 63 to 65 degrees. So you can imagine how the suprachiasmatic nucleus gets very confused when you're in a climate-controlled house that's 72 degrees all the time, 365 days a year. It's like, what's up, what's down, or what's day and what's night? It can't figure out what's going on, and combine that with the blue light at night. It's like, you are really confusing your poor body. It doesn't know what to think, right? So temperature control is really good. Now, you might think, well, then why does it make so much sense that I take a hot bath before going to bed and I fall asleep so easily, or I take a sauna, and afterwards, it's so easy to go to sleep? It's actually good to do those things, and here's why. If you're doing a hot shower, hot bath, or going in an infrared sauna for a little bit, it's fantastic, because all the blood you warm comes of the the surface of your skin. You get this vasodilation. You get all this circulation opening up. Then you go back out of this warm environment. Your blood still at the surface cools, 'cause it's much more exposed to the air at the surface rather than in your core around your organs, and cools your body faster. So anybody who's ever come out of a hot shower knows this. It's a whole lot colder than the air was when you went in. It seems like it, right? You're like, wait, you always think, it was not this cold when I got in the shower out here. It's freezing, right? 'Cause you've exposed your body, taken the cold, and so you can kind of ride that wave and allow it to cool you and fall asleep much more quickly and get those lower body temperatures. You don't wanna be shivering shaking cold at night, but you don't wanna overheat. Here in California, we notice it's much easier to sleep in the winter when it's cold than in the summer when it's like 95 degrees at 11 o'clock at night and you're just dying, no blankets and sweating all over the place. Miserable, right? It's much harder to sleep under those circumstances than on a cold winter night. You have no problems doing that, right? So, that's temperature and light. You really wanna make sure you control 'em. Now let's get into supplements. And of course, before I go there, relaxation during the day, floating is a great way to do it. Meditation in the evening is great, even meditating while you're going into sleep or doing a yoga nidra, something like we're doing here. Develop kind of a bedtime routine that involves getting rid of the blue light, that involves cooling down the temperature. Maybe you open the windows, let in some colder air in. Get this routine doing you ease into every night, and that gets your body used to, okay, this is what we do. It's the signs that sleep is coming. We're gonna start winding down. Now, going into supplements, one of my favorites is magnesium. Multiple ways you can take it. It's so great. It relaxes the body, relaxes the mind, calms the muscles. It helps your mitochondria, power plants of your cells, producing more ATP. What's ATP? This is your cells' pure energy. Why is that important for sleeping, in order for you to sleep? Well, actually, we talked a little bit earlier about the glymphatic system. It's what flushes your brain out at night. It's what comes in and does all the deep cleaning in your brain. That requires your mitochondria and this ATP to run. So the more ATP you have, the more efficiently you can wash out your brain or refreshed you're gonna be the next day. So magnesium helps with that, actually. Two of my favorite forms are magnesium glycinate, and this one is really nice because it absorbs very effectively, it doesn't cause a lot of the gastrointestinal disturbances that a lot of other magnesiums do, 'cause the last thing you wanna do is be waking up in the middle of the night having to run over to the bathroom. That is gonna disrupt your core circadian rhythm, I'll tell you what. And so, this one's really great. And then my other favorite one is a new form called magnesium l-threonate. This was actually just developed by scientists a couple years ago. It's magnesium bound to an amino acid called threonine. And the way that it works is it actually very effectively crosses your blood-brain barrier, things some other magnesium supplements don't do really at all. So you're actually raising your brain levels of magnesium. So it's very relaxing to the brain, a good for the nervous system and actually shown to reverse aging in the brain, which is spectacular. We could all use a bit of that, right? So magnesium l-threonate is the other one that's so good.

    - [Audience Member] Can you spell that?

    - Yeah, so magnesium, you've got it, right? And then L as in lady, dash, T-H-R-E-O-N-A-T-E. And by the way, we're gonna put a view of this on YouTube later with full subtitles, so if there's spelling of anything now or later or whatever, you can always check the subtitles later. Of course you can ask me now. That's really cool too. But if you miss anything, it'll be there for you later. So that's magnesium. Then also another one is l-theanine. This is an extract from green tea. It's not the stimulating caffeine part of green tea. It's the calming part. That's the cool thing about green tea. It's almost this aware calmness. But you can just take the calming part of this, l-theanine, which is very calming for the whole body, for the whole nervous system, really helps with sleep. And then I love herbs. This is where my hugest passion is at, is traditional herbal systems of indigenous cultures, especially Ayurvedic and traditional Taoist herbal systems. So I'm gonna get a little bit excited here. I'll try to keep it under control. So, my absolute favorite is reishi mushroom. This is actually the most well-studied herb in the world, shown to be very effective at improving sleep quality and quantity. You end up sleeping longer when you're taking reishi mushroom, very calming. It's not a sedative. You can take it during the day, and it'll help with stress and anxiety. It just gives you an amazing feeling of inner peace. It also does a whole host of other things in terms of the immune system and anti-inflammatory, lowering histamine, so many things, but our interest for now is how it's affecting sleep, and it's so calming. I remember the first time I ever had this. I was like, 19, 20 years old. I was going into a yoga class, and I thought I was taking something else, and I grabbed the wrong bottle. It was a new bottle, and I realized what it was shortly after taking it, and as soon as the reishi hit my tongue, it was in a tincture bottle, and as soon as it hit my tongue, this wave of calm came over my body, and almost all my muscles lengthened. I was standing next to a wall, and I kind of crashed over into the wall very gently. My mind went quiet, stopped thinking, and I could just feel my heart blossoming. It was incredible. And I walked into that yoga class like, wow. Feeling really good, and I was a little early, and I rolled out my mat. When I stood at the front, it was just like, oh, wow. This is nice, this is nice. This is real good. And it was amazing. So it's very beneficial for sleep and for anxiety and for so many of the challenges we deal with in the modern age. Also great liver support as well. And also some other Chinese herbs that are very nice, pearl powder is another one, very calming, very stabilizing, and then there's a formulation called Ginseng and Zizyphus, Z-I-Z-Y-P-H-U-S, and this is great for insomnia, really helps with insomnia and having restful, peaceful sleep. So that's a really nice one to consider. And then we can jump over into the Ayurvedic world, and some of my favorites there are ashwagandha, which is good for so many things, right? Supporting the thyroid, supporting overall hormone health, decreasing stress. Just about any body function you have going on, ashwagandha is like, there's a good chance it's gonna help you out. It's so good for balancing stress and anxiety, but at the time, it improves energy and endurance. So you can have it during the day, you can have it during the night. It's adaptogenic. It's one of the greatest adaptogens in the world, and it's so good for bringing your body into a calm, balanced, stress-free state for sleep. The other one we love to pull from Ayurveda is holy basil. This is a fantastic one for calm, for stress reduction. It just really, really chills you out, and you can experiment with these different ones. I always say no herb is perfect for everyone, so if you try one herb and it doesn't work for you, you don't need to keep forcing it and pushing it. Try and incorporate some other ones. There's lots of great options out there. Give the herb a fair chance. Give it two weeks, four weeks, something like that to start feeling something, 'cause the way these herbs work, there's kind of an immediate feeling and benefit, and then there's the long-term cumulative, building effect as it starts to really effect some changes in your body. So just kind of quick summary. When you wanna create an epic night's sleep, always be thinking about two different things that are gonna make you sleep. You have sleep pressure, which is where you want the adenosine to build up through the day and eventually make you go to sleep at night. You don't want the caffeine blocking that adenosine, and then you wanna have your circadian rhythm just right. So you wanna make that melatonin at night and not any other time. You wanna make sure you make it at night and then you're not just starting to make it at one in the morning when you've been rolling around for three hours saying, what's going on? Then you wanna get that exercise early, get more intense exercise later. Make sure you get the sun early in the day. Early dinner, don't eat too late, and then get some of these great supplements and herbs in your body that are gonna really help with the stress, help with anxiety, and incorporate other strategic techniques like infrared sauna or a hot bath or hot shower to relax you at night, and then allow your body to cool off and ride that temperature-lowering wave into a great night's sleep. And I think this is just such a wonderful thing you can do for yourself and all those around you, because the benefits of sleep, as I said, it benefits everything. There is no area of your health that is not gonna benefit from getting better sleep, whether it's your brain health, your cognitive health, your memory, your ability to creative problem solve. That's something that you really get from the REM sleep, from the dream sleep, is the creative problem-solving. Your emotional intelligence, your ability to prevent long-term disease and maintain immune health, all of this. Sleep is the greatest biohack, the great performance-enhancing substance you're ever gonna come across. So I wish you guys a wonderful night's sleep, and thank you. Do we have time for Q&A? How are we time-wise?

    - [Hostess] Yeah, we have a few minutes for Q&A, and then we'll transition into our yoga nidra practice. But yeah, we have some time.

    - Awesome, for anybody who, if we get cut short on Q&A, we do, on our Instagram page, which is @addictivewellness, we do it almost every day, I do about 25 minutes of Q&A stories on there in our Instagram stories, so you can always come check us out over there later if questions come up tomorrow, like something pops into your head like, what was that thing he mentioned, or what did he mean by this, or what about this here? Send us your question through the Instagram stories question box, and we'll continue to have fun endlessly on there. Go ahead.

    - [Audience Member] I know you talked about the teenagers and the elderly, people that have sleep issues. What about parents of small children.

    - Yeah.

    - [Audience Member] Or toddlers who wake up in the middle of the night.

    - Yeah.

    - [Audience Member] That's my issue.

    - I hear you.

    - [Audience Member] And even if my child goes back to sleep, I'm still up for three hours afterwards.

    - Right, so a couple of things. First and foremost, you wanna make sure the sleep you do get is of optimal quality, so you wanna implement all these, we call 'em sleep hygiene practices, in terms of eating and light and temperature so that you're not just stuck in a light sleep all the time. You're actually getting these deeper sleep cycles and more restorative, physically restorative and emotionally, mentally restorative cycles. Of course your sleep is not gonna end up being perfect. Are you turning on lights at night when you're getting up?

    - [Audience Member] I do all this, I've been doing this for so long. I do all those good swaps.

    - Oh, you're doing it all?

    - [Audience Member] I got Spidey night vision. I don't do the lights.

    - Oh, that's right, okay. I was hoping you would say you had a red light to turn on at night.

    - [Audience Member] No, I just walk.

    - You know where you're going. Yeah, yeah, yeah, okay, wonderful. You know, for kids, it can be great to do things like taking a magnesium bath or using topical magnesium like they have here to improve their relaxation and their sleep. That can be helpful as well. If they're sleeping better, you're gonna be sleeping better.

    - [Audience Member] Both of us go to sleep well; it's the waking up at whatever time.

    - Right, right. Well, the magnesium, it tends to relax you more throughout the entire night. So look, every situation's a little bit different, but it may give a better chance of staying asleep and sleeping through. And yeah, it's tricky. I wish I had a perfect solution. The only thing that I've got really is maximize the sleep you are getting, and try to experiment with different things in terms of maybe herbs you can take or you taking magnesium at night and things like this that don't keep you up for that window of time, or maybe some yoga nidra or meditation practices or binaural beats or things like this that you can listen to that will speed up that time of you falling back asleep, because as you said, it's rough to be caught back awake and have no idea how to sleep, yeah.

    - [Audience Member] So my question's very similar, going back to sleep with no kids, but love to wake up in the middle of the night for some reason. So magnesium, and meditation are your two recommendations for going back to sleep?

    - At the time. Yeah, reishi mushroom is a really nice one too.

    - [Audience Member] And that's something you can take in the middle of the night?

    - You could. You could have.

    - [Audience Member] One by your bedside table?

    - Pre-mix a little drink by your bedside table. You could have a tincture bottle, you know, various ways to go about it. If you can hold it in your mouth for 30 to 60 seconds and get that absorption through the mucosa membrane so it gets right in your system, it's gonna have the most immediate effect that way, rather than swallowing capsules. It's gonna take a while, which is not what you want in your case, right? So that's really nice as well, and then if you can avoid temptation to look at your phone and start checking texts and emails and Instagram and all these things, 'cause I know it's tempting in the middle of the night, but do something at least, right, instead of just lie there awake. And if you are not sleeping, and you're just lying in bed for a long time, it's actually shown to be beneficial, this is interesting, it's almost counterintuitive, but to get out of bed and go do other calm activities like read or whatever you can find to do that's not gonna hype you up too much until you feel tired again, and then go to sleep, because they've found that if you keep your bed psychologically as a place for only sleeping and not being awake, it breaks it off in your brain as like, okay, when I'm here, I sleep. When I'm awake, I go somewhere else. So you're more likely to be able to continue to sleep that way.

    - [Audience Member] Having at times, I guess I have back and forth schedule, I try to get a nap in when I can, which is kind of like a child myself.

    - No, no, no, naps are very positive.

    - [Audience Member] Yeah. What would be, I guess, an optimal nap?

    - Yeah, okay, absolutely, absolutely. So, a couple things. Don't feel bad about taking naps, naps are great. It's actually the more natural way to sleep when you look at ancestral cultures, and the way also that our blood sugar and awareness fluctuates during the day, it is perfectly normal to have a siesta, because your awareness will always, no matter what you're doing, no matter food-wise, it's not just, oh, I ate too big of a lunch or too many carbs. Even when you're fasting, energy levels dip in that early afternoon time window. So it's actually probably a more natural sleep cycle to do six to seven hours at night and maybe half an hour to an hour afternoon. If you have a lifestyle and job and stuff that make that work, fantastic. How to maximize it? Get somewhere dark. You wanna basically mimic that it's nighttime. Get somewhere dark, somewhere quiet. Don't feel bad about it. And then you wanna make sure you don't do it after three p.m., though, because then it's gonna be harder for you to fall asleep at night, because you may have cleared out too much of the adenosine out of your system, so you won't have enough sleep pressure at night to keep you sleeping. That's something to be aware of. If you've left it too long in the day, it's better to push through, but if you can get it at like one or two, it's great.

    - So, how does it affect sleep when you wake up at the middle of the night to go to the bathroom? Let's say you have a glass of water, and it's like three a.m..

    - Right, so that's where hours before going to bed, you really wanna stop drinking water. You wanna make sure you're hydrated well throughout the day so you don't have to drink before going to bed, because, of course, it's gonna be a major interruption to your sleep if you have to wake up and go to the bathroom. It's not the end of the world. It's better than lying there and being miserable. But it's sub-optimal. So if you can look at when you're drinking your water in the evening and push that back earlier and earlier to really kind of calm down your system enough to go to the bathroom before going to bed, that's gonna be a lot better. Make sure you're not taking any diuretic supplements in the evening that could cause you to be having to go to the bathroom, 'cause that is also gonna be problematic, and then light-wise, if you have a nightlight, as I said, make sure it's a red one, or just don't have any lights at all. Hopefully you can find a way.

    - [Audience Member] Did you talk about, I know some people say they they don't know the number on it, but what the optimal amount of deep and REM sleep is or what percentage?

    - It's about, so, ultimately, the ideal would be about 25% of your total sleep for each of those, and then the rest. So REM 25%, deep non-REM 25%, and then you get about 50%, which is light NREM. So with non-REM, you have stage one, two, three, and four. One and two are lighter, three and four are deeper. So about half your sleep is gonna be stages one and two, and then about 25% is gonna be deep.

    - [Audience Member] Okay, so it's getting about 25% of both of those.

    - Right, right. So that something really good to aim for. Also something good to look at, this is one I look at, your restfulness and sleep efficiency is what they call it, where, of the time you spend in bed, how much time is spent awake versus asleep, and you ideally wanna get about 90%.

    - [Audience Member] So you had mentioned working out early in the morning and somewhere between 12 and five, and so, do you discourage those who like to work out around eight?

    - It's sub-optimal. If it's a question of working out at eight or not working out at all ever, working out at eight is better, 'cause there's always the other benefits to working out, apart from just sleep-related things. But it is gonna rev up a lot of aspects of your biology a little bit too much for the winding down process that should really be starting around then.

    - [Audience Member] Yeah, 'cause I've seen that, where some nights I'll work out, and I'm done, like completely just crashing, and other nights, like last night, I was like, just kind of walking around.

    - Fired up, yeah, yeah, yeah. So, what happens in the studies is that doing intense exercise is great for your sleep, but not if you do it too late. Then it actually decreases your quality of sleep. Was there somebody over there? Oh, perfect, awesome.

    - [Audience Member] I have one over here.

    - Oh, one second sorry. You're next. Go ahead.

    - [Audience Member] So you mentioned sleep paralysis.

    - Yeah.

    - [Audience Member] So what can someone do to not experience sleep paralysis?

    - Okay, you asked the right person, 'cause I've dealt with so much of it. I remember I first had it when I was 16, just like freaked the crap out of me, and then I'd kind of gotten used to it. But okay, so a couple things. Keeping a steady sleep schedule, so important. If you're sleeping at random hours, and this is good for overall sleep health, is if you can maintain a regular time as much as possible of when you go to sleep and when you wake up, fantastic for developing good sleep cycles, especially for sleep paralysis. Other things, don't get too exhausted. It's much more likely to happen if you're exhausted. And then, if you sleep with a partner, one thing I found with my girlfriend, this has been an absolute godsend, is that I can control my breathing. I can't talk, but I can control my breathing and kind of blinking, right, when you're in it, and I just start breathing really loud and she knows to shake me and wake me up. It's an absolute miracle. So, that's usually helpful. But then the other thing that really took it to almost not happening at all anymore for me was neurofeedback. This is where you go in, you get electrodes hooked up to your head, and you're watching a screen, and it's measuring different brainwave patterns, and through feedback that you're getting through the screen, it's able to encourage you to have certain beneficial brainwave patterns and discourage the dysfunctional brainwave patterns. And that, for me, pretty much wiped out my sleep paralysis.

    - [Audience Member] Gotcha, wow.

    - [Hostess] I think we have time for one more question.

    - Okay, one more, and then the rest we'll do tomorrow morning on Instagram.

    - [Hostess] Yeah, they're actually really great. I highly recommend check Sage out, @addictivewellness, and he's always answering these amazing questions, and it's just this epic download of getting this really good information on a daily basis.

    - Okay, last one, go for it.

    - [Audience Member] So sometimes, REM sleep can run into, in the sense that you go so far into it, nightmares and night terrors in there. So do you have any tips for when that happens? My first instinct is to wake up, turn on the lights, shake it off. Is that good? Is there something better I could be doing?

    - Yeah. Shake it off, cool, absolutely shake it off. Get yourself out of that state, and I'm lining up the things I wanna say because there's so many, because I've dealt with this as well. So, don't turn on the lights. That's bad news. That's really gonna throw off your melatonin activities and decrease quality of sleep going later into the night. Managing stress during the day can be very impactful for this, and night terrors come from a variety of things. In some cases, most all cases, as an adult, it's likely that it's some PTSD-related thing, whether or not you remember the trauma or not. Traumas are different for different people, and it could be some random thing that happened when you were a kid that you don't even remember, but just locked into your subconscious and something doesn't feel quite right. That's another one where I've found massive, massive benefit from neurofeedback. Hugely, hugely impactful, and I tried lots of stuff. Like all these herbs, all these supplements, all these sleep hygiene practices didn't touch really violent dreams that I was having. Neurofeedback, in five sessions, I was seeing lots of benefit. 10 sessions, they were pretty much gone, and I did a few more sessions after that to make sure they stayed away. But basically, it's training your brainwaves to not go into this loop.

    - [Audience Member] The dark place.

    - The scary dark place where it just spirals out of control. Different people get better from different things, and maybe yours will respond to the relaxing effects of being in a float tank or an infrared sauna, or taking reishi mushroom or different things. It's different for different people.

    - [Audience Member] Yeah, I do that.

    - Neurofeedback, look, it's a little bit of an investment to do it. You gotta do at least 10 sessions to cover some ground and get somewhere with it, but it is beyond powerful.

    - [Audience Member] Awesome. I never knew that existed, so thank you.

    - Oh, fabulous, wonderful. Glad we got something new in there. Okay, great, thank you so much, guys.
  • Cookies n Cream Fudge Cake Recipe

    Chocolate Cookie Crumble (Should be thin and crispy):
    Ingredients:

    • 2 cups Tigernut flour
    • 1/2 cup of Cacao Powder
    • 2 chia egg (2 TB ground chia + 8 TB warm water + 2 tsp coconut oil)
    • 2 TB coconut oil
    • Sweetener - 2 TB Birch Xylitol
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
    • 1 TB Astragalus
    • 1 TB Pine Pollen
    • 1/4 tsp salt

    Roll into thin cookies. Bake at 350 for about 10-12 minutes. When cooled, crumble up.

    Cheesecake Layer:
    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup non-dairy thick yogurt (I’ll use a thick coconut one)
    • 3/4 cup nut/seed butter/coconut cream
    • 1-2 TB lemon juice
    • 1 TB Tremella
    • 1 tsp vanilla powder
    • pinch salt
    • Sweetener: drops of Omica Stevia

    Directions:
    Mix altogether in a bowl. Sprinkle in cookie crumble.
    Place in dish. Freeze.

  • Keto Jungle Peanut Caramel Crunch Chocolate Bar Recipe

    Ingredients:

    Jungle Peanut Base Ingredients:

    • 2 cups jungle peanuts
    • 1/3 cup hemp seeds
    • 1/4 cup  chia seeds
    • 1 TB AddictiveWellness Astragalus
    • 1/4 tsp Celtic Sea Salt
    • 1 tsp vanilla bean powder
    • 3 TB Styrian Pumpkin Seed Oil
    • Sweetener to taste - Yacon/Stevia/Birch Xylitol are great options (I used 1 and 1/2 TB Birch Xylitol)

    Chocolate Layer Ingredients:

    Crunchy Jungle Peanut Layer:

    • 1/2 cup chopped up jungle peanuts

    Caramel Sauce Ingredients:


    Directions:

    For the Jungle Peanut Base:

    • In a blender, place the jungle peanuts, hemp seeds, and chia seeds. Blend.
    • Transfer to a bowl.
    • Add astragalus, sea salt, vanilla bean powder, pumpkin seed oil, and sweetener.
    • Mix until combined. If needed, add 1 or 2 TB water. The batter should stick together.
    • Transfer to a parchment lined 8X8 dish.
    • Pop in the fridge while you make the chocolate layer.

    Chocolate Layer Directions:

    Next Step:

    • Take the base out of the refrigerator and pour the melted chocolate on top.
    • Sprinkle the chopped up Jungle Peanuts on top.
    • Pop back on the fridge while you make the caramel sauce.

    Caramel Sauce Directions:

    • In a bowl, put 1 packet of Addictive Wellness Caramel Elixir Blends.
    • Add 2 tsp hot water and stir.
    • Add 2 TB of ghee and a pinch of salt.
    • Stir until smooth.
    • If ghee was melted when added, pop in the fridge for about 5 minutes to stiffen a bit.

    Final Step:

    • Take the base out of the fridge and spread the caramel sauce on top.
    • Sprinkle extra sea salt.
    • Cut into squares and enjoy!!

    Store in the refrigerator. When you want a slice, I suggest taking it out of the fridge and letting it come up to room temperature (about 15 minutes).

  • Reishi Mushroom - The Herb of Immortality & Spiritual Potency

    TRANSCRIPT: 
    - Today we're gonna be talking about one of my personal favorite herbs, and one of the most powerful, adaptogenic, and immunologically active herbs in the entire world. And that is Reishi Mushroom. Now I've been wanting to make a video on Reishi for a long time. Why haven't I yet, when we've done videos about so many other superfoods, and Chinese and Ayurvedic herbs? Well, I hold this herb in such high reverence that I kind of been hesitant to make a video on it, because I want to make sure that I do it justice. So today I'm finally going for it. I'm happy to have you guys along for the ride with me.

     

    So why is this herb so magical? It is known by Taoists, going back for thousands of years as the herb of immortality and spiritual potency. And they would say that it helps to guide you around the obstacles standing between you, and enlightenment. So it's kinda like enlightenment GPS, obstacle avoidance, right? It's amazing. So what does it do? How does it work? How does it make all this happen?

     

    Well before we even get to its spiritual side. Let's talk about what it does immunologically. So Reishi is known as one of the great protectors. It is able to impart intelligence into your immune system. So when it comes into your body, it has these long chain sugars called Beta-glucans. It actually, if you were to taste them, they don't taste sweet. It actually tasted bitter. It's interesting, a bitter kind of sugar. These long chain sugars called Beta-glucans that are up to three feet long, if you were to unwrap, and they're very tiny of course, but they're actually up to three feet long. And so these get chopped up by your immune system, by your white blood cells into smaller pieces, and they attach to your white blood cells, and essentially teach them how to do their job better. It's like an operating system upgrade for your immunity.

     

    So in studies, what have they shown in the markers? Well, they've shown that it actually increases levels of natural killer cells. It increases the size, and the activity of macrophages, which are kind of white blood cells. And then it also protects those macrophages from oxidative damage. So it's a total upgrade to this immunological army that you have in your body that's working day, and night to protect you. So this is incredible, because when the body is immunologically vulnerable, of course a lot of your body's energy is focused on that, and it can't work on other things. And it can't work on healing. It can't work on bringing down inflammation. There's so much that you want to do in your life, but if your body's energy is having to be fully focused on immunological battles all the time, because your immune system is relatively weak, it limits what else you can do in terms of your health, and your life. And we all know this. If you're sick all the time, you're not gonna be doing much, right?

     

    So that's one thing, and that's really incredible, because Reishi has such a powerful ability to enhance immune intelligence, but it also does so much more. In the Chinese system, it's what's known as it three treasure herb. And to learn a bit more about the three treasures system, we won't go into it today, because there's so much I need to say about Reishi specifically. But if you want to learn more about the three treasures system, we have another video on our YouTube channel. We'll put a link in the description all about that, okay, so Reishi is a three treasure herb. So it's supporting the adrenals, it's supporting moment to moment active energy, and it's also supporting what's going on is your shen, your higher self.

     

    So Reishi is incredible at bringing down stress, bringing down anxiety, getting out of your head, and into your heart, and getting you to stop overthinking, and just go, and come from a place of really pure feeling. 'Cause that's where a lot of the wisdom really is, right?

     

    So Reishi, I have a great story actually. When I first was having my first experience with wild Reishi. Now Reishi can be cultivated, and there's some amazing cultivated Reishis. But the ultimate Reishi in terms of its spiritual benefits is wild Reishi that's growing on dead trees that have fallen over in the wild. And the first time I experienced this was 2011. I was living in Australia, and I was gonna an early morning yoga class. It was like 5:30 in the morning. It was dark out, and I brought a tincture bottle with me from home that had been sent to me from California, and I thought it was a different tincture. I thought it was a different set of different herbal formulation that was gonna be a strong qi formula that was gonna really energize me, and give me the fire, because I was practicing a very vigorous Astanga Yoga at the time. That takes a lot of power to make it happen.

     

    Now I thought that was that, but I opened up the tincture bottle, and could kind of see it in the semi-darkness, and the candle light that instead of being kind of like a milky white colored tincture that this was a like a very dark. So I was like, oh, what is this? And so I took it, and I went over, and I went to the bathroom where there could be some light, and a turn on the light, and I looked at the label of the bottle. I was like, whoa, wild Reishi. I didn't ask for this. It was sent to me by mistake. But this is amazing, because I had only, I'd experienced Reishi before of course, but I'd only read about the power of wild Reishi, and its spiritual benefits.

     

    So I was blown away, and super excited to get to try this. So I was in this, you know, I just see like, you know, in a little bathroom stall, me and my tincture bottle getting ready to do the yoga, and I opened it up, it's like this dark, dark red, and I took the first dropper full under my tongue, and there was an immediate, and powerful effect. There was this wave of relaxation that just came throughout my body. I felt myself instantly and my mind go quiet, and my heart just kind of blossom. And as I said, there was this wave of relaxation. So much so that I just like, I crumpled a little bit, and like fell over. I like crashed into the wall gently. But just like ugh, over into the wall. It's like so much relaxation instantly flowing throughout my body, and just a feeling of bliss, and often like this with many herbs you, I always say when you're, when you're driving for example, you feel acceleration, you don't feel speed. So when you first take something, when that herb is getting you up to a new speed, or a new function, you really feel the shift. When have you been taking it all the time. You don't notice it as much, because you get used to it, right? That's the hedonic adaptation. You don't notice the change so much anymore, but when you first experience an herb it's really, can be very profound. And so this was an incredible experience, and I was just in awe of the power of his wild Reishi, and I closed up the bottle, put it away, went, and went to yoga class, and it was, I was there a little bit early. It wasn't starting yet.

     

    So I rolled out my yoga mat, and I just kind of stood at the front there like this feeling of, wow, this is amazing. This is really amazing. And just my heart was blossoming. So much love, and positivity flowing throughout my body. And I know this may sound, you know, a bit esoteric, and airy fairy for some of you, but I, you know, I can only tell you what my first hand experience really was, and that was my first really powerful Reishi experience, and Reishi has been there as so many times in my life where there has been real stress, and real challenges that I've been dealing with and the stress levels, you know, otherwise it would have just been spectacular. I had just hit the Reishi hard again, and again, and again. And it's always been there for me. It's really an incredible herb, and so many people these days are also dealing with sleep problems, right?

     

    So Reishi has actually been shown in clinical studies to help with sleep. It doesn't increase your REM sleep, but what it does do is increases your overall sleep time in what's called sleep latency, which is the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep, once you actually get into bed. And so many people we hear about these days, right? They see I just get into bed, and I'm tossing, and turning, and can't fall asleep. So it's amazing to be able to have access to an herb like Reishi mushroom that is actually gonna shorten that sleep latency, because there's nothing worse than being so tired, and knowing you got to get up early in the morning, but you just can't fall asleep, right?

     

    Then it also works in a different way, and that is that it helps to reduce blood glucose, and actually helps with the complications of diabetes. And it's also protecting from liver toxicity, and even as antiviral effects. So this herb is working in so many ways, and I think it has these, these immediate stress reducing effects. But I think a part of, and I was alluding to this earlier, part of the stress reducing effects come from the fact that it is taking a burden off of your body. It is helping you with your immune system. It is helping take down the viral load, it's helping with liver toxicity.

     

    It's helping you get more rest, and when all these other pieces fall into place, naturally you're gonna be less stressed. And when you're less stressed you can aspire to higher things in life. You know, once the burden is off of your back, you can expand it, and kind of you know, you're maybe familiar with Maslow's hierarchy of needs. You can aspire to some of the higher stuff of the hierarchy of needs and work towards doing things that will have a great deep benefit to your own life, and also help others around you as well.

     

    The other thing that's interesting about Reishi is it has a very high safety profile. So with many herbs like this, they will feed them in a very high doses, to animals in animal studies, and to see what is the maximum dose that it can, they can give the animals with no negative effects. Well, with Reishi over a period of two weeks, I think it was, they fed them five grams per kilogram of body weight, right? Now, five grams may not sound like a lot, but that's actually... Even if you were to do five grams a day for an entire human, that would be quite a lot. So let's say you're, my calculations might be a little off here, but let's say you're 120 pounds, or equate that to approximately, okay, approximately, 50 kilos. I don't have the conversion perfect in my head. But let's say you're 50 kilos, and that would mean you could take 250 grams of Reishi day. That's half a pound of Reishi. Now, I don't recommend that, it's overkill. It would get quite expensive, but it just gives you an idea of how gentle yet effective, and safe this herb is.

     

    It's a great thing to try, especially if you've got a lot of stress in your life, and you're looking to find some more balance, you know, because stress can cause so many problems beyond just the immediate effects of, of not feeling good, and not being able to focus. It totally throws your hormones out of balance, because your adrenals, and your whole endocrine system are producing hormones all the time, it's your hormone factory. And when you are in a state of chronic stress, constantly producing cortisol, and your body will stop producing your other good hormones. Things like testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, oxytocin, they will stop production of these, because it thinks there's an immediate threat to your life. And if the only thing that matters is producing cortisol so you can have fight, or flight response, and survive, I mean that goes on, and on, and on. Your hormone health just gets trashed.

     

    So Reishi can have so many downstream effects just because of the way it sorts out the stress in your life. So if you guys have had an experience with Reishi, please leave a comment. I'd love to hear how it's been for you. And thank you so much for your watching. It's been a pleasure sharing my favorite herb with you, and they'll probably be a follow up video to this, because there's so many things I love to share about Reishi that I will probably five minutes from now think, oh, there was this thing, and I should have said it. So stay tuned for part two, and thanks again for joining me. Wishing you all a beautiful day.
  • The Best Natural Pre-Workout

    TRANSCRIPT: 

    Today we're gonna talk about the best thing to put in your body before a workout. There's so many different pre-workout products in the market these days that it can be very confusing, and I wanna take things back to some basics and see what's gonna actually have the most beneficial effect. Not just in energizing you, but giving you the most bang for your buck in terms of the benefits that you get in your body. Okay, so I may be a little bit biased here as the owner of a chocolate company, but I think that really high quality dark chocolate is the best thing you can have before a workout.

    The main reason, and I'm I'm gonna get into a few different reason here, they're all very interesting. But the main reason is a kind of flavonol compound called epicatechin.

    There's a number of different flavanols in chocolate. The main one is epicatechins. And studies have shown, now this is still an early stage research, right. So this hasn't been studied for many, many, many years, but I know you guys love to be on the cutting edge so that's why I like to share these things with you. So you don't have to wait 20 years until it's been published a hundred times to actually start getting the benefits. So these epicatechins, it's been shown that the amount of epicatechins found in just 30 grams of chocolate. So that's like, for example, one of our bars is 48 grams. So that's a little bit more than half of our chocolate bars. This amount of epicatechins has been shown to enhance exercise capacity and promote skeletal muscle growth. So that right there, you only have a certain amount of time to work out each week, right? A lot of us are limited, we've got a lot going on. You wanna get the most benefit in return for that time you invested. So epicatechins can actually be really helpful here, it seems.

    Not only do they that, but epicatechins also enhance something called mitochondrial biogenesis. Mitochondria are the power plants of your cells. They are where your body takes fuel and turns into ATP, which is like pure cellular energy. Your whole body runs on ATP. When you have more mitochondria, you can make more ATP and your whole body can run more efficiently. You can fight off disease, you have more energy to do physical activities, more energy for your brain. So much works better when you have healthy mitochondria and healthy ATP levels. And epicatechins are actually shown to help your body make more mitochondria. So this is just amazing.

    The mitochondria is one of the most fascinating subjects of research in the past ten years and it's so cool to know that chocolate can really be a big help here. Also, in supplements these days in terms of pre-workout, you often see they have a lot of caffeine added to them. Now that's not even like a coffee but it's actually just synthetic caffeine. Now is that really such a good idea to be taking that in insolation as a stimulant? Maybe not the best, right. And you also hear like almost every week it seems like we're hearing about another pre-workout supplement was lab tested and found to contain like really sketchy illegal drug supplements. So there's a lot of risk out there taking some of these products.

    Now cacao and chocolate contain a compound, naturally occurring, called theobromine. This is a cousin of caffeine, but it's like two cousins that don't really have that much in common. They never really hung out as kids, right. Theobromine works in quite a different way. It doesn't stimulate the central nervous system the same way that caffeine does, although it does increase energy. It also kills, as a side benefit, it kills streptococci mutans, the main bacteria responsible for causing cavities. So this is much more of a gentle and sustainable stimulant, and you don't have to be worried about what kind of a secret ingredients are being put into your pre-workout supplement that they haven't put on the label. It's scary stuff our there in the market, right.

    So now, that would just be true of most regular chocolate. Good, high quality dark chocolate. But as you know, we always have to take it the extra mile here at Addictive Wellness. And so we have, for example, our energy chocolate which so many people love using as their pre-workout. And we put the best Chinese and Ayurvedic herbs in here to enhance your energy production. They're not stimulants, they're just helping your own body to produce more energy naturally. So of example, you have astragalus which famous for increasing strength in the extremities and also being great for supporting the cardiovascular system. Then cordyceps which improves your oxygen utilization. So more oxygen is actually making it to the blood, and the brain, and to the muscles so you can have the power that you need. And then ashwagandha which enhances your focus, your drive, and your endurance. And last but not least, mucuna which is the highest natural source actually of L-dopa, precursor to dopamine. So when you have more dopamine levels you are just feeling happier and more driven and focused. Really great for when you're working out. And mucuna also is a very rare herb in the sense that it helps support natural levels of human growth hormone. So put all this together from epicatechins, the theobromine, to these amazing herbs, and chocolate is an incredible thing to have before working out.

    Last but not least, there's nothing worse than working out and being totally starving, right? It's a miserable experience. Well maybe the only thing worse is working out on a full stomach. Then you just feel like nauseous, right? I've found that cacao is the perfect middle ground because it will satiate you, you'll feel nice, you'll feel satisfied, you're not gonna be miserably hungry, it's gonna keep your blood sugar balance. And you're gonna have a nice energy to push you through your whole workout. It doesn't feel heavy in your stomach. It almost feels like it's not even there. You're just not hungry any more. And of course, with the sugar free chocolate like this you're not gonna have the blood sugar ups and downs that you would get from a more mainstream chocolate with some form or another of sugar in it.

    So if you guys use chocolate as a pre-workout, I wanna hear about it. Leave us a comment below. If you're thinking about it, let me know what your thoughts are and I really wanna say thank you guys for joining me today. It's been a pleasure and I look forward to seeing you again soon. Have a beautiful day.

  • Dark Secrets & Magic of the Cacao World

    Transcript:
    

    Today I want to share with you guys about one of my great passions, that's cacao. Now all cacao is not created equal. There's huge disparity in flavor and quality and purity. And I want to share some of my knowledge here with you guys so that you can make the choice of the best cacao for you.

    Now cacao originally is coming from South America and many believe it's actually coming from Ecuador. Now most cacao is grown in West Africa, that's where you see a lot of the chocolate and child slavery problems, and where a lot of really low quality cacao's coming that's being done on an industrial level for, you know, the big large-scale companies. Nowadays Ecuador supplies less than 4% of the world's cacao.

    And there is something that's important to understand is that if one chocolate bean, one cacao bean from one tree to another tree is not the same thing. There's different varieties of cacao. Now the heirloom variety which we use, the kind that's been around for thousands of years is the Arriba Nacional variety. Which is renowned for its quality and its flavor. And this was originally the only thing that was around, it was the only thing available. Later hybrids were developed to grow better in different environments, as specifically Africa. And the main ones were the Forastero and the Trinitario varieties.

    Now back in the '70s, another hybrid was developed. Another genetic hybrid which was called CCN-51. And this was developed in the '70s, as I said and they had certain benefits that made it quite interesting for people growing cacao. It was resistant to some of the diseases that can attack cacao trees. So farmers didn't have to worry about that. And it also produced four times the yield. So farmers suddenly, in the same amount of land, were able to grow four times the cacao.

    Sounds pretty good, right? One problem. This chocolate is very low quality and is said by experts to taste like acidic dirt. And this is what is used in the vast majority of chocolate around the world. That's why they have to put so much darn sugar in there to cover up that kind of flavor. Now this was originally developed in the '70's, but not taken into wide use until a lot of the Arriba Nacional crop was destroyed in the rains of the '97-'98 El Niño. So this has since then become a huge problem in the cacao world that the market is just flooded with these low quality cacao beans. Now you can understand why these are a problem. They're grown as a monocrop in these open fields in probably soil that is kind of becoming more and more devoid of nutrients. If you're growing something that's producing four times the yield, you're gonna be depleting the soil probably at a faster rate. So naturally you can understand why we stay far, far away from these CCN-51 beans. And we're very particular about the quality of the cacao beans that we use.

    As I mentioned, we use exclusively Arriba Nacional beans. Now these, that name, Arriba Nacional originally comes from when the Conquistadors were asking the natives where to find the higher quality, better tasting cacao beans, and they would say, "Río arriba." Meaning "up river." And that's where you find 'em in a slightly higher altitude area, up river, and these are, the ones that we use are grown in volcanic soil in an intact rainforest environment. Why is that important? Well any plant, any food is only gonna be able to pull out of the soil the amount of minerals that are there. For example a tomato can have over 50 different minerals in it. But if it's grown in crappy soil, can have as few as four minerals in it. So the quality of the soil dictates the quality and the quantity of the minerals that you're gonna be able to be up-taken into the food. So volcanic soil is incredible because it contains minerals that have been brought up from deep within the earth.

    And why do we want it grown in its intact rainforest environment? Well more and more we're learning that just like our microbiome is very important in our body in ways that science never previously before could have even imagined, we're also seeing that the mycelium that grows within the earth, these mycelial fungal networks, that allow for communication between plants and passage of nutrients and break down the soil into nutrients that can actually be absorbed by the plants. You know, not just rocks. Actually these are able, the mycelium is able to break down things like rocks and really tough soil into nutrients that become bioavailable for the plants. It's an amazing life-cycle. And so when you have monocrop soil that has been sprayed and polluted and all kinds of different problems happening to it, you're not gonna have this incredible, mycelial network that you're gonna get in an old growth forest or in an intact rainforest environment as we're using here. The other great thing about that, being an intact rainforest environment, is that the grooming of this cacao and the fact that we are paying for this cacao, we are incentivizing the local people to have a good reason to be great environmental stewards for the jungle and for the rainforest. And there is nothing more important than that in our modern world. And then it's just the best when it comes to the flavor. Has an incredible, floral flavor to it, and if you've ever opened a box of our chocolate or a bag of our cacao powder, and just taken a deep inhalation, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

    Now we don't stop there with our cacao. Our cacao as you may know, is raw. And it is mycotoxin free, and it is very, very clean when it comes to heavy metal contamination. These are three things that are very unique to what we're doing here. So most all cacao out there is roasted. That is interesting in certain ways from flavor profile perspective, but it is destroying some of these very heat sensitive compounds. Some of these really interesting neurotransmitter type of compounds that are found in the chocolate.

    Then cacao in the traditional sense is processed in such large batches and in a fashion that leads to a lot of mold being able to grow in the chocolate. And the mold may be destroyed during the roasting process, so it may not show or test positive for mold in the final production, but what's left behind is mycotoxins. These are toxic byproducts of that mold that remain in the chocolate and can have a really detrimental effect on your health. Now our chocolate is done in small batches in a very particular environment with particular methods that are designed to prevent any kind of mycotoxin production or mold contamination and this is something that we actually test for, to show that we are, and be sure that we are bringing only the highest quality cacao to you guys. 'Cause we care about your health like we care about our health.

    Then, last but not least, heavy metal contamination is a huge problem in the chocolate world. And chocolate and cacao are notorious for having heavy metal problems, and in a similar way, our partners who are procuring the cacao for us are extremely particular about the way in which it's processed. And that's something we test for as well, to make sure that we're very clean when it comes to heavy metals. We don't want arsenic, we don't want lead, we don't want mercury, none of this. We don't want any of that in our chocolate. We just want the purest, highest quality cacao to give you the ultimate experience.

    So if you've had an experience that you've enjoyed with our chocolate, please let us know. Leave us a comment below, give us a like, share this with your friends if you think they might benefit from learning a little bit more about the different kinds of cacao out there in the world and how to really be knowledgeable about selecting the best one. Thank you guys so much for lending me your time and I hope this has been informational and beneficial for you. Wishing you an incredible day and hope to see you back here again soon.

  • Benefits of Holy Basil (Tulsi) "The Incomparable One"

    Transcript: 
    - Hi, I'm Sage. Welcome back to the Addictive Wellness channel. Today, I'm excited to talk with you guys about one of my favorite herbs and one of the greatest adaptogens in the world, Holy Basil, also known as Tulsi. So this is a plant originally coming from Asia and it was traditionally used in the Ayurvedic system and continues to be used in the Ayurvedic system. But now it doesn't just grow there, it's actually growing now in tropical regions all around the world. It's kind of been spread by man around the world, which is kind of cool. Invasive plants aren't always necessarily a good thing, but in this case it has so many benefits to it, so it's great that people all around the world can get access to it, including us here in America.

    So what is Holy Basil doing? It works in so many ways. First of all, it's helping to control blood glucose levels and improve insulin sensitivity which is amazing because when you balance your blood sugar and get your blood sugar regulated and your body can control that, there are so many benefits that come downstream from that including better longevity, better energy levels, better hormone health.

    And then at the same time, building on that hormone health topic, it also improves testosterone production for guys which is great because there are so many components of our modern lives and our modern diets and lifestyles that are challenging testosterone production. So we wanna support it on the other side. Now, keep in mind if you are wanting to have children in the near future, don't take Holy Basil because it actually decreases sperm production and you wanna have all your guys ready to go if you're trying to reproduce in the near future. Now, don't use it as your only method of birth control, but it is gonna have that sperm inhibiting effect.

    Next, it's gonna be supporting thyroid function and thyroid is one of those things where so many people have maybe a slightly underactive thyroid and they have all kinds of different health problems that are stemming from that but they don't recognize it and they run around kinda just playing whack-a-mole trying to stifle different symptoms that are popping up here and there. But you smack one of those guys and another one just pops up. And so getting your thyroid balance is key for longterm health and getting to a point where you don't have random symptoms popping up all over the place.

    Then it's decreasing stress and anxiety. Holy Basil chills you out, it is a great meditators herb. I wanted to put it on our tranquility chocolate along with other herbs like Reishi and Ashwagandha and He Shou Wu. The problem is, Holy Basil has such a strong specific flavor that it was overwhelming the flavor of our chocolate and so I wasn't able to get it in there but it's one that I love to have. It's actually really a pleasant taste, it just kind of clashes with the flavor of chocolate. You could even do it in a hot chocolate, but you gotta be ready for the fact that the Holy Basil flavor is gonna be very prominent.

    Now, it's also working on the liver. It protects the liver from toxins which is great in our modern world. We're bombarded by toxins all the time and it has an especially strong function in that way if you're pairing it with Milk Thistle, so it's interesting, Holy Basil really has synergistic effects with many other herbs. We were talking about it for stress and anxiety, it is magnified in that department if you take it with Ashwagandha, another one of our anti-anxiety, stress reducing herbs. Now with the liver, it helps and it works even better if you pair it with Milk Thistle. And the Journal of Cancer Research and Therapeutics 2016 showed that it will actually selectively protect against tissues being damaged by the destructive effects of radiation. So if you're having radiation for cancer or something of that nature, you don't wanna block the effects of radiation 'cause you want radiation to kill off the cancer cells, but you can have an herb like Holy Basil that's gonna help to selectively protect the healthy tissues from being damaged while still allowing the radiation to go in and have its effect on killing the cancer cells.

    So this is a really incredible herb and a great one to incorporate into your strategy for health, longevity, for maximum thyroid function, fighting stress, healthy liver function, detoxification in so many ways. So let me know if you've tried this herb, give us a like, leave us a comment, let us know what your experiences have been. I look forward to hearing from you guys and hearing about your experience and I wish you all a great day and looking forward to seeing you again soon.
  • Does stevia affect fertility? What does the research say?

    Transcript:
    - Hi, guys. Welcome back to Addictive Wellness Channel. My name is AnnaBlanca.

    - And I'm Sage.

    - And today, we would love to talk about stevia. Stevia, we love stevia. It's an amazing sweetener. And somehow, somewhere it got some bad rap and we would love to clear up the misconceptions about stevia. Not all stevias are created equal. This is true. We completely agree with that. Some of them are really, really bad products. Unfortunately, this is a fact because some stevias are not pure and clean, just the Stevia. Some companies, they mix in some maltodextrin and dextrose. And we both know, guys, that it's made of GMO corn.

    - This is a lot of those little powdered stevia packets.

    - Exactly.

    - Those little green packets.

    - So if you see it on your table and you're like, "Ooh, stevia, I gotta put this in my coffee." Turn it around, check out the ingredients, and do not make this face 'cause that's what I usually do in restaurants instead of just going, it's okay.

    - No, no, no. Usually in restaurants you go, "This is un-friggin-believable."

    - This is true. He is my witness, and some of them even add saccharine which even more unforgivable, right?

    - Right.

    - Exactly. So not many of them are very well-made and the taste is also could be atrocious, I agree. But, but...

    - They're not all like this, right? So, as she mentioned, a lot of stevia products are not made and extracted well and so they have a lot of bitter aftertaste in them and it's given stevia a bad name. People say, "Oh, I don't like stevia." "It has that funky aftertaste." Well, that's poorly-made stevia. Our Stevia, for example, that we use in our chocolate and our elixir blends is certified organic so it's made extremely cleanly.

    - They don't use those bad chemicals, like some of them use.

    - Right, then there's a lot of chemicals used in the processing of a lot of stevias out there. So no harsh chemicals used. And then it tastes really nice because in stevia, there's different compounds that give sweetness. They're called rebaudiosides, and they're known primarily as Reb-A, Reb-B, and Reb-C. And Reb-A is the cleanest tasting of them all and so if you have extractats that are higher in Reb-A, it's gonna taste a lot better. So that's what we use, is one that's very high in Reb-A and doesn't have so much of the other ones. So it gives it a very clean taste.

    - It tastes better, right? And sometimes, let's say I'm in the store and I'm demoing our chocolate because it's one of my favorite things to do because I would love to meet people who are trying our chocolate for the first time. And some people say, "Ooh, I do not like stevia." "It leaves a bad aftertaste in my mouth." And they taste it and they go, "Wow." "I would've never thought that it actually" "can taste like that." So 2% of the people in the population, that's what you usually tell me.

    - This is our estimate from our experience.

    - Estimate. About 2% of people--

    - Can taste it.

    - Have a very strong sensitivity to this flavor of stevia and just can't handle it, right?

    - Yeah.

    - But most other people, even a lot of people who have written off stevia because they had a bad stevia, can actually do great with a really clean and good-tasting stevia, so don't give up hope.

    - Don't give up on us.

    - If you think you can't handle stevia, at least try one of our products one time to see if it's just the stevia's you've been having that have been no good, or if you are a stevia super-taster. Maybe you are.

    - And then you can determine, right?

    - And then you can actually know.

    - And there are some other things about stevia. There are some rumors that are coming up lately, right?

    - Right, so there's been rumors around for a while about Stevia regarding its effect on fertility. Now this goes way back to the 60's when the study was first done in Paraguay by a guy named Professor Kruc. Not C-r-o-o-k, but K-r-u-c.

    - Dr. Joseph Kruc and yes, his name is misleading. His intentions were not bad.

    - He is a guy with good intentions. But here's what happened. He gave rats such a crazy high level of stevia that would never be reproducible in a human study because nobody could eat that much stevia. And of course, they ran into these problems and he even later came out and said that it was probably just that they were overdosing on it and it was way too high of a dose. And even a few years later after that, he said he thinks there's no problems with the stevia at all as a result of his future research.

    - Yeah, he retracted. And there was another study in 1999. How much stevia they gave them?

    - In '99, they did a study where they were feeding stevia to hamsters and they fed them at about 10% of body weight per day. Now, what does this play out as if you're looking at a human? Well, let's say you weigh 120 pounds. If you wanna replicate this study in your body, you're gonna have to be prepared to eat 12 pounds of stevia per day. You're gonna have a lot of other problems before you run into any fertility problems. You're just gonna... I don't even know what would go wrong with you. It wouldn't be fun. You would probably never want to have a sweet thing again in your entire life. Now, even at that crazy high dose, there were no fertility problems. So it just goes to show that you will die from too much stevia just because your stomach explodes, probably, before you would run into any fertility issues.

    - And in 2008, the Journal of Endocrinology and Reproduction came out with a report that they didn't find any proof, either, that stevia would have infertility or fertility effect at all on human. Or in mice, on mice. They did it on mice. Nobody ever studied on human.

    - Right, so if there's been no longterm studies on humans. No real studies to speak of at all.

    - 'Cause there was nothing but a point.

    - Right.

    - 'Cause they couldn't even find it in Endocrinology.

    - The way these systems of studies work is that they first have to show something in an animal model and then they'll go through the trouble of doing a human study--

    - Exactly.

    - 'cause that's much more expensive and complex to do. So, didn't even get past an animal level, so hopefully this helps to put these silly rumors to bed and you guys can go help armed with this information to straighten out the true story out there in the world. Thanks so much for joining us, guys. We hope you enjoyed this video. Please give us a like or leave a comment.

    - And follow us.

    - Subscribe and follow us. We really love sharing this kind of fine information with you, and we hope you enjoy it too. Have a great day, and we look forward to seeing you again soon.
  • The Problem with Green Smoothies

    Transcript: 

    Hi, I'm Sage. Welcome to back to the Addictive Wellness Channel. Today I want to talk about green smoothies. This is a really interesting topic to me because so many people experience tons of benefits from drinking green smoothies in which they are, say, using almond milk as the base, adding some bananas and some berries, maybe some other fruit, and then some kale or spinach, different greens like that, and they get great benefits from these in the beginning because they're coming off, probably a conventional diet, and for the first time they're getting living foods into their body, they're getting whole plant foods, they're getting a good dose of all these different vitamins and minerals. For all those reasons, they are getting benefits. They are feeling amazing, they have tons of energy afterwards, might kinda be to do with all the sugar of those bananas, but they're also even maybe detoxing if they've got lots of toxins onboard.

    So people have a great experience of these very often in the beginning. But the scary thing is that they label them as being so good for you and then, over time, problems can creep up, and because they've labeled them as being so super healthy, you don't necessarily realize that that smoothie that was making you feel so good in the beginning can actually be causing you problems later on. What's going on here? What's happening is that this is not a good recipe for optimal digestion. When you combine things that require a lot of energy to digest and lots of time, they move through slowly, like kale, for example, it's not gonna go so well with something like a banana. This is something that's very starchy, very sugary, burns up very fast and moves through quickly.

    To give you a bit of a metaphorical understanding, if you imagine a one-lane road, right, going one direction, and you could only fit one car at a time, and you have a car on there that loves to be driven fast, you have a Ferrari, that's the banana, right? And it wants to go, it doesn't want to sit in traffic, it wants to go. And then you have kale carrying, it's like a big rig carrying lots of stuff, it's got lots of nutrition on board, lots of fiber, takes time, doesn't go anywhere fast. It maybe maxes out at 55 miles per hour on the freeway with the pedal to the metal. You've got a bunch of Ferraris and a bunch of big rigs all interspersed, right, when you got that banana and that kale coming in at the same time. The Ferrari wants to go, but it can't. It gets stuck there, it gets angry. It starts to really get upset and get road rage. This is happening in your gut. The banana, those starches and sugars, can't get through, and what happens is they start to ferment and you can actually get a proliferation of bad bacteria. This is really not a good situation for gut health, and you're gonna be throwing off your whole microbiome, essentially, in your gut. This is not gonna lead anywhere good.

    Again, I said you can get a lot of benefits at the beginning because this is better than going and having McDonald's, but in the long-term, you may get some real gut microbiome issues, you get a lot of boating and things like that. I have known people who, they drank green smoothies for a really long time and they say, "I love these green smoothies, and they really connect with them." But they say, you know, "I've also got these problems with bloating. It still comes up for me sometimes." And I say, well, have you connected the two? And they don't really make the connection at first. I love the idea of getting all this great nutrition in our bodies through blended foods, but you gotta be strategic about how you're gonna do it. You can't just combine willy-nilly and think it's all gonna digest very smoothly.

    Now that said, some people just have this incredibly powerful digestive fire and they can just crush anything, but for most people, this is gonna be problematic in the long run, even maybe in the short run. What can you do if you want to be able to have a green smoothie and get all these greens in blended form so you can get as much nutrition in your body as possible? Here's what you can do. You gotta get the fruit outta there. You gotta go for a different kind of flavor other than just this total sweetness. You start out putting some ice in the blender, then you put a big cucumber in there, you put a couple stalks of celery, you could even put like some arugula and some kale, if you wanted to do that, and then, you add, and you can do maybe half a green apple, quarter of a green apple, Granny Smith apple, not sweet, really sour, not much sugar in there, and then, you could put some parsley or some cilantro, a little bit of cayenne, some lemon juice, and blend that, you don't need to add any liquid. Between the ice and all the liquid in the cucumber and the celery, it's gonna be enough. That's gonna blend smooth. It's gonna be incredible.

    Me personally, I love to add a tablespoon of spirulina and a tablespoon of chlorella into there. That's just me, it's a bit of an acquired taste. If you love those super greens, go for it, but start out with just the plain, basic recipe. And we'll make a video soon of that recipe to show you the exact proportions and how it's done. But that's a much better way to do a green smoothie that actually is gonna be able to digest well and not lead to gas and bloating and bacteria and fermentation and things like that.

    Guys, let us know what your experience has been with green smoothies. Leave the comment below. We'd love to hear. Thank you for joining us. I really appreciate you taking the time to watch this video, and I hope to see you again soon. Have a great day.

  • Our Best Healthy Holiday Tips

    For most of us, the holidays are classically the least healthy time of the year as we overindulge and put our high standards on hold when it comes to the kind of ingredients we would normally allow into our bodies.  But it doesn’t have to be this way! It’s possible to experience all the beauty, magic, and delicious food the holidays have to offer without forcing your body to pay the price!


    Immunity
    Nothing ruins the holidays quicker than coming down with a cold or flu and not being able to fully enjoy being with your loved ones.  There are a number of factors that leave our immune systems more vulnerable at this time of year.

    • Unhealthy eating and overeating leave our bodies focusing their energies on digestion rather than protection
    • Sugar consumption impairs immune function, especially if eaten throughout the day
    • The biological and mental stress of travel weaken immunity
    • Last but not least, family relationships can be complex and stressful!

      So let’s start off by arming our bodies with the best weaponry possible in the form of immune-enhancing adaptogenic herbs.  Some of our favorites include reishi mushroom, chaga mushroom, agaricus blazei, and astragalus. These contain long-chain polysaccharides called beta-glucans which essentially give your immune system an “operating system update,” so you’ll be prepared to handle whatever comes your way.  These herbs also have stress-modulating effects, so they can also help prevent the immune-exhausting effects of holiday stress. Click here to learn how to make an easy, delicious, and very powerful chaga tea! 

      Chaga Mushroom

      Activated Charcoal
      If you do end up eating some things that you know aren’t the best for you, it can be great to take a couple of capsules of activated charcoal right away.  Our favorite is the coconut charcoal from our friends at Schizandu. The charcoal can help to absorb toxins and other harmful compounds, preventing them from being absorbed and drawing them out of your system.  Medical note: If you are taking drugs or other medications, do not take activated charcoal at the same time as it will interfere with their absorption.

      Activated Charcoal

      Apple Cider Vinegar
      Apple cider vinegar is high in acetic acid and has many amazing properties, including the abilities to lower blood sugar (this is a big one during the holidays!), kill harmful bacteria, burn fat, and improve heart health!  You just have to add 1 teaspoon-1 tablespoon to a glass of water and it can also do wonders for digestion. The taste is a little intense, but adding just a couple of drops of liquid stevia and a few ice cubes can turn it into a delicious, refreshing drink!

      Apple Cider Vinegar

      Intermittent Fasting

      Holiday eating tends to center much more around lunch and dinner than breakfast, making it very easy to leverage the power of intermittent fasting during this time!  If you can limit your food consumption to the window of 12PM-8PM, you’ll be able to cut into your total calorie intake, strengthen your mitochondria, protect cognitive health, and clean out damaged cells.

      Healthy Holiday Foods
      We’re no longer living in the ‘90s when food was either good for you or good tasting. We now live in an incredible time when we can have our cake and eat it too- if we make it the right way!  For basically any traditional holiday food you can imagine, there are countless modified recipes online featuring clean healthy fats, gluten-free flours, and the best sugar-free sweeteners.  If the intention is there, anything is possible and it’s a great opportunity to quietly introduce the family to healthier options that taste just as good (and quite possibly even better) than what they’re used to!

      And finally, always have a bar of your favorite sugar-free chocolate nearby! That way if you’re feeling tempted to take a bite of an unhealthy treat, you can go for the chocolate to satisfy your cravings with a flavor you know you’ll love!

    • Sexy Aphrodisiac Elixir for Valentine's Day

      The perfect tonic herbal aphrodisiac elixir for an unforgettable Valentine's evening!

       

      Ingredients (Serves 2):

       

      1 teaspoon cistanche
      1 teaspoon cordyceps
      1 teaspoon morinda
      1 teaspoon gelatinized maca
      2 tablespoons cacao powder
      2 tablespoons coconut oil
      12-20 drops liquid stevia
      2 cups hot water Blend on high and enjoy!

      Transcript:
      - Hi, I'm Sage. Welcome back to the Addictive Wellness channel.

      - Hi everybody, my name is AnnaBlanca.

      - Today we're getting ready for Valentine's day. It's right around the corner and we're gonna show you guys how to make a quick, really easy, super-powerful aphrodisiac drink that everyone's gonna enjoy. You're gonna love it, and your partner is gonna just really enjoy it.

      - Alright. Why don't we start with cordyceps. It's one of my favorite herbs and I know I say this about every herb so I should really shut up. Their good for both male and female sexual enhancement, and it's one of the best sexual tonic herbs out there. It helps to release the testosterone and helps your body to utilize its own oxygen, so you have more focus, more stamina, and also, very interestingly, they say it helps with sexual malaise and you read into that what you would.

      - Alright, so you gonna put that in?

      - Yes, of course.

      - Alright, so now we've got cistanche. This one is traditionally known as the stalk enlarger. I'll let you guys figure that one out. I think it's pretty straight forward. It's great for both men and women, for enhancing sexual energies and for intensifying the climax experience.

      - Right. And they actually say that cistanche and my next herb is very good together. Why?

      - Well, it's very good for guys, so nothing happens before you want it to happen. Timing is really the name of the game.

      - I actually agree with you on that. Timing is the name of the game. So this other herb that I just said they go very good together with the cistanche it's called morinda. And ladies, it's really good for feeling juicy. It has actually yang fiery energy. Yang is, you know, yin yang. And yang is more like the male energy. But we like having ...

      - It's fiery and passionate.

      - Very passionate. And also it enhances physical endurance and your mental power. Imagine you are going on a very beautiful date and you would like some smarts, it's gonna help you with that.

      - So during your date, you're gonna be really intelligent and on it, and then later, you'll be on it in another way.

      - So, this little cup contains all the passion and we're adding it into our potion.

      - Alright, next we're gonna use gelatinized maca. Now, why gelatinized? This just means it's been processed with some heat and that is to break down the starches and the fiber so it's actually easier to digest. Raw maca can cause some flatulence and if there's one thing we don't want you to have on your sexy Valentine's evening, it's flatulence.

      - No comment. I always agree with you my darling.

      - Yeah.

      - So let's put ...

      - Now we have our cacao powder. So this is our own Addictive Wellness Heirloom Arriba Nacional Cacao. It's got a flavor unlike any other cacao I bet you've ever experienced. If you're a fan of our chocolate and you love that rich aromatic flavor that it's got, you're gonna love this. So we're gonna put that right in there and that's not just for flavor. Cacao has a lot of, not necessarily directly aphrodisiacs, but things that make you feel happy and relaxed and blissful, and that naturally allows for a beautiful romantic experience. It's got compounds like phenylethylamine, anandamide, theobromine. These are all gonna get you in the right state.

      - The same chemicals that are released in your brain when you're in love.

      - Yeah. That's PEA, phenylethylamine. It's the compound naturally produced by you when you're in love. That's why chocolate and Valentine's are so inextricably intertwined.

      - I think chocolate and this tonic together...

      - Yeah, you could always have a couple pieces of love chocolate, but this is better.

      - Alright let's cream it up a little bit.

      - Alright, so we've got coconut oil going in here. That's gonna be, essentially, our creamer. There's other options you could use here. Grass-fed ghee, if that's something you're into, is a great addition, and really great flavor-wise as well. And you can even use like a styrian roasted pumpkin seed oil, really high in zinc so

      - Oh.

      - So great for male function there as well.

      - Alright, and a little bit of hot water. One cup of hot water. Or you can double up the dose if you want to make it a drink for two.

      - And then six drops of stevia going in there, give or take a few drops, depending on how sweet or not sweet you like it.

      - This is, what flavor is that?

      - This is the butterscotch flavored stevia, so that combines really nicely with the cacao.

      - Organic.

      - Of course, there's different flavored stevias out there but this is an organic, butterscotch stevia. Now, we're just gonna blend this up and you're ready to roll.
    • FB Live - Diet Wars in Relationships

      Tonight we'll be talking about how we harmoniously thrive in a relationship where we have significant differences in our diets!  Food is such a central part of any relationship and many people struggle when their partner isn't aligned with their health journey or may just eat a completely different diet. We're going to talk about how we navigate this in our own relationship and also having an open Q&A answering questions on this topic and anything else that may be on your mind!

    • Turmeric Absorption Secrets + Easy Recipe

           If you've been interested in natural health for a little while, you'll probably know that turmeric has become famous for it's anti-inflammatory properties.  But if you don't take turmeric in just the right way, it doesn't actually get digested and the vast majority of the benefits are missed out on?

           The key to making sure turmeric actually gets absorbed into the body is to consume it with a small amount of black pepper.  (Alternatively, it could also be consumed with piperine, a compound extracted from black pepper.)  Just a tiny amount of black pepper can result in significantly better absorption of turmeric and the beneficial curcumin it contains.  (Curcumin is the main bioactive substance in turmeric responsible for fighting inflammation at the cellular level.) This is why black pepper is also traditionally a common ingredient in curry and curry powder!  Consuming turmeric with healthy fats, as is also traditionally done in Indian cuisine, will also help escort the cucurmin into the bloodstream.

           How does this work?  Even just a very small amount of black pepper stops the liver from eliminating the turmeric curcumin too quickly, allowing turmeric levels in the blood to significantly increase.  Just 1/20th of a teaspoon of pepper can increase the bioavailability of turmeric by 2000%.  On top of that, eating turmeric with healthy fats allows the curcumin to be absorbed through the lymphatic system and partially bypass the liver.

           So it should come as no surprise that this is how turmeric is traditionally consumed- with black pepper and fat!  Now that the turmeric has actually made it into the blood, watch the video above to learn about the incredible benefits of this radiant root!

    • Sun Protection - Clean, Natural & Healthy

           When it comes to sun protection, most people think the only way to do it is by slathering themselves with toxic chemical sunscreens.  What many people don't realize, is that you can affect your skin's resilience in the sun both internally and externally.  In this post, we're going to talk about the best ways to do both!

           Mainstream sunscreens are an absolute abomination on every level!  Oxybenzone, the most common active ingredient is a xenoestrogen (chemical estrogen mimic) and rated an 8/10 on the EWG's toxicity scale for cosmetic toxicity. (1=clean, 10=super toxic)  Oxybenzone is able to penetrate past the skin and interfere with the hormone receptors in the body.

           The good news is, there are alternatives! The approach we take personally is to regularly supplement with astaxanthin, a red algae pigment that is extremely protective of the skin.  It's important to note that you really have to take this supplement regularly to experience the effects- you can't just take it on the day you're going to be in the sun because it has to build up in your system.  Then if we're going to be in the sun for longer periods of time for which astaxanthin alone would not provide enough protection, we'll use very cleanly formulated sunscreens with non-nano zinc oxide as the only active ingredient.

           And the final key is not to use harsh soaps immediately after being in the sun.  Vitamin D has such a wide variety of health benefits and it builds up on your skin while in the sun and then is soaked into your body over the following hours.  But if you immediately use harsh soaps, you'll simply be stripping away this priceless Vitamin D.

      Have a beautiful summer and stay safe and healthy in the sun!

    • Avatar Blue Butterfly Anti-Aging Superfood Ice Cream

      This is a recipe we've been looking forward to making for a really long time! It's not just a treat for the tastebuds, but also a treat for the eyes- that blue color is just so incredible!  And of course the texture and flavor are downright addictive ;)  If that wasn't enough, watch the video to learn why the star ingredient has serious anti-aging benefits.

       If you don't have a high-power blender like a VitaMix, you can use 6 oz of ice and 12 oz of almond milk or coconut milk to make a blue milk shake... not quite the same thing as ice cream, but still totally delicious!

      In a VitaMix Blender put:
      10 lage Ice cubes (Approx. 24 oz ice)
      2 Tablespoons Hemp Seeds
      2 Tablespoons Lucuma
      1 Tablespoon Non-GMO Lecithin
      1 teaspoon Tremella powder (optional)
      2 teaspoons Blue Butterfly Pea Flower Powder
      1 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Powder
      1 Tablespoon Grass-fed Ghee (vegans can substitute coconut oil, mct oil or soaked cashews)
      20 drops Omica Liquid Stevia

      Blend on high until smooth while aggressively using the tamper/plunger to drive the ingredients down into the blade. Enjoy!

    • Delicious Superfood Salad Toppings

      Why have just a salad when you could have so much more!?  Fresh leafy green vegetables are a fantastic and important component of a healthy nutritious diet.  But rather than simply topping your salad with olive oil and a little bit of lemon juice of apple cider vinegar, you can take it a step further and upgrade your salad with some of these powerful superfoods!  Not only do the ingredients we talk about in this video offer fantastic sources of iodine, protein, omega-3s, and more, but they are also absolutely delicious.  Perhaps the best part is that most people have never even heard of these, so they'll give you something fascinating to talk about when you're serving the salad at your next dinner party!
    • How to Feed Your Heart, Body, and Soul

      How to Feed Your Soul

      By Shanna Fanelli

      Figuring out health these days can be intimidating. Looking at a list of popular diets and lifestyle hacks holds more shout-outs than any rap song roll-call. An innocent run to the grocery store becomes a race where items are either quickly tossed into the cart before that “health-nut” you always run into can scan your selections, or you end up with a walk-of-shame over the extraneous amount you spent on organic, biodynamic superfoods. 

      All in the name of health.

      But really, what is health? Is it simply the act of feeding our bodies the energetic fuel it needs? Is it creating a rigid schedule of yoga and alternating between calisthenics and cardio? Is it being in the BBG community? Is it looking lean and amazing or is it being able to count grams and be the Jeopardy Master of the nutritional content of everything?

      We count and chart and macro until we’ve cornered our gastronomic experiences into such a microcosm of rules and comparisons that we throw in the proverbial towel and wind up doing exactly what we should be doing, only with the wrong types of foods, drinks and activities – and that, my friends, is the simple act of eating and doing what we want.

      To be truly nourished encompasses the entire BE-ing; that is, your mind, body and heart. When you nourish yourself, you honor yourself. Yes, investing in the best foods and supporting local farmers and craftsworkers will connect your spirit to your intentions of humanity, love and respect, but are you encompassing these beliefs in all that you do? Even if you’re eating the most nutritious, paleo, sugar-free chocolate treats, staying in ketosis and doing high intensity interval training, you likely won’t reach your true goals without practices to nourish yourself on a deeper level. 

      It’s this authentic concept of nourishing ourselves - on all levels - that is what we are really craving. Digesting feelings of gratitude for the air we breath, love and respect for the earth we harvest from, grace and empathy for those around us (in addition to our daily practices of ingesting pure foods and drink) – this is true wellness. Moving our bodies with awareness, noticing the small magic in the everyday, being conscience and truly tapping into our intuition of what we really want grounds us and keeps us in tune with who we are. Nourishment is provided in the warming sun, the wet waters, the physical earth and the invisible winds. These elements are in everything and in us. Our authentic selves want to connect to all the earth provides – every natural experience, taste, and sound is not only exciting but healing and regenerative! 

      True nourishment is not a trend, it’s not a list, it’s not waiting to be read or bought and it certainly isn’t out to intimidate or impress.

      Don’t worry about doing diets, trends or health. Just BE well, be grateful, aware, respectful to life and self-honor. And listen to YOUR body – it is a sacred vessel, and it will tell you what you really want. Without any roll-call.

    • Goji Berries- Way More Than Antioxidants

           In recent years, goji berries have become so popular that almost everyone knows that they're good for you!  But the power of goji berries to support your health goes far beyond the antioxidant content of this superfood.

           Goji berries grow in some of the most extreme climates on earth and contain compounds known as sesquiterpenoids, which actually stimulate the pituitary and the pineal gland to improve secretion of human growth hormone (HGH).  For most people, HGH levels decline significantly as we age to the extent that a 70 year old will have only 1/10th the HGH levels of a 20 year old.  Lower HGH levels lead to poor energy production, muscle wasting, and increased tendency to put on body fat.  Being able to naturally support HGH production can help us maintain youthful energy, vitality, and vigor throughout our lives!

           Goji berries are also a great eye food!  They contain two specific antixoidants, zeaxanthin and lutein, which target the eyes.  The long chain polysaccharides in goji berries have also been found to have great immunomodulating properties.

           And best of all, there's so many delicious ways to enjoy them! You can eat the dried berries, soak them in water, blend them into drinks, blend them into ice creams, and much more!  Leave us a comment to let us know what your favorite way to eat goji berries is!
    • Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe Packed with Herbs

      This chocolate ice cream recipe is so smooth, creamy, and delicious, you would never guess that it is packed full of potent herbal extracts!  If you don't have a high-power blender like a VitaMix, you can use 6 oz of ice and 12 oz of almond milk or coconut milk to make a chocolate milk shake... not quite the same thing as ice cream, but still totally delicious!

      In a VitaMix Blender put:
      10 lage Ice cubes (Approx. 24 oz ice)
      2 Tablespoons Addictive Wellness Cacao Powder
      2 Tablespoons Hemp Seeds
      1 Tablespoon Lucuma
      1 Tablespoon Mesquite
      1/2 teaspoon ashwagandha
      1/2 teaspoon cordyceps
      1/2 teaspoon reishi
      1/2 teaspoon he shou wu
      1 tablespoon almond butter or grass-fed ghee
      1 tablespoon C8 Caprylic Acid MCT OIl from Coconuts
      20 drops Omica Stevia

      Blend on high until smooth while aggressively using the tamper/plunger to drive the ingredients down into the blade. Enjoy!

    • The Greatest Adaptogen You've Never Heard of- Gynostemma

      At some point or another, we’ve all imagined a sci-fi future with robots that can predict our needs, knowing what we need before we even know it ourselves.  They would have the shower turned on for us before we got out of bed, breakfast waiting for us at the table, and they might even drive our cars (or hovercrafts!) for us.   And of course, they’d know exactly what to do to promote our optimal levels of physical, mental, and spiritual health, leaving no detail overlooked.  While it may be a few years before we have stainless steel butlers, unbeknownst to most people, for thousands of years, nature has provided humans with intelligent adaptogenic herbs to regulate their bodily functions and achieve optimal health.

      Adaptogens, especially well known in Ayurveda, Taoist Tonic Herbalism, and Traditional Chinese Medicine, are also known as dual-directional herbs.  This means that they are able to regulate certain bodily functions in whatever direction is needed by the body, distinguishing them from all other herbs, which will only be able to push bodily functions in one direction or another.  There are many different adaptogens in the world, including ginseng, maca, gynostemma, astragalus, and ashwagandha, to name just a few.

      Gynostemma Adaptogen

      Gynostemma wasn’t widely known, even in China, until the early 1970s when Japanese researchers took a closer look into the incredible longevity being achieved by residents of a particular region in Southern China where gynostemma tea was being consumed on a daily basis.  The dual-directional nature of adaptogens is generally attributed to compounds in the herbs called saponins.  While the most famous adaptogenic herb in the world, ginseng, contains on average 36 saponins, the Japanese researchers found that gynostemma contained over 80 different saponins.  Gynostemma holds the record to this day for the broadest range of saponins of any known plant in the world.  The similarities in the saponins between ginseng and gynostemma earned gynostemma nicknames such as “7-Leaf Ginseng,” “Southern Ginseng,” and “Ginseng at a tea price,” reflecting how affordable it was compared to ginseng of comparable potency.  However, the people who have been drinking it for hundreds, if not thousands of years still call it “The Magical Grass.”

      Gynostemma’s incredible saponin profile gives it the ability to regulate a vast myriad of bodily functions, covering everything from energy, to immunity, to weight and cholesterol.  For example, whether one is tired or overly-anxious, gynostemma will help restore a state of peaceful vigor, without being stimulating or sedative.  Both athletes and those wanting to lose weight will equally appreciate that gynostemma simultaneously increases the body’s ability to burn fat and build lean muscle.  Furthermore, studies in Japan and China have shown gynostemma to have an effective rate of 94.8% in lowering “bad” cholesterol while increasing “good” cholesterol.

      Now you’re probably wondering, “This all sounds fantastic, but how do I get this herb into my body? And surely something so healthy must taste horrible!”  Firstly, your taste buds need not fear, gynostemma tea is actually slightly sweet and very tasty!  Where as many herbs must be cooked for long periods of time to extract their beneficial compounds, gynostemma comes in easy-to-use tea bags and need only be steeped in near-boiling water for 3-5 minutes.  Not in the mood or don’t have time for a hot tea?  No worries, gynostemma is also available in capsule form.  No matter how you take it, this is an incredible herb that can be taken throughout the day, by just about anyone at any stage of life to build great health and vitality.

      Our favorite gynostemma tea product is Spring Dragon Longevity Tea from Dragon Herbs- at just $9 for a box of 20 teabags (each of which is strong enough to make 3 cups of tea), you've got nothing to lose- give it a try!

      Stay tuned to future blog posts to learn how we use gynostemma tea to create a wide variety of delicious and potent hot tonic creations!

    • Valentine's Day Love Elixir Recipe

      Give this sugar-free aphrodisiac elixir a try with your partner and learn about the amazing energetic effects of the Chinese herb polygala!
    • Sage's Experience with the Wim Hof Method (The Iceman)

      Cliff Notes:
      Is the Wim Hof Method awesome? Yes!
      How much time does it take? 30 minutes/day
      How long is the online course? 10 weeks of video guidance, then you can continue as you
    • Beauty Berry Ice Cream Recipe

      Life with the Addictive Wellness team is always ridiculously fun.  Just the other day a meeting with our friends, Campion and Sally Primm, who masterminded our packaging design quickly turned into an ecstatic ice cream party!  Flavor/function of the day?
    • Getting Your Family Healthy - Oatmeal Cookie Recipe

      It's great to be doing everything you can to work on your own health, but of course the very next thing you want to do is get your family and loved ones on the same journey.  But as we all know, this is much easier said than done!  One of the best things you can do is figure out a way to recreate your loved ones' favorite foods in the healthiest way possible and make sure they still taste just as good.
    • How to Avoid the Biggest Mistake Making Green Smoothies (Recipe)

      First the bad news, then the good news and a delicious recipe to go with it!The usual concept of the "green smoothie," blending a few leafy greens with sugary fruit and liquid to mask the flavor of the greens is a DISASTER for digestion and intestinal bacteria balance.  The body digests the sugary fruit quickly and digests the greens much more slowly.  Combine the two and you've got a big problem!

    • How much cell phone radiation is hitting you and when?

      The fact that our cell phones are giving off harmful radiation is no secret.  There's a pretty clear warning about it in most all cell phone manuals.  But how much radiation/EMF is actually coming from your phone? Is it always happening or only when you are on a call?Do headphones protect you or are they just drawing the radiation right from the phone to your head?