The Real Reason We Can’t Stick To Our Resolutions

Did you make any resolutions for 2022?

Maybe, with the best intentions in mind, you carefully picked certain healthy habits you wanted to start implementing so that you could finally

Have more energy and stop feeling so tired all the time, or start losing that stubborn weight that has been holding you back for years, or spend less time on your phone and more time connecting with your family and friends. 

Maybe some of your resolutions looked like this…

“I will go to bed earlier and get more sleep.”

“I will call my parents once a week.”

“I will work out 4 days a week for 30 min.”

“I will play with my kids more frequently.”

“I will take 10,000 steps every day this year.”

So, now that we are a few months into the year, how are you doing with your new year's resolutions?

Are you still working towards them or have they fallen to the wayside?

Maybe you really wanted to follow through but it was difficult because you have been struggling to sleep at night, find yourself having intense sugar cravings, lack energy, and generally feel kind of depressed. 

You may feel that you’ve let yourself down, but the truth is you may be struggling with low dopamine production.

How To Spot the Signs of Low Dopamine Production

It’s true! 

When you’re struggling with an imbalance like low dopamine, it can be almost impossible to complete tasks, follow through on goals, maintain regular exercise, and even make healthy food choices. 

Dopamine is an important neurotransmitter in the brain. It’s involved in memory, motivation, attention, reward, and even how we move our bodies.

When dopamine is released in our bodies, it creates feelings of motivation, pleasure, and reward. It plays a major role in our ability to repeat specific behaviors due to the pleasant sensations we feel in return.

We often feel a release of dopamine upon completing a specific task, or by meeting a goal that we’ve worked hard for. 

However, when dopamine levels are low, that’s when we start to have less motivation, and sometimes just an overall depressed outlook on life.

This is why it is important to recognize the signs of low dopamine. 

Here are the hallmark signs of low dopamine levels: 

When our dopamine production is low, our body really craves it and starts looking for easy ways to feel good again- like a “quick fix”.

A great example of a quick fix is sugar. Sugar artificially raises our dopamine levels and makes us feel good and satisfied…for a while at least. However, when we burn the sugar off we are right back down to where we started.

We want to avoid these superficial ways of producing dopamine because not only is it short-lived, but it also can encourage bad habits that keep us from achieving our goals. 

It isn’t just important that we understand what dopamine does, but also for us to understand how to preserve the dopamine that we do make and what we can do to increase dopamine production with natural and holistic methods.

5 Simple Ways to Increase Dopamine Production

One of our objectives is always to help our clients feel better while also helping them to improve their health and well-being by creating healthy and sustainable habits. 

Here are our five favorite healthy ways to naturally raise your dopamine production and begin feeling more motivated, focused, and most importantly to begin feeling the sense of reward that we crave. 

1. Get High-Quality Sleep. When you do not regularly get high-quality sleep, it actually starts to disrupt systems in your body like dopamine production. This is why it is really important to create a healthy sleep routine. 

I encourage you to begin by turning off your bright overhead lighting as early as possible and instead utilize candlelight or red light. Red light naturally lowers our cortisol (stress hormone) levels. 

I also encourage you to introduce calming activities before bed like reading a book or journaling to wind down before falling asleep. 

2. Get Sunlight in the Morning. I know this one can feel hard when the weather is cold and overcast, but the sun is so powerful that even on a cloudy day you can still reap the benefits. 

Sunlight and the act of getting out into nature daily can greatly improve dopamine production. I suggest taking a 5-10 minute walk every day, however, if you cannot do that you will still benefit from simply staring out your window. 

3. Eat Adequate Protein. Protein is made up of important building blocks called amino acids. One amino acid crucial for dopamine production is called Tyrosine. Tyrosine can be found naturally in protein-rich foods like turkey, chicken, and beef. 

Iron and B6 are 2 other necessities for dopamine production. Animal proteins are often an excellent source of iron and B6. If you avoid meat in your diet, you can also find iron and B6 in wheat germ, oats, bananas, soybeans, and nuts. 

4. Anchor Rewards: This is a really satisfying way to maintain your dopamine levels on a daily basis. I like to start by creating goals (large or small) and assigning some kind of reward to each goal. 

The rewards that I choose are always something that I can incorporate into my daily life like a new shirt from my favorite brand, a piece of artwork to hang in my home, or a new device I can utilize to make progress in a hobby or at work. 

The act of meeting my goals fulfills that need for completion which triggers dopamine production, and the anchor goals are daily reminders of my accomplishments and keep me motivated to accomplish more. 

5. Volunteering. Just like the old saying you get back what you give, when you spend time helping others or contributing to your community that will also increase your dopamine production. 

I recommend volunteering on a regular basis. Giving back to the community creates a sense of gratitude that spreads to those you are helping as well as to yourself!

Next Steps

All of these habits will help you to improve and maintain your dopamine production while also helping you to improve your overall health. I encourage you to try these methods out and see how quickly your motivation levels begin to ramp up. 

Of course, there are situations in which you are unable to make some of these changes or you have a physical imbalance that requires more attention

In cases like this, it may be necessary to introduce supplementation or even to conduct some lab testing to determine an underlying issue.

If you feel that you may be struggling with low dopamine production or a chemical imbalance and want some direction, we would love to be of service! 

Together we can work to help you increase your motivation, meet your goals, and increase your dopamine production so you can live life to its fullest!

4 Powerful Benefits of Intermittent Fasting (Plus 7 Tips for Fasting Success!)

Intermittent fasting is one of the trendiest diets in the health and wellness world today, but fasting is nothing new and for centuries has been a part of many major world religions and cultures. 

Here are some of the top benefits of fasting:

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent Fasting is a conscious eating style that alternates between periods of consuming foods at certain times and then fasting at other times. 

The length of time you fast can vary depending on your goals and capabilities. 

Although it is always best to talk to your doctor before doing extreme fasts, most people can handle a 12-13 hour fast without difficulty

The fasting window can then be expanded to 16-18 hours, leaving an eating window of 6-8 hours. Other types of fasting include alternate day fasts or 5:2, which is eating regularly for 5 days and then fasting 2 days a week.

In this blog post, we are going to discuss four powerful benefits of intermittent fasting and then talk about a few keys to success.

4 Powerful Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

1. Autophagy: After an extended period of time fasting, the body reaches a point of autophagy. This is the way our bodies get rid of dead or dysfunctional cells that could wreak havoc on our bodies if not properly eliminated. 

Autophagy is cleaning and recycling at the same time, The cells are cleaned out and parts of them are recycled towards cellular repair. 

This is the body’s way of turning back the clock and creating younger cells!

2. Reduces cell damage from inflammation and oxidative stress - Inflammation is a key culprit in many common health conditions, such as asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, autoimmune diseases, type 2 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.  

Eating less, staying hydrated, and losing excess weight are all factors in reducing chronic inflammation and oxidative stress.

It’s no secret that oxidative Stress can cause aging and chronic disease. This is in part due to free radicals (unstable molecules) reacting with important molecules such as DNA and proteins resulting in damage. The body’s resistance to this oxidative damage can be enhanced through intermittent fasting. 

Intermittent fasting on a regular basis can lower chronic inflammation and ultimately lead to living a healthier, longer life!

3. Detoxification - The detoxification process is ignited through fasting. Even with the best intentions of clean eating, our bodies can become victims of toxic overload through our environments and modern life - EMF’s, pollution, pesticides, to name a few.

When the body is fasting, the liver and other organs are not burdened by processing foods. Reducing caloric intake helps the natural elimination processes kick in since there isn’t anything else to metabolize. 

It makes sense that if you reduce the number of toxins that enter the body, it is easier for your body to more efficiently remove the toxins that are already there. 

Fasting stimulates the production of liver enzymes that aid in the detox process, resulting in a reduction of inflammation - the cause of so many chronic diseases!  

4. Weight Loss - Eating less each day, keeping track of what you are eating, and learning to control your appetite are all key factors in successfully losing weight. 

Metabolism can be increased up to 14% through fasting (even more with frequent fasting), this can increase the leptin hormone which facilitates weight loss.

7 Tips for Better Results with Intermittent Fasting

1. Find the right Fasting Method for you - This will take trial and error. Try fasting 12 hours, then work your way up to 14 - 16 hours. 

2. Give yourself time to adjust - It’s normal to have hunger pains and headaches and it’s normal to even cave in and eat when you’re not supposed to. But use those mistakes as learning opportunities; figure out why you didn’t stick with the goal and what steps you can take to prevent it from happening again. It doesn’t mean that fasting is not for you.

3. Have a plan and routine - Break and start your fasts at the same times every day. Prepare what you can ahead of time, know what you are going to eat and when. Save your brain from decision fatigue!

4. Start fasting after dinner - This way a large portion of the fast period is while you are sleeping.

5. Stay hydrated - Drink lots of water and enjoy some black coffee or herbal teas. This curbs the appetite which lessens the chances of you breaking the fast. And hydration has plenty of benefits all on its own!

6. Don’t overeat during the eating window.

7. Eat the right foods that will sustain you - While intermittent fasting isn’t restrictive on what you eat (only when), be sure you are eating enough protein and healthy fats that will prevent hunger pangs later and give your body the power it needs to sustain this lifestyle. Eating processed, sugary foods isn’t going to help you reach your goals!  

If you are looking to give your body a healthy reset, slow down aging, and fight off chronic illness and disease, maybe it’s time for you to give intermittent fasting a try. 

You’ll thank yourself for helping your body heal and thrive!

How To Increase Your Resilience From Chronic Diseases

People who are in chronic pain have a lowered pain threshold that is often caused by stress, (stealth) inflammation, and a sympathetic dominant nervous system.

All three of these factors play such a huge role in all chronic diseases but are ignored by conventional approaches.

Increased resilience comes from getting your nervous system in the state consistent with your health goals... parasympathetic dominant.

 

You can accomplish this by:

- fasting and calorie restriction
- clean diet (plant based)
- sleeping on time
- getting outside daily
- eliminating stressors
- Chiropractic care and lifestyle
- working through past trauma
- meditation
- Reishi mushroom extracts
- herbs and spices
- plant medicines
- laughter
- following a hobby
- finding your tribe
- good financial sense
- volunteer

Sounds like a pretty good life to me.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can take better care of yourself through self-empowered health, join our FREE 30-day program where I share my best personal self-care tips by clicking here: www.30in30.org