A Comprehensive, Researched List of My Health Hacks
A note from Jessica on her health and fitness lifestyle.
For as long as I can remember, I have designed my lifestyle around health and wellness. If you're wondering why I'm always so happy with so much energy, well, here's how it all works, and how you can make it work for you too. We all deserve to live an awesome life.
As a teenager I began experiencing depression, as many teenagers do. I was prescribed medication and refused to take it. Determined to find natural, alternative ways to rewire my own body chemistry, I incorporated as many natural highs as I could into my life. With emotional self-management techniques, and really tough fitness classes, from boxing to weight lifting, over time the depression lifted. I've been hooked, and happy, ever since. The American Psychological Association has found repeatedly that exercise and human connection cure mild and moderate depression, but drug companies are less likely to publicize these findings, of course.
Also, prescription medications alter your body chemistry in very nasty ways, and cause irreparable long-term brain changes. Research shows that your neural networks fire differently while on anti-depressants, and that the new firing patterns continue after you discontinue use.
I've tested almost every health and fitness lifestyle alternative possible over the past 25+ years, and below is my regimen for keeping my sleep on point, and my body and mind happy and productive.
I recently wrote an article for SWAAY magazine that dives into ways to chemically rewire your brain, utilizing natural and healthy alternatives that includes my research, but until that is published, below is a cheat sheet to body optimization. You don't have to do everything. Incorporating even 1 to 2 new healthy habits will create incremental improvements to your life.
*note that nobody paid me to do this, I'm just sharing the stuff that I like.
I. Body-specific training
Online workouts are great if you're too shy for a fitness class, want a cheap alternative, or just like working out on the go. I stay fit while traveling over half of the year on this online fitness program because I can do it anywhere (including an airport bathroom, which happens).
All bodies are designed differently, and all bodies can be redesigned to meet your goals and dreams if you're willing to commit to doing something every day. I built my body up to crazy curves last year with the Sexy Online Body Guide here, and this year I worked it down to 15% body fat using the Slim Online Body Guide here.
Obesity runs in my family, and it is absolutely a choice. Don't make an excuse. Start today.
II. Lagree Fitness
I'm convinced its the best workout that exists because it gives you huge results and there is absolutely zero risk of injuring yourself.
This is not pilates. It's a weight+cardio training on a "Cadillac machine" with an instructor blasting great music and giving you detailed instructions. Its great for introverts because you've got your own space, and there aren't many people able to fit into a class (8-14 max), so there's no risk of social anxiety. It's the best way to spend 50 minutes, and you should ideally be doing weight training every day. Yes, I'm serious. When you're 50 and feel 20 you'll get why.
Building muscle burns calories for you throughout the day. Muscle helps prevent your body from breaking down with age. It makes you taste extra delicious during the zombie apocalypse. Muscle is just so darned good.
III. Intravenous vitamins, minerals and supplements.
Not all are created equal, and those who have had a bad one will tell you they are useless. This is absolutely not true.
We simply cannot eat all of the vitamins we need, and most of us walk around dehydrated on any given day. My colleague Verne Harnish is disrupting the medical industry with his use of Vitamin C therapies. We sat together a few months ago chatting about the body's desperate need for vitamin C given our modern lifestyles. For instance, when you fly on a plane, your vitamin C levels drop to nearly zero at high altitudes. This explains why you land and your skin feels different. Travel and taxing lifestyles leave you starved for vitamins and fluids.
Once per week, and always right before I travel, I get an intravenous infusion of vitamins, minerals and happy brain chemicals from Dr. Rusilko. If you're not in the Miami area, be sure to visit a real doctor (not a nurse) who specializes in IV medicines. A lot of vita-shot companies exist, but they are giving you $.10 worth of powerdered B12 mixed with saline. If you're not located in Miami, Dr. Rusilko works with celebrities around the world and is happy to recommend someone in your area if you give him a call.
IV. Oral Vitamins
Inflammation is the key to all illness, so take green tea and turmeric daily, in liquid or vitamin form. Ginger as well, if you can.
To keep up with the vitamin c trend, I love drinking Airborne every day, and B vitamin tablets as well for extra energy kick. Its super cheap and there's no downside, so drink up. HERE and HERE on amazon are my favorites. I haven't caught a flu in over 5 years just doing this, despite a hectic travel schedule.
For pill vitamins, I only recommend VitaCost brands and that you take 4x the recommended dosage, after check that the vitamin or mineral doesn't accumulate in your body. For vitamins that don't naturally expel, use sparingly.
Drug store, grocery store, instagram promotions and all of those other vitamins are not FDA regulated, meaning that they can literally be made of chalk dust. Use internationally regulated vitamin and supplement companies only. DO NOT buy vitamins in the United States unless they are internationally sourced and regulated. VitaCost is my go to safe source.
If you are really into oral supplements, Ray Kerzweil has a very good supplement routine for rewiring your body chemistry
If you're an oral novice, focus on green tea and turmeric. These are the two MUST HAVES.
V. Red Light Therapy
Anti-aging and positive mood boosting. Also proven to melt inches of fat off of your body in each session, which takes 45 minutes. There aren't many of these available to the public yet, but pro-athletes and celebrities have been using them forever. Find yourself one!
If you're in Miami, visit Reset Cryotherapy. That's the only red light I have found in our city.
There is simply no other way a human being can rush blood from their limbs into their heart and abdomen. Why do you wanna do this!? This 3 minute blood rush instantly recovers a tired body, burns big calories (400-800), and converts your stored fat into fat you can burn off.
Going into a cold plunge, or even out in the cold, may not actually give you these benefits. Your body temperature must drop below 60, meaning that your cold plunge water has to be adjusted to at least 50 or below. Stay in the plunge for at least 5 minutes, if the temp is right.
For cryotherapy in Miami, I use Reset Cryotherapy.
I refuse to wake myself up by unnatural source (like natural light, or an alarm) unless ABSOLUTELY necessary. Letting your body rest is the most important thing you can possibly do. Sleep acts as a toilet for your brain. When you are able to get into deep REM stage, a neural valve releases and your brain eliminates brain chemical waste. Lack of sleep leads to build up of this waste, which creates neurological disorders, aneurysms and Alzheimer's, among many other really bad things. Make sleep your priority #1.
VII Part B: Hypnosis
I'm probably the worst at shutting down my brain to get rest at night. Hypnosis has absolutely been a game changer. It puts you in a trance, feeds your subconscious brain with all types of good information, and kicks you right into sleep state. I had my hypnosis program tailored for me by the The Miami Hypnosis Center, but you can download hypnosis apps and build your own program easily. My program is focused on building confidence, motivation, reducing worrying, and eliminating fears and scrutiny. My dear friend Alex Tew created Calm.com, the most downloaded favorite for online and app-based hypnosis programs. There you can self-tailor your own nightly motivation + sleep regimen (positive side effects only!) or, if you can, I would strongly recommend receiving a tailored program from a reputable hypnosis center. Best of dreams!
Oops! Almost forgot water. It keeps us alive, makes our skin glow, reduces aging, and its totally free. Drink at least 3 Liters per day. Deal with having to pee every 20 minutes. Worth it.
Notice what I didn't say: food. Eat food that is food, and don't eat stuff that is manufactured or processed that pretends to be food. End of story. There is so much focus on dieting because people want to sell you a diet. Listen to your body, make smart decisions, and for goodness sake don't run off and join a juice cleanse cult or some other harmful diet. Whatever your diet, so long as you can recognize every ingredient as an actual food, you are in fact, eating food. Congratulations.
Jessica Higgins, JD MBA BB is a public speaker, strategist, author and advisor in business growth. She is Chief Operating Officer of Gapingvoid Culture Design Group and a Board Member to organizations in technology and the arts. She also manages a portfolio of companies in a variety of spaces from community experience, to cryptocurrency. She is based in Miami Beach, FL and travels worldwide for her work in culture design.