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A day in the life of a biohacker

verne maree

Looking for inspiration on taking your wellbeing to the next level? Assuming you’ve already covered the basics – optimal sleep, nutrition, movement, and mindfulness – the exciting world of biohacking offers unlimited opportunities for enhancing health and longevity.

What is a biohacker?


What is a biohacker, and why do I call myself one? To answer the second question first, the reason I’m a biohacker is to optimise my health and wellness, longevity and health-span.  Especially important is health-span – meaning the length of time we live a useful, happy and productive existence. What’s the point of lingering on to 120 if you can’t dress yourself, scramble your own eggs or recognise your great-grandchildren?


Definition of a biohacker

Continuous glucose monitor

According to the online Cambridge Dictionary, a biohacker is “someone who uses technology, drugs or other chemical substances such as hormones in an attempt to improve the condition of their body and mind”.  Actually, I have a small bone to pick with this definition. For me, biohacking is at least as much about making the most of the natural resources around us – optimal exposure to sunlight and fresh air, food and water, for example – as it is about high-tech tricks and gadgets like the continuous glucose monitor attached to the back of my arm, much as I love those too.
And it all starts with the food we eat, as functional medicine guru Dr Mark Hyman confirms.

“Food isn’t like medicine, it is medicine, and it’s our number one tool for creating the vibrant
health we deserve.” Dr Mark Hyman, MD

Self-described as the father of biohacking, Dave Asprey (now 48 years old) first coined the term biohacking and is probably my favourite biohacker. I recommend his Bulletproof Diet, a realistic approach to eating nutrient-dense fats, protein, and lots of vegetables to increase fat burning and send your energy levels through the roof, in his own words.

 

Low Carb No Crap diet - grass fed steak

 

Much like my own Low Carb, No Crap ™ eating plan, it’s paleo, it’s low-carb and it’s keto-friendly.  Dave has been experimenting with tech innovations for the past two decades and remains the leader in a growing field. He founded the Bulletproof label and made his Bulletproof coffee famous. Most mornings, I dribble a tablespoon or two of the ketone-rich MCT Brain Octane  Oil, which he developed, into our whey protein smoothies.

The goal of a biohacker is longevity – “to die young as late as possible”, as Dr Hyman puts it. For that, we need to understand how our bodies work. It’s deeply fascinating to explore the extent to which our genes, on the one hand, and our environment, on the other, influence our lifespan – and, more importantly, our healthspan.

 

This biohacker’s daily routine

 

To be honest, I’m half-proud, half-embarrassed to reveal this stuff. Fellow or would-be biohackers out there will get it. To anyone else, it may sound a bit crazy. I wake up naturally, not with an alarm – the joys of not having an office to go to. The first thing I do is check my new Gen. 3 Oūra ring phone app to get my Sleep and Readiness scores. I’m wearing my blue-blocker glasses, of course, because I don’t want to get blue light in my eyes before they’ve had a dose of red light. Ideally, we should all be up in time to
watch the sunrise – but for me, that’s just not going to happen!

So, to bio-hack the health-boosting effects of sunrise, I do at least half an hour of red light therapy in front of my PlatinumLED red- and near-infrared light – 15 minutes each side, front and back. While the light therapy works its mitochondria-boosting magic, the Oūra ring is charging.  Simultaneously, I’m oil-pulling with raw, organic sesame oil. And giving my face, neck, and chest a light massage with almond oil. I might also start dry skin-brushing my arms, legs, and torso to boost detox via lymphatic drainage.
After spitting out the sesame oil, I’ll hydrate with NAC (N-acetyl cysteine) dissolved in spring water, together with my half-dozen morning supplements. I might have a jump on the trampoline outside – that’s also great for lymph flow.

My favourite daily exercise is a morning run or walk either on our coastal path or along the beach. No sunglasses, either: I want bright morning light on my retinas to reset the circadian rhythm. I go barefoot on the beach for the grounding effect of soles connecting with wet sand. Depending on the weather, I’ll have a dip in the ocean – nothing is more grounding than that! 

Burns Beach daytime

 

On other days, I’ll do a yoga or Body Pump fitness class, followed by a sauna or steam if I have time. And that’s just my morning.

Planning and shopping for meals, pressure-cooking bone broth, choosing and sourcing nutritional supplements – plus stacking them optimally, i.e. taking them at the right time in the best combinations – is a whole other kettle of fish oil.

Homemade chicken broth

Come early evening, I’m hacking my sleep by turning the lights down low, maybe taking a hot Epsom salt bath, donning the afore-mentioned blue-blocking glasses and trying to close my laptop and/or put my iPhone away* a couple of hours before bedtime. (I have to admit it: that’s a work in progress!)


Podcast pearls


Nowadays, I listen to podcasts far more than I read – I can listen while doing chores, driving, sunbathing, walking or running. The naturopathy and functional medicine communities tend to interview and be interviewed by one another, and you can easily find yourself subscribed to dozens of them.  That’s how I found Dr Joseph Mercola’s Take Control of Your Health; gut expert Dr Michael Ruscio’s Dr Ruscio Radio, Dr Mark Hyman’s Doctor’s Farmacy, Chris Kresser’s Revolution Health Radio, Ari Whitten’s The Energy Blueprint, Drs Evan Brand and Justin Marchegiani’s Beyond Wellness Radio, The Dhru Purohit Podcast  and Amy Myer’s Detox Podcast. Not to mention Living La Vida Low-Carb (how I wish I’d thought of that name first!) and the bubbly Biohacker Babes.

To have my mind blown, I listen to neurosurgeon Dr Jack Kruse’s Reversing Disease for Optimal Health and its startling insights based on quantum biology. And last but not least, Living 4D with Paul Chek.
Signing off


Here at Bawah, we’re all about living one’s best life in synergy with the surrounding natural
bounty of sun, sea, flora and fauna. But even if you’re not in an island paradise, there are so many ways to optimise health, wellness, and longevity.

We’d love to hear how you’re doing! Please do drop an email to verne.maree@gmail.com with your feedback or suggestions.

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