LET ME UPGRADE YA
That time biohacking broke the internet
In September 2018, a young Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Serge Faguet, posted an article headlined: “I’m 32 and spent $200k on biohacking”...and the internet exploded. According to Faguet’s post, biohacking made him calmer, thinner, more extroverted, happier, healthier, and increased his sex drive. Since then, biohacking, which is a relatively new practice, has become an increasingly buzzed-about health concept.
So what exactly is biohacking? The definition is constantly evolving, but most simply put, it's the method of trying to "hack" your innate biology to reach peak biological performance...aka living your best life! This is pretty vague, though. Biohacking can be considered as simple as changing your mindset. For example, want to be a more positive person? Try biohacking your mood and mindset with a daily gratitude reminder or gratitude journal. The more you get in the habit of starting your day from a place of abundance, the more likely you are to change the chemistry in your brain to actively refocus on positive things. However, biohacking can be way more extreme...like genetic engineering. Think the premise of Paul Rudd’s Netflix show about cloning, Living with Yourself. TBH Rudd hasn’t aged since Clueless, so whatever biohacking he’s onto, is def working!
On the flip side…
Because the field of biohacking is so broad and unregulated, many take issue with the ethics involved. Think about it this way, some biohackers have science Ph.D.s, while others are complete amateurs. Meaning their methods of trying to “hack” biology are as varied as their licenses or lack thereof. For example, this case of the celebrity biohacker who was under investigation for selling DIY gene-editing kits (out of his garage) despite having no medical license.
Starting a GoFundMe for Biohacking
It’s up to you if you want to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars biohacking your genetics. But if you want to get started with some FREE biohacking advice, this article by Dave Asprey, the godfather of biohacking, is filled with a bunch of interactive tips you can start thinking about right now, from how to hack your posture to how to breathe better. No genetic cloning required.
Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby
The pleasure principle
Move over fitness and nutrition, we now know that there’s another way to improve our health, and it’s way more fun than the treadmill. Sex! Here’s why and how: When you climax, your brain releases a pleasure hormone, called oxytocin. An orgasm, or more specifically, the release of oxytocin, can release stress, improve insomnia, decrease pain, make your skin look younger, and even increase your lifespan. What shouts wellness more than living a longer, happier, life with youthful, elastic-looking skin?!
Dildos, nipple clamps, feather ticklers, wrist ties, oh my.
Over the past several years, a wave of companies like Dame, Maude, Crave, and Unbound have ushered in a new era of sex toys. This has led to a positive transformation in the way that we talk about pleasure, the female orgasm, and sexual wellness...and we’re HERE for it. Sex toys come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and even speeds, which means there’s no shortage of options avaible for your nightstand drawer. New to the game? As a first step, we recommend a little self-experimentation to understand what feels good (i.e.., clitoral? G-Spot? anal?) and then reading up. Here’s a helpful roundup put together by Cosmo featuring a list of the best sex toys for beginners. More interested in what’s new and next? Check out this article from Health on the five sex toy trends everyone will be trying in 2020. CC: Valentine’s Day.
50 shades of shady sex toys
There are some cautions to consider when it comes to bringing sex toys into the bedroom, which can include the chance of STD infections, vaginal infections, and exposure to toxic materials. Studies have found some jelly and PVC toys contain added toxic chemicals called phthalates, which are added to rubber to make it flexible.
This is all about YOU! Vibrator? Butt plugs? Dildos? None of the above? Don’t feel pressured to opt in or out of adding sex toys to your life. Do what feels right for you and helps your sex life sing like Beyoncé.
WHEN TWO BECOME ONE
If the Paleo and Vegan diets had a baby...
It would be The Pegan Diet — a hybrid of Paleo and Vegan. If you haven’t heard of this diet yet, just check out the gram right now. The Pegan Diet has like 98.2k posts and counting big. Pegan so hot right now.
An unlikely pair
You might think of Vegan and Paleo as polar opposites, with paleo focusing on the meat our ancestors theoretically ate and veganism opting out of animal products completely. But according to Dr. Mark Hyman, these two theories can coexist in a single diet. His suggestion is to fill 75 percent of your plate with plant-based foods and 25 percent with lean, sustainably raised meats. You can read more about the specific rules behind going Vegan-ish, I mean, Pegan, here.
Health is wealth
Pro Pegans say that the attention to good quality fats emphasized in this particular diet can play an important role in heart health, cognitive function, and reduce inflammation.
Step away from the bread basket
But as you might have gleaned, reading the Pegan diet rules, many foods are off limits. Oh, and it may also be expensive and time consuming to buy and prep all those Pegan-approved dishes since you’re encouraged to only use fresh ingredients and sustainably sourced animal products. Debt, but make it Whole Foods.
This message is vegan-curious approved
Bottom line: If you’re interested in veganism but don’t want to go completely meat-free, going Pegan could be a great place to start. Sort of like vegan light.
WITH A TASTE OF A POISON PARADISE
The 90-minute documentary Toxic Beauty is raising some serious flags about the unregulated beauty industry. The film, which is written and directed by Canadian filmmaker and sustainability consultant Phyllis Ellis, takes a deep dive into the thousands of chemicals found in common products we use on our bodies every day, many of which have been linked to cancer, hormonal disruption, infertility, and skin disease. Yikez.
The film is far from alone in the skepticism toward conventional makeup and skin care. Over the past few years, “natural” and “clean” beauty have become more and more popular as many realize standard beauty products contain all kinds of scary-sounding ingredients. Did you know that many mascaras and eyeliners get their rich black color from an ingredient called Carbon Black, or Black 2? What’s that you ask? Oh, just literal coal tar, which is a Group 2B carcinogenic aka pretty friggin bad for you. Or how about the major headlines made as recently as 2017 when hair care company Wen settled for a whopping $26 million class-action suit when it was proven that their products were making people’s hair fall out. WTF.
But how can this be?
The crux of all of this goes back to the 1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act, which allows cosmetics to be self-regulating (aka they get to do whatever the eff they want. They can legally decide what’s safe and what’s not when it comes to what they put in their products), which…hear thee, hear thee...hasn’t been updated since it was created back in the day.
Clean, green, and part of the money-making machine
OK, so here’s where things get extra tricky. Just like there’s lack of regulation on the “traditional” beauty industry there’s lack of regulation on the clean beauty industry as well. Can’t friggin win, right? As you might have recently noticed while perusing for that new foundation, shopping for beauty these days means being bombarded with labels claiming to be “clean” and “green” and “nontoxic” everywhere you turn. Which is all good, if those words actually meant anything. But if you look closely, more often than not, these products are being labeled based on the notable harmful ingredients missing (i.e.,parabens, phthalates, sulfates, etc.) but not upfront about the stuff that actually goes into them.
So you’re telling me there’s no such thing as good glam?
It’s a minefield out there, but that’s why we’re here to help. There are many brands that are doing great work to create safe products! Just be mindful about reading the full ingredient list, instead the small list of “frees.” It’s great if a product is paraben-free, but what else is in there? We also recommend the Think Dirty App, which allows you to scan any product, learn about the ingredients, and discover cleaner, verified brands!