At mbg, we like to think about health holistically. In other words, a new chin breakout, lack of energy, and stomach bloat may all be caused by the same underlying issue. In many cases, that issue lies in the gut microbiome.
Most mornings can benefit from a cup of coffee, but that doesn’t mean every morning should start with a cup of coffee.
“Something that’s become a big game-changer for me is starting the morning off with two large glasses of water,” Bulsiewicz tells mbg. “I have not given up coffee. I will not give up coffee. I’ve just found that my body responds better when I reach for water first.”
Think about it. To avoid waking up in the middle of the night to pee, urologist Vannita Simma-Chiang, M.D., recommends taking a final sip of water about three hours before bed. If people follow that rule, by the time they wake up, about 11 hours will have passed without any source of hydration.
“Your body needs that water to start working properly,” Bulsiewicz says. “My brain, my gut, and my kidneys all seem to function better when I start with water instead of coffee.”
After he drinks 12-ounce cups of water, Bulsiewicz then moves on to coffee—and not just any boring old brew.
- Ashwagandha and maca root: These two adaptogens can help make the body more resilient to stress, he explains. “The ashwagandha itself takes off a little bit of the edge when I’m feeling fatigued, and the maca root is good for energy.”
- Pumpkin spice blend: No, he’s not talking about the creamer found at the grocery store. But when Bulsiewicz is craving that fall flavor, he uses a ground spice blend (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and allspice) to sprinkle into his coffee.
- A trio of ginger, turmeric, and cinnamon: Ginger and turmeric have beneficial anti-inflammatory properties and help to support gut health. Cinnamon also has a number of health benefits, including stabilizing blood sugar levels. “Sometimes I’ll add a little bit of organic soymilk or coconut milk to cut the intensity of the spices,” he adds.
“Like every other part of our body, the gut needs time to rest,” Bulsiewicz explains. Which is why he follows an intermittent fasting plan. Well, for the majority of the week, at least.
“I don’t think we need to have rigid requirements for the 16:8 fast; you can just do it on the days when it feels right,” Bulsiewicz says. For him, weekday mornings are usually too busy to make time for breakfast, so saving lunch for midday just happens. On the weekends, though, he’ll usually eat a morning smoothie bowl.
OK, so this one may not benefit the gut, per se, but it is a new trick Bulsiewicz is trying each morning. “For me, the way that I feel [after jumping in cold water] is distinctly different. I feel like it turns on my brain and shocks my body into being awake and alert,” he says. Once he’s in the pool, he’ll swim around for about 30 seconds before toweling off.
“I’m becoming increasingly interested in how we can use temperature to affect the way that our body works, whether it be heat or cold,” he explains. “I think there’s a lot of interesting science that’s starting to come out about the benefits on both sides.”
This content was originally published here.