We've abbreviated Nutrition, Environment and Lifestyle to 'NEL'.
NEL has become our daily mantra for supporting our 'WHY', our DNA and our biochemistry for optimal wellness. Our personalised NEL choices are with us 24/7, 365.
You can start making choices that you know are good for everyone, or you can go one step deeper, and personalise your NEL choices based on your unique DNA and biochemistry data. We believe this is how to go from healthy to healthier.
'Nourish your DNA'
Food and supplements are among the most controllable choices you can expose your DNA to daily. Nutrients are now seen as messengers that communicate with your DNA every time you eat.
Your exome is that part of your genome (full genetic code) that gives the instruction for protein production. Proteins form structures throughout the body including muscle tissue, receptors on the outside of cells, and enzymes. Enzymes are catalysts are used to turn the cogs of your biochemistry. If you have a genetic variation that results in an enzyme being misspelt, then the 'cog' (biochemical reaction) that it affects might not convert a nutrient into it's more active form efficiently enough. This can result in your biochemistry working suboptimally.
Nutrigenomic DNA Tests
Doing one of our nutrigenomic DNA tests will give you a better idea where you have enzyme misspellings in your biochemistry. You can then work to increase nutrients that those biochemical pathways might need, or 'bypass' the pathway with a supplement that contains nutrients that have already been converted into their active forms.
An example would be the gene MTHFR: This gene provides the code for the structure of the enzyme: methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR). If you have a variation on the spelling of this enzyme, you might struggle to convert folic acid to its active form: 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF). MTHFR variations are linked to a wide variety of conditions including ADD, ADHD, bipolar, depression, cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, strokes, aneurysms, asthma, sluggish detox and cancer to name just a few.
Support your DNA
The great news is that you can support this gene by increasing your intake of folate-rich foods like dark green leafy veggies and whole grains, and by supplementing with 5-MTHF instead of folic acid. This is what we mean by 'support' your DNA with nutrients. This is where true personalisation of your diet begins.
'Protect your DNA'
Our world is becoming more toxic by the day. We're exposed to toxins on so many levels whether we chose to be or not. They're in the food we eat, the water we drink, the products we use on our body, and the air we breathe.
Recently, we were chatting to a supplier of water filters. He said that he tested Johannesburg water before and after it went through his activated carbon water filters. He found estrogen to be the highest hormone in our water. This is most likely the result of so many women being on the Pill and HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) as well as xenoestrogens from the plastics, body, home, garden and industrial chemicals being washed down drains, ending up in rivers, or being dumped landfill sites.
A great place to start is to know more. Find out as much as you can about the chemicals you're exposed. Download our free 'Do Not Touch List'. Take a read through the Halifax Project + Environmental Exposures Paper. This paper discusses how even the tiniest amounts of chemicals can be stored in the body and cause damage. It also discusses how these chemicals accumulate over time and how their effect becomes compounded. The interaction of all these in your body is hard to measure.
DNA | Biochemistry
A highly useful next step is testing. DNA testing will show your body's ability to detox on a genetic level. Biochemistry testing will show your body's current toxin burden, as well as how well your body is detoxing in real-time. Toxins can cause oxidative stress and inflammation so choose tests that have these markers in them. Please contact us if you need guidance.
Add In | Swap Out
Every time one of your product runs out, aim to replace it with a non-toxic version. You might choose to go slowly, one product at a time, or quickly and replace, for example, all your makeup or body care products at once.
Our JOINCIRCLES Approved Sticker
We've curated ranges of 'clean' nutrition, environment and lifestyle products into our shop so you can find better choices more easily.
All the products in our shop are free from known xenoestrogens, endocrine disruptors, DNA mutators and carcinogens.
Every time you see this sticker, you can shop with complete peace of mind.
'Nurture your DNA'
Managing your stress, exercising, taking time to relax, sleeping properly, having a purpose, feeling a sense of belonging and being part of a community, all count as good lifestyle choices.
Your lifestyle choices can have a positive or negative effect on your genetic expression. Research has shown that exercise can reduce your risk of cancers by 30-50%. That's huge! Can you walk versus driving or taking the lift? Can you stand versus sitting? Take a look at our standing desk options to keep you moving through your work day.
Exercise is medicine
When you exercise, try to raise your heart rate, increase your breathing rate and build a sweat. We love this initiative: Exercise is Medicine (EIM). EIM is committed to the belief that physical activity promotes optimal health, is integral in the prevention and treatment of many medical conditions, and should be regularly assessed and included as part of standard healthcare.
Personalise exercise with DNA
We know that doing 30+ mins of movement, exercise or sport at least 5 days per week is good for all of us. If you want to personalise the type of exercise your genes are good at, take a look at the DNA | Sport and DNA | Diet tests.
We are all exposed to stress every day. We need to find ways manage it as best as possible. A great place to start is our free Stress Type Quiz. Take a look in our Nutrition and Lifestyle shops for great products to help nourish your adrenal glands and create the right atmosphere for you to relax and sleep.
Download meditation apps that remind you to pause in your day and guide you through beautiful meditations - some meditations are only 5 minutes but even 5 minutes can reduce your cortisol levels. Light a candle, take a bath before bed, be still, say 'No' more.
Your sleep hormone, melatonin, needs to remain in balance with your stress hormone, cortisol. In simplistic terms, you need about 12 hours of cortisol and 12 hours of melatonin. Light 'turns on' cortisol secretion and darkness 'turns on' melatonin secretion. When you expose your pineal gland in your brain to light after dark, cortisol continues to be secreted - this prevents melatonin from being secreted. The result: raised stress levels for longer.
Even the smallest bit of light from a nightlight, a street light, or a bedside clock LED, can prevent melatonin from being secreted fully. Melatonin has many incredible functions in the body including allowing your adrenal glands to rest and recharge, and acting as an estrogen blocker on estrogen-sensitive tissue. It's precious - nurture it! We now wear eye masks every night for complete darkness.
Go to be before 10pm, aim to sleep solidly through the night and wake refreshed.
Alcohol | Smoking | Drugs
Alcohol can negatively affect so many systems of your body. It can put pressure on your liver, slow your thyroid, poison to your mitochondria (tiny powerhouses in each cell in your body). We were surprised to find out that 1 unit of alcohol per woman per day is only around 175ml or wine - that's not even one cup!
Smoking causes detectable damage to your DNA and is a known carcinogen. Smoking, being exposed to smoke, eating smoked foods or heating foods to the point of smoking can generate oxidative stress and inflammation in your body. Both these states are involved in almost every lifestyle-related chronic disease.
When thinking about exposure to these toxins, don't think about the risks to everyone or of even becoming an addict. This might seem intangible and like it won't happen to you. Instead, think about your DNA - What toxins do you want to expose your DNA to? For how long over your lifetime? What are your genetic predispositions to the negative effects of toxins? How well do you detox genetically? Is your body more prone to oxidative stress and inflammation genetically? Is your ALDH2 gene (the enzyme that breaks down alcohol) spelt correctly so you can break down alcohol efficiently? These are all great reasons to do a DNA test and know more about your genes from as early as possible.
Strong networks | Relationships | Community | Purpose
Find purpose in what you do otherwise do something that does. Don't postpone joy! We are social animals. Nurture family relationships and friendships. They are also medicine!