Let’s talk focus and brain power! In this episode, I interview Dan Sullivan. He is a Certified Health Coach with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition who hacked his A.D.D. by implementing holistic lifestyle changes.
Topics in this episode:
- Focus and productivity tips
- The benefits of working with a functional medicine practitioner
- Giving up gluten in college and peer pressure
- How to know what educational health resources are trustworthy
- How to develop a powerhouse mindset
- What is neurofeedback?
- What are the benefits of neurofeedback?
- How to do neurofeedback?
- A typical nutrient-dense day for Dan
Don’t be discouraged by your diagnosis.
Dan struggled with mental focus in college and many of his friends were advocates of popular A.D.D. medications. He went to his doctor and was prescribed a multitude of medications. Feeling uneasy about the complications and side effects associated with his medications, Dan decided to educate himself by working for a functional medicine physician, becoming a Certified Bulletproof Coach, reading health books and listening to podcasts, and making the necessary lifestyle changes to get his focus back.
Mindset is powerful.
To develop a strong mindset around adversity, Dan recommends listening to personal development programs. He is a big fan of Wayne Dwyer, Jim Rohn, Tony Robbins, Dave Asprey, and Brendon Burchard. The actions required to become a person of excellence sometimes go against the norm in our society. When you deviate from the “average,” it requires a stronger mindset and self-belief.
Find people who accept you for who you are.
Instead of spending time with people who judge you for your new healthy habits or changing your diet, spend time with uplifting people. Dan joined the Bulletproof Coach Training Program to meet other like-minded people. When it comes to crushing your goals, Dan recommends scheduling regular calls with an accountability partner.
Focus on quality with your diet.
Dan doesn’t include gluten, soy, refined sugar, or pasteurized dairy in his diet. While he didn’t always eat this way, he said that changing his diet made the biggest impact on his health and A.D.D. symptoms. Dan is also an advocate of going to the farmer’s market. He eats organic vegetables, grass-fed meat, fish, and fats (Brain Octane Oil, avocados, eggs, etc.).
Wear blue light blocking glasses.
The wrong kinds of lighting at the wrong times of day can negatively impact your sleep and overall health. For example, blue light that comes from your iPhone, TV, or computer screen can stunt melatonin production at night and lead to a poor sleep. It can even disrupt your body’s natural circadian rhythm, which has been linked to heart disease, depression, and obesity. TrueDark night glasses block blue light and other “junk light” like greens and yellows, allowing you to improve your sleep quality and reset your circadian rhythm. The TrueDark Daywalker glasses reduce daytime eyestrain and protect your brain from fluorescent and LED lights that often lead to fatigue.
Neurofeedback is a type of biofeedback that allows you to train your brain to function in a more efficient manner. It is used to help people with A.D.D. and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It can also be used if you have a particular behavior or thought pattern you want to change. Before trying neurofeedback, it’s important to support your brain with good nutrition, sleep, and exercise. You can try neurofeedback with a skilled professional or get an at home unit (warning: it’s expensive). If you want to go all out, checkout 40yearsofzen.com. Neurofeedback is mediation on steroids because it provides live feedback that tells you if you are positively changing your brainwaves. The most practical way to become more aware and in control of your nervous system is heart rate variability training.
Include more brain-boosting foods in your diet.
Instead of focusing on everything you “can’t” eat for a high performing brain, start adding brain-boosting foods to your day. For example, add spices like ginger and turmeric to recipes. Use MCT oil to utilize ketones as brain fuel. To improve your memory, use a high quality fish oil supplement and coq10. You could also get your omega-3s from wild-caught fish like sockeye salmon. Dan is a big fan of foods rich in B vitamins like leafy greens, sardines, and anchovies.
Supplement with vitamin D.
Unless you are outside all day naked, it’s probably a good idea to supplement with vitamin D3. It is best absorbed if taken with a small amount of fat. Up to 70% of Americans are deficient in vitamin D. Getting more D3 can boost your mood, promote healthy hormones (priming you for fat burning), improve insulin sensitivity, and much more.
Set up your environment in a way that promotes focus.
Pick a “power hour” and commit to focusing on an important project during that time without distractions. Tell your spouse and/or co-workers you will be unavailable during this hour. Dan recommends checking your social media less frequently and putting your cell phone airplane mode when you need to focus. To learn more about how to protect your precious time, checkout the book “Deep Work.”
Keep yourself accountable towards your goals.
To stay committed to your goals, utilize accountability tools like Stickk.com and tracking gadgets/apps. Schedule a weekly time for reflection. Ask yourself, “What do I need to stop or start doing to improve?” Dan uses the Weekly Rhythm Register as a tracking document and keeps his goals with him at all times on a 3×5 notecard. I use the streaks app to track how many days I practice a specific habit or take action towards my goals.
Pick ONE of these show tips to implement.
I hope you enjoyed this episode of “The Hailey Rowe Show.” Listening to the episode or reading the show notes will not change your life… DOING will. In the comments below, let me know ONE tip that you’re going to implement. If you struggle with building new habits, I’ll send you my complimentary guide called “How to Make Habits that Stick: 30 Proven Strategies & Cheat Sheet.” You can sign up for the guide on my home page. Thank you for reading!