Core Resources Extension

Track core resources to reveal your eating habits

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Most people don’t keep track of their eating habits. For example, I can’t even remember what I ate yesterday, let alone what I ate a week ago. This is what the Core Resources Extension does best.

What is the Core Resources Extension (CRE)?

CRE is an extension for the Wellness System. It tracks your eating habits by revealing your most and least eaten foods. Making changes to your diet then becomes easy. It’s very simple to maintain but it doesn’t happen without a little effort.

First, create a table with two columns in Google Sheets or Excel. Next, upon eating something, add it to the table and increment the “cycle” column. This will keep track of every time you eat this particular resource. Once accumulating enough data, create a chart to track your progress.

Using Core Resources to reveal your habits

As you can see in this chart, the most frequented resource is spinach and the second is beef. The resources near the top are called your “core resources” and are the resources you consume the most. Also, see that the data takes on the form of a curve. That is natural and means your eating habits are organic instead of mechanical. 

Now that your habits have been revealed, start to make changes by modifying your eating patterns. As the data grows, your Core Resouces will grow along with it. Remove a resource at any time or reset the data by starting over with a fresh table. This is helpful for core resources you no longer eat.

You can download the Wellness System here at the second download button:

CRE is located on the “Extensions” tab at the bottom. The table below (and in the graph above) is an example of CRE.

Tomato Sauce12
White Mushrooms10
Orange Juice9
Caramel Chocolate Nut Roll9
Bean Sprouts6
Milk, Whole5
Bell Peppers5
Sea Bass4
Oatmeal (not instant)4
Portobello Mushroom4
Light Champagne Dressing4
Cottage Cheese3
Meatless Bites3
Madras Lentils3
Romaine Lettuce3
Tomatillo (5)3
Gorgonzola Cheese2
Shredded Wheat2
Green Beans2

Overcoming Fear

How to live a fear-free life

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Fear is one of the most fundamental emotions. In fact, the amygdala, the area of the human brain that processes fear, is located in the center of the brain which suggests that fear is an emotion that all creatures have. Fear keeps us safe by reminding us of danger. However, the problem with fear is it can cause us to “play it safe” instead of taking a risk and reaping the rewards. It also can affect whatever task we are working on. For example, if we are hunting down a deer, fear can cause us to make a mistake and scare the deer away.

Our caveman (woman) ancestors knew that fear was a problem when hunting. So I purport that they learned to develop a fear-free way of life. By following all the instructions that their ancestors passed on, it enabled them to acquire the skills they needed to live a fear-free lifestyle.

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Now, in our modern world, fear is a big problem. For example, anyone who watches the news can attest to the problem of fear. But how do we escape the grip that fear has over us? The answer is to replace it with love. If there is one thing we need more of in this world, it is love. By replacing our fear with love, we are empowering ourselves to live a fear-free lifestyle and to love more freely.

By letting go of fear, we open up the possibilities in our lives that we never thought possible. We still need some basic fear, particularly in new situations. But once learning something is dangerous, simply avoid it instead of reactivating the fear response every time it appears. When we start to love more freely, our lives will change for the better forever.

We are hunter-gatherers

How to live like a caveman (woman) in a modern world

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Our genes have evolved over 2 million years to produce the creatures we are, and we are hunter-gatherers. Like the name says, hunter-gatherers hunted prey animals, fished for water creatures, and gathered fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds. Farming and agriculture are relatively new to us and our bodies haven’t had time to catch up. By living like a hunter-gatherer, we are optimizing our natural genetic expression.

For our ancestors, hunting, gathering, and fishing were three separate practices. Hunting required speed, agility, and weapons in order to chase down prey. Fishing required nets and poles. Gathering required patience, stamina, and knowledge of flora.

Cavemen (women) in a modern world

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In our modern world, hunting, fishing, and gathering have been replaced by shopping at the grocery store. They are no longer separate practices. Hunting takes us to the meat aisle, fish to the seafood isle, and gathering takes us everywhere else. Just like our ancestors, we have to watch out for poisonous foods. The only difference is that poisonous foods now take the form of ice cream, cookies, and snack cakes instead of berries, leaves, and mushrooms.

Many people are beginning to embrace the newest trend in dieting called ketosis. Ketosis severly restricts carbohydrates and in turn causes your insulin response to be very low. As with any diet trend, the research comes later. Even though ketosis can help people lose weight quickly, there hasn’t been enough research on the long-term effects of putting the body through ketosis.

Ketosis alone might be bad in the long run

There is some emerging research that says that a ketogenic diet by itself might do more harm than good. But isn’t ketosis a more efficient way of burning calories? Yes it is, but when we think about our ancestors, they were both hunters (meat) and gatherers (fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds). The majority of their diet consisted of fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds. Once in a while, they would hunt down a prey animal.

What does this mean for us?

It means that consistent ketosis is not how our ancestors ate. They didn’t eat meat and high amounts of fats every day. Most of what they ate was fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds and occasionally, they would hunt down a rabbit or a deer or bring home a basket of fish. This means we can split our diet to eat like our ancestors ate. Five days of the week, eat like a vegan (gatherer) and two days, eat ketogenic (hunter). This more closely approximates how our ancestors ate.

The hunter-gatherer’s primary metabolic pathway was burning carbs that came from fruits, vegetable, nuts, and seeds. Their secondary metabolic pathway was ketosis. Think about it. They ate things they could forage in the forest most of the time. Once in a while, they would bring home a large animal or fish that they cooked and ate for days. When the meat was gone, they would return to foraging.

Exercising like a hunter/gatherer

This paradigm of hunter/gatherer works for exercise as well. Instead of engaging in high-intensity workouts often, follow the hunter/gatherer approach. Our ancestors gathered food by walking in a low-intensity exercise through the forest or working in a small garden. And once in a while, they engaged in a high-intensity work out to chase down a prey or run from a predator. This can be mimicked by walking 5 days a week and saving 2 days for a high-intensity workout like sprinting or lifting weights.

Red Light Therapy

From a skeptic to a believer.

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I was surprised the first time I tried RLT. The trainer told me that I would feel warmth, though it wasn’t coming from the bulbs. At first I was skeptical. I thought they were just hot lights. I turned out to be very wrong. The lights themselves do not get hot against the skin. The warmth comes from your body itself as the red light causes changes in your mitochondria at the cellular level under the skin. After experiencing it, I decided to get one for myself.

For a long time now, scientists have known that there is a link between red and infrared light and healing the body. Even though there have been many studies, many scientists still aren’t convinced that there is causation between red light and healing. This post will go over some of the information about red light therapy (RLT) and let you decide for yourself.

What is RLT?

Red light therapy is based on the principle that red and infrared light penetrate the surface of the skin and have a positive impact on the cells that live there, providing more ATP in the cells’ mitochondria. Therefore, the cells have more energy and can therefore heal themselves and other cells close by. This principle of infrared light penetration is also used with satellite photos in order to “see” just beneath the surface of the Earth.

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What are the health benefits of RLT?

At the moment there’s some evidence to suggest that RLT may have the following benefits:

  • Promotes wound healing and tissue repair
  • Improves hair growth in people with androgenic alopecia
  • Help for the short term treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Stimulates healing of slow-healing wounds
  • Reduces psoriasis lesions
  • Aids with short-term relief of pain and morning stiffness in people with rheumatoid arthritis
  • Reduces some of the side-effects of cancer treatments
  • Improves skin complexion and builds collagen to diminish wrinkles
  • Helps to mend sun damage
  • Prevents recurring cold sores
  • Improve the health of joints
  • Helps diminish scars
  • Relieves pain and inflammation1

What does RLT not do?

For every study that touts the benefits of RLT, there is another that seems to debunk it. The following come from studies set out to deny the efficacy of RLT. There is no evidence RLT:

  • Treats depression, seasonal affective disorder, or postpartum depression
  • Activates the lymphatic system to help detoxify the body
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Reduces cellulite
  • Aids in weight loss
  • Treats back or neck pain
  • Fights periodontists and dental infections
  • Cures acne
  • Treats cancer2

Are there any side-effects to RLT?

RLT is considered completely safe. There have been reports of people who have been mildly burned but that was when they fell asleep on the device. You can’t overdo it but you do need to monitor the proximity to your eyes.

Where can I get a RLT device?

If you decide that RLT is something you want to try out and pursue further, you can find a number of different types online. Some are flat and hang on the wall, others are in a bulb with a clamp, and the full body machines are the most effective, though they’re also the most expensive.

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Trouble sleeping? Blue blockers might help.

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Are you having trouble sleeping at night even with melatonin? It could be caused by an excessive amount of blue light. Blue light is naturally found in sunlight and helps to keep us awake by blocking melatonin production. When the sun sets, the blue light goes away.

In our modern times, we simply turn on the artificial light. But that also contains blue light keeping us awake which is counterproductive in preparing for sleep.

In order to solve this problem, 1) don’t use artificial light and go to sleep when the sun goes down 2) or wear blue blocking glasses to prevent the blue light from reaching your eyes.

What are blue blocking glasses?

Blue blocking glasses are glasses that filter our some or a large portion of the blue light that would otherwise hit our eyes. They come in many shapes, tints, and sizes.

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Do they really work?

They do work in certain conditions. There have been no scientific studies that associate blue light blockers with improved screen fatigue and related eye strain. However, there have been studies that link wearing blue light blockers 2 hours before bedtime improves sleep quality and quantity. It also showed that wearing the glasses improved work performance.

If you think about our cavemen ancestors, they didn’t have artificial light except fire. Fire, though has small amounts of blue light, is mostly yellow, orange, and red light. So, these are the light colors that we have evolved to experience after the sun goes down.

The verdict

Blue blockers might help aid sleep by mimicking ancestral fire which in turn helps us to fall asleep naturally and sleep better. But don’t expect them to cure the headache you get from staring at the screen for hours.

Elemental Exercise

How to exercise effectively without chronic cardio.

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Exercise, though only 20% of weight loss, is a very important component of overall health and wellness. A primal lifestyle emphasizes 3 elements of a healthy routine: 1) move a lot every day, 2) carry heavy things, 3) sprint every now and then.

Our ancestors moved a lot in order to forage and find the best foods. Move a lot means finding creative ways to stay moving during the times when sitting in a chair at a desk. Invest in a stand up desk or even better, a stand up desk and a treadmill. Moving a lot helps the body to burn fat and prevents metabolic syndrome. Move a lot every day.

Carrying heavy things is something our ancestors did to carry a kill back to the village or carry water from the river. Carrying heavy things can be done in a variety of ways. Do strength training at the gym, do body weight exercises like push ups or sit ups, or carry a medicine ball. Carry heavy things 30 min 3-5 days a week.

Our ancestors sprinted from time to time in order to 1) outrun predators or 2) chase down prey. Engage in 30 second sprints once or twice a week.

Doing the exercises above will prime for fat burning not sugar burning, as long as eating primal is a priority.

One way to increase your mobility is a jog or walk 3-5 times a week. Step 1: Determine your MAF heart rate which can easily be calculated by 180-your age. Step 2: Get a fitbit so you can monitor your heart rate. Step 3: Jog or walk at or beneath your MAF 30 minutes 3-5 days a week (you don’t want to overdo it).

Trapped in a cycle of “chronic cardio”, it’s possible to push too hard and load up on carbs after a big workout. This will make it difficult to prosper because fat burning can only happen with a medium intensity workout determined by your MAF heart rate. If your heart rate is above your MAF, your body is burning sugar which leads to sugar cravings when not exercising.

The 80/20 Rule

Switching to an ancestral diet can seem overwhelming at times. You can get obsessed with making the right choices and making them all the time. However, one of the guidelines of ancestral health is the 80/20 rule. In other words, if you are conforming to the diet 80% of the time, the other 20% doesn’t matter. This rule is necessary so you don’t get burnout and quit the diet all together. So if you have the occasional ice cream or cookies and cakes, it’s OK as long as you are only eating them 20% of the time or less. This isn’t a license to eat bad foods but rather a way of staying on the diet in the long term.

It can be difficult trying to change your eating habits, especially if the are very different from primal. What you can do is start small and work your way into a more primal-aligned set of eating patterns. Start by eating 1 primal meal every day. That’s 33/66 compliance (1 meal) and see if you can maintain it for a week or 2. If you do, you can bump it up to 66/33 (2 meals). Try that for a week or 2. If you continue to do well, bump it up to 80/20 (approximately 2 1/2 meals).

If at any point you fall off the wagon, do not worry. Just get back on the wagon when you feel like it and keep going. The goal of Elemental Nutrition & Wellness is not to judge you but to help you feel better and accomplish your wellness goals.

The Wellness System Structures

The Wellness System is the mathematical underpinning for the calculators on this site. Structures are what give The Wellness System meaning. When you use the calculators, you are creating structures, namely a formation or a grid. By creating structures, you are able to organize and understand information with regard to your eating habits. There are 6 types of structures and each serves a purpose and bears a mathematical underpinning.

  • The Resource – the most basic structure, used as a building block
  • The List – the simplest multi-resource structure, used for resource access or analysis
  • The Formation – the structure intended for tracking
  • The Definition – the structure used to nest resources and save space
  • The Grid – the structure used for daily tracking and grazing
  • The Map – a double list structure organized by W and E used for resource reference and importation

Structures also have a behavior that allows us to analyze them in an organic manner. We can analyze lists and make generalizations about their contents. We can analyze formations which allows us to balance the composite. We can analyze grids which helps us to understand daily habits. We can analyze maps that tell us the nature of its resources.

The Resource Structure

“Resource” is a convenient way of saying “food” or “drink”. It is also the simplest, lowest-level structure in TWS. If the system is your body, the cell is a resource. Even though it can be divided into pieces, the resource is considered to be fundamental. The resource is an axiom. It is considered to be true since it is made of basic parts. The parts of a resource are:

  • Designation – the name of the resource
  • Components – the amounts of mass, Calories, fiber, and protein
  • Expression – the 4 metrics derived from the relationships between the components

A resource looks like this (open in new tab):

Resources are generally not accompanied by a header row, because they are never seen out of the context of a higher structure. However, for the sake of clarity, this graphic shows you the header information.

The List Structure

The list is a structure used for grouping resources and analysis. It is the simplest way to piece resources together and create a form of analysis through sorting. A list can reveal which resources are better with certain parameters. For example, a map sorts according to the W and the E. A list is most commonly used to group resources together. It is also used to create studies and proofs. The parts of a list are:

  • Header – designation (named or unnamed) and list parameters
  • Collection – a group of resources
  • Sort (optional) – parameter used for organizing the list

This is what a list looks like (open in new tab):

The Formation Structure

The formation is a structure designed for tracking. It is similar to the list, however it has a row at the bottom called the “composite” that is an aggregate of the list above. A formation tells you the estimated overall impact a group of resources has. It also serves as a form of analysis. If your composite is unbalanced, you should go back and analyze the collection, fixing problems until the composite is balanced. The parts of a basic formation are:

  • Header – designation (named or unnamed) and formation parameters
  • Collection – a group of resources
  • Composite – a row used for aggregating the collection and analysis

A formation is generally not sorted. This is what a basic formation looks like (open in new tab):

There are two other types of formations that are used for portioning and meal planning. A portioned formation has any number of “tags” that apply a factor to the formation’s composite. This is useful for portioning a recipe like cookies. The parts of a portioned formation are:

  • Header – designation (named or unnamed) and formation parameters
  • Collection – a group of resources
  • Tags – any number of factors applied to the composite (usually scale down). They live right under the composite.

This is what a portioned formation looks like (open in new tab):

Second, a portioned list formation is a formation with a repeated set of components. The components are copied under the composite and the factor is applied to each component. This is useful in portioning for multiple people. The parts of a portioned list formation are:

  • Header – designation (named or unnamed) and formation parameters
  • Collection – a group of resources
  • Composite – a row used for aggregating the collection and analysis
  • Portion Row – a row that declares the portion amount
  • Portioned Components – the components that have been multiplied by the portion amount

This is what a portioned list formation looks like (open in new tab):

The Definition Structure

The definition is designed for nested resources and reuse. If you find yourself copying and pasting large numbers of the same resources, creating a definition makes sense to save space and effort. The parts of a definition are:

  • Header – designation (named or unnamed) and definition parameters
  • Collection – a group of resources
  • Composite – a row used for aggregating the collection and analysis
  • Seed – a row designed for copying and pasting into other structures

This is what a definition looks like (open in new tab):

The Grid Structure

The grid is a structure designed for tracking daily resources. It also simplifies the composite by aggregating the whole day into one global composite; formations, on the other hand, must be tallied in order to determine the global composite. Also, the grid has spaces between resources and resource groups signifying the passage of time. Therefore, it helps you analyze your habits by being organized chronologically. The parts of a grid are:

  • Header – designation (named or unnamed) and grid parameters
  • Collection – a group of resources, resource groups, and spaces (sorted chronologically)
  • Composite – a row used for aggregating the collection and analysis
  • Seed – a row designed for copying and pasting into other structures

This is what a grid looks like (open in new tab):

The Map Structure

The map is the largest-scale structure, organized as a double list. The first is sorted by W and the second by E. The map is designed for reference. Those at the top are complete because they do not have division by zero. Those at the bottom are incomplete because they have natural division by zero. One list isn’t better than the other. We need complete resources and we need incomplete resources. The parts of a map are:

  • Header – designation (named or unnamed) and map parameters
  • Collection 1 – a group of resources organized by W
  • Collection 2 – a group of resources organized by E

The resources map is designed to be read-only which means you can copy but you can’t modify. The personal resources map is designed to be modifiable.

This is what a map looks like (open in new tab):

The Wellness System and Calculators

Once you understand the map structure, you will be able to use the smart and the energy calculators. These calculators are sorted according to the W factor or the E factor or both so you will be able to use the sort range as a means of choosing the resources you want to consume. If you want to use The Wellness System in addition to the calculators, you can find it at It is more powerful than the calculators but it is also more work.