TURN DOWN THE LIGHTS, SWEET DARLIN’-BLUE LIGHT REDUCTION | part one

My work with others is all about ELEVATION.
Yes, I started my blog, The Provisions, with the intention of highlighting clean ingredients. And there will be more posts on clean ingredients, of course. However, I am taking a slight important detour with the topic of Blue Light Reduction, a topic that can affect our elevation or lack thereof dramatically. I began learning about the dangerous effects of blue light exposure many years ago and since then have been subtly sharing ways in which we can protect ourselves. Towards the end of this past summer though I dialed in, educating myself on the latest hacks in this arena, and shared updated information individually with clients, friends, family, and basically anyone who would listen. I was inspired to then write it all down and offer step-by-step instructions on how to reduce this toxicity, which we are all ferociously exposed to on a daily basis.

Hence, this three-part blog series emerged. 

I will be posting Part Two and Part Three soon (hint: EMF protecting devices, safer replacements for LED "junk light" with halogen and incandescent bulbs, how to use the airplane mode hack properly, baby monitors, and more...).

I truly hope you find the following information compelling enough to start implementing my recommendations.
This information is especially critical for children.

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Are you Blue Light "green" (have no idea what the hell I am referring to)?

Or have you heard bits and pieces about the downside of blue light exposure?

Have you learned the ins and outs but still haven't gotten around to protecting yourself?

Please read on...

Exposure to artificial light is a modern day issue.
Our ancestors rose with the sun and were asleep by nightfall, which is perfectly aligned with our innate circadian rhythm (the body's internal clock). They also didn't have iPhones.
Just over 30 years ago, a Harvard researcher proved that spectrums of light control the body's circadian rhythm. 
What we now know is that blue light aka "junk light" is the killer.

Blue Light is part of the visible light spectrum and reaches deeper into the eye. However, our eyes are not equipped to block this level of light in the evening (especially) and has damaging cumulative effects.

Artificial or "junk light" was introduced in the early 60s in the form of LED lights, which emit this damaging blue light. Compact fluorescent light bulbs radiate more blue light, too.

Plus, with the recent invention of smartphones and computers, we are increasingly exposed to high levels of blue light, notably in the evening when ideally we want to avoid blue light exposure completely. 

The main BLUE LIGHT EXPOSURE hazards to be aware of are:

  • Sleep disruption (suppressed melatonin production)

  • Brain inflammation

  • Macular degeneration

  • Decreased energy and productivity

  • Weight gain

  • Various illnesses and imbalances

Still not convinced? Click on this --> Harvard Medical School 

 photographer unknown

photographer unknown

THREE MAIN KEY POINTS TO GET STARTED
1. Add iristech.co to your desktop computers + laptops.
2. Use blue blocking glasses (during the day + night).
AND
3. Adjust the settings on your iPhone and iPad (all 'HOW TO' information found below)...

+ PLEASE BEAR WITH ME...
The following instructions may seem like a lot, but I’ve pared it all down to make it as easy as possible for you and will take very little time to implement.

Giving props to Matt Maruca of Ra Optics who shared most of the following tips with me. 


BLUE BLOCKING GLASSES

 PHOTO BY:  raoptics.io

PHOTO BY: raoptics.io

I recommend buying glasses from Ra Optics.
Use my coupon code: MGElevate to receive 15% off your first order.

Matt’s lenses are superb. If you have been up on this blue light reduction topic, I’m sure you’ve spotted various blue blocking glasses on the market. Some do not deliver the amount of protection they claim to. But Ra Optics is the real deal. And the customization aspect is what hooked me...

Matt offers a selection of eight lovely frames to choose from…(I’ve seen other companies offer 1-4 options, at most) and provides yet another unique service: Matt will take ANY frame and add his custom lenses.
Have a prescription? No problem. He will tint those, too!

For convenience, Matt lists a few different sites to order from directly on his site OR head on over to Warby Parker, Oliver Peoples, whatever floats your boat, buy the frames you love, and send them to Matt!
He will ship them back to you with Dr. Jack Kruse approved blue blocking lenses! 

  • DAY + NIGHT glasses
    Ideally, you will have the day version (amber lenses) + night version (red lenses).

NOTE  |  LENSES
It is only possible to tint CR-39 lens material with no anti-reflective coatings. Not to worry though, as most lenses are CR-39 and if not, easily obtained by the store you are purchasing from. 


iPHONE + iPad

 PHOTO BY: torsten dettlaff

PHOTO BY: torsten dettlaff

HACK YOUR IPHONE + IPAD...FOR FREE!

NOTE
 | EYE STRAINING
Keep this in mind: YOUR EYES WILL ADJUST to the updates you are making to the reduced white point, red color tint (the night filter), and the amber hue. However, until then, do not set the levels too low. Straining and squinting is not advised. Give your beautiful eyes a chance to heal and regain strength. Then you will be able to use the low(er) light settings with ease.


DAY PROTECTION

  • STEP | one
    NIGHT SHIFT

    Many people use Night Shift in the evening. However, I have Night Shift on 23hr 59min for increased protection. There are 2 steps in this section:

    • Go to:
      - Settings
      - Display & Brightness
      - Night Shift
      - Scheduled
      - (choose) From 12:00 PM To 11:59 AM
      +
      -COLOR TEMPERATURE (at the bottom)
      -Set to MORE WARM (scroll all the way to the right for the warmest and safest tint).

  • STEP | two
    REDUCE WHITE POINT

    • Got to:
      - Settings
      -General
      - Accessibility
      - Display Accommodations
      - Reduce White Point (option at the bottom): I have mine set to 86%, which is quite yellow. Play around and see what is comfortable for you.
      NOTE: Your eyes will become stronger again and adjust to darker, more yellow tones.

  • STEP | three
    BRIGHTNESS
    Swipe up on the home screen and adjust brightness as needed (TIP: I am constantly adjusting this depending on whether I am indoors or outdoors).

    • NOTE | PICTURES
      – The colors in your pictures will be affected after turning on the above features.
      – If you are active on social media and taking/uploading pics, simply disable Night Shift and White Point temporarily. Remember though that the less you are staring at blue light, the better.

    • NOTE | INSIDE VS OUTSIDE
      – I will often disable Night Shift and raise the (regular) brightness when I am outside, especially when it is bright and sunny. Otherwise, I won’t be able to see much of anything on my phone. The natural light will offset some of the negative effects. Make sure when you are going back indoors, to revert settings.
      – This may all seem like a pain in the ass but it literally takes 2 seconds and the positive effects far outweigh the slight effort.

NIGHT TIME PROTECTION

  • STEP | one

    • Go to:
      - Settings
      - General
      - Accessibility
      - Display Accommodations
      - Color Filters (turn on)
      - Color Tint
      YES, your screen will turn red. Adjust brightness or color temperature in NIGHT SHIFT (more warm/less warm), as desired. This red tint is brain protective. Use it!

  • STEP | two
    SHORTCUT

    There is a way to create a shortcut so that you can triple tap your home button and turn on the NIGHT TIME color filter (red) with ease rather than having to go through all the steps written above.
    Tap, tap, tap...and Night Shift protection is ON.

    • Go to:
      - Settings
      - General
      - Accessibility Shortcut (at very bottom)
      - Choose: Color Filters + Reduce White Point + whatever else you want to add (you get 3)
      NOTE | (reminder about eye straining)
      Initially, it might be challenging to see your screen this dark and red-tinted. Adjust brightness until you can see your phone so you aren’t squinting and further straining your eyes.


COMPUTER

 photographer unknown

photographer unknown

  • STEP | one
    Download Irishtech Software for Eye Protection (Windows, OSX & Linus).
    Iristech is an amazing program that goes beyond what f.lux offers. There are nine filters to choose from PLUS a bunch of other great features. I have mine set to HEALTH and I also adjust the kelvins further in Settings:
    – Go to your Iristech icon
    – Mode (set to Manual)
    – Go to Settings
    – Blue light (adjust Day Light and Night Light, as desired)
    – Save and close each time

    • NOTE | KELVIN
      We want to stay within the safest range of Kelvin (color temperature):
      DURING THE DAY: 2000k-2300k
      AT NIGHT: 1200k-1300k, at most (the darker, the better)
      I am constantly adjusting this in Settings. As my eyes have healed and gotten stronger from exposure to blue light for many years, I can see the lower Kelvin levels with ease. It's amazing!

  • STEP | two
    In addition to the Iristech filter protection, wear your blue blocking glasses. It is ideal to have the day version (amber lenses) and the night version (red lenses). Iristech alone is not enough blue light protection.

BITCH DON’T KILL MY VIBE

I feel good about my food choices + I want you to as well.

First and foremost, it is never lost on me that when we have freedom to choose what we want to eat, we are incredibly fortunate. As you know, there are many parts of the United States as well as across the world that deal with food insecurity, hunger, and starvation on a daily basis.

Injecting a little perspective here.

For those of us who are lucky enough to have choices, cleaning up the diet can be a challenge. Not only are we up against the physical aspect (you’ve detoxed from sugar or coffee in the past, you know what I’m referring to), there’s also strong emotional and social components that can be tricky to navigate.

What we eat (or don’t eat!!) can be way controversial amongst our family, friends, and peer groups. Since everyone has a body and everyone eats, everyone also tends to think that they are somewhat of an expert on what others are eating, too.

There’s a lot of conscious and unconscious shaming and projection that happens. And it can get kind of ugly even though most often things are said with innocence.

I am here to remind you:

  • Eat however makes you feel good.

  • Resist peer pressure to eat something you simply do not want to.

Once your internal knowing switches on full force and is the loudest voice in your head, all meals will be easy to navigate, no matter what…

And thankfully, many inventive clean food companies have sprouted over the last 10 years making it all a lot easier.

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I love corn chips. Corn chips do not love me.

I actually have physical and emotional reactions to corn. Corn makes me sad. As in, literally.
I wake up the next day after eating something corn-based and feel sad for no apparent reason. Sometimes I get weird hives, feel extra foggy and experience general malaise, too.

Five years ago, I had food allergy testing done by a naturopath whom I trusted. As a practitioner myself, I know this data isn’t foolproof. And that food sensitivities and allergies can shift over time. But regardless, I love having the data. And the results were crystal clear on that test. Staggering, off the charts, never eat corn again results.

It made sense due to how I felt after eating corn.


*NOTE: Corn is an allergen and gut irritant for many people in the U.S. More on that topic another time.

Thank goodness there are brands like Siete on the market. Now I never need to eat (or be tempted by) another corn chip ever again!

Check them out for grain-free, soy-free, everything-free tortilla chips, tortilla wraps, and hot sauce!  Truly delicious. Trust me. Everyone loves Siete.

 

Will leave on a final note:
Eating together is a very important aspect of health.
We are wired for community.
Yet we don't have to all be eating the same thing.
Be gentle on yourself and others…

Wishing everyone peace during their mealtimes.

 

WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE (aka THE PROVISIONS)

I know. There’s no shortage of incredibly wise, informed, intelligent, and valuable health information on the internet these days.

So why am I starting a blog now?

I have been working in the holistic health and wellness industry for over 10 years. And in each passing year, I’d inevitably receive the request, which happened on the regular, “Will you please start your own blog already?”

To which of course I would whole-heartedly respond with a resounding, “YES! I AM starting a blog. Totally.” 
And then it just never materialized. 
Until today. 

So, here I am...finally. Collecting and sharing all of my favorites in one place. For you. So you will be able to access with ease the items I’ve found that truly enhance our wellbeing. Because I deeply care about your elevation in whatever form that takes.

I’m a perennial shopper. What can I say? I grew up in New York City. Most of us indigenous Manhattan-ites are unofficial professional shoppers by nature (or nurture, really). So I’ve turned my love of buying clothing and accessories to love of finding the best of everything in wellness (without entirely abandoning the former, of course). I learned a long time ago that there’s power where we spend our dollars and I want the companies that are doing good for us and the planet to remain alive and thriving.

What you will find here are my favorite produce picks, food ingredients, whole food supplements, herbs, elixirs, tinctures, organic products, favorite recipes, the occasional go-to wellness tips, resources, and some fun videos (coming soon)! I have no affiliations (yet) with anything I am recommending here. In the future when I do create affiliations, you will be the first to know. Transparency is everything.

For those who discover this content as being new, I’ve done my job. For those who already know about what I am sharing, to me it’s all worth highlighting again and strengthening this movement of clean eating, healthy living, and such. There’s always more power in the repetition and expansion.

Thank you for stopping by and I so look forward to sharing my finds and insights with you.
xo Meredith

HEALTHY FOOD DELIVERY | NYC

Living in New York City’s concrete jungle is exhilarating, challenging, joyful, stressful, and often leaves little time leftover for making our own healthy meals. New Yorkers strive for the best of everything. We are inventive and we make stuff happen here.

We also love delivery...

So you don’t have time to prepare organic, nutritious meals for yourself and/or your family? No problem. There are a handful of companies that have figured it all out for you and provide an array of healthy options. Easily accessible with as little as a few clicks on your computer.

Full disclosure: I have not personally taste-tested all of the following companies’ meals but have heard from my trusted resources that they are each in fact delicious, sourced responsibly, nutritionally balanced, and free from all the “stuff”.

Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments; I always love feedback! 

 

 

PLANT-BASED OPTIONS

  • DAILY HARVEST : Breakfast and lunch/snack options in the form of smoothies + chia parfaits + overnight oats + soups. They use new flash frozen technology used for peak nutrient density levels.

  • PURPLE CARROT : Pre-measured meals along with recipes arrive at your doorstep. Ingredients are sourced from farmers and food makers. You can cook the meals in 40-minutes or less.

  • SAKARA LIFE : 100% plant-based, organic, gluten-free, and pre-made meals are ready to eat upon arrival. Or saved for later.

  • 22 DAYS : 100% Organic, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and Non-GMO ingredients.

OMNIVORE + PLANT-BASED OPTIONS

  • DIG INN : Seasonal, farm fresh, clean food for lunch or dinner.

  • LOCANUT : 100% Organic, local, seasonal, paleo-friendly, gluten-free, grain-free pre-made meals. I love this one because of the variety of meals offered and the fact that they only use olive oil, coconut oil, and grass-fed butter when cooking.

  • PROVENANCE : 100% organic, gluten-free, dairy-free, local, seasonal ingredients used for each meal, and no refined sugar included. Clean, ethically sourced animal protein – vegan options available.

  • GREEN CHEF : USDA Organic, farm-fresh, responsibly sourced, vegan-omnivore options, ingredients delivered to your doorstep with chef- created recipes to follow.

 

WRAP IT UP

I used to eat bread. Often. I grew up making mustard sandwiches (yep, that’s mustard on bread), eating NYC-deli sandwiches, bagels galore (I mean, obviously) with cream cheese or eggs + ham or tuna salad or turkey or whitefish salad or with just cucumber, tomato, salt and pepper. While living in San Francisco after college, I would buy the traditional Italian sandwiches in our neighborhood that used that delightful, crusty bread. And of course I’d eat the toasted 7-grain veggie-stuffed sandwiches from our local health food store, too. I liked all varieties of bread...

I stopped eating wheat and gluten in the year 2000 for health reasons and have rarely eaten it since. I don’t miss it. I promise. And I don’t shame anyone else for eating it. Mazel and enjoy if that’s what you choose. I am the last one to judge you. I was recently out with a friend and she ordered a sandwich on that crusty, amazing bread. In this stage of the game, I am so way past the point of craving something like that and happily appreciated watching her enjoy the meal.

What does turn me on though are wraps that are wheat and gluten-free and filled with vibrant, plant-based goodness. One of my favorite bread-free alternative wraps these days is from a company called WrawPs. The original flavor is my go-to. WrawPs are wheat-free, gluten-free, paleo, raw (dehydrated to retain the nutritional value) and vegan. Pictured was a recipe I recently made for my beloved clients while working with them in Switzerland. I stuffed the WrawPs with a bean-free, zucchini-based hummus, tons of raw veggies, and soft mache greens. It was delicious and as satisfying as any other conventional sandwich out there. 

Except way healthier.