What A Day! The Top 8 Take-Aways From revitalize 2018 Main Stage

Photo: Tamara Muth-King

Yesterday was a huge day for wellness! At #mbgrevitalize, we hiked at dawn through the saguaro cactuses, practiced yoga nidra with Caley Alyssa accompanied by Tim Fain, and learned how to deepen our wellness through breathwork with Dr. Andrew Huberman. This year, the revitalize main stage was dedicated to tackling the biggest issues facing our world and shining a light on the solutions wellness offers. mbg founder and CEO Jason Wachob with his wife, Colleen Wachob, mbg co-founder and Chief Brand Officer, welcomed to the stage thought leaders at the forefront of our water crisis, the fight against cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease, the troubling connection between technology and depression, the new field of mitochondrial health, cannabis, the homelessness epidemic, and, if you can believe it, so much more.

Needless to say, we learned a lot. And we couldn't wait to share our newfound knowledge with all of you. Here are the biggest take-aways from the mbg revitalize 2018 main stage. Sign up here to be the first to see the FREE full-length videos!

1. Purpose can be as powerful a wellness tool as nutrition.

Brain games like crossword puzzles and Sudoku get a lot of credit for keeping our brains engaged, but nothing will ever compare to having meaningful interactions with other people and a sense of purpose in life. According to Dr. Dean and Dr. Ayesha Sherzai—the married directors of the Alzheimer's Prevention Program at Loma Linda University Medical Center and authors of The Alzheimer's Solution, who were first to take the stage this year—research shows that while nutrition is extremely important when it comes to the health of our brain, the data shows that a purpose-driven life is imperative for wellbeing. It drives how we eat and what we do and how we think. The take-home? The most important thing for brain health isn't necessarily your job or IQ or what you eat; it's your level of mental activity, and nothing determines that more than the people you surround yourself with and how often you set goals and work toward them.

2. Mitochondria health is essential for well-being—and pollution is endangering that.

The mitochondria are small energy centers inside our cells that are responsible for converting the energy from our food into energy in our body. Unfortunately, they are damaged by free radical production and subsequent oxidative stress, which can lead to symptoms like chronic fatigue and anxiety. Dr. Robert Rountree, a family medicine physician; author; and expert in nutrition, medical herbology, and mind-body therapy, explained that when it comes to free radicals, environmental toxins are the worst. This isn't something spoken about a lot in mainstream medicine, but BPA, arsenic, lead, and mercury are just some of the 80,000-plus chemicals registered in the United States, and many of them are burdening our mitochondria, contributing to stress and fatigue.

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3. We need to take our conscious consumerism to the next level.

When it comes to being a conscious consumer, it's important now to think about where companies are getting their water and how sustainable they are. A lot of companies are starting to become more transparent and conscious about how they are using water. There are half a million people without clean water in California. A huge water crisis is occurring right under our noses, according to Christy Zenner, Ph.D., a professor at Fordham and author of Just Water: Theology, Ethics, and the Global Water Crisis, and Anecita Agustinez, a tribal policy adviser for the California Department of Water Resources who has been named one of the nine experts to watch on California water policy.

4. There's a cure for irritability in your self-care cabinet.

We all know about the cannabinoids THC and CBD, but did you know that your body makes its own natural cannabinoids as well? They're called endocannabinoids, and they interact with cannabinoid receptors in the body, becoming part of a larger system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is known as a "master regulatory system." The ECS is a big part of how we respond to stress and pain. Scientists discovered the endocannabinoid system and endogenous cannabinoids while they were studying cannabis and how it works in our body.

Anxiety, fibromyalgia, and IBS; these are just a few conditions on a growing list of disorders characterized by hyper-irritability of the nervous system. According to Dr. Robert Rountree, research is showing that CBD, specifically, can be extremely beneficial for these disorders.

5. Climate change isn't a curse.

In fact, according to environmentalist and collective member Paul Hawken, it might actually be a blessing. "Climate change is feedback from our system. It's the earth telling us that this is really not working and that we need to make changes." As we continue to leech the soil of its nutrients, it's turning to dirt, and it's dying. This means that plants don't have the minerals they normally would, and that means those minerals are definitely not getting into our bodies.

The answer? Regenerative agriculture and doing what we do best as humans: taking care of one another. We can start by eating a wider variety of foods to restore the biodiversity of the soil and promote remineralization. "Hunters and gatherers used to eat about 10,000 different things every year, and nowadays, we eat about 10," explained Hawken. We can also focus on limiting chemicals like glyphosate, which is the biggest killer of biodiversity in the world.

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6. Multitasking is the new sitting.

If you think you're doing more than one thing at the same time, you're not. And when it comes to the health of your brain, it's one of the worst things you can do. Especially when it comes to Alzheimer's and dementia. With those conditions, you can't get from A to Z while you're doing an activity. So constantly being distracted and never really digging in to a task is a big no-no because focus is at the center of cognitive development. The good news? According to the Sherzais, you can develop focus at any age, and that gives you a LOT of power in the face of neurodegenerative diseases. How do you do it? Be present, and really try to go deep when you're completing a task to access every nook and cranny of your brain. When you multitask, you're only skimming the surface.

7. Take it from an astronaut: It's time to stop lying to ourselves.

Can you imagine what the world looks like from space? Ron Garan can. He's a retired NASA astronaut who has traveled over 71 million miles during more than 178 days in space. When he took to the main stage, we were hanging on every word as he described seeing the earth's constant dance of colors and light and motion from so far away. "The world looks really fragile but also indescribably beautiful. When I looked out the window from space, I didn't see the economy; I saw a luminescent biosphere teeming with life. And he realized that we are all living in a lie." What does he mean by that? So often we think that the health of the planet is something that exists within the larger context of the economy, when really it's the opposite. So how do we become more present? According to Garan, "Treat every moment of your life as a continuous thread from your complete past to your complete future with this inflection point, the present." Fixing the planet isn't a pipe dream; it's a requirement.

8. The greatest gift we can give is the gift of love—without reason.

LaRayia Gaston, founder of Lunch on Me shared staggering statistics about the homeless population: There are 28,000 homeless kids in Los Angeles, and only 1,400 are awaiting adoption. Fifty percent of adolescents aging out of foster care and juvenile justice systems will be homeless within six months because they are unprepared to live independently. That means that so many of the homeless population are the result of children who slipped through the cracks. In a moving talk, she explained that it's not shelter or access to jobs or even food that's really needed to help the homeless, it's light and love—something we all have and should give freely. When we give love, it spreads. In the final moments of the talk, she welcomed on to the stage Kevin Call, a man who credits Lunch on Me not just with feeding him but with loving him when he didn't love himself, which gave him hope and a second chance at life. Together, they encouraged us: "Don't just recognize a problem; do something about it. Practice love without reason."

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