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2 Things You REALLY Need For Optimal Living

by jenny sansouci on May 22, 2014

I talk a lot here about things you “need” to enhance your life. Certain foods, juices, smoothies, resources, books, events that will rocket you into a new dimension of epic living.

The truth is, though, you don’t actually need to try the best kombucha, meditate, do yoga or only eat organic food. Those things are awesome and life-enhancing, but we’re talking about necessity here. There are, however, 2 things that you really need to live optimally.

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of good things for myself. I’ve been eating super clean and I’ve been on a fitness kick that feels really powerful. I’ve been surrounding myself with people who inspire me and doing work I love. It’s been really good.

But there are 2 things I’ve been skimping on, and I’ve realized how important they are. When these 2 things aren’t lined up, things don’t flow as effortlessly as I’d prefer. My energy is lower and I can’t show up for everything I wanna show up for. Ain’t nobody got time for that. I wanna feel OPTIMAL. Don’t you?

The 2 things we all REALLY need to operate at our highest capacity: 

  1. SLEEP

Now, it may sound simple, but not giving these 2 things adequate love will have a big impact on us.

Here’s the “optimal living” challenge I’m taking on as an experiment:

  • Getting 8 hours of sleep EVERY NIGHT. I mean 8 full hours of good sleep.
  • Drinking 3 liters of water per day. 

Let’s focus on each thing one at a time.


I was inspired by this post by my roommate, with tons of awesome tips for getting better sleep:

Createapreneur – The Karma Of Sleep

My favorite tip that I REALLY NEED TO IMPLEMENT? “Minimize screen staring at least 1 hour before snooze time.”

This is particularly difficult if you tend to text/surf the internet on your phone while laying in bed. I’ve been pretty bad about the late night texting lately – so much so that MY EYES HURT. I might be going blind. It’s gotta be reeled in. Sigh.

Also, read this epic and EXTREMELY thorough sleep post by Justin Miller:

Limitless 365: How To Get Your Sleep Game Right

So here’s what I commit to practicing and experimenting with — 1 hour before I want to be sleeping, I’ll put my phone away and read a book until I fall asleep. The fact that this feels so terrifying for me to do means I need to do it. My ideal sleep hours are 11pm-7am, which means the phone goes away at 10. EEK!!

It will pay off. (Breathing into a paper bag).


Drinking enough water affects every single thing we do. Every function of our body. Every ounce of energy we have will be depleted if we don’t have enough water.

Here’s the thing I’ve been doing lately. Swapping water for CAFFEINATED BEVERAGES. Pretty much the dumbest move I could make, since caffeine dehydrates you even more. I’ve been feeling it.

I wrote here about Water and Health like 5 years ago. One good tidbit from that old school blog:

Water gives you more energy. Even the mildest dehydration can cause fatigue, headaches and weakness in the body. Hydration is great for your skin, too. You’ll look radiant, younger and more energized when you’re getting enough H20. Get hydrated, feel vibrant!

Also check out this awesome post from Authority Nutrition:

Authority Nutrition: How Much Water Should You Drink Per Day?

YEP. Everything is enhanced when we’re hydrated. EVERYTHING! DO NOT underestimate this. I decided 3 liters just because it’s a lot more than I’ve been drinking lately but not so much that it feels excessive. It will take some amount of effort to drink 3 liters but it’s nothing impossible. 🙂

So there you have it. Optimal living for everyone. Sleep and drink water. I know, I’m a rocket scientist.

Try it with me. 🙂 


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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Timmie May 22, 2014 at 10:18 pm

I’m in! I must admit, I had no idea what the 2 things were going to be (usually I can guess by the title), but I agree 100%. I think we over-complicate things sometimes. Also, even if you’re eating clean and organic, juicing, exercising etc, your results will be compromised if you’re dehydrated and exhausted. Thank you for the reminder 🙂


Justin Miller May 25, 2014 at 10:57 pm

Sleep and hydration = nail on the head 🙂 Thanks for referencing my article as well.

With gratitude,



Sara Kashlan June 6, 2014 at 8:07 pm

I totally 100% agree with you. If I don’t get 8 hours of sleep each night I’m not as productive the next day. I just feel….”blah”. I also think getting fresh air & taking deep breaths throughout the day help as well!


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