Kitchen

Important Factors to Look For in a Healthy House (The SelfHacked House)

I moved to a house in California in November 2015 from NYC, to live in a more optimal location and start a Healthy House.

The Healthy House has since turned into the Selfhacked House and has been used as a base of operation for Selfhacked and SelfDecode.

The Selfhacked House

I put a lot of thought into finding the absolute best location. It started with taking out a map of the US and writing down a list of environmental criteria that I wanted for healthy living (from most, to least important).

This newer home is almost right on the beach and is one of the most healthy homes in existence. The house is surrounded by green parks and sandwiched between the ocean and mountains. The air is clean, and we’re far from major highways, and far enough out of the city for you to see stars at night.

Pictures

The ocean views from our two front decks.

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Moonstone Beach Boardwalk – a beautiful boardwalk to walk or jog along the ocean (close to the house). You can find lots of pebbles, some sea glass, and maybe even moonstones and jade if you look hard enough 🙂

Walkway

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Kitchen

Kitchen

Bathroom

Bathroom

Important Factors For Optimal Healing

To some extent, there is no perfect location.  There is a problem everywhere you go, but you can try to get the best overall.  

There are a few things that most people respond well to:

  • Sun
  • Being outside in fresh air
  • Fresh ocean air
  • Nature
  • A clean relatively toxin/mold-free house
  • Stress-free/positive environment

These were all requirements of mine because I realize the healing potential of these things.

Important Location and Environmental Factors

These are some important environmental factors that I looked at.

Elevation

We wanted to get a place that wasn’t elevated because chronic hypoxia can be a problem.  People who live at high elevation receive some benefits regarding more UVB and lower pollution, but this isn’t ideal for many, so any location above 1000ft was a no-go and ideally, we wanted it below 500 feet. 

The Selfhacked House is on the beach and is at sea level.  

Air Quality

We get ocean ions when we’re close to the beach, and fresh air blows from the Pacific oceans.  

Since the central coast of California is relatively remote, there’s not much pollution from cars. It’s not next to any airports, shipping ports, nuclear power plants or military installations, all of which are sources of various kinds of pollution.

There’s no coal or natural gas powerplants anywhere near us (according to this map).

As a plus, radon concentrations are very low next to oceans (R).

Noise, EMF, and Light pollution

The area has low noise pollution – our house has maybe one car every 3 minutes pass by.  Super quiet.

Our part of town has low nnEMF (I have an EMF meter).  Cellular signals are really bad in our house, which is good because we’re less bombarded with nnEMF.  Verizon is the best, and it only gets about 1 bar in the house.

Our home doesn’t have light bombs, which means there’re no street lamps that invade your house.  This can be bad in a lot of suburban neighborhoods and cities.

Latitude

I wanted to get a place that was south enough to get more UVB.

According to the Harvard School of Health, people who live above 37 degrees latitude don’t get enough UVB energy from the sun to make all the vitamin D they need. The same is true for people who spend most of their time indoors or use sunscreens (R).

Human skin exposed to sunlight on clear days in Boston (42.2 degrees) from November through February produced no vitamin D3. In Edmonton (52 degrees), humans couldn’t produce D3 from October through March (R).

At 34 degrees, humans can make vitamin D3 even in the middle of winter (Central coast=35 degrees) (R).  This is why ~35 degrees latitude was the upper limit of a place I’d move to.

Pollution will reduce UVB, so even though LA is at 34 degrees latitude, you might not get enough UVB to produce adequate D3.  Clouds will likewise reduce UVB.  In the winter it rains a lot on the east coast, which will result in less UVB.  Elevation will increase UVB, so a place like Colorado will be better for UVB (but elevation is worse in other ways).

The Central Coast has clear skies in the afternoon almost all year round and very little pollution, making UVB more accessible.  Since the average weather ranges from 65-71 degrees F (18.3-21.7 C) all year round, it’s always comfortable to be outside.

Here are latitudes of various locations, rounded (the higher the number, the further from the equator, the less UVB year round – with other factors constant):

  • Reykjavik – 64
  • Oslo – 60
  • Moscow – 56
  • London – 52
  • Warsaw – 52
  • Vancouver – 49
  • Seattle – 48
  • Portland – 46
  • Minneapolis – 45
  • Toronto – 44
  • Boston – 42
  • NYC – 41
  • Fort Collins – 41
  • Madrid – 40
  • Denver – 39
  • Baltimore – 39
  • San Francisco -38
  • Mosul – 36
  • Las Vegas – 36
  • Tokyo – 36
  • Tehran – 35
  • Charlotte – 35
  • Central Coast – 35
  • Santa Barbara 34
  • LA – 34
  • Sydney – -34
  • Atlanta – 34
  • San Diego – 33
  • Tel Aviv – 32
  • Pensacola Beach – 30
  • New Orleans – 30
  • Miami Beach – 26
  • Bangkok – 14

Some Benefits of the Selfhacked House

There were some things in a house and neighborhood that we were able to find:

35 Yards From the Ocean

The house is close to the beach and right across the street from the ocean. You can walk a block to a park and a beach area where you can take a dip in the ocean and ground. 

In California, the water is cold, and you can do some amazing cold thermogenesis in the ocean to supercharge your health.

The beach and ocean air have special healing properties.  Also, being next to the beach is a good temperature buffer so that the area is never too hot nor too cold.  Only by the coast is the temperature in California the best in the world.

The ocean area by us is the largest US national marine sanctuary and has a shoreline length of 276 miles.  Being protected, it means companies can’t drill, and there are much stricter laws against polluting, which means the ocean is even cleaner than other oceans (R).

The “Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary” Supports one of the world’s most diverse marine ecosystems, and it is home to numerous mammals, seabirds, fishes, invertebrates and plants in a remarkably productive coastal environment (R).

We also have equipment to ground our laptops while using it at the beach and smelling the ocean air.

Like New

The house is completely remodeled but had adequate time to off-gas, so you’re not breathing in the new-house chemicals.  Dana did all of the necessary testing to make sure there was not a mold/biotoxin issue. 

Humidity

We have two dehumidifiers and a humidifier to keep to keep moisture at about 50%.  Too much over 50% causes bacterial and mold growth.

Grounding

The house has an area to ground – which isn’t always easy if you live in a big city.

Ground Floor

Two of the bedrooms are ground floor, which blocks off EMFs coming from below (ground blocks EMFs, which is why you can’t get service in a tunnel). Being on the ground also supposedly allows you to get more of the Schumann Resonance and the magnetic properties of the earth. These areas are not supported much by the scientific literature, but it’s believed that these have healthful properties (R, R2).  At this stage, I don’t know what kind of effect this has.

California Pros Over Florida

I’ve researched all the areas to live, and there are only two warm states with coast lines that I’d live in.

I flew out and found a lot of places off the coast of West Florida (north and mid) and some small pockets of California that are ideal for a healing house.  

Most of the coast in California, especially in the south, is crossed off because of pollution of all kinds (air, noise, light, nnEMF) and overcrowding.  In Northern California, it gets too cold, and you don’t get enough UVB.  In southern California, it’s too crowded and polluted.  After Santa Barbara (such as Pismo) you start getting down winds from Diablo Nuclear.

When it comes down to it, I prefer California because Florida has too many mosquitos, is too humid, rains too much and for four months of the year is too hot. 

These factors make it much more annoying to be outside for longer.  You will live in an air conditioned room, and that’s not healthy.  Outside you have fresher air (more oxygen, less CO2, fewer contaminants like mold and you can ground).

The problem with living right by the beach in California is that it’s expensive no matter where you go along the coast, so this does make it less affordable to people who need it but don’t have money.

California Pros vs. Florida:

  • Less humid
  • Less mosquitos
  • Cool in the summer 
  • Warm in the winter…..the weather is an average of 65 degrees F (18.33 degrees Celsius) in December, January, and February)
  • National parks to camp and hike
  • Better views of mountains and beach
  • Closer to health scene
  • More organic food stores
  • People are more health-conscious and similar demographics
  • Close to international urban centers (San Francisco, LA)

The House Equipment

These are the devices in our equipment toolkit, plus some more.

The House Supplements

We have pretty much every supplement in the book.

See this list of supplements that we have.

Comments

  1. Im from California. Im now in SD probably one of my favorite places in California (Im originally from LA). I lived in Florida Miami/Broward County and hated it!!! I hate Florida and it would be easier for me to live out there but I’ll never move back. Problem with Cali is its becoming a police state and I hate the political views sometimes. They passed SB277 and I’m being told I have to vaccinate my kids. I’m not sure what your feelings are on vaccinations… I’m curious about Oregon but I’m paranoid about mold…

  2. Dreamhouse (I also struggle with mold and cognitive issues)! Another advantage from living at sea level: Your water boils at 100°Celsius and not already at a lower temperature and so your food is done faster with less histamine buildup and less loss of nutritional value (but I see that you also have a pressure cooker). The humidity from the sea water and the air humidifiers protects your immune barriers (skin, lungs). I started my self hacking journey because of my lifelong debilitating eczema and have already experienced tremendous healing with manipulating my environment and with diet, supplements and mental work.

  3. Who did you call about taking your smart meter away and did that same person replace it with an analogue? How do you keep the electric company from hassling you about it?

    I kept them from putting one on my house twice, but they came back once when I wasn’t here so I have one now.

  4. Dave

    That is an awesome idea/option for people. I think I read everything, but didn’t see rates, did I miss them or were they removed in order to put full rates up or?

    • Joseph M. Cohen

      There are too many variables to publish rates. You need to call Dana, communicate what you need/want and you’ll get a quote.

  5. Looks great Joe!
    I am trying to arrange a trip to the USA next year (maybe time it with paleo fx or some other conference). If I do go ahead with it I will definitely aim to stay at your house!

    What is the minimum stay? 1 week? I would be travelling with my girlfriend – she is a very health conscious nanny working on her own health issues.

    Anyway I just wanted to say the place looks great and I’ll be adding it to our itinerary should we make the trip over the Pacific next year (we’re based in Sydney).

    Regards. Alex Fergus.

  6. Ole

    I wish i knew about this before i spent virtually double that amount in supplements etc and still havent had enough progress to get out of my semi bedridden and fully housebound state..

  7. Denvill

    It is hard for people -including myself- to commit to stay at a place for three weeks/month without having an idea of what would the daily routine look like. Could you describe how would visitor’s daily routine/schedule look like? What food would be served? Waking up times? Planned activities? Thanks!

  8. Linda

    Good luck with Optimal House. Just left North Captiva island. No cars, just golf carts, lots of nature, sun, privacy, but like you said it does get hot in the summer months.
    Question– I have a hot tub with an ozonator but still need to add chemicals for algae. Do you know of any alternative treatments? Anything using silver? Thanks.

  9. Donna

    Love what you guys are doing! Hope to be able to visit someday soon! I have a similar vision for developing some land in Colorado, knowing the elevation is a challenge. Thanks for your research and work to help people like me!

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