A Health Entrepreneur Shares Her Autumn Wellness Essentials
A Health Entrepreneur Shares Her Autumn Wellness Essentials

A Health Entrepreneur Shares Her Autumn Wellness Essentials

Immersing yourself in icy water may not sound much like self-care, but for Laura Fullerton it’s a way of life. From daily sub-zero plunges to nutrition and sleep rules, here’s how the CEO and founder of Monk – maker of the world’s first smart ice bath – keeps her health on track.
By Tor West
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Image: @LAURAFULLERTON

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I’m a biohacker. As the CEO of an early stage start-up, life is full on, and to perform at my best and enjoy it, I have to put my health first. Biohacking means using health hacks to optimise your life – from increasing energy and longevity to improving strength and building a better immune system. For me, this encompasses optimising my hormones, ensuring my nutrition is right for me and my genetics, and living in sync with my cycle. 

Shorter days and longer nights influence our circadian rhythm. The changing seasons aren’t just about a change in weather, they’re a shift that resonates through our bodies and minds. I counteract the lack of sunlight in the autumn and winter months by using infrared light in the morning and evening to mimic sunrise and sunset. Some people benefit from a SAD lamp – be sure to look for one that offers at least 900 lux to really reap the benefits. Without the sunshine to get natural vitamin D, I also supplement with vitamin D3 plus K2 – vitamin D is better absorbed when combined with K2.  

I want everyone to discover how impactful cold water therapy can be. Ice baths can seem daunting if you’ve never done one, but the benefits are unparalleled. It’s my go-to health hack for taking control of my mental, physical and emotional health. The surge of endorphins is immediate, and the dopamine boost will last for hours, so the instant reward makes the short-term discomfort worth it. I like to think of cold water therapy as radical self-care – you deserve to meet the stronger, more resilient version of you on the other side.

I do four ice baths a week. These are usually between two to four minutes each, depending on the temperature and how I’m feeling. Aiming for 11 minutes each week is a great guide, split into several dips. I avoid taking an ice bath during my period, but as a rule, it’s about listening to your body and doing it safely. 

Ice baths are great for immunity. Cold exposure is a scientifically proven way to boost your immune system. Along with great nutrition, exercise and regular saunas, I rarely get ill. But when I do get run down, I take high-dose vitamin D, C and zinc, and make sure I get plenty of rest. I wouldn’t do cold exposure when poorly. Like exercise, it’s a hormetic stressor, which means it puts healthy stress on your body, which you positively adapt to. But when your immune system is already compromised, you don’t want to stress it further.  

@LAURAFULLERTON

Bulletproof coffee boosts my mood and energy. Before breakfast and as soon as I wake up, I put Celtic sea salt or electrolytes in my water for hydration and minerals, and then make a bulletproof coffee with added collagen – it gives me an energy boost that lasts for hours. I only have one coffee a day and really treasure it. I swear by Hunter & Gather collagen, it’s great for my gut and skin health. I’m a creature of habit when it comes to breakfast. I usually have four eggs and bacon cooked with spring onion, coriander and feta, sometimes with beetroot and avocado on the side.

I love a morning workout. After a quick breathwork session – I use the Breathe with James app, his voice is so calming – I head to the gym at White City House. The gym there is incredible, and the sauna is great. I’ve used Tim Blakey’s Primebody fitness app for years – he’s an amazing physio so the attention to detail and programming is great. I’m currently doing his 12-week Aphrodite programme. I strength train four to five times a week and do jiu jitsu twice a week. I used to exercise to look good, but in the last few years I’ve shifted towards the longevity benefits. But most importantly, it’s about self-respect. Saying you’ll go to the gym and actually doing it builds self-belief. I take recovery seriously, too. I’m obsessed with Hyperice’s compression boots, which I use at the gym.

Nothing beats a wild swim on a winter’s day. My gym training is consistent throughout the year regardless of the seasons, but wild swimming at the Serpentine in Hyde Park is one winter ritual I look forward to every year. I started going in 2021 with a group of people who have since become close friends. We dip, then have a coffee afterwards. It forces me to get up early, get out in nature, and embrace the elements. It’s the most healing thing. 

I fuel my body with nutrient-dense food. My diet is predominantly high-quality protein and lots of healthy fats. I avoid gluten – I noticed a few years ago that it bloats me, makes me feel sluggish and shows in my skin. I also avoid processed food and anything containing inflammatory oils like sunflower oil. In my fridge, you’ll always find grass-fed butter, steak, wild salmon, herbs like coriander and basil, beetroot and broccoli. 

Digestive enzymes are useful if I eat too much gluten. And when I do party, I’ll use activated charcoal and chlorella to bind the toxins, and glutathione to support my liver. They make a huge difference to how I feel the next day. I also religiously take Bare Biology’s omega-3, magnesium glycinate and Motion Nutrition Unplug before bed. I love that wellness is now cool, and there are alternatives to going out drinking. Don’t get me wrong, I love a great cocktail now and then (I’ll always choose a cleaner spirit like tequila or mezcal) but I can’t handle big nights that ruin the next day. 

The SURGE OF ENDORPHINS after an ice bath is immediate, and the DOPAMINE BOOST LASTS FOR HOURS.

Managing stress is key to my mental health. Being a solo founder and CEO is a tough, lonely journey at times, and managing stress and overwhelm is a priority. I do this in several ways. At work, I use specific tools to effectively prioritise my projects and structure my time, and ensure things aren’t swimming around my head – like time blocking, and a to-do list based on the ‘Get Things Done’ method. Outside of work, I journal, and am currently on the hunt for a good therapist – so many of the successful leaders I admire believe therapy has been key to their journey. Keeping healthy boundaries is also important. The reason I love jiu jitsu is because I can’t think about anything else – it’s a great way to switch off. 

A monthly massage helps me unwind. I use the Urban and Ruuby apps. Cowshed’s Ultimate Pedicure is also a firm favourite – it involves a scalp and shoulder massage. I’ve also found sound baths an incredible way to relax, and often go with friends in the evening. 

I use an Oura to track my sleep. Sleep is my absolute priority and I protect it at all costs. Last night, I had two hours of REM sleep and one-and-a-half hours of deep sleep, so I’m feeling great. Since using the Oura, I’ve learned the things that have the biggest impact on my sleep are drinking alcohol, eating too close to bedtime, feeling stressed and working too late. My sleep is consistent across the seasons, but I try to avoid eating three hours before bed; wear blue light blocking glasses; use salt lamps and red light after sunset; and rarely drink alcohol, which absolutely ruins sleep. Alcohol may help you fall asleep, but your sleep quality will be terrible. 

I’m careful about what I put on my skin. I’ve recently started using a brand called You’re Looking Well, which is all about the connection between the skin and the gut. It does a morning and night supplement and skin cream in the most beautiful packaging. I used to suffer with acne outbursts, which came down to a hormonal imbalance (which took a long time to uncover and fix), so I really resonate with what they’re doing. I also go through pots of Neal’s Yard Balance Balm – it’s the most nourishing balm that feels like a real treat, especially at this time of the year, when my skin needs extra TLC.

For more from Laura, follow her on Instagram at @LauraFullerton and sign up to the Monk waiting list at DiscoverMonk.com


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DISCLAIMER: Features published by SheerLuxe are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. Always seek the advice of your GP or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programme.

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