Hey Folks! Happy New Year!!! I’m posting the January newsletter a little late as I was overseas in December-January. But I’m back and excited to share what I’ve been up to recently.
What I’m reading: Tools of Titans, by Tim Ferriss. If you like The Tim Ferriss Show, you will love this book! Tim went through all the transcripts of the interviews from his show and distilled down the wisdom of world class performers in various fields. Each chapter features a different guest, with lots of bonus goodies, including gymnastic mobility training, fasting and ketosis advice, breathing exercises, cold therapy, therapeutic uses of psychedelics, and so, so, so much more.
What I’m eating: Nothing! I’ve been experimenting with longer fasts this past month with great results. I usually practice intermittent fasting a few days each week, which means I only eat during a 6-hour window (roughly 2-8pm) each day, effectively fasting for 18 hours (from 8pm until the next day at 2pm). In the past month, I have extended my fasting to 24, 48, and 72 hours on different occasions. The extended fasts all resulted in improved mental clarity and focus, more sustained energy levels, fewer food cravings, and a greater feeling of control over my health. If you are new to fasting, don’t be alarmed. Fasting has been practiced by almost every culture going back thousands of years. I suggest you check out Dr. Jason Fung’s website if you really want to dig into this topic. He has a whole subsection on fasting which currently has 27 posts. Just go to his site and enter the search term “fasting.”
Sometimes I don’t have anything but water (and maybe a cup of black coffee) while fasting, but more often than not I practice Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting, which calls for Bulletproof Coffee in the morning–that is, coffee with added butter and MCT oil (a coconut oil extract that readily converts to ketones, which are an amazing source of energy for the brain). The key is that the Bulletproof Coffee contains fat but not protein or carbohydrates. This is important because fat does not elevate your blood sugar and therefore does not cause your body to release insulin. This means no insulin crash (i.e., food coma) that normally follows any significant release of insulin into your system. This insulin crash is what makes you hungry and causes food cravings. While the fat in the coffee does not elevate insulin, it does provide a potent source of energy. Don’t worry if you don’t like coffee or butter, you can use tea and/or coconut oil. Just keep it natural. You can also just keep it super simple and have water only, but if your body is not fat adapted (that is, not good at burning stored fat) you may get pretty groggy at some point during the morning/early afternoon.
Joseph Mercola, MD
Dominic D’Agostino, PhD
Brad Pilon (Master’s in Applied Human Nutrition)
Valter Longo, PhD
Some of the other benefits of fasting include: weight loss, lower blood pressure, reduced cholesterol, increased metabolism, reversal of type II Diabetes, treatment of epilepsy, protection against Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, clearer skin, improved immune function, less cancer, and longer life.
There is also a profound feeling of relaxation and peace that many people report when fasting.
I would start with one day of intermittent fasting and see how it goes. If you feel good, gradually increase to a few days a week. However, it is generally recommended that you have some medical clearance or supervision before attempting longer periods of fasting.
What I’m sitting (squatting) on: Squatty Potty (for the BEST poop of your life). We evolved to poop while squatting (I have no proof of this whatsoever, it just makes sense on some level). I personally own the Tao Bamboo and the Porta Squatty. But, you don’t really have to buy one of these. Any step stool or small box will work. Still need convincing? Or just want to see the best ad for anything ever? Enter Unicorn Poo.
What I’m watching: So excited to share this video series with Peter Attia and the “savant of movement,” Jesse Schwartzman. You may recognize Peter’s name from previous newsletters, as he is somewhat of a personal hero of mine and I refer to him often. He currently runs a longevity/anti-aging medical practice and in his most recent blog post he explains the importance of lifespan vs. healthspan, as well as the crucial role of movement patterns in improving longevity. In the linked video series above, Peter and Jesse teach you techniques to prepare and activate your most important tissue and muscle groups for improved posture, stability, balance, and movement.
Quote of the month: “Don’t believe everything you think.” BJ MIller. Dr. Miller is a triple amputee and a palliative care physician featured in Tools of Titans and in this episode of the Tim Ferriss Show.
Hope you enjoy these updates and get a great start to 2017.