Vagabonding

Vagabonding by Rolf Potts

My Take: Vagabonding is about taking a break from everyday life and traveling the world on your own terms. It’s about improving your life not in relation to others, but to yourself. It’s learning what you truly want and what adds value to your travels. Your personal outlook is more important: remember wealth isn’t about the things you consume, or own. It’s about having time and using it how you want. Time is what you need to live. Switch the game from material to time.

Principles of simplifying your life: Stop unnecessary consumption/expanding.
Optimize your daily routine to lower expenses below your means (cook instead of eating out).
Reduce clutter/possessions.

Quotes: We end up spending the best part of ones life earning money in order to enjoy a questionable liberty during the least valuable part of it. -Thoreau

The more we associate experience with cash value, the more we think that money is what we need to live. And the more we associate money with life, the more we convince ourselves that we’re too poor to buy our freedom. With this kind of mind-set, its no wonder so many Americans think extended overseas travel is our exclusive realm of students, counterculture dropouts and the idle rich. In reality, long-term travel has nothing to do with demographics—age, ideology, income and everything to do with personal outlook. Long-term travel isn’t about being a college student; it’s about being a student of daily life. Long-term travel isn’t an act of rebellion against society; it’s an act of common sense within society. Long-term travel doesn’t require a massive “bundle of cash”; it requires only that we walk through the world in a more deliberate way.

“Long-term travel isn’t about being a college student; it’s about being a student of daily life. Long-term travel isn’t an act of rebellion against society; it’s an act of common sense within society. Long-term travel doesn’t require a massive “bundle of cash”; it requires only that we walk through the world in a more deliberate way.”

“Vagabonding is the ongoing practice of looking and learning, of facing fears and altering habits, of cultivating a new fascination with people and places.”

“Vagabonding is an attitude — a friendly interest in people, places, and things that makes a person an explorer in the truest, most vivid sense of the word.”

Act of quitting means not giving up but moving on changing direction not because something doesn’t agree with you. But because you don’t agree with it. It’s not a complaint in other words but a positive choice and not a stop in ones journey but a step in a better direction.

“Ultimately, then, the first step of vagabonding is simply a matter of making work serve your interests, instead of the other way around. Believe it or not, this is a radical departure from how most people view work and leisure.”

“Vagabonding is about not merely reallotting a portion of your life for travel but rediscovering the entire concept of time.”

The Obstacle Is The Way

The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday

Pattern of the book: The examples/stories encompasses something standing in someone’s way, they are not imtimidated. Even though they did not always overcome it in the way they intended or expected, each individual emerged better, stronger.

“We will be and do many things in our lives. Some are prestigious, some are onerous, none are beneath us. To whatever we face, our job is to respond with: hard work honesty helping others as best we can

They want you thinking and acting on their terms, not yours.

Don’t ignore fear, but explain it away.

If I can’t solve this for myself, how can I at least make this better for other people?

Behind mountains are more mountains.

The person ready to be disappointed won’t be.

Things can always be worse. Lose money? Remember, you could have lost a friend. Lost that job? What if you’d lost a limb? Lost your house? You could have lost everything.

You should never have to ask yourself, But what am I supposed to do now? Because you know the answer: your job. Whether anyone notices, whether we’re paid for it, whether the project turns out successfully—it doesn’t matter. We can and always should act with those three traits—no matter the obstacle.” “There’s nothing shameful about sweeping. It’s just another opportunity to excel—and to learn. But you, you’re so busy thinking about the future, you don’t take any pride in the tasks you’re given right now. You just phone it all in, cash your paycheck, and dream of some higher station in life. Or you think, This is just a job, it isn’t who I am, it doesn’t matter.”

when Hurricane Carter walked out of prison, he simply resumed his life. Carter did not even request an apology from the court. Because to him, that would imply that they’d taken something of his that he felt he was owed.

Copyright The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.

Preface a method and a framework for understanding, appreciating, and acting upon the obstacles life throws at us.

Preface Bad companies are destroyed by crisis. Good companies survive them. Great companies are improved by them.”

Preface The obstacle in the path becomes the path. Never forget, within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition.”

Preface It begins with how we look at our specific problems, our attitude or approach; then the energy and creativity with which we actively break them down and turn them into opportunities

STEADY YOUR NERVES The Greeks had a word for this: apatheia.

PRACTICE OBJECTIVITY Where the head goes, the body follows. Perception precedes action. Right action follows the right perspective.

ALTER YOUR PERSPECTIVE God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference

ALTER YOUR PERSPECTIVE What is up to us, what is not up to us. And what is up to us? Our emotions Our judgments Our creativity Our attitude Our perspective Our desires Our decisions Our determination

IS IT UP TO YOU? We cannot spend the day in explanation.” Don’t waste time on false constructs.

IS IT UP TO YOU? The implications of our obstacle are theoretical—they exist in the past and the future. We live in the moment. And the more we embrace that, the easier the obstacle will be to face and move.

GET MOVING Stop looking for an epiphany, and start looking for weak points. Stop looking for angels, and start looking for angles. There are options.

PRACTICE PERSISTENCE What is defeat? Nothing but education; nothing but the first steps to something better. —WENDELL PHILLIPS

FOLLOW THE PROCESS There’s nothing shameful about sweeping. It’s just another opportunity to excel—and to learn. But you, you’re so busy thinking about the future, you don’t take any pride in the tasks you’re given right now. You just phone it all in, cash your paycheck, and dream of some higher station in life. Or you think, This is just a job, it isn’t who I am, it doesn’t matter.

FOLLOW THE PROCESS We will be and do many things in our lives. Some are prestigious, some are onerous, none are beneath us. To whatever we face, our job is to respond with: hard work honesty helping others as best we can You should never have to ask yourself, But what am I supposed to do now? Because you know the answer: your job. Whether anyone notices, whether we’re paid for it, whether the project turns out successfully—it doesn’t matter. We can and always should act with those three traits—no matter the obstacle.

FOLLOW THE PROCESS How you do anything is how you can do everything. We can always act right.

PART III: WILL Certain things in life will cut you open like a knife. When that happens—at that exposing moment—the world gets a glimpse of what’s truly inside you.

BUILD YOUR INNER CITADEL Beware the calm before the storm. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. The worst is yet to come. It gets worse before it gets better.

The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin

The Art of Learning – By Josh Waitzkin

Important Points: Entity theorists think “I am smart at this” and attribute success or failure to ingrained and unalterable level of ability. They see it as a fixed entity that cannot evolve.

Incremental theorists thnk “I got it because I worked very hard at it” or “I should have tried harder”. With hard work, difficult material can be grasped, step by step, incrementally, the novice can become the master.

When challenged, incremental theorists are far more likely to rise to the level of the game, while entity theorists are brittle and quit. Children who associate success with hard work tend to have a “mastery-oriented response” to challenging situations.

Making smaller circles: Those who succeed have slightly more honed skills than the rest. It’s rarely a mysterious technique that drives us to the top, but rather a profound mastery of what may well be a basic skill set. Depth beats breadth, because it opens a channel for the intangible, unconscious, creative components of our hidden potential.

My vision of the road to mastery: – start with the fundamentals – get a solid foundation fueled by the understanding of the principles of your discipline – expand and refine your repertoire, guided by your individual predispositions – while keeping in touch, however abstractly, with what you feel to be the essential core of the art What results is a network of deeply internalized, interconnected knowledge that expands from a central, personal locus point.

Quotes and Notes:

It’s essential to have a liberating incremental approach that allows for times when you are not in a peak performance state.

The key to pursuing excellence is to embrace an organic, long-term learning process, and not to live in a shell of static, safe mediocrity. Usually, growth comes at the expense of previous comfort or safety.

Those who are armed with a healthy attitude and are able to draw wisdom from every experience, “good” or “bad,” are the ones who make it down the road. They are also the ones who are happier along the way.

Many people take a process-first philosophy and transform it into an excuse for never putting themselves on the line or pretending not to care about results. They claim to be egoless, to care only about learning, but really this is an excuse to avoid confronting themselves. Short-term goals can be useful developmental tools if they are balanced within a nurturing long-term philosophy.

They try to avoid challenges, but eventually the real world finds them. Their confidence is fragile. Losing is always a crisis instead of an opportunity for growth—if they were a winner because they won, this new losing must make them a loser.

Intuition is our most valuable compass in this world. It is the bridge between the unconscious and the concscious mind, and it is hugely important to keep in touch with what makes it tick.

Mental resilience is arguably the most critical trait of a world-class performer, and it should be nurtured continuously.

When uncomfortable, my instinct is not to avoid the discomfort but to become at peace with it. When injured, which happens frequently in the life of a martial artist, I try to avoid painkillers and to change the sensation of pain into a feeling that is not necessarily negative. My instinct is always to seek out challenges as opposed to avoiding them.

One idea I taught was the importance of regaining presence and clarity of mind after making a serious error. This is a hard lesson for all competitors and performers. The first mistake rarely proves disastrous, but the downward spiral of the second, third, and fourth error creates a devastating chain reaction.

I have long believed that if a student of virtually any discipline could avoid ever repeating the same mistake twice—both technical and psychological—he or she would skyrocket to the top of their field.

In chess games, I would take some deep breaths and clear my mind when the character of the struggle shifted. In life, I worked on embracing change instead of fighting it. With awareness and action, in both life and chess my weakness was transformed into a strength.

When everyone at a high level has a huge amount of (technical) understanding, much of what separates the great from the very good is deep presence, relaxation of the conscious mind, which allows the unconscious to flow unhindered.

A key component of high-level learning is cultivating a resilient awareness that is the older, conscious embodiment of a child’s playful obliviousness.

I didn’t give myself the room to invest in loss. My response is that it is essential to have a liberating incremental approach that allows for times when you are not in a peak performance state.

How to control the center without appearing to have anything to do with the center. He has made the circles so small, even Grandmasters cannot see them. This concept of Making Smaller Circles has been a critical component of my learning process in chess and the martial arts.

The Soft Zone, I mentioned that there are three critical steps in a resilient performer’s evolving relationship to chaotic situations. First, we have to learn to be at peace with imperfection.

We learn to use that imperfection to our advantage—for example thinking to the beat of the music or using a shaking world as a catalyst for insight. The third step of this process, as it pertains to performance psychology, is to learn to create ripples in our consciousness, little jolts to spur us along, so we are constantly inspired whether or not external conditions are inspiring.

My method was as follows: I did a daily resistance workout routine on my left side, and after every set I visualized the workout passing to the muscles on the right. My arm was in a cast, so there was no actual motion possible—but I could feel the energy flowing into the unused muscles. I admit it was a shot in the dark, but it worked.

If I want to be the best, I have to take risks others would avoid, always optimizing the learning potential of the moment and turning adversity to my advantage.

You should always come off an injury or a loss better than when you went down.

It is all too easy to get caught up in the routines of our lives and to lose creativity in the learning process.

Once we learn how to use adversity to our advantage, we can manufacture the helpful growth opportunity without actual danger or injury. I call this tool the internal solution

In my opinion, intuition is our most valuable compass in this world.

Chunking relates to the mind’s ability to take lots of information, find a harmonizing/logically consistent strain, and put it together into one mental file that can be accessed as if it were a single piece of information.

The Grandmaster consciously looks at less, not more. That said, the chunks of information that have been put together in his mind allow him to see much more with much less conscious thought. So he is looking at very little and seeing quite a lot. This is the critical idea.

The similarity is that a life-or-death scenario kicks the human mind into a very narrow area of focus. Time feels slowed down because we instinctively zero in on a tiny amount of critical information that our processor can then break down as if it is in a huge font. The trained version of this state of mind shares that tiny area of conscious focus.

The secret is that everything is always on the line. The more present we are at practice, the more present we will be in competition, in the boardroom, at the exam, the operating table, the big stage. If we have any hope of attaining excellence, let alone of showing what we’ve got under pressure, we have to be prepared by a lifestyle of reinforcement. Presence must be like breathing.

Players who are able to relax in brief moments of inactivity are almost always the ones who end up coming through when the game is on the line.

Remember Michael Jordan sitting on the bench, a towel on his shoulders, letting it all go for a two-minute break before coming back in the game? Jordan was completely serene on the bench even though the Bulls desperately needed him on the court. He had the fastest recovery time of any athlete I’ve ever seen. I found that, regardless of the discipline, the better we are at recovering, the greater potential we have to endure and perform under stress.

I had learned from Jack Groppel at LGE to eat five almonds every forty-five minutes during a long chess game, to stay in a steady state of alertness and strength.

Interval work is a critical building block to becoming a consistent long-term performer.

The point to this system of creating your own trigger is that a physiological connection is formed between the routine and the activity it precedes. Where we left off, his routine was as follows: 1. Eat a light consistent snack for ten minutes 2. 15 minutes of meditation 3. 10 minutes of stretching 4. 10 minutes of listening to Bob Dylan All we had to do was set up a routine that became linked to that state of mind This process is systematic, straightforward, and rooted in the most stable of all principles: incremental growth.

Principles can be internalized to the point that they are barely recognizable even to the most skilled observers.

On the learning side, I had to get comfortable dealing with guys playing outside the rules and targeting my neck, eyes, groin, etc. This involved some technical growth, and in order to make those steps I had to recognize the relationship between anger, ego, and fear. I had to develop the habit of taking on my technical weaknesses whenever someone pushed my limits instead of falling back into a self-protective indignant pose. Once that adjustment was made, I was free to learn.

If someone got into my head, they were doing me a favor, exposing a weakness. They were giving me a valuable opportunity to expand my threshold for turbulence.

The only way to succeed is to acknowledge reality and funnel it, take the nerves and use them. We must be prepared for imperfection. If we rely on having no nerves, on not being thrown off by a big miss, or on the exact replication of a certain mindset, then when the pressure is high enough, or when the pain is too piercing to ignore, our ideal state will shatter.

We are built to be sharpest when in danger, but protected lives have distanced us from our natural abilities to channel our energies.

I highly recommend that you incorporate the principles of Building Your Trigger into your process. Once you are no longer swept away by your emotions and can sit with them even when under pressure, you will probably notice that certain states of mind inspire you more than others.

For some it may be happiness, for others it may be fear. To each his own. Petrosian was very flexible. Miller, Hernandez, and Robinson worked well with anger. Kasparov and Jordan were intimidators: they inspired themselves by wilting opponents. Once you understand where you lie on this spectrum, the next step is to become self-sufficient by creating your own inspiring conditions. Kasparov triggered his zone by acting confident and then creating the conditions on the chessboard and a dynamic with his opponent in which he played his best.

Once you understand where you lie on this spectrum, the next step is to become self-sufficient by creating your own inspiring conditions. Kasparov triggered his zone by acting confident and then creating the conditions on the chessboard and a dynamic with his opponent in which he played his best.

First, we cultivate The Soft Zone, we sit with our emotions, observe them, work with them, learn how to let them float away if they are rocking our boat, and how to use them when they are fueling our creativity. Then we turn our weaknesses into strengths until there is no denial of our natural eruptions and nerves sharpen our game, fear alerts us, anger funnels into focus. Next we discover what emotional states trigger our greatest performances. This is truly a personal question. Some of us will be most creative when ebullient, others when morose.

The greatest of artists and competitors are masters of navigating their own psychologies, playing on their strengths, controlling the tone of battle so that it fits with their personalities. While

At the highest levels of any kind of competitive discipline, everyone is great. At this point the decisive factor is rarely who knows more, but who dictates the tone of the battle. For this reason, almost without exception, champions are specialists whose styles emerge from profound awareness of their unique strengths, and who are exceedingly skilled at guiding the battle in that direction.

When I think about creativity, it is always in relation to a foundation. We have our knowledge. It becomes deeply internalized until we can access it without thinking about it.

All of the learning principles discussed in this book spring out of the deep, creative plunge into an initially small pool of information. Study positions of reduced complexity. Apply internalized principles to increasingly complex scenarios. Take a single technique or idea and practice it until we feel its essence. Gradually condense the movements while maintaining their power, until we are left with an extremely potent and nearly invisible arsenal. Focus on a select group of techniques and internalize them until the mind perceives them in tremendous detail.

Simplenote link

So Good They Can’t Ignore You – by Cal Newport

So Good They Can’t Ignore You – by Cal Newport

Do projects where you’ll be forced to show your work to others.

Starting with no money is an advantage. You don’t need money to start helping people.

The things that make a great job great, I discovered, are rare and valuable. If you want them in your working life, you need something rare and valuable to offer in return. In other words, you need to be good at something before you can expect a good job.

who after his dispiriting realization at the monastery was able to return to his first principles, move his focus away from finding the right work and toward working right, and eventually build, for the first time in his life,

A job, in Wrzesniewski’s formulation, is a way to pay the bills, a career is a path toward increasingly better work, and a calling is work that’s an important part of your life and a vital part of your identity.

The more experience an assistant had, the more likely she was to love her work.

Autonomy: the feeling that you have control over your day, and that your actions are important Competence: the feeling that you are good at what you do Relatedness: the feeling of connection to other people

First, when you focus only on what your work offers you, it makes you hyperaware of what you don’t like about it, leading to chronic unhappiness. This is especially true for entry-level positions, which, by definition, are not going to be filled with challenging projects and autonomy—these come later.

the passion mindset – “Who am I?” and “What do truly love?”-are essentially impossible to confirm. “Is this who I really am?” and “Do I love this?” rarely reduce to a clear yes-or-no response. In other words, the passion mindset is almost guaranteed to keep you perpetually unhappy and confused

If “follow your passion” is bad advice, what should I do instead?

The first is the craftsman mindset, which focuses on what you can offer the world. The second is the passion mindset, which instead focuses on what the world can offer you.

The craftsman mindset is crucial for building a career you love.
the craftsman mindset: It asks you to leave behind self-centered concerns about whether your job is “just right,” and instead put your head down and plug away at getting really damn good. No one owes you a great career, it argues; you need to earn it – and the process won’t be easy.

Put aside the question of whether your job is your true passion, and instead turn your focus toward becoming so good they can’t ignore you.

Regardless of what you do for a living, approach your work like a true performer.
Regardless of how you feel about your job right now, adopting the craftsman mindset will be the foundation on which you’ll build a compelling career.
Adopt the craftsman mindset first and then the passion follows.

If you want to love what you do, abandon the passion mindset (“what can the world offer me?”) and instead adopt the craftsman mindset (“what can I offer the world?”).

if you want something that’s both rare and valuable, you need something rare and valuable to offer in return—this is Supply and Demand 101.
When you focus only on what your work offers you, it makes you hyperaware of what you don’t like about it.

Move your focus away from finding the right work, toward working right, and eventually build a love for what you do.

The strongest predictor of someone seeing their work as a calling is the number of years spent on the job. The more experience they have, the more likely they are to love their work.

The happiest, most passionate employees are not those who followed their passion into a position, but instead those who have been around long enough to become good at what they do.

Motivation requires that you fulfill three basic psychological needs:
– Autonomy: the feeling that you have control over your day, and that your actions are important
– Competence: the feeling that you are good at what you do
– Relatedness: the feeling of connection to other people

The passion hypothesis convinces people that somewhere there’s a magic “right” job waiting for them, and that if they find it, they’ll immediately recognize that this is the work they were meant to do. The problem, of course, is when they fail to find this certainty, bad things follow, such as chronic job-hopping and crippling self-doubt.

Traits That Define Great Work:
– Creativity
– Impact
– Control

These traits are rare. Most jobs don’t offer their employees great creativity, impact, or control over what they do and how they do it.

If you want something that’s both rare and valuable, you need something rare and valuable to offer in return.

The more experience you have, the more likely you are to love your work.

The traits that define great work are rare and valuable.
Supply and demand says you need rare and valuable skills to offer in return.
These rare and valuable skills are your career capital.
The craftsman mindset leads to acquiring career capital.

You need to get good in order to get good things in your working life, and the craftsman mindset is focused on achieving exactly this goal.

“The key thing is to force yourself through the work, force the skills to come; that’s the hardest phase,”

The more experience you have, the more likely you are to love your work.

The traits that define great work are bought with career capital.

Because of this, you don’t have to worry about whether you’ve found your calling – most any work can become the foundation for a compelling career. But certain jobs are better suited for applying career-capital theory than others.

Three Disqualifiers for Applying the Craftsman Mindset
1. The job presents few opportunities to distinguish yourself by developing relevant skills that are rare and valuable.
2. The job focuses on something you think is useless or perhaps even actively bad for the world.
3. The job forces you to work with people you really dislike.

The traits that Anders Ericsson defined as crucial for deliberate practice.:
He stretched his abilities by taking on projects that were beyond his current comfort zone – up to three or four writing commissions concurrently, all the while holding down a day job!
He then obsessively sought feedback, on everything-even if, looking back now, he’s humiliated at the quality of scripts he was sending out.
This is textbook deliberate practice: And it worked.

THE FIVE HABITS OF A CRAFTSMAN

1: DECIDE WHAT CAPITAL MARKET YOU’RE IN
Winner-take-all or auction. (Diverse collection of skills, or one killer skill.)
Blogging in the advice space is winner-take-all. The only capital that matters is whether or not your posts compel the reader.
Auction: There are many different types of career capital, and each person might generate their own unique collection.

2: IDENTIFY YOUR CAPITAL TYPE
identify the specific type of capital to pursue.
in a winner-take-all market, this is trivial: By definition, there’s only one type of capital
For an auction market, however, seek open gates: opportunities to build capital that are already open to you. Open gates get you farther faster.
Think about skill acquisition like a freight train: Getting it started requires a huge application of effort, but changing its track once it’s moving is easy. In other words, it’s hard to start from scratch in a new field.

3: DEFINE “GOOD”
Clear goals.

4: STRETCH AND DESTROY
Deliberate practice: the uncomfortable sensation in my head is best approximated as a physical strain, as if my neurons are physically re-forming into new configurations.

5: BE PATIENT
Look years into the future for the payoff.
It’s less about paying attention to your main pursuit, and more about your willingness to ignore other pursuits that pop up along the way to distract you.
Reject shiny new pursuits.

You have to get good before you can expect good work.

It’s dangerous to pursue more control in your working life before you have career capital to offer in exchange.

Control that’s acquired without career capital is not sustainable.

Do what people are willing to pay for.

If you want a mission, you need to first acquire career capital. If you skip this step, you might end up with lots of enthusiasm but very little to show for it.

To maximize your chances of success, you should deploy small, concrete experiments that return concrete feedback. Explore the specific avenues surrounding your general mission, looking for those with the highest likelihood of leading to outstanding results.

Working right trumps finding the right work.

My Notes on Ketosis and Intermittent Fasting

URLs:

http://ketonutrition.blogspot.com
http://www.leangains.com
https://www.reddit.com/r/leangains/
https://jamesclear.com/the-beginners-guide-to-intermittent-fasting

INTERMITTENT FASTING:

-doesn’t change what you eat, it changes when you eat.

-Diets are easy in the contemplation, difficult in the execution. Intermittent fasting is just the opposite — it’s difficult in the contemplation but easy in the execution.

-I skip breakfast each day and eat two meals, the first around 1pm and the second around 7pm. Then, I fast for 16 hours until I start eating again the next day at 1pm.

FED STATE:Your body is in the fed state when it is digesting and absorbing food. Typically, the fed state starts when you begin eating and lasts for three to five hours as your body digests and absorbs the food you just ate.

FASTED STATE:Your body isn’t processing a meal. The post–absorptive state lasts until 8 to 12 hours after your last meal, which is when you enter the fasted state. It is much easier for you body to burn fat in the fasted state because your insulin levels are low.

Because we don’t enter the fasted state until 12 hours after our last meal, it’s rare that our bodies are in this fat burning state. This is one of the reasons why many people who start intermittent fasting will lose fat without changing what they eat, how much they eat, or how often they exercise. Fasting puts your body in a fat burning state that you rarely make it to during a normal eating schedule.

Intermittent fasting activates many of the same mechanisms for extending life as calorie restriction. You get the benefits of a longer life without the hassle of starving.

DAILY INTERMITTENT FASTING Most of the time, I follow the Leangains model of intermittent fasting, which uses a 16–hour fast followed by an 8–hour eating period. This model of daily intermittent fasting was popularized by Martin Berkhan of Leangains.com, which is where the name originated. It doesn’t matter when you start your 8–hour eating period. You can start at 8am and stop at 4pm. Or you start at 2pm and stop at 10pm. Do whatever works for you. I tend to find that eating around 1pm and 8pm works well because those times allow me to eat lunch and dinner with friends and family. Breakfast is typically a meal that I eat on my own, so skipping it isn’t a big deal.

LEANGAINS DAILY INTERMITTENT FASTING Because daily intermittent fasting is done every day it becomes very easy to get into the habit of eating on this schedule. Right now, you’re probably eating around the same time every day without thinking about it. Well, with daily intermittent fasting it’s the same thing, you just learn to not eat at certain times, which is remarkably easy. One potential disadvantage of this schedule is that because you typically cut out a meal or two out of your day, it becomes more difficult to get the same number of calories in during the week. Put simply, it’s tough to teach yourself to eat bigger meals on a consistent basis. The result is that many people who try this style of intermittent fasting end up losing weight. That can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your goals. This is probably a good time to mention that while I have practiced intermittent fasting consistently for the last year, I’m not fanatical about my diet. I work on building healthy habits that guide my behavior 90% of the time, so that I can do whatever I feel like during the other 10%. If I come over to your house to watch the football game and we order pizza at 11pm, guess what? I don’t care that it’s outside my feeding period, I’m eating it.

WEEKLY INTERMITTENT FASTING One of the best ways to get started with intermittent fasting is to do it once per week or once per month. In this example, lunch on Monday is your last meal of the day. You then fast until lunch on Tuesday. This schedule has the advantage of allowing you to eat everyday of the week while still reaping the benefits of fasting for 24 hours. It’s also less likely that you’ll lose weight because you are only cutting out two meals per week. So, if you’re looking to bulk up or keep weight on, then this is a great option. Long day of travel or the day after a big holiday feast are often great times to throw in a 24–hour fast.

ON EATING MORE MEALS: Your body burns calories when it’s processing food. So the thought behind the more meals strategy was that if you ate more frequently, you would also burn more calories throughout the day. Thus, eating more meals should help you lose weight. Here’s the problem: The amount of calories you burn is proportional to the size of the meal your body is processing. So, digesting six smaller meals that add up to 2000 calories burns the same amount of energy as processing two large meals of 1000 calories each. It doesn’t matter if you get your calories in 10 meals or in 1 meal, you’ll end up in the same place.

KETOSIS

Ketogenic diets emphasize natural fats and protein (meat, fish, poultry) and restrict foods high in carbohydrate (sugars and starches). Ketosis is an energy state that your body uses to provide an alternative fuel when glucose availability is low. It happens to all humans when fasting or when carbohydrate intake is lowered.

Ketogenic diets are not high protein diets, as the majority of calories come from natural fats. Protein intake is moderate and only small amounts of carbohydrates are allowed. Because fat is so dense in calories, this just means adding a moderate amount of extra butter, olive oil or other natural fat to fresh, whole food meals.

The restriction of carbohydrate is the key health factor in this diet. When carbohydrate foods (sugar and starch) are digested, they are broken down into blood sugar (glucose) in the body. The more carbs we eat, the more glucose is created. If we reduce carb intake and instead eat more fat and protein, it causes our internal metabolic pathways to switch from burning sugar to burning fat.

This switch produces ketone bodies while at the same time reducing blood sugar and insulin levels. As blood glucose and insulin levels drop and ketone body levels rise, the heart, muscle and brain reduce glucose usage and instead rely on fats and ketones to fuel themselves. This state of “nutritional ketosis” is beneficial, and in fact, ketone producing diets are much more powerful than most people realize.

  • Body Fuel Basics *

The first cellular fuel is GLUCOSE , which is commonly known as blood sugar. Glucose is a product of the starches and sugars (carbohydrates) in our diet. This fuel system is necessary, but it has a limitation. The human body can only store about 1000-1600 calories this way. The amounts stored depend on how much muscle mass is available. Men will be able to store more because they have larger muscles. Since most people use up about 2000 calories a day just being and doing normal stuff, you can see that if food weren’t available for more than a day, the body would run out of energy. Not good for continuing life.

The second type of CELLULAR FUEL are ketone bodies, which come from the breakdown of fatty acids. These come from fats we eat or from the metabolism of stored fat from our fat cells. The human body can store hundreds of thousands of calories in the form of fat, so we could say that this system of energy is almost unlimited, depending on how long one goes without food. Eventually, it would get used up, but people have been known to fast for months and live through it.

When glucose levels are low, especially over time, most cells will switch to using ketone bodies for fuel. Ketones allow cells to be metabolically flexible, so to speak. Even the brain and nerve cells, which are heavily dependent on glucose can utilize ketone bodies for fuel. This ability of most normal cells to use ketones when glucose is unavailable indicates that their cellular mitochondria are healthy and functioning properly.

In addition, ketones have some unique properties which make them a “cleaner” fuel for your cells to use. Burning fat for fuel causes less oxidative damage (think “free radicals”) to the cell, and actually makes it possible for the cell to create much more energy than it can from glucose.

Ketosis and Ketones To the Rescue So how does our body make ketones out of the stored fat? When stored fat (in the form of triglyceride) is called upon to be metabolized for fuel, a substance called hormone sensitive lipase (HSL) breaks the triglyceride compound down into one glycerol molecule and 3 fatty acid molecules. These fatty acid molecules come in various lengths of carbon based chains.

The fatty acids then flow into either liver or muscle cells and are transported into the mitochondria of the cell to be metabolized carbon by carbon in a process called beta-oxidation. As glucose levels fall and fatty acid levels in the blood rise, the liver cells ramp up beta-oxidation which increases the amounts of a molecule called Acetyl-CoA. As the level of Acetyl-CoA rises, it is shunted to a process called ketogenesis. Ketogenesis generates a ketone body called acetoacetate first, and this ketone is then converted into the two other types of ketones: beta-hydroxybutyrate, and acetone. Meanwhile, the glycerol part of the fat molecule gets converted into glucose in a process called gluconeogenesis, which means “make new sugar”.

Ketosis takes a few weeks for the body to become “keto-adapted*” and switch to burning ketones for fuel once carbohydrate consumption is lowered. Carbohydrate intake levels have to be lowered enough (below 60 grams per day or lower depending on insulin resistance levels) for ketone bodies to be made at a level that the brain can use. If you only lower carbohydrate intake a little, then the ketotic process gets short circuited, and can’t do its job of taking over as a fuel source.

AS KETONES LEVELS RISE IN THE BODY, THE CELLS OF HEART, BRAIN AND MUSCLES CAN USE THEM FOR FUEL. And once the body is using ketones as a main fuel source, there are some profound and positive health effects. Ketogenic diets are very effective for correcting cellular metabolic dysfunction. The high blood sugar of diabetes gets reversed, the seizures of epilepsy can be calmed, Alzheimers and Parkinsons symptoms are alleviated, extra weight can be lost, joint pain is diminished and so on. In other words, the ketogenic diet is not a “fad.” It is a potent regulator of metabolic derangement, and when formulated and implemented correctly, it can be extremely effective at reversing all kinds of health problems.

Although ketones are beneficial, the body must still have some glucose, mostly for the brain and red blood cells. If a person goes without food for a long period of time, the body will breakdown fat and muscle to create glucose for the brain, because without some glucose, the brain will die and take you with it.

This brain glucose need is the main reason that registered dietitians insist on keeping alive the myth that carbohydrates are essential nutrients (meaning we have to eat them or we will die). This is incorrect, biochemically speaking. RDs teaching that carbs are essential neglect to take into account that the brain can use ketones for over half of its fuel requirements once carbohydrate intake is lowered and ketone production ramps up. The process of gluconeogenesis can make all the glucose the brain needs, once the body is keto-adapted (good at burning ketones for fuel). So although glucose is essential for the brain, eating carbohydrates to make glucose is NOT essential, especially if you are in ketosis.

Normal nutritional ketosis is NOT dangerous. Every person alive goes into mild ketosis each time they go without eating for 6-8 hours. The effects of ketosis vary with individual experience but ketones in normal amounts are not dangerous.

Unless you are a Type 1 diabetic (meaning your pancreas makes no insulin at all) or a Type 2 diabetic with a really burned out pancreas, ketosis is kept in check by the presence of insulin in the body. Insulin regulates the flow of fatty acids from our fat cells. As long as insulin is circulating within the body, in general, the flow of fatty acids and the production of ketone bodies is highly regulated and limited to a range that is not dangerous.

Now

Hanging with my kid whenever I’m home and he’s awake, full attention and no distractions.

Reading these books – to think, work and live better.
– The Daily Stoic
– Seth Godin’s Titan Book: What does it sound like when you change your mind?
– Tim Ferriss’ new book Tools of Titans

-Started Wim Hof’s 10 week online course.

Last Updated – 12/12/16

Oct 2016

Hanging with my kid whenever I’m home and he’s awake, full attention and no distractions.

Listening to these Podcasts during my morning commute:
– Tim Ferriss Show
– James Altucher Show
– Lewis Howes
– Seeking Wisdom

Reading these books – to think, work and live better.
– The Daily Stoic
– The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck
– How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia

Analyze SPY’s weekly open interest+vlm of puts/calls
Gather notes and links on books I read.
Taking photos.
5 to 10 minutes of Headspace App after my kid goes to school in the morning.

Last Updated – 10/31/16