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Archive for the ‘good read’ Tag

Why?   Leave a comment

I listen to a variety of podcasts and read a lot of books. I think this moves me forward along my journey to be my best self. I just don’t think there’s anything such as bad information, so long as you always ask “Why?” at the end.

You see the problem with the information we are exposed to isn’t the information, it’s the lack of critical thinking we put into it. We often hear something and either accept it or discount it uncritically. Why?

We’ve spent a long time becoming the person we are now. We’re very invested in that person. And there’s nothing wrong with that. So we hesitate to do anything that upsets the apple cart. But if you’re that certain of the person you are there shouldn’t be any problem asking those “Why?” questions.

If you ask Why? and follow that thought critically you’ll discover one of two things. First is, you were right to hold that view or belief. Yeah you! Or you might realize that you could be a little off. Maybe even way off.

It sounds bad at first but think about this. Once you’ve identified a problem you can fix it. Once you’ve fixed it you’re back to being right again. You’re back to “Yeah you!” That’s a win.

Asking Why? is the path along which we get to the best version of ourselves. We’re often told not to question ourselves. Have confidence in who you are and what you believe. I think questioning yourself is the best way to show that confidence in who you are and what you believe. So go ahead and start asking yourself Why? a lot. You’ll love the results of being comfortable challenging yourself. Have a nice day.

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Own the Day   Leave a comment

For today’s blog post I’ve decided to do a book review.  Looking through the Kindle at the books I’ve recently read, “Own the Day, Own Your Life” by Aubrey Marcus was the one that jumped out at me.

I first discovered Aubrey from listening to Joe Rogan.  This led me to listening to the Total Human Optimization podcast.  If you consider listening to it keep in mind three things. First, the name has changed to Human Optimization Hour.  Second, it has a new host (Kyle Kingsbury), and I haven’t listened to it with him in the driver’s seat so I can’t speak for the quality of it now.  And third, some of the content is explicit so if that would be offensive to you, definitely give it a pass.

Now back to the book.  The whole book is about improving yourself by making small changes to how you start your day that compound on each other to produce a better you. It’s very much like the concept I mentioned in yesterday’s post about a little boulder. The idea is that instead of trying to create a change or event in your life that fixes the whole rest of your life in one move, a rather unreasonable and unlikely plan, you should focus on owning one day.  When you learn the skills to own one day, you can own any day. String enough days together and own them all and you naturally own your life.

Instead of seeing things in big picture terms, which can be very ominous and unwieldy, the book gives you a list of small changes you can make in every day practices that will add up to owning your day.  And owning one day is a much more reasonable and manageable goal to have.

Each chapter covers a specific topic.  Some of the topics covered are nutrition, sun exposure, exercise, and even how sex can figure into owning the day.  Aubrey breaks those topics down into four important areas.  Getting owned, Owning it, Prescription, and Now do it.

Getting owned explains the problem.  How does this particular area typically affect most people’s lives.  The answer is inherent in the section title.  How are you getting owned by this situation?

The Owning it section is a general discussion about how you can accept responsibility for the area and begin a process of changing things for the better.  This naturally transitions into Prescription.  Prescription is a much more detailed section on specific steps or processes you can take action on to improve that area of your life.

Finally comes Now do it.  This is, as Aubrey puts it in the book, the “kick in the pants” to get you started implementing the Prescription.  It ends with what he calls the Three Pointer. Three important points from the chapter you need to focus on to be successful.

Occasionally there are other additions to the chapter.  He includes Pro Tips, which are additional tidbits of information that you don’t have to include in the process, but can give you better results if you do.  Deep Dive covers extra resources to further broaden your knowledge base on a given topic, if you really want to know all the nuts and bolts. And last are Caveats, which will let you know what the risks involved in some of the Prescriptions are.

Although the book is designed to be read start to finish, I don’t think jumping around from topic to topic in the Table of Contents would be too big a problem.  Some of the chapters will reference other chapters before it and why a previous Prescription will set you up to better deal with the current Prescription.  In that case you could just jump back to the referenced chapter and get the information.  All in all though I do think that at least on the first read through you should go from front to back.

As far as readability goes, he made the book very conversational in tone.  That makes for an easy read.  Aside from the Deep Dive areas he keeps the discussion at a layman’s level. He doesn’t use a lot of jargon that might be confusing or interrupt the pace of reading. There are a lot of pulp culture references, so if that isn’t your thing it could be a little distracting I suppose.

It’s definitely not a one read book.  There’s a lot of great information in it, so you will want to go back over places in the book as you put the plans into action.  And by the way it’s designed it’ll be easily usable as a section by section reference book after the first read through.

If you are interested in an easy to read book with lots of helpful advice on how you can make small changes in your day that will have big down the line effects on your life, it’d be hard to beat this book.  If want to get a copy for yourself I’ve included an Amazon affiliate link to the Kindle version of it, just click on the picture below.  On that page you can also select a hard cover, paperback, or audio version of the book.  It’s a great book, but wait, there’s more.  There’s a Facebook community (coincidentally called the Own the Day community) you can join with tons of people ready to help you apply what you’ve learned from the book. And also to share success stories with.  The book seems a little pricey, but measured against the improvements it can bring into your life, it’s a bargain indeed.  The choice is yours.  Should you decide to buy it, I wish you happy reading.

Fasting   Leave a comment

One of the cool things about the ketogenic diet is that it has a similar affect on your body to fasting.  Notice I said similar, not same.  That’s a very important distinction.  While you can get a lot of the benefits of fasting by living a ketogenic lifestyle without actually going without food, the only way to get all the benefits of fasting is of course to fast.

And that’s where another benefit of the ketogenic diet comes in.  By reducing your hunger pangs, when you do decide to fast to get all the benefits, it becomes a lot easier.

The logic is simple on this one.  When you live a ketogenic lifestyle you’re constantly in a state of ketosis.  Now if you want to be nit picky, yes, there may be times when you fade a little in and out of ketosis but for the most part you are in ketosis.  What does being in ketosis mean?  That means you have a higher level of ketone bodies in your system.  And where do you get ketones from?  Ketones are derived from fat in the liver.

So if you are in ketosis you are running your body off of fat.  Now on a regular day you are ingesting fat to power yourself.  Even if you’re on the ketogenic diet to lose weight you’d still be taking in a good amount of fat.  But what happens if you don’t take in extra fat?  Or food at all for that matter.

Since your body can already use fat for fuel your body goes looking for fat.  And as mentioned in previous posts, you have plenty of that in your system even if you have a low body fat percentage.  So your energy needs can be maintained strictly by your fat reserves. From 16 hours (the shortest period you’d want to fast) to days, depending on how much of a reserve you’re carrying.  And during all that time your body is being powered from within, you’re receiving all the benefits of fasting.  And when you do eventually decide to go back to consuming food you’ll go back to getting most instead of all the benefits.

This has been a really brief discussion about fasting and ketosis.  If you’d like more information on the subject I highly recommend reading The Ketogenic Bible by Jacob Wilson and Ryan Lowery.  They cover the topic in much better detail, along with a lot of citations to the latest research.  You can get as in depth as you want from the information provided.  I’ll include an affiliate link to the Kindle version of the book below, just click on the picture.  If you’d like a physical copy, I’ve had that before too.  It’s a decent sized book, which is why I prefer the Kindle version.

That’s all for today.  Hope you’re having a great day and hope to see you again soon.

Spending Challenge Update   Leave a comment

I said a while ago that I was adding accountability to my spending habits. I laid out new rules governing my spending for the next six months.  I got this idea from the book “The Year of Less” by Cait Flanders.  I’ll leave an Amazon affiliate link to the Kindle version of this book, and two others I’ll mention, at the end of this post (just click the book covers).  So I decided for today’s post I will give a quick update.

I’ve had remarkably little issues sticking to this game plan.  I have had a number of items I’ve come across that I was at first very excited about, and would have gone on to impulse buy.  Then I thought about having to come back here and admit I broke the rules and the urge just went away.  I didn’t even really have to spend a lot of time going over it in my head. Or running through the reasons I wanted to start getting my finances in shape.  I just knew that there was no way I could justify the purchase because it was just an impulse buy.  And that is the habit I’m trying to break.

As I did point out, though, I’ve had little issue sticking to this, not “no trouble at all.”  I had a minor transgression today that I wanted to share.  I love reading, and more importantly I love reading about things that make me a better person.  I started reading a book called “Hustle: The Life Changing Effects of Constant Motion” by Jesse Tevelow.  I purchased this book before I started the challenge so this book wasn’t a violation.  I haven’t read the whole book yet but I’ve read enough to know I like Jesse as an author.  The book is, obviously, about hustling and how hustling can benefit your bottom line.  I’ll do a better review after I’m done with the book.

In the book he mentions another book he wrote called “Authorpreneur: Build the Brand, Business, and Lifestyle You Deserve.  It’s Time to Write Your Book.”  One of the reasons I started this blog is way back in the day I used to write, a lot.  And it felt so good writing.  So I wanted to get back into writing to recapture that feeling.  I’ve been considering ways to turn my enjoyment of writing into a way of making money as well.  While I understand how to write (although as I’m sure you’ve gathered by my posts so far I’m a little rusty) I don’t really know much of anything about how to make money off of it.  While I am published, it was in high school and collegiate level literature anthologies.  So no paycheck involved in those.  This book will help fill in my knowledge gaps to get from where I am, a writer, to where I want to be, a paid writer (hopefully well paid).  So I purchased the book.  And then I realized right after I did it that I was violating the rules.  I didn’t use my reward points to get it, I just instinctively clicked the 1-Click buy button on Amazon.  Now the offense totaled a whopping $0.99 but it’s still an offense so I share it with you today.  I just hope that, once read, it leads to knowledge that allows me to recoup my investment and a lot more.  That’s the only oops I’ve made.

So that’s where I stand on the spending challenge.  With just one little slip up I’m calling it so far so good.  I’ll update my progress again soon.  If I slip up again I’ll update you sooner.  On the whole though I’m feeling really good about this challenge so I’m guessing I’ll stick with it.  As promised here are the links to the books below.  Have a good day, people.

New area of accountability   Leave a comment

So another area I’ve been working on improving in my life are my finances.  I’ve read a number of books on the subject but the one that resonated the most with me was Cait Flanders “The Year of Less”.  I already reviewed the book before so I won’t do it again here.  I’ll just give the overall gist which is she describes how she drastically reduced her spending habits for a year and how it went.  If you’d like to get a copy for yourself to check it out, here is an Amazon Affiliate link to it (just click on the pic):

I’ve been toying with the idea of doing a similar thing but that’s all I’ve done.  Now I’m ready to commit.  So I will share the rules for me as she did with her rules on her blog.  They’re pretty similar to hers.  The one difference is I’m running my experiment to the end of the year.

The first rule is I can buy any food I want but it has to be something I’ll eat in the next week, with the exception of the Ketolent keto shakes as you have to buy it in month supplies.  This one is pretty straight forward.  I have a bad habit of buying a lot of food and not getting around to eating it before it expires.  This wastes a lot of money, and just karma wise isn’t good as I’m wasting food others would gladly take to survive on.  If I buy something and have to throw it away because it expired I have to share with you on here what it was.

The next rule is I can’t buy a supplement unless I need it.  And need is defined as a supplement that fixes a deficiency in me that isn’t being taken care of by food.  What this pretty much means is I’m only getting electrolytes and multivitamins.  No more BCAAs or extras to “support” mitochondrial function.  I take a lot of supplements that I just can’t prove I need, many of which are very pricey.

Next is no toys, video games, collector’s items, or the like.  These are all wants not needs which drain money and eventually collect dust.

As for clothes, I am going to use the same rule she did.  The amount of clothes I own will stay constant. So if I buy something it has to be because I’m getting rid of another piece of clothing.  Also, it has to be a necessary buy.  So as I lose weight and can’t fit into my old clothes I can buy replacements, but I have to throw the old clothes out.  But I can’t just buy something because I like it, even if I’m willing to throw something away to maintain the balance.

Also, same as her, I’m leaving a cut out for gifts, toiletries, car repairs, or medicine.  But I’ll require myself to be frugal in those purchases.  Buy things on sale where I can, use generic brands instead of pricier name brands, and give gifts such that I’m not overspending to look good with my gift purchase.

The two final exceptions I’m allowing myself are as follows.  First, I use an Amazon credit cards that gets me points I can later use to buy things on Amazon. This doesn’t amount to increased spending as I naturally will get the points from the acceptable purchases.  The caveat is I have to have enough points to purchase the item, no “making up the difference” because I’m close enough.  Second, I can’t possibly know in advance everything that might happen between now and the end of the year.  So if an unforeseen event comes up that could possibly be a violation of the rules but I view it as a necessary exception I can make the purchase.  The catch is I have to come on here and explain my rationale.  If after explaining my rationale you guys think I was actually rationalizing I will accept whatever penance you feel I owe to make up for it.  I don’t foresee myself making use of this one, but figured as a just in case I’ll include it.

So that’s the game plan to see how much improvement I can make between now and the end of the year.  Come January 1st I will re-evaluate the rules and if they’re working I’ll continue but if not I’ll make changes to make them better.  I’ll also give progress reports on how it’s going.  That’s it for now.  I’ll touch base with you soon on how it’s going.  Take care.

 

Discipline   Leave a comment

So I’ve been on the ketogenic diet since January 1st.  When I first started I decided to do a two day “fast” to try and switch into ketosis faster.  I put fast in quotation marks because it wasn’t a total fast.  To prime me for burning fat as fuel while still getting some calories in so I didn’t feel like I was starving I decided that I would abstain from everything but bulletproof coffees.  So I had the caffeine from coffee plus MCT oil and Kerrygold butter to help power me through.  That did make the transition easier but it wasn’t a long term strategy for success.  So on day three I started eating a ketogenic diet.  Over the course of the next week or so I fully transitioned over to being keto adapted.  And that meant slowly losing my cravings for sugars and simple carbs.  Although it got easier as I went along it still required a lot of discipline at first.  And even though I’m months into the diet and my body is happy to go along in a ketogenic state, I still occasionally get cravings.  So what keeps me from stopping off at a fast food joint on the drive home from work.  It’s the same discipline I used while I transitioned into ketosis.

One of the things that help create that discipline was certainly desire.  I was ready and really wanted to take the weight off this time.  And belief.  I truly believed that I had found the right diet that would get me the results I wanted.  I just had to stick with it.  Finally, there was Jocko Willink.

Jocko is an ex Navy Seal who’s all about discipline.  I found his book “Discipline Equals Freedom:  Field Manual” on Amazon while searching for books on discipline.  The cover image just drew me in.  It’s a simple design.  All black with the title in white typewriter lettering with a gray image of Jocko in the lower right corner. I had been also reading about Minimalism at the time and this book cover seemed to scream minimalist to me.  So I purchased it and downloaded it to my Kindle.

I started reading the book, but it was more like listening to it.  The book reads like a good friend sitting down with you to explain the concept of discipline to you.  It’s a one sided conversation of course, but why would you want to interrupt your Navy Seal pal when he’s explaining discipline to you.  They’re like the experts in discipline.  Nobody is getting in to that group without having discipline oozing out their pores.

The book is divided into two parts, Thoughts and Actions, and then finishes up with some advice on nutrition and taking care of your body.  Thoughts is about having the discipline mindset.  And if you don’t have the discipline mindset, how you go about getting one.  Actions are the works you have to perform to develop discipline.  Then comes the section I liked the most because I hadn’t expected it, the nutrition guidance.  Now he refers to it as Paleo, but he still is a proponent of a high fat, moderate protein, and low card lifestyle.  He doesn’t get into percentages so it may be more paleo then keto, but it certainly follows a keto mindset.  It makes being disciplined and staying in ketosis easier when an ex Navy Seal is pushing it as a good game plan.  The final section covering taking care of your body is the icing on the cake with some workouts at the end for the cherry.

I highly recommend this book for anyone starting a ketogenic diet or anyone just looking to keep to a tighter path in life.  Jocko preaches discipline and I think his book delivers it. If you’re interested in getting a copy of the book for yourself, here is an Amazon affiliate link for the Kindle edition.  It is also available as a hard cover for those people who still like having the book in hand. Just click on the pic below.

New Book I purchased today   Leave a comment

I follow Matt and Megha on YouTube and other social media.  Their main site is https://www.ketoconnect.net and I highly recommend it.  They are a wonderful couple and great Keto role models.  Their YouTube channel features lots of recipes and info on the ketogenic diet, but now they’ve upped the game by putting all that information into a new book, Keto Made Easy.  I purchased the Kindle edition of the book and have seen the paperback.

The book has a quick intro to the ketogenic diet with helpful tips on how to transition over, but the majority of the book is recipes to try on the diet.  If you want a nice and glossy looking book the paperback does look sharp and is well laid out.  But if you just want the info I’d recommend the Kindle version.  It does have color pics of the recipes if you are using the Kindle app on your tablet or smartphone and it has the added benefit of a clickable table of contents to take you right to each recipe.  It has breakfast items, baked goods, keto versions of popular take out, and most importantly, desserts.

If you’re interested in getting your hands on a copy, and supporting some really nice folks who have been very good for the keto community, here is a link below.  This is an Amazon affiliate link so keep that in mind when you click.

Posted 05/27/2018 by senso1970 in Uncategorized

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