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Happy New Year everyone!
I’ve decided to change things up this year and forgo creating a New Year’s resolutions list.
Why? I realized that for me, New Year’s resolutions were really a “happiness list” in disguise. I found I was telling myself internally “If only I accomplish these ten things, you’ll be happier and a little better off.”
Each year I’d fail most of them, only to come back Jan 1st with a new happiness (in the future) list.
Now I certainly see the value in having goals and improving yourself. But I’m avoiding making a list of declarations to internally grade and beat myself up over.
This year, I’m taking a moment to pause, exhale, and accept myself as I am today. Nothing to improve, just focusing on being happy and content with this moment.
Cheers to a happy and healthy 2017.
Thanks for reading,
My new app to track your fasting: “Zero”
DISCLAIMER: IT CAN BE DANGEROUS TO START ANY DIET CHANGE SUCH AS FASTING WITHOUT FIRST CONSULTING A DOCTOR. THIS IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY.
Meet my new app, Zero (named for the amount of food you eat while fasting). Zero was created as an easy way to track and log fasting data over time.
Aside from tracking daily start and stop times, Zero also helps track nighttime eating. It does this by fetching your location to calculate local sunset time. For example, if the sun sets at 6pm, and you began fasting at 8pm, Zero would automatically log two hours of nighttime eating.
Why fast? Why does nighttime eating matter?
All the benefits of fasting are covered in a wonderful video series by Dr. Rhonda Patrick, where she interviews scientists Dr. Valter Longo, Dr. Satchin Panda, and Dr. Ruth Patterson. I highly recommend that you watch all three of these videos if you’re new to fasting.
Zero is available for download now and is free (iOS, sorry no android at the moment).
Zero (iOS, FREE)
Video: Alan Watts, the beauty of nothingness
Alan Watts (1915–1973) was a British philosopher, writer, and speaker, best known for bringing eastern philosophy to the west.
Over the holidays I enjoyed a few of his lectures from the 60’s, bundled in the audio book “You’re It.” If you enjoy books such as The Power of Now, or The Four Agreements, you’ll likely love Alan Watts. Give it a listen, it’s just three minutes long.
Alan Watts, the beauty of nothingness (Video: 3:28)
How might your life be better with less? “Minimalism: A documentary about the import things” examines the many flavors of minimalism by taking the audience inside the lives of minimalists from all walks of life — families, entrepreneurs, architects, artists, journalists, scientists, and even a former Wall Street broker — all of whom are striving to live a meaningful life with less.
I’m dedicating a good chunk of the next few months to doing away with excess. This film is a great reminder of what we all know — we can live happily with less. More on my personal journey in the coming months.
The Journal: Mini-reviews
The web is filled with lengthy technical reviews. Your time is valuable, so here is my quick take on whether something is worth your further research.
I’ve worn them everywhere since receiving them this Christmas. The auto-pause feature (when you remove a single AirPod) works great when co-workers walk up to your desk to chat. For my particular ear canal they hold just fine, including on the treadmill. Great balance of portability and sound quality. Recommendation: Buy [8/10]
Macbook Pro with Touch Bar
Great build quality coupled with a slimmer chassis. Touch ID (fingerprint login) saves a ton of time when unlocking the computer and 1Password. However, poor battery life and limited Touch Bar configuration are show stoppers for me. I’m keeping mine, but I suggest you wait for Apple to fix the issues. Recommendation: Wait [6/10]
Google Pixel Phone
The best Android phone I’ve ever used. Pure and clean Android without a ton of extra bundled bloatware. Feels just like an iPhone (in a good way). Recommendation: Buy [9/10]
11 beautiful Japanese words that don’t exist in english
金継ぎ/金繕い — kintsuki/kintsukuroi
“Kintsukuroi” is the art of repairing pottery with gold or silver joining the pieces and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken.
物の哀れ — Mononoaware
“Monoaware” is “the pathos of things.” It is the awareness of the impermanence of all things and the gentle sadness and wistfulness at their passing.
しょうがない — Shoganai
The literal meaning of “Shoganai” is “it cannot be helped.” However, it is not discouraging or despairing. It means to accept that something was out of your control. It encourages people to realize that it wasn’t their fault and to move on with no regret.
Join me: Five day mindful meal challenge
I’ve been known to devour a meal extremely fast, attention elsewhere, swallowing more than chewing. This leads to poor nutrient absorption, acid reflux, and weight gain due to overeating.
Creating a mindful eating habit can produce serious mental and physical changes. For example, Matt Mullenweg, Founder of Wordpress, lost 18 pounds with one change: chewing each mouthful of food 20 times (full story in the 4-Hour Body).
The 5 Day Mindful Meal Challenge, starting January 9th, is a free email course (created by my wife, Darya Rose, Ph.D) to help you develop a mindful eating habit in 2017. One of the hardest things about mindful eating is remembering that you are supposed to be eating mindfully, because by definition if you are eating mindlessly you aren’t aware of it.
The Mindful Meal Challenge simply asks you to commit to one mindful meal per day for 5 days. Each day you will get a brief video lesson that will help guide you through how to eat mindfully and navigate the most common obstacles that arise in the process. Once you’ve committed to and experienced mindful eating you will have the tools to maintain the practice for years to come.
“Some believe all that parents, tutors, and kindred believe. They take their principles by inheritance and defend them as they would their estates because they are born heirs to them.”
~Alan Watts (1915–1973)
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