Issue 4

Kevin Rose
May 31, 2016 · 5 min read

Welcome to a previous issue of The Journal. To get the latest issue delivered to your inbox, once a month, sign up for the newsletter here.

I hope this email finds you well.

We’ve now crossed 50,000 email subscribers, which is just insane…thank you all for joining.

No podcast this month, I’m aiming to have a monthly podcast guest, but sometimes the stars don’t align. As with all things in The Journal, quality over quantity.



TED Talk: The surprising habits of original thinkers

How creative are you? Would you like to have more original ideas? Then the solution might be procrastinating. It turns out that procrastination allows your brain time to incubate and consider divergent ideas, like a CPU process unknowingly running in the background.

Adam Grant is an organizational psychologist; he studies “originals.” Originals are thinkers who dream up new ideas and work to bring them into the world.

“The greatest originals are the ones who fail the most, because they’re the ones who try the most…you need a lot of bad ideas in order to get a few good ones.”

~Adam Grant

You too can tweak your behavior to have better ideas, give his TED talk a watch. (Video 15:24)

100% chocolate bar that doesn’t suck

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Sugar is toxic. But dark chocolate is good for us. So I set out to find a high proof cocoa bar with minimal sugar. I recently discovered Fruition’s 100% chocolate bar. Yep, zero sugar, just 100% organic cocoa beans. This bar is like a chocolate punch in the face hole — it’s hardcore, potent, and energizing.

“Mass-produced 100% chocolate is made for baking, so it’s typically over-roasted and very bitter. In contrast, our small batch production affords us careful control over every aspect of the process. Beginning with the search for top quality ethically-sourced cocoa beans, we roast, crack, winnow, refine, and conche at our workshop in upstate New York to highlight the inherent flavors of the cacao.”

~Bryan Graham, Founder of Fruition Chocolate

I’ve worked with Bryan at Fruition to offer The Journal members 100 free chocolate bars, limit one per person. Upon checkout use the coupon code: KROSE100. This only applies to the 100% bar. If the code isn’t working, that means it’s all used up (remember, we have 50k members, so these will go fast). In that case, use the coupon code: KROSE20 for 20% off your order (this code works on any item they sell). Enjoy!

Can “mimic fasting” make you live longer?

Multi-day fasting is really difficult. Discomfort + family/work pressures + a pizza shop a block from my house = 2 days max for me. That’s why I was excited to read about a new type of fasting called “mimic fasting.” Mimic fasting allows you to reap the benefits of fasting while eating just enough food to eliminate most of the unpleasantness.

“Fasting has long been acclaimed as an effective way to lose weight, improve the immune system and boost brain function. But doctors have been loath to recommend it because of the dangers associated with such extreme dieting. Now scientists say they’ve developed a five-day, once-a-month diet that mimics fasting — and is safe.”

~Washinton Post (article below)

With my doctors help, I’m going to attempt my first (broth based) mimic fast later this month. Learn more about this emerging area of research and its potential benefits with these articles:

— 5 day diet that mimics fasting may ‘reboot’ the body & reduce cancer risk.
Can a diet stave off diabetes and cancer?
Brodo (broth) cookbook, this book includes a 3-day broth fast

NOTE: Fasting can be dangerous. Please consult your doctor before starting any new diet or fasting protocol.

Fitbit’s new Blaze and Alta, one month later

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Through gym, sauna, and cold, I’ve battle tested Fitbit’s new Blaze and Alta.
One month later, here is my mini review:

Fitbit Blaze (the watch, on the right)
Let’s be honest, it’s ugly. But, for the athlete, the functionality is impressive. Activity and sleep tracking, heart rate monitor, exercise logging, music controls, and text, call, and calendar notifications. All that with 5-day battery life (my main gripe with the Apple watch).

With the Blaze, I live in exercise mode. Once activated, the watch transforms into an on-screen timer and heart rate display. This is perfect for my HIIT cardio, and sauna/cold training. When I’m in the sauna I like to closely monitor my heart rate and total time spent in the heat. When it gets too high, I exit the room to cool down. While exiting I tap to pause the exercise mode; this stops the timer but continues to monitor heart rate. When I head back in, I tap to resume. This allows me to track my entire sauna session time, and displays helpful stats once I’ve completed the session (average heart rate, etc.).

WARNING: This watch is only rated up to 113F (the highest of any Fitbit). Many saunas go well above this temperature. I personally haven’t run into any issues, but push the limits at your own risk.

My take: If you want a smart watch, buy an Apple Watch. This watch has limited functionality, but that’s by design. It’s a tool for athletes, and I love it: Fitbit Blaze — $199.95

Fitbit Alta
A major and welcome upgrade to the standard Fitbit Charge. The opposite of the Blaze, super sexy and slim. This will eventually be the ultimate Fitbit. I say “eventually” because it lacks the heart rate sensor.

My take: A great upgrade or “first Fitbit” for anyone looking to get more active. Athletes, wait for the Alta HR (heart rate version, release date unknown) or purchase the Blaze. As you can see from the picture above, the leather band (a $59 upgrade) wears down quickly with athletic use. I’d stick to the default sports band.
Fitbit Alta — $129.95

The history of Japan. History can be boring. This video is not.

This video feels like it was created by the South Park guys, or maybe Tim and Eric. Entertaining, and you’ll likely laugh and learn something at the same time. Give it a watch. (Video: 9:00)

App of The Month: Prune

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Prune your ever growing bonsai tree to reach the light. Therapeutic and calming, this is the perfect bedtime game to relax. Available on the App Store, Google Play, and Windows Store. Download links and preview video here.

Monthly Zen

“Love isn’t a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like struggle. To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.”

~Fred (Mister) Rogers

See you next month, be well.


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The Journal by Kevin Rose

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