Tag Archives: Health

Eat Fat, Get Thin by Dr. Mark Hyman

Summary
  1. Dr. Hyman details very convincing evidence on why eating the right types of fats is the healthiest, most satisfying and most sustainable way to live a long and healthy life. Provides a great 21 day program to jump start your metabolism, lose weight, reverse chronic health problems, improve sleep and clarity of mind (recipes, supplements and other tips)
Key Takeaways
  1. Food is not just a source of energy or calories, food is information. It contains instructions that affect every biological function of your body
  2. Simply eating less and exercising more almost always fails in the long term as it puts the body in “starvation mode” which is unsustainable. Eating a diet high in healthy fats helps you lose weight without effort and feel satisfied the entire time which is what makes it so sustainable
  3. The quality of our diet is paramount – real, whole, fresh, unadulterated foods. Eating these real, nutrient dense foods help you lose weight without effort but also give you more energy and clarity without ever craving sweets, carbs or other junk food
  4. The importance of sleep along with this diet cannot be overstated. A minimum of 7-8 hours per night is vital for a healthy body and mind. If you’re used to sleeping less, force yourself to stay in bed for 7-8 hours. Your mind and body will soon learn that it is allowed to sleep and will use the opportunity to catch up on its “sleep debt”
  5. Biggest source of abnormal cholesterol is not fat but sugar
  6. Eating healthy fats helps prevent brain aging, dementia, diabetes, seizures, depression, autism, trauma, inflammation and helps improve sleep, clarity of mind, energy, mood
  7. The cornerstones of a full life are good food, movement, relaxation (de-stressing) and sleep. The last two may be the most important for a healthy, full life
  8. Healthy foods
    1. Non starchy veggies (unlimited) – broccoli, asparagus, green beans, spinach, Brussels sprouts
    2. Nuts and seeds – almonds, cashews, walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds (avoid peanuts)
    3. Great fats – olives / olive oil, coconut oil, grass fed butter, avocado / avocado oil, nuts and seeds
    4. Fish – salmon, sardines, anchovies
    5. Meat – grass-fed beef, lamb, bison
    6. Poultry – pasture raised poultry and eggs
    7. Dairy – grass-fed butter (avoid milk, cream, etc.)
    8. Fruit – moderate amounts of low glycemic fruit (berries are great)
    9. Beverages – water (at least 8 glasses per day), green tea, 1-2 cups black coffee (no sugar or artificial sweeteners)
  9. Avoid
    1. Sugar in all its forms – soda, juice, other drinks
    2. Artificial sweeteners
    3. Refined carbs – white bread
    4. Vegetable oils – canola, corn, soybean, safflower, sunflower
    5. Avoid chemicals and pesticides (by choosing organic)
    6. Dairy (besides grass fed butter)
    7. Gluten, flour and grains
    8. Alcohol – max 1 glass of wine at night
    9. Beans
    10. Processed foods of any kind (bacon, salami, hot dogs)
  10. Provides a 21 day program to jump start your metabolism, lose weight, reverse chronic health problems, improve sleep and clarity of mind
    1. Don’t worry about how much you eat during the program, rather what you eat
  11. Supplements
    1. High quality multivitamin and multi mineral
    2. 2g fish oil
    3. 2,000 IU vitamin D3
    4. 300mg L-Carnitine twice per day
    5. 30mg coenzyme Q10 twice per day
    6. 20 billion CFU Probiotics
    7. 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil (MCT even better)
    8. 2-5 g PGX fiber
  12. Other tips
    1. Keep a regular sleep schedule with about 7-8 hours total sleep
    2. Avoid screens within 30 minutes of sleep
    3. Relax through long walks, deep breathing, massage, steam or sauna
    4. 30 minutes per day of light to moderate exercise
What I got out of it
  1. Good and convincing read on why eating the right types of fats along with a lot of vegetables, healthy proteins and limitied/no sugar is essential for a healthy, long and balanced life
Resources – check out his website which has a ton of great recipes, PDFs and more

How Not to Die by Michael Greger

Summary
  1. Great resource on what foods to eat more of and avoid and how to minimize risks of certain diseases.
Key Takeaways
  1. First part is about how to minimize risks of most common diseases like heart failure, cancer, etc. Great resource if any of these illnesses are relevant to you
  2. Beans
    1. Black beans, black-eyed peas, cannellini, chickpeas, edamame, peas, kidney, lentil, miso, pinto, tempeh
    2. 3 Servings
  3. Berries
    1. Acai, barberries, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, grapes, cranberries, goji, raspberries, strawberries
    2. 1 Serving
  4. Other Fruits
    1. Apples, avocados, bananas, dates, figs, lemons, limes, mangoes, peaches, pears, plums, pomegranates
    2. 3 servings
  5. Cruciferous Veggies
    1. Arugula, box choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, horseradish, kale, mustard greens, radishes, turnip greens, watercress, spinach, swiss chard (avoid alfalfa sprouts)
    2. 1 serving
  6. Other Veggies
    1. Artichokes, asparagus, beets, bell peppers, carrots, garlic, mushrooms, onions, purple potatoes, pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini
    2. 1 serving
  7. Flaxseeds
    1. Golden or brown (milled)
    2. 1 serving
  8. Nuts and Seeds
    1. Almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, chia seeds, hazelnuts, hemp, macadamia, pecans, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts (walnuts especially)
    2. 1 serving
  9. Herbs and Spices
    1. Allspice, barberries, basil, bay leaves, cardamom, chili powder, cilantro, cinnamon (ceylon), cloves, coriander, cumin, curry powder, dill, garlic, ginger, horseradish, lemon grass, marjoram, mustard powder, nutmeg, oregano, paprika, parsley, pepper, peppermint, rosemary, saffron, sage, thyme, turmeric, vanilla (1/4 teaspoon turmeric per day at least)
    2. 1 serving
  10. Whole Grains
    1. Barley, brown rice, buckwheat, millet, oats, popcorn, quinoa, rye, teff, whole wheat pasta, wild rice
    2. 3 servings
  11. Beverages
    1. Black tea, chai tea, vanilla chamomile tea, coffee, earl gray tea, green tea, hot chocolate, jasmine tea, lemon balm tea, matcha tea, almond blossom oolong tea, peppermint tea, rooibos tea, water, white tea
    2. 5 servings
  12. Exercise
    1. Biking, dancing, skiing, hiking, juggling, trampoline, basketball, tennis, swimming, yoga
    2. 1 time per day – 40-90 minutes
  13. Supplements
    1. 2, 500mcg Vitamin B12 at least once per week
    2. 2,000 IU Vitamin D3 per day
    3. Iodine rich foods (seafood, sea vegetables, dark green vegetables, nori,
    4. 250 mg pollutant free long chain omega 3’s daily (algae)
What I got out of it
  1. Extremely thorough book, good tips on nutrition, supplements, lifestyle. Gives a very thorough account on what to do specifically for certain diseases such as heart conditions, diabetes, cancer, etc. If you or a loved one suffer from any of these, definitely take a closer look at this book.

One Spirit Medicine: Ancient Ways to Ultimate Wellness by Alberto Villoldo

Summary
  1. One Spirit Medicine helps restore mental, physics, emotional and spiritual well being through vision quest, diet, nutrition and stress management
Key Takeaways
  1. Spirit is the invisible world where we are all one and interconnected
    1. Disease comes from imbalance between spirit and harmony
  2. LEF – Luminous Energy Field, an aura that we all give us and is made up of our ancestors, diet, trauma, diseases, thoughts, beliefs and more. The link between the visible and invisible world we all inhabit
  3. Gut is second brain and extremely important to take care of it
  4. Must detox gut, body, brain before can upgrade
    1. Avoid GMOs, corn, soy, grains, sugar
    2. Fasting, even just 6pm to noon the next day, intermittent fasting) helps a lot
    3. Autophagy – cell death, the recycling of cell waste is so important and can speed up the process through exercise, fasts, diet, detox and eating enough phytonutrients
    4. Recommends 1 day of fasting every 3-4 weeks
  5. Become “prey” once we fear something
    1. Fear is the deadliest emotion as it blinds us to love and opportunities
    2. Beliefs cause stress and fear, not people or situations
  6. In today’s world, over stimulation leads to an over active fight/flight response
    1. Must build in times of complete relaxation. Every hour, day, week, month and year take some time out to just reflect and be grateful
    2. Importance of day dreaming cannot be over exaggerated
  7. Lessening fear of death opens you up to love and to better handle life, see the big picture
  8. Personal myths, the limiting stories we tell ourselves, are omnipresent and play a much bigger role in our lives than we realize. They shape our beliefs, values and thoughts which end up shaping our lives
  9. Death is simply a transition from our “particle” (local) to “wave” (omnipresent) state
  10. Medicine Wheel
    1. South = serpent = life force = instincts. Afraid of change, being vulnerable
      1. Don’t be tethered or blinded by the past or because of other’s perceptions of you.
      2. “Male or female, when we finally let go of who we think we’re supposed to be and shed our fear of disapproval, we open our eyes to the new opportunities we encounter. We’re no longer afraid to be curious, to ask questions, to take risks.”
    2. West = Jaguar = Divine Feminine. Confrontation, acceptance and welcoming of death
      1. Inner confidence, balance and power leads to “defeating” death by ensuring continuity of consciousness (knowing our nature is outside of time)
      2. Complexity and harmony lead to health (heart rate variability)
      3. Acceptance of death leads to a fuller life as we know how fleeting and precious our time on this Earth is
      4. “It takes courage to stay with fear and breathe into the emotion rather than run away from it or try to subdue it. But when courage becomes bravado, it can be our undoing…”
      5. Initiation of death is a lifelong process
    3. North = way of the sage = stillness, which comes from stopping of desires
      1. Stillness is not an end in itself but allows us to see entire nature of creation, the bigger picture in all our lives
      2. “…reality is an illusion, albeit one we are jointly re-creating in every instant…We come to realize that the universe mirrors back to us perfectly our beliefs, our intentions, our sincerity. What is is the product of the map of reality you carry inside you. If you want to change your experience, you need to change the map.”
      3. Only when still can we extract the universe’s wisdom
      4. Allows us to rise above ourselves and time to clearly see the results of ours and other’s beliefs and actions
      5. Non-action often takes more strength/maturity than action
      6. Find stillness in the pause between breaths
    4. East = Eagle = journey of the visionary, rebirth
      1. Ability to see big picture while simultaneously zooming in on important details
      2. Appreciate each moment in all its wonder – every second is sacred
      3. “I” is not separate from anyone or anything as we are all one, united
      4. All collectively dreaming together. Accepting this gives you power as you realize you can change it
      5. Once you meet future you, what you want to become, you can embody those qualities today and take a step to realizing that future reality
      6. 4 noble truths – there is suffering, attachment/desires cause suffering, giving up attachment (even to life) eliminates suffering, follow the 8 fold path
      7. Must lose your self to find your self
      8. Man a paradox – infinitely small yet infinitely vast. Nothing, yet everything
      9. Can’t fight demons, must welcome them or they will simply persist
    5. Vision quest the last step of the journey
      1. Sit in a natural setting, sitting with the elements and put your body under mild physiological stress through fasting
      2. Purpose is to discover in the wilderness that you are a citizen of the earth, a child of nature, at one with all creation
      3. Fast to awaken the body’s self-repair systems and stimulate production of stem cells in the brain and every organ in your body
What I got out of it
  1. Spiritual read which goes over the importance of a good, balanced diet, nutrition, fasting, managing stress, taking breaks, finding stillness, accepting and realizing we are all one

Beyond Training: Mastering Endurance, Health and Life by Ben Greenfield

Summary

  1. Greenfield lays out a detailed training regiment section, recovery section, nutrition section, lifestyle section, brain section, and conclusion which ties it all together
Key Takeaways
  1. Provides extremely detailed diets, supplement recommendations, workout regiments, etc for vegans, plant based, old, young, female, male. (I cannot include all the detail in these regiments so if these highlights pique your interest, I recommend reading the book)
  2. Extreme long distance endurance sports can lead to heart issues
  3. Beyondtrainingbook.com for extra resources
  4. Doesn’t really believe in the different training zones and that they each burn a unique fuel source
  5. Discusses how to test yourself to figure out your personal zones
  6. Much more beneficial to spend most training time below threshold and a small portion much above – HIIT or polarized training
  7. Over speed / under speed, EMS, restricted / hypoxia, cold thermogenesis, passive / active heat training, isometric (super slow) training, compression gear, upbeat music (180 bpm music), binaural beats (Thomson CDs), mind alive light therapy, grease the wheel (specific and Frequent exercise, Tsatsouline) good training regiments
  8. Recommends 0.3-0.7 gram protein per pound
  9. Recommended supplements – creative, carnitine, citraline, beta alinine, amino acids (master amino pattern), concentrated greens (super greens as a meal replacement)
  10. Power = fast strength. Works nervous system more than muscles, fine tunes strength
  11. Explosive plyometric movements such as death jumps or single leg hops very effective for power (minimum ground contact time)
  12. Best supplements for nervous system production include omega 3 fatty acids, amino acids, choline, green tea extract and complex b vitamins
  13. Mobility so important and Active Release Therapy, dynamic stretching and traction are great way to improve mobility
  14. Bone broth, ginger, fish, glucosamine sulfate and antioxidants help mobility from a nutrition standpoint
  15. Balance very important for efficiency and avoiding injury. Avoid EMF, minimalist footwear, balance on one leg
  16. Vision gym helps train eyes for better balance
  17. Very easy to overtrain if doing intense exercises. Allow 36 hours to truly recover and avoid plateaus
  18. Rest wise a great tool to track which phase of exhaustion and recovery you are in
  19. Diminishing returns and often damage done after 90 minutes of exercise
  20. Top stress management techniques – deep breathing, mindfulness meditation, Yoga, tai chi, coherence, hobby outside of exercise and normal routine, and sleep
  21. Ideally get 7.5-9 hours of sleep plus a 20-60 minute nap per day
  22. Sleep supplements – potassium citrate, MCT oil, somnydra, apple cider vinegar with honey and water, REM caps by Hammer, inner peace caps, tyrosine + 5HTP
  23. Jet lag hacks – grounding, exercise, melatonin, no caffeine
  24. Doesn’t recommend fretting about calories once you have an idea of how much you eat. For the average athlete he recommends a diet of 20% carbs, 65% fats and 15% protein
  25. A big proponent of the ketogenic diet (body burns fat instead of carbs). This takes some time for the body to get used to but leads to great health, energy, focus. If want to try the ketogenic diet, aim for a diet of 80-90% fat calories, 10-15% protein and 5-10% carbs (eaten at night)
  26. Gut discomfort has some main contributors – gluten, fodmap (foods which leave a lot of residue in the gut such as garlic, onion, fruit with high fructose, beans, wheat, dairy), low enzyme activity, insufficient gut bacteria, too much gut bacteria, yeast/fungus/parasites
  27. Should detox once per year at least – eat clean, avoid stress, sauna, sublingual glutathione spray, greens supplement (chlorella and spirulina), activated charcoal, avoid alcohol, 3 day fasts
  28. Reduce hangover – electrolytes (unsweetened coconut water), cystine, curcumin, bone broth
  29. Avoid before a race – fodmap foods (wheat, dairy, high fermenting foods like apples and pears), excessive caffeine (more than ~ 150mg), artificial sweeteners, high amounts of fiber, heavy foods like sweet potatoes
  30. Eat before a workout or race – blended and juiced foods, moderate caffeine (.5mg per lb or about 1 small cup of coffee), some carbs (like 100g or 2 cups of white rice with some sea salt and MCT), fats (like MCT, coconut oil/butter), hydrolyzed whey protein or bone broth (something easier to absorb that steak/eggs)
  31. Eat during a race – moderate amounts of slow release carbs with easy to digest fats (super starch and MCT/coconut oil), easy to digest protein (hydrolyzed when protein or collagen) and avoid refined sugars, fodmaps,
  32. Good resources – mountain rose herbs, magnetic clay, upgraded self, nutiva coconut products, Amazon prime for bulk food items (sardines, coconut oil, nori wraps)
  33. Lifestyle hacks
    1. Detox home of mold, fungus, EMF (mop surfaces, vacuum with hepa filter, dehumidifier, oscillating fan, toxins in carpeting, ceramic tiles ideal, EHAP mold tests, coca pulse test to see which foods are hurting you, “how to bio hack a home” by Greenfield, Zapped booked, airplane mode on phones, biomat sleep pad, hara pad, lessemf.com, excessive fluoride in water can be removed with reverse osmosis filters, structured water filter, shower head filter (KDF)
    2. Vtamin c / d / e  and antioxidants help with excessive chlorine, choose natural house cleaners and detergents (lemon, baking soda and white vinegar – mountain rose herbs and earth easy great resources), limit use of plastic bottles, metal exposure (dentists biggest exposure and can remove with binding through iodine, magnesium, chlorella, metal free spray), radiation (recover quicker with magnesium, omega 3, iodine), cosmetics (dirty dozen of cosmetics, toothpaste, soap)
  34. Most time saving workouts – quick workouts, workout indoors, minimize offseason training, have a simple home gym, workout alone, super slow weight training, bike to work, include the family in workouts, cross train with friends and family, “greasing the groove” (do something often but never too intense, i.e., 5 pullups every time you walk by the pull up bar)
  35. Productivity tips – use “bucket” days instead of to-do lists (only do a certain activity on a given day), eliminate tv, no newspaper or news, eat simply, outsource (craigslist, fancy hands, elance, 99 designs, task rabbit, hoot suite), chunk emails and don’t give away address too often, “push” only email on phone, remove distractions, learn how to say no, avoid snacking, aggregate content, doing the toughest thing first, clear mind by outsourcing your brain (Evernote, buckets, etc.)
  36. Brain tips – avoid sensory overload, fix your gut, eat more high quality fats (MCT, omega 3, coconut oil, avocado, olive oil), restore neurotransmitter imbalances, fix HPA issues (hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal glands) by destressing, avoiding excessive exercise, decrease inflammation (curcumin a potent anti inflammatory), increase sleep length and quality
  37. Brain hacks – nootropics (vitamin D but daily sunlight can’t be beaten, vitamin K2, fatty acids, MCT oils, caffeine (100 mg or about 1 cup coffee), l-phenyl alinine, creatine, carnitine, Alpha lipoid acid, huperzine), light therapy (limit blue light in the evening, morning sun exposure, binaurals, transcranial direct current stimulation, pulse electromagnetic frequency (PEMF – earth pulse for example), neurofeedback (upgraded self brain trainer, journey to the wild divine game, em wave 2), brain aerobics (sudoku, crossword, must have novelty and variety), chewing gum (peppermint), aerobic exercise, music (listening and learning),
  38. 10 rules for becoming an ancestral athlete – change your lens (health vs. performance of any new exercise, supplement, diet, etc.), be uncomfortable (many things in life benefit from volatility and pain), be comfortable (make sure to rest and recover), work (constant movement is essential – long walks, pull up bars in office, etc.), optimize fertility, eat natural foods, detox a couple times per year, use new tech and science to your benefit, keep a clear head (doing one thing at a time and do a great job, the first time), worry less
What I got out of it
  1. Extremely detailed read on how to train, eat, rest, recover and reach your potential. There was way too much to cover in this book and if you’re interested in serious training, recovery, nutrition, etc. this book is definitely worth reading in its entirety

Finding Ultra by Rich Roll

Summary

  1. Rich Roll tells his inspiring story of lazy, overweight, addicted into an all vegan and ultra marathon lifestyle
Key Takeaways
  1. Rich Roll was a very overweight 40 year old who transformed himself with marathon training and a vegan diet
  2. 7 day juice cleanse that Rich used to start his transformation found here
  3. Rich became a very good swimmer and had his choice of schools, eventually ending up at Stanford. He soon found that alcohol alleviated a lot of his social angst and consumed way too much.
  4. He went to law school and partied too much, as he did in college and big city life was not conducive to him being sober. He somehow made it through, got a good job and was engaged but his alcoholism soon took away his marriage and job. He went to AA and eventually rehab, changing career from entertainment litigation to starting his own entertainment law firm, eventually finding his supportive and amazing wife along the way.
  5. Rich wasn’t able to get into an Ironman initially so he set his sights even higher, an Ultraman. He trained professionally for the first time in his life and ended up having tremendous success although he was one of the few amateurs in this field
  6. While training, had a really bad accident but decided to keep his dream alive. Security is a cop out. Embrace the fear and unknown
  7. The rest of the book describes his incredible struggle of doing 5 ironman length races in a week. Amazing determination
  8. Book ends with his tips on nutrition, recipes and more. Obviously plant based, but also no gluten or dairy and has recommendations for which plants and fats to load up on
What I got out of it
  1. People can do much more than they think they can. When you feel like you can’t do any more, you’re likely only 40% there. Keep pushing. He also does a good job of advocating his “plant power” lifestyle but asks you to experiment for yourself and do what makes you feel good. I’m a big fan of this as I don’t believe there typically is a “one size fits all” for diet, nutrition, lifestyle, etc.

Coherence by Alan Watkins

Summary
  1. Knowledge about human relationships, biology, brain, adult development, behavior, human system, emotional intelligence, medicine, evolution, physics, signal processing, sports psychology all help improve management and performance by better understanding what influences performance. Enlightened Leadership – all behaviors, decisions, thoughts are integrated (coherence)
Key Takeaways
  1. Best way to understand results is to understand behavior and the internal and external influences on behavior
    1. Physiology – Emotion – Feeling – Thinking – Behavior – Results
    2. Feeling wins over thinking every time; physiology trumps emotion
  2. Learning how to change quality of signals in our system can help deliver brilliance every day (Enlightened Leadership)
  3. Best results come when you are positive and motivated
  4. Coherence = Flow = Stable Variability (robust)
  5. Physiological coherence leads to emotional coherence leads to cognitive coherence leads to behavioral coherence
  6. Coherent leaders – integrity, vast interpersonal flexibility (understand what makes people tick) and behavioral flexibility
  7. Individual people must keep evolving if organization is to improve
  8. 3 Stages of evolution – emergence, differentiation, integration
    1. Differentiation – you must be clear and specific in your plans, goals, etc.
  9. Must be a burning platform for change – question everything you do (eliminate if find only do it because it was done yesterday)
  10. 2 key stages in human development – waking up (lose dualism of power and control) and growing up (maturity)
  11. 6 dimensions of EQ – self-awareness, resilience, attention (internal motivation), social intuition (empathy), sensitivity to context, outlook (optimism/pessimism)
  12. Energy management over time management!
  13. Heart rate variability (HRV) very important (flexibility, antifragility) – more is better; emotional self-management, exercise (yoga) omega 3, breathing skills all help improve it
  14. The heart is the most powerful signal generator in the body and can even affect others (entrainment)
    1. Use to create physiological coherence which gives more energy
  15. Mind does not dominate body, there is a constant dialogue between the two; they become one (integrative medicine)
  16. HRV determines ability to respond to challenges
  17. Must schedule periods of recuperation (pair with The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working)
  18. Energy bank – the idea of keeping track of energy “deposits and withdrawals” (things which give or take energy away from you)
  19. Chaotic breathing leads to loss of energy
  20. Be dynamically responsive instead of reactive (breath = stability = entrainment)
  21. 12 aspects of breath – rhythmicity (steady in and out); smoothness; focus on heart; speed of breaths; pattern (ratio of in/out); volume; depth; entrainment; resistance; mechanics; flow patterns (air around body); special techniques (vipassana, buteyko)
  22. Mismanaged emotion often a root cause of ill health (3 E’s – emotion, eat, exercise)
  23. Level of personal control related to health
  24. Not event but how you react / deal with it that matters
  25. Emotion is integration of all physiological signals; feeling is the awareness and recognition that signal comes from the body (observation of emotion)
  26. Only 2 inborn fears – falling and loud noises
  27. Conditioning system inaccurate because designed for survival, not sophistication
  28. Huge number of our decisions are based on emotion, not reason. Emotional awareness therefore greatly improves decision-making
  29. Challenge for men is lack of emotional awareness, for women it may be lack of control of emotions
  30. Emotional mastery leads to clearer thinking, better ability to learn
    1. Must induce an appropriate emotional state to best learn (calm, positive and motivated)
  31. All decisions essentially made by feelings and then justified by logic
  32. Thin slicing – ability to detect patterns based on narrow slices of experience
    1. Intuition can’t be trusted without emotional coherence
  33. Good leaders use emotion because that’s what motivates people
  34. Best leaders best at dealing with change
  35. Heart’s electromagnetic field radiates up to 50 feet away! – leader’s presence truly can be felt in a large room
    1. Negative state of mind casts chaotic energy whereas positivity casts clean and organized energy
  36. Enjoyment and quality of life comes from experiences, not things
  37. Happiness is a habit
  38. Only genuinely sustainable motivation is intrinsic
  39. The self, consciousness, and emotion evolved together and tied to each other
  40. Intelligence is simply awareness
    1. Only 2 opposing emotional states – love and fear
    2. Most people’s emotional lexicon / palette very limited (becoming better versed and more nuanced in how you define each feeling allows you to become more self-aware
    3. Must be aware but also be able to label individual emotions (access and then action)
  41. Emotional MASTERY
    1. Sit comfortably and BREATHE (focus on heart)
    2. Simply notice what emotion exists in your body
    3. Label what you think best captures it
    4. Explore the features of the emotion in your own body – location, size, color, sound, temperature, intensity
    5. How does the emotion move through your body
    6. Does the emotion have any special features?
  42. Enhance habits / rituals with a positive emotion
    1. Landscaping – determine where in routine can get most practice per buck
  43. Need emotional intelligence, literacy and self-management
  44. Memories stored like holograms
    1. Coherence, BREATHE leads to perfect hologram which can make you better and more clearly recall what we know
  45. 10 levels of consciousness
    1. Shadow work – working on aspects of ourselves that are not easy to see, address and heal
    2. Level 6 – cease to be a victim, don’t let others control your emotions, complete ownership of all aspects of self
    3. Level 7 – selflessness, loving empathy without criticism
    4. Level 9 – pre-awareness,n no observer and object, just one union; time false, space infinite and everything connected; no duality – all simply is, cease to have preferences
  46. Happiness truly a life of service
  47. 9 internal phenomena which influence thinking, behavior, etc
    1. Values – feeling defined by a principle
    2. Belief – thought powered by emotion
    3. Attitude – collection of values / beliefs and which influences thoughts, behavior, perspective
    4. Culture – collective attitude of the group
  48. Cognitive coherence lies in increasing perceptual awareness
    1. SHIFT – stop and shift attention to your heart; breathe through this area of your chest to induce positive emotion, feel it through your body; turn your brain back on and notice insights
  49. Enlightened leadership emerges with coherence across all critical and internal areas (physiology, emotion, cognitive, maturity, values / Behavior, networks, impact)
  50. The purpose of doing everything is to generate better results
  51. Long-term, consistent, brilliant behavior requires us to be in tune with what we think, feel and the amount of energy we have
  52. Must understand root causes of what leads to better performance
  53. Correcting behavior doesn’t lead to success, only stops failure (must introduce new behaviors)
  54. Obsession with results has lead to a widespread erosion of humanity
  55. Must understand appropriate pressure needed for peak performance for self and others
    1. Narrow the focus and clarify as much as possible
    2. Early detection of underperformance crucial
      1. Loss of perception, self esteem, increased irritability, ill health all good indicators
  56. Best leaders move seamlessly through 4 quadrants – I, IT (short-term), IT (long-term), WE
  57. Few leaders think about how they think, their weaknesses, brand, leaderships qualities and therefore have little self-awareness
  58. Maturity is key to be a great leader – differentiation between knowledge and wisdom
  59. True leaders aim to strip away illusions and see deeper realities – able to integrate knowledge and wisdom, more holistic view, no preconceived answers, continuously try to flush out hidden assumptions
  60. Vision – picture of the future you’re aiming for
  61. Ambition – how big / impactful you want to be
  62. Purpose – emotional statement to drive engagement and differentiate yourself
  63. Strategy – how to get ot vision, ambition and purpose
  64. Governance – process for making better, more efficient decisions and better accountability and alignment
  65. 12 performance enhancing behaviors
    1. Imagine – gathering info, forming concepts, conceptual flexing
    2. Involve – empathetic connecting, facilitating interaction, developing people
    3. Implement – being proactive, continuous improvement, building customer value
    4. Ignite – influencing others, building confidence, communicating clearly
    5. Knowing where you stand is vital
  66. Understanding personal purpose is vital
  67. Job – Career – Calling
    1. What would you do for free? What comes effortlessly to you?
  68. Appreciation and forgiveness of self and others is key
  69. To be the best leader you can be you must make personal connections, understand other’s motives, be consistent and know how to best work with different working styles
  70. Ultimate goal – influence and ability to foster deep, influential relationships
  71. Relationships tend to fail because of either poor communication or low levels of trust
    1. Effective communication has two basic aspects – transmission and reception
    2. 3 levels of communication -what people say, what people think or feel and most deeply, what people mean
  72. Making others feel heard is extremely motivating
  73. Trust givers trust people automatically where trust earners must make others prove themselves first
  74. TRUST – taking responsibility for understanding other people’s traits
  75. Internal coherence lays foundation for extraordinary performance and also to develop deeper and longer lasting relationships (ultimate prize in life
  76. Leaders must be able to transform their personal leadership qualities, real development and the corporate culture
  77. When hiring, look at what the business needs and if necessary, bring someone in and train them rather than trying to fit the role to the person
  78. Use MAP to get at the true meaning of what people say. Move attention to body and breathe, appreciate the speaker, play back the underlying meaning
  79. Watkins is the founder of Holacracy – Tony Hsieh recently implemented at Zappos
    1. Clarify purpose; clarify all decision making forums; define limit of authority; define reporting process, establish clear accountability; create new roles; assign new accountabilities to new roles; establish new policies or changes to existing policies; define ways of working within teams
What I got out of it
  1. Being self-aware is absolutely vital and focusing on the different areas (physiology, emotion, cognitive, maturity, values / Behavior, networks, impact) is key. Must be healthy before can focus on emotions, cognition…

The Egoscue Method by Pete Egoscue

Summary
  1. Pete Egoscue argues that modern man has so many dysfunctions due to lack of motion. With his breakdown of dysfunctions in Condition I, II, III or DLux (excellent), you can quickly diagnose yourself and start the exercises he prescribes. He argues that these regiments will help get to the root of the problem and often avoid costly and ultimately ineffective surgery
Key Takeaways
  1. Lack of motion leads to dysfunction
  2. Categorization of dysfunctions into 4 conditions helps him determine which exercises you should be doing
What I got out of it
  1. An interesting read and I agree with many of his points. I will start doing the exercises for Condition I, which is the category I feel I fall into (slightly everted feet, a pronounced S shape curve in my back

Awareness Through Movement by Moshe Feldenkrais

Summary
  1. Becoming more aware of your body, movement, flexibility, breathing through subtle but specific exercises can have tremendous health and mental benefits
Key Takeaways
  1. People’s physical ailments today stem from a lack of movement
  2. Many different movements shown in the book help you become more aware and sensitive to your imbalances and limitations
  3. One of the big movements he stresses is lying on your back with one or both legs up and try to feel the small of your back touch the floor. Sometimes it takes two hours just lying there in order to feel it
What I got out of it
  1. Move more, become more conscious of your imbalances, inflexibility, breathing in different situations, etc. can have tremendous benefits on your overall well-being

The Brain’s Way of Healing by Norman Doidge

Summary

  1. This book is about the unique way the brain heals itself and diseases once thought incurable might not really be so
Key Takeaways
  1. Activities, thoughts, electrical impulses are all used as healing techniques as it spurs the brain to form new and/or stronger neural connections. As the senses are the brain’s way of interacting with the world, it makes sense to use one’s senses to stimulate and mold the brain 
  2. Pain is processed in the brain and it has the ability to turn it off at times
  3. Patient must actively engage and learn about treatments for them to have the biggest impact
  4. Exercise and mental stimulation are both key to a successful brain health program
  5. Lasers can be utilized to help heal and / or stimulate the brain and other areas of the body
  6. Do not underestimate the importance of natural light in the healing process 
  7. Feldenkrais, a French physicist was also an acclaimed Judoist and spent a lot of time learning about how the body and mind are interconnected.
    1. Awareness through movement – move your body very slightly and notice how it affects the rest of your body. Through these practices, he was able to help a lot of people who had chronic pain in different areas of their bodies become fully functional
    2. Aim to never move or do anything compulsively – do them slowly, gracefully and mindfully
  8. Speaks of people with eye issues and how they were able to heal themselves with certain Buddhist practices such as placing the palms over the eyes and imagining blue/black. Like everything else, the eyes are intricately tied to the brain and are the first part to change before the brain
  9. Music is also a potent way to reach the brain. Music can be used to rewire and teach the brain new connections 
  10. Dr. Tomatis figured out that one can only sing as well as one can hear. However, one can train themselves to hear better and therefore sing better (using the electronic ear)
  11. People tend to speak out of one side of their mouthes. Right side generally associated with better listeners
  12. Paul Madaule and Dr. Tomatis at the Listening Center – have had amazing success with autistic children and other mentally challenged cases
  13. Rates of autism have skyrocketed and many think that reducing inflammation is key to reducing the symptoms
  14. Dyslexia doesn’t just affect reading abilities but every aspect of their lives
  15. Chanting can either add or detract energy – high frequency adds. This is part of what keeps Benedictine monks energized on so little sleep
  16. Mozart is the most commonly used form of classical music for listening therapy
  17. Low intensity lasers, pons tongue stimulator and sound therapy have all been effectively used to rewire the brain. Light therapy, tai chi, yoga, music, etc. all used for brain health
  18. Electromagnetic currents and magnetic fields have been used to help bones heal faster
  19. Dr. Roth in Canada uses matrix repatterning to help patients rewire their brains and bodies
What I got out of it
  1. Fascinating book on how alternative approaches have been successfully used to heal and improve the brain

The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge

Summary

  1. Doidge discusses neuroplasticity extensively – the ability of the brain to rewire itself. This is both a good and a bad thing as we can change our brains in case it gets injured but we are also more susceptible outside influences
Key Takeaways
  1. Discusses a lady who completely lost her balance and through the use of a special tool was able to recalibrate her balance and rewire the brain (pons tongue stimulator – seems to have remarkable positive effects for a broad array of diseases, handicaps, disabilities, etc.)
  2. Shown that people who lose one sense can train others to make up for it this is also known as sensory substitution
  3. People are able to survive in an ever changing world due to our brain’s ability to adapt to anything we throw at it
  4. Pushing the brain by trying new things and learning increases connections and the potential of the brain
  5. There is a critical period in an animals youth where certain stimuli are needed to spur the brain to grow and develop. If the brain is denied stimulation in this time frame, this aspect will not develop
  6. Unlearning often so much more difficult than learning because it occupies a certain part of the brain which can be difficult to rewire – early education and good habits so important 
  7. What you learn can only be as clear as the original message – don’t multitask or split your attention if you truly want to learn something 
  8. White noise can have adverse effects of infants are exposed at a young age as it causes many neurons to fire simultaneously – what is often found in autism
  9. Learning is effortless at a young age because the nucleus basalis is always on. Scientists have found that it can be reopened using an electrode – opening the door to effortless learning in adults
  10. Acetylcholine helps the brain be focused and remember better
  11. Any activity or task which requires your full attention is healthy for your brain’s long term health 
  12. Sexuality is extremely plastic as well and what we experience early on has big effects on us and what were attracted to through life
  13. Pornography desensitizes us and makes actual sexual encounters less pleasant over time
  14. Being in love is big a satisfying feeling not only because it helps us feel great, but also because it makes it harder to feel bad
  15. Oxytocin is a neuromodulator which is used to bond people and animals – between young and their parents as well as between lovers
  16. Even victims of severe strokes can train themselves back to self sufficiency. Training should be as realistic as possible and done in intermittent spurts
  17. Mental practice is not as effective as the real thing but it still has amazing benefits. Actual exercise lead to 30% increases in strength but deeply visualizing the same exercises lead to a 22% increase!
  18. Experts tend to use long term rather than short term memory to solve problems. They don’t memorize facts as much as novices do, rather they remember key steps which can be broadly applied 
  19. Experience and culture both change the brain, it’s mapping and how it functions
  20. Easterners and westerners tend to perceive things differently – easterners see things more holistically whereas westerners perceive things more in isolation
  21. Due to the brain’s amazing ability to respond to new stimuli and training, few limits can be seen in human improvement
What I got out of it
  1. Fascinating book on the brain, how it functions, its amazing potential and where our future might lie