I’m back after a little unplanned blogging hiatus. I had started posts, but got bogged down trying to write things that were “helpful and good”, and decided to go back to my previous format of a minimal weekly update interspersed with random things in my head.
The past few weeks have been a great balanced stretch of eating mostly healthy/working/reading/learning that don’t include any monumental events, but are the building blocks of a good year. I went on my first “Chinchorreo Bus”, a party bus that goes bar/food hopping in small towns around Puerto Rico, which was a blast. It was a solid 8 hours though, and I can probably only handle that once or twice a year at this age.
I’m heading to Costa Rica this weekend, and then a 5 week stay in Bali, Indonesia after that. I’m hoping that I can not only continue my recent healthy lifestyle, but dial it in even further. The main impetus for me going to Bali is a massive CrossFit gym within walking distance of my house, a weekly Paleo menu prepared, massages, and a lot of outdoor activities to do.
Health has been becoming a bigger focus for me, particularly lately. The past few years, but this year in particular, I’ve noticed that my metabolism has slowed. I’ve always cared about my health for vanity reasons, and still do, but there’s a much a stronger connection now that when I’m getting in better shape I also feel noticeably better. I used to be able to kick start my body back into health with a week of healthy eating, followed by a reasonable diet combined with frequent exercise. It doesn’t work anymore to just go on a week binge of health to get me back in shape unfortunately. I do have a few things that have been working though.
I started intermittent fasting (eating from 12pm-8pm only, but trying to eat my normal amount of food quantity in that window) after a suggestion from my friend Ty. At first I hated it and gained weight. I then read on the internet that downing a bulletproof coffee in the morning actually broke your fast and defeated the purpose. I guess with all of my education I didn’t suspect drinking butter and coconut fat might not be good for losing weight? The day that I switched to tea/espresso in the morning it all started working, and made sense. I don’t know if the fast in the morning helps, but not eating hours before bed definitely does. I’m more used to not feeling full, my appetite has decreased, and I have a mental excuse to cut out night snacking even if I want it.
The other major dietary change I made was attempting to eat (mostly but not even close to 100%) similar to the prescription made by Ben Bergeron for nutrition: http://crossfitnewengland.com/2017/12/30/nutrition-challenge-2018/
It passes the common sense test, is simple, and works. I try to eat balanced meals, including with good carbs (getting protein and fat has never been a problem), that have a good amount of vegetables, every day. I still have some dark chocolate, sometimes gluten-free oatmeal for carbs, and other things that aren’t approved during the challenge, but in general my meals have balance.
Before I CrossFit now if I have time I try and do a couch stretch for 1-2 minutes on each leg, foam roll my back/lats, and hold the bottom of a squat for a minute. Sometimes I do a pectoral mash (rolling my chest with a lacrosse ball) and holding a band to stretch out my shoulders (banded shoulder distraction) that I also got from Bergeron’s Competitors Training. I do this in the 5-15 minutes I have before class starts, and doing this regularly has made a huge difference in movement/mobility. Just showing up stiff after a day of computer work and jogging it out isn’t enough for me anymore, and never really was. Between this and the occasional yoga class I have been feeling way better during and the day after training. I also only do CrossFit M-W-F (sometimes Saturday as well, but it’s usually more of a fun workout) as per my friend Jeff’s amazing wisdom. No more burnout, and I’m getting in better shape than when I was going 4-5 days a week.
On the reading front an old friend, Nick Flees, recommended a book “Billion Dollar Whale”, an account of a currently ongoing massive financial scam/heist. I always underestimate how much I get sucked in and enjoy biographies, and I bought this unsure if I would truly read it, but have had hard time putting it down. It hits a lot of triggers for me: rich people luxury, gossip, famous people that I’ve fleetingly come into contact with, and complex financial dealings. Just when I feel like it’s repetitive and hard to handle how many penthouses and Lambos the main guy, Jho Low, keeps buying with swindled money, I learn something about the actual mechanics of how people get away with things like this. Offshore banking, sovereign wealth funds, etc. were all things that I had no knowledge or interest in, but it’s pretty fascinating when you read real accounts of people using them to extract billions covertly.
With that I’ll get back to my small work world of trading, machine learning, and (thinking about and sometimes actually writing) fiction. Leaving you with a pic from one of bar stops in a small town in Puerto Rico.