This is how focusing on longevity improves your performance

Health has 3 key dimensions. Physical, mental, emotional; and all 3 need to be carefully managed and put ahead of work and your family life.  If you don’t put yourself first, then you aren’t going to be in the best position to help others.

When I meet a potential new Client or generally chat to people on the work that I do with Clients, I see a common theme.   There is a genuine interest in performing better, having more energy and being healthier but when I start talking about living much longer the level of interest, intrigue and wonder goes through the roof.

Most of us want to live longer and many of us don’t think about dying; we push it to the back of our minds and focus on the day ahead.  It scares the crap out of us to think about dying, those that we would leave behind and not living our lives to the max.

I have a few questions that I want you to answer:

If you were to put an age on when you will exit this earth, what would it be?  Think about that for a few seconds ….

So, how many years do you have left?

Now, what if you could extend your lifespan for an extra 30-40 GOOD years, what would you do with the extra time?  How would you make a difference?

If your answer was ‘I don’t want another 30-40 good years’, then ask yourself:

why not?

what is going on in your life right now?

what can you change?

where is your purpose?

Nobody wants to live a long life, losing their mind and not being mobile.  So when I say ‘good’ years, I mean having the mind and body of somebody who is much younger. This may seem like science fiction and 5-10 years ago it was. However, the good news is that there are now billions being spent on researching human longevity and I’m really excited by it, especially for my 8-year-old son who will benefit from longevity science long after I’ve left this life.

Longevity science isn’t about some magical new supplements that reverse ageing but are focused on:

1.      Prevention – stopping damage from happening to the body and therefore slowing down the ageing process

2.      Repair – using the body’s unique ability to clean and repair damaged cells

It’s not expensive or complex and a few simple changes can make a huge difference.

If you embark on a longevity strategy to give yourself another 30-40 good years, then you will notice the following:

1.  Your physical, mental and emotional health will dramatically improve

2. Your energy levels will go through the roof – you won’t believe how good you will feel

3. Your performance in all areas of your life will take a huge step change

If you just focus on your health and energy you will see some significant benefits but focusing on your longevity is a real game changer.

Here are three things that you can do to help with your longevity, health, energy and performance:

1.      Remove as many toxins from your environment – they will be in your food, cosmetics and cleaning products.  Eat chemical free food and remember that the largest organ in your body is your skin and it is super absorbent

2.      Get your gut microbiome checked.  I use Viome and whilst it’s emerging technology, it’s the future of gut microbiome testing.  Science is now stating that all disease starts in the gut, so putting your focus there is a great strategy.

3.      Intermittent fasting – check this out.   There are many different forms and I wrote a blog post on it here

 

Concussion

In the past couple of weeks I experienced a pretty bad concussion. 

It’s pretty embarrassing really! As I jumped down from a kitchen barstool at home, my socks hit the tiles and I went flying across the room and was stopped when my head met my large oak table.  

My poor wife found me seconds later in a pool of blood. Did I pass out?  Who knows… if I did, it wasn’t for long.  Looking back, what happened next was terrifying; my legs were like jelly and apparently my eyes were rolling around inside my head.

I was thrown inside a car at 12:20am and driven to A&E.  My CT scan was cleared fairly quickly but then my wife and I had a long wait before I finally had stitches at 2pm the next day.  In my opinion, this was completely unacceptable. Somebody with concussion needs to sleep to be able to recover and keeping me awake all night waiting for stiches wasn’t providing me with adequate care.

I left hospital on the Saturday afternoon, exhausted, weak, with a dented ego and the worst brain fog I have ever experienced

I decided I would record how I felt each day (1 = terrible, 10 = back to 100%)

Day 1 – Saturday (the day after)

Energy – 1

Appetite – 2

Brain Fog – 2

Tiredness at 5pm – 1

Steadiness – 1

I went to bed at 3pm, woke up at 7pm, rested on the sofa, drank some water and went back to bed by 8pm for another 12 hours sleep. 

Day 2 – Sunday

Energy – 2

Appetite – 3

Brain Fog – 3

Tiredness at 5pm – 1

Steadiness – 2

On Sunday, I still felt dreadful and was convinced that I was suffering from a concussion, especially as I had been vomiting on a regular basis since Friday night until Sunday night.  So, I used what little energy I had to research recovery from concussion.  It became clear that the effects of concussion can last a long time and be serious and I needed to recover quickly as I was due to take my son away for the weekend in exactly one week.

I decided that my strategy was to:

1.      Rest as much as possible - prioritise sleep

2.      Take 4g of krill oil per day

3.      Molecular hydrogen once a day

4.      Curcumin – twice a day

5.      PQQ/ CoQ10 – 6 ampules a day (Unfair Advantage)

6.      Infrared light – 820nm (twice per day for 20 mins)

7.      Glutathione – doubled my usual dose

8.      Put myself into ketosis as much as possible

I went to bed at 9:30pm and woke up at 8:30am.

Day 3 – Monday

Energy – 3

Appetite – 3

Brain Fog – 5

Tiredness at 5pm – 3

Steadiness – 3

I still felt incredibly unsteady on my feet with a sense that the world was going on around me and I was merely observing it.  I still did not have much of an appetite but ate what I felt I could manage.  I found that a Bulletproof Coffee in the morning was really helping to wake up my brain and for a few hours each morning, I had great mental clarity.  The infrared light was healing the wound pretty quickly.

I went to bed at 9:30pm and woke up at 8:00am

Day 4 – Tuesday

Energy – 5

Appetite – 5

Brain Fog – 6

Tiredness at 5pm – 6

Steadiness – 4

The ‘big gun’ arrived in the post; Unfair Advantage from Bulletproof which is liposomal CoQ10 and PQQ. I’ve not used it for a while preferring the cheaper Life Extension version and WOW, I forgot how good it is.  I hit the dosage pretty hard taking 8 ampules in the first day and I could feel a dramatic improvement.

Day 5 - Wednesday

Energy – 6

Appetite – 6

Brain Fog – 7

Tiredness at 5pm – 8

Steadiness – 6

This was a strange day, I could feel I was on the path to recovery but still not feeling at all right.  Also, I had a really strange craving for sugar, which I’ve not had in a long, long time and certainly not since going on a keto diet.  The craving was really intense, and I found myself eating my son’s Haribos by the handful.  I discovered that my brain wasn’t really craving sugar, it was craving fat and as soon as I increased the fat in my diet, the cravings went away.

Day 6 – Thursday

Energy – 7

Appetite – 8

Brain Fog – 8

Tiredness at 5pm – 8

Steadiness – 7

I was feeling much better on Thursday and despite my wife’s protests, I travelled to London and booked myself in for intravenous vitamins and glutathione at www.getadrip.co.uk in Canary Wharf.  After having the Full Works, I really felt back to my best. 

Day 7 – Friday

Energy – 8

Appetite – 9

Brain Fog – 9

Tiredness at 5pm – 9

Steadiness – 8

The stiches came out today, two days earlier than the Doctor said in hospital.  I’m convinced the infrared light sped up the healing process.

Now for the disclaimer because (with apologies!) there always has to be one with this sort of information.  This protocol definitely worked for me and I’m very grateful that there is so much great information out there in the biohacking forums.  However, just because it worked for me, it doesn’t mean it would work for you, so I encourage you to do your own research and consult a medical practitioner.

I was able to take my son away for the weekend – so all in all a good result for me.

It’s now two and a half weeks since the accident and I’m feeling no ill effects and absolutely back to 100%.

 

 

Podcast: How to Biohack your own health

On the 21st February, I was asked to do a Podcast with Leanne Spencer at Body Shot Performance.  If you would like to listen to the podcast, please click below

Floating

I’ve seen Floatation Tanks mentioned on a number of podcasts and forums and it’s always intrigued me what it would be like to feel a sense of weightlessness in a dark environment with no sound.  Just me and my monkey mind for an hour.

Well, I’ve now done three sessions at Floatworks in Vauxhall.

Before I tell you about my experience, here is a quick background on floatation and it’s many benefits:

Developed in the fifties by Dr. John C Lilly, floatation tanks are usually dark and soundproof pods used for floating in warm water for a long duration. The original aim of their development was to experiment and explore further with the human consciousness; however, the activity has experienced new age undertones ever since. In recent years, the number of people using these devices have increased significantly.     

Most newcomers are attracted by the massive range of potential health benefits which include:

Pain Management  Floating is an unique environment. It helps to remove the force generated by gravity against our body, which assists in relieving pressure and stress. A recent study proved that floatation is effective at providing relief for back pain, tendinitis, arthritis, inflammation, fibromyalgia as well as blood pressure.

Healing  Floating increases the level of blood circulation along with the distribution of oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.  Muscle relaxation becomes enhanced and physical stress is highly reduced. Floatation boosts our immune function and notably increases perception, visual acuity along with other senses.   

Increased brain function  Floating is highly effective at achieving a state of mental peace, drawing comparisons to meditation. During floating sessions, our brain cycles between the alpha and theta brainwave patterns, which leaves us feeling extremely relaxed and rejuvenated, elevating our brain functions.

Stress Buster  The presence of the high functioning sympathetic nervous systems generates a significant amount of cortisol, which is the primary precursor for stress production in our brains. During floatation, the parasympathetic nervous system is activated, flooding the body with endorphins and dopamine neurotransmitters which are responsible for pain relief, mood enhancement and decreasing depression.  

Athletic Performance  Since 1954, when the effects of floatation/sensory/isolation tanks became popular, a vast amount of research unearthed a lot of positive results of floatation. Athletes have long since enjoyed the benefits of Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) baths, which aid in performance recovery. The high concentration of the salt in floatation tanks leads to an abundance of magnesium being absorbed through their skin. Magnesium regulates blood pressure, which further aids in detox therapy and prevention of cardiovascular diseases.            

Simply put, spending time in the floatation tank calms our overly stimulated systems, restoring the body’s chemical and metabolic balance.

My experience in floatation is as follows:

Session 1  There I was; stood stark naked outside the giant pod wondering what on earth I was going to experience.  I stepped inside the Pod, sat on the floor and pulled the hinged door down behind me to trap myself inside. I wasn’t actually trapped but it is how I felt at the time - slightly anxious but excited.  It wasn’t long before the lights went out and the music stopped and there I was floating in complete darkness - it didn’t matter if I opened my eyes or not, all I could see was blackness.  

I was suspended by the magnesium salts in the water with no sound, no light, no feeling.

I spent the first 20 or so minutes in meditation, firstly performing a body scan and then focusing on my breathing before letting my mind wander.  It was a very strange experience. It felt like my mind had the time and space to work on some of the problems I had been wrestling with.  It also felt like I was in there forever and all I kept thinking was “surely it must be an hour” - it truly felt like time had stopped.  When I’d finished and left the floatation centre I found that I was completely zoned out, to the point where I got on the wrong tube.

Session 2  This time I knew what to expect and wasted no time stripping off, having a shower and getting straight into the Pod.  This time I went through a similar routine of meditation followed by allowing my mind to wander.  Interestingly, I found my second experience less satisfying - I had the sensation that I was spinning around in a circle, which clearly I wasn’t but my brain was tricking me into thinking I was, so I had to put my hand on the bottom to re-calibrate myself.  I also wiped my eye because it was itching. Whatever you do, don’t do that because it stings an awful lot!  Session 2 was ok, I did some solid problem solving but it wasn’t as satisfying as session 1.

Session 3  I had been struggling for a couple of weeks with a few problems, nothing serious but there was some tension inside me and some choices to make that weren’t easy.  I’d tried reflecting with a pen and paper but it wasn’t scratching the itch, so I booked a floatation tank session to give me the time and space to reflect and think.  This was by far the best session I had in the tank by a long way – I didn’t meditate at the outset but went in with three problems to think through.  I settled into the pod and decided not to meditate but allow myself the time to properly think.  I had some amazing ideas bubble up from inside me and had real clarity on how I was going to address my three problems.  I was also surprised at how quickly an hour had flown by.

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For me, floatation therapy is a must-do at least once a month.  It gives me time and space to think through any challenges I’m facing and provides the option to switch off.  There are options to do 2.5 hours of floating – let me know if you want me to try it out :o)

 

Intravenous Vitamins

I haven’t written much about supplementation because I believe that supplementation is unique to the individual and a broad-brush approach doesn’t generally work.  There are a few obvious vitamins that I recommend all of my Clients take and these include:

Vitamin C - 1g x2 per day (morning and evening)

Magnesium - 400-500mg (evening)

Vitamin D - 5,000 IU (morning)

I don’t share what concoction I take each morning and night because whilst it’s right for me, it certainly won’t be right for you.  I recommend testing to understand what you are deficient in and then selecting your supplementation accordingly.  It’s not a quick fix in many cases.

There is something that I do want to share with you and that’s my experience of intravenous vitamins, which I’ve now experienced at the Bulletproof Conference in California and also in London.

For the past 2 years, I haven’t suffered with any colds or flu, despite having a snotty 8-year-old boy at home and I’ve put this down to my diet, supplementation and mega-dosing on vitamin C each time I get any sniffles. However, whilst on the plane flying to California, I must have sneezed 50-60 times and my nose started to stream.  When I woke up on the Friday morning, my sinuses were blocked and I could feel pressure all across my face.  I couldn’t believe my bad luck; here I was at a biohacking conference, full of cold.

I’d registered at the conference on the Thursday evening, so I was up bright and early and at the conference hall at 7am for when the tech hall opened.  As I wandered around I came across a stand run by Natural Health ?check? and they were selling intravenous vitamins.  I couldn’t resist the Bulletproof I/V with a shot of glutathione.  It transpires that this is part of the new Bulletproof Labs in Santa Monica.

Putting in the needle was a painless process and I was surprised at how quickly the bag emptied into my arm – the sensation was strange at first and I had a slight metallic taste in my mouth.

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Almost instantly, I felt much more like myself; my energy levels picked up and within 45 minutes I felt back to 100% - I was gobsmacked at the impact this had.  I felt great all day and for the remainder of the conference. For me, it was money well spent.

I returned home raving about I/V but sceptical that it could have had such an impact so quickly. I wondered if it could have been a placebo?  Oh well, who cares, I thought. I felt better and it saved me from having a grotty weekend.

A couple of months later, I spoke with a couple of my Clients who were suffering with a heavy cold and the start of man-flu.  I recommended to them to try I/V based on my experience in California, so they both went off to London for a Myers Cocktail with glutathione.  Both reported back that they either felt 100% better straight after the I/V or when they woke up the next day. How amazing!  Clearly, it’s unlikely to be a placebo.

Just before Christmas, I was feeling pretty flat and one Thursday evening I felt exhausted.  It had been a pretty full on few months and the run up to Christmas involved a lot of late and boozy nights.  I booked in for an I/V in Shoreditch (Get a Drip) for their Full Works, which includes intravenous paracetamol, Myers Cocktail, glutathione, L’Carnine and a shot of B12.  I felt much better straight after the I/V – the service and price point at Get a Drip was amazing and I’d highly recommend it.

As I write this article, I’ve since referred a further 10 Clients and friends to Get a Drip and everybody has been very pleased with their service and how they’ve felt afterwards.

So next time you are feeling run down, hungover, under the weather or suffering with manbola, consider having an I/V because whilst it’s not conventional, it definitely works.

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Top 10 Biohacking gifts of 2017

This week, we have a combined post from myself and Leslie Kenny, who is a fellow Bulletproof Coach.  Leslie and I have pulled together our biohacking gift guide for 2017.  You can find Leslie at www.ridgepath.co.uk

Human Charger

At this time of year, the cold and dark mornings can have a significant impact on your mood and having a little bit of sun in your pocket can help beat the morning blues, as well as increase both your energy and alertness.   To use the Human Charger, you simply put the LED earbuds into your ears and press the power button, at which point the bright light flows through your ears reaching the brain’s photosensitive receptors (positively impacting your serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline).  If you frequently travel across timezones, the Human Charger is particularly effective in helping you adjust to the new timezone and helps you to avoid jet lag.  I've used it on several transatlantic flights last Summer and it was very effective in keeping my energy levels high. (£175)

Oura Ring

This is without doubt one of the most sought after biohacking gadgets of 2017. and Oura have recently launched their new OuraRing, which is a significant improvement over the previous version with a smaller design, week long battery and on demand Heart Rate Variability tracking.  The Oura Ring enables you to track activity, sleep and readiness for the day ahead.  The data provided by the Oura Ring is impressive. Particularly at night, when it is able to track time in each of the sleep stages, body temperature and heart rate variability.  The Oura Ring provides an overall readiness score, so you know how hard you can push yourself that day based on your activity and sleep scores from previous days.  It’s on pre-order for delivery in April. ($299)

Floatation Tank Session 

If your loved one is a fan of meditation or yoga then why not gift them a floatation tank session, so they can experience sensory deprivation and restore balance in their lives.  Research consistently demonstrates that floatation therapy has a significant impact on mood enhancement. Suggested reasons for this increased level of happiness include elevated levels of dopamine and endorphins, through to the deep meditative state achieved during floatation therapy.  The latest floatation therapy research shows that during floatation, the amygdala basically shuts off, ‘turning down’ anxiety in the brain.   I’ve provided a link to Floatworks in London but there are many other options around the Country. (£50)

Broccoli Sprouting 

You’re probably wondering, why on earth would I gift broccoli seeds to my loved one?  Well you would if you wanted them to live longer, right?  The magic comes in the form of sulforaphane which is present in high quantities in Broccoli sprouts. Sulforaphane is a miracle compound that is scientifically proven to prevent the growth of many cancers and reduce the risk of heart disease and neurodegenerative diseases.  Sulforaphane stimulates protective and detoxifying mechanisms in the cells, which allows the cells to eliminate environmental toxins and body and repair themselves.  The easiest way to grown broccoli sprouts is by using BioSnacky from Avogel (£17.99)

Inner Balance 

Do you want to combat stress and put your head and heart into a state of synchronicity?  If yes, then Heart Math has the answer … HeartMath is a scientifically validated system of techniques and technologies that will help you to transform your stress, boost your resilience and enable higher performance.  Their Inner Balance technologies give you real-time insight into your emotional, mental and physical state and will help you develop the ability to self-regulate.  It's easy to use; clip a small device to your ear and use the smartphone app.  I’ve now replaced my meditation practice with Heart Math and really enjoy the realtime feedback. (£137)

ManFlowYoga 

Let's face it, no matter who the men in our life are - weekend warriors, dedicated dads or armchair footie fans - chances are that they could stand to be a little more flexible. Although ManFlowYoga has the name 'yoga' in it, think of this more as an online flexibility and core strength subscription for guys to do when and where they want. The program was created by the very ripped and fit Bulletproof Ambassador, Dean Pohlman, who Ben Greenfield says 'destroyed' him in an obstacle course competition, relying only on his yoga training. The online video library helps with everything from general toning to prevention of specific sports & weightlifting injuries, but without the usual yoga 'open your heart' stuff that can turn some guys off. Yoga has now been embraced by Dave Asprey, the All Blacks, Novak Djokovic, polar explorers and even Rhodes scholars, so why not the men in your life? I recommend the Guyoga program which comes in 3 different packages: US$17 for all the beginner videos; US$50 for the videos plus Dean's e-books, including his popular ripped abs formula and diet books and online forum access; or US$150 for all of the above and the ability to download videos to your phone to enable you to do your workouts when you travel. 

Kaatsu Bands 

At US$2100, these are a high ticket item, but their ability to grow muscle using only a few basic isometric exercises, means this is a great gift for the parents in your life who are looking to add more muscle without joining a gym or worrying about injury from using weights. In studies in Japan, they have been proven to put muscle on people as old as 104 by tricking the brain into releasing more circulating growth hormone to the spot where the exercise is happening and also throughout the entire body. They are also used by Navy SEALS and Rangers both for rehabilitation and while on deployment, as well as Olympic gold medalists and athletes from multiple countries around the world. 

TrueDarks (glasses & dots for road warriors) - 

Want to give the gift of better sleep and higher performance? Then look no further than blue-light blocking glasses to stop having junk light mess up your circadian rhythm by blocking your production of melatonin, the sleep hormone. The glasses come with lenses that are either amber (partial blocking) or red (full blocking) and both have little inserts that you can have made in your eyeglass prescription. They are brilliant on an airplane where you can't control the light you're exposed to but they also increase the amount of deep sleep you get if you wear them in the last hour before bed. ($99 each or on special now for $129 for both).  If you have a loved one who travels a lot, I can also highly recommend the TrueDark Dots, which are basically re-stickable dots that cover those annoying lights in hotel rooms emitted by TV's, phones and touch-screen control panels. They will never have to sleep in a room that is lit up like a cockpit ever again, with the same deep sleep and enhanced next day performance benefits of the TrueDark glasses. (US$20)

Nuface Trinity with red light attachment 

The NuFace personal electrical stimulation device has been around for years now, loved by Hollywood celebs like Jennifer Aniston, but last year they released an FDA-cleared infrared, amber and red LED attachment head for the NuFace Trinity handheld that allows you to increase collagen production and reduce wrinkles. An ex-Shiseido skin researcher I know told me that in order for these to be effective at reversing wrinkles, the red LED's have got to touch the skin, so this fits the bill. Each wrinkle will need to be targeted with 3-minute blasts of light, but done on a regular basis 5 times a week, the women in your life should see results in 8 weeks. It's also portable enough to take on holiday and does not have to be used only on the face, but can also target old scars elsewhere. In the UK, the basic Trinity costs £300 at SpaceNK, with the red LED attachment head costing an additional £135. That's about the cost of a few facials in an upmarket salon, so a good at-home investment. (£435)

The Five-Minute Journal 

I've been using this journal for the last year and find it to be a great set-up for the day and wind-down to my evenings. The principle is simple: spend 5 minutes (usually less) every morning expressing gratitude for 3 things in your life and then move on to 3 things that would make that day amazing. Read the inspirational quote, close book and get on with your day. That evening, open up to your morning commentary and reflect: what 3 amazing things happened? What could you have done better? Job done! Go to sleep and let your subconscious work away while you sleep. No matter what, identifying 3 things for which you are grateful or that made your day, triggers endorphins, the body's natural pain-killers, and serotonin which is the body's natural anti-depressant. For only £19 including shipping, what's not to be happy about? 

 

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How to Stay Focused and Healthy When Working from Home?

As part of my Consulting work, I recently completed a gig where I was based at home for 3 weeks out of every month.  I’ve had previous gigs where there has been an element of working from home but not one where working from home was the standard way of working.

A number of people hate the thought of working from home and can find it isolating and distracting.  However, if you can make it work for you it can give you a huge amount of time back each day and strike a balance between work and personal life.

Whether you work from home on an occasional basis or full time, here are some ways to stay focused and healthy while working from home:

Be clear on your intentions for the day and what you need to get done, what your work priorities are and when you get it done. When at home it’s tempting to extend your working day to make up for what you haven’t done during your working day.  You’ll end up beating yourself up and will be miserable

Set a clear transition for when you finish work or like point 1, you’ll extend your working day to do more.  Shut down your computer and transition to a different activity which signifies the end of your day such as exercise, going for a walk or playing with your children.

Get moving. You’ll be surprised how much you move when travelling to and from work and moving around an office building.  You need to replicate the movement to prevent yourself from becoming sedentary.  I’d recommend that you:

  1. Purchase a standing desk

  2. Take phone calls standing up

  3. Go for a walk

Keep away from the fridge. It’s going to be tempting to snack but avoid the temptation to consume junk.  If you’re a snacker, make sure you have something healthy at hand and make sure it’s not something that will deplete your energy such as sugary snacks.

Use an internet blocking tool such as abc, and add in the sites that make you distracted such as the social media favourites (Facebook, Twitter), Netflix and News sites.  This will help keep you focused and stop you from getting distracted

Use the time you save from your commute to do something that you want to do but haven’t had time for; such as learning something new or a side project.

Use noise cancelling headphones to stop sounds around the home to distract you, especially when the children arrive home from school.

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The ring that helps me to perform better

I have owned the Oura Ring for a couple of months now, and it has generated a great deal of both interest and intrigue among a lot of people. It has created a substantial step change in my performance.

What does the Oura ring do?

It has three distinct but important functions:

  1. Tracks Your Activity levels (similar to a Fitbit or Apple Watch)
  2. Tracks Your Sleep (includes awake time, light sleep, REM sleep and deep sleep)
  3. Tracks Your Readiness (so that you can face a demanding or hard day ahead)

Activity Levels

  • Activity Score - how active you have been today and over the previous seven days
  • Activity Burn - kilocalories burned by daily movement and exercise
  • Stay Active - how much you're been moving around
  • Move Every Hour - how well you've managed to avoid long periods of inactivity in the past 24 hours
  • Meet daily targets - how often you've reached your daily targets over the past 7 days
  • Training Frequency - how often medium+ activity over the past 7 days
  • Training volume - how much medium+ activity over the past 7 days
  • Recovery Time - how many easier days do you allow yourself
  • Activity Target - the ring gives you a minimum daily activity target based on your age, gender and daily readiness
  • Total Burn - your total daily energy expenditure from all activities
     

 

 

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Sleep

  • Sleep Score - overall measurement on how you slept last night
  • Resting HR - the number of times your heart beats per minute when you've slept
  • Total Sleep - the total amount of time you spent in REM, light and deep sleep
  • Efficiency - measurement of sleep quality and its the percentage of time you actually spend asleep after going to bed
  • Disturbances - caused by wake-ups and get-ups and restless time during your sleep
  • REM Sleep - (rapid eye movement) - essential role in re-energizing your mind and body
  • Deep Sleep - the most restorative and rejuvenating sleep stage, enabling muscle growth and repair
  • Sleep Latency - the time it take you to fall asleep
  • Sleep Timing - the time you get to bed
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Readiness

  • Readiness - helps you identify the days that are ideal for challenging yourself and those that are better for taking it easy
  • Resting Heart Rate - the number of times your heart beats per minute when you are at rest
  • Previous Night - how well you slept the previous night
  • Sleep Balance - if the sleep you have had over the last two weeks is meeting your needs
  • Previous Day - the level of physical activity you did yesterday
  • Activity Balance - how your activity level over the past few days is impacting your readiness
  • Body temperature - variations in your body temperature at night
  • Recovery Index - how long it take for your resting heart rate to stabilise ay night
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The changes it has introduced in me:

  1. I have replaced my Apple watch with the Oura Ring. This is a shocking revelation for those who know me because I am a self-confessed Apple fanboy. This made the Apple Watch redundant.
  2. I get poor deep sleep and given this is restorative sleep, I'm working hard to address this.
  3. I am keeping an eye on my regular movement. According to the Oura Ring, I need to walk 9km per day to hit my target, which is approximately 13,000 steps.
  4. I bought a standing desk to keep myself from sitting down all day.
  5. I am researching my heart rate variability score and on the best ways to improve it
  6. I am very conscious on how hard I push myself. If my readiness score is low, I do everything to take things easier and not go overboard with work. 
  7. I've noticed that there is a correlation between body temperature, sleep and if I'm feeling unwell.  I noticed that my body temperature shot up when I was bitten by an insect.

 

What would I change?

  • HRV measuring during the day
  • Improved algorithm for movement - to differentiate between standing and sitting
  • A smaller form factor
  • More battery capacity – to prevent charging each day, which only takes about 30 mins
  • Ability to record sleep notes (coming soon)

 

Verdict

It’s an excellent device that has made a significant difference to the things that I’m currently focused on.  Yes, it may be a little bulky and self-conscious for some but the payoff is perfectly worth it for the data and useful advice

You can order the ring at www.ouraring.com

You can learn more about the Oura Ring from their CEO Petteri Lahteala on this podcast:

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Is Modafinil the new wonder drug?

Nootropics (smart drugs) are becoming an increasingly popular way to boost your cognitive performance, increase memory and give your brain a super boost.

Modafinil is not so new, is prevalent in Silicone Valley and is quickly becoming the smart drug of choice for many student.  As reported by the Telegraph in 2005, 25% of students in the top UK universities were taking Modafinil on a regular basis and those who didn't felt that they were missing an edge.

Modafinil is illegal to purchase in many countries but it's not illegal to take; it, therefore, falls into the ‘grey market’ category.  It’s normally purchased via India and a quick search on Reddit will bring up the reliable and trustworthy suppliers.  Interestingly, a recent article in the Independent calls for Modafinil to may made available more widely in the UK.

It took me a while to decide whether to try Modafinil or not.  I have ever taken a recreation drug or even smoked and don't advocate taking drugs.  It was a difficult decision for me to try something that was in a grey zone.

What changed my mind?

Dave Asprey, the founder of Bulletproof who used Modafinil every day for 8 years to boost his brain and juggle a full time job along with an MBA.  It also helped turn on his brain again after years of toxic bold exposure any limes disease. 

So, what is it that makes this ‘grey’ market nootropic so popular?

Modafinil increases dopamine release which increases focus, problem-solving, mood and wakefulness.  It’s not a stimulant that will distract you, it's not addictive but gives you a crazy amount of focus.

When you take Modafinil, it needs to be in the morning because it has a half-life of 15 hours, so it will keep you awake at night if you don’t take it first thing in the morning, i.e., at 7 am.

If you have any issues with Ibuprofen or other NSAIDs, then don’t touch them.  If you have any concerns, remember to consult a functional medical practitioner. Also, be mindful of the fact that Modafinil does not work for everybody and some people are non-responders based on their genetic profile.

 

How has my own experience been?

 

The upside:

  • Crazy focus – I could get lost for hours on a project and get so much work done.
  • Ability to push through tiredness – I did not get tired when pushing through a long day, such as working from 8 am to 10 pm to clear a backlog.
  • When I've had disturbed sleep,  a tiring day or jet lag, it has enabled me to perform at the level that I needed to.
  • It makes you want to keep busy and do things, which is especially good if you have a stack of work that you’ve been putting off or some mind-numbingly boring tasks.

The downside:

  • I needed a glass of wine to ‘wind down’ at the end of the day and help drift off to sleep.
  • The next day, I felt tired, not as productive and needed to prioritise rest.
  • On some occasions, it  made me a little jittery and anxious.  Though not in a bad way,  it was noticeable.
  • I found that I was a little less patient and not as empathetic as I usually was, this was again not in a bad way but it was noticeable.

The verdict:

Modafinil is something that I take only when I need it and when I do, I get powerful effects.  However, the impact that it has on me the next day makes me feel that it’s not something that I would want to take on a regular basis as I want a smooth and consistent level of performance.

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Eating so that you feel Bulletproof

As part of my own personal journey, eating a Bulletproof diet has been one of the most important aspects along with meditation.  Dialling in your diet will provide you with a massive boost in energy and is a real cornerstone for peak performance.

I’m also conscious that there is so much dietary advice out there and people fiercely defend their own dietary views.  You’ve probably heard the saying that at a dinner party you should never discuss religion, politics or sex – I’d like to add diet to the list  :o)

This is something that works well for me and I’m aware that it won’t appeal to everybody.

So, what is the Bulletproof Diet?

Simply, it can be summarised as:

  • low carbohydrates, moderate protein, high healthy fats and lots of green vegetables
  • eat food that makes you feel great and avoid food that deplete your energy
  • eat between 2pm and 8pm each day – see blog post on intermittent fasting

You may have come across the Paleo diet which is focused on how our ancestors ate but Bulletproof focuses on anti-aging and cognitive performance:

  • Food quality - nutrient dense, high quality foods that feed your body at a cellular level
  • Food processing – how your food is prepared and cooked is vitally important.  Charred food produces HCAs and PAFs, which can damage DNA once they are metabolised.

As part of the diet, you should avoid the following foods:

  • Sugar -  it will spike your insulin, make you hungry and drag you out of peak performance.  Replace sugar with healthy fats
  • Gluten - oh no your thinking, here's another Gluten avoider for no good reason.  Gluten is proven to impact your performance and whilst it's difficult to give up wheat, the performance boost is worth it
  • Grains- anti-nutrients are common in most grains (lectins, mold toxins and phytates)
  • Vegetable oils (canola, corn, peanut, sunflower, soybean) – they cause inflammation and are unstable and easily oxidise when cooking and when in your body.  They are high in omega-6s which damage your DNA and don’t support optimal brain metabolism. 
  • Dairy – the pasteurisation process alters the protein in milk (casein) so that it is difficult for humans to process.  Many people think they are lactose intolerant (sugar in milk) when they are actually have trouble processing casein.   Casein and gluten are similar at a molecular level.
  • Synthetic additives including aspartame, MSG and artificial flavouring – MSG causes the neurotransmitters in your brain to miss-fire and aspartame which is found in diet drinks has no place in your diet – I don’t want to scaremonger but just Google it and see what comes up!
  • Legumes such as peanuts, lentils and beans – many people have issues with lechtins which are found in grains, legumes, beans and nightshade vegetables.  It’s worth keeping a close eye on how you respond to these and avoid them if you have brain fog or feel bloated
  • Limit fruit to one serving per day to avoid unnecessary carbs – and consume in the evening.
  • Farmed fish – avoid it at all costs.  For example, farmed salmon is about 5 times more toxic than any other food tested – this is truly shocking.  Fish farming uses a lot of pesticides and antibiotics.  The pellet feed is also high in toxic pollutants.
  • Factory farmed grain-fed meat – mass produced meet is fed crap, high levels of antibiotics and grains.  The nutrient density is low and the toxins the animal eats is stored in its fat stores, which we then eat.
  • No processed foods – for all of the reasons mentioned above

So … what can I eat your probably thinking?

  1. Lots of organic green vegetables
  2. Grass fed meat, including beef, lamb, pork, turkey and chicken
  3. Wild caught low mercury seafood
  4. Eat healthy fats such as grass-fed butter, grass fed ghee, Brain Octane oil, coconut oil and avocados

Check out the Bulletproof diet food map, stick to the green foods and avoid the red ones.

BulletproofRoadmap_Rebrand_outlined720.jpg

You can download it here:

Why do I eat Bulletproof?

  1. It gives me a massive amount of energy everyday
  2. It keeps me focused
  3. My mood has improved
  4. It helps with weight loss
  5. Eating this way, along with intermittent fasting will help me avoid a number of autoimmune and neurological diseases.

If you wish to find out more about the Bulletproof Diet:

Benefits of Bulletproof Diet & how to get started

 

The Bulletproof Diet – Dave Asprey

 

The Bulletproof Cookbook – Dave Asprey

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