Habits vs. Homeostasis

Length: 4500 words

Executive summary: This post is about habits; not habits in general, but my particular habits in areas such as food, sleep, exercise, learning, alcohol, leisure and work.

When, how and why do I do what I do, and are there any general takeaways for you?

In short, I recommend you focus on sleep, food and everyday movement and exercise; and the rest will take care of itself.

Create a good solid drum beat of healthy and natural habits, and lead a varied, lateral life, ad libbing with moderate extremes, while following your natural tendency to explore, recognize patterns, learn new things and solve problems.

Habits


Good habits are bad too

Even good habits are a form of homeostasis; stagnation. Sometimes it’s not even possible to objectively tell which habits are good and which are bad. It’s one of those “how long is a piece of string?” issues.

E.g., it might be better for me to stop lifting weights, and I consider it every now and then, but just can’t do it.

That said, it still seems to be easier to slip into bad habits, such as sitting for several hours per day, watching blue-tinted screens before bed-time, or eating junk food.

I, however am quite unbiased in my habit-forming. Yes, I admit that is one of very few things that actually is a bit unusual about me.

Anyway, I’ve been asked about my particular habits, why I stick to them, and how they were formed to begin with. So, with the caveat that my habits are not optimal in any way, and that different strings work for different things, here goes…

 

Sleep

I go to bed around 11:30 pm and fall asleep at midnight. I typically wake up a little before 8 am, after slightly less than 8 hours of sleep. In the summertime I sometimes wake up for a bathroom break at 5-6, due to the sunrise but I go right back to sleep afterward.

I often spend time on my computer until right before going to bed, but that’s okay, since my “lights out” time is midnight. Blue light screens like TV sets, computers and most mobile devices trick the body into believing it’s day time.

I read a little on my Kindle Paperwhite e-reader from Amazon every night, aiming for falling asleep close to midnight. If I nod off three times while reading, I just hit off, drop the book, close my eyes and fall asleep exactly as I lay reading (on my side).

My bedroom is dark and cool, to mimic a prehistoric African night.

I sleep in my underwear and with my feet outside the covers (and outside the bed) to keep them particularly cool.

Restless Legs Syndrome Is No Joke

I live alone, but my dog Ronja has her bed right next to mine. If I need some extra oxytocin (calmness and bonding hormone), I can just put my hand down and pet her.

Sometimes I micro meditate for a minute or two, mentally going through my body parts until I fall asleep.

Ronja feb 27 2016

I’ve written more about sleep optimization, the how and the why here. In this post I’m focusing on the over-arching habit structure.

One thing to keep in mind, though, is that sleeping well affects your health, your willpower, your ability to stick to healthy routines, your general life balance, your level of stress and anxiety, which in turn affect your sleep.

Hence, you want to make sleeping part of a synergistic process, instead of a vicious cycle:

Sleeping poorly affects your income, your health and your happiness. To counter the effects you might turn to drugs (caffeine, tobacco, alcohol or cocaine), which only make matters worse. Perhaps it’s time to ditch the nasty habit of bringing your smartphone into bed, or at least install an app for red-tinting the screen.

Another way of fixing your sleep is by fixing your life and health first…

 

Exercise

I work out every second day, spending two and a half hours per session in the gym.

After my morning walk with the dog, I head for the gym. I warm up on the treadmill for 15-20 minutes and then lift weights.

 

This year I’ve been following one of Sheiko’s strength training programs for bench press, squat and deadlift. Including 10 sets extra for biceps after the ordinary program, I spend around 2 hours on the strength and hypertrophy exercises.

What’s almost magical with Sheiko’s program is the undulating/periodisation of intensity and range of exercises within exercises (!), within sessions, between sessions, between weeks and between longer time blocks. The variation is good both for the muscles and make training more fun.

A very good reason for exercising is that it releases the BDNF substance, which makes you smarter (neurogenesis; birth, growth and plasticity of neurons) or happier (BDNF controls depression more than cognition in some people). Maybe BDNF is connected to the experience of stress relief from the day’s constant pressure to fight or flight as well. Or that’s an added benefit.

 

You are a smoker; you just don’t know it yet

Exercise makes you healthier as well of course. Not least, exercise gets you up on your feet…

I’m sure you’ve heard that “sitting is the new smoking”. Already after 20-25 minutes of sitting, bad and weird things happen in your body, with fat and muscle tissues exchanging unhealthy signal substances, blood vessels becoming more inflammation prone etc. It’s almost as if sitting was a signal of dying back in the day when we normally roamed the savannas.

It’s difficult to do really deep work for 90 minutes, if you have to move around for two minutes every 25 minutes (the Pomodoro method may have something to it) but it might still be worth it. Just don’t look at your phone during your breaks. By the way, I stand at least half the time I’m on my computer.

Anyway, my routine is that I work out for 2.5 hours every second day, of which 15-20 minutes is cardiovascular exercise. (it used to be 12 minutes sharp, but I’ve recently expanded the allotted time).

In addition, I go for 3 dog walks every day, 1 hour each, sometimes more, depending on who I meet in the park. The walks are very low intensity but I’m up on my feet, i.e., not sitting, and moving around for 3-4 hours a day. And that, my friend, is what will keep both my brain and body inflammation and alzheimer’s free until I’m 150, as opposed to “office sitters” who can’t expect to remember their own children by the age of 75.

In addition, I listen to science podcasts and do some power posing while out on my dog walks.

But enough about me, I don’t recommend my extreme lifestyle unless you are in the same situation as I am.

You don’t need to walk as much as I do. What you should focus on is never sitting down for more than 90 minutes straight, without taking 5 minutes for some brisk walking (or burpees, but that would be aiming too high in my book). That is both practical and has long term benefits at the same time. Besides, walking outside the box often opens up new perspectives and resolves issues with being stuck mentally.

Finally, I do a set of 5-10 mobility exercises around 5-10 minutes a week, and micro meditate (just taking a deep breath, e.g., or touching a surface mindfully).

 

Learning

I subscribe to 26 podcasts which more or less are all about science or economics, and are all intellectually challenging. I also subscribe to numerous science channels on YouTube, and regularly read scientific and economy blogs, journals and newsletters. I don’t watch the news, read regular newspapers, watch typical TV-shows etc. I do watch certain select TV-series and movies though, and I really like going to the cinema for the best movies.

Yesterday I watched Allegiant (2016):I

I listen to the podcasts when walking my dog (3 times a day, in total some 3-4 hours a day). Moving around helps both focusing, understanding and learning. The rest of the material described above, I consume at home, sometimes while doing mobility exercises.

podcasts

Oh, and I take notes in longhand, which forces me to process the information while writing (rather than taking verbatim notes in shorthand or on a device). In addition, I write about what I learn (Evernote, Twitter, e-book, blogs, Facebook etc., even Periscope sometimes), which further enhances my understanding and learning.

 

Food

The choice of food ties in closely to the sleep, exercise and learning complex. Duh, its life.

I do intermittent fasting every day. 8 hours of eating between 1 and 9 pm and 16 hours of fasting the rest of the time.

It’s good for me. For you. For everything (age, Alzheimer’s, cancer, inflammation…) Google it. I’ve been doing it for several years, since I learned about it from Martin Berkhan (leangains).

Actually, it’s not true. The last few months I’ve reduced my fasting, in order to focus more on strength gains. Now I typically have a protein shake earlier than 1 p.m. and one later than 9 p.m. In addition, I eat breakfast before going to the gym, which means around 10 am. So, I guess I’m not fasting at all anymore…, even if I still fast more than I eat, but perhaps 13:11 on average instead of 16:8.

Hello! “fasting” for 12 hours overnight is just called sleeping…


 

So, what and when do I eat, when I eat?

breakfast I

First meal

I turned flexitarian two years ago (for ethical reasons only). At the time I ate meat (land living or poultry) every day. I had fish every day as well, but the important distinction is that in September 2014, I decided to significantly limit my consumption of beef, pork, lamb, chicken and other land dwelling mammals and birds.

It began as just one day, but turned into 30 days straight. Since then I’ve relaxed my new habit a little and I probably have some kind of meat once a week or so, or with 3-5% of my meals. I’m hoping for and investing in alternative food sources like insects, algae and bio printing.

I get up at 8 and drink a large glass of water (I keep it by the bed in case I get thirsty in the middle of the night… which never happens, so I drink it in the morning instead).

veggo burger

veggo burgers

New habit: morning drink. Now, that I’m trying to gain weight and have relaxed my fasting routine, I mix (and drink) about an ounce (30g) of whey powder with about an ounce of olive oil and water and then go out for an hour’s walk with Ronja.

During my waking hours, if I’m at home, I have a drink like that every three hours, unless I’m eating a real meal at the time. Sometimes I have one with my meal anyway. My reasons for this routine are as follows:

1) There is no use eating protein more often than every 3 hours, but every 3 hours, protein should boost net muscle growth

2) whey protein is digested very quickly. Hence, having more than some 30g at a time will be burnt for fuel rather than used for building muscle

3) I want to eat a little more than 2g/kg (4.5g/lb) body weight of protein a day, or approximately 210g of protein. That takes 7 meals at a 30g clip to accomplish

4) spaced 3h apart I need to start eating at 8 am and stop at 11 pm, with at least one meal getting 2x30g of protein.

When eating “real” food, that takes longer to break down than whey, it’s no problem wolfing down more than 30g of protein, so I typically have a total of 40-60g of protein with lunch and dinner.

I eat three meals a day, breakfast around 10 am – 1 pm, post workout or lunch around 2-3 pm and dinner around 8 pm, often complemented by a final whey drink at 9 pm. Now, that I’m “bulking” I often have one more drink right before bed-time, around 11 pm.

A typical breakfast consists of 5-6 fried eggs, half a can of beans (usually black or kidney) and some spinach and kale. And a cup of coffee. Another typical breakfast is 100g of oatmeal (cooked to porridge with half a liter of water) and some whey.

I season my eggs, my whey drinks, my beans, most about everything, with turmeric, cinnamon, oregano, chili and black pepper. The last month I’ve sprinkled Spirulina algae from Simris Alg on top of my food and drinks as well.

Lunch and dinner are typically variations on the same theme, and not seldom the exact same thing: Some kind of pan fried fish (salmon or cod) with broccoli, haricot verts and beans, potatoes, pasta or rice.

I know, I don’t have much imagination when it comes to food. I actually don’t rule anything out (unless it’s been kidnapped, like cattle, pigs, chicken and sheep). I have no problem eating bread, butter, cream, snacks, gluten or whatever you can think if, I just never buy it or make it myself.

fish

My recipe: Fish. Boil it.

I often eat too little carbs and thus have to force feed it to myself sometimes. It can take the form of a leftover cold boiled potato from the fridge, muesli/müsli with milk, or crispbread sandwiches. Or alcohol… If I know I’m going out for a drink later, I don’t feel the same need to chase carbs for lunch or dinner, since I know I’ll get some later anyway. To make up for the lack of carbs I consume about 1 dl (3 oz) of olive oil every week.

One more thing, I drink a liter/a quart of milk right after my workout sessions. The timing of protein isn’t that important, I hear, but I’m thirsty anyway, and it’s usually 4 hours since my last meal, so I figure it can’t hurt.

As a rule I shy away from vitamins and other supplements.

Anti-oxidants, e.g., have been shown to cause damage, if eaten as supplements instead of as whole fruits, berries and vegetables. Hence, I eat a varied and colorful natural diet of whole foods instead. I add various red and blue berries, as well as leafy greens and spices to my whey drinks. My diet of milk, beans and lemons (to the fish) add further to my intake of vitamins, minerals, fibers ant anti-oxidants. Check out this article for more details on what I eat, rather than when.

However, living in Sweden, I do eat a vitamin-D supplement of 4000 IE (100 ug) a day between September and April. I also have a pill of lactic acid bacteria every day (Biogaia’s Lactobacillus Reuteri product Protectis) to help my little friends in the gastrointestinal tract stay varied and healthy. I also supplement my food with fish oil from Arctic Med (and right now also with the cleaner and more sustainable, albeit more expensive, algae based omega-3 oil from Simris Alg).

omega-3

Supplements, fasting and saunas: All three supplements help reduce inflammation, strengthen the immune defence system, speed up recovery after injury, stress, illness, exertion etc., as well as in general reduce a lot of modern welfare diseases and vague symptoms of stress and weakness. As does fasting by the way (including reduce the risk of cancer it seems).

Hot saunas are a fifth miracle cure in the same vein:

Bonus: Link to Tim Ferriss and Dr Rhonda on saunas

(No, I’m not providing any other references; google it, check out examine.com, listen to the Discovery podcast etc.)

Most of all I think about creating a good environment for my microbiome, my bacteria. After all, they account for more than 99% of my genetic material and are probably the ones controlling my behavior anyway. I care for the ones living on me as well as in me…

 

Hygiene and grooming

I shower every second day (after gym), or if necessary (a particularly hot day, before a date, after swimming in a lake).

I scrub my heels and big toe briefly every time I take a shower, and apply a fat foot cream afterward. I use the same cream morning and night as well, to keep my feet soft and supple. I doctor friend of mine once said that bacteria living in heel cracks have been associated with Alzheimer’s. Be that as it may, nice feet are nice.

I use a combined hair and body wash in the shower, but I don’t wash my face with anything but water (I rinse my face carefully morning, evening and when showering).

Afterward I use lotion on my face (from Bulldog), and apply a mild deodorant (Nivea or Bulldog) before taking care of my feet with foot cream.

When I’m done I spray some after shave/eau de cologne on the back of my neck (currently Armani Code Ice or Bvlgari Man in Black, if you care at all).

I shave when I have to or when meeting people, appearing on TV etc. On average I shave about every second or third day or so. I use an electric shaver – it’s convenient and I don’t have to use any product on my skin that might kill off the good bacteria residing there.

I don’t use any hair products, but I do rub off some excess lotion in my hair, to make it slightly shiny and easier to shape.

Sometimes I can get a pimple after partying. I try to refrain from touching it, but every once in a while I can’t resist the urge to squeeze it (especially if I’m meeting someone the next day), using some protective tissue and very clean hands. Depending on the damage, I sometimes (rarely) apply alcohol or zinc paste afterward (or instead of squeezing).

I brush my teeth when I get up, after breakfast, before seeing someone and after the last meal of the day. I floss (J&J) thoroughly a few times a week.

Once a week or so I indulge in a hot sauna at home, sometimes throwing myself in the snow on the balcony. I keep a book for reading, and a water proof notepad (that I got from Ludvig Sunström) for taking notes in the sauna. 

 

Leisure, socializing and alcohol

I don’t work, I spend a lot of time with my dog (and other dog owners) and in the gym, and I’m a bit of a loner.

Consequently, I don’t spend much time seeing other people (except in the dog park or nodding curtly and manly to fellow weight lifters).

When I do see my friends, alcohol is often involved. It could be a wet lunch, dinner and party, a house party or during travels (I have a few recurring party vacations every year).

All in all, however, I socialize so rarely it can hardly count as part of my daily, weekly or even monthly habits. Somehow, I still manage to find an occasion about twice a month on average to go all in on the juice of the devil. Perhaps I should learn to hold off just a little, but it’s just sooo much fun to get drunk, goof around, party, dance, surf on Spotify, YouTube or the internet in general, climb things, talk about life etc.

I didn’t drink until I turned 18, so I do have some experience of partying and dancing sober, but it feels way more fun and natural with alcohol than without. Perhaps a warning sign, but I’ll start heeding that a little further down the road… (the “I don’t have a problem” fallacy)

 

Working and writing

Finally we’ve come to my raison d’être: my writing.

I don’t work the (Wall) street for money anymore, and I don’t write for money either; just for fun. The question for the day, however, is when and how I go about it, not why.

I use an app called RescueTime to keep track of how I spend my time at the computer. If you’re looking for productivity you should look elsewhere, if that app is any reliable. I manage to accumulate just 1-2 hours a day of desirable work (blogging, writing on my next book, answering comments etc.) and a little more than that on “distractions” like social networks – of which Twitter is the “worst”.

Lately I’ve been spending as much as on hour a day on weekdays on my trading platform as well (up from 1-5 minutes a day a year ago; no doubt an effect of talking to day traders on Twitter all day).

It’s hard to objectively discern between productive and distracting activities, but one thing is clear, I don’t spend much time producing quality and lasting content, and too much on indulging in online socializing.

I’m useless and hideous; don’t look at me!

(I don’t write enough, I just tweet my life away)

Well, it’s my choice right now to focus more on learning, weight lifting and relaxing, working based on inspiration (otherwise a no-no among culture workers), rather than having set time or productivity goals (hours or words per day, e.g.).

working

OK, let’s get down to concrete numbers and times.

I don’t write before working out, and I don’t write before let’s say 5 pm after working out and walking the dog. As a rule, I don’t write after dinner or the late dog walk either, which leaves about two hours between 5-7 pm for writing on gym days. Right now, I’m closing in on the end of exactly such a writing window.

On workout free days, there is in theory much more time to write, but I often eat more slowly, brush my teeth or floss watching TV, spend more time on Twitter and my trading platform, or reading articles on Kurzweil, Hussman, Singularity Hub, ZeroHedge, Contrarian Edge, Financial Orbit, HORAN, James Clear, Wall Street Playboys, Barking, Raptitude, Wait But Why, Danger & Play, Start Gaining Momentum, various Swedish and international exercise and nutrition blogs (Styrkelabbet, Hjärnfysikbloggen, Tyngre, Träningslära, Träna Styrka etc.)

In effect, I torturously manage to squeeze in an hour between 1-3 pm before dog walk nr 2, and another hour or two between 4-6pm, and finally, if needed 1-3 hours late in the evening between 8-12 pm.

Funny thing: I’m actually a little worried of getting too caught up in my writing, becoming obsessed and stop socializing altogether. At the same time I worry about not producing enough; that I’ll “wake up” in the future and think I squandered my life on dog walks and tweeting.

Well, all things considered, things are the way they are because I’m happy with them – both in the moment and when taking stock of my accomplishments a few times a year. Yesterday’s “hard” decision was saying no to a wet lunch, in order to write this. “Too asocial or writing too little?”, well how long is that bleeding string?!

 

Life and habits summarized

Good habits are good to have (“Oh, thank you Sprezza, for dispersing such wisdom”); they make you healthier and more productive, without spending any willpower.

On the other hand it’s easy to get married to your habits and suboptimize life; climbing just one hill, and the nearest hill at that, instead of several, more interesting and higher hills elsewhere*. The string measuring habits and homeostasis is of unknown length, as with all interesting things in life.

* life achievements; not mounting or conquering other *ehm* things

Life needs both routine and variation, just like a Sheiko strength training program, with intensity and choice of activity undulations.

In Gödel|Escher|Bach, Hofstadter explores recursivity (self-reference) in music, math and music; and finds beauty and intelligence in the complex, half-chaotic space between the monotone and the completely disordered.

That’s where you want to be as well, exposing yourself to moderate extremes (convexity*) of all kinds (food, exercise, focused work, socializing…), albeit with a recurring healthy underlying bass rhythm – like a Bach fugue, Sheiko’s program or the starting values of Mandelbrot’s fractals.

*That word – convexity – has vexed me my entire life. I don’t think it fits with pictures of convex items.

 

Final summary

OK, let’s get practical and focus on what you can do instead of what I happen do be doing

Foster an underlying drum beat of habits supporting physiological and mental health; a base line you always fall back to after other ventures like traveling or partying. The bass should be strong enough not to be derailed by simple things such as after works, dating or friends visiting town.

Aim for a “natural” set-up of daily everyday exercise and whole foods, rather than compensating sitting all day with gym class in the evening and then back to sitting again. Or pills instead of fruits, berries, beans and leafy greens. Eat real food with lots of color instead of relying on pills.

Engage your large muscle groups (legs, back, abs) for a few minutes at least once an hour. You’ll be much better of than if sitting all day and spending an hour on aerobics after work. Stand at your desk if you can, and take walking meetings instead of sitting (you’ll think better as well).

Read and listen to new things as often as possible. Cut out the daily news of your information flow. It’s not real anyway. Find better, more objective and to the point sources of information than digesting the same entertainment and propaganda in newspapers and on TV over and over again.

Create an environment, and foster habits, for sleeping well.

Sleep, food and physical activity (sex definitely counts) are the pillars of life

Then comes curiosity, pattern recognition and problem solving (you need them to find the first three, and you need those to keep going). The rest is more or less noise (though I do get that you need to finance your food, roof and bed somehow; just at least try to consistently tilt the balance more and more toward what really matters).

I have a whole other line of reasoning ready; from an individual’s starting condition of reactive “self” with limited free will, effects of external stimuli and pressure that nudges his development in a certain direction, which turns ideas into habits, which in time internalize and form a new self, partaking in and enjoying different activities and with just as little truly free will.

With the right guidance, your future self can be a healthy, wealthy productivity machine, but your experience of it will be effortless and sprezzaturian, almost with the perception of living day to day governed by whims of lust.

Perhaps it’s just me.

Anyway, the subject of self and free will (and consciousness and math as well perhaps) is for another day. Or year.

Please share this article with somebody you want to be quiet for 20 minutes :)

And, if you are new here, remember to subscribe to my free and spam-free newsletter and read my first e-book “The Retarded Hedge Fund Manager”, about my time managing The European Hedge Fund Of The Decade.

The one best cold prevention that keeps getting ignored

Just One More (drop of oil)

-or how I stopped getting colds 9 years ago, and increased my bench press by over 25% to 310 lbs

 

“Just one more” -That’s my mantra, my “indulgence cum discipline” maxim, my reminder of just getting going, always prototyping, always improving & growing, one of the pillars of my Always Be Investing way of life.

 

The one thing that matters above all else is your health

Please note before reading this article that you will be exposed to a lot of semi nude pictures of yours truly, not to mention completely unabashed plugging of my affiliate link to an Omega-3 supplement outfit.

 

There is one thing that stands out among my self improvement and investing life hacks, in terms of bang for the buck (yes, there is actual banging, but also bucks – about one a day): Omega-3 Oil from ArcticMed.

It will make you stronger, prettier, smarter, healthier, prevent cancer, live longer and not least prevent inflammations and common colds. The reason it has all these effects is that Omega-3 oil optimizes and strengthens every single cell in the body.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself…

 

When did you get a cold?

Last winter? The year before that? The average person gets a cold every second year, so you’re not that different. But is average enough for you, if there is a simple solution?

I had a sore throat in 2006. That’s 9 years ago. And it’s me in the pic below…

 

Omega3 oil from ArcticMed

40+ managing director on liquid oil Omega-3

Got your attention yet?

 

Nothing magical here, just science

I’m actually not an anomaly, I used to get 2-3 colds a year like everybody else (probably more so, due to leading a life on the edge with travelling, partying, working out etc.), but now it’s been almost a decade since I last had a fever or a sore throat.

Before 2006, every time I upped my workout sessions a cold would follow. Every time I had a few too many nights out, I would get the sniffles and shivers for a week.

Yep, that’s right, during 14-21 days a year I had a fever, a sore throat, felt cold and weak and missed workouts. I thought that was the way life was – at least for a finance worker (long hours, lots of wine and champagne, and then hard partying during the short vacations to wind down).

To make bad things worse, between 2000 and 2006 I was slowly getting weaker (inevitably due to old age, I thought), and even had to cut down on the number of workout sessions per week from 5 to 4 to 3 one-hour sessions, and was just about to go down to just 2 workouts per week, as I was constantly feeling over trained.

Once I started drinking Omega-3 oil, I soon gave up the idea of reducing to 2 workouts/week, and after 6 months I felt an urge to increase my load to 4 times/week instead. Now, for social reasons, I’m down at 3.5/week but 2 hours per session instead of 1h/session, meaning I’m working out more than double the amount I used to before oil.

 

The turning point, natural bottled Omega-3 oil supplement

Then I made three changes, instead of 100% meat, I switched to 50% fish. I started chewing probiotics, and a little later, I commenced drinking Omega-3 oil from ArcticMed (affiliate link, I don’t get paid but I get reduced prices on oil, if you order enough)

All the advice on the internet touts the same remedies: vitamin-C, wash your hands, sleep, don’t drink alcohol, zinc, vitamin-D, and what have you, but hardly ever a word about Omega-3 oil (maybe, just maybe a mention of capsules, which I’ll show are inferior to oil)

 

ArcticMed logo

 

What does Omega-3 actually do?

To start with, you can’t cure the common cold. Once the virus gets access to the cell’s nano machinery in the core, it’s game over and you have to ride it out. No vitamins, minerals, supplements, witchcraft or saunas will help at that point.

If you had taken Omega-3 oil regularly before, the fight against the virus infection will probably be shorter and easier, and many times the infection would never have happened at all. This is how it works:

cell membrane cellmembran omega3 

The cell membrane is like a bag with transportation holes in it, “channels”. The bag is made of Omega-3 and Omega-6 molecules, among other things. The right balance between the two gives the bag just the right properties for the channels to work optimally, i.e., only letting the pre-approved materials pass in and out of the cell. A virus will find it hard to get up close to a cell at all in an Omega-3-balanced body, and even if it does, it will find it more difficult to bore a hole in the membrane and actually infect the cell once there.

All else regarding supplements is more or less noise. The Omega-3-balance really is the alpha and omega of infections, of a strong immune system, of insulin sensitivity, of healthy brain neurons etc.

If you can just get this one thing right, making the cell bags as supple and strong as possible with the right Omega-3 balance, you will have taken a giant leap for bodily (including recovery from injury, DOMS or exhaustion) and mental health. Yes, you heard me right there – it helps against Alzheimers, stroke, ADD and other neurological diseases as well.

Everything else from cinnamon to garlic and breathing techniques when moving in crowded areas etc. affect the junior part of the 80/20 ratio when it comes to preventing infections.

 

Note 1: Fix those cell membranes, the “bags”. These guys:

cellmembran

 

Optimize your Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio

In Europe, people typically have 10 times or more as much Omega-6 as Omega-3. In the US it’s over 20 (and of course much higher for certain areas, levels of education, social groups etc). Indian cities show levels over 40 (!) while the country side is way healthier at 5x. Eskimos, however, are down at 2 or below.

Historically, just a few generations ago, the average human had just 2x as much Omega-6 as Omega-3. And that’s where we find wild animals today. And coincidentally, yours truly (2.0).

ArcticMed has distilled the profile of a kind of “ideal” average person from the very best blood samples among several thousand tested persons. That ideal* person has an Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio of 2.4.

* The average of the 5%, of 9000 tested people, with over 8% Omega-3 index, less than 3:1 in ratio between Omega-6 and Omega-3, and less than 1% trans fat 

ArcticMed has yet to find anybody having too low a 6:3 ratio or too much Omega-3 in their bodies (though I’m pretty close, since I have, e.g., 1.5x the level of DHA than even the “ideal” top 5%), but theoretically, if you have (much) more Omega-3 than Omega-6 (a ratio of less than 1) the cell “bag” might get too loose and floppy.

For simplicity, ArcticMed concludes that a ratio of between 1 and 3 is desirable, 2.0 is optimal, 2.4 is the average of the very best (the 5% of 9000 tested). Any level above 5 should be corrected by changing the diet.

Did I mention I’m at 2.0?

And, I have not had a cold in 9 years, remember? Typically, I would have suffered through 20-30 harsh colds during that interval.

 

It’s not just colds, it’s everything that involves cells. Duh!

The right Omega-3 balance makes every cell in the body work better, communicate better, protect itself better and so on.

The right balance has been associated with (partial) remedies for allergy, asthma, ADHD, ADD, obesity, diabetes, migraine, insomnia, stress related diseases, schizophrenia, lung cancer, stress, serotonin, blood pressure, body temperature, sex, appetite, learning, memory, breast cancer, menopause issues, shortening of telomeres (and thus increased longevity) and restless legs.

And, yes, you’ll become smarter too, not to mention get better skin quality. 

Omega3 oil from ArcticMed

40+ managing director on Omega-3

Please note, that I’m not a medical doctor and can’t be held responsible for any of the above. It’s supposed to be reliable though. Check this link, e.g.

 

Liquid natural fish oil is so much better than capsules

Capsules are for convenience; they don’t taste oil or fish and they are easy to bring on vacations. However, they contain only minuscule amounts of the active components. In many cases you would have to eat 20 capsules a day to reach the same dosage as less than one table spoon of fish oil.

In addition, capsules are sometimes “concentrated”, which means important parts of the wide complex of fatty acids in fish oil has been cut out to make room for more of the two famous key components EPA and DHA. Without the entire complex of fatty acids present, actual delivery to the cells of the key components becomes much less efficient. hence you should eat even more capsules to achieve the same effect.

johannesparken

I like my life convenient

At 40 capsules a day, it’s starting to get quite inconvenient, not to mention expensive.

It’s not only the dosage per se that is an issue. There are other fish oils, apart from ArcticMed’s, on the market which contain the whole FA complex and provide the same dosage as ArcticMed. However, the fatty acids oxidize easier both in the bottle and in the body without extra protection.

ArcticMed scouts Europe every year for the optimal fat soluble anti oxidant rich extra virgin olive oil to mix with its Friend Of The Sea approved fish oil from the south Atlantic to protect it against oxidization. ArcticMed’s fish and olive oil mix withstands 27 hours at 70 degrees Celsius before oxidizing, whereas natural fish oil only lasts a tenth as long (3-4 hours) and the contents of the concentrated capsules less than an hour.

 

Flax seed oil you say? Don’t get me started

In theory the ALA contents of flax seed oil can be converted to Omega-3 in the body. In practice, however, if there isn’t enough Omega-3 to start with, if the balance is off, then the conversion chain is disrupted and more Omega-6 is produced instead! Or something like that, I didn’t quite get all the details down on paper during the seminar.  

 

ArcticMed’s Omega-3 oil is superior in all respects

Hence, all in all, ArcticMed’s Omega-3 oil is actually both cheaper and more convenient than capsules, when focusing on actual cell delivery and end effect on the Omega-3 balance in the body. As an added bonus, the particular olive oil ArcticMed uses protects against LDL cholesterol oxidization and neurological diseases such as ALS, & MS and the high content of oleocanthal has been shown to kill cancer cells in less than an hour in lab tests.

 omega3 brain neurons    

 

The ArcticMed olive oil has a fascinating story itself

To make the right olive oil for use in ArcticMed’s products you need among other things the right type of olive, the right elevation above sea level, the right harvest temperature (the levels and composition of of anti oxidants can change within hours), and harvest timing (he only uses olive oil from the first week of harvest every year!)​

The founder and Managing Director, Mikael Marcko, starts with screening this year’s olive oils according to industry standard tests. Then he proceeds with more nuanced, and expensive, tests for the 3-4 prospects that met the basic “hygiene” levels.

He’s hunting for a handful of important antioxidants (including the cancer killing oleocanthal that gives you that dry cough, burning throat feeling and tears up your eyes, and hydroxytyrosol which can prevent blood cell oxidization, in other words atherosclerosis) with documented health effects. The lengths he goes to actually make other producers and purchasers shake their heads in disbelief.

He only accepts the very best health effect and oxidization protection, even if consumers don’t yet appreciate it fully. Starting this year, Mikael Marcko has offered for sale, separately, whatever surplus olive oil he can spare after mixing and bottling the fish oil. This year it’s only 1100 numbered 500ml bottles of olive oil.  If you start buying regularly from ArcticMed, I guess I can forget getting any olive oil for myself in the future. 

Omega3 oil from ArcticMed

40+ managing director on Omega3

 

SUMMARY – Faster, Harder, Omega3 Oiler

I’ve dodged 2-3 colds a year for almost a decade, I’ve increased my workout sessions from falling toward 2/week to my current regime of 3.5/week  and they are twice as long as they used to be.

Not only can I train more than twice as much, and harder, I stopped my strength from falling, and increased my bench press from 110kg to 140kg in a few years (+27% from 240lbs to 310lbs). In my very late thirties and early forties!

I’m over 40 in all pictures in this post (42-43 in the majority), after 20+ years of high finance

sauna too  

I think you could achieve something similar, if you currently have a poor Omega-3 balance (most likely) and you choose to correct it with Omega-3 supplements (preferably with extra protection against oxidization), or lots and lots of fatty fish (mackerel, herring and salmon every day).

balkongbild

Coming clean: Just to be perfectly clear about my medical history the last decade, after my sore throat and six days in a row without working out in 2006, I’ve actually had a few small skirmishes with possible infections:

At four different occasions during the four years 2009-2012, I felt ill and had an itchy throat for 1-2 days after really heavy binge drinking and generally bad behavior during travels. In addition, I was home from work (!) during two days, January 24-25, 2013, in what probably was a cold, but it passed quickly and I didn’t miss any workouts.

 

So what should you do now?

1. buy Omega-3 oil from ArcticMed, and start downing 10-15 ml a day if you are a big guy (200 lbs, like I am). I just learned today (August 25, 2015) that ArcticMed’s products can be bought through amazon.co.uk, but still no shipping to the U.S.

2. or eat lots and lots of fatty fish (150g of mackerel or salmon a day, every day) and reduce your intake of land-living animals, in particular if they aren’t certified grass fed

3. perhaps check your Omega-3 index (recommended over 8%) and Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio to see what your starting point is. Anything above 5:1 should be corrected – with higher levels than that, your body is a bug waiting for a windshield.

4. get fish oil; if you can’t get hold of ArcticMed’s Omega-3 oil, get the best non concentrated natural fish oil you can find, treat it gently and keep it cold and dark and finish it quickly. And, a wild guess, perhaps mix it at home with a high quality olive oil and store it like that. In the fridge.

5. If you have Omega-3 capsules at home, stop taking 1-3 a day and start taking 15/day or more (check the label; you want to get 2000-3000 mg Omega3 a day – more if the capsules are concentrated and thus less effective). 12ml of ArcticMed’s natural fish/olive oil mix gives you 2900 mg polyunsaturated fats of which 2600mg Omega3, of which 1270mg EPA, 210mg DPA and 840mg DHA, plus 2.1 mg polyphenols.

Trial and error built this 40+ year old body

OMG 6 like a beast (Omg-6 to Omg-3 ratio =2.0)

 

Stocks and health… can it get any better? I don’t think so, so hurry up and subscribe to my newsletter and read the “Retarded” eBook about my career and the coming stock crash

 

Note about my affiliation with ArcticMed

I don’t get any cash money for writing this or advocating ArcticMed’s products. I just like the stuff and want to share my positive experiences. I do get better prices, though, if you buy enough through my affiliate link.

Last Friday, I finally listened to a lecture by the founder, and actually took notes (!). That’s why I’m writing this, to make sure I and you have a reference article in the future for why we became AM oilers.

I’ve heard bits and pieces of it informally, since I began taking the oil, but this is the first time in a more structured form.

 

My unedited notes in Swedish from the seminar (and some pics to drive the message home):

omega-3 has got my back

Omega-3 has got my back, but the squat bar not so much

Omega3

Omega 3 gives you bang for the buck Omega 3 gives you bang for the buck

omega3 I Omega3 II