General Update – One Month In

It’s been a month (or thereabouts) since I put the first post live, so it’s worth a few paragraphs reflecting on this project, how it’s going, and where it’s going.

The purpose, at this stage at least, of doing this is not to reach lots of people, but to provide me with a creative outlet and a tool to force me to research and understand things I think are worth knowing about. It’s certainly been useful for me in both respects, so it’s something I think I’ll keep up.

In the first post I wrote about cold therapies. The reason I focused on this first was that I was going through an intense phase of ‘bio-hacking’ interest, and so was forcing myself into cold showers based on the vague notion that it would be good for me. I knew it had something to do with brown fat, and had heard several sources (Andy McNab being one of them, in The Good Psychopath’s Guide To Success) speaking on how it was good for ones constitution.

The problem is, though, that it felt a bit weak when I tried to explain to anyone (my wife, and even myself, included) why the hell I was putting myself through it. This theme also motivated my second and third posts, about apple cider vinegar and dietary supplements respectively. I was subjecting myself to cold showers, chocking down shots of ACV, and necking a small fortune’s worth of supplements without really being able to explain why.

Understanding a little bit about business and marketing, I’m conscious of how self-styled gurus, vinegar barons and supplement brands could have the means and motivation to spread these memes and myths for financial gain, so I resolved to make sure my behaviour was rational rather than me being caught up in a marketing myth.

And I’m glad I did, because my mental model of the world was updated in all cases, and my behaviour changed.

I learned that cold showers probably won’t move the needle much on many of the benefit claims attached to them, but that there was a definitely short term invigorating effect in the morning, that it (perversely) helped me relax for sleep, and that there’s some good evidence that it might help with weight management. As a result, I continue to make cold showers part of my morning routine and have bought a plunge pool (nothing fancy – a child’s pool that I keep outside) for an evening post-sauna plunge.

I still get sideways looks when I do my evening plunge, but at least now I can defend my actions!

The benefits of apple cider vinegar were much less visceral to me personally, and much less scientifically compelling. As it happens though, ACV is something I have in my life anyway, in it’s role as delicious ingredient, and the potential health benefits have somewhat upweighted my use of ACV. I tend to use it as a preferred vinegar in my dressings, and I do still take the occasional ACV/honey/lemon tea in an evening in which I’ve hit the carbs harder than usual.

But gone are the days of me ritually taking shots morning and night.

And, as for dietary supplements, I still take them, but I’m much more circumspect about it. If I’m ‘being good’ with my diet and getting all the B vitamins I need (gene testing revealed this is something I’m most likely to be deficient in), then I tend to reduce my intake to fish oil and Asthaxanthin (and I’ll even skip this if I’ve had a few portions of oily fish in a week). If I go through a ‘bad week’ (like now FWIW), then I’ll be more religious in my Omega 3 and full-spectrum supplements.

I’m working on another post right now, but struggling for time due to work commitments. As it happens though, the work is directly related to the next subject, so I’m learning on the job and will spin this out into a post when I get the time.

I have an ever growing list of subjects I want to research and write about, so I think there are exciting times ahead.

And as for readers and social followers, although that isn’t what this is about, it’s very flattering to see people engaging and saying kind things about the content. I am going to some effort to syndicate the content, because discussion about these subjects is an important part of the learning process, so please know that I appreciate every share and like, and, even more so, comments (even (especially!) if they disagree with some of my views).