Life hacking?

I was chatting with Brennan yesterday about the details of my new morning routine, and he thought it was elaborate that I should write a blog post about it. So here goes.


This sort of thing is of course very personal, different things will work for different people. But in my case, I had a few things I wanted to solve. In no particular order:

  1. I had been getting the feeling I was consuming a little too much dairy, mostly because I was rather more farty than I'd like.
  2. I haven't been getting exercise on a regular basis, aside from walks to/from the cafés I work at.
  3. I have gotten very out of touch with some of the things that made me feel "smart" when I was younger - reading, math, studying and doing things that don't have an immediate practical or social function.
  4. My belly was getting a bit on the flabby side!
  5. I keep forgetting to take my astma meds.

These are all inter-related.

Items 1, 4 and 5 are just physical health things.

However 2 and 3 are more interesting, and both can be seen as two sides of the same coin: I have gotten out of the habit of exercising my mind and body for the sake of exercise/fun, and more broadly gotten out of the habit of doing things that are just for me. Tending to my own body and self has fallen by the wayside as I devote my time to work, friends and family.

I feel it is important that I recognize that the forces that have caused 2 and 3 to fall by the wayside are strong and I am unlikely to defeat them overnight. Mostly because I don't really want to... so any "solution" has to be sneaky in that it doesn't feel like it is taking time away from other things.

Otherwise this becomes just another New Years' resolution...

The Routine, in Detail

(continued 2014-04-26)

  1. Get up, pee, brush teeth, grab towel
  2. Put eggs and coffee on stove, ready to cook
  3. Drink something, take astma meds, eat cod-liver-oil capsules
  4. Set timer for 10 minutes, turn stove on, start exercising
  5. Take coffee off when it's ready, keep exercising
  6. Take eggs off when they are ready, keep exercising
  7. Workout finished: measure pulse, take shower
  8. Breakfast: read a chapter of Knuth's Algorithms or solve exercises
  9. Make brunch smoothie, water plants, start working.
  10. Leave house once smoothie is finished.

There are sneaky little tricks to this...

The shower is kept short because I want my coffee and eggs to be warm.

The workout doesn't feel like it is taking any time, because it happens while breakfast is cooking.

I've replaced most of the milk in my morning diet with a combination of skyr and cream (or chunks of cheese while I was in the UK). This boosts the fat and protein content while lowering the amount of lactose - and does indeed seem to prevent most of the farting! Yay!

Cutting out the lactose means my breakfast/brunch are now almost entirely devoid of carbs, aside from the fruit in my smoothie which are of the natural fibrous variety. So apparently I am on a "low carb diet", at least for breakfast.

Will I actually lose body-fat as a result? I dunno! The only reliable way I know to lose squidgy bits is to exercise... which I am doing too.

But more importantly, this breakfast keeps me full and energetic until late in the afternoon, which means I no longer feel the urge to take an afternoon nap and consume less expensive crappy café snacks over the course of the day. Which is great.

I also feel more alert and more energetic since I started this routine. I have gotten a very slight light-headed feeling now and then, but it doesn't prevent concentration and doesn't last long. From what I've read this may be a sign that I'm slipping into ketosis, which is kind of interesting.

So both the physical and diet aspects seem to be working very well.

Keeping my focus on Knuth is proving a little trickier though. If I wake up with creative work thoughts in my head, it is very hard not to start focusing on them. I'm not sure whether this is a problem or not...

Tags: life, diy

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