Monday, July 10, 2017

What I've learned since moving to D.C. (some of which should be obvious):

5601.  Apparently, Aruba is off the coast of Venezuela and, on a clear day, you can see it;
5602.  The casinos in Aruba are (pretty) small;
5603.  When (you’re) snorkeling, don’t put your mask completely horizontal/flat in the water . . . angle it slightly up(ward) (i.e., it’ll help keep the snorkel out of the water);
5604.  You may have been taught that strength is measured by how “hard” you are in your thinking or how inflexible you are in your opinions.  You may have been told that weakness is associated with those who bend.  But when confronted with any stressful situation, keep in mind that being stiff won’t get you very far, whereas being flexible will carry you through;
5605.  Change the way you think about strength.  Aren’t the physically and mentally strong those who can bend and adapt to life especially as we age?  The more you think in rigid ways and refrain from considering other points of view, the more you’re liable to break.  Our minds and our bodies need flexibility to thrive.  When we see ourselves as flexible and supple, we are able to bend in harmony with our source;
5606.  The Asian pear salad (with baby arugula, Belgian endive, walnuts & cider vinaigrette) at Bobby Van’s Steakhouse (BobbyVans.com) is tasty;
5607.  Actively creating the conditions and cultivating the habits that reduce and temper our fear response and promote internal peace are the very things that open the door for more abundance to show up in our lives;
5608.  Apparently, your shower valve can affect the hot water in the rest of your place;
5609.  Lost Rhino Root Beer (LostRhino.com) is dangerous.  You can’t taste the alcohol at all;
5610.  Strength does not come from physical capacity.  It comes from an indomitable will;
5611.  A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave;
5612.  To create change in every aspect of your life, you must continually push the bar.  But the truth is, the standards you set for yourself and everyone around you determine the difference between acceptable results and extraordinary results – the chasm between good and great.  Surround yourself with people who are striving for life at the next level.  Together, you can challenge, support and push each other;
5613.  The corona of the National Museum of African American History & Culture is at the same angle as the pyramidion atop the Washington Monument (i.e., 17.4 degrees);
5614.  $300 million of the (over) $500 million it cost to build the National Museum of African American History & Culture was raised through private donations;
5615.  In the U.S., there’s only about 300 female, African America architects;
5616.  Anger is often what pain looks like when it shows itself in public;
5617.  It would be absurd for anyone of us to say that you should be grateful for everything that happens to you, but you can be grateful in every moment;
5618.  Just discussing a goal or idea you have socially will actually trigger a reward mechanism in your brain.  Meaning that just talking about your goals or ideas to a group of friends will make you feel like you’ve actually done something worthwhile.  This tricks us into thinking we are making progress when in fact we are doing nothing and allows us to continue living in a fantasy land full of our own progress;
5619.  Ideas mean nothing.  The greatest idea in the world will never put money on the table or impact the world.  The only thing that matters is execution and actually creating the world you want to live in;
5620.  Coming up with a good idea takes a few seconds.  Turning that idea into something in the real world takes years;
5621.  Audacious plans require an audacious work ethic;
5622.  You build a new belief by brainwashing yourself each and every day.  The same way that you have to exercise daily to get the body you want, you have to exercise daily to get the mind that you want.  You need to start focusing on what you have done, who you are and what you will do rather than the opposite.  Each and every single day, you need to write out with a pen and paper why you should believe in yourself, why you should be confident and why you should be grateful for yourself.  Sometimes it might take you 5 minutes to come up with an answer, but just keep trying.  Eventually, you notice you start feeling better 1 day out of 3.  Focus on that one day, focus on the bright spots and eventually that one day will become 2 out of 3 and then eventually 3 out of 3.  It just takes doing the work;
5623.  Whether you are a business owner or an employee, you can see how your company’s 401(k) plan stacks up by using the “Fee Checker” tool at ShowMeTheFees.com;
5624.  In reality, all financial advisors fall into just one of three categories: 1.  A broker; 2.  An independent advisor; or 3.  A dually registered advisor;
5625.  About 90% of all financial advisors in America are brokers.  They’re paid a fee or commission for selling products.  Many of them work for enormous Wall Street banks, brokerage houses and insurance companies;

What I've learned since moving to D.C. (some of which should be obvious):

5551.  Most people spend their life searching for something big neglecting something small that they already have;
5552.  Many people chase a dream just because they think it is an easy route to success.  This means the real reason they enter a career is because of their desire to be successful and not because of the passion for pursuing it;
5553.  If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change;
5554.  Execution trumps knowledge every day of the week;
5555.  History is but a lantern on the stern, which shines only on the waves behind us and not on where we are headed.  The past is not necessarily prologue to the future;
5556.  Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be.  Be one;
5557.  Money is only a tool.  It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver;
5558.  When any market falls by at least 10% from its peak, it’s called a correction;
5559.  When a market falls by at least 20% from its peak, it’s called a bear market;
5560.  On average, there’s been a market correction every year since 1900;
5561.  You’ll experience the same number of corrections as birthdays;
5562.  Historically, the average correction has lasted only 54 days – less than two months;
5563.  In the average correction over the last 100 years, the market has fallen only 13.5%;
5564.  From 1980 through the end of 2015, the average drop was 14.2%;
5565.  Fewer than one in five corrections escalate to the point where they become a bear market;
5566.  There were 35 bear markets in the 115 years between 1900 and 2015.  On average, they happened nearly once every three years;
5567.  More recently, bear markets have occurred slightly less often: in the 70 years since 1946, there have been 14 of them.  That’s a rate of one bear market every five years;
5568.  In more than a third of bear markets, the index plunged by more than 40%;
5569.  Bear markets vary widely in duration from a month and a half (i.e., 45 days) to nearly 2 years (i.e., 694 days).  On average, they lasted about a year;
5570.  The stock market isn’t looking at today.  The market always looks to tomorrow.  What matters most isn’t where the economy is right now, but where it’s headed;
5571.  When everything seems terrible, the pendulum eventually swings in the other direction;
5572.  Every single bear market in the U.S. history has been followed by a bull market without exception;
5573.  The U.S. market hits an all-time high on approximately 5% of all trading days.  On average, that’s once a month;
5574.  From 1996 through 2015, the S&P 500 returned an average of 8.2% a year.  But if you missed out on the top 10 trading days during those 20 years, your returns dwindled to just 4.5% a year;
5575.  Aruba is really windy;
5576.  The water in Aruba is very blue;
5577.  There aren’t many locals/natives in Aruba;
5578.  The McCrioyo Sausage (i.e., sausage, egg, tomato, lettuce, ketchup & mayonnaise on Aruban bread) at McDonald’s (in Aruba) is pretty tasty;
5579.  Groceries are expensive in Aruba;
5580.  They take U.S. dollars in Aruba;
5581.  “Doei” (i.e., do-e) is “bye” in Dutch;
5582.  Apparently, Aruba is Dutch;
5583.  In Aruba, it’s pretty much between 80 and 84 degrees every day in May;
5584.  A study by JPMorgan found that 6 of the 10 best days in the market over the last 20 years occurred within two weeks of the 10 worst days;
5585.  If you lose money in the market, it’s because of a decision you made.  The market is going to do whatever it’s going to do, but you determine whether you’ll win or lose.  You’re in charge;
5586.  Let’s assume the stock market gives a 7% return over 50 years.  At that rate, because of the power of compounding, each dollar goes up to 30 dollars.  But the average fund charges you about 2% per year in costs, which drops your average annual return to 5%.  At that rate, you get 10 dollars;
5587.  Professional fund managers aren’t really any better at predicting the future than the rest of us;
5588.  Investing is a zero-sum game.  When two people trade a stock, one must win and one must lose.  If the stock goes up after you buy it, you win.  But you’ve got to win by a big enough margin to cover those transaction costs;
5589.  If your stock goes up, you’ll also have to pay taxes on your profits when you sell the stock;
5590.  An exhaustive study by Nobel laureate economist William Sharpe showed that a market-timing investor must be right 69% to 91% of the time to outperform the market;
5591.  When you look at the results on an after-fee, after-tax basis, over reasonably long periods of time, there’s almost no chance that you end up beating the index fund;
5592.  If a mutual fund is held in a nontaxable account like a 401(k), you’re looking at total costs of 3.17% a year.  If it’s in a taxable account, the total costs amount to a staggering 4.17% a year;
5593.  An actively managed fund that charges you 3% a year is 60 times more expensive than an index fund that charges .05%.  Imagine going to Starbucks with a friend.  She orders a venti caffé latte and pays $4.15.  But you decide that you’re happy to pay 60 times more.  Your price: $249;
5594.  Robert Arnott, the founder of Research Affiliates, studied all 203 actively managed mutual funds with at least $100 million in assets, tracking their returns for the 15 years from 1984 through 1998.  Only 8 of these 203 funds actually beat the S&P 500 index.  That’s less than 4%.  To put it another way, 96% of these actively managed funds to add any value at all over 15 years;
5595.  Of the 248 mutual stock funds with five-star ratings at the start of 1999, just four still kept that rank after 10 years;
5596.  71% of people enrolled in 401(k)s think there are no fees and 92% admit that they have no clue what they are.  But the truth is, the vast majority of plans are characterized by huge broker commissions, expensive actively managed funds and layer after layer of additional, and often hidden, charges;
5597.  The sun is brutal in Aruba;
5598.  Brazilians like to party;
5599.  Apparently, “puseta” means “pussy” in Portuguese;
5600.  Apparently, Aruba is by the equator;

Monday, June 26, 2017

What I've learned since moving to D.C. (some of which should be obvious):

5501.  The lead singer of “Against Me!” (i.e., Laura Jane Grace) reminds me a little of Bret Michaels (the lead singer of “Poison”)/Johnny Rotten (the lead singer of the “Sex Pistols”);
5502.  Tré Cool (the drummer for “Green Day”) lived in Norfolk, Virginia;
5503.  Playing against your boyhood idols is surreal at first, but if you look at it as surreal all the time, you’re not going to rise to the occasion.  You have to think of yourself as equal; you have to think you’re better than a lot of guys;
5504.  No growth happens inside the comfort zone;
5505.  Sugar and processed foods have been shown to be eight times more addictive than cocaine;
5506.  The peanut butter curry ice cream at “Humphry Slocombe” (HumphrySlocombe.com) in San Francisco, California, is pretty tasty;
5507.  In big cities, it’s (perfectly) acceptable for adults to ride skateboards and scooters;
5508.  Apparently, Martin Yan (from the cooking show, “Yan Can Cook”) eats at “Hong Kong Flower Lounge” (Mayflower-Seafood.com/HKFL/) in Millbrae, California;
5509.  I’m taller than Martin Yan;
5510.  The mango pudding at “Hong Kong Flower Lounge” is really tasty;
5511.  I can now say I’ve walked on (a bed of) hot coals;
5512.  There are gorgeous girls at the University of Southern California;
5513.  The L(os )A(ngeles) Coliseum is right by the University of Southern California;
5514.  “Mondo Cozmo” (i.e., Josh Ostrander) is a Corona drinker;
5515.  At the end of the day, what you know is your greatest wealth.  And what you don’t know is your greatest risk.  But there is always risk, so learn to manage it instead of avoiding it;
5516.  A birthday party goes to another level when you hire your own bartender;
5517.  Everything depends on what you believe about yourself.  If you want to change your life, you have to change your self-concept.  If you want to move to a higher place, you need to change your belief about what is possible for you and elevate your beliefs about yourself;
5518.  Of all the beliefs that each one of us own, none is more important than the ones we have about ourselves.  Our beliefs about ourselves are the single most telling factors in determining our success and happiness in life;
5519.  The lack of love in a person’s life is the internal fear that he or she does not deserve love.  The absence of achievement is most often due to a genuine belief that one could never achieve at a high level.  The absence of happiness stems from the internal sentence that “Happiness is not my destiny;”
5520.  Japanese food and jazz is a strange combination.  I’m talking about you, Tomi Jazz, (TomiJazz.com) in New York (City);
5521.  I don’t get the ube ice cream craze;
5522.  You can get a great view of New York( City)’s skyline at 230 Fifth (230-Fifth.com) in Manhattan;
5523.  Don’t believe Guy Fieri.  The pizza at Don Antonio in New York (City) is fine, but not great;
5524.  A “pizze fritte” is like an unsweet doughnut;
5525.  Apparently, you can scoop gelato in the shape of a flower.  Who knew?
5526.  Everyone wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to die;
5527.  Many people will not start the journey until all the lights are green;
5528.  Too many people allow their excuses to get between them and the life they would love to live;
5529.  Most people are blinded by their own excuses.  They see what they are afraid of rather than what they want in life;
5530.  Success comes when you focus on your dream, not your fears;
5531.  We win by being the best version of ourselves in order to uniquely matter to someone else.  We can’t achieve that aim if we’re endlessly keeping score in relationship to the others who seek to matter.  If there’s a full accounting to be done, it should be within ourselves.  And we have to be unafraid to find what is wonderfully different and put it out there on full display.  That can feel uncomfortably daring.  And if it does, we are probably on the right track;
5532.  Here’s the thing about self-comparison: In addition to making you vacate your own experience, your own soul and your own life, in its extreme, it breeds resignation.  If we constantly feel that there is something more to be had – something that’s available to those with a certain advantage in life, but which remains out of reach for us – we come to feel helpless.  And the most toxic byproduct of this helpless resignation is cynicism – that terrible habit of mind and orientation of spirit in which, out of hopelessness for our own situation, we grow embittered about how things are and about what’s possible in the world.  Cynicism is a poverty of curiosity and imagination and ambition.  The best defense against it is vigorous, intelligent and sincere hope – not blind optimism, because that too is a form of resignation, to believe that everything will work out just fine and we need not apply ourselves.  I mean hope bolstered by critical thinking that is clearheaded in identifying what is lacking in ourselves or the world, but then envisions ways to create it and endeavors to do that;
5533.  If you are struggling to compete, don’t look to what others have done.  Discover what is missing in the world or incomplete within yourself and apply all your energy to the worthy endeavor of filling that unclaimed space better than anyone else ever could.  Find your difference and you will make a difference;
5534.  Ask yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen if I fail?”  Almost always, the consequences aren’t as dire as you fear.  Then ask yourself, “What’s the best that could happen?”  Stop focusing on the fear and instead train your sights on the potential, on the exciting achievements that are possible when you reach outside your comfort zone;
5535.  With the growth mindset, mistakes just allow you to learn and grow.  You’re not afraid of failure because you know that’s how you grow, that’s how you get better;
5536.  For the fixed mindset, you’re as good as you’re going to get at the start.  For the growth mindset, who you are now is just the starting point.  It’s exciting because you don’t know how far you’ll be able to grow;
5537.  Struggle isn’t a sign that you’re attempting something you shouldn’t.  Struggle is an opportunity to grow your abilities and sharpen your smarts;
5538.  If your reaction to admitting that you don’t know something is defensiveness or paralyzing fear, you’re never going to grow;
5539.  I think the main reason that superhero movies are so popular is because most people have a fixed mindset (i.e., meaning that they think their strengths and weaknesses are set in stone, that they’re born with or without certain talents and that skills can’t be gained and learnt over time) and they feel that they're not enough.  People imagine that they’re the hero/ine and that they too have hidden, innate abilities that makes them unique and special and, ultimately, worthy of being loved;
5540.  Because of the way your brain works, the pursuit of gratitude and compassion will make you happier than the pursuit of happiness itself;
5541.  Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world.  Today I am wise, so I am changing myself;
5542.  The mind is like a parachute.  It only works when it’s open;
5543.  Are you “letting go” or are you afraid?  When people say things like “It just doesn’t feel right,” “I’m being guided to walk away,” “If it was meant to be then it wouldn’t be this hard” or “It just isn’t flowing” and then they use it as a rationale to give up, walk away or abandon someone (or something) that has real value in their lives.  They’ll usually label this act as “letting go.”  They’ll speak as if challenging circumstances are an indicator from the universe that the thing they’re pursuing is “not for me,” when maybe what’s really going on is that they’re afraid, doubting themselves or something has triggered an old wound that they’d rather not look at;
5544.  Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate;
5545.  Vulnerability leads to authentic connection and it helps us build compassion and empathy.  It heals.  It builds bridges.  When we’re able to be vulnerable, it helps us understand ourselves better.  And in deepening our own inner experiences we deepen our ability to empathize with the experiences of others.  Basically, it expands our capacity for love and humanity;
5546.  Most of us have been hurt in love.  Whether it’s romantic love, in friendship or with family.  Usually it’s about some expectation of ours not being met.  Sometimes it can be because someone disappoints us with their actions.  Sometimes it can be because our feelings (or expectations) are not reciprocated.  Or there’s not enough respect or equality in the relationship.  Or because their actions don’t match the promises we think were made.  All of that can feel really painful.  It can be hard to open up again once you’ve felt stung, especially if the sting was very deep;
5547.  We’re wired to learn from bad experiences.  We learn to avoid them like touching a hot stove.  We’ve all done it once, maybe twice, but we soon learned that it’s something best avoided.  What happens when we start to avoid love?  Avoiding a physical burn is a pretty straight forward choice.  There’s not much downside to it.  We’re not missing out on something precious by not touching that hot stove, but closing down our hearts so that we can avoid getting emotionally hurt.  That’s a trickier choice because love is part of what makes life worth living.  It may even be the thing that makes life worth living;
5548.  Most stress in our lives results from hanging on to beliefs that keep us striving for more because ego stubbornly believes we need it.  When we make the shift away from attachment, the influence of our ego fades.  We replace attachment with contentment.  Chasing and striving – and then becoming attached to what we chased after – is a source of anxiety that feeds ambition, but it won’t satisfy the need for meaning at our soul level;
5549.  The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention;
5550.  We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give;

Monday, June 12, 2017

What I've learned since moving to D.C. (some of which should be obvious):

5451.  Olive oil is produced by crushing olives and then putting them through a press to squeeze out the oil.  The crushed olives can be pressed many times.  The first pressing creates what is known as extra virgin olive oil and it is the only type you should consume because it has the most benefits;
5452.  The unique feature of olive oil is the powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients it contains called polyphenols;
5453.  Just 1 to 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil per day has significant anti-inflammatory effects;
5454.  Olive oil helps prevent platelets from clumping together excessively, therefore, protecting against blood clots;
5455.  The oleic acid content of olive oil helps to improve your cholesterol profile, raising the HDL, lowering the LDL and improving the particle size and the overall LDL to HDL ratio;
5456.  Recent research shows that the oleic acid found in olive oil can help lower blood pressure.  The olive oil works its way into your cell membranes and changes the ways your cells communicate leading to lower blood pressure;
5457.  Olive oil and its polyphenols lower blood levels of C-reactive protein, therefore, lowering inflammation, a risk factor in heart disease;
5458.  Studies on cancer of the stomach and small intestine found lower rates of cancer in people who used olive oil on a regular basis.  The anticancer benefits likely come from the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of polyphenols in olive oil;
5459.  Polyphenols in olive oil can help balance your gut flora and prevent the growth of bad bugs like helicobacter pylori, the bacterial responsible for ulcers and reflux;
5460.  A large French study found that older adults who used a lot of olive oil in cooking and in sauces and dressings improved their memory and verbal fluency;
5461.  In studies of animals deprived of oxygen, which caused brain injury, olive oil helped their brains heal and recover;
5462.  As little as one to two tablespoons a day of olive oil lowers the risk of many cancers including stomach, colon, breast and lung cancers;
5463.  Olive oil is easily damaged by exposure to light, air and too much heat;
5464.  If you buy a bottle of dark extra virgin olive oil and leave it on the counter, over time it will turn pale.  It means it has oxidized or turned rancid.  Buying better quality extra virgin olive oil and keeping it in a dark place inside the cupboard will prevent this from happening;
5465.  Only buy what says “extra virgin olive oil.”  If a label says “pure,” it usually means that it is a combination of refined and unrefined olive oils;
5466.  Much of the extra virgin olive oil sold in the United States is adulterated with other oils like soybean, rapeseed or canola oils;
5467.  One study found that 69 percent of imported olive oil labeled “extra virgin” did not meet the standard for that label;
5468.  For a list of extra virgin olive oils you can buy at your local grocery store, http://www.truthinoliveoil.com/2012/09/toms-supermarket-picks-quality-oils-good-prices;
5469.  Look for extra virgin olive oil sold in dark-tinted glass bottles as the packaging will help protect the oil from oxidation caused by exposure to light;
5470.  Olive oil should be used within one to two months to ensure its healthy phytonutrient profile remains intact;
5471.  Study after study has shown that increased nut consumption is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, cancer and death;
5472.  Those who ate nuts every day reduced their risk of getting heart attacks by 30 percent – equal to or better than taking statin drugs;
5473.  In a study on weight loss, researchers compared a low-fat vegan diet with a high-fat vegan diet including nuts, avocados and olive oil.  The high-fat diet led to more weight loss and better cholesterol;
5474.  Subjects consuming nuts at least four times a week showed a 37 percent reduced risk of coronary heart disease compared to those who never or seldom ate nuts;
5475.  Each additional serving of nuts per week is associated with an average 8.3 percent reduced risk of coronary heart disease;
5476.  A twenty-eight-month study involving 8,865 adult men and women in Spain found that participants who ate nuts at least twice per week were 31 percent less likely to gain weight than participants who never or almost never ate nuts;
5477.  Avoid roasted or salted nuts as the high temperature used by commercial roasters damages the many delicate fats found in nuts and seeds.  If you like, you can lightly roast them yourself at a very low oven temperature (i.e., 250 degrees F);
5478.  It’s a good idea to soak your nuts and seeds to reduce lectins, phytates and enzyme inhibitors.  These are considered “anti-nutrients” that can block nutrient absorption, cause digestive distress and inhibit enzymes.  Simply soak raw nuts or seeds in warm salt water overnight or up to twenty-four hours.  Make sure there is enough warm water in the bowl to cover the nuts or seeds by an inch.  Add 1 tablespoon of sea salt to 4 cups of nuts or seeds.  When they’re done soaking, rinse them thoroughly so that the rinsing water runts clear.  Then it’s crucial to thoroughly dry them.  The best way to ensure they’ll dry all the way through is to spread them out in a single layer in a warm oven at the lowest possible setting – ideally not more than 120 degrees F;
5479.  Low-fat diets have been associated with dementia and higher-fat diets shown to prevent it;
5480.  Leading Alzheimer’s researchers are promoting a very high-fat (i.e., ketogenic) diet for the treatment of dementia;
5481.  There is an abundance of research showing that carbs cause brain aging and fat prevents it;
5482.  A study from the Mayo Clinic found that people who eat a ton of carbs quadruple their risk of getting pre-dementia known as mild cognitive impairment;
5483.  The same study showed that people who ate the healthiest fats had a 44 percent lower risk of early dementia and those who ate more good-quality protein from chicken, meat and fish had a 21 percent lower risk of early dementia;
5484.  A study of more than 8,000 people over the age of sixty-five found that 280 of them got dementia over the span of four years.  Those who ate the least brain healthy omega-3 fats had a 37 percent increased risk of dementia.  Those who ate the most fish had a 44 percent reduction in the risk of getting dementia.  Those who ate the most olive oil, walnuts and flaxseeds had a 60 percent reduction in the risk of getting dementia.  But they also found that those who ate the most omega-6 oils had twice the risk of dementia;
5485.  Your brain is 60 percent fat and much of it is made of omega-3 fats and cholesterol.  When you eat a low-fat diet, you are starving your brain;
5486.  Lack of fat in the diet has been linked to neurodegenerative diseases; mental disorders such as depression, suicide and aggressive behavior; ADD and autism; and trauma.  Supplementing the diet with omega-3 and other good fats has been linked to improvement in all these conditions;
5487.  Omega-3 fatty acids stimulate beneficial gene expression and boost the activity of your brain cells, increase connections between brain cells and even help the formation of new brain cells (i.e., neurogenesis);
5488.  Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce brain inflammation and improve cognitive function;
5489.  Omega-3 fatty acids aid depression and even recovery from brain injury;
5490.  Very high-fat ketogenic diets are used to control epilepsy and are now being used for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (“ALS”) and other neurological disorders including brain cancer;
5491.  You can store up to 2,000 calories of carbs as glycogen in your muscles, but the average lean athlete has about 40,000 calories of energy stored as fat;
5492.  Low-car (high-fat) diets are anti-inflammatory and so reduce oxidative stress during exercise, reduce lactic acid buildup and help the body recover faster between exercise sessions;
5493.  Omega-3 deficiency can cause dry, itchy, flaky even discolored skin.  It can also cause rough, bumpy chicken skin on the backs of your arms.  Your fingertips may crack and peel.  Your hair may be dry, stiff and tangled; you may have dandruff and hair loss.  Your fingernails might grow slowly or become brittle and chipped;
5494.  We eat an average of 146 pounds of flour and 152 pounds of sugar per person per year in America, which spikes insulin, driving the storage of belly fat, increasing estrogen in men (i.e., belly fat cells produce more estrogen) and sending testosterone levels plummeting.  This leads to low sex drive, sexual dysfunction, muscle loss, loss of body hair and man boobs;
5495.  Low-fat diets can cause women to stop menstruating or to experience irregular, heavy periods and infertility.  They can increase belly fat, raise testosterone levels and trigger acne, facial hair and hair loss on the head whereas high-fat, low-carb diets can reverse all that;
5496.  Characteristics of a healthy diet almost everyone agrees on: 1.  Ideally organic, local, fresh, whole foods; 2.  Very low glycemic load – low in sugar, flour and refined carbohydrates; 3.  Very high in vegetables and fruits – the deeper the colors, the more variety, the better (although the Paleo diet recommends sticking to lower-glycemic fruit such as berries); 4.  Low or no pesticides, antibiotics or hormones and no GMO foods; 5.  Very few to no chemicals, additives, preservatives, dyes, MSG, artificial sweeteners and other “Frankenchemicals;” 6.  Higher in good-quality fats from olive oil, nuts, seeds and avocados; 7.  Low in refined, processed vegetable oils; 8.  Moderate protein for appetite control and muscle synthesis especially in the elderly; 9.  Animal food – meets should be sustainably and humanely raised, grass-fed and antibiotic and hormone-free; and 10.  Fish – you should choose low-mercury and low-toxin fish such as sardines, herring, anchovies, wild salmon and other small fish and avoid tuna, swordfish and Chilean sea bass because of the high mercury load.  Fish should also either be from sustainable “organic” fisheries or sustainably caught in ways that do not deplete natural fisheries;
5497.  “Pegan” diet principles: 1.  Unlimited amounts of non-starchy vegetables (i.e., green and crunchy veggies), which should make up about 50 to 70 percent of your diet by volume; 2.  Moderate amounts of nuts and seeds including almonds, walnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and hemp and chia seeds; 3.  Moderate amounts of low-glycemic fruit; 4.  Sustainably farmed and low-mercury wild (i.e., sardines, mackerel, herring & wild salmon); 5.  Grass-fed beef, bison, lamb and organic poultry; 6.  Pasture-raised or organic eggs; 7.  Small quantities of gluten-free grains (i.e., brown or black rice, quinoa & buckwheat); 8.  Small quantities of beans, if tolerated; 9.  No dairy (except organic goat or sheep cheese or yogurt if tolerated and ghee or grass-fed butter); 10.  Plenty of good fats including avocados, extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil; 11.  Occasional treats of real sugar, maple syrup or honey; 12.  Moderate alcohol intake: Maximum 1 glass of wine at night or 1 ounce of hard liquor ideally fewer than 5 drinks a week.  Beer is a problem because of the sugar and gluten; 13.  Coffee or tea (i.e., 1 to 2 cups a day maximum); 14.  Minimal amounts of gluten (i.e., only in the form of whole grains such as steel-cut oats, whole-kernel rye bread & barley) and dairy (i.e., ideally goat or sheep and always organic), if tolerated; and 15.  What it doesn’t include: A) Processed foods; B) Artificial anything (especially sweeteners); C) Liquid sugar calories; and D) Juices except green juices;
5498.  Bad company corrupts good character;
5499.  Good habits lead to good outcomes;
5500.  Every good thing you want in life is on the other side of fear;

Friday, May 26, 2017

What I've learned since moving to D.C. (some of which should be obvious):

5401.  Studies of Pacific Islanders, who ate up to 63 percent of their calories from coconut fat, found them to be lean and free of heart disease or stroke.  Their total cholesterol was higher, but so was their good cholesterol or HDL;
5402.  Other studies have found that lipid profiles improve on high-fat diets containing coconut oil.  Good cholesterol is higher and triglycerides and the number of the small LDL cholesterol particles are lower;
5403.  Coconut fat is associated with lower insulin levels;
5404.  Coconut butter is made from whole coconut flesh with all its delicious fat and solids.  It is essentially pureed or pulverized coconut meat and has a thick, creamy, smooth texture.  It is about 60 percent oil.  The fiber content of coconut butter differentiates it from coconut oil.  One tablespoon of coconut butter has 3 grams of fiber;
5405.  Coconut oil is extracted from the dried flesh of the coconut;
5406.  Coconut oil is made up of 86 percent saturated fat, 6 percent monounsaturated fat and 1.4 percent polyunsaturated fat;
5407.  About half of the saturated fat in coconut oil is a rare, special type of saturated fat called lauric acid.  It is known as a medium-chain triglyceride or MCT;
5408.  In the body, lauric acid converts to monolaurin, one of the compounds found in breast milk that boost a baby’s immune system.  It is like a super fuel for your cells, metabolism, bones and brain;
5409.  If there are expectations, that just means you’re close to something great;
5410.  Staying in a common room in Gadsby’s Tavern in (Old Town) Alexandria used to cost $.05/night;
5411.  Thomas Jefferson stayed in Gadsby’s Tavern’s most expensive room (i.e., the “blue: room) for $5.50/night;
5412.  Our soul wants to expand and grow.  When we stay with the familiar, just because it is familiar, we are responding to a fear of failure that doesn’t support our growth.  If you believe it will work out, you’ll see opportunities.  If you believe it won’t, you will see obstacles;
5413.  What if there is no such thing as failure?  Failing is a judgment that we humans place on a given action.  Rather than judgment, substitute this attitude: You cannot fail, you can only produce results.  Then the most important question to ask yourself is, “What do you do with the results you produce?”  It is better to jump in and experience life than to stand on the sidelines fearing that something might go wrong;
5414.  When we step back and examine our limiting belief, we can recognize that nothing can stand in our way of our goals and dreams, but us;
5415.  By remembering that fear is the acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real, we can step past it and become who and what we want to be;
5416.  Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.  The fearful are caught as often as the bold;
5417.  You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.  You must do the thing which you think you cannot do;
5418.  The enemy is fear.  We think it is hate, but it is fear;
5419.  Apparently, Kristy doesn’t like to eat anything with bones;
5420.  Kristy wants to visit every continent including Antarctica;
5421.  Connor McDavid (of the Edmonton Oilers) is fast;
5422.  I’ve watched a hockey game with the “Great One” (i.e., Wayne Gretzky);
5423.  Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart.  Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes;
5424.  If you think something is missing in your life it’s probably you!  Realize that only you can fill the void;
5425.  Forgiving others is essential for spiritual growth.  Your experience of someone who has hurt you, while painful, is now nothing more than a thought or feeling that you carry around.  These thoughts of resentment, anger and hatred represent slow, debilitating energies that will disempower you if you continue to let these thoughts occupy space in your head.  If you could release them, you would know more peace;
5426.  If we must forgive, we must first have blamed.  To forgive is to stop blaming and to accept with compassion that everyone is simply doing the best they can, given the conditions of their life and what they have to work with at the time;
5427.  Forgiveness sets you free to move past the pain and on into a life of loving and serving;
5428.  I find it (rather) disgusting when a (random) stranger coughs into your hair when you’re riding the Metro;
5429.  The saturated fat in coconut oil is very rare, very beneficial type called medium-chain triglycerides (“MCT”).  These saturated fats actually reduce the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL (a good thing) and promote weight loss and can even heal fatty liver caused by obesity;
5430.  MCTs are a unique form of saturated fat that have been shown to possess antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, which help support the immune system;
5431.  MCTs convert easily into energy; therefore, very little MCT oil is stored as fat because it is used for energy.  This is how MCTs help you burn fat and lose weight;
5432.  A small study carried out at the University of Rochester Medical Center and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at what happened when a group of men consumed meals with either MCTs or LCTs.  The test meals contained either 45 grams of MCT or 45 grams of LCT in the form of corn oil and the scientists measured the subjects’ metabolic rates both before the meals and up to six hours after.  They measured oxygen consumption (which is an indirect measure of metabolism – the more oxygen you can burn per minute, the more calories you can burn and the faster your metabolism) and found that oxygen consumption after the meal rich in MCTs increased by 12 percent – about triple the increase seen after the LCT meal.  They also found that blood levels of triglycerides soared by 68 percent after the LCT meal with corn oil, but there was no increase in triglycerides after the MCT meal;
5433.  MCT oils get absorbed directly from the gut to the liver and burned quickly, while omega-6 fats from seed, bean or grain oils – like corn, soy, sunflower and canola – are transported into the lymphatic system, not the blood, which allows them to be taken up in your fat tissues.  That is my MCT oils boost your metabolism and help you burn more calories, reduce fat storage and cut your appetite;
5434.  Studies show MCTs cause you to burn about 460 extra calories a day for men and about 190 extra calories for women;
5435.  Consumption of MCTs reduced body fat and triglycerides more than omega-6 vegetable oils.  After eight weeks, the experiment showed that the group having the MCT had greater reductions in their weight, body fat percentage and levels of subcutaneous fat and a 15 percent drop in triglycerides and LDL or bad cholesterol (even though the MCT is a saturated fat) despite no differences in exercise levels or daily consumption of total calories, protein, fat and carbs;
5436.  In the 1940s, when farmers wanted to fatten up their livestock, they gave them coconut oil.  Their plan backfired.  The animals lost weight and had more energy;
5437.  Researchers have discovered significant antifungal effects of coconut oil;
5438.  Coconut oil is also an antibacterial;
5439.  Virgin coconut oil can help treat skin infections.  It also fights dry skin and scientists have found that it works against bacteria, fungi and viruses;
5440.  In one study, scientists followed about 2,500 people from the Polynesian islands of Tokelau and Pukapuka.  They ate a very high-fat diet, mostly from coconuts.  They basically ate some form of coconut at every meal.  The study found that the islanders’ health was good and that heart disease was almost unknown.  They also did not suffer from most chronic diseases including colon cancer and digestive problems;
5441.  Look for coconut oil that is virgin, cold-pressed, unrefined and never deodorized or bleached;
5442.  Like coconut oil, coconut butter is highly stable because of its high content of saturated fats.  It will last quite a while in your cabinet;
5443.  Palm oil is a vegetable oil derived from the fruit of the oil palm tree.  It has gotten a bad rap because of its saturated fat content.  It has been shown to be protective of blood vessels and toe reduce blood pressure and heart disease risk.  It even seems to improve cholesterol profile;
5444.  There are different kinds of palm oil and they are not all good for your health or the environment;
5445.  Red palm oil is the virgin, unrefined stuff that comes from the flesh or fruit.  Palm oil is naturally reddish and it comes chock full of vitamins and antioxidants including vitamin E, beta-carotene (much more than carrots or tomatoes) and coenzyme Q10 (key for cellular respiration);
5446.  While the vitamin E in most foods is mainly tocopherol, the vitamin E in red palm oil is made up of both tocopherols and tocotrienols, which are especially effective antioxidants;
5447.  Refined palm oil is about 50 percent saturated fat, 39 percent monounsaturated fat and only around 11 percent polyunsaturated fat.  While it is stable for cooking (and storage), you shouldn’t use it.  When palm oil is highly refined, it loses its color and taste right along with the inarguably beneficial effects;
5448.  Palm kernel oil comes from the seeds of the plant – the kernels.  Palm kernel oil is highly saturated (around 80 percent saturated fat, 15 percent monounsaturated fat and 2.5 percent polyunsaturated fat) and bad for you and found in roughly half of the packaged goods in American grocery stores;
5449.  Bad palm oil goes by many names including palm kernel oil, palmitate and glyceryl stearate and can be hidden in processed foods;
5450.  Ensure you buy products that contain sustainable palm oil.  Look for the certified sustainable palm oil (“CSPO”) label;

Monday, May 15, 2017

What I've learned since moving to D.C. (some of which should be obvious):

5351.  You should alternate these kinds of “cutting through the bullshit” gatherings with masculine celebrations.  Even during these celebrations, though, there should be a challenge to remain conscious and undistracted.  They are not occasions for lapsing from fullness, but for communing beyond fear.  Perhaps you can all go swimming in ice cold water together.  Or drink to the point of inebriation and then spend the rest of the night chanting hymns of the mystery of existence.  Whatever you do, share as much loving as you can with your friends, without settling for mediocrity or less than each man’s fullest gift;
5352.  Make sure that you arrange for your woman’s rejuvenative time and your own.  Otherwise, you will rot in the cushions of bargained stagnation and sexual neutralization, which pad your true edge of living your gift in relationship;
5353.  Everyone needs to remember their past, as it shapes all we do, but you’ll do more good in the world if you focus furiously on the horizon and swim toward your future;
5354.  There is no consistent evidence that saturated fat in our diet from meat raises our blood cholesterol.  There is plenty of evidence that eating meat actually improves our cholesterol profile when consumed in the absence of sugar and refined carbs.  How?  By raising the good cholesterol and boosting protective or large, LDL particles;
5355.  In one experiment, a researcher sent ten Australian aborigines with obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and high blood sugar back into the bush to hunt kangaroo and alligator and gather roots, nuts and berries.  In seven weeks, all their numbers normalized, enabling them to come off their medications and they lost significant amounts of weight as well;
5356.  In study after study, feeding obese, diabetic or heart disease patients a diet higher in fat and high-quality animal protein resulted in better outcomes for everything including weight, body fat, waist circumference, muscle mass, metabolism, blood pressure, triglycerides, HDL and LDL.  People on diets such as these found them much more satisfying and were less hungry than when on high-carb, low-fat, low-meat diets even when the number of calories was exactly the same;
5357.  When the effects of increasing meat intake was studied in Asian countries, using a sample of almost 300,000 people who generally have healthier diets heavy in fish and vegetables and light in processed sugary foods, they found red meat was actually associated with a lower risk of heart disease in men and cancer in women;
5358.  The level of TMAO in meat is far less than that in fish;
5359.  In a review of more than thirty-five prospective studies on colon cancer and meat consumption, there was little risk found;
5360.  In some studies, those with the highest meat intake had lower risk of colon cancer than those with lowest intake;
5361.  What the studies did find was that meat eating was also associated with other dietary and lifestyle habits that promote cancer including a high intake of refined sugar and alcohol and low intake of fruits, vegetables and fiber.  The meat eaters also generally didn’t exercise, smoked more than non-meat eaters and were more overweight all of which are associated with an increased risk of cancer;
5362.  Some studies do link processed red meat such as hot dogs, bacon and luncheon meats to cancer.  The absolute risk of getting cancer would be an increase from a 2.6 percent to a 3.2 percent chance of getting cancer or about a 0.6 absolute increase in risk.  In other words, about three extra appearances of colon cancer in every 100,000 people for bacon eaters;
5363.  High-temperature cooking, grilling, frying, smoking or charring meat including fish and chicken all lead to the production of compounds called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and heterocyclic amines (HCA).  HCAs and PAHs have been shown to cause cancer in animal models and it is a good idea to reduce your exposure to these toxic compounds;
5364.  Meat is not the only source of PAHs.  Other than meat charred over an open flame, the most common source is vegetables and grains;
5365.  Cooking meat can also produce compounds called AGEs, which result from protein interacting with sugars in food.  These are what make things crispy – the crust that forms on a loaf of bread, crispy chicken skin or the crunchy sugar top on crème brulée.  AGEs damage arteries and the brain and they can cause cancer.  Your best bet is to reduce high-heat cooking and grilling;
5366.  To reduce AGEs, HCAs and PAHs, soak your meat in an acidic marinade with lemon juice or vinegar; this makes it taste better and cuts AGEs in half and HCAs by 90 percent;
5367.  The omega-6 fat arachidonic acid is found in meat.  It is in every one of your cell membranes and helps your body control inflammation, grow and repair.  Grass-fed meat actually increases levels of both omega-3s and the right omega-6s and helps keep that fats in balance;
5368.  In large population studies, those with the highest levels of both omega-3s and arachidonic acid had the lowest levels of inflammation and heart disease;
5369.  In the plowing of fields, clearing of forests and growing of plants, there is wholesale destruction of natural ecosystems including the death of birds, rodents, bugs, worms and trillions of microbes in the soil;
5370.  Agriculture is the most destructive thing humans have done to the planet.  The truth is that agriculture requires the wholesale destruction of ecosystems;
5371.  Vegans are more likely to have nutritional deficiencies of B12, omega-3 fats, fat-soluble vitamins like A and D, iron, calcium, vitamin K2 and zinc;
5372.  When all is said and done, now is all there is and all there ever has been;
5373.  Notice when you are wishing you were somewhere else and bring yourself back to a state of appreciation for where you are.  Remember that not being fully immersed in the present is nothing more than a habit that you have the option of breaking right now, in this moment;
5374.  Discard thoughts of depreciation.  When you find yourself depreciating anyone or anything in your immediate present moment space, see if you can substitute a thought of appreciation.  For example, rather than being bored by a conversation, shift your thoughts to, “I am going to spend the next few moments just loving this person for who s/he is and nothing more.”  This removal of judgment brings you back to being fully in the present;
5375.  Take time to meditate.  Meditation is difficult for many people because their thoughts are always on some distant object or place.  One form of meditation is to label the thought as it appears and then choose to let it go.  This practice helps you first become aware of your thoughts, which many of us need to do, so that we can return to the present moment;
5376.  Practice enjoying each phase of your meal (and your day!) for itself, rather than having your thoughts on dessert, while you are consuming the appetizer.  The essence of the entire message here is to be here now.  Is there really any other place to be?
5377.  Portobello Road gin is rather smooth;
5378.  It’s interesting that women will admit to using body language to try and (subtlety) tell a man (that) she’s not interested while knowing full well that (most) men aren’t good at reading/picking up body language;
5379.  Cows are ruminants that have special stomachs designed to eat grass.  When they are fed grains, the levels of inflammatory omega-6 fats in their bodies, and, thus in the meat we eat, increase;
5380.  Cows have to be given antibiotics to prevent their stomachs from exploding from the bloat caused by their gut bacteria fermenting the corn feed;
5381.  Grass-fed meat has a healthier fat profile than conventionally raised meat with two to five times more omega-3 fats.  It also has lower levels of omega-6 fats;
5382.  The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats in grass-fed beef is about 1.5 to 1.  In grain-fed beef, it is about 7.5 to 1;
5383.  Grain-fed beef has more stearic acid, the saturated fat that has no impact on cholesterol.  I also has two to three times as much conjugated linoleic acid as grain-fed beef, a potent antioxidant that is protective against heart disease, diabetes and cancer and even helps with weight loss and metabolism;
5384.  Grass-fed meat has more vitamin E, beta-carotene, vitamin A, zinc, iron, phosphorous, sodium and potassium than grain-fed meat.  It also has higher levels of antioxidants including glutathione, catalase and superoxide dismutase;
5385.  Egg whites have vitamins B2 (riboflavin) and B3 (niacin), the yolks contain B6 and B12, folic acid (B9), pantothenic acid (B5) and thiamin (B1).  The yolks are also rich sources of vitamins A, E, K and D;
5386.  Egg yolks are one of the few foods that naturally contain vitamin D;
5387.  Eggs are one of the best sources of choline needed for brain health, cell membrane formation and detoxification; it also protects against Alzheimer’s disease;
5388.  Egg yolks contain lutein and zeaxanthin (which gives them their yellow color), antioxidants that help prevent macular degeneration or premature blindness;
5389.  Eggs prevent LDL oxidation and increase LDL and HDL particle size so they protect against heart disease;
5390.  Don’t cook eggs in hot oil.  The fats can oxidize and become harmful.  Poach or soft-boil your eggs or cook them at low temperature;
5391.  There is no good evidence proving butter’s link to heart disease;
5392.  Some studies measuring blood levels of the saturated fats that are in dairy have found them to be associated with a lower risk of heart attacks;
5393.  Cow stomach fermentation turns vitamin K1 (found in leafy greens like kale, chard, spinach and grass) into K2, which then shows up in the dairy fat;
5394.  K2 is important for bone and heart health;
5395.  Grass-fed butter also contains a fatty acid called butyrate that promotes intestinal health and fights inflammation throughout the body especially in the cardiovascular system;
5396.  All of the same nutrients found in grass-fed butter are found in grass-fed ghee.  It is high in vitamins D and A, omega-3 fats, CLA and butyrate;
5397.  Clarified butter has had the water and milk solids removed so it can be used by those allergic to dairy;
5398.  You can make ghee from grass-fed butter by heating it, which separates out the fat from the milk solids and then straining out the milk solids with cheesecloth;
5399.  Countries such as those in the South Pacific with the highest intake of coconut oil eat up to 40 percent of their calories from saturated fat (coconut oil is almost 90 percent saturated fat, while butter is 60 percent saturated fat) yet, surprisingly, they have some of the lowest rates of heart disease in the world;
5400.  There is a surprising amount of research showing that even though coconut oil has the highest amount of saturated fat found in any food and it increases total cholesterol (actually it increases HDL or good cholesterol the most so even though the total cholesterol goes up, the ratio is better), it is not correlated with increased risk of heart attack or stroke;