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The Art of Less Doing

Lesson 18 of 19

Improving Your Brain & Nutrition

Ari Meisel

The Art of Less Doing

Ari Meisel

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Lesson Info

18. Improving Your Brain & Nutrition

Lesson Info

Improving Your Brain & Nutrition

I'm going to wantto the brain, so I like putting some focus I talked before about making yourself like a better person improving yourself in any way and then of course goes to your brain. So on the improvement side there is this concept of neural plasticity, which means that basically we can change and build neurons and the way we think and we can become smarter uh if anybody tuned in or was here for a day of aspirin is creative live seminar, which was I think last month davis on awesome awesome guy and he is probably the bio hacker extraordinaire as far as I'm concerned, but his big focuses on mental performance, so he really kind of takes the stuff the next level and I've gleaned from a lot of what he's taught like the rial minimal elements that I can't or the uh really refined element that I can so with improvement we're talking about getting smarter. You may have heard of lu ma city, but there's, another website called brain turk and brain turk was created by a neuroscience researc...

h or somewhere and it's all free and its brain training games and you go through these games things like the duel end back where you're focusing on two different things at once and try to remember or focus hands or memory games and just like with any muscle in your body you can train it to get better, bigger and stronger, and they're fun and you know you can spend a few minutes every day just playing one or two games and you can quantify your progress, too. Whenever I have someone tell me that they have an issue focusing, I'm not the person who's going to tell them. Drink more coffee? I'm going to say, try to work on making your brain more focus because not their coffee can help, but you can actually make the baseline that much better resilience is talking about stress, so as I said before, your body can handle enormous amount of stress if it does not recognize that as stress. So there is a you think a protocol known his heart rate variability. So if your heart is beating at sixty beats per minute or if it's being sixty beats per minute, that does not mean that you're getting one beat every second. That would be very, very bad, basically it's going up and down as we breathe and as we look at something that excites us as we think about something that makes us sad, like it goes up and down constantly and there is a rhythm to that and we want variability, as I said before it's, not so much, they built the way that we respond to stress this way when we come back from it. So with heart rate variability, what you see with studies is that the people who are chronically stressed and don't have an outlet don't handle it properly, get very low heart rate variability, and if you want to think of that about something being like frozen with liquid nitrogen, it becomes very fragile and you tapping into cracks, right? But a rubber band can kind of move back and forth and be okay instantly. One of the most the last acceptances is glass, because it will return to its original shape better than almost any other material. So with resilience, we're training heart rate variability. You can actually train your resilience, and there are all sorts of neural feedback mechanisms and ways to do this, and they're not particular expensive. But there is one that is a very cheap iphone app and an android out called stress doctor what's dress tarty does is you put your finger on the camera lens, and it will measure your heart rate from that, and then you breathe in time as you watch the biofeedback of your heart rate's going up and down, and you see how your breath matches with your heart rate, and in those five minutes you can almost benefit from an hour of meditation it's, incredibly impactful. And with a lot of clients, I'll recommend they do this once in the morning and once at night, and you can even do it throughout the day if you want, but if you do it just those two times, take that ten minutes you're not only gonna help yourself in that moment you're actually going help yourself beyond those moments so that when that stressful situation happens, you can hit it and come right back down from it that is the key is being able to recover as quickly as possible same thing with high interval into height, intensity interval training that we talked about before it's not necessarily that twenty seconds to see how hard you can do it is to see how well you can come back from it in those ten seconds that's what fitness is and that's what resilience is so you can really train that with an app called stress doctor with expansion I'm talking about learning there's all sorts of learning hacks out there too, but in my experience the best one is something called brain scape so brain scape is basically flashcards but flash court cards on steroids so you basically khun train any kind of information that you want, whether it's a language or vocabulary or math methods or history and what you're doing is as you learn you ourself rating at how well you learned the concept so if you're doing the fifty states of america for the fifty capitals of the fifty states of america, for instance, and you're just having such a hard time roaming the chinas chapel of wyoming, okay, then what? If you're having a hard time with that, then you would keep reading that lower and it wouldn't just keep coming back and back iraq, but it would space it out in a way that it would come back at the right time. There is this idea of space to learning space, repetitive learning, actually. So it's not just seeing it over and over. It's seeing it at the time when it's going to hit the right part of your memory so it works incredibly effectively. Just a quick question on this. Making your own flash cards. I mean, what if the thief, cities and states is not relevant to you? How do you you find so it's already in there? Actually, you can make your own. Ok, but there's a marketplace with hundreds of topics and subjects and that have already been done. Okay, sorry, I just wanted to clear no, no. That's a good point, it's. A very good point because that make won't you make your own is a lot bigger office, yeah. And it works on all the different platforms you could do it on the go in it's sink so you can work out a little bit at home and then you can do it on the subway or on the bus wherever you want to try to learn those things and I can tell you personally that as I mentioned before I'm in the process of getting my french dual citizenship threw my wife and in order to get french citizenship you actually have to speak french brand scape made it happen so the last part about brain is drugs and I should really be supplements but there's all sorts of I'm gonna start with everything with his all stories up but there's all these different kinds of brain enhancing my enhancing drugs and I'm not a fan or even an experimenter of any of them I do believe that there are lots and natural things that you can do to enhance the way that your brain works and there is a supplement produced by company called on it laps which is a really cool company but they make a supplement called alfa brain alfa brain is a proprietary blend of something like eight or nine different not only natural substances but substances that have actual verified studies that have been attached all of them that show that they are effective that I've individually studied over the years and I would not recommend this to people if I didn't only use it myself but I know that it really is effective incidentally one of the compounds in alfa brain is something called cat's claw which is one of the supplements that I found to be particularly effective in overcoming my crones disease alfa brain is a smooth muscle relaxer and an anti inflammatory that comes from an amazonian tree it looks like a cat's paw but that is in there and it's a neuro protective so part of getting smarter and being more intelligent and feeling more creative and free is not just about in expanding things but also about protecting what you have and helping with that neurological activity so alfa brain is really cool because you can use it on a daily basis if you want as a supplement I don't you can use it when you need it which is what I usually don't do you can also they recommend you can take it a few hours before you go to sleep and increase your ability to have lucid dreams so um maybe some people out there might not know what lucid dreams are lucid dreaming you coming up oh okay sorry what I keep doing that you know it would be great though before you move on to your next point just to hear from some of the students you know how is this resonating with you do you see do you have some brain challenges that you want to share memory um issues anything or even exercise yeah yeah well because I'm a student you know, to study a lot and so it's obviously I want to find the most efficient way to study maximize my time on dh so I don't know if they particularly have the subjects that I study on brand scape um but that's what I usedto making on class quite so yeah, I was definitely recommend trying, but you'd be surprised there are hundreds of jobs subjects on their anybody else have anything? I mean, I know obviously students do but you know we don't you don't isn't it like the process of getting older? How is that going for everyone let's hear from some of the old people? I think just the process of getting older changing from being in your teens to your twenties I mean everyone's in their twenties here, right? Anybody want to share? Yeah, I think I need help with my brain I my addition skills, you know, it's all very useful resilience and in testing the stress and how you bounce back from it, I always slept through bouncing back from it, so in my past lives so as I've gotten older, I think the ability to deal with stress has definitely improved yeah, maybe that is very important when you're a student and growing up you're constantly assessed and tested, you know that you're constantly proving your mastery of a certain subject or anything, but as we get older, the only thing you have to prove that is, you know, I guess some level of success and there's, you know a lot with, like you mentioned the fitbit or, you know, like the quantified self around heart rate and exercise wellness, but it's excited, I don't know the concept of being able to test my brain and think about how mentally astute I am now versus ten years ago when I was in my teens, I just I love that idea that I can kind of assess where I'm at now and see just how how well my brain is working, right that's, true and again it's all about that self awareness, you know, maybe there's no problem on dh, maybe there isn't. Maybe there is a not actual problem, but one area where you could improve so it's good to at least know that uh uh, I'm an avid cyclist, and while I probably won't do that's a bottle while I am on the road because that's well, you hit a red light there it's a little hard um, but certainly with on my off days when I do the weight training, it would be nice to get the time down because I could bend sleep instead that's a particularly good one precise list, by the way because it's using that core and it's also using the the large muscles in the legs so I can attest to that just have a question so you send you are sort of my empty I was wondering they had any particular training on how you deal with us go see a counselor basically yeah, they don't they don't address that too well for you, aunty is as far as I'm concerned, but honestly I would say that working as an e m t was a form of stress inoculation for me as well because I can tell you honestly that I was a massive hypochondriac growing up and the first time you see somebody with a lot of blood on them or various other body fluids, you kind of have to get over it pretty quick so it was, you know, if you can put yourself in controlled stress situations that's a really good thing actually because then you can figure out how to get out of it that's great and our online audience is resonating. Teo mandy s says I have a horrible memory and I've been teased about it my whole life sometimes nicely and sometimes not and hopefully the brain escape and some of these recommendations can help and then there is a question about are there any long term effects of using alfa brain bit greater intelligence eso again, this is not things like mad, a fennel or provisional, which is the same thing, or adderall or ritalin. It's not a drug. These are not drugs is not pharmaceuticals. They are natural supplements that I don't know all them up and unfortunate. But one of them is vitamin b twelve, which you can find studies and destroy strothers anything bad about that? Uh, the cat's claws, as I explained, is an incredible something that's been around for many millennia as a natural supplement in the amazonian rainforest. One of the things that is in it is also something called back open money area, which is considered the queen supplement of ira pathetic medicine and is essentially a a calmer in some ways. But what it has shown in numerous studies that have been peer reviewed and a lot of studies, it improves memory after four weeks of use. Really? Well, so all of these things have been studied and tested, and individually they I have been shown to have really great effect, so long term effects are just all positive. Okay, thank you when you can get to over excising rate and supposing you enjoy doing something like playing tennis are doing martial arts, boxing, whatever, how do you know that you're doing too much and you're not or exerting yourself when you are not able to recover from that effectively because again as I said it's not how you do it or what you respond to it it's how you recover from itself if I'm used to being able to recover from a a uh grappling session in krav maga after one night because you're going to get hurt you should get hurt sometimes doing this stuff you know, if you go diving for a tennis ball, you're going to get hurt but if it takes you a day or two normally to recover from that great but if you find that it's going to take you longer and you're missing out on other things, then a you're not recovering properly or you may be pushing yourself too hard today yeah um you know, when you first of course with brain scape also being a student that sounds really useful, especially for classes I might not get the chance to take and I still want to keep in touch with subject like I'm missing out on a semester of mandarin, which I started last year, but I couldn't take it this year and so that way you can keep that going because if you don't practice that echoes right perhaps a little um but definitely for focus um that is a huge issue I have and I go on uh sort of tangents in my mind and that's very and sometimes it could be useful, you know, sometimes I get great ideas and the little you know, sidetracks, I go down, but when I'm trying to be productive it's not that great, right? Well, they obviously the ability or the idea is that we wantto control that right, and the brain turk stuff really does work quite well for not only for focus, but actually helps with working on stress too, because the game's air hard if anybody's ever done the duel, end back training before it's something that's spinning round for a very long time, but basically probably not describe this perfectly, but you have a four boxes and it's showing you colored circles and a number or a letter basically at different intervals, and then sometimes it will say it. So then you have to remember if it was the same thing that you just saw or if it wasn't and if it was the same position or not. So you're remembering and using different senses at the same time and the first time you do it, you're going toe really badly and it's stressful because it is hard, but you get better at it and your focus really doesn't prove, and then you can sort of go in and out of that, but more to the point actually has no al brought up yesterday about riding the highest sort of and using the high energy they're going to be times when you need that focus maybe a thousand euro high energy and then when you're low energy is with the times when you can sort of let go a little bit and let that creativity flow so it's kind of unfinished one of finishing two full circle so I just noticed that the entire course you've been talking a lot about mindset um and it's how you interpret things in sort of one and is there a particular mindset that you train yourself to be in so I try to basically put myself in a situation where I can be reactionary which is something I talked about yesterday right so it's not that I don't want to have anything going on so if something comes at me I can deal with it but it is that if I do have something going on and something does come at you you have the pathways to deal with it so you do want to be in that mindset that you're in the present and that what comes to you is something that you can deal with and we'll deal with so just sort of in a boil that down it's really it is about being present in a lot of ways and the whole thing I said about by the way I remembered what the quote was its carbon damn kwan minimum credible oh past era miss again seize the day and put little to no faith in the future and that really is kind of a mind set that I try to stay in that the systems that I use work and if they don't work I'm going to be able to deal with that but they do work so I don't have to worry about what's gonna happen I want to worry about what I was doing I have a system in place to keep me in check and to know that what's coming is going to come at the right time and I will deal with it so it really is sort of about staying present was another question okay, so now on nutrition which is one of the other points of the triangle is three things I want to talk about. The first one is that most people at least in this country and certainly in the standard american diet do not get enough good fats and thankfully the health community has finally come around to the idea that saturated fats are not bad for you, which was always based on a study from the seventies anyway, most people don't get enough good fats and by good fats I mean things like coconut oil, grass fed butter, grass fed beef heritage bread, pork pastored egg yolks, m c t oil, which is a derivative coconut oil, avocados, olive oil good fats good fats will not make you fat good fats will fill you up, satiate you and make you happy uh, good fats provide key tones for your body and basically our body. All the cells in our body are really efficient at switching between different metabolic moments they can burn glucose from sugar and they could burn ki tones from fat. We produce more than enough glucose and our bodies to provide what we need for ourselves and for our brains. We don't need to supplement that, and I'm sure it's not a surprise to most people that we get way too much sugar and our diets anyway, even if you really try to avoid it it's kind of hard because everything has added sugar nowadays, but it doesn't have those good fats. If you're providing your body with key tones, it does tend to run a little more efficiently. You can think a little more clearly you can help push out some of the inflammatory effects of that glucose and this is not a new concept. For over one hundred years people have been using ketogenic diet, which is kind of the extreme side of it, to deal with things like epilepsy and even cancer in some cases because cancer cells cannot switch between the two minutes of fuel, they can only burn clue post in most cases, so providing some of those good fats if you don't feel like following a diet, which because I don't recommend a specific diet necessarily increasing those good fast is going to be so helpful for you because it almost naturally will make you want to lower the sugars and lower some of the carbs, even though personally, I kind of love carbs, and I'm okay with that, but good fats will really, really help you. They are anti inflammatory, which is one of the key things for may, and in a way, you almost can't. You won't have to limit yourself because good fats or so satiating that's pretty hard to over eat good fats. There was a guy and forgetting his name, but he did this kind of horrible experiment, but it was it was very effective. It was a really healthy guy, he's still healthy, I and he has all these fitness clubs around the uk, but he basically had a diet of five thousand calories a day or so where it was his normal diet, which is a high fat diet, and that was no steaks and vegetables and things with good foods, but he tried to accomplish it with a sort of standard american diet, so it was a lot of sugars and processed foods and coca cola and things like that, and it was a lot easier. Teo eat forty five hundred calories of five thousand cars of the crap every day and I can tell you personally that when I was training for iron man and I was eating nine thousand calories a day eighty five percent carbs nine thousand gets a little hard but it's easy to eat a lot of pasta every two hours and easy the whole big bowl of cornflakes you can do that easy it's not easy to eat that much when you're eating good food and fats and this guy had that exact experience he really had to work to get that extra steak down at the end of the night to get to those forty, five hundred five thousand calories. The other thing though about about fats is that vitamins a d, e and k are fat soluble vitamins, so if you're not getting adequate that's, you're not going to be getting those vitamins and they're all very important. Incidentally, so I don't recommend a specific diet because I think that die it's in their nature a very temporary however, if you're the kind of person who requires some sort of structure in order to be able to follow something actually do like a lot the bulletproof diet that dave asprey has put out there and as I mentioned before about dave so the bulletproof dia the reason I like it is because it's focuses on removing toxins from your diet and it doesn't do that by elimination of everything that tastes good but it's very specific and the things that you should and shouldn't be eating in order to have sort of optimal health so the second part of nutrition is about eating at home and I know that I'm gonna get some rolled eyes from people but it's hard to recommend too busy people that they eat at home but hopefully now that we've talked about all these other concepts and batch ing and everything and planning that you might be able to do that a little better because I promise you that the meal that you cook at home is going to be healthier than the meal that you eat from a restaurant we're out of a box because you know, what's going in it you have some connection to it and quite frankly could be very enjoyable but one of the services that I didn't mention before that I'm gonna mention now that will make this easier and someone online actually brought this up is hello fresh hello, fresh and there's a number of services like this all around the world hello fresh will send you a box of fresh ingredients pre measured and I mean everything you'll get the piece of meat that you need and the two sprigs of mint and the celery whatever you need to make a healthy home cooked meal in thirty minutes or less you get the box, make the meal and you're happy and the stuff is really good and the recipes were great and it is healthy but most pointedly hearing at home and then the other thing the last thing I want to talk about a nutrition is about fasting, so there are several different protocols for fasting there's something called the warrior diet where you don't eat all day and then about eight o'clock and not you beast, which I don't agree with uh, I think that makes it very hard to go to sleep, but there is something to be said for having dinner a couple hours before you go to bed and I'm not waking up rolling out of bed and eating immediately, and it might be hard for you to do that the first couple times, but if you give yourself ten to twelve hours between meals one day and if you think about that if you're getting normal sleep seven to eight hours that shouldn't be so bad, right? Because you have two hours maybe after the end of dinner go sleep for maybe eight hours and then you've gotta have another two hours after you wake up. Not only does this give your system sort of a metabolic arrest, but it also makes it a little less stressful in the morning when you don't have to worry about eating for the first two hours I can tell you personally that when my twins wake us up at four fifteen in the morning, I don't have time to make myself breakfast and while that was scary in the beginning because you think everyone thinks that when they're hungry they're going to die, you get used to it pretty quickly and that's better because you shouldn't be in that kind of situation. I don't want to be a slave to your food and it goes back to the willpower thing because if you feel that fear where's hunger is not a bad thing if you feel the fear from your belly, you're not going to focus on anything else that you want to do until you get to that meal it's like kind of that kind of like hyperglycemia rush that happens so fasting for ten to twelve hours will actually help with your insulin sensitivity. We'll help with mental clarity and it will also help set your clock for the day so that's another thing? So if I get up at four fifty in the morning, if I have breakfast at four thirty, I'm gonna be wanting dinner at four o'clock in the afternoon, but if I have breakfast at ten o'clock that's more like a brunch, whatever, then I'm sort of setting a different intention for the day and I'm able to not have to worry about that for the beginning of the day

Class Description

Get ready to learn a proven way to optimize your productivity. 

In this course, achievement and efficiency expert Ari Meisel explains a systematic way for accomplishing the things you need to do so you can open up more time for the things you want to do. You’ll learn to optimize, automate, and outsource both personal and professional tasks. 

Ari will help you identify which tasks are monopolizing your time and help you build strategies to make those tasks less time-consuming. Ari will also cover simple strategies for getting through everyday responsibilities like errands and paperwork more quickly and efficiently. You’ll also learn about applying the same level of efficient prioritization to your personal life, including how to approach health and fitness in a more streamlined way.

By the end of this course, you’ll be on your way to an easier, organized, balanced way of living.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Optimize Automate and Outsource Everything.pdf

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Book Excerpt.pdf


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WOW - I only watched the intro video (about 1/2hr in length), and already I'm completely blown away ... I'm definitely buying this course! Already a huge fan of Evernote, (lol - stone tablet!) but the other websites also seem very useful. And if it's a matter of the best parts of the movie are all in trailer - I will be back to let you know!

Amy Cantrell

Lots of great info! I love the concept of getting ideas out of your head, leaving your mind open to new ideas, and using Evernote to keep ideas and notes organized. The email tips alone could be worth the price of the class. Creating your own work week, tackling difficult tasks when you are at your best, making smart use of your time, progress begets progress, all good stuff!

Gina Bégin

I've already recommended this course to a number of people and followed up with Ari's team to go even further — though, sincerely, there is so much incredible depth in this course that if you're just starting out or in the midst of optimizing your workflow and cleaning up your "plate" of tasks, you will be blown away. He discusses great ways to use automation (IFTTT, Zapier) and how to make better use of Evernote, tricks to ... well, pretty much increase productivity in every aspect of life from health to work. I research this stuff all the time, but had no idea there was so much more out there. Well done, Ari.