Welcome to decoding superhuman, this show is a deep dive into obsessions with performance and how to improve the human experience. Twice a week, I explore the latest science, technology and tactics with experts in various fields of human optimization. I’m your host, Boomer Anderson.
Enjoy the journey.
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All right, superhumans. It’s Boomer. Welcome back. If you hear someone speaking behind me in a foreign language, it’s because I’m in an airport in Japan. I’m at Narita right now, sitting in a very comfortable massage chair, recording and podcasts for you guys.
And today is going to be a bit of a random show and that’s because it’s curated by you, the listener. I solicited questions from people on Instagram and LinkedIn. And I wanted to give those questions air time today because I’m extremely grateful for the interaction. You guys had great questions on everything from gut testing, peptides to so many different things.
And so today we’re going to tackle a few of those questions. But suffice to say, we’ll be tackling the others very soon in a future. The show notes for this one are gonna be at the show notes for this one are going to be at decodingsuperhuman.com/survivetheholidays. And maybe that URL gives you a little bit of a hint about what our first question is today.
Our first question is What do you do to survive holiday meals. And what I’m going to share is really my strategy. And I know that there’s a number of different strategies out there. But this strategy has worked particularly well for me, whether it be Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s Eve, where there’s usually a nonzero chance that you could blow yourself up with both food and drink if you wanted to. And so, with these, I’m using dinner as sort of the anchor meal for the day. And in the case of Thanksgiving, it is the anchor meal of the day. In the case of Christmas, it may be something else depending on your family. But here’s how I lay out the framework for doing this. First, I would be fasting almost all day long leading up to that meal. The reason being is simply fasting I reduce my calorie intake to be fair, but also to allows me to get a lot more done in the morning because I’m either focused on preparing the meal with my family, or I am focused on getting some work done before we engage in more family stuff. And so fasting is a key component to my holiday strategy. Just simply put, I don’t want to be full all day long. I don’t want to be full for any bit, but really that dinner at the end of the day. And so if we’re fasting for 16-18 hours, at least, what I’m looking at before dinner or whatever the meal is, is a good workout.
Now, this Thanksgiving, this came in the format of an X3 bar workout which took about 10 to 15 minutes, plus some sprints. And that was basically it doesn’t have to be super fancy. You can do 100 reps, just do something. And it allows you to get your blood flowing, get your metabolism up, to really survive the onset. lot that you’re going to put your body through. Now before I engage in a huge meal, or actually before I engage in a lot of meals now, I do take some form of digestive enzymes, I found that these help get the system going. But if you go back to an episode that I did really early on with Siim Land, we talked about breaking a fast by stimulating digestive enzymes before you put too much food down the hatch, so to speak. And the way that Siim doesn’t way that I like to incorporate if I can get good apple cider vinegar is to take a shot of apple cider vinegar a few minutes before you eat something, and that just simply stimulates these digestive enzymes. Now, once you’ve stimulated digestive enzymes, and actually before you even eat, I just want to get outside for a little bit being nature because family situations can get stressful, especially if you mix in alcohol with them and so getting out in nature we know lowers cortisol we know it just makes us feel better.
In general and fact the place where I am now Japan has been prescribing nature bathing to people for overwork for a number of years. And so how do we just relax for a brief moment go out for a walk in nature. And then so you’ve exercise you fasted you stimulate your digestion, you going out and walked in nature, and now the onslaught begins.
There during this there’s some few basic principles that I like to employ. eat real food, eat the home cooked food. Those are all great. Try to avoid that can have Ocean Spray cranberry sauce, and it kind of pains me a little bit inside to say that because growing up as a young in, I was a big fan of the Ocean Spray cranberry sauce, but now I mean, look at the ingridients lists shocking how many of those I can’t even pronounce. And so employ some common sense. But as we know, common sense is not so common. So common sense here in this case is eat real food. And if it comes from a can, chances are, it’s probably not something you want to partake in. In the last thing for my holiday strategy is to stop eating two hours before you go to bed. And for some people, this could be three hours, but you got to play with your own individual rhythm.
For me two hours seems to be enough in order to optimize my sleep. But two to three hours is really good. And what I’m looking to do there is make sure that my metabolism isn’t running at its highest when I’m trying to sleep. So that’s my holiday strategy.
Let’s move on to the next question. And actually, the next question was posed by somebody who just said, Hey, can you answer The final six questions yourself. I found that funny because I haven’t really answered them before and I know people like Kaspars Vendelis have come on the show and have posed questions to me and have caught me off guard. So why don’t we take a chance to just reflect on that superhuman six?
Well actually, I’ll be five because I won’t tell you where you guys can find me. And I’ll give you what I think are the most useful tools in my life.
So the first question that superhuman six is my favorite piece of technology which I’ve purchased in the last year. And I’m staring at my bag right now because the only piece of technology that I’ve purchased within the past year that is in my carry on bag and travels with me everywhere, is my Vielight neuro alpha.
You guys heard Dr. Lew Lim when he was on the show, but I enjoy the neuro alpha In terms of its benefits, not only from a photo biomodulation perspective, but also helps me relax. It helps bring me in a more relaxed state, I noticed that I get better sleep when I use it right before bed, I noticed that I get a more sense of calm, if that’s a phrase when I’m meditating using it. And aside from the fact that you look kind of crazy with all these contraptions on your head, while using it, I find this to be a very effective device. So that’s my favorite piece of technology that I’ve purchased in the last year.
How do I unwind was a good question because I like my work and so if I were you know, not to unwind, or set another way. There are some times where I just don’t unwind because I enjoy what I do. But Let’s talk about how I unwind specifically how I kind of relax the mind get into the evening routine. You guys know, I’m a huge fan of David Allen. In fact, I’ll probably use this when I answer one of the other questions. And so before I shut down at night, one of the things that I’m doing is I am dumping my brain in to do list, which is my chosen productivity app of choice.
Everything I have to do, every email that I’ve got, I run through it to Inbox Zero, to make sure that I’ve got it out of my brain and into my personal knowledge management system. So I found to do us to be very helpful in that sense. And that allows me to relax in the evening. From there, I’ll usually read a book. If I’m really really good and have the time I will do meditation before bed as well. Or I’ll just spend time with a lady and enjoy my company with her.
Number three, what’s the best thing you’ve done to enhance your productivity This is getting things done, most likely or implementing that system. Specifically, the capture part of that system has been extremely beneficial for me, as well as reframing things to next actions has lowered the barrier to entry, so to speak, the others and these are all kind of pari, passu equal to each other. The others that I’ve found useful are time blocking, particularly in the morning, and making sure that I don’t drop into the abyss that is email, Slack, Whatsapp and all the other technological devices until at least 10am every day. And then, what would be another one that would enhance my productivity or has been a top enhancement to my productivity, the Pomodoro Technique in general, so just time blocking 25 to 90 minute blocks has been extremely effective.
Favorite holiday or vacation destination? And here’s where I’m going to give this sort of answer that I would hate as a podcast host. I am at the point in my life where I like going to new places a lot. And so I’ve been to over 60 countries, which isn’t a lot in comparison to some, but I want to keep that list growing. And so to answer this question is super hard for me. I’m in one of my favorite countries right now. And that’s Japan. I’m going to one of my favorite countries, the Philippines in a moment, and I will be in South Korea for Christmas. So that’s going to be like those are three great countries right there. But if I had to break down and forced myself to answer this because I love it when I sarcastically love it when a podcast guest comes on and says I can’t answer that question. So let me force myself to answer this favorite mountain destination in the world is Steamboat Springs, Colorado. It’s just a family tradition. I grew up going there and I love the place.
Favorite beach Hmm, let’s see even harder. I’m partial and Maldives. Hey, like the Maldives is beautiful. They’re small islands and there’s no beautiful, more beautiful beach that I’ve seen in the world. But I also like some more esoteric places like the Skeleton Coast in Namibia is beautiful. Bali is great. It’s also where I met my fiance. So partial there.
And then favorite city destination probably Tokyo, in Asia, at least in Europe. It may be Copenhagen and then in the United States. I love Chicago. But that’s home. So going for a Bears game is always special to me. That was kind of a I’m going to give you many answers instead of one answer, but let’s roll with it.
What book has significantly impacted me, my life and how I show up to perform in in it? Okay, the first one is somewhat controversial. And that’s Atlas Shrugged. And I think from a personal perspective, just in terms of the way I think in a hyper rational mindset, hyper rational mind.
Atlas Shrugged was that book for me when I read it, particularly as an analyst and banking, and actually just got me to want to work harder. Now I’ve layered on that smarter element of it. And so I still think that book had a profound impact on who I am today.
The other book that comes to mind, in terms of performance in life is the code of the samurai. And I’ll link to the show notes. I think it’s Thomas Cleary who wrote it or the translation of it. And the idea is, it’s a translation of the Bushido shinzou. And I don’t speak Japanese, so forgive my pronunciation there. But there are some takeaways from the book that have really resonated with me and I read it in an absurdly young age, and I think it began my fascination with Japan. But one of the key takeaways that I got out of it of giving to something greater than yourself, something that has stuck with me from the moment that I read it, and we’re going to link to all of those beautiful things in the show notes.
And since we’re kind of coming up on time here, maybe we’ll just cap it at those questions for now. We’ll save others for more random episodes in the future. But let me know what you think about this random episode. Was it too random? Was it not random enough?
Do you want to ask me more questions? Send me an email over at email@example.com. Those of you who have sent an email there, know that I respond to all of them, at least as of now. And if you enjoyed this episode, share it with a friend. Share it on LinkedIn. comment on it, share it on Instagram, share it on Facebook, share it on Tick Tock, wherever you are, share it, and tag Decoding Superhuman. I love you guys. Thank you for this.
Thank you for listening, and have an epic day!