lørdag den 28. maj 2011

The Simplest Diet for Lean Fitness

Overall philosophy

My general philosophy of eating:

  • I don’t go for anything extreme. I’ve made small changes to my diet over the years and have found this works best: if you try for drastic changes you’ll hate it and won’t stick to it for long. But add a few extra fruits and veggies and it’s not hard. Change soda to water next month and it’s not deprivation.
  • I eat slowly. OK … not always but most of the time. Eating slowly allows me to fully savor the taste of the healthy food I eat and at the same time eat less while still feeling satiated (not stuffed).
  • I eat real foods. I try for veggies and fruits and raw nuts and seeds and beans and some whole grains. Sometimes my food is processed but mostly it’s just the stuff you’ll find in the produce and bulk sections of a supermarket (or farmer’s market).
  • I eat plants. I do that mostly for reasons of compassion (killing animals for pleasure doesn’t feel right to me) but I’ve found it’s also an extremely healthy way to eat. Sure it’s possible to be vegan and unhealthy (eat processed fake meats and sweets) but if you’re a whole-food vegan it’s hard to go wrong. And yes it’s easy to get protein as a vegan.
  • I enjoy myself. I look for healthy foods I love — berries for example — and savor them. I’ll eat sweets now and then but in small portions and truly enjoy the few bites I have. I have red wine and love it. I drink beer sometimes and it’s wonderful. I have pizza about once a week and it’s delicious. Eating healthy isn’t about deprivation but about finding ways to enjoy yourself while living a healthy life.

My Diet

This month I’ve cut my less healthy choices down to Saturdays — as inspired by Tim Ferriss’s book The 4-Hour Body. That means I only eat pasta and pizza and sweets and beer and French fries on Saturdays. This has gotten me even leaner and I recommend this way of living.

The rest of the week I eat my own version of Tim’s Slow Carb Diet — the Leo version. That means I eat a little fruit and a few whole grains and I don’t eat the meat. I don’t eat fried foods or drink calories (other than red wine at dinner) or eat white carbs (pasta bread rice potatoes pizza).

What I eat:

  • Beans – lentils and black beans and kidney beans and pintos and soybeans.
  • Nuts and seeds – raw almonds and walnuts and seeds and olive oil and avocadoes.
  • Veggies – lots of greens like kale and spinach and chard and broccoli. Carrots and various bell peppers and sprouts and so on.
  • Fruits – berries and apples and oranges and a little dried fruits like raisins. In moderation.
  • Whole grains – steel-cut oats and Ezekiel flourless sprouted-grains bread and quinoa (not technically a grain). That’s about it — I don’t eat pastas or whole-grain muffins or the like.

My Meals

My typical day usually goes like this:

  • Breakfast: Every day I eat steel-cut oats for breakfast late in the morning (usually between 10:30 and 11:30). I cook it and then mix it with flaxseeds and cinnamon and blueberries and raw almonds and a few raisins and maybe a small amount of banana or raspberries.
  • Lunch: Typically a big-ass salad with kale and spinach and sprouts and avocados and beans and raw nuts and a little fruit with balsamic vinegar. Sometimes I’ll eat a tofu stir-fry with greens.
  • Snack: If I’m hungry in the afternoon I’ll eat some raw nuts and dried fruit or veggies and hummus.
  • Dinner: Beans and veggies or a tofu-stir fry or veggie chili with beans. This meal varies. Sometimes the beans will be Indian style or Mexican style. Usually the veggies will be greens like kale or broccoli or chard. Sometimes I’ll have quinoa. Red wine with dinner.

And that’s about it. Over time I’ve found I need less food than I used to. Eat slowly and you’ll find yourself full on less food.

The Results

I used to spread my “cheats” throughout the week — a whole-grain muffin here and some pizza there and beer more than I’d like to admit. But putting everything on Saturdays has helped me be honest the rest of the week.

I honestly enjoy eating whole foods. I enjoy being lighter and leaner. I’ve gained muscle eating these foods though I might focus on building more muscle later in the year.

I run faster than ever. I can do more intense workouts than ever before. I was tested for various health indicators recently and everything was perfect. Eating this way has absolutely changed my life.


A couple notes to answer potential questions:

  • Soy is not unhealthy. You might have read various scare articles on the Internet about soy (usually based on misleading articles from the Weston A. Price Foundation) but they’re misinterpretations of science. I eat soy in moderation and try for whole soy in natural forms (tofu, tempeh, edamame, some natural soy milk). I don’t have man boobs and I’m absolutely healthy. Instead of pointing to “scientific” explanations of why soy is unhealthy show me the actual peer-reviewed studies that show that moderate amounts of natural soy (not soy protein isolate) have caused health problems.
  • You can absolutely get enough protein and calcium and iron on a vegan diet if you eat whole foods and not junk.
  • Sugar is junk and that includes white flour pasta and breads and French fries. It’s worthless calories. Whole grains in moderation provide nutrients and fiber.
  • A little meat in moderation is not unhealthy — especially if you choose grass fed and free range. Most people eat unhealthy amounts of meat and eggs and dairy. Those foods in any amount are unethical in my opinion — even if they’re grass fed and free range. Exploitation of animals as objects and their suffering for our pleasure is not compassionate. We don’t need animal products to live healthy lives — as my example shows — so the only reason to eat them is for our pleasure (we like the taste).
Source: http://zenhabits.net/diet/

    torsdag den 26. maj 2011

    9 Mindfulness Rituals to Make Your Day Better

    Ok guys, it´s time

    Are you simply moving through your day, without fully living?
    I did this for many years. It was as if life were just passing by, and I was waiting for something to happen. I always felt like I was preparing for something later.
    But today isn’t preparation for tomorrow. Today’s the main event.
    Fully live today by being mindful. I realize this is easier said than done — mindfulness is a habit that’s not easily picked up. 

    And so I’ve decided to share with you some of my favorite mindfulness rituals to help you appreciate every moment.
    You don’t need to do all of these, but give a few of them a try to see if they make your day better.

    Mindfulness Rituals

    Ritual isn’t about doing a routine mindlessly. It’s a way of building something good into your life, so that you don’t forget what’s important. Done mindfully, a ritual can remind you to be conscious. Done mindlessly, a ritual is meaningless.
    Here are a few of my favorites:
    1. Sit in the morning. When you wake up, in the quiet of the morning, perhaps as your coffee is brewing, get a small cushion and sit on the floor. I will often use this opportunity to stretch, as I am very inflexible. I feel every muscle in my body, and it is like I am slowly awakening to the day. I’ll also just sit, and focus on my breathing going in and out. I’m an absolute beginner when it comes to meditation, but this always starts my day right.
    2. Brush your teeth. I assume we all brush our teeth, but often we do it while thinking of other things. Try fully concentrating on the action of brushing, on each stroke of each tooth, going from one side of the mouth to the other. You end up doing a better job, and it helps you realize how much we do on autopilot.
    3. Eat mindfully. Turn off the TV, put away the computer and mobile devices, even put away the book or newspaper. If you eat with any of these things (most people do), eating without them will seem boring. And yet, unless you do this, you are not truly appreciating your food. I like eating my oats (with nuts and berries — see my diet) mindfully, paying attention to each bite. It makes the food taste better, and I eat slowly and with gratefulness.
    4. Wash your bowl. When you’re done eating, wash your dish immediately. Do it while paying full attention to your washing, to the water and suds. Read more.
    5. Drink tea. There’s something ancient about the tea ceremony — and when you drink tea as a mindfulness ritual, you’re connecting with millions of others who have done so over the centuries. Make your own tea ceremony — prepare the tea carefully and mindfully, pour it slowly, sip it with thoughtfulness. See if you can set aside one time each day to do this, and it will transform your day.
    6. Walk slowly. I like to take breaks from work, and go outside for a little walk. Walk slowly, each step a practice in awareness. Pay attention to your breathing, to everything around you, to the sounds and light and texture of objects.
    7. Read in silence. Find a quiet time (mornings or evenings are great for me), and a quiet spot, and read a good novel. Have no television or computers on nearby, and just immerse yourself in the world of the novel. It might seem contradictory to let your mind move from the present into the time of the novel, but it’s a great practice in focus. Also, I love a good novel more than almost anything else.
    8. Look at someone gratefully. Each day, find someone you care about. Instead of just seeing what you always see, really look at the person. Try not to do it creepily. See this person for the miracle that she is, and be grateful for her existence. If you’re feeling generous, tell that person how thankful you are for her.
    9. Work with focus. Start your workday by choosing one task that will make a big difference in your work, and clearing everything else away. Just do that one task, and don’t switch to other tasks. Single-tasking is a great way to find focus. Increase your Monk Mind.
    These rituals aren’t the only time you should be mindful, but they’re great reminders. Today, try a few of them to fully live and fully appreciate this wonderful day.

    Source: http://zenhabits.net/ritual/

    tirsdag den 24. maj 2011

    38 Life Lessons

    Here are 38 very good life lessons, if you want to have a perfect life.

    1. Always swallow your pride to say you’re sorry. Being too proud to apologize is never worth it — your relationship suffers for no good benefit.

    2. Possessions are worse than worthless. they’re harmful. They add no value to your life, and cost you everything. Not just the money required to buy them, but the time and money spent shopping for them, maintaining them, worrying about them, insuring them, fixing them, etc.

    3. Slow down. Rushing is rarely worth it. Life is better enjoyed at a leisurely pace.

    4. Goals aren’t as important as we think. Try working without them for a week. Turns out, you can do amazing things without goals. And you don’t have to manage them, cutting out on some of the bureaucracy of your life. You’re less stressed without goals, and you’re freer to choose paths you couldn’t have foreseen without them.

    5. The moment is all there is. All our worries and plans about the future, all our replaying of things that happened in the past — it’s all in our heads, and it just distracts us from fully living right now. Let go of all that, and just focus on what you’re doing, right at this moment. In this way, any activity can be meditation.

    6. When your child asks for your attention, always grant it. Give your child your full attention, and instead of being annoyed at the interruption, be grateful for the reminder to spend time with someone you love.

    7. Don’t go into debt. That includes credit card debt, student debt, home debt, personal loans, auto loans. We think they’re necessary but they’re not, at all. They cause more headaches than they’re worth, they can ruin lives, and they cost us way more than we get. Spend less than you earn, go without until you have the money.

    8. I’m not cool, and I’m cool with that. I wasted a lot of energy when I was younger worrying about being cool. It’s way more fun to forget about that, and just be yourself.

    9. The only kind of marketing you need is an amazing product. If it’s good, people will spread the word for you. All other kind of marketing is disingenuous.

    10. Never send an email or message that’s unfit for the eyes of the world. In this digital age, you never know what might slip into public view.

    11. You can’t motivate people. The best you can hope for is to inspire them with your actions. People who think they can use behavioral “science” or management techniques have not spent enough time on the receiving end of either.

    12. If you find yourself swimming with all the other fish, go the other way. They don’t know where they’re going either.

    13. You will miss a ton, but that’s OK. We’re so caught up in trying to do everything, experience all the essential things, not miss out on anything important … that we forget the simple fact that we cannot experience everything. That physical reality dictates we’ll miss most things. We can’t read all the good books, watch all the good films, go to all the best cities in the world, try all the best restaurants, meet all the great people. But the secret is: life is better when we don’t try to do everything. Learn to enjoy the slice of life you experience, and life turns out to be wonderful.

    14. Mistakes are the best way to learn. Don’t be afraid to make them. Try not to repeat the same ones too often.

    15. Failures are the stepping stones to success. Without failure, we’ll never learn how to succeed. So try to fail, instead of trying to avoid failure through fear.

    16. Rest is more important than you think. People work too hard, forget to rest, and then begin to hate their jobs. In fitness, you see it constantly: people training for a marathon getting burned out because they don’t know how to let their straining muscles and joints recover. People who try to do too much because they don’t know that rest is where their body gets stronger, after the stress.

    17. There are few joys that equal a good book, a good walk, a good hug, or a good friend. All are free.

    18. Fitness doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a long process, a learning process, something that happens in little bits over a long period. I’ve been getting fit for five years now, and I still have more to learn and do. But the progress I’ve made has been amazing, and it’s been a great journey.

    19. The destination is just a tiny slice of the journey. We’re so worried about goals, about our future, that we miss all the great things along the way. If you’re fixated on the goal, on the end, you won’t enjoy it when you get there. You’ll be worried about the next goal, the next destination.

    20. A good walk cures most problems. Want to lose weight and get fit? Walk. Want to enjoy life but spend less? Walk. Want to cure stress and clear your head? Walk. Want to meditate and live in the moment? Walk. Having trouble with a life or work problem? Walk, and your head gets clear.

    21. Let go of expectations. When you have expectations of something — a person, an experience, a vacation, a job, a book — you put it in a predetermined box that has little to do with reality. You set up an idealized version of the thing (or person) and then try to fit the reality into this ideal, and are often disappointed. Instead, try to experience reality as it is, appreciate it for what it is, and be happy that it is.

    22. Giving is so much better than getting. Give with no expectation of getting something in return, and it becomes a purer, more beautiful act. To often we give something and expect to get an equal measure in return — at least get some gratitude or recognition for our efforts. Try to let go of that need, and just give.

    23. Competition is very rarely as useful as cooperation. Our society is geared toward competition — rip each other’s throats out, survival of the fittest, yada yada. But humans are meant to work together for the survival of the tribe, and cooperation pools our resources and allows everyone to contribute what they can. It requires a whole other set of people skills to work cooperatively, but it’s well worth the effort.

    24. Gratitude is one of the best ways to find contentment. We are often discontent in our lives, desire more, because we don’t realize how much we have. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, be grateful for the amazing gifts you’ve been given: of loved ones and simple pleasures, of health and sight and the gift of music and books, of nature and beauty and the ability to create, and everything in between. Be grateful every day.

    25. Compassion for other living things is more important than pleasure. Many people scoff at vegetarianism because they love the taste of meat and cheese too much, but they are putting the pleasure of their taste buds ahead of the suffering of other living, feeling beings. You can be perfectly healthy on a vegetarian (even vegan) diet, so killing and torturing animals is absolutely unnecessary. Compassion is a much more fulfilling way to live than closing your eyes to suffering.

    26. Taste buds change. I thought I could never give up meat, but by doing it slowly, I never missed it. I thought I could never give up junk food like sweets, fried crap, nachos, all kinds of unhealthy things … and yet today I would rather eat some fresh berries or raw nuts. Weird, but it’s amazing how much our taste buds can change.

    27. Create. The world is full of distractions, but very few are as important as creating. In my job as a writer, there is nothing that comes close to being as crucial as creating. In my life, creating is one of the few things that has given me meaning. When it’s time to work, clear away all else and create.

    28. Get some perspective. Usually when we’re worried or upset, it’s because we’ve lost perspective. In the larger picture, this one problem means almost nothing. This fight we’re having with someone else — it’s over something that matters naught. Let it go, and move on.

    29. Don’t sit too much. It kills you. Move, dance, run, play.

    30. Use the magic of compound interest. Invest early, and it will grow as if by alchemy. Live on little, don’t get into debt, save all you can, and invest it in mutual funds. Watch your money grow.

    31. All we are taught in schools, and all we see in the media (news, films, books, magazines, Internet) has a worldview that we’re meant to conform to. Figure out what that worldview is, and question it. Ask if there are alternatives, and investigate. Hint: the corporations exert influence over all of our information sources. Another hint: read Chomsky.

    32. Learn the art of empathy. Too often we judge people on too little information. We must try to understand what they do instead, put ourselves in their shoes, start with the assumption that what others do has a good reason if we understand what they’re going through. Life becomes much better if you learn this art.

    33. Do less. Most people try to do too much. They fill life with checklists, and try to crank out tasks as if they were widget machines. Throw out the checklists and just figure out what’s important. Stop being a machine and focus on what you love. Do it lovingly.

    34. No one knows what they’re doing as parents. We’re all faking it, and hoping we’re getting it right. Some people obsess about the details, and miss out on the fun. I just try not to mess them up too much, to show them they’re loved, to enjoy the moments I can with them, to show them life is fun, and stay out of the way of them becoming the amazing people they’re going to become. That they already are.

    35. Love comes in many flavors. I love my children, completely and more than I can ever fully understand. I love them each in a different way, and know that each is perfect in his or her own way.

    36. Life is exceedingly brief. You might feel like there’s a huge mass of time ahead of you, but it passes much faster than you think. Your kids grow up so fast you get whiplash. You get gray hairs before you’re done getting your bearings on life. Appreciate every damn moment.

    37. Fear will try to stop you. Doubts will try to stop you. You’ll shy away from doing great things, from going on new adventures, from creating something new and putting it out in the world, because of self-doubt and fear. It will happen in the recesses of your mind, where you don’t even know it’s happening. Become aware of these doubts and fears. Shine some light on them. Beat them with a thousand tiny cuts. Do it anyway, because they are wrong.

    38. I have a lot left to learn. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that I know almost nothing, and that I’m often wrong about what I think I know. Life has many lessons left to teach me, and I’m looking forward to them all.

    Source: http://zenhabits.net/38/

    mandag den 23. maj 2011

    70 Ways to Increase Your Brain Power

    This articel i found on the net is relly helpfull.
    It has really made me feel like that Hawking guy.

    70 Ways to Increase Your Brain Power
    By Steve Gillman
    Excerpt from A Book of Secrets

    You Want More Brainpower - Not Higher IQ Scores!

    Okay, maybe you want higher IQ scores too.
    The American Heritage Dictionary defines Intelligence Quotient
    as "The ratio of tested mental age to chronological age,
    usually expressed as a quotient multiplied by 100."

    Basically, it's a test of intelligence, with 100 as the average score.
    There are some problems with IQ tests however.

    A recent IQ test asked which of four fruits was different. It was the one with more than one seed; but what if you were not familiar with these fruits? Obviously this test is culturally biased. You are assumed to have certain knowledge, yet you are being tested for intelligence, not knowledge.

    Now look at these letters: "ANLDEGN." Rearrange them and you'll have the name of a(n): Ocean, Country, State, City or Animal. This is from an IQ test I took. Hmm... There are very few oceans, so I could eliminate those - but wait a second! That's a test taking technique. An intelligence test shouldn't be testing your test-taking ability. I'm bound to score higher than a person of equal intelligence who hasn't learned simple techniques for scoring higher on multiple - choice tests.

    Real Life Results Versus Scores

    Now let me ask you a question. What was Henry Fords IQ? Who cares! The man was one of the most innovative people of the last century, and he did what he did by surrounding himself with intelligent people.

    That practice alone has to be worth more than 20 IQ points in terms of real life results.

    Real life results are what you want, right? So if you want to be more creative, learn to use creative problem solving techniques. If you want to concentrate better, there are techniques for that. Learn to speed-read and you'll have double the knowledge in the same time. After you paint your first Mona Lisa, build your first skyscraper or make your first million, what will your IQ score be? Who cares!?

    Okay, an imperfect test is better than no test at all, and it is entertaining. I just took an IQ test,

    and although I don't think my IQ is really the 138 it showed, it was fun. If you really want to, 
    you can try a free IQ test on my website http://www.IncreaseBrainPower.com
    Of course you'll score higher on a good day than a bad day,
    so try these tips to make it a good IQ test day:

    70 Ways to Better Brainpower -
    (In no particular order.)

    1. Breath deep. More air in means more oxygen in the blood and therefore in the brain. 

    Breath through your nose and you'll notice that you use your diaphragm more,
    drawing air deeper into your lungs. Several deep breaths can also help to relax you,
    which is conducive to clearer thinking.

    2. Meditate. A simple meditation you can do right now is just closing your eyes

    and paying attention to your breath. Tensing up your muscles and then relaxing them to start
    may help. When your mind wanders, just bring your attention back to your breath.
    Five or ten minutes of this will usually relax you, clear your mind, and leave you more ready for
    any mental task.
    3. Sit up straight. Posture affects your thinking process. Prove it to yourself by doing math in
    your head while slouching, looking at the floor and letting your mouth hang open. Then do the 
    mental math while sitting up straight, keeping your mouth closed and looking forward or slightly 
    upwards. You'll notice that it's easier to think with the latter posture.

    4. Phosphotidyl Serine (PS). This supplement has been shown in clinical studies to increase 
    lucidity and rate of learning. It activates cell-to-cell communication, helps regulate cell growth,
    improves the functioning of the special receptors found on cells, and prepares cells for activity.
    In other words, it can help your brain power. It's also thought to reverse memory decline.
    Phosphatidylserine has no known adverse side effects.

    5.Vinpocetine. This extract, derived from an alkaloid found in the Periwinkle plant, is used
    as a cerebral vasodilator. It increases blood flow to the brain, which improves its oxygenation
    and thereby increases mental alertness and acuity. Research suggests it may also be the
    most powerful memory enhancer available to date.

    6. Gingko Biloba. The leaves of this tree have been proven to increase blood flow to the brain.
    The trees are often planted in parks. My friends and I used to eat a few leaves when
    we wanted a brain boost. It is also inexpensive, if you buy the capsules or tea at any health
    food store.

    7. Saint John's Wort. This is a common weed that may be growing in your yard.
    Although it's brain enhancing qualities are less documented (studies do show it's
    usefulness for treating long-term depression), many people swear by it's temporary
    mood-elevating effect, and our brains tend to function better when we are happy.
    It is inexpensive, but I used to just collect it in the yard and make tea of it.
    (Hyperacum Perforatum, if you want to look it up by it's botanical name.)

    8. Good thinking habits.
    Just use a problem solving technique for several weeks and
    it will become a habit. Redesign everything you see for a while, and that will become a habit.
    You can develop many good thinking habits with some effort, and then be more
    resourceful effortlessly from that point on. Use the power of habit.

    9. Use dead time. This is time that is otherwise wasted or just under-utilized. Driving time,
    time spent in waiting rooms, or even time spent raking your yard can be included in this.
    With a tape player and a trip to a public library, you can start to use this time to
    listen to books-on-tape. You may spend 200 hours a year in your car. What could you
    learn in that time?

    10. Learn a language.
    Learning a new language has been shown to halt the age-related
    decline in brain function. It also introduces your mind to new concepts and new ways of
    looking at things (in English we are afraid, whereas in Spanish we have fear). It is one of the
    best brain exercises.

    11. Rosemary.
    This common herb may have an effect on the brain when the scent is inhaled.
    We are waiting for the research, but some people swear that just sniffing rosemary wakes up
    their brain. It seems safe, so if you have rosemary in your spice rack, give it a try.

    12. Mindfulness exercises. Concentration and clear thinking are more or less automatic once
    you remove distractions. Learn to stop and watch your busy mind. As you notice things that are
    subtly bothering you, deal with them. This might mean making a phone call you need to make,
    or putting things on a list so you can forget them for now. With practice, this becomes easier,
    and your thinking becomes more powerful.

    13. Write. Writing is good for your mind in a number of ways. It is a way to tell your memory
    what is important, so you'll recall things more easily in the future. It is a way to clarify your thinking. It is a way to exercise your creativity and analytical ability. Diaries, idea-journals, poetry, note-taking and
    story-writing are all ways to use writing to boost your brain power.

    14. Listen to Mozart.
    In a study at the University of California, researchers found that children
    who studied piano and sang daily in chorus, were much better at solving puzzles, and when tested,
    scored 80% higher in spatial intelligence than the non-musical group. In another study,
    36 students were given three spatial reasoning tests on a standard IQ test. Just before
    the first test, they listened to Mozart's sonata for Two Pianos in D Major, K. 448 for ten minutes.
    Before the second test, they listened to a relaxation tape. Before the third, they sat in silence.
    The average scores for all 36 students: 1st test: 119. 2nd test: 111. 3rd test: 110.
    A nine-point boost from Mozart!

    15. Develop your intuition. Intuition can be an important part of brainpower. Einstein and others have relied heavily on their intuitive hunches. See Chapter 25 for tips on how to develop your intuition.

    16. Avoid foods that cause subtle allergies. These can include wheat, corn, peanuts and dairy products. Watch yourself to see if you have a problem with any of these. They cause digestive problems and brain fog in some people.

    17. Sleep better.
    As long as you get a certain amount of sleep - probably a minimum of five hours - the quality seems to be more important than the quantity. Also, short naps in the afternoon seem to work well to recharge the brain for some people.

    18. Caffeine. The research shows higher test scores for students who drink coffee before major exams. My chess game gets better. In other studies, it has been shown that too much caffeine leads to poorer quality decisions. Caffeine affects individuals differently, and has some nasty long-term side effects for some of us, but short-term - it works!

    19. Avoid sugar. Any simple carbohydrates can give you "brain fog." Sometimes called the "sugar blues" as well, this sluggish feeling makes it hard to think clearly. It results from the insulin rushing into the bloodstream to counteract the sugar rush. Avoid pasta, sugars, white bread and potato chips before any important mental tasks.

    20. Hypnosis audios. The power of suggestion is real, and one way to use it is with hypnosis tapes, CD's or downloads. This type of brain "programing" has more evidence for it than subliminals.

    21. Speed reading. Contrary to what many believe, your comprehension of material often goes up when you learn to speed-read. You get to learn a lot more in less time, and it is definitely a good brain exercise.

    22. Exercise. Long term exercise can boost brainpower, which isn't surprising. Anything that affects physical health in a positive way probably helps the brain too. Recent research, though, shows that cognitive function is improved immediately after just ten minutes of aerobic exercise. If you need a brain recharge, you might want to walk up and down the stairs a few times.

    23. Imaginary friends. Talking to and getting advice from characters in your mind can be a great way to access the information in your subconscious mind. Imagine a conversation with a person who has a lot of knowledge in the area you want advice in.

    24. Develop your creativity. Creativity gives power to your thinking. Raw computation can be done by computers now, but humans provide the creative thought that shapes our world. See Chapter 24 for tips on developing your creativity.

    25. Learn more efficiently. When you decide to learn something, take notes from the start. Leave each "learning session" with a question or two in mind, to create anticipation and curiosity. Take short breaks, so there will be more beginnings and endings to your studies (Things learned at the beginning or ending of a class or session are remembered better).

    26. Use techniques for clear thinking.
    Cluttered rooms and offices can contribute to cluttered thinking. Organize a space for mental work. Sigh, stretch, and take a deep breath before you start on a tough mental job. Plan some distraction-free time for brainstorming.

    27. Brain wave entrainment.
    The newest brain wave entrainment products are powerful tools for altering your brain function. Some will almost immediately relax you, while others will put your brain waves in a pattern that is most conducive to analytical thinking.

    28. Creatine. This is a compound found in meat, used by athletes to help build muscle. Now the evidence is here to show that it helps your brain as well. Proceedings B , a journal published by the Royal Society reports that the research showed improvement in working memory and general intelligence resulting from creatine supplementation. The dose used in the study was 5 grams per day. This is about the level used to boost sports performance, and is as much as you'd normally get in four pounds of meat, according to lead researcher Dr. Caroline Rae.

    29. Talk.
    Talking is only good for the brain if you are actually exercising it, of course. Try explaining something that you don't understand very well to a friend, though, and you'll notice that the process of explaining will help you clarify your understanding.

    30. Do something you enjoy.
    This is a way to both lower stress and rev up your brain. The key is to do something active. Watching TV doesn't count. Whether it is playing Scrabble or building birdhouses, when you are actively engaged in an activity that you enjoy, you worry less about things and you start to think better.

    31. Adjust your beliefs.
    Believe you are smarter, and you'll become smarter. For this, affirmations may work, but even better is evidence. Make a note of your successes. Tell yourself, "Hey, that was really creative," when you do something creative. When you have a good idea, make a note of it. Gather the evidence for your own intelligence and you'll start to experience more of it.

    32. Brain exercises.
    Do math in your mind while driving. Think of a new use for everything you see. Regular use of the brain has been shown to generate new neuronal growth, and even halt the decline of mental function that often comes with age.

    33. Learn new things.
    This is another way to exercise the brain. It can also be done with little time investment if you use books-on-tapes while driving.

    34. Walk.
    Exercise has been shown to benefit the brain, and walking is one of the best exercises for many. It is low impact, and the rhythmic nature of it seems to put you in a state that is very conducive to clear thinking. In fact, carry a tape recorder with you to take notes, and a twenty minute walk can be a great way to solve problems.

    35. Model others. Find others that are creative, intelligent, or very productive. Do what they do, and think what they think. This is a key principle of neuro-linguistic programming. Be careful about taking their advice, though. Successful people often don't really understand why they are successful. Do what they do, not what they say.

    36. Eat fish. Eating fish actually speeds up brain waves, and improves concentration. Researchers have also found an almost perfect correlation between intake of fish and lowered levels of depression in the various countries of the world. The U.S. has 24 times the incidence of depression as Japan, for example, where fish intake is much higher.

    37. Avoid unnecessary arguments.
    When you defend a position too vigorously, especially when it is just to "win" the argument, you invest our ego into it. This is not conducive to the easy acceptance and use of new information. In other words, you put your mind in a rut, and you dig it deeper with each argument. Debate can be a valuable thing, but when the ego takes over, the mind closes a little. This is not a recipe for better thinking.

    38. Laugh. The release of endorphins caused by laughter lowers stress levels, which is good for long term brain health. Laughter also tends to leave you more open to new ideas and thoughts.

    39. Play. Stimulating the brain causes measurable changes in the structure of the brain. New connections are made and new brain cells are grown. Intellectual play, as well as any playing that involves hand-eye coordination stimulates the brain.

    40. Do puzzles. Crossword puzzles, lateral thinking puzzles, and even good riddles are a great way to get brain exercise. You can work on them while waiting for a dentist appointment, or on the bus, if you are short on time.

    41. Sing. When you are alone in your car, try singing about something you are working on. This taps into and exercises your right brain. Have you ever noticed how it is easier to rhyme when you sing than when you just speak or write? This is because the right brain is better at pattern recognition. By doing this brain exercise regularly you can train yourself to tap into the power of the right brain. This will make you a more effective problem-solver. If you doubt the distinction between the hemispheres of the brain, look at how stutterers can stop stuttering as soon as they start singing. Try it.

    42. Nuts. University students in Brazil and other South American countries often eat several Brazil nuts before an exam, believing they are good for their mental power. The evidence is starting to confirm this. Other nuts that have minerals and amino acids that are beneficial to the brain include almonds and walnuts.

    43. Olive oil. High in mono-unsaturated fat, olive oil has been shown to improve memory. A cheaper alternative is canola oil, but this hasn't been studied much yet.

    44. Vitamin supplements.
    In studies, children scored higher on tests when on a regimen of daily vitamin supplements. "Experts" will tell you that if you eat a balanced diet, you don't need supplements, which, given the culture here, is really just a sales pitch for vitamins, isn't it? Who eats a perfectly balanced diet?

    45. Fiber. It isn't just what goes in, but what comes out that is important to brain function. Toxic build-up in the body and brain can cause "brain fog." People often report clearer thinking as one of the benefits of curing their constipation.

    46. Self awareness. This may not seem important to brain power, but it is. When you know yourself better, you can avoid the usual effects of ego and emotion in your seemingly "rational" thinking. Or you can at least take it into account. Watch yourself, especially as you explain things or argue.

    47. Motivate yourself.
    Motivation is as important to mental tasks as it is to any other. Learn a few simple techniques for self motivation. You can start with those in Chapter 8.

    48. Avoid too much stress.
    Neuropsychiastrist Richard Restak, M.D., form the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Services, sums up the research thus: "Stress causes brain damage." Long term stress has repeated been shown to hurt the brain, not to mention the rest of the body. Learn a few stress reduction techniques if you get stressed out often.

    49. Get educated. Scientists have known for a while that the less educated get alzheimer's more frequently. Education in any area seems to make the brain stronger.

    50. Avoid too much fat. In laboratory studies, animals consistently learn slower when they are on a diet high in fat. Type of fat may make a difference, so you may want to stick to using olive oil and other non-saturated fats. Saturated fats have been shown to actually stunt the growth of brain cells.

    51. Eat less. Overeating has the immediate effect of redirecting more blood to the digestive process, leaving less for the brain. Long term, it can cause arterial obstructions that reduce blood flow to the brain permanently. In at least one study, rats on a restricted-calorie diet had more brainpower.

    52. Avoid suspect foods. There is evidence that the following foods can be bad for your brain: Artificial food colorings, artificial sweeteners, colas, corn syrup, frostings, high-sugar drinks, hydrogenated fats, sugars, white bread, and any white-flour products.

    53. Eat breakfast.
    When kids who didn't eat breakfast started to eat it, researchers found that their math scores went up a whole grade on average.

    54. Avoid diabetes. The development of diabetes coincides with a dropping of IQ scores. In other words, if you want to maintain your brain power, follow your doctors dietary recommendations for preventing or treating diabetes.

    55. Eat foods high in antioxidants.
    Antioxidants protect all your cells, including brain cells. Some of the foods highest in antioxidants include: prunes, raisins, blueberries, blackberries, garlic, kale, cranberries, strawberries, spinach, and raspberries. In one test, rats had age-related mental decline reversed by eating the equivalent of a 1/2 cup of blueberries per day.

    56. Drink wine.
    In moderation, red wine can be good for the brain, it seems. It is rich in antioxidants, which protect brain cells. One glass per day for women and two for men is usually considered a safe and moderate amount.

    57. Use alcohol in moderation. In a study at the University of Indiana School of Medicine, elderly light drinkers (fewer than 4 drinks per week) scored higher on tests of thinking abilities than non-drinkers. Those who drank 10 or more drinks per week scored lower. It is known that alcohol can kill brain cells, so moderation seems to be the key.

    58. Folic acid. According to one study, 200 micrograms of folic acid, the amount found in 3/4 cup of cooked spinach, alleviates depression and reverses memory loss.

    59. Potential brain foods.
    Other foods that may be good for your brain include: Avocados, bananas, lean beef, brewer's yeast. broccoli, brown rice, brussel sprouts, cantaloupe, cheese, chicken, collard greens, eggs, flaxseed oil, legumes, oatmeal, oranges, peanut butter, peas, potatoes, romaine lettuce, salmon, soybeans, spinach, tuna, turkey, wheat germ, and yogurt.

    60. Vitamin E. Jean Carper, in researching her book, "Your Miracle Brain," found that many brain researchers are taking 400 I.U.s of vitamin E daily. It is an antioxidant, and reduces the clogging of blood vessels, including those going in the brain.

    61. Vitamin C. Taken in the form of orange juice in a study at the Texas Women's University, vitamin C increased the IQ scores of children.

    62. Selenium.
    100 micrograms of selenium has been shown to be a mood-elevator. Your brain almost certainly functions better when you are in a better mood. Foods rich in selenium include Brazil nuts and garlic.

    63. Alpha-lipoic acid. Alpha-lipoic acid (10 to 50 milligrams daily) improves memory and protects nerve cells.

    64. Inositol. This is a safe and natural substance that is often grouped with the B-vitamins. It reduces stress and promotes clear thinking. It contributes to energy production, and so can "wake you up." Animal studies show a measurable increase in physical activity for up to five hours after taking it.

    65. Huperzine A.
    This is a compound extracted from the Chinese club moss. Researchers both in Israel and the U.S. have used it to treat alzheimer's. It improves memory and learning an seems to be very safe.

    66. Ask questions. This is a great way to keep your brain in shape. Just get in the habit of asking questions often, even if it is only in your own mind. Why are taller buildings better? what is the purpose of curbs? Ask anything that comes to mind, and ponder the possible answers.

    67. Sniff basil.
    This another of the herbs that may be good for your brain. No studies yet, but many report a brain boost from smelling basil.

    68. Temperature.
    Many people have noted that they think better at certain temperatures. In general, it seems that being slightly cool, but not uncomfortable, is most conducive to good thinking. Try experimenting on yourself to see what temperature works best for you.

    69. Use systems. From the time I was ten years old, 12 x 49 was always (12 x 50) - 12. It's easier to figure in your head this way (588, by the way). I didn't get any credit for my personal algorithms then, but they are selling these shortcuts on late-night TV now, because they work. You can find your own easier ways to do mental math or other mental tasks, or read a good book on them.

    70. Make a brainpower plan.
    It takes about twenty to thirty days of repetition to establish new habits, many psychologists will tell you. This means that when you create your plan for better brainpower, be sure you plan to use that new problem solving technique, or eat those new brain foods for at least three weeks. You can use many of the brain boosters here and get immediate results, but it is creating new habits that will give you the most brainpower. 

    By Steve Gillman. Excerpt from Chapter 5 of A Book of Secrets

    Source: http://www.mindpowernews.com/BrainPower.htm 

    New Fragrance

    Today i recived the Colonia Assoluta from Acqua di Parma, and even though its VERY expensive, its the best fragrance ever. If you can afford it, BUY IT ! You will not regret.

    søndag den 22. maj 2011

    Limitless - From zero to hero

    Imagine that there was a little pill, that made you able to use your whole brain, and remember everything you've seen, heard and read. Would you take it? Even if you didn't know what side effects might be.
    Thats the plot to the new movie Limitless 
    I saw it, and i was blown away. It was the best movie iv'e seen in a long time. And the best thing about it, is that, it's not predictable.