All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson--
Bloggers are testers. I am no exception.
When I hear about the latest and greatest productivity or bio-hack, I am quick to jump onboard. Fortunately for you, I am like the high school girl who can't eat a nice meal without taking a picture of it for Instagram first. I have to share my experiences.
The following are 4 things I have experimented with so far in 2017 to either:
- Improve my productivity
- Improve my health and fitness
- Improve my mental clarity and general sense of well being.
I encourage you to try out each of the methods I am about to share (if you can afford it and if your doctor approves of course).
I have rated each of these methods on a scale of 1 to 5 stars.
Method #1 Athletic Greens for Health and General Wellness
I admit, I can be an impressionable buyer. When one of my heros shares something, I almost always test it out myself .
Well Pat Flynn and Tim Ferriss EACH recommended Athletic Greens so in spite of the fact that it looked like dog shit and was more expensive than bat shit (coffee reference), I had to give it a shot.
I am glad I did...
Athletic Greens is a super-dense green cocktail that is (supposedly) chalked full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other good stuff that requires an understanding of nutrition that is well over my pay grade.
"It couldn't hurt to try," I figured. Maybe it does nothing, but I doubted it would make me sick or anything serious.
I started by taking just 1 scoop first thing in the morning with ice cold water.
To my surprise, it actually didn't taste half bad. You wouldn't catch me sipping on it like kool-aid (funny word choice, as I was drinking the Athletic Green's kool-aid so to speak) but it wasn't vomit inducing.
The Benefits of Athletic Greens
- I no longer needed any sort of mid-day nap. I am not proud to say that I (a 27 year old man) felt compelled to take mid day cat naps like a heroine addict, but I did. After I started taking Athletic Greens, the naps went away. Even if the benefits stopped there, I would have considered this a "win" purchase because 30-60 mins of additional work each day (the amount of time I was napping) was well worth the cost.
- I felt heightened mental clarity. Was this a placebo? Perhaps, but the fact is that I have produced some of the best work of my life since I started taking 2 scoops of Athletic Greens on an empty stomach in the AM. I wasn't finding myself stuck trying to remember words when I was writing or names when I was at conferences. I'll take it.
- My desire for Nicotine decreased dramatically. I have struggled for years with an addiction to chewing tobacco (I know...I know). Taking Athletic Greens made the desire to have a dip shrink and now, I am off it completely. Yay.
I'm not suggesting that Athletic Greens can cure addiction, increase your mental clarity or solve fatigue issues.
These were my own experiences.
Please, don't be dumb. Consult a doctor if you have serious medical problems.
The Problem with Athletic Greens
- It is expensive. Many of my readers will not be pumped to see that Athletic Green's is a bit pricey. I just tell people who ask, it is your health, it is worth it. If this keeps you out of the doctor just once, it may pay itself off.
- Serving sizes are a bit misleading. This goes back to price again. For my readers who are over 170 pounds or are extremely active, you should be taking 2 scoops. That means 2x the cost. Still, worth it. It won't hurt you to just take 1 scoop, but 2 is ideal.
Method #2 Standing Desk for Fitness and Productivity
You can't swing a cat and not hear about standing desks being awesome.
I realllllly wanted this to be awesome. To an extent, it is awesome, but there are some problems for me.
The Benefits of a Standing Desk
- Every minute I spend at my computer is much more focused. If I am standing at my desk, I am working. When I sit, I do have a bad tendency to wonder around the web aimlessly by accident.
- My posture is (ok, seems) better. This is tough to prove, but I am certainly not feeling like I am slouching anymore. Started feeling a bit like Quasimodo there for a little bit.
- I feel like I am actually doing something good for myself (even when I'm not doing anything). Yes, this is a shallow benefit, but I do feel like I am doing right by my body by doing this and that translates into better work.
The Problems with a Standing Desk
- I don't work as much. I do get more work done when I am working, but I find myself drifting away from my office and going to sit down and use my laptop. Yes, I am a bitch.
- There is a big curve at first. I do find that I am getting better at standing at my desk for extended periods of time, but it is most certainly not for everyone and many people will struggle with this mightily at first.
- The desks are ugly. I was shocked that my wife let me bring this thing into the house. To me, it is sexy because it is a weapon of mass productivity, but to the untrained eye (or mother in law) I can see why they may think it is an aesthetic abomination.
Method #3 BulletProof Coffee for Energy and General Wellness
Another example of my "fanboying" my idols like Pat Flynn, I am all in on BulletProof Coffee right now.
What is Bulletproof Coffee?
BulletProof Coffee is a mixture of the following:
- Mold free coffee (most coffee has mold toxins in it).
- MCT Oil
- GrassFed Butter (yes, butter!)
The creator claims that drinking Bulletproof coffee first thing in the morning can lead to extreme weight loss, increased wellness, improved mental clarity and a litany of other desirable benefits and disease preventions.
I am still relatively new to Bulletproof coffee and haven't drank it enough yet to really speak to the results, but so far, I am loving it.
I hate eating breakfast! Bulletproof coffee replaces my breakfast.
I am currently taking Bulletproof coffee first thing in the morning and then taking my Athletic Greens around lunch time.
I am not sure if this is the ideal method yet (how to take Athletic Greens and Bulletproof coffee for optimal results isn't documented much yet) but it seems to be working fine.
The Benefits of Bulletproof Coffee
- It keeps me full for hours. I find eating to be an inconvenience. Don't get me wrong, I love food, but I'd love to want it less. It wastes so much time and energy.
- It tastes amazing. I have drank my coffee black for years, so adding butter to it was like jumping into ice water at first. But now, I absolutely love it. It can be a little bit greasy and my bearded brothers may decide to trim up after getting it in your mustache... #guyproblems.
- It is backed by a lot of research. The concept is going mainstream now, but there is plenty of data and research showing that the methods of the bulletproof diet are safe and effective.
The Problems with Bulletproof Coffee
- It is time consuming to prepare. You need to brew coffee, add the grass-fed butter and MCT Oil and then put the whole thing in a blender. I don't love blenders first thing in the morning (#dadproblems). Once you have everything set up, the process should only take a few minutes to complete, which is well worth it and still much faster than preparing a full blown breakfast.
- Bulletproof coffee without the Bulletproof diet is not as effective. Unfortunately, most of the crazy results we read about are because of people drinking the coffee AND following the extremely restrictive Bulletproof diet. The diet involves eating no sugar, no gluten, only grass-fed meats, mostly organic products and enough vegetables to make a rabbit gag. It is fair to ask the quetsion, "Do people lose weight because of the coffee, or is it the intense diet?"
- It doesn't travel well. I travel a lot so bringing this around with me isn't ideal. Buying the products on the road is nearly impossible and most places don't have a blender handy.
How to Travel with Bulletproof Coffee
For Bulletproof coffee to be effective, it is important that you take it daily. If you are like me and travel a lot, this can be difficult.
Here is my recommended method for traveling with Bulletproof coffee.
Step #1: Find out If Where You are Staying Has a Keurig or Traditional Coffee Pot.
If you are staying somewhere with neither, you are staying in the wrong places! I like the Keurig personally.
If you want to get crazy with it, you can even bring your own single serving K-Cup brewer (here is one I recommend, but there are smaller options as well).
Step #2 Purchase Your Coffee Pods or Beans and Store Securely in Checked Luggage
I am traveling with K-Cups currently. If you will be staying for an extended period of time, you can have everything shipped to you via Amazon.
Step #3: Purchase the Bulletproof Coffee Instamix
If you don't want to carry around your MCT Oil and Grass Fed butter (which surprisingly, doesn't even need refrigerated), you can opt for the Bulletproof coffee instamix. This doesn't replace the mold-free coffee part. You have to supply that.
This will replace the need for a blender. If you do want to blend your coffee more thoroughly, you can purchase a blender bottle for less than $10 at GNC, Target, Walmart or many other stores that will most likely be near you wherever you travel.
Method #4 Morning Meditation with Headspace and Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones for Mental Clarity and Focus
You can't swing a baby cat without hitting an article about the benefits of meditation.
I purchased a pair of Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones and downloaded the HeadSpace Mobile app and decided to make morning and evening meditation a habit.
I recommend you get started with the Head Space "Take Ten" program and see if you like it. It definitely won't be for everyone, but with some patience, you may find it does wonders for your focus and productivity.
The Benefits of Headspace Meditation
- Improves focus and mental clarity. There is no denying that some meditation to begin the day helps my productivity throughout the rest of the day.
- Very relaxing. Making yourself relax and knowing it is going to help you is a great feeling.
The Problem with Headspace Meditation
- It is not as easy as it seems. Sit and do nothing... seems easy right? WRONG!
- It can be boring. I have a hard time holding still, so this is definitely a test of my mental fortitude.