Compound Self Interest

The longest journey begins with a single step. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. And, of course, there’s the fable of the tortoise and the hare where slow and steady wins the race. The shared idea here is that small positive action driven by consistency yields success. Tony Robbins used to preach about how the difference of a few millimeters in someone’s approach (to life, to golf, to whatever task is at hand) can make the difference between success and failure. But the opposite holds true as well: Each millimeter in the wrong direction, promoting distance between reality and ideal, is going to be compounded by the next. The result? Before long those small — and on-their-own nearly insignificant — errors begin to carry some serious weight.

If we're talking finance, small capital investments can add up over time, with compound interest coming into play to yield significant returns. The theory is the same here, though because there isn't some immediate financial pay-off, it's sometimes more difficult to see how small positive decisions are to "pay off" over time. James Clear (via 99u) focuses on compounding small improvements in the concept of "The Aggregation of Marginal Gains," relating how even the smallest of personal changes can add up over time,
Most people love to talk about success (and life in general) as an event. We talk about losing 50 pounds or building a successful business or winning the Tour de France as if they are events. But the truth is that most of the significant things in life aren’t stand-alone events, but rather the sum of all the moments when we chose to do things 1 percent better or 1 percent worse.
The idea is simple: In remaining mindful of how compound interest in our health, our self, and our future works, we'll see the tiny results of our decisions and actions add up over time. These one percent changes will take a myriad of forms for different people, but in a week, a month, a year from now - they will begin to amount to something huge. It's really just up to us as to whether or not that "something huge" will be a huge success or a huge regret.

Super Foods

"People assume that the world is carefully regulated and that there are benign institutions guarding them from making any kind of errors. A lot of marketing drip-feeds that idea, surreptitiously. So if people see somebody with apparently the right credentials, they think they’re listening to a respectable medic and trust their advice."
This statement, from The Guardian’s Dara Mohammad, is aimed at the "detox" (and "superfood") industry, making a case for health-over-hype when it comes to separating fads and trends from truly beneficial health advice. Beyond tossing out the idea that the Master Cleanse is a revolutionary tool for change however, this is obviously sage advice for anyone reading about most any aspect of healthy living online. It's with this thinking that Dr. David Katz says, "There’s either a scapegoat or a silver bullet in almost every bestselling diet book," and in keeping with this focus skepticism, The Atlantic's James Hamblin digs into the ongoing controversy surrounding the health risks of gluten, and what happens when a scapegoat goes mainstream.

In the article, Hamblin takes a deeper look at Dr. David Perlmutter‘s New York Times Best Seller, Grain Brain, dissecting some of the book's juicier health claims, while also interviewing a wide range of health industry voices who question Perlmutter's conclusions. One such voice is that of Chris Krusser, who elaborates on his own blog about the surrounding controversy, "While I don’t argue with the idea that refined and processed carbs like flour and sugar contribute to modern disease, there’s no evidence to suggest that unrefined, whole-food carbohydrates do." Maybe the new nutrition secret is that there is no secret to nutrition. Though, whether they're secrets or not, this easy to digest article of seven eating habits "you should drop now" is the blueprint for a healthier diet that includes plenty of easy-to-digest information on alcohol, "diet foods," and good fats.

What can't be lost in this process is the eye for the individual. If you actually have celiac disease, for example, processed or not: many carbohydrates are going to be detrimental to your health. And if your cholesterol is out of control, even a couple eggs a day might be harmful despite ample evidence that even in (relatively) high quantities, and even with yolks intact, they are really good for you. (This is especially true for men as healthy cholesterol lends itself as "a precursor for the synthesis of many compounds, including testosterone.") Being low in calories, high in protein, and nutrient-rich (though like eggs, also high in cholesterol), shrimp would seem to fall under the same umbrella here.

Whatever the advice it is you're taking, the point is to make sure that the advice is not only sound, but respectful of your own individual circumstances. Lastly, on the training side of things: Two weeks ago I started incorporating aspects of the high intensity "Bizzy Diet 21-Day Fitness Plan" into my routine, making a few substitutions including the incorporation of "Thrusters" and "Single Leg Static Lunge Dips" on leg day. Perhaps the most important aspect of that workout to this point though, for me, has been the introduction of intervals to my cardio regimen.

Kauai, Hawaii


Photos taken in and around Kauai, Hawaii in October 2014.