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Cheat Meals, Bacteria, and Prioritizing Experiences Over Things (Sunday Reads #13)


Welcome to Sunday Reads on Refocuser, a collection of weekly links from around the web to help you do incredible things.  These links span topics like creativity, performance, focus, exercise, nutrition, and positivity.

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Sorry for the lack of posts over the last two weeks; my family and I were traveling (without opening a laptop!) Next week there won’t be a Sunday Reads either as I will be participating in the StrongFirst Instructor Certification for three full days (Fri, Sat, Sun) – wish me luck!  Sunday Reads will be back the following week (May 3rd).

On Fitness, Nutrition, and Sleep

Greatist asks if cheat meals are hurting your health – or at a minimum being positioned incorrectly as something that is ‘bad for you’, resulting in guilt.  My personal experience is that cheat meals are a gateway drug that eventually opens the door to cheating more often – so I very rarely allow myself to have a complete cheat meal or a cheat day any longer (I’ve had two “cheat” meals since September).

Metabolic slowdown effects are seen when sleep is reduced by only a few hours.  In other words, you don’t need to miss an entire night’s sleep for your metabolism to be affected, all it takes is a few hours missed.

An apple a day doesn’t keep the doctor away based on a new research study.  But I will keep eating one because they’re tasty.

Dan John tackles what it takes to get stronger.  For those who don’t know of Dan, he’s one of the best strength coaches in the industry.  I listen to what Dan has to say.  I love this quote from Brett Jones in the article: “Absolute strength is the glass. Everything else is the liquid inside the glass. The bigger the glass, the more of everything else you can do.”

If you’ve been reading Sunday Reads this year, you probably recognize the power of the microbiome.  Well, scientists have discovered the most diverse collection of bodily bacteria ever in a remote Amazonian tribe of southern Venezuela.  Per the article, “the findings offer yet more evidence that modern lifestyles reduce the diversity of our microbial ecosystems, with potentially far-reaching consequences for our health.”

Mark Sisson covers 25 Ways to Improve Your Insulin Sensitivity.  Number 1?  Lift weights.

On Success, Memory, and Spending Money

I love this story about how “success is often a result of committing to the fundamentals over and over again” and how using visual cues can help.

This meditation app looks quite cool.

Is typing destroying our memory?  A recent study found that writing things down with a pen, and not with a keyboard, will result in better recall of that information.   “Because we write by hand less quickly, those who took notes with pen and paper had to be more selective, choosing the most important information to include in their notes. This enabled them to study the content more efficiently.”

One of my former professors at Cornell University covers the science of why you should spend money on experiences, not things.  “Our experiences are a bigger part of ourselves than our material goods,” says Gilovich. “You can really like your material stuff. You can even think that part of your identity is connected to those things, but nonetheless they remain separate from you. In contrast, your experiences really are part of you. We are the sum total of our experiences.”

It’s possible that “power poses” may not be so powerful after all.  Regardless of the conflicting results of the two research studies, if it works for you, don’t stop doing it.

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Written by Mike Torres

April 19th, 2015 at 4:50 pm