Bulletproof: Real Deal or Snake Oil?

Many people in the self-improvement world are already familiar with Bulletproof. For those of you who aren’t, check the video above for a brief introduction.

The basic premise of Bulletproof is that through biohacking, we can have more energy, need less sleep, feel better, lose weight, etc through easier methods than just slogging out hours in the gym or nitpicking every detail of our diet.

I’m a cynic at heart, so when I hear claims that seem to be too good to be true, I generally expect them to be b.s.

So I’ve dug into the ideas behind Bulletproof, and I am pleasantly surprised, though perhaps not fully convinced yet. Let me explain.

About a year ago, I began to increase my consumption of protein and especially fat. I’m naturally thin, so I was trying to bulk up (I’m up 10 pounds in 6 months 🙂 )

But surprisingly, I feel mentally sharper and have more energy than I did before my dietary changes.

It turns out, I unwittingly had started following a rough approximation of the Bulletproof diet. Here’s the diet is explained in a bit more detail, from BulletproofExec.com.

How To Eat Bulletproof

The Bulletproof® Diet is the foundation for a Bulletproof Body and a Bulletproof Mind. It’s one of the most important things you can do to increase your performance across the board.

Target 50-60% of calories from healthy fats (this is easy and tastes good), 20% from protein, and the rest from vegetables.

Using the roadmap is simple: eat the stuff in the green zone and watch what happens. No calorie counting. No measuring. Just eat until you’re satisfied and enjoy the benefits of eating good food: feel your brain, body, and hormones re-awaken, effortlessly lose weight, and gain muscle with little or no exercise.

The Bulletproof Diet looks related to paleo, primal, or caveman diets based on what our ancestors probably ate. There are certainly similarities, but the Bulletproof Diet’s approach to nutrition is slightly different from that of a paleo-style diet. The Bulletproof Diet arose from research into biochemistry and human performance. For example, it doesn’t shun supplementation just because cavemen didn’t supplement, and it doesn’t promote all the foods our paleolithic ancestors likely ate. For that reason, the Bulletproof Diet overcomes some of the problems that can arise from long-term paleo dieting.

Now the fun part of this is how Dave Asprey recommends getting some of those extra fats into your diet – Bulletproof Coffee. Bulletproof Coffee is low-toxin coffee mixed with grass-fed, unsalted butter and brain octane oil.

For people trying to lose weight, the coffee can be drunk in place of a meal at breakfast. For people like me who are trying to bulk up, you can drink it along with a high protein breakfast like ham and eggs.

I’ve tried it, I love it, and about 200,000 people have tried it out as well, including a lot of people in demanding roles like performers, executives, and entrepreneurs.

All that said, there is one part of Dave Asprey’s overall approach I do not agree with. He diminishes the importance of exercise, but there is simply too much research that supports the vital role exercise plays in many areas of our life – heart health, mood, sleep quality, stress reduction, etc.

So while I think the Bulletproof Diet and Bulletproof Coffee can have a positive impact and in your life and I encourage you to give it a try, I do not believe it should be used as an excuse to reduce exercise.

Bottom Line: Add Bulletproof to your life, but don’t do it instead of the other healthy habits you already have (or are working to develop).

All the best,

Jamie

The Art of the Deal vs. Hard Choices

tdy_mitchell_clinton_160519__588455.nbcnews-ux-1080-600Being a bit of a political junkie, I watched both the Republican National Convention and the Democratic National Convention this year. Of course, I have my own personal preferences going into this election, but here at Improve My Life This Year, we’ll remain impartial.

Regardless what you think of either candidate, neither would have reached the level of fame, power, and wealth that they have without having some skills and abilities that we might be able to put to work in our own life.

And that got me to thinking. With so many undecided voters out there this election year, why not read the most popular book written by each candidate to get a better feel for what they believe, how they think, and to identify skills and abilities from them worth emulating.

So for Mr. Donald J Trump, I have selected The Art of the Deal – it is by far his most famous book. For Secretary Hillary Clinton, I have selected the Hard Choices.

To makes things exciting, from now until November 8th, I’ll be tabulating which book my readers choose more and once a month I’ll be updating you with the stats! Happy reading and may the best man (or woman!) win!


The Art of the Deal: Donald J. Trump
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Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump lays out his professional and personal worldview in this classic work—a firsthand account of the rise of America’s foremost deal-maker.
 
“I like thinking big. I always have. To me it’s very simple: If you’re going to be thinking anyway, you might as well think big.”—Donald J. Trump
 
Here is Trump in action—how he runs his organization and how he runs his life—as he meets the people he needs to meet, chats with family and friends, clashes with enemies, and challenges conventional thinking. But even a maverick plays by rules, and Trump has formulated time-tested guidelines for success. He isolates the common elements in his greatest accomplishments; he shatters myths; he names names, spells out the zeros, and fully reveals the deal-maker’s art. And throughout, Trump talks—really talks—about how he does it. Trump: The Art of the Deal is an unguarded look at the mind of a brilliant entrepreneur—the ultimate read for anyone interested in the man behind the spotlight.
 
“Trump makes one believe for a moment in the American dream again.”—The New York Times

“Donald Trump is a deal maker. He is a deal maker the way lions are carnivores and water is wet.”—Chicago Tribune
 
“Fascinating . . . wholly absorbing . . . conveys Trump’s larger-than-life demeanor so vibrantly that the reader’s attention is instantly and fully claimed.”—Boston Herald
 
“A chatty, generous, chutzpa-filled autobiography.”—New York Post


Hard Choices: Hillary Rodham Clinton515otzAA0oL._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Hillary Rodham Clinton’s inside look at the choices and challenges she has faced is “a subtle, finely calibrated work…with succinct and often shrewd appraisals of the complex web of political, economic, and historical forces in play around the world” (The New York Times).

In the aftermath of her 2008 presidential run, Hillary Rodham Clinton expected to return to the United States Senate. To her surprise, newly elected President Barack Obama asked her to serve in his administration as Secretary of State. “Hard Choices is a richly detailed and compelling chronicle of Clinton’s role in the foreign initiatives and crises that defined the first term of the Obama administration…it teems with small, entertaining details about her interactions with foreign leaders (Los Angeles Times).

Secretary Clinton and President Obama had to decide how to repair fractured alliances, wind down two wars, and address a global financial crisis. Along the way, they grappled with tough dilemmas, especially the decision to send Americans into harm’s way, from Afghanistan to Libya to the hunt for Osama bin Laden. By the end of her tenure, Secretary Clinton had gained a truly global perspective on the major trends reshaping today’s landscape.

In Hard Choices, “a rich and lively narrative” (Entertainment Weekly), Hillary Clinton offers her views on what it will take for the United States to compete and thrive. This “memoir is serious, sober, and substantive” (The New York Times Book Review).

Enjoy your reading!

Jamie

The 3 Shortcuts to Wisdom

books-768426_960_720Recently I answered a question on Quora on the topic of shortcuts to wisdom. I’ve expanded my ideas and want to share them with my readers here at Improve My Life This Year.

Year by year, I’m sure you notice that you become wiser. What if we could accelerate that process? What if we could become wiser, faster? We can. Let’s see how. Let’s see the 3 shortcuts to wisdom.

Shortcut #1 to Wisdom – Mistakes

You learn most when you are in-over-your-head, taking on challenges you never faced before. And in that kind of environment, you will screw up a lot and make many mistakes. The pain and frustration of those setbacks will spark awareness and new understanding. And you’ll be on the fast-track to wisdom. That is of course if you engage in self-reflection at each moment and use your mistakes as learning opportunities.

Shortcut #2 to Wisdom – Mentors

The cool thing about mentors is, they have already screwed up a lot. So, of course, you can spend a lot of time making your own mistakes, but another great way to become wise is to learn from the mistakes and experiences of others. On the plus side, learning through mentors saves you a lot of struggle and pain. On the down side, that lack of direct experience makes it harder for you to truly understand as well as you can from your own mistakes.

Shortcut #3 to Wisdom – Reading

The final shortcut is reading. Think of this, if you read a book by Elon Musk, you are almost having a conversation with him. If you read my post, you are, for a brief moment, peering into my little bit of wisdom. Reading is not so dissimilar to finding a mentor. The conversation is just one-way from them to you, but you are not limited by time and space. You can select from millions of potential mentors from the past and present with a quick trip to the library. Or better yet, you can get a Kindle and read on-the-go, throughout the day. Wherever and however you prefer, just find  a way to read.

Good luck, and may you find wisdom on your life journey!

Jamie

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The Many Colors of Wine Beyond Red and White

Note: Today’s Post comes to you from our friends at Wine Awesomeness. As part of my own self-improvement journey, I like to learn more about a wide variety of topics. I used to think wines were either red or white. Now I know that the wine world is a lot more complicated (and colorful!) than that! 

A Painters Palate of Wine Wonders

Remember the days when you served wine and asked – “Red or White”? Well those were simpler times and the choices were limited. Now there are so many colors they resemble a painter’s palate. According to the team at Wine Awesomeness, the group dedicated to creating a monthly journey, curated for adventurous souls, some of these new, off-beat beverages have fared better than others.

A Match Made in Wine Heaven

Want to coordinate a particular wine with a holiday color scheme? You’ll be in luck when St. Patrick Day rolls around, when you serve Green Portuguese born Vinho Verde.

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And if you’re inclined to satisfy your guests’ patriotic pleasures, you can offer them a choice of red, white OR blue (also known as Gik) that is quite off-color in all its iridescent splendor. How it came to be is simple…young Spanish entrepreneurs who decided that the world needed an incandescent blue wine joined forces (or in this case grapes) with the Basque government’s food research bureau and experts at the University of the Basque Country. Next came a base wine, some food coloring and sugar. According to the team at Wine Awesomeness, this creation leaves a bit to be desired.

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Are you yearning for yellow? Known as “Vin Jaune” in its native French, yellow wine is a unique type of white wine produced in the Jura region of France from late harvest Sauvignon grapes. Pair this nutty flavored concoction with the regional comtĂ© cheese and you’re in for a gastronomic whirlwind of contentment.

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And yes, there are even grapes that produce an orange vintage (perfect for fall football parties). But if you’re still a loyal pastel pink fan, then RosĂ© has elevated your summers to a whole new level. RosĂ©s are essentially baby reds, experiencing shorter maceration periods than their red counterparts. Depending on which grape varietals are used and how long skin contact is, rosĂ©s can range in color from the palest of pink to the deepest of magentas.

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A Club for Wine Warriors

The Wine Awesomeness Monthly Wine Club delivers your choice of wines right to your door. The Wine Awesomeness team combs the globe to find the coolest, crave worthiest wines. This is vino you don’t see regularly, but will want to drink every day. If you JOIN TODAY, you’ll get a free bottle with your first box! Welcome to the world of wine the Wine Awesomeness way.

Creative Gift Ideas for Father’s Day Guide

silhouette-1082129_960_720Father’s Day 2016 is June 19th. Many people struggle to choose a great gift for their dad on Father’s Day. Don’t settle for a novelty product that says #1 Dad. Instead, try to find the product that will show your dad how grateful you are for all his support and something that he’ll actually use and love.

This website is all about self-improvement and becoming the best version of yourself. So this Father’s Day, let’s improve our gift-giving skills and get a memorable gift for the most important man in our lives.

So without further ado, here are some creative and cool gift ideas for Dad. I hope these give you a glimpse of some of the possibilities out there.

For The Dad Who Enjoys Wine 

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Uncork a worldwide adventure in wine with handcrafted wines from small artisan wineries across the world!

Each month features a different winery from heralded wine making countries like France, Germany, Australia, Argentina and South Africa to name a few! For examples of recently featured International Series selections please browse our Recently Featured Winery section to the right.

Wine selections are hand-selected and imported directly by our club. Each month features a different winery and includes two different handcrafted wines accompanied by Uncorked, our beautiful guide to the winery, details and tasting notes on the wines plus insight to the featured country’s winemaking scene.

Memberships also include a Personal Wine Consultant and discounts when you reorder your favorites!

No hidden fees and all wines are 100% guaranteed. Join for yourself and pay-as-you-go or send a prepaid gift of any length to someone special.

For the Dad Who Loves a Strong Cup of Coffee

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The best selling Keurig coffee maker. The Keurig K55 brews over 500 different K-Cup pod varieties from 75 brands including Green Mountain Coffee, Starbucks, Lipton, and more. Enjoy coffee, tea & hot cocoa at the push of a button with the quality you expect from Keurig.

For the Dad Who Loves A Healthy Breakfast

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700-watt electric juicer with large feed chute and 2-speed setting

Stainless steel permanent mesh filter and filter basket; safety interlock switch

Chrome-plated housing; see-through lid; removable pulp container; non-skid rubber feet

3/4-quart juice jug and filter cleaning brush included; dishwasher-safe parts

Measures approximately 14-1/2 by 10 by 18 inches

For the Dad with Wanderlust

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Rosetta Stone Inc. provides cutting-edge interactive technology that is changing the way the world learns. The company’s proprietary language-learning techniques—acclaimed for their power to unlock the natural language-learning ability in everyone—are used by schools, businesses, government organizations and millions of individuals around the world. Rosetta Stone offers courses in 30 languages, from the most commonly spoken (like English, Spanish and Mandarin) to the less prominent (including Swahili, Swedish and Tagalog). The company was founded in 1992 on the core beliefs that learning to speak a language should be a natural and instinctive process, and that interactive technology can activate the language immersion method powerfully for learners of any age.

For the Dad Who Loves to Be Healthy

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Stay motivated by tracking all-day activity like steps, distance, calories burned and active minutes, and get credit for your workouts with SmartTrack automatic exercise recognition. At night, track your sleep and set a silent alarm to wake better and get your best rest. No matter where you’re headed, the easy-to-read OLED screen keeps your goals in focus with stats, time, and call or text notifications on display. And with accessory wristbands in metal, leather and sport, help you find the right style for every occasion.

For the Dad with a Pet

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Petcube is an interactive pet camera that lets you watch, talk to and play with your pets from your smartphone when you’re away from home. Beautifully designed with an interactive laser toy, your pets will enjoy regular playtime and exercise. No more sad goodbyes! Now your furry friends are just one tap away.

I hope these 6 Father’s Day gift ideas give you a great starting point for finding a great gift for your dad this year.

How to Be a Cool Uncle

Congratulations man, you’re an uncle! Now what? Do you know how to master this role? Fear not, it’s actually not too hard. Let’s see how you can be the coolest uncle out there.

When I first began teaching at a university, I was a bit nervous. How would I be seen by my students? Would I be a popular instructor or would I be that guy – you know, the one whose class you absolutely hated but had to take? I loved my field and had plenty of experience making classes interactive and fun, but beyond that, how would they see me as a person? I sat down for coffee with another new instructor the day before classes began and we started discussing this question.

We concluded that the way to be seen as a “cool” instructor that was likeable was to have what we termed, “a crazy professorial affectation.” In other words, we needed to have something unique that we played up, something that made us different that others, and that became the thing that you instantly thought of when you saw us. My fellow instructor was a New Zealander, so he decided to make that his thing. Me? As silly as it sounds, I chose to have an obsession with American fast food, particularly burgers.

What happened? The students loved it. Within a few weeks, students were emailing me tips on local restaurants serving American-style burgers, asking me for tips on how to prepare authentic American burgers, and touchingly, created a giant poster at the end of my first semester, covered with thank you messages scrawled all over, you guessed it, a large drawing of a cheeseburger.

Back to your new role as uncle. You need to choose your crazy (in a good way) uncle category. They’ll come to identify you strongly in connection with this thing and you’ll have the power to shape their lives in a really cool way. Music? Travel? Food? Sports? Choose one thing and talk about it with them, take them to events related to it, give gifts connected to it, etc.

Do you love music? Play the drums? Get your nephew or niece a drum set and teach them to how to jam! Look at this one. It shouts cool uncle!

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Sports?

Look at this complete badminton and volleyball set.

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Science?

Look at this amazing telescope.

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Don’t worry about whether or not you’ll be a cool uncle. Just choose your topic, make it your thing, and teach, talk, and gift around that topic. Good luck, you cool uncle you!

Jamie

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