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Nutrition and productivity

Have you noticed that on some days you are supper productive and efficient. You get an amazing amount of tasks done and you feel like you are on top of the world? But to balance those days out some days you have a feeling that a sloth could get more done and you are no smarter than an amoeba….sound familiar? For me too.

There are many reasons why you might have an unproductive/ sluggish day; lack of sleep, dehydration, lack of exercise. Then what we will concentrate on today; bad nutrition. Now before you start to attack me with your (pitch)forks, I would like to mention that your meals can be generally healthy and you still could be feeling like a blob. And if you can honestly say that you are healthy with your diet, hydration, sleep and fitness and you still feel bad; please contact a doctor. Heck contact them anyway. But for those people who can’t honestly claim even 90% healthy habits, this post is for them. (ME)

why you might have an unproductive/ sluggish day; lack of sleep, dehydration, lack of exercise. Then what we will concentrate on today; bad nutrition. Now before you start to attack me with your (pitch)forks, I would like to mention that your meals can be generally healthy and you still could be feeling like a blob. And if you can honestly say that you are healthy with your diet, hydration, sleep and fitness and you still feel bad; please contact a doctor. Heck contact them anyway. But for those people who can’t honestly claim even 90% healthy habits, this post is for them. (ME)

Through out history we have been developing and adapting. Many theories suggest that one of the biggest changes for us humans, and why we as a species have survived was first introducing fish and meat into our diet and then learning how to cook it as well. This however has within couple of decades turned against us. While I honestly believe that some fish and meat products in our diet can be healthy, I will be first one to admit that being mostly meat based is probably no the healthiest (especially not when it is part of fast food).

Heavy saturated fat based foods make us groggy as it is more difficult to digest, making the blood from our head go to our digestive system. On the other hand too many carbs/sugars makes us have a spike of energy and then we are all of a sudden very tired. Usually this is followed by us eating again or drinking coffee/energy drinks to get us back to being able to work. Then we crash again and it ends up being a vicious cycle.

How should we eat? I don’t think I can answer that without some disclaimers: 1) I am not a doctor, nutritionist nor have I researched the topic enough to promise miracle results. 2) I don’t think there is a diet that fits everyone (and I don’t think there are miracle diets). I can however suggest some things by what I have read. This is based on my research on what are healthiest foods for productivity A well balanced diet with healthy fats from nuts and seeds, avocados (can I hear a YAY from all the millennials) Some good carbs; for example vegetables, fruits, whole grains. And proteins from either plant sources, like legumes and if you aren’t vegan then some fish and lean meats. Now even if you are vegan I know you can have a balanced diet. Just don’t restrict yourself and remember to take supplements. Especially B12 and iron. B12 is very hard to get from plants only and iron while possible, is often something that will be lacking on a vegan diet.

Speaking of vitamins and minerals, some that are supposed to help with productivity are B-vitamins, vitamin D3 (D-vitamin deficiency is especially common in northern countries due to the lack of sun light, just keep that in mind, especially during winter months.) Omega 3 Fatty acids, vitamin C and magnesium. Most of these are reasonably easy to have in your diet. But if you have some dietary restrictions, like being vegan, not being able to eat fish or being allergic to some fruits/veggies with these vitamins/mineral, please do take the time to supplement. More info about these vitamins and where to find them: 5 Vitamins & Minerals to boost focus, concentration and productivity

Productivity is a result of many things. Healthy lifestyle, good habits and systems that make it easier to do things than to procrastinate.

What do you think is the biggest aspect of your lack of productivity? (If you lack it) Eating habits, lack of exercise, lack or sleep (perhaps them all?) Being unorganized, not having discipline(actually meaning having good systems in place)

Comment down below, I would love to engage with you! And as always thanks for reading 🙂

Xoxo

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Why you should never trust anything?

Not everything is the way it seems. Have you noticed how sometimes you listen to someone and they seem to know what they are talking about… but do they? A politician who says strong words that we sometimes sound kind of true in the moment but a bit later when you think about it it really starts to sound like propaganda?

Have you thought about why you trust politicians? Or those “health gurus”. In the end, it is so much about how they talk… and if you don’t have any knowledge about the subject you are very easy to manipulate. Almost anyone can convincingly talk you into believing anything they want. What then? Well… then you can ruin your health or you start acting like an idiot because of what someone else told you to do. You can ruin your chance and a great life. But what should you do?

Research, research ….research yes, it is that simple, kind of. It just takes more effort than to just blindly follow. However, if you want to be sure that the information you get is the truth, research the shit out of the topic. If you can have a conversation with the politician or the health guru, try to do it. Do they answer your questions or do they try to evade the questions?

Research Research Research:
Photo by João Silas on Unsplash

If you can have an adult conversation and they give you good answers to your questions it is always a great sign. If they get offended and call you a hater… well that seems a bit childish and them yelling loud they are right doesn’t mean that they are. So if they seem to get weird about questions, you should probably research more. Even if they are transparent, research a lot but especially if they seem to be hesitant to answer your questions.


Question, Research and then Form an educated opinion of your own

Me

My point is that in today’s world we have information, billions of sites and pretty much anyone can become a political leader or a health practitioner. And that is why we must question everything and everyone (hey, you should question yourself too, don’t you forget that you can be a fraud as well)

If a doctor tells you to take antibiotics…question it. Research it. There are more and more studies that prove that antibiotics aren’t the greatest answer. So just make sure you see if there are other options. And if there are no other options remember to take super good care of your gut during and after taking antibiotics.

Also… this is not something you should read and be like ok whatever she says is the law. It isn’t. Everyone is different if we think about health. And everyone has different life views and I wouldn’t try to force my views on someone who doesn’t want them. So take my blog with a grain of salt. And be sure to check my resources and find your own and make up your own mind. You have a great brain use it.

People who have helped me to think outside the box and their recourses:

Tom Bilyeu: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnYMOamNKLGVlJgRUbamveA

Thomas Frank/The College Info Geek:
https://www.youtube.com/user/electrickeye91
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqfULGuGGjpAfVsADlVR6vQ

I have other people I look up to in these kinds of topics, but these have been my most favorite videos/podcasts lately. What do you guys think? Hope you have a great week and comment below what you would want to read about next!

Xoxo Changed Life

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Why we Fail With New Habits

I’ve mentioned this before but let’s start with the basics. What is habit forming like? When we form habits the brain stops working as hard to make us achieve a task. That is why we might forget how we got to work or whether or not we locked the door. Brains just go on autopilot.

That is also an issue when you are trying to stop doing something and change it to a good thing, e.g stop eating too much junk food and eat something healthy instead. For our brain, it is easier to just fall back into the old routine of getting a burger from BurgerKing after work rather than going to the store to buy healthy alternatives and actually making food.

So what do we do that makes us fail at forming new habits, even if we take into account how the brain forms these habits?

We try to achieve all our new dream habits at once.

  • I will go to the gym five times a week
  • I’ll never eat a burger in my life, ever
  • I will start getting A*’s on all my exams

That is just not realistic. First of all most habits have many steps to them. If you want to lose weight, you must start exercising, eating healthy and if you are very serious probably start counting macros and maybe doing food prep. That is four habits (if you are going really hardcore) that you want/have to change. It won’t all happen in one night. So if on top of that you have 50 other habits with each of them having 2-3 sub-habits. Boy, are you in for hell! And you will fail. Trust me, been there done that. 

The more you do in a day that will cause you resistance, the more likely you are to give up after say 2 hours. This issue also ties into trying to change a huge thing in your life as the example of losing weight; it is technically just one goal. But if you have never climbed a mountain you wouldn’t start your goal by climbing Mount Everest. So why do that with your habits?

If we are only thinking about the outcome, we will never be motivated by the process. You will not change your life around in one day. And some days you will probably not do anything towards your goal and that will suck. It is the reality though. If you are only waiting to see how your life is magically transformed, you will never reach your goal, because you feel defeated before you properly get started.

We assume that just because some change in our life is small. It doesn’t matter. But big things are made up of many small things. If you make sure to always take the stairs,  you will have better health even if it’s just a little bit. Writing one page from a 10-page essay means that you have less to do later. Both of those are small changes but they make a difference. So going to the gym only once a week doesn’t make you weak, just because Becky can do it 5 times a week. It just means you aren’t in the same place as her. (And let’s be honest here, she probably just lifts her phone to take insta pictures and that isn’t working out properly)

What if we have an issue deciding what it is that we want to do? Well, try picking a keystone habit. This is a habit that makes it easier to change other habits after you have mastered it. For example; Doing sports. Becoming active will ensure that you are more healthy and thus have more energy and quite often that can mean better results at school or being able to wake up earlier and that way you can get more done in a day.  This could also be drinking water, getting better sleep or eating healthier.

One more thing. You must choose one habit you concentrate on. But that doesn’t have to be the only thing you do. I am right now working on waking up at 5.30. (I swear I’m not insane, I will just have a hella busy summer) Anyway, just because that is my goal. Doesn’t mean I don’t do anything else for the rest of the day. I am also working on not being on social media so much and trying to study better during the day. But if there is one thing I want to achieve in each day (the minimum) it is to wake up at 5.30.

Since I am on the journey to change my life, changing habits is a very interesting and important for me right now. While I was searching for information for this blog post I stumble on these sites. How they give you more information if you need it:

https://jamesclear.com/habits-fail

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320874.php

https://jamesclear.com/keystone-habits

As always, thank you for reading. Don’t forget to leave a comment. What did you think of this blog post and what would you like to hear next.

xoxo

– Alisa

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Are you addicted to internet? I am

While researching this topic  I found an article written by Billi Gordon: “How social media is harmful to your brain and relationships”.  (PsychologyToday)

The phrase that stood out the most was  “Right place, wrong brain” What he meant by this, is that our brain isn’t up to date with the new technology. Our brain still lives in the society where we have to be afraid of bears and wolves. Our brain really needs an update, but it seems our brain evolves very slowly, last change has been about 6 000 (Correct me if I am wrong) years ago, and major changes were probably 10 000 years ago if not more.

According to Gordon’s article, there have been negative impacts to our health from overuse of the internet. Ventral Tegmental Area (VTA) in our brain, that monitors our social needs, doesn’t see the difference between social behavior online and in real life. This means that we get as much dopamine, the feel-good hormone, from a successful picture post to Instagram as we would if we would have an actual conversation with a person.

This also means if we don’t get “enough” likes our pleasure hormone levels go into deficits. This experience could be compared to being banished from a tribe for our ancestors, as Gordon states. The problem with VTA in regards to social media is that is can’t control its reactions. It is too primitive.

Social media encounters are seen as a threat by our brain, and internet trolls and death threats aren’t helping our brain with that. These experiences are stored in the hippocampus that works as the memory center in our brain.  It then compares what it sees on the outside with the information that it has already obtained. Technically every time we are on social media, we are reinforcing some sort of a version of the reality into our hippocampus, whether it’s negative or positive.

Due to the perceived threat, our Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal axis initiates the stress response. The same as in the old times would have made us run from wild animals. The issue with is is that stress in small doses is perfectly normal, healthy even. But stress on the daily, many times a day can lead to elevated blood pressure, which is meant to help us in a fight or flight situation.

Too much stress can lead to cardiovascular diseases, insulin resistance, diabetes, and obesity plus many other health issues, whether physical or mental. Stress makes us reactive, as we stop thinking logically and think with the animal part of the brain “Survive now, ask questions later” as Gordon put in his article.

It also makes us more awkward in actual social situations, online we are way more comfortable just saying what we think and being ourselves (or assholes sometimes). A YouTube video by Asapscience mentioned 5 ways that social media is changing our brains and behavior. First of all due to the fast dopamine release when we use social media 5-10% of internet users are not fully in control of when they use it. Have you sometimes noticed that you reach for your phone because you swear you heard a bling or it “vibrated”? This phenomenon is called Phantom vibration syndrome and it is fairly new, but the idea of it is terrifying. Can you imagine, that your brain is so addicted to the social media, it will imagine a sound just to get to check it again?

Dopamine releases are so addictive, that actual brain scans reveal that people with drug addiction have similar impairment in their brains as internet addicts.

What else are we all addicted to? Talking about ourselves, in a normal face to face conversation we talk about ourselves 30-40% but online it is up to 80%. And imagine how much dopamine is released when you are celebrated by hundreds of people? Or how horrible it feels if no one likes that one super cute picture of you?

Social media is giving us the same dopamine boosts as love, motivation, and orgasms give. Imagine the generation that would rather just sit on the computer than find love or have the satisfaction of finishing a demanding task. Or that likes to pretend that we achieved something just because the picture of our dog got up to 100 likes (or more, if you are really famous online), oh wait that generation sounds a bit like the current one… oh shit…

What is the harm in being addicted to social media/internet?  Spending hours in front of the computer for work, plus social media? Not going out with real friends because Friends are airing their 6000000th episode? (Or you have to watch all the previous ones) Not being satisfied with anything because it doesn’t happen in 1.5 seconds? All of these things are going to affect your life and how fulfilled you feel in it. I have often felt and still feel like I am unmotivated and “shit” at something because it doesn’t happen fast enough. Or I start looking at social media or my email in the morning and I feel like I don’t even want to get up because that girl is so pretty and I am not and also I have to answer to 5 emails.

Schedule social media and emails in, if you lose people with taking care of yourself? Well, then those people weren’t supposed to follow or be your friends anyway. Adios to them!

It has been a while since I have written, how this post makes up for it a bit. I should be back with full vengeance again. Please tell me what you thought about this blog and what you would like to learn next. Until next time 

– Alisa
Sources:

Social Media Is Harmful to Your Brain and Relationships, Billi Gordon, Ph.D. 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/obesely-speaking/201710/social-media-is-harmful-your-brain-and-relationships)

5 Crazy ways Social Media is changing your brain right now, AsapScience, Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HffWFd_6bJ0

Is the human brain still evolving?

https://science.howstuffworks.com/life/inside-the-mind/human-brain/brain-evolution1.htm

 

 

 

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Changes changes changes

So, I have not been a bit over 2 months in exchange and I only have one month until exams (yes it is a short exchange, but I’ll have a couple of months to just enjoy the local life after exams 😉 )

While I have been here, I have been slacking off the blog, for that I am sorry. It has to do with the changes I am going through here and I feel like I want to change my blog up (again).

I feel I have been writing a lot of my opinions and views and not many things that would teach not only you but also me, while I research the subject. So from now on, that is my goal. To research new things, relating to health, wealth and overall life, and bring it to you in a concise little blog post. (Sometimes might not be that little.)

In order to make all those changes, I want to make sure that my blog is up to date and I have planned a couple of posts in advance so I always have something to post, even if I am very busy doing something. Therefore, please excuse me while the blog is under construction. I will keep all of my old posts, I still think they have a lot of insight and I also like having something I can look at and see how far I have come.

If you have something certain you would like to learn about, maybe tips for me on how to write better or anything that comes to mind, please put it in the comments. As always feedback is very appreciated.

xoxo

Alisa

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Learning and age?

In march I will be celebrating my 22nd birthday, and while I am not old by any means, I must admit that hearing that age makes it more difficult to learn starts to nag at my mind.  But is it really harder to learn?

While science  has shown us that brain loses some of its neurons in the process of aging, we also know that an active mind helps with keeping Alzheimers at bay. So what does this actually tell us?

Quotefancy-167913-3840x2160
Just keep learning

The quote above, by John C. Maxwell is spot on. Also think about it like this:

As much as we know about the brains today, we hardly know anything; and I find that fact is very important to remember. If we know almost nothing, why give the “knowledge” of losing some neurons over time so much power? I would say that it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy if we just become stagnant because “learning becomes harder and slower etc.”

I would almost argue that it is easier to learn new things. Why, you ask?

Because while it might take longer to make the new information to stick, but it is easier to connect the new information to the older.

If you are 50 you probably have more information than me who is in their early twenties, thus you can make connections more easily between A, B and C. But in order for that to be the case, we have to keep learning, studying and being curious on the daily.

Sometimes the things that we “have” to learn aren’t interesting, but they help us evolve as learners, as they give us the possibility to make connections between new and old information. Plus it makes our brains work harder to keep up with the synaptic connections.

What is the most efficient way to learn? The article on Forbes (Originally on Quora)  states that learning is easiest if we chunk the information. What does this mean? You take a confusing mix of information and form it into a clear “chunk” of information. The article gives you an example of a undone puzzle is mixed information and a chunked information is a finished puzzle.

The articles used for this post:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2016/07/08/science-says-this-is-the-best-way-to-learn-and-remember-new-things/#224f73033ea2

Article about aging and brain:  https://www.canyonranch.com/blog/health/how-your-brain-changes-with-age/

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