Eat Powerfully

My wife and I met with an old friend (by “old” I mean elementary school days) in Hayward for brunch the other day. It was past one in the afternoon and neither of us had eaten. We were all eager to get something to eat, but not suffering from hunger.

In passing, we brought up the fact that both of us often train on empty stomachs. For both of us, it was common that a good workout happened without food for several hours. When I say good workout, I mean a focused, energy-steady, and positivity-surging session of training.

I mentioned to my friend that without eating, I am able to maintain steady focus and get a lot of work done. As long as I have a task at hand, I feel just fine. If I have nothing to do, though, it’s common that I get hungry sooner in the day. He agreed, saying he thought it was the distraction from food that enabled us to drive forward without it.

I don’t think it’s necessary to gloat over the fact that I can go through the day without food. I’m not an ascetic, I eat a lot, especially at night, and I love love love food. But I think it’s important to see what’s going on with each of our own selves in the realm of hunger, satiety, productivity, focus, and overall effectiveness and quality of life.

If we can master the knowledge of our needs and our natural ebbs and flows of energy, we can position ourselves to be effective at the time we are needed and rest ourselves when we are not. We can consume our resources when they are most effective to our minds and bodies, and we can set them aside when they’ll have little to do with the outcomes of life.

I speak to the short and long term for myself in terms of food and eating. On a short term, day to day basis, I’ve reduced my eating to twice a day. I have butter coffee in the morning, and a large dinner at night. As for the long term, I’ve been living with this eating schedule for the past four years without any sign of energy deficit, malnutrition, or chronic illness.

The only significant break from this has been my three and half month long travel this year. There have been differences while I was overseas and backpacking. I’ll get more into this in another post. I want to focus on long term pattern and effects here.

People have asked me if I don’t get stomach problems from eating so much at night. In fact, I’ve never felt better since having fats in the morning and eating all of my food at night. My stool is regular, my energy is regular and full, and my body is well-toned and responsive. As long as I follow this well-fitted pattern of eating and nutrition.

The truth is, I’ve always had digestive issues. Since I was a teenager, I’ve had bad gas and upset stomach much of the time. I remember so many nights out with friends, during deep talks, where I was just dying from the struggle to hold in my farts.

Looking back, and with my present knowledge and experience, most of this had to do with what I ate. So much wheat in the form of bread, pasta, and sweets, bad fats, and milk were among the culprits. I had energy when I did, and I forced energy when I had none. I was often exhausted at night and in the morning.

This unnatural living created a deficit that continues to suck energy from me today. I’ve found the gaping holes and leaks and stopped the flooding, but I’m still getting leaks of energy here and there. Enough with the analogy.

At thirty years, I’m at a sort of turning point. I know what’s good for me. I’ve discovered it. During my mid to late twenties, I went to all ends to capitalize on it. I did everything I could, within my means, to make myself better. I had to with the circumstances I was in, but I also wanted to.

Now I’m at the tail end of this stage of awe at what has been discovered. Many, many other people, including you, have also found out that we’ve been in a matrix version of the truth about nutrition and eating. And you’ve also come to navigate your way through the webs of lies spun around us. Something was not working but everyone was trying to ignore the skips in the beat. The glitches.

The thing about our world, as opposed to that of the Matrix, is that even though we’ve been out in the cold, hard reality, and have found how to light the fire and thrive, the webs continue to spin around us. Just go to the nearest “health foods” or “farmer’s market” store and see how many gluten-free and paleo products line the shelves. They’ve simply taken the spotlight from cereals, which are still the next aisle over, and they’ve become the new idea of healthy eating.

The matrix of this world continues to expand. We’ve definitely torn away the webs at the fringes and made our way out, but it’s more like Harry Potter’s Triwizard Tournament hedge maze. It keeps growing, changing directions, and trying to engulf us.

What to do? Remember that the prize lies within you. I have to keep the focus on me. I have to remember, day to day, and year to year, that the ultimate goal with eating, food, and wellness is my own self. The closer I can get to fulfilling the center of me, the further I stay from the web of the food matrix.

Yes, there is truly good stuff out there. You can find good food. Clean veggies. Happy meat. People who give a damn, who want you to share in the wellness of their products. People who do the high level research to find more of the truth to share with us.

We’ll find it, we’ll invest in it, it will grow, and truth and goodness and thriving will overcome the lies and suffering. We’ll keep guiding each other, and the universe will fill in the gaps.

The key is to stay true to yourself. Seriously, that’s all.

Live powerfully, eat powerfully,


P.S., a big thanks to my friend for coming out and sharing deep thoughts. If you read this, you know who you are.

The Brilliant Beast Blog Daily

Be A Brilliant Pooper

It’s pouring rain this morning in Seoul. The sky is gray, everything is dulled by the chattering drops of water, and there’s a lovely humidity in the air. And what better time to reflect on going two when I haven’t in two days. Sometimes things aren’t so smooth while traveling. Sometimes, the simplest of human tasks is not so simple.

No creature wants to be chocked full of waste. Most of an animal’s incremental existence is preoccupied by eating and excreting. As a pet owner, there was never a more satisfying day than when my dog ate his bowl full of food, and then pooped a full poop. Humans have so much else to worry about that these basic activities get forgotten or stalled from unnatural levels of stress. In daily living, and while traveling, regularity is key to wellness.

Not only is it satisfactory to go, it is also indicative of general health. How often, how much, and what kind are good questions to ask about your deuces. When, as in what time of day, is also good to observe. Ideally, poop comes at about the same time or times every day, is not watery, and correlates to the amount of food you ate since the last release. This speaks of good organ function, adequate hydration, and a diet that suits your needs.

When you pay attention to your stool, you pay attention to your diet. If something is off for me, I look back to my last couple of meals. Have I had a lot of green leafy veggies? Have I avoided sugar, wheat, dairy, and excessive spice, the wrenches in the workings of my digestive system? Did I eat enough? Too much? Did I drink any water (a night time task I too often forget during travel)?

These questions came to me after figuring out the most effective ways to keep myself regular. Green leafy veggies just can’t be replaced. They have vitamins, minerals, fiber, and magic that do wonders for me. In Thailand, Indonesia, and Korea, fresh green veggies are cheap and easy to find. But they’re also easy to forget if I’m not paying attention. One of my Chinese-style favorites is on choy, also called kankung, or morning glory, depending on the country. Spinach is another go to, particularly in Korea and Japan. I love the type they grow there and how it’s prepared. With most green leafy veggies, it’s important to minimize heat time. They should look vibrant and supple, not drab and sloppy.

Magnesium also helps to keep traffic flowing. It’s a natural laxative and relaxant, which makes it perfect for bedtime. Regardless of when you usually go, or if you do, magnesium supplementation can help if taken near that time. I take it at night and make my move in the morning. Check out Natural Calm.

Body position matters. Using a footstool to elevate the knees into a mock squat on the toilet allows for ideal bowel movement. I’ve had quite a few episodes of pooper’s block on the road that were vanquished by simply putting my feet up on a small trash bin. The most effective position, thought, is the actual squat. I’ve experienced no quicker solution than an old school hole in the ground loo.

And try drinking water, if you haven’t for a while.

When all else fails, breathe. Slow, deep breaths. Sometimes we’re just so tense in the head that it closes up other channels. Take your mind off of it.

Pooping is all about getting back into your skin, kicking into the parasympathetic gear, and letting nature proceed. It’s all too common that we remove ourselves from ourselves. Centering through nutrition, physical position, and mind cultivation keeps us well oiled. In a manner of speaking. And that first dump at a new place makes it home, doesn’t it?

Next area of investigation for me: gut microbiome.

Live powerfully,


The Brilliant Beast Blog Daily