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Dean Pomerleau

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About Dean Pomerleau

  • Birthday 11/12/1964

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  1. Dean Pomerleau

    BMI question

    Welcome Turtles! There seems to be a pretty wide range of BMIs (19-24) that are equivalently good for longevity for someone around your age, as you can see in the graph in this post: Some people who used to be active around here believed (and probably still believe) that with optimum nutrition, you may be able to squeeze out a few more healthy years of life by dropping calories slowly until you reach a BMI around 17 (or even 16). But since you are starting at 60 and given that postmenopausal women have trouble with bone loss and sarcopenia, I'd very skeptical of such advice if I were you. Instead I'd argue (and have in this thread) that if you maintain your BMI about where you are now, make sure your diet is near optimal (using Cronometer to get the nutrients right and sticking with mostly whole plant foods) and you engage in regular weight-bearing and aerobic exercise, then you will be doing about as well as you can when it comes to maximizing your chance of living a long and healthy life. --Dean
  2. Dean Pomerleau

    Natto is the way to go!

    Extra insurance. I'm not sure how much nattokinase my homemade natto contains so I supplement a little extra. Same with vitamin K2. --Dean
  3. Dean Pomerleau

    Dean's Diet & Exercise Regime, Tips, and Motivation

    That is almost certainly part of it. But my wife usually gets one cold or flu per year (and recently covid) but I never seem to catch it from her despite our proximity, so I think my immune system is pretty good. Same with my wife and me. I don't personally feel at very much risk anymore having been vaccinated and boosted, but I still wear a mask to show solidarity with, and to help mitigate the stigma for, people who wear them because they are at high risk. Yes, depression may be more hardwired and less malleable than my issue, which has always been the stress/discontentment that accompanies the drive to always achieve / attain more. I think I got lucky and inherited genes for optimism and chronic positivity from my mother so depression / low mood has never been a problem for me. You remember correctly, I don't believe in free will, or in the self as a discrete entity that could make independent choices. I see the ideas of self, other, causality and free will as convenient simplified fictions that the part of the undifferentiated continuously unfolding molecular/energy dance that calls itself "me" projects onto the world to make sense of it, to enable its own persistence and propagation. But that doesn't mean that the fictitious "me" (or "you"!) can't change and evolve over time based on the causes and conditions it encounters. Personal experience suggests to me that there is more malleability in what people consider to be basic human drives than is generally understood. Some combination of life experiences and lifestyle "choices" that this body/mind system has encountered/made has reconfigured its drives and attitudes in pretty fundamental ways that it now considers to be positive. "Improve upon it?" I thought we agreed there wasn't any free will? If not, how could what's outside of personal choice be improved upon? But I know what you mean. From a conventional perspective that assumes freely-choosing individuals, what would I have done differently (or more accurately might hope had happened differently) if I could have a do-over. My wife wishes we'd had another child so we'd still have two. I feel badly for her. She's prone to bouts of melancholy, especially during the entire month of July, which is the anniversary of our son's death. It's June 30th and she's got a jump on it this year. Honestly, upon introspection, I can't think of anything I'd change. No regrets. In the same way I find myself perfectly content to live the same day over and over again, I feel I'd be perfectly happy to live the exact same 57 years over again. Part of this willingness stems from the fact that they've been very good years. I've been extraordinarily fortunate, except for the 18 months surrounding my son's illness and death. But even that terrible experience deepened me and gave me an appreciation for the ephermerality of life and the hollowness of striving after conventional, materialist advantages beyond what it takes to live a simple life. Part of it stems from the fact that I'm not sure what aspects of my life experiences were integral to bring me to this happy place, and I wouldn't want to risk messing it up by trying to tweak my past trajectory. And finally, I suspect part of my willingness to relive it all stems from the "rose-colored glasses" that seem to have sprung up on my face as a result of my genes, life trajectory and practices. I suspect they color not only my view of the present but my past as well. Albert Einstein once wrote on a scrap of paper in lieu of a tip for a bellboy: "A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness." I think he was onto something, although given his relentless, ultimately futile pursuit of a Theory of Everything (not to mention many social and political causes) right up until his death, I suspect he may have "talked the talk" but maybe not "walked the walk" when it comes to forgoing a life of striving in favor of the happiness that comes from "a calm and modest life." --Dean
  4. Dean Pomerleau

    Dean's Diet & Exercise Regime, Tips, and Motivation

    I'm never very wound up so winding down isn't really an issue for me. 🙂 But to answer your question, I watch about 60-90 min of TV with my wife immediately before heading up to bed at 8pm. Usually Jeapordy and an episode of a sci-fi series. We recently finished the first season of Foundation and are now watching For All Mankind on AppleTV. Our daughter has left the nest and yes, my wife has a "normal" sleep schedule. Neither of us work outside the home so my wife and I are generally together from around noon (when I'm finished my solitary routine and she's done her morning things, like the gym, pickleball, errands etc.) to 8pm when I go to bed. Plenty of quality time together! After I've gone to bed she reads and/or watches 2-3 hours of TV shows I'm not interested in (e.g. crime dramas and talent shows) before she turns in. It's a routine that works for both of us. --Dean
  5. Dean Pomerleau

    Dean's Diet & Exercise Regime, Tips, and Motivation

    You are right, my lifestyle choices amount to an unusual and some would say extreme experiment, an exploration of a corner of the space of human possibility that few have chosen to occupy. As a quickly summarize of my lifestyle idiosyncrasies, the highlights would be: "net" rather than "absolute" CR extreme levels of daily physical activity cold exposure strict and careful veganism extreme dietary variety within the range of whole plant foods narrow and early time restricted eating a very "early to bed, early to rise" sleep schedule deliberately cultivating a "calm abiding" attitude through meditation and mindfulness practices stepping out of the rat race at the earliest opportunity in favor of a simple, high regimented and rather hermetic daily routine Will going to all this trouble help me live longer? Who knows. I'm not convinced that any of the existing biomarkers of aging or epigenetic clocks tell us very much about one's personal lifespan. And given that my son died of brain cancer at age 18, I've learned the future is unpredictable and you shouldn't count on things working out just because you've tried to do the right thing. From a physical perspective, so far so good. I'm an extremely health 57 year-old doing what I believe might help me live to a ripe old age (90+) if my luck holds out. My traditional biomarkers of health seem pretty optimum, except perhaps for my testosterone and IGF-1 which some would consider too low, but which may also be indicators of successful CR. I haven't had a cold of flu (or Covid!) in at least 10 years, which would seem to suggest I'm doing something right. I also haven't been injured physically in many years despite the amount of exercise I do every day, suggesting very low inflammation and high physical resilience. However what I consider my most significant discover / success of my experiment is the psychological well-being and resiliency that seems to have resulted from my lifestyle habits. Here is an analogy I hope people can relate to. I think anyone who has practiced CR or followed a low salt or low sugar diet for an extended period of time has observed that your body not only adapts to the restriction but you find that simple things come to taste better than before. I eat the exact same meals every day. My wife can't understand it, but I look forward to my food every day despite the extreme monotony. I'm sure at least a few others around here have had similar experiences. What I've found is that at least for me, and presumably as a result of the unusual combination of practices I rigidly follow, this phenomena of heightened appreciation generalizes to all aspects of life. I don't just eat the same thing every day. I live the exact same day over and over again, like the movie Groundhog's Day or more recently, Palm Springs. You could set your watch by my daily routine. But rather than getting bored or fatigued, I find I'm perfectly content with repeating the exact same, quite arduous by most people's standard's, day. I wake up every morning with a positive attidude, looking forward to going through the identical routine for literally the hundredth or more accurately thousandth time. I suspect some people here will have read the classic sci-fi novel Permutation City by Greg Egan. In the chapter call Rut City, one of the main characters (Peer - who is a digital upload of a human consciousness) has reprogrammed his mind to be completely content doing a very monotonous task over and over again. In his case it is shaping the perfect table leg on a lathe. He is on his 163,329th table leg and still loves what he's doing. I feel like that guy. In short, my lifestyle habits seem to have reprogrammed my mind to be perfectly content with my simple, monotonous life. And interestingly, my mind has been reprogrammed to be perfectly content with being perfectly content, if you know what I mean - i.e. without the thought in the back of my mind that used to haunt me that I should be doing something important with my time and my gifts. Don't misunderstand. I'm not a selfish person. I think most people I know would say that I'm pretty thoughtful and kind. I donate a lot to charities I believe in, deliver food to the elderly as a driver for Meals-On-Wheels, rescue worms from the sidewalk (as you and I have discussed before!), and help others through various altruistic endeavors. But I no longer feel the need to try to change the world or believe that I could if I just tried hard enough. Through my practices (since I didn't used to be this way), I seem to have stumbled on a sense of uninterrupted peace and mellow happiness with the way things are that is hard to describe and that probably wouldn't appeal to anyone not in this state, who quite naturally craves variety, excitement and progress. Such striving seems to be built into human nature, but in my experience turns out to be very malleable. I'm not at all convinced my 20 year-old self would see the appeal of the lifestyle I now live. I'm on the other side of a chasm you and I discussed last time we had this conversation in 2016, and it seems like this side of the chasm only looks attractive when you are over here. Who knows what the future may hold. I may eventually grow bored of my lifestyle, and the peace it brings me or my health may crash as a result of one or more of my extreme practices. I hope not, but as I've said on numerous occasions, if at some point things do turn south and I can't be a shining example, at least I will have served as a cautionary tale about what it means to make healthy, sustainable lifestyle choices. That's part of the reason I document my choices and the results here - so that others can learn from my experience. Plus I think my physical and mental resiliency (not to mention my good luck materially and socially speaking) puts me in a good position to ride out what I consider to be the now seemingly inevitable troubled (yet exciting) times for humanity in the years and decades ahead. I readily admit that some people (including my wife, bless her heart for sticking with me despite my idiosyncrasies) will think my way of life is a bit nuts. But at the end of the day, I consider it both a personal privilege and somewhat of an obligation to exercise my unusual degree of self-discipline in the pursuit of a life less ordinary, rather than a lifeless ordinary - to go to extremes in what I hope is a positive direction to see and document the results. Sorry for the philosophical rambling. I hope it doesn't come across as pompous. You triggered me with "this sounds like an experiment...". 🙂 --Dean
  6. Dean Pomerleau

    Dean's Diet & Exercise Regime, Tips, and Motivation

    As I've told you offline, you should read up on my and others' motivation for practicing our diets and lifestyles before judging or jumping to conclusions. It's really a lot more subtle than hoping to add a few years (at best) to our lives. Here are a few good places to start. This entire thread is interesting, including results of a "CR Motivation" survey and detailed back-and-forth between Michael and me: This entire thread, along with the linked posts discusses my personal perspective and experience with non-longevity CR benefits and aspirations in more detail: Earlier in this very thread I talk about some of the same things with some of the same cast of characters. --Dean
  7. Dean Pomerleau

    The Singularity May be Closer than It Appears

    Very impressive Brian. Thanks! At 31:30 he was pretty charitable towards Elon Musk's "spandex" robot. Here is another example (from Google) of linking the latest AI/ML results to real-world robotics: Like the Giant AI's robot, it's currently a bit slow and makes mistakes, but given the rate of progress it looks to me like flexible, ubiquitous robots may finally be around the corner. Much closer than Intel's HERB butler robot that I was involved with circa 2010! --Dean
  8. Dean Pomerleau

    Dean's Diet & Exercise Regime, Tips, and Motivation

    Lol. From A Typical Day of a Monk at Abayagiri Monestary (Thai Forest Tradition): Most community members begin their day between 3:00 and 4:00 am, awakening from sleep in their individual dwelling places, which are dispersed throughout the forest. And from a typical day in the life the Dalai Lama: When His Holiness is at home in Dharamsala, he wakes up at 3 am. I sleep incredibly well - ~6.25 hours at night (8pm to 2:15am) and then a 25-30min nap at my equivalent of mid afternoon (10am). This was not always the case. Years ago, when I was practicing low calorie CR (as opposed to the "net CR" I practice today), I'd fall asleep fine but wake up after a few hours and not be able to get back to sleep. I know of several CR folks who've had/have this issue - likely due to cortisol rising at night. Now I sometimes wake up a minute or two before my alarm, but most times I don't. Whether I wake before the alarm or not, I wake up refreshed, not groggy and ready to start the day, despite the early hour. I wake naturally from my nap without an alarm after 25-30 minutes, without sleep inertia. I never feel tired during the day. Yet by clearing my mind and relaxing my body I easily fall asleep for either my nap or my night sleep within about 5 minutes. It drives my wife crazy since it takes her a half hour (at least) to nod off, and she often has trouble staying asleep. I meditate in the early afternoon each day after having been awake for 12 hours. I remain continuously alert with my eyes closed for 45 minutes - never nodding off or even losing focus. My fasting blood glucose is in the low to mid 80s mg/dL. If I'm sleep deprived or working against my circadian rhythm, there is no evidence of it. I'm very regular in my sleep habits, and practice good sleep hygiene, discussed here. But I've never claimed my sleep habits are right for everyone. I'm sure there are different chronotypes and varying needs for sleep. But I do claim they work well for me, despite your skepticism. By the way, we did a survey of CR folks' sleep habits a few years ago. Here are the results. We've never asked a question about income on any of our surveys, but I wouldn't be surprised if successful long-term CR practitioner earns well above the median income. To do CR right does take extra time, effort, self-discipline and an engineering mindset to understand the potential benefits and risks, weigh the tradeoffs involved and make intelligent decisions. These are traits that would seem to correlate with success in other facets of life. I don't think my wife, daughter or any of my friends would suggest I'm on the autism spectrum. I think they would characterize me as quite mellow and empathetic when it comes to interpersonal relations. Gordo and I vacationed together in Costa Rica - he can vouch for me. 🙂 But it is also pretty obvious to anyone who knows me that I have an unusual degree of self-discipline and I'm very detail-oriented. So make of that combination what you will. --Dean
  9. Dean Pomerleau

    Dean's Diet & Exercise Regime, Tips, and Motivation

    I've always been a morning person, ever since I was ~14 and started getting up at 4:30am for swim practice before school. I don't think as an adult that I've ever regularly slept later than 4:30 or 5am. When my son got sick in 2013 and most of day was spent helping him, I started getting up even earlier to have some time to myself and eating all of my food for the day early so I wouldn't have to take the time later in the day. I found such an early schedule agreed with me and so I've kept it up ever since. When evidence for the benefits of time-restricted eating, especially with calories concentrated early in the day came out, it reinforced my commitment to an "early to bed, early to rise" lifestyle with a limited eating window. In that regard the Buddhists had it right long ago. . --Dean
  10. Dean Pomerleau

    Dean's Diet & Exercise Regime, Tips, and Motivation

    Fructose in fruit is fine and my liver is fine. Between the food and liquids I consume, I get the equivalent of about 100 oz of water a day. Plenty. No, it doesn't go right through me. I pee twice overnight, after having not consumed any food or drink for over 12 hours. I'm glad you enjoy your broccoli and collards. I do to, along with the other 50+ varieties of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, tubers and 30+ different spices I eat daily! I'm all for discipline and I don't mind suffering. But different foods have different beneficial micronutrients not captured in Cronometer so it wise to diversify. --Dean
  11. Dean Pomerleau

    Dean's Diet & Exercise Regime, Tips, and Motivation

    Now that you mention it I realize I don't drink after 11 am. These days I get up at 2:15 am these so that is ~15.5 hours without liquid. I'm very rarely thirsty. In addition to the liquid in the food I eat between 2:30 and 7:30am, I drink about 16oz of green/hibiscus tea plus about 18 oz of coffee. Why the worry? Drink when you are thirsty. The idea you need 8 8oz glasses of water or other liquid a day is a myth. If it suppresses your appetite, all the worse. You need to gain back some weight and stop obsessing over calories. Eat some delicious fresh fruit. It is in season! --Dean
  12. Dean Pomerleau

    Dean's Diet & Exercise Regime, Tips, and Motivation

    Thanks Mike. I'd say about 1/2 the grains are organic, depending on availability of organic and the price differential vs. conventional. In general, I'd rather increase variety by including conventionally-grown foods in my diet vs. sticking to a more limited range of foods available as organic. --Dean
  13. Dean Pomerleau

    Dean's Diet & Exercise Regime, Tips, and Motivation

    While I'm at it I should also update my current exercise regime, since this most recent post in this thread about it from 2017: is quite out of date. I'd cut back on my exercise at that time since (unbeknownst to me) I was suffering from a case of Lyme disease. Once I got it cleared up via a course of antibiotics, I went back to my more voluminous routine, allowing me to eat breakfasts like the one I just described. Since them I've been doing about the same amount of exercise, although I shift between more running in the good weather and more walking in the winter. Currently my daily exercise routine is as follows: 6-7 miles of jogging 13-14 miles of walking ~45 minutes of resistance training ~30-60 minutes of gardening I do the first three of those broken up into smaller chunks after each of my meals. I estimate my daily energy expenditure to be ~2500 kcal from exercise and other light physical activity plus ~1100-1200 kcal in baseline metabolism. --Dean
  14. Dean Pomerleau

    Dean's Diet & Exercise Regime, Tips, and Motivation

    Someone asked me in a DM to detail the 12-grain cereal mix I eat for breakfast these days. I figured I post it here for completeness. I have the special dry carafe for my Vitamix that is designed to grind grains. The normal Vitamix carafe or other blenders won't do the job (at least not well). It takes ~30 seconds to cut a couple cups of whole grains into small chunks - i.e. about the size of steel cut oatmeal pieces. I have an appropriately sized seive that allow me to separate out the big chunks and continue grinding them until they are the right size. I grind ~3 cups of each of the following whole grains (nearly all organic, and all purchased on Amazon) in this same way and mix them together to make a huge batch of my 12-grain cereal: Whole oat groats (~15 cups) Hard Red Wheat Berries Rye Berries Unhulled Barley Buckwheat Groats Millet Sorghum Amaranth Quinoa Corn (popcorn kernals) Bulgar Wheat Spelt I make about ~45 days worth at a time and store it in my standalone freezer. I pour about 3/4 cup of the cereal mix (dry) into a bowl and then mix in homemade soy milk and homemade soy yogurt (both unsweetened, vanilla flavored and B12 fortified). I put in enough of the liquids to form a thick paste (~1 cup). Then I stir in: 1 tbsp pumpkin puree 2 tsp mix of coarsely ground nuts 1 tsp mix of coarsely ground seeds 1 tsp honey 1 tsp fresh coconut 1 tsp dried orange peal 1 tsp raisins 1 tsp dried goji berries 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp beet+blueberry+pomegranate+tart cherry powder mix a splash of almond extract stevia to sweeten 1 tbsp dried mulberries (on top, for crunch) I then let it soak in the fridge overnight. In the morning, I heat it in the microwave until it is warm but not hot (~90 seconds) and then I top it with a modest amounts of the each of the following fresh fruits (~1.5 total cups of fruit): blueberries strawberries blackberries raspberries apple peach pineapple mango pawpaw (frozen) banana kiwi orange Needless to say it is delicious. Before you ask, I don't know exactly how many calories is in this breakfast but I just roughly calculated it to be around 1300kcal. Why don't I cook it? Because it is a pain and takes time to cook hot cereal on the stove top and then clean the pan. There may also be modestly more nutrition in overnight cereal than cooked cereal, and the glycemic index should be lower because the grains aren't broken down as much when soaked vs cooked. Plus I like the meatier texture of the overnight soaked cereal better than cooked cereal. --Dean
  15. Dean Pomerleau

    The Singularity May be Closer than It Appears

    Still not impressed? Check out this series of joke explanations from Google's new PaLM system : I couldn't have explained these as well as the system does. --Dean
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