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


Dean Pomerleau
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4 hours ago, Dean Pomerleau said:

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 

The buddhists monk probably didn't get up in the middle of the night though..? don't think they had access to electricity so they can have lights on at 2:45am, unless they used candles?

I tried reducing my sleep from 8 hours to 7 hours (or even 6 hours), after a week of this I was severely sleep deprived, literally felt as though I was drunk (symptom of sleep deprivation) so I come up with a hypothesis, many people that live off less than 8 hours are using drugs like caffeine to have this "abnormal" low amount of sleep. I have never drank coffee or tea, I only consume water as my liquid.

Also Dean I'm not sure if you are aware but melatonin is supposed to inhibit insulin,

MELATONIN EFFECTS ON GLUCOSE METABOLISM: TIME TO UNLOCK THE CONTROVERSY

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7349733/

 

Once you wake up you still have low amounts of melatonin in your system so people that eat shortly after being awake have sub optimal levels of allowed insulin to pump in your system.

and according to the our natural circadian rhythm, melatonin peaks between 2am - 4am

"Levels of melatonin

"In humans melatonin has diurnal variations. The hormone secretion increases soon after the onset of darkness, peaks in the middle of the night, between 2 and 4 a.m., and gradually falls during the second half of the night"

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1855314/#:~:text=Levels of melatonin,of the night (figure

 

I've heard the body can adapt but to what extent? you are fighting thousands of years of human physiology, surely no animals day time animal would have gotten up at 3am and pretty sure no animal would have consumed 3000 calories between 3am and 7am?!

 

also early time restricted eating is shown to be better but not that early? Our metabolism is at peak at 11am! (I researched this)

and once you wake up cortisol would start to peak (just as melatonin is shutting off), most likely you are eating and working out on your peak cortisol levels, which is bad for fat storage, something to do with white fat and brown fat and it's the worst for visceral fat deposition, but I'm guessing you are burning the calories quickly and in CR anyway.

I also have so much admiration and respect for Dean and view him as one of my role models.

Dean I've not been diagnosed but it's clear as day I'm on the autism spectrum, definitely some level of Asperger's syndrome, please don't take this the wrong way but do you have some level of autism / Asperger's syndrome, I would be heavily surprised if you answered no. You have shown so many tell tail traits that allow your "abnormal" lifestyle, similar to how I operate.

Anyway I honestly deep down don't believe it's healthy for someone to wake up at 3am and consume so much at that time but your physique and bio markers are without question, your fitness and health is top 1% !!! so who am I to argue lol

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On 6/25/2022 at 9:48 PM, mccoy said:

Let's not forget that Dean's job is longevity optimization, so he has plenty of time to pursue food diversification and preparation, plentiful and various exercise, and so on.

There are not many people able to do so. When lacking time or money, the best is to find a diet suited to one's metabolic state and likings (or disliking if stoicism is the purpose) and objectively rich in known nutrients.

 

I've come to learn that most people that are on CR have money and time at their disposal, you simply wouldn't be able to devote so much time and resources learning what you need to see what works and trying out so many different EXPENSIVE supplements.

I spent 7 months getting to where I am today in my understanding and I'm still a newbie in CR, though I don't believe in it's core assumption anymore.

That's another reason this diet / lifestyle didn't /wouldn't catch on. You have to be rich to afford it and to keep it going. CR is also a hobby, trying to optimise something.

Has anyone ever thought the amount of time you devote to understanding and practising CR takes years... so you do all this CR stuff to add maybe 5 years (if you are lucky imo) having spent (GOOD EARLY) years to accomplish that? Dean how long do you think you have spent trying to practice and research CR? 

Dean I read your post about obesity avoiding diet and whole heartedly agree, also through in a couple of 72 hour water fast every quarter and you should have 99% of anything CR will achieve (IMO)

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4 hours ago, pwonline said:

The buddhists monk probably didn't get up in the middle of the night though...

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

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4 hours ago, pwonline said:

so you do all this CR stuff to add maybe 5 years (if you are lucky imo) having spent (GOOD EARLY) years to accomplish that?

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

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Dean I only recently found out how you can search peoples post and not just comments and skimmed the early posts, this was about a week ago. I had no idea you wrote so much and had so much passion. I stopped reading because I couldn't keep up.

I just read half way through page one of the survey thread. You and Michael (infact everyone here) are just smarter than me and write really well thought out complicated responses, it's like I'm learning maths addition and you guys are professors in university's!

also I don't understand why Michael always seems to refuse to give a straight forward answer, he's very passive aggressive and to me seems to love showing how eloquent he can write and bombard you with lots of words but he could have easily just give a simpler response. He seems like a bitter person, this CR thing didn't pan out how he thought and as the leader he's very defensive every time you talk to him, it also seems like he spends a whole day researching the perfect answer to reply with paragraphs and paragraphs of big words. I really don't understand why he can't give a straight answer and get involved, it seems like we have to beg him to give us a reply.

Anyway Dean, you've convinced me enough already, I don't need to read anything more, I've already spent the last 7 months trying to extend my life past 90 to a 100. I've lost hair and lost my cognitive abilities and ability to think. Now eating just above maintenance I feel like me again! my weight is slowly going up, my strength is going up. I'm actually starting to think again and seeing so many insights in my mind (like I once did). 

I realise deep down I was afraid, afraid of getting (and more importantly showing) old, after I lost some of my hair my armour has been broken and it was this that has made me realise it's okay, I don't need to care what others think of me. You also reminded me that you can't plan so far into the future, just focus on what you need to get done now and have a rough outline of next 5 years, not the next 50 years. I'm trying to abstract age from my identity. not to think of having an expiry date (death age) or a start day (when was I born, how old am I, how old do I look) but instead to attach myself to the current time.

This is year 2022, what are my goals for year 2023, then what are my goals for 2024. etc

get my bmi to 20 and start building muscle, get body fat to a healthy range and enjoy life. CR won't bring me happiness, heck just getting out of the poverty line would bring me more joy,  why was I wasting my life optimising my health when I should be more focused on financial freedom! Dean I could hug you for convincing me that I'm harming myself and need to stop, I won't ever forget how close I was to a full blown eating disorder and most likely suffered for the rest of my short life. I can't believe how miserable I was, only now after feeling normal again I see how much pain I was in. PEACE! 

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This sounds like an experiment, and it's working for you. It would be great if you could determine if living with habits like these you're doing something helpful regarding aging. Can you use any of today's little measures to make determinations?

If you could sit around the bonfire with the young, enthusiastic version of Dean at 20, what would you tell him about what's worked and what hasn't (in terms of slowing aging, CR and LS)?

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3 hours ago, Sthira said:

This sounds like an experiment, and it's working for you...

Can you use any of today's little measures to make determinations?

If you could sit around the bonfire with the young, enthusiastic version of Dean at 20, what would you tell him about what's worked and what hasn't (in terms of slowing aging, CR and LS)?

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

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I don't think your lifestyle sounds extreme. Sorry I implied that. It sounds monkish and wonderful. I wish I could! 

6 hours ago, Dean Pomerleau said:

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.

My mom did all the right things in terms of lifestyle choices (lifelong healthy vegan; strong, fit body; peaceful mind, a meditator who tried to limit stress; wide-ranging social life; several successful careers). All of it mattered precious little. When Alzheimer's moved in, it moved in fiercely, and no prior lifestyle choice seemed to matter. Maybe a healthy lifestyle delayed her AD?

We need medical interventions, not just healthy lifestyle choices, for all of the diseases and ravages of aging.
 

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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.

Is that because you're not surrounded by many people who pass on their snotty stuff? I haven't been sick once since moving out of the city. No COVID either. It seems this is less about my healthy habits and more about seclusion, though. Avoid people. I'm continuing to wear a mask whenever I'm in public, I don't care who says what, it's been great for preventing colds, the flu as well as COVID.

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However what I consider my most significant discover / success of my experiment is the psychological well-being... 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. 
 

I eat the same meals with same time schedules daily as well. Until recently, I've water-only fasted for five-days once per month -- month in, month out predictability. Yet consistency hasn't done anything for improving psychological well-being in me. If a cure for "clinical depression" was habitual healthy eating and fasting I believe I'd have found relief by now. Many insightful books are out there about targeted eating for depression; none have worked. Maybe clinical depression is different from psychological well-being?
 

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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. 
 

This sounds amazing, and I'd love to live this way. We're creatures of habit, I believe, like other mammals. A predictable, stable schedule would bring me so many feelings of safety and security. You're lucky!

I'd freeze my body and let it wait in a pod for 500 years if I could. I want outer space exploration: earth is beautiful but we've spoiled and ruined so much of it. I want to see other areas of the universe. Don't we all?!

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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.

I think we last agreed that we likely have no free-will. Is it possible to reprogram the brain? I'm probably misunderstanding a lot, but I tend to think most of our neural pathways were set during development in early childhood, and while we retain some illusionary plasticity, we're generally don't have much control. If any control at all. I've had so many arguments with people about this, I'm bored with it, which itself is a hardwired response.

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I'm not at all convinced my 20 year-old self would see the appeal of the lifestyle I now live.  🙂

Let's say your 20 year-old self isn't judging the appeal of the lifestyle you now live, but rather is asking how to improve upon it? What were the dead ends and false hopes and aspects you thought were important, but weren't? 

Edited by Sthira
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Dean I'm sorry to hear about your Son, I can't begin to imagine what you went through. I'm glad you found content and happiness.

Dean I have a question I would love how you deal with it, what is your night time routine? what steps do you take to wind down.

I also sleep early at 9pm and wake up at 5am, with 10 minutes of closing my eyes sitting up on a bed and trying to nap in that position at 12am which recharges me BUT my body isn't sleepy at 9pm! I actually wear amber glasses at 7pm and shut my window and block all outside light. At 8pm I remove my pyjamas and have only shorts on to reduce my body temp and I read from 8pm to 9pm.

Even though I'm not sleepy, I actually fall asleep within 10 minutes! BUT in a few occasions I have woken up at around 2am and can't go back to sleep. I'm wondering if I sleep to much. I LOVE WAKING UP AT 5 so I'd like to stick to a pattern that allows me to sleep and get adequate rest when waking up at 5am. I've tried 7 hours sleep and it doesn't work for me 😞

How do you do it?

and another question, I'm guessing your family doesn't have same sleeping pattern as how do you go sleep while others are awake and evening time is when people congregate the most?

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4 hours ago, pwonline said:

Dean I have a question I would love how you deal with it, what is your night time routine? what steps do you take to wind down.

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. 

4 hours ago, pwonline said:

I'm guessing your family doesn't have same sleeping pattern as how do you go sleep while others are awake and evening time is when people congregate the most?

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 

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thankyou!

I actually just had a thought, you do so much physical exertion throughout your waking day and also have a complete empty stomach (helps with lower temp and lower heart rate), bot different to me so it might help you, you also have less sleep (though for your body it seems "normal") so these things are in your favour, still the fact you are so consistent is remarkable and you don't take melatonin.

thanks for the reply 🙂

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14 hours ago, Sthira said:

Is that because you're not surrounded by many people who pass on their snotty stuff? 

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. 

14 hours ago, Sthira said:

I'm continuing to wear a mask whenever I'm in public, I don't care who says what, it's been great for preventing colds, the flu as well as COVID.

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. 

14 hours ago, Sthira said:

Maybe clinical depression is different from psychological well-being?

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.

14 hours ago, Sthira said:

I think we last agreed that we likely have no free-will. Is it possible to reprogram the brain? I'm probably misunderstanding a lot, but I tend to think most of our neural pathways were set during development in early childhood, and while we retain some illusionary plasticity, we're generally don't have much control. If any control at all.

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.

14 hours ago, Sthira said:

Let's say your 20 year-old self isn't judging the appeal of the lifestyle you now live, but rather is asking how to improve upon it? What were the dead ends and false hopes and aspects you thought were important, but weren't.

"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

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Dean,

I don’t have any great insights to add or questions to ask, but wanted to thank you for the excellent update here. I find it fascinating and inspiring all at the same time. I have no doubt that it brings value to many people who read these forums. Your ability to articulate how you’ve arrived at where you currently are is remarkable. 

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On 7/5/2022 at 8:04 AM, drewab said:

Dean,

I don’t have any great insights to add or questions to ask, but wanted to thank you for the excellent update here. I find it fascinating and inspiring all at the same time. I have no doubt that it brings value to many people who read these forums. Your ability to articulate how you’ve arrived at where you currently are is remarkable. 

Most def agree with that sentiment, and I also thank you, Dean, for your kindness and for some bantering around of my questions. You seem like such an interesting person -- many interesting folk here -- maybe we'll meet irl someday, I'd like to eat pawpaw and goof around the bonfire. Thought of a bonfire reminds me: Skipping out on y'all's Costa Rica voyage a few years ago for ayahuasca was a bummer for me; had I known then what I know now, ah well, I'd have made time off work to go. Did you retain any longer term afterglow from that experience?

 

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1 hour ago, Sthira said:

Thought of a bonfire reminds me: Skipping out on y'all's Costa Rica voyage a few years ago for ayahuasca was a bummer for me; had I known then what I know now, ah well, I'd have made time off work to go. Did you retain any longer term afterglow from that experience?

 

Yes Costa Rica was a great time! And I really tried to convince you to come with us... 

I think Gordo's life may have been more greatly impacted than mine. But I do think the ayahuasca experience opened me up in some fundamental way. It was one of the highlights of a very fun trip that I will never forget.

You may recall that I was drawn to live alone in the woods for several months shortly after we got back. I spent that time meditating, contemplating and communing with nature. I think that urge was in large part a result of my ayahuasca experience.

For several years after we returned I would revisit that altered state of consciousness on my own via something akin to pharmuasca. But I've found that meditation can also bring me to a less-flashy version of that state, and for the last couple years I haven't felt the draw of psychedelics.

--Dean

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5 hours ago, Dean Pomerleau said:

For several years after we returned I would revisit that altered state of consciousness on my own via something akin to pharmuasca. But I've found that meditation can also bring me to a less-flashy version of that state, and for the last couple years I haven't felt the draw of psychedelics.

Interesting, I did not know about pharmuasca. How does it compare in terms of experience and side effects?

I am generally leery of ingesting pharma substances provided by a "friend of a friend" and it has deterred me from trying stuff like LSD or MDMA.

I was all set to do ayahuasca in Ecuador a few years ago until the guide told me about subsequent vomiting and diarrhea, which made me decide against it.

I have done mushrooms recently and it provided an enhanced state of meditation and introspection that I found enriching. No hallucinations.

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7 minutes ago, Ron Put said:

Interesting, I did not know about pharmuasca. How does it compare in terms of experience and side effects?

I have an iron stomach so the caustic brew that is ayahuasca didn't really bother me (or Gordo, IIRC) - no vomiting or diarrhea. But the taste wasn't pleasant, that's for sure. Pharmuasca had similar effects, little bad taste and less tendency towards nausea.

7 minutes ago, Ron Put said:

I am generally leery of ingesting pharma substances provided by a "friend of a friend" and it has deterred me from trying stuff like LSD or MDMA

Apparently the primary active ingredient can be extracted oneself from natural materials sourced legally on-line from reasonably reputable sources, at least when I checked several years ago. Do your own due diligence if interested.

12 minutes ago, Ron Put said:

I have done mushrooms recently and it provided an enhanced state of meditation and introspection that I found enriching. No hallucinations.

I too have tried mushrooms. I experienced a pleasantly altered state of consciousness (heightened senses, brain seeming to work better for a few hours), but no visuals and a much less profound experience than ayahuasca / pharmuasca experience.

The most annoying aspect of both forms of hallucinagens was the difficulty sleeping I experienced the night after. It was a relaxed insomnia (no mind racing or anything like that). I was just extra alert (seemingly) all night. Interestingly, I didn't feel particularly tired the next day, despite little (apparent) sleep.

--Dean

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Hi Dean!

I didn't go with you and Gordo to Costa Rico; but my wife and  I and two daughters did go to a resort in Costa Rico, quite a few years ago.  There is lovely produce there -- perfectly fresh.

Had I gone with you and Gordo to Costa Rico I would not have taken pharmuasca; I never take mind altering substances.  Your trip to Costa Rcio was a lot cheaper than ours -- and to a very interesting establishment (that sadly has disappeared).

  --  Saul

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46 minutes ago, Saul said:

Hi Dean!

I didn't go with you and Gordo to Costa Rico; but my wife and  I and two daughters did go to a resort in Costa Rico, quite a few years ago.  There is lovely produce there -- perfectly fresh.

...

Your trip to Costa Rcio was a lot cheaper than ours -- and to a very interesting establishment (that sadly has disappeared).

  --  Saul

My family and I also went back to Costa Rica, in January of 2020 just as covid-19 was ramping up. We too stayed at several fancy resorts, but none of them hold a candle to Farm of Life for value for the money and the warmth of staff / proprietors. It is very sad that it is being sold. 

1 hour ago, Saul said:

Had I gone with you and Gordo to Costa Rico I would not have taken pharmuasca; I never take mind altering substances 

No offense Saul, but I think Sthira would have been a lot more fun on the Costa Rica trip. 😉

--Dean 

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2 hours ago, Dean Pomerleau said:

I experienced a pleasantly altered state of consciousness (heightened senses, brain seeming to work better for a few hours), but no visuals and a much less profound experience than ayahuasca / pharmuasca experience.

The most annoying aspect of both forms of hallucinagens was the difficulty sleeping I experienced the night after. It was a relaxed insomnia (no mind racing or anything like that). I was just extra alert (seemingly) all night. Interestingly, I didn't feel particularly tired the next day, despite little (apparent) sleep.

Maybe I will try ayahuasca at some point, there are semi-legitimate guides where I live. I was just turned off by the side effects as described to me. I was with my wife on a week-long river and walking trek fairly deep in the forest, in a small remote village, and decided against spending a day squatting and throwing up. The old woman who was going to prepare it had already given me a particularly stringy chicha she had masticated herself and I had not had the heart to refuse, which I guess contributed to my reluctance.

While I am not depressive, there is a fair amount of evidence that psilocybin has some rather interesting beneficial effects, with minimal potential for harm. See this, for example:

"The new Yale research found that these compounds increase the density of dendritic spines, small protrusions found on nerve cells which aid in the transmission of information between neurons. Chronic stress and depression are known to reduce the number of these neuronal connections.

...

They found increases in the number of dendritic spines and in their size within 24 hours of administration of psilocybin. These changes were still present a month later. Also, mice subjected to stress showed behavioral improvements and increased neurotransmitter activity after being given psilocybin."

I don't meditate purposefully, but I found the mushrooms experience to be rather profound, the way I imagine deep meditation is.

On another note, I find that after a while, luxury resorts tend to offer a similar experience no matter where they are in the world. Kind of like Michelin-star restaurants, and even major museums. They have their place, of course, but in the end, the experience can become monotonous. If comfort is such a priority, one may as well stay home 🙂

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On 7/7/2022 at 7:15 PM, Ron Put said:

While I am not depressive...See this, for example:

"The new Yale research found...mice..."

🙂

I'm so excited, maybe they'll replicate with more mice studies in the next several decades. Follow up with depressed pigs and now we're cookin'. Horses seem morose, those long eyelashes and deep downturned faces, they could use "a 10% increase in the number of neuronal connections..."  Cows look upset, and shrooms grow right there in their own dung patties. Sheep with all their sad baa-baa-baaing, and so many cats are suicidal, I see that. 
 

There's so much promise for the mental health of animals in the 30th century! 
 

https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03866174?term=Usona&draw=2&rank=1

Edited by Sthira
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14 hours ago, Sthira said:

I'm so excited, maybe they'll replicate with more mice studies in the next several decades. Follow up with depressed pigs and now we're cookin'. Horses seem morose, those long eyelashes and deep downturned faces, they could use "a 10% increase in the number of neuronal connections..."  Cows look upset, and shrooms grow right there in their own dung patties. Sheep with all their sad baa-baa-baaing, and so many cats are suicidal, I see that. 
 

There's so much promise for the mental health of animals in the 30th century! 
 

https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03866174?term=Usona&draw=2&rank=1

I wonder if they are using niacin as the randomized alternative since it will likely create a flushing experience, making it harder to tell if people are in the control group or not. 

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8 hours ago, drewab said:

I wonder if they are using niacin as the randomized alternative since it will likely create a flushing experience, making it harder to tell if people are in the control group or not. 

It seems strange, doesn't it? I mean, how do you mistake a niacin flush with a psilocybin experience that's powerful enough to set back anxiety and depression for six months? 

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