Digestable #27: Why We Get Sick, Finneas, Hire Fast, Modern Reversible Myopia, Seeking Power

Hey there!

Welcome to another edition of Digestable, the short, weekly email where we explore the curious and wrestle with great questions. This edition was emailed to subscribers on October 17, 2021.

Here’s where my curiosity led me this week:

Hire Fast, Fire Faster, Promote Fastest: I attended a live Gary Vaynerchuk event this week and here’s a couple takeaways. Hire Fast: you can have the best interview process in the world but let’s be honest and recognize that we’re still just guessing. Hire fast, fire faster, and promote fastest is his formula for building high-performing teams. Hard vs Soft Skills: hard skills (technical) are being commoditized, robotized, and automated. Soft skills (like ability to work in a team) are what’s increasingly in short-supply. They don’t work for you, you work for them is the recommended mindset to create and keep a strong executive team.

What We’re Rocking Out To: Finneas is arguably the more talented of the uber-talented O’Connnell siblings. My daughter Adia would fight me on that but she unsubscribed from my newsletters so she’ll never know I said it. Finneas released his new album, “Optimist” this week. If you want to know what’s on the kids’ minds today, his modern pop songwriting will catch you up. Start with “The 90’s”, and also check out “Only A Lifetime”.

Why We Get Sick: What do obesity, cancer, heart disease, erectile dysfunction, susceptibility to COVID, and even impaired vaccine effectiveness have in common? Insulin resistance. That may not sound like an exciting topic but you will be triggered to make some lifestyle tweaks after listening to Dr. Benjamin Bikman in this interview with Brett McKay. It’s likely that almost 9/10 of us are suffering from this to some extent. Dr. Bikman is a Ph.D. in Bioenergetics and author of Why We Get Sick: The Hidden Epidemic at the Root of Most Chronic Disease — and How to Fight It. My highlights:

  • The formula for weight loss is NOT as simple as “consume fewer calories than you burn”. This is most clearly evidenced in Type 1 Diabetics who may eat over 5,000 calories/day and still waste away. What disrupts this equation? HORMONES, with insulin having an oversized impact.
  • The consensus protocol for the pre-diabetic (prescribing insulin) is inadvertently making them sicker and fatter.
  • COVID is not a pandemic of the unvaccinated, it’s a pandemic of pre-existing conditions and it disproportionately impacts the insulin resistant.
  • Increase your insulin sensitivity with: good sleep, movement, putting on muscle, cold exposure (like cold showers), and taking a walk after eating.
  • The 4 pillars of increasing insulin sensitivity: 1. Control Carbs: don’t drink carbs, and don’t eat carbs from a bag or a box with a bar code. Focus on veggies, be careful with grains. 2. Prioritize Protein: animal-sourced protein specifically. 3. Don’t Fear Fat: especially animal and fruit fat, but do fear seed and vegetable oils. 4. Intermittent Fasting: give your body a break from eating to allow your insulin levels to drop.

Myopia (near-sightedness): a modern, reversible disease: We have more influence over our eyesight than we thought. Myopia has increased by 50-100% since 1970 across all age groups in the U.S, a study of German students found more than 50% of university graduates had myopia vs. 25% for dropouts, and a study of Eskimos found that myopia had increased dramatically since Western schooling was introduced. There are environmental factors that lead to myopia and these are reversible if we are willing to put in the work (it’s like going to the gym for your eyes). This article details the steps involved. I’m tempted to give it a go . . . but it is so much easier to just put on my glasses! Credit to Nat Eliason for the link.

Concept I’m Pondering: Be wary of those seeking power or authority, the ones who should have authority won’t want it: “it’s commonly considered improper to accept authority [over others] except with reluctance or under pressure; and the worst penalty for refusal is to be governed by someone worse than themselves. That is what, I believe, frightens honest men into accepting power, and they approach it not as if it were something desirable out of which they were going to do well, but as if it were something unavoidable, which they cannot find anyone better or equally qualified to undertake.” – Socrates, in Plato’s “The Republic”

Where did your curiosity lead you this week? I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks again for following along. I’m having a riot putting these together, so if you are enjoying this newsletter I’d love it if you shared it with a friend or two and we can keep the great conversations growing.

Yours truly,
Jeff

P.S. My son Ariel turned 19 this week … Happy Birthday, Ariel! Love you.

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