Archive for March, 2012
Today was my first post-anemia cycling and gym day. I don’t do any hard core cycling on my gym days. Usually just 20 minutes. About 8 miles or 350 calories.
The ride was REALLY easy. My legs were real strong. It felt like I could actually kick it up a notch and use a higher gear.
The data would seem to back this up already.
I did a similar ride which wasn’t exactly the same route but that was 13.70 MPH
Isn’t it awesome to have this data!
This is a 15% performance improvement.
Also, I didn’t particularly push it that hard on this ride more than I normally do.
I’m going to take a couple more measurements and see what is up.
I also might get a power meter for my bike to get more objective data.
I also lifted today and the results were vastly improved.
I was able to finish my entire workout without any fading in energy like last time.
Further, I only had MILD dizziness while doing deadlifts. It lasted maybe 2 seconds and wasn’t severe at all.
Hopefully by next week this is gone altogether.
I’m still using my 3x meal plan with red meat. Long term this isn’t a good strategy but it has worked like a champ to get me back in shape quickly.
As an aside. I think I discovered that I’m allergic to shellfish. At least mussels and clams.
I woke up this morning with a rough case of itching on my face and neck and I noticed the SAME thing last week as well.
This is new. I REALLY like seafood so this is a bit disturbing. They’re also good sources of iron so I’m going to have to figure out what is going on here.
I’ve been doing paleo with far too few foods containing iron. I don’t like eating red meat so this was part of the problem but mussels/clams/oysters are also somewhat difficult to store without going bad and giving you food poisoning.
So I decided to keep going down this path and instead supplemented with iron.
… big mistake. I ended up with iron anemia again. This is the second time I’ve had it and it is NO fun.
Dizzy head. Lethargy. Lack of athletic performance, etc.
I decided to attack it HEAD on this time and went with 100% grass fed red meat 3x per day including breakfast.
I also mixed in a lot of clams and mussels in the mix.
The result is that at the end of only SIX days all my anemia symptoms are gone.
Apparently, the body can produce a new batch of red blood cells in 7 days… it takes about 60 days to fully cycle through and get back to optimum levels so I’m going to keep it up and do about 50% seafood based iron and the other 50% is going to come from red meat.
Generally this is an epic win though and I’m very excited about it. I was REALLY not looking forward to having to wait the full 60 days to get back on my bike.
I’ve been experimenting with Adderall for a few months as a nootropic. Mostly the results have been interesting.
Specifically I would say that Peregrine would not exist without Adderall but I think it was the combination of Adderall and caffeine as this put me in a manic phase and I ended up being able to have INTENSE focus for months at a time.
Once cycling off the caffeine I think I fell out of this manic mode and things fell back into perspective. I ended up being able to concentrate on multiple areas instead of just fixating on one main passion.
So now the problem is whether I’m actually benefiting from Adderall or whether it’s placebo effect.
This may be the case as “Adderall’s perceived and actual effects on healthy people’s cognition”. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, CA is describe as:
“In a recent study at Dr. Martha Farah’s lab at the University of Pennsylvania, researchers have added a new layer to the “smart pill” conversation. Adderall, they’ve found, makes you think you’re doing better than you actually are….Those subjects who had been given Adderall were significantly more likely to report that the pill had caused them to do a better job….But the results of the new University of Pennsylvania study, funded by the U.S. Navy and not yet published but presented at the annual Society for Neuroscience conference last month, are consistent with much of the existing research. As a group, no overall statistically significant improvement or impairment was seen as a result of taking Adderall. The research team tested 47 subjects, all in their 20s, all without a diagnosis of ADHD, on a variety of cognitive functions, from working memory—how much information they could keep in mind and manipulate—to raw intelligence, to memories for specific events and faces. Each subject was tested both while on Adderall and on a placebo; in each condition, the subjects didn’t know which kind of pill they were receiving. The researchers did come up with one significant finding. The last question they asked their subjects was: “How and how much did the pill influence your performance on today’s tests?” Those subjects who had been given Adderall were significantly more likely to report that the pill had caused them to do a better job on the tasks they’d been given, even though their performance did not show an improvement over that of those who had taken the placebo. According to Irena Ilieva, the Ph.D. candidate who led the research team, it’s the first time since the 1960s that a study on the effects of amphetamine, a close cousin of Adderall, has asked how subjects perceive the effect of the drug on their performance.”
So I think my next step is to talk to my doctor about this to see what he thinks.
However, I’m pretty certain that I would see more of an advantage from polyphasic sleep and the Adderall seems to conflict with the polyphasic as it prevents me from really getting efficient sleep.
I think that the next time I’m on Adderall that I’m going to perform a more rigorous double blinded test and have some objective measure of my performance.
I’ve been playing with Lumosity and performing some mild A/B testing on sleep to see how well I perform the next morning.
A game where I measure my reading ability while I was blinded from the Adderall would be interesting.
A ‘reader’ application which took wikipedia text and asked me questions after reading for 5 minutes (to measure retention) as well as total speed and throughput would help here.
It would have to exist though – I don’t have the time to build it.
But without the objective analysis I’m hesitant to continue down this path as I have non-scientific data backing this conclusion.
The real question is whether one can REALLY double blind themselves to Adderall as the initial affects as a stimulant can be powerful.
It would be like double blinding yourself to 200mg of caffeine. Once it hits you it’s pretty obvious. But if you have an objective analysis it would be hard to lie to yourself.
This was an idea I had the other day as I usually try to keep my biohacking to single variable modification but it takes too long.
My background is compsci so I thought this would help others that don’t have a similar background.
Right now I’m taking a number of supplements in the morning.
Usually an hour or two after I take them I feel sick. I don’t know what is causing it.
Removing one at a time would take too long… so I would like to find the solution faster.
The trick is to do a binary search. It requires log(N) comparisons vs N …
For example if you have 10 pills you take every morning, you can find the problem in at most 4 steps (AKA log(10)) vs 10 steps… which is much faster.
4 vs 10 days is WIN.
Basically you first start off by splitting the input set into two groups. Let’s label them 0-9
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
would be the full set. This is what is making you sick.
0 1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9
On day 1 you take pills 0-4 … if that makes you sick you split that again.
0 1 2
You then try 0-2.
If that does NOT make you sick then you try 3-4.
If that DOES make you sick you split that again.
If 3 makes you sick, you have identified a cause.
However, you still need to test the other batch because you don’t’ want to fall victim to the single cause fallacy.
But it PROBABLY is a single cause so you take 5-9 and find that this doesn’t make you sick.
Now you try one final attempt at ALL the pills WITHOUT 3 and see if that makes you feel ok.
If that works you’ve isolated the problem much faster.