It’s day 22, and I have recovered from the cold. It took me 24 hours from when I noticed that I was feeling sleepy, in the middle of day 20, until midday on day 21, when all the clarity and sharpness came back. I even took a ten minute cold shower during that recovery period. There is still residual snot coming out on day 22, but my core system feels totally recovered.

I have no way of knowing whether this illness would have taken a longer course if I had not been on this lifestyle challenge, but I do have some observations. (1) Because my normal state is now so pristine, and I have become accustomed to paying exquisite attention to my internal felt-state, I noticed immediately when I felt the midday tiredness come on. Because that was combined with some throat and nose soreness, I could take evasive action and plan to sleep for three more hours, waking up late, at 7 am, on day 21. (2) Even if this was just a cold and not flu (I had no fever), the minimal impact on my ability to work and play was profound. I was expecting to have to cancel a dinner with friends last night, but I felt on top-form for that as well.

Today, I went indoor rock climbing with my friend Jake. After he left, I went through some cycles of sauna/cold-shower/sauna. Because I am now so comfortable with cold showers, after standing in a cold shower for ten minutes every morning, the cold shower part of this regimen was very easy and natural for me. That’s another benefit of the cold showers.

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Organic, grass-fed butter — we eat a ton of this

When I was a little kid, I would open the fridge, pull out the butter, and eat big chunks of it. This disgusted my older brother. When I was a little older, in the eighties, the UK went through a dietary shift that involved the demonization of fats. This shift apparently started in the USA because of some now-debunked studies. Saturated fats got blamed for the evils of refined sugar.

Fat was removed from everything. We started eating really harmful foods like margarine and then later special concoctions that were supposed to taste like butter were not butter. Nearly all the fat was removed from milk. Lean meat was encouraged. It’s 2016 and as far as I can tell the UK is mostly still stuck in this phase. For example, in a coffee shop I can’t get heavy cream in my coffee, just really low-fat milk.

Meanwhile, nutritional science has come a long way. It turns out that saturated fats and animal fats are critical for heath. Saturated fats from the right sources do not make you fat. Refined sugar makes you fat. Saturated fats from the right sources do not give you heart disease. Refined sugar gives you heart disease. The good saturated fats actually protect your cardiovascular system from disease.

Saturated fats from the right sources, such as grass-fed beef, grass-fed butter, and organic virgin coconut oil, reduce systemic inflammation, provide slow-release energy that doesn’t spike insulin levels (which leads to diabetes), and are required for many processes in your body, such as cell formation and hormone production.

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Cindy and I get through about a pound of butter every few days, used for cooking and in bulletproof coffee. We’ve been seeing a lot of positive changes in our health since we started doing this, which you can learn about by reading my other reports from this lifestyle challenge.

Have fun. See you soon.

Written by

An engineer-psychologist focused on machine intelligence. I write from my own experience to support others in living more fulfilling lives | duncanriach.com

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