technology

Podcast #87 Dr. Jack Kruse on the Cherry Picking of Paleo Habits

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Dr Jack Kruse on the Cherry Picking of Paleo HabitsToday's Guest

Dr. Jack Kruse is a Neurosurgeon with his own private practice. He is also the author of a couple different books and has developed many protocols for optimal health such as the Leptin Rx and the Cold Thermogenesis Rx. He can be found at his site at JackKruse.com

The show

Click here to listen to the show on iTunes where you can listen, download and subscribe to the show.

Click here to listen to the show on Stitcher streaming radio where you can listen and subscribe to the show.

Today we discuss

  • Are we focusing too much on food?
  • Is our love of technology in the Paleo community overriding the benefits of diet and lifestyle?
  • More reasons to get out in the sun in the morning
  • Cherry picking of Paleo habits and the avoidance of the modern world and the effects

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5 Things You Could Be Doing Instead of Sitting on Technology

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5 Things You Could Be Doing Instead of Sitting on TechnologyRecently I wondering how we got so sucked into technology in our idle time. I then had a quote shouted to me by my subconscious by one of my favorite men.

"It is the working man who is happy. It is the idle man who is the miserable man."

-Benjamin Franklin

Technology gives the illusion of productivity and action

Sitting around mindlessly on technology pleases the brain, but the idle-ness otherwise caused by these actions can create the recipe for misery.

Take time away from technology and use it as a tool, not a companion.

I've mentioned on the show several times that I sold my HDTV 5 years ago. It was the best decision of my life. I'm not saying you have to do this to be happy, but it sure helps.

What else is there to do in life?

It seems that since smartphones, twitter and the general noise of the internet world has picked up speed that we've long forgotten about the quiet and peaceful world that is the "outside world". Nature is quiet, peaceful and provides a huge amount of wisdom that is waiting to be absorbed.

Go for a walk

We've all experienced being on the verge of a breakdown.

The bills are adding up, work is stressful, feeding a hungry family is taking its toll along with the stressors of everyday life in the city. Grabbing your thermos and filling it with spring water is the first step. Head out to a local trail by searching your city's website or on Yelp and leave everything else behind. It doesn't take long to realize the peace and beauty that nature provides. Simply walking 5 minutes on a trail into the woods will remind you that buildings and concrete isn't so beautiful after all.

Create something

You don't have to be an expert musician to create music.

You don't have to be an expert artist to create art.

And you don't have to be an engineer to build something (well maybe if you want it to stay standing!). The point is that we all have to start somewhere. Starting out with a basic art kit is sure to provide plenty of fun. You could also pick up an acoustic guitar that is cheap enough that if you don't play it often, you won't feel bad about it. The point is that when you immerse yourself in the act of creating something, whether it's art or music, we tend to engage in the flow state. This state is responsible for allowing us to relax, slow down the mental chatter and enjoy ourselves.

Find some great tunes

An interesting study found that 1-2 hours of music therapy for 8 weeks showed a great improvement in seasonal depression (SAD). I've experienced the many benefits of music myself as I use different genres such as jazz, electronic, reggae, funk and classical music to help inspire thoughts, write articles and blog posts.

Here is a particularly groovy song (and entertaining video) that is helping me write this article. Certain bass lines and instruments can literally turn on certain centers in the brain linked to emotion! This is why cultures across the world have such a vested interest in music. Another study looking at neurotransmitter function and production from music is pretty interesting too.

Here's an fMRI video showing the HUGE changes in the brain during music playing.

Learn more

Hopefully you've spent some time looking around the podcast and blog archives on the site. It turns out that learning things, especially how to play an instrument, creates an increase in white matter in the brain. This is the material that allows higher cognitive abilities and makes you a genius. Here is a much more scientific explanation on the whole process. Long story short, learning is a good thing, helps the brain adapt to situations and allows you to have more overall brain power.

Learn, read, listen, keep absorbing information and applying it! Don't ever think that "life is boring" or "everything has been discussed or thought of".. no it hasn't!

Do nothing

In an article all about action, doing nothing seems a bit strange. However, it's in the times that I've stopped doing everything and just sat down that some of the greatest thoughts have surfaced. You can discover new ways to tackle old problems when you sit there and think about it. When we are constantly bombarded with social media updates, emails, texts and the like, it's no surprise that we feel like time is passing without us getting much done.

You will find that stopping everything and just taking in your surroundings and sitting there smelling the air around you can stimulate new thoughts and thought patterns. Try it out! I won't keep you any longer!

Sometimes, and that only means SOME times, sitting and doing nothing is good for your health.

After you sit for a minute and think, what came to mind? Comment Below

5 Signs You Need a Break From Technology

It seems that if we aren't on the computer, we are on our phones, reading and always consuming information. We seem afraid to miss the next 5 tips that will change our lives or the 5 foods that everyone should be eating and why.

Well let me tell you a secret.

You already know what you should do, it's just a matter of acting.

Let's talk about 5 Signs You Need a Break From Technology

If you do feel like you need help, I wrote the following.

Where Do I Start? Starter Kit Resource Page

The Paleo Household Guide

Anyways, Here are 5 signs you may need to take a break from consuming so much information and just relax.

1. You can't live without your phone in hand

Whether it's in the middle of rush hour traffic or sitting on the toilet, we can't get our cell phones out of our hand!

More than likely, if you have time to read a magazine, scroll for 10 minutes on Facebook, or reply to emails while going poop, there could be a constipation problem. (hint: eat more fresh, organic leafy greens for "healthy poops").

2. You are incredibly bored without being on technology

Your brain has neural pathways which are formed and shaped by actions, habits and daily routines. Cell phone or technology addiction stems back to the deep neurological reward system that keeps us coming back for more.

The "bored" feeling is a combination of things.

Your neurotransmitters (primarily dopamine) give us the sensation of accomplishment, excitement and purpose. When we hear the notification sound from the cell phone, computer or email box, dopamine is released into the brain.

Neurological studies concluded that:

"Rewards that are expected do not produce any activation of dopamine cells, but rewards that are greater than expected produce a short-lasting increase in dopamine, whereas the omission of an expected reward actually causes dopamine release to drop below its ordinary background level."

In short; cell phones are making us addicted, but depressed on a neurological level.

Sadly, it's the idea of interconnectedness that reels us in. 

3. You have lost touch with others around you

You sit on your side of the couch on your tech-toy and I'll sit on this side with mine. Sound familiar? You're not alone.

In fact, Dr. Hogan from the University of Oxford did a study on over 24,000 people in marital relationships and found that, too much social media use was one of the most damaging aspects to strong relationships. 

You may ask yourself, why can't I just put down the phone? It's not you, it's your brain.

The first step is to create new pathways in the brain. Research has proven that our brains have neuroplasticity and are able to form new habits throughout our entire life.

When you feel like reaching for the cell phone, take a breath and go for a walk. It may make the difference between a happy or troubled relationship.

4. The thought of leaving home without your phone makes you sick

We live in funny times. We feel vulnerable to natural disasters, car crashes and the inability to google a random thought while in line at Starbucks. Leaving home without your cell phone could be considered a sin by some.

Why the sudden change of heart? I attest this phenomenon to the neurological level. We fear that without our phones, something bad will happen. It gives us a degree of comfort on a physical and mental level to have them.

Are we supposed to be without our phones at certain times? Absolutely. 

Being constantly "available" is something that is new to the human experience. Without time to disconnect and spend time with ourselves, we become stressed, anxious and depressed.

This is why I recommend everyone learn about Sensory Deprivation Tanks and go relax in them ASAP.

Chances are, if you are out somewhere without your phone, hundreds of them will appear in a time of need. Relax, breathe and carry on tech-free every once and a while. Preferably while you are spending time with a loved one in nature.

5. You love your phone more than your husband/wife/friend

Technology provides a sense of predictability that humans may not. You never know what type of mood someone will be in, how to make them feel better, how to (fill in the blank) with them.

However, technology allows almost full control it without throwing any temper tantrums. This may be insight on why we love technology so much that we are being repelled from other people.

What to do instead?

Paleo Campfire

Whats your relationship with technology like? Where do you see the benefit or problem with it? 

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