Health Stack x.0
This is an ongoing draft. Last updated Sun, Oct 22, 2023
Two years ago I did an interview with Eight Sleep covering everything in my “health stack”, the things I do and the stuff I use for health. This post is an update to that.
Philosophically, I haven’t changed much since then. I want to live long and well, for myself and the people I love. Longevity, and healthspan in particular, are the important themes. Yet life is not a competition to become the highest grade daffodil fertilizer; I still make decisions I know are bad for my health, knowing the costs. But it’s the knowing, and consciously making the trade off, that I think is crucial.
The last few decades of scientific research have been challenging, with the replication crisis, industry interests, and even good research muddied by bad. It unfortunately is not a new problem either. The solution to this is more, better science,1 but it still leaves a tattered trail as a guide for what one ought to do for their health. It’s a tad woo woo, but I think applying common sense, trying things, listening to your body, and getting great diagnostics is the best fallback method. It is sheerly absurd that we need any science at all to convince people that going outside, using your body, resting, having friends and romantic partners, eating naturally and only as much as you need, etc. are all good for you. But here we are.
The three pillars I focus on are sleep, diet, and exercise.
- 7-8 hours/night, consistent bedtime and wake up, every day. Weekends are no different.
- Eight Sleep. I sleep hot, it really is life changing for me.
- Sometimes will take Magnesium Bisglycinate if my sleep has been trending poorly, though it’s not an everyday thing.
- I look primarily at time slept and asleep/wake consistency. Sleep stages in consumer devices aren’t reliable or accurate enough to be useful so I ignore them. I look at HRV, but only for extreme deviations.
- Eight Sleep provides all the sleep tracking I need, but if I didn't have one, I'd use an Apple Watch. They regularly outperform everything else
- 8 hour eating window every day. Typically my last meal is ~3-4 hours before bedtime, first meal is ~4 hours after waking up.
- 5 day fast twice a year.
- I don’t follow a particular diet but the best description is “plant-forward paleo” i.e. higher protein, minimally processed food, and lots of vegetables, nuts, etc. This is incidentally great for exercise, body composition, etc. but it's chiefly motivated by skincare.
- I tried being fully vegan for a while and couldn’t stand it, though this was driven as much by ethics as health concerns. I still don’t eat meat everyday and rarely more than once a day.
- I get ~2/3 my body weight in oz of water per day. (use Waterminder)
- I don't drink alcohol, though I used to. I like mornings and performance a lot more.
- I’m pretty light on supplements, prefer to try to get as much from food instead:
- Vitamin D + K2: I spend a lot of time outside but am still consistently deficient without supplementation.
- Fish Oil/DHA EPA: Study after study seems to be quite promising here. I'd prefer to get it through food but am not fond of fish or algae.
- I exercise every day, for minimum 45 minutes.
- I bucket workouts as strength, stability, aerobic, or anaerobic activity (credit Peter Attia for the framing). Every day I do at least one of the first two and one of the second two.
- Most of my workouts are from in-person classes, primarily Barry's, yoga (standard vinyasa + hot), and Lagree. (If I lived in NYC full-time I'd go to AARMY.)
- At home, I use Peloton for cardio, Apple Fitness+ for random shorter exercises.
- I use Intervals Pro to plan my own strength workouts at home, with just weights.
- Apple Watch to track everything, I like Zones for HIIT workouts but the regular workout app is great for everything else.
- The one metric I observe most is heart rate recovery. There’s debate over what the most meaningful interval is, but I’ve been measuring 1 minute recovery for years and continue doing so (I've been at 60bpm the last 2-3 years).
- Sauna for 10+ minutes every day.
- I bike virtually all of the time for transportation.
I’m always learning and trying new things. Willing to invest in ambitious health companies too. Email me if you have ideas or feedback: email@example.com