Monthly Archives: June 2013

Nine Day Whole Foods Challenge

Today I am beginning a nine day challenge to eat a strict paleo diet. No processed foods, no grains, no beans, no dairy (yes. butter), no alcohol, and no sugar. Since I’ve for 20/24 pounds to lose still until I shave my moustache, I think a strict challenge will be a fun things to do.

Why 9 days? I really like the idea of the Whole30 challenge, but 30 days is a long time and I don’t have the best self discipline. Only a week made me feel lazy, so 9 days sounds good to me. We’ll see how it goes. Some guiding principles I am experimenting with during this diet: Meal timing and exercise, eating as cheaply as possible, eating as locally as possible, and mental performance. 

Meal timing and exercise is an idea I got from Nassim Taleb in Antifragile. He says humans are part lion and part cow. The cow grazes on vegetables all day and the lion eats protein and fat in large quantities all at once. Lions expend large amounts of energy during a hunt and then immediately feast. I will try to simulate ‘the hunt’ with exercise. (I’ve been working out with a 35# kettlebell the past week) The most interesting thing about lions is that if they miss a hunt and continue to be starved, their eyesight actually improves. I have no evidence on this, but its an interesting thought.

Typical meal plan: Coffee and grass fed butter in the morning (butter from Hartzler’s in Wooster, OH)

Lunch: Eggs and vegetables

Dinner: Meat and vegetables

Some days I may go vegetarian to simulate the cow ‘grazing’. Just an aside: I had coffee and butter this morning at 9 and in the past 4 hours I have been incredibly focused and prolific with my writing. I usually do not get hungry this early in the day, but yesterday I ate a lot of carbs, so I think that’s why i’m hungrier than normal now. I’m going to eat a bit soon, then workout before I eat dinner.

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Why I’m growing a moustache: to lose 24 pounds of fat

For the past nine years, I have been an athlete of some form. Football, hammer throwing, rugby, and powerlifting. These have always allowed me to carry some extra weight for strength. I have fluctuated between 210 and 240 for the past eight years and am currently at 224.

Since I am no longer an athlete (or at least have no excuse to carry a little extra weight.) its time for me to lose it. My goal is to get below 200, which will be the first time since 2005. Until I lose the 24 pounds, I will be growing out my moustache as a constant reminder to eat clean. Its also a great conversation piece.

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So by the end of the summer, you’ll either see a slimmer, clean shaven Alex. Or a fat guy with a gross moustache. I’m hoping for the first…

I’ll post more about my diet and exercise routine, which I’m sure will bring a great debate from my friends 🙂 Right now, the main ideas I’m working from are:

I try things, see if they work for me and eat real foods that taste good.

Stay tuned for updates!

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Why the Future of Advertising is Here

Gary Vaynerchuk is launching a his third book in November, his book promotion is on the cutting edge of advertising. Building relationships is the center of Gary’s ideas on business. He has said in the past that instead of passive advertising like billboards and broadcast, which is difficult to measure impact, advertising is evolving and dissolving these mediums.

Nike for example, instead of spending money paying for TV commercials and magazine ads, they’ll use the money to give free products to customers. I know, it sounds crazy, but lifetime value is what matters. The context of the relationship to the brand is the most important thing in today’s world where huge corporations interact directly with customers online.

What if Nike read through a local newspaper and saw recent births, they look up the parents on Facebook or Twitter and see that the new parents both run marathons. Again, think context of the relationship. Nike could send a pair of toddler running shoes with a note saying “Running runs in the family” or something else cheesy that would be on a Nike t-shirt.

They would tell everyone in their running club what Nike sent them and everyone would feel a little more connected to the brand, humanizing the huge company. The cost of this hyper-personalized advertising is a few minutes of research and the few dollars (if that) it costs to make a pair of toddler shoes. Compare this to endorsements of TV commercials.

So what is Gary doing to promote his new book? Everyone once in a while, he tweets out “Good morning everyone – need anything?”

Someone he has never met responds “@garyvee eggs, I’m out of eggs.”

After an exchange to get the address, twenty dozen eggs show up an hour later. TWENTY DOZEN EGGS. He took the eggs he needed, then gave the rest to his neighboring apartment dwellers. Read about this here on Medium.

I guarantee that guy will buy Gary’s next book. Probably a few to give to his family and friends too.

Social media has given us the power to connect to customers on another level, to truly engage with their interests. Do you think this will displace traditional advertising?

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Can you crowdsource events?

This is a general question, but I don’t know of any sites that exist that allow you to crowdsource events. Think of Kickstarter, a platform used to raise money for projects. Many projects don’t need money, but just other people to join in.

Is there a site where you can post a volunteer event or a monopoly game, and then when enough people sign up, the event is created and participants pick a date?

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