My Best Grad School Mind Hack So Far
As you may know through previous posts, I have been investing an incredible amount of energy on going to grad school while working full-time in healthcare. I also manage to maintain a reasonably full social life. I meditate, eat clean, take nootropics, exercise, and do self-meditation to name a few ways I manage my health and sanity through this process. I would have to say fasting and intermittent fasting are my best hacks at this time. My time is limited, so this is something that doesn't require extra time and resources. I have gone up to 5 days clear liquid fasting, at least 30 days straight of juice fasting, and I can go months on intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting has been the easiest thing for me to do. There are a lot of ways and recommendations for intermittent fasting, but my method is pretty flexible and it works for me. I stop eating at about 7 or 8 pm and then the following morning, I do allow myself a cup of black coffee. I drink plenty of water and skip breakfast and lunch. Sometimes I take electrolyte water or electrolyte tablets in my water. Then, I take a small quick snack before I go home for dinner to tame my appetite. When I get home, or if I go out to eat, I am pretty flexible with myself. I may have a baked fish and salad, or perhaps a gluten-free bread sandwich and soup, or I may eat Mexican or Thai. It varies a lot, and I enjoy my dinners immensely after fasting all day. Some people say you should eat breakfast or lunch instead of dinner, but with very little time to eat or enjoy a meal at work, I feel I don't have as much time for mindful, pleasurable eating. If I can only do one meal a day, I don't want to feel I skimped on quality and time. I don't have a strict window, but my entire window for eating is about 5 hours long at the most.
Intermittent fasting gives me loads of cognitive energy, and I usually have good physical energy as well. My mind is so much clearer and I rarely have severe mental fatigue when I fast. I'm not wasting energy processing food for 12 or more hours per day, which is what most people are doing. I am keeping this posting light because I still have to put in a few hours or writing a paper tonight, so this is all I'm putting in here for now. That's it in nutshell - I subjectively feel sharper and more productive from fasting and intermittent fasting, but there's a lot of science to back up this claim. I'll come back and write more here later, or you can do the research on your own. Also, most people get used to it in about 4-6 days, some take longer. As always, I recommend you talk to your doctor and consider your health issues when embarking on any new health habits. See you all on the other side of this paper...or the next few.