Mudita Journal

Health Archive

Dietary research: Good calories, bad calories

January 10, 2010  ·  Category: Health, Personal

My friend Thomas Ryan Stone has posted an interesting article on his site about the dietary research he and his wife conducted this past year, the low-carb lifestyle they adopted as a result, and the changes they noticed because of it. I was particularly intrigued by this summary of the ten key conclusions in Gary Taubes's book Good Calories, Bad Calories. Based on other information I've gleaned over the years, and what I've observed in my own dietary changes, I'm inclined to agree with these. 1. Dietary fat, whether saturated or not, is not a cause of obesity, heart disease, or any ...

Nathaniel Branden is highly recommending the Lifebook program by Jon Butcher

October 23, 2009  ·  Category: Health, Intellectual, Objectivism

Nathaniel Branden sent the following message to members of his announcement list: It is my great pleasure to introduce to you a man and a program of stunning originality and practical results. The man is Jon Butcher and his program is Lifebook. Lifebook launches you into its world by inviting you to deeply examine 12 separate aspects of your life that, in reality, are not separate at all. In each category you are stimulated and inspired to clarify your beliefs, identify your goals and define what needs to be done to actualize them. You capture and document your thoughts and feelings along the ...

The ‘Fat Head’ movie looks good

August 14, 2009  ·  Category: Health, Humor

I haven't seen the Fat Head movie yet, but now I want to. Because these videos are great stuff. Bonus points for the libertarian anti-nanny-state themes that seem to run throughout. Thanks to Kirez for the tip.

The Valhalla weight rack

February 6, 2009  ·  Category: Health, Personal

My friend Kirez made a video to demonstrate the use of a new product he's designed, the Valhalla weight rack. I was impressed not only with what he made -- a weight rack that's both more ergonomic and more safe than what you find in gyms today -- but also with his idea of making a video to demonstrate its use. I'm just starting to climb aboard the video-marketing revolution myself, so it's timely for me. Valhalla weight rack from Kirez Reynolds on Vimeo. But really, who wouldn't trust a man in knee-pads and flip-flops?

When mindfulness hurts

May 27, 2008  ·  Category: Buddhism, Health, Meditation, Mindfulness

A friend pointed me to the very interesting article "Lotus Therapy" in today's NY Times, which discusses the current state of the research, pro and con, on mindfulness as a clinical intervention. Criticisms of mindfulness are particularly interesting to me, partly because I experience mindfulness, at root, to be a simple increase in awareness -- and not even at the "synthetic" level of thought, but rather at the even more basic level of perception. Since the practice of mindfulness is virtually synonymous with an increase in perception, or elementary awareness, I often find myself wondering, "How on earth can raising awareness be ...

Does Suffering Build Character?

July 30, 2007  ·  Category: Buddhism, Health, Individualism, Intellectual, Mindfulness

This somewhat-throwaway comment, from a post by Virginia Postrel, caught my eye: Contrary to what you may have heard, the only sort of character suffering builds is the ability to suffer -- a useful ability in a world where suffering is the routine nature of life but not a virtue that makes the world a better place. I say "somewhat-throwaway" because I don't think her overall argument stands or falls on this point. But on this point itself... Do you agree with her? Or do you see ways in which suffering builds character? Do you feel that suffering has built your own character? ...

On Finding a Doctor to Supervise Your Water Fast

February 6, 2007  ·  Category: Health, Water Fast

My posts on water fasting, interestingly enough, have become some of the most popular and active posts at Mudita Journal -- at least, in terms of traffic and the questions these posts have generated. One reason for this, no doubt, is the fact that there is so little good information available about how to safely conduct a water fast. I've tried to address this topic, to some extent, in my own posts. That said, despite the fact that I've conducted 8 or 10 fasts personally, I don't consider myself an expert on fasting, and I strongly encourage my readers to consult with ...

Money Doesn’t Buy Much Happiness

June 29, 2006  ·  Category: Health, Individualism

How much happiness does money actually buy you? About twelve percent -- or less, if you look at actual happiness, rather than reported life satisfaction. From a LiveScience article about a new study to be published in the June 30 issue of Science: It was expected that those who made less than $20,000 a year would spend 32 percent more of their time in a bad mood than those that had an annual income greater than $100,000. In reality, the low-income group spent only 12 percent more time in a bad mood than their wealthier counterparts. This suggests that the link between ...

How to Break a Water Fast (Without Gaining Weight Back)

June 25, 2006  ·  Category: Health, Water Fast

In response to my first water fast entry, Tara asks: I have started a water fast and have yet to decide how long I will be doing it for. I know you can lose weight by fasting, but I've heard you nearly always put it all back on. I was wondering how you can keep the weight off once you finish fasting, and what's the best way to come off a fast. [edited for grammar] I typically lose about two pounds for each day that I fast, and rarely am I eager to return to my original weight. Fortunately, you don't ...

Meditation and Chronic Pain

June 2, 2006  ·  Category: Buddhism, Eckhart Tolle, Health, Meditation, Mindfulness

A new friend has pointed me to a conversation on his blog about meditation and chronic pain. He invited me to comment since he knows I've got some experience with the topic. The original questioner asks: How do you deal with Chronic Severe Pain? It takes energy to have patience, and long term agonizing pain disrupts the spirit, makes meditation impossible, sends shock waves through the whole body constantly, relaxation cannot happen. Enlighten me. For help in this area, I highly recommend the book Break Through Pain by Shinzen Young. It is the best book I've read on the subject. I can relate ...