My Daily Routine: Sleep, Diet, Exercise

I've discovered the ultimate productivity, time management, diet and exercise hacks, and I've incorporated them into my daily routine, as described below:

SLEEP

After returning from travel in Europe earlier this year, I suffered from jet lag that woke me up in the early hours of the morning. Waking up at 4am was annoying at first, but after a couple mornings, I realized I loved getting a jump on the day.

I was finishing my morning routine before most people had even woken up. I wondered, if waking up at 4am felt great, would waking up at 3am feel even better? I tried it. It was better. Waking up at 3am was a superpower that allowed me to finish my entire work day before lunch. I pushed it further, waking up at 2am, then 1am, then midnight, until finally I settled on 11:30pm... the previous day.

I now wake up a half hour before the day even starts! I take advantage of the afternoon slump, that 2:30 feeling, by embracing it as my wind down routine for sleep. I'm in bed by 3pm and asleep by 3:30pm. Eight hours of sleep later, I wake up ready to start my day, before the day has even begun!

To know that I'm waking up when some people haven't yet gone to sleep gives me a rush of competitive initiative. I pray, meditate, stretch, write, do my most important deep work and exercise, all before the early birds have had their morning cup of coffee. Around 6:30am, seven hours after waking up, I eat breakfast. This is my first and only meal of the day.

DIET

I eat once every 24 hours, practicing a daily 23.5 hour fast. With only a 30 minute eating window, I really try to make it count. In order to save the planet and optimize my health, I gave up plants as my 2020 resolution. I only eat meat, eggs, and dairy, and buy exclusively from regenerative farms, knowing that my dietary choices are sequestering carbon from the atmosphere back into the soil.

My diet is simple: once a year, I buy two entire cows, have them butchered, and keep them in a separate freezer in our garage. One cow is for eating, the other is for my exercise routine, which I'll explain in a minute. Every day, I eat a different part of the cow, truly nose to tail. One day might be sautéed brain, while another is grilled ribeye. A whole cow contains about a million calories, so on cow alone, I'm getting about 2,700 calories per day.

To accompany my alternating cuts of beef and in order to get sufficient micronutrients, I usually make what I call an "Animal Shake" with egg yolks, raw cream, and shaved beef liver. I feel morally superior knowing that outside of one cow's life per year, my diet is entirely vegetarian. All in all, I eat just over 3,100 calories per day, every one of which I need for my demanding exercise routine.

EXERCISE

I exercise just before eating. My goal with exercise is to build strength and push my body to its limits on a daily basis. In order to progressively overload my system, I lift slightly more weight every day, like the legendarily strong Greek wrestler Milo of Croton. You may have heard the ancient tale of Milo and the bull. It encapsulates the core principles of strength training, as James Clear tells it:

One day, a newborn calf was born near Milo's home. The wrestler decided to lift the small animal up and carry it on his shoulders. The next day, he returned and did the same. Milo continued this strategy for the next four years, hoisting the calf onto his shoulders each day as it grew, until he was no longer lifting a calf, but a four-year-old bull.
My Reflections on Resolutions – Daniel Flahie – Medium
Every day, Milo of Croton carried a growing calf until after four years he was able to carry a fully grown bull.

I take this story to heart. I mentioned earlier that I have two cows butchered and stored in my freezer. While one is for eating, the other is for lifting. Each day I take progressively more pieces of frozen cow out of the freezer and carry them to the end of the street and back. Three months ago I started with only a one-pound steak. A month later, I was carrying a bag full of thirty one-pound pieces of cow to the end of the block and back. Now I've built up enough strength to lift and carry ninety pounds of cow. By the end of the year, if all goes according to plan, I'll be able to carry an entire butchered cow, about 400 pounds.

Carrying the equivalent of a small bull down the street–and immediately proceeding to eat its meat when I return home for breakfast–connects me to my hunter ancestors. I feel at one with my evolutionary past knowing that I'm doing the work to earn the meal. Before diving in to my daily cut of meat and egg yolk Animal Shake, I thank the cows and chickens that made the meal possible.

At 7am, fueled by ketones and gratitude, the rest of my day is a breeze. Eight hours later I'm in bed, drifting off to sleep, ready to start anew tomorrow, or rather, later that day.

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😜 Just kidding!

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