Can App-Based Meditation Help You Handle Stress Better?

April 3, 2018

Have you tried app-based meditation before? Proponents claim a host of benefits, led by a higher quality of sleep and a greater ability to handle stress. So for 31 days the guys decided to try it for themselves. Testing three of the popular apps – Calm, Headspace, and Oak – they used reputable surveys by UC Berkeley and the HeartMath Institute to establish their starting stress levels and well-being, then meditated for a month, and retook the test to see how they’d done. This is the final lifehack in the first season of The Paul Project as the guys review everyone’s feedback to prep up the next season of the show. Thanks for listening!

Some of the topics discussed:

  • The difference between guided and unguided app-based meditation
  • The best non-technical way to measure stress and well-being
  • How to track heart-rate variability, the ideal measure for stress
  • The likely benefits app-based meditation provides in learning how to breathe properly

 

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Looking for some specific highlights? Fast-forward to the following timestamps:

  • The benefits we expect to receive from daily app-based meditation (6:10)
  • The testing criteria for app-based meditation (11:56)
  • Rick’s results using app-based guided meditation (15:40)
  • Alex’s results using app-based unguided meditation (27:46)
  • An announcement on the end of season one break (39:00)

 

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Thanks for listening to The Paul Project! More information and show notes at thepaulproject.co. This episode represents the end of our first season of the show – bear with us a few months as we prepare for the next round of hacks.

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How Hard is Eating a Keto Diet, and What Results Can You Get?

March 16, 2018

The guys kicked off 2018 with two months of eating a keto diet, and now it’s time to see what the results were. In month one Alex tackled the famed Atkins Diet – but hit some roadblocks along the way – and Rick took on the new book by Mark Sissons’, The Keto Reset Diet. In February the directive was to enter strict ketosis with under 25 grams of carbs a day. In addition to this Rick discusses keto running via his success competing in the February (Run Every Day) Challenge while on keto and how it impacted his athletic performance. Finally, did you hear about the DIETFITS randomized clinical trial that announced “there was no significant difference in 12-month weight loss between the HLF and HLC diets”? Rick pulls the curtain back on what the study actually analyzed, calling out the questionable reporting of the Washington Post and Vox in the process.

Some of the topics discussed:

  • Keto’s impact on weight, body fat percentage, blood pressure, resting heart rate, and sleep
  • Keto is hard to stick to, and the guys discuss their individual failures over the two months
  • Rick’s progress running every single day while in ketosis
  • Can you take energy bars and gels during long distance runs and stay in ketosis?
  • Rick takes on the people who call eating keto “complicated”

 

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Looking for some specific highlights? Fast-forward to the following timestamps:

  • Alex talks about why he couldn’t stick to keto (3:35)
  • Rick discusses the truth behind the media spin on the DIETFITS low-carb/low-fat diet trial (7:30)
  • Why the guys picked two months of keto for an analysis (19:00)
  • The guys look at January’s results (23:50)
  • The guys look at February’s results (40:00)
  • Will Alex stick with the keto diet? (50:00)
  • Will Rick stick with the keto diet? (55:30)
  • Still reading/listening? Well then, you’ve got an Easter egg! (59:20)

 

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Links mentioned in this episode:

Thanks for listening to The Paul Project! Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/thepaulprojectpodcast for early announcements of experiments, helpful links and guidance, and always let us know if you're trying them at home. More information and show notes at thepaulproject.co.

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Intro to Strict Ketosis, Keto Running, and an Interview with Ken Niemimaa

February 2, 2018

Month two of a deep dive into the keto diet kicks off with a look at going into strict ketosis – eating under 25 grams of carbs a day, increasing quality fat intake, and getting in lots of greens. In conjunction with entering ketosis for the month, the guys talk about how to kick off a month of running while in ketosis, and the unique challenges keto running presents. Why a month of running? Because Alex and Rick welcome their first guest to the show – ultra runner Ken Niemimaa who joins The Paul Project to talk about his 11th annual February (Run Every Day) Challenge, where he challenges people to pick a distance and then get outside for 28 days in a row to run it! #noyimmyyammy

Some of the topics discussed:

  • What’s the February (Run Every Day) Challenge and how do you take part?
  • Is the keto diet complicated?
  • What can a runner expect while in ketosis?
  • How can you get your kids involved in helping you eat keto?
  • What’s a keto flu, how long does it last, and why does it happen?
  • Is fasting necessary on keto?
  • How can you manage eating at a restaurant while in ketosis?
  • Why does Rick run in the winter with no pants on?

 

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Looking for some specific highlights? Fast-forward to the following timestamps:

  • February’s kickoff on strict ketosis begins (2:30)
  • February’s strict ketosis consumption guidelines (3:30)
  • Guidelines to running in ketosis (5:48)
  • What to expect in the first week of going keto (9:55)
  • Q&A: The keto diet seems too complicated (13:34)
  • Q&A: Do you just cut carbs and eat more fat & protein? (22:36)
  • Q&A: Do you have to fast? (24:55)
  • Q&A: How are you supposed to eat at a restaurant? (27:45)
  • Ken Niemimaa of the February (Run Every Day) Challenge calls in (31:45)

 

Products, people, & companies mentioned this episode:

 

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • None

 

Thanks for listening to The Paul Project! Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/thepaulprojectpodcast for early announcements of experiments, helpful links and guidance, and always let us know if you're trying them at home. More information and show notes at thepaulproject.co.

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Bone Broth - December 2018

January 26, 2018

This past December the guys took on bone broth as a challenge, drinking between 8 and 32 ounces each day for the entire month. Their hope was to reap a series of benefits you’ve likely heard about including improvement of gut health and digestion, reduction of joint pain and inflammation, weight control, and perhaps most importantly in December, inhibiting infection caused by cold and flu viruses. So did the guys feel the benefits? Were they able to fend off the cold and flu viruses that quickly took over their region during the Christmas season?

Some of the topics discussed:

  • What seemed to be a direct link between consumption and the cold and flu virus
  • How to adjust your bone broth to turn it into a tasty meal
  • Rick’s improved ability to recover from illness since starting The Paul Project
  • Which brand of bone broth drove Alex to fire off an angry Instagram?
  • Is there any truth to Rick’s belief that gin & tequila fend off the cold? Probably not, but he drinks them anyway just to be safe

 

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Looking for some specific highlights? Fast-forward to the following timestamps:

  • The guys have an update on their DHEA research & experiment (6:15)
  • The bone broth review begins (13:00)
  • Rick reviews what changed his opinion about bone broth (20:50)
  • What happened when Rick stopped bone broth (25:00)
  • Alex’s mom’s holiday illness and how bone broth helped (29:00)
  • Rick’s soon-to-be-famous beef bone broth recipe (39:50)
  • A little pre-recording Easter egg for post-credit listeners (50:05)

 

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Links mentioned in this episode:

 

Thanks for listening to The Paul Project! Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/thepaulprojectpodcast for early announcements of experiments, helpful links and guidance, and always let us know if you're trying them at home. More information and show notes at thepaulproject.co.

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Intro to the Keto Diet

January 5, 2018

It’s impossible NOT to hear about the keto diet today. This high-fat, low-carb diet is one of 2018’s early trends, but what is it exactly? Join Alex & Rick as they kick off the year with a keto resolution and throw themselves into ketosis to see if the health and weight loss benefits are legit. Over 10 years ago Alex lost a veritable crap ton of weight and body fat on the Atkins Diet, and three years ago Rick lost weight, waist line, and gained athletic abilities that saw him beat the Spartan World Championship while trying keto the first time. If you’re curious about keto this is the podcast for you, with an action-packed hour of all the info, Q&A, and guidance you’ll need to try it out!

Some of the topics discussed:

 

  • How each guy will approach keto, with Rick using Mark Sisson’s new book The Keto Reset Diet, and Alex using his tried and true Atkins Diet model
  • Why you’ll have to reduce your carbs to almost zero, and how the body sources energy
  • Can you just eat bacon and butter and achieve your health goals?
  • Is it true people on keto are irritable and have bad breath?
  • The importance of hydration in ketosis
  • Do you have to do intermittent fasting on keto?
  • What is “keto flu” and how can you lessen the impacts of it?
  • Can you add fiber to my dessert to pull net carb counts down?
  • Are you increasing your risk of heart disease by going keto?

 

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Looking for some specific highlights? Fast-forward to the following timestamps:

  • The discussion about keto kicks off (4:45)
  • What is ketosis? What can you eat and how does the body react? (9:40)
  • Why did Rick pick the keto diet for this month’s challenge? (18:45)
  • Q&A: Will you die of heart disease or high cholesterol? (28:30)
  • Q&A: How low does my carb intake have to be? (34:10)
  • Q&A: What kind of fats can I use? (36:31)
  • Q&A: Why do I feel like I’ve got the flu on keto? (38:00)
  • Q&A: Can I drink alcohol on keto? Diet soda? Tea & coffee? (42:40)
  • Q&A: Can I eat whole grains on keto? (48:25)
  • Q&A: Can I eat fruit on keto? (48:42)
  • Q&A: I need to eat carbs, what can I do? (49:02)
  • Q&A: I can’t workout or run, I have no energy – what do I do? (50:40)
  • The guidelines to participate (52:38)
  • Deleting fiber from your macros to track net carbs (53:48)

 

Products and companies mentioned this episode:

 

Links mentioned in this episode:

 

Thanks for listening to The Paul Project! Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/thepaulprojectpodcast for early announcements of experiments, helpful links and guidance, and always let us know if you're trying them at home. More information and show notes at thepaulproject.co.

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Cold Showers - November 2017

December 17, 2017

For their 4th challenge the guys took a cold shower every day for a month in hopes of enjoying a plethora of health benefits including an increase in brown fat, deeper sleep, and an ability to handle the colder winter temperatures starting to arrive. They would take their showers as normal, but once clean, turn the temperature as cold as it would go for anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes. But would both guys catching a mid-month cold affect the challenge?

Some of the topics discussed:

  • What part of the body is best to hit with cold water when you’re starting out?
  • How can you fight the common cold, and when is it time to take antibiotics?
  • Why shouldn’t you take a cold shower if you’re fighting an infection?
  • What made Alex turn the corner on Bulletproof Coffee?
  • What time of year is best for cold showers?

 

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Looking for some specific highlights? Fast-forward to the following timestamps:

  • Rick discusses getting sick mid-month (8:45)
  • Rick discusses a technique he used that appeared to reduce his symptoms (10:50)
  • Alex offers some advice on dealing with cold fighting & antibiotics (14:33)
  • Alex discusses getting sick mid-month (16:40)
  • The month review kicks off (25:20)
  • Rick reviews the impacts the mid-month cold had on the challenge (27:30)
  • Listener Dave interrupts via Whatsapp (33:20)
  • When to have a cold shower to positively impact your deep sleep (38:00)
  • Alex discusses herbs and vitamins for boosted sleep quality (40:25)

 

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Thanks for listening to The Paul Project! Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/thepaulprojectpodcast for early announcements of experiments, helpful links and guidance, and always let us know if you're trying them at home. More information and show notes at thepaulproject.co.

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Intro to Bone Broth

November 29, 2017

Are you ready to join The Paul Project team in drinking between 8 and 32 ounces of bone broth a day for one month? In our introduction episode for December we discuss what bone broth is, the ingredients that go into making it, why it’s believed to be a health superfood, and we even provide a full bone broth recipe to help you make it at home. You’ll get all the info you need to take part, drink your 8 ounces a day for the month of December, and reap the benefits bone broth has to offer!

Some of the topics discussed:

 

  • What’s the difference between broth and stock?
  • Has broth’s role in fighting the cold and flu actually been proven?
  • What role might bone broth play in fighting the symptoms of fibromyalgia?
  • Bone broth’s role in healthy bone formation and healthy hair and skin
  • Does bone broth need to be made with pastured animals and organic vegetables?
  • Rick’s two optional steps that create a tastier, more robust bone broth recipe
  • A friendly customer interrupts the broadcast for the first time to discuss the brewery’s food, and recommending we come back when they’re serving it!

 

Subscribe to The Paul Project:

 

Looking for some specific highlights? Fast-forward to the following timestamps:

  • What’s the difference between bone broth and stock? (4:30)
  • Fighting IBS & Fibromyalgia with bone broth (8:12)
  • A friendly customer interrupts the discussion (9:30)
  • Bone broth for fighting inflammation (15:00)
  • Can broth alleviate cold & flu related suffering? (17:10)
  • A discussion on glycine and fibromyalgia (19:00)
  • Bone broth for weight control and healthy hair & skin (21:15)
  • A primer on what to expect before your first taste (23:30)
  • Why the ingredients need to be as pure and organic as possible (24:00)
  • Rick’s bone broth recipe (32:50)
  • Consumption guidelines to participate in the study (41:10)

 

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Links mentioned in this episode:

 

Thanks for listening to The Paul Project! Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/thepaulprojectpodcast for early announcements of experiments, helpful links and guidance, and always let us know if you're trying them at home. More information and show notes at thepaulproject.co.

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Blue Light Blocking - October 2017

November 15, 2017

For our third experiment Alex decided to have us block as close to 100% of blue light as we could every evening for the last few hours before bed. Why? To help us fall asleep quicker, to increase our quality of sleep, and to reap the physical, mental, and emotional benefits we get from a consistent, high quality sleep. The guys both blocked blue light on their electronic devices, and wore amber blocking glasses at night. Would they find a boost in deep sleep?

Some of the topics discussed:

  • What’s your ideal bed and wake time?
  • How important is getting 7-8 hours in bed?
  • Will an afternoon alcoholic drink affect sleep as much as one with dinner?
  • Will mental exhaustion and stress during the day affect sleep quality?
  • What beer did Rick enjoy with a Jamaican patty the day he earned his highest deep sleep @ 169 minutes?

 

Subscribe to The Paul Project:

 

Looking for some specific highlights? Fast-forward to the following timestamps:

  • 6:58 - Rick delivers an update on why you need to examine your blender before you use it to make Bulletproof coffee
  • 13:30 - Alex discusses why he picked blue light blocking for our challenge, and the benefits we expected to achieve by keeping blue light at bay
  • 17:13 - Blocking blue light on your devices is easy enough, but how did Alex help Rick block blue light from televisions, street lights, and more?
  • 21:10 - Alex and Rick uncover the fact that the old adage of “get 8 hours sleep a night” isn’t necessarily accurate
  • 34:15 - Rick reveals the link he discovered between alcohol consumption and a lack of deep sleep
  • 36:30 - Alex discovers a link between mental exhaustion and deep sleep quality after comparing his and Rick’s conference schedules with deep sleep volumes
  • 39:25 - The guys look at the Automated Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire (AutoMEQ) by the Center for Environmental Therapeutics (CET), and Rick finds out that there’s a direct link between his optimal sleep times and his ideal bed time and waking time
  • 46:45 - Rick decides if blue light blocking worked for him
  • 47:45 - Alex decides if blue light blocking worked for him

 

Products mentioned this episode:

Aerolatte Milk Frother with Stand (http://amzn.to/2hzDgKc)

Apple Watch Series 3 (https://www.apple.com/ca/watch/)

BlueKnight UV 400 clip-on glasses (http://amzn.to/2yDkDYV)

CanPrev Magnesium Bis-Glycinate 200 (http://amzn.to/2zHWgwq)

Garmin Vivoactive HR GPS Smart Watch (http://amzn.to/2z3cmSj)

Jarrow Formulas Vitamin D3 1000 IU (http://amzn.to/2hsGAmM)

 

Links mentioned in this episode:

CET AutoMEQ Survey (http://www.cet-surveys.com/index.php?sid=61524)

f.lux (https://justgetflux.com/)

Sleep Cycle alarm clock (https://www.sleepcycle.com/)

 

Thanks for listening to The Paul Project! Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/thepaulprojectpodcast for early announcements of experiments, helpful links and guidance, and always let us know if you're trying them at home. More information and show notes at thepaulproject.co.

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Intro to Cold Showers

November 2, 2017

Ready to join us in November's challenge? We've now split the podcast so you can listen in if you're interested in taking part in our experiments, allowing us to focus solely on each experiment in their own podcasts. In this quick intro episode we go through the 7 benefits of taking a cold shower every day, and then go over exactly how long we'll do it.

For those without a desire to listen, but a desire to take part:

  • Nov 1-7: 30 seconds
  • Nov 8-14: 60 seconds
  • Nov 15-21: 120 seconds
  • Nov 22-28: 240 seconds
  • Nov 29-30: 300 seconds

Thanks for listening to The Paul Project! Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/thepaulprojectpodcastfor early announcements of experiments, helpful links and guidance, and always let us know if you're trying them at home.

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Bulletproof Coffee - September 2017

November 2, 2017

Our second experiment was consuming Bulletproof Coffee every day for a month. What's Bulletproof Coffee? We made a regular coffee, then blended in grass-fed butter and XCT oil or Brain Octane Oil. Coming in at approximately 400 calories it's meant to assist in pushing you into fat-burning ketosis and improve mental clarity and focus. The experiment? Would we notice this increased clarity and focus?

Some of the topics discussed:

  • How important is a blender vs. a frother vs. a spoon?
  • Do you really need to buy Brain Octane Oil?
  • Can you use regular or store-bought organic coffee?
  • What's the one major side effect of too much oil?
  • Could Bulletproof Coffee work alongside intermittent fasting?

In the end, each of them decide if Bulletproof Coffee is now part of their lifestyle, and introduce what they'll be doing next month.

Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/thepaulprojectpodcast for early announcements of experiments and let us know if you're trying them at home.

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