Saturday Blueprint on Stuck in a Rut

Stuck to unstuck, and an intermittent fasting micro challenge

Saturday Blueprint on Stuck in a Rut
Photo by Luis Villasmil / Unsplash

Hi 👋. Here is this week's Saturday Blueprint.

🤔 Quote I’m thinking about

The river where you set your foot just now is gone—those waters giving way to this, now this — Heraclitus

Yesterday you died. Today you are reborn, ever so slightly different from who you were yesterday. Everything changes. Everything. In one way then philosophy can be boiled down to learning to accept the endless change.

From another angle, the adage we say of kids that they “grow up so fast” is of course true. Your son or daughter will never be who they were yesterday again. They grow. As they must. Does it change your next conversation with them knowing this? Does it make you grateful for every single moment because in a way it’s the last? Do you find this concept crushingly depressing, or do you find it liberating?

⏹⏯ Stuck in a Rut

I’m stuck in a rut at the moment. Last week I fractured a rib (catching a mouse that the cat had brought in of all ways to injure myself). Since then I’ve had trouble sleeping - lying flat hurts my ribs - and so I’ve been feeling sorry for myself. Tired and grumpy and lacking motivation.

I can’t do my usual daily exercises (press ups, pull ups etc) and because I’m tired I’ve also stopped journalling and reading too. It’s been one small external event that has caused multiple carriages to derail across different aspects of my life.

How do I get back to where I was? By taking small, deliberate actions. So here’s the plan:

  • I can’t do press ups but I can do squats and I can walk. I’ll commit to doing both daily.
  • I may be tired but I can at least fill in gratitude part of my journal, listing three things I’m grateful for.
  • I may be grumpy and feeling down leading to poor eating habits, but I can reset with an intermittent fasting micro challenge. (See below if you want to join me).
  • I may feel like I don’t have time to read, but I can read a short passage from Heraclitus. This book, Fragments, is literally just a collection of very small fragments of quotes from 600BC. No barrier to picking up then putting down.

The amazing thing about action, is that it unlocks the barriers we often have put in our own way, in a our mind. I know this because I opened up this Saturday Blueprint to write that I was going to stop writing. A Dear John letter that I don’t have anything left to say. Instead, I’ve somehow come away with a renewed intent to take action. To accept. To change. Such is the power of action.

🍽 Intermittent Fasting Micro Challenge

Intermittent fasting is a fantastic tool for managing hunger hormones and body weight. It has the following benefits:

  • Improved insulin sensitivity
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Decreased oxidative stress

The other benefit of intermittent fasting is that it doesn't matter what you eat, just when you eat. So whether you're vegan, vegetarian, carnivore or omnivore, you don't need to overthink it, it just works.

My favourite app for tracking is Zero and I’ve just joined their fasting challenge - a 16 hour fasting period followed by an 8 hour eating window, starting on 17th August.

If you have the app, this link will take you to the challenge:

It's ok to be a little hungry sometimes. But here are a few tips to take the edge off:

  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar in a glass of water
  • A pinch of salt in a glass of water
  • A hot cup of bouillon (stock cube stock)
  • Chewing gum

💍 Cool finds

A quick list of things I've read or found this week that I want to share.

Not an internet link this time, but I've been digging the fermented milk product kefir recently. It's like yogurt, except with even more good bacteria, so it's a great probiotic for your gut. In fact, this weekend I'm going to make a batch of my own in the Instant Pot. For the biologists out there 🔬, the kefir that I get (Yeo Valley) has these 14 live cultures (compared with yogurt which typically only has 3 live cultures):

  • Bifidobacterium infantis
  • Bifidobacterium lactis
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Lactobacillus delbrueckii subspecies lactis
  • Lactobacillus fermentum
  • Lactobacillus paracasei
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus
  • Lactococcus lactis subspecies cremoris
  • Lactococcus lactis subspecies lactis biovar diacetylactis
  • Lactococcus lactis subspecies lactis without biovar diacetylactis
  • Lactococcus lactis subspecies lactis
  • Leuconostoc mesenteroides
  • Leuconostoc pseudomesenteroides
  • Streptococcus thermophilus

It’s a pleasure writing to you. Have a great week. 😊

About the Saturday Blueprint

The Saturday Blueprint is a weekly newsletter every Saturday on health, vitality and philosophy by Nick Stevens.

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