Pure Caps

N=1 with Pure Encapsulations…

The case that got me thinking about individual experience and the need for some “self-experimentation” – see my post on The N = 1 of Life Advice – came almost literally from a case… From samples of Pure Encapsulation’s Daily Immune (Immune Active, as it’s called in Europe) supplement, that is.

Supplements in the form of multivitamins had, not that long ago, been the subject of a scientific analysis regarding their efficacy. The result: It’s all a waste of money.

For most people with an averagely healthy diet – or let’s make that an averagely diverse diet, because there probably isn’t much of a need for what most people would consider especially and particularly healthy foods, either – multivitamins are probably unnecessary.

Share that insight, though, and you are more than likely to be met with a lot of resistance.

Who eats a healthy diet nowadays?! Surely a little bit of an insurance against deficiencies is not a bad thing?! Can’t they just leave us feeling better for just a little money?!

These, certainly, were the kinds of comments I encountered when I shared that research.

I myself am a person who hardly ever takes even an aspirin, so I’d tend to concur.

Pure Caps

Then I went to a Foodblogger camp, and I heard people react in the usual way foodies do when there were those ‘pills’ there. The opinion I overheard was a “What do those drug-pushers think; as if you’d need such artificial supplementation when you can just eat a diverse diet!”

The supplement sample was interesting, though.
There are some extracts of supposedly helpful plants in it, including some I had or have been growing myself such as Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus, Wu-jia-pi), which is supposed to have adaptogenic/tonic properties.
There is Vitamin D, which my sports doctor highly recommended I should supplement (having checked my levels of it).
There was the zinc often enough lauded as helpful for the immune system.

As these things go – read my article on the n=1 of life advice and go on learning about science from there – I can’t say that anything I experienced has to hold true for anybody else.
I can’t even be certain, given that I’m only one person and I’ve only had one winter’s experience, that my own experience will hold true even a second winter.

But, I can say that I used that Daily Immune / Immune Active supplement throughout the winter, and it was the first winter that I never caught a cold. My wife did, and the winters before, we always managed to infect each other.

Not this winter, a.k.a. flu season.

This is definitely not medical advice, nor even anything more than one person’s anecdotal experience of one single winter – but it’s enough that I think supplements (and diets) may be some of the best cases for the n=1 argument:

Assume that what holds true for the average holds true for you and be critical – but also check (in all things medical, with your doctor) if maybe something not-average will be the case with you.

If you want to try out Pure Encapsulations, have a look at their range of products e.g. at Pharmaca – and yes, this is an affiliate link; nothing was sponsored unless you count the samples I got from them, though. In fact, at the moment, you can’t even get the same Daily Immune / Immune Active I used at that link.

mountain stream swimming

The Paleo-Living Balance of Us Bodies

As much attention as “paleo” has received as the latest fad diet, the people who are looking into its basic tenet as a guide to what a human is meant to experience – how we are to live, not just to eat – are much fewer.

It may be understandable only too easily.

Do you want us to go back to the Stone Age?!?” is a popular reaction to e.g. environmentalists’ calls for degrowth and to remember lessons from earlier times, after all – and surely we wouldn’t want to literally live like cavemen.

That said, if you believe that maybe we are not physiologically well-adapted to eating modern foodstuffs (yet), it is all the more likely that we are not adapted to many other modern conditions. Continue reading

Matters of the (Runner’s) Heart

Matters of the (Runner’s) Heart

How we are not at home in our bodily being is one of the fundamental ways we are not “at home:” We think of “our bodies” when that is, in fact, what we are before we even develop a sense of self, remain even if we lose our mind, and always are as an integrated whole.

One particularly good case in point is our understanding of our hearts and heart rate in running. Continue reading

It's all so connected and shifting, it's really surprising we can even speak of a physical "I" as if it were constant - and the mental construct "I" only arises from that...

Ways We Are Not ‘at home’ 3: Not Being the Bodies We Are…

It is one of the great things about us that we have such a rich life of the mind.

Sure, we may be misled by it, ending up fighting over ideologies when we’d really much rather get along, falling victim to stories we tell ourselves of how life is, other people were, and we ourselves are… “You’re Not So Smart” (both book and podcast) is an excellent resource on that.

But, we can also learn. Beyond the abilities of all other animals, we can imagine, anticipate, ponder, and study things.

In thinking about ourselves and our minds, however, we keep talking of “our bodies” as something separate from the brain, and completely different from the mind. Continue reading

Dampfbad - Steam Bath

Of Sweat, Sweets, and Self

When you sweat, it’s you that sweats; when you enjoy something sweet, it’s you tasting and enjoying it. Isn’t it?

We often think and speak as if we were truly just the conscious part of ourselves – and it’s a fundamental and consequential way we fail to be and make ourselves ‘at home’.

We are “brain owners,” I recently heard in a podcast; Continue reading

On the scale

Everyday Fitness: Forget Weight, Follow Function

The one and only sign of fitness generally fussed about is weight. Oh no, I weigh too much. I must lose weight.

It’s one of those “simplets” where we pick a number and obsess about it because it becomes our reality. Hell, it even sounds scientific; also take your height into account, and you need a formula (!) to calculate your BMI. It’s got to be good.

Continue reading

Chinese Mise-en-Place

Everyday Fitness: The Perfect Diet

Diet, one’s way of eating, is a major factor of everyday enjoyment, everyday fitness, the everyday ecology of our living at home in this world – and oh-so-many of the problems we increasingly face, in terms of the world’s ecological functioning for us as well as our own health and well-being.

The more important clear paths would be, the more we’ve been making the topic into a veritable jungle. Continue reading

Hong Kong Island Skyline at Night

Trouble on the Hong Kong Trail

If there are no pictures shared online, did it really happen?

The question tends to be asked jokingly, making fun of both the philosophical pondering about the sound of a falling tree in a forest when no one’s around to hear it and of the contemporary oversharing on social media, but it recently got more relevant in my own exploratory lifestyle.

We went to Hong Kong on the way to visit my wife’s family in China. As the runner I have been working to become, living exploratorily and making myself at home where I get, measured in steps, I was attracted to the Hong Kong Trail. Continue reading