- CORE PROCESSES: x2 full Sessions (20 blocks) and x2 half sessions (10 blocks) of executive function & working memory brain training. Desktop app: i9 Mindware – IQ Prime program.
- SKILL SETS: x2 20 minute sessions of logical reasoning training, combined with the half-sessions of i9 brain training. Mobile app: Brilliant.
- EXERCISE:: x2 10k runs per week, x3 15 minute HIITs per week, x7 yoga/stretching (15 minutes) per week. Apps: MapMyFitness, and Sworkit personalized workout app.
- NUTRITION – Phytonutrients:: x5 Turmeric+Cacao+Black Pepper hot soya drink per week (1 teaspoon turmeric, 2 teaspoon cacao, 1 drop black pepper essential oil, soy milk). Green tea x7.
- NUTRITION – Supplements: B12 and Omega 3 (since I am on a primarily vegetarian diet). I am also supplementing with Zinc and Magnesium.
- INTERMITTENT FASTING:: x3 8pm – 12pm (16 hour) fasts.
- HRV COHERENCE BREATHING: x7, 10 minutes. App: HeartRate+ (set to 10 second cycles, with 4.5 seconds in-breath, 5.5 seconds outbreath).
- MEDITATION: x4 20 minute sessions. App: Headspace – as well as my own practice.
- SLEEP MANAGEMENT: Stop work by 10pm. In bed by 11pm.
- MINDSET: CBT techniques to reduce stress and anxiety and improve mood. 5-10 minutes per day. App: Moodnotes – soon replaced by my own diary taking.
Biometrics and Psychometrics
Diastolic blood pressure
Measures of Heart Rate Variability (RMSSD, pNN50, VLF, HF, LF:HF, VLF:HF)
Behavioral (Productivity) & Psychometrics
Goal Satisfaction (In addition to the Productive app I’m using the Swipes ‘to do list app’ which is excellent)
# Creative Ideas (using the Today app)
# Problems Solved (using the Today app)
Mental Sharpness (using the Reporter app)
Stress Level (using the Reporter app)
Mood (positivity level) (using the Reporter app)
Motivation (using the Reporter app)
Burn Out – Psychological (using the Reporter app)
Burn Out – Physical (using the Reporter app)
i9 Brain training
Concentrating too many new physical practices at too high a volume into a week – can quickly result in injuries, as I found. First I got blisters, and then pulled muscles in my back which forced me to greatly reduce the intensity of my training for a couple of weeks.
The Red Zone of the Hormesis Response
Many of the training practices are hormesis-based – they are intended to be ‘good stressors’ that trigger a host of beneficial ‘vita-gene’ responses, including an improved immune system, growth hormones for new neurons and enzymes for DNA repair.
Good recovery practices – during times when you should not be training intensely due to potential overtraining – include LIGHT aerobic exercise (where you are not higher than Zone 2 in your HR: this is a fantastic destressor), as well as coherence breathing, yoga, meditation and good sleep. Also 2 litres of water and good nutrition helps a lot.
What is good nutrition? Vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, while cutting down on sugar, salt, refined foods, trans fats, dairy and animal products that are not grass-fed or game. Here is a good diagram from US dietary guidelines showing which nutrition practices result in the highest mortality risks.
Phytonutrients – Cacao
Phytonutrients – Green tea
When I started the Psi-X program, I was drinking Twinings green tea. Researching around a bit, it soon became obvious that anyone wanting to get into the benefits of green tea phytonutrients should be taking Matcha green tea! I’ve been using a brand called ‘Pure Chimp‘ which is excellent. Matcha tea is made by taking the green tea leaves and grinding them down to form a fine powder which is consumed mixed into hot water or a smoothy. Half a teaspoon may be equivalent to 10 cups of regular green tea, and you certainly notice the difference!