You might not realize this from my dearth of blog posts over the past year, but I do miss blogging. I’ve got a few dozen ideas for great posts, in large part reflecting the ever-evolving nature of my understanding of nutrition and health, and a few other tie-in topics such as exercise, sleep, and hormones.
That said, the topics I want to cover aren’t amenable to short posts (or, as Mark Twain or Blaise Pascal might have pointed out—I don’t have the time to write short posts). Indeed, I don’t really have time to write long posts, either.
I have tried to keep up with comments, and I appreciate everyone’s patience as I try to respond to as many comments as possible.
So what’s the distraction? There are several, and I only touch on them to make the point I’m still excited (more excited, actually) about the topics above. Between my NuSI work, a growing medical practice, a new baby (sorry, I can’t resist a few gratuitous shots of the little guy and big sis, below), some attempt at training/competing, and a greater attempt to have a meal here and there with my family, there just aren’t enough hours left in the week to blog intelligently (particularly so, given my recent appreciation for the restorative powers of sleeping more than 5 hours per night; thank you Dr. Kirk Parsley).
Given all of the above, I have two projects of my own to discuss—one short term, one long term – and then an exciting NuSI project for which I’d like your help.
Starting with my long term project, what’s currently occupying much of my time is my research for a book I hope to write on longevity and anti-aging. My interest in this project initiated with a (very long) manifesto I wrote on the subject last year and then a slew of conversations that grew from it. I’d like this book to accurately reflect the current best understanding of the science, and then extrapolate from there to a best-bet program of nutrition, exercise, sleep, supplementation, hormone manipulation, stress reduction and pharmacology that will have the greatest possible effect on both delaying death and optimizing life. Of course, doing so has turned into a typically obsessive job of reading everything available that addresses these questions and speaking with as many experts as possible. I think this project still requires about 2,000 hours—hence the “long term” comment, above, but I hope it’s worth the wait. And because I know someone will ask—sorry, I’m not willing to share the manifesto publicly at this time.
As for my shorter term project, I realized something last month while doing a podcast with Tim Ferriss. Tim and I spoke for two hours over the phone, a pretty easy thing to do, and voila a podcast appears. I haven’t listened to it, but the feedback on his site and social media suggests folks dug it as a good vehicle to share insights and commentary (isn’t that really all I do on this blog?).
Here’s a link to the podcast with Tim. I’ve never been a big podcast guy, but this one was fun, and it occurred to me that a podcast here and there might be a way to address some of the things I enjoy thinking, writing, and speaking about, minus the overhead (i.e., time) of producing lengthy Attia-style blogposts. Tim and I will be doing a part II, so if there are topics you want to hear about as a natural extension of part I, please note them in the comment section. We’ll try to address them.
Beyond that I’ll try to think of a non-annoying way to do some “in house” podcasts. (The challenge is doing these without an interviewer in subsequent batches—but I may twist a friend’s arm into doing so.) Or maybe Tim will want to do more. Either way, I’ll try to generate a bit of content this year that doesn’t require writing long blogposts.
Exciting NuSI project
I generally try to keep NuSI out of this blog since it is a personal blog. I prefer that NuSI chatter occur on NuSI’s site. Since I’m already shamelessly showing pics of my kids, though, I figure I might as well go all in on this one and shamelessly promote something very exciting we’re doing at NuSI.
In late 2013 NuSI convened its annual meeting with our scientific advisory board to discuss our research agenda for 2014 to 2018. A number of ideas were hotly debated for two days. In the end our research agenda was shuffled and what emerged was a new roadmap. One area that rose to the top of the priority list was a condition that is growing at epidemic rates—non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). In Q1 2014 we spoke with nearly 40 experts around the country who study NAFLD and in Q2 and again in Q3 we held two-day meetings with a large subset of them to facilitate their design of a NAFLD program. The result was three studies that we hope to conduct in the next few years.
The same week Tim and I recorded the podcast, he wrote a post about the NuSI project. The post not only discussed NAFLD, but also kicks off a fundraising campaign for the first of the three studies. Since this post went up, we’ve had three large donations made as matching challenges. I hope you’ll read his post and think seriously about contributing. Every donation counts, so don’t avoid participation because you can’t kick in $50,000 of your favorite appreciated stock.
I hope you’ll consider this project worthy of your philanthropic energy. By NuSI’s standards, it’s a relatively inexpensive study. Like everything we fund, though, it’s a unique project that is greatly needed to clarify key questions about how our diet effects human health, and we expect the results to help us change the world.
My favorite distractions
During my wife’s pregnancy, our daughter kept coming up with names for her soon-to-be brother. The names were completely random (and highly amusing). One night over dinner she declared that she had found the name. It was a combination of two names she really liked, Michael and Jackson. So his name would be Michael Jackson Attia, she declared, in the most serious manner possible. Now, despite my appreciation for the King of Pop, and the constant amount of music we expose our daughter to (she’s a budding little drummer), she had no idea why I nearly spit out my dinner laughing. This story is only made funner by the fact that the little guy arrived 2 weeks early–on August 29th. I’ll leave the rest to you.
My favorite part of this picture is how he’s beating me in a stare-down contest at the age of 6 weeks! God help me when he’s 16.
The little man nearly doubled his birth weight by his 4-month check-up.
Big sis just adores him. She’s struggling with the concept that in about 12 years he’ll be bigger than she is. She keeps insisting, “But daddy, I’ll still be older than he is!”