Future-proof your skills with Linux, Python, vim & git as I share with you the most timeless and love-worthy tools in tech through my two great projects that work great together.

Matter Doesn't Matter, Except The Matter You Take Into Your Body

Happy Mothers' Day! On this day, I'm reflecting on the importance of plural possessives and the power of documentation. In this post, I discuss the importance of taking the right matter into your body and how it can affect your health and wellbeing. I also discuss how to get the right nutrition and the parallels between nutrition and information. Finally, I wish everyone a Happy Mothers' Day and thank them for reading.

Exploring the Benefits of Proper Nutrition and Sleep for Optimal Health on Mothers' Day.

By Michael Levin

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Happy Mothers’ Day. It really should be plural possessive. We don’t use plural possessives enough in English. I think it’s just too confusing an issue for most people. Back in the early 1990s, it was always The Philadelphia Amiga Users’ Group whenever I wrote it, which was a lot considering I was both the president and newsletter publisher for a number of years, an impressive feat considering it was run out of the first university to require all their incoming students to buy a computer, ComSci major or not. And it had to be Apple Macs. Running PAUG from here (the term has come to have other connotation since, my child tells me) was one of the headier experiences of my youth.

Plural possessives; use ‘em more. You know, I could switch to any topic in any of my “blog posts”, because this is really just a sliced & diced personal journal and you have to choose something as the title for the page. It’s not a page to me here while I’m writing it. It’s one long text-file from the beginning. You’d thing that’d be a lot to manage, but it’s not. It’s only because most writing and coding tools are stupid about it that massive files “feel” big to the user. For me here in NeoVim (but it’d be the same in vim), I just hit g g to go to the top of the file, then G to go to the bottom. It’s instant.

If I want to step day by day through my journal entries, I just search on a long line of hyphens. I use 80, but really there’s not so many repetitive minus signs together that I couldn’t just hit the search feature, tap a few in, and start stepping forward entry by entry, day by day.

New posts go at the top, and that’s exactly where you’re dropped into files for editing, be it vim, NeoVim, Word or Docs, so it just feels like editing one small file most of the time. Memory and machine performance? Well, this file is about 100,000 lines. My biggest journal, which is also loaded into NeoVim right now in another buffer which I get to by hitting :b4 (because it’s how it was before I was publicly blogging so much) is a bit over a quarter million lines. I’m on a feeble 2 or 3 year-old Windows i5 machine with 8GM of physical RAM. I’m running a lot of stuff, but I’m not even close to experiencing any performance issues. The programs probably aren’t even loading everything in memory at once, and I rather suspect you could start typing into a text file and keep going for the rest of your life and not even begin to tax the machine you started out on today. Upgrades not necessary for the most important thing in life: managing the things in your head, the story of your life.

Documentation is important. There’s an old Astronomer’s saying: “If it’s not written down, it didn’t happen.” I’ve been living that as my reality from the moment I first read that expression. I’ve been keeping journals for a long time. They started out as paper journals, but at some point I realized the advantages of electronic just so outweighed my infrequent desire to doodle. That’s why I’m still on the iPhone and didn’t make the permanent move to the Samsung Note series, even though I did attempt to switch during the Note 3’s days. When was that? 2013? 2014? Then again the Note 5.

Fortunately I skipped over the explosively popular Note 7. Or unfortunately; what a collector’s item that would be. But I did get the Note 8 around 2018 and it’s still plays a surprisingly big role in my and my child’s life. It’s how I got them multi-platform on mobile. They were settling into being an exclusively Apple-product person, and particularly on Mobile that amounts to lifetime lock-in. Let’s see… Sheeple, iSheep, something like that. And I use the iPhone and love it. I just keep my eyes open and my skills diversified. The stylus on the Note 8 is enough enticement to get my kid multi-platform as well. One of the most major contributions I have to make to my kid’s education is that “things” don’t matter. And even the information and the bits which can float from machine to machine, it’s the ability to reproduce it all from out of your head that matters most. It’s all that internal stuff that matters most.

That leads to what you eat. If you’re feeling unhealthy and depressed, maybe you’re not eating well. Eat and sleep, but I’m talking about the matter you take into your body and extract parts from that’s going to make you feel and act and behave better in the immediate-term and stick around for awhile and become part of you in the long-term. Up to 10 years in fact, if it’s got calcium in there and gets into your bones. Electrolytes will help you think better. Certain amino acids will go directly to making your natural levels of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine optimal.

I do a lot of Vitamix blending. I only mention the brand vitamix because most blenders won’t do. You need something that will pulverize the nutrition right out of the seeds on the surface of strawberries and the fiber from inside flax seeds. If you’re not using a thoroughly blended smoothie to get your nutrition and have gone directly to drugs, you haven’t explored the full range of more natural, healthy and frankly safe options available to you. Oh yeah, it takes work.

Okay, so matter doesn’t really matter except the matter you take into your body, which should give you the 9 amino acids you can’t make yourself: alanine, arginine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, proline, serine, and tyrosine. There’s plenty of ways of saying it, and there are some addendum’s like vitamin-D from sunlight as a catalyst the absorption of 2 critical elements: calcium and phosphorous. Oh, and water-soluble fiber to keep it exiting your body with all the grace it entered. Those 9 missing amino acids plus sleep, sunlight, chomping on the salty rust of a few metals, and fiber. Oh, and carbs for energy, did I mention carbs?

Even with these extra nutritional nuances, it’s all still just basic nutrition science that should be taught as a part of your everyones’ education. It’s even more important than what all the YouTubers complain they wish they were taught about saving money and taxes. With good health, anything is possible. With good health, both mental and physical comes motivation, self-determination, a positive mental attitude and all the things posers project but fail to educate regarding. It’s the stuff we really do know for sure now down at the molecular level. What makes our cell walls and tissues, bones, blood, antibodies, hormones, neurotransmitters, and all the other stuff that controls us at a subconscious level.

It’s all those reasons for things that really are at work, but we generally can’t articulate. And if you’re not aware of them and adjusting them through your diet and exercise, you’re not really in control of yourself. Worse still is eating out all the time, getting only those things the marketers are putting in the food because it makes it sell better. It’s going to make you fat. Yes, genetics. But no, you don’t have to lean into bad genetics. Fat is for a time of abundance so you can make it through the lean times. So yes, inflating a bit and losing a bit is actually natural.

The feast and famine caveman metabolism of our evolution, the lifestyle and bodytypes that fashioned who we are, is still in there and yoyo’ing a bit won’t kill you. But living like you’re in times of abundance straight through the winter for example will kill you. Ever-bigger is ever-worse. Cut down! Try some carefully planned and “pre-digested” (i.e. blended) drinks. You’ll be amazed at how instantly satisfied your body feels from it. No, not Orange Julius or Jamba Juice, though the occasional one won’t hurt. I mean why popular culture doesn’t teach us this… oh yeah, it doesn’t make them as much money. Well maybe I can help. Here’s a video. No, here’s four of them.

Blending All The Good Stuff is Better Than Coffee

No Time to Cook? Blend & Feel Good For Life

Vitamix Blender: 20+ Years & Going Strong

Make your poo firm

If anyone tells you they know about nutrition and then balks at this sort of discussion, be suspicious. You can frame it in a carbs, fats, proteins discussion. You can talk about vitamins and minerals. But if someone starts talking some fufu diet at you or claims to be eating healthy but doesn’t know why but for some vague notion they got from some short-format fad-diet social media thing, nod and walk away… unless it somehow effects you and those you love. Then you have a moral obligation to get into a little molecular biology with them.

Often times the feelings that a lack of such healthy, correct and proper nutrition can cause are the same feelings that can be caused by a lack of sleep. Consequently the proper discussion is often about such nutrition followed up by a proper amount of sleep. Wake/sleep cycles and the circadian rhythms are something folks will push on you as “the right way”. Yeah, the right way is also the nomadic feast-and-famine yo-yo’ing way and we don’t encourage that much. The most important thing is to get your 7 to 9 hours per 24-hour cycle, and to get some sunlight in there somewhere so you can process your calcium and phosphorus. One for your bones and the other for your moods.

There’s other sub-discussions I’d just love to dive into like the parallels my argument of matter not mattering except for the matter you take into your body, except with information. Social media is junk food for the mind. It’s like eating out at restaurants all the time, only getting the ingredients that’s going to make money for someone, at the expense of your health. The parallels are exact. And so the antidotes have to be deeply engrained into us in our youth and through our parents, which ties this all back around, doesn’t it?

Let the sincerity of this post sink, if only based on the fact that blenders are one of the big affiliate marketing things out there. I’m not selling blenders, and even though I do have brand favorites and they do have affiliate programs, blenders are just one of my favorite things. 100% generosity and altruism are not things you readily find on the Internet, because such folks are not motivated to optimize their SEO and click-through rates.

Happy Mothers’ Day and You’re Welcome!