Do you know the science-power behind simple exercise?

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
– Martin Luther King Jr.

My friend was a very unsatisfied and unhappy person back then, it was almost more than a decade ago.
I knew that he had a family tragedy, his mother died at age sixty seven due to heart disease.
He used to think personally that he is the most difficult and arrogant creature on the earth but for his family and friends, he was amiable and very helpful.
“Worst of all, for me, I was a procrastinating lazy dude in my personal affairs,” he told me.
“I had no knowledge of differentiation between important and urgent activities in my life.
I would give hours to others without thinking about my health and well being, I never had any idea of the intangible value of life, for example, long term personal health and prosperity,” he further added.

One day, at night, all of a sudden, something unexpected happened to him.
At midnight, he’d walk from one corner of his bedroom to another corner to watch his surroundings.
He said “don’t ask why? I don’t know.
Sometimes, this happens to everybody’s life.”
He saw his wife in deep sleep, his only daughter back then surrounded by her stuffed animals with her favorite Dora the explorer.
Peeking through the window, he saw a quiet dark night outside, all were good outside, all were in deep sleep inside, he felt that his wife and his daughter were happy and, most importantly, very safe.
His mind whispered, “you have everything you could possibly have at the moment, yet you are completely failing to appreciate it.”
The following morning turned out to be different from his usual mornings.
He committed himself that he would change, he didn’t know how but he would change everything, his health, his mindset, his thinking, and most importantly, his habits, the root cause.
The first thing he would change is his health status which was at the moment very poor.
Every morning he would start his day with some minor physical exercise so that he would renew his body early in the morning for the day, a new and fresh day every single day.

“From that day forward, I started to work and think of my life as a matrix,” he said.
He didn’t pay much attention to what others were saying, though he gradually became a good listener but always made decisions by himself.
He developed some fundamental and tacit knowledge about his life, his health, and his family.
“I learned to know the value of my people around me, and I began to take these different components of life and synthesize them into a coherent whole. I got a clear picture of me and the rest of my life,” he said.

It was a cold morning, he saw some ants on the floor, and realized how they were sharing information with each other.
He would relate that to how he should share information around his close friends and family members.
He visualized how bees colonize and compare what would happen if all families colonize in the same way as bees.
He compared his mind with a pure glittering diamond to view the world.
“I have read that a diamond that has the most glitter has fifty six different angles, so I have to look at something from many different perspectives.
I needed some mental training in my mind but personal habit comes first to check who we are and where we stand,” he added.

First, he changed one very bad habit of spending hours on the phone before and after bed scrolling about people who have zero to negligible influence in his life.
He almost stopped using his phone in the bedroom. His whole health was affected by poor sleep in different ways.
“I didn’t need LED or any light in the bedroom because it delayed the release of melatonin, a sleep signaling hormone.
I needed darkness to release melatonin for my good night sleep, a key component of a healthy life,” he commented.
Remember, melatonin is a hormone created by the pineal gland in the brain that’s released directly into the bloodstream.
Darkness initiates the pineal gland to start producing melatonin but light causes it to stop.
“By adopting good night sleep, we can create more focus in our own life rather than focusing on someone else’s pictures on facebook and instagram because focus creates change.
If we gradually measure the different components of our life we always see noticeable improvements,” my friend added.

Second, he completely changed his sitting habit.
His BMI, body mass index, was still in the normal range but moving beyond the upper range of 25.
He remembered his mother and her heart disease which was somehow also associated with obesity.
So, he decided to be more of a moving figure, a person of movement.
He would even start reading a book or watching a movie and walk at the same time in the living room.
Once he starts talking on the phone, he would start walking simultaneously.
“I would read fifteen pages without stopping walking, I would feel so much clarity in my mind that led to my clear thinking pattern and subsequently the productivity skyrocketed.
I would remind you of the saying, sitting is the new smoking,” he added.

Pretty quickly, he learned the chemistry behind physical exercise and why he was having more clarity in his mind.
Do you know physical exercise motivates our body and mind in positive thinking?
For those of you who still are not clear about this powerful science or you know but don’t practice, I’m telling you the secret sauce, exercise does amazing things for our body chemically.
When we start to exercise, our body makes an important chemical called adenosine monophosphate (AMP).
It informs our entire body that we are exercising, this internal communication is key and very powerful.
This chemical causes muscle cells, brain cells, and liver cells to break down stored glycogen and fat to use as energy.
A simple exercise not only improves the health of many vital organs like the heart, it increases the blood flow to our brain, improving our cognitive ability.
Once we develop the habit of exercise, we gradually change the quality of our life mentally, emotionally, physically, and even sexually.
We change everything from our sense of awareness to attractiveness and our sense of power to health and vitality.

My friend was very weak from many angles from a health perspective.
His doctor said his bone density degraded pretty badly even though he was not even 30.
For most of us, bone density peaks by age 30.
Once we hit 40, we begin to lose up to 5% of our bone density each decade.

His cardiovascular system was very weak, he could feel that while running for a few minutes.
He started to learn about life, vitality, health, and endurance.
“If I’m not taking care of my body, exercising and eating healthy foods, I can suffer gradual heart failure or a sudden heart attack,” he said.
In his reading, he found an eye-popping scary fact about cardiovascular disease.
Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer, one American dies every 36 seconds from it.
Globally, one out of five people die from heart disease, more than any other disease on the planet, 18 million deaths per year and 50 thousand deaths everyday.
Research shows the amazing thing about heart is that simply walking 20 to 30 minutes everyday can cut the risk of dying from a heart attack in half.

Can you guess why so many people die from heart disease?
Because, the heart is the least regenerative organ in our body, meaning there are no stem cells in the heart.
What does it mean?
Stem cells are used for regrowth in all kinds of tissue repair, they have regenerative in the body.
In general, the native stem cells are also known as mesenchymal precursor cells, the body’s most versatile and potent building blocks.
They differentiate into bone, cartilage, muscle or fat whatever we need.
After an injury, they are crucial for two reasons: they keep inflammation normal and they repair damaged tissue.
The problem is that stem cells grow scarcer with age especially with people of chronic disease.
The other bigger problem of the heart is that the heart can’t heal itself on its own after an injury like a heart attack.
Let me tell you why.
Our heart contains 6 or 7 billion heart muscle cells.
If we have a serious heart attack and are lucky enough to survive, we can lose more than one billion of those cells.
The heart can not replace them, so it never replaces their ability to function either.
Ultimately, the problem becomes severe, that is why it’s the world’s leading cause of death.

The good news is that prevention is the single best defense against heart disease and many other life threatening diseases.
Therefore, this is worth repeating one more time: just walking 20 to 30 minutes everyday can cut the risk of dying from a heart attack in half.
Remember, this is research proven published data.

One more thing regarding cardiovascular disease.
One natural therapy called sauna or hot shower, is very effective for cardiovascular disease.
This actually started for my dear friend personally because in one of his health issues, modern medicines didn’t work.
The reality is our body is so complex that sometimes doctors couldn’t figure out the cause of the problem despite visiting many specialists.
One of the habits that he developed is getting in the sauna or hot shower because he noticed the improvement.
At that time he was using primarily a hot shower but a little longer shower probably 15 to 20 minutes.
I will take you a little deeper in the science of sauna and what actually happens chemically.
Sauna generates heat stress responses within the body, including the activation of heat shock proteins.
This protein family is produced by our cells in response to stressful conditions, such as excessive heat and are important to many cellular processes.
It regulates the cell cycle, cellular signaling, and functioning of the immune system.
By adopting a sauna at least 4 to 7 days per week at at least 73 degree celsius, our risk for cardiovascular diseases or any premature deaths decreases significantly.
We also reduce the risk of cognitive disorders like dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, skin disease, depression and stroke.

“We must be the CEO of our own health, we have to educate ourselves and make solid independent decisions for our well being and longevity.
Remember, in reality, who we are is what we do in our free time and what we eat normally,” my dear friend added.

Thank you for your time.
-Yam Timsina

Why do we get chronic disease despite adopting a healthy lifestyle?

“While the science is complex, our application of it is both straightforward and practical: eat well, stress less, move more, and love more.” -Dr. Dean Ornish

Few months ago, in a casual conversation among friends, one of my friends asked, “why do I get sick even though I have been adopting a healthy lifestyle for so many years?”
There were some biochemical and biophysical scientists at the moment.
For me, this was a simple question but very difficult to answer.
I said, “there are lots of pieces we have to put together regarding our body, its construction, its functional mechanism, and obviously our ancestral evolution.”

This question really intrigued me because I’ve also experienced the same thing in my own personal life.
I plan to write about this in my future posts.
Not only myself, I’ve also experienced the same thing in my family as well as in my extended family, so the question was worth digging a little deeper.
Some of my family members never get sick even though their lifestyle is not healthy, especially in practice of diet and exercise, but some other members whom I’ve seen for many years always get sick despite their adoption of a healthy lifestyle for a very long time.

I read pretty regularly in areas like health, technology, biology, biochemistry, medicine because this is my area of interest, so I did a little more digging in reading and I found some devoted scientist’s work in the area.
The group of Dr. Valter Longo from University of Southern California, Dr. Dean Ornish from University of California, San Francisco, the work from Nobel laureate Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn from University of California San Francisco, and Dr. David Sinclair from Harvard University are some of them.
These are the people I would recommend to go after to find the answer to my friend’s question.

Of course, one fundamental aspect of our health is our everyday fuel.
The fuel that we take everyday as food to run our human engine is our key component for health and well being.
The common food for most of us has loads of carbohydrates and fats.
The other part we have to keep in mind is how our body utilizes carbohydrates and fats genetically, which is very difficult to know.
Before the mass migration in human history which is not that old, people used to have marriage within the same cultural population, the genetic pool was the same.
But now there is tremendous mass migration internationally and cross marriages are common across cultures.
This is the key reason in gene variations.
This also answers my friend’s question partially, but at the moment we are not able to understand the genetic implication regarding individual human biochemistry yet scientifically.
We are making progress but it will surely take some time to make genetic technologies available in our local hospitals and clinics.

It appears that humans from different ancestral backgrounds utilize foods especially carbohydrates and fats differently, the main energy source in our body.
This is one of the reasons that people who are on a ketogenic diet gain weight immediately when they start a normal diet.
The role of genes in our body is key to knowing what makes our body happy and healthy.
We are opening the door of genetic diet but still we have to go a long way.
As an example, genetically preferred food is the key whether our body prefers carbohydrates, fats, or a combination of both.

Let’s put it this way to make it a little bit more clear.
Some people burn carbohydrates very quickly so they eat without gaining a lot of weight.
If they don’t eat they can go into hypoglycemic state, that lowers blood sugar and that is very dangerous.
Biochemically, carbohydrates burn very quickly in our body.
Whereas some people burn fat as a primary source of energy which burns slowly so they go many hours without seeing much drop in energy.
This happens due to different genetics set up in the body.

On the negative side, in general, when we eat too many refined carbohydrates like pizza, pasta, sodas, white bread, pastries, fruit juice with high fructose corn syrup, we are adding too much sugar and it goes straight into our bloodstream and blood sugar spikes.
Our pancreas makes insulin to bring our blood sugar down, which is good but insulin also accelerates the conversion of those extra calories into fat.
It causes chronic inflammation and many of these mechanisms lead to chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.

To answer my friend, many biotechnology companies are leading a data-driven future to make individualized interventions for our health.
In the future, we can optimize our eating, fasting, exercise, rest, and sleep based on our genetic and microbiome map.
That would only answer my friend’s question completely.

Let me tell you this, some biotechnology companies are already doing tremendous work in this area.
Biotechnology is about using biology as technology on many fronts.
The fundamental components of life like genes, proteins, and cells are behaving like tools to shape and improve our life.
Our body is a collection of billion cells and the function of these cells determines our health.
Each cell contains 3.2 billion letters from our mother and 3.2 billion letters from our father, these came with us as gifts at birth.
This is our DNA, our genome, the software that codes for us for everything: our hair color, our face appearance, eye color, our lip size, our height, our voice, our personality, exposure to many diseases, our lifespan, and many others.

Not only that, there is one more factor that plays a key role is called epigenetics.
The epigenetic that controls how the genome functions is more powerful than the genetic code itself.
Epigenetic is affected by many factors, some major factors are diet, obesity, physical activity, tobacco, alcohol, environmental pollutants, stress, and working at night as well as many others.

Our basic day to day lifestyle has a profound impact on our quality of life, our healthspan, and our lifespan.
These lifestyle choices are entirely in our hands.
For example, moderate exercise can halve our risk of dying from heart disease.
Recent research has suggested that careful dietary decisions can reduce our risk of death from any cause by 36% while poor diets can increase our risk of death by 67%.

The importance of moderate exercise is even higher when we enter old age.
When we get older, our common occurrence is that our hormone levels get changed.
We develop fatigue, insomnia, depression, no interest in sex, loss of our youthful appearance, loss of our muscle mass, accumulated body fat, and many others.

Healthy lifestyle also includes good night sleep.
It’s not only a sufficient number of hours of sleep but a sufficient number of hours of sleep at the right time especially at night.
It’s possible to get a sufficient number of hours of sleep each day, but there is a caveat – our body is designed to follow the sun from evolution.
Our hormones, cardiovascular system, microbiome, and immunity all are coordinated to follow a circadian rhythm.
Staying up all night forces these systems to be out of sync with their coordination and our health defense becomes weaker and we become vulnerable for chronic diseases.
Dr. Matthew Walker, author and professor of University of California Berkeley says routinely sleeping less than six or seven hours a night demolishes our immune system and we become vulnerable to chronic diseases. The shorter we sleep, the shorter our lifespan.
From his book “Why We Sleep”, Dr. Walker says, “sleep is probably the foundation on which the other two pillars of diet and exercise sit.”

One more example is Parkinson’s disease.
It is caused by the loss of neurons that manufacture dopamine, a natural chemical messenger that controls our muscle movement.
Dopamine also helps to regulate our sleep patterns, our recall, our appetite, and our mood and self control.
If we don’t make enough of it, we will have a serious problem.

One more cause of chronic disease now-a-days- is severe stress.
Severe stress increases cortisol secretion from our adrenal glands, places undue demands on our heart, alters our microbiome for the worse, disrupts angiogenesis, impairs the function of our stem cells, and lowers our immunity.

One of the secrets for a happy and healthy life I found in the work of scientists that I mentioned above is eating plant based food, plenty of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and brussels sprouts during lunch and dinner.
There are many factors but one key bioactive in cruciferous vegetables is they contain sulforaphane, a compound that reduces inflammation in our body and can even slow the growth of tumors.
Inflammation is the main cause of many chronic diseases including cardiovascular diseases.
As Michael Pollan, author and professor of Harvard University says, “if it’s a plant, eat it, if it was made in a plant, don’t.”

The second secret for a healthy and happy life I found from Dr. Valter Longo from University of Southern California is intermittent fasting.
The beauty of intermittent fasting is it involves harnessing the healing and protective powers of letting the body rest from constant consumption, breakdown, and digestion of food.
This is the strategy for preventing disease and staying young for a longer time.

Dr. Longo’s research suggests that a combination of prolonged fasting and chemotherapy can be highly effective in fighting various cancers.
Cancer cells rely on glucose as a source of energy so cancer cells become weaker by starvation.

Remember, during fasting, our energy reserves are depleted and our body undergoes a metabolic shift from a sugar burning mode to a ketogenic mode in which we use fatty acids and ketones for fuel.
Due to fasting our cells shrink and enter into a protected state.
When we start to eat normally, cells rebuild.
This cycle of starvation and refeeding triggers regenerative and self-healing processes.
This process reduces our biological age, which means the age of our cells and organs decreases.
For a happy and healthy life, I would like to repeat Dr. Matthew Walker, “sleep is probably the foundation on which the other two pillars of diet and exercise sit.”

Thank you for your time.
-Yam Timsina

How informed are you about your body?

“A healthy person has a thousand wishes, but a sick person has only one.”
– Indian Proverb

Few days ago, on Saturday morning, I was having breakfast with my two daughters.
I asked a question to my daughters, “Five frogs are sitting on a log, three decided to jump off. How many are left?”
My both daughters replied, “Two.”
“No, the correct answer is five,” I replied.
My both daughters asked at the same time, how?
“Because the three frogs are still thinking, they haven’t jumped off yet,” I further explained.
My both daughters laughed and ran away.
“Silly dad, I heard the voice behind me.”
So the point I was making was why our mind is so weak to make decisions.
What blocks us when time comes to make a decision?
I remember, at one point in my life, my doctor recommended me to perform certain lab tests related to cancer to check my body, but I couldn’t make a decision, though it was optional.
The reason was I was scared of bad results.
I wasn’t making decisions of those actions whose results were far from reality at the moment.
Similarly, many years ago, I restricted all kinds of sugar products in my diet because I was almost pre-dibetic and my family history wasn’t great.
I don’t know how I came back to eating normal sugar products again after beating my pre-dibetic status.
Now, I’m still trying to avoid all sugar products, though I’m not diabetic because I knew that they are not good for my lifelong health, but up to now I am unable to make a decision.
I’m still eating sugar products as a normal kid.
At one point, I was so bad and negligent to know about my body, I simply used to ignore it thinking that there are more important things to do rather than go to my primary care physician’s regular check up blood report.
I never even tried to know what those numbers are and what they are referring to me.
To be honest, I never reviewed my lab results seriously in any physicals until my doctor indicated some alarms in my report.
The problem is I used to memorize a lot of biochemical data when I was in school and college but I never tried to understand my own internal biochemical data after graduating from college.
I never tried to know what my BMI, body mass index, cholesterol, sugar and blood pressure were and what they do in my body?
Body gives a lot of information but we never try to learn what the body is asking for.

At present, medical and biotech innovations are thriving globally.
There are many reasons for this, but for me, one reason is that the study of biology and chemistry is no more traditional science as we used to have in the past, they are becoming more of an information technology of our complex body.
We all human beings are different, we have different genes, we have different biology so the biochemistry is also becoming not one size fit all.
We have heard the stories that the same medicine works for one but not for others though both are diagnosed with the same disease.
We all have different lifestyle choices, we have different types of nutrition, we have different types of exercise, we have different types of sleep patterns, and we all have different mindsets to operate.
These are key factors to affect our health and well being.
These activities affect our complex and sophisticated body in one way or another.

Just think of our body, it is a complex automated machine.
It has 30 trillion cells and produces 330 billion new cells each day. Not only that, there are more bacterial cells in our gut than human cells.
Isn’t this surprising to you?
Just one more snapshot of our body’s biochemistry, red blood cells can race through our entire body in less than 20 seconds, this is nothing more than internal communication in the automated machine.
If we don’t eat anything our machine survives three weeks maximum, if we don’t drink it survives three days maximum, if we don’t inhale oxygen, it survives three minutes maximum then after that we see damaged brain, the key component of the machine. Our automated machine starts shutting it down, the communication system gets ruptured and the whole machinery crumbles down.
On the negative side, just to get the glimpse of our internal biochemistry of our body, if we inhale cyanide, we die in thirty seconds; it targets our mitochondria and blocks using oxygen and producing ATP.
All these mechanisms are regulated and affected every second by what we do every day, every hour, and every minute based on our lifestyle.
This clearly indicates why our health is becoming more personalized day by day.
Once we are more aware and knowledgeable about our internal information technology within our body, scientists are developing sensors that are transforming medical diagnostics.
Robotics and 3D printing are reinventing the traditional medical procedures.
Artificial intelligence (AI), genomics, and gene editing tools are transforming the medicines.
As we all know, the planet’s own health is declining day by day due to our own activities.
We all are exposed to more chemical toxins, pollutants, radiation, and infectious diseases more than ever, no matter where we live.
The only thing we can do is be vigilant and informative about our body, body’s reaction, and our own actions.

Life is so unpredictable, and in many times this unpredictability appears at the expense of our negligence, ignorance, and unintentional actions.
We think that we know what is good and what is bad for our body.
But in reality, we have no clue of many things in the body to happen.
One of my friends’ experiences, he thought he was doing the right thing for his body by eating lots of fish, a healthy form of protein and omega 3 fatty acids.
He had no idea that the fish that he ate all the time like tuna and swordfish were full of mercury.
Mercury silently deposited on him to toxic levels in his body and caused severe brain fog.
He was losing his memory and felt unbelievably exhausted all the time.
Many doctors couldn’t pinpoint the cause but finally one doctor revealed that he had an outrageously high level of mercury poisoning.
How it happened because he was eating a lot of fish thinking that they are good for health.
This is just one example of how we are hit by life.
Everything comes down to the right information and being very smart and alert on what we do for our body.

Steve Jobs said, “Creativity is connecting things.”
He spent a very long time exploring new and unrelated things in his life.
He spent time on the art of calligraphy, meditation in an Indian ashram, and the fine details of Mercedes-Benz which are very unrelated to each other for iPhone and Mac.
Finally he connected all different dots and formed the information channel for Apple.
He always asked questions why, why not, and what if, to get more and more information.
At least for me, this principle also applies to our body biochemistry, which, of course, is vast and complicated but still why, why not, and what if applies to our body.

Few weeks ago I met a scholar at a networking event and he was heavily influenced by David Sinclair, a biologist and academic known for his research on aging and epigenetics.
When he talked about Sinclair, I became more interested in listening to him because I was a little bit familiar with his work.
David Sinclair is a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School.
The scholar suggested five things to do for a long healthy life based on his twenty plus years experience in the area.
He said one thing, I will never forget, based on the information we’ve gathered from our body, up to now.
Remember: “based on the information we’ve gathered from our body.”
The first thing he told me is to be very smart about what we eat everyday.
Can we eat the foods that help to protect our health defense systems like angiogenesis, regeneration, microbiome, DNA, and immunity. He categorically emphasized on limiting red meat and avoiding almost all sugar for a long healthy life.
Second thing he suggested is caloric restriction lifestyle and recommended, if possible, choose one meal per day. I was a little skeptical on this and asked a question but he told me it depends on how you regulate your body.
Third thing he told me is limit alcohol consumption and drink only red wine moderately.
The fourth, he said, is a key for our internal body biochemistry, eight hours of good night sleep.
He said, “during sleep, thousands of neurons in the brain switch functions. The complete biological role of sleep still isn’t fully known but good night sleep reinforces the cardiovascular and immune systems and helps regulate body metabolism.
In fact, our brain and body remain very active during sleep and do housekeeping that removes toxins in our brain that build up while we are awake.”
The final, he emphasized, was exercise at least three days in a week.

Please, accept it, we all have our personal health risks.
Numerous factors can affect our body and influence our risk of developing a serious disease over our lifetime. From childhood to adolescence to adulthood, wherever we are, what we do for work, what we eat, and how we spend our free time can increase or decrease our health risks.
Our genes determine the stage for the diseases we might eventually develop, but we can change our fate by understanding and lowering some risks.
This understanding is the information provided by our body everyday.
Now the question is how easy to make a decision on these five activities now?
I’m not going to remind the frog’s story, everyone.

Thank you for your time.
-Yam Timsina

What did you learn from your most painful life experience?

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
-Victor Frankl
In 2021, I was running a half-marathon.
I met a fellow runner, we chatted and introduced each other.
He said he was running a lot of 5ks and 10ks the previous year.
Unfortunately, on half-marathon day, I saw him throw up blood.
I asked him, “do you have liver problems? I’m also seeing your eyes and face yellow.”
He said, “I don’t know.”
In the meantime, one of the volunteers came up and drove him to the local hospital. Doctors found he has high liver enzyme but they couldn’t figure out the reason for it.
Later, I came to know he was moved to the bigger hospital at Chicago, where he was diagnosed with Wilson’s disease associated with hepatitis C.
Wilson disease is a rare autoimmune blood disorder that causes copper to accumulate in the body.
His liver was damaged badly and lungs were filled with a lot of fluid.
Almost two and half years after that incident, we met again in the runner’s club and he recalled and shared some of his past experiences.
He said, “I was only a few moments away from death many times in my past life.”
But fortunately, after his liver transplant, though it wasn’t easy, he got a new life.
Now he has a beautiful family, a loving wife and a healthy daughter around him.
He is doing well, he owns a used car dealership in the suburb of Milwaukee.
He said, “ I’m making great progress in my life.”

I asked him what is progress for you?
He said, “At this stage in my life, my definition of progress is little different, if my daughter is having better quality lives than me and my parents, for me, this is the real meaning of progress, that’s what I’m trying to do.”
He told me that the difference between success and failure means the difference between a life of joy and a life of stress.
In his words, the gap between joy and stress indicates how well we manage the challenge of making meaning in our life.

“I always had linear expectations in my life but I always ended with nonlinear realities,” he said.
He was coming with the expectation to finish the half-marathon that day but ended up in hospital bed after not even finishing two miles.
“I had an unusual life throughout my past days, I always had recurrent health problems, I always suffered, but as Dr. Viktor Frankl, the father of the modern meaning movement has said, “you don’t have to suffer to learn, but if you don’t learn from suffering then your life becomes truly meaningless,” he added.

As we all know, merely understanding our core life problem, whatever it is, even if we can’t do anything about it, gives us a sense of control and sense of satisfaction.
By forcing ourselves to learn what’s happening to our life, we come to accept the reality, the reality of the problem. We become a catalyst in our own thinking and move towards the solution of problems.

He said that he changed seven jobs in his career.
In his last job, he had five reorgs, four bosses, four moves, one failed marriage, and five years later he had his own car dealership.
“One influential thing I learned by my weak health, is I created love for social and cultural overlap in our society, I developed a strong sense of building empathy, kindness, and belonging around me, my desire really sharpened to respect differences in our community; I guess that’s what I was looking as a meaning in my life. The essence of being human is shared emotions, connections and respect,” he said.

One day on his last job, he walked home to his one bedroom apartment and reviewed all credit cards, wondering how he could cut expenses. He reviewed everything, his savings, and all his possessions, and all the holes for expenses.
He figured out he would disconnect cable, phone, netflix, and use free channels and pre-paid phones, stop eating out, and buy no more clothes, shoes, and any other extra things.
He calculated he could survive for fifteen months from his savings.
Next day he walked into his very toxic boss’s office and quit on the spot.
“How did you get the courage to do that?” I asked.
He answered, “The pain of staying with toxicity was greater than the pain of leaving the toxicity, for better or worse, we live in a time when most of our circumstances in life start with I not we. I have to start somewhere.”
A relationship with our boss is toxic if our well-being and dignity is threatened in such a way that we suffer emotionally, psychologically, and even physically.

“Belonging is a feeling which I never experienced in my last job. Belonging emerges from developing and maintaining close relationships either with family members, friends, coworkers, or bosses.”
Harvard study has found that the only thing that really matters in life is your relationship to other people.
If we feel disconnected with other people then it hurts our feelings.
He left the job because he was disconnected and found no value in the working place.

“I’m not saying everyone should quit their job and have their own business, you can be a successful employee but the job you do must match with your personality, vision, and integrity.
You must create the personality of passion and commitment for what you do, you should always enjoy what you perform.
If you think your personality and work environment are out of sync, don’t try to change the system or people. It takes a very long time to change the system and people and there is high chance you’ll be unsuccessful. Instead just quit it and move forward,” he added.
“Of course, we have to accept that a punctuation mark happens in everybody’s life, the only thing we have to do is step back and take a different path,” he continued.

The life experiences provide a period of self-reflection and personal re-evaluation for every one of us.
These moments remain in motion with a series of reverberations that allows us to revisit our very identity.
This forces in our mind to ask what we don’t ask often enough: what is it that gives us meaning and how does that influence my life?
Self-reflection is power.
It is a mental strength, the power to do good. Blessed are the people whose self-reflection do a lot of good things in the society .
Greater self-reflection means greater power.
Self-reflection helps us to provide a path so that we can think properly in both personal and professional life.

There is a saying of Aristotle and his student Thomas Jefferson, ‘the pursuit of happiness’ has to do with an internal journey of learning to know ourselves and an external journey of service to others.
In reality, this journey is nothing but self-reflection.

Most importantly, self-reflection habit comes only after painful life experiences.
But whatever is the source, it helps us to pinpoint where and how to invest our time, money, and effort for the rest of our life.
In this life, there are not many places we can invest.
Of course, the first place to invest is education.
We can invest in our own education or in the education of our children or grandchildren or in the education of children whose family cannot afford.
Choice depends on us based on in which stage we are in life.
My friend studied a lot and became educated from his many jobs for how to be a small business owner and became an owner of a car dealership.
From his childhood, as he said, he was a fan of different cars.
He enjoyed cars from different perspectives, that’s what he chose to do in his later part of his life and opened a car dealership business.
Experience and life lessons taught him what he wants to do for the rest of his life.
He is expanding his car business in different locations outside Milwaukee.

“Education could be formal or informal. Both have the potential to increase one’s earning power over many years and lead to richer fulfilling lives with freedom of choice” he said.

He was always worried his whole life due to his poor health condition.
Therefore, for him, the second best investment in life is staying in good health by adopting healthy habits, especially food and exercise habits.
There is only one life, and the most priceless thing in life is good health.
As my friend said, the value for good health and education can not be measured, these two investments in life can affect our life in a lot of different ways.
Sadly, oftentimes, the value of these two investments we come to know late in life once time passes and we have either little or no time at all to restart.

In Abraham Maslow’s famous hierarchy theory what is above “self-actualization” is transcendence.
We can only realize this once we move beyond ourselves to see a greater fulfillment to serve the need and hope of others.
Greater fulfillment and service to others is possible only if we become educated and healthy.
“Life is a cause, a calling, a mission, a direction, a purpose, and most importantly, a transcendent commitment beyond ourself that makes our life worthwhile, ” he added.
Stay educated and stay healthy everyone.

Thank you for your time.
-Yam Timsina

If my friend can change his suicidal thought then why can’t you?

Progress is impossible without change; and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. George Bernard Shaw

“I broke my vertebrae and suffered from a traumatic brain injury in a car accident” my friend told me.
He had acute back pain and depression after the accident.
He started drinking heavily.
“Due to depression, I began to have suicidal thoughts” he added
One night he went to his bed and stared in his medicine cabinet.
He said to himself, “if I take all of these prescription pills, what do I have to lose?”
Right then his cell phone rings.
He closed his eyes and said to himself, “don’t answer it, it’s my time.”
But he didn’t know why he looked over and saw it was his mother.
He picked up and his mother said, “son, I know you are suffering, I am quitting my teaching job and coming to your place. You need me at this point, I will be there if you need anything.”
“I don’t know why my brain turned upside down that day, I thought, my mother is quitting her job for me and I’m thinking of taking my life” he said.
“That day I began rethinking and it became a habit in my life, from that day forward, I never looked back in my life again,” he continued.
“I’m a design engineer now and work for one of the fortune 500 companies” he said.

Design engineering is his bread and butter at the moment.
He said to me, “The habit of rethinking is fundamental to my profession if I have to survive but for me it gives more energy in my personal life.”
At best what he assured me is he is constantly aware of his limits of thinking but still expects something out of his everyday task and he is convinced that it is possible by the practice of rethinking.
He always doubts what he knows and he is always curious about what he doesn’t know.
I was very impressed by what he was telling me.

I was more interested in how he does it.
I realized that I should update myself as much as I can based on what he was saying.
We definitely need new data from our own as well as others’ experiments and experiences to make a habit of rethinking.
Not only you and me but every single individual should update from his or her inner and outer experiences through thinking and rethinking process.

Recently, I also realized that being a scientist or engineer itself isn’t only a profession, it becomes more and more of a pattern of thinking.
It improves other parts of life significantly.

Though my friend works in design science, I believe working on any science is a lifestyle of thinking and rethinking which is completely different from preaching and prosecuting.
Why do scientists and engineers think and rethink is because they are trying to find the truth out of something.
To find the truth, they have to run an experiment to test their hypothesis and make the result known called knowledge.
These experiments and results are so crucial that they not only guide their daily decisions regularly but also the norm of our society.
Look around, the most luxurious and essential things we use everyday are products of scientists.

Scientists are always trying new things.
Their experiments often fail, but they should become happy in the newness and shouldn’t mind the failures. They never think of overinvesting in their experiments and don’t take it personally if a new experiment fails.

My designer scientist friend told me, “science is not only an academic concept and doesn’t come only from literature.
My mother’s telephone call is one example of how our mind changes subconsciously.
Many things at work come from experience.
Experience teaches us that as a scientist we shouldn’t fall in the trap of confirmation bias and desirability bias. This is the problem of academic people.”

In his words, the former bias is to see what we expect to see and the latter bias is to see what we want to see.
These biases stop our curious intelligence.
They make us good at thinking but worse at rethinking.
We become lazy on rethinking because we just accept linear thinking.

I learned from my friend that rethinking is a skillset, but if we go deep down it’s also a mindset.
We have many mental tools that we need in life.
We only have to get them out and remove the rust.
Rethinking habits helps us to find the correct mental tool.

He further added that the curse of knowledge is nothing but knowledge itself because it closes our mind to what we don’t know.
Good judgment depends on having the skill and the will to open our minds.
Mind only opens when we rethink and think continuously in a cycle.
Every time when we take a step forward with an open mind, we have to revise and update our understanding of the task and the world.
“My mother opened my mind and helped me to live and understand the world,” he said.
Any task is for the world so all tasks in life are connected irrespective of the nature, professional or personal.
This revision usually involves a lot of thinking and rethinking regarding our facts, opinions, beliefs, taboos, agreement, and disagreements.
The most important thing is we have to readjust our expectations that shape our findings.
At present we have to view our experiences as periods of our lives. Youth, apprenticeship, marriage, parenthood, sickness, death, and so on are connected to our task. Everyone has to capture this progression when we think of the next step.
The career that we always worry about nowadays is the capacity to navigate this course of progression through experiences rather than facts.
This is how my friend views his life as a design engineer.

He added, “In driving, we learn to identify our visual blind spots and remove them with the help of mirrors and sensors. But in life, our mind doesn’t come equipped with those tools, we need to learn to recognize our blind spots and revise our thinking accordingly”.

I have seen that the smartest minds today who study computers, biology, and math have come to understand that the world no longer only sees predictable, linear thinking.
Instead, our life is filled with chaos, challenges, and complexities.
We experience periods of order and disorder, linearity and nonlinearity. If we go deeper in thinking and rethinking, in place of linearity, we see loops, spirals, wobbles, twists and turnabouts.
Linear thinking sees the world in quantity and symmetry but non linear thinking removes those boundaries.
That’s what my designer friend experienced.
If we understand these life principles on a deeper level, each one can become a better scientist as well as a better human being.

“The obstacle of rethinking is arrogance, which I have experienced across the labs and offices” he continued.
Arrogance is ignorance plus conviction in one’s mind, that stops rethinking.
Our humility and kindness is a permeable filter that absorbs life experiences and encourages us in rethinking to convert them into knowledge and wisdom.
Rethinking is the integrity of a scientist.

We have to live and we cannot live without making mistakes.
When people make mistakes, we as scientists, have to take it as an opportunity to explore.
So we have to make mistakes but learn from them. Once we repeat these mistakes in life, we acquire wisdom. Eventually, we realize that the wisdom that we acquired is not real wisdom. This realization brings the invention of new wisdom.
We only live truly and happily once we continue the cycle of this old wisdom replaced by new wisdom for the rest of our life.
This is the ultimate consequence of thinking and rethinking.
It’s a sign of wisdom to avoid believing every thought that enters our mind.
It’s a mark of emotional intelligence to avoid internalizing every feeling that enters our heart.

Scientists who are right a lot listen a lot, and change their mind a lot.
If we don’t change our mind frequently, we’re going to be wrong a lot.
The power of listening is not just talking less.
It’s more than that.
It gives the luxury of skills in asking and responding.
The most important thing is to show interest in other people’s interests or work rather than trying to judge their position or prove our own agenda.

Always think this way.
Scientist is a person who is in outer space and observing things very carefully.
When you get to see an overview of the earth from outer space, you realize you share a common identity with all human beings.
If you are in space then you see the Asia and Africa continents below, they behave like cities that would move from an airplane.
The amazing thing is that we can circle the entire planet in 90 minutes from space.
Moreover, from space, stars look the same as from earth but our planet earth gives us a different perspective about life and humanity as a whole, we start to think how fragile the earth planet is where all of humankind exists.

There is a difference between thinking effectively and thinking efficiently, that you realize more when you think from outer space.
As my friend said, thinking effectively means working a thing in the right way but thinking efficiently means thinking only the right things as I did when I received my mother’s call in the time of turmoil.

Though the job of thinking is not difficult, but, most of the time we don’t put it into practice. This is the difficult part in life.
Difficulty is not always proportional to importance.
Just take some examples in this respect which are not difficult at all but very powerful for our lives.
In medicine, simply washing hands has proved to be second only to penicillin in saving lives.
How difficult is it to wash hands?

Immunocompromisation is a way to explain a weak immune system in our body.
When our immune system is weakened, our body can’t fight off viruses, bacteria, or fungi very well. This can lead to serious infections and thousands of people die every year.
To improve our immunity, just taking more cranberry juice and chill peppers do a vital job.

Cranberry juice changes the acidity of the urine, preventing bacteria from gaining foothold for infection. Research shows that cranberry juice has a beneficial effect on gamma delta T cells, a special type of immune T cell. These cells are found in the lining of the gut and other mucous membranes of the body including the urinary tract.

Similarly, the bright red, yellow, and green colors of chile peppers contain bioactives like Zeaxanthin, lutein, and beta-carotene.
The bioactive form that carries the heat, capsaicin, activates the immune system and increases the number of circulating white blood cells and antibody producing beta cells.
How difficult is it to drink more cranberry juice and eat a little more chili peppers?

Scientific transactions are similar to investment transactions.
A lot of professional investors always say that the key to market success is not your skill and knowledge as an investor compared with other individual investors, but the skill and knowledge with which each specific investment transaction is made.
Exactly the same way, the successful scientist is not equipped only with skill and knowledge compared with other scientists but also with scientific transactions based on skill and knowledge.
This scientific transaction is nothing but the practice of thinking and rethinking.

Thank you for your time.
-Yam Timsina

What is your daily ritual?

“I have had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.” -Mark Twain

When I visit my parents now, every morning I celebrate daily rituals with my mother.
Rituals are very common for her: celebrate the tulsi puja in the morning, read a few pages of Gita (holy book of hindu), celebrate the sunrise, and in the evening, repeat the same.
When it turns dark, we go inside and talk about her years growing up in Solma Tehrathum, Nepal or her schooling in Solma, or her calling to join a religious community recently.
My mother may say these moments in her life as listening to the voice of God but I say it is the tuning of her life to live in the moment.
She is happy going for long periods of time in complete worship.

When my mother was sixteen years old, she met my father, they got married, and together they created four children.
My mother has studied up to grade six formally but she can read fluently and write in moderation in our native language.
My mother and father had an amazing relationship, but through it all they maintained a deeper connection to their god.
It wasn’t always fun, there were a lot of problems and scarcities in the family, I saw them growing up but my mother was good at living in the moment to cherish what she had.
I learned the lesson: cherish what you have, live in the moment and move forward.

I am sharing my mother’s story with you because her story might be similar to your mother’s story.
Happiness and satisfaction always comes from the connections we build around our family.
Ritual is what binds a family.
Ritual is what makes a family differentiated and unique.
We each nurture an essential creativity that evolves with sharing and listening to the rituals.
When we have rituals in the family, we pass on to our future generations, that help them to live their lives with dignity.

When I was in high school working on the farm, I used to daydream about the things that I didn’t have.
I didn’t know then but I know now, that was my ritual without me knowing.
Even daydreaming during that time inspired me because I didn’t have an electronic gadget then like today’s smartphone in my fingertip.
It doesn’t really matter what we do and what we achieve in life, if we don’t live with our rituals everyday, life becomes complex.
Once we adopt ritual, we don’t worry much about the past, and not much time worrying about the future too.
In other words, staying in the present is the way to live, cultivating the focus on the here and now and avoiding unnecessary concerns about the future.

Ritual is living in the moment that just proliferates us.
When we live in the moment, we broaden our diaspora, we see the world in different eyes.
At least, I view the world this way.
Sometimes, I used to think and still feel that I couldn’t become wealthy by this time, probably, one of my regrets occasionally appears inside me, but after reading Hans Rosling’s book “Factfulness” I realized why I should be happy even though I am not wealthy.
Because I am living with my rituals, and in the moment now.
I had won little money in the past which was twice as sweet as the money that I earned.
I thought I could be wealthy.
But I also lost that won money immediately.
After certain times, I felt that money has a way of creating anxiety when there isn’t harmony in the way it flows into and out of my life.
I realized that it doesn’t matter how much I make or how much I spend, I must maintain harmony with money.
If money creates only anxiety and saps my energy, then I must stop worrying about more money, I must live in the moment.

I remember David Rubenstein’s advice to new investors, a renowned author and investor, “find areas outside of investing that can enable you to broaden your scope as a human, and experience things other than the pursuit of money and professional success.”
I still don’t understand how to apply this in real life.

In the moment of dissatisfaction and unhappiness, I encircle the world with my thoughts and gratitude.
I think around one billion people on the planet even today struggle everyday to find clean water, they work all day just to eat a meal at night.
There are another one billion people with an income that provides for most of life’s necessities.
Probably, I am in that category now.
And the remaining 6 billion are struggling to make the transition to access clean water to fulfill all their life’s necessities.

Living in the moment teaches us very different things about why we should enjoy what we have.
Let’s see the picture, how the human mind operates.
First we want to access clean water.
After this, we want to access nearby clean water.
After this, we want to access clean water at home.
After this, we want to access hot water for showers at home.
After this, we want to access hot water for showers attached in our bedroom.
The essence is that the pursuit of a better life will never end.
It keeps moving, this is another reason, living in the moment is so crucial.

The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie.
It’s deliberate, contrived, and dishonest but the dissatisfaction, the dissatisfaction inside us.
Generally dissatisfactions are persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic.
Those dissatisfactions will settle once we start to live in the moment.

One of the ways to live in the moment is to make something a ritual in your life.
For anything you do or want to build, you have to start somewhere, no question.
Make it your one ritual.
Just start and see what happens.
See your internal power setting that runs through your mind.
Make small adjustments in your task as you progress along the way.
When we do adjustments, it inspires us to move ahead further with more refined thinking.

Do it again whatever time interval is convenient for you.
Do it again when you feel.
You may not accomplish anything substantial but you sleep nicely, you feel happy and satisfied. You enjoy each moment of your involvement. You live in the moment.

Living in the moment teaches us one more thing that nobody makes a perfect thing, and you will never create a perfect thing, because it doesn’t exist.
However, the thing you create or the work you do, whatever it is, will reflect the life you want to live, that is what we all want.

What matters most is living in the moment, creating harmony with our desires, embracing the life of abundance, and making small progress every day in this world.
You, your family, your mundane work, your ritual. Just think.
We have to slow down our life to live in the moment.
We must celebrate our daily mundane work, the more we celebrate these works throughout the day, the more we live in the moment.

Over the last few years, one ritual I have developed is reading the books that interest me beyond books of my profession.
Sometimes I read one page or few pages in a day, sometimes I don’t.
But I always keep the book of my interest in the house in my access, maybe in the living room or bed room or dining table.
This ritual helped me learn a lot about life and purposes.
Recently, I have been reading a book that explains about food as a medicine, and various research labs across the globe are working on it, where I found out about prostate cancer.
I found that tomatoes decrease the risk of prostate cancer by 30 percent.
I am amazed that I am a chemical scientist by training but I had no clue what tomatoes do in my body.
I knew that tomatoes contain a bioactive lycopene that inhibits angiogenesis (blood supply to cancer cells).
Tomato skin contains 3 to 5 times more lycopene than the flesh.
Eating the cooked tomato is the best because naturally lycopene remains a trans-isomer which is poorly absorbed by the body.
But by cooking, lycopene turns into cis-isomer which is readily absorbed by the body.
Moreover, lycopene is fat-soluble so that if you eat tomatoes cooked in olive oil, the amount of lycopene goes up by threefold in our body.
This is just one example of how we transform our and other people’s lives just by cherishing our mundane ritual.
One question that should continue to come up is how can the global community continue to move to the next level by our own mundane ritual.

I am relating one example of my family friend who is suffering from cancer now.
I knew this when I was involved in running a campaign for awareness of cancer.
I can feel how painful this disease is.
If you have cancer, or have ever had it, what would be your ritual in life?
Of course, your number one focus would be to kill those cancer stem cells.
But how?
I know there’s no medicine that can kill cancer stem cells yet, but there are a growing number of foods, and their bioactives’ roles in our body.
Many of those bioactives of foods are being studied for their suppressive effects on cancer stem cells.
Fortunately, foods that target cancer stem cells don’t harm beneficial stem cells.
My friend’s current ritual is to read about those foods and their bioactives that might suppress the cancer stem cells.

Once we cherish our ritual, we have to learn to get in touch with the silence within ourselves, and we must know that everything in life has purpose.
One thing I learned growing up in a farming family is that there are no mistakes, coincidences, and regrets, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.
Just cherish those moments and move forward.

Thank you for your time.
-Yam Timsina

What kind of choice do you have in your life?

“A man has two lives to live, and the second one begins when he realizes he only has one.”
– Confucious
One day many years ago I was having an especially bad day at my teaching job. I was in school late in the evening. I called my wife and said, “I’m sick of this crappy job, not by the job itself but by its corrosive working environment. Let’s quit this job and run away to the USA. I’m not entirely sure I knew how to go to the USA at the time.”

My wife said, “Sounds like a pretty good idea. I can help you to research how to go to the USA and if successful, I can also help you to buy the air tickets too.”

One year later from that phone call, the lovely Macomb city of Illinois welcomed me. I was learning I’d need to be careful what I suggested around this woman I married.

She is my hero not because she is a great wife, although she is.
She is my hero because she is a great human being.
She takes the time to care about people in her life.
She talks little but thinks distinctly beyond the periphery.

When I was a PhD student a while back, at midnight around my PhD qualifying exam, pregnant with our first baby, she sensed I was struggling to cope with the incoming baby, life and, of course, the hectic pressure of research proposals. She paused, and then, in that tunnel of life circle, told me to spend less time staring at what’s in front of me (the book), and more time visualizing the outcome.
Having a clear image of the outcome, as she suggested, in my mind pushed me going.
It gave me clear purpose, direction, and intent.
I remember many of those life lessons from her during the course of living.

Jack Canfield said beautifully, “ Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”
I sometimes think, “really.”
What is the other side of fear?
Most of us: fear of losing our job, fear of losing our investments, and most importantly, fear of losing our loved ones.
I understand, we can control some fears, we can minimize some, but some we can’t.
This is one of the basic rules of life.

As humans, we have one obligation to society.
To ensure we, and our parents, sons and daughters, are not a burden to others.
The rest is our personal choice.
Make your own and make the world a far more interesting place by picking one choice at a time, influence others by that choice and live the life happily ever.

How to make personal choices is another hurdle in our life.

We have to deep down to understand how choice appears in our mind?

I would like to share a parable about the monk and the minister.

Two very close friends grow up and choose their quite different paths in life.
One becomes a monk and the other a rich and powerful minister to the king.
After many years they meet in a place.
As they continue talking, the minister uses pity words on the monk.
He continues, “if you would have learned to serve the king, you wouldn’t have to live this poor monk life.”
Monk replies, “if you would have learned to live on monk life, you would not have to be a servant to the King.”

I guess, the essence is, the majority of our lives fall somewhere between monk and minister.
It’s up to us whether we want to go closer to the monk or minister side.
Personally, I want to go closer to the monk side.

Choosing to do something is the single most powerful tool we have for navigating this complex world we’ve created.
Understanding it mentally is critical.
If we choose something to master, the chosen task becomes a wonderful servant. If we don’t, it will surely make us servants.

“But dad,” my little daughter inquired.

“I know choice is important. I just don’t want to spend my life thinking about it.”
“Many people in this world have much more to do with their precious time and mind than thinking about a single choice. We have to build roads, discover medicines, break world records, create amazing technologies, teach new generations, and establish new businesses,” she added.

I told her, “take time, pick one at a time and start doing.”

Here is one more example, from my personal experience, of how choice appears to us.

Recently, I experienced some health issues in my body, and no doctors clearly diagnosed it so far and I chose to read about body, disease, and nutrition.
I was looking for some answers myself.

I realized.
We are at the point of transition.
I believe we are moving forward from a focus on survival of the fittest to sustainability for all.
World is challenging us to use our essential creativity and shared wisdom to address problems from new dimensions, new structures, and new concepts.
We definitely have to reinvent ourselves along the way.
These thoughts came to my mind once MDs were unable to diagnose my problem.

Initially, I never thought that our body and mind works this way, but my mind forced me to read things that are relevant to me in the current circumstance because, the bottom line, I have to live healthy and happy, if I can.

I learned some interesting facts about our body which are related to my current health issue.

I learned one defense system in our body: microbiome.
We have 40 trillion bacteria in our body to defend our health.
One special bacterium, Akkermansia mucinophila, is very important out of trillions of bacteria in our body.
It is key to control our body mass, metabolism, and immunity.
Lean people have more of these bacteria in their gut than obese people.
Pomegranate, cranberry, turmeric, green tea, and chili pepper help this bacteria to grow in the gut.
These foods make the intestine secrete more mucus making the gut environment better to thrive.
Foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, cheddar cheese, and sourdough bread are very good for our microbiome system.

In reality, our bacteria eat what we eat.
They metabolize the food and drink we consume.
After that they create either beneficial or harmful byproducts that influence our health.

I learned about another defense system in our body: immunity.
Foods like blackberries, walnuts, and pomegranate are very good for our immune system.

I learned about angiogenesis in our body, which I had no idea before how it works.

Angiogenesis is the process by which 60 thousand miles of blood vessels are formed.
If all our blood vessels were lined up end to end, they would encircle the earth twice. Remarkably, it takes only 60 seconds from the time your heart pumps out a drop of blood for it to circulate throughout the body and back again.

I learned that soy, green tea, coffee, tomatoes, red wine, and hard cheese influence our angiogenesis.

Green tea contains a bioactive compound called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which is a potent angiogenesis inhibitor.
It reduces abdominal fat and waist circumference.
Foods like turmeric, soybeans, ginseng, and broccoli all prevent unwanted blood vessels from supplying nourishment to cancer cells, and they suppress the growth of fat cells too.

I found an amazing fact that Asian people, especially Japanese, live so long, why?
Probably, because they consume lots of soy, vegetables, and tea in their diet.
“Really”, I thought.
These foods reduce the chance significantly to lower risk for developing breast and other cancers.

As we embrace our life choices, whatever is yours’, I invite you all to share our life experiences, knowledge, and wisdom.
Deep inside us, we are designed to share our wisdom with the global community to make it a better place.
It is this great energy with our choice in life the Universe that drives communities, cultures, companies, and countries to new heights.
The more we can put our good energy with our choice into this great unfolding, the better off we all will be.

We owe it to each other to make this a rewarding place to live called the world.
I love to read about body, health, disease, and nutrition, though I’m a chemist by training.
What’s yours’?
Together, we will continue to change the world, one person and one choice at a time.
It is time for us to slow down, breathe, and push on our choice.
What we do certainly makes a difference, and we have to decide what kind of difference we want to make.
Remember, you owe it to yourself to live a life you richly deserve with your own choice.

Thank you for your time.
-Yam Timsina

What drives you to enjoy your lifestyle?

“Let food be thy medicine” -Hippocrates

“Three years ago, a fellow came in. He explained that he wasn’t here simply for a coffee, but also because he had heard that I’m a food expert. ‘I don’t know a thing about food, nutrition, health, and any of that stuff,’ he confessed. ‘The only thing I know about health is to eat different varieties of vegetables throughout our life. The rest of it makes no sense to me”, Jacob remembered.
By the way, Jacob is a 96 years old man still running his coffee shop in Nampa, Idaho.
He still works 10 hours everyday.
“Even a sleeping person doesn’t relax as much as a vegetable eater does. It’s about being alert and international in what we fuel our body,” Jacob continued.

“We cannot do a lot of things in life. One thing we can do everyday that has a massive influence on our health and longevity is the decision about how to run our lifestyle.”

Jacob’s story made me remember two very close friends of mine during my undergraduate years.
One became a civil servant and the other an entrepreneur.
Both had a passion in their respective areas, both would work very hard to achieve it.
But, both had completely different lifestyles, they modified their lifestyle according to their passionate occupation.
My friend who became an entrepreneur had amazing interests and attitudes.
I saw on him that being an entrepreneur is more a lifestyle as much as it is a job because you never escape your tasks on holidays and weekends.
I saw my entrepreneur friend tired from it but he wouldn’t just quit.
He carried it all, both the success and the failures.

But my friend who became a civil servant had a lifestyle of dedicating his holidays and weekends to his hobbies like hiking and spirituality.
He would spend an ample amount of time practicing and reading books on body, food, and spirituality.
He reduced his intake of animal protein in such a way I was amazed.
In front of my eyes, he changed his lifestyle in a quite different direction.

What I saw in both was a dream, the motivation, and the commitment to grow and evolve their respective profession to meet the changing landscape, survive ups and downs, and create a sustained satisfaction in life.
That was due to adoption of their different respective lifestyles.

Seeing them growing in front of my eyes, I realized that time, not money, is the scarcest resource.
Believe it or not, our time dictates our lifestyle.
Successful civil servants means managing time very carefully and understanding the essence of life, serving people all the time.
I’m sure hiking on weekends and reading books on nutrition is not fun for many, though, he chose the style amazingly.

Successful entrepreneurs sometimes get rich, but they are also deeply motivated by the desire to accomplish worthwhile things: to create, to make a difference in people’s lives, and to leave a legacy for future generations.
I learned that the most successful embrace, that could be civil service or entrepreneurship, both weights are not just as a way of doing business but as a way of lifestyle.
There is a popular saying which fits both of them.
Preparation does not guarantee success, but a lack of proper lifestyle will almost always lead to failure.
My entrepreneur friend became very successful and rich in a short time.
Unfortunately, he died prematurely due to illness.
He died of complications of atherosclerosis.
After his death I knew that the most common diet-related diseases of the cardiovascular system are hypertension and atherosclerosis.
He died not by other reasons but by his poor focus on his body, especially poor nutrition, and overall negligence.

There are many factors of illness in our life, we don’t see it in our journey, but one dominant factor is our everyday fuel.
Yes, everyday fuel, our food.
Food is a fuel in our body that drives our engine.
If we don’t pay attention to it and ignore it then our engine doesn’t go far and doesn’t run longer.
Even if life is busy, we don’t have time, please, create time for our everyday fuel, just don’t go with the flow whatever you find on the way, think twice before putting in our engine.

Yes, yes, and yes.
Today’s world is fast paced, we are busy with our work and schedule, we don’t have time to think about our food, we have to travel, so on and so on.
If we are not serious about it, there is so much confusing information everyday from media reports.
We have social media, we have smartphones, just one click away.
We don’t verify the information, we just go with it.
One day fat becomes good, the next day it’s bad.
One day you get a report that says to avoid carbohydrates in your meal, but the next day you hear that whole grains prevent cancer.
One day you hear that a little wine is good for our hearts, but too much is bad.
And we don’t know what amount is too much or what amount is little?
To be honest, which information is actually correct?
We don’t know and we don’t have time to study and research because we give very little priority on what we eat.

Interestingly, while I was writing this article, my wife said, “I don’t want to seem cynical, baba, but if it’s so easy to focus on what we eat, why isn’t everyone doing it?” she asked.
“Lack of knowledge. You and I talk about this all the time. Our schools don’t teach food skills. Our family members don’t talk about good foods. And just as important, there are very few places that an aspiring learner can turn to,” I added.

A lot of foods are not actually healthy as advertised in the media.
I would give one example.
One diet called the Atkins diet instructs people to consume a lot of fat, animal proteins, and tells people not to eat carbohydrates like rice, bread, pasta, or potatoes.
Yes, avoiding carbohydrates keeps insulin level low, and people indeed lose weight quickly. But large quantities of animal proteins and saturated fats expedite atherosclerosis.
That’s what happened to my dear entrepreneur friend that I explained earlier.
Remember, my friend died earlier, but he died slim.

Another lifestyle change for healthy living is fasting.
Very few people are aware of it.
Fasting is not a secret part of life, it is also a part of a good lifestyle for good health.
During fasting, our body draws upon our body’s “storage “, first glycogen in the liver, then fat in the fat stores, and to a lesser extent protein in the muscles and connective tissues.
Our body produces ketone bodies, which are essential second fuel sources for cells and the brain.
Fasting is a conscious renunciation, a controlled and self -determined experience of deficiency.
That’s why successful fasting increases self-efficacy.
During fasting, we overcome an existential hunger in a way that gives us physical and mental strength.

If we do fasting then we also need a healthy diet when we are not on fasting.
But the biggest question is, what makes our diet healthy?

Few tips are here which I’ve learned, though, it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

We should eat whole grain products as our main course in our diet which are excellent sources of fiber.
They also contain B vitamins and minerals such as magnesium and zinc, because they still hold the sprout, bran, and the outer husks.

We should eat a lot of vegetables in our meal, a lot more, actually, lower amounts of fruits is ok but not vegetables.
One vegetable I would mention is Beets.
Regular consumption of it protects the vessels in the gastrointestinal tract, beet juice lowers blood pressure, and improves athletic performance, which I experienced when I was running for marathon.
Leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, avocados, pumpkin, bell peppers, tomatoes, legumes, peas,and lentils can not be avoided.

We should eat a lot of healthy fats from olive oil, canola oil, nuts especially walnuts: the queen of nuts; pistachios, peanuts, flax, and, of course, almonds.

Fish is not important in our meals as advertised, meat should be a small part of our diet or even no part at all. It doesn’t matter whether we eat meat or not if we eat a lot of different vegetables.

We should eat a very small amount of dairy products and eggs in our diet.

We must take some species, especially, the queen of spice: turmeric; ginger, saffron, onion, and garlic. No compromise on these spices.

Please avoid at all costs: donuts, pizza, burgers, and potato chips.
Run, run, and run fast.

One thing is certain that some illnesses are inevitable, not everything in our life can be controlled, but we can do a lot to prevent chronic illnesses from developing, and thus enjoying a greater age in good health like what Jacob is having.
For this goal to achieve, in my view, we need two things.
Let’s make a healthy lifestyle a personal responsibility, let’s be the owner of our healthy life.
Let’s make sure that without a healthy diet, excellent health is impossible.

Thank you for your time.
-Yam N Timsina

Is your body-mind really doing a job or just you doing a job?

Up to now I have done many jobs in my life.
I switched many jobs in different stages of my life depending on life circumstances.
Sometimes I got paid a little more money but I didn’t like my work and I gave up.
Sometimes I got less paid but I liked the work a little bit more and continued for a longer period of time.
At one point, I realized that my work is not something that I just do to make a living.
Sometimes I felt like this work is actually for me to make a difference, in my life as well as in the lives of many others.
What I aspire most about my work is how specifically it’s shaped around my experiences, skillset, values, and most importantly, peace of mind.
I believe this is not only my situation, probably, many of you might have been thinking the same way.

Many times, it’s easy to get caught up in thinking that the right job opportunity is mainly based on position, money, and the notion of success by our society.
But only you know what is right for you, nobody else does.
At one point, your body and mind come together and give you a big inner voice, what is the next step you need to take?
At the end of the day, that’s the only thing which matters the most.
What makes your job good, only you know, nobody else does.
It could be a sense of autonomy or authority based on your time, expertise, health, and a sense of fulfillment.
My learned lesson: make the choice that’s right for you, I mean for your body and mind together, and ignore the noise around you by others due to your decision.

Once I realized this, my working life, job, and career all became totally different things.
This could be the same for some of you but not for the majority. In many cases, a job may not necessarily be a career, but still people do.
Most of the time a job might be a short direction with a paycheck as the primary motivation for us, that’s what happened to me.
On the other hand, a career is an occupation developed over time based on life long ambition.
Life long ambition should be a synchronized equipment of body and mind connection.
I guess I learned this too late in my life.

One day I was reading an article and I found a research finding quite amazing.
“A college degree used to slot you into a forty year career. Now it’s just an entry level point to your first job,” an astounding finding from a renowned economist, Guy Berger.
Now the biggest question is why it’s happening.
There could be multiple reasons for it but few of them I experienced directly and indirectly in today’s fast pacing world.

Few months ago, I was in my doctor’s office.
I met one of my friend’s fathers outside waiting for a doctor.
His son was doing fellowship in neurology after completing his medical degree and residency in Richmond, Virginia.
I used to share an apartment building with him, and we used to swim almost everyday together.
I knew him a little bit through his son so we started chatting. He asked me about what I know about naturopathy during our conversation.
I said I had little knowledge about it but I’ve heard about it.
First he explained to me about his many worries that he had in his life, he had been trapped in a years long, expensive divorce battle with his wife.
He talked about stress, loneliness, and existential fear.
He had severe heart problems for a very long time, and no doctor was able to cure it completely.
After adopting naturopathy which he learned from his college teacher, his problems were gone.
“For many years I was under a lot of stress due to the nature of my job. I was constantly making more money but I was compromising with my body and mind constantly,” he said.
Ultimately he decided to switch the job for various reasons especially because he realized that the job was not suitable for him.
I asked him how he knew.
He told me his body and mind finally gave him a big single voice at once about this unfit.

“Naturopathy is natural because our body is also natural.
We need natural support and stimulation to our mind and body, with the aim of enhancing self healing,” he said.
Eventually, “Know thyself ” became his best two words in life as he continued.
He adopted the fasting cure, and changed his diet completely.
He used to eat meat everyday, but now, he only eats meat about once every week.
He has been seeing a therapist regularly for the conflicts in his life, in particular about the question of what job, money, and his standard of living are worth to him.
I learned a quick lesson from him through our conversation.
We can’t solve problems just by talking, but we can certainly learn to examine our priorities in life and reduce the pressure they put on ourselves.

He correlated our body, purpose, health, and natural healing to the life of Nelson Mandela.
He was talking about Nelson Mandela’s unwavering faith and meaningful goal and its connections in his health.
Twenty five years of political imprisonment could not break him.
During that time he completed a law degree by correspondence course and became politically active immediately following his release.
He had meaningful goals, the end of apartheid and the independence of South Africa.
He lived by singing and dancing to the age of ninety five.
He had conviction and connections which had neither planning nor calculations in his life but he had respect, humility, and patience in the face of the unknown.
His body and mind totally knew it and accepted it because he practiced it his whole life.

“Eighty percent of my heart problems I eliminated just by eating right, doing frequent exercise, and most importantly, by avoiding my stressful toxic job,” he concluded.

I remember, one of my coworker’s mom, she was 64 years old. She was a successful dentist by profession.
One day, suddenly, she was admitted to hospital due to a stroke.
Fortunately, she survived because doctors were able to remove the blockage in one of her veins in her brain.
Her higher blood pressure was measured at 230 instead of 120.
Later it became clear that her life was under immense pressure and in complete disorder.
She was dealing with many financial problems for her dental practice.
Not only that she was the sole proprietor of all the household activities, her husband never participated in household activities.
She was dealing with two very demanding people, a daughter who aspired to be a competitive swimmer and a son who wanted to start his own business.

After all, one day she visited a mind-body medicine clinic with the help of her friend.
First she learned how to change basic habits, she couldn’t remove her stress entirely but she became aware of it so she found new ways to deal with it.
She trained herself how to say “no” immediately if she has to, which was a big step for her.
She reduced her workloads in the dental clinic almost half by applying the methods learned in the mind-body clinic.

Most importantly, she trained to develop courage to set boundaries between herself and her family.
Her husband used to say, “unfortunately, my prescription is still at the pharmacy, because nobody picked it up.”
Her daughter used to say, “I can’t make dinner tonight, because I have a one-on-one discussion with my coach.”
But by now, she taught her husband how to collect his medicine himself.
She taught her daughter how to organize her schedule.
Her adult daughter has understood what to say and what not to say to her mom about her competitive swimming ambition.
Her son has understood that his mom needs to put herself first in order to put her life in order.
Most amazingly, she learned to make time for herself, time for body and time for mind.
Now, she makes frequent visits to her family members and old friends.
She talks to her parents every week.
She regularly participates in blood donation because she knows that it reduces her ferritin, a protein that stores iron in the blood. Increased level of ferritin increases risk of heart attacks and strokes.
She gradually started to take a more plant based diet as she knew that high meat intake elevated ferritin levels.
Nowadays, she makes time once a week for music therapy that she learned from her old friend.
She learned to take a bath with lavender oil after long work in the dental clinic.

She practices hydrotherapy, bathing with hot and cold water became part of her life on weekends and holidays.
She knew that hot stimuli through water relax muscles, stimulate circulation, and raise body temperature. These activities activate defense cells, hormones, and messengers are released.
The truth she knew is that a hot bath causes blood vessels to widen and blood pressure to lower.

When she becomes a little bit tired, she sits for short breathing meditation where she inhales, counts backward from ten, and exhales when she has reached one.

Last time when I met her she shared the news with me: For the last few years, her blood pressure has never crossed 140 / 80.

The truth of life is: it’s tough, always has been, always will be.
Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, and latch on to the affirmative.
Don’t burn out.
Listen, honor, and respect what your body and mind is telling you.

Thank you for your time.
– Yam Timsina

How did I overcome my negativity?

“He who searches for evil, must first look at his own reflection.” -Confucious

Many years ago, my wife, my daughter and I got together with my longtime college mate whom I had not seen for quite some time.
We enjoyed dinner together, at least I enjoyed it until my daughter abruptly uttered something alarming to me as we departed from the dinner.
“You really need a positive hearing aid dad.”
I was stunned by her wording.
After we reached home, I asked my wife about a positive hearing aid that our daughter was talking about.
“The real problem is that you interrupt people when they talk to you and insert your negativity immediately without even completely listening to them,” my wife said.
“Not only that, after your injection of negativity on everything, you change topics without giving a chance to the other people what they were actually thinking.”
Quite stunning for me, not only my daughter, but my wife also proved me very wrong.
“And you not only bring your negativity chapter first when you respond, you always talk at people, not with people”.
“Just forget about whether you talk negatively or positively.”
“My dear, if you talk more than half the time with only exploration of the more negative sides, you have a serious problem, just accept it.”
The wording from my wife was an eye-opener for me.
Fortunately, she also advised me not to get negative first but to accept the reality, accept the present situation, listen to people with open full ears, and speak.
She advised that If I express my negative feelings first, I have a problem with people, especially, I have a listening problem with some sort of dissatisfaction associated with me.

I couldn’t sleep that night, the curtain of my life fell off completely not by some outsiders but by my own people.
Sometimes these kinds of moments appear in everybody’s life, it’s only the matter of realization.
And obviously, when?
Next morning, I determined that I would be my daughter’s and my love of life’s favorite person.
But how?
I started this journey by reading good books.
The first book I read on the topic was, “The Lost Art of Listening ” by Michael Nichols.
The author says, “listening is a skill and like any skill it must be developed. Listening is a natural outgrowth of caring and concern for people.”

I learned that If I am a poor listener, I am more likely to become a negative person.
The most negative person is the most worrying person, who worries all the time internally so that negativity comes out of their mouth first.

I learned some essential lessons eventually from reading good books.
To improve my positive attitude, I must listen well. I have to restrain myself from disagreeing or talking or sharing my own thoughts.
To become positive, I must hold back what I have to say and control the urge to interrupt.
Most people aren’t really interested in our negative point of view until I become convinced that we have heard and appreciated theirs.
If I really want a positive attitude, I have to exercise humility and restraint, I have to learn to change my behavior as I mature by emulating whom I admire and adopting those qualities they possess.
Most of my positive attitude comes from my adaptation.
As we all know, Charles Darwin, “It is not the smart nor the strong that survive, but those who have the ability to adapt.”
Remember, good listening skill is an adaptation.
Adaptation with an open mind and open ears crushes the negativity inside us.

I re-evaluated my lifestyle, my thinking, and my own expectations of it.
I have so much to be thankful for, not only in the creation of my own life, but also with the substance of my existence.
Then why does my negativity always appear first?
Of course, at one point of my life, I was tired of watching my life struggle aimlessly in the dark, missing many opportunities, zero knowledge financially, and growing increasingly unhappy.
I was too worried about things which never happened in my life.
Those moments probably helped me to cultivate my negativity all the way up to a certain point.

The serious challenges for me were overcoming adversity and handling worry and stress.
I was very weak at understanding the value of relationships.
If we don’t understand the value of any relationship then we have no way of knowing any mental and physical profile.
I was very poor at making decisions, and, most importantly, absolutely unknown about the process of letting go in life.

At some point in our lives, we have to decide whether to live to work or work to live.
I completely forgot about it.
I completely forgot these two words “let go”.

I learned the best way to ease my anxiety during times of stress is to recognize the anxiety because it brings negativity.
What is this?
Where is it coming from?
What is its cause?
For me, anxiety was a major contributing factor for my negativity.

We have to be calm by understanding our right paths, of course, there could be many right paths. We have to not only recognize the right path but also follow it so that there is less manic activity that is counterproductive for us.
To be positive, we have to be proactive, we have to be calmed by doing not just the right thing, but the best thing.
Best thing can be different for different people, but it’s up to us what is best for us.

One of the reasons for my negativity I realized was my status quo bias.
It was my irrational tendency to prefer choices that maintain the status quo even when other choices would make me better off.
I was very scared to change a few things in my life.
This tendency had many implications in my life.
I would like to read about Charles Darwin at home more than attending my friend’s casual party but I didn’t want to offend my friend.
I would like an afternoon nap more than roaming around a shopping mall but I didn’t want to tell anybody about this.

Some people think that status quo is a matter of laziness for them. But for me, it became a matter of not knowing where and how to start the change.
I have poor understanding of analysis and comparison of alternatives in my life.
I gave up my best hope too quickly.
So, I always remained negative.
Comparison of anything never becomes straightforward, sometimes, it’s confusing and intimidating.
For me, the mental cost of researching various alternatives of life was very high.
I am sure other people might have the same situation.

One of my father’s friends has 7 kids from two marriages, a big house, and is pretty much financially independent.
When I was a second year PhD student, he told me that he did a 4 years job in total in his lifetime under someone else as an employee.
He told me that the job was not made for him.
During that time he was so negative that he lost all of his hopes.
When I visited his home a few years ago, I saw at least 100 books everywhere in his house.
I saw a book titled “Atomic Habits” by James Clear in his rest room.
I was shocked.
At one point in our conversation he said, “I used my formal academic degree for those 4 years of my life, beside that all of my life I am pretty much dependent on these books.”
“All of my negativity evaporated through these pages not at once but gradually. I knew who I am.”

“I love a big family, many kids, a big house, financial independence, and lots of books everywhere, that’s who I am,” he said.

Remember, being a good positive person can begin with you, it’s your good graces that you have inside you, of course, each one of us have to recognize it.

Thank you for your time.
-Yam Timsina