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Fasting, Depression, & Haiku

By: Michael Blankenship |

The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.
~ Bruce Lee

Greetings from LA and Oahu!

This week we share intermittent fasting strategies, methods for coping with depression, Haiku how-to’s, Mandela Effect examples, and what we call the Rogan Rabbithole. Our challenge is for you to compose a Haiku.

Intermittent Fasting

“The evidence that intermittent fasting benefits the health of overweight people is already very strong, and its potential to slow or reverse certain diseases looks very good,” Mark Mattson, Ph.D., a neuroscientist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, told Lisa Marshall at WebMD.

Indeed, research suggests that intermittent fasting can help reduce body weight, lower cholesterol, improve glucose control, reduce liver fat, and improve blood pressure — it might even help to slow or reverse cognitive decline.

“From an evolutionary standpoint, we are genetically geared to function well in a food-deprived state,” Mattson pointed out.

But in case you’re worried that intermittent fasting means starving yourself, consider the following easy-to-stick-to regimens:

  • 16/8 — Fast for 16 hours every day and restrict eating to a window of approximately 8 hours. The easiest way to do this is to fast from 8 pm to noon the following day.
  • 5:2 — Eat normal for five days of the week and for two days of the week, restrict calorie intake to 500-600 calories.
  • Eat Stop Eat — Involves a 24-hour fast once or twice per week.

Of course, you’ll want to get all of your nutrients during the eating periods and, if you’ve never done this before, be sure to check with your doctor before getting started.

The Rogan Rabbithole

Joe Rogan has released close to 1700 episodes of his podcast at the time of this writing. But many of his podcasts are 3-4 hours long.

Maybe that’s why, on YouTube, his team cuts and publishes various 5-10 minute clips of his podcast episodes — called JRE Clips — which capture the funnier, more interesting snapshots of his discussions.

But beware — you can get a little lost in the Rogan rabbit hole.

Still, it’s a fun way to entertain yourself, get yourself thinking, and learn something new when you’ve got some time to blow. Here are a few of our favorite clips…


Haiku is a Japanese form of poetry composed of short unrhyming lines with strong imagery — typically, a Haiku is made up of three lines in a 5-7-5 syllable pattern.

For example…

A world of dew,

And within every dewdrop

A world of struggle.

Here’s another example…

An old silent pond

A frog jumps into the pond—

Splash! Silence again.

Haiku can be fun and challenging to compose — here’s a more detailed guide to writing your own from MasterClass.

Give it a try!


For a long time, Tim Ferriss has openly discussed his ongoing battle with depression. In a recent YouTube video titled, My Daily Practices and Habits to Fight Depression, he explains his daily strategies for dealing with depression.

“Up until about eight years ago, I’d have two major depressive episodes per year at a minimum that were extended — at least several weeks,” he said.

In addition to briefly mentioning his experimentation with psychedelics — something that many people still don’t have access to for therapeutic use — he advises the following…

  • Meditation — 10-20 minutes each morning. This allows you to “observe your own thoughts and feelings and not fully identify with them.” He recommends the Waking Up with Sam Harris app.
  • Cold Exposure — Can use cold showers or cold baths. He does it once in the morning and once at night.
  • Artificial Sunlight — When it’s overcast, he uses the Philips GoLite to get some artificial sunlight.
  • Caffeine — Has it in the morning but tries to avoid it after 1 pm so as not to impact his sleep the following night. Exercise — “The mind and the body are not separate. They’re really one and the same.”
    • Yoga or Acro Yoga
    • Kettlebells
  • Walking — “There is almost no problem that you can’t walk your way out of.”

Check out the full video for yourself over here. And remember, “it’s important to forgive yourself for something that is very normal and extremely common — which is the experience of sadness, loneliness, and depression. That is part of being human, especially during a pandemic.”

The Mandela Effect

MedicalNewsToday describes the Mandela Effect as “a phenomenon in which a person or a group of people have false or distorted memories. Some believe that the Mandela effect is proof of alternate realities, while others blame it on the fallibility of human memory.”

Of course, the Mandela Effect is, as Psychology Today puts it, probably “nothing more than a product of false memories (i.e. a memory of something that didn’t happen or happened differently than how it was recalled) – itself a product of the Misinformation Effect. The Misinformation Effect refers to the creation of false memories as a result of interference from other/new information following the processing of information from the event in question.”

Still, for a bit of trippy fun, you might want to browse this list of 50 Mandela Effect examples — do you remember things correctly?

This Week’s Photo

Lindsey Wasson / Reuters

“Gold medalist Sunisa Lee of the United States kisses her medal won in the women’s gymnastics individual all-around at Ariake Gymnastics Centre during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on July 29, 2021.” via The Atlantic

Extra Stuff

Here are some additional articles that caught our attention this week:

This Week’s Riddle

Here is this week’s riddle — answer is at the bottom of the email: Never was, I am always to be.

No one ever saw me, nor ever will.
And yet I give confidence to all,
Who live and breathe on this terrestrial ball.
What am I?

Weekly Challenge

Set aside 30 minutes this week to try and compose a haiku — it’ll be fun and it might get you thinking in a way you’ve never thought before.

And if you’re comfortable with it, reply with your haiku and we’ll include it in next week’s email!

Until next week,

Mike & Alec

Riddle answer: the future

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