Modafinil, sold under the brand name Provigil among others, is a wakefulness-promoting drug used for treatment of disorders such as narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder, idiopathic hypersomnia, and excessive daytime sleepiness associated with obstructive sleep apnea. It has also seen widespread off-label use as a purported cognitive enhancer. In the United States modafinil is classified as a schedule IV controlled substance and restricted in availability and usage, due to concerns about possible addiction potential. In most other countries it is a prescription drug but not otherwise legally restricted.
Modafinil acts as an atypical, selective, and weak dopamine reuptake inhibitor which indirectly activates the release of orexinneuropeptides and histamine from the lateral hypothalamus and tuberomammillary nucleus, respectively, by unknown mechanisms, all of which contribute to heightened arousal.
My first noticeable effect was on day 1 of taking Modafinil (200gram). I decided to look at a technical problem I was facing with my laptop. A silly issue causing me not to be able to access my website. I found a step-by-step solution before but I immediately felt lost and decided to postpone it. Which would be my regular approach to things.
Now, after seeing the steps, I opened up 6 empty pages almost as a reflex and systematically went through the steps. After about 4 minutes, the issue was resolved.
But I was just getting into things, and I actually felt a little bit sad the task was already over.
I remembered that there’s a project I’ve been postponing for about a year. An e-book that needed to be revised and translated. Just thinking about the work involved would normally cause me to do something else, but I decided to open up the file and start working on it.
After about 2.5 hours I was 75% done. I found somebody to do a cover design, ordered it and translated a big chunk of the book. During this time I didn’t check my phone or my Facebook once.
” Okay, I thought. This could still be placebo but either way I got some shit done” .
Most sport I engage in are solo sports (lifting weights, calisthenics, Yoga) so there’s not much to figure out. But I was on Modafinil when I decided to do a kickboxing session where the coach would hold pads and I’d hit them.
The better you do, the more difficult the combinations become.
My mind seemed to be significantly more efficient in recognizing patterns and communicating them to my body. It was like combinations immediately clicked without me having to think them over. I also felt like my endurance was better. This can be explained by the decreased used of processing energy by the brain , or, could just be non-related of course.
During my work at the clinic I had my first noticeable downside to being “on” . I’m talkative and like to share information, but normally I’m also very aware of the differences in knowledge between me as a therapist and the client. I use analogy and step by step explanation to try to get what’s in my brain, in the client’s. This day was different.
My brain was making connections and associations that were more complex and far-fetched that usual and even though they made a lot of sense for me, during explanation I could tell that clients couldn’t keep up with what I was trying to bring forward.
My normal response would be taking a step back and explaining in a different, more detailed way.
This time though, my underlying response was irritation. “Why can’t he/she keep up?” was clearly coming from the back of my mind.
Noting this gave me the opportunity to change my behavior and even though I don’t think my shift in thinking and speaking was noticeable for any of the clients, it was uncomfortable for me.
-Very noticeable effect on “processing power” of the brain without feeling stimulated. Easy to get fully absorbed into a chosen task and strong need to finish projects.
-Talkative, better use of vocabulary and sometimes words will come up that I normally never use.
-Better memory, I recall names, situations much better. I also suddenly remembered a password I’d lost a long time ago.
-No coming down, no desire to take it on days when I decide not to take any.
-Slightly easier to get annoyed with people / processes that take longer than they should from my perspective.
So far Modafinil has been an absolute addition in my pursuit of getting shit done. My productivity , ability to process data and my planning has been at a level I didn’t think was possible for me. All of this has been on a dosage half of the recommended dose as well.
It’s a good thing that I don’t seem to miss it when I’m not on it. Actually, I’ve noticed that when working with clients, it’s actually better to not be on.
But on days where I need to focus on projects such as writing articles, doing research, shooting videos and creating marketing content, this is a keeper.
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- Cooking oilThere’s many different oils to consider when preparing meals, but unfortunately, most restaurants value cost effectiveness over health. This isn’t only the case in Cambodia by the way , but is for sure significant over here.
I’ve done some asking around and kept an eye out for the type of industrial-sized containers at the back of restaurants and some of the most used ones are, you guessed it, the cheapest and most problematic for your health.Canola oil, soybean oil, corn oil and some other vegetable oils can contain harmful amounts of saturated fats, trans-fats and omega 6 (yes, we do need this one but in certain amounts and ratio for it to be healthy) and can have serious effects on your health. Research has shown links to increased risk for strokes, heart disease and some types of cancer. If you eat out a lot, it’s worth checking what kind of oils are being used.
Easy solution: Cook at home with coconut oil/olive oil or other healthy options, or be picky about the restaurants you eat at.
- Chemicals on fruits and vegetablesAgriculture plays an important role in South East Asian economy, covering around 37% of the GDP and about two-thirds of the total labor. In Cambodia, population and income have been rising and with it, both the need to produce and the pressure to compete.
Many of the pesticides used fail to meet international standards, and illegal pesticides are often sold under fake labels or smuggled into the country. Some farmers know about the hazardous effects of these products but tend to underplay them or simply claim they can’t farm properly without them. Aside from that, controls and consequences for use are lax.
Since there are many different chemical compounds being used, the exact effects are unknown. But some of the commonly used chemicals such as sodium hydrosulfite and Borax are known to cause problems with the nervous system, undermine the immune system and promote the growth of certain cancers.Easy Solution: Buy organic and/or wash your vegetables well with specialized soap
- Meat qualityA while back a video went viral concerning a pig farm which appeared to be breeding their animals “Hulk-size”. The breeders were accused of animal cruelty and use of growth hormones, and although it’s never proven it does raise questions regarding the practices surrounding the circumstances that animals in the country are being raised.
- MSGMSG (monosodium glutamate) is a very popular flavor enhancer that provides an “umami” taste, which is translated as a “pleasant, savory taste”. In Cambodia, it’s almost automatically scooped into any dish and often you’ll even find a little pot of MSG on the table – yeah that’s not sugar -.
Nothing wrong so far right? I mean, what can be wrong about making food more delicious?
Well, there’s a bunch of symptoms that are contributed to consuming MSG bundles as the “Chinese restaurant syndrome”. Most common are problems with digestion, cramps, dizziness and headaches. There are also more severe problems linked to ingesting MSG on a regular basis: ADHD, autism, obesity, growth disruptions, learning and behavioral problems, hormonal imbalance, epilepsy, insomnia, damage to the retina, heart problems, cancer. Therefore, MSG has been banned in some countries.
The FDA labelled the consumption of MSG as “safe”, since a causal relationship between consuming MSG and the symptoms could not been shown. Even though most evidence of the negative side of MSG is anecdotal, It’s not ruled out that certain conditions or long term ingestion can lead to health problems. Being aware of it’s existence can lead to a better understanding would you ever struggle with the above symptoms.
Solution: Awareness and avoidance when symptoms arise.
- SugarAlong with the growth of the country, we see an unmistakable difference in the availability and choice of food. Western brands such as Burger King, Krispy Creme and Starbucks are taking their place and are often seen as high status foods. Rice and vegetables changes to burgers and black coffee becomes a liquid piece of pie.
Sugar is also a common addition to well, pretty much anything. Take a look at how meals are prepared and you’ll often raise an eyebrow to how often and how much sugar is added to foods and drinks. Diabetes type II is a growing problem and has an estimated growth of 82% from 2008 (145.000) to 2028 (264.000), effectively costing the country 5-11 Million $. But that’s not all.
Most people are not aware of what our sweet-tooth back in Europe is causing. Human’s rights are being trampled to meet the demand of sugar in the west. Farmers are seeing their land taken, their houses burnt, and their children forced to work on the land that was once theirs.
Solution: Understand that sugar is hidden in almost everything and max consumption per day should be 10% of your energy intake
The more you think about it, the more products you use in daily life that are plastic. That’s the case pretty much all over the world but in countries where water from tap isn’t drinkable, like in Cambodia (Edit: I’ve heard this is debatable), many of the water being drank comes from plastic bottles.
Over the last years the main concern of plastic production was environmental, not health. But we now realize that BPA is an endocrine disruptor, and can interfere with the production, transport and function of different kinds of hormones. Now that more and more research points in the direction of possible effects on the development of certain cancers and problems with fertility, the recommendation is to be more cautious about the amount of BPA (Bisphenol-a) you ingest.
Solution: Limit use of plastic, switch to glass bottles to drink from.
Here’s what you need to know:
- between 574 and 740 million people are infected with hookworms
- in Cambodia a stunning (57% ) infection rate has been shown
- Infection can lead to mental problems, growth issues and nutritional deficiencies
- Infection can be easily prevented, if you know what to do
Hookworms are an intestinal parasite that belongs to the roundworm group. They’re found mostly in warm climates, and thrive in environments with poor hygiene. The parasite can enter the body through various ways:
- Through the skin ( by walking barefoot )
- Through ingestion, eggs can be present on vegetables, especially raw
- Contact with dogs ( Up to 90% infection rate in dogs has been established in Cambodia)
Mild infection with hookworms does not show a lot of symptoms, but usually problems with the intestinal tract occur first. Pain and cramps, diarrhea and constipation is common
More sever infection can lead to more serious problems, such as chest pain with inflammation, anemia and nutritional deficiencies. Especially in pregnant women this can have serious consequences, since the chances of death increase significantly when giving birth. Infection in children can also have serious long term problems, such as stunted growth and mental retardation.
The most easy to apply ways to decrease chances of infection are based on improvement of hygiene.
- Wear shoes when walking outside
- Properly wash vegetables, especially when eaten raw
- Wash your hands often and thoroughly
- Be careful of contact with (non domesticated ) dogs
- Drink safe water
When living in high prevalence countries, it’s often advised to use preventative medication every 6 months. The most often prescribed product is Zentel, which is taken 3 days in a row. Preferred is to take it together with a meal containing fat, since absorption is significantly increased this way.
All information, content, and material of this website is for informational purposes only and are not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider.
Please, be proactive in the pursuit of your own health and do your own research.
Here’s what you need to know:
- high quantity of protein doesn’t mean high quality of protein
- Bio availability is often overlooked but crucial
- Meat based protein is more bio available than plant based protein
- If you’re vegetarian or vegan, you need to keep an eye out for amino acid profiles
When trying to make sure you get enough protein in your diet, the easy way is to just calculate the amount (1.2-2.0 gram per kg body weight) and roughly get that from your diet, and otherwise add it by supplementing.
There’s a catch with this, though. Just eating the amount of protein needed does not mean all of it is actually absorbed by the body. To make sure your body is actually absorbing most of the protein you’re eating, it’s smart to take a look at the bio-availability.
Animal proteins contain considerably more essential amino acids than vegetable proteins. Often they also have a higher biological quality. But they also often contain more (saturated) fat than vegetable sources. Be careful with processed types of sausage such as salami or luncheon meat, bacon.
nuts, seeds, pulses, grains, mushrooms.
meat, fish, and animal products such as cheese and dairy eggs.
Quality of protein:
Proteins containing all essential amino acids are considered “full-fledged proteins”. A high biological value means that the amino acid composition corresponds optimally with our body protein.
For example, breast milk has a biological value of 100%
A chicken egg comes close with 97%
The Biologic value of proteins in grains, beans and bread is lower than that of a piece of chicken or fish.
Net protein utilisation:
Some proteins from food are not digested properly so that they are not easily absorbed. the NEU (net protein utilization) is very important for this.
To calculate the NEU use this formula D x B / 100
example: an egg
Digestibility is very high : 99%
bio value: 97%
97 x 99/100 = 96 NEU
Amino Acid Profiles:
There are 22 different amino acids. A huge variety of proteins can be formed from this.
9 amino acids are essential. That means that the body can not make them yourself. So you have to get them out of food. The rest of the amino acids can be created by the body itself.
While animal based products often carry all essential amino acids, a lot of plant based foods do not. In order to get the full spectrum of building blocks, certain foods should be combined. This is important especially for people with a vegan/vegetarian diet.
Essential amino acids:
- What is Cupping?
Cupping involves the usages of glass/wood/silicone cups that are used to create a vacuum on the body. Depending on the chosen method, these will either stay in place for 5-15 minutes (traditional cupping)
or moved around the area (Gliding). There is also a less well-known version called “Wet Cupping”, with which small cuts are made before the cups are applied. During this version, the cups will be filled with blood from the client. Needless to say proper hygiene and qualification of the therapist are of extra concern with this method.
- What are the benefits of Cupping?
There are multiple benefits from cupping. The most well known reasons to use cupping is to speed up muscle recovery after workouts. This was very commonly seen in the last year’s Olympics, where multiple athletes were seen walking around with the typical marks from a cupping treatment. Because cupping is very non-invasive and doesn’t cause much side effects, it’s a very common choice for athletes after competition or training.Aside from the physical effects, Cupping is very well known for it’s soothing effects on the central nervous system. For this reason, the treatment is often chosen as a pain reliever or to fight stress in general.
- How does Cupping feel?
A lot of my clients describe it as a “reverse massage”. This makes sense since instead of being compressed, the skin and connective tissue is being pulled up and decompressed. Traditional cupping, depending on the amount of vacuum and duration of the treatment can be a bit uncomfortable, whereas gliding is typically experienced as very relaxing. Your therapist is supposed to monitor how you feel during the session and adjust when necessary.
- What do the colors mean?
The skin can show different reactions to Cupping, and each has a meaning as you can see below in the picture. Sometimes Cupping is used as an “assessment”, to get an idea of what’s going on in the area underneath the skin. If area’s display moderate or sever stagnation, these points are often focused on more during follow up treatments. Usually we see these markings become less and less noticeable as the client starts to react to treatment.
- Where can I experience Cupping?
In Asia, Cupping is a very common treatment method and is used to support the body while fighting disease and therefore is very easy to find. When choosing this option, make sure the hygiene standard is good enough since dirty cups can cause infection.
Also, in most of these establishments there is no underlying physiological knowledge. If you want to get cupping done for specific problems or body parts, it is best to find a Physiotherapist that is also educated in Cupping.
Of course, feel free to contact me if you’d like to experience a session!
Occurs as ergocalciferol (D2) in vegetable nutrition and as cholecalciferol in animal based foods. The latter form is more absorb-able. Upon exposure to sunlight, the body creates previtamine D, and then converts that into it’s active form.
Vitamin D helps in the recovery of the muscles and aids the immune system. It also strengthens and maintains the bones and interacts with a lot of hormones and other nutrients like calcium, vitamin K and magnesium.
Works together with: Calcium (without D, only 10-15% of the amount of calcium we ingest will be absorbed)
RDI for vitamin D is 10mcg
– Fatty fish
– Full dairy and cheese
Deficiency can lead to:
– reduction of bone strength
– Reduction of power
– decrease function of immune system
Did you know that it takes an average of 21 days to change a habit or to adapt to a new habit. Are you ready to change?
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