October Favourite Things

Hari Kalymnios | Favourite Things | The Thought Gym

It’s already November as I release this blog, but it’s all about favourite things for October. Each month in 2016 I am giving you a video and blog a month detailing a few of my ‘favourite things’. These are products, services, apps that I use regularly and which help me feel SUPERhuman. Check out the other blogs here: http://harikalymnios.com/category/favourite-things

Here are October’s

Rice Cooker


I know what you’re thinking. A rice cooker? Come on Hari! But listen. Many people don’t have or use one and I think they are missing out. What it means to use one is that you can worry about one less thing when cooking. And if you buy one with a steamer option on the top then you can make the veggies (and event fish, if you eat fish) in there too. Then you can just set it and leave it be for however long it takes. Free-ing you up to do other things. I really recommend investing in using one on a regular basis (and you don’t just have to cook rice in it).

Organic Vegetable Delivery


I like to eat organic vegetables whenever possible. I’m not too crazy about this, but for a regular shop and my veggies that go into my daily veg juice and veg smoothie, I prefer to. Not only does it make them taste better, in my opinion, I’m not getting a healthy dose of pesticides and other nasties along with my veg. Not to mention the soil the veg is grown in for conventional veg will be infected with all those pesticides. To make life easier and ensure I’m getting local and seasonal veg, I take a veg delivery from a farm. There are plenty of these about in the UK and beyond. Here (in the UK) I am using Riverford (and have done for about 3 years) and I’m happy with them. There is also Able & Cole and probably many others. You can even get surprise boxes with veg in that you don’t know what’s coming which will get you trying new things out. It’ll save you time and after a few weeks you’ll get the hang of how much you need to order. You can pause the deliveries at any time, and cancel too. It’s a great way to start eating organic (and cheaper than organic at supermarket where the food may be organic but flown half way round the world before it gets to you).

If you want to see more research on the benefits of going organic then you can start with this article from The Guardian newspaper, and this experiment on a family eating organic for two weeks.

If you want to know more about why I love my veg, then check out this article about The Best Diet in the World, Ever?

Laptop Riser


Increasingly we are using laptops to do our work on and this has the undesirable effect of having us hunched over even more and looking down. When you look down at a screen, it puts a lot of weight on your neck. Looking down at a 60 degree angle is like having an additional 60lb (27 kg) of weight on your spine. See article in The Guardian.

I’ve invested in buying a laptop riser to prop the laptop up to eye level and an external keyboard and mouse. This has helped me dramatically as my osteopath had definitely noticed problems with my neck and posture which have since eased.

There are many to choose from and my recommendation is to get one that allows for quite a bit of height. Most that I saw didn’t extend that high, so I ended up buying two in the end and stacking one on the other. Not ideal, but it was a decent enough workaround.

Omega-3 Supplements


My belief is that everyone needs to supplement with a high quality omega-3 supplement. Most people from my research have way too many omega-6’s oils in their diet (from processed oils and foods) and little omega-3. Even if you eat fish 2 or 3 times a week, not only are you quite possibly getting a high dose of mercury in your system (sadly, almost all fish – even wild caught – will be contaminated with mercury), but the levels of omega-3 in farmed salmon are about half that from 5 years ago according to reporting in the BBC.

And if you are vegan, then you definitely should. Although you get omega-3 from nuts, seeds and other plant sources, this is often the ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). While this is the only listed ‘essential’ omega-3, with the body converting the ALA it receives to DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid), I believe more research will show just how DHA and EPA are also essential. And the conversion process isn’t very efficient for most people, so there’s a chance that you won’t be getting any DHA/EPA if you are a vegan that doesn’t supplement.

The omega-3 supplement I take, also has the added benefit of having a VitaminD3 component added. D3 is more favourable to D2 (as all the health benefits on vitamin D have been done on D3 and not D2). D3 is most often an animal based vitamin D, but in this supplement it’s plant based, making this a vegan supplement. We need vitamin D to work in conjunction with calcium to create strong bones. It’s also possible that vitamin D plays a part in protecting us from multiple diseases including cancer, type 1 diabetes, MS.

Vitamin D has multiple roles in the body, helping to:

▪Maintain the health of bones and teeth

▪Support the health of the immune system, brain and nervous system

▪Regulate insulin levels and aid diabetes management

▪Support lung function and cardiovascular health

▪Influence the expression of genes involved in cancer development.

We would normally rely on the sunlight for our vitamin D, but with most people living indoors (even in climates with good sunlight year round), most people would find themselves deficient in vitamin D if they were to get their levels checked (worth doing).

Checky App


Recently I did a training session for a large corporate (something I offer). This time the session was about Digital Detoxing, or dieting/nutrition as I like to reframe it to mean, as I’m talking about living with tech day to day, rather than abstaining for a weekend only to go back to it the rest of the year!

And as part of the stats I presented was the not-so-shocking, but nonetheless alarming stat that the average number of times a person checks their smartphone in a day is 150!

How can we really tell if that’s the case?

Well, ironically, there’s an app for that! It’s called Checky. It will tell you. If nothing else, just for interest, but you can also see if you can get your own phone checking handled to a reasonable level. What would you say that is? Well, that’s up to you. If you are checking it 600 times a day, then maybe 500 is a good number. According to the app, I’m on around 50, but I’m not sure how accurate it is. If nothing else, it gets you thinking about how much time you are spending on the device instead of spending it on perhaps more worthwhile activities – like making eye contact with your friends!
Well, that’s it for this month. What do you think about what I’ve just mentioned? Comment below please. I love to open conversation. 


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