Rhonda Patrick on Vitamin D


  • “Vitamin D is a steroid hormone that controls the expression of over 1,000 genes in your body.” (Note: Therefore, if your vitamin D levels are too low, a whole lot of biological processes will be negatively affected.)
  • “Sunscreen blocks the effects of UVB radiation.” (If you’re wearing sunscreen, your skin won’t be able to synthesize as much vitamin D.)
  • “As we age, our bodies become less efficient at producing vitamin D, such that a 70 produces four times less vitamin D than a 20 year old.”
  • “The CDC estimates that only 30% of light skinned Americans have optimum levels of vitamin D… darker skinned Americans fair even worse.”


  • In my opinion, Rhonda Patrick is one of the clearest-thinking nutrition/biomedical scientists on the internet.
  • Don’t let the slightly robotic presentation style throw you off. I am very confident that both Patrick, and all the information that she delivers, are 100% legitimate. If you’d like to read her bio, click here. 
  • Vitamin D deficiency has also been associated with telomere shortening (and is likely the cause of the shortening) Patrick discussing the important implications of this association at 2:40 in the video.
  • I disagree with Patrick in that I think it’s preferable to get one’s vitamin D from sun exposure rather than by eating animal products that contain it. This can however, be difficult if you live in a northern latitude, as my most recent vitamin D test (attached below) clearly shows. After getting the results of this test, I started taking a supplement.

Vitamin D Test Results


Recommended Reading

Fossil-Fuel Subsidies Must End


  • “When it comes to tackling the climate crisis, ending $400 billion of annual subsidies to the fossil-fuel industry worldwide seems like a no-brainer.”
  • “…emissions reductions from subsidy removal (of all the aforementioned subsides) were calculated by the researchers to be five hundred million to two billion metric tons of carbon dioxide per year by 2030. This figure is by no means “small.” It amounts to roughly one quarter of the energy-related emission reductions pledged by all of the countries participating in the Paris Agreement (four to eight billion tons). Hundreds of millions of metric tons of CO2 reductions is nothing to sneeze at, particularly when it can be achieved by a single policy approach that also brings strong fiscal, environmental and health benefits.” (emphasis added)

My notes on Vaclav Smil’s lecture on energy transitions

  • “Modern society is often said to be built upon four pillars: steel, cement, ammonia (used for fertilizer), and plastics. The production of these materials is very energy intensive, and will be very difficult to decarbonize.”
  • “There has been a 65% reduction in fuel consumption (per passenger) on commercial airliners since the 1960s.”
  • “We would have to establish a carbon capture industry with infrastructure roughly equivalent in magnitude to the world’s current oil industry in order to remove just ten percent of our yearly carbon emissions from the atmosphere. Given that oil extraction is very profitable and carbon sequestration is not, the establishment of any such industry seems just about impossible.”


My notes on Dr. Satchin Panda’s interview on the FoundMyFitness podcast


  • “…Dr. Panda mentions that is best to refrain from eating for 1 to 2 hours after waking, and to cease eating 2 – 3 hours before going to bed. Out of all the many sleep hacks I have tried, this (stopping eating 2 – 3 hours before bed) has been the most effective.”
  • “The body seems to be able to repair itself far more easily in fasted states. This is one of the many reasons why TRF (time restricted feeding) is beneficial for health. (In other words, your body will be able to repair itself more effectively when you sleep if you go to bed on an empty stomach.)”
  • “The implementation of a TRF schedule seems to improve gut microbiome diversity. A diverse gut microbiome has been linked with positive health outcomes.”


Person I’m eternally grateful to: Stan Grof

If I could have everyone in the world read one book, it would either be Healing Our Deepest Wounds or Holotropic Breathwork. Both were authored by Czech psychiatrist Stan Grof. I’ve written about Grof’s work and included an extensive interview with him in this post. As a short refresher, he used LSD as a therapeutic agent, and eventually developed a form of breathing (Known as holotropic breathwork) that mimics the effects of the drug. This breathwork is completely legal, and seems to unlock the deepest aspects of our subconscious. I have participated in four Holotropic Breathwork sessions as the time of this writing, and am scheduled to do two more in the upcoming months. I have never experienced any practice that seems capable of doing so much therapeutic work in so little time, and would highly recommend it to everyone looking to resolve troubling psychological material and elevate their day to day state of mind.

Excerpts from Healing Our Deepest Wounds and Holotropic Breathwork, by Stan Grof 

“Holotropic states tend to engage something like an “inner radar,” automatically bringing the contents from the unconscious that have the strongest emotional charge, are currently most psychodynamically relevant, and are currently available for processing into consciousness.”

“In many instances, difficult emotions and physical manifestations that emerge from the unconscious during holotropic sessions get automatically resolved, and breathers end up in a deeply relaxed meditative state.”

“After powerful and well-resolved perinatal experiences, breathers often report that they are more relaxed than they have ever been in their life. This can also be accompanied by the clearing of various psychosomatic pains. With the relaxation and the relief from pain comes a feeling of greater physical comfort, increased energy and vitality, a sense of rejuvenation, and an enhanced ability to enjoy the present moment.”


  • The above excerpts match well with my experiences in Holotropic Breathwork sessions. If you’d like to read more about my experiences, and their very positive aftereffects (many of which have persisted to this day) click here. 
  • I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I don’t think that you need to take psychedelics to heal your mind or to gain insights into the nature of reality. In my opinion, you can accomplish both goals just as easily with breathwork and meditation. That said, I think insights and anecdotes generated by psychedelic experiences can be very valuable.
  • In the following video, Grof describes some of his insights into the nature of the mind and reality he gained over his years guiding his patients through non-ordinary states of consciousness (induced by both LSD and breathwork).

Excerpts (Modified slightly):

  • “This was a tremendous surprise for me when, in my psychedelic sessions, all this came alive. I realized that Hindu and Buddhist mythology are both maps of consciousness; they are states that become as real as anything you have experienced in your everyday life.”
  • “I had access to records for about 5000 records from psychedelic sessions, about 3000 where I sat personally (as the guide for the person taking the psychedelic), and 2000 from my colleagues. I went through those records and would look specifically at where people where dealing with specific questions involving God, time, space, creation, etc. And I wanted to know what philosophical insights were coming from these states. As I was putting it together, I found out to my surprise something very different than what I expected. I thought people would come up with totally different cosmologies… Instead they were experiencing bits and pieces that, when put together, created one overarching cosmology. Everything fits together and you get a comprehensive image of the universe and our place in it.”

Final notes:

  • Grof wrote a book based on the insights derived from these records, coupled with research on various mythologies from across the world. It’s called “The Cosmic Game.” If you’d like to read more about it and or buy a copy click here. 
  • Grof’s ideas might seem a bit unusual. However, in my opinion, he has a razor sharp intellect and a fantastic BS sensor. These traits, coupled with his excellent deductive reasoning and critical thinking, have thoroughly convinced me that he is someone worth listening to.


Morning Journal Excerpt: 

“Eventually, the evidence may start to suggest that there is something wrong with your current system of thinking. With your current beliefs. The evidence starts to suggest that they might actually not have as much explanatory power as you thought they did. This can be very uncomfortable. You might cling to the system of thinking or the beliefs, because they worked well for you in the past. But eventually, you come to realize that that they are a bit like jackets that you have outgrown; As time goes on, their ability to keep you warm decreases. Eventually, you are forced to shed them, and trek out into the unknown, into the land of uncertainty, and see if you can find some better explanations.”


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