On to something new

A few words about a personal transition.

Two years ago I was in a totally different state of my life. Not only I was living a pre-covid life, free to meet and connect with people, go out for dinners and travel, but I was also still the CEO of Beat, the ride-hailing company I founded ten years ago and then exited to Daimler in 2017.

Back then, the company was still growing like crazy, expanding operations into one more country in Latin America every six months, doubling its employee headcount every 10 months. My work was my hobby (even though I didn't own a stake in the company anymore) because the result of this work was rewarding, I kept learning so many new things, and I was working with a team of amazing people.

But it was that time, late 2018 when I started developing a new hobby which with time developed to a passion. It all started with me worrying about how productive I would be in the following years. As I approached my mid-'50s, my goal was to have at least another 30 productive years in my life (if not more) before I "retire".

I accidentally came across "The Longevity Paradox", a book by Dr. Steven Gundry, a cardiac surgeon, and author. It gave me enough critical information to start making changes in my diet, lifestyle, and sleep. I started following the book's advice seriously (mostly doing intermittent fasting), until Amazon recommended me to read another recently published book called "Lifespan" by the Harvard longevity researcher, David Sinclair.

Lifespan was a life changer. It revealed to me the vast progress being made by scientists in the effort to improve our health and life expectancy, and at least slow down our aging progress, before reversing it. The book was full of scientific terms but at the same time, it was an example of the miracles good science communication can make when it's simple, and knows how to approach people with no prior knowledge on the field. I understood how our epigenome plays a critical role in our longevity, what supplements can impact it, and how our daily habits can affect our health.

I added a lot of the book's advice on my daily regime and especially the three supplements the author was recommending (and the ones he was using for many years himself): NMN, Resveratrol, and Metformin (a drug for diabetics). I became pretty obsessed with that kind of stuff. I kept expanding my knowledge on the subject with new books on the most modern research on health, mostly from Dr. Jason Fung and Dr. Benjamin Bikman. I started understanding what other factors play a role in our healthy development, like our blood sugar levels, our microbiome, our sleep quality, and our mental state.

Bikman's "Why We Get Sick" and Eran Segal's "The Personalised Diet" were the triggers for me to start using a Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) device. I installed Abbott's FrestyleLibre on my arm and was measuring my blood glucose on a 24/7 basis through their mobile app. It completely changed my life! Suddenly, I felt like I had an open conversation with my body. I was seeing in real-time how it responded to the foods I was eating, and all my activities. I started understanding which foods were negatively affecting my blood glucose and started avoiding it.

In a moment, I had decriminalized ice cream: I could eat as much as I wanted because it didn't have the slightest impact on my blood glucose levels. Instead, I started drastically cutting down on rice (got my levels totally destroyed) along with pizza and other carbohydrates. I realized that personalized diet is the great new kid in town, and I should keep a close eye if I wanted to keep my health intact.

My Regime

So, here's my current regime: I'm doing intermittent fasting for 16-18 hours, almost every day; no foods or drinks of any type, just water, coffee or tea. I am taking NMN, Resveratrol, and Vitamin D on a daily basis, probiotics for 2-3 months before the next break, and magnesium 2-3 times per week.

I stopped taking Metformin, and instead I keep my blood glucose levels low with my diet: I use my CGM and don't eat what spikes my glucose. I exercise 2-3 times per week for half an hour (my goal is constantly to increase that). I am watching closely as many of my biometrics as possible through the wearable devices I own: my heart rate, blood oxygen through the Apple Watch, my sleep patterns through the Oura ring but lately through the EightSleep mattress cover which is an incredible product for sleep quality (but unfortunately not sold in Europe).

But my education doesn’t stop here - actually, it’s just getting warmed up. I religiously follow experts in the fields, most notably Dr. Jason Fung, Dr. Rhonda Patrick, Petter Attia, Benjamin Bikman, David Sinclair, and many others.

I have entered a new phase where measuring my health and having an open conversation with my body (my "quantified self") is a crucial part of who I am. The principles I always applied on business, the endless feedback loop of measuring with data, improving and measuring again, I started applying on my body and health too. And it feels great. For the first time after many years, I am back to my normal weight (my Body Mass Index is 24) and my blood tests and body scans are in perfect shape.

This new development led me to another decision; I want to help people see these improvements in their health, without having to go through the same learning curve I had to go through. And this will be the subject of my next post.

You comments are always welcome.