Saturday, June 20, 2015

Big blog slowdown for awhile... Sleeping more,stressing less, coffee strategy for the WIN!

Sleep tracking with the Fitbit helps me optimize my asleep time.
I've slowed down my blogging for awhile. My main focuses over the last month have been stress relief, sleep, and managing some recent stress inducing events out of my control.

 The time that I would have been spent blogging, reading, and commenting on other blogs has been spent doing things I can control.  This is where the Primal focus comes into focus more than a Paleo food template.  Paleo food template, customized for weight maintenance, Primal Blueprint ideas for the rest.

I'm going to get really geeky in this post, so skip it if measuring and genetics aren't your bag.

1. Sleeping- and tracking sleeping with my fitbit. My personal goals are to sleep at least 7 hours a night during the week and more if possible on the weekends. I don't always hit  that goal, but that's okay.

One funny thing is if I do wake up in the middle of the night, reading a real book or magazine- light reading helps me go back to sleep. I used to get so, so stressed out about being awake in the middle of the night, that the worry kept me up even later. 

With the Fitbit, I can see that I go right back to sleep, fast.

Kicking the cats out of the room also helps with fewer sleep disruptions.

2. Limiting coffee consumption past a certain time: Since I know I'm an  slower or  intermediate metabolizer of caffeine, I know not to drink it past noon or 1pm each day. I drink about 3 cups a day with great results. All the long lived relatives had cups of coffee in their hands through about 2-3 pm based on my memories of them.

Now, I didn't need 23andMe DNA SNP analysis or Promethease html reports to tell me that I couldn't drink coffee past a certain time of day. But here are the details in print.  I use the "I feel better" guide to make most decisions in life. But the genetic stuff is just fun for me.

I'm an incurable data geek, so I might as well embrace the science, SNP's, and studies, all while waiting science to get caught up with a healthy dose of "I feel better".

I added links to SNP-edia so you can read more about my caffeine genotype. Of course, just because I have the geneotype doesn't mean I will exhibit the phenotype (traits)

But for coffee, I run pretty true for type.  I think it's hilarious that I have one slow AND one fast gene for caffeine metabolism.

Link to SNPedia for CYP1A2

Link to SNPedia for RS4410790 (T;T)
Why yes, I do drink 3 cups of coffee  day while my friends drink 2. Truth. :)

La Jolla Cove and tide pools June 2015

3. Walking & Photography- I've been heading out to senic places like La Jolla Cove, Moonlight State Beach, Torrey Pines State Parks and just taking time to walk, grab my good camera and take photos as I go. I'll listen to Podcasts or Music while I walk. Great way to be in flow state and relax, too.

Other stress relief methods have been puzzles, visiting with friends, and working on the meditation thing. I still have a long way to go with my mediation practice.

Wow!!! I hit publish by mistake, too soon. Ah well, no stress. Onward and more PaleoFx 2015 recaps are brewing.

What's working

1. Longer sleep
2. Drinking coffee sooner in the AM
3. Photography and walking

What did not work

1. Trying to do all the things all the time and decreasing sleep
2. Trying to get energy from afternoon coffee.
3. Sitting on the couch watching TV and eating low point junk food to "relax".


  1. I enjoyed reading this post, Karen. I have had a few stressful weeks as well, and this helps me to figure out what I need to do. I have had some health issues (and doing Internet research has not proven to be my friend because it led to some significant scares which are turning out to be unfounded) and other personal issues. I have had to tone down my exercise and thankfully I have not gained weight, but I need to get back into the swing of things. For a while I had a very reduced appetite but then thjngs rebounded and I am hungrier and need to reign things. Much of what you discuss I can very much relate to, especially dealing with cats who disrupt your sleep!

    1. Ali, yeah, Doctor Google is not always my friend. I do find I can collect up 3-5 really good questions to ask either my doctor, a doctor at work, or a subject matter expert scientist- also at work.

      Good luck with your recovery, however it works out. I find I have to contend with some false hunger signals at certain times. As long as I can ID the false from the real, and I stick to my food template, things seem to even out. Take care. Karen P

  2. Interesting post Karen. For so many of us sleep can play a far more important part of our healthier lifestyles, and if we can get a few more hours each week I'm sure our bodies appreciate it.

    Take Care

    All the best Jan

  3. Jan, yes- I wished I had focused on sleep sooner. I do feel the difference, thank you as always for stopping by the blog.