The Circadian Code

The Circadian Code talks about how the our body’s circadian clock affects our health. One big argument in the book was in favor of restricted time eating, or in order words, intermittent fasting. Here are some of my takeaways:

  • You can start with eating within a 12 hour window for 2 weeks, and then reduce it by 1 hour each week, with the goal of eventually restricting all of your eating within an 8 hour window.
  • He suggests having a protein & fiber heavy breakfast. Oatmeal, cottage cheese, almonds and dried cranberries
  • Don’t eat carbs at dinner
  • Your brain works best between 10 AM – 3 PM
  • Light elevates mood. You need to be exposed to a light source that is at least 10,000 lux for 15-30 minutes every day
  • Best time to take melatonin is 2 hours before bedtime. Wait 1-2 hours after eating before you take melatonin
December 3, 2018

Living like a computer scientist

I find it amusing that I’ve been applying some principles from computer science and my job to my everyday life. Here are some principles that I’ve been using to optimize my everyday workflows recently:


  • I try to store an extra for everything (toilet paper, toothpaste, laundry detergent etc.) so that I don’t run out completely and have enough time to restock as items run out.


  • I was visiting the local library several times a week, to drop off or pick up books. I’ve been batching these visits together: when a book arrives, waiting if there are other books in transit, or not dropping off a book immediately if there’s still time left or renewal is possible.
  • I was constantly restocking my fridge during the week. Now, I try to plan what I’ll cook, buy most of my groceries online, and only go out once a week for markets that don’t have delivery. For instance, I go to a Turkish market that is far away once a month, and buy items in bulk.

Staging area:

  • I didn’t have anywhere to store items that needed to be recycled, so I would take these items with me everyday when I go out. I created a temporary storage area in my kitchen for items that need to be recycled, so that I can throw them away once a week in bulk.

It’s cool how a lot of principles we use in computer science apply to everyday life as well!

December 3, 2018

What is Zen?

When I came back from my solo trip to Japan, I had a growing interest in Zen Buddhism. One of the books I picked up was Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind. I found it difficult to follow as an introductory book. “What is Zen?” gives a more direct introduction to Zen Buddhism in question and answer format. Some of the thought-provoking parts for me were:

Most Western people who come to Buddhism are looking for something. That’s good. Yet looking for something stands in the way of getting what you are looking for…And what you get may not be exactly what you thought you were looking for in the beginning…

When you desperately press for some goal or aspiration, your very pressing becomes an obstacle. You are tense, you try too hard, you are impatient, you get discouraged easily, and this hampers you.

This excerpt about practicing for “no gain” reminded me my pursuit for love or a life partner. Love strikes us when we’re not looking, perhaps the act of looking is destructive because it makes us appear needy and unattractive …

Most of what makes us unhappy in our human lifetime can be avoided. I really don’t need to suffer so much over my reputation, my possessions, over whether or not somebody loves me or validates me, or whether or not I get my way and get to enjoy my preferences all the time. If I know how to appreciate what comes no matter what, I can save myself a lot of suffering.

This reminded me to appreciate everything that comes along our way in life, even hardship. Perhaps my frustration during search for love is necessary, otherwise I won’t appreciate it when I finally find it.

November 29, 2018

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sarp centel

Sarp is a software developer. He writes about technology, books and software.
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books i've read recently
The Happiness Project
12 Rules for Life
The Circadian Code
What is Zen?
Make Time
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