Five years of frugality

Posted on Posted in Insights, Methods, Thoughts

At this very same day, exactly fifteen minutes before the turn of New Year’s of 2016 ~ the very first single print test run of the parent manuscript was submitted. 

Suffice to say I am due to say five things I’ve learned.

This is as frank and unpretentious as I allow my thoughts through-and-through. However there are many “objective” practical insights I share along the way. The rest ~ is open to your perspective. Welcome to the Internet’s least visited independent thoughts on wellness and decentralised Nutritional Science.

View the video here. (done completely in just one bout of 16 hour crunch non-stop work).

Tempting. But already over budget for the week.


Frugality = opportunity for Self Enquiry. But a lesson to remain cautious.

Frugality is both teacher and reminder to nature’s own dictatorship. The harsh realisation of Economics. Nature (almost always) presents you the problem first. Then the lesson afterwards.

Thus, first of five is the harshest reality yet the “best” lesson of all.  What you see in front of you – is “it”. Authenticating what enough means through self-defining what is scarce and what is abundance.

Yes, the main tagline of this concept initiative is sombre. “Decentralised Nutritional Science; through the lens of Structural Violence”. But this is Health, unfiltered. Unpretentious, yet contemplative. This is what it takes to get “thin” or “fit” amidst involuntary impositions. Irrespective of someone else’s or collective  “semantics”.

Life – is neither to be thankful or be proud of. That – to me is the gift of neutrality. Only you, but nobody else should override whatever “neutrality” means over your behalf.

That is as frank of a statement next to no other health / advocacy channels admit. You must take “life” for what it is. You will be forced, one way or another trespassing every moral “gospel” to live another day.

Of course, I do not for one second, glamourise “suffering”.

After all, Income leverages all Outcomes. Every employer, every contract demands every Selection Criteria answered in full. Not “now”. But yesterday. Yet nobody has time reading “cover letters”. Likewise, everyone wants a magic silver bullet be it weight loss or muscle gains ~ for constricted one-off vanity delivered on a silver plate.

As one shuffles from one job service agency to another, judgment awaits in that tiny “counselling” room. Peeling off layers of dignity answering one question after another. Only to be met the same eventual bottom line ~ “It’s a number’s game.”.

Institutionalised Loop: four years in 4 seconds.

Perhaps an autobiography is after all truth-be-told ~ one giant resume.  

Frugality nonetheless reminded me one ritual – reserving one’s self such similar autobiography. Though I’d call this scientific journalling . “Self Enquiry”. From here onwards ~ piece together yourself a mosaic, piece by piece ~ to authenticate your true capacity at withstanding and challenging all outside condescendence and authoritarianism. Whilst gathering and re-channel every endogenous and exogenous resources ~ back towards scientific privacy.

Be forewarned that this way of life is hardly celebratory. Yet someone has to redefine what Health is, from these much unspoken branching contexts. Beyond just fixating on “NLRP3” genetic inflammasome. This is where this entire concept iniative differs. Unpretentious, frank and unfiltered. As far away from its saturated peers towards Survivorship Bias vanity.

Instead – if you are surviving with less food, that includes surpassing each and every training day without fiddling the phone, and whilst living (or “leaving”) each day with more empty / unused Tupperwares ~ you know you are doing something right.

Because all you are left with is Frugality. Reductionism to life’s essence. Down to Self-Enquiry. Convinced clarity for self-survival through self-atonements.

Very first public announcement of the first website (developed in IMCREATOR)


“Happiness” is inflationary.

Yes, another seemingly depressing reality. Yet there is still a reason to learn from this.

Five years living frugally enforces one to “get by”. But also heighten our senses on what is inflationary (beyond money). As perplexing as that sounds – happiness, is no exception.

Happiness is merely a state of automatic compensation. You’ve reached to this state. yet what happens afterwards? (Hint: something else will always soon be forced to compensate). Any “Dis-ease” – could very well be defined as an eventual cease in all realms of compensationNietzche fervently hated alcohol because it merely numbs the sorrows. Thanks to our liver doing the hard work in the background. Until the entire system collapses via fatty liver “Disease”.

Thus, happiness is sensitive to desensitisation. Much like Insulin Insensitivity. We are always sensitive to difficulties, yet less so for happiness.

So, time for a “visual” rationale. Or “evidence” as they call it.

This concept initiative isn’t about Survivorship Bias 6-pack after workout selfies. Alas, pressure amounts amidst all social media expectations for hedonic impressionism.  Hence for appeasing pedestrian angst below are pictures of my “best” end of every IF (18:6/20:4) weekly cycle.

That is ~ Friday PM / end of Week’s last of the four x 250+ volume depletion training session.

Left: 2019 Right: 2020
Left: 2019 Right: 2020 first end of week full training, after COVID lockdown, no refeed.

Gratifying? Indeed. Attainable? Eventually Yes. But happily forever? Subjective.

Recalling my obsession to the lowest “attainable” body fat % from early years of CKD+IF ~ was just shy under 10%. Did I feel good? “No”, but Life went on. But was it worth it? Subjective.

Why? because it gets objectively difficult to surpass this subjective “happiness” compass repeatedly, without increasing reliance on contingencies. Soon, I’d rely on more than just aspirin ~ pre/intra or even during mid training to not risk yet another L4/5/S1 disc shock/s.

There we have it ~ Happiness does not have a “fixed” goal post. But here’s the “good” thing. Only you can potentially move or sideline that post. Want it sooner? Move it sooner. But be prepared to face all repercussions, that much sooner.

Were it for me to keep chasing the illusory carrot aka. Quantified Paternalism ~ lift “more heavier” weights to inifnity, eat “more food”, to inifnity chase “more” intensity to infinity ~ is neither pragmatic nor realistic.

Why? Here’s another reason for its inflation ~ “happiness” has an extremely short half-life anyway*. I lost count, the far-too-many occasions when even the slightest of gratification received then something else clouds over the very next second.

*In the final (optimistic) hour/s of editing this article despite bleary-eyed from the 16 hour-crunch work on the FCPX video  – I received a phone call from Big Brother. In just 15 minutes  – my life for the next few months or year is “settled”. Perhaps in the courtroom.

Misfortunes always readily overlap triumphs. Alas, this is just a glimpse of life, in Structural Violence.

Nonetheless, blindly dissolving ourselves for not realising pain,  in my interpretation remains a double edged sword. I may die some day. Be it from depression or”Inflammation”. Be it however Nihilistic ~ it is a “signalling molecule” nevertheless for every reason. For “good” or for “bad”. Inevitably, it is there to make us “stop” and think. From the moment, for the moment.

Besides, eternal “happiness” or consistent “euphoria” to me sounds overly Utopian. Which that in itself is (so aptly) defined as nowhere or of “no place”. Hauntingly beautiful. Yet hopelessly ~ aimless.

The very first pocket book. June 2015.
The very first pocket book as draft “concept” Humility Through Frugality. June 2015.


If Nutrition is ration. Then fasting is the rationale.

I took a good month or two, working around-the-clock revising my 9-year old concept project Hydrant Booster™ to appease future employers. This “reminded” me there is  something “good” about this way of life, after all. Reminding to me prioritise towards scientific Self-Authenticity. At metabolically interpreting what “enough” means.

Authenticity is all about self-enquiring between episodes of contrasts. Cyclical enquiring between what is scarce and what is abundant. If we simply remain fixating ourselves to just one (1) perpetual consumptive pattern (hint: paternalism), forever after, is routine for stagnation.

Intermittent Fasting reinforces all these as both philosophical and physiological ~ exercise. Beyond “self-fulfilling” prophecy.

After all,  Fasting is a state honouring nature’s very persistent  dictatorship. “Economics”. Forcing us to thus manage and reconcile “the household” within us (the Abilities) against the outside of us (Liabilities) ~ ecosystems. 

Details matter. Beyond just experimenting various ways on breaking the fast (TLDR; it varies from individual), and curiosity about glycation end products.  But nothing compares to using our own existential currency(s) ~ from glucose, glycogen, and ketones to their fullest extent. At least for the “Time” being. Be it fitness training meritocracies, creativity, writing my next book, maintain scientific enquiring, meal preparations, errands, freelancing/job door knockings/searches, and then ~ that lonely Youtube® channel.


Privacy and Authenticity goes hand in hand. “Binging & Purging” are only semantics.

Food is both damnation and salvation.

Oh wait, the Dietician-Thought-Police pitchforks incoming. “You are glamourising starvation again!”. 

My response? “Depends on who you are trying to impress or surpass for the time being. Your’s time. Not mine“. I’ve downed pizzas, ice creams, and donuts on refeed days. Yet thankfully nature responds with fullness and refusals to further eat. Thereby allowing fasting to begin again.

Meanwhile, dieticians and their oath for “Health” persist to “clean eating”.

Refeed days” indeed sounds “anarchic”, “vile”, and “abusive”. But it all relates back to us as a matter of working with it. Not against it.

Come to think of it, recalling all my years of IF I fail to realise anything “wrong” with these cycles of feast and famine. Of course there is always some nihilistic bickering. Eg. “Metabolic Slowdown”. Followed by intellect-bickering on “credibility“. I am not proclaiming this will work on anybody. But anybody should remain open to self-testify to their fullest authenticity. Should they instead remain slothful ~ then stagnation is likely deserved. For they remain unwilling to dive into the abyss – towards stoic transformation and thus inevitable ownership of envy“.  

What happens “after” these refeed days? Five years later? Life goes on. Intermittent Fasting continues. Revise, Reflect, Repeat. Of all things, be glad for many things – both before and after each refeed. I am not obese, yet I am not consistently sub <10% body fat either. Be glad one (still) survives the 4 day p/week 250+ rep depletion training, with PSMF + ADF back to back. Be glad that one remains productive through all that fasting windows. More specifically – be glad there is still just enough cash to make ends meet. To make more time for instanceevery one and half week DIY haircut ritual.

If your colleagues instead guzzle office lollies, sugary snacks and yawn every half hour then ~ let them drown in their own debt for future redemption.

“Comfort zone” is a deceptive Heaven. But Hell remains the disciplinary contrast. If anything works, but not forever, “this”, or “that” context then that tells you one thing. The Anecdote is the ultimate starting and final ~ potentiator for Antidote.

Dieticians on the other hand? They persist in paternalistic collectivism. “Everything-in-moderation”. One may argue that is Scientific Communism. Abolition of private property, aka. ownership on both the tangible and the intangible.

My translation: abolition of individual authenticities.


Supplements / Contingencies are still important.

Now – the practical knowledge for many. Though perhaps not for all circumstances*.

*Despite this Concept Initiative’s five long years-contemplation towards decentralised Nutritional Science ~ all may not ever constitute as linear “panacea” nor scientific “clairvoyance”. No dietician irrespective how decorated abbreviations attached to their name ~ can ever “save” every”one” else. Please acquaint with the indemnity and overview of this Concept Initiative. 

Let us first begin by reconciling the unadmitted truth in all of “health”. Life ~ from very beginning until death remains a stressful episode.

Recalling from “first” lesson ~ Frugality removes the veal of all semantics right down to essences of everything. Anything of “essence” sooner or later dictates as survival for sufficiency (again ~ Economics). This enforces harsh realisation that biology itself is expendable. Minerals, glycogen, ketones, fatty acids and/or glucose included.

If one argues that foods themselves are sufficient for “everything”, then I shall nod “very well”. Let time decide. Until “repercussions” compel them wrong. Five years ago I used to think the same. Yet time and time again Nature forced me to face adaptations repercussions. Indeed if anything is expendable. Then for how long can one  maintain or “reason” with our own selves ~ without “complaining”?

Supplementations therefore are there as pragmatic safety net; towards all scientific self-enquiry.

The longest “survived” supplement in my inventory is a three year (beyond printed expiry) ALCAR. Just shy about two months before the final editing of this post still remained usable to my needs. Next to that, non-negotiable ergogenic essentials. Creatine monohydrates, and at discretion ~ Citrulline Malate. People think they’re just for muscle building vanity, I disagree. Although I am no longer subscribed nor convinced with Beta Alanines, and BCAAs they certainly remain in The Parent Manuscript as open for individual preferences. So long as one’s income leverages all outcomes.

Then, the usual minerals. Magnesium, Zinc, Potassium and Calcium. Although technically speaking I do not “supplement” Calcium – I rely on crushed hardboiled eggshells (then dehydrated 120 deg C on the oven till crispy). And only sprinkle this by tiny finger pinch amounts on desserts, and sometimes on post workout shakes.

General literatures suggest that potassium appear to be the most-oft compromised mineral amidst low carbohydrate interventions [1]. 2]. Of course, as with everything else of Nutritional Science ~ this may yet be a matter of individual variability.

What base of salts for each of the above (Mg, K, Na)? A mix of acidics Tartrate*, Chloride and Citrate, together with alkaline Bicarbonates are sound contingencies for various contexts. Bicarbonates for pre/intra workouts as well as also during fasting windows on soda water + ACV for instance. Chlorides lightly on meals, not to intrude palatability. Potassium Chlorides, when added with a little ALCAR are useful for maintaining conversational composure amidst very difficult, objectifying and/or scrutinising situations. Think prolonged job interviews, prolonged conversational scrutiny, anticipatory stigma, condescendence etc.

* Tartrates especially potassium tartrate in “Cream of tartar” baking products do remain as my go to potassium during fasting black coffees. Only a finger pinch  amount suffices. Although keeping in mind that mineral balance is highly individual. Symptoms of overdose is just as bad as underdose.

How much dosaging in all of these is again dependent to individual needs, metabolic responses, and thus context- dependent.

Usually, my fasting 18-21 hour windows involves at least approx 1.5L water with Himalayan or iodised salts. Then saving the potassium salts (cream of tartar or potassium chloride), in tiny sprinkle amounts for afternoon black teas or coffees. On occasions I’d finger lick amount of rock salt crystals. Especially in stressful anticipated situations ~ I’d prepare a mini mix of potassium chloride and Himalayan salts in my pocket at all times.

I have long asserted that protein supplementations are necessary. To say they are “not food” is egoistic ignorance. esp. if one never takes their cost per serve analysis to account.

…And especially how essential they are at gently breaking each and every intermittent fast ~ both comfortably and pragmatically.

Whey concentrates remained to this day my budget preference. However, pea protein isolates, despite at times I do not particularly favour their taste profile when consumed entirely in liquids – nevertheless find their “clay” aftertaste useful for dessert recipes or meat replacements.

I anticipate to buy these proteins every two or three months; depending on existing supply. Usually amounting to less than $80 or even less.

The longer one submits to CKD+IF , the more likely one is sensitive to sweetness. So much so all “flavoured” commercial protein supplements that were once tolerable, now tastes very sweet to the point of slight sickness. Combining both flavoured with unflavoured 50/50 (or as per to taste) solves this easily.

I could go on and on about other key essentials. Aspirin, Vitamins D, E, K2 Mk4s & Mk7s, Betaine HCLs Pepsins, Chromium, MSM, Citrulline, etc. But all that is reserved in the parent manuscript, and the dAGES manuscript.

Thank you.

This post may yet be the most underwhelmed piece of writing I so hyped up for. There were a lot more in mind awaiting to be spoken out but didn’t. Refining these “turn-of-phrases” alone literally takes days bridging one sentence to another.

Beyond structural violence, comes next the unexplained struggle why this concept initiative remains unrecognised much to the outside world. Were I be presented a “choice” for another life far different than this ~ would I be “happy”?

What would be the opposite of this? Excess fame? Celebrity? Elitism? Hedonism?

My knee jerk response would be Yes. But given long thought ~ “No“.

I’d still prefer my time be productively invested elsewhere. Namely towards this initiative’s content. More than addressing backlashes and vehement toxicities.

Although let me emphasise one thing very clearly. I am simply not looking for quantified narcissism. Because I know that “Likes” are inflationary. I will be subject to once again desensitised to these illusory carrots over and over again. Like a musical chair.

Where it all began: the first pocket book
Where it all began: the first pocket book. June 2015.
First ever version printed Blurb® Book. Submitted for print December 2015

At least, five years have taught me much.

Happiness is inflationary. Pain is the contrast.

I am forced to “Love” Big Brother. Till death, do us part. Anyone reading this may think it is just “another day”. Indeed. This day, just like any other day, is a saving grace. A taxation ~ towards our ending mortgage/s.

Every virtue spares a vice, and vice versa.

Fate deserves both. Just not at the same time.






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