THE MOST ADVANCED GUT SEQUENCING TEST AVAILABLE TODAY

So I got my Viome.com results. Results that are unique to your own, unique biology!

What sets them apart from other gut sequencing companies out there, is that these guys look at the function of the bacteria, funghi and viruses in your gut by sequencing RNA. They also send you a glucose powder to look at your metabolic efficiency, and in a mattter of a month, you get your results (food recommendations included) on your smartphone, via the Viome app.

I AM SO EXCITED FOR MY RESULTS. MY TOP SUPERFOODS?

  1. SPINACH
  2. AVOCADO
  3. BEEF
  4. ARUGULA
  5. KALE

I've always known. I'm a meats and veggies kinda guy. My body strongly dislikes too many carbs since I was in my early 20's. Bread, beer, rice, pasta, etc made me feel like crap. No problem with that when you have loads of delicious and seasonal vegetables, fish, seafood, meats and poultry.

Here are some screenshots of my results. On top of the food recommendations, Viome also gives you a couple recommendations for probiotics. This is so exciting and game-changing for me, not only because of my own intolerances to certain foods, but also for clients I cook for. It takes the guess work out of the equation. Results unique to your own, unique biology? F*ck yeah!

I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS THAT YOU CAN GET A 10% DISCOUNT WITH MY CODE BEYONDFOOD77 ON VIOME.COM

ENJOY CONNECTING TO YOUR GUT FEELINGS.

ehp.121-a276.g002.png

DO "I" EXIST?

Do I exist? Trying to define I and Exist in the first place.

One day I attempted to imagine the planet without me, when I am gone. Life goes on, and I am not around to enjoy it anymore! The air, the body, the sun on my skin, the laughter, the company. Then I thought wait, should I also be sad because of my absence on the planet before I was born?

And then I thought... Many parts of who I am have been around for millions of years, they make up my body, minerals, plants, and animals. My genetic journey is old as well... and my sense of I is made up of all that (my biochemical and physical body), as well as my culture, made up of what my cultural editors (parents, teachers, etc) taught me, and my experiences and understanding combined, my own culture... my emotions as well. Oh.. turns out I carry emotions in my epigenome as well... handed down to me for who knows how many generations of my ancestors.... do those belong to "me"?

Do I exist?
Try and slice a piece of finger see if you do...

Do I exist as a single "thing", outside my awareness?
I exist as a dynamic living process and the fortunate convergence of matter into this amazing body.
Not only am I self aware and I got senses... I can create myself however I want, wow!

I am not a mind, that's just another awesome tool living inside my body.

To think of the essential aspects of understanding, of taste, smell, goosebumps, hearing, touch, warmth, cold, seeing... making choices, imagining what's next.. what a trip.

The earth will digest my body when I die, but where will "I" go? That's what I don't know. We know we are in space, but no one knows what's going really.

"I"?
What is "I"?
Is "I" just another expression of the infinite consciousness variations running through life?

Does a protein wonder the same? Do particles wonder the same?

Learn how to look at things for what they are. Because "things" are mind-blowing. And let's try to come up with another word for "things" while we're at it too.

I exist both inside and outside myself, I am made of organic matter, minerals, memories, my senses, and experience. I am made of memory, imagination, senses, understanding, and choices. I am made of everyone and everything that was alive before me on Earth.

HAPPY DIA DE LOS MUERTOS LIVING PEOPLE!

TEACH US OH NIGHT,
TO TOUCH YOUR DEPTH
TO REACH
THE NO-PLACE
WHERE SALT AND FROST
EXCHANGE THEIR DREAMS
WHERE SOURCE AND WIND
ARE ONE AGAIN
— FRANCOIS CHENG - WHO WILL TELL OUR NIGHT

TODAY, LIGHT UP IN FLAMES AS YOU RE-MEMBER AND GIVE THANKS TO ALL OF THOSE WHO CAME BEFORE YOU. RE-MEMBER, WE ARE ALL ANCIENT ENERGY IN FLESH AND BLOOD. I RE-MEMBER TODAY THAT I CARRY DNA THAT IS 50,000 + YEARS OLD PUMPING THROUGH MY VEINS. I RE-MEMBER I AM NOT ALONE. I AM AWARE THAT THE EXPERIENCE AND INFORMATION CONTAINED IN MY CELLS HAS CARRIED US FORWARD FOR THIS LONG. AAAH... THE SWEET MEMORY OF REMINISCING WITHIN, THE NIGHT WHERE ALL EVENTUALLY GOES BACK TO.

HAPPY DIA DE LOS MUERTOS, LIVING PEOPLE!

REMEMBER THE VIEW

The teachings show us precisely what will happen if we prepare for death and what will happen if we do not. The choice could not be clearer. If we refuse to accept death now, while we are still alive, we will pay dearly throughout our lives, at the moment of death, and thereafter. The effects of this refusal will ravage this life and all the lives to come.

We will not be able to live our lives fully; we will remain imprisoned in the very aspect of ourselves that has to die. This ignorance will rob us of the basis of the journey to enlightenment, and trap us endlessly in the realm of illusion, the uncontrolled cycle of birth and death, that ocean of suffering that Buddhists call “samsara.”

>>>

The fear that impermanence awakens in us, that nothing is real and nothing lasts, is, we come to discover, our greatest friend because it drives us to ask: If everything dies and changes, then what is really true? Is there something behind the appearances? Is there something in fact we can depend on, that does survive what we call death?

Allowing these questions to occupy us urgently, and reflecting on them, we slowly find ourselves making a profound shift in the way we view everything. We come to uncover in ourselves “something” that we begin to realize lies behind all the changes and deaths of the world.

As this happens, we catch repeated and glowing glimpses of the vast implications behind the truth of impermanence. We come to uncover a depth of peace, joy, and confidence in ourselves that fills us with wonder, and breeds in us gradually a certainty that there is in us “something” that nothing destroys, that nothing alters, and that cannot die.

RIGPA GLIMPSE OF THE DAY

BIG 40!!!!

 

 Opatija, Croatia 2016

Opatija, Croatia 2016

 

Thank you all for the sweet birthday wishes!

I turned 40 on August 1st, celebrating it with my sweet family in Croatia right now, and a backflip into the Adriatic Sea near Opatija. Thank you Matek!

 

Croatia I love you so much! What a beautiful, lush, welcoming, delicious country, Nature looks so happy.

 

Croatia also has the sweetest and liveliest "cheers" I've heard so far: Živjeli!! (Read: jivilly!)

 

In the last month since summer started, Juno arrived in Jupiter after cruising through space in a few epic spins for 5 years, humans celebrated independence days on July 4th in the US, 14 juillet in France, on July 20th in Colombia and at the same time, as apparently July calls for revolutions, humans killed each other in Turkey, Nice, Syria, Munich, and a handful more places overwhelmed with fear, anger, hate and greed.  Humans have also been born, my cousin married, others have graduated high school, teenagers have had their first orgasms, humans have died of sickness and old age, humans have loved, explored, invented, imagined, created, fought, helped others, built, loved, lived, voted, laughed, cried, felt lost, understood new aspects of their lives. Some have won, others have lost. In the last few months there was also a coup in Brazil. I am certainly forgetting some place I didn't hear about and of course there were many more things happening on Earth.

 

In the last year since my 39th bday I went to Jamaica, walked over burning coals, I faced some of my deepest personal fears and limitations, my relationship deepened in a way we didn't imagine, we skied in Mammoth, I traveled through the redwoods in Mendocino to a magical lake to write and cook for 3 days, went with my woman to a deep Tantra meditation workshop at @Esalen for 6 days, woke up each day to hotspring baths, breakfast on the cliffs overlooking the ocean and deep meditative experiences. We also went to a friend's wedding by the river in Yosemite and I also traveled with my brother Paul Redman, director of @ifnotusthenwho to the Amazon jungle to accompany him to shoot a short documentary story on how indigenous people are the only solution to protecting forests. Since July 9th I've also done LA>Paris>Morocco>Warsaw>Croatia with Marysia and Flora.

 

However grateful I am for the opportunities, the long work hours, the delicious meals and moments, the creative drive, the gifts, the love, I am everyday more in awe at the great mystery that organizes our world so perfectly. I show up everyday, aware, appreciating every moment, my thoughts, my words and my action turned on and aligned, yet constantly in awe at the internal order that Life seems to have, which seems to come from a place beyond my planning, that perhaps has more to do with my participation, my emotions, my thoughts and my communication. Despite the appalling events that shake our world, as I travel through Europe I see, taste and experience beauty, love, faith, hope, desire, joy, kindness, courage, insight, hospitality, compassion and all those great emotional states that keep us high on life. I see Nature thriving and spectacular just the way she rolls on our planet.

 

How do we participate more in our world from a place of high emotional states, how do we cultivate more patience, love and understanding of ourselves first, of the humans around us, of our planet and the natural systems that make it turn? How do we more actively help each human around us with wisdom, insight, awareness, kindness, a simple smile or even a simple new idea? And most importantly, how do we do that from a place of love for life and everyone and everything in it?

 

These are some of the questions I ask myself today as I feel it is more important than ever to rise up to live our lives remembering where we come from, who we are, present and attentive, as we lend a wiser and more loving hand to everyone around us with whatever gifts that we have.

 

I believe the only detox we really need is emotional. As we listen and pay attention to our body, our mind, our emotions and we connect to Nature, we start riding the natural great mystery that has kept our planet so spectacularly perfect for millions of years. Why follow some recent human imagined orders that disconnect yourself from Nature and her cycles?

 

August 2nd was a full moon, and from the campground in Valun on Cres Island, we saw so many stars, a couple shooting stars and even the Milky Way, all shimmering through the olive trees. What a luxury today, to witness the starry night sky. How beautiful and soothing would it be to be able to see the night sky like that more often.

 

"We are in space. No one knows what's going on. I love you."

 

Big love.

Tomás - Croatia August 5th

5 DELICIOUS THOUGHTS

Hi tribe!

Here is your bi-weekly dose of 5 Delicious Thoughts, an exciting list of what I’m enjoying, pondering and is for sure expanding my mind and senses.

  1. How I rule myself

  2. What I’ve been reading

  3. What I’ve been listening to (music, focus@will, Tibetan monks)

  4. What I’m (re)watching

  5. What I’ve been cooking (recipes)

  • How I rule myself

How do you, rule yourself? Are you a wise, compassionate king or queen to your bodymind's kingdom?

“Every morning when I wake up I remind myself to contain my energy with focus, to commit and be continuous so that my reason, my will and my action are penetrating, purposeful and prepared. I fill myself with gratitude, love and compassion for myself and all living beings as I joyfully access and experience the wisdom and vitality deep within my cells.

I remind myself that life's purpose is to remember the higher spirit and that we are cruising through the cosmos in an epic journey fueled by fire, water, the atmosphere, the infinite emptiness all around and a mysterious, organized intelligence that has kept life evolving for billions of years.

I take deep breaths, taste the morning air, practice presence and possibility through Ashtanga Yoga and occasionally speak one of my Yogananda favorite affirmations:

"I am fearless. I am made of the substance of God. I am a spark of the fire of spirit. I am an atom of the cosmic flame. I am a cell of the universal body of the father. I and my father are one."

I then head out onto the day to ride the great mystery, pay attention, experience and create magic.

Everyday I am grateful and remind myself to be compassionate to every single person I interact with, filling myself with love, joy and wisdom.”

Note: I am not Catholic, or follow any other institutionalized religion. If I had to pick one, it'd be Buddhism, mostly because I think they were the first Resistance movement to the domesticated, conditioned living that our species started with the agricultural revolution about 10,000 years ago.

  • What I’ve been reading in the past 3 weeks

  1. Sapiens, A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
  2. Big Magic, Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
  3. The Wayfinders (why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern Day) by Wade Davis
  4. Augmented by Brett King
  5. my 23andme results which have added so much to my National Genographic results from 2010.

In Sapiens, Harari’s initial premise is that we separated from Nature around 70,000 years ago when we developed the ability for FICTION.  

"The real difference between us and chimpanzees is the mythical glue that binds together large numbers of individuals, families and groups. This glue has made us the masters of creation."

Basically and most importantly the reminder that we are all (like) sorcerers and live in magical and fictional structures that bind us in large numbers.

“Fiction: the human superpower.” Or “Homo Sapiens, making shit up since 70,000 bc”.

Our ability to tell stories about our experiences is what led us down this high-speed evolutionary path as we transformed everything around us, including ourselves, and today even more so with all the advances in nanotechnology, prosthetics, bionics, gene-editing and so on.

Anyway, Harari basically says that since then, it’s all been imaginary orders: countries, religions,  nationalities, LLCs, capitalism and all other imagined orders, ideologies, EVERYTHING is fiction first and then shapes the material reality we live in.

So the big AHA! that I want to share with you, inspired by Sapiens is this one: Since it’s all an imaginary order and we all have access to creating this mind-magic that changes the world around us, WE MIGHT AS WELL CREATE OUR OWN RULES OF THE GAME IN OUR OWN UNIQUE IMAGINARY ORDERS. We get to do that, we get to dream up how we want to live… how amazing is that!

Evolutionary thinkers, naturalists, geologists, historians and writers.. they think about us as a species and look at the mind-boggling facts we now know about how the f*** Life’s gotten to this point in the past 4 billion years. And by Life I also mean us, of course.

In Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert explores what creative living entails and the thought that ideas are actually alive and looking for someone to express them. Pay attention to their call or they will find someone else to come through. Amazing book on the magic of riding the natural great perfection - as Buddhists would say - that is life and trusting the process, even when it seems you’re not in full control.

She also points to one amazing question: You love nature, don’t you? Would you also agree that Nature loves you back? Bringing that awareness to my daily practice added to the understanding that we are part of the natural great perfection: We are Nature, and are inextricably linked to this perfect organization that makes everything happen.

I like to remind myself that clearly the solar system has been working perfectly for billions of years, and Life has evolved even to the point of creating us, without us having anything to do about it, and definitely without us agreeing.

I’m amazed everyday, at everything.

I also just started reading The Wayfinders, and I know that I’m in for a treat, since I also just got my 23andme results and that is one of the first things Wade Davis talks about early in his book.

We live in an age when science allows us to take a look back in time at the memory we carry in our blood, at the journey our genes have taken around the planet.

I know I have Spanish and indigenous (native American, I was born in Colombia), and Middle Eastern certainly as well, on my dad’s side. What I didn’t know was that I my DNA is 57% Southern European, 17% Middle Eastern-North African, 17% East Asian-Native American, 2.5% Sub-saharan African and the rest undefined yet I am 11% more Neanderthal than most people even though my Neanderthal DNA accounts to less than 4% of my total genes.

Amazing! On top of that, my maternal DNA is more than 50,000 years old and my paternal one about 16,000. Of course, this is only based on the references they have so far, yet how fascinating is it to see, through the lens of science, what I’ve know from my own experience, limited family history and intuition?

Basically, my genes have traveled on both directions around the globe since leaving Africa thousands of years ago. Oh and I have something like < 0.1% Ashkenazy, even though I am not Jewish, someone clearly had a one night stand somewhere on the Road.

Augmented by Brett King. The technological and scientific changes that will happen in the next 20-30 years that will profoundly change our world beyond how the last 300 years.

  • Music I’m enjoying — Brandon Ernst / Focus@will / Gyuto monks

Brandon Ernst is usually at my friends’ places in Topanga, playing some amazing tunes. I haven’t stopped listening to his playlists on Soundcloud: Burning Man decompressions, etc. for the past couple weeks.

Focus@will is my app of choice for DEEP FOCUS work, tunes composed AND engineered to turn off the fight-or-flight brainwaves in your brain so that you can peacefully get crackin’.

“focus@will is a new neuroscience based web tool that uses specially sequenced instrumental music to increase your attention span up to 400% when working and studying.  Our tool helps extend your productivity cycle and effortlessly zones out distraction.”

Here is a fascinating discussion between Bill Harris (founder of Holosync) and Will Henshall (founder of Focus@Will) about why and how they started their companies and why their focus technologies are incredibly complimentary. If you want to SUPER CHARGE your productivity at work or study, check this out.

https://www.focusatwill.com/the-science-behind-music-for-concentration-and-focus/

Sometimes, either for deep focus work or still meditation, I’ll play the Gyuto Monks of Tibet, especially singing the Heart Sutra. Here’s a version with Deva Premal for a more “westernized” version. So much power, so much depth.

Here are 2 links where you can find translated details
www.shambhala.com/blog/his-holiness-the-dalai-lama/the-heart-sutra
http://www.sanghalou.org/oldsitebackup/heart_suttra.htm

  • What I’m (re)watching

Earth The Power of the Planet with Iain Stewart. The 4 forces that have made our planet: The Ocean, Volcanoes, Ice and The Atmospher. Epic and spectacular, Iain Steward is an extraordinary host, the takes and graphics of how our home planet works are amazing and it’ll give you a timeless sense of evolutionary geological perspective.

How to Grow a Planet: Life from Light with Iain Stewart tells the story of the rise of plants and how they essentially created all other life forms on Earth. He also closes out by asking whether they take care of us or we take care of them. Who’s working for who?

“In the third episode, Iain discovers the remarkable impact of just one plant: grass. On the savannah of South Africa he sees how grass unleashed a firestorm to fight its greatest enemy, the forests. He shows how cutting your finger on a blade of grass shows us how it transformed life in the oceans. In Senegal, he meets the cleverest chimps in the world. And, in the ruins of the oldest temple on Earth, he tells the extraordinary story of how grass triggered human civilization.”

Rise of the Animals: The Triumph of the Vertebrates with David Attenborough. In a spectacular journey of Life from Stromatolites (which are slumps of bacteria that kinda look like giant mushrooms and ruled the planet for 2 billion years) to actual fish developing a backbone, then a jaw, then fins, then limbs, then lungs, then dry skin, then a hip, then wings, then mammals, then us. Wow. Plus you get to hear the sweet voice of Grandpa Attenborough.

  • What I’ve been cooking

Foodgasms, taste-budgasms, braingasms, mindgasms and orgasms, we like them all, right? I like food that gives me light, long-lasting energy AND that is fast to make. There are so many other amazing things that I want to be doing with my days, that I usually spend no more than 5 to 25 min making a meal on a regular basis.

Here are 3 that go from 10 min to 35 min, and the 35 min one is because it’s Morel season and they happened to have some today at Whole Foods Venice.

Fast Food in my universe - 3 Recipes

All you will need at home to speed up your cooking is a food processor. If you have the budget, add a Vitamix, Blendtec or any other amazing device like a Thermomix. But you’re good with an 11-cup Cuisinart food processor like this one. It's my favorite size, doesn’t have to be Cuisinart.

  1. 12-min lunch: Grassfed skirt steak and Babaganoush
  2. Turkey tacos with paleo tortillas (I tried these guys SieteFoods, pretty awesome tortillas)
  3. Morel Risotto (This one’s a 20 min stirring meditation)
  • With a fork make a few holes in a big eggplant. Put directly on burner on the stove and give it a good black burn on all sides (it’ll take about 5 min). Remove from flame, let it cool down on a plate. Peel, throw in food processor with 1 big tbsp Tahine, 1 tbsp EVOO, pinch of salt. In the meantime, heat up your cast iron pan, add 1 tsp coconut oil. Season your grassfed skirt steak with coarse sea salt. Grill medium-rare. Spread Babaganoush on plate, sprinkle ground cumin you’ve previously roasted. Let skirt steak come together on a cutting board for 3 min before slicing. Plate on top of Babaganoush. Voilà! Enjoy.
  • Take 1 yellow onion, peel and cut up, throw in food processor with 3 scallions and 1 bunch cilantro. Mix with 1lb ground turkey. Stir fry, stir, squeeze a couple limes and mix well til it’s just done. Dice a yellow bell pepper, 1/2 red onion, some cherry toms, small bunch cilantro. Mix, plate on lettuce leaves. Dig in!
  • Dice 3-4 shallots, throw in a pan with 1 tbsp butter 1 tbsp EVOO on medium high. When they are translucent throw in 1 lb diced Morels, 3 garlic cloves (crushed, sliced, chopped) and 2 cups Arborio rice. When the water in the Morels is gone, add 1/2 cup pastured chicken stock to the pan and stir with your wooden spoon. Keep adding 1/2 cup stock for about 20-min. You will need about 1 quart chicken stock and 2 cups of water. When the rice is al dente, add 1/2 cup Pecorino or Parmigiano, another 1/2 cup stock and 1 tsp freshly roasted and ground black pepper. Stir. Plate in bowls. Sprinkle some chives. Enjoy!!
Etymology note: Between Flavor and Taste, I prefer the word Taste, etymologically speaking, because it is related to the sense of touch. But if I had to choose, I think the Spanish word for taste or flavor, and its origins, is the most exciting one: Saber means both to taste and to know as a verb, and knowledge, wisdom. It comes from Latin: Sapere (to have intelligence, and to have taste)
And so taste travels from tongue to brain to be perceived and understood, and wisdom and insight travel from brain to tongue, to be expressed.
  • Bonus - 5 Quotes I’m pondering and a secret charm: Become intimate with everything.

 “At one time you were a mountain, you were a cloud. This is not poetry, this is science.” Thich Nhat Hanh

"It is because suffering is impermanent that we can transform it. It is because happiness is impermanent that we must nourish it." Thich Nhat Hanh

“A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive.” (Albert Einstein, 1954)

“The most beautiful and most profound experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive forms - this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness.”
( Albert Einstein - The Merging of Spirit and Science)

"I am food, I am the consumer of food, I eat the consumer of foods, I consume the whole universe.” Taittiriya Upanishad

Also, do yourself a favor and sign up for the AMAZING Notes from the Universe (check it out, replace my name below with your name to get a sense of the notes)

“The only way to get what you really want is to know what you really want.

The only way to know what you really want is to know yourself.

The only way to know yourself is to be yourself.

And the only way to be yourself, Tomás, is to listen to your heart.

I do,
The Universe”

Are you enjoying 5 Delicious Thoughts? If so, please forward this email to a friend and suggest they sign up for the weekly dose!

As always, please let me know your requests and suggestions on www.instagram.com/tomasreyesvarela or at tomas@deliciousthought.com.

Which of the 5 Delicious Thoughts above was your favorite? What do you want more or less of?

Please let me know! Just send me an Instagram shout out to @tomasreyesvarela and put #5deliciousthoughts in there so I can find it :)

Thanks for reading and have an awesome weekend!

Tomás.

Tennis. Dad. Moving meditation.

Tennis. Dad. Meditation. January 10 2014

Dad:
“That last set, you played better than you’ve ever played before.”

Me: “Right? I thought only I’d felt it. I was so present and focused. At each moment, with each ball I was fully there, contained, committed to being present, continuous and flowing and ready to enjoy the game and keep the ball in the air.”

As I stood by the baseline to serve or receive, I observed my mindset, my breath, my intention, my presence and told myself:

Make it playful and make it challenging for the opponents, not by force but by placement (where I send the ball and how)
Get on the tip of your toes
Ready yourself to spring forward towards the ball
Be swift and focused
Contain your inner beast, be playful
Focus on the intention to hit the ball with complete faith, gentle playfulness and love
Remove all doubt
Remove all fear
Focus on where you want to send the ball

I would turn off my thoughts right before the ball hit the air, and it was up to my nervous system, my heart, my eyes, my concentration, my breath, my overall intuition and rapid, strategic reactions. At that point, I was not thinking, I was acting.

Interesting to discover that by focusing on each moment and containing the strength that I intended to apply, I ended up creating more winners or at least allowing for more opponent errors by keeping the ball in the air and keeping placement challenging.

I wondered how else and what other thoughts I could entertain and cultivate over the course of the match.

How do I remind myself of all the different variables that I want to be aware of? The answer is: constantly. Each ball is another opportunity to remember the nature of how I want to inform and express my game, my presence on the court.

Obviously once the ball hits the air, the point unfolds differently each time and that is where lies the beauty of it. As the point unfolds and transforms, and I make sure I keep the ball in the air, I allow room for expression and transformation, for lobs, dropshots, volleys, placement and movement in all directions. Like a constant process of discovery upon which you actually have very little or no control.

How would you know how it is going to unfold?

When I don’t allow myself enough time for the game to unfold and all the varying expressions of the game to present to the players, I miss out. And I want to participate in a fun, flowing game. I want the fun to last a little longer.

Life presents us with a subtle unfolding of events that is available when we open our thoughts, perception and heart coherence and do not judge what we are experiencing in each moment.

If thoughts inform our reality, how about love, curiosity, care and dynamic flow for thoughts and intention?

At the tennis club, the guys who play don’t usually stop during odd games. There’s a certain rush not to follow the rules of the game, surely out of sheer passion to play nonstop.

I personally prefer to stop at odd games, and also take a few seconds between the end of a point and my next serve. I do so to catch my breath, surely, and also to come back to center, to contain and commit to a certain intention and emotion to remind my body, mind and heart how it is I want to stand on the court.

I want to be:

Present
Focused
Playful
Inspired
Strategic
Light
Ready
Challenging
Like water or wind, versatile and dynamic.

And then the ball hits the air and I trust I’ve reminded my body, heart and mind enough and there’s no more room for thought inside me. Pure action, intention and care.

Focusing on that direct, serene awareness while enjoying the game, looking after each ball, may lead to winning the game. But winning the game was not the focus of my intention in the first place.

Now, the slightest disturbance, either inside my mind or my attention, even just looking at a leaf in a tree on the side of the court can throw me off. As in a meditation, a thought arises that does not necessarily belongs there. Problem is, in tennis you can’t really observe the thought and let it go. There’s no time to observe the thought, the ball is coming right at you, or slipping away.

Refining that focused connection with each present moment is a great Art.

How does this translate to daily life?

Before I go there, I’ll say this:

In 2013 I didn’t train harder, I did a little less yoga than usual, I moved more yes, but not because I practiced crossfit or functional movement. I swam in the ocean, I walked, I played beach volley. I played a lot with my eating patterns, I tried different diets (paleo, Bulletproof, ketogenic, wild, vegan, juice cleanses and so on).

In 2013 what I did do was I decided to change how I did everything. I decided I wanted to be open, flexible and dynamic. I had a life changing year of discovery, I talked and listened to extraordinary people about health and holistic wellbeing, about nature, about food, about movement, about attitude, about sleep, about being present, about mindfulness, about habits, and I experimented a lot with myself.

I practiced HRV (Heart Rate Variability) High Coherence training with a small sensor and an app on my iPhone by Heartmath.

I trained my nervous system with an ARP (Advanced Neurological training device) designed by Jay Schroeder.

I meditated, I observed myself.

I mostly trained my mind, my nervous system, my heart-centered breathing (HRV), my watchfulness, my intentions, my emotions.

I practiced being more aware, non judgmental and curious.

What else is next I ask myself. How does observing every moment and event inform my days?

Keep the flow. Delicious thoughts.

Delicious meditation on understanding oneself as part of a boundless ecosystem

Imagine you are covered in this cosmic blanket of gravity.
It is invisible, yet pulls you into the earth.
The same earth to which we will all one day return.

Now see yourself on the sand, turning into sand over time.
The waves come and slowly take you into the ocean, as you become part
of the water.

Over thousands of years, visualize all the sea animals you can think of being born,
and passing away, over and over again, turning into water too.

See a whale, a turtle, a shrimp, a fish, a squid, a coral reef, a shark, a sea urchin, colorful little fish, a ray, all the other ocean animals you can think of.

They have all been born and they have all died in that same Ocean over millions of years. They are part of the water in the Ocean.

Now visualize the water cycle which has gone on for millions of years, see that water where all animals have been born and have passed away, evaporating into the air, turning into the wind, into clouds, raining down, quenching the thirst of rivers, plants, trees, animals on land, grass, rocks and coming back to the Ocean.

Now see yourself standing at the edge of the water, realizing that cycle, becoming aware of that thought.

You realize you are part whale, part shark, part wave, part plankton, part ray, part dolphin, part squid. See yourself as part of any other animal you can feel you are.

You realize the water inside your body is the same water in the Ocean.

That same Ocean where all animals were born and died and became water too. You realize you are water, you are animals, you are all.

BEING MORE APEX PREDATOR - IT'S NOT ONLY ABOUT WHAT WE EAT.

I AM FOOD. I AM THE CONSUMER OF FOOD. I EAT THE CONSUMER OF FOODS. I CONSUME THE WHOLE UNIVERSE. Taittiriya Upanishads (11.96)

Every morning, when you wake up, do you open your eyes, you yawn, and as you stretch, think "Aaaaah.... it feels so good to wake up as an apex predator on this planet! I am so lucky I get to eat everything I want, be at the top of the food web and play this amazing and crucial role in the health of my ecosystem." ?? Do you?

Yeah... didn't think so. Me neither, at least not fully. Until last month. And the second question I ask myself is:

What if every action I took everyday was informed by this one realization? What if every step I took daily helped:

What if everyday, each of us were more Lion? More Jaguar? More Whale? More Anaconda? More Bear? More Wolf? More Wolverine? More Shark?

WE ARE PART OF A FOOD WEB AND WE DON'T LIVE EVERYDAY OF OUR LIVES LIKE WE ARE. (IF YOU CONSCIOUSLY WAKE UP LIKE THIS DAILY, LET ME KNOW, I WOULD LIKE TO TALK.)

An apex predator, also known as an alpha predator, or top predator, is a predator residing at the top of a food chain on which no other creatures predate.

Apex predators are usually defined in terms of trophic dynamics, meaning that apex-predator species occupy the highest trophic level or levels and play a crucial role in maintaining the health of their ecosystems.

Since last August I have been shooting the pilot for a new series on deliciousnessand sustainability with this specific focus: To communicate the epic stories of how we reconnect with Nature and the crucial role that we play in the health of our ecosystems.

We are Nature, everything that we ever received in our lifetime came from Nature and Nature will digest our bodies once we die.

And as humans, we transform Nature around us faster and more massively than any other critter on Earth.

How do we keep this amazing, epic journey going for ourselves and future generations?

How do we pass on the fire of deliciousness, purpose and balance with Nature?

How do we creatively tackle the challenges and opportunities we are presented with when we reconnect with Nature's cycles??

How do we keep it delicious?

THIS IS WHAT I EXPLORE IN WILD + DELICIOUS

EPIC STORIES OF PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD WHO GROW FOOD, COOK FOOD, MAINTAIN TRADITIONS AND ARE HUNGRY FOR MORE SUSTAINABLE, DELICIOUS AND ENERGIZING LIFESTYLES. FROM HIGH-END CUISINE TO TRADITIONAL RECIPES AND INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES LIVING HARMONIOUSLY WITH THE FOREST AROUND THEM.

To me, cooking is as if (or exactly like) we are mirroring nature: we cook, chop, steam, heat, transform, pre-digest, ingest and digest. We transform reality, we transform ourselves and our body in the process.

That is what the forest, the ocean and the landscape do. Nature sprouts, grows, blooms, falls, cooks, digests, and creates new life again. That's called an ecosystem and it cycles nutrients. We are part of that nutrient cycle. When we are alive as a transforming player in the cycle, when we die well, as organic matter to be cycled to create more living matter.

NOT BECAUSE I DO WHAT I WANT. I FEEL LIKE AN APEX PREDATOR BECAUSE EVERY MORNING, WHEN I WAKE UP, I KNOW THAT EVERY DECISION I WILL MAKE TODAY HAS A CRUCIAL IMPACT ON THE HEALTH OF MY HOME PLANET.

BEING MORE APEX PREDATOR IS ABOUT WHAT WE DO, HOW WE TRANSFORM EVERYTHING AROUND US SO MASSIVELY. WAKING UP WITH THAT AWARENESS, THAT WE PLAY A CRUCIAL ROLE IN THE HEALTH OF OUR ECOSYSTEM...

WHAT IF 7 BILLION OF US WOKE UP WITH THAT DRIVE?

I can't get enough of this video on how Wolves Shape Rivers which tells a clear picture of how much Apex Predators actually shape their food web AND the geography around them. That is called a Trophic Cascade.

Big love, human family.

BOGOTA: MUGARITZ + SAO PAULO + BLOOD SOUP + AMAZON CHILI + CACAO + JAPAN

I was in Bogota in late August to start shooting the pilot for my upcoming series on food, living systems, regenerative agriculture, pleasure, challenges, science, and meaning. I told my friends at the production company in Bogota "guys, these are the days I can come to Colombia, let's do this!" and booked the ticket.

I was planning on looking for interesting high end chefs celebrating Nature, some traditional food restaurants and perhaps a short foraging and/or hunting adventure in the outskirts of Bogota.

2 days after I booked the ticket, I see on my FB feed a post from Mugaritz, (the No 6 Best restaurant in the World this year) that said "See you soon Bogota!". WHAT?! I immediately clicked on the link, booked my place at the Mugaritz dinner in Bogota and found out there was a gastronomy festival putting this awesome event together called Alimentarte, which translates roughly as "Feeding You" and is a play on words between Alimentar (To feed) and Arte (art).

Not only did I meet Andoni Luis Aduriz (Mugaritz) the first day in Bogota, a handful of amazing people from different countries welcomed me and my team in a fun, warm and hospitable way. Ximena Hernandez, a consultant in Spain, introduced me to Andoni Aduriz, to Luciana Bianchi (who cooks and writes with and about chefs such as Massimo Bottura (Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy), Antonio Bachour and Virgilio Martinez (Central, #1 50 Best Latin America 2015! - Lima, London); I also met Janaina Rueda who runs a handful of interesting restaurants in Sao Paulo with her husband Jeffim Rueda (Bar da Dona Onça in Sao Paulo is one of them) and the Peruvian demi-god Gaston Acurio who was wise, warm and welcoming. The event was brilliant, Bogota was delicious and the people are some of the warmest, most fun and vibrant in the world.

We shot interviews with Andoni (Mugaritz), Luciana and Janaina, they welcomed us in their kitchens. We shot, we ate, we celebrated food and sharing meals. It was delicious and it was mind-expanding.

Andoni is the kind of guy who will push the envelope with every single sentence, loves to question, doubt, create and tease your mind and palate. The Mugaritz dinner felt like bringing a Contemporary/Conceptual Art show to your mouth and mind. In his own words, he wanted the tasting menu to be like a fashion photograph.

In the middle of the Mugaritz dinner tasting menu at Harry Sasson restaurant came his dish "Decadencia". He says: "Florence in the 17th century was very powerful. Having golden utensils in the home was almost considered vulgar because anyone could have them. Sugar utensils now, THAT was the ultimate luxury. You have an army of people making these time-consuming cutlery sets which wouldlast only one meal. So decadent."

We talked ecosystems, creativity, sustainability, countryside-city relationship, the many ways culture and nature meet and the power of gastronomy as a force to draw tourism, spur economic growth and reconnect people to the land, the soil, the inmense variety of ingredients and cooking.

To me, cooking is as if (or exactly like) we are mirroring nature: we cook, chop, steam, heat, transform, pre-digest, ingest and digest. We transform reality, we transform ourselves and our body in the process.

The perks? It can be delicious and it can open your mind. The added perks? It can give you power, focus and it can be sustainable.

That is what the forest, the ocean and the landscape do. Nature sprouts, grows, blooms, falls, cooks, digests, and creates new life again. That's called an ecosystem and it cycles nutrients. We are part of that nutrient cycle. When we are alive as a transforming player in the cycle, when we die well, as organic matter to be cycled to create more living matter.

And living matter is what we went after:  we visited traditional restaurants in Bogota serving restorative powerful dishes such as Blood Soup and er... Bull "crank" soup: Traditional soup recipes that have been handed down for several generations high up in the Andes.

I am fascinated by organ meats. They are packed with micronutrients and enzymes in a way that muscle meats are not.

Maybe we could learn from some other keystone species such as Wolves, Lions and other apex predators. The alpha members of the pack usually go for the the heart, liver, kidneys and so on. The muscle meats are for the other guys. Most likely because the CoQ10, B and A vitamins, copper, iron, folic acid and other powerful nutrients make organs the ultimate complete meal, good for your heart, brain, joints, muscles. Basically, you get A LOT of bang for your buck. And it was a pleasure to find these restaurant gems, that served so much offal goodness!

Restaurant La Sucursal >>> Javier Mendez and Bros serve Blood Soup (Literally, a delicious broth with milk, scallions, fresh herbs, coagulated blood "meatballs" among many other delicious meals their great-grandmother would cook.

Doña Gladys, serves Bull 'crank' soup (penis and testicles), the most collagen-packed soup I've ever had, it was like caffeine for your brain!! WOW. Served with a side of avocado and white rice. Scrumptiously powerful. Coma de Paso Restaurant, 12 de Octubre Market - Bogota.

And then there was dessert. Because life is so much tastier with chocolate...

Since I was a kid I've chosen chocolate as my close friend and ally. Always there, always constant, always so comforting, reassuring, deep and delicious.

Mayumi Ogata from Japan has been working with Cacao in Colombia for about 3 years, exploring different regions and flavors. She works with elders from the Sierra Nevada in the Caribbean Coast among other indigenous commmunities to celebrate Colombian Cacao and make delicious chocolate.

She told me the story of how, before fermentation, she'll smell, taste and appreciate the raw fruit. How she will close her eyes to perceive what specific color and notes come to mind. Berries? Citrus? Raisins? Honey? Flowers? Mayumi will then decide on the fermentation process to bring out those specific qualities of each region. Gorgeous cooking process..

Some say we are on Earth to experience Chocolate. I can't wait to go back to Colombia, shoot with Mayumi and the growers in the Sierra Nevada, and then go see her in action in Tokyo during St Valentine's next February.

The final highlight of this trip was meeting Silvia Gomez and Barbara Santos, the 2 women behind this delicious project called WAIYA.

For the past 5-6 years, whenever I am in Colombia I'll make sure I bring back a tiny glass jar with a chili powder straight from the Amazon, deep into the jungle near the border with Brazil.

It's one of the regions in the Amazon that has better preserved their ancestral culinary and medicinal knowledge. A handful of women from different communities in the region take care of the chili, from planting to harvesting, to slow-smoking it and grinding it by hand. The chilis are actually laid on baskets made of palm leaves very high above the smoke so they dry and smoke slowly. They're blessed by the shamans and are a central part of their culture. Wow. 

I like to remind myself that with each bite, we inoculate our gut and our whole body with the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients present in our food.
Every time I put some Waiya chili on my food I remember I am inoculating myself with a bit of Amazon Jungle and the ancestral relationship with the people who live in it.

Waiya is one of the deepest, hottest and most delicious experiences I've had. And it is also a small batch production, always unique because it is all handmade. And sometimes it's unavailable, which is both a bummer and a beautiful thing.

Their WAIYA project goes well beyond the chili. They are about to publish a comprehensive book written and illustrated by the indigenous communities themselves; they work on conservation and protection projects with them among many other endeavors. On top of that, Silvia and her husband run an organic and pastured animal farm near Bogotá called Proyecto de Veras.

Cheers to awesome humans doing awesome things around the world.

EATING WITH THE SEASONS

"There is a beautiful ancient Chinese story which tells of a magic potion for eternal youth. And if you were to follow the recipe, it would take about 12 years to gather the ingredients. It's a metaphor for the journey. Once you taste the seasons, the landscapes, the flavors, the climates and the specifics of each terroir if you will, it's as if you're 'inoculated' with the world. That'll keep you young forever."

2ND NATURE

Last night I had this thought that the first 'supermarket' was the outdoors. The 1st nature we experienced.

It only takes a little foraging homework and a hike to realize you are walking through salad, main courses and a pharmacy when you're in the forest, the jungle, the ocean, the mountains, the plains. Because that's what Life is, a nutrient cycle at the end of the day.

For thousands of years we made sense of that 1st Nature, and generation after generation we learned what to eat, what not to eat, what plants and barks to take to cure diseases and so on.

We passed on that knowledge to the coming generations, over and over for centuries.

Today, supermarkets are different types of jungles with stuff that is very good for you and stuff that will slowly poison you. They are the 2nd Nature we experience. The 2nd nature we created.

Because we create and transform our environment the way Nature does, we created this 2nd environment which is harder to navigate. It changes much faster than the forest, among other things. And the main problem is there are no elders to show you the way since it's a constantly and rapidly evolving jungle.

No wonder we are a little lost sometimes, in this supermarket jungle.

I love adventure, so jungle is good, no matter what kind. And these days, I eat whatever the f*ck I want as long as it makes my body feel good and makes me feel light, powered up and focused.

I just make sure I sprinkle my supermarket jungle with some farmers market, wilderness, fishing, hunting, grass-fed butcher shops and amazing restaurants celebrating Nature and Deliciousness.

What will the 3rd Nature we experience be? When our technology mixes with biology?