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A life-changing change to my lunchtime routine

Hey friends, My life changed this week. I discovered the power of the Light Lunch.  I’ve always been
A life-changing change to my lunchtime routine
By Ali Abdaal • Issue #73 • View online
Hey friends,
My life changed this week. I discovered the power of the Light Lunch. 
I’ve always been a Heavy Lunch kinda guy. For the past year, I’ve looked forward to a hot, hearty meal at lunchtime. I’d buy around £8 worth of hot food from the hospital cafeteria, sit in the doctors’ mess and chat to people while munching on my glorious hot meal. 
Inevitably, I’d get the post-prandial dip. Blood flow would be diverted from my brain to my gut as my body’s parasympathetic nervous system would kick into ‘rest and digest’ mode. I’d find myself getting sleepy immediately after lunch, and so I’d buy a Latte from Costa Coffee and that would get me through the rest of the day. 
Recently though, my brother (and podcast co-host) Taimur sold me on the promise of the Light Lunch. He said that since he discovered the Light Lunch, his days have improved, he has more energy, and he no longer feels grim in the afternoons. The day after we had this conversation, one of my work colleagues was also extolling the virtues of the Light Lunch. She brings in a small pasta + veg each day from work, or buys a salad from the hospital cafe. She too said that a Heavy Lunch makes her feel awful afterwards, whereas a Light Lunch was the dream.
With such glowing recommendations, I had to try it out. And so on Monday this week, I established a control group by eating my final Heavy Lunch - a big, hearty plate of Spaghetti Bolognese with broccoli on the side. Afterwards, I did feel pretty grim - I felt like taking a nap for the next 3 hours, and even a cheeky latte didn’t quite wake me from my stupor.
On Tuesday though, I decided to try the Light Lunch. I got a toasted sandwich (chicken + pesto + salad) with a glass of water. It was quite tasty, and at the end of it, I felt reasonably full but also not-at-all tired. I still had my post-lunch coffee, just as a matter of habit, but I noticed a huge improvement in my post-lunch energy levels. 
I’ve repeated the pattern each day since, and 3 days later, I’m now a lifelong evangelist for the Light Lunch. It’s really great. If you’re a Heavy Lunch kinda guy/girl, you should definitely give it a try. 
Have a great week! 
Ali

This week's podcast
Taimur and I are. taking a break from the podcast this week. We’ve released 24 weekly episodes of Not Overthinking over the past 6 months, and even though we preach the principle of Consistency, we’ve decided to temporarily take a step back and figure out how to make the podcast a more sustainable endeavour, rather than something that we have to scramble to make each week last-minute.
If you’ve listened to some of our episodes in the past and you’ve gotten value from them, we’d love to hear from you. Please hit <reply> to this email if you’ve got any ideas about new episodes we could make, or if there are particular themes you’d like us to touch on.
We’ll be back next week with a new episode (fingers crossed) and might drop down to an every-2-weeks release schedule, but everything’s fluid at the moment.
But yeah, if you’ve got any advice or thoughts about any of this, please do <reply> to this email and let us know :) Thanks so much for the support over the past 6 months, it means so much ☺️
Stuff I enjoyed this week
1 - Conference - I’ve just returned from my first ‘creator’ conference. It was the Power of Video conference in Belfast, and there were a few hundred of us hearing talks by YouTubers and filmmakers like Peter McKinnon, Elle Mills, Chris Hau and others. I learned a load of stuff, and I’m super inspired to make more videos that I enjoy rather than just videos that will 'perform well’.
2 - Podcast - I discovered a podcast called Bookworm where the hosts read a book every 2 weeks and discuss its recommendations. The episode I enjoyed this week was about Make Time, a book about time management and productivity (my favourite topic!). There were a handful of takeaways I took from it, and they also mention the light lunch thing completely coincidentally. You should check it out if you like the productivity stuff. I’ve bought the book itself on Kindle as well - it’s next on the list.
3 - Blog Post - My productivity guru Tiago Forte wrote a post called Servant Hedonism that really resonated with me. “It combines two ideas that are often seen as opposites – service and pleasure – into one unified whole”. I’ve been pondering this concept of having a life philosophy for a few months now, and this (along with Tim Urban’s Religion for the Nonreligious) have been helpful in shaping my thinking. You might like them.
Kindle Highlight of the Week
A strange realization that it’s the first time I’ve actually saved a life in five months as a doctor. Everyone on the outside imagines we roam the wards performing routine acts of heroism; I even assumed that myself when I started. The truth is, although dozens, maybe hundreds, of lives are saved every day on hospital wards, almost every time it happens it’s in a much more low-key, team-based way. Not by a doctor performing a single action, so much as implementing a sensible plan which gets carried out by any number of colleagues, who at every stage check the patient is getting better and modify the plan if they’re not.
This week's video
How to Film YouTube Videos on Your Smartphone (2019)
How to Film YouTube Videos on Your Smartphone (2019)
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Ali Abdaal

Hey friends, I'm Ali, a Cambridge medicine graduate now working as an FY2 junior doctor. I spend most of my spare time making YouTube videos, but every Sunday I send out an email 'newsletter' with some thoughts, life lessons and interesting articles I discover on the internet.

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Ali Abdaal, Cambridge, UK.