November books, habits, and new podcasts

November was a productive month, I finished 11 books, a new record. Many of them as nonfiction and focused on anti-ageing, my research project for the month which I summarized in this post.


Gift from the Sea (5/5): I absolutely loved this book. I wish I had taken it to Boracay, that would be a perfect background. The main takeaways for me was to slowdown (theme of 2020), make time for myself (for the benefit of all!), and appreciate simplicity. I am going to put in the stack of books to re-read.

Mitten String for God Reflections for mothers in a hurry (5/5): this is by the same author of my favorite book of the year. Similar theme, absolutely a must if you want to appreciate simple joys in life. I wrote down many passages of this book in my journal. Two that I really like:

“When I stay connected to my own feelings, when I am fully present and conscious of what is going on beneath the surface, then I find myself possessed of all the patience, humor, intuition, love and strength that effective discipline requires “
“I used to feel guilty about idle moments. Time spent out in the lawn chain, staring at the sky, was time “waste”…. but I come to believe that all those activities are essential. They are what is meant by “nurturing”. Our children do not need more possessions to be happy; they need only to feel sure that they possess our hearts, our attention, our acceptance of who they are.”

Untamed (5/5): OMG! this memoire is so intense. My heart was pounding in few chapters. I can’t imagine living in Glennon’s mind, she’s super sensitive and came a long way to accept who she is and the strengthen of her sensitivity. The chapter on how she met Abby was OUTSTANDING and magical. I love her transformation about love, control, and what is loving.

“I am beginning to unlearn what I used to believe about control and love. Now I think that maybe control is not love. Control might be the opposite of love, because control  leaves no room for trust, and maybe love without trust is not love at all. I am beginning to play with the idea that love is trusting that other people feel, know, and imagine too. Maybe love is respecting what your people feel, trusting that they know, and believing that they have their own unseen order for their lives pressing through their own skins. 
Maybe my love with the people I love is not imaging the most beautiful life for them and then pushing them forward it. Maybe I am supposed to ask what they feel and know and imagen. And then, no matter how different their unseen order is from me, ask what I can do to support their vision.
Trusting people is terrifying. Maybe if love is not a little scary and out of control, then it is not love at all. It is wild to let others be wild.”

Why we sleep (3/5): I learned few things from the book on how sleep works, the roles of different cycles of sleep. I wish the book gives more concrete tips on how to have quality sleep.

Motherhood realized (2/5): essays by mothers sharing different challenges, stages, and joys of being a mother. Good gift for new or to-be moms.

Skincare (3/5): simple, straight forward guide on what to do, what not to do, and myths about skincare and the industry.

The Longevity diet (5/5): new concepts about why we age and what we can do to slow it down. I am adopting many of the recommendations.

The new rules of aging well, the longevity paradox, and the plant paradox (1/5): little new information, some of claims have attribution problems. Would not recommend these.


Pachinko (3/5):  a book about immigrant, family, enduring the many hardship in life, and how our family history shapes us.

The Great Gatsby (3/5): enjoyed reading and watching the movie. reflections in this post.

Habits tracked

  • Steps (daily avg): 19700 (19200 Oct)
  • Screen time (daily avg): 34 min (26 Oct)
  • Work hours (daily avg): 6 hrs (8 Oct)
  • Miles run: 141 miles (160 Oct)
  • Yoga: 28 sessions (26 Oct)
  • Sleep (daily avg): 7.8 hrs (7.1 Oct)
  • Mood rating: 3.6/5 (4.25 Oct)

Things tried

Food combining: I often suffer from bloating. Surprisingly I was zero bloated during our 12 days in Boracay. I was curious to know what caused my bloating. Sometimes correlated with mild constipation, most of the times I’m just bloated. Food combining got me interested. There is no scientific evidence that convincingly say it helps but worth a try as it helps for many. So I gave it a try for 3 weeks. My conclusion was it might help but not by much and I felt too restricted with food choices, which I don’t like. So I abandon it.

Melissa Wood Health: I started November 1 and did it consistently 28 out of 30 days. I like it a lot! I like her workout (short, sweet, effective), I like her approach to exercise, I like her approach to life, I like her. Just purchased the yearly subscription. Very happy about having something to look forward everyday.

New Podcast Likes

Bill Gates and Rashida Jones ask big questions

The Doctor’s Kitchen Podcast. I like the host, seems a good person, host, and interviews experts on health related subjects.

The Doctor’s Farmacy. I don’t follow many of what Dr. Hyman recommends but his interviews are good.

Goop Beauty Closet.

December goals:

  • Keep the holiday spirit
  • Giving back
  • Practice gratitude daily


  • Look for joys
  • Savor small moments
  • Pause and wonder

One thought on “November books, habits, and new podcasts

  1. That was a nice, thorough review! Looks like a good month. I’ll have to add those first two to my list. Maybe to my Christmas list! They look like books I would definitely enjoy too. I can’t believe you run so much!! I used to be really into running when the boys were little and did a marathon, some half marathons, etc. but then got more into strength training. Now when I run, it seems so hard! I don’t feel a strong pull to get back into it. I have gone through stretches where I will run a little bit, but I just don’t find the same enjoyment anymore as other forms of exercise. Oh well. I’m glad you like though! I do love going for walks though, but I don’t find that I get the same mental benefit when I run. I guess I’m too focused on feeling tired. If I still ran regularly I’m sure this wouldn’t be an issue as I would adapt and have more running endurance. I’m so impressed you fit in so much self care. I try to, too, but it can be tough to fit it all in. I have so many different things I would like to do. Darn job always getting in the way of my free time. LOL.


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