The Tim Ferriss 2016 Holiday Gift Guide

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Getting festive with Chris Sacca, who suggests mullet wigs for every occasion.

Getting festive with Chris Sacca, who suggests mullet wigs (long story) for every occasion.

I dislike shopping, but I love finding the perfect gift.

Finding that gift, though, gets harder with time. People seem to have everything they need.

Alternate versions of the shirts I got last year? No, thank you. More ring pops? I’ll pass. In the eternal quest to eliminate clutter, I now give Santa a not-to-buy list instead of a wish list.

After testing and vetting hundreds of products and gadgets this year, here are 17 that make the cut.  I own all of these and have gifted them to friends.

Gifts Under $25

Butternut 2013 Chardonnay — $16 

I’m a red wine guy. There are very few white wines that make me defect. The first I met was a 2004 Rombauer Chardonnay. The most recent is this delicious Butternut 2013. Every person at the table — all self-described red-wine people — loved it and remarked upon it. If those both sell out, try my current favorite sake, Hitori Musume.

RAD Roller — $25

I travel with one of these at all times. Many folks use the RAD for thoracic mobility work, but I prefer to focus on the feet and forearms (pressing down into a table and rolling). Tip… Think your hamstrings are tight? Try rolling out your feet, doing 30 calf raises, stretching your Achilles, then testing your hammies again. Both Amelia Boone and Coach Sommer would agree—a lot of “hamstring” inflexibility is related to lower-leg mobility.

Metal “Tap” Knife — $6 

I don’t know how I lived without these until now. I order almost everything I need on Amazon Prime, so I’m constantly opening and breaking down boxes. These puppies are so much better than knives or standard box cutters that there is no comparison. Perhaps I’m a weirdo (of course, I am), but these were a game changer. NOTE: These are ONLY for opening boxes. I stupidly used one to open a plastic package and almost cut my damn hand in half. Be careful!

Sleep Master Sleep Mask — $24

This was given to me by Jeffrey Zurofsky (remember “JZ” from The 4-Hour Chef?) as a birthday present. It’s been a godsend. After testing every sleep mask imaginable, and tested black-out blinds, etc. over the years, this is—bar none—my favorite to sleep and travel with. It uses thin velcro instead of elastic, and satin wraps around your ears instead of over them. Remember the first time you saw luggage with wheels and thought, “Why didn’t someone come up with this earlier?” I felt the same when using the Sleep Master Mask for the first time. Simple, great design. One caveat: If you sleep in a very warm room, this mask may be too hot.

Jackery Mini Portable Charger — $13

This thing is a lifesaver when my phone is running low on battery. It was recommended to me by my friend Matt Mullenweg (CEO of Automattic), who I interviewed in this episode of my podcast.

Tools of Titans — $17

OK, I’m clearly biased on this one, but I (and dozens of proofreaders) think it makes the perfect holiday gift. The book is split into three sections–Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise–and there is something for everyone.

Over the past 2 years, I’ve interviewed 200+ of the world’s best performers – everyone from super celebs (Jamie Foxx, Arnold Schwarzenegger, etc.) to athletes (icons of powerlifting, gymnastics, surfing, etc.), Special Ops commanders, and black-market biochemists. In this brand-new book, I painstakingly distilled the best tools and tactics you won’t find anywhere else, including at least 40% brand-new content and tips from experts. Even if you’ve heard every podcast episode, you’ll have 250-300 pages of new goodies.

Everything in this book has been applied to my own life. I’ve used many of the recommendations in high-stakes negotiations, high-risk environments, or large business dealings. The lessons have made me millions of dollars, remade my body, and saved me years of wasted effort. I wrote Tools of Titans, my ultimate notebook of high-leverage tools, for myself. It’s changed my life, and I hope the same for you.

Gifts Under $50

Soma Glass Water Bottle —$30

The Soma Bottle is the healthy way to stay hydrated everywhere. Made from high quality, shatter-resistant glass, with an easy grip protective sleeve, it’s perfectly designed to fit into your bag, your cup holder, and your life.

MobilityWOD Gemini — $35

OK, this isn’t a sex toy, but it sure as hell looks like one. Kudos to Kelly Starrett, the supple (sexy?) leopard and PT to the stars, for thinking multi-purpose. I travel with the Gemini and use it often for my chest and paraspinals (muscles along the spine). To dumb, reckless people reading this: please do NOT stick this tool inside yourself.

Original Buddha Board — $33

A Zen-like Etch-a-Sketch. Use the included brush to paint designs onto the board with water. As the water evaporates, your image will fade within 30-60 seconds.. This is a great tool for learning to let go… or rekindling your artistic side. If you have 60 seconds a day, you have time for the Buddha Board.

Adidas slip-ons — $40 

I’ve needed Adidas slip-ons for years. No idea why it took me so long to get them. They’re perfect as indoor Japanese-style slippers, or for wearing outside when you don’t want flip-flops killing your toe webbing. I’m typing this, I’m wearing them with socks. #GermanStyle

Chemex — $34

The all-American Chemex is unique because of its thicker coffee filters, which are 20-35% thicker than the usual paper filters. This means they hold back more of the lipids and sediment that can result in bitter flavors, delivering an incredibly clean, sweet cup.

Nayoya Needle Pad — $45

This was recommended to me by a Cirque du Soleil performer (Andrii Bondarenko) after I pulled my shoulder and lat. In the Ukraine, he used this type of mat daily after strenuous practice, particularly for back pain. I’ve found 6-10 minutes per session, 1-2 times per day, to have a near-miraculous effect on mid-back issues (and thoracic mobility, oddly). Could be placebo, of course. Start slow, my eager little friends. The “thorns” are sharp.

Gifts Under $100

Epsoak Epsom Salt — $58 (39.5 lbs.)

I take hot baths every night when at home in SF. Nearly always, I add epsom salt (typically 4-8 cups), which facilitates muscular relaxation and recovery. Rather than buy small boxes at CVS or Safeway, I buy in bulk and store it in rolling dog-food containers.

Casa Dragones — $75

This was introduced to me by a Navy SEAL who enjoys sipping this nectar while disassembling and cleaning firearms (unloaded, obviously). It is VERY expensive, but I have no hangover or cognitive slowness the day after a big night, which makes it worth it. If looking for something less expensive but also easy on the brain, try “Hitori Musume” sake mentioned up above.

Hario Skerton Hand Mill — $50 

Use this manual hand grinder alongside the AeroPress and you can make an incredible cup of coffee on the go. I’ve used this grinder and the Porlex hand grinder. I like both but favor the Hario as A) it’s half the cost and B) it has a single-dose measurement on the plastic for eyeballing when you can stop grinding.

Myles Everyday Shorts — $58 

I originally got these as a gift from Huckberry, and they are now my go-to shorts for nearly everything. I swim in them (quick drying), I wear them while working at coffee shops, and you can even wear them to a nice dinner if you have decent shoes. Multi-purpose rocks.

Waterpik Ultra Water Flosser — $60

I’ll keep this one short. I have hated flossing my entire life. Each year, I got a lecture from the dentist, and each year, I’d attempt flossing for 2-3 days and throw in the towel. No longer. Using the WaterPik in combination with the free Coach.me app got me to floss consistently for the first time. Now, I look forward to it. Weird.

Happy holidays, all!

Much love to you and yours…

Tim

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How to Defy Gravity on Earth (And Win $2,000+ Worth of Prizes)

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[PLEASE NOTE: This competition has ended. Here are the winners. Thanks!]

Unless you’ve been to outer space, the next few minutes are worth your time.

Below are the details of The Zero-G Giveaway. My goal is simple: I want to you to have one of the coolest experiences on the planet. Namely, floating like an astronaut, experiencing weightlessness, and grinning ear-to-ear for a week afterward.

I’m not selling anything and no purchase necessary. Just thought it’d be cool, and I have some big news coming next week, so this is a warm-up. I’m limbering up my Internet joints for action.

All that said, you have less than 48 hours, so please keep reading.

My approach to blogging is simple: share what excites me most. It doesn’t matter if it’s expensive, free, or really cheap (like this).

Whether or not you win, I want to you to think of new possibilities.

For the Zero-G giveaway, I teamed up with Huckberry because they offer so many things I love. Sometimes it feels like I’m shopping in my own closet.

ACHTUNG! This is about getting people–a lot of people–excited. I want to you to dream big, and I want you to encourage others to do the same.

That’s why the more you spread the word on social media, the more likely you are to win.

If you want to enter, simply click here. It takes five seconds. After you sign up, you’ll be given the chance to spread the word to your friends. That’s it.

I hope you enjoy these prizes as much as I do.

Grand Prize (1 winner) 

Second Prize (3 winners)

If you’re not familiar with all the above prizes, here are few thoughts on why I chose to include them.

Exo Protein Bars: These are the only bars I currently eat. Clean protein, paleo-friendly, no soy and made of crickets. The amino acid profile is killer, a former 3-Michelin star chef makes them delicious, and it’s minimally-processed compared to almost every other form of protein bar. No garbage, no fillers. CrossFitters and other athletes gobble these things up. Journalists have been surprised I eat these, as there is a bit of natural sugar, but they don’t spike glucose for me or media friends who’ve tested them.

Soma: In its simplest form, it’s a high-end competitor to Brita water filters. It combines Apple-inspired design (sleek glass carafe) with a subscription service that delivers the world’s first compostable water filter to your door.  I have three at home.

LSTN Headphones: So cool that they had to be included. These wood-rich headphones immediately get double takes, and they have everything you need—a microphone for calls and voice recording, and passive-noise isolation feature to highlight your tunes and keep out the rest of the world. These bad boys are consistently ranked as good or better than headphones 2-3x the price.

In Conclusion

Jump on it! The giveaway ends in less than 48 hours.

To sign up, simply click here. And don’t forget: every time you share the page, your likelihood of winning increases.

What else would you like to experience before you die? What’s on your personal bucket list?

Good luck and pura vida🙂

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Optimizing Investing, Blood, Hormones, and Life (Podcast Double-Header: #63 and #65)

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Raoul_-_MPEG_Streamclip_1_9_2_©_2004-2008_Squared_5Discussing life and investing with Mark Hart and Raoul Pal.

[DISCLAIMER: I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on the Internet. Speak with a medical professional before doing anything medical-related, m’kay?]

There is something here for everyone.

This post details two jam-packed discussions  — one with world-renowned macro investors and investment strategists (Mark Hart and Raoul Pal), and another with a top performance doc you’ve referenced hundreds of times (Peter Attia, MD).

In both, we address dozens of topics, including:

– How do you choose an optimal investment style?
– What’s the most useful definition of “ROI” for lifestyle purposes?
– What are the 5 lesser-known physical tests you should consider?
– How does hormone therapy fit into the bigger performance and longevity picture (or not)?
– Productivity and exercise/diet tips from all participants.

Below, you’ll also find the most comprehensive show notes and links I’ve done to date. They’re DEEP.  If you like them, please let me know in the comments, as these take a TON of time to transcribe and summarize.

EPISODE 63 — I am interviewed by Mark Hart and Raoul Pal for Real Vision Television, which was created to combat the dumbed-down approach to finance in traditional media. Mark predicted and bet on the subprime mortgage crisis, the European sovereign default crisis, and more. As Forbes put it, related to Mark, “Sometimes, combing through a mountain of manager letters felt like reading the newspaper years in advance.” We talk about nearly everything in this roundtable.

EPISODE 65 — Peter Attia, MD, answers your most popular 10-15 questions (e.g. top blood tests, hormone therapy, increasing VO2 max, long-term ketosis, etc.), as voted on by thousands of you. Peter is President of NuSI and a tremendous endurance athlete in his own right.

TF-ItunesButton TF-StitcherButton

This podcast is brought to you by Mizzen + Main. Mizzen + Main makes the only “dress” shirts I now travel with — fancy enough for important dinners but made from athletic, sweat-wicking material. No more ironing, no more steaming, no more hassle. Click here for the exact shirts I wear most often. Order one of their dress shirts this week and get a Henley shirt (around $60 retail) for free.  Just add the two you like here to the cart, then use code “TIM” at checkout.

This episode is also brought to you by 99Designs, the world’s largest marketplace of graphic designers. Did you know I used 99Designs to rapid prototype the cover for The 4-Hour Body? Here are some of the impressive results.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What is the best investment advice you’ve ever read or heard? Please share and explore answers in the comments here.

Do you enjoy this podcast? If so, could you please leave a short review here? I read them, and they keep me going. Thanks!

And here are the copious show notes and links for both episodes… Read More

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The Random Show, Episode 25 — Gut Bacteria, Meditation, Startups, and More

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If you can’t view the above video, please click here or here. To download the audio as an MP3, just right-click here and choose “save as.”

There are dozens of topics covered in this bromantic episode of scatterbrained banter.

Like what? To start off: tracking gut bacteria, favorite documentaries, keys for novice meditators, startup lessons, Kevin’s new obsessions, and more. O-tanoshimi dane!

The last few blog posts have been rather serious, so this is intended as an informal (but still informative) mind snack.

For all previous episodes of The Random Show, including the epic China Scam episodeclick here.

Enjoy!

Select show notes and links are below.  Some good stuff in this episode’s resources…

LINKS FROM THE EPISODE

Read More

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Tim Ferriss Rethinks Email

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Pretty soon, many of you will get an email from me.  It’ll probably surprise you.

See, when I sketched out the original 4-Hour Workweek site in 2006 (sorely in need of a redesign), I included an email capture field, as that’s what friends said I should do:

The_4-Hour_Workweek_and_Timothy_Ferriss

Then I promptly forgot all about it. I hated email, so I didn’t want to send you email. Simple as that. Do unto others, right?

But things have changed.

Now, with Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, and hundreds of clones, the Internet and mobile are a battlefield of noise. Even if you “like” my Facebook fan page, my updates will rarely reach more than 10% of you.

For years now, thousands of you have complained that Feedburner delivers time-sensitive blog posts days or WEEKS too late. This means missed giveaways, meetups, competitions, Q&As, parties, and all sorts of fun stuff.

Needless to say, this sucks.

So I reluctantly decided to re-examine email. In a world where people change email addresses less often than physical addresses, it just made sense.

My first step was to dust off the keyboard and log into AWeber, which I’d decided was best for me eight years prior. What I found shocked me. I had nearly 300,000 email addresses from sign-ups! Holy negligence, Batman!

Ah, well. Yet another reason for my friends to make fun of me. Enjoy, Kevin Rose.

But better late than never. Within the next 10 days, I will start emailing new blog posts to anyone who’s signed up (on the homepage or the newer blog form), generally around one post per week.  Plus, you’ll get VIP treatment, like private Q&As, exclusive content, giveaways, and other things that don’t appear on the blog.

Here’s the deal:

– If you haven’t signed up yet (or you’re not sure), please do so now. Here’s the link. No spam, ever. Just good stuff.

If you sign up now, your first email will also include a link to a free download of the entire 4-Hour Chef audiobook, which includes narration by yours truly and Neil Gaiman (!). And to kick things off, I’ll be doing a 2-3-hour Q&A — for email subscribers only — next Monday night, 8/11. Ask me anything: business, personal, “inappropriate,” whatever.  Nothing is off limits. Sign up here to get the details via email.  A recording will be made available to email subscribers who can’t make the live session.

I’ll also be giving away a round-trip ticket to anywhere in the world. For details, you guessed it, you need to click here.

– If you’ve already signed up, you’re all set! Please keep an eye out for a welcome email from “Tim Ferriss” within the next 10 days.

It’s not spam. It’s from me.  Following that, blog posts and VIP goodies will show up, roughly once per week.

If you’re using Gmail and my email ends up in your “Promotions” folder, please do me a favor and drag it to your “Primary” so it doesn’t get lost in all the OKCupid notifications and whatnot.

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And please realize — I and my assistant get about 1,000 email a day. It’s funking unreal, and it’s brutal. No one is more sensitive to email abuse than I am, so I will NOT abuse your inbox.

If you get annoyed, you can one-click unsubscribe. Easy peasy and no BS.

Things will be intermittent (usually once a week, sometimes twice), and posts will be high-quality (like this or this).

As mentioned, I’ll be doing a 2-3-hour Q&A next week to kick things off, and also giving away a roundtrip ticket anywhere in the world. For details on both, just add your email here.

If you have any questions about all this, please ask in the comments! I’ll be paying close attention and answering as many as I can. I’ve literally put off email for years, but enough is enough. It’s the right thing to do.

And thank you for reading. Whatever this blog has become, I owe it all to you.

Pura vida,

Tim

timothy-ferriss-hat-headshot-four-hour-work-week-body-chef

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The Tim Ferriss Podcast, Episode 3: Kelly Starrett and Dr. Justin Mager

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Kelly Starrett pic

It’s my first podcast threesome! [blush]

THE TIM FERRISS SHOW, EPISODE 3:

This episode features two incredible guests: Dr. Justin Mager and Kelly Starrett. We all drink wine and get crazy.

Dr. Mager is my personal doctor and has helped me with dozens of my crazy experiments, complete with blood testing and next-generation tracking. He’s brilliant (and hilarious).

Kelly Starrett is one of the top Crossfit coaches in the world, and one of my favorite PTs and performance trainers. His clients include Olympic gold medalists, Tour de France cyclists, world and national record holders in Olympic lifting and powerlifting, Crossfit Games medalists, ballet dancers, and elite military personnel. If you’re interested in taking your body or brain to the next level, or attempting to become the guy from Limitless, this episode is for you.

Enjoy!

And…want to win some cool stuff today? Tweet out your favorite quote or line from this episode, using the following format, and I’ll pick a few of my favorites for prizes:

“[Insert quote]” More: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-tim-ferriss-show/id863897795?mt=2 #TFS”

To encourage other people to retweet you, try and ensure your entire Tweet is 120 characters or less. The iTunes link above will be automatically shortened.

If you haven’t already, please subscribe to the podcast on iTunes! My iTunes rank — largely determined by subscriber count — is critical for recruiting future guests. Other options for download are the end of this post, but iTunes (here) really helps me out, even if just for the first few episodes. Help me make this podcast as strong as possible, and click subscribe here!

If you’d like a teaser of Episode 3, some of the subjects we cover are below. Learn more about Kelly at MobilityWOD and through his Twitter account:

  • Defining a “performance whore”
  • The potent combination that is Justin Mager
  • What makes people “well” and what makes people thrive
  • Mixing passions for endocrinology and eastern philosophy
  • How chakras described in Ayurvedic medicine correspond to nerve plexuses and endocrine glands
  • How Justin Mager changes lives by exploring the body as a whole
  • Experimenting on the fringes of physiology and what limits can be pushed
  • Working with high-end athletes and military to exceed supposed “optimal” performance
  • Blood testing is a snapshot, not a overall description of health — how do you improve it? What do you measure?
  • Delving into the effects of travel on circadian rhythms, and how to correct problems
  • Exploring the Quantified Self (QS) movement and Kevin Kelly
  • Testing quality of sleep
  • Why science isn’t the cause-and-effect master of the universe, or shouldn’t be viewed as such
  • Pattern recognition and “chunking” for improved talent acquisition
  • The diverse role of genetics; what can be changed and what cannot
  • The health and performance implications of testosterone, boners, sleep, and more
  • Mattress selection from the mobility expert (Kelly)
  • Hacking the nervous system for rejuvenating sleep, utilizing body temperature as a tool
  • Rebooting the parasympathetic nervous system
  • “Supple Leopard” morning rituals
  • Kelly’s test of functional mobility
  • How pain tolerance, mobility, and movement come together
  • Common qualities of top physicians, coaches, and bio-hackers, and how you can emulate them… Read More
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Meet The New York City Food Marathon: 26.2 Dishes in 26 Locations in 24 Hours

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Excess can sometimes be delicious.

Thanksgiving is a great example. The NYC Food Marathon, however, takes things to an entirely new level. Think of it as a 24-hour Thanksgiving on steroids: 26.2 iconic dishes in 26 locations, all hit by foot in 24 hours.

It’s one of the most insanely fun ways to spend a Saturday.

Which restaurants (and dishes) would you pick for a food marathon in your own city? Please let us know in the comments. Here are the ones we picked in NYC with the help of top chefs…

[The following is excerpted from The 4-Hour Chef.]

The 4-Hour Chef excerpt

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