Nerd Reading GALORE now available in the VitaKea store! 📚
Our first shipment of good reads is now up and available online in the VitaKea store! 🤓 Get your supps, get your reads, combine them together and expand your brain! 😊
A stack of books all along the lines of biohacking, nootropics, longitivity and all that fun stuff we're all about. 👌🏻🧠
I know many of you are keen readers and over the last couple of years I've received and given many a book reccomendation (hmmm... maybe we should start a book club haha). But as with the supplements and why VitaKea started in the first place, we can't always conveniently get what we want in NZ. 😭
So one day I thought heck, I'm shipping in supps from all over the world aaand going through all this hassle to procure books for my personal reading. Months of faffing with freight forwarders and sometimes having to hunt out used copies.... Why not consolidate nthis effort, make it easy for all of us and bring the books in on mass?! 😁📚📚📚📚📚📚📚📚📚📚📚📚📚
And here we have it!
Watch on or check out the site for my quick chat on each read we just got in. If you have any special requests or reccomendations, I'd love to hear it! 🤙🏻🤓
DEEP WORK by Cal Newport
Quite simply, if you can read, I recommend this book to you... and it doesn't even talk about supplements! But I very much believe establishing practices for Deep Work will out-value any other biohacks or supplements when it comes to getting done what you actually want done. That big project that you can't seem to finish. Art. Writing. Even just thinking through a line of thought.
All the biology optimising tricks in the world is useless if that hard earned capacity is directed towards the wrong things. Like a Ferrari which has thousands of dollars of servicing every year, and the very best performance fuel. Only to drive at walking pace in bumper to bumper traffic. Implementing Deep Work practices will help you take your own hard earned performance engine to the open road to run free and at optimal potential. And of course, combining Deep Work strategies with things like careful diet, exercise and supplementation... there you have a recipe for long and deep sessions of mental flow that is both good fun, incredibly productive, and anti-burnout.
As far as reading experience goes, it would fit under casual and enjoyable but not a "light read". It's not a technical manual, but it will leave you with plenty to think on that would warrant focused reading... you could even say, deserving of a session of Deep Work session. As someone with an electrical engineering background, I also really appreciate the clean structuring of how Cal presented the book. First half covering the concept of Deep Work and value it provides, second half going over strategies to achieve deep work.
This is one of the books that I read once yearly (so far read twice, will begin again soon!) as a reminder to keep my priorities in order and a check on how I spend my days.
Right now, this is perhaps my highest recommended book in The VitaKea Store. We all want focus, this is a tried and true method and even gets better the more you practice it, as opposed to building a tolerance. Only downside is the need for self control haha!
THE RHODIOLA REVOLUTION by Dr. Richard P. Brown & Patricia L. Gerbarg, M.D.
The Rhodiola Revolution is actually a book we got in on recommendation from one of the good folk in the VitaKea community.
I personally am yet to get to reading it, though if you've seen any of my chat on Rhodiola is the past, you'll be well aware that it is a herb I vouch for through and through. Can't wait to get to it - after reading I'll update this section on my thoughts on the book.
See in store.
A HEAD ABOVE by Mansal Denton
A Head Above is a light and casual, short and sweet read filled with interesting insights toward the idea of peak mental performance. It covers a wide number of topics, not particularly comprehensively but more dipping its toes in each pool.
From someone of Mansal's background, you might actually expect the entire book to be a run of nootropics stacks and protocols. But not so! In fact, the chapter on Nootropics is half the length compared to his chapter titled "Beyond the Pill". Rather Mansal spends much of his energy directing us toward more lifestyle practices to build our mentality and body up to provide a foundational support toward focus. Talking how we direct our focus, social relations and much more.
All up, its a great book and certainly one that sparks curiosity. Being reasonably short, its the perfect sort of single session on a Sunday afternoon sort of read. Oh it's also got some great illustrations too - see page 3 in the teaser images. :) Personally I've been through this cover to cover at least four times, so I can confirm, it is a good one to keep coming back to.
THE BIOHACKING MANIFESTO by James Lee
This read is still on my to-do list. Premise looks good, and hey, who doesn't want to know about how to age gracefully haha! :) I will update this section after I've given it a good study.
See in store.
GAME CHANGERS by Dave Asprey
As with practically anything coming from Dave Asprey and Bulletproof, it probably pays to start with a word to acknowledge that this book is another one that is riddled with marketing for biohacking gear and performance products the whole way through. ***If you have the tolerance to read through that and not get sucked into impulse purchasing, then this is certainly a valuable book.***
"Game Changers" covers a wide variety of tricks, tips and insights all working toward the goal of high performance and feeling good... while steering you away from burnout in the long run (as is common with many folk "winning at life").
Personally I always appreciate this sort of read as a starting point for further research into new practices, and as an enjoyable way to expose myself to what's out there and find out what people are doing or have found beneficial. "Game Changers" does keep it pretty light and doesn't go in particularly deep on any specific topic, and as a result it reads very comfortably and casually. It also has plenty of interesting stories as you might expect from 450+ interviews.
If you've been reading around the space of biohacking and optimal performance for a while, you might find it discusses a number of practices you will be already familiar with (micro-dosing psychedelics, breath, nootropics etc.). That said, as someone who is very researched and embedded in the space, I found the unique perspectives very constructive and so have no regrets with re-crossing familiar territory.
TLDR?: An enjoyable and casual and read for exposure to what sort of practices people are doing and have found most beneficial. Does contain a fair amount of product and service promotion. Not overly technical.
STEALING FIRE by Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal
If you want to see the full scope of how far biohacking for mental flow can go... this is sure as hell the read for you. No doubt an extremely interesting read that I would recommend to anyone a little more down the biohacking and technology line of thought.
Stealing Fire covers a wide array of different practices for to achieve real peak mental states, and also covers a lot of the background and underlying theory for you to understand why these practices or substances do what they do. These guys are well deep in the technology and research and have presented a really interesting read ...as well as one I feel very comfortable to trust in terms of efficacy of the statements they make.
The only real downside is how blimmin' cool some of they tech they describe sounds, due to the fact that a lot of it is not really accessible or available for the average Joe in New Zealand. Not all of it though, there is still plenty of chat on the very accessible options such as float tanks, surfing (a personal favourite of mine) and lifestyle practices.
10/10 Highly recommended for biohacking nerds.
See in store.
LIFESPAN by David Sinclair
Full disclosure, this is one read that's still on my to-do list (high priority!). That said, the premise is very promising and David Sinclair has certainly been involved with some very interesting new research! So personally I can't wait - and I will update this section after I've given it a good study.
See in store.
OWN THE DAY, OWN YOUR LIFE by Aubrey Marcus
First of all, before we get in too deep here - for a real good review and walk through on if the book is a good one for you, check out the full article I've whipped up at:
Is “Own The Day, Own Your Life” a Good Read for YOU?
But to continue on in a bit more of a review sense, read on here!
First of all, OTD, OYL (Own The Day, Own Your Life) is a read with many merits, and I do recommend it to most folk. It was good enough that I've read it cover to cover twice myself, as well as listened to the auidobook. I'll likely read it again too.
It delivers really strong value in covering a wide variety of tips and tricks to improve your daily living, and is a fantastic way to get a new perspective on the many levers of the human body. Having built the fairly famous biohacking company "Onnit", Aubrey himself certainly has the experience to back it up and that shows through... mostly. His technical understanding sometimes feels a bit poor, though that may just be the nature of making a nice-to-read book as opposed to a technical guide. Simply, I'd take those aspects with a grain of quality salt and use them as a point to start your own research rather than soley relying on OTD, OYL as an authority. Finally, as far as the reading experience goes, you'll definitely be in for a treat. It's casual, often a bit of fun and laced with humour. Very easy reading that's for sure.
Aspects of the book that are less than desirable mainly lie in the realm of spam marketing. Aubrey is a marketer by background and I'd say it really shows through here. The numerous plugs to Onnit and various other companies (that it feels like he has incentive to promote) does tend to get tiresome. Additionally, in an American marketing sort of sense, many of the benefits of such devices or other life practices are very sensationalised and perhaps exaggerated. At least in reflection to my personal experience and understanding. This is not to say they're valueless, for example Wim Hof breathing combined with Cold showering can really feel life changing... but I do advocate for an especially critical mind when it comes to digesting his recommendations. The video linked above can give you and idea of what I mean, personally it makes me feel like I'm being invited to join a cult.
To summarise in one line, glamourified and sales-y to a Tim Ferris degree. But hey, I appreciate the value he provides too.
All up, obviously I am going to say this is a great book well worth a read. It wouldn't be in the VitaKea store if it wasn't. There's A LOT of value to be gained here, and provides a real pleasurable reading experience as you learn. It's not perfect, and has sensational-like drawbacks that are common to the self help genre... but if you can handle that, you'll be in for a real treat!
Happy reading, I hope you learn a lot - and as always, any feedback or critical thoughts of your own would be warmly welcomed.
See in store.
That's all for now - happy reading, and do let me know if you have any special requests!
Any questions at all, just shoot me an email over at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll gladly help out in anyway I can.
Key players in my current health regime include meditation, regular exercise (type depending on current fixation), early to bed, early to rise, packing in as many fungi & leafy greens as possible.
My supplementation varies as I test out new protocols. That considered, I prioritise anything that can be utilised for long-term benefits. Of course, for special cases I can definitely appreciate a good stimulant or perspective modifier.
Your KeaLad, Thomas.