How your body uses the different nutrients

Here is how your body uses the macronutrients (those needed in larger quantities):

Proteins are used to build the structures, like muscles, nails, hair. These structures give a “shape” to your body, this is the reason why many bodybuilders stress the importance of eating high-protein foods. Some healthy sources of proteins are: legumes, quinoa, fish, eggs, tempeh, unsweetened organic yogurt, unprocessed organic meat.
Carbohydrates are used for energy, which allows your body to move. It’s a good strategy to get carbohydrates in the meals that precede physical exercise (think to athletes who eat a piece of fruit half an hour before performing). Some healthy sources of carbohydrates are: brown rice, fruits and vegetables, raw organic honey, amaranth, sweet potatoes.
Fats are used to build protective layers around organs, to digest fat-soluble vitamins, and as stored energy. It’s an old myth that “fats make you fat”: it’s processed junk foods that make you fat, instead. Fats are vital for your body. Some healthy sources of fats are: extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, nuts like walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, peanuts.

And here is how your body uses the micronutrients (those needed in smaller quantities -but still necessary-):

Vitamins are used for many vital functions, for example they help metabolism, act as antioxidants, regulate cell and tissue growth. It’s important to note that many vitamins are sensitive to heat, so people who sistematically cook their meals at high temperatures (boiling, frying…) “kill” the vitamins and end up with a vitamin-deficient diet.
Minerals are used to build that part of your body which is actually mineral, like bones and teeth, that are made of calcium. They are also employed in many other important processes, for example magnesium supports protein synthesis, sodium controls muscle contraction and nerve function, iron makes hemoglobin in red blood cells that carry oxygen in the body.

Finally, even if sometimes they’re not technically labeled as nutrients or not included in the previous groups, here is how your body uses three other elements of your diet of vital importance:

Fiber is the part of the plants which is not digested in your body, -so it actually survives the entire transit in the intestines-, but it is used to make the feces more airy, soft, so they flow through the intestines easily. Fiber prevents constipation and diarrhea, and it is particularly abundant in the skin of many fruits and vegetables, and in the bran of whole grains.
Phytochemicals, the compounds in fruits and vegetables that are responsible for their organolectic properties (like color and smell), may have a huge number of healthy benefits. Most studies are still cautious, but I “guess” that in the future they will clearly show a strong correlation between phytochemicals and good health / disease prevention. Phytochemicals are very abundant in bright colored vegetables and fruits.
Water makes a significant fraction of the human body (variable from 55% to 75%), and it serves a number of important functions, for example: it regulates body temperature by sweating and respiration, lubricates joints, flushes waste in urine, keeps membranes moist, forms saliva, acts as a carrier to distribute essential nutrients to the cells.

Notes: For simplicity I grouped minerals all together in the micronutrients group, however sometimes a separation is made among microminerals (or “trace minerals”) and macrominerals.

Related: Density of nutrients

Important things I learned

These are some of the most important things that (I think) I learned, or that I am in the process of learning, in these last years of my life.


● The enormous power of the words thank you.

● The concept of consciousness. That there are different levels of consciousness at which people can live. That also music, movies, art, objects have their level of consciousness.

● It’s not consciousness that is created by matter, but exactly the opposite: matter is created by consciousness.

● Atheism has a fixed point of view, rather sterile. After graduating from the religious non-sense, a further graduation from atheism is possible, and necessary, to progress in the path of spiritual evolution.

● Chronic skepticism is a very counterproductive attitude. I used to be a chronic skeptic before, not believing “in anything”. These days I prefer to keep chronic skeptics at distance.

● I learned some great lessons from Eckhart Tolle’s books, in particular these three:

  • what being present means, the idea of being here and now. And I realized that only a fraction of the thoughts that flow in my mind are useful. The rest are useless, repetitive, distracting noise.
  • what the ego is. I realized that I do have an ego, and a terribly difficult one to tame.
  • the mechanism of drama that drives many human relationships. Most people tend to create unnecessary and avoidable drama, to feed a little “beast” they have inside, a beast that feeds on negative emotions.

Of these three concepts, I think I understand well the theory behind the first two, but I still suck at turning the theory into practice. There are still more unobserved thoughts and more pretense in me than I would like to have. With drama, instead, I think I do well both with theory and practice. I’ve never been a big drama queen.

● The best rule to apply with people who are trying to start drama is: do not engage. Let them scream, gesticulate, cry, while staying absolutely calm, composed, in silence, just replying things like “yes, you’re right”, until they turn off.

● Life is about finding balance in the middle of two types of awareness:

  • that we, human beings, have an enormous power and control over our lives, and we are able to realize wonderful, huge, sensational things.
  • that there are things in our lives that we don’t control at all, and those things could destroy everything we built, in any moment.

The trick is to recognize that both are true, but then decide to have faith, and work hard to realize the wonderful things.

● Healing doesn’t correspond to feeling relaxed and comfortable all the time. Healing, usually, happens through pain and struggle.

● The law of attraction makes great sense, however it seems like many people don’t get the part attraction of it. After believing that something will happen, it is necessary to work -usually hard- to make it happen.

● Every person can be a hero. Even if most people today consider courage as a trait reserved for movie characters only, everyone can cultivate courage and apply it to real life, this life.

● Life tries to “talk” to us constantly, and tries to teach us lessons all of the time. The people we meet, the events that happen around us, they usually carry a message for us. We must stay receptive, like an antenna, to get the message.

● Dreams deserve much more attention than they’re commonly given: “normal” dreams that we have during sleep, lucid dreams in which we can manipulate the environment -they are a lot of fun-, and also daydreams. It is true that, as I read somewhere, dreams are not meant to make us sleep, but to make us wake up.

● Jesus Christ, probably, never existed as an historical figure. He is a fictional character that was invented by the ancient Romans, as a tool of propaganda to dominate the Jews of their times. I heard about this theory in the documentary “Caesar’s Messiah”, and I consider it not only very credible, but also a super huge revelation!


● Love is much bigger than just romantic love, the “couple relationship” type of love that is extensively depicted in movies and books. That is just a part, but there’s also the love for friends, family, strangers, animals, plants, art, work, life.

● Jealousy doesn’t make sense. It’s basically a consequence of mistakenly assuming that the couple relationship type of love is all the love there is.

● If there is a meaning of life, it is love. At the end of the story, what really matters is the love we gave, and the love we received.


● The most important and difficult challenge in my life is learning to manage my emotions. I am aware now that if I want to succeed at achieving my biggest goals, this is a necessary skill to master. I have no other way.

● I won’t make meaningful progress in life by learning a lot of new notions. I will make it, instead, by learning some specific notions, and by cultivating virtues like courage, honesty and discipline.

● Practicing introspection, to discover what’s inside myself, is very difficult and painful. It’s also the most exciting adventure. And it’s sort of weird: I research, I study, I make efforts, all this without even knowing what it is that I am searching for. But I have a strong feeling that I have to continue digging.

● The inputs that I feed myself with (movies, books, music) impact directly the way I think, and the way I feel. As obvious as it seems now, I wasn’t aware about this connection some years ago. These days, I consciously avoid watching horror movies, or reading books about killers and psychopaths, for example. I prefer to feed my mind with happy topics.

● There are so many things that I don’t know. But the more new things I discover, the more grows in me a sense that there are others to discover…


● Having original thoughts is extremely rare. Most thoughts that circulate in people’s minds are someone else’s thoughts.

● A lot of people, when they talk, simply regurgitate what they have been taught as kids. They do this over and over, their entire life, without ever applying some critical thinking to decide if those teachings made sense or not.

● Just because someone speaks louder, or has a microphone in his hands, doesn’t mean that he deserves more attention.

● There’s a huge difference between education and wisdom. Many of the people I know are fairly well educated, but very few of them are wise.

● The world is full of corruption, hate, dishonesty, and still in the middle of this mess there are some people with super beautiful souls. They are so precious that they are worth the quest.

● It’s a great skill to be able to talk, and act, without being driven by emotions. And it’s important to recognize when other people, especially those who are close, like family and friends, give advice that is dictated by their fears and insecurities, so to discard it.

● Many people never change. As much as they’re exposed to clear, useful information that they could use to solve their problems, they will ignore that information and keep on struggling with the same problems, over and over, for their entire life. It’s better not to lose time insisting in helping them, but to focus instead on those who are ready to accept solutions.

● The best way to deal with depressed people is to stay away from them. Happiness is a choice, and most depressed people simply choose to be unhappy.

● There are things that the masses do, but no matter how many people do them: they still make absolutely no sense, so there’s no need to join them. Two great examples in this category are:

  • turning to politics to have the problems of the society fixed.
  • working at jobs where time is traded for money.


● Money is an exciting topic, and not boring as I used to think. Money is very useful to understand people’s emotions, especially fear.

● Money is ultimately just a mental construct.

● Money favors those who produce and control it (banks and governments) and enslave those who have to use it (citizens).

● Having a regular job is not the only honest way to earn money, passive income systems are another option, and a much smarter one under many points of view.

● Economy and finance are two very different things. Economy is more about people, how they behave in the market to meet their desires. It’s a much more concrete, useful topic to study. Finance instead is about paper money, banks, graphs, titles: these things are part of a circus that adds no value to the life of people.

● Making the transition from employee to entrepreneur requires a huge shift in the mindset. An entrepreneur needs very different skills: for example it’s necessary to understand more the psychology of people.

● Understanding the law of supply and demand is super useful, and not just for an entrepreneur who runs a business, but for everybody, because it applies to many situations in daily life.

● You can’t do the right things, if you’re in the wrong place. For example, even if you work hard, diligently and efficiently, but you’re providing your labor to institutions that produce zero (or negative) value for the society -like banking corporations or cigarette producers- then you’re illuding yourself that you’re “doing a good job”.

● I think I understand money enough, now, to be able to become very wealthy if I want, in a honest way, and without even working too much. However, I haven’t decided yet if this is really what I want. Lots of money would allow me to develop some beautiful projects on a big scale (like building hospitals, schools, educational media), but on the other hand, it would inevitably attract the attention of the government. And I’m not sure I want to spend my time dealing with such a gigantic and predatory structure. I need to reflect more about this.

● One of the craziest things of the modern world is that most people spend an entire life working for money, without even understanding what the working is for. They never take some time to learn how money is produced, by who, how it works.

● Few things will put you in an uncommon position as becoming financially free. While everyone around talks, acts and moves driven by the desire of making money, you’re part of a very tiny minority that focuses on other topics.


● Having a healthy diet requires essentially two things:

  • developing a knowledge about nutrition (in particular understanding the concept of density of nutrients of foods).
  • discipline.

● Products based on refined flour (like pasta and bread) are almost as unhealthy as white sugar. It doens’t make sense, as I was doing until some years ago, to avoid sugar as a fundamentalist, but then splurge on pasta and bread everyday.

● If there is one food that I always have to stay alert not to eat, it’s burnt food. The black spots under the pizza, toasted bread, and grilled meat are loaded with a disastrous amount of toxins.

● Most of the honey sold in the stores is as bad as white sugar, because it’s pastorized, heated at high temperature, that’s what makes it as transparent and fluid as syrup. Raw honey is the way to go.

● Dairy products with reduced amounts of fat, or completely fat-free, are actually less healthy than their whole counterparts. The fat in milk, yogurt and cheese is useful to digest fat-soluble vitamins. So it’s better to eat these foods whole.

● Diet impacts the overall health, and also the body figure, more than exercise does.

● Exercise is useful, but too much of it can stress the body and worn it out. I used to go to the gym 3/4 times per week, these days I prefer to go a couple times and pay more attention to the way I eat, instead.

● Despite being super popular, jogging is actually not so healthy. When a person jogs, tissues and organs of the body jump up and down, up and down, up and down, and that’s quite stressing, and pro-aging, for the organism. It’s much healthier in the long run to prefer activities like moderate weight lifting, yoga, gymnastics.

Notes: I expect that these insights will be valid for many years to come, so I wrote this post as a reminder for myself, with some useful indications to follow in the future. It will also be interesting to see if I’ll change my mind about some of them, and if I will feel like adding more.

Habemus oculos!

I feel super happy and blessed because February 13, 2015 I had eye surgery with laser to correct my myopia and now I see! My eyes work!

my-eyes-after-lasik-surgeryIf like me you have been myopic for an entire life, and also with a quite high degree of myopia (I had 5.75 myopia at the right eye, 6.00 myopia + 0.25 astigmatism at the left eye), you can probably understand why this seems like a miracle to me. I’ve been using glasses -which I’ve always hated- and contact lenses since I was a teenager, and now all of a sudden I just open my eyes in the morning and I see everything around me! It makes me so happy, and I feel lucky and grateful that it worked so well.

Why I did it in Barcelona

I decided to have the surgery at the Corachan clinic in Barcelona.

While I still consider Rome as my base location, lately Barcelona has become a sort of second home for me, and this year I’m planning to spend few months here. The possibility of staying away from home, in this case even for a rather long period, is one of the many benefits I’m enjoying since I decoupled my job from where I work. I’m loving it.

The reason why I opted for having my surgery here is very simple: my friend in Barcelona Gerard had it not long time ago, so he knew a good clinic in the city, and a doctor he trusted. I could listen to his experience and understand how it worked for him. In Rome, instead, I don’t have any close friend who had this eye surgery recently, apart from acquantainces who had it more than ten years ago. But then the technology was not even as developed as it is today, and I’m not in contact with those guys anymore.

Another reason is that my friends in Barcelona encouraged me a lot. I was very scared of the surgery, even if many people consider it a routine these days, and do it without too much stress. But my friends told me many times not to focus on the surgery itself, but on the idea of having my eyesight back. This has been, for me, a big motivation to overcome the fear.

In addition, I must admit that not having my family around was also a bonus in this case. They’re wonderful, but in a situation like this they would have unloaded on me all their worries and doubts, and I didn’t want to add theirs to mine.

At the end, I just decided to have faith that everything would have gone well.

First appointment: the preliminary exams

In my previous trips to Barcelona I flirted with the idea of having the surgery, discussing the intention with my friends and gathering information. But since those were typically short trips (few days to few weeks) there was never a real chance to concretely start the process. This time instead, since I’m staying for so long, the chance appeared.

So I told myself “Ok, let’s just do the preliminary exams at the clinic and see what they say. I can decide later.” After all, the exams were very cheap, and I didn’t even know if I was eligible for the surgery (not everybody is, it depends on a series of parameters, like the thickness of the cornea). Of course, inside of me I was really hoping I was eligible.

The first appointment at the clinic was January 26, 2015. I had a series of tests with different doctors which lasted a couple of hours in total, considered also the waiting times. They took my graduation, measured the thickness of my cornea, and inspected my retina. To inspect my retina they put on me those eye drops that dilatate the pupil, and the effect lasted well over the duration of the visit. In fact, for three days my eyes were almost all pupil and no iris, making me look like a drug addict!

As it turned out, the results of the exams were good. My myopia was within the limit that can be treated with lasik (that’s the name of the laser used to correct the vision’s defect), which is around 8 degrees. My cornea had a good thickness, and therefore a thin layer of it could be vaporized to reshape the eye lens. My retina was healthy too. As the doctor said: “Your eyes are in very good shape. They’re just the typical myopic eyes.“.

Second appointment: meeting with the doctor

The second visit was February 3, 2015. I talked with the doctor who was going to perform the surgery on me, doctor Carlos. He was very nice and professional, like everyone else I met in the clinic.

The doctor didn’t make any test this time, apart from measuring my eye pressure. Instead, he explained how the surgery was going to work, the times, the recovery process. He made everything sound very easy, as it eventually was. He answered few of my questions and then checked the results of my previous exams, confirming that the surgery was possible. Great.

At that day, I already knew the basic functioning of this refractive surgery. First, a flap in the cornea is created and lifted (similarly to when you open a tuna can…!), second, while keeping the flap lifted, the laser called lasik is applied to a deeper layer of the cornea. For myopic eyes like mine, lasik vaporizes a thin layer of corneal tissue (“ablation”) to reshape the lens of the eye, positioning the focus of the images exactly on the retina.

The fun thing is that, probably with educational intent, in the doctor’s office there was a tv on a wall showing one of these eye surgeries. So while I was listening to him talking, behind his shoulders I had this eye in the screen, wide open, that was being treated. I am very, very uncomfortable with those videos! There are many also in Youtube, but I’ve never been able to watch more than few seconds, because I find them super creepy. My cornea is going to be opened like a tuna can? Fine, but don’t make me see how you’ll do it! Fortunately the doctor turned the tv off, to help me relax.

At this point I had already decided to go on, and have the surgery.

The doctor proposed me two different options for the surgery, regarding how the corneal flap is created. This put a little extra stress on me, because I was actually hoping not to have to decide anything about the procedure.

The first option was the microkeratome: the cut on the cornea is done with a mechanical blade. The second option was the femtolaser: in this case there is no blade involved, but also the cut is done with a laser. So, with this second option, the surgery would consist of lasers only: the femtolaser to create the corneal flap, and then the lasik to ablate the internal tissue.

The doctor explained me that both techniques usually have very good results, so I shouldn’t have worried a lot about this choice. The microkeratome has been around for many years and it’s a bit cheaper. Many people have perfect results with it. The femtolaser, on the other hand, is gradually becoming the new standard. It helps creating more precise flaps and it’s a bit more expensive.

I heard about the femtolaser’s technique already some years ago, so the first instinct was in its direction. Also, psychologically, the idea of my cornea being cut by an impalpable laser felt much better than the idea of some hard blade. In the next two days at home I searched a little in internet the comparison “microkeratome vs femtolaser”, and the results seemed to converge in favor of the femtolaser.

These was the difference of price, of course, but it really didn’t justify going for the option that I considered the less attractive. For something as important as my eyesight, I would have been very happy to spend even 100 times more, if somehow that could have given me the guarantee of good results in advance.

So it was decided, the first session available was ten days later: a friday 13. I booked it.

Third appointment: the surgery

February 13, 2015 arrived. My appointment was at 10.00 am.

As recommended by the clinic, the day before I had used antibacterial wipes on my eyelids, and taken the first eye drops of a long series. By my own initiative, I was also coming from two days of a healthier-than-usual diet (zero refined carbs, and lots of colored fruits and vegetables), to have my body as in good shape as possible. I felt ready for the surgery, and not even as nervous as I thought I would have been.

But there was a trick: the mirage of the Valium was boosting my courage.

Valium is a psychoactive drug, one that people take to calm anxiety or panic attacks. During my first conversations on the topic with Gerard, I discovered that he took Valium before his eye surgery. He said he felt fantastic with it: “I was singing in the metro going to the clinic for my surgery, completely relaxed!“. I thought that it would have been great to be in the same state for my own surgery, because for me this was such a “big thing” that I thought I could have been excessively tense in a non-sedated condition.

I also found that I could have got the Valium directly from the clinic, on the day of my operation. I immediately decided I wanted it. In general I am very adverse to pshychoactive drugs and I’ve never taken one before in my life, but this time it seemed just fine to be in a lower status of consciousness and let the doctors do what they had to do. Basically, it was the idea itself, the idea that I would have been sedated during the surgery, that helped me a lot in the morning not to become anxious, while I was heading to the clinic.

In fact, it turned out that the Valium was useful, but mostly as a placebo. While I was waiting for my turn at the clinic, I had already succeeded in enterering a “state of grace”, and I was already feeling very calm before taking the drug. I swallowed the pill anyway (approx. fourty minutes before the surgery), but I really didn’t notice any shift in my mood, or in my state of relaxation.

There were something like 7-8 people having eye surgery in the same session. I realized that this surgery is basically done in pipeline these days.

I went in around 11.20 am. First, an assistant doctor checked my graduation again. Then I waited for ten minuted in a room, where they put some drops on my eyes, probably the anesthetic. I think they were calibrating the machines in the meanwhile, because I was the first patient that day having the surgery with the femtolaser.

I finally entered the surgery room, where 4-5 people were busy around the machines, coordinated by doctor Carlos. The procedure itself lasted around ten minutes. I laid down in a bed, face up, and they operated my right eye first. All I could see then was through my right eye, because I had a paper mask on my face with a single opening just in corrispondence of that eye.

In the first phase (the creation of the flap on the cornea) I felt something like a circular frame being laid down on my eye, applying some pressure. Then the flap was created, but I really didn’t understand much. All I was seing were white lights, moving. After that part was completed, the bed where I was lying was shifted under a second portion of the machine, and there the actual correction of my myopia happened with the lasik.

They had instructed me to look at a “red light” while the lasik was in function, and that’s what I did for few minutes. I was expecting a red dot, instead there were two lights: red and green. And they were dispersed lights, rather that sharp points. This part lasted around three minutes, during which I diligently kept on following the light in movement. I could definitely tell that my cornea was being vaporized there: it smelled of burnt!

In five minutes my right eye was done. The doctor confirmed that all went well, and replicated the procedure for my left eye. Everything went exactly the same way, the only difference is that this time I felt more pressure applied to the eye in the first phase, the creation of the flap on the cornea, and that felt a bit uncomfortable, slightly painful. For the rest, the procedure was really identical.

Out of the surgery room

Right after the surgery, I opened my eyes and I was already seeing. And I was seing precisely the way the assistant who introduced me to the surgery room had anticipated: “You’ll see well, but with a sort of cloud in front of you.“. Yes, I had the cloud. But I could tell that beyond that cloud things were already looking much better than before.

I was super happy! There was just a little bad news waiting for me at check-out: they didn’t make a video of my surgery! I was really hoping to get the record of it, and I thought the record was done by default for every surgery. Instead I found out I should have asked for it in advance, something I had not done. Pity!! According to my friend Gerard, during one of the previous visits they even asked me if I wanted the video, and he says that I replied no. -_- I honestly don’t remember that ever happening, but if that is the case, it would be a great trophy to how crappy my comprehension of the Spanish language still is.

Anyway, all was done. I got out of the clinic, happy and relieved. Since there was no sun that day, I could already walk in the street without even using sunglasses. Everything seemed so easy, and when my friends proposed that maybe we could have stopped for a coffee before returning home, I was like “Sure, why not! Let’s search for a bar in this area!“.

Ah, lovely optimism. I was still under the effect of the anesthetic. Two minutes more and I was saying “Hmm, I’m struggling to keep my eyes open. And even if I close them, it feels like if there’s too much light.“. Other two minutes and “Guys quick! Call a taxi, I want to go home right now!“.

I arrived at home with a solid headache and a strong sensation of discomfort at my eyes. I ate something, drinked water, applied several eye drops -which was challenging, considering that I was struggling to keep my eyes opened even for few seconds-. Then I taped to my face the protective goggles that I received from the clinic, to prevent unintentional scratches during sleep. In fact, I went to bed hoping to fall sleep and wake up later, without pain, but unfortunately it didn’t happen.

That afternoon, for the following 4-5 hours, I felt very bad. I kept on rolling in bed, suffering. I don’t want to make it sound too dramatic, as I actually felt even worse in other occasions when I was sick with fever. However, it was definitely not pleasant. I kept on drinking water and tried to focus on breathing while I was in bed, which I think helped a lot.

Finally, around 19.00 I started feeling better, and I even had a nap of half an hour. Then I got up, had a light dinner, put more eye drops, and then I returned in bed with my phone on my side, which was playing videos with relaxing sounds. Eventually, two or three hours later, I fell asleep. And I slept for about ten hours.

That was it. The day after I was already feeling very good, so all the post-surgery pain and discomfort were limited to the same day of the surgery. I heard stories from people who had lasik 10+ years ago, who had to stay locked in the house for days after the surgery, in the dark, with a lot of discomfort and “sand in the eyes” sensation. Luckily my recovery has been much easier than this. I guess it’s the same for a lot of people today, thanks to the advancement in the technology.

Post-surgery care

The clinic instructed me well about what to do after the surgery. My post-surgery care consisted mostly of three things: a lot of eye drops, dietary supplements, and protective goggles.

For one week after the surgery, I used eye drops with different functions: antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and lubricant. After that week I quit the first two, and continued with the lubricant only (which I am still using daily at the present, up to completing a period of three months). This has been an easy activity but it kept me quite busy, as I had to take the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory three times a day, and the lubricant five times a day.

In addition to the drops, I had a prescription for a dietary supplement, one pill a day for a month. Nutrients useful for the vision. I’ve never checked the composition of the pill in detail.

And then the protective goggles. Here’s me before going to bed, a picture I took one of the nights after my surgery:

my-protective-goggles-after-lasikUntil the cornea has healed from the wound created by the femtolaser/lasik, it’s better not to touch the eyes at all. One of the main risks is to stratch the eyes at night, unintentionally during sleep. So these goggles kept my eyes safe. They are actually two separate lenses that I taped each time to my face -with a super sticky tape- for nine nights after my surgery. The clinic recommended me to use them for one week, but I added a couple of extra nights to be cautious, as often I move around a lot in bed at night.

Post-surgery visits

February 14, 2015 in the morning, not even 24 hours after the surgery, I already had a first check in the clinic. I was already self-sufficient, so I went there alone with a combination of metro and taxi. Just having the ability to move independently in the city felt super! I couldn’t have done that in my presurgery life, without using lenses.

A young doctor took my graduation and inspected the surface of my eyes. There was definitely a bit of vision still missing, as I was struggling also with some letters of average size, but she confirmed that it was normal at that early stage. The surface of my eyes looked good. The visit lasted just ten minutes, and after that I returned home.

During the following days I didn’t work at all, I mostly rested, cooked, spent time with my friends, and had walks around Barcelona. I limited a lot the use of the computer and tv, and didn’t read any book. My vision was already very good, but not perfect. Probably around 90% perfect. Almost flawless with daylight, I only had some trouble with the smaller letters far away. But at night, or in darker places like the metro tunnels, I could tell that the quality of the images I was seeing was definitely worse. I had halos around lights, which I knew were a frequent post-lasik issue.

I was a litte anxious about that missing 10%. My eyesight would have improved further, or that was it? For few days I was constantly testing my eyes with signs and letters in the street, without significant improvements. The third day a little scar under the iris of my left eye appeared (or maybe I had not noticed it before). Then, fortunately, the fourth day a noticeable improvement came. Some of the street signs I was using as reference became clearer. That happened just in time for the second check at the clinic, which was five days after the surgery.

A young doctor, a guy this time, took my graduation once again. Right eye, almost perfect. Left eye, a bit lazy. I had to “guess” many letters. He reassured me, anyway, that everything was going very well, and that in the next week or two further improvements were very likely. Another doctor checked the surface of my eyes again, and again confirmed that my eyes were healing perfectly.

After this visit I was seeing around 95% perfect. I was super happy about it, definitely a great result. Anyway, here is where I started to realize that this good vision was coming mostly from my right eye, while my left eye was definitely not as good. In the following weeks my eyesight pretty much stabilized this way. Then, around week three, my left eye seemed to get slightly worse.

In the third check at the clinic, one month after the surgery, it was confirmed that I have a “souvenir” of 0.5 astigmatism at my left eye. While very happy in general about the results, I expressed a bit of concern about my left eye with the doctor, and he suggested me to have an extra visit in two of three months to check the situation again.

How I see now

Here is the situation today, five weeks after my surgery.

In general, I see very well. The improvement I had with the lasik surgery is gigantic.

My vision is not perfect. I am very aware that I don’t see as well as I did before with glasses/contact lenses.

There’s a substantial difference between how I see in the daylight and how I see at night. With daylight, my vision is almost flawless. I can read even the smallest signs far away. At night instead, or in darker places like the metro tunnels, the quality of the images becomes considerably worse. The problem is more evident with sharp contrasts, like with the street signs that are written white on black.

The difference between my right eye and my left eye remains. To me, the situation seems stable at this point, but the doctor said there is still some hope for late improvements to the left eye. We’ll see. I know that some patients do touch ups when the first surgery doesn’t produce perfect results, but I’d really like to avoid that. I feel that my cornea has already been burnt enough.

During this month, I experienced most of the post-lasik issues that are frequently reported in the various forums in internet: increased sensibility to bright lights, halos, eye floaters. Of these, the one that bothered me the most, and still does to date, is the increased sensibility to bright lights, as I was already very sensible to bright lights even before the surgery (I also have the photic sneeze reflex). But I want to remark that for me these are not important issues, when compared to the miracle of seeing again.

Another thing, that I noticed only in thast few days, is that occasionally the pupil of my left eye is bigger than the pupil of my right eye. I found that this condition is called Anisocoria. This is not causing me any particular problem, but I’m monitoring it to see if it disappears.

How I feel

In general, I am very, very happy about the results. Would I do it again? Yes.

The most important thing is that the quality of my life improved considerably. And I really feel blessed for this.

My eyes feel “fresher” than when I was using contact lenses, there’s not anymore that patina between them and the outside. Sometimes I still have the instinct of searching for glasses when I wake up in the morning, and sometimes my mind reminds me “you have to remove your contact lenses” before going to sleep, which is funny. It’s fantastic that finally I don’t need those routines anymore.

I admit that I’m a bit disappointed that my vision didn’t come out perfect after the surgery. I was really hoping to be one of those cases where they get 20/20 with the laser, but unfortunately it didn’t happen for my left eye. In my next visit at the clinic I’ll listen to what the doctor suggests about it. However, even if my vision stays like this and there won’t be further improvements, I think I can live with it. I’d rather not to stress my eye with a second surgery.

All in all, it’s surely been a positive experience, and I feel I made a good move.


Last but definitely not least: I can’t say a thank you big enough to my friends Gerard and Roberto, for encouraging me, for helping me through the entire process, and for being there with me the day of the surgery. And a thank you from the heart to Cristina, for assisting me like a mother when I was feeling bad after the surgery, checking that I had everything I needed.

You’re really awesome guys.

Brown rice VS white rice

Brown rice is the rice as it comes naturally from the plant. The grain is complete, composed of three parts: germ (the point where the grain sprouts), bran (the external envelop), endosperm (the white internal part, that the new plant initially uses as “fuel” to grow). White rice is the rice resulting from industrial processing. The grain is incomplete, because the germ and the bran are removed. Only the endosperm remains.
Brown rice is alive food. If you put a grain in water, it will sprout. White rice is dead food. If you put a grain in water, nothing will happen.
Brown rice requires longer time to cook, because the presence of the bran makes the grain harder. White rice has been created for “convenience” reasons: one of these is that it requires less time to cook, because without the bran the grain is softer.
The presence of the bran has an important effect in brown rice. Since it contains fiber, it slows down the absorption of sugar in the blood stream, which is released more gradually and for longer time. Result: you feel full for longer, and have better control of your appetite. White rice was created also because it’s more palatable. Without fiber, as soon as you eat it the sugar is immediately released into your blood stream, giving you “pleasure”. But you pay a heavy price for this pleasure: the spike in your blood sugar level will be compensated by a very low level later. Result: you will have low energy, and soon you will be hungry again.
Brown rice is a nutrient dense food. Together with the carbohydrates contained in the endosperm, you also get  minerals, vitamins, good fats, fiber, all coming from the other two parts: germ and bran. White rice is an empty calorie food. Basically, it only gives you the pure carbohydrates contained in the endosperm. So white rice is caloric, but not nutrient.

This simple comparison brown rice vs white rice makes it evident:

brown rice is the healthiest form of rice. It is nutritious and it represents a long term strategy for having more energy.

white rice in an unhealthy food. It is non-nutritious and it represents a short term strategy: it’s a libido in the moment you eat it, but it’s also an insidious energy zapper.

Make your choice!

Notes: updated Nov 11, 2014 with better pictures.

Related: Density of nutrients, How your body uses the different nutrients

3 Shifts that improve your life conditions

The following are three shifts that I strongly suggest, as they can improve your life conditions. On the left, the “entities” that are more popular today. The best thing you can do is to move your focus away from these, and orientate it towards the entities at the right. Let’s see why.shift-from-finance-to-economy1. Shift your focus from finance to economy. When I was younger I used to say that “economy is terribly boring”. Today I find it very interesting and exciting. The problem is that, when I was younger, I was confusing the two things. What I believed to be the economy was actually finance. Unfortunately, this is still a common belief for a wide spread of the population.

There is an overexposure of finance in the media today, that keep on talking about banks, paper money, indexes and graphics, as if they were meaningful topics. But they are not. All these things are related to a parasitic financial estabilishment that adds no practical value to the life of people. Real economy, instead, is the science that studies the desires of people, and how people behave in the free market to meet these desires.

Free from the intervertion of governments and banks, real economy truly serves the desires of everyone. Once you shift your focus on it, you will not be distracted and conditioned by the finance uselessness anymore, and you will put your desires first.shift-from-religion-to-spirituality2. Shift your focus from religion to spirituality. The main problem with religions is that they are human institutions. While many of them are founded on spiritual principles, with time they have taken a detour. Consider that most religions are hundreds or thousands of years old. There’s been plenty of time for groups of power to distort the spiritual messages, so to obtain privileges and control over the masses.

Getting rid of religious dogmas is a necessary step to make room for something else. …what else? When people are unsatisfied with religions, their typical first reaction is to embrace materialism. In this stage there is the belief that science has all the answers. I went through it. At this stage you believe that humans, animals and plants are machines without purpose. Evolution is going nowehere. There is usually no familiarity with the concept of consciousness, and if there is some, then it’s reserved only to humans. Animals, plants, object, the planet, the universe, they’re all unconscious.

The step further, once you realize that this vision is limiting as well, is in a direction that I label as “spirituality”, for simplicity. At this stage you start to see less coincindences in the events that happen, and find more purpose instead. You understand that reality is a projection of the mind, and that the mind itself is not strictly closed in your brain, but it’s also outside of you. This is a very complex topic and I will not expand the discussion here, but I want to remark that shifting to a spiritual vision comes with great advantages: it increases the connection with your inner self, it makes you listen more to your intuition, and pushes you to work with determination to achieve your dreams. Because you know they are achievable.

To clarify how religion and spirituality are different, click here.

shift-from-diet-to-nutrition3. Shift your focus from diet to nutrition. I made an entire video to explain why diets don’t work. Diets are usually stressful and orientated to the short term. They rarely help you mantain an ideal weight for long. In addition, a serious problem is that typically the main focus of diets is not health, but “shape”. Diets are all about quantity (of calories), but they rarely concentrate of the quality (of nutrients).

It’s smart to stop worrying about diets and develop a knowledge about nutrition, instead. It will give you two crucial advantages. First, if you eat mostly nutrient-dense foods, you can basically eat as much as you want without getting fat. Second, this way your body and your mind will get the fuel they really need. This is especially important for the mind: I think that it’s a greatly underestimated fact that the foods we eat impact our mental clarity.

I advice to stop wasting time with diets and pay bigger attention to nutrition. If you don’t know much about it, start to learn. Nutrition is the absolute #1 impact factor on your health.