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Daily Routine

This is the implementation of the principles I base my lifestyle on.

Over the years I have been slowly incorporating various practices and routines which I have learnt about from friends and scientific journals, to improve my physical and mental well-being.

While there are many more potential changes that I could make with regards to this lifestyle to further optimize the benefits, I have decided to select the minimal set with the largest benefit to inconvenience ratio (as judged by myself).

Morning Routine

Light exposure: Immediately after waking up, I try to head outside, such as when I cycle to work, or head to the market to get groceries. Also, throughout the day, I try to go outdoors. These light exposures help in retraining the circadian rhythm and improving mood.


Exercise: I cycle to work, run, gym, or on the weekends, play badminton/hike.

Intellectual Stimulation

Books: I keep a book list, which I read on my Kindle. I find studying something novel or challenging such as plumbing, acoustics, TCP/IP, reverse engineering or cryptography actually lifts my mood. Conversely, fiction, such as manga/fanfiction, helps expand my imagination.

Games: Video games can be an incredible source of creativity and imagination. Some games like Starcraft and Diablo II were so ahead of their time. I found Mirror's Edge to be fun as well.

News: I curate my own RSS feed from various sources such as blogs, Youtube and reputable news sites, categorized in diverse topics such as technology, philosophy or science. I try to avoid mass-market, addictive, low quality sources like Facebook, Instagram, or the mainstream media in my country. I'm currently trialing a Telegram channel, to consolidate interesting articles from all of my friends. To collate articles to read later, I use tools like Wallabag.

Piano: A nice song uplifts the mood. I have some recordings.

Podcasts/Audiobooks: I have found the spoken work to be indispensible while traveling, exercising or otherwise engaged in various activities which preclude reading.

Programming: I work on various programming projects. I use a streamlined workflow consisting of various tools and settings, which I have developed over time.

Watching: I maintain a list of movies and shows to watch. In addition, my RSS feed aggregator also tracks video channels which I find interesting.

Evening Routine

Meal prep: Twice a week, I batch cook and freeze my lunches/dinners for about 4-7 days worth at a time. This lets me take advantage of food on offer, as I can buy more in bulk and freeze them. It also reduces the bulk of the vegetables, saving space in the fridge.

No electronic distractions after 6pm: After 6pm, my phone is on DND with no notifications (except for critical ones). Surprises (good or bad) this late in the day can ruin sleep.

No blue light from 630pm: I use incandescent lighting indoors. I try to avoid using my phone/computer if possible. If I have to head out, I wear blue blocker glasses. Blue light adverse affects the circadian rhythm and subsequent sleep quality.

Warm shower: This prevents an adrenaline surge at night (compared to a cold shower).

Brown noise: I play brown noise to drown out distracting noises, which is common where I am.

Relaxation: Then, the rest of the time before bed is spent reading (usually on my Kindle), practicing the piano, MMO or meditating.


Legumes/wholegrains, vegetables, tofu and protein (chicken/fish): I aim for at least ~100g of protein and 30g of dietary fibre per day. To minimize antinutrients and maximize nutrients I follow certain practices when preparing the legumes.

Consuming a variety of vegetables is important, as a single vegetable seldom contains all the necessary vitamins/nutrients.

Intermittent Fasting: I intermittent fast, following the 16/8 schedule (time restricted eating). I eat the most at breakfast, less at lunch, and skip dinner. From 12 noon onwards, I only drink water/tea, and I do not take any food.

I was previously doing IF for lunch/dinner, but recently shifted the window earlier as an empty stomach before bed improves my sleep. Also, I'm not unwaveringly strict about IF - I do eat dinner from time to time and simply shift breakfast to lunch the next day.


Mixed beans with steel-cut oats, chia seeds, psyllium husk powder, fruits, tau kwa and vegetables (old recipe)

This is the largest meal of the day for me, and the most important for fibre and protein, consisting of wholegrains/legumes, tau kwa, nuts and fruits. I sometimes drink tea.

View my recipe here.


This varies, but I sometimes also eat:

  • Chicken breast
  • Fatty fish (mackerel/salmon/canned sardines)
  • Edamame
  • Random leftover food

Occasionally I take supplements e.g. fish oil.


This is usually a defrosted pack of precooked steamed vegetables:

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Sweet potato
  • Ginger
  • Shiitake mushrooms

I stop eating by about 12 noon.


Reminders for chores: I schedule reminders at fixed days on my calendar for chores like grocery shopping, soaking and cooking lentils. This helps me plan the rest of my schedule around those chores.