A life ordinary by Amit Sarkar - Issue #34

Welcome to another edition of my newsletter.

This week has been a bit quieter than usual as I seem to have caught a cold and it’s not letting me sleep properly. Hopefully, I will feel better soon.

Also, my wife ran the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge, the world’s largest corporate running event, at Battersea Park. I went there after picking up our son from the nursery to watch his mum run the 5.6K route with other people from her organization. There were in total 21,230 finishers from 729 different companies with an average finish time of 32 mins 27 secs.

This week both the Tour De France (TdF’23) cycling race and the Wimbledon tennis championship started. But I have been following TdF’23 more closely than Wimbledon, thanks to the series I have mentioned below.

One newsletter that I have subscribed to and look forward to is MoneySavingExpert's Money Tips Email. This single email, on a weekly basis, influences a lot of my financial decisions. It offers a complete overview of the UK financial products including support from the UK government and tips and tricks.

🚴‍♂️ Tour De France: Unchained

Recently watched this series on Netflix and absolutely loved it. I have been cycling regularly ever since my motorbike accident in Dec-2009. Cycling was a way for me to gain muscle strength in my right knee.

This series gives us an insight into what it takes to compete in the most challenging cycling event in the world, Tour De France. The series focuses on riders from many teams and shows us how cycling is more a team sport than an individual sport.

There is a certain skill needed to descend downhill at a very fast pace (approx. 90 to 100 km/hr). And there is a certain body type that does well on climbing hills (lighter riders) which is different from sprinting (power riders) at over 60 km/hr.

There are so many aspects to cycling professionally that this series shows us beautifully. We were able to see the mindset of a GC rider compared to the one who is focused on winning a stage. With around 21 stages and cycling around 3400 kms, a rider needs to be able to perform very well on all days and then recover quickly for the next day’s ride.

You can watch Tour De France 2023 edition for free on ITVX in the UK.

🥫 Ultra-processed foods

In my quest to find vegan items, in the supermarket, that have the least amount of ingredients, I have learnt a lot over the last 3.5 years. The below video highlights many things that we can be careful about while purchasing stuff we think is food.

He outlines key steps to identify ultra-processed foods -

  1. Read the ingredients - That’s how you tell whether the food is ultra-processed. A long list of ingredients definitely indicates that the food is ultra-processed.

  2. Keep on eating ultra-processed foods - Consuming something harmful while you learn about it will make you quit eating it more easily.

  3. Don’t worry about fats, salt and sugar - Eating pizzas, and cakes which are made from natural ingredients is perfectly healthy. These are not bad for you. Just the ones which are ultra-processed, frozen, etc.

  4. Learn how the additives affect your health - Especially emulsifiers that can clean your gut of healthy bacteria.

  5. What can you do about it? - Make healthy choices and replace all ultra-processed food with items that have very less ingredients. Try to cook your own food.

I have been wrestling with the idea of giving up veganism for a more sustainable way of living by being vegetarian (embracing dairy and eggs) for a while now. But still, I am striving to read the ingredients of all items I buy from the grocery store to make sure it’s not ultra-processed.

🛹 Skateboarding

I recently watched the following video and thought - “Gosh!!! I need to learn how to skateboard.” So I started looking at sites on where to buy a good skateboard. Luckily my yoga teacher offered her skateboard and my journey of skateboarding started.

Even though I wanted to skateboard what I really wanted to do was longboarding. Below is a really great image explaining the different types of skateboards.

So the journey began to practise at my local skatepark with my wife’s nephew and learn how to steer and drive a longboard downhill.

The truck allows you to steer the longboard using the pressure from your legs. The longer deck of a longboard allows a comfortable ride position. The longboard wheels are also normally bigger in diameter than a shortboard and allow faster rolling speeds and a smoother ride.

I am currently looking to get a lesson in skateboarding so I can ride more freely without fear. The best thing about living in London is that there are a lot of skateparks which are totally free to use and where you can ride and practice.

❤️ Things I enjoyed

This section has been inspired by Ali Abdaal’s wonderful newsletter.

🎙️ Podcast - Lex Fridman’s podcast on the Future of the Internet, Technology, and AI with Marc Andreessen. Marc is a very insightful guy and he has been working with a lot of tech companies for a very long time as a VC. In this podcast, he debunks some of the myths surrounding AI and predicts the future of the internet.

📝 Article - Maps Distort How We See the World is an article I have been waiting for. It shows how skewed our maps are and how they represent an incorrect picture of our world. Misrepresenting facts and marginalizing poor nations. Europe is so small compared to the rest of the world while Africa is way way bigger than so many other continents.

📱 Apps - I have been using Clearscore and Credit Karma Android apps for many years now to check my credit score. Both show your credit scores in the UK for free. Clearscore uses Equifax (a score out of 1000) and Credit Karma uses TransUnion (a score out of 710).

🎞️ Movie - Stan Lee follows the life of the comic book writer who created characters like Fantastic Four, Spiderman, X-Men, Iron Man, Thor and many more. It was a beauty to watch the inspiration behind all these comic characters that we have grown to love through the Marvel Studios films.

📝 Article - The evolving as-a-service models in the Space Industry: Explained by my friend Gaurav Bajaj, who is currently co-founder and CTO at Little Place Labs, is a very interesting article about all the ways in which the space tech industry is evolving into. Must-read for any space enthusiast.

Thank you so much once again for reading my newsletter this week. Please feel free to Buy me a coffee if you are enjoying what I am sharing.

If you want to follow me around the internet, then please do so here.

Until we meet again next week, stay active, nourish yourself, become more productive and be more kind.

Join the conversation

or to participate.