Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Time - Tagging

Tagging, aka, the , flickr, blog etc. kind provides great value to me. Tagging in a lifestyle linking context has the potential to add great value too.

But I believe the tags can be used for more than their ability to provide a textual word to help me remember and save as important. The time when I tag is important too. Delicious time stamps your tag word but what about being able to sort on time as well? It is valuable to know when you time tagged all the same words, especially when you want to record the times you get a sore throat. The length of time interval may also be important.

The time value of tagging is under utilized but contains valuable meaning. Watch for some interesting developments in this area.

Flight health and jet lag

Time to continue my long haul flight health story. Last night I safely concluded my 5th long haul flight of the year. A good flight, second best of the year, the first being the best as I got three seats to myself that enabled some good sleeping. However, jet lag was bad for a long spell. The second set of fights, produced sore throats but jet lag lessened USA side but was significantly more noticeable UK side. This time I am feeling like sleeping as UK timezone bedtime passes. Should I give in to a quick power nap or is it best to keep mentally or physically active to keep awake until USA bed time?

Other people must be and have faced these decisions. It would be great to read about what they tried. Also, does what I eat effect my ability to recover from jetlag? Should I train lightly at swimming tomorrow morning? Or with a slight sniffle, pollen? or cold?, is that a good idea anyway?

decisions, decisions, I am using my account at to capture my story so that I can find the information I require to empower my lifestyle choices. (Note, is that start up business I work at.)

Monday, October 02, 2006 lifestyle linking agent

My startup co-founders and I have put up the website, . If you want to join us in shaping the focus of the founding service, feel free to sign up and share your thoughts with us.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

extreme hiking feedback to trainer manufacturer

Two weeks post my 22 mile hike and I am wondering why my trainer manufacturing is not asking me for feedback on how they performed? I would be willing to email them a picture of my feet so show where the blisters appeared and if they new model could improve the design so reduce this wear point then I would be more likely to purchase from the same manufacturer.

I have also been left with a bruzed big toe nail. I have had this in the past wearing my hiking boots. Why is that happening? Not lasing my shoes/trainer to tight, too slack or too long or short a size. I know it happen when walking down hill. Maybe its my walking/running technique?

I am sure the world has the answers to these questions, and of course I will be happy to pay for the information that addresses my pain? I find it hard the manufacturers and or the retailer etcs and not listening to me or evening asking me the question, I am asking, why is no one listening?

new tooth brush

I arrived back in the UK without my luggage. One of the first things you miss is cleaning your teeth. One night you can manage but the second day requires the purchase of a new brush. In an earlier posting I made the decision to change brand of tooth paste, so what about the brand of brush?

A firm reach, style being my main stay over the years. But technology has moved on again or is that just the marketing words? Whitening seems the word of the moment. I am in my local country chemist so the choice is not great, no Elephant pharmacy around to get a review of the greener brands. I say loyal to reach today, price seems lower than past purchases.

Looking back on my teeth cleaning history, the most important information I recall was the day I got a lesson on how to brush my teeth. This was not the day in primary school when you get a red tablet to show the plaque on your teeth but a day in my teenage life where a much more scientific and particle, even scientific portrayal of the reasoning on the different techniques to you to clean your teeth. Different speeds of brushing, different styles, up, down, circling.

My main observation is that as my education/knowledge level has improved with the progression of time then the better equipped I feel I have been at caring for my teeth.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

yoga = better sleep, stress reduction, better posture

I got the opportunity to attend my first yoga session last week. I had been talking with a friend for several weeks about whether yoga could be used to help de-stress at night to allow for a better night's sleep. Given my walking thigh pains I am keen to strengthen my thighs and to generally improve my lower body flexibility. Finally, poor posture at the keyboard adds up and so I was looking for some exercises to do before and after to not only to relieve the pain but to encourage my body to adopt better posture all the time.

As a first timer, I was given a position next to the leader. The session began with a concentration on listening to your breathing. From there the introduction of moves and positions were adopted along with mental thoughts. An hour and a half melted into time. I describe yoga as a smooth transition from one exercise to the next. I am less won over by the mental side, but open minded enough to listen to the guidance. How does a visionary focus on the here on now?

I look forward to going back but I will find it hard to find the time to attend many sessions. I am looking for lifestyle yoga, that is I am looking to find a set of disciplines to address the key health priorities and that I am self motivated to improve on.

Monday, August 21, 2006

lifestyle linking mental health: the brain

I am with the school of thought that believes we are only just beginning to tap into the potential of our own brains to help with correcting any ill health our bodies are experiencing. I feel their is a separation.

Sheryle Bolton's
Brain Reserve is of this school of thought and her blog pulls together her observation s with the latest scientific brain research. Worth a read.

long haul flight, third sore through in row?

The answer was no. The fight was still not great, full and hot. However, the jet lag is catching up with me on day three.

Did my taking a few quieter days off to rest up help prevent the sore throat? Did taking the multi-vitamin/mineral supplement play a role?

Is there things I can do get over the jet lag? Is it because 6 of the last 7 months were in the -8 hour time zone?

Extreme hiking, health before, during and after

22 miles over 7 and half hours pushes the body to the max. The day after the walk the pain in my thighs is pretty intense. The repetitive pounding of the legs on the downward leg proving too much for my legs. It is a thought to walk. All other muscles are fine. Is the thighs pain due to a lack of training for those muscles? Or does dehydration play a part in tired muscles?

It is now the 4 days post the walk and my legs are back to normal. Could I have recovered quicker by going swimming in those days? What exercises can I take to prepare for the next marathon walking and the up coming skiing season?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Toothpaste, healthy teeth & healthy heart?

I decided to change my brand of toothpaste yesterday. The old tube was empty so a new purchase was required and Colgate lost out to Tom's. But it iwas a difficult choice, I have to own up to three fillings, all done before I was sixteen years of age. So, through my commitment to cleaning my teeth etc. I have halted the need for time with the drill for over 16 years. Shouldn't I stick with the toothpaste that has taken me this far?

Well, it is a tough call. How much of that success (no fillings) can be attributed to the particular brand? As a kid I think Crest was used from time to time, around the time when stripes arrived on the scene. However, until a few months ago I had never heard of Tom's, a natural tooth paste and the human values set by their founders and owners is applied across their corporate and manufacturing processes to be natural. So, I have changed. They, have science to back up their tooth pastes effectiveness, just like the other brands but what I found interesting in their packaging and I have seen the global brands expand to make this statement too, the healthy teeth are key to a making you healthy, or in Tom's case, suggestion that some research suggests healthy teeth can reduce the risk of developing heart disease.

Now we can have healthy (white is what we need) teeth, reduced plaque, fights decay and heart disease etc. What I would like to know is, what is the research and science behind the claims and how does it effect me personally? Not some 'average' person.

Monday, August 14, 2006

lifestyle linking blood pressure

Last week became a week where I was highly motivated to test my blood pressure. It started by attending a doctor talk on blood pressure, I was keen to see the characteristics of the people that attended. At the end of the talk, you got the option to test your blood pressure with a machine you can buy for your home for $30.

I took up that offer and found that my blood pressure was sitting high, two above the normal zone. I have never posted a high reading before and the representative started realing of a list of lifestyle factors like, do you exercise, I do but more like three times a month at present than the three times a week. So, she suggested I do some more exercise and check the reading in 2 months.

My background thoughts on blood pressure it that I am always surprised its not higher given the entrepreneurial start up stress and driven lifestyle I live. So, maybe it had caught up with me this time? The next few days, I am busy and take my blood pressure reading a Longs Drug stores, Alberston's and Safeways supermarkets, very convenient and easy to use. I don't think I had noticed the machines in the stores before. The blood pressure reading trended downwards. I get to Saturday and eventually get some exercise in at the swimming pool. So, I pop in to get a reading, 3 hours after swimming, 101 over 68 . Well under the normal zone of 120 over 80. And that is were it remains.

I started to think to figure out the lifestyle linking correlations that may have led to this high blood pressure reading? Well, the day of the first reading was extremely hot. I had decided not to take my water bottle with me and due to a mix up on the bus, I spent 3 hours in a hot bus getting to the meeting. I have since learnt that blood pressure increases with dehydration. Another significant factor was that I was nearing the end of a busy spell of 5-6am rises and late to bed days. (burning the candle light at both ends) so does a lack of sleep increase blood pressure? The last reading came after my first good nights sleep. I have been training hard at swimming post the last reading, how will that impact my blood pressure?

The real important lesson/message I take from this story? The immediate feedback I received was not helpful, they had no context of my day and it felt like (though a positive desire to provide helpful information on a high reading) they heightened my initial concern in the reading.

Talking your blood pressure can be real easy and convenient, 1 minutre of your time.

I am the best person to decide on my self education needs and requirements.

I will be self motivated to act, when I believe a change of behavior is in my own short and long term self interest.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Lifestyle linking heat

Living through a heat wave forces you to focus on your health. The shear experience of the heat, sunshine strength and stress induced on to the body made my brain think it's core focus was survival.

What can we do to minimize the distress? Stay in doors, but no air conditioning makes that unbearable. Where is there free air conditioning, at the cinema so an unplanned movie is the order of the day. Darkness has descended but the heat is still high. A BBQ dinner is in order.

OK, we are told to drink plenty during the heat wave, but what foods are best to eat? Should we just surf from one air conditioned cafe to the next? This does get expensive and the food is not that healthy for everyday consumption. Where are the healthy air conditioned places near me?

Sunday, July 16, 2006

lifestyle linking enjoyment

From deep in the sub conscious or the background of the conscious the need to experience things you enjoy doing come to the fore. For me they seem to follow a non-linear sine or cosine graph with time being on the x axis.

These inner message lead to action in term of search, what are the key words to enter into google, ‘San Francisco Symphony’, my geo location focusing the scope plus my exiting knowledge of the world had made me set listen to them as a goal or experience I want to participate in. What concert to choose? You read the options and I see ‘Lord of the Rings’ evening. Now that combines two things that I enjoy. It’s a no brainer to buy a ticket. The experience was great, my favourite moment being one seamless transfer of harmony between the orchestra and choir.

So, enjoyment in this instance was the consumption of an experience.

Monday, July 03, 2006

health short term - long term

For me some of those future health impacts are know with certainty, hay fever season start from March and lasts to September in Scotland. However, this year I spent part of winter in California and hay fever started in February but I found no need to take any anti histamines during the summer months. A steroid spray and eye drops keeping symptoms at bay. I took the decision to stop taking the tablets. I have this constant desire not to take pharma medicine and the grass looks brown so these factors added up to allow me to stop. And I feel better, for not taking the tablets, in a long-term sense, as I still have to take some pharma medicine. However, there is so much public pollen information out there. Why can this not be personalized to the allergy blood tests I have and my knowledge on the times of year I get hay fever?

My lifestyle activates also set annual health goals. I like skiing, especially free skiing. This is fairly extreme exercise in terms of endurance and physical stress and I suppose mental stress, positive success and determination to reach a summit. I know that I cannot just turn on the health to live these goals. Therefore, I need to keep fit all during the year and focus on particular exercises as winter draws in.

Chronic disease, whether it be heart, cancer, osteoporosis, arthritis, Alzheimer’s etc. I associate with old age. Or is it an accumulation of my lifestyle choices and genes? Science, in my mind has not given us a framework with any degree of certainty in terms of the direct cause and effect of these diseases. Time frames of cause and effect are long, I assume. I am persuaded to change based on such science? Contrast this with a sudden pain in my right hip. I feel it and take the time to rest and exercise it. However, could this be the start to hip replacement in later years? If I knew this would I change my lifestyle goals? Or would I seek ways to live the goals but minimize the risks I am now aware of?

It is a tricky balance, short term seems to win but in the long run I want to maximise my overall lifestyle.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

lifestyle linking sleep

Probably the number one health change I have focused on over the last four years is to sleep better. My entrepreneurial lifestyle combined with travel means I feel I would qualify for the, Margaret Thatcher's school of Sleep, (she was famed for only needing 4-5 sleep per night, Now 80, I know she has suffered a stroke.) Maybe there is a lesson in that to take note of?

The life of a start up entrepreneur means you are intensely focused on all the things you can do to make your business a success. However, how do you switch off? How do you stop thinking about that one issues that seems to consume your whole life while you search for an answer? OK, you may fall asleep but your brain is still processing at full speed. What can you do to park the processing to the morning?

Sleeping tablets, glass of warm milk, a friend suggests mediation. I doubt I'll ever be won over by the first two, but meditation, maybe. How does it work? What exercise can you practice, which website are the best for me? Or maybe I'll just try me own thoughts on the matter and until I feel I need further help, I'll leave it all for now.

Mineral supplement, natural?

I have resisted until today to take a daily multi minerals and vitamin supplement. Surely, if I am eating real foods, fresh, local and organic and water as pure as it comes from nature in a Scottish valley then surely I should be getting all those mineral and vitamins? I have listened to others, friends to medical experts, retailers to natural food stores in the past but I have not been persuaded however, this week I started taking a daily natural multi mineral and vitamin supplement.

I should state that I am still highly sceptical of any 'benefits' so I am performing my own trail for the next few months.

Why give a daily supplement a go? What persuaded me to act? I was listening to a talk given by a food evangelist for all her days. A pioneer in recipe writing in the USA. A person that I found lots of commonality with. She had resist supplements too and she has engaged in a far more in-depth manner than I have with leading nutrition and medical experts. There advice to her was that today’s soils are just too depleted of minerals and thus plants growing in the ground have no minerals to pack inside their roots, tubers and leafs etc. Regardless of how we cook the fruit/vegetables they just do not contain the levels of minerals and vitamins our body’s demand. Thus they recommend a daily multi supplement.

So, in the end it was a non-medical expert that made the impact on me to buy my first bottle of supplements. I had to decide where to buy them, online or in store. I chose a physical store, specializing in natural and organic produce ranges. Why? Because I believe there supplement will be made from natural ingredients and I buy there regularly.

How will I measure the benefits? In reduced colds? Over what time frame? Questions I a still thinking about.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Consumption and my genes

To fuel my lifestyle I consume a wide range of substances, from water to orange juice, potatoes to pasta, bread to bacon, cooked to raw etc. From my pre-existing knowledge I understand I am, who I am, from my genes and the environment I have experienced since being born. But is there a direct correlation with specific foods and my health? I have an understanding of nutrigenomics and businesses like, , are allowing me to find out the gene impact of certain foods and health issues.

Given I know the results from these tests, will I change my behavior to minimize my risk of developing chronic disease? Or is my focus to maximize the experiences and goals my lifestyle aspires to? How do I know what gene test to buy? Why can't I send one test that will tell me all the answers?

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Jet lag advice, person sitting next to you?

Tally up 12 hours on a plane and you land 8 hours behind GMT = Jet Lag for me.

By good luck the passenger sitting next to me was a medical student from Germany. His advice was to keep going to 10pm US time. Last time I gave into to sleep around 6pm. Sure enough, tiredness was willing me to sleep but I was motivated to reach 10pm, I wanted to test the theory. Falling asleep was instant at ten. I woke early, 5am, about when the sun raised it's head and every day since I haven't felt the jet lag too bad at all this time. It took me a month to get over it last time. Now will this theory work every time for me? Does any medical lifestyle study support this theory? What other activities, well being or food/water combinations could I try to support my body's conversion to a new time zone?

Long haul flight = sore throat no. 2

It is just coincidence or a direct cause and effect that I suffered a really bad sore throat on the return flight to Scotland and a not so acute sore throat on the flight back to California? This time it cleared in a couple of days. Both flights were full up and over heated, (previous flights were half empty and it suffer no ill health effects). Is this the reason? Was there a back ground virus in my system waiting it's opportunity to strike?

More importantly, my lifestyle dictates that I will have many more such flights to take and I would like to minimize the risk of developing a killer sore throat in the future.

Should I eat better, rest better pre flight, during the flight, after the flight? Sleep better? Try and find a flight that will be less full? Surely, other regular long haul flyers have got good tips on what keeps them healthy during flights and is there any medical research on this topic to consider?

Monday, May 15, 2006

Attention --- health data

There are many potential benefits to be realized from a 'lifestyle linking' health world. In this world our personal health data is being collected, stored and used. The question is: Who has control over this data? Our answer: the individual. Only with the individual in control of their attention data, working on their behalf, applied with their permission, motivation and values will these benefits be realized. These principals are held by the Attention Trust and its members. See our membership page here .

Thursday, May 11, 2006

'lifestyle linking health' business

How does the 'lifestyle linking health' vision impact on business and how they serve their customers?

Let me explain by way of an example/anecdote: Our local butcher said with much enthusiasm 'that's what I like to see" when he saw a row of empty meat trays when it was only lunch time. So, what was do different about today? The sun was shining and summer was in the air for the first time and BBQ's were on the consumers agenda. The weather had created extra demand.

Now, any seasoned retailer worth their money will know how important the weather is on affecting sales from food to clothing etc. However, it also struck me that none of these businesses integrate weather content into their websites? (please tell me if you know of one). OK, the empowered individual will have this on their home page or portal start page but a business can provide this information and link it to their customers purchasing of their products.

The butcher was right to be happy to sell all his products by lunch time but what about the regular customer that comes in after to find empty shelves. Are they happy? Linking demand factors can help: consumer demand can be transmitted quicker to the butcher, the butcher can help by providing the best weather information for the location and thus produce more product to cater for know demand and existing customer have products to buy.

What about the 'health' element in this story? The individuals lifestyle is influenced by the weather in prompting a BBQ. The individual also has high cholesterol. Therefore, it would be sensible to go for low fat BBQ meat option or they could even go for fish instead of meat. And if they wanted to go one step further and share their nutrition requirements with the butcher then the business would be able to customize their sausage production to reduced fat percentage.

I believe the individuals lifestyle wins, hands down ever time in deciding what actions, activities, consumption or buying they will undertake. The specific delivery of all these will depend on how empowered the individual is with the 'linking' information whether that be price, product choice, availability, weather or health.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Chronic Disease Prevention

Does our daily lifestyle routines really directly impact and correlate to your probability of developing chronic disease? Medical research concludes it does but it's not a 100% accurate science or prediction game.

However, it would be useful to have the generally accepted cause and effect evidence on tap to empower and inform our decision making.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Lifestyle goal: World Masters Swimming Championship

My goal is to compete at The World Masters Swimming Championships in August 2006. My training is going to step up in pace in the weeks and months ahead. But will my diet 'step up in pace' too to provide the right fuel at the right times?

I should be able to learn from the many swimming blogs what are good practices to follow. It would be great if I could down load and then use their grocery shopping suggestions and link that do my training schedule.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

'lifestyle linking' Sun block, weather, health impact

Sun block
Originally uploaded by

The sun is a lot stronger here in California than it is back in Scotland at this time of the year. Sunburn is a concern. What suntan lotion should I buy?

There are lots of bottles to choose from. I don't believe tan's are a sign of good health so I always opt for a high factor. Factor 50+ which is what I buy. I go swimming so the label saying it's water proof for up to 80 mins. I feel I have made a good buy but have I? I would have liked my buying logic to have been reviewed by an expert e.g. skin cancer specialist.

Also, it is cloudy outside some days, applying cream every day becomes a chore. Is it OK not to apply sun cream on a cloudy day? Now, surely a combination of a weather station service and health expert e.g. skin cancer specialist could provide me with guidance on a daily basis?

And how much should I apply every day? Is there any short, medium or long term risk of using the cream every day? Would I be better off wearing a hat?

'lifestyle linking' Sun glasses

Sun glasses health impact?
Originally uploaded by ecotorch.

I arrived in California with out my sun glasses. I need to purchase a new pair. The pair at home in Scotland are of high quality so I don't want to spend too much cash.

However, will buying a cheaper pair with a sticker claiming 'maximum UV' protection suffice for a few weeks or should I invest a lot more money in a designer brand with superior sounding marketing?

Again, I do not know the relative health impacts the two options will have on my eye sight. I am thinking, the cheaper option say MAX protection and the small print provides supporting evidence. A more expensive pair will come along with a free consultation but it that just more marketing from the sales consultant or based on medical fact?

I would like to have real time data at the point of purchase on the health impact of these two product choices. If the cheap pair are taking care of my eyes and with the expensive pair, I am just paying for brand and style then I would buy the cheap pair. However, if wearing the cheap pair of sun glasses, I am in effect getting no protection from UV rays then I would be prepared to pay for the more expensive option?

A lifestyle linking service would provide the health impact on demand to us consumer to be weighed up against the pricing options and budgets.

'lifestyle linking' Weekly Shop

Weekly Shop James
Originally uploaded by
The photo is of my weekly shop for groceries and other domestic products for the home and myself.

I have set myself the lifestyle goal of competing in the World Masters Swimming Championships in August of 2006. This links directly with my lifestyle i.e.the amount of training I need to put in between now then then. As my training intensifies will the quality of my weekly shop for groceries do likewise? To be honest, as knowledgeable as I am, I have no real lidea what I should be buying to maximize my nutrition to complement my training.

I would like to get an analysis of my shopping and be able to input from an nutrition expert or competitive swimmer of my choice some value adding advice that will assist me buy better foods.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

'lifestyle linking' Health

Welcome to my 'lifestyle linking' health blog

My 'lifestyle linking' health vision is about empowering individuals to link their health needs with their daily lifestyle routines.