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?