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Health + technology

6 Sep

The future of wellness is now.

By wellness I mean, no longer are we attempting to remain disease free and to stay healthy and “fit,” with the occasional doctors visit, check up, and gym visit. Instead,  we are working towards something greater by harnessing modern resources, innovation, and technology. Some might fear this fusion of technology and biology as a slippery slope, leading us down the road of becoming human cyborgs.

In my view, by better harnessing technology, we can not only prevent disease and have a better understanding of our genetics, but we also work towards reaching our own, unique Genetic Capacity, or our unique ability to become as strong and fit as we are biologically able.

Start ups are running with this concept and they have and will continue to crop up. Here are a few examples of start ups that exist to improve our quality of life and overall wellness:

  • Wristbands (and accompanying apps) to track our sleep cycles and exercise habits (see FitBit, Jawbone UP),
  • Apps to monitor our runs, swims, bikes, calories burned, mileage logged, elevation changes (Map My Fitness, RunKeeper)
  • Apps to track biomarkers as a preventive measure for disease and body composition improvement (WellnessFX)
  • Social media and apps to motivate and incentivize us to work out (GymPact, Greatist.com).

The list goes on….

The general trend towards Augmented Wellness means that we all have accessible tools in the form of technology  that allows us to continually strive towards reaching our own unique genetic capacities.

I’m excited to see just how far we can run with this as technology continues to build on itself…

Always going for glory!

Craig E. Steinfeld

@CESteinfeld

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Discovering your core values

17 Oct

Apple CoreI am lucky. My father, Jay Steinfeld (@BlindsComCEO), happens to be a shrewd business man (and better father). He started a multi-million dollar company out of our garage and I saw, first-hand, Blinds.com and its categorical success as I grew up.  I have been exposed to tidbits of life and business wisdom growing up around the most inspiring entrepreneur I know, my dad.

What I have learned is the importance of having core values on both a personal and business level. This means it is vital to determine what inspires you, drives you, and motivates you to get up each morning to leave your imprint on the world. Not only should your core values be written down and communicated (to yourself and your employees), but reiterated on a daily, even hourly basis. Despite profit incentive,  one should never should one stray too far from these driving core values as they will continue to guide even when the odds are stacked against you, or in the face of great adversity.

To quote another one of my favorite entrepreneurs, Richard Branson (full article here), on the founding of Virgin over 40 years ago:

“We had accidentally stumbled on the core elements of a culture dedicated to delivering great customer service! It turned out that people who work in a friendly environment that is tolerant of mistakes, and who are empowered to make decisions about how they do their jobs, arrive at the best possible solutions for serving customers.”

These early values helped shaped the direction of one of the most diversified and successful companies the world has ever seen, and they are still ever-present in the Virgin brand today.

My core values:

  • Striving for constant improvement
  • Continuing to evolve and innovate
  • Commitment to living a healthy lifestyle
  • Desire to take risk and explore
  • Keeping an open mind in all facets of life
My values are dynamic, meaning they will undoubtedly change over time, but the real point here is:
Having core values to guide your own personal mission or business are tantamount to reaching success, however you define it.
What are YOUR core values?
Always going for glory!

When food=drug

26 Mar

Drug:

  • A chemical substance that affects the processes of the mind or body
  • Something, often an illegal substance, that causes addiction, habituation, or a marked change in consciousness

I watched Super Size Me for the first time last week and let me just say, WOW!  We all know by now that fast food is inherently bad for our health, so it’s not  surprising that a diet of fast food and mammoth size portions of sugar, salt, trans fats, and hormone/steroid drenched meat had deleterious effects even in the short term.  What is shocking is just how much damage director Morgan Spurlock does to his otherwise picture perfect health in the span of less than 30 days. Even scarier, the  fact that as his health continues to precipitously decline, Spurlock has an extremely hard time stopping his consumption of the fast food.  In a word, he becomes addicted to the fast food within a short two week period of time. He literally feels lethargic, weak, and unsatisfied until he get his fast-food “fix.” I think this film really poses a greater question:

Should fast food be regulated like drugs?

Recent research from the Scripps Research Institute has confirmed that fast food and highly processed foods like fast food have a profound impact on the neurological systems and hormonal systems on the body that mimic the chemical addictiveness experienced by heavy using drug addicts.

To quote:

“”These findings confirm what we and many others have suspected…that overconsumption of highly pleasurable food triggers addiction-like neuroadaptive responses in brain reward circuitries, driving the development of compulsive eating. Common mechanisms may therefore underlie obesity and drug addiction.”

The key words here are common mechanisms that underlie the addictiveness! Essentially, these data show that fast food is as addictive as heroin!

I posit that based on what these data show, that foods meeting certain thresholds with sodium, sugar, fat, simple carbohydrates, and chemical by-products are chemically no different than drugs and should therefore be treated as such. I  do believe very strongly in free will and smart life decisions for optimal health, but people who eat massive amounts of fast food are addicts and policy to limit the amount of these illicit substances and food would greatly reduce the chronic disease burden that continues to negatively impact society.

Being Healthbent Entrepreneur that I am, maybe it would be the perfect time to open an addiction clinic for fast food addicts? Maybe develop a pharmaceutical drug that curbs fast food addiction?  Sadly, these would probably be lucrative marketplaces to enter. Just, fast-food for thought…

Always going for glory!

Craig Steinfeld

@CESteinfeld

Healthbent Entrepreneur

Running with chi*

15 Feb

Distance running, for me and many other endurance masochists, ahem athletes, is a great form of stress release and exercise. After all, going for glory requires a lot of energy, time, and can lead to stress.  The therapeutic and relaxing properties of a run often result in what many call the “runners high.”  Some skeptics argue that distance running is bad for the body and rough on the joints and knees.  Well, the jury is still out on whether or not the long-term effects do in fact create problems for the body (when performed correctly with, forefoot strike instead of heel striking, Harvard studies have shown that it can be safe and has been for thousands of years).  Even if it’s unclear of the impact on the joints and body, I posit that cardiovascular problems from inactivity far outweigh orthopedic problems related to exercise. Put another way, cardiovascular problems often result in death, while orthopedic problems often result in pain or surgery.   I don’t know about you but I’ll take pain over death any day.

Running, just like any sport, requires form and concentration.  The single best resource that I’ve been able to find on safe and effective technique has been from Chi Running.

Their message:

“Running does not cause injury  —  running incorrectly does.  When you run mindfully and with good technique, you can safely run for the rest of your life.”

If you do run, I highly recommend you look into these amazing techniques taught by Danny Dreyer, founder of Chi Running and author of the book by the same name.

From my own experience, I can run further than ever before, with less effort than ever before.

I’d love to hear about any techniques that people implement in regards to running injury free.  What do you think, can you run forever without compiling a plethora of injuries?

Always going for glory!

H.E.

@CESteinfeld

*This post is a follow-up to my last post on supplementation and running as I am competing in the Austin marathon this week.

Jumping ship and embracing the unknown

1 Feb

Once again Everett Bogue, author and blogger, has got me thinking. And I mean really thinking. His latest post on his Far Beyond the Stars Blog makes some extremely important points that are important to take to heart in our modern, kinetic, dynamic, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants world. I, for one, thrive in this uncertain world. Tomorrow means nothing and everything simultaneously. Huh? Yes. Our lives are becoming more and more uncertain where game changing ideas, thoughts, and practice could be bouncing around my head or yours at any time or place.

The most important point that really resonates with me and I think should for many is this:

“The reality of uncertainty is that it is actually the most rewarding state for humans to exist in.”

Read that again. We have no idea just how much we can learn about ourselves if we just dive in and embrace the above concept. As an entrepreneur I have chosen an uncertain path. Each day I learn more and more about myself and consider each day to be a crazy adventure which makes up my so-called life. Most people will generally (in accordance with the laws of nature) always take the path of least resistance. This path, while easy, might make you look back on your life, wonder where the time and days went, think of the dreams that could have been, and the great ideas that you had that others pursued and got rich off. Well I’m determined for this to not be me and the uncertainty of it all really gets my creative juices flowing.

So carve out your path, ignore conventional wisdom (more on this later), and opt for a life intent on changing the world however you see fit.

Always going for glory!

H.E.

And so it begins: A (mini)festo

13 Dec

Dear all:

I am an entrepreneur who discovered finding a “real” job was much harder than its supposed to be.  I quickly grew tired of begging on hands and knees just to get my foot in the door.  Companies and organizations either lack capital to hire new talent or those that have capital are not adequately utilizing it to provide jobs due to the “economic uncertainty.”  In any case, even with a Master’s degree, finding a job proved to be more and more like a waste of time and financial resources.  Instead, I have decided to pursue, with extreme fervor, my passion: entrepreneurship. This blog will follow the trials, tribulations, successes, failures, and vented frustrations of a young, hellbent, entrepreneur with nothing to lose.

I am not your run-of-the-mill entrepreneur in that my goal is not to make a quick buck (although that would be nice) without thinking about social impact.  Instead, I believe in the social responsibility and the power of healthy products to change the way in which we function as a society for the better.  Too often, our environmental landscape shapes our purchasing behaviors and our health.  Producers of food and products are growing increasingly aware of the societal impact they are making. Gone are the days in which we can turn a blind eye to insidious food practices laden with trans-fats, corn sugars (or whatever they’re calling it these days), preservatives, hormones, etc.  In are the days of making smart decisions, when buying, selling, and creating new products for the market. I along with my ventures will aim to be part of the solution to the ever-burgeoning societal problems such as obesity, chronic disease, and the health of our planet.  I hope choose to do the same.

To life, liberty, and the pursuit of health.

Always going for glory!

Hellbent Entrepreneur