Greatist Manifesto

17 Oct

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I’m jazzed about this company, Greatist, and their manifesto. In fact, it’s who I am and the “why” I exist: To inspire others to seek their highest wellbeing. Companies like this empower their users and employees by pushing the next generation of health seekers and entrepreneurs forward, empowering people to achieve their highest purpose and to help obtain the most important gift of all:

Health

“He who seeks health, shall obtain it.”

Greatist also helps illustrate the concept discussed in my previous blog: The fusion of man and technology for optimal health. What health trends and companies are inspiring you?

Always going for glory!

Craig Steinfeld

More must-read health & fitness news and information at Greatist.

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

No GMO bro!

23 Aug

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The hottest trend in the natural products and organics industry has been the fight to control GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) in our food supply. The fundamental question posed has been whether or not GMOs sold in stores should be labeled for consumer transparency.

The Just Label It campaign being petitioned across California has garnered national buzz and could lay the groundwork for future laws in other states regarding GMOs in respect to their need to be labeled or not (http://newhope360.com/blog/californias-gmo-petition-danger-industry)

Seems like a no-brainer, right? We have essentially no clue how GMOs impact human health and longterm effects so why not label them in the interest of safety and transparency.

What we do know:

  • GMOs contribute 400 million pounds of additional pesticides to the environment annually (http://newhope360.com/regulation-and-legislation/mark-retzloff-i-think-locally-act-globally-my-store?cid=nl_360_daily).
  • More than 40 countries around the world, including Japan, China and all of Europe, have made it necessary to label all GMOs as such and even banned them from production
  • The Center for Food Safety, filed a petition (Docket FDA 2011-P-0723-001/CP) calling on the FDA to require labeling of genetically engineered foods (6 months created149,967 public comments)
  • More than 91% of Americans want them labeled!

Let me be clear, the notion of using science and innovation to solve world problems is something I am fundamentally in favor of, but at the same time, creating one of the most massive scale human and environmental experiments in history just seems unfair without further research. At the very least, give consumers a choice to use their hard earned dollars to vote for the products they desire.

One things for sure, I will do what is in my own power to commit to being a “No GMO bro,” at least until more is discovered, and spend my dollars accordingly.

Always going for glory!

Craig

@CESteinfeld

Non Animal Protocol (N.A.P)

27 Jul

When you hear the word, Vegan, what comes to mind?

The crunchy hippie with dread locks?

The conscientious young child who likes her bug collection too much to eat meat?

The rise of the vegan has been something of a health trend to watch for some time. Now, it has become a near mainstream approach for preventing and reversing heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. President Clinton, ultra marathoners Scott Jurek and Rich Roll, celebrities abound are all vegan converts. All moral arguments aside on eating animals, research proves this diet can actually lead to better health outcomes.

I posit that the inherent connotation that vegans eat as such to preserve animal rights is beginning to shift, medically speaking. A diet once reserved for “pansies,” hippies, animal rights activists, and the like has become a “prescribed” approach by doctors as a means to improve poor health.

Books like The China Study, works by Dr. Dean Ornish, and The Engine 2 diet are redefining how we view veganism. Social norms are changing dramatically as a result of this push to get vegan mainstream.

As such, I believe veganism should receive a new name, a fresh start, that properly defines this seismic diet shift.

Non Animal Protocol or NAP for short. Not only would a new name help continue to drive society to “eat more plants,” but it would also continue to allow doctors to use this approach medically to improve their patients outcome. No longer would patients recoil in terror at the sound of their cardiologist and rheumatologists recommending veganism as a prescription for health.

On a side note, I eat animals (in moderation) but understand the value in that a Non Animal Protocol could facilitate societal acceptance and progression towards improving health outcomes and general wellness of the population.

What are your thoughts on redefining veganism?

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Health is simple: Walk around + eat plants

31 May

Extremism in  health is rampant. Fad diets are garnering lots of attention and research. Food advocates are going full-on locavore, shunning any food that does not come from within 20 miles of their home or grown in their own backyards. Vegans are mainstream, even calling their veggie-endeavors “plant strong,” and prescribing “green” drinks for their alkalizing properties. These approaches to health are all fantastic for those who have the means, education, and capacity to stick to them. The overarching health problems remain and obesity is still the massive public health problem of our generation.

Why has health become so extreme, complicated, and confusing?

Some of the recent “foodumentaries” that have come out over the past few years display an interesting trend:

Extreme health protocols as a means to health. 

Some examples include: Drinking only juice for months at a time (no chewing here!), never eating another piece of bread (gluten is toxic for everyone!), eating meat only (saturated fat is actually good for you!), or eating things that never had a “face or mother” (red meat kills and dairy makes you fat!).

As a population, we are on a crash course with rampant obesity.  In another five years, more than half the population will be obese and diabetic with the potential to bankrupt our entire health care system and to cripple our economic development.

I posit that the beauty of health lies in its simplicity.   Walk around,  and eat some fruits and veggies!  Recent research actually shows that by watching less T.V. and eating more fruits and vegetables  people can dramatically improve their health. In short, simple lifestyle changes can lead to dramatic health results.  

I harken back to Michael Pollan here: “Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly Plants.” But I might alter this a bit:

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. Walk around. And easy on the T.V. watching.”

You might even occasionally imbibe a cold beer or nice glass of red wine.

Always Going for Glory!

@Cesteinfeld

Stairs or escalator?

14 Apr

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It always amazes me how little decisions we make every single day can impact our health and societal health on a greater scale. The incremental choices, that we often view as trivial, end up amounting to the greater picture that comprises our health.

For instance:

To watch the latest reality show on television, or go outside for a walk?

To start the day with another soda, or opt for water?

To try incorporating more veggies in my diet, or sticking to fries only like I’m used to?

To snack on a twinkie, or eating fruit instead?

Maybe if we can tweak just a few little things about ourselves, the big picture of “health” and wellness would be less daunting.

Every decision we make, counts.

Craig E. Steinfeld

@CESteinfeld

(Special thanks to my brother, Alec @ALsteinfeld, for the image used and inspiration)

Meat Fuels Man’s Greatness

5 Apr

The following is an essay submitted to the New York Times ethicist contest on: “Why it’s ethical to eat meat.”

As humans we have always explored. We have built structures unrivaled by other species. We have pushed ourselves beyond what previous generations of humans thought was possible. Ethically speaking, we have an obligation as a species to progress, to push society forward, and to continue using our intellect and brain-power for the highest human achievements.

Without the consumption of animal proteins, early hominoids would have lacked the energy to keep pushing forward. Our brains would have lacked the essential fatty acids that have allowed them to develop to the bodily super computers they are today. Omega-3 fatty acids, specifically DHA (not found anywhere in land-based plants), as well as cholesterol and saturated fat make up a large majority of the fats that fuel and promote cognitive processes. Ketones, from animal fats, supply carbon for brain lipid synthesis. They provide sure source of brain energy when glucose is not present, a far too common problem for early hominoids.

We have an ethical obligation to fuel our brains properly as they are our competitive advantage over all other species. In fact, we have a distinct obligation to continue pushing humanities development forward. Meat, specifically seafood has played a significant role in keeping our brains sharp and ever-evolving. Early civilizations were most advanced (based on fossil records) when near water sources (ex: Lakes Turkana and Lake Victoria). Shore-based civilizations were breeding grounds for early brain development. In addition, iodine, another essential nutrient found abundantly in seafood, leads to intellectual increases. Many anthropologists posit that Neanderthals died off due to iodine deficiency as they left coastal areas to explore new lands.

From a nutritional standpoint, without animal proteins and DHA fats from seafood, our development as humans would have stagnated around 200,000 years ago. We would not have progressed enough as a species and society to be cognizant of the notion that eating meat may or may not be ethical to begin with. Without animal proteins, we would have not only halted our own evolutionary process, short-changing ourselves as a race and society, but we may have suffered a similar fate as our ancestral Neaderthals. Survival, after all, is our ultimate ethical obligation.

Fortunately, brave many numbers of hominoids continue to eat meat, contributing to our continued development, evolution, and survival.

@CESteinfeld