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BMI, Blood Pressure, and Blood Panel Give Health Insight


Look inside

Going for the major health check with physical, blood panel, eye exam, and more. It has been years since I did a blood panel and I have wondered as a vegetarian how I am doing nutritionally. Not bad, but I could use a little boost in a few areas.  Trying to stay proactive on the health curve instead of playing catch up. A BMI reading, blood pressure, and  blood work can help you peel the onion to your current status in an uncomplicated way, but effective.


Category: Nutrition, Selfseeds
Tag: blood panel, blood pressure, BMI, health, nutrition, Selfseeds nutrition, wellness work up

Holiday Greetings From Selfseeds!

Greetings for the Holiday Season!  Cheerleading for your potential growth and wellness in 2014!

IMG_3097 2 sepia

Amber Fort, Jaipur, India


Settled into a routine in Jaipur, India and I look forward to sharing what I am learning about stillness and living abroad.  Knowing how busy most people are with juggling all the requirements of living, don’t forget that just taking 5 minutes for yourself can make a difference.  Looking at a beautiful photograph, listening to a song, sitting for a few moments to collect one’s self are all Selfseed Moments for planting part of your sacred garden.  As I continue to walk and deepen into this interior path, we only have the self. Nurturing and caring for the self allows for not only your own wellness, but to be more available to stand in the winds of life change and support others in their walk.


(short video below)

Category: Selfseeds, Selfseeds Community
Tag: community building, Happy New Year, health, Merry Christmas, Selfseeds, take just 5, wellness

Daily Selfseed #2 80% of Fitness Is What You Eat!



This statistic got my attention!  The personal trainer, Kim, who I am working with to develop my personal training skills shared this fact with me. Wow!  We hear that we are what we eat and drink, but it is easy to dismiss.  Thank you for the opportunity to share this idea and the more to come…


Nice article to consider when looking at the entire picture of one’s wellness:  mind, body, and soul.
 Spiritual Nutrition for the Heart

There are so many articles written every single day about health and nutrition. There is this diet and that diet and one philosophy after another about what to eat and when to eat it and how far apart to space meals and good fats and bad fats — and 
Category: Nutrition, Selfseeds
Tag: health, nutrition, Selfseeds short videos, soul

Balance Is More Than Physical

Checking balance

One doesn’t have to be advancing in age to lose balance, but it is a key element for health, safety, and independence.  Many injuries are a result of falling or twisting in some way that strains the body and leads to personal damage.  Even with careful, methodical rehabilitation, the body will want to hold onto the memory of the injury.  Having gone through several rehabilitations personally,  I am always working to undue the body’s weariness to trust and let go of protecting the once debilitated area.  Even years later, the body periodically reacts to a movement by saying, “Are you sure?”

A big part of the rehabilitation plan is to “rebuild the bridge” in a way that the rest of the body doesn’t become negatively effected by the distortion–minimizing the unbalanced pattern taking hold and becoming the new normal.  Often when we experience loss of balance, it makes us feel vulnerable and less independent with our daily options.  Where once we may have never given a second thought to stepping over, climbing up, or maneuvering through–we begin to think twice.

Learning to restore balance
The Boston Globe
The belts are expected to be marketed next year, initially to physical therapists who work with people withbalance problems. A person’s sense of balance relies on an exquisite interplay of three regions, your vision, a maze-like structure in the inner 

Learning to restore balance

With advancing age come problems of unsteadiness and dizziness. Researchers are looking for ways to stop the falls.

By Kay Lazar


Linda Victor of Lexington suffers from balance problems but still commutes to work with the use of a cane.


Linda Victor of Lexington suffers from balance problems but still commutes to work with the use of a cane.

Linda Victor is what some doctors call a perfect patient – perfect because the balance problems that crept up on Victor over the past few years vividly illustrate the typical hurdles many older adults face in maintaining their stability.

Victor, a 70-year-old Lexington resident, used to love to walk. But that enthusiasm dried up after one serious fall while commuting to work six years ago was followed by another during a lunch break. Left in their wake is a general feeling of unsteadiness, especially while walking outside on uneven surfaces.

“Inside I feel like I am 40 years old but my body is going through these weird changes,’’ said Victor, who still works and commutes to her job via the train, but with the help of a cane. “I have adjusted my whole approach to how I maneuver.’’

At any given time, an estimated 6.2 million Americans report a chronic problem of balance, dizziness or both, according to federal data. The problem tends to increase with age, and with the aging population, specialists say the ranks of the unsteady are sure to grow.

‘I have adjusted my whole approach to how I maneuver.’

Linda Victor 

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The looming numbers of balance-challenged elders have inspired researchers in Massachusetts and Oregon to develop two different styles of belts that will either vibrate or beep and alert the wearer that he or she is tilting to one side and may potentially fall. The belts are expected to be marketed next year, initially to physical therapists who work with people with balance problems.

A person’s sense of balance relies on an exquisite interplay of three regions, your vision, a maze-like structure in the inner ear which includes microscopic cells that resemble little hairs, and the muscles and joints running from your feet, up through your spine, that sense your body’s position.

All three areas send signals to your brain, which processes the information, and helps give you a sense of spatial orientation – your balance.

As we age, eyesight fades, as do our muscles’ ability to sense surroundings. Meanwhile, the hair cells in the inner ear die off and do not regenerate. These declines combine to throw off the signals to your brain about your balance.

Victor only recently realized that the combination of advancing arthritis in her ankles, knees, and hips, and her gradual hearing loss, were likely related to her balance problems. Specialists believe hearing loss mirrors the degeneration of inner ear hair cells.

“All these things I took as separate issues,’’ she said.

In addition to an aging balance system, elders – for reasons that are not entirely clear – also are more likely to be plagued by certain disorders that can cause dizziness. The most common is Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, or BPPV, which causes vertigo, and dizziness due to small calcium carbonate crystals (sometimes referred to as “ear rocks’’) that collect within a part of the inner ear.

The displaced crystals shift during head movements, sending false signals to the brain.

Often, a combination of balance and dizziness disorders can make it challenging for specialists to pinpoint the source of a problem.

“We can’t get inside a patient’s head and feel their symptoms, so we are at the mercy of their descriptive skills,’’ said Dr. Steven D. Rauch, an ear, nose, and throat specialist at Mass. Eye and Ear.

Rauch said that about half of his patients are coming in for balance problems, which means that he is often trying to sort through what he calls the “four flavors of dizzy.’’

The first flavor, he said, is characterized by a sense of blacking out while standing up. It can be caused by low blood pressure, dehydration, and abnormal heart rhythms, but typically not an inner ear problem, Rauch said.

The second is unsteadiness, often a result of an inner ear disorder but also potentially caused by a stroke or a neurological problem. The third is more classic vertigo, a feeling that the world is spinning around you. It can be caused by migraines, stroke, even epilepsy but is most often traced to an inner ear problem, Rauch said.

And the fourth is lightheadedness, similar to the feeling of taking too much cold medicine and usually traced to a panic attack or anxiety, he said.

Treatment for balance problems can vary greatly once the “flavor’’ of the problem is pinpointed, Rauch said, and can include physical therapy or a change in medications, such as blood pressure medicines, that may be contributing to the dizziness.

One of Rauch’s colleagues, Conrad Wall III, has developed a “balance belt’’ that is designed to help patients whose flavor of dizziness stems from an inability to sense when they are about to fall over.

Wall, director of the Jenks Vestibular Diagnostic Laboratory at Mass Eye and Ear, said his two-pound, elastic belt equipped with motion sensors that trigger a vibration similar to a cellphone when the wearer starts to tilt, was able to reduce from 80 percent to 20 percent the risk of falls among a group of elders, average age of 79, who were trained to walk with the device.

He used data from other researchers who found that elders had an 80 percent chance of falling at least once a year, then he measured the number of falls among seniors trained to walk with his belt.

Wall, who is principal scientist of a company he founded to market the belts, said the devices will be available in about a year for physical therapists, who would use them on patients in the clinic, then have patients take one home for more practice between sessions.

“It will record whether they are cheating and not doing their exercises,’’ said Wall, a biomechanical engineer who has spent a career testing dizzy patients.

“Those belts will help us work out the bugs for a consumer model that could be worn all the time,’’ he said.

Fay Horak, a physical therapist and professor of neurology at Oregon Health & Science University, also has developed a belt that will emit various tones to signal whether the wearer is tilting left, right, forward or backward and is in danger of falling.

Horak has received a number of federal grants to research methods that have improved therapy for patients with dizziness and balance problems. She said too often people who have struggled with these problems become reclusive and inactive because they fear they will fall.

The habituation therapy that she specializes in to get people back on track may seem counterintuitive.

“You have people go through head motions that make them dizzy and the brain will learn to suppress that dizziness,’’ Horak said.

For patients who have serious problems with balance because of substantial damage in their inner ear – often from medications such as certain antibiotics – therapy can teach them how to rely more on the other areas of their body that support balance – their vision and their muscles, Horak said.

“We have people who are living longer,’’ she said.

“It’s important to stay active and exercise, but if you have problems with balance and dizziness, you get afraid of moving,’’ Horak said. “If we can keep people more active, then they will have a higher quality of life as they get older.’’

Category: Balance, Selfseeds
Tag: balance, health, independence

Great Gadgetry Available

There is a lot of amazing gadgetry that is hitting all aspects of holistic living.  It may or may not be your style, but it is a fast paced field for health minded people.  Inspiration?  Could be.  Motivation? Most likely.  Efficiency? Absolutely.   Have fun while keeping fit?  Why not.  Lots of other great gadgets too.  Take a peak at article #2 as well.

Article #1:

Fitocracy, the social network for fitness, joins 500 Startups and hits 

By Courtney Boyd Myers
Just over 3 months later, it has accrued 75000 users to its social fitness platform, an epic leap over just a few summer months. Today, Fitocracy is also announcing that it will be joining Dave McClure’s 500 Startups accelerator program in 
The Next Web


Fitocracy is a New York City startup that’s building a gamified social network around fitness. We first wrote about Fitocracy in our recent report on The Future of Fitness, in which we interviewed founders Brian Wang and Richard Talens, who used to be “really out of shape, video game addicts”. Talens was “super fat” and Wang was “super skinny”. While in college, they realized they had to make a lifestyle change and thus became “addicted to fitness”. Inspired by their experience, the two started building a new platform that tracks workouts and turns personal fitness into a social game.

Once you enter your work-outs on Fitocracy, you gain points and move through the system. People give each other “Props,” that are equivalent to a Facebook Like. In the future, the team will hook up with applications like Nike Plus and RunKeeper, intending to be the point aggregator that sits on top of all that aggregated data. The best thing about Fitocracy is that you can log anything, so that I can compete with people even if I’m practicing yoga and they’re lifting weights.

In June, Fitocracy hit 16,000 users with 6,000 more on the waiting list. Just over 3 months later, it has accrued 75,000 users to its social fitness platform, an epic leap over a few summer months. Today, Fitocracy is also announcing that it will be joining Dave McClure’s 500 Startups accelerator program in Mountain View, California. Wang, Talens and their Senior Engineer Daniel Roesler will be making the cross-country trip together.

“Our community has in part been instrumental in getting us this far, and by joining 500 Startups, we’ll be able to quickly deliver an even better Fitocracy experience,” said Dick Talens. “We’re excited to receive Dave’s guidance and work with the amazing team he’s formed to build an even better platform.”

Check out a screenshot of the platform in its current form:

Will the boys settle in California? Fitocracy says it isn’t done being a New York startup yet. (Win!) All members of the team plan on returning home to the city upon completion of their three month stay in Mountain View.

“The startup scene in New York is thriving and we can’t thank our peers there enough for the support they’ve given us,” said Wang. “We’ve grown out of WeWorkLabs – one of the best co-working spaces in the country, and we’re proud to continue working alongside what we see as the future of the city’s startup community.”

Talens, who hits the gym 3 days a week and spends all of his time doing big, heavy lifting believes fitness is inherently social and that success is best attained when we can keep each other motivated. Fitocracy will be opening in Beta next month but we’ve got invites for you right here. Use the code “THENEXTWEB”.


Courtney Boyd Myers is the East Coast editor of TNW, based in Brooklyn, NYC. She began her career writing about robots. She loves magnets + reading on a Kindle. You can follow her onFacebookTwitter @CBM or e-mail her at

Article #2:

The Future of Fitness – TNW Insider

What is fitness? The first definition of fitness is: “health”. Health is defined as “the general condition of the body or mind with reference to soundness and vigor: good health; poor health.”

So to explore the future of fitness, we need to know how technology will impact our health. According to famed futurist Ray Kurzweil, within this century we will have blood-cell-sized nanobots, swimming through our bloodstreams keeping us healthy by zapping cancer, correcting DNA errors, removing toxins, extending our memories and eating up brownies before they hit our thighs. And we’ll have chips in our bodies that will transmit our personal health data to and from devices and our brain.

The path to the future of fitness relies on massive data aggregation, social elements and convenience. While it’s fascinating to track your weight, your height, BMI, running patterns and your caloric intake, future intelligence will rely on much more than that. It will know the history of your injuries, your genetics, your complete biometric data and not just about your activity today but also how external conditions play their part such as your geographic location, weather patterns, your social graph and what music you’re listening to. In the future, you’ll be able to correlate across all these different categories for a truly, holistic report on your health. So let’s meet the companies taking us there.

Let the Fitness Data Aggregation Begin


RunKeeper CEO Jason Jacobs grew up playing team sports like hockey, lacrosse and baseball and it wasn’t until he graduated from college when he started thinking about fitness as something other than a sport. Now, in addition to running one of Boston’s most successful startups, he runs 5-7 miles every day and hits the gym 3 times a week. Before he launched RunKeeper, the Babson college grad says:

“I always knew I wanted to build something big and beautiful and to make my mark on the world. I was busy searching around for what that would be, evaluating different ideas in different domains. I was training for a marathon at the time to channel these pent up ideas and kept asking myself, ‘What am I really passionate about?’ It was staring me in the face. I saw the tools I needed, I knew the space, and the more I dug in, I saw there was something really big here. As soon as those stars aligned I had a hypothesis for where I’d start: the intersection of fitness and data.”

Looking at Nike Plus, Jacobs was inspired but thought, “Why is this only being done around one pedometer, around one brand of shoes for one sport?” Seeing the promise of sensor technology, he asked, “Why isn’t someone tying this all together? Jacobs launched RunKeeper in August 2008, and it was one of the first 200 iOS apps in the App store. RunKeeper was also one of the first companies with a freemium model, which allowed them to be cash positive from an early stage. The team raised a $1.1 million Series A round in November 2010.

“People assumed the app was always the vision for our business, but even before the smartphone was on the radar, we knew we wanted to build a system to tie all health categories together, something to engage users, that could spread organically and virally. If we had come out and said, ‘We’re aggregating the world’s health information from the start, nobody would’ve shown up,” says Jacobs.

Runkeeper now has 6 million registered users, which use its platform to track all of their stats from dozens of devices and applications like FitBit, Zeo, Wahoo, Withings and of course, the Runkeeper app. Check out my user profile here to see it in action. In June, Jacobs announced that RunKeeper’s open API would enable 3rd party apps to be built on top of an unprecedented amount of correlated health data; what he calls “The Health Graph” much like Facebook’s “Social Graph”. Just this week, Runkeeper unveiled Runkeeper races, which allow users to search for races to participate in and keep track of their past, present and future races.

“I use RunKeeper because it does something for me that I clearly couldn’t do on my own very efficiently– track distance and time. Aside from RunKeeper, I don’t use anything. I suppose I should, but the thing is, most fitness people are very into routines. By definition, they’re creatures of habit–so I think it’s probably really hard to get them to switch over and use new things,” says New York City VC Charlie O’Donnell of First Round Capital.

According to Jacobs, about 2-3 years into the future, you won’t be hitting a button to track anything, it will be automatic. You take a sip of water and the system knows. Data collection will be passive, unobtrusive and free. All the intelligence will be ‘under the hood.’ Taking care of your health will be like listening to turn by turn TomTom directions. “Time to wake up. Drink a glass of water. Time to sleep. You’re done working out. You ate a donut. Redirecting.”

Will we need personal trainers in the future? “I don’t think they’ll go away because there will always be people who prefer the ‘human touch’ but the machines will get better at coaching. While the best personal trainers are giving advice based on dozens, or perhaps hundreds of clients, machine will have access to the experience of thousands if not billions of clients,” predicts Jacobs.

Check out our video interview with Jacobs here for more of his Future of Fitness predictions:

23 and Me

23andMe is a personal genetics company co-founded by Anne Wojcicki, the wife of Google’s Sergey Brin. I signed up a year ago and paid $99.99, plus $5.00 per month for the subscription. Deals for the service pop up quite often so don’t pay the full price. It’s easy to use, just spit in a tube and mail it off and about 6 weeks later the test results arrive via e-mail and in an easy to download PDF format.

The test provides insight into your ancestral origins; traits, from hair quality to muscle performance; risk factors for 93 diseases; and your predicted response to drugs, from blood thinners to coffee. You are then given a log-in where you can explore new genetic data as it comes in and how it relates to you. The technology confirms facts I already knew about myself like “I have brown hair,” to as random, yet still true as “I have moderately higher odds of smelling asparagus in my urine.” It then reported things I didn’t know about myself, like “I have about an 80% chance of not being able to taste certain bitter flavors.” This is not a good evolutionary sign.

Every two weeks or so, I still receive new personal information from 23andme. The more people who submit their DNA, the better the overall results will be for everyone. Let the DNA data collection begin.


“In the future, you’ll be able to instantly share all of your biometric data with doctors and insurance companies so you can receive a discount for good health,” says Chip Hawkins, the founder and CEO of Wahoo Fitness.

Hawkins, a self-proclaimed “gadget and health nut” started Wahoo Fitness 2 years ago in Atlanta, GA. The company makes products that wirelessly connect your iPhone to your favorite fitness sensors such as heart rate straps and stride sensors. They make two primary devices: a key that plugs into your iPhone for running and a waterproof case for cycling. Wahoo connects with over 60 applications including RunKeeper, Runmeter and Training Peaks.

Hawkins says in the next year or two we will see calorimeter devices that you can wear on your upper arm to measure your caloric intake. The band works by measuring heat flux, i.e. the energy that’s leaving your body.


“Sleep is one of the most important aspects of your health and wellness. Everything is related and ties back to sleep,” says Zeo’s CEO Ben Rubin.

While there are less clunky options for measuring your sleep like WakeMateZeo‘s headband (pictured right) actually works and is far more accurate. “This theme is true for a variety of devices- the bigger and clunkier they are, the more accurate they are, but we all know this will change,” says RunKeeper’s Jason Jacobs.

Zeo monitors your brain waves while you’re sleeping to produce a “ZQ score”, which is a measure of the quantity and quality of your sleep each night. It measures both your deep and REM sleep, how many times you’re woken up in the night and then wakes you up at the appropriate time. Rubin says they’re in the business of sleep management so the platform includes a full suite of solutions for getting better sleep. It lets you compare your sleep data to others, so you can make decisions like buying a new mattress, cutting out the caffeine, getting your husband to stop snoring or kicking the dog out of bed.

Rubin recommends the Philips Wake Up Light, which wakes you up in a more natural way by emitting light that increases gradually and simulates the sunrise. He also recommendsF.lux, which makes the color of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and sunlight during the day. And what does the future hold? Rubin predicts:

“5-7 years into the future, you’ll walk into your bathroom and your temperature and heart rate will be measured. Your urine, analyzed. How tired you look will be saved in your mirror. All of this will be done with minimal intervention. And when we have all that data, people will build smart analytics layers on top of it, so you’ll receive an email that says: ‘We’ve noticed your sleep quality sucks. We think it’s because you’ve been on your computer til 1AM every night. And have you been sticking to your diet? Your urine samples are registering a high PH level.’ The future of fitness will be all about sensor technology and smart algorithms.”


CEO Cédric Hutchings started Withings, a French company in 2008 with a simple concept: “We revisit devices you already know like the body scale and blood pressure monitor and connect them to the Internet,” says Hutchings. “We do this first, to simplify the object’s interface and second, to enrich the services and enhance the features.”

The Withings WiFi body scale measures weight, body fat and lean mass. Set up takes 5 minutes, then you just step on the scale and voilá! Your measurements are sent to your web or mobile account.

The best thing about all of these devices, particularly Withings, is that it tracks your data effortlessly without adding a new routine like having to manually store data. By making it so easy to monitor these data points, it’s easier to motivate yourself to make micro-decisions like deciding to walk back home instead of driving, taking the stairs or splitting a dessert. Withings works with a multitude of devices and applications including RunKeeper, FitBit and Zeo. Check out this full list of partnerships.


Similar in functionality to RunKeeper’s app, Runmeter is an iPhone centric platform that pushes your GPS tracked workouts out to social networks and enables realtime feedback. So let’s say you push out this tweet or Facebook post: ”Just started a run on Runmeter”. When someone replies to the post with “Awesome job!” You’ll hear that feedback within minutes in your earbuds. Hearing a friend of yours say, “Go Faster” will get your legs kicking faster.

Runmeter has gone to the max in terms of features, functionality and ease of use with the iPhone. In comparison to RunKeeper, which is free, the Runmeter app costs $4.99 in the app store. While Runmeter’s app is slightly more sophisticated in terms of audio and social features, it lacks a social website. It’s all about the iPhone.

I asked Steve Kusmer, a developer for Runmeter if running with an iPhone might cause any damage to its internal parts. He said, “The iPhone is very, very rugged. The up and down motion does not affect the device at all. Of course, dropping the iPhone would be damaging, which is why we recommend using it with a fitness beltan armband or a bike mount.”

“I believe the future of fitness is connected and realtime…Realtime is where we’ll shine beyond our competitors because we allow for support during your workout. We didn’t create a company that helps people share photographs, we are literally savings lives,” says Kusmer.

In the future, data aggregation will be the norm. We caught up with Dr. Leslie Saxon, the Executive Director of USC’s Center for Body Computing, who had this to say:

“Biological statistics will become a bigger part of sports. There is a movement in every sport toward more and deeper data collection and analytics. Sports teams want data so they can crunch the numbers and create better results on the playing field.  There is technology emerging–and we’re testing and developing it at the USC Center for Body Computing–that allows us to get incredible health insight.  We can use the information to protect athletes and to increase their performance.  For example, we have an NFL Charities grant to study dynamic heart rate in athletes.  There are now sensors that can track acceleration, perspiration, core temperature…This quickly-evolving technology will trickle down into the fitness arena.

The future of fitness will be enhanced by knowledge of what your mind and body are experiencing so that better decisions and outcomes can be obtained. It will also be really interactive. Don’t be surprised that if within the next few years you will have a sensor on your body most of the time you are exercising and that you will interact with the data being collected and that user experience will be fun.  The CBC is working on that too.  A prediction: the next generation will find it unusual if you do NOT record your every vital sign from birth to death.”

UP by Jawbone

New to the scene is Jawbone’s UP (pictured right), a wearable wristband with an application that combines tracking, analysis, social and motivational elements. It will track people’s movement, sleep patterns and nutrition 24/7 and present personalized recommendations and challenges to live a healthier life. While best known for developing bluetooth headsets and wireless speakers, the Jawbone UP will plug-in via headphone jack. We’ll be sure to get back to you with a full report when it becomes available later this year.

We did however catch up with Travis Bogard, VP of Product Management & Strategy at Jawbone, who had this to say on the future of fitness:

I think we’ll see more and more technology seamlessly integrated on and about the body. It will be functional, stylish, wearable 24/7 and…will help people measure their health and understand all of the elements that affect their health over time…With this, I think we’ll see a shift toward people thinking about health as something that is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – not just moments when we think we’re being healthy…Tools like UP will help free us from that dedicated workout time and give us an opportunity identify and track healthy activities that we enjoy each and every day.

Travis Bogard, VP of Product Management & Strategy at Jawbone

Other monitoring devices include Garmin watches and Fitbit, by far the most popular device that tracks all of your daily activity such as calories burned, sleep quality, steps and distance. FitBit syncs with fitness programs such as LoseIt!, RunKeeper and Microsoft HealthVault.

In addition to the aforementioned, there are dozens of fitness apps you should check out including: DailyMileCyclemeterGymGoalC25KEndomondo, , MealSnapRuntastic,Sports Tracker and DailyBurn.


Courtney Boyd Myers is the East Coast editor of TNW, based in Brooklyn, NYC. She began her career writing about robots. She loves magnets + reading on a Kindle. You can follow her onFacebookTwitter @CBM or e-mail her at

Category: Fitness, Integrative Band, Nutrition, Selfseeds
Tag: efficiency, fitness, gadgetry, health, inspirational, supportive

Eating on the move

Market in Jaipur, India

Eating:  what to eat, when to eat, how much to eat, where to eat, etc. are all at the root of living.  Joyful–yes.   Challenging–yes.  Frustrating–yes.  Time consuming–yes.  And the list goes on regarding emotions and motions tied to food and nutrition.  The news is filled with articles on dieting and the new nutrition “plate” that has replaced the pyramid.  We are looking at getting back to basics with cooking from scratch at schools, fast food restaurants changing their menus to include more healthy choices, and how all of this relates to the growing trend towards obesity.  On the other end of the spectrum, we see the world news with the catastrophic numbers of malnourished children in Somalia and the growing numbers of hungry in America.  Food is a big part of our lives:  survival, business, and global interconnectedness.

With my recent move to India, I am buying fresh food at an open market, using bottled water religiously, and not currently owning a refrigerator–I am acutely aware of food again. Having lived in California where there is an abundant supply and diversity of fresh foods, clean tap water, and stores available 24/7 makes me very appreciative of the ease from which I came. Luckily,  I started the journey in great shape, so there are some reserves to make the transition.  My hope is to not find ill health as boundaries, but of course there have been some digestive adjustments as my “gut bugs” get introduced to new neighbors.  Living with a hot plate and no refrigerator does require planning and staying on top of how my supplies are doing without the Western appliance world at my fingertips .  I have always loved and lived on lots of salad, vegetables, fruits, nuts, yogurt–basics.  I have been fine with ant proof containers for grains, nuts, dried fruit, and dried milk powder.   I have a yogurt/milk source two doors down and a bottled water source on the ground floor of the building I live in.  The market is within a 15 minute walk, so I am set.

Multi-tasking while eating makes sense:  eating smart and nutritious.

food as more than nutrition


Category: Nutrition, Selfseeds
Tag: diet, food, health, nutrition, safety, travel

Health: learning about the importance of it!!

As I talk with friends, family, and new contacts,  I am constantly amazed by people’s inner strength and will to find their way to the other side of health issues.  As a person who has had the good fortune to live in a predominantly healthy form,  I was interested in how people would approach their health issues if they knew that they were going to be lasting or severe.  In other words, what could I learn as a “heads up” to problem solving health signs, but not be paranoid.  The first step appears to be knowing yourself and knowing what is your personal status.  Stay in touch with the health field for baseline health checks. The next step appears to be observing and noting differences, what may have caused them, are things progressing, have there been earlier signs that were unnoticed etc.  One of my original motivators for Selfseeds was how to keep moving forward with personal goals while finding a balance in reality.  My body was often my strength and my weakness.  It has allowed me to experience remarkable elements of feel, fluidity, strength, and flexibility, but it has also been the absolute no in the equation of life.  Blacking out in moments of fatigue were nonnegotiable points yelling, “What are you doing!.”  When going in for health checks, sleep deprivation ranks right up there with smoking, excess weight, alcohol abuse, lack of exercise etc. , but it doesn’t look as bad from the outside.

The changes I was forced to look at led me to a deeper examination of stillness.  I am on my way to Jaipur, India for an indefinite period of time to become a student of this inner process.  A six week stay in April/May wetted my appetite for more.

Please share your processes and observations with your efforts to stay healthy or work with a health challenge.

Category: Fitness, Nutrition, Selfseeds, Stillness
Tag: action, challenges, health, medical, preventative, wellness

Finalizing the Selfseeds brochure and business cards

Adding the Selfseeds icons and rewriting some of the text on the Selfseeds website inspired Heather (web and graphics designer extraordinaire) and I to redo the Selfseeds brochure and business cards, before I leave for India.  We decided to take photos at the gym with me recreating various aspects of  Selfseeds: weight distribution, balance, and the integrative band.  Seeing the photos felt like another final exam: fitness- how I got there/maintained it, balance-constantly challenging the body with new combinations, weight distribution-regular checking on the internal symmetry, integrative band-amazing for connecting all of the work and applying it in motion, and flexibility-the key ingredient for dynamic, adjustable body function.

Once I settle back into Jaipur, dancing, riding, and working out are not coming to a close, but they won’t be my hyper-diligence and inspired truth seeking that have consumed my attention for over 20 years.  The stillness selfseed will become the focal point in India.  Although,  I have found a nearby gym, plan to study yoga, have been asked to train horses/trainers, and looking into two styles of traditional Indian dancing.  I love all of the Selfseeds and I look forward to how they will be redesigned in my daily living.

Category: Personalize 5, Selfseeds
Tag: business, creative, design, health, personal, travel, wellness

The life behind the Selfseeds development

As you familiarize yourself with Selfseeds by looking at the website:     You will see that I work with horses, ballroom dance, go to the gym, travel, pursue a spiritual practice etc.   I have been learning how to make iMovies, so I put together a collage from the past year.

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WaltzingHorses has shared a video with you on YouTube:

iMovie collage from 2011: dancing, riding, and more



Category: Personalize 5, Selfseeds
Tag: health, motivation, personal, sacred, self, spiritual, wellness

Competitive Ballroom Dancing

Going to a dance competition is like going to a foreign country.  Dancing with the Stars has sort of desensitized us to the glitz and glamour, but being there live is another intensity.  You get to feel the vibration of all the dancers in action and being one of the participants is a blast.

On the drive home, I was reflecting on how many Selfseeds that I touched upon:  balance, fitness, nutrition, weight distribution, integrative band, flexibility, stillness, emotions, rhythm, partnering, and personalized 5.  Easily all of them.  We danced 18 times and I could say that I experienced all of them every dance and at a high level of intensity.  Having all Selfseeds on high alert allowed the experience to be positive and satisfying.  My mind was still, my body was organized and fit, and my soul was included. Dancing (partnering) with someone supportive and enthusiastic is a significant part of the “success” equation.

With the move to India coming up, this may be my last ballroom dance competition, so my goal was to enjoy it, dance pure lead and follow (without choreography), and experience 20 years of training.  Max, the professional, and I have had this in mind since I started working with him 2 years ago.  We had a chance to squeeze in 4 lessons with our crazy schedules, (his competition schedule and my being away for 3 months), but it worked since I had kept up on fitness and the integrative band work while I was away. Actually, the 6 weeks of intense meditation had significantly improved my capacity for staying in the moment/receptive to small physical-energetic cues which is needed for dancing freestyle.  Max and I have agreed to dance when I get back from India this next time and see how the continued deepening affects my ability to follow.

“Be Awesomely okay with everything.”  Narayana Baba

Category: Balance, Emotions, Fitness, Integrative Band, Nutrition, Partnering, Personalize 5, Rhythm, Selfseeds, Stillness, Weight Distribution
Tag: dancing, emotional, exercise, expression, health, music, rhythm, sensory