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Wellness Center San Antonio
Medical Spa San Antonio

4499 Medical Drive #225, San Antonio, Texas 78229  210.616.0836
 

 

 
 

 

 

Review of Dr. Christian's Self-Quantifying Utilities

In Life's Great Experiment You are Your Own Guinea Pig

Take Care of the Pig.....

Monitoring the Health Triad and More!!

Parameters Quantified

Sleep and Sleep Stages

Exercise Monitoring

Steps and Distance

Nutrition & Calories In

Calories Burned

Heart Rate Variability (HRV) & Stress Levels/Management

Blood Pressure

Weight, Body Fat % & Lean Mass

GPS Location Monitoring and Distance Traveled

BlueLight Suppression & Therapy

Blood, Tissue, MicroBiome and DNA

Other

Most of you know that Dr. Christian likes to measure things.  He is a true self-quantifier and technology has allowed him to monitor his "Health Triad" (Sleep, Nutrition, Exercise) and other aspects of his health and daily life. All of this has become a habit for him and it requires a little time to review the data but the logistics to gather the data are pretty much automated by the technology. His Smartphone is the Android HTC One M8 for several apps using Lollipop 5.0.2. and the HTC One M9 using Lollipop 5.1. Here is how he monitors his "Inside Outside Way of Life!"  From Dr. Seuss, "The Lorax" "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to change, it's not" Once-ler. 

 

Sleep and Sleep Stages: Dr. Christian was one of the first users of the Zeo Headband system when it was introduced in 2009 and he has nearly 8 years of sleep data gathered by Zeo.  Unfortunately the company went bankrupt in 2013, but the Zeo still works and there are two 3rd party applications* which allow viewing of the sleep stage (REM, Deep, Light, Awake intervals) data stored on a SD card by the bedside unit in the form of 5 minute (Zeo Data Decoder) and 30 second (Zeo Sleep Viewer) Hypnograms.  Nothing on the market at this time comes close to the Zeo in terms of measuring sleep stages.  He has used the S+ by ResMed (bedside device aims a low power radio wave at the chest which detects breathing) and wrist bands Garmin VivoSmart, FitBit One and the Basis Peak (somehow try measure sleep stages by body movements during the night) to document sleep. The Basis Peak watch is useless for sleep stage measurement and the S+ measures way too much deep sleep.  At least the S+, VivoSmart and FitBit One allow one to start and stop the sleep session so you can get total duration measured accurately, but they are useless for measuring sleep stages. A Stopwatch would work just fine to measure total in bed time.  Sleeping heart rate during the night is reliably measured and documented by a  Polar H10 Chest Strap Heart Rate Monitor (Bluetooth 4.0) which transmits the heart rate to the Polar Beat Android app which then sends the data automatically to polarpersonaltrainer.com for a nice graphical view and analysis of your heart rate while sleeping (it is useful to see how low your heart rate gets during sleep).  Dr. Christian was also one of the first users of Bedditt, a ribbon like device which is placed under your sheet near your chest. The device senses ballistic movement of the chest and heart beating and measures breathing and heart rate. No sleep stages are reliably measured using Bedditt. Once a week he uses REM Dreamer Pro to try and enhance Lucid Dreaming.  Kickstarter is featuring a new device, the Oura Ring which measures heart rate from your finger pulse and promises to somehow document sleep stages.  It should ship fall 2015.  CloudSupply may ship the REMzen Mask later this year also. We are still waiting for a Zeo Replacement.  Hard to understand why we don't have a good substitute.  The market is begging for this. I understand from the Quantified Self Forum that  ResMed has the patents and intellectual property of Zeo.  They could create one. 

 
Zeo! The Best! Where is the replacement Resmed? Zeo Decoder Viewer of unencrypted zeo.dat file.
 

*See Zeo Raw Data Library for instructions to use zeo.dat for viewing in the Zeo Data Decoder (5min) or Zeo Sleeep Viewer (30sec).

You must update your Zeo bedside unit firmware for it to create an unencrypted zeo.dat file to use it in these viewers. Resources for doing this can be found in the Zeo Raw Data Library and Eric Blue's Blog "Life Beyond Zeo".

 


Exercise Monitoring: For his Hi-Lo Strength Training Workouts he routinely wears the Polar H7 Heart Rate Monitor which works well with the Android Polar Beat App using Bluetooth 4.0.  Polar Beat syncs the data with their website polarpersonaltrainer.com for storing and viewing in a graphical format.  AmpStrip is an IndieGoGo product which should be shipping late 2015.  It is promoted as

a comfortable 24-7 heart rate wearable device which will work with their smartphone app and allow you to monitor heart rate during exercise. Although the Basis Peak measures heart rate real time, I have not had any success getting it to track and document my heart rate during my high intensity circuit training workouts.  The Polar H7 works very well for this purpose.


Steps & Distance: These are measured by hip worn devices Omron HJ-720IT.    In the past I have used the Fitbit One and wrist devices VivoSmart and Basis Peak (Discontinued). Recently, I have used the FitBit Blaze. There is no doubt that the hip worn devices are more accurate than the wrist devices. The steps data from Fitbit Blaze are sent to the FitBit Dashboard.  Fitbit Blaze seems to accurately measure floors climbed also. Distance is measured by the Omron Device by your Stride Length and there is a USB upload from the Omron to the Omron Windows Health Management Software so you can view weekly, monthly and yearly data easily. Somehow the other devices measure distance by steps but don't require stride length.   I have not tried a GPS enabled watch like the FitBit Surge or the Garmin Vivoactive.


Nutrition & Calories In:  Dr. Christian practices Low Carbohydrate Nutritional Ketosis.  He gets ~60% of his calories from fat,   5-10% carbohydrate and 30-35% protein (~150gm per day) + alcohol (2-3 oz Scotch).  Protein sources are eggs, fish, beef (brisket or jerky) and cheese + Optimum 100% Gold Standard whey protein powder which is supplemented with Optimum BCAA + Optimum Creatine and Bob's Red Mill Unmodified Potato starch.  Half of the fat calories are from long chain fatty acids (13-21 carbon fats) and half from medium chain triglycerides (MCT or 8-12 carbon fats). The MCT come from  Bulletproof Brain Octane (C-8) and Bulletproof XCT Oil (C8 & C10). Calories in and weight are documented using MyFitnessPal or lately Cron-O-Meter which requires daily data entry.  Once your frequent foods list is established in MyFitnessPal the data entry is very easy, a little harder in Cron-O-Meter.  Blood Glucose and Ketosis are measured by Precision Xtra finger sticks and the Ketonix breath analyzer and sometimes with Urine Ketone Strips.  Glucose data is manually entered into the Glucose Buddy Web Application for graphical analysis. The Glucose Buddy Android app does not sync with the Website, but the iOS app does.  He also periodically uses the A1C Now+ home test.  

Recently, he has been using the Accu-Chek Aviva Connect Glucose Meter which does automatically send results to your iOs smartphone app and then to a online database you can even upload pictures of your meals. 


Calories Burned:  These are measured by the FitBit Blaze which measures calories burned by heart rate and steps.   There is no good way to measure Anaerobic Calories burned during Hi-Lo Strength Training.  The Polar H10 and Polar Beat software try to give a calorie burn during the Hi-Lo Strength Training based on heart rate. The simple fact is that it is hard to get a real good measurement of calories burned with activity.  We know that for fat loss the most important thing is calorie reduction.  Exercise does burn some calories but the most important thing is that exercise should help you maintain muscle while losing fat.

 


Heart Rate Variability (HRV) & Stress Levels/Management:  The Polar H10 chest strap heart rate measurement is recorded real time Bluetooth 4.0 by Android HRV Apps HRVxt Pro, Elite HRV and HRV Expert.  HRVxt Pro creates a RR interval data file (*.txt) during sleep, exercise or controlled breathing.  The RR interval data file from HRVxt Pro can further be analyzed using the sophisticated Windows program Kubios HRV.  Elite HRV and HRV Expert are used immediately after awakening to assess AM Readiness and Stress Levels based on their HRV algorithms.  HRV is also calculated daily during 2 or 3 five minute controlled breathing meditative sessions with the HeartMath emWave Pro Windows application. The HeartMath program uses an ear or finger pulse sensor for its RR (actually PP) interval measurement.    BLE HRM & HRV Recorder is another nice HRV program which is occasionally used with the Polar H7 chest strap.  SweatBeat HRV is an iOS software app which works with several chest straps.  RR interval data files created by HRVxt Pro are managed by ES File Explorer which allows easy transfer from your smartphone to your computer using Dropbox.  The process can be automated using Dropsync. Occasionally we use a BioRadio Wireless Physiologic Monitor sensing device worn on the hip with 3 EKG electrodes to capture real time EKG and heart rate. The data from the BioRadio is sent via Bluetooth to Biocapure Software which creates a file that is analyzed with the Vivosense HRV Module.  I'm still trying to convince myself that serial HRV measurements are useful for assessing recovery from workouts or sports training.

Blood Pressure:  The Omron BP786 is a nice desktop self inflating Bluetooth device which sends data to the Omron Wellness Android App and is very easy to use.  There is not a Omron website however to store the data. The Qardio is a device which connects with Bluetooth 4.0 (iOS and Android) and compares very well to the Omron device. I missed out on the Scanadu Scout Indego promotion, so I can't comment about it. If anyone has one for sale I would be interested. Contact at cbcmd@sbcgloblal.net.


Weight, Body Fat %, Lean Mass and Visceral Fat:  Measurements on our stand up medical scale, Tanita TBF 300A Bioimpedance scale and DXA Body Composition are done often to document changes in these parameters. Scans are compared by creating PowerPoint slides of the scan color images and with our Proprietary DXA Body Composition Comparison Tool Utility. The DXA Scanner also measures Visceral Fat Tissue.


GPS Location Monitoring and Distance Traveled: Since Dr. Christian does not run or cycle he has not had any need for GPS tracking of a route or distance. The Polar Beat App can be configured to track your route during driving using GPS with or without the Polar H7 Chest strap and does a very accurate measurement documenting distance and route traveled.  Dr. Christian has also used FollowMee which will track any smartphone location and it's route very accurately.  Every street and turn is tracked and the free version stores 7 days of data which is viewed on the FollowMee Website dashboard.  The Deluxe version of FollowMee can be configured to automatically track your route when it senses your car/phone moving.  GPS/Location data needs to be enabled on your smartphone for this to work and naturally uses your up monthly data quota.


BlueLight Suppression and Therapy:  f.lux is used on his laptops for blue light suppression at night and Twilight is used on Smartphones. The Phillips goLite Blue Light Therapy device is used daily on awakening to reset his circadian

rhythm. Solar Shield Fits-Over Sunglasses that block blue light are worn while driving home late in the day. 

   

 


Blood, Tissue, MicroBiome & DNA: Dr. Christian has had DNA testing from Ancestry.com and 23andme, Telomere Length Testing and longevity genotyping, Omega 3 Fat Testing (AA/EPA Ratio) and microbiome analysis from uBiome and the American Gut Project.  Every year or two routine lab and hormonal testing usually with Quest Diagnostic Labs.  Check out his American Gut Sample and his AA/EPA results.

 

 

Other:  The VivoSmart and Basis Peak will pair with your smartphone and you will get text message and phone notifications on your wrist.  This is helpful when you are away from your phone and can't hear it ringing or if you have set your phone on vibration mode.  Helps you to not miss messages or calls.

 

"unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it's not!"  Once-ler from The Lorax

 

  This is a nice forum for people like me!!  There are numerous short videos available.  One I especially enjoyed was "Effects of a Year in Ketosis by Dr. Jim Carter"  Nice review of benefits and challenges of Nutritional Ketosis.

 



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