Being Conscious of What My Nike Fuelband is Telling Me

As much as I want it to be, you don’t get thinner or healthier just by wearing a Nike Fuelband.  Wearing a computer on your wrist doesn’t magically change your behavior. What’s made the difference has been being intentionally conscious about what my Nike Fuelband is telling me.

Everyday, in the afternoon, I make a point of seeing how many steps I’ve taken.  At night, I’ll record how many steps I’ve taken in a notebook.  I usually shoot for around 5,000.  I’ll also record what physical activities I’ve done that day.  Like, did I take the dogs for a walk or did I walk to the farther Starbucks from work?

I noticed that I walk  A LOT less in Las Vegas than I did in DC.  In DC, I’d be walking to the bus or from the subway to the office.  I’m just not doing that here.  I’m spending much more time in the car.

It’s too easy to be sedentary.  All of a sudden the day slips away and you really haven’t moved around at all.

 

eMeals Makes Meal Planning & Grocery Shopping Easy!

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Being pretty busy, Lauren and I found it exceedingly hard to plan healthy meals for the week.  We were going to the grocery store and just getting whatever sounded good, which wasn’t always the healthiest (or the cheapest for that matter.)

Lauren discovered a site, which has quick become one of my favorites, called eMeals.  You select the type of meal plan that you want (i.e. clean eating, low fat, paleo, etc.), you select your family size, and every week you can get a PDF which a grocery list and recipes for the week.  Just recently they launched an iPhone app, that delivers the same weekly meal plan and interactive grocery list.   This is all about $5/month.

We’ve been using the site for about a year and a half now and absolutely love it.   Around January 1, we switched to the paleo meal plan which we’ve particularly enjoyed and found to be good for us as we continue our journey towards more healthy diets.

eMeals just makes things so easy.   When we go to the grocery store, we have a plan.  We know exactly what to get and exactly what to cook.    AND it’s all DELICIOUS.  We’re both consistently wowed by what we end up cooking.

If you’re looking for a way to make meal planning easy, I highly recommend eMeals.

Love the Jawbone Jambox

Remember the days when you’d go over to your friend’s house to listen to some music and they’d crank up the tunes on their sound system that filled half the room.  There was a rack of equipment and massive speakers everywhere.    The system made the music sound a live in a way that you never before thought possible.

I’m by no means an audiophile.  I’m sure those larger systems have merit but just never made sense for me to make that kind of investment.

Recently, more of my friends had been buying a the Jawbone Jambox to play music.  It’s a little portable box that you put on a table.  It connects wirelessly with  your iPhone or iPad and makes the music sound incredible.  To me, it sounds as good as those MASSIVE stereo systems.   We use it in the office at Tech Cocktail.

Lauren got me a Jawbone Jambox for my  birthday.  We use it everyday, like when we’re having coffee on the back porch every morning.   Most big stories (like Best Buy) you can find it for $129, which is totally reasonable for what you’re getting.

If you’re looking for an external speaker, I’d highly recommend the Jawbone Jambox.  Here’s the video…

Downside of being an early adopter

One of the big downsides of being an early adopter is that you start using or depending on technology that gets shutdown from lack or success or acquisition, like SnapJoy under Dropbox.   I didn’t use Snapjoy but there have been others.    I was a big proponent of Oink.  I also used LivingSocial to track beers, apps, books and movies back before they dived into the world of daily deals and local marketing.

Exploring cold brewed iced coffee

If you’re reading this, you know me and you know that I love a good cup of coffee. I’m always looking for new & interesting methods for making my favorite drink.

Recently used a gift card from my birthday to buy some beans from Blue Bottle Coffee. This last time, I got a little crazy. I got a bag of the New Orleans blend that they use to make their famous New Orleans-Style Iced Coffee.

Instead of the traditional brewing method, you do a cold brew. You coarsely grind the beans, put it into a stock pot, add 2.5 quarts of water, the 1.5 oz of chicory that comes with beans, and just let it sit for 12 hours at room temperature. It makes about 1.5 quarts of coffee concentrate.

When you’re ready to serve, fill a glass with ice, half concentrate, half milk and sugar. It’s delicious. It was easy.

Living in Las Vegas, more often then not, iced coffee feels like the way to go because it’s so flippin’ hot outside. This is definitely a good method to have in my coffee making portfolio.

Buy the Early Release of Steve Wendel’s book “Designing for Behavior Change”

book-coverMy good friend, former colleague, and Principal Scientist at HelloWallet Steve Wendel is writing a book for O’Reilly Media on “Designing for Behavior Change.”    Well, they’ve started selling an early release copy of the book on the O’Reilly’s website.   Wanted to give Steve & the book a quick plug.

In the book, Steve really dives into how the human brain works when it comes to developing human behaviors & habits and how that can make you more or less successful with your product.

The concepts Steve writes about are super important.  As early adopters of technology products, every day I’m trying something new.  I’ll get really excited about it for a week or two and then never touch the app again.   That’s because there’s some underlying behavior or habit that this new app has failed to change.

As we design products, it’s crucial to have that high level of empathy for the people that we’re trying to serve if we’re going to be successful in what we’re trying to accomplish.  Steve lays out a roadmap for how to do that.

And… if you buy the early release copy of his book, you can send him feedback and comments that’ll make it into the final copy.

Also… you can read his thoughts on his blog Action Design and if you’re in DC, attend the meetup group Action Design DC where they discuss these ideas face to face.

Honey Salt – My New Favorite Las Vegas Restaurant

Lauren and I were out running errands this weekend and found our way to the restaurant Honey Salt in West Las Vegas.

We were both immediately impressed by the vintage charm.  All of the chairs were miss matched, along with an array of mirrors and lamps.  Some of the bigger tables were reclaimed wood.  It’s the kind of thing you don’t see very often in Las Vegas.

The ingredients are all seasonal, farm to table, and very high quality.   The menu is very New American.  I was impressed that they also had fresh pressed juices on the menu.

The waiter said that the chef/owner was from the Wynn and wanted to offer something to locals that you’d typically only find on the Strip but MUCH more expensive.

This is the burger that Lauren had.  I love that they give you your own little squeeze bottle for catsup. :)   Got to try a bit of the burger.  It was amazing.  One of the highlights was the butter pickle.

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I had the grilled cheese with pea soup.  Oh sweet goodness this was amazing.

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If you’re in Vegas and have a car, I’d definitely make a point of going here. I’m becoming a regular there.  :-)