Technology and Your Health
The Super Lazy Man’s Guide to Healthy Diet

I hope you are well and thriving.

This week I’m going to discuss technology and health.

I think this is a topic often overlooked as we all seem to take our use of technology for granted.  Rarely are the health effects truly considered as we sit in front of our screens day after day.

To start with, I’ll briefly discuss ergonomics.

If you sit at your computer for long periods of time, correct ergonomics will ensure you minimize the strain on your body.  Poor ergonomics can cause strain to your neck, back, shoulders, arms, legs, wrists, eyes – you name it.  Here’s a picture of an optimal computer workstation for reference:

Notice the screen is basically at eye level, not down on a table as is common for laptop users.  If you use a laptop, it’s really best to get it up on a stand so you’re looking straight ahead.  I’m amazed at how bad my neck and shoulders feel when I’m working out of the office and I’m forced to put my laptop down on the table or desk I’m working at.  In this image, the keyboard position actually isn’t optimal – a good ergonomic keyboard is actually higher in the front and lower in the back so the wrists can remain straight, not bent up.  Last week I sent my recommendation for just such a keyboard – the Microsoft Natural 4000 (on which I’m currently typing).  Love it.  But the point here is that the keyboard and mouse are both at the correct level such that the arms can rest easily by one’s side and extend out at 90 degrees without having to reach or extend the upper arms or shoulders.  The rest is pretty much self explanatory.  If you don’t have a foot rest, just make sure your feet can rest squarely on the floor to prevent leg and lower back problems.

So I know this may sound petty, but over time, if you’re not properly aligned when sitting at your computer, your body takes the toll – believe me, I know.

Beyond ergonomics, there are other obvious health issues that should be considered when using technology.  I’ll list some briefly.

  • There’s a tendency to keep wireless equipment tucked under the desk.  Don’t do this…unless you’re a man and you don’t want any kids.  Seriously though, how many wireless devices do you want within several feet of you, all radiating frequencies designed to penetrate solid objects?  You don’t stand right in front of the microwave when you use it do you?  They’re basically the same frequency (~2.4ghz) – there’s some food for thought, eh?  Your wifi devices are essentially microwave emitters.
    • So on that note, I recommend turning ALL wifi devices off at night – you might as well only nuke yourself during the day or you may find yourself dreaming of being on one of those big rotisserie sticks you see in the old movies where the adventures get captured by the locals and prepared for dinner.
  • Similarly, your phone is emitting radiation all the time too.  I wrote an article a while back about this which can be found on my blog.  If you don’t want brain tumors, check it out.
  • Eyestrain – so just how many hours in front of a screen, ANY screen, is too much?  Well that’s obviously a subjective question, and I know plenty of folks who watch TV for many hours every day, but it’s worth due consideration.  Coincidentally (or perhaps not), these same folks pretty much all wear glasses.  Basically, you need to make sure your eyes are focusing on things far away at least every 20 minutes for several minutes at a time.  Otherwise your eye muscles start deteriorating from lack of proper use and you’ll find yourself in glasses before you know it.  The bottom line; staring at ANY screen for hours on end is definitely not good for the body on any level.
  • And last but certainly not least; if you’re sitting in front of technology, you’re not moving your body.  Regardless of how great your ergonomic setup is, sitting immobile for hours on end is bad for just about every system in your body, from muscular to vascular to respiratory.  So basically, the more you sit in front of technology the MORE you should be exercising.  Unfortunately, the opposite is usually true for most people.  My recommendation is to limit technology time to something sustainable for you.  Everyone is different, but for me, 20 hours a week is about as much as I can take.  Beyond that and I can tell my body is taking a real toll.  And obviously getting out to breath some fresh air and get your blood flowing is essential for your health.

Ok, that’s all for my technology-related health tips.  Now I’d like to move into a related topic:

The Super Lazy Man’s Guide to Healthy Diet

Ok, so I’m not going to cover all the nuts and bolts of my nutritional program today because it could fill a book.  Instead, I’m going to break down some super easy tips for eating healthy if, like me, you don’t want to spend a huge amount of time thinking about it or preparing food.

This came about because I currently have a family member (and numerous friends) all struggling with health issues of one sort or another.  In my estimation, proper diet is half the battle to good health (exercise and other environmental and lifestyle factors being the other half).

I promised this family member I would type up some SUPER EASY food suggestions designed to radically improve one’s health.  So here goes:

Ethan’s Super Healthy Morning Muesli:

  • Approx. ½-1 cup Raw Rolled Oats

¼-½  cup of the following, to preference:

  • Whole and/or Sliced Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Raw Cashews*
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Cranberries
  • Raisins
  • Banana Chips**

Then add perhaps a tablespoon or two of Agave, a pinch of salt (Himalayan pink) and add Rice or Almond Milk like you’re making breakfast cereal.

Ok, so briefly; all items must be RAW.  Nothing cooked, roasted, etc.  Most of these items can be purchased in bulk, or in large bags.  While they may be individually somewhat expensive, they’ll last forever because this meal is DENSE – so it works out to be very economical – keep extra ingredients sealed in the freezer for longevity.  I keep my daily ingredients all lined up in Ball jars so I can just dump in what I want each morning.  

I haven’t been using cashews much lately, mostly because they’re too expensive.  And I prefer to use real bananas, but if I don’t have any, banana chips are ok (although provide almost no nutritional value).  Also notice that I’m using rice milk.  Actual milk is basically poison.  I’m not trying to be dramatic or overstate that fact – milk is absolutely horrible for you.

“Muesli is a fantastic way to get RAW nutrients and vitamins into your system. The properties of the above list of ingredients are incredible in their life giving and healing properties. From hair loss to arthritis, heart disease to colon cancer, this mix is a panacea for multiple ills and ailments.”

Ok, so that’s my morning meal.  For lunch and dinner I usually alternate between some rice or bean-based meal with lots of raw veggies.

Ethan’s Awesome Fried Rice:

For rice, I only use brown jasmine rice – white rice is definitely not good for you.  6 or 8 cups of rice in a pressure cooker with the same amount of water, some coconut oil, a little chicken bullion (this is one of the few animal products I eat, and in extreme moderation – use low sodium (or not at all) for added health benefits) and/or a bullion alternative (like Not-Chick’n), a little salt (Himalayan pink is MUCH better for you than standard table salt), some madras curry powder and perhaps a little furikake (there’s a little animal product in that too – but not much) and some agave (don’t use white sugar for anything if you can help it).  Then, in a separate pan, I sauté up a head of garlic, a yellow onion and a chopped carrot or two in coconut oil (I pretty much only use coconut oil these days – it’s good for you and has a higher flash point than many alternatives – plus it tastes great).  When the rice is done, I mix all this stuff together and I’ve got ready-made meals for a week or more – just put the extra in the freezer.

So to pull all this together, at lunchtime I pull out this rice mix from the fridge or freezer, throw it in a pan on high for a few minutes, and slice up a cucumber, tomato and cilantro while I’m waiting for it to heat (stirring occasionally).  Once the rice is fried up, throw it on a plate, throw an egg in the pan (preferably from a local farm – eggs from the store are no bueño), surround the rice you’ve served up with the cucumber and tomato, put the egg on top, and throw the cilantro on.  Top w/ a touch of salt (Himalayan pink of course), pepper and Sriracha.  It should look something like this:

Prep time for the initial rice ~ 15-20 minutes
Prep time for the daily meal ~ 5-10 minutes

Ok, on to the beans.

Ethan’s Delicious Healthy Bean Mix:

Bulk pinto, black and adzuki beans in the pressure cooker along with somekombu.  How much?  I dunno – whatever looks good – maybe 4-6 cups total (dry).  The kombu makes all the difference for digestive purposes.  Optimally the beans soak for 24 hours before adding the kombu and cooking, but it’s not mandatory – the cooking just takes a bit longer if they haven’t been soaked.

Cook until soft (perhaps 10 -15 minutes in the pressure cooker – longer in a typical pot).  Sauté a head of chopped garlic and a chopped yellow onion, some salt (yes, Himalayan), pepper, hot sauce of your choice (I like Valentina because it doesn’t have a bunch of chemicals in it like many alternatives), and some powdered turmeric (which is uber good for you), and finally, coconut oil (however much looks and tastes good).  That’s it – you’ve now got a huge pot of delicious beans.  Again, the extra goes into the freezer.

So at mealtime, heat up some beans, then cut up:

  • Lettuce and/or cabbage
  • Onions (red, green – whatever you want)
  • Tomato
  • Avocado
  • Cilantro
  • Chilies or Jalepeños (if desired)

And throw it all together into a big Mexican salad and top with a little salt, pepper and hot sauce.

Prep time for the initials beans ~ 5-10 minutes of actual work + cook time
Prep time for the daily meal ~ 10-15 minutes

Ok, so the point of these recipes isn’t that they’re the most amazing food you’ve ever eaten – the point is that they are:

  • Extremely easy
  • Very healthy
  • Delicious

This diet alone will alleviate many ailments facing people today.  And it’s easy enough to be sustainable, even for a single person cooking for themselves.  Here are a few images to further elucidate some of the keys to a good diet:

I’m not going to go any further into nutrition today but suffice it to say, we should probably all be eating more plants and less acidic foods.  And yes, ALL animal products are bad for you.  At the very least, they all contain casein (which has been directly correlated with cancer), and most contain all sorts of other disgusting stuff that’s terrible for you too.

Alright – that’s all for today.  I hope this has been informative and useful.  I’ll probably do some more nutrition stuff in the future if I get good feedback on it.

Speaking of which, if there’s any topic you’d like to hear more about, questions you’d like answered, etc. – just shoot me an email – I always love hearing from you one way or another.

Have a healthy weekend!