Category Archives: reviews
As I mentioned in my previous post, starting this month my diet tracking efforts are focusing more on nutrient qualities of food, eating habits, and effects of diet on body and mind. One of such effects is food sensitivity, a non-allergic instances when your body negatively reacts to specific foods or ingredients (don’t confuse with food intolerance). Such negative reactions may manifest themselves in physiological or psychological symptoms, including fatigue, bloating and gas, nervousness, changes in mood, acid reflux, and migraines. Often, we attribute these symptoms to our busy lifestyles, stress, and health conditions, not knowing that they could be easily eliminated by simply changing our diet. In this post, I will share my experiences with SweetBeat app and its awesome food sensitivity detection feature. To my knowledge, it is the first app that lets you test your body’s reaction to meals and isolate potentially harmful foods.
In this post, I would like to raise a question that in some degree reflects my personal concerns about current trends in Quantified Self movement. Since this opinion is based primarily on my personal observations, I would really appreciate any feedback or comments from QS community. Please correct me if I am wrong, but why do we have so many tools and projects that focus on diet, sleep, exercise, but when it comes to tracking psyche, in particular, psychological states and traits, the inventory and range of QS projects is rather limited?
Last month I looked at my sleep data produced by Bodymedia and Sleep Time app, statistically comparing their sleep quality scores with each other, and with my own subjective sleep assessment. In October and first weeks of November, I replicated experiment, adding another device – Zeo. With over 30 nights of data, I finally was able to look at four different metrics, side by side, to see how comparable and interchangeable they are. The results will surprise you.
If you live in New York, you probably already know that NY Quantified Self community has held its quarterly meeting this Thursday, November 15. I have been attending NYQS meetups regularly for quite some time now, but this time I was especially thrilled because I helped to organize it. With overwhelming turnaround, engaging Show&Tell sessions, creative presentations, and community interaction and networking afterwards, the meetup, as always, exceeded my expectations. In this post, I will sum up the presentations that made this event so informative, inspirational and thought-provoking.
One of the self-tracking projects that I always wanted to do was to determine the impact of sleep, diet and exercise regimen on my mental and cognitive abilities. So last month, I turned to the app store to look for mobile tools that could help me to measure and track my cognitive performance. After three weeks of searching and testing, I finally found three apps that I can use with confidence in my self-tracking experiments.
As you may know, I have been searching for a short yet reliable metric to track my happiness levels. In the past three months, I have tested three different methods, and the most recent tool, a short version of Ryff’s subjective well-being scales looks very promising. Hopefully, I will start using these questions to track happiness on a daily and/or weekly basis, and will be sharing with you soon some insights based on that data. In this post, however, I would like to review another great tool that enables you not only track happiness and life satisfaction at more granular levels and on a long-term basis, but also provides a diagnostic feedback on how you could improve your well being.
Yesterday, following the lead left by Dave Shelton from Wellnowbe in the comment to one of my posts, I went to check out Statwing, a website that lets you perform basic statistical analysis on any kind of data (including data from your QS projects) “on the fly”, right in the browser. I was very skeptical at first, but I have been enjoying Dave’s thought-provoking blog posts for awhile now, and trust his opinion, so I decided to check out this site. I was not disappointed. In fact, the moment I started playing with the tool, I was hooked!
A couple of months ago bioanalytics company Inside Tracker tweeted a nice one-time discount on their services, so I jumped at this opportunity and purchased their DIY plan. The cheapest of all (after discount, I paid $34.30 instead of regular $49), DIY plan allows you to upload your blood test results to receive personalized nutrition, lifestyle and exercise recommendations. I finally got a chance to test drive their services, and will share my personal experiences in this post.
This week in Quantified Self, self-tracking and personal analytics:
Data in your blood, awesome personal site with elements of Quantified-Self, great weekly links round up from Memoto Blog, scary article about genetic self-testing, new startup to track your online life, test-driving Google Glasses, implantable tracking device from GrindHouse Wetware
Two months ago, tired of juggling between paper questionnaires and Google Spreadsheets, I embarked on a quest to find the perfect mobile app for self-tracking. The objective was to identify the single app that would enable me to log any kind of personal structured data, in any domain of my life. By structured data I mean data that can be stored as a number or a short text (letter, word or two), as opposed to images, video, sounds, maps, and long texts; think heart rate, weight, responses to psychological questionnaires, etc. In my previous post, I described the search methodology, and how I reduced the initial pool of 185 tracking apps down to 11, applying the versatility criteria. Today, I will narrow down the results even further, and reveal the winning apps.