My Precious – The Oura Ring Has Arrived

Ok. For starters, I’m not a ring or jewelry guy. Wearing the Oura Ring for the past week took some getting used to and I’m still not totally used to it. You are supposed to keep it on 24/7 to track your activity, heart rate, heart rate variability, sleep, temperature, etc. So I have been wearing it around every hour of every day. It is also water resistant to 100m, so you can wear it in the shower or swimming. For all the technology packed beneath its shiny titanium skin, it’s really light and actually comfortable. I’m just not used to wearing a ring or the way a ring looks on my finger, so it is kind of weird for me.  Basically, there are 3 reasons that I was drawn to the Oura Ring booth at the 2018 Paleo f(x) Conference expo. 1) I previously used a Fitbit tracker to measure my activity. The data and accuracy the Fitbit provides are excellent. My biggest concern was the constant bluetooth connection back to my phone. I had our chiropractor muscle test me with the Fitbit on my wrist and then without it. I was definitely weaker when I was wearing it. I believe the result was due to the Bluetooth signal coming out of it. I also muscle tested with my iPhone and it was even worse. Most likely the extra cell, bluetooth and wifi signals were the issue. So, I sold the Fitbit on Craigslist and now put my phone in airplane mode at night. The Oura ring works a little differently. It is not constantly connected. The ring stores data somewhere deep inside and then shares it out to an app on my phone when I connect it. The ring also uses Bluetooth, but the signal is active less than 1% of the day. I haven’t muscle tested with the Oura Ring yet, but I definitely will on my next visit to Dr Ruzila. We will see! 2) The Oura Ring automatically records HRV (heart rate variability). I was already monitoring my HRV to tell me optimal days to train vs rest days. I noticed distinct HRV patterns based on my sleep and whether or not I had a couple of drinks the night before. My method of measuring HRV was using the Elite HRV app on my phone and a chest strap monitor every morning. Effective, but certainly not convenient. Elite HRV recently wrapped up their kickstarter with the Corsense monitor, which is much easier to use but still a manual process. The Oura ring is collecting HRV data automatically, so it is one less thing to do in the morning. 3) For some reason, I like to measure my sleep. Sleep always seems be a topic of conversation around here. Maybe I like to measure it because I want to know what’s going on inside the ‘ol brain case while I’m checked out. If you want to geek out on sleep data just like me, the Oura ring app really breaks it down. You’ve got your total sleep, you’ve got your sleep efficiency, you’ve got tranquility (how often you wake up), REM sleep, deep sleep, latency (how long it takes to fall asleep), timing (what time you fall asleep based on circadian rhythm). It also keeps tabs on your body temperature, respiratory rate, heart rate and, of course, HRV. Pretty sweet stuff!  All this sleep data is presented on some really nice graphs for you to admire. But, in the morning, it all gets distilled down to your Readiness score. The Readiness score basically tells you to either crank it up or take it easy based on how your body recovered from previous activity. The only downside is that Rene now has some true data to say, “Seeeeeee, I told you to stay away from the Malbec last night.”  Anyway, here is an example on how I’m using the data through the day… Yesterday, my Readiness was 85 so I did a vigorous yoga class and walked 6 miles. Today, my Readiness is 75 and more of a “take it easy” day.. So,  besides work,  I’m writing a blog and will do some lighter exercise. During the day, when the ring syncs up, you will get prompts to get up and move around if you have been sitting too long. Some days, the data causes me to be more active and do some extra stairs or walking instead of driving. It’s like a weird competition with myself, but I like it. I suppose that I’ll get accustomed to looking at the Oura ring on my finger. I regularly wear a wristwatch, so maybe I just need a big gold chain to round it all out 🙂

Oura Ring on my hand above Macbook keyboard
Not a Hand Model

Charcoal is the New Black

I recently noticed the array of charcoal based and charcoal infused products on the market. When I saw a Proactiv commercial with a charcoal bristle cleansing brush over the weekend, I realized that charcoal has finally jumped the shark. Charcoal is gaining popularity lately for its deep cleaning and detoxification properties. In my own medicine cabinet, I have charcoal capsules, charcoal tooth powder, charcoal face mask goop, and even charcoal deodorant. Intrigued by the concept, I even tried a charcoal based kombucha. That particular yeasty, vinegar tinged, grayish elixir should only be consumed on a dare. Blah! Our water pitcher has a charcoal based filter and our air purifier has a charcoal pre-filter designed to remove odors from the air. The burning question (pun intended)… Does charcoal actually work? Well, aside from the charcoal kombucha, I’m definitely a fan.

I take the charcoal capsules on a regular basis for the mild detox effects. The charcoal traps toxins in your system and helps you get rid of them rather than absorb them into your body. Charcoal capsules are not a new concept. I was taking them 20 years ago to mitigate hangover effects from a long nights out coupled with cheap booze. It definitely works! The impurities in the alcohol bind to the charcoal bits and don’t have a chance to wreck your precious weekend with a brutal hangover. These days, I take charcoal capsules to detox all the big city car exhaust, brake dust and other crap in the air I’m breathing. I buy the Bulletproof brand capsules, which are made from coconut shells, but there are a lot of good ones out there. Just be sure to check that they are all natural without any other ingredients and not made by Kingsford for your Weber grill. Also, you want charcoal that is “activated”. By activated, it means that the charcoal has been processed at high heat, which makes it more porous and effective at trapping the nasties. You can actually break open the capsules to DIY a facial cleansing mask, add to your toothpaste, etc. I did that for awhile and then decided to just buy the dedicated products.

The Dental Duty charcoal tooth powder is a fun one. Yeah, I have “off-white” teeth, maybe a tinge yellow. I definitely don’t have the sparkling pearly whites that you see on tv. Rather than using toxic tooth whitening products, the charcoal tooth powder is a natural alternative. While brushing with the charcoal tooth power, your teeth look like they time warped from 17th century Great Britain. After you rinse out the dark gray slurry, your teeth are smooth, shiny and a tad more white. They continue to get brighter after several uses. I use the tooth powder a couple times a week after brushing with my regular toothpaste.

The Fine Vine charcoal face mask that I use is clay based, so it is more like a mud mask then the fancy clay masks you see people peeling off on commercials. The mask also works great. I use it about once a week. You put it on thick and wait 30 min for it to dry. It dries to a nice dark gray and tingles slightly. Warning: the face recognition on your phone will not work when you have the mask on. When you wash it off, your complexion will be noticeably brighter and will feel deep down clean. Smart phone facial recognition will also return to normal. I tend toward oily skin and this stuff works great to even me out and keep that complexion clear.

The last product for today is the Primally Pure charcoal deodorant. This stuff is amazing. I’ve been using Primally Pure deodorants for 2 years and they have always exceeded my expectations. The charcoal deodorant is new to their line up and is my new fave. Obviously, this is a daily use product, but I don’t have to worry about any errant pit odor with their products. Not even after a hot yoga class. All good!
Any interesting charcoal products you have used or would recommend trying? I’m game!

Fun fact: Old St Nick gives out coal to the bad kids and charcoal to the good kids 🙂


Feeling Joovvy

The Joovv is up and running!

Unboxing/ Set up

Very easy to set up… well packaged, super high quality machine.  I’m relieved that it doesn’t look like something I cobbled together in the basement.  From the photos online, I expected it to be silver, but it’s white.  White goes better with the walls anyway!  There was a little Joovv branded timer with a handy magnet on the back that I didn’t expect.  Bonus!  The set-up literally took 5 minutes with no tools needed.  You screw the stainless tension lines to the top threaded posts, connect a carabiner to the lines, slide the mounting peg over the top of the door and clip the pulley carabiner to that and clip the rope carabiner to the tension line carabiner.  Easy Peasy.  What’s the pulley for, you may ask?  Well, it is so you can use the Joovv at different heights to treat your whole body.  I may swap the black pulley rope for a white one just so it doesn’t look so out of place.  My eye goes right to the rope and it’s driving me crazy aesthetically.  Don’t worry, I’ll get over it 🙂 Also, with the pulley contraption in place, I’m starting to see the benefit of the larger Joovv Max and not having to adjust height. I still can’t get over the price difference between Joovv Original and Max, though.  For now, my power cable routing looks a little temporary and awkward, but I’ll eventually find a more permanent place for the Joovv and mount it to a wall with a more streamlined layout.  That is, if results come in as expected. 

1st Use

Holy F the Joovv is bright! Much, much brighter than I expected.  It has a nice warming effect on the body as well.  There are little fans that you can hear whirring inside the case to keep the machine cool. The digital timer they included with the Joovv works great and the display is easy to see.  I just did a 5 min treatment sans shirt… and pants.   I have some sinus congestion right now from all the crazy weather fluctuations. Maybe the Joovv will give some relief? Treatment results are supposed to come after 8-12 weeks of sessions, but fingers crossed to see positive results sooner.  Today was a test, only a test. 

1st Actual Use

Now I’ve had time to read through the Starter Guide.  Based on my goals, I did a full body treatment.  7 min front, 7 min back, 3 min each side.  I listened to a Ben Greenfield podcast to kill the time.  While Joovving, I was also thinking of different ways to multitask and get more benefit.  I did some alternate nostril breathing when my back was being treated, then box breathing when my frontal regions were in the light.  I may also incorporate an earthing mat to stand on during treatment.  I also took some “before” pics today so I can measure physical results.  I’ll keep those to myself unless there is some dramatic improvement.

Upcoming Joovv topics:

My Daily Regimen

Short Term Results

That’s all for now.  In the mean time, keep calm and Joovv on!

Joovv Glow
Joovv Hallway Glow


We just received our eagerly anticipated Joovv light yesterday!  As excited as I am to try it, my Joovv is still sitting in the box because I wanted to document my outrageous goals for this device before I get distracted and forget what they are.  Quick background… I spent over a week researching infrared saunas, then red light therapy. I watched endless videos and listened to the podcasts.  In the end, the Joovvv light came out on top for me.  From the online testimonials, people love it and seemingly can’t live without it.   The Joovv has the endorsement of some highly respected doctors, trainers, bloggers, bio-hackers and we had friends use Joovv lights at RUNGA 2017 in Panama.  It also has a 60 day return policy, so I’m going to put it through the paces for the next 60 days and see which of my goals are realized.  I chose the Joovv Original with the Combo red light and UV.  We do have a steam sauna in our condo building, so I thought the red light, UV and being able to add in the steam sauna to the mix would be really good for health and recovery.

Joovv Waiting to be Unboxed

So, why did I buy this and what am I hoping to achieve?

Chuck’s Joovv Goals

-Quicker muscle recovery

-Improved energy levels

-Hair regrowth (please!)

-Improved skin tone and complexion

-Getting rid of Excalibur once and for all (this will be explained at a later date)

-Improved eyesight (in my mid 40’s and near vision is getting further away. Maybe a reduction in “floaters” as a bonus)

-I’ll probably shine it on my balls “Ben Greenfield style” just to see what all the hype is about.  By “probably”, I meant definitely.

For what it’s worth, I paid full retail for the Joovv light and they have no idea that I’m blogging about the results. I’ll be adding to the following topics as they happen!

Unboxing/ Set up

1st Use Impressions

My Daily Regimen

How It is Going… Positives, Negatives?

Overall Results

Stay tuned!!

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