Holiday Cookies

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I ate too many holiday cookies. There was probably a spot much of eggnog and sneaking some candies in there as well. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and typically our waistbands expand as our bank accounts deplete. I would love to see the dopamine levels fire off on a brain scan while eating my favorite treat my mother-in-law makes every year.

Growing up, I remember my mom going through phases where my siblings and I were forced to eat the same heart healthy menu my dad was forced to partake in. I am pretty sure the cookbook was called “No Salt No Flavor: 30 Easy Meals to a Healthy Heart and Bored Palette.” I do not remember much guidance for fitness outside of Richard Simmons and his peppy kicks and pep talks. When the last of the holiday gravy was licked off the fingers, and our heart healthy meals awaited us the next day, that was kind of the end-all-be-all for a road to fitness.

Data is king. The faster a person or business can obtain, process and use data, the more effective that person or business will be and therefore, likely more successful. It stands to reason that given all the data I have access to, my efforts at being healthy will be exponentially more successful in a shorter amount of time than my mom’s cookbook and Richard Simmons could influence my father. Really, a person had to either possess the knowledge on diet and fitness or rely on guidance from a doctor. That meant that the input of data would happen say every sixty days at best if a person was being seen by a doctor, and the doctor could evaluate and give a patient some course correction, to be tried for the next sixty days. The pattern would repeat until a patient was properly on the correct medication dosage or had eliminated symptoms through their diet and exercise.

I have a smart scale, a tracking watch and an app. I have data available throughout the day informing me of heart rate, reminding me to get off Netflix and move, tracking my calories, giving me easy-to-understand goals, and breaking down my diet into nutrients and macros. I can instantly lay down the fudge, hop on the scale, and give my app the goals I aspire to. I get daily logs and can even engage with friends on a similar journey for support and maybe even some “atta girls.” If I want to run a first 5K, there’s even an app for that. The ability to achieve health and health-related goals in a way that is broken down into daily goals and achievable milestones makes the going much easier with the data put into pretty graphs and reports to make changes on the fly. I can say that up until dinner, the fat consumption was fine but carbs were a bit high, and make a better choice for a single meal to help my overall goal for the day, week, and month.

I take technology for granted in the sense that what was unobtainable twenty years ago is simple and accessible today. Most of these tools are free. The data is real time, impactful, and easy to apply. I can change my longevity and my jean size thanks to the hours of coding a company did. The elegance of technology is that the creators want it to be simple and useful.

What technology are you most ingrained with using in your daily life lately?


Dr. Gregory Sanders is a Harvard-trained, practicing cardiologist and founder and CEO of HybridChart. He has been coding since the 1980s and has spent his medical career focusing on improving processes. His patient care skills earned him recognition as one of Phoenix Magazine’s TOP DOCs. He lives in Scottsdale with his family.

Holiday Cookies