Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.

Archive for December, 2007

11 Dec

10 Ways to Reduce Salt

saltI caught a recent article about the widespread concern over the massive amount of salt found in the Standard American Diet. Because the average American gets 90% of his or her calories from processed foods, and because processed foods are typically very high in salt (sodium), this is a health issue on an epidemic scale. In fact, 77% of our sodium intake is from processed foods.

Salt in moderation actually is health-promoting. It helps your muscles contract properly, assists with nerve function, and regulates fluid balance. But most folks consume far too much of it. For example, you might follow the Primal Health lifestyle, but douse your veggies and meats frequently in high-sodium condiments, forgetting to keep an eye on such items. High sodium intake contributes to high blood pressure (hypertension), which exerts enormous pressure and stress on your vital organs, particularly your heart. If you are stressed, you need to pay particular attention to the amount of sodium in your diet. In general, 1,500 to 2,400 milligrams is the most you want to consume in a day.

10 Dec

Sensible Vices

viceOne issue I have with our modern lifestyle – of many – is the emphasis on perfection. Newer, slimmer, bigger, better, faster: the message of perfection screams out to us from glossy magazines, slick television ads and popup ad after popup ad. (Or purrs, cajoles, teases, and smothers.) While I do believe fundamentally in pursuing whatever your personal best happens to be, and I think we could generally be doing far better in terms of diet and exercise, I have a hard time with the constant barrage of images telling us that, in short, we suck.

Which brings me to vices. I’m a pretty disciplined guy – okay, very disciplined – but I stop short of attempting perfection. Sure, I suppose I could forever kiss ice cream good bye (yes, Sisson still occasionally indulges). I could angst over those missed workouts when I’m vacationing with my wife and kids. I could work on my flaws and vices. But…why?

7 Dec

Guest Post: The Cafeteria Swap – How to Make Your Kid’s Lunch ‘Untradeable’

schoollunchVanessa Van Petten writes a blog for parents and teens. She is also the teen author of the parenting book “You’re Grounded!”

“I’ll give you two Ritz cracker bites for one of your donut holes?”

“Anyone want my Peach cup?…anyone?…I’ll give it away for free?…Please someone just take it so my mom doesn’t yell at me”

We had a lunch monitor at my school that guarded the trashcan at lunch like a rhino guards a watering hole. She would make sure that unopened food and Tupperware filled with leftover brussel sprouts either went in your belly (and you would have to deal with the taste) or went back home in your lunchbox (and you would have to deal with an angry parent). Therefore, if you didn’t like what you had in your lunch, you either had to trade it, give it away or, heaven forbid, eat it.

7 Dec

7 Tips to Get Out of Bed

yawnYou have the best-laid intentions for your weekend. You’re going to wake up at 6, and before the kids are even halfway through their cartoons, the gutters will be cleared, the garage will be cleaned, and the lawn will be mown.

Right. That’s not happening, thanks to the nefarious invention known as the snooze button. Why is waking up early – or even on time, for that matter – so darn difficult? Even when we go to bed at a reasonable hour and avoid the late-night munchies, some of us have a really hard time waking up as early as we’d like. If you’ve made sure you are eating nutritious foods, cut out stress, gotten into a good exercise routine, and have ruled out a health condition, you might find these tips to be helpful in rousing you from your VIMPS (Very Important Morning Pillow Sessions).

6 Dec

“Lunchtime Lipo”

syringe 1Simple observation: As cosmetic procedures grow in both popularity and efficacy the number of people that look fit but are in fact unhealthy will rise. This is a version of the skinny-fat phenomenon. The day when chiseled abs and calves of steel are no longer fair measures of fitness is upon us. This LA Times article got me all riled up this week:

COME in on your lunch hour, have a few injections and melt away those stubborn bulges of fat. That promise has made injection lipolysis — also called lipodissolve and mesotherapy — one of the fastest-growing cosmetic procedures in the country, with centers sprouting up almost as fast as Starbucks stores. Nevermind that neither the procedure nor the drug cocktail used has FDA approval. Nevermind that Kansas and Nebraska are trying to ban the procedure. Nevermind that the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery do not condone the procedure. Nevermind that the procedure has been banned in Brazil, Canada and England.

People want a better body now.

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