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

Archive for October, 2008

31 Oct

Smart Fuel: Coconut

346334125 636b78504dIn the Phillipines, it’s called the “Tree of Life.” Malays refer to it as pokok seribu guna, “the tree of a thousand uses.” Yes, today’s edition of Smart Fuel is all about the coconut. I’m going to focus purely on the culinary benefits, but the non-culinary, utilitarian advantages of the coconut are many, varied, and point to the coconut’s position as the ultimate Primal food. We can imagine early man using the husks for ropes and brushes, the leaves for roofing material and basket making, and the dried shells for musical instruments or food storage. Nowadays, coconut water is used as an intravenous fluid, the empty shells as improvised explosive devices, and the husks as floor buffers. Now, none of that probably concerns you, but I find it absolutely fascinating. Okay – on to the actual meat of the topic.

30 Oct

Build Your Own Slosh Tube

2698490701 0d75e4b3beBut not with alcohol (save that for after the workout). Nope, I’m talking about working out with a slosh tube.

A slosh tube is a large PVC pipe filled with water and capped on the ends. It’s a surprisingly effective workout tool. Best of all, you can build one yourself for less than twenty bucks.

How to Do It

  1. Go to your local hardware store and buy a PVC pipe. You’ll want one at least 4 inches in diameter and 9-10 feet long. Buy caps for both ends. Make sure at least one of the caps is removable and rubber.
  2. Fill your pipe at least 1/2 full of water. It’s advised that you have one of the caps on at this point, unless you’re looking for the toughest exercise possible: one in futility.
  3. Cap it and get sloshed!
29 Oct

Healthy Halloween!

1796754515 039ccbef8aWe thought we’d take on the ultimate challenge this week: how to make Halloween somewhat healthy instead of horrifically unwholesome. Yes, Halloween, that spastic stroll through Candy Land, the annual Willie Wonka nightmare of sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Does it really need to be this way, we ask? According to the conventional practice and the cooking/hospitality expertise of figures like Food Network’s Sandra Lee, yes. But then, Ms. Lee’s occasion cooking is always enough to send viewer’s blood sugar levels through the roof. (Seriously, are we wrong?)

28 Oct

How to Break Bad Habits

51264007 431a9a0a95A show of hands here. Chronic cardio buffs? Halloween candy freaks? Caffeine fiends? Stress addicts? French bread fanatics? Bad health habits come in all forms, we know. But the question of the day is this: how do we finally rid ourselves of those compulsive longings, those simultaneously desired and resented routines? Is it simply a matter of will power? Is it clever strategy? Permanent exile from the world where these pet practices and items can’t taunt us with their presence? We’re interested in what your tips (and those past/present vices) are, but here are some ideas to get the proverbial ball rolling – and that monkey off your back.

27 Oct

Dear Mark: Running Across the U.S.

walkDear Mark,

My name is Katie, and I’m planning on running across the U.S. from Boston to San Diego starting this March! I’m 23 and have been an avid runner since high school. I train on my own now and am deciding whether to run 9-12 miles a day or kick it up to an average of 20 miles a day. I’d like to understand what the effects of the two choices would be. Under the 20 mile plan, I’d run long, slow distance with some walking. The 9-12 mile plan would be the same with less walking. If I’m going slow, would covering the extra 10 miles a day be harmful to my body? What is the risk of injury and long term health/bone problems if I did 8 months of 100 mile weeks compared to 12 months of 60 mile weeks?

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