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

Archive for January, 2011

18 Jan

Doctors as Middlemen?: Direct-to-Consumer Online Testing Services and Other Consumer Health Trends

computermedicineAn alarming new health trend has medical professionals scurrying around issuing dire warnings of impending doom and death. As a recent piece in the Wall Street Journal relays, consumers are taking their health into their own hands by foregoing expensive, redundant doctor’s visits in favor of mail order lab tests. Blood lipids, A1C, vitamin D, C-reactive protein – you can get just about any lab value tested online, no insurance required. Lipids run between $30 and $50, A1c between $25 and $40. Even people with (overpriced) insurance and high deductibles are skipping the doctor. This is part of an overall larger worldwide trend toward going it alone. The home blood glucose monitoring industry, for example, grew from $3.8 billion worldwide in 2000 to $8.8 billion in 2008.

What should we make of it?

17 Jan

Monday Musings: Intergenerational Diabetes, New and Improved Pasteurization, Sitting is Still Bad, and Really Old Wine

pregnantDiabetes is that rare brand of nasty disease that fails to strike real, visceral fear. It doesn’t carry the weight of a cancer or an AIDS or a heart disease. It’s something you get, like a gut, a long list of prescriptions, and a walker, as you grow older. People just live with it – millions upon millions across the world – and are rarely shocked or surprised to hear that others have it. Their ranks are ever growing, with, if a recent study on the effects of gestational diabetes on the fetus has anything to say about it, much of the conscription taking place in the womb. It’s called intergenerational diabetes, and it means that pregnant women with diabetes or even just poor maternal glucose tolerance could be turning their little ones into future type 2 diabetics. This is fetal diabetes without a genetic component; this is epigenetic owing to environmental (womb) input. The authors speculate that pregnant mothers with type 2 diabetes (diet and lifestyle induced, remember) could engender irreversible alterations to both the unborn kid’s hypothalamic neural network (where leptin, the satiety hormone, does its thing), pancreatic function, and muscle and liver insulin signaling. The idea is that they pop out with type 2 diabetes right off the bat. It’s diet-induced, sure, but not how we normally think of it. No baby bottle full of Coke required here. Of course, I still see this sort of condition as being reversible with diet and exercise…it’s just that it will require a LOT more adherence and starting at an earlier age. Moving on…

17 Jan

WOW: Hammer Time

pbf wow 2

Complete 5 cycles of:

6 Hammer Around-the-Heads, each direction
10 Hammer Shovels, each direction
12 Hammer Slams, each side

16 Jan

Weekend Link Love

weekend link loveI was laughing and wincing at the same time reading Hunter-Gatherer‘s analysis of the particular idiocy of a NY Citibank ad featuring gourmet cupcakes. On a positive note, one of the two gourmet cupcake shops here in Malibu recently closed.

Reader Eric sent me this tidbit about where red food dye comes from. And to paraphrase him, “No more Kool-Aid for the vegetarians!”

Four year olds don’t mince words. When Joe’s young son asked him why he was so fat, Joe realized it might be time to make a few changes. Read Joe’s story of transformation here.

If you’d like a lesson in the art of tearing apart a scientific study, read Primal Wisdom‘s piece, “Red Meat Gives Women Strokes? No.”

15 Jan

Mexican Mole Sauce

chickenbreastwithmoleThis particular recipe is a cross between red and black mole (pronounced MOLE-lay); the flavor and color influenced by a blend of dried chiles, nuts, seeds, dried fruit and chocolate. This is the type of mole people outside of Mexico tend to be most familiar with and unfortunately, many versions are overly sweet and heavy, especially store-bought versions. When made well, the sweetness in mole is balanced by the spicy, smoky flavor of chiles, and the toasted and slightly bitter flavor of roasted nuts and seeds.

There’s no denying that mole is a labor-intensive sauce, but we’ve done our best to make this version as straightforward as possible. Although it takes effort to gather and prepare the ingredients, the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel when it all comes together into an amazing Primal meal is worth it. Also, a little bit of mole goes a long way, so it’s likely you can make a batch and freeze half for another meal.

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