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

Archive for January, 2012

26 Jan

Musings on Specialization and Self-Sufficiency in the Modern World

specializationEvery once in a while I come across a quote that makes so much sense I can’t get it out of my head. Sometimes it reveals a new truth or illuminates a long-held one. Other times it makes good and plain something so logical, so sensible, so obvious that it’s like a slap upside the head. Such was my impression of this Robert A. Heinlein quote mentioned by a commenter on Mike Eades blog: “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”

25 Jan

My Top 6 Anti-Inflammatory Foods

sardinesBefore I begin, let me preface this post with the identification of a simple confounder for everyone to consider as they read: context. Any discussion of a concept as nebulous, multifaceted, and confusing as inflammation must integrate the question of context. Inflammation itself is highly contextual – as I’ve discussed in previous installments, there are times when inflammation is a good thing and times when inflammation is a negative thing. There are also times when anti-inflammatory actions, drugs, or foods are negatives, even though “anti-inflammatory” has a positive connotation. If you blunt the post-exercise inflammatory response with an anti-inflammatory drug, for example, you also run the risk of blunting the positive effects of that workout.

24 Jan

Why the Night Sky Matters: The Ramifications of Light Pollution

nightskyCarrie and I are lucky enough to have a hot tub in our back yard, overlooking a pretty spectacular ocean and mountain view. We often soak for a while and talk about the day’s activities just before retiring to bed (I sometimes alternate with a quick plunge or two into our unheated pool). Last night we were taking advantage of the break between winter storms to “jacuze” when I noticed that the cloud cover had so dispersed the city lights of L.A. and Santa Monica that it lit up the sky even 20 miles out into Malibu. On an otherwise moonless night, it had become light enough to simulate dusk all over L.A.. Can you imagine the amount of manmade light it takes to have that effect? Of course, that got me thinking about all the ways in which light permeates our lives in ways both good and bad.

23 Jan

Dear Mark: Raw Honey and Allergies, and Resveratrol Debunked?

honeyToday’s Dear Mark question and answer post is a quick one – a two parter. First, I discuss the anti-allergy merits of real, raw, unprocessed local honey and include my own harrowing experience with using raw honey to combat a pollen allergy. Then, I address the fall-from-grace of a prolific resveratrol researcher shown to have fabricated his data, and I discuss what it means for resveratrol research at large.

As a side business, I sell local, raw, unpasteurized honey. I would love to see a Daily Apple column on honey and honey production (local vs large-scale (esp. from China), natural hive treatment vs antibiotic use on hives, filtering, non-homogenized vs homogenized, etc.). I often have people who are reluctant to buy my honey because it crystallizes and is cloudy.  These are natural processes and desirable characteristics as the pollen and propolis are left in the honey.  Once explained, many people are quite happy to buy the product.

I know you have written about honey throughout the site, especially as it relates to insulin but I would love to see people have a little more knowledge as to the benefits of local, raw honey for allergy relief, antibacterial properties and just great taste.  :-)

All the best,

Anita

22 Jan

Weekend Link Love

weekend link loveBoth Robb Wolf and I made yet another Greatist list, this time for two of the “must-read” health and fitness blogs for 2012. I would tend to agree.

Vibram Five Fingers popped up at a recent award show. Or, in old timey gossip rag speak: Sassy Starlet Sports Showstopping Simian Shoes!

My good friend Richard Nikoley has just released his book, and it’s a great no-holds-barred introduction to the paleo lifestyle. Go pick up a copy.

The top ten reasons why you should(n’t) run barefoot, an exhaustive list of the most popular excuses for never trying, including my personal favorite: the mythical piles of broken glass, rusty nails, and perpetually-ripe dog poop that apparently litter every square inch of every city.

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