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

Archive for the ‘ Big Agra ’ Category

10 Apr

A Real Pain in the Caduceus

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:

More healthcare news out today makes it pretty clear that radical changes are in order. (By the way, this is a caduceus.)

News Item Uno: Morbid Obesity Is Up, Way Up

There are kinds of obesity? Yes, that’s right: there’s an entire taxonomy of overweight. Kinda sad that we need that, isn’t it? Obesity in general is up, but morbid obesity is way, way up – dangerously so.

What we can do about this:

1. Fire off a letter to your senator. People do pay attention to letters. They know that for every letter they get, there are 1,000 more who share the sentiment.

2. Write letters to the CEOs of junk food companies (oh yeah, pretty much every food company in America). Ask them if they enjoy sleeping in their 1000-thread count sheets children’s diabetes is paying for.

3. Eat fresh, whole foods, and keep the portions small. Teach your children and friends. Be annoying about it. (But not too annoying.)

News Item Dos: Kids Are Manipulated Like Crazy

The overwhelming majority of kiddie-aimed commercials feature junk food. In a recent study, literally no commercials advertised any fresh food. Theoretically, commercials may not influence adults – certainly up for debate – but children are highly vulnerable to marketing messages. This is the portion of the population that believes in Santa Claus, remember.

What we can do about this:

1. Again with the firing off of letters. How to: Make one good point, be brief, state what action you want them to take, and state what action you will take if they don’t.

2. Shield the commercials – and television in general – that your child is exposed to. Turn the tube off, or invest 5 bucks a month in Tivo.

3. Don’t buy junk – companies sell this garbage because we are buying it.

9 Apr

Thoughts on the Rocks

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites

Radical thoughts to shake you up…or stir you into action. That’s Bee, Worker Bee.

#1: Feeling Restless?

The news out today is that restless leg syndrome increases the risk of heart disease. Ready for this? We say baloney. Restless leg syndrome is a curiously modern phenomenon that seems suspiciously correlated to obesity and lack of exercise. We’ll lay good honey on the bet that it’s not restless leg syndrome increasing your risk for heart disease; rather, it’s an unhealthy lifestyle that’s causing both health problems. Mightn’t physical discomfort, elevated blood pressure and clogged arteries be symptomatic of a common underlying problem? Say…a completely ridiculous lifestyle? Take one part fast-paced lifestyle, one part processed diet, and garnish with inactivity, and it sounds like the makings of a toxic CHD cocktail to us.

#2: Strange but True

Apparently, tai chi helps prevent shingles, a painful skin virus that makes chicken pox feel like a walk in the park. Scientists aren’t sure why tai chi works, but it does. Tai chi also helps stop bone loss, anxiety, depression, and skin problems. A rather motley assortment of health maladies are cleared up by this gentle Eastern exercise system, leaving us to consider but one conclusion: how much of our current health crisis could be resolved if we were simply less stressed?

#3: Seriously, What Is Going On?

Autism is up. Alzheimer’s is up. Suddenly every child has ADHD, and adults everywhere are feeling the weight of anxiety and depression. Unless someone is just making all this up, we’re beginning to wonder what the common thread is here. There is so much disease and illness, and the powers that be act as though this is a normal part of life. But why should poor health be the status quo? Something is wrong here. Might it be processed foods, which are high in fats that cause oxidative damage, sugars that cause type 2 diabetes and all sorts of related issues, and chemicals for which we don’t yet know the long-term safety? Because all we’re sayin’ is, something is strange about all this, and it’s not okay. Case in point: diabetes causes mental decline. The FDA and mainstream medicine insist that you can get all the nutrients you need from today’s food supply, that we’re healthier than we’ve ever been, and modern medicine and surgery are working super great.

Really? Because we’d like to see that evidence. As fellow Apple Crystal asks, when are we going to put two and two together?

5 Apr

Why I’m Never Eating Another Salad

I’m feeling a little lost, Apples. My readers know that for over 20 years now, I’ve enjoyed a massive veggie-packed salad for lunch. At this point, the daily Sisson salad is just part of my identity.
So imagine the sense of betrayal – nay, dear readers, bereavement – when I learned that it. has. all. been. for. naught.

The reason I am never eating another salad is because Flat Earth Baked Veggie Crisps are the healthiest thing to come along since, well, plants. These “veggie” and “berry” crisps are just like eating real vegetables!

flatearth

Only not.

The brand marketing concept is so extended, it feels like homework: people used to think the earth was flat, just like people used to think that chips couldn’t be healthy. Get it? To help the message hit home, Flat Earth’s logo is a flying pig. Because people used to think chips couldn’t be healthy, because pigs would have to fly first, and…my head hurts. Read the fine print: “Beliefs can change!” says Flat Earth. I find this particularly amusing. A belief certainly can change, if you throw enough money and marketing at it. But beliefs aren’t facts – yet again and again, we act as if they are. Marketers know this.

Pigs don’t fly. Almost the real thing is nothing much at all. My politically incorrect opinion is that there is nothing admirable at all about the desire to create a “healthy” chip. In fact, I think it’s a big, fat ethical cop-out.

I know what some will say: at least it’s better than a regular old potato chip. We all need a few healthy indulgences. Their hearts were in the right place (psst…no they weren’t. Flat Earth is owned by Frito-Lay). Baloney. This is marketing, not health.

I’m so disgusted with this trend of making bad foods kinda-sorta healthy, as if mediocrity is an admirable quality. Compromise might feel nice, but how’s that health philosophy workin’ for us? Uncle Sam says “just try to make half your grains whole”. Wow, thanks for the vote of confidence in humans’ capacity for excellence, guys.

Flat Earth’s Baked Veggie Crisps may not be as ridiculous as 7Up Plus (known formerly as corn syrup and chemicals) or vitamin-enriched children’s “milk ‘n cereal” bars (known formerly as candy and sugary goo). But Flat Earth is not a “one serving exchange” of “real!” fruits or vegetables. A chip is not a vegetable, period. You can add in all the dehydrated stale carrots and tomatoes and berries that you want, but until I see Veggie Crisps growing on trees, I’m afraid I have to agree with their slogan: “Impossibly good”. It is impossible – hey, at least they’re honest!

5 Apr

Guide to the Care & Feeding of Organicans, Part 1

A self-described starving student recently wrote to me asking if it’s more important to focus on organic produce or organic meat & dairy at the grocery store. I get asked this question fairly often, so let’s talk about it.

Organic food costs can easily rival student loan payments – so, if you’re young or simply on a tight budget and you have to make a choice, what do you buy? Does organic food of any kind even make a difference (aside from the dent in your bank account)? The answer, my would-be organicans, is yes.

Organic produce is grown without the use of harmful pesticides and chemicals and is environmentally-sustainable. Organic meat and dairy is raised and produced according to similar regulations. The animals can’t be mistreated (a matter of course for regular meat) and they must be fed the food that nature intended. Hormones, antibiotics and fillers are big no-no’s. Organic products of any kind, as a rule, are ostensibly good for the environment. Though there is a fair amount of weaseling and hype in the organic industry (as with any industry) that’s a topic for another time.

Don’t listen to the naysayers. Eating organic food is a healthy habit. Local and organic is even better. But, if you’re on a budget thanks to Sallie Mae, I recommend focusing on organic animal products and buying the cheaper conventional chemical-bathed produce. Just invest two bucks in a really aggressive scrub brush.

scrubbrush

This Photo Belongs to Raraavis619

Here’s why:

A lot of people get excited about organic produce and forget all about the animal products. But what’s the use in eating a bowl of organic salad greens topped with grilled meat that is loaded up with hormones, antibiotics, and chemicals and was fed on greens loaded with hormones, antibiotics, and chemicals? When you eat conventional animal products, not only are you ingesting your very own pharmacological experiment, but you’re supporting (and eating) the non-organic feed that fattened up that hoofed friend.

Like I always say, you can wash the chemicals off a cucumber. I’m not sure how to do that with milk (although this little one has it all figured out).

Apples: If you have to make budget-friendly choices at the market, what do you choose? What are your tips for eating organic without breaking the bank? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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22 Feb

Piping Hot Health

Worker Bees Daily Bites

Better than apple pie.

Litigious Nuts

The peanut butter controversy continues with a major lawsuit against ConAgra. Say what you will about litigation getting excessive – we have to admit, we don’t feel sorry for ConAgra and other big food manufacturers. Clean up the mess, avoid the problems! Is that too much to ask?

pb

Sticks and Stones May Break Your Bones

But not nearly as well as GlaxoSmithKline. Thanks, guys. Way to show some love to the ladies.

Not Even the Pope Can Make This Healthy

A rather ridiculous request from the Colonel. Kentucky Fried Chicken’s (kick the) bucket makes us all question the meaning of life, but evidently it can get worse.

snacker

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A Drug for Everyone!

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