Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:
Regulation and health care dominate the news today. Today’s bites are more fun – and by the time they figure everything out, you’ll be healthy anyway.
1) You’ve got to be kidding!
Here’s an example of inane spin from mainstream medical reporting. It’s also a handy lesson in debunking ridiculous studies. It’s worth scrolling to the last 4 paragraphs of this article to see why drug-pushing doctors shouldn’t be quite so quick to pat themselves on the back. (Also: blood pressure problems go away entirely with daily exercise, avoidance of processed foods, and stress management. And we still have the highest rate of heart disease anywhere. So let’s work on that!)
2) Fiber Beats Breast Cancer
Common sense, but now more studies are proving this. We’re laughing at the dietary recommendations of this article, however. Who is going to eat four slices of bread and four other grain servings in a single day? Someone who will get diabetes, that’s who. Notice the broccoli serving suggestion – are they joking? Eating 5 servings of vegetables in a day will eliminate the need for all that sugar. Fiber is king, but grains aren’t the best source – especially bread and cereals. Beans are better, since they’re less processed. The recommendations are just wacky – two tablespoons of broccoli is not even an ounce! 4 ounces of broccoli (the equivalent of your fist) yields more fiber than ten slices of bread. Honestly, people!
3) Bust a bad mood now!
Here’s how. We love the idea of an emergency bad mood kit! Kick that bad mood to the curb where it belongs.
Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:
1) Then what does a microwave do to food?
You can sterilize your sponges by tossing them in the microwave for two minutes. Details here. Oh, make sure the sponge is wet.
This handy trick kills all germs, spores, and is also useful for eliciting befuddled looks from your guests. Be casual about it, now.
2) The Worst Food on Planet Earth
The EPA won’t allow disgusting leftover grease sludge to be disposed of in drains (mostly because the stuff is too thick to even make it down the drain). Unfortunately, the FDA is not so vigilant. Here’s what happens to this grease. And why you’ll never eat another chip as long as you live.
3) Vitamins Versus Drugs…Again
Pfizer had to scrap plans to release cholesterol drug torcetrapib (wow, that sounds like a real blast) because it was killing people. Oops. As it turns out, doctors are beginning to prescribe good old vitamins – niacin in particular – for cholesterol concerns. Why? For one thing, they work. For another, vitamins don’t kill people.
Though vitamins aren’t regulated by the FDA (making it important to buy from a quality source), consider: just what is regulation? Drugs that are “regulated” sicken and kill millions every year, right under our noses. This isn’t “secret” information, either; the records are there for all to see.
Big Pharma spends a lot of money sending press releases to media outlets attempting to scare people into thinking vitamins are dangerous. This is funny, because niacin doesn’t make people have heart attacks or go blind or die. We’re just sayin’.
4) How to Quit Coffee
Addicted to caffeine? This is an excellent guide to getting over the java jones. Like alcohol, we think caffeine in moderation can be just fine. But if you are interested in cutting back or cutting out caffeine altogether, check out the clickativity.
5) Does this mean they’ll stop turning it into food?
Yet another use for corn. If it can be made into plastic, and fuel, and clothing, should we really be eating it anymore?
Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:
Not just the latest news – the best!
1) Folic Acid Rocks
A major study on folate is making a splash. Scientists say folic acid appears to help stave cognitive decline and may even be linked to reduced chances of degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. What is certain is that folic acid appears to aid in memory, cognition, and information processing speed. Clickativity!
Folic acid is found in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and a daily multi.
2) A Must Read!
Wow – here’s an excellent op-ed piece on the psychology of cancer fears. The great tragedy of the cancer situation today – which still kills half a million Americans every year – is that modern advances in both prevention and medicine mean excellent survival rates, but many people wait so long to get standard screenings it’s often too late. It’s the “fear of the known” clinging to our national mindset from days when cancer truly was a death sentence.
3) Common Commode
Drug advances. Scientific knowledge. Nutritional information. Exercise expertise. Lasers. Ingenious surgical procedures. According to the British Medical Journal, none of this compares to…the flusher. When you’re feeling bummed about your day, just remember, before 1840, you could be feeling bummed about your day and have to use an outhouse.
4) Oh yeah…these things do beat stress!
The Dumb Little Man is not dumb at all (but that cheesy line sure was – our bad). While he does invent statistics (and gleefully admits this), his implementation/identification point is right on the money. And his list of ways to beat stress is so wonderful and so obvious, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t do this stuff sooner. If you already have, well, good for you. Bees are slower.
Web it out:
What Mark and the Bees read. Translation (whew): Lifestyle changes slash your diabetes risk in half!
“Lifestyle changes”. Kinda nebulous, right?
Here’s how, in 5 quick steps:
1. Stop eating so much sugar! Cut out as much sugar, refined grain, starch, and other pale pathetic excuses for food as you can.
2. No more sugary drinks, either.
3. Daily exercise of some sort. Walking is just fine and dandy!
4. Stop with the self-destructive stuff: smoking, drinking, too much food, not enough sleep.
5. Reduce inflammation in three easy steps: switch from bad fats to good fats, reduce stress, and flood your body with antioxidants from food and a good, sturdy multi.
Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:
So much good stuff. And a lot of funny stuff, too. Here’s the fresh mix:
1) Cheer Up, It’s All Okay!
Sometimes it’s tempting to throw your hands in the air and say “Hey, why bother? Everything’s unhealthy!” We hear you. Today, let’s put things in perspective a bit. For example, recently headlines have been popping up with the news that denser breast tissue doubles a woman’s risk of breast cancer. Yikes! Doubles?!? Double yikes!
Guess what? The overall breast cancer likelihood of, say, a typical 50-year-old woman is about 2.5 percent. For a woman with dense tissue, yes, it’s “double” – 5 percent. But doesn’t a five percent risk sound less scary than double the risk? That’s why it’s important to pay attention to the way these studies are presented. Sometimes – many times, unfortunately – medical news gets sensationalized to get to the head of the headline race. Breast cancer is scary enough – we don’t need to be dramatic about it, too! Let’s breathe a collective “whew”. And ladies, get your mammograms. Here’s the clickativity.
2) We’re Going Down, Down…
Cancer is down for the second year in a row – and not just breast cancer. Colon cancer and lung cancer, too! Smoking rates are on the decline, and awareness about colon screening (everyone’s favorite) has spread. Good news is so clickative. And this cancer can now be prevented with a simple vaccination.
3) Good Switch, Starbucks
First they do away with trans fat. Now they’re eliminating hormones in the milk. If only they’d stop with the sugar. After all, as Mark has been saying, sugar is the new trans fat.
The Top 10 Tips for: Getting Fit
Wanna get fit? If you’re just starting out, keep in mind it’s not going to happen overnight…but you can be lookin’ pretty good by next month with these tips. The reason most get-ripped regimens fail is because we simply expect way too much, way too soon. Big changes in your body require big changes in your lifestyle. Period. It took your whole life to be the way you are now, right? It’s going to take more than two days to start making changes to that. But these 10 pointers will get you started – and you’ll notice some very pleasant effects if you stick with them. You’ll be surprised that very few of them have anything to do with lifting so much as a finger. Fitness is many factors coming together – it’s a lot more than just hitting the gym (thank goodness).
1. Cut calories the lazy way.
To shape up, you must reduce your fat so your muscles can start doing their thing. This is actually very, very easy to do: every time you go to put something in your mouth, don’t. No, no, just kidding! You have to eat.
Here’s what to do:
- in restaurants, eat half the plate and get the rest to go. Don’t eat it when you get home – let the dog or the neighbor kid with hollow legs enjoy it.
- immediately run out and get yourself some 7″ plates. Those are now your dinner plates. Preso, portion sizes reduced.
- Don’t eat anything crunchy, creamy, pale or fried. This pretty much takes care of all high-calorie, unhealthy foods. Examples: chips, ranch dressing, bread sticks, chicken nuggets. We know, veggies are crunchy. It’s not an absolute rule. Just a guide.
- Switch all snacks to cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks or broccoli florets. Depending on how much you snack, you’ll save 200 to 600 calories a day doing this.
2. Don’t drink your calories.
A little coffee or tea is one thing. But soda, shakes, iced coffee drinks, juices and energy drinks are overflowing with calories, which you don’t want, right? Don’t waste precious caloric intake on liquids that don’t fill you up.
3. Absolutely no drive-through or delivery food.
McDonald’s likes to run those “Mommy and me” ads that show slender young Mommy eating salad while her ringlet-bedecked tutu-wearing darling is busy dipping apples into some sweet sap. Please. This stuff is generally more marketing than meaningful, so read the ingredients and avoid anything sweet or fried. Best to stick to fresher fare.
4. Move it!
You don’t have to become a gym rat. You don’t have to sign up for the local 10K. But you need to move. Simply put, any movement that is more than you currently do is going to be effective. If you don’t ever work out, walking around the neighborhood for 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week is going to start having an impact after just two weeks. If you work out once in a while, step it up with a weekly weight session, a longer run, or some quality time with the treadmill. Do whatever you like – maybe you have a real problem with the layer of dust that’s accumulated on all the baseboards and you want to scrub them clean. That’s a workout. Maybe you like to dance for the mailman. That’s questionable, but it’s a workout just the same. No one’s judging – just move, Apples! Every day. Whether it’s a little or a lot, just do it.
5. Get addicted to feeling good.
Things that are healthy are going to make you feel good – it just takes a little longer. Instant gratification is just that – instant. Nachos are great until the heartburn hits, right?
You know your particular weaknesses. However, this isn’t about being perfect or beating yourself up. Everyone likes an instant payoff – we’re humans. But try the ten-minute trick (easy: just wait 10) next time a craving or a lazy mood hits – and push through those ten minutes. Think about what will make you feel good long term, not short term. Give yourself an extra moment or ten to start a new craving – health. Just wait ten minutes.
6. Drink More Water.
We don’t necessarily buy into the whole 10-glasses-a-day rule. We’re just not that militant. Hey, if you’re thirsty, drink something. If you’re not, don’t worry about it! You know that myth that goes something like: “By the time you’re thirsty you’re already dehydrated”? Yeah, well, it’s a myth. Dogs and cats only drink when they are thirsty. Are they perpetually dehydrated? And as long as you replenish yourself as soon as you do start to get dehydrated, what’s the big disaster?
But the title of point 6 is Drink More Water. We digress. If you have trouble with controlling your portions, or if you tend to crave high-calorie, salty snacks, try drinking a big glass of water whenever a craving hits. This can help you shed a pound a week, easy!
7. Join a sport or group activity.
There is literally something for everyone in almost every community – whether you’re young and active or golden and gracious. And if there isn’t a physical activity to suit your tastes, why not start one in the community? Even one session a week of a sport or activity can go a long way to get you fit over the course of several months – and when you’re having fun, you’ll forget all about the workout part. One of our Worker Bees joined a hiking class and was amazed that just two weekly hikes whipped her into great shape after only three months. The social interaction is also healthy for your brain, which contributes to general fitness far more than you might realize.
8. Focus your activities around activities and games, not just food or drinking.
A lot of social gatherings revolve around food, beer, and hanging out. That’s great, and it’s an important part of being emotionally healthy, but try to mix it up a little. Maintain a variety of relationships so some activities are physical, some are food-based (edible sounds a little…strange…), and so on. This is really healthy for your emotional well-being and your body. And that produces a nice little synergistic effect: when you are less stressed out and enjoying variety, guess what? Your body chemistry hits a better balance, cortisol drops, and your system stops clinging to fat for dear life. So bust that stress, Apples!
9. Find a Way to Unhook.
This might mean literally taking the phone off the hook. A lot of us are on-the-go from the time we get up until we hit the pillow at night. This is stressful, unhealthy and a great way to be fat and unhappy (it’s true!). Be a little bit selfish and find some time to pray, meditate, take a hike, or soak in the tub. Find a little time every day to unwind – just 20 minutes will make a huge difference in your health over the long-term. Just stop. Breathe. Relax. Feel how strong your body is? A relaxed body is a happy, strong body. You’ll get more out of your workout now (because we know you are moving it as instructed in step 4).
10. Report Back!
Tell us what your goals are. We will help you! We’ll check in on you. We’ll even nag you. So keep us in the loop (just click on Ask Anything up there to the right of Mark’s big blond head).
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