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

Archive for the ‘ Personal Improvement ’ Category

8 Mar

Greatest Hits

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:

Atkins still dominates the health world today, Apples. Here’s an interesting assortment of other provocative dietary views and news, with some genetic research thrown in for good measure. Enjoy!

It’s in the Enzymes

Important Alzheimer‘s news.

Happy Meals

A fitness expert’s views on “nutritionism”.

patch

Reversing Diabetes?

The controversial health ranger is at it again. This time, with five steps to reverse type-2 diabetes (also known previously as adult-onset). Well, if that’s not controversial…
sugar

McPhilosopher

A junk-food lover philosophizes about fat fears and other food phobias. While we don’t subscribe to his views (at least, not all of them), it’s a compelling read.

chippers

You Don’t Know You’re Fat?

Scientists postulate that the brain doesn’t know the body is fat; but the person still does. This isn’t exactly another “blame your genes” study, but it skates awfully close. This, in addition to gut bugs, does present some obstacles. Fortunately, it’s not that tough to use your brain to, well, outsmart your brain (strange, isn’t it? Since it’s the best computer on earth and all).

But seriously, you can “trick” your brain into all kinds of things: being more productive, feeling happier, and even losing weight. Those no-sugar subscribers are on to something: cutting carbs creates an effect called ketosis, which helps you shed pounds while feeling satisfied. We know we’re verging on beating a dead llama with this, but it’s really important! And you’ll feel so great, who cares if your brain catches on? (Psst…it will.)

6 Mar

How to Eat Healthy on a Budget

The Tuesday 10

It can be frustrating to stick with a healthy diet when factors like cost and kids enter into the equation. Junior Apple Kathy Lee faces a challenge many moms are familiar with: how do you provide kid-friendly fare that is both nutritious and inexpensive?

10. Switch snacks to veggies

A large part of your grocery bill can be eliminated by avoiding the processed snacks and treats kids love. Parents know that Pop Tarts and Gushers are unhealthy, but there are plenty of seemingly healthy snacks – things that promise nutrition like “nutri-grain” crackers and “vitamin-enriched” gummy treats – that really rack up the total bill. The truth is, most of these processed “healthy” items are no better than candy, so as a parent, you don’t have to feel guilty for steering clear of them and heading for carrot sticks, apple slices and celery instead. An entire bag of fresh apples costs less than a single box of crackers, and is much healthier. Make the switch from boxed snacks to fruit and vegetables.

poptarts

9. Eliminate soda, sports drinks and juice

These items are expensive and unhealthy (though they almost always carry tricky health claims). Many moms are tempted to buy juice – and 100% real juice is often the most expensive of all. But even “real” juice is really just sugar water. Have the kids drink water instead. They can have juice when they go to Grandma’s.

8. Going organic?

We all think of organic food as being more healthy – and generally, that’s true. But organic products are also much more pricey. Mark recommends making a choice to save yourself cash. While organic produce is a nice idea, it’s not the end of the world if you buy the regular tomatoes. Animal products like meat and cheese, however, are better when they’re organic. If you are going to spend a little extra money, spend it on the organic animal products and don’t worry about the lettuce. If you can’t afford organic foods, look for food that is at least produced in-state. Or, try to find out if there are local farms or butchers (bonus: they are often less expensive, too!).

7. Freeze!

Frozen berries, vegetables and meats are generally much cheaper than fresh foods, and the irony is that many times, these frozen items are actually “fresher” than the fresh stuff! At least one frozen vegetable is always on sale, and they tend to rotate, so your family can eat healthy and enjoy a nice variety for just a few bucks a day! Cooking for a family day in, day out can get tiresome, so whipping up nightly stir-fries or stews with varying veggies is a simple, cheap way to keep things healthy and interesting.

stirfry
6. Watch the sales

Even that expensive European salad blend goes on sale at some point. Grocery stores tend to rotate the sales on spinach, romaine and other lettuce blends. Why pay 4 dollars for a bag of mesclun when you can get 2 bags of spinach for 5 bucks? Just keep an eye on the sales, and be sure to eat the greens within a few days so you’re staying fresh.

5. Avoid the middle aisles

Anything found in the middle aisles of the market – from crackers to cookies to cereal – is generally processed and unhealthy, not to mention outrageously expensive. The trick to watch for is the marketing: you’ll see “nutri-grain” and “whole grain” and “reduces heart disease” plastered on many sugary products. Don’t fall for the hype. Save your health and your bank account by sticking to the frozen and fresh sections as much as possible.

4. Check out the farmer’s market

Many towns have farmer’s markets on Saturday or Sunday, where you can purchase fresh, local produce for pennies on the dollar. Ask around!

farmers

3. Buy bone-in meat

An easy way to save money on chicken, a great lean protein source? Buy bone-in. It’s a little less convenient but will save you quite a bit of change. Tuna fish with oil instead of water is cheaper, and ironically, much healthier than the expensive white version.

2. Buy off-label or store brand

Olive oil, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, peanut butter and other healthy staples are just as healthy in the no-name variety.

1. Give beans a chance

Legumes are an incredibly cheap protein source. Even the pickiest kids love split pea soup and chickpeas on their salads. A typical bag of beans is under a dollar, and makes a perfect base for a soup, stew or vegetable bake. And kids typically enjoy beans.

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5 Mar

Weekly Health Challenge

A great way to stay fresh, mentally and emotionally, is to try something new. That could be a new crossword puzzle, a subscription to a new magazine with a different viewpoint from yours, a better toothpaste, or even a new vegetable.

Choose something that is an improvement or a challenge, so you’re not just randomly trying something new. Why not make a positive change now? One little change can create a cascade of wonderful new developments.

2 Mar

Sting-Free News

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites

9 out of 10 taste-testers agree: Today’s wrap contains 100% more flavor than the leading competitor.

What a Headache

The FDA swipes 15 migraine medications off the shelf.

Conspiracy Theorists, Pay Heed

Evil secrets lurk at the farmer’s market…or something. We still think farmer’s markets are better, and it’s usually not difficult to find a good, low-priced one. But everyone’s a critic.

farmers

Flickr Member Photo

Going Mental

An important new brain discovery will help scientists better understand mental disorders.

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Diabetes R Us

Many times, dire predictions about global health catastrophes turn out to be a little exaggerated. Not so for everyone’s favorite unnecessary disease. Diabetes is spreading even faster in some western nations than scientists predicted.

26 Feb

A Monday Moment

Kill ‘Em With Kindness

What is it with road rage? I get a big kick out of people who aggressively tailgate (the gals) and cut me off (the guys). Well, I get a kick out of it to the extent that I can while attempting to make it to the store in one piece. And I have to admit, I do get immense personal satisfaction out of not getting too riled up over these nitwits who feel a few inches of steel turns them into invincible tank lords (uh…hi, I can still see through your windows, genius).

Nothing kills ‘em quite like kindness.

And laughing it off – or at least letting it roll off if you can’t quite summon a smile – seems to have a ripple effect on everyone you come across. This is my own personal study, of course, but I believe it works. When I start my morning right – not just when things are going well but especially when things are not – the rest of the day manages to work out a lot better.

Dry cleaner stained your clothes? Bank line taking forever? Waiter messed up your order? Try laughing, smiling and making a joke of it. It’s amazing what happens: the first thing you’ll notice is the incredible relief flooding the other person’s face. They’ll bend over backwards to fix it (and if not, well, you tried). The next time you stop in, you’ll be treated like royalty.

It’s so easy to get frustrated – we’re in a rush, we’re stressed, we need it now! And it’s tempting to vent and make demands, especially with service staff, because frankly, we can get away with it. After all, we have a right to be pissed off. But no one – most importantly, not even you – walks away happy.

It’s not news, but it’s a good reminder every now and again.

Just watch out for the 16-year-old in his mama’s Escalade. Sometimes there’s no helping that one.

escalade

© 2014 Mark's Daily Apple