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

Archive for the ‘ The Tuesday 10 ’ Category

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.

Sponsor note:

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27 Feb

10 Amazing, Bizarre, & Useful Health Facts

The Tuesday 10:

This Tuesday’s 10 serves up a tempting buffet of unusual and useful health nibbles. Guaranteed to be at least as entertaining as a heat lamp and definitely more interesting than a pan of reconstituted potato flake crests rising from lakes of Yellow No. 5 “butter”.

10. Peter Pan may have to grow up and face the salmonella, but it’s just as well, because now there’s an excellent alternative: Omega-3 peanut butter. That’s right – peanut butter, the all-American food spread which is neither nut nor butter, is now enhanced with heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids.

(And it’s true: the peanut is more pea than nut – it’s a legume. Also, we think it’s time for a new cardiovascular-benefit phrase, because “heart-healthy” is just so tired. Cardio-caring? Artery-amor? Oh, fine…)

9. According to these genii, sugar does not have any relationship to type 2 diabetes. You see, that’s just a silly myth that foolish people used to believe. In fact, according to the experts at the American Diabetes Association, no one is sure what exactly causes type 2 diabetes.

All we know is that the liver can’t handle sugar a certain substance sometimes so the pancreas has to pump out insulin to manage the blood sugar and when this happens too much over a prolonged period of time from eating sugar unknown causes, the entire system gets worn out and, interestingly, you get diabetes. It’s a very mysterious mechanism, this liver-pancreas-blood thing. There may be some association. But it definitely has nothing to do with sugar.

(Note: this information was brought to you by the ADA, the same progressive association which sent out Christmas cards in 2006 that were plastered with images of candy canes. So obviously sugar has nothing to do with diabetes.)

8. What beef broth and beef flavoring are typically made from. Warning: this does take all the fun out of ramen. And with all we know about refined starch and trans fat, this couldn’t come at a worse time for noodles.

7. The weirdest disease you’ve ever heard of. (After #8, we figure you need a break.)

6. What’s as big as a football and hangs out below your ribs? No, not your belly (we hope). This important guy. Give him love.

5. Happy cows? Not only is a picture worth a thousand words, it’s worth some clickativity. This is a very well-written, thoughtful dairy piece that comes out in favor of Big Moo. Some further investigation into the studies reveals Blunder Tonic bias, but since we promised to give da-iry and mad cows a rest, we’ll let it slide…for now. This link is merely to draw attention to food production circa 2007.

4. Crazy fact: If you actually read through that dairy article, you’ll learn there are about 9 million dairy cows in this country. And all of them are the spawn of only a couple of bulls. Incest jokes aside, isn’t it wacky that 300 million+ people are drinking/chewing/DiGiorning the reproductive fluid of animals with identical fathers (and therefore genetic history)? We really are all connected.

Just chew on that one for a minute.

3. Mark’s been griping about the Cheesecake Factory’s one-pound slices of cake and Chili’s 2,700-calorie onion appetizer for months. Finally, a group decides that burritos as big as shoes might be a problem deserving of a little heads-up.

While we’re on the subject, what kind of a name is “Cheesecake Factory”? Why does it work? Unhealthy item + Unhealthy item + Mass-production structure? “Lardsugar Turbine” would never fly, but then, neither would “Vitaminarugula Wok”.

2. Ridiculous item of the day:

Don’t worry, obesity is no big deal.

1. Is your brain happy?

Sponsor note:
This post was brought to you by the Damage Control Master Formula, independently proven as the most comprehensive high-potency antioxidant multivitamin available anywhere. With the highest antioxidant per dollar value and a complete anti-aging, stress, and cognition profile, the Master Formula is truly the only multivitamin supplement you will ever need. Toss out the drawers full of dozens of different supplements with questionable potency and efficacy and experience the proven Damage Control difference!

20 Feb

How to Quit Smoking

The Tuesday 10:

Smoking. You know you need to quit. Not exactly easy when Big Puff keeps increasing the amount of nicotine in cigarettes – how do these people sleep at night?

We’ll spare you the terrible health facts – if you’re here, if you want to quit, you probably already know them all. And you know that quitting will take major effort. Cigarettes are monstrously addictive, but you can quit smoking, if for no other reason than this: your mind is the most powerful computer on earth. Harness that power correctly and you can accomplish your goals. Accomplishment does take really hard work (and then even more really hard work). And it takes commitment. And investigation. But we bet you’ve got all that in spades. You’re here, aren’t you?

Here’s a collection of the ten best places to start if you are going to quit smoking. From helpful tips to group support to new information, you’re in the right place!

cigs

10. 70 Tips Ought to Get You Started

As always, Ririan has great practical tips for improving your life. This post covers 70 different ways to quit smoking and is adapted from…

9. Why Not?

Why Quit is one of the oldest resources on the web for those who want to quit smoking. It’s also one of the best.

8. Don’t Be a Quitter Quitter

There are thousands of bloggers who are working on the very same goal you are, right now, and it can help to remember you’re not alone. Get to know them.

7. More Reasons to Quit Now

In case you just haven’t heard enough about the dangers of smoking, there are more than scientists ever thought possible. Here’s one of the latest findings. And here’s even more news.

6. Shocking Facts

Some amazing things you might not know.

5. Can You Afford It?

Cigarettes cost an additional $7 bucks per pack on top of the purchase price. Here’s the report – smoking costs the average smoker about four grand a year. Can you afford to smoke?

4. Why We Smoke

Smoking just feels good. It may even serve an antidepressant role in the brain (so far only rat studies have confirmed this, but it’s pretty convincing). It gives us control. It’s soothing.

Although we “want” to quit, we also really want to keep smoking. That’s not to make you feel bad, guilty or give up hope. It’s to shed some light on the situation so you can understand what you’re up against.

The brain has two pleasure mechanisms, which is why addiction is such a mammoth to deal with. We can “want” and “like” simultaneously, but these functions are separate in the brain (thanks, brain). Over time, we can still “want” a substance (or person) even if we don’t like it – even if we totally fall-to-the-floor hate it.

Pick up the March edition of Elle Magazine (yes, the one with Barbie…er, Jessica Simpson on the cover) to read Maia Szalavitz’s mind-bending and encouraging article on this want-versus-like brain dilemma. Maia overcame cocaine and heroin addiction and is now one of the best investigative journalists in the world, working to expose crooked politicians and prevent child abuse (you can catch her writings over at the Huffington Post). See how much we are capable of? You can do this!

sunhand

3. Stay on Track

Keep updated on the latest information, research and clinical trials with this comprehensive daily report.

2. Talk!

Here’s one of the best cessation forums around. Join, talk, repeat.

1. Gently Now…

Here’s a very encouraging, informative, friendly guide to quitting. It will help you understand the psychology of smoking and you’ll get help in finding tactics to work with your brain, not be tricked by it on those tough days!

Let us know how you’re doing, Apples, and feel free to ask for support!

Sponsor note:
This post was brought to you by the Damage Control Master Formula, independently proven as the most comprehensive high-potency antioxidant multivitamin available anywhere. With the highest antioxidant per dollar value and a complete anti-aging, stress, and cognition profile, the Master Formula is truly the only multivitamin supplement you will ever need. Toss out the drawers full of dozens of different supplements with questionable potency and efficacy and experience the proven Damage Control difference!

13 Feb

Top 10 Health Scams

The Tuesday 10:

There are hundreds of scams for weight loss, health, disease cures, and fitness, but here are the current rotten stinkers:

10. Hoodia

The only kind that works must be eaten fresh. And it’s banned from export because it’s a protected flora. This weight-loss gimmick even comes with the #1 dead giveaway of scams everywhere: a heretofore undiscovered culture/tribe has finally, miraculously, revealed their secret, conveniently, to a white man who can’t wait to share this magical product with the world. Give me a break. That’s called a movie, not science. Here’s my expose.

9. Cellulite shoes

Again with the mysterious culture shrouded in lore. These don’t work – period. Though I do hear they help you fall and bruise your butt. Here’s a piece of my mind.

8. Cellulite creams

Sara frequently rants about this subject near and dear to many women’s hearts (or other parts). The best way to deal with cellulite – which isn’t curable no matter what the quacks like Mesunique claim – is to cut down on sugar, which stores itself in outer fat cells, and get some daily exercise. The more muscle and less fat you have, the smoother you look.

7. Colon cleansers

The colon is important, delicate, and needs to stay in top shape. That said, it does not have a brain, and your body does not store fecal matter for years on end just waiting to finally be emptied by some miracle cleansing product. What comes out is just buildup of a few days, and anything beyond that is, well, b.s. This myth was actually completely debunked by surgeons a century ago. I am in favor of probiotics, such as those sold by Natren (a great company) but extra fiber from psyllium or other “miracle” cleansers is totally unnecessary. So: hooray for fiber from fruits and vegetables.

6. Algae

Yes, this slimeball is abundant in protein. If you eat a truckload of it. Pay attention to serving size – often companies make claims about a product being extremely potent, but hope you’ll remain blissfully ignorant about how this potency relates to serving size. Supplementing with algae for aminos and other health benefits is about like relying on water for your vitamin and mineral needs. I like Perrier as much as the next guy, but I’ll stick with a multivitamin, thanks.

5. Male “enhancement” products

Guys, come on! Try enhancing intimacy and your skills instead.

4. Female “enhancement” products

Ladies, let it go. You don’t need these gimmicks – the folks selling them are just boobs (sorry). We men like you the way you are. If you still aren’t convinced, and don’t mind some PG-13 content, head on over to Bill Stieg’s blog at Men’s Health for the scoop on what we guys really think about the gals.

3. Bottled waters

Read my expose on mock waters. You cannot oxygenate or enhance water. You can’t penta it, hydro it, living cell it, or do anything else but drink it. Drink up, but don’t fall for the water hype.

2. Vegetable oils

Refined oils like canola, soybean and corn oil are free radical oil slicks that manage to get a bill of health from Uncle Sam. Lobbying gets the credit for that.

Avoid these oils like the plague, and go for healthy fats like organic butter, Smart Butter (rich in Omega-3′s), olive oil, avocado oil, or nut oils.

1. Alli (orlistat)

I’ve been ranting about Alli quite a bit. This ineffective, unproven, no-good OTC weight-loss pill offers nothing but side effects and oily spotting. Yes.

Sponsor note:

This post was brought to you by the Damage Control Master Formula, independently proven as the most comprehensive high-potency antioxidant multivitamin available anywhere. With the highest antioxidant per dollar value and a complete anti-aging, stress, and cognition profile, the Master Formula is truly the only multivitamin supplement you will ever need. Toss out the drawers full of dozens of different supplements with questionable potency and efficacy and experience the proven Damage Control difference!

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6 Feb

The Tuesday 10

Sleep facts, minus the zzz:

10 really cool things to know about sleep, from getting more of it to fascinating facts!

10. Here are six tips for better sleep.

9. The ideal temperature for your bedroom is 60 degrees. Anything higher than 65 can diminish sleep quality. Pile on the blankets!

8. Excellent, if traditional, sleep tips. Doesn’t hurt to refresh your memory!

steeping

7. Random sleep trivia with which to annoy people endlessly.

6. They aren’t just being lazy. Teens really do need to sleep in.

clock 1

5. We have a big problem with Big Moo, Big Puff, and all the other Bigs. This guy has a problem with insomnia.

4. Why we dream: it’s evolutionary.

bubble

3. The stages of sleep. Each one is important.

2. This is a funky little blog about brain health, aging, and sleep. Get thee to it!

brainready

1. The sleep-disease link.

Sponsor note:
This post was brought to you by the Damage Control Master Formula, independently proven as the most comprehensive high-potency antioxidant multivitamin available anywhere. With the highest antioxidant per dollar value and a complete anti-aging, stress, and cognition profile, the Master Formula is truly the only multivitamin supplement you will ever need. Toss out the drawers full of dozens of different supplements with questionable potency and efficacy and experience the proven Damage Control difference!

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