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

Mark's Daily Apple

27 Jul

Updates! I Need Updates!

At your recommendation, we’ve added a few more excellent blogs to the blogroll. Be sure to check out the updated list.

Thanks to all of you who have participated in the fruit bowl submissions. We have several highly-edible produce pictures from you so far. (They sure look a lot better than mine. I am clearly camera-challenged. I’m waiting for the drug to fix this condition.) Next week we’ll be sharing them, so if you’d still like to participate, send those pics in! Just think: your fruit bowl could be famous! Contain your excitement, people.

The stirring post about the appalling choices we make – buying “fancy” water vs. saving a dying child from dehydration – gets an update. Aquafina: thumbs down.

Mark’s published some excellent and controversial (but of course) posts on fitness and sports around the web. For all you runners, ex-runners and fitness freaks, here’s a sampling, complete with teasers:

Doping in Sport

“There are three main points I want to make here: first, that it is impossible to fairly police and adjudicate drugs in sport; second, that the notion of a “level playing field” is a farce and, finally, that the performance requirements set by the federations at the elite level of sport almost demand access to certain “banned substances” in order to assure the health and vitality of the athlete throughout his or her career and – more importantly – into his or her life after competition.”

Read more

Sports and Health: Hardly Synonymous

“Since many people seem to think that athletes are almost by definition healthy, I thought I might develop that idea a bit further…

Please don’t misconstrue what I say here as advocating any sort abstinence from sports or from training. On the contrary, I believe sports of all types can play a huge role in personal development, self-awareness and self-image, and may even help mold long-lost community life-skills like sharing, mutual cooperation and loss acceptance. I will make a case that sports and other non-group recreational exercise activities can contribute greatly to health, longevity and the quality of life. But, as with all things in life, moderation seems to be the key.

I first became aware of the distinction between “fitness” and “health” when I was competing as a marathoner…”

Read the rest

This Week at Slow Twitch: Training Is No Guarantee of Health

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27 Jul

Recommended

If you’ve heard me say it once you have heard me say it a dozen times – sugar and refined grains are detrimental to your health. Shocking? It shouldn’t be. The over-consumption of sweets and quickie carbs is not only the main culprit of the obesity epidemic that is destroying millions of Americans’ lives, but it also contributes to dozens of serious health conditions and illnesses including type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease, inflammation, infertility, sexual dysfunction, depression and fatigue – and that’s just the beginning. The list goes on and on.

During years of grueling, intense training as a pro runner, I wasn’t fully aware of the damage simple carbs can do to our bodies, and my health suffered as a result. Since then I have been on a mission to uncover the best steps for living a healthy lifestyle and preventing serious health conditions. It’s my goal to share the knowledge I have learned through years of experience (and experiment).

As Francis Bacon, that noble developer and defender of the scientific method, once famously stated, “Knowledge is power.” This simple yet profound statement especially rings true in the fields of health and nutrition. With the facts about the damaging effects of refined carbohydrates exposed, people are empowered to make intelligent decisions about what they put in their bodies. Knowledge is the key to change. Without it we are lost, and we will continue to be stricken with the host of mind-impairing, body-damaging ailments associated with the ingestion of processed sweets and refined carbs.

connie

The recent favorable study on Atkins and the growing awareness of a lower-carb way of living is gaining mainstream support (but don’t worry, your trusty food pyramid still brilliantly recommends plenty of refined grains and sugar). Connie Bennett, an investigative journalist and a self-proclaimed ex-sugar junkie, is helping to pave the way. After years of poor health and – the final insult – being dumped by her boyfriend for her sugar-induced mood swings, Bennett was fed up.

The result? Sugar Shock!: How Sweets and Simple Carbs Can Derail Your Life – And How You Can Get Back on Track. This eye-opening book goes beyond Sugar 101 by addressing hard-hitting questions like “Is ‘Big Sugar’ the next ‘Big Tobacco’?” and by detailing the physiological mechanisms through which simple sugars contribute to everything from early aging to moodiness to diabetes to inflammation.

sugar 1

What I particularly like about this quick read is that there’s no hype or emotional ploys. The facts are simply and clearly presented – but are they ever damning. With over 250 specialists interviewed worldwide and written with medical consultant Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., Sugar Shock! provides a comprehensive and authoritative look at how far-reaching the sugar problem truly is. Bennett takes on the American Heart Association (about time) which has long refused to accept the well-established connection between sugar and heart disease*. Bennett reveals the hidden marketing tactics used by food manufacturers to make you believe their sugar-filled and processed foods are healthy. Bennett goes as far as equating an addiction to sugar with an addiction to cigarettes and alcohol – something I absolutely endorse. And she does all this without giving into the nonsensical and extremist notion that all carbs are bad carbs.

In addition to an intriguing and well-written sugar exposé, Sugar Shock! delivers sound advice and positive strategies for how to end your own sugar dependence and take control of your life. As you long-time readers know, absolute and total personal responsibility is something I passionately believe in and promote. Your life – and your health – is up to you.

Further reading:

My Carb Pyramid

What I Eat in a Day

The Definitive Guide to Insulin, Blood Sugar and Type 2 Diabetes

Most Popular Posts

* the linked study has been published in the AHA’s online journal. Progress?

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26 Jul

The Fuming Fuji Will Not Tolerate Cluttered Food

fuji

The Fuming Fuji is outraged at the marketing of toxic food, especially when it is aimed at the small fry. This week, the Fuming Fuji has decided to have a serious problem with cluttered food.

pizza 1

But, Fuming Fuji, you have to admit this pizza is kind of cool.

The Fuming Fuji says no!

The claim: Seriously, Fuji, get a sense of humor. It’s not like this pizza is really any less healthy than BBQ chicken pizza.

The catch: I do not have to admit this pizza is cool. Clearly, this pizza is merely tepid. Also, the Fuji is gravely disappointed in you for thinking BBQ chicken pizza is healthy. But I suppose I should not expect so much from creatures who create such confused food. The Fuji recommends psychiatric intervention.

The comeback: Um, I did not mean the pizza was literally cool. But I did mean it when I said you have no sense of humor. Get a clue, you overweening fruit. Maybe you’re just jealous because it doesn’t have apple slices on it. Nobody is claiming this pizza is something we should be eating.

The conclusion: Oh, really? Have you asked everybody? That is a universal and therefore impossible statement you have made. (I learned much in my Fumology studies, as everybody knows.)

Where was I? You have ruined my concentration with your terrible fashion choices.

Oh, yes! It does not matter if there is a claim of health. The pizza is being made, and people are eating it, and it is confusing! The Fuji will overlook your personal attacks and character assassination attempts because you are clearly annoying. Also, you are not green, although this cannot really be helped.

Listen to the Fuji: do not indulge this cluttered food! It is a slippery slope that will quickly lead to very confusing combinations!

The catchphrase: What is next? Southwest cinnamon rolls? Mojito lattes? Macaroni ‘n cheese tacos?

Disclaimer: Mark Sisson and the Worker Bees do not necessarily endorse the views of the Fuming Fuji.

Hat Tip: FitSugar

Further Reading:

The Fuming Fuji Says No to Cereal Bars!

The Fuming Fuji Says No to Sea Bugs!

More Cowbell

Fried Mac ‘n Cheese Balls

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26 Jul

Healthy Tastes Great!

Ivory King Salmon with Chanterelle Mushrooms

taste 1

P.S. Any wild Alaskan salmon will work for this delicious dish!

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26 Jul

Smart…It’s in Season

In this week’s edition of Smart Fuel: the fruits of summer!

July is ripe for the nutritional picking. This is the best month of the year for stone fruits, tender fresh fish, berries, sweet sugar snap peas and green beans, and floral chanterelle mushrooms. The foods currently in season provide a perfect blend of healthy essential fatty acids, B vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and lean protein. Whether you have access to a nearby brook, orchard, wooded patch or simply a good farmer’s market, be sure to maximize the naturally smart combination July provides.

To eat now:

- Stone fruits: enjoy apricots, plums, peaches and nectarines (apricots in particular are at their best for several more weeks).

apricot

Farlane Flickr Photo (CC)

- Fish: try perch, rainbow trout, brown trout, and mackerel (delicate and delicious protein source).

rainbows

ProjectDP Flickr Photo (CC)

- Berries: go for gooseberries, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries (look for sales!).

blueberries 1

Garibaldi Flickr Photo (CC)

- All things podded: dig in to sugar snap peas, green beans, and green peas (legumes are an excellent source of fiber and vitamins).

peas 1

CDW9 Flickr Photo (CC)

- Gourmet touch: chanterelle mushrooms are abundant with phytochemicals and make a perfect pairing for fresh-water fish. These fragrant fungi are available now in many stores and markets. They grow wild in deciduous forests so you may be able to harvest a few for yourself. Psst…learn about mushrooms and picking safely here.

chanterelles

Brocktopia Flickr Photo (CC)

Further reading:

Most Popular Posts

More Smart Fuel

Seasonal Food Information

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