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

Mark's Daily Apple

20 Dec

Smart Fuel: Red Cabbage

redcabbageMuch to the relief of one of our staff, it’s not just for lutefisk anymore. (Although we recently learned that Scandinavians aren’t the only ones who favor odd protein dishes; Icelanders enjoy soured sheep balls and rotten shark. So there.)

Where were we? Oh, yes! Red cabbage. Though it’s popularly sauced, buttered, pickled and soured, red cabbage stands up just fine on its own as a cooked side dish, in a salad or as a salad, shredded up in soups, perched atop your morning eggs, rolled around your favorite turkey slice, or baked into your cheddar frittatas. Red cabbage, in fact, is one of the healthiest foods around. Being that it’s a member of the brassica family, it’s a cruciferous vegetable. These cancer-fighters (broccoli, cabbage, kale, and Brussels sprouts are all part of the gang) are powerful, but red cabbage is special. Why? Just look at all that beautiful, dark color! Hello, antioxidants!

Keep reading…

19 Dec

The Biggest Loser Sponsors

the biggest loserThere are many good things that could be said about NBC’s The Biggest Loser. I can give it accolades for its goal to help people lose weight through exercise and, more importantly, by completely re-thinking their diets. And I can praise it for the inspiration it has instilled in many people around the country to follow in the footsteps of the contestants on their own weight loss journeys.

But nobody’s perfect.

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19 Dec

Face It: Massage Points to Do Yourself

facemassageDo you know what the most stressful thing in your life is? The chair.

Most of us sit strapped into to our office chairs for a good portion of our waking hours. Hunched over a computer, our bones and backs begin to ache. Then what do we do? Why, we sit in a car for a nice long stretch (which involves no actual stretching), just in time to get home and plop our desperate behinds down on the sofa.

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18 Dec

10 Smart Meals with a “New” Taste

0008DB75 22F1 1CBF B4A8809EC588EEDFAre you doing Umame? No, it’s not the latest dance craze (thank God the Macarena has passed us by) and it’s not a jukebox. Umame is the fifth taste sensation, and until recently we Americans didn’t even know we had it. Never fear: Michelin-rated chefs are falling all over themselves to create the ultimate “umame bomb” (expect truffles, pancetta, blue cheese, bacon, garlic and the last living crustacean of whichever sea bug is most endangered at precisely this point in time).

We all grew up with the four basic tastes: sweet, sour, bitter, salty. But there is a fifth taste, umame, that translates as “savory” or “flavorful”. It’s that rich, deeply satisfying, sensual taste. Think gravy, steak, brie cheese, proscuitto, truffles, parmesan – that’s umame. Humans instinctively seek it out, which is why those low-fat chocolate cookies of the 90s failed to satisfy. We want umame. I think there’s a bit of a Primal aspect here – our tongues know how to identify what is rich and satisfying, even if we Westerners lacked the word until recently. For any doubting Thomases, Japanese researchers identified umame a century ago, and thank goodness we’re finally catching up. In the spirit of the fifth taste, here are 10 healthy Primal-minded meals that are sure to satisfy that spot:

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17 Dec

Chemicals That Harm Baby Boys

plasticbottlesI’ve long been suspicious of the side effects of certain chemicals present in plastics that are billed as safe. Even mainstream sources have been questioning the safety of particular toxic chemicals found in petroleum-based products, namely phthalates.

Experts initially dismissed the phthalate debate as nothing more than needless, unsubstantiated worry. Subsequent studies gave the concerns some validity and recommendations to conduct further investigations were deemed worthy. Still, until recently, the evidence was not persuasive enough for the authorities. Now the lid on the Tupperware, as it were, has sealed.

Keep reading…

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