This is the first step in preventing disease and meeting your later years with vitality and good health and it almost goes without saying – almost. The health toll of destructive behaviors such as smoking and excess drinking do not necessarily manifest for many years, thus discouraging motivation to stop. It’s natural to forgo making changes when the results are seemingly intangible or minimal at best. Smokers, of course, often report almost immediate improvements in breathing, sleep, and general health, but even so, indulgent habits are difficult to break. Do it now anyway. Whether it’s nicotine or sugar or drugs, don’t let your “vice” become your master. In time it will not only rule your life; it will destroy your body.
Mark’s friend Chef Oren is back with another savory recipe this week in which he features the oft-neglected fennel bulb. Fennel has a mildly sweet licorice flavor and a wonderful crunch in every bite. It is a good source of vitamin C, folate, potassium and dietary fiber. I’ve had this recipe twice in the last week and love it. Sometimes it can be a little difficult finding fennel, but if you can get your hands on it be sure to give it a try.
Beverage giants like Coke and Pepsi Co. have come under heavy fire from children’s advocates, health experts and parents alike in recent years. Perhaps one of the most controversial issues in the soda wars is the “sponsorship” many schools obtain in exchange for stocking the hallways with vending machines. Exploiting our children in order to cover costs has to be one of the most disgusting examples of Big Agra’s power over our next generation’s health. So when Coke, Pepsi and Cadbury Schweppes announced they were pulling sugary beverages from schools in favor of “healthier” options like low-fat milk, diet drinks, and 100% juices, it was a begrudging step in the right direction. We don’t drink milk in our family and I’m not in favor of sports drinks, diet carbonated beverages or juice drinks, but at least this move was a measurable improvement over cans of corn syrup-clogged soda. (Bill Clinton lauded it as “courageous”.)
I only wish this surprised me.
The flu vaccine has met with not-insignificant controversy as those like myself who advocate more natural preventive health measures have long questioned the necessity of an annual jab. But until now, even “alternative” health experts have conceded that the flu vaccine is necessary for the immune-compromised and especially the elderly (among other vulnerable populations). Turns out, even this accepted wisdom is little more than another case of the ever self-serving Big Pharma.
The Lancet has the details and I encourage you to read up (start here) if this is a matter that interests you. As for the merit of the flu shot, I’ve never been sold on it. I think intelligent supplementation, exercise, rest, prudent nutrition and extra hand-washing during the worst times of the year is a more sensible and safe approach. But that’s just me.
© 2014 Mark's Daily Apple