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

Mark's Daily Apple

2 Jul

Trend: Diet Dishes

Dearest Apples, I have been shopping yet again. (I know you were getting worried. Like I’d forget to shop!)

Sara here, and I’m noticing a trend. First, one of our favorite blogs told us all about the Diet Plate, so you know I just had to check that out. Then, for the five seconds that I actually watched television last week, I saw these new chic portion-savvy dishes called Mesu, so you know I just had to check those out, too. It would appear that service wear designed with your waistline in mind is all over the place, from high end to low end. Of course no exploration of dishes would be complete without some delicious food, so naturally I have investigated for you. I know, selfless of me.

Here’s the Diet Plate:

dietplate

And here’s Mesu:

mesu

Comparison:

The Diet Plate is actually clinically proven (independently) to help you lose weight. How about that? This goes back to Mark’s ongoing point that although carbs – especially refined carbs – are unhealthy, it’s still calories that count for weight loss. While you’ll get a lot more mileage out of things like fat, protein and veggies, that doesn’t mean you can eat more calories than you need – what goes in must get burned off!

Mesu gets points for pretty. Mesu is very new and uber sleek, but in my opinion, just not that special. I really like the back story of the young woman who invented it (she was dieting for her wedding and was a bit of a struggling artist, from what I can tell, unless that’s just the marketing spin). And the various bowls and dishes are very appealing. But I don’t know that I’d want to buy a whole set of dishware just to lose weight – I prefer the efficiency and ease of a concept like the Diet Plate. But then, if your whole family is on a diet, or you just feel the need for some smart dishes, Mesu might be right for you.

What I like about this trend is the emphasis on the need to control portions. That really is the key to weight loss. You all know I pretty much live on avocados, cream and goat cheese, but I do watch the portion sizes. I also occasionally cheat and have a bite of pizza or a light beer, but I don’t go crazy about it. Like our guest blogger Claire said last Friday, one little “cheat” is not a reason to throw in the towel and pig out for the rest of the day. We think it is, but that’s just not the case. One little bite of something you really crave, now and then, is not going to ruin your health or make putting on your skinny jeans a depressing exercise indeed. I know some of us can’t stop once we start, and I am certainly no saint in that department! What helps me is to remember that I can always have that pizza anytime – we do live in the most convenient nation, foodwise, on the globe. For some reason, having this “availability mindset” does the trick, and I can just enjoy a bite or two without turning into Carb Monster.

Mark taught me another cool tip a while back: replace all those giant plates and pasta bowls with salad plates and fruit bowls. You’ll eat less without even thinking about it. If you want to splurge on some special diet dishes, I say go for it, but you can accomplish the same thing by simply switching out your regular plates with inexpensive 7″ disks (which you probably already have!).

Let me know what works for you! I’m stickin’ with my el cheapo Target salad plates and the tiny blue plate my friend made for me in pottery class. They work pretty well for me.

My previous shopping expedition: hitting the mat.

Technorati Tags: , ,

2 Jul

This Is Your World, Baby

The texture solution is not: sell food that naturally has pleasing texture by virtue of its characteristics.

The texture solution is:

cargillpepp

Thoughts for food? I got a few thoughts, all right…

What We Need Is More Cowbell

What I Eat in a Day

Technorati Tags: ,

2 Jul

If You Have to Brag About Your ‘All White Meat Chicken’…

When did bare minimum standards of decency become selling points?

If you (you being a corporation richer than most countries) feel compelled to brag about your chicken nuggets being “all white meat”, I don’t envy your marketers. They’ve got quite the task set before them. Then again…do they? We seem to have lowered our standards.

When I see an ad like this (among many), trying to convince me that I should feed my kids chicken nuggets because they are actually made of real meat, I don’t feel inspired. I feel like grabbing my kids and keeping them as far away from a fast food restaurant as possible for the rest of their lives. “All” white meat? Oh, sure, now I’ll go for them. What were they before?!?

actualmcnuggs

I’m concerned that society’s standards for what is acceptable quality are slipping. Forget slope. This is an avalanche.

Juice makers actually brag about the product containing…juice.

Nuggets are proudly made of…meat.

Mac ‘n cheese is made with… real cheese.

All these products spend insane amounts of money just to tell you that their products are made of exactly what any rational person would expect them to be made of. This is the equivalent of good behavior for food manufacturers. Personally, I am unimpressed. “Oh, you mean you’re not lying to me? Wow! Go you!”

What would be lower than the bare minimum? Oh yeah, everything.

The irony, of course, is that dark meat is not even unhealthy (Sara recently asked: “What’s with the white meat superiority complex?“). It’s the deep frying and additives.

Mold: Why, it tastes just like chicken!

Technorati Tags: , ,

29 Jun

Another Round of Stump Sisson Friday

All right, gang, you flooded my inbox this week. I can certainly think of worse problems to have, though. (People read the blog! A whole lot of people, as it turns out). I always answer as many emails as I can. If you don’t hear from me, it’s a good idea to talk about your health questions in the forum, so that if I don’t answer them, someone sure will – a very encouraging and interesting gang, as you’ll find.

This week, I got a whole slew of questions about my controversial case against cardio, my antipathy towards carbs, what food I eat in a day, and oddly, not one but several emails about spirulina.

A samplin’:

“Mark, is it true that spirulina is a good source of Omega-3′s? Is it better than fish oil?”

Sorry, but spirulina is a very poor source of Omega-3′s – a dose of fish oil has ten times the amount. I have a bit of a beef with spirulina supplements, because while it’s technically true that spirulina is a good vegetarian protein as well as containing beneficial fatty acids, the amounts are seriously microscopic. You’d literally have to consume spirulina breakfast, lunch, and dinner to get even a minimal amount of nutrients you can easily get from consuming just a few servings of wild salmon or even olive oil every week. This is something I see in general with a lot of supposed “miracle food” supplements. I won’t name names (for now) but potency means zip if the dose itself is puny. Look at grams per serving, always.

“Mark, how do I find out my nutritional type?”

Oh, boy. This is one that just persists and persists. I am not a fan of body-typing for diet or anything else, apples. Something you learn in Biology 101 is that we all share the same metabolic pathways – so we should all stay away from the same things – sugar, namely. It’s just that some of us are better at extracting and storing calories than others (see the Bees’ coverage of gut bugs). The problem is simple, but very common (like 65% of Americans share it!).

Stick around for more fun and insights daily.

Further reading:

Carbs Are Not the Devil

It’s the Calories, Not the Carbs

Here’s a Tip: Eat Plants

Technorati Tags: , , ,

29 Jun

3 Quick Tips So You Don’t Blow Your Diet This Weekend

Here are three great diet tips from Claire, the blogger behind Burning the Scale (what a name, huh?). These are great reminders, so print them out if you need extra motivation, and go check out Claire’s blog, too. I really like tip 2.

1. Exercise!

No healthy lifestyle is complete without it. Exercise will boost your mood and decrease your risk of many cancers and heart disease. I wasn’t a believer in this until I tried it myself, and trust me, it works. Dieting without exercising will eventually bring your weight loss to a halt. You can start by walking around the block every day – just keep moving!

2. Don’t engage in “all-or-nothing” thinking.

You know what I mean – if you stay on your diet, you are “good” and if you make the slightest mistake, you’re “bad” and might as well throw everything away, so you go and eat everything in your pantry and tell yourself you’ll start tomorrow. Life doesn’t work like that. It’s not the one mistake that will do you in, it’s the giant binge that follows. Pick yourself up and keep going.

3. Stay motivated.

Whether it’s a picture of a fitness model you keep on your wall, or the idea of living to see your kids grow up, keep that in mind when you feel like you might stray. Keep focusing on the bigger picture when you start thinking “I can’t do this…it’s too hard.” You’ll be surprised at what you’re capable of.

Thanks, Claire.

Your tax dollars at work:

pets

Further Reading:

My guest posts on exercise: one, two, three.

A Case Against Cardio

The Real Reason We Don’t Exercise

I’ll be guest posting at Burning the Scale next week, so stay tuned.

Technorati Tags: , ,

© 2014 Mark's Daily Apple