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

Mark's Daily Apple

3 Jul

MDA International Edition: What’s Going on with China?

Everywhere we look, it’s China in the news. Talk about growing pains. China, get it together!

First, the head of the State Food and Drug Administration accepted upwards of $850 thousand dollars in bribes to approve drugs. He was sentenced to death (imagine if we did that here).

Then, there were the various product scares: toothpaste, pet food, and toys. Hmm. Local is looking better and better, but we Americans sure love our cheap stuff.

Next, it turns out Beijing officials pressured the World Bank to cover up a very dirty fact: smog in China kills hundreds of thousands of people every year.

china

Photo (CC)

How has globalization affected you, for better or for worse?

Some conversation starters: drugs from Canada, AIDS in Africa, food from afar, and dare we say it? Wal-Mart.

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3 Jul

Eat Your Flowers! (They’re Not Just for Slugs Anymore)

Did you know that many flowers are edible? Of course you knew that. But they are also nutritious. And tasty.

Even though we don’t “do” bread around here, we sure love that Wise Bread blog. They always have excellent articles ranging from consumer concerns to saving money to nifty foods. Though we don’t recommend deep-fried food, baked or grilled zucchini flowers would be delicious. Check it out!

zucchiniflowers

This is Margie James’ Flickr Photo (CC)

You can also eat…

Nasturtiums

nasturtiums

This is Bumbleybee’s Flickr Photo (CC)

Broccoli

broccoliflower

Photo (CC)

Yep, broccoli is actually a flower and not, in fact, a little tree. And one of the most nutritious foods on the planet.

Bachelor Buttons

bachbuttons

This is Terry Bain’s Flickr Photo (CC)

A little bit spicy, but sweet underneath. icon wink

Further reading:

More edible flowers!

Interesting vegetables to try

Top 10 fibrous foods

Save your bored tastebuds now!

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3 Jul

10 Great Alli Leaks, Oops, Links

So we’re beating a dead llama here, but it’s just flabbergasting that the newest weight-loss gimmick, alli, has made it so far. Maybe I’m just grumpy today. This pill is a) all but ineffective, b) dangerous, c) embarrassing, d) expensive, and e) a retread of an old drug nobody wanted. As you may well know, the blogosphere is having a lot of tawdry fun with this. Here are the best (and – relatively – cleanest) links.

10. Orwellian

Is this our world?

9. GSK Asks You: “Are You Losing It?”

GlaxoSmithKline wants to know if you are losing it. Hmm. This appears to be a case of psychological projection. Glaxo, call us. We know a great therapist.

8. The Gift That Keeps on Giving

After ruining your social life, thrashing your digestive tract, and depleting critical vitamins from your body, alli increases your risk of colon cancer. Just ‘cuz.

7. But, But…It Comes with a Shiny Book!

Would you really want this on your coffee table?

alli

6. “It’s Gonna Take Work on Your Part Too.”

Because our part doesn’t work.

5. In Case You Needed Convincing, the FDA Really Does Not Give a…

But, boy oh boy, you sure will. Do not eat any fat if you take alli (k. d. lang must be excited about GSK’s super-trendy capitalization choice). Avoiding fat is a smart way to get diabetes and depression, but at least you won’t have any trouble with regularity. The results of fat + alli = not pretty. Oh, and alli depletes vitamins from your body. So just like the sailors of yesteryear, you too can experience the joys of rickets. And we can all agree there’s nothing better than experiencing history first-hand.

4. Why Did They Have to Ruin Pizza Forever?

Thanks, Glaxo. Thanks a lot. “You’re probably curious about what alli does in your body.” Why would you draw a pizza comparison to your disgusting drug? What did pizza ever do to you? That’s just rude.

3. So You Want to Take Alli?

Terrific! You’ll just need to diet, exercise, get healthy, and then wait six months. You’ll (maybe) lose five whoppin’ pounds beyond what all that regular exercising and dieting would yield you after six months. People, those five whole pounds will only cost you $360 bucks, your health, and your dignity, so what’s not to love? Come on, you wanted a new wardrobe anyway.

2. When Your Drug Is a Bust…Slap a New Name on It!

Alli is just a lower dosage of xenical (generic orlistat). This weight loss drug bombed as an Rx – apparently people got sick of having to keep an extra pair of dark clothing on hand. Babies.

1. With Allis Like This, Who Needs Enemas?

The Bitter Pill Award goes to Alli, your partner in oily spotting. The incredible thing is that GSK is totally upfront about how terrible alli is…and they’re still selling it. What a world.

bitterpill

Graphic: Bitter Pill Awards TM

Further reading:

Here’s a tip: eat less

We need more fat, not less!

What to eat in a day

Simple, fast weight loss tips for all you busy bees

Eating healthy when you’re pinching pennies

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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.

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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

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