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

Mark's Daily Apple

14 Dec

News Note: WIC Gets an Overhaul (It’s a Mixed Bag)

The government has finally gotten around to giving a damn for disadvantaged women and children. It only took Uncle Sam 30 years. WIC is getting a long-overdue overhaul. The good news: fruits and vegetables are on the menu. It stuns me that produce wasn’t a priority before; in the world’s richest country, things like developmental defects, rickets, bad teeth and poor brain development ought to strike shame in all of us. But then again, seeing as how Uncle Sam considers produce to be a “specialty” crop and direct subsidy funds to corn, chemicals, soybean oil, milk and factory meat instead, I guess we shouldn’t be surprised. I’m glad WIC is getting the overhaul; the dairy and meat crowd, understandably, is not pleased. (I’d be displeased by this as well, except for the fact that the sort of animal protein tossed WIC’s way is hardly desirable.) My issue with WIC is the misguided emphasis on whole grains. That’s right: the overhaul is introducing more grains into the program. Hey, guys, didn’t you get the memo? We did grains in the 80s, back when we believed your diatribes against fat.

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13 Dec

Healthy Tastes Great!

3 Great Ways to Satisfy Those Tarragon Cravings

Halibut Steaks in Parchment with Mushrooms and Tarragon

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13 Dec

Smart Fuel: Tarragon

Tarragon is for more than fish. This overlooked but deliciously sweet, rich herb offers major flavor and health benefits. Tarragon has a strong fragrance and a slight licorice taste, but it also has subtle earthy notes – it’s a bit fuller in flavor than basil, and not quite as sharp, either. You can interchange tarragon for basil in recipes for a slightly mellower, sweeter taste and a softer, more velvety texture. Is your mouth watering yet? Tarragon, a perennial, is easy to grow, too. It’s really only good fresh.

Tarragon is very low in calories, like most greens and herbs, and like purslane, contains some Omega-3’s. It has natural antimicrobial properties and contains generous amounts of many nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium and trace minerals. The primary benefit of tarragon is the fiber, but we think the aromatherapeutic benefit is a close second!

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12 Dec

Best Winter Skin Tips

I don’t know about you, but I think that tight, itchy winter skin is the absolute worst. It gets brutally dry this time of year in Southern California (and the fires have certainly been too close for comfort). But even in cooler climates where there’s rain and snow, indoor heat will really dry your skin out – even triggering rashes and acne for some folks. Here are some quick tips to keep your skin healthy, supple, and comfortable during the winter:

1. Exfoliate. The first time my wife mentioned that I try this, I raised a skeptical eyebrow. But a good salt scrub with almond oil feels great (I’d recommend avoiding the fragrance- and chemical-loaded store scrubs). The salt sloughs off all that old, scaly stuff, and the oil locks in moisture. I like unscented, of course.

2. Moisturize. Okay, I’m not one to slather on lotion after a shower. Please! That’s why I like using oils instead. In winter, even oily skin can handle walnut, almond, or fruit oils. Plus it’s efficient since you dunk yourself while in the shower. Avoid those mineral oils – they’re petroleum based. Look for vegetable-based oils instead.

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12 Dec

Sugarholics

Harpoon posted this video of Jack Lalanne last month. I liked it so much I had to repost it here for Mark’s Daily Apple readers.

Jack’s challenge is as valid as ever. If you haven’t already, cut all refined sugars out of your diet and “you will be thanking (Jack) for the rest of your natural life.” He promises.

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© 2014 Mark's Daily Apple

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