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

Mark's Daily Apple

21 Mar

Meditation Contemplation

Meditation isn’t something we normally cover here at MDA, but we’re always looking for easy, safe and affordable ways to enhance total health. With that in mind, a meta-analysis out of the University of Kentucky caught our attention recently and got us pondering the meditation question.

The meta-analysis evaluated nine randomized, controlled trials using Transcendental Meditation as a primary intervention for hypertensive patients. The practice of Transcendental Meditation was associated with approximate reductions of 4.7 mm systolic blood pressure and 3.2 mm diastolic blood pressure. The study’s lead author, Dr. James W. Anderson, professor of medicine at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, said that blood pressure reductions of this magnitude would be expected to be accompanied by significant reductions in risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease—without drug side effects.

via Science Daily

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20 Mar

Caffeine Talk

Got your morning (or afternoon) joe in hand? For many readers, this would be a yes. Even if you said no, it might just be because you’ve joined ranks with the tea crowd. And, while cultural practice (a mug on the work desk being as American as apple pie) and taste are undoubtedly big draws, for many of us it all boils down to that rousing, invigorating, motivating little substance: caffeine.

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20 Mar

Smart Fuel: Swiss Chard

It might be called Swiss chard, but would you believe that it doesn’t even hail from Switzerland? In fact, Swiss chard got its name from a Swiss botanist named Koch who in the 19th century, named the vegetable in honor of his homeland (even though it originally hails from the Mediterranean region).

Available year round, Swiss chard is related to belongs to the same family as kale, mustard greens, beets and spinach, a fact that is reflected in its taste, with the bitter side reminiscent of its beet roots (see what we did there?) and the slightly salty taste unmistakably a characteristic of the spinach.

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19 Mar

Eat This Today, Feel Better Tomorrow: Intermittent Fasting Trial

Earlier today we highlighted some approaches to intermittent fasting and recommended a condensed eating window for those who were new to IF. Over time, many people who regularly IF with the condensed approach develop their “ideal” timing and balance to food intake during their eating windows.

For those who are new to the approach, we thought we’d offer up a simple (and easily modified) set of ideas for inspiration. Include all or some of the items in your condensed eating window, depending on your appetite and available time to cook. While we believe in including a good variety of nutrient rich food, we think it’s important to let your body’s signals guide your portions. Don’t feel you need to eat the amount you would normally eat in a regular day.

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19 Mar

How To: Intermittent Fasting

After the great discussion last week following the 1 Meal vs. 3 Meals news post, we thought it was a great opportunity to follow up and delve into the nitty gritty of IF. Practically speaking, what does IF look like? Today we’d like to focus on the “window of eating,” a dimension of IF that got people talking last week.

Any brand of fasting can already seem a little daunting for the newcomer. (But for those whose impressions of fasting involve hunger strikes or gaunt figures sitting in meditation, we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.) Reading about some options, and knowing your efforts will indeed be rewarded with true health benefits, makes the leap a little more inviting.

Keep reading…

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