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

Mark's Daily Apple

17 Jul

MDA Blogroll Update (finally)

So much in love with blog changes…

Glad you’re enjoying the new and improved comment structure. Thanks for the constructive feedback, all. In the spirit of healthy changes, here’s the updated MDA blogroll. If you think there’s a great blog I’m evidently clueless about, please give me a shout and I’ll check it out.

General Health, Health Care, Lifestyles, and Perspectives:

Healthbolt

Health Care Vox

The Health Care Blog

Life in the NHS

Science Roll

Over! My! Med! Body!

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

Kevin M.D.

Julie’s Health Club

Health Politics

Highlight HEALTH

The Cheerful Oncologist

Interactive Health

That’s Fit

Men’s Health Blog

Fit Sugar

Go To Gabby

Body, Mind & Solar

Diabetes Mine

The Diabetes Blog

Diabetes Notes

Gluten-Free Girl

Livin’ La Vida Low Carb

The Steaks Are High

Sugar Shock Blog

Low Carb Freedom

The Cardio Blog

A Hearty Life

The Insomnia Blog

Supplement News Blog

Taste Better

Mark’s Daily Apple

Weight Loss, Diet, Nutrition, Food:

Burning the Scale

Diet Blog

Waisted in the Wasteland

Lose Weight With Me

Calorie Lab

I Ate a Pie

Junk Food Blog

Junk Food Science

Supersized Meals

Candy Blog

Eating Fabulous

Veggie Chic

Almost Vegetarian

Slashfood

Laurel on Health Food

Weight of the Evidence

Fitness and Body:

The BradVentures

Complete Running

Slow Twitch

Lean and Hungry Fitness

Arthur De Vany

Body Hack

The Fitness Insider

Science and World:

Enviroblog

Eye on Science

Eye on DNA

Ouroboros

Adventures in Ethics and Science

Pharyngula

Aetiology

The Good Human

Treehugger

The Mind:

Omni Brain

Cognitive Daily

Mind Hacks

Personal Improvement and Life Hacks:

Ririan Project

Zen Habits

Dumb Little Man

Pick the Brain

Lifehack

Lifehacker

Marginal Revolution

The Bigs*, Marketing, and The Man:

Extra Texture

Shaping Youth

Pharma Gossip

Pharmalot

The Last Psychiatrist

The Consumerist

Wise Bread

Food Processing

Quackfiles

Around the Web:

Tech Space

Suicide Food

Gouldenomics

If I forgot you, please let me know.

UPDATE 7/24/07:

Six Until Me (great D-blogging)

Fitness Destinations (daily fitness tips)

Dr. Briffa (a good look at good health)

UPDATE 7/27/07:

60 in 3 (weight loss journey)

*Pharma, Agra, Puff, Moo

17 Jul

Sugar Still Bad; Remembering a Little Thing Called Silence

News links worth noting today:

Dietary Sugar and Macular Degeneration

Starchy, sugary fare that rates high on the glycemic index increases your risk for macular degeneration (our leading cause of vision loss). Aside from reducing – or eliminating – your refined carbohydrate intake, focus on prevention as well. For example, antioxidants can help keep your eyes healthy as you age. Think green and red vegetables, fruit, fish, nuts, eggs, and a fish oil supplement. Nix the sugar, folks.

Noise Pollution

Remember silence? Yeah, me either. Even in remote locales like the beaches of Thailand or my own exurb backyard, noise from jets is an ever-present disturbance. In London, it’s apparently so bad, that city’s residents are calling it a threat to mental health. Constant loud engines, honks, alarms and sirens: certainly not something with which our ancestors had to deal. I’m sure someone’s going to tell the Brits they’re being pansies. But I’m inclined to think that persistent, low-level stress of this sort is more serious than we know.

Further reading:

My Escape from Vegan Island

The Definitive Guide to Insulin, Blood Sugar and Type 2 Diabetes

My Carb Pyramid

Boost Your Serotonin Naturally

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17 Jul

10 Workouts That Don’t Feel Like Workouts

10. Check out the local real estate.

Walking through your neighborhood (or any neighborhood you admire) is a natural workout that is also an effective way to clear your head and reflect on the day. I get a 45-minute walk in while my son is at his music lesson. If you’re tired of walking around your own ‘hood, explore one you’ve been curious about. You just might find a good scoop on real estate while you’re at it.

9. Hike.

Hikes don’t have to be intensive all-day expeditions (though this is a very primal thing to do). Most towns have well-maintained, short hiking trails available nearby if you simply do some digging. Even a brisk walk around the local park is energizing. Make a point of getting out into the fresh air and soaking up a little vitamin-D-recharging sunlight as often as you can. I think 20 or 30 minutes daily of fresh air and light exposure is essential for good health – so do it as often as you can. A “hike” doesn’t need to kill you for days afterwards; an hour and a local hill are all you need.

weeds

Raisinsawdust Flickr Photo (CC)

8. Beach games.

If you’re near a lakefront or beach, invest 20 bucks in a good array of Nerf balls, Frisbees and other amateur sports equipment for some carefree physical fun with the family or your buddies. Do this once a week and it’ll feel like socializing instead of a workout (we’ve been doing Sunday group workouts like Frisbee and it’s been a blast). That’s really the whole message I want to reinforce here: exercise is a natural, enjoyable, and refreshing part of life, not another relentless chore on your to-do list. Reframe your mental image of exercise and watch your health improve.

7. Play with the kids.

Nothing beats quality time with your kids. Rough house, toss around a baseball, visit the local pool, have a water balloon fight in the backyard, get into a pillow fight (careful on the last one, dads). Physical play is a bonding activity that doesn’t even feel like exercise.

pool

Tobym Flickr Photo (CC)

6. Rearrange the furniture.

Periodically rearranging your furnishings is great for your mental health, but it’s also a good physical workout. Obviously you wouldn’t do this every week, but if you haven’t given your digs a refresh in a while, try it. All that pushing and pulling is a phenomenal weight-bearing workout session that the gym rats tirelessly replicate. You’ve got your own “gym” at home (and talk about a great way to clear your head and get into the moment).

5. Walk at the mall.

If you’ve got errands or enjoy window-shopping (I’d sooner count fork tines), this is a no-brainer workout. Just take a pedometer and make sure you log a couple miles. I get a lot of emails from people asking about ideal exercise methods and routines, often with the implied assumption that exercise has to be some sort of complicated, separate, intense deal to “count”. Not so. Walking is perhaps the best exercise, and certainly the most natural, of all.

4. Wash the cars.

Turn a Saturday chore into a fun family event. All that scrubbing and waxing is a terrific upper-body workout.

hose

This ought to do it. BWC Flickr Photo (CC)

3. Spring cleaning…party.

Need to get up on the roof and scrape those drains or deal with a loose shutter? That’s an excellent workout, but why not make it fun and get in five or ten of them? Host a neighborhood spring cleaning party where everyone gets together for a few weekends and pitches in on big cleaning and clearing jobs at everyone’s homes.

2. Walk downtown.

Do you have a lively or vibrant downtown district in your city? Walking is something we all need to do more of, and checking out the markets, shops and artists downtown (or beach-side) is a cheap date everyone loves – and you can’t beat people-watching.

venice

Young Grasshopper Flickr Photo (CC)

1. What’s your best non-workout workout?

You may be “working out” more than you realize…or perhaps not enough. Services are convenient and increasingly affordable, but there’s something to be said for washing your own car and mowing your own lawn. Beats the gym. Playing, walking, chores – these things are not only budget-friendly and socially healthy, they come with the workout built-in. I try to see “chores” as a welcome chance to unwind and recharge (it’s my version of meditation).

Further reading:

More Tuesday 10 Posts

Most Popular Posts

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16 Jul

The ‘New’ News on Avandia: Who Knew?

GlaxoSmithKline, that’s who.

Another drug, another round of heretofore unknown side effects. Well…not exactly unknown. Are we really surprised?

Avandia made a big splash recently because the popular type 2 diabetes drug was linked to an increased risk for serious heart problems. It gets better: the new news on Avandia shows that had doctors been adequately made aware of the potential trouble and therefore accurately reported related heart trouble in their diabetic patients, the entire eight year debacle would have likely been prevented. Instead, as you’d expect, we’re suddenly seeing a tripling of heart problems being reported in relation to Avandia. It’s yet another unnecessary slew of health problems thanks to a drug that needed better safety guidelines, and it’s yet another case for greater pharmaceutical transparency. But most of all it’s a case for prevention of the disease in the first place.

Have you been touched by diabetes?

tbd

No? Give it a month.

The best part about all of this: Avandia is primarily used to treat cases of type 2 stemming from (wait for it) obesity. We’ve managed to create an egregiously successful obesity epidemic and millions of cases of designer diabetes thanks to garbage fare along the likes of the Bees’ weekend trip to the middle aisles of the grocery store.

I wonder: for all the billions spent shilling and spilling Avandia all over the place, how many health education classes and nutritious food subsidies could have been given to obese, diabetic patients instead?

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Note: I’m not bagging on TU – what’s got me in a twist is the fact that we even need organizations like this.

16 Jul

Ridiculous Health Claims: Mark’s Daily Apple Goes to the Grocery Store

A PICTORIAL, IN WHICH YOUR BEES CONSIDER THE VARIOUS OFFERINGS OF THE MIDDLE AISLES

Was it a mischievous mood, or simply the carbs? Over the weekend your Bees decided to explore (cue drums) the middle aisles of the grocery store. Here’s what we found:
promax

We know that candy bars aren’t healthy (duh). How about a nice protein energy bar instead? Surely that’s gonna be nutritious! The Promax Cookies ‘n Cream bar even says so on the upper left corner: “Really Delicious. Really Nutritious.” It’s in red, so you just know it must be true. Plus, it is all natural.
pro

But wait! Looking at the ingredients, we are confused. Granted, we are only bees. The list starts with some decent things, like whey protein and antioxidants (the new glamour children of processed foods). But it quickly turns to the usual suspects found in your average candy bar: high fructose corn syrup, canola oil, dyes and artificial flavorings, starches, and gums. Hmm. Maybe we’ll just get some juice. Juice is healthy, right? Especially if we choose the juice aimed at children, right?
capri

Now this looks great. Nothing artificial, and more antioxidants! Hooray! Let’s take a look at the ingredients. 10% juice. Hmm, maybe we are just bad at math, but we’re pretty sure that means 90% high fructose corn syrup. Oh, look at this! It does contain 90% sweetener! Maybe you have to be a surfer, but this does not seem cool to us.
capriingredients

Time to move on to actual nourishment. Let’s find a convenient meal that is great for adults and kids alike. How about corn dogs? Hey, it says “trans fat free” so that must be healthy! Wait a minute, everything in the frozen section is now trans fat free. But we’ll stick with the corn dogs since they have that special double-dipped honey sweet coating. It’s not real honey or anything, but we’re not really Pooh Bear, so who cares? As long as it sorta-kinda tastes like honey and helps our bellies look decidedly Pooh-esque, it’s all good.
corndogs

Oh, wait! One of us (ahem) has a problem with corn dogs. Apparently she is too good for mechanically-separated spinal meat. Fine (coughsnobcough). How about some vegetarian sausage? That surely must be healthy! See, low fat! Processed foods can be nutritious!

veggiesausage

Oh, but wait. There are over two dozen ingredients in this “sausage”, including all the same things used in the “healthy” energy bar. This is really getting to be depressing. What other aisles are there? Surely there must be some healthy prepared foods somewhere in this dizzying labyrinth of Natural! Trans fat free! Low fat! A good source of some stupid vitamin! No sugar added because it’s already jammed full of it naturally!
lays

Aha! The “snack” aisle. Because the other five aisles of processed, sugar-filled, sodium-bloated crap weren’t “snacks” but rather a healthy part of a balanced obesity epidemic. (Ever notice how all these processed foods say “a healthy part of a balanced meal”? And the picture is always the processed food with an apple or a salad or a glass of milk? What, pray tell, is the processed food bringing to the table?)

But the chip package says “Smart Choices Made Easy”. Finally, something healthy! And the best part about this entire adventure is the fact that the smartest choice in the grocery store is easy. Sniff. It brings tears to the eyes. Where’s the Kleenex aisle?

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