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

Mark's Daily Apple

5 Apr

Guide to the Care & Feeding of Organicans, Part 1

A self-described starving student recently wrote to me asking if it’s more important to focus on organic produce or organic meat & dairy at the grocery store. I get asked this question fairly often, so let’s talk about it.

Organic food costs can easily rival student loan payments – so, if you’re young or simply on a tight budget and you have to make a choice, what do you buy? Does organic food of any kind even make a difference (aside from the dent in your bank account)? The answer, my would-be organicans, is yes.

Organic produce is grown without the use of harmful pesticides and chemicals and is environmentally-sustainable. Organic meat and dairy is raised and produced according to similar regulations. The animals can’t be mistreated (a matter of course for regular meat) and they must be fed the food that nature intended. Hormones, antibiotics and fillers are big no-no’s. Organic products of any kind, as a rule, are ostensibly good for the environment. Though there is a fair amount of weaseling and hype in the organic industry (as with any industry) that’s a topic for another time.

Don’t listen to the naysayers. Eating organic food is a healthy habit. Local and organic is even better. But, if you’re on a budget thanks to Sallie Mae, I recommend focusing on organic animal products and buying the cheaper conventional chemical-bathed produce. Just invest two bucks in a really aggressive scrub brush.

scrubbrush

This Photo Belongs to Raraavis619

Here’s why:

A lot of people get excited about organic produce and forget all about the animal products. But what’s the use in eating a bowl of organic salad greens topped with grilled meat that is loaded up with hormones, antibiotics, and chemicals and was fed on greens loaded with hormones, antibiotics, and chemicals? When you eat conventional animal products, not only are you ingesting your very own pharmacological experiment, but you’re supporting (and eating) the non-organic feed that fattened up that hoofed friend.

Like I always say, you can wash the chemicals off a cucumber. I’m not sure how to do that with milk (although this little one has it all figured out).

Apples: If you have to make budget-friendly choices at the market, what do you choose? What are your tips for eating organic without breaking the bank? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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4 Apr

News Worth Clicking

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:

Here’s the roundup!

Stress and Baby

Stress is perhaps the single most important factor in your health – and your baby’s. Be sure to read up on what the latest study has to say about stress, depression and healthy pregnancies.

More important pregnancy tips.

Want to Quit Smoking?

Don’t let Big Puff get the best of you! Eat these.

cig

It’s So Humid in Here!

Facts and fiction about proper use of humidifiers.

4 Apr

Websites That Make You Feel Great!

As we always say, there is more to living life healthily (there is that funny word again) than diet and exercise. A daily dose of humor goes a long way to squashing stress and building wellness.

The Cold, Hard Facts:

Laughter is the best medicine. Apparently, those old wives we are always hearing about got this one right!

VitasearchResearch is Showing Healthful Effects of Laughter

USA TodaySense of Humor Linked to Longer Life

The Side-Splitting Sites:

Neatorama

This hodgepodge of humorous clips, bizarre stories, and weird facts is sure to provide everyone with something to their liking. Check out the ‘Mental Floss’ entries for silly facts that will give you a chuckle.

It’s Jerry Time

Follow the misadventures of the pitiable title character, Jerry Zucker. If these animations don’t get you to laugh out loud at least they will make you feel better about your own life.

Crash Test Kitchen

Check out the unconventional cooking show of food-loving couple Waz and Lenny. Although we can’t recommend eating most of Crash Test Kitchen’s fare, the show itself is always compelling and often times hilarious.

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4 Apr

The Fuming Fuji Says No to Applesauce

FUJ

The Fuming Fuji is outraged at the marketing of toxic food, especially when it is aimed at the small fry. This week, the Fuming Fuji has decided to have a serious problem with applesauce.

But, Fuming Fuji, you say, applesauce is fruit!

The Fuming Fuji says no!

The claim: Come on, Fuji. What am I supposed to put in my child’s lunch? Air? Applesauce is better than a candy bar or cookie. I’ve had about enough of your problems. It’s fruit!

The catch: Applesauce is a lumpy sugarfest not fit for seedlings. Applesauce is full of sweeteners and additives. It should really not be called applesauce. Maybe applesludge. I am pretty sure you could run your car on applesauce.

The comeback: Fuji, don’t you think you’re a little biased here? Do I really have to bring up the elephant in the post? Obviously you would not be in favor of applesauce. I buy the no-sugar-added kind. You can’t tell me that is unhealthy!

The conclusion: Oh, really? I cannot? Listen to the Fuji (for you are being beseeched, please do not take this lightly). Even fresh foods that do not have bad things added to them are unhealthy when they are old and processed. An apple off a tree? Very nutritious, I admit – though it pains me a little bit.

But we are not talking about a fresh apple! We are talking about apples stored for weeks and months, losing valuable enzymes and nutrients, stuffed through machinery, bottled and lounging lazily on shelves before you finally get to them. And this is fit for the tiny tots? This is not really food, do you see? I mean, it is edible, but that is nothing to brag about, is it! The Fuji has a big problem with old, dead things parading around the “healthy” aisle of the grocery store. Maybe I am biased.

The catchphrase: Avoid food that loafs around!

Disclaimer: Mark Sisson and the Worker Bees do not necessarily endorse the views of the Fuming Fuji.

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3 Apr

Controversy? Us?

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:

Okay, okay, we admit it. We think health is fun and worth arguing, talking and laughing about endlessly.

Everyone’s Favorite Superbug

The flu (actually an umbrella nickname of sorts for several variant influenza viruses) is developing resistance to drugs. Though no natural method can completely prevent your risk of flu, there are plenty of preventive measures that do help:

- fresh garlic daily

- plenty of vitamin C

- practicing good hygiene (wash those hands!)

- echinacea and zinc in flu season

- a daily tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in flu season

What are your suggestions, Apples? How do you avoid the flu? Talk it up!

orangefresh

This Is Stublog’s Flickr Photo

Mammograms: A Good Idea?

The debate is rekindled: are mammograms more harmful than helpful? Be sure to catch the latest research out today.

News flash: Life Is Really, Really Hard!

Is your doctor telling you you’re depressed? Maybe life is just hard and it’s okay to feel down about it! Check out this provocative news piece to see what we’re talking about.

Note: while we are not psychologists around here (and if you are, we’d love your perspective about why we may be buzzing up the wrong orchid), we think one could make a compelling argument that the personal fix-it movement is itself stressful for many people. Where do you draw the line between dealing with past issues and being convinced you need “fixing”? How do we draw the line between genuine depression or unresolved issues and simply feeling a normal response to life’s hardships? What do you all think? Are we depressed, or is life just tough?

Between a rock and a hard place…

rockandhard

This is Abenafe’s Flickr Photo

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