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

Mark's Daily Apple

7 May

Monday: Evidently a Great Day to Melt

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites

Before we Bees expire from the sudden SoCal heat, Apples, we’ve brought you the best of the batch from today’s news and studies. Glaciers aren’t the only things melting around here. Where’s a walk-in freezer when you need one?

Redefining Risotto

Not that you health smarties would ever make pasta a part of your daily routine, but be warned: Target’s pasta is sauced in salmonella. Wait, Target sells pasta now? Where have we been?

T

This is J. Reed’s Flickr Photo

A Case for Starvation, Part 2

Strict calorie reduction: one of those very touchy, politically incorrect subjects bobbing about in health studies lately. Naturally…we’re all over it.

Want to live longer? Don’t eat much.

Food for thought: who says we need to eat three, or four, or six meals a day, every day, religiously? Why do we codify sensible health knowledge into bedrock health fundamentals not even kung fu masters could smash through? (Let alone Chuck Norris.) Will the world end if you don’t follow the three-meal-a-day rule? Will pigs fly if one day you drink two glasses of water and the next day you drink seven? Why do we like being bossed around like grade schoolers rules so much? Maybe the great philosophers were right. Maybe humans will do anything but think. Okay, enough pondering. We’re going to go dunk ourselves in a bucket of ice now. How’s the weather in your neighborhood?

Whole Grain Shenanigans

This study is incredibly irritating. First, no one ruled out other possible factors that would contribute to better cardiovascular health. Secondly, the results were based on questionnaires the folks filled out themselves. And thirdly, the reduction in heart attack risk was merely associative. But you can bet the cereal makers of America are going to brag about a bowl of sugar flakes saving you from a heart attack with more zeal than the dairy industry brags about milk being a “proven” weight reducer…

…of two whole pounds…in some people…in a study funded by Big Moo.

Yet what do we see all over magazines and television? Low-fat dairy makes you skinny. And now, Big Agra – er, cereal – keeps you from getting heart disease! They should just hop into a bowl together and save everyone’s health! Ooh, ooh, we know – how about cereal in milk? That will save everyone’s health and make them skinny! Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before?!

cereal 1

This is Peter Allen’s Flickr Photo

Thanks for the kudos!

Disclaimer: Flickr members graciously share their photos – so be sure to click the links to see their other works! They may not necessarily agree with or endorse the views expressed here at Mark’s Daily Apple.

7 May

You Read It Here: Partying Is Healthy

A Monday Moment

Are you partying enough?

I’m serious.

As adults, we get so wrapped up in responsibilities to career, parents, colleagues, employees, children and community, we forget that life is a game we’re meant to play. I’m not suggesting you shirk your duties as a man or woman, but remember that life is to be lived now, not someday.

I stumbled onto a thoughtful post by Brian Vaszily about the number one social problem facing adults in an increasingly isolated, technology-driven society: loneliness. I believe he’s right. No amount of exercise, good nutrition or healthy habits can add up to much if you aren’t enjoying yourself and spending a little time each day – or at least each week – with folks you really care about.

Remember that having a neighborhood cookout, meeting up with friends for a cocktail or light dinner, or hosting a backyard pool party are healthy – in fact, I’d say necessary – activities for a balanced adult life. Kids need play. But guess what? So do grown-ups. So go on, party – it’s healthy.

In fact, I’m gonna go catch some sun now. Make room for fun this week – go on, get outta here! That’s an order!

7 May

Ye Ole Weekly Health Challenge

This week’s challenge:

Increase your flexibility. You know you should. I’m not a betting man, but I’d be willing to be at least, say, a dollar that you’re not as flexible as you could be. This week, spend five or ten minutes a day stretching and releasing any muscle tension that’s been building up. Stretching is vital for your circulation, your nerves and supporting tissues, your brain, and even your emotions. It should really be required. Spend five minutes doing some basic stretching and you’ll feel refreshed, relaxed and energized. And it’s free!

Stretching your torso and hips reduces water retention and is even proven to flush toxins and emotional tension from your body. Stretching is beneficial to your skin, as well. (It can even help clear up acne – so tell your teenager. Note from the battlefield: gently.)

You can try sitting cross-legged with your back straight while pressing down firmly on your knees to release major tension in your hips. Or hang from the staircase (no, not really). Do it however you like, but do it! Stretch and prosper. And guys, that means you, too. We like to skip the stretching, but it’s really important.

4 May

The Plastic of Our Lives

Grocery stores are strange places full of even stranger food packaging concepts. Here’s some food for thought edible substance for cerebration (pitifully-unsuccessful-avoidance-of-pun alert):

Have you noticed how plastic continues to pop up in all sorts of food packaging? We all know that plastic comes from a limited resource; producing, trashing and even recycling plastic all have unpleasant consequences. And when it comes to health, it’s questionable if we want things like thalates in the same hemisphere as our food, let alone the same room.

Still, plastic persists: convenience remains the crowning virtue. (Although, in my opinion, the “convenience” of plastic packaging is still up for debate. This excessive layering is responsible for at least one post-gym “I need to eat!” meltdown per month by yours truly. Layering in fashion is one thing, but in food packaging? We don’t take food snowboarding with us, nor does food need to brave the indoor-outdoor urban trotting of a winter trip to the East Coast. Is this really necessary?)

But, truthfully, I hadn’t given much thought to things like these little plastic cap switcheroos…

oldtropplastictrop

Until I learned that there’s a permanent Texas-sized carpet of debris lolly-gagging around the Pacific Ocean’s northern gyre. Just call it Patchwork Pacific.

texas=

pacificocean

(These images are not to scale.)

This really bugs me. In light of our current health and environmental concerns, things like this new Kraft product are totally ridiculous!
parm

I know we’re all working hard and we’re busy, but do we need to be throwing away millions of plastic shredders that come attached to our cheese? I actually liked shredding my parmesan with my own shredder – you know, one that you don’t throw away with each block of cheese. I’m not saying I counted it as a workout or anything, but is it that inconvenient to retain ownership of a shredder that’s not physically attached to my Manchego? Is the extra arm movement required to open the drawer really so exhausting that Kraft feels they’re doing us a favor? Was this a gaping void in the marketplace of which I was unaware?

What do you all think? Perhaps your editor is being too critical of “food” marketers (using-term-generously alert). Perhaps the days I skipped macroeconomics as a slacker college student are coming back to bite me after all these years. (Darn that Professor Carter!) Enlighten me, Kraft!

Until the next shopping adventure, friends…

(Psst: just before hitting “Publish” I ran a quick Google search and found this very sensible review from the Accidental Hedonist, so I’m relieved to find I’m not the only one who thinks this product is both asinine and wasteful.)

4 May

Healthy Tastes Great!

Organic Yogurt with Almonds and Fruit

breakfast salad

Cut the brown sugar (Who needs it with all that naturally sweet fruit?) and you have a great way to start the day.

Can any Apples out there improve on this recipe? See you in the forum!

This one is for MDA member Larry Swift!

© 2014 Mark's Daily Apple