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

Mark's Daily Apple

21 Jun

The Fuming Fuji Says No to Kellogg’s!

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

But, Fuming Fuji, you’ve been very vocal of late about your feud with David MacKay, Kellogg’s CEO. This seems like a thinly veiled attempt to lash out at your rival. What could you possibly have to gripe about when it comes to Kellogg’s? They just announced they’re making many of their foods healthier – and they will no longer be marketing sugary products to children under 12!

The Fuming Fuji says no!

The claim: Fuji, clearly this is personal. I don’t even want to hear it. In fact, I’m starting to think you just have a problem with breakfast. In the last six months, you’ve fumed against breakfast bars, breakfast cereals, breakfast waffles. Maybe you just need therapy, Fuji.

The catch: Clearly you are projecting. The Fuji cannot help you with that, he is not trained in psychotherapy. While MacKay and the Fuji have been feuding with a furor only outdone by Rosie and Donald, this has nothing to do with my anger over his hypocrisy. I am furious about the junk that Kellogg’s slings at the small fry! Big Agra’s tartlets of pop and not-berry death nuggets should not fool anybody, even you, my carbaceous foe.

The comeback: Rosie and Donald Trump, huh. I wouldn’t go that far. You’re an apple. Maybe Paris and Nicole, though.

Here’s my “carbaceous” opinion: So Kellogg’s will still be selling products they decide they cannot reformulate into healthier versions – yeah, maybe that’s a tad disingenuous. Okay, maybe a lot, actually. Wait, where was I going with this?

Oh, yeah! At least they’re not going to market unchanged products to kids, and they won’t be using cartoons to hawk the junkier stuff. Isn’t a little progress better than none? Snap! I think you’re just being stubborn, Fuji. Some would say obtuse.

The conclusion: Good for you and your knowledge of angles. Unfortunately for you I have the right angle. Ha, ha. That is a little geometry joke. I do not know this “snap” you speak of, but his cousin Crackle is a real little weasel, let me tell you.

Mark the Fuji’s words: Kellogg’s will not change very much. What little they change they will brag about like they invented Christmas.

The catchphrase: Kellogg’s: new and improved, because we didn’t feel like a lawsuit!

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

Hat Tip: Get the full scoop (food police lawsuit, ensuing settlement, ensuing “we felt like changing, no reason, really” announcement from Kellogg’s, and the ensuing blogosphere buzz) at the informative youth advocacy blog Shaping Youth. Thanks, Amy!

Further Reading:

The Fuming Fuji Says No to Cereal Bars!

The Fuming Fuji Says No to Sea Bugs!

Yogurt? Nogurt!

No More Sugar-Coating: Mark on the Kellogg’s Drama

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20 Jun

A Case Against Cardio (from a former mileage king)

We all know that we need to exercise to be healthy.

Unfortunately, the popular wisdom of the past 40 years – that we would all be better off doing 45 minutes to an hour a day of intense aerobic activity – has created a generation of overtrained, underfit, immune-compromised exerholics. Hate to say it, but we weren’t meant to aerobicize at the chronic and sustained high intensities that so many people choose to do these days. The results are almost always unimpressive. Ever wonder why years of “Spin” classes, endless treadmill sessions and interminable hours on the “elliptical” have done nothing much to shed those extra pounds and really tone the butt?

Don’t worry. There’s a reason why the current methods fail, and when you understand why, you’ll see that there’s an easier, more effective – and fun – way to burn fat, build or preserve lean muscle and maintain optimal health. The information is all there in the primal DNA blueprint, but in order to get the most from your exercise experience, first you need to understand the way we evolved and then build your exercise program around that blueprint.

Like most people, I used to think that rigorous aerobic activity was one of the main keys to staying healthy – and that the more mileage you could accumulate (at the highest intensity), the better. During my 20+ years as a competitive endurance athlete, I logged tens of thousands of training miles running and on the bike with the assumption that, in addition to becoming fit enough to race successfully at a national class level, I was also doing my cardiovascular system and the rest of my body a big healthy favor.

Being the type A that I am, I read Ken Cooper’s seminal 1968 book Aerobics and celebrated the idea that you got to award yourself “points” for time spent at a high heart rate. The more points, the healthier your cardiovascular system would become. Based on that notion, I should have been one of the healthiest people on the planet.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t – and that same mindset has kept millions of other health-conscious, nirvana-seeking exercisers stuck in a similar rut for almost 40 years. It’s time to get your head out of the sand and take advantage of your true DNA destiny, folks!

The first signal I had that something was wrong was when I developed debilitating osteoarthritis in my ankles…at age 28. This was soon coupled with chronic hip tendonitis and nagging recurrent upper respiratory tract infections. In retrospect, it is clear now that my carbohydrate-fueled high-intensity aerobic lifestyle was promoting a dangerous level of continuous systemic inflammation, was severely suppressing other parts of my immune system and the increased oxidative damage was generally tearing apart my precious muscle and joint tissue.

The stress of high intensity training was also leaving me soaking in my own internal cortisol (stress hormone) bath. It wasn’t so clear to me at the time exactly what was happening – in fact it was quite confusing, since I was doing so much of this so-called “healthy” aerobic exercise – but I had no choice but to give up racing, unable to train at anywhere near the intensity required to stay at an elite level.

To make ends meet…

Keep reading…

20 Jun

It’s All About Me(me)!

53 and never been memed.

I have finally been memed. New blogger confession: I didn’t even know what a meme was until Claire over at Burning the Scale tagged me. At the risk of mortifying my teenagers for all eternity, I’m meming, darn it.

The way it works: In this particular meme, I tell you seven things about myself you may not know. Then I tag seven other bloggers to do likewise. You ready for this? :)

Facts about me:

1. I used to eat a half-gallon of ice cream a day. Every day. Seriously. For almost 10 years while I was training and racing, I craved the sugar and fat in ice cream so much that if I was out of ice cream at 11PM, I would leave the house and run down to Thrifty’s to stock up. Luckily, I got past that and today I can’t even eat a small portion without feeling like – well – crap.

2. I shave my legs. Yes. I have for over 25 years since I started cycling and doing triathlons. I’ll keep doing it as long as I’m fit.

3. I grew up in a small fishing village in Maine. Lived there 25 years, in fact. I worked hard to lose the accent, though.

4. My favorite book is “Sometimes a Great Notion” by Ken Kesey. I think it is truly the great American novel.

5. I’m not a singer, but if there’s reincarnation, I want to come back as one. I once sang “Mack the Knife” in front of 300 people in Tokyo when the first Karaoke machines were introduced. (Had no choice – Pioneer Electronics was my triathlon sponsor).

6. I’m a big fan of the Police and am hoping to score tickets to their reunion tour this summer.

7. My latest pursuit is golf, something I never thought I’d be into. I considered it a waste of time when I was an endurance athlete; now I find that it’s a wonderful way to get out into the fresh air and meet new, interesting people. Sure is a humbling game, though.

I‘m tagging:

Laurel at Laurel on Health Food

Deb at Body, Mind and Solar

Ruth at Eating Fabulous

Brian at Lose Weight With Me

Kendra at A Hearty Life

Michael at the Insomnia Blog

Kate at The Steaks Are High

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20 Jun

When Was the Last Time Anybody Starved?

Sara here. I was just cruising through my morning RSS blog batch and one post in particular made me think about food (never a bad thing). A useful blog covering all manner of personal improvement topics, Ririan Project, had a very handy list of tips for revving up your energy, with the inclusion of “energy bars” on the list. Being the nutrition nerd that I am, I suggested that dried fruits and nuts were a healthier option than energy bars, as many energy bars are loaded with corn syrup, artificial ingredients and empty calories – not much different from a Babe Ruth or Snickers bar.

Here’s a Snickers bar ingredients list (click to zoom):

Now, that’s not really healthy. How about an energy bar? Great! Let’s go check out the ingredients in a Tiger’s Milk bar. Hmm. Well that’s depressing.

In the Bag

I like to keep baggies of snacks at the ready: broccoli florets, dried fruit and seeds, all the typical rabbit food. But perhaps we should reconsider the merits of snacking. I don’t have a gaggle of kidlets to chase after, so I’m rarely so busy that I miss a regular meal, and besides, one can always get something healthy from even the dustiest gas station (nutritive finery at the Arco: it is possible, sayeth Sisson).

We are a snacking nation, and health experts are quick to suggest smart on-the-go foods to substitute for all those French fries, Hershey bars and peanut M&M’s. But do we really need to find healthy snacks to stay alive, let alone healthy? Does the tank need to be sloshing full of fuel at all times to keep the machine humming? Children are a bit different from adults, of course. We’ve all seen what can happen when a tot goes too long without some calories (usually at such ideal locales as the movie theater, the airplane, the church service). Of course, this can even be a concern for some adults with fast metabolisms or blood sugar conditions – a friend of mine is so famous for her Speedy Gonzalez tummy, we all know that glint in her eyes and the question to ask: “How much time do I have?” At that point, get some snackery in the woman, or else.

But most Americans eat far too many calories, on average. Would it be so bad to actually have a growling stomach by the time dinner rolls around? Does anyone even remember what it feels like to conceal a gurgle in a meeting? (The cough-yawn-stretch requires finesse.)

Forget healthy snacks versus junk food. Why do we have vending machines, 100 calorie packs, protein bars? Short of hiking the Santa Monica “mountains” or running a marathon or getting stuck in the traffic to Vegas, I’m not sure I really “need” my at-the-ready arsenal of nutritious snacks. I just like them. I like eating.

Considering Mark’s Primal Health philosophy, I wonder if it might be good to be a little hungry now and then – or at least give your stomach time to reflect. Then again, we’ve been told constant grazing is healthy. Early humans didn’t gather round the campfire three times a day at regularly appointed hours, and Cave Mama certainly didn’t send the seedlings off to frolic with fruits and nuts lovingly wrapped in leaves. Or did she?

Hat tip: Comedian Ted Alexandro has pondered what is apparently a haunting fear of starvation – what else could explain this snackitis epidemic in America? Check him out if you’re into laughs (but note: adult humor).

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