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

Mark's Daily Apple

11 Apr

All the News, None of Those Pesky Calories

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:

Diabetes dominates the news today, Apples. Here are the most significant stories:

Do Pesticides Trigger Diabetes?

There appears to be a significant link between the chemical compounds that build up in fatty tissue and insulin resistance. We’re talking about chemicals commonly found in the food supply, which is how they end up in people. Read this article for an excellent summary of how diabetes works, how chemicals may play a part, and more… (Snarkism we can’t resist: the article, like most articles about type 2 diabetes, discusses how obesity, insulin resistance and beta-cell failure are all part of the diabetes kit ‘n caboodle, without saying why this is. Sugar is officially the redheaded stepchild of health these days.)

More Drugs!

An arthritis drug may work for type 2’s . The mystery link: inflammation! Prevent obesity and reduce inflammation and developing type 2 becomes quite a challenge. But hey, why prevent problems when you can just roll around in bandaids all day?

On the other hand, here’s a study from Israel that explores the genetic predisposition possibilities.

Speaking of Toxic…

Is your job unhealthy? Tips to survive (and how to bail if you must).

11 Apr

Healthy Tastes Great!

Apple and Three Bean Salad

(Use honey and olive oil in place of sugar and vegetable oil and you will have one appetizing apple treat!)
apple bean salad

11 Apr

Essential Arrogance

Last month, the Bees posted a news bite about the amazing new “chocolate vitamin“, epicatechin, which has the very startling potential of addressing 4 out of 5 of the significant public health issues we face today. That’s huge. As you’d expect, researchers are hopping all over this like chaos theory circa 1970. As you’d expect, the major media would rather delve infinitely deeper into the Anna Nicole Smith saga than investigate things like the elimination of every major current health problem facing Western humanity.

Thank goodness for rational, objective journalistic media. It’s horrifying to think where would we be with all these amateur, biased bloggers who are certainly incapable of rational enquiry into serious matters.

You’ll have to pardon my sarcasm. If I were a better man I’d rise to the level of mere sardonic wit, but I’m feeling pretty angry about the presumption, ignorance and – most of all – arrogance that are parading around society with all the dazzle and spice of a trio-appetizer sampler from [insert chain restaurant of choice here]. Like the samplers, this attitude is toxic and full of…well, you know.

I bring up arrogance because of a paragraph in the above news bite that discusses the possibility that epicatechin may in fact be an essential vitamin for human existence. Miss this vit, and major health problems ensue. It’s a good hypothesis. It may get thrown out, as most new scientific hypotheses do, but so far, it’s very compelling. At any rate, it highlights the trouble with arrogance. Mainstream medicine and the government have been quick to discount any new discovery that might challenge the holy grail of “13 essential vitamins and minerals”. I wish that I had the luxury of simply being baffled by this persistent intransigence, but human lives are truly at stake. Who determines essential? Why should we be so arrogant as to assume that we know all there is to know about nutrition? If we really only need 13 “essential” vitamins, or, if the modern diet really is supplying all our nutritional needs, where’s the glowing good health to reflect this bedrock assertion?

Epicatechin is simply the latest – and possibly greatest – discovery to make things a little uncomfortable for those who have an investment in the status quo. By no means do I think we ought to welcome every new “wonder drug” or “miracle nutrient” with open arms. We ought to be skeptical. But there’s a terrific difference between healthy scientific skepticism and essential arrogance.

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10 Apr

A Real Pain in the Caduceus

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:

More healthcare news out today makes it pretty clear that radical changes are in order. (By the way, this is a caduceus.)

News Item Uno: Morbid Obesity Is Up, Way Up

There are kinds of obesity? Yes, that’s right: there’s an entire taxonomy of overweight. Kinda sad that we need that, isn’t it? Obesity in general is up, but morbid obesity is way, way up – dangerously so.

What we can do about this:

1. Fire off a letter to your senator. People do pay attention to letters. They know that for every letter they get, there are 1,000 more who share the sentiment.

2. Write letters to the CEOs of junk food companies (oh yeah, pretty much every food company in America). Ask them if they enjoy sleeping in their 1000-thread count sheets children’s diabetes is paying for.

3. Eat fresh, whole foods, and keep the portions small. Teach your children and friends. Be annoying about it. (But not too annoying.)

News Item Dos: Kids Are Manipulated Like Crazy

The overwhelming majority of kiddie-aimed commercials feature junk food. In a recent study, literally no commercials advertised any fresh food. Theoretically, commercials may not influence adults – certainly up for debate – but children are highly vulnerable to marketing messages. This is the portion of the population that believes in Santa Claus, remember.

What we can do about this:

1. Again with the firing off of letters. How to: Make one good point, be brief, state what action you want them to take, and state what action you will take if they don’t.

2. Shield the commercials – and television in general – that your child is exposed to. Turn the tube off, or invest 5 bucks a month in Tivo.

3. Don’t buy junk – companies sell this garbage because we are buying it.

10 Apr

For the Love of Flavor

Taste buds bored to tears? Here are ten unusual food pairings that will wake up your week. Several of my readers have written me lately with really interesting, unusual and fresh food combinations, so if you need to shake up your menu, don’t miss these tips.

As a bonus, they’re all fresh, low-carb and loaded with antioxidants.

10. Tomato “Toast”

Tired of toast? Want to reduce the carbs in your diet? Yes, you do. Slice up beefsteak or large heirloom tomatoes, top with cheese of choice, and pop them into the toaster oven. Not recommended for a vertical toaster.

tomatoesstacked

9. Eggs topped with Cashew Butter

Thanks for the Omega-3-friendly tip, Donna!

8. Sliced Grapefruit, Mango and Avocado

Our editor, Sara, swears by this combo.

grapefruit

Uncommon Muse Flickr Photo

7. Green Olives in Scrambled Eggs

Toss out the salt and try this flavorful mix instead.

6. Strawberries and Asparagus

This was one of the strangest combinations I’d ever heard, but reader Nickie insisted I had to try it. I steamed the asparagus, let it cool, then sliced up the spears and tossed with olive oil and halved berries. Garnish with a little black pepper, and prepare to eat the entire bowl in one sitting.

strawb

Maruchan313’s Flickr Photo

5. Goat Cheese and Blueberries

A lot more interesting than yogurt.

4. Sliced Jalapenos and Cottage Cheese

The healthy person’s answer to those awful fried jalapeno poppers. Thanks, Anne.

jalapenos

Thomas Hawk Flickr Photo

3. Mango and Cucumbers

Sliced up and mixed together, this is light and refreshing.

2. Tuna Salad with Green Apples

I buy the Omega-3 mayonnaise and use it sparingly. Add in lots of chunks of green apple and a big dash of nutmeg. Good stuff.

1. What’s your favorite food combination that surprises people?

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