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

Mark's Daily Apple

22 Feb

More Cowbell

taste

What is it with every restaurant cramming fifteen different flavors into their recipes these days? First we had egg rolls. Then we had avocado egg rolls. Now it’s Southwest with-a-hint-of-tang spinach egg rolls – and they come with avocado-ranch dipping sauce (what a relief).

Snacks are no better (not as if they ever were). Joel Stein has a pretty humorous piece in the February 2 issue of Time that addresses the current trends of making “lowbrow highbrow”. I’m with you, Joel. Making a potato chip organic isn’t doing anyone any favors. We don’t need multi-grain nachos. We need to lay off the nachos.

But I digress. My personal peeve is the overwhelming onslaught of flavor – excuse me, “zest” – in every menu item these days. Sweet isn’t enough. Salty doesn’t cut it. It’s got to be salty and sweet and sour and possibly Asian-spice-infused. Chicken? Good luck with that one. Buffalo wings are neither buffalo nor wings, but you can get them in a tangy sesame-crusted sour sauce.

I’m not sure what’s behind food marketers’ move to infuse every molecule of product with simultaneously sweet, sour, spicy, cool, tangy, creamy flavor. The experts say Americans are becoming aware of global “flavors” like never before, and we want exotic tastes: spices, curries, garlic, heat. I’m right there with you – bring the taste. But whipping up an assertive stir fry is a bit different from ripping open a bag of wasabi-ranch fried carrot-esque crunch sticks. I don’t want a buffalo-bleu-cheese-pepper chip. I don’t want a chip, period.

More is not more. When the local joint stuffs five hundred flavors into the latest tortilla de obesity menu item, your tongue may be amazed, but your stomach will be left just trying to cope. Pick a side, already! All this bedazzling of snacks and reincarnated burrito wraps equals a lot more sodium, sugar (wait, corn syrup) and artificial flavoring.

Besides, guys, until you can deliver a deep-fried daquiri ice curry ball, and make it taste good, I’m just not impressed.

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21 Feb

Fresh Picks

Worker Bees Daily Bites

Sick of peanut butter already? No worries – there’s plenty of clickativity coming out of the health world today.

MS and Hormones

Scientists have discovered that a pregnancy hormone helps repair myelin, the fatty tissue that protects nervous system cells. This has important implications for MS, which strikes far more women than men. We’ll bring you the updates as research continues, Apples.

spine

Photographer Mystic200

We Sure Know How to Spend

Health care spending is projected to double in the next decade. For an American earning 60,000 dollars a year, that means – on average – 12,000 bucks. Yikes! And you thought your premium was high now…

Spendy areas? Diabetes and cardio concerns like high cholesterol and heart disease are top among the health problems fueling growing costs. Suddenly, prevention looks awfully appealing.

jean

Jean Scheijen photo

It Was Only a Matter of Time

If you’ve ever sent yourself an email just to have a message to check, um…you’re not alone?

Evidently, email addiction is such a prevalent problem these days, there’s now a 12-step program. For the love of tofu, people, stop working so much!

ian
21 Feb

Bullseye

We know our readers come to Mark’s Daily Apple for quality health information they can trust and for articles that challenge the abundance of misinformation out there.

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Some of the thought-provoking articles like “The health care reform legislation Congress should pass, but won’t” will get your blood boiling. Others like “Zinc helps prevent hardening of arteries, study finds” serve as dependable sources of health information that can act to motivate and inspire you to lead an improved lifestyle.

This independent site promises and provides health-related news held to the highest standards of journalistic ethics and integrity.

 

21 Feb

Feel Great Right Now

5 easy tips to feel healthier now:

1. Each morning, drink a tall glass of water with a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice. You’ll feel noticeably less “puffy” within two days. (Warning: if you also drink a morning jolt of java, the acidity may get to be too much, so eat a little breakfast and consider skipping coffee.)

water

2. Stop what you’re doing and take ten deep breaths. Concentrate on drawing the breath up from your kidneys; visualize pushing it down into your stomach as you exhale. Feels great.

3. Don’t get overwhelmed – think in terms of “relative nutrition“. This is my term for putting health information in perspective. Getting healthier can seem overwhelming, especially if you’re just starting out or are recovering from an illness. Yes, hitting the gym, meditating, and eating organic, raw, pure food all day long and tossing out the microwave would probably be ideal (in some universe). Instead, think in terms of healthy as it relates to your current habits.

I suggest that you concentrate on taking 4 or 5 steps and applying them consistently. You can change and add more healthy habits as you progress, but even a handful of simple modifications can do a lot of relative good. I’m not advocating a “make half your grains whole” approach like the Food Pyramid – that’s irresponsible public health guidance when we know that refined grains are so unhealthy. But, don’t expect immediate perfection of yourself – it’s unrealistic.

pyramid2

The important thing is to work gradually towards that paradigm shift (moving from merely accenting with healthy foods or behaviors to practicing health as a lifestyle – the “cheats” become the accent, as they should). You’ll get a lot of healthy mileage out of just a few basic changes: for example, tossing the sodas, switching to salads for lunch every day, and making a point of going on a walk after dinner each night will improve your mood, help you drop a few pounds in just two weeks, and help you sleep better. Who wouldn’t love all that?

4. Toss the sodas! (And the sugary lattes, “juice” drinks, and milk shakes…) Don’t drink your calories. Craving a sweet beverage? You may simply be dehydrated.

5. When you dine out this week – as most of us do at least 30% of the time – just say no to the starchy sides and bread basket. Ask for vegetables as a substitute. You’ll cut hundreds of calories, lower your blood sugar, and actually be less hungry later on.

broccoli 1

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20 Feb

1 in 3

Keep in mind tonight: when the evening news talks about heart disease killing 1 in 3 women, that’s not 1 in 3 women who have heart disease. That’s 1 in 3 women – across the board.

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