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

Mark's Daily Apple

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.

Enter News Target.  Finding a trustworthy news source, especially when it comes to reliable health news reporting, can be daunting and frustrating. NewsTarget is independent and they aren’t afraid to challenge the status quo. And they are always willing to provide their readers with the latest in alternative health remedies and studies.

 

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.

20 Feb

No More Peanut Butter, No More Toast ‘n Jam

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites

We’re feeling feisty. Something about Tuesdays…

Wait, what are we talking about – we’re feisty every day.

Sisson’s top picks are downright controversial today, so dig in:

Blue Genes

You may have heard the news yesterday that carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by genes, not overuse (then why do so many office assistants get…sigh…who are we to question a study). Well, evidently, you can blame your happiness – or lack of it – on your parents, too. So, parents, on top of being lame, nerdy, totally not cool, a dorky dresser, using slang – like – so wrong, and just generally being out of it, you are also responsible for your child’s future grumpy reaction to the Tivo being broken.

smile

Look, genes clearly play a big role in who we are – they’re literally…well…who we are. But how productive or empowering it is to hand over responsibility for your emotions and choices to the past, which is out of your control? While this kind of news is interesting, it can also be emotionally limiting, especially when one tiny study gets sensationalized by the media, as with this week’s stories.

We’re all for genetic research, but when it starts getting into the “blame game” territory the media love so much, we sure wish we could push it back into the “cure disease” territory.

We Have to Smerck

Poor little Merck. After what can only be described as “mad aggressive” lobbying tactics for their HPV vaccine, Gardasil, Merck announced this week that they’re giving up for now to focus on preventing cervical cancer instead. (Isn’t that what vaccinating with Gardasil would be doing? Sounds like Pharma spin to us).

Human papilloma virus, if untreated, can lead to deadly cervical cancer. Enter Gardasil, a vaccine to stop HPV. Merck began lobbying politicians way back, before the Feckless Death Association (that’s FDA) had even approved Gardasil. Merck, and many state governments, weren’t expecting the overwhelming controversy that ensued, largely fueled by conservative groups concerned that inoculating against cervical cancer might send a message to girls that premarital sexual activity is O.K.

We welcome differing opinions on this one. While we’re no friends of Merck, and we’re all for abstinence and parental rights, it is a little unclear to us how inoculating a twelve-year-old against potential cancer would actually encourage said child to begin having, um, relations. (In our view, the apparent widespread social acceptance of inappropriate advertising is what is really causing problems with many children’s healthy emotional development, particularly for girls – and we hope you’ll write your senator and make him or her do something about it.)

vaccine

(Jean Scheijen photo.)

Ultimately, the bigger concern – for the health hipsters, anyway – was this speedy FDA approval yet another wise decision for public health on the part of Uncle Sam? How safe is this vaccine to begin with? The idea of preventing cancer is pretty appealing, but this is Merck we’re dealing with. We’ll look into it and report back soon.

Your thoughts, Apples? Apples with young seedlings?

Further clickativity:

Wow. Just, wow. 1 in 3?

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