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

Mark's Daily Apple

12 Feb

The Weekly Health Challenge

Yo, Apples! It’s time for a little pre-spring cleaning. This week’s challenge is to clean out the (kitchen) closet. Empty your fridge, your pantry, the cabinets, and the deep freeze out in the garage. If it’s not healthy, if it’s not recognizable, if it’s older than the Clinton administration, toss it.

Don’t save unhealthy stuff “for the kids”, either. They don’t need that junk any more than you do. If you feel it’s wasteful, donate the items to your local homeless shelter or soup kitchen.

One of the easiest ways to be healthy and lose weight is to avoid turning your home into a minefield of temptation. Restaurants and movie theaters aren’t going to change anytime soon, but you can control what goes on under your own roof. So from now on, fill the freezer with frozen chicken breasts and veggies. Stock the cabinets with vegetable-based soups, low-sodium broth, canned tomatoes, almond butter, and olive oil. And make sure the condiments in the fridge are low in saturated fats, salt, preservatives, and sugars. As always, ask the Bees for help if you’re unsure about a particular item.

9 Feb

Friday’s Catch

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:

It’s the international edition.

1) Bird Flu Hits Brits

The first evidence of contaminated food shows up in Britain.

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2) Oh, Canada

Our favorite doc-in-the-making blogs about this myth. So, Apples, we are #1…in health care problems.

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3) Maybe It’s Really Not You…

How to Tell If You’re Dealing With a Crazy Therapist

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4) Canada Is Class Pet

Also from Canada, conclusive evidence that medicine makes you sicker in the long run.

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9 Feb

Smart Fuel

Smart Fuel for the weekend:

Berries may be class pet in the antioxidant department, but the humble artichoke is one of the most nutritious foods around.

True, you can’t spread it on toast, but this relative of the thistle contains almost as many antioxidants as berries – and loads of other benefits:

cleanses the liver, urinary tract, and kidneys

– promotes healthy bile production

– can help reduce bad cholesterol

– has therapeutic medicinal properties, especially for IBS and other digestive illnesses

– among the highest levels of flavonoids of any vegetable or fruit

– high in vitamin C, folic acid, essential fatty acids, many beneficial plant chemicals, magnesium, and fiber

The best part about the artichoke is that you can eat the entire thing and it will only set you back about 25 calories.

It takes a good amount of cooking to soften the leaves enough to snack on. Everyone loves the best part – the heart – but I don’t recommend relying on jars of soybean-oil-soaked hearts as your only source of artichoke. They can be expensive to buy fresh, but one of the Bees points out that you can now find baby fresh artichoke hearts in many stores.

Not only can you buy a dozen baby artichokes for the price of one large artichoke, they have the same nutritional value and are more tender – you can pop the entire thing in your mouth, leaves and all. Try it out this weekend – steam or broil (the latter is great with some olive oil, lemon juice and a little parmesan) and dig in!

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9 Feb

So You Want to Take Alli?

The oily spotting continues. Healthbolt has the money quote on new diet drug Alli:

“You can also bet your bottom dollar that GSK will be running ads of fabulous looking people living skinny-happy lives on alli in a field of wheat somewhere. They sure as hell won’t be running ads about 16 year old girls, malnourished as-is because of eating disorders (and this is who’s buying over the counter diet pills) passing out in gym class because they have no vitamins in their body…”

There will also no doubt be a floppy-eared puppy somewhere in that field of wheat – though I’m betting on a field of buttercups and violets myself.

For further consideration: at best, this new wonder drug will yield you a 5-10 pound weight loss…after 6 months! And that’s if you diet. And if you exercise. And that number may not be right, anyway, because the study was so shoddy.

I could lose 5 pounds on a bet in a week and it would still be healthier and safer than the Alli method.

If you work out for just 30 minutes a day and simultaneously cut just 200 calories from your daily intake (we’re talking a soda or a latte or just one standard serving of carbs, Apples), you’ll lose 5-10 pounds in one month. Yes. ONE MONTH. And that’s without a drug.

It should never take six months to lose 5 pounds. It should take about two weeks, and you certainly don’t need a drug to do that.

Among things that will take off 5 pounds in far less time than Alli:

(bear in mind this study isn’t totally proven, but then neither is Alli’s)

Yawning

Stretching in your chair

Rolling over one extra time in bed

Smiling at the mailman for once

Thinking about losing weight

Wondering if your friends are thinking about losing weight

Not thinking about losing weight

Remembering you need to put the clothes in the dryer

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8 Feb

The Roundup

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:

All the health news you love, none of the oily spotting.

1) The Modern Disease

Autism is more rampant than experts previously thought. The debate rages over the causes of autism: mercury poisoning, genetics, natal development – and myths abound. We’ll be bringing you updates, news and unique perspectives from medical experts soon, so stay tuned.

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2) Why a Second Opinion Matters

Doctors are humans, and humans aren’t perfect. They make judgment calls just like the rest of us, so consider this news.

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3) Men: You Now Have a Reason to Mow the Lawn

A new study proves that men secrete a powerful chemical that attracts women.

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