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

Mark's Daily Apple

17 Jan

Morning Hits

Who Needs Caffeine When You Can Check Out This Clickativity?

(Okay, you might still want your coffee.)

Hey, Pessimists: Don’t Worry, It’s Only Bad for Your Health

Hate Flossing? Hate Cancer More

“Healthy” Donuts? It’s Still a Donut

The Motherland Continues to Annoy (but they do have an interesting point)

Seriously? Also in the news this a.m., the trend of giant handbags for women appears to have bad musculoskeletal health implications. Dolce & Gabbana could not be reached for comment.

bigfatpurse
17 Jan

The Buckler Brief

EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT: PANTOTHENIC ACID

WHAT IT IS: Part of the B-complex of vitamins, Pantothenic Acid is a water-soluble vitamin. This particular B is unique because it forms two co-enzymes, making it a vital component of good supplementation.

WHAT IT DOES: Pantothenic acid helps to oxidize fatty acids and sugars (part of the fueling process that gives us energy). Pantothenic acid also serves many other important functions.

To name a few: synthesizing fatty acids, lipids, cholesterol, hormones, proteins and ketones (the unfortunate byproduct of proteins). Especially for athletes and those who consume large amounts of protein, pantothenic acid is essential. Fortunately, it’s difficult to become deficient in pantothenic acid, but many people do not derive enough from their daily diets.

STUDIES SHOW: Pantothenic acid is a cofactor, which means it assists in a variety of essential enzyme functions. Because of its role in metabolizing fats and cholesterol, pantothenic acid is thought to help reduce high cholesterol levels.

Pantothenic acid may also help to increase energy, especially in aerobic exertion, because the acid may help to break down lactic acid, which often builds up in muscles. Experts also think that pantothenic acid may be one of the key cofactors involved in ATP production.

WHY WE LIKE IT: There are many reasons to make pantothenic acid part of your supplement regimen. Aside from helping to reduce cholesterol and the potential energy-boost, pantothenic acid is thought to be an excellent therapy for those suffering from arthritis. Many experts also think people suffering from anxiety, depression, and stress may benefit from simply upping their pantothenic acid intake.

16 Jan

The Tuesday 10

The Top 10 Tips for: Getting Fit

Wanna get fit? If you’re just starting out, keep in mind it’s not going to happen overnight…but you can be lookin’ pretty good by next month with these tips. The reason most get-ripped regimens fail is because we simply expect way too much, way too soon. Big changes in your body require big changes in your lifestyle. Period. It took your whole life to be the way you are now, right? It’s going to take more than two days to start making changes to that. But these 10 pointers will get you started – and you’ll notice some very pleasant effects if you stick with them. You’ll be surprised that very few of them have anything to do with lifting so much as a finger. Fitness is many factors coming together – it’s a lot more than just hitting the gym (thank goodness).

1. Cut calories the lazy way.

To shape up, you must reduce your fat so your muscles can start doing their thing. This is actually very, very easy to do: every time you go to put something in your mouth, don’t. No, no, just kidding! You have to eat.

Here’s what to do:

- in restaurants, eat half the plate and get the rest to go. Don’t eat it when you get home – let the dog or the neighbor kid with hollow legs enjoy it.

- immediately run out and get yourself some 7″ plates. Those are now your dinner plates. Preso, portion sizes reduced.

- Don’t eat anything crunchy, creamy, pale or fried. This pretty much takes care of all high-calorie, unhealthy foods. Examples: chips, ranch dressing, bread sticks, chicken nuggets. We know, veggies are crunchy. It’s not an absolute rule. Just a guide.

- Switch all snacks to cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks or broccoli florets. Depending on how much you snack, you’ll save 200 to 600 calories a day doing this.

koshernosh

2. Don’t drink your calories.

A little coffee or tea is one thing. But soda, shakes, iced coffee drinks, juices and energy drinks are overflowing with calories, which you don’t want, right? Don’t waste precious caloric intake on liquids that don’t fill you up.

3. Absolutely no drive-through or delivery food.

McDonald’s likes to run those “Mommy and me” ads that show slender young Mommy eating salad while her ringlet-bedecked tutu-wearing darling is busy dipping apples into some sweet sap. Please. This stuff is generally more marketing than meaningful, so read the ingredients and avoid anything sweet or fried. Best to stick to fresher fare.

tutu

4. Move it!

You don’t have to become a gym rat. You don’t have to sign up for the local 10K. But you need to move. Simply put, any movement that is more than you currently do is going to be effective. If you don’t ever work out, walking around the neighborhood for 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week is going to start having an impact after just two weeks. If you work out once in a while, step it up with a weekly weight session, a longer run, or some quality time with the treadmill. Do whatever you like – maybe you have a real problem with the layer of dust that’s accumulated on all the baseboards and you want to scrub them clean. That’s a workout. Maybe you like to dance for the mailman. That’s questionable, but it’s a workout just the same. No one’s judging – just move, Apples! Every day. Whether it’s a little or a lot, just do it.

5. Get addicted to feeling good.

Things that are healthy are going to make you feel good – it just takes a little longer. Instant gratification is just that – instant. Nachos are great until the heartburn hits, right?

You know your particular weaknesses. However, this isn’t about being perfect or beating yourself up. Everyone likes an instant payoff – we’re humans. But try the ten-minute trick (easy: just wait 10) next time a craving or a lazy mood hits – and push through those ten minutes. Think about what will make you feel good long term, not short term. Give yourself an extra moment or ten to start a new craving – health. Just wait ten minutes.

clock

6. Drink More Water.

We don’t necessarily buy into the whole 10-glasses-a-day rule. We’re just not that militant. Hey, if you’re thirsty, drink something. If you’re not, don’t worry about it! You know that myth that goes something like: “By the time you’re thirsty you’re already dehydrated”? Yeah, well, it’s a myth. Dogs and cats only drink when they are thirsty. Are they perpetually dehydrated? And as long as you replenish yourself as soon as you do start to get dehydrated, what’s the big disaster?

But the title of point 6 is Drink More Water. We digress. If you have trouble with controlling your portions, or if you tend to crave high-calorie, salty snacks, try drinking a big glass of water whenever a craving hits. This can help you shed a pound a week, easy!

7. Join a sport or group activity.

There is literally something for everyone in almost every community – whether you’re young and active or golden and gracious. And if there isn’t a physical activity to suit your tastes, why not start one in the community? Even one session a week of a sport or activity can go a long way to get you fit over the course of several months – and when you’re having fun, you’ll forget all about the workout part. One of our Worker Bees joined a hiking class and was amazed that just two weekly hikes whipped her into great shape after only three months. The social interaction is also healthy for your brain, which contributes to general fitness far more than you might realize.

hoops

8. Focus your activities around activities and games, not just food or drinking.

A lot of social gatherings revolve around food, beer, and hanging out. That’s great, and it’s an important part of being emotionally healthy, but try to mix it up a little. Maintain a variety of relationships so some activities are physical, some are food-based (edible sounds a little…strange…), and so on. This is really healthy for your emotional well-being and your body. And that produces a nice little synergistic effect: when you are less stressed out and enjoying variety, guess what? Your body chemistry hits a better balance, cortisol drops, and your system stops clinging to fat for dear life. So bust that stress, Apples!

9. Find a Way to Unhook.

This might mean literally taking the phone off the hook. A lot of us are on-the-go from the time we get up until we hit the pillow at night. This is stressful, unhealthy and a great way to be fat and unhappy (it’s true!). Be a little bit selfish and find some time to pray, meditate, take a hike, or soak in the tub. Find a little time every day to unwind – just 20 minutes will make a huge difference in your health over the long-term. Just stop. Breathe. Relax. Feel how strong your body is? A relaxed body is a happy, strong body. You’ll get more out of your workout now (because we know you are moving it as instructed in step 4).

bath

10. Report Back!

Tell us what your goals are. We will help you! We’ll check in on you. We’ll even nag you. So keep us in the loop (just click on Ask Anything up there to the right of Mark’s big blond head).

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16 Jan

Clickativity

Take that, quackery!

16 Jan

The Fuming Fuji Says No to Uncrustables

FUJ

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

But, Fuming Fuji, you ask, what’s wrong with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich already made and ready to go? And no crust? Kids will love it!

The Fuming Fuji says no!

The claim: Now you can buy pre-made frozen PB&J sandwiches with the crusts already cut off! Just think what you can do with those extra three seconds!

The catch: Now you can buy pre-made frozen PB&J sandwiches with this inside:
WHEAT BREAD: ENRICHED UNBLEACHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, MALTED BARLEY FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMIN MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID), WATER, UNBLEACHED WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, YEAST, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: WHEAT GLUTEN, SALT, CARAMEL COLOR, DOUGH CONDITIONERS (MAY CONTAIN ONE OR MORE OF: DIACETYL TARTARIC ACID ESTERS OF MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES [DATEM], MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES, SODIUM STEAROYL LACTYLATE, CALCIUM PEROXIDE, ASCORBIC ACID, AZODICARBONAMIDE, L-CYSTEINE), YEAST NUTRIENTS (MAY CONTAIN ONE OR MORE OF: MONOCALCIUM PHOSPHATE, CALCIUM SULFATE, AMMONIUM SULFATE), CALCIUM PROPIONATE (MAINTAIN FRESHNESS), ENZYMES (WITH WHEAT), GUAR GUM, XANTHAM GUM. PEANUT BUTTER: PEANUTS, DEXTROSE, SUGAR, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: PARTIALLY AND FULLY HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OILS (SOYBEAN AND/OR COTTONSEED AND/OR RAPESEED), SALT, MOLASSES, MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES (PALM AND/OR SOYBEAN OIL). HONEY SPREAD: CORN SYRUP, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, WATER, HONEY, PECTIN, NATURAL FLAVOR, CITRIC ACID, POTASSIUM SORBATE (PRESERVATIVE), CARAMEL COLOR, CALCIUM CHLORIDE.

The comeback:
Well, I can’t pronounce most of those ingredients, but isn’t a crust-less sandwich a great way to get kids to eat something besides candy?

The conclusion: The Fuming Fuji does not have time for such questions. The Fuming Fuji is drowning in a pile of leftover crusts. If you think hydrogenated oil (trans fat) and bleached flour (sugar) with a lot of strange chemicals is great for your child, the Fuji cannot be of help.

The catchphrase:
Uncrustables: We’ve removed the nutrition so you don’t have to!
Disclaimer: Mark Sisson and the Worker Bees do not necessarily endorse the views of the Fuming Fuji.

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