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

Mark's Daily Apple

14 May

The Daily Linky Link

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:

What’s shakin’, Apples? I’m here to highlight the best links to get your week off to an informed and healthy start:

Big Pharma Misleads Consumers

Do you trust Big Pharma? You shouldn’t. (I know we said we’d lay off those guys for a while, but this is pretty important news. Official laying-off begins now.)

Dairy Ads Pulled

Finally! Sara practically passed out from joy at this news. (She has researched the Big Moo and Blunder Tonic diet deception extensively.) Want to lose weight? Start here.

More Scams Debunked

Deer velvet is my personal favorite. Come on, gimme a break! This site is no-frills but nicely summarizes some popular supplement scams. I disagree with the last one. What do you think?

Buy Milk in the Dark

This milk advice is one of the most odd, but useful, health tips I’ve seen yet. Buying milk that’s been exposed to fluorescent light destroys precious nutrients. (As you’ll note from reading our assorted research into Big Moo, I think your best bet is to buy raw milk from a reputable local source, but this is not recommended by the federal government.)

Mother’s Milk Vs. Nestle

To say I’m bothered by the fact that Nestle pushes baby formula on new mothers in regions that lack potable water would be an understatement. Breast-feeding is the obvious choice for nourishing infants in impoverished areas where clean water and good food are scarce for mom, let alone baby, but apparently Nestle would rather turn a quick profit and shove sugary formula (deficient in EFAs) down newborns’ throats. Thousands of babies are dying as a result. Read about it here. I for one am boycotting Nestle. They make a LOT of products – they’re the biggest food company in the world. Fortunately, they don’t typically make healthy food, so it’s easy to avoid supporting them.

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14 May

Your Weekly Health Challenge

This week, take a look at your protein intake. Are you eating the highest quality protein you can afford? If you’re thinking about a burger for lunch, this challenge is definitely for you.

Protein is vital to building and supporting tissues, from your cells to your nerves to your bones and muscles. But not all protein is created alike. I recently wrote about the issues with meat consumption (no, I’m not a vegetarian). I recommend grass-fed organic animal protein whenever possible. Grass-fed animal protein is higher in beneficial fatty acids and vitamins and is simply cleaner and leaner and more humane. I also favor wild fish as an essential protein source at least twice a week.

Good vegetarian protein sources include:

Tempeh: a fermented soy product. Fermented foods are nutritious and tempeh is not as processed as tofu. Unlike tofu, tempeh has a really satisfying, chewy texture. You can read about my views on soy protein here.

Beans: for those who can handle starchy foods, legumes and peanuts (a bean, not a nut) are a good protein source. Bonus: lots of fiber.

Eggs: for vegetarians who eat some animal protein, you can’t beat the stress-reducing egg. Don’t worry about the cholesterol. The fat and vitamins in eggs nourish your cells and provide excellent energy for minimal calories.

Plain, organic yogurt: add your own berries and nuts for extra antioxidants, fat and protein.

This week, stick to clean, lean, powerful protein. Sausages, bacon, deli meats and burgers are surprisingly waistline-friendly (Atkins lovers will be happy to tell you this). But they’re often loaded with carcinogens, sodium and free radicals. Fuel that body wisely, friends! Tomorrow’s Tuesday 10 will offer my top 10 healthy protein suggestions, so I hope you’ll come back and check it out.

Sisson out.

14 May

Banish Nervousness Forever in 1 Easy Step

A Monday Moment

You’re about to pitch the boldest idea of your life to the board of directors.

You’re going to ask your boss for a raise. A big one.

You’re giving a speech at the upcoming fundraiser. It has to be memorable and inspiring.

You know all eyes will be on you as you toast the bride and groom.

Nervous yet?

We all face situations where nerves can seize us and make presenting a terrifying prospect. Whether it’s in the workplace, at the courthouse, or even on celebratory occasions, having to present yourself and your thoughts is stressful to even the most outgoing and charming folks.

You can try all kinds of techniques and tips for banishing your nerves and boosting your confidence, but perhaps the best way to overcome the nervousness of “putting yourself out there” is in shifting one’s perspective. This is easier and more effective. There is but a single, key step to take to banish your nerves forever.

Embrace your nervousness.

That’s it. Rather than feel bad or embarrassed or even panicky about your nervous state, welcome it! Embrace it! Fear is a good thing. Don’t fight it. As Soren Kierkegaard said, “Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.” Nervous? Good. It’s a sign that you’re living your life with boldness and authenticity. If you’re feeling nervous, that’s a sign you’ve got a pulse.

The important thing is to channel this nervousness into positive energy. That’s where success comes – it’s not in “beating” nerves. Attempting to fight or ignore or beat your nervousness is an exercise in futility. What’s more effective is welcoming your nervous flutters and in fact feeling grateful for them. Stage fright is wonderful. If you’re nervous, that’s a sign that you have energy and enthusiasm for your daunting task. In fact, you should be more worried if you aren’t nervous.

The best presenters and performers in the world get nervous. Nervousness isn’t a bad thing. It’s a prerequisite to a life of adventure and satisfaction. Embrace your nervousness in every endeavor. It means your whole body is tuned in to what you’re about to do. That’s living in the moment – the healthiest thing of all.

Go get ’em!

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11 May

My, You’ve Got Beautiful Skin!

Have you noticed the flood of moisturizers for use in the shower? These lotions come in several formulas, from moisturizing washes to rinse-off lotions. The latter confuses me a bit: is it conditioner for skin, or is it creating a protective barrier that clings even when the goop is washed away? And do I want anything that durable anywhere near my living, breathing skin? And what is with the sparkles?

Lotion: the thing we use to replace the moisture we just removed with soap. Soap dries our skin out, and moisturizer – depending on the ingredients – can both replenish the moisture and form a protective barrier.

While I admire the brilliant marketing – even better than meeting a need is creating one – I’m not fooled by the in-showerness of this new product category. Most of these new products contain very cheap ingredients. Despite the pennies that go into production, once they hit the shelves, these products come with some serious sticker shock. They range between $5-9. (Caress is around $5, Dove around $7.) While five bucks may not seem like much, and my healthy alternative is in the same price range, a major difference is that these in-shower moisturizers only provide a handful of uses and mine will last you all month. That is, unless you’re a person who actually follows the “quarter-sized dollop” recommendation. (Does anyone really do this? It’s like the seven chip or two Oreo serving size. Right!)

And with Gatsby Ice Deodorant Shower Lotion, the guys aren’t in the clear, either. (I’m ignoring Nivea on principle.)

Moisturizing on either side of the shower curtain is a bright idea. The key is to moisturize healthily. Despite the “newness” of in-shower lotions, you’ll notice they contain the same ingredients found in most lotions, soaps, bath washes, conditioners and shampoos. These ingredients are typically derived from petroleum or rendered animal fat. Shower lotions are gunked up with mineral oil, a friendly-sounding euphemism for the same stuff that makes plastic and runs cars. Naturally, I’m just dying to get this all over my skin and into my pores. Yum! I bet you are, too! Other petroleum-based products include “baby oil” and “bath oil”.

There’s an alternative that is:

– luxurious

– healthy for you

– healthy for the planet

– natural

– rich in vitamins, antioxidants and beneficial fatty acids

– naturally cleansing and exfoliating

– edible

– inexpensive

– completely customizable!

Apples, I present, for your savings, health and shower time enjoyment: almond oil.

Almond oil is excellent for your skin. Just a few tablespoons post-soapage will leave your skin glowing and soft all day long. You’ll smell wonderful, too – and naturally so, rather than adding to the office or store potpourri of artificial shampoo, conditioner, lotion, perfume, cologne, deodorant, detergent and aftershave fragrances.

On top of saving money, using something really healthy for you, and looking great, here’s the best part: the personalization factor.

Purchase a few different essential oils at any beauty supply or natural health store (they last forever). Lavender, peppermint, lemon, sandalwood, and cedar are some of the most therapeutic, and are completely sparkle-free. Add a few drops to your almond oil and enjoy!

Great for the girls: floral and food scents (especially citrus and vanilla)

Great for the boys: natural and herbacious scents (but no patchouli, pulllllease!)

And, for a natural, extra-rich skin scrub, try coarse sea salt. It might seem odd at first, but I think slathering the body with all kinds of surfactants and chemicals is really the odd thing. Salt draws out toxins and stress naturally. It can be a little drying, so if you have very dry skin, try fresh shredded coconut instead. I learned these natural tension-busting tips from a masseuse I used to go to after the fast-paced, intense production days on the set of Responsible Health. (Thanks, Brooke!) Whether you’re active all day on a whirling set, logging lots of focused computer-hunching time, or chasing after an energetic toddler, the satisfying rush of productivity becomes stressful to your body as the hours fly by. The salt really melts the stress away!

Note: Don’t bother with the pricey almond oils in beauty stores. Just pick up the one hanging out right next to the olive oil at your grocery store. I also suggest buying vegetable glycerin soaps so your skin doesn’t need so much moisturizer to begin with.

Let me know how you customize your moisturizer. Do you have any natural cosmetic health tips you’d like to share? Tell us!

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