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

Weekend Link Love – Edition 176

weekend link loveChris Highcock, longtime proprietor of Conditioning Research, one of the finest fitness and nutrition blogs around, has just released a fantastic fitness e-book that I had the privilege to read. While Hillfit is intended to make hillwalkers – hill-hiking enthusiasts – stronger for their activity of choice, it also describes a simple routine that anyone can use to get stronger, fitter, and healthier, using just their own bodyweight and a few simple household objects. Give it a shot and support one of the good guys – and your own body. See what others have said about Hillfit while you’re at it.

From Catalyst Athletics comes a more intense variant of the Grok squat: the Russian Baby Maker. Everyone (but perhaps expectant mothers) should try it.

I don’t recommend the consumption of popcorn, but if you’re gonna do it, make it on the stove. Microwaveable popcorn bag pollutants (PFCs, which are also found in stain repellants) make vaccines less effective.

A scientific look at the dangers of high heels. Duh.

A 13-year old girl holds eight powerlifting world records, deadlifts twice her body weight, wears knee high socks with BACON emblazoned along the sides, and has a coach who promotes a Paleo diet. That’s all.

In a recent Spanish study, consumption of fried foods was not associated with risk of coronary heart disease. They mostly use olive and sunflower oil for frying, and before we make any assumptions about omega-6 oils, it’s worth nothing that the Spanish have long been using high-oleic (monounsaturated) and high-stearic (saturated) acid sunflower oils.

Is diet soda actually bad for you? Independent of metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and hypertension, diet soda intake was strongly associated with “vascular events.”

Speaking of soda, should the regular stuff have a legal drinking age?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Jan 30 – Feb 5)

Comment of the Week

He’s probably making a classic Simpsons reference.

“Bojourrrrrr ya cheese eatin’ surrender monkeys”

JSully’s got it. Sorry about the confusion, guys!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. That’s amazing about the 13 year old and her powerlifting records! Hope to see her in the Olympics!

    Soft drinks should just be banned. My mom suffers from intense heartburn and acid reflux but still won’t cut out her diet soft drinks because, as she puts it ‘I’m too old to give up the things I like’. Bah! She’s 57! Bah.

    Caleigh wrote on February 5th, 2012
    • That would be awesome if she made the olympics and won a bunch of gold medals. Her secret is her diet I think…

      win for us!

      Primal Toad wrote on February 5th, 2012
    • Yep. Then they’ll ban “unhealthy” saturated fat, salt, cholesterol, raw dairy, etc. Just think, an entire black market for soft drinks. Cartels shooting it out with police and other cartels (and killing innocent bystanders). Oh, and then they’ll have to ban carbonated water, sugar, all sorts of fruit juices so folks can’t make their own at home. Sounds like laws most people wouldn’t want to live under. Perhaps simply EDUCATING people about the effects things have on health might be a better route.

      Trav wrote on February 6th, 2012
      • Right on, Trav.

        AustinGirl wrote on February 6th, 2012
      • And ALL restaurants will be Taco Bell . . .

        Justin wrote on February 6th, 2012
    • There is no powerlifting in the Olympics, only Olympic lifting. As she does not compete in Olympic lifting she will not be at the Olympics.

      Reijo wrote on February 6th, 2012
      • Thank you, that was bugging me.

        Ben wrote on February 6th, 2012
      • Hey all – Abbey’s coach here. Yep, they cut out the part of the interview where Abbey talked about learning the olympic lifts. She’s well aware of what lifts are contested in the Olympics :)

        Jonathan Sabar wrote on February 6th, 2012
  2. that powerlifting 13 year old is awesome!! go bacon!!

    Burn wrote on February 5th, 2012
  3. That article about sugar scares me. How about we help educate people and let them be responsible for what they put in their mouths instead of looking to government to stone our problems? Isn’t government involvement what helped bring about a lot of the flawed conventional wisdom in the first place?

    Steven wrote on February 5th, 2012
    • Solve not stone. Damn phone lol

      Steven wrote on February 5th, 2012
      • Great question. It’s a challenge. We are truly in a mess and I think with 7 billion people living in this world, its going to be very difficult to get out of it.

        I’m sick of the government making decisions for all of us. I mean, if wheat, corn, rice, soy, etc. was not subsidized then many of our problems would probably be non existent.

        Primal Toad wrote on February 5th, 2012
      • If our government spent more time being stoned and less time interfering with our lives, they’d solve more problems! :)

        Wenchypoo wrote on February 6th, 2012
  4. I’m taking a sip of Diet Mt. Dew and I see “diet soda intake was strongly associated with “vascular events.”

    You bet I’m going to read that one!

    Moshen wrote on February 5th, 2012
  5. Mark – Thanks so much for the kind words about Hillfit! You know we’ve both been in this game for a good few years! A treasured possession is the signed copy of your Primal Blueprint that you sent me when it was launched. Thanks again for you support!

    Chris

    Chris wrote on February 5th, 2012
  6. I already did the Russian Baby Maker intuitively. Another hold in a similar position but for different muscles is to put your hands down flat and lift up your feet. It’s the Russian Baby Maker Handstand.

    Animanarchy wrote on February 5th, 2012
  7. I’m a bit confused about how to view the results of the Spanish study on fried food – from a primal perspective.

    Yes, the point about not re-using oil is quite clear from any perspective. YUCK. I never did that at home and don’t plan to start now. I avoid take out or dine in fried foods – unless I KNOW the kitchen well.

    For instance, if I am going to eat out I go to a local family owned Greek restaurant that prides itself on fresh foods and fresh cooking methods – opens its kitchen to new customers on request – and on long time healthy senior citizen repeat customers. I do NOT eat fast food french fries regardless of the type of oil that they use. How can they claim “no trans fats” when they reuse cooking oil? Legal loopholes probably.

    The part that confuses me most about the study is heating olive oil, which I thought was not a good idea in the first place. The next confusion is using a seed oil at all in the primal diet. I thought that olive oil was the exception to the plant oils rule. I’m going to go re-read on these subjects – and would appreciate hearing what others think.

    rarebird wrote on February 5th, 2012
    • I’m a little confused by the “re-using” oil part actually. I thought it was ok to save bacon grease and re-use it for cooking. Should I not be doing this?

      Anthony wrote on February 5th, 2012
      • I don’t think bacon grease is an “oil” in this context. However, I only use the saved bacon grease once anyway. Just a personal preference.

        rarebird wrote on February 5th, 2012
    • Check your nutritional database on the fats–olive oil isn’t as loaded with O-3 as we’re led to believe…assuming we even GET real olive oil here (which we don’t).

      WAPF says using seed oils (high-oleic acid ones, that is) should be used COLD, as in salad dressings, and not hot, because they change into a dangerous substance when heat is applied. Not just oxidize, but turn into other harmful compounds.

      Wenchypoo wrote on February 6th, 2012
  8. I don’t understand why everyone is congratulating the 13 year old and 10 year old for power lifting.

    I understand it’s a great accomplishment.

    But those kids aren’t done growing yet, and are likely to do damage to their growth plates.

    Federkeil wrote on February 5th, 2012
    • I hadn’t gotten to that link yet but I was thinking the same thing.

      rarebird wrote on February 5th, 2012
    • http://www.exrx.net/WeightTraining/Weightlifting/YouthMisconceptions.html

      I think “likely” is a dangerous word to use because it tries to make an uninformed generalization without any statistically significant data to support it.

      Also, these aren’t kinds in their parents’ basement doing hunchback “deadlifts” in spinal flexion to impress their friends. They’re being coached and monitored in a sport that is far more dependent on technique than raw strength.

      hipgnosis wrote on February 5th, 2012
    • This was the basically the first response in the reply section under the article. Her coach actually replied to that response.

      Alessandra wrote on February 5th, 2012
      • Thank you for pointing that out. I read the whole response section and viewed the video – rounds out the article significantly.

        rarebird wrote on February 5th, 2012
    • OK, here is my personal bias. I REALLY, REALLY hope that its OK for young people of both genders to get involved in weight lifting and/or powerlifting. Any safe sport or fitness program that can be used by the “middle school” age group (and up) is a great idea – not only for fitness and self-confidence, etc – but also to prevent bullying. Did you hear what Abbey Watson said in the video about kids not messing with her anymore? Go, Girl!

      I remember all too well the limiting myths that young girls were confronted with when I was Abbey’s age. The one that my mother religiously adhered to involved young girls and women lifting “heavy things” damaging their reproductive organs. She had an eagle eye about watching what I lifted. But, being a rather ingenious “tom boy” I found ways around that prohibition.

      By the age of nine, I had several ways to exercise and play involving moving my own body weight. She never noticed since I wan’t lifting an object :-).

      My favorite was the knotted rope in a tree. I could pull myself up to the top of the rope without using my feet on lower knots – and eventually could swing my legs up to the branch – about 15 feet off the ground.

      Didn’t seem to hurt me at all – and in fact I am the first female in my family (on my mother’s side) not to develop osteoporosis – including my sedentary younger sister. In fact, my bone density is well above average in every measurement for ANY age adult woman. The last time I had a bone density test, the technician checked everything twice and told me that I measured at the top of the chart.

      Can’t say which factors contributed what to the end result – but I doubt that being an active “tom boy “during my formative years can be excluded.

      About growth plates – yes – they are important to protect. That may be why the IPF (International Powerlifter’s Federation – the Olympic committee recognized organization) has a lower limit of 14 for their junior competitors. 14 used to be considered the average age when growth plates closed – but that’s an old guideline. Bones differ but some growth plates can be open and vulnerable to fracture until the age of 20.

      So, with weigh lifting and powerlifting I’d think that proper form (and training) would be needed to prevent fractures – but otherwise not sure that there is any risk any greater than a number of “normal” active kid activities. What are we gonna do – tie them up? Right.

      Another N = 1 example – but – I had a serious knee injury at 14 that ~supposedly~ damaged (among other things) the growth plate. I was told by various professionals so many times, for so many years, that the leg was a bit shorter as a result that it became a “fact” for me. That is, until a truly competent PT proved that fact wrong.

      The PT showed me and then helped me correct the real problem – pelvic and lower spine curvature – which may have originated in part from the accident that injured my knee. Since then, I am more careful about making assumptions about growth plates injuries.

      rarebird wrote on February 5th, 2012
    • Kids in Russia do it all the time.

      Wenchypoo wrote on February 6th, 2012
  9. OK, I get it now about the PUFA factor in sunflower oil. Standard sunflower oil has a huge percentage of PUFA – the highest of all plant oils at about 69%. HOWEVER, high oleic (70% or more) sunflower oil is very low in PUFA – about 4%.

    So, what the study in questions tells us pertains to the low heart attack risk from frying foods in plant oils low in PUFA – similar to the primal practice of frying foods in palm, coconut, bacon grease, etc.

    Now I’m going to look into the matter of heating olive (and high oleic sunflower) oils.

    rarebird wrote on February 5th, 2012
  10. Looking again at the article discussing the study, the term “sunflower oil” is used with nothing to suggest that it isn’t standard high PUFA sunflower oil. I did note what Mark said about Spain’s consumption of high oleic sunflower oil – but I’d want to see the actual study in its entirety before I’d assume that the PUFA level of the oil was controlled for. Given that the study was not a controlled study but a longitudinal study that may well have relied on self-report the issue of making inferences regarding PUFA is a concern.

    rarebird wrote on February 5th, 2012
  11. As for banning soft drinks or making them for adults only – typical San Francisco, California knee-jerk liberal nanny law fascism.

    Harry Mossman wrote on February 5th, 2012
    • Amen, educate about the effects and make people responsible for their own actions. And parents should be responsible for what their kids ingest, not some idiot bureaucrat. Banning things in general is stupid. Did we learn nothing from prohibition?

      bbuddha wrote on February 5th, 2012
      • Bingo! Anyone see the documentary “Prohibition” by Ken Burns?

        rarebird wrote on February 5th, 2012
    • These are from Dictionary.com

      Fascism – (sometimes initial capital letter) a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.

      Liberal – lib·er·al
         [lib-er-uhl, lib-ruhl]
      adjective
      1.favorable to progress or reform, as in political or religious affairs.

      2.(often initial capital letter ) noting or pertaining to a political party advocating measures of progressive political reform.

      3.of, pertaining to, based on, or advocating liberalism.

      4.favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible, especially as guaranteed by law and secured by governmental protection of civil liberties.

      5.favoring or permitting freedom of action, especially with respect to matters of personal belief or expression: a liberal policy toward dissident artists and writers.

      Liberal are not Fascists no matter how much you want them to be.

      Chris wrote on February 5th, 2012
      • Ho hum. You know perfectly well that in everyday conversation, nazi and fascist now refer to anyone who imposes rigid views, like soup nazis and grammar nazis.

        Harry Mossman wrote on February 5th, 2012
        • well by your definition, conservative republicans would definitely be fascist nazis.

          Mike Gager wrote on February 5th, 2012
        • I personally don’t think this is the venue to discuss one’s political views and since you mentioned it, does “typical San Francisco, California knee-jerk liberal nanny law fascism” sound like a rigid view to you, Harry? It does to me.

          And you know perfectly well that you’re not using the term “fascism” like Jerry Seinfeld when he’s talking about the soup Nazi. Please.

          Chris wrote on February 5th, 2012
        • I am only going to reply to assure anyone reading that I am not a right wing fascist. I am an Obama progressive.

          Harry Mossman wrote on February 5th, 2012
        • Some of this is politically, unfortunately. However it really doesn’t matter what side you are on, having government tell you what you can and can not eat takes away everyone’s freedom and choices. It also allows them to pick and choose the winners and losers based on who is backing there campaigns, as well as manipulate the data based on who is funding the study(ies), which almost always has a special interest involved.

          rdzins wrote on February 6th, 2012
  12. On the subject of heating plant oils – there is a good article at the Weston A. Price website that begins to address this issue.

    “Trans Fatty Acids Are Not Formed by Heating Vegetable Oils”

    Written by Mary G. Enig, PhD
    February 24 2004

    Here’s what I take away:

    1. Specific conditions are needed for creating trans fatty acids – and the resulting trans fats are not the same in each condition. One condition is hydrogenation – the worst offender. The other conditions are: pressurized deep fat friers, high pressure deodorization, and high heat extrusion with an alkaline catalyst. NONE of these methods would be found in the case of simple frying using a frying pan.

    2. Heating fragile oils – low smoking point like flax – to a heat high enough for frying does produce OTHER products that carry potential health risk. These products are polymerized oil, free radicals and other breakdown byproducts. Heating fragile oils like flax in the whole food does not carry these same risks. So, know your oil’s smoking point.

    3. Olive oil is safe for frying and sauteing under “fairly high” heat conditions – but NOT safe under very high heat like fast stir frying. EVOO smoking point too low for some frying (and sauteing) applications. (A “saute” by definition is higher heat/faster cooking than simple “pan frying”, btw.)

    So, until I find other information to the contrary that is convincing (valid and reliable under controlled conditions) I plan to follow the above guidelines.

    rarebird wrote on February 5th, 2012
    • With regard to high pressure deodorization related to primal cooking – check your coconut (and palm) oil manufacturer to be sure that they are not using this method.

      rarebird wrote on February 5th, 2012
  13. If those researchers testing the results of wearing high-heels long term really wanted to know the effects, all they needed to do is go to a rehab hospital or nursing home and look at female patients that wore high-heels all of their lives. As a therapist, I’ve seen the mangling that occurs as a result of long-term high-heels–and I’m not talking about just the feet and calves (althought that’s pretty bad.) I’d go out on a limb to say that a huge number of the falls I see are a result of having worn shoes with heels (in this case, I’m also referring to mens shoes as well.) In these people, there is no mobility left in the metatarsals, lack of dosriflexion, lack of the little adjustments the foot needs to make over uneven surfaces, etc.)

    The fact that the researchers stopped at the calves is unfortunate (as every bit of ones posture, including the jaw–TMJ anyone?–is negatively effected by heels) but I guess this was a start.

    fritzy wrote on February 5th, 2012
    • One of the great things about a study like this one is that, incomplete though it may be, it does provide ammunition for those women (and men) whose work place (or school) requires shoes with heels – who wish to fight these requirements. I had a hard time arguing against professional dress code that required me to wear at least low (2 inch) heels all day long.

      Over time, I learned how to avoid these requirements, to find a way around them, and often kept a pair of flats, Birkenstock sandals, slippers, or moccasins (all with relatively non-slip soles) tucked away at work. Only wore the heels coming and going to/from work or whenever I was likely to be scrutinized.

      On many days you’d catch me bare foot at work – as well as at home – when I could get away with it. It was a pain in the rear- but I am so glad that I made these efforts/choices because now that I am retired I have great foot health to enjoy the rest of my life.

      Oh, and beyond heels there is also the issue of footwear that allows the foot to slide back and forth inside the shoe or boot. This kind of repetitive micro trauma can lead to plantar fasciitis – very painful and debilitating.

      Cannot underestimate the value of proper footwear or no footwear whenever possible. I guess I was primal in this regard all my life.

      rarebird wrote on February 5th, 2012
      • I would think you could argue against this dress-code on sexual discrimination grounds–I have a difficult time believing they require a minimum 2 inch heel for the male employees. Your workplace dress code sounds incredibly regressive and borderline illegal.

        I agree, this study certainly has merit, and because so few studies have actually been conducted on the subject, it is important. That said, it would not have been that difficult to place electrodes and motion sensors higher up on the body.

        fritzy wrote on February 5th, 2012
        • Appreciate your sentiments – but part of the reason that the dress code sounds regressive was that I was talking primarily about earlier years in my career. And, was working in a regressive part of the country as well as in a conventional, male dominated field. Foot wear was the least of my problems – and I quickly found less confrontational ways around the problem.

          Discrimination (and sexual harassment) laws are more recent – and, trust me, its not as simple as it may seem to exercise your rights under those laws. Lawsuits can drag on for years, cost a lot of money, and cause a lot of stress – especially when the suit is against an institution. Challenging professional dress codes may be easier these days – but still not easy.

          There are also social subtexts to both male and female dress – especially in the work place. Has a lot to do with power structures – balance of power and so on. Women have traditionally found personal power via their sexuality. High heels equate with sexuality – and a sense of power.

          Its challenging to break out those modes of social interaction but it can be done. My feet demand it! I’m not being political (or asexual); I just don’t like shoes :-).

          rarebird wrote on February 5th, 2012
        • P.S. At the same time that there was/is a professional dress code for women, there was/is also a dress code for men. That code may not have involved requiring men to wear high heels, but it establishes equity. Without studies like the one shared here in the link love it would be hard for women to argue against a rigid demand to wear heels in the workplace.

          If you read the article about the study, you’ll see that there haven’t been many studies done to date on the damage related to high heel wearing. People have know for a long time what damage can be done – but without research to cite there’s not much of a leg to stand on in a challenge to dress codes.

          In some cases, the dress code is not based on a single office policy but extends to an entire profession. And, did you know that sitting judges can (and do) still require women to wear a skirt and heels in the courtroom? Plenty of female attorneys comply, regardless.

          rarebird wrote on February 5th, 2012
  14. Hillfit: 50 page ebook for £9.95 just seems way overpriced- sorry

    Paul Devine wrote on February 5th, 2012
    • Paul

      Picking a price was tough and I am not sure that I got it right. I am trying to reflect the work that went into it. I’ve also got a money back guarantee – if people have a problem with it, or think it is not worth it I refund the cost.

      Email me (Chris AT Hillfit.com)

      Chris wrote on February 5th, 2012
      • I understand the difficulty in pricing ebooks and appreciate both the refund guarantee and you taking the time to reply- thanks.

        I hope the book is a success for you and all who read it (including me!)

        (Dear Paul Devine,
        You sent a payment of £9.95 GBP to Hillfit.
        This charge will appear on your statement as payment to PAYPAL *HILLFIT.)

        Paul Devine wrote on February 5th, 2012
        • Thanks for taking a risk on this Paul. If you are not satisfied there is a refund no questions.

          Chris wrote on February 5th, 2012
  15. A legal drinking age for soda? I appreciated the article’s creative solutions for working around the damage wrought by the sugar industry (and its powerful lobbyists).

    And to Abbey, the 13yo paleo powerlifter: You go, girl!

    Anne wrote on February 5th, 2012
  16. That diet/regular soda study news caught my attention this week – so glad to see Mark include it in this weekend’s link love. Haven’t read the study yet – but as the article suggests the study did control for major confounds (e.g. pre-existing health conditions) and the study authors make no claims about mechanisms – further study is indicated.

    I also noted that “light” (no added risk) diet soda consumption could be as much as one diet soda per day SIX days per week. Only one “vacation” day a week marks the difference between no added and added risk consumption. FWIW.

    rarebird wrote on February 5th, 2012
  17. As diet sodas are not all created equal, we’d want to know more about types and amounts of sweeteners, caffeine, and so on. Hopefully, when future researchers look for mechanisms they won’t neglect to control for these variables. It’s conceivable that there are “safe/safer” diet sodas as well as “unsafe/more unsafe” ones – with regard to the current findings. Not that I personally like any sodas at all but still….

    rarebird wrote on February 5th, 2012
  18. That powerlifter girl is awesome. The fact that she eats a paleo diet and loves bacon is huge for this movement I think.

    Primal Toad wrote on February 5th, 2012
    • Yeah, didn’t you just love how her trainer turned the tables on the reporter regarding bacon? LOL! Her “kryptonite” remarks gave him a great opportunity to bring the paleo aspect of her training into the conversation.

      I would love to see some good studies done on the bone formation, growth, and mineralization of paleo kids versus other same age kids in training like her. She may actually be in much less risk of injury to her joints than other kids doing similar training/competing.

      rarebird wrote on February 5th, 2012
  19. “The risks extend to workouts, when heel wearers abruptly switch to sneakers or other flat shoes.”

    So the lesson here is, if you wear high heels at work, wear high heels at the gym! Haha kidding…

    Mountain wrote on February 5th, 2012
  20. I find the fear of nitrates and nitrites in bacon a bit off base. Veggies are full of them as is our own saliva. In addition the “no nitrates added’ label is a complete scam. Just don’t burn your bacon and you’ll be just fine.

    http://ruhlman.com/2011/05/the-no-nitrites-added-hoax/

    Michael C wrote on February 5th, 2012
  21. Actually, that squatting technique is exactly what expectant mothers SHOULD be doing. I did a lot of yoga and other exercises while I was pregnant, and definitely did this squat (and another one that’s also a fantastic hip opener) almost every day throughout my pregnancy. Without going into gross details, I’ll just say it definitely paid off.

    Casey wrote on February 5th, 2012
    • I was also thinking that – and have been trying to remember what that squat was called in Yogic terms. I remember doing it as a warm up to another posture – but that’s my memory fails. Its been a long time since I practiced Yoga. I don’t remember what posture’s typically preceded by that squat. Anyone?

      rarebird wrote on February 5th, 2012
      • Garland Posture is the posture you are thinking of

        Sonja Fairfield wrote on February 6th, 2012
        • Thanks

          rarebird wrote on February 6th, 2012
    • I agree! Mark, squatting (all forms) is an excellent exercise for expectant mothers!

      Danielle wrote on February 6th, 2012
  22. About that “Time Capsule” on central heating – makes many good points that make sense to me. Americans have been called “hot house flowers” in other countries where central heating isn’t so common. May well be why the obesity epidemic has been such a trend in America even before other countries.

    I used to swim outdoors in a lake in winter – as an “immune booster”. I rarely have colds or other viruses/infections. But, maybe I’ve been supporting my health in other ways as well. Let’s hear it for brown fat!

    To this day, I sleep much better in a cool room. I use the family room fireplace (insert) to heat the house – and leave the central heat set on a low temp. If the house is too warm at bedtime, I crack the bedroom window. I spend time outside every day in the winter. I exercise in a cool basement. After what we’re learning about brown fat, I think I will make even more changes to my environment in this regard.

    rarebird wrote on February 5th, 2012
    • Please switch off your heating at night and put it on timer, for your wake-up, instead of wasting resources (that way you can reduce your carbon footprint)

      Sonja Fairfield wrote on February 6th, 2012
      • That’s good advice. I don’t know if you were addressing me with that advice – but if you were, no worries.

        I normally keep the thermostat set so low that the heat never comes on day or night. The reason that I do that is that I have one of those digital thermostats that gives a lot of readings – as long as the system is on – like relative indoor humidity. Using the fireplace for heating like I do tends to dry the air out so that’s how I monitor the humidity.

        The HVAC system that I have is high efficiency and uses relatively little energy anyway – when I do choose to occasionally use it. Plus, the house is well insulated with little heart loss and the fireplace does a very good job of heating it – too good if I don’t made a point of keeping small fires.

        And, FYI, my fireplace insert is EPA approved for emissions – and has a glass door that allows viewing of the fire as well – without sucking the heated air out of the house and up the chimney. I like to have fun as well as to be environmentally conscious/socially responsible. The two don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

        I also get my firewood from trees that have been blown down during storms, needed to be trimmed, or have been taken to the local land fill. Our community provides free firewood to anyone who can cut it up and remove it from the landfill. The remaining wood and other plant matter is mulched/composted at the landfill site and also provided free to residents for landscaping.

        rarebird wrote on February 6th, 2012
  23. About the high heels — female professional ballroom dancers (and even many amateurs) dance in 2 to 4 inch heels for several hours a day, nearly every day, for decades. Sure, there are people who complain about the shoes in ballroom dancing, but the shoes don’t keep the professionals off the floor. What gives? Is it that ballroom dancers wear heels differently than the average woman?

    Turnip wrote on February 5th, 2012
    • I’m an occupational therapist who has seen the results of long-term heel wearing in ball-room dancers. The effects are pretty much the same as someone who wore them in the office or to church–mangled feet and lack of dorsiflexion in the ankles. Heels are an orthopedic nightmare.

      fritzy wrote on February 5th, 2012
    • They most likely wear different shoes than the average woman–as in CUSTOM MADE or a brand that is specifically manufactured for professional dancers, like Capezio. Dancers don’t buy their shoes from Payless, Sears, or any old store–they go to where they know their feet will be properly fitted for their work.

      The stuff we wear is cranked out in China, using bizarre foot forms, bizarre styling, and bizarre ideas of foot sizing (much like our clothing, and everything else). Everything is standardized for ease of manufacture–not for comfort or individual need.

      Wenchypoo wrote on February 6th, 2012
      • Yes – but have you ever seen the feet of professional dancers – like ballerinas who wear toe-shoes? Their feet take a real beating in those professionally designed shoes.

        rarebird wrote on February 6th, 2012
  24. When I coached baseball, softball, and basketball, I had my players do the Russian Baby Maker–only I called it the Swahili Birthing Position. It is a great stretch for the hips.

    KentH wrote on February 5th, 2012
  25. I’m very glad my parents didn’t allow me to drink soda for many years as a child… not sure about making it illegal though. I think the only good thing that would come of making it illegal would be to draw attention to how insidious it is.

    Audrey H wrote on February 5th, 2012
  26. Just to say, i have acquired a copy of hillfit! looking forward to seeing great results in the hills!

    chris wrote on February 6th, 2012
  27. Those weightlifting kids better watch their epiphysial growth plates…

    Dave, RN wrote on February 6th, 2012
  28. ban soda NO way…butter would surely be next (or more likely would come first). As Lustig points out in his youtube video sugar consumption went up when HFCS was developed because HFCS is cheap. If we stop subsidizing grain production with tax dollars the cost of corn will go up. If the price of corn goes up the price of HFCS will go up too. If HFCS is no longer cheap they’ll stop putting it in virtually everything. Manufacturers would either have to charge more for their product, which would have create a limiting effect on consumption, or they’d have to reduce the amount of HFCS which would also reduce consumption.

    Dan wrote on February 6th, 2012
  29. I love how studies of something we disagree with from the “conventional wisdom” camp get dissected by Denise Minger and ridiculed (anything with saturated fat, for example), but the diet soda-vascular event study gets held up as some sort of example. While I’m certainly not in favor of diet sodas this smacks of the same bad science we often criticize. Why the double standard?

    PB wrote on February 6th, 2012
  30. We decided just this weekend to spend our vacation next summer on the opposite coast (CA!) and ending with hiking the Grand Canyon. I did it in 1991 and now I’ll do it again with my husband and four children (15, 12, 6 and 6). As we’re not physically ready for it, Hillfit looks like it may be a great thing for some of us. Thanks for letting me know about it!

    shannon wrote on February 7th, 2012

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