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File This Under Ponce de Leon

Occasionally an ad for a new product pops up in my email inbox that’s so ridiculous, I have to share it. Being involved in the health and fitness world for many years, I feel like I’ve seen it all – until the next scam comes along that is so blatantly dishonest, it’s almost funny. Almost – except that innocent people are too often the target of such useless health products.

The latest scam is something seemingly innocuous: water. Yes, water. Who knew water could be improved upon? Well, according to the hydration “experts,” the average bottle of water needs a lot of help. Of course, it’s going to cost you.

I’m not talking about fancy French water or sparkling seltzers. Expensive though such beverages may be, they aren’t making any wacky claims. Water, in just about any form, is beneficial for your health (not to mention necessary for life). The more you drink, the better you tend to feel.

However, there is a cottage industry of designer waters that you should be wary of. These waters typically go by names like penta-water, super oxygenated water, cell water, living water, coherent water … As the old saying goes, truth truly is stranger than fiction.

These water manufacturers all claim the same things in so many words. The basic promise is more potent, better-hydrating, “living” water. If the back of the bottle talks about cellular structures, living versus dead water, ionic processes or oxygenation, run for the nearest public water fountain. It’s quackery at its finest.

My personal favorite? One water manufacturer actually claims to use “platonic solid inversion geometry” to formulate their aqua. (Funny, I don’t remember that being covered in calculus class. I guess it’s new math.)

These water hucksters will go so far as to talk about “vibration” and “frequencies” of water. Of course, any 15-year-old in chemistry class can explain that these terms are irrelevant to drinking water.

As far as oxygenation is concerned, there’s simply no such thing. You cannot “oxygenate” water. You can certainly add extra oxygen during the filtering or bottling process, but you cannot fundamentally change the molecular structure of water. If you do, it’s no longer, well, water. Water is, of course, two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. “Adding” oxygen atoms would mean we’re no longer talking about water.

The “oxygenated” water flooding the store shelves is regular old water with a scientific-sounding name. Swirl a glass of tap water, and you’ll see some oxygenation, too.

Don’t fall for these fake health waters. Water will boost your health, but the latest incarnation will only drain your bank account.

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Healthy Tastes Great!

Halibut in Artichoke and Tomato Broth

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Sting Like a Bee…

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:

So much good stuff. And a lot of funny stuff, too. Here’s the fresh mix:

1) Cheer Up, It’s All Okay!

Sometimes it’s tempting to throw your hands in the air and say “Hey, why bother? Everything’s unhealthy!” We hear you. Today, let’s put things in perspective a bit. For example, recently headlines have been popping up with the news that denser breast tissue doubles a woman’s risk of breast cancer. Yikes! Doubles?!? Double yikes!

Guess what? The overall breast cancer likelihood of, say, a typical 50-year-old woman is about 2.5 percent. For a woman with dense tissue, yes, it’s “double” – 5 percent. But doesn’t a five percent risk sound less scary than double the risk? That’s why it’s important to pay attention to the way these studies are presented. Sometimes – many times, unfortunately – medical news gets sensationalized to get to the head of the headline race. Breast cancer is scary enough – we don’t need to be dramatic about it, too! Let’s breathe a collective “whew”. And ladies, get your mammograms. Here’s the clickativity.

2) We’re Going Down, Down…

Cancer is down for the second year in a row – and not just breast cancer. Colon cancer and lung cancer, too! Smoking rates are on the decline, and awareness about colon screening (everyone’s favorite) has spread. Good news is so clickative. And this cancer can now be prevented with a simple vaccination.

3) Good Switch, Starbucks

First they do away with trans fat. Now they’re eliminating hormones in the milk. If only they’d stop with the sugar. After all, as Mark has been saying, sugar is the new trans fat.

Oddballs:

A Nation of ‘Girly Men’?

And Here We Thought BK’s Chicken Fries Were Weird…

Square Melons Are Less Stressful or Something?

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Blogging for Health

On the surface this week’s Aaron’s Additions may not seem like traditional MDA fare. You might say, “Hey Aaron, we know you bring us the latest in cool health-related tools, gadgets and tech, but you’ve gone a bit too far with this entry. What the heck does it have to do with our health?” Well dearest apples, this entry has everything to do with health. It just depends on how you look at it.
Mark’s Daily Apple is concerned with people’s health ultimately for the quality of life it represents. Leading a healthy lifestyle encompasses more than what you do for your body. As we pointed out in last week’s entry it also requires attention paid to the health of your mind. A healthy mind is one that is active, productive, and as uninhibited by stress as possible. Which is why a tool that can help you stretch your mind, make your life less stressful and cluttered, and connect you with your friends and loved ones is well worth a mention. This wonder gizmo is the new blogging platform Terapad.
Obviously you are familiar with blogs (hint: you are reading one right now), but have you ever considered writing your own? It allows you to chronicle your daily thoughts, digitally publish your novel, or convey your opinions to thousands or readers. Blogging can be a perfect way to express your creative side and communicate with people (these are the active and productive bits). But building your own blog page can seem like a daunting task. Terapad (the less stressful bit) to the rescue!
This new platform makes designing and maintaining your own virtual writing space as easy as ever and has dozens of handy features to boot. With a built-in news and RSS feeder, job and resume search, and an events calendar Terapad delivers tools that help organize your life. Share your writing, pictures and video. Sell your products, host forums, and engage in a lively discussion with your readers. The possibilities are nearly endless and Terapad offers a format that is highly customizable, an interface that is a cinch to use, and a price tag anyone can handle… it’s free!
If you are looking for a new way to engage your mind in some healthy communication, check out Terapad. Take it from us. Reaching out to a community of people with similar interests is often times therapeutic and always rewarding.

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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. 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. 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 … Continue reading “The Tuesday 10”

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Get Your Buzz On

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites

1) Why aren’t there teenage carrots?

Oh yeah, because they’d be unwashed, spoiled rotten and absolutely refuse to participate in any recipe.

2) Um, gross.

Thanks again, FDA. You guys continue to inspire. Who needs strict slaughterhouse standards when you can just spray your meat clean?

3) Skinny Fat

It’s what we’ve been saying all along. Skinny can still be fat. This study reveals that being thin but having a high percentage of body fat causes inflammation and all the problems that go with it. It’s actually better to be a little bigger, but really fit, than it is to be stick-thin but as strong as a noodle. There’s an actual medical term for it: “normal-weight obese”. Check out the article for all the details, and check out tomorrow’s Tuesday 10 for ways to get super-fit in no time.

4) Med McNugget?

We’re bothered, disturbed, and just generally in a big hot fuss over the ethical and health implications of using chickens to manufacture drugs. Doesn’t anyone stop and ask: wait, are we supposed to be doing this? Why don’t we just prevent health problems before they start and let the chickens stick to their own egg-laying pursuits? When you’re living in a world where people are so unhealthy even the chickens have to get involved, it’s time to change. Besides, the whole “Which Came First?” chicken-or-the-egg riddle was so fun. Chicken-or-the-pill, on the other hand, is just stupid.

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