Category: Recent Articles

Weekly Link Love — Edition 119

Research of the Week
A large portion of COVID complications were due to metabolic co-morbidities.

You are mostly what you eat.

Keto improves daily function and quality of life in dementia patients.

Giving testosterone to men with type 2 diabetes causes remission in some.

Improving road safety reduces crime.

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Ask a Health Coach: Stress Eating, Sabotagers, and Why There’s No Wagon to Fall Off Of

Hi Folks! In this week’s edition of Ask a Health Coach, Erin is here to share her insights on the different ways we cope with stress, what to do when you live with a saboteur, and how accountability and self-efficacy can help you stay on track. Got more questions? Go ahead and post them down in the comments below or over in the Mark’s Daily Apple Facebook group. Lance asked: I’ve been doing my fair share of stress eating over the past year and I’m ready to clean up my diet. I like the idea of using exercise as a way to de-stress instead of downing junk food. What kind of workout routine do you recommend? You’re not alone in wanting to reel in your habits. But let’s start by pulling back the curtain on your motivation. First Off, Is Stress Eating Actually Bad? Anytime we eat for reasons other than to satisfy hunger, it can be classified as emotional eating (and that includes stress eating). It’s a way to cope with or numb the feelings we don’t want to deal with. We’ve all done it. Even me. And although the term gets a bad rap, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. People who recognize their stress-eating behaviours have better odds of finding healthier ways to cope. Why? Simply because we can’t change the things we don’t know we’re doing! That being said, chronic emotional eating can come with negative consequences as you’ve noticed, in addition to harboring feelings of guilt, shame, and the potential to develop more serious disorders. Chronic Exercise is a Coping Mechanism Too When it comes to diet culture, we get the message that binging on bags of chips or overdoing it on ice cream after a tough day is something to be ashamed of, while throwing around free weights to blow off steam should be something to celebrate. Coping is coping. We deal with (or completely avoid) our emotions in so many ways — food, alcohol, TV, and yes, exercise. Some are just deemed more “acceptable” in the name of health. Healthier coping strategies, like exercise, may help you tolerate stress or temporarily offer a distraction, but it’s important to face your emotions at some point. And while I firmly believe that movement is imperative for your metabolic health, diving headfirst into workout routine to offset stress-eating sounds like it’s got some less-than-healthy intentions behind it. When you swap one coping mechanism for another, you’re not really doing yourself any favors. Consistency is the Best Approach My recommendations for workout routines are ones you enjoy doing — things you can see yourself doing consistently. And there’s research to back it up. One study followed participants who’d lost and kept off 30 or more pounds and found that the secret to their success was the consistency of their workouts. Instead of using exercise as a form of punishment to off-set your behaviors during the pandemic or to cope with guilt or shame, do it because your … Continue reading “Ask a Health Coach: Stress Eating, Sabotagers, and Why There’s No Wagon to Fall Off Of”

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How I’d Change Higher Education

In past posts, I’ve said how I’d change grade school, PE class, medical school, and school in general. Today I’ll tell you how I’d change higher education—colleges and universities. This was the hardest one yet to write because the “purpose” of college is so open-ended and vast.

What is the purpose of the university? Is it to train people get good jobs? Establish careers? Is its purpose to help students figure out who they are and what they believe—to “find themselves”? Is it a grand filter, a way for society to establish and separate the “elite” from the rest? Or is college the grand equalizer, a way for anyone and everyone to obtain a quality education and find their way up in the world?

It can’t be all of those things, and yet it tries to make it work.

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Orthorexia: Where to Draw the Line Between Healthy Eating and Obsession?

Dr. Steven Bratman coined the term orthorexia (“right appetite”) more than two decades ago to describe what happens when health-conscious diets go too far. Although it still hasn’t been accepted as an official medical diagnosis, orthorexia nervosa is a proposed eating disorder that involves an extreme obsession with eating a “correct” diet. People with orthorexia nervosa strive to eat only foods they consider healthy and strictly avoid foods they deem to be unhealthy or impure. Their obsession with eating a healthy diet takes over their lives, eventually impairing their mental, social, and even physical well-being. The topic of orthorexia is controversial within health circles. On the surface, it can be hard to distinguish between folks who are simply health-conscious and those who have crossed the line into disordered eating. Any diet—even relatively mainstream ones like Mediterranean or paleo—could veer into orthorexia depending on the individual. People who raise concerns about orthorexia often get accused of “fit-shaming.” Then the straw man arguments begin: “Oh, so I guess it’s healthier just to eat Twinkies and Big Macs, then?” No, obviously not. Orthorexia starts with food rules or following diets, but it’s much more than that. To be clear: Wanting to be healthy is not orthorexic. Neither is believing that some foods are healthier or more nutritious than others. Cutting out certain foods, tracking macronutrients, or following a specific diet is not inherently problematic. However, those behaviors can be stepping stones to orthorexia, so this is a conversation we need to be willing to have. What is Orthorexia Nervosa? Orthorexia nervosa is a preoccupation with healthy eating that ultimately interferes with health and well-being. The first stage involves setting rules and restrictions around what foods you will and will not eat. Specific rules vary from person to person. An individual might avoid gluten, food additives, GMOs, dairy, animal products, nightshades, sugar, artificial sweeteners, grains, or whatever they deem to be unhealthy. Before you get defensive, understand that food rules are only step one. They are necessary but not sufficient for developing orthorexia nervosa. Many people follow set diets or restrict certain food groups without developing orthorexia. Diet behaviors don’t cross the line into orthorexia nervosa until they start to interfere with quality of life. Definition of Orthorexia Nervosa Eating disorders and other mental health disorders each have a set of diagnostic criteria. These are like checklists that help doctors and therapists decide when a particular diagnosis is warranted. Currently, orthorexia nervosa is not recognized as an eating disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V). That means there are no agreed-upon diagnostic criteria. Nevertheless, researchers and practitioners need to be able to differentiate an ardent healthy-eating enthusiast from someone who has crossed the line into disordered eating. Experts have proposed various ways of defining orthorexia nervosa. While the specifics deviate somewhat, they share common features: Behaviors: Obsessive preoccupation with eating only foods one deems “healthy.” Strict avoidance of foods deemed “unhealthy.” Negative effect on mental health or well-being: Behaviors and/or thoughts … Continue reading “Orthorexia: Where to Draw the Line Between Healthy Eating and Obsession?”

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That Tortilla Hack You Saw on TikTok (Savory and Sweet Options!)

  Sometimes, trending recipes aren’t what you were expecting. Other times, they’re a hit with your whole family. This is one of those times. This TikTok tortilla hack turns a plain old tortilla into a hearty meal or treat in just a few minutes, and the possibilities for fillings are endless. We’re offering up a few recipes to get you started, but soon you’ll find yourself adding a little of this or that to put your own creative spin on the popular folded tortilla wrap. Have the Kids Make Their Own Folded Tortilla Kids are more likely to eat foods that they prepared themselves. Give them a sense of control by letting them choose what goes in each quadrant. Folding tortillas this way solves a challenging part of eating wraps when your hands are little – it turns the tortilla into a cup that holds all the goodies inside! Other Ideas for Tortilla Fillings Savory Sauteed peppers and onions Sliced sausage Sauteed kale Feta or goat cheese Buffalo sauce Ranch dressing Pesto mayo Sweet Blackberries Strawberries Homemade nutella Homemade marshmallows Here’s how to make a bacon avocado breakfast folded tortilla, and a chocolate strawberry bacon breakfast tortilla. Avocado Bacon Breakfast Tortilla Wrap Ingredients Almond flour tortilla (Siete or Whole Foods brand) 1 fried egg 2 slices cooked bacon, broken into a few pieces 1/4 sliced avocado 1/2 oz. cheese of choice Primal Kitchen® Avocado Oil Spray or Avocado Oil Salsa for dipping Directions Preheat a seasoned cast iron skillet on the stovetop over medium heat. Once hot, add a little avocado oil or use avocado oil spray. Place the tortilla in the pan and let it heat up for 15 seconds on each side. You want the tortilla to be pliable and soft, but not to the point where it gets too toasted and gets tough. Quickly cut a slit halfway through the center of the tortilla. Orient the tortilla so the cut side of the tortilla is facing you. Arrange the fillings in each quadrant of the tortilla. Fold the bottom left flap of the tortilla up to meet the top left. Flip that section to the right to cover the top right quadrant. Then flip one more time to cover the bottom right quadrant. Add a little more avocado spray to the pan. Once the oil is hot, place the folded tortilla in it. If needed, you can gently press the tortilla down with a small skillet or bottom of a heavy jar. Flip the folded tortilla over with a spatula until both sides are nice and browned. Repeat with additional tortillas and fillings. Eat your tortillas as is, or dip the savory breakfast tortillas in salsa!   Bacon Chocolate Strawberry Folded Tortilla Wrap Ingredients Almond flour tortilla (Siete or Whole Foods brand) 1-2 slices cooked bacon, broken into a few pieces 1-2 thinly sliced strawberries 1/2 tbsp. melted dark chocolate (we used 95%) 1/2 tbsp. nut butter of choice Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Spray or Avocado Oil … Continue reading “That Tortilla Hack You Saw on TikTok (Savory and Sweet Options!)”

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Ginger Turmeric Chicken Soup Recipe

This is the ultimate cold weather soup. Inspired by my mother in law’s delicious turmeric chicken soup, this ginger turmeric chicken soup recipe makes frequent appearances in our rotation all winter long. It’s easy to make, and you’ll usually have most of the ingredients you need on hand – just pick up a couple turmeric roots on your next grocery trip that you can have ready for when the mood strikes. As with traditional chicken soup recipes, you first make the broth with a whole chicken and aromatics. Then, the fun begins, and you can then add color, texture, and lots of flavor to your soup with grated veggies. This is my go-to soup when I’m feeling stuffy or under the weather. There’s nothing like a steamy, rich broth with ginger to make me feel clear again. Health Benefits of Flavorful Rhizomes Like Ginger and Turmeric People have used ingredients like ginger and turmeric in teas, extracts, in culinary applications, and in capsules for a wide variety of purposes. Ginger A lot of people regularly incorporate ginger for its potential health benefits. Ginger has been used all over the world for centuries for a range of ails including nausea, inflammation, pain, and for its antioxidant properties. While we can’t confirm whether it will make a difference in for you, we think it adds a warming brightness and is worth including in a steaming bowl of chicken soup. Turmeric We have a lot of information here on Mark’s Daily Apple on turmeric. People reach for turmeric when they have issues with joint pain, digestive upset, fever, respiratory issues, and more. What works for some people may not work for others, but it still adds vibrant color and an earthy depth to this chicken soup recipe. Recipe Tips: When grating the onions, celery, carrots, zucchini and potatoes, use the large holes on your box grater. When grating the turmeric, use a microplane or the tiny grating section on a box grater. For a richer soup, don’t bother straining the chicken fat that accumulates on the top of the soup. You could also add more butter to the pot when sautéing your veggies. If you don’t like cilantro, you can use parsley or dill instead. You can use a pressure cooker or Instant Pot instead of preparing the broth on the stovetop, but I found that the Instant Pot just isn’t large enough to fit the amount of broth, chicken and veggies I wanted to add to the pot and so prefer to use a large stock pot. This is a BIG pot of soup so it will make plenty to feed a family and have leftovers to boot. It also freezes well for quick lunches later! Here’s how to make it. Ginger Turmeric Chicken Soup Recipe Ingredients For the chicken and broth: 3.5-4 lb. whole chicken 3 carrots 3 stalks celery 1/4-1/2 onion 3 knobs peeled turmeric 2-3 inch piece of peeled ginger 2 cloves garlic handful of peppercorns 1 tsp. salt … Continue reading “Ginger Turmeric Chicken Soup Recipe”

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