Collagen or whey. Which should you choose? For years, collagen/gelatin was maligned by bodybuilding ...
If it were up to me, I’d have a steady supply of perfect, ripe avocados on hand. They’d have no blemishes, no bruising, no weird soft spots, no stringy veins running through. Every avocado would be ripe and somehow manage to stand up to rough handling. They wouldn’t be watery or mushy—just creamy. Life would be good, and I’d probably retire and begin an all-avocado diet. But that’s not reality. Avocados are a crap shoot. They take forever to ripen. There’s usually something wrong. Half the time I have to cut out half the flesh just to approach edibility. And I say this living in the home state of the best avocados in the world.
Enter avocado oil. No, it’s not quite the same as a plump avocado. No, you can’t make guacamole out of it, although some disgusting heathen has probably tried using gums and thickeners. For that it falls short of a plump avocado. But because first-press avocado oil—the kind I make—retains most of the fat-soluble nutrients, antioxidants, carotenoids, and chlorophylls found in the fruit, just like extra virgin olive oil retains olive nutrients, first-press avocado oil provides the power of the avocado in a compact, reliable, convenient, pourable package.Read More
For years, the bodybuilding, protein-gorging community has maligned collagen for its inessentiality and lack of input into the muscle-protein synthesis process. From their perspective, it sort of makes sense. Why bother with “low quality” protein like gelatin/collagen when you can pound the whey, eat the meat, and focus on other sources of the essential amino acids directly involved in building muscle?
Except the research is showing that these “nonessential” proteins are actually pretty darn useful.Read More
After last week’s look at what winter does in terms of physical symptoms, I’d be lax to not address the obvious elephant in the living room: mental health in the colder, darker season. I’ll admit I don’t know too many people who look forward to this time of year past the holidays. The adventure of winter sports aside (for those who love them) and the chance for a little social hibernation (for those who prefer that), winter can take an exponential toll on people past the New Year. That said, just how much is relative inconvenience versus clinical reality? Do our moods collectively change? Why do some people experience more significant effects? What are the real hormonal influences this time of year, and what (if anything) can or should we do about them?Read More
Winter is nearly here, and it’s getting cold out there. We’re staying inside, cloistered together, sharing bodily fluids, and trading germs. The sun is weak, if it’s out at all, our vitamin D levels are shot, and our immune system is suffering. Many of us are traveling in planes, trains, and automobiles tightly packed with other people in the same immune predicament. It’s the perfect breeding ground for the dozens of viruses responsible for upper respiratory tract infections like the common cold and flu.
What can we do?
People have been catching the common cold for millennia. Hop in your Delorean and travel to any time or place and you’ll hear people complaining about runny noses, sore throats, and persistent coughs and see others hawking cures and treatments. Some remedies are pure hogwash. Some aren’t. Today, I’m going to look at a few of the ones that work.Read More
One of the things I love about doing this blog is the continual incentive to examine different angles of issues, dig up varying resources around questions and discern ways our smallest choices establish our broader health. Much of what I discuss here involves avoiding chronic diseases – the lifestyle conditions that plague our modern Korg society. And given the stats, it makes sense to give these the majority of attention. Still, other concerns exist that grab people’s curiosity. Whatever the presiding health headlines are in a given week/month, I find I’ll get messages about these topics from readers. And such was the case with the foodborne illness theme.
Truth be told, it’s not something I personally think much about. As I mentioned in Monday’s Dear Mark, I eat raw oysters without a second thought. I’ve written in the past about rare meats, and I believe in eating dirt when homegrown or reputably sourced, organically grown veggies offer it. That said, I’m a robust person with good gut health. I eat foods that have been raised as naturally as possible because I consider it worth the benefit to my well-being and because I have the means and opportunity to do so.Read More
For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions from readers. First, what’s the deal with lead in crock pots? Some say lead leaches into the food when we cook with crock pots, while others aren’t so sure. And if the leaching of lead from crock pot ceramics into our food is, indeed, a problem, what equivalent product do I recommend? Next, a new study indicates that human norovirus is highly prevalent in oysters. Should we stop eating the canned smoked oysters from Crown Prince? And finally, do we really need to consume extra carbs with our creatine to get the full benefits?
Let’s go:Read More
Last week’s post on foodborne illness might have set a few people’s teeth (or stomachs) on edge. For others, it might have brought up some unfortunate memories of weathering their own bouts of food poisoning. Regardless, reading much about these nasty little pathogens surely makes a person want to know how to steer clear of them. A few readers even noted the tension of “waiting a week” for the follow-up on how to actually help prevent the insidious effects of these common pathogens. Maybe reading about foodborne illness is like hearing that someone in the room has lice. Immediately, you start itching – or in this case, worrying about that last thing you ate.Read More
It’s a regular headline: “# of People Sickened by Contaminated Food.” Most recently, it was a case of imported cucumbers with salmonella (one of the most common and serious foodborne pathogens) that resulted in at least 341 people ill and two dead across 30 states. It’s difficult when public service information shifts us toward viewing our food with a nervous eye. The CDC estimates approximately 48 million people get sick from foodborne illness each year. Of those, 128,000 are hospitalized and about 3000 die.
So, what do we do with this information? At best, we decide to learn more about the bigger picture of our modern food supply. At its worst, we go to the place of panic, anxiety-ridden that every single item we bring home must be sanitized or cooked within an inch of its life. Some people even take the news as confirmation that fresh (real) food as “too dangerous” and join the brigade that believes/sells processed, packaged and otherwise adulterated food products as the only “safe options.” Never mind that fast food and processed products have been the subject of these events in the past…Read More
I’m not interested in talking about Supreme Court decisions, the Affordable Health Care Act or for-profit versus non-profit business models. No, today I have something else in mind. It’s a perspective on health insurance that gets almost no attention at all despite the high costs and even higher stakes.
Let’s look at an actual definition first. From Wikipedia: “Health insurance is insurance against the risk of incurring medical expenses among individuals.” And can those darn expenses ever get expensive… Just as budget experts and lifestyle minimalists advise that the best price is no price when that’s an option, I’d argue the same principle applies here. The cheapest health bill is no bill. And what if our daily choices could help make this possible?Read More
Isn’t it a funny thing when you spend time on a given project (like, say, a blog post) only to find when it’s done that an intriguing new angle shows up in your line of vision? Take last week’s post on health check-ups and how they might be more effective with some strategic re-envisioning. The next day an article on culinary medicine got me thinking about medical training and the myriad of possibilities for physicians who want to enhance their understanding of nutrition, exercise and lifestyle change (and for patients who would prefer a doctor who has this everyday health knowledge).Read More