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Showing posts from December, 2011

Avoid Breaking Bones on the Dance Floor

You're out on New Year's Eve dancing the night away in your glamorous new dress and stiletto heels. You feel something soft under your foot, and a woman behind you shrieks: you stepped on her foot with that stiletto heel. She gets your name and address before heading to the doctor. Two months later, a bill for her $3,000 emergency room visit arrives in your mailbox. You argue over the phone, and a year later, a judge yells at you for five minutes before handing down a judgment for the plaintiff's pain, suffering, medical expenses, and lost wages. Don't let this happen to you! If for no other reason than the spirit of good will towards men, leave the stiletto heels at home when you go dancing. They really can break a bone if you step on someone. Flats, wedgies and cuban heels , in my experience, cause a bruise at worst. The way you dance can help, too. A common newbie mistake is to take high, wide steps. Drag your feet just a little, and the worst you'll do is bum

Why You Should Give Up Cardio Workouts

A friend and I got into a discussion today about the benefits of exercise. She believes you have to exercise to stay thin and have muscle tone. I partly agree with her. A few years ago, I was eating what most doctors and nutritionists would call a healthy diet: lean meat, cottage cheese, lots of "good carbs," low-fat. I exercised hard six days a week. And I was gaining weight! That weight wasn't muscle, either--unless gaining muscle makes it hard to button your pants. I stopped eating wheat and started slowly losing weight. Then I went on a low-carb diet--about 50 grams of carb a day--and the fat fell off. I ditched the six-workouts-a-week plan because I didn't need it to stay thin. I'm not alone. Cookbook author Dana Carpender wrote that she gained weight on a low fat diet while taking an aerobics class.(1) Dr. John Briffa often writes about clinical studies showing that aerobic or cardio exercise isn't effective for losing weight (see this , this , th

Winter Skin Repair

I've had problem skin most of my life. Even at age 42, I still get breakouts. This time, though, instead of getting random skin care products, I thought about what was wrong and what I needed. I experimented a bit, and even after just a few days, my skin is looking a lot better. Here's my take on dry, flaky winter skin and what to do about it. Your skin gets dry, maybe because you don't drink as much water in the winter, or maybe because you sweat less. (There are enzymes in sweat; perhaps they break down dead skin.) Your skin gets flaky, and if you're prone to acne, your pores get clogged and you break out. Meantime, your fingers can get so hard and dry that they crack and split. Solutions: Cleanse. Obvious, but we all need to find a good cleanser. Different people swear by cold cream, coconut oil, or olive oil, but those are all too heavy for me. I've started using Burt's Bees Natural Acne Solutions Purifying Gel Cleanser. The salicylic acid comes from wi

Food, Dance and How to Lose Weight

Merry Christmas! It's the second anniversary of Pain, Pain, Go Away! Thanks to fellow bloggers, researchers and authors, this Christmas I'm feeling a mile better than I was two years ago. (See my posts on root canals if you're interested.) I hope all my readers are well, too. My polite responses were put to the test when my mother gave me a box of chocolate covered cherries for Christmas. This, from the woman with a serious case of diabetes, who complains about Dad always pushing high-carb food at her. Me: "Um, I really shouldn't be eating these." Mom: "But I've always gotten you those for Christmas." I left them at a party later that night. No, I didn't have any. Everybody danced at the party, and I was anxious to see the teenagers' hip hop moves since I've decided to learn the dance. The teenagers did the Charleston, suzie Qs, and a bunch of other 90-year-old African dance moves I already know. Maybe that will make it ea

Canine "Cavity" Update: No More Bones for the Dog

Readers may recall that my dog, Molly, has a cavity that I've been monitoring and trying to heal with a low-carb lacto-paleo diet a la Weston A. Price and Drs. Mellanby. The tooth recently started looking worse, so I took Molly to see a new vet (one closer to home). Dr. Poundstone reminded me of some of the CPAs I work with: pleasant, professional and down-to-earth. She said that she saw very few dogs with true cavities, and most of those were from grainy tooth-cleaning "bones" made in China. The "bones" are so acid that it's like giving your dog a Coke--and the results are the same: cavities. Without an x-ray, she couldn't be sure, but the vet believed that Molly had some flaws in her enamel instead of a cavity. She said that chewing on bones (actual bones, not fake ones) could cause this, making some grooves in the tooth, which is exactly what Molly developed. Dogs' teeth have only 1 millimeter of enamel, compared to 4 millimeters on humans, s

Last Minute Christmas Gifts II

A few gift ideas for your low-carb or paleo loved ones: A pressure cooker. In an age of little time and less patience, it's unclear how this time-saver fell out of favor. It'll cook a three-pound roast in under an hour--perfect for a meat lover who doesn't want to wait hours for dinner. A gift card to a coffee shop or grill. Yes, a lot of gift cards go unused. Make sure the person you're shopping for lives or works near the coffee shop or grill and would actually go there: don't get a Starbucks gift card for someone who hates corporations, no matter how much you might disagree. French Cooking in Ten Minutes or Adapting to the Rhythm of Modern Life (1930) by Edouard de Pomaine. "First of all," writes Dr. Pomaine, "let me tell you that this is a beautiful book." How French is that? Not all the recipes are low-carb, but they're mostly meat and vegetables and the rest should be easily de-carbed. My favorite recipe so far is Liver Americ

Guide to Politely Turning Down Food

Denver must be one of the most polite places. Strangers flocked to help me when I fainted on the street , I've never been bothered when walking downtown or in fifty-cent parking lots late at night, and on the rare occasion someone bothers me on the bus, the driver or another passenger puts the creep in his place. (It's the suburbs of Denver where people get shot.) Pressuring people to eat things they don't want to eat isn't done here. (Colorado also has the lowest rate of obesity in the US. Coincidence?) Here are some things I say to politely refuse high-carb food. If a phrase doesn't work on the first try, just keep repeating it. Q. Would you like a cookie? A. No, thanks. Q. Are you sure you won't have one? A. It looks delicious, but I'll pass, thanks. Q. It's low fat/honey sweetened/all natural/etc. A. Thank you, but most sweets just don't agree with me. Q. Are you on a diet? (Note: I've only heard of people asking this, so I'

Meditation for Heartburn?

A recent message on the elevator TV in the building where I work said that meditation could relieve mild heartburn. A better message would have been that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I can see how relief from stress (which may or may not result from meditation) could relieve heartburn: if tensing the stomach muscles pushes acid into the esophagus, relaxing them will keep the stomach acid where it belongs.  Problem: people are often in situations where they can't meditate. The larger issue is that if something about your lifestyle requires a lot of maintenance such as meditation, perhaps it's time to re-evaluate the lifestyle. An easy way to prevent heartburn is with a low-carb diet. Try it for a few days and see for yourself. Limit foods like bread, cereal, pastries, cookies, juice, noodles, cake, sweets, potatoes, rice, fruit, and other high-carb food, and see if your symptoms subside. Next post: how to politely turn down holiday food.

My Dog's Indulgence: Expensive Cookies

Would you feed cookies to your dog? What if the cookies were bone-shaped? Absurd? Read the ingredients in a Pedigree Jumbone : Rice Flour, Glycerin, Sugar, Cellulose Powder, Wheat Flour, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Caseinate, Natural Poultry Flavor, Dried Meat By-product, Potassium Sorbate (a Preservative), Vitamins (Choline Chloride, D-calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, Riboflavin [Vitamin B2], Pyridoxine Hydrochloride [Vitamin B6], Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Folic Acid, Dl-alpha Tocopherol Acetate [source of Vitamin E]), Minerals (Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Dicalcium Phosphate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate). The fact that the treats are mostly flour and sugar is bad enough. But glycerine is an ingredient in soap, cellulose is indigestible by dogs, sodium tripolyphosphate is an ingredient in detergent, and calcium carbonate is an ingredient in cement. But wait--it's

My Indulgence: A New Stove

Some people would call me "green": I tend to repair things instead of throwing them away, and I avoid buying disposable junk in the first place. My house is furnished in mid-90s estate sale, along with some antiques and good quality furniture I bought new in the 80s. I generally dry my clothes on a clothesline. (Really, I'm just cheap and lazy. Drying the clothes outside saves wear and tear on the clothes and the dryer, fixing the dishwasher and coffee maker was much cheaper and easier than running out to buy new ones, and so on.) So I hesitated to replace my range, even though the burners didn't self-ignite anymore and the oven had stopped working. I looked up how to fix ranges on the Internet, but without an owner's manual, without diagnostic tools more sophisticated than my ohm meter, and without easy access to the stove's working parts, I didn't know what was wrong with it. (Contrary to popular belief, an engineering degree isn't much help when