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Showing posts from January, 2013

Chocolate for Stoics

Have you seen those Dove chocolates with dreamy, self-indulgent phrases inside the wrapper? Or the Chocolove bars with poems in the wrapper? I have a similar idea: very dark chocolate pieces, a little bitter, with Stoic phrases in the wrapper. Soldier on! Hug someone--it could be the last time Steel yourself Have you insulted yourself today? Quit buying useless crap Tolerate someone detestable Chin up! Accept the inevitable Make do and mend Throw yourself into your work Enjoy what you already have Five percent of profits would go to Urban Peak, the only homeless youth shelter in Denver (population two million). Phrases benefit readers inundated with buy now, pay later, get more, indulge yourself messages of the mainstream media.

What Can I Eat on a Low Carb Diet? A Pictoral Guide

When someone considers going on a low carb diet, they tend to ask, "If I'm not eating bread, potatoes and cereal, what's left to eat?" It's shocking that starch and sugar makes up so much of a typical diet that people ask this. Naughty foods are bread and potatoes and Kool-Aid. These are nice foods: Left to right: bacon, baking cocoa, butter, oxtail, broth (note they've kindly provided a low-fat and low-sodium warning), chocolate (note the very high cacao, and therefore low-sugar, content), red wine (go easy on this), and diet soda (full disclosure: I'm a shareholder in the company that makes Hansen's). Don't even think about trimming the fat--fat, not carbs, is your fuel on a low carb diet. Some staples at my house: Left to right: sardines, hamburger, beef liver, pork rinds, frozen vegetables, free-range eggs, Splenda, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Who says Atkins is an all-meat diet? I've read that low-carbers eat

The Great Paleo/Low Carb Controversy

Whatever . Longer version: Out of necessity, I have a foot in both worlds. I pretty much know how I need to eat; I come online to seek out others who eat this way for fellowship. I don't like to argue. I was born old, and now I'm a 43-year-old dowager with no need to agree or convince or get along with everyone. If someone does well on starchy tubers and lean, dry, tough meat and daily workouts, that's great. (It worked for me for awhile, too.) If they think everybody should be on such a diet, time will take care of that. More likely, most young paleos will take a noncompliant spouse and the paleo diet will go out the window. A lot of them will be reconsidering low carb diets in ten years.

Sweating Like a Horse

Horses sweat, people perspire. Miss Hayworth glows." -Orson Welles Sign at a local cardio corral*: Nobody ever drowned in sweat. There's information posted in the windows about their classes, but I don't think they make any claims about weight loss. If that's the best they can come up with, I'll stay in bed while they have their 6 AM classes and avoid injuries .** *Origin of Corral: Spanish, from Vulgar Latin *currale enclosure for vehicles, from Latin currus cart, from currere to run — more at car First Known Use: 1582 Source: **The conclusion of the article is priceless: "As physical activity continues to be promoted as part of a healthy lifestyle, [sports related] injuries are becoming an important public health concern for both children and adults." Source: "Sports and recreation related injury episodes in the US population, 1997-99" by Conn JM, Annest JL, Gilchrist J. Injury Prevention, June

"An Ode to Steak"

Jeff Sun, a dancer with Shen Yun Performing Arts, was so moved by the meat culture in Argentina that he wrote a poem about it using chengyu (Chinese idioms), with an English translation provided. To wit: "芳香四溢 (fāng xiāng sì yì) I drown in your fragrant balm." What salad could have inspired this? Or fueled performances like these ?

Smart-alecky Health Quiz Answers

There's a silly newsletter full of conventional wisdom that arrives at my office. Since I'm not here to bust anyone's chops, I'll call it Personal Dreck Healthlines. The latest issue has a quiz called "How's Your Health?" "Following is a list of some of the most important self-care measures for improving your health and well-being. Check the statements that apply to you--7 or 8 is good and 9 or 10 is excellent. [There are actually 14 statements to check off. Was 11-14 too much to hope for, or was the editor sleepy from missing her afternoon bagel?] Use the results to identify new health habits you hope to achieve in the coming months." I stay within 10 to 15 pounds of my healthiest weight. Do I get extra credit for staying within one or two pounds? I follow a schedule for preventive screening with my health care provider. Sorry, I just go when I actually need medical care, my health care provider's condo payments notwithstanding. I

Posts that Could Change Your Life

What if one or two little tweaks could transform your life? Instead of spending years in therapy, hours a week on the treadmill, gagging down whole grains every day, or tearing your hair out over a positive test for an illness, it's possible that making a few little changes could change everything. I've added a list of posts that could do this for a lot of people (see the list below my profile). Don't worry, there's nothing to buy. You might need to check out a library book and do some N=1 experiments on yourself. Overall, these should save you time and decrease your aggravation. Cardio: A Waste of Valuable Dance Time. Actually, there's a school of thought that cardio is a waste of any kind of time (unless you enjoy it). Sure, you burn calories, but you move less later and get hungrier. Studies have shown that it's not effective for losing weight. I don't do cardio (I lift weights instead) and don't need to lose weight. That wasn't the case when