The Best Health and Fitness Articles of the Week #165 – Signs of Folate Deficiency, Living a Frugal Life, and Dirty Marketing Tricks of the Fitness Industry

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Are you getting enough folate? If you eat as many avocados as I do, then you probably do πŸ˜‰

This weeks update includes:

  • Information about folate deficiency
  • How to live a more frugal life (with my own health and fitness tips added)
  • Why the mainstream medical community no longer thinks cholesterol is bad
  • How physical fitness helps older people maintain healthy brain function
  • A fitness insider discussing the dirty marketing tricks of the industry


9 Signs of Folate Deficiency & How to Reverse It

I don’t suffer from any of the symptoms of folate deficiency (poor immune system, low energy, poor digestion, anemia, canker sores, irritability, pale skin, developmental problems, premature gray hair), but folate supplementation has been top of mind for me recently because we just learned that our daughter might not be getting enough folate in her diet. My daughter drinks goat milk instead of cow milk because cow milk gives her bad constipation, but goat milk has only a fraction of the folate that cows milk has. My daughter doesn’t suffer from any of the symptoms either, but we want to make sure she doesn’t in the future.

There are also some useful tips in this article about how much folate we should get daily, as well as the foods that are highest in folate, such as avocados (yes!), oranges (yes!), and beef liver (boo!).



30 Fast Tips for a More Frugal Life

As I mentioned last week, my wife just recently had knee surgery, which is extremely expensive as you can imagine. This means that we will be on a super-tight budget for quite some time. This article isn’t entirely about health and fitness related frugal tips but there are a few mixed in.

Here are some tips, with my own examples added:

  • Buy used: Workout gear and kitchen devices
  • Pay with cash: This prevents you from overspending on groceries
  • Skip the gym membership: Go running, do body weight workouts, or watch routines on YouTube
  • Shop with a list: This can keep you from buying junk food too
  • Have a weekly meal plan: Cooking at home saves money and buying ingredients that work for several meals saves money too
  • Stockpile on groceries: When something you eat regularly is on sale, buy a bunch of it and freeze it
  • Use Ziplock bags for snacks: Take snacks with you instead of buying overpriced food when you’re out
  • Make your own cleaning products: This is much healthier than the toxic stuff from the store anyway
  • Garden to save money: You might not be able to reap the benefits right away, but you’ll be happy when it comes! Plus you get to be outside in the fresh air and get a little exercise while you’re at it.
  • Commute with public transportation: I do this already. It’s better for the environment and I get a lot of exercise walking to the bus stop.


Why Doctors Finally Called A Truce On Cholesterol in Food

The paleo community has known this for years, but finally the mainstream medical community is starting to understand that cholesterol isn’t bad at all. In fact, it’s vital. The US Department of Health’s Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee has announced that “cholesterol is not considered a nutrient of concern for overconsumption.”

It’s about time!

Cholesterol is important for cognitive function, it is essential for ALL sex hormones, HDL cholesterol reduces oxidation of particles to protect arteries from plaque formation, and cholesterol can reduce inflammation in the body.



Physical activity linked to greater mental flexibility in older adults

There’s a new study that shows that older adults who regularly exercise have more brain activity than those who don’t exercise at all. The researchers looked at 100 adults between the ages of 60 and 80 and used an MRI to evaluate white brain matter fibers to determine that more active adults have more brain activity and better white-matter structure.



Butter In Your Coffee and Other Cons: Stories From a Fitness Insider

This is a long read, but definitely worth taking the time to finish the whole thing. The author discusses how marketers trick consumers into believing their products are backed by science, when in reality they aren’t much, if at all. He calls out marketers such as Dave Asprey, D.H. Keifer, The Food Babe, and others. To be fair, I feel like he has distorted the claims of both Keifer and Asprey (I don’t recall Asprey ever claiming that eating butter will result in weight loss, ha ha), but nonetheless…

I’m not mentioning this to call out any of the health experts mentioned, but what I really like about the advice here is that we all need to be cautious of what we read, especially when the source is selling something. Personally, I think Dave Asprey and Keifer both provide great advice a lot of the time, but I always make sure to read the studies and any conflicting research before implementing anything into my health or fitness routine.

The Best Health and Fitness Articles of the Week #164 – Workaholics Need Breaks For Their Health, Holocaust Survivors Passed Trauma To Their Children’s Genes, and a Book That Makes Kids Fall Asleep

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It’s a been a rough past few weeks. My wife tore her meniscus at the Rugged Maniac in Denver three weeks ago and she just had surgery on her knee to repair it last Monday, which means I have to work from home to help my wife and care for our daughter as much as I can throughout the day, while still getting my 8 hours of work in for the day. It’s exhausting!

But, I still managed to read some great articles.

There’s an article from the NY Times about the importance of taking a break from work that has been doing its rounds on social media all week. I think most of us can relate to this one. I know I sure do.

I also found some good tips for women on building strength for the muscles used when having sex. Don’t let a cramp kill the mood!

There’s an interesting study recently published related to epigenetics which shows that Holocaust survivors who have suffered trauma have passed their altered genes on to their children.

And one of the coolest books I’ve ever heard about is a children’s book designed to get kids to sleep faster. I don’t know if I’m going to order the paperback or the Kindle version of this book but I plan to get it and I can’t wait to see if it works on my daughter.

There are a couple more helpful articles listed below as well.



Getting Workaholics to Stop and Recharge

I am admittedly a workaholic. I work a lot. I work on the bus to and from work. I work after my wife and daughter go to bed. I’m 33 and I’ve never taken a vacation from work. I know it’s important to take a break and I’ve experimented with yoga and meditation as a method of stress relief and relaxing with great success, but my problem is keeping it routine.

There was an interesting statistic in the article that might help me take this more seriously though, which said that a recent report found that people who work more than 55 hours a week have a 33 percent greater chance of a stroke and 13 percent higher risk of heart disease. That’s scary. Now if I can only find a cryotherapy spa nearby πŸ˜‰



The Better Sex Workout

Some great exercise tips here for women on targeting muscle groups used in various sexual positions. For women who like to straddle, add some wall squats to your exercise routine to strengthen the muscles needed to keep from cramping up. If flexibility is important, do some frog stretches. If your hips and legs are sore in the morning after sex, you need to work on strengthening your abductor muscles.



Technology to Keep Swimmers Safe

This neat invention is basically an emergency flotation device attached to your wrist. Activate it in an emergency and the CO2 cartridge will inflate the device, pulling you to surface of the water. You still need to pull yourself onto the flotation device but it still can be a lifesaver.



Study of Holocaust survivors finds trauma passed on to children’s genes

This study found that the genetic changes caused by the trauma suffered by Holocaust survivors has the possibility to be passed on to their children. The researchers found that the children of the Jewish Holocaust survivors they studied have increased likelihood of stress disorders, which they could only atribute to the Holocaust exposure in the parents.

Crazy stuff!

This is not entirely new to me after learning a little bit about epigenetics in the Better Baby Book from Dave and Lana Asprey, but it’s interesting to see more evidence of how our genes are altered so far down the line of our ancestry.



5 Essential Oil Recipes to Suit Your Mood

There are three recipes here that use a candle lamp diffuser and two that go right into a spray bottle. If you’re looking for essential oil recipes to help with relaxation, grounding, contentment, strength, or creativity, check this post out.



Bedtime story uses psychological tricks to get kids to sleep faster

I want this book! My daughter isn’t bad about going to sleep but what parent doesn’t want their kids to fall asleep faster? Such a great idea for a book! “The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep” is on Amazon for $13 in paperback or $7.50 on Kindle. Great price if it works!



The Secret Fitness Tracker on Your iPhone

This article claims that the step counter on your iPhone is already active, but I checked mine and it wasn’t. I have the iPhone 5 and it looks like it’s only compatible on the Iphone 5s, 6 and 6 Plus. Damn!

The Best Health and Fitness Articles of the Week #163 – Hack Your Sleep Starting Now, Facts Behind the Viral Coca-Cola Infographic, and 5 Ways to Build Grip Strength

sleep induction mat

Lots of fun stuff this issue.

Dave Asprey published a whole bunch of actionable tips for hacking your sleep, which I plan to start implementing right away. That’s me with my sleep-induction mat in the picture above!

Oh and did you see that Coca-Cola infographic that has been going around social media lately? It talks about all the bad stuff that happens in the body after drinking Coca-Cola. Well while a lot of it is true, it’s a big exaggerated.

I’ve also got a link to some easy slow cooker recipes, one of which I’m making today, which is the slow cooker sesame chicken. I can’t wait to eat tonight!

There are also some links here about Kama Sutra positions you should try, methods for building your grip strength, and 15 vegan popsicle recipes.

I hope you find some of this stuff useful!



How to Hack Your Sleep: The Art and Science of Sleeping

This article is awesome! It’s basically a quick reference list of actionable tips you can start doing immediately to get better sleep. And did you know that cortisol kicks in at 11pm to keep you awake? I didn’t!



Soda infographic goes viral: How does cola really affect the body?

I’ve been seeing this infographic all over the place. This article talks about how the facts in this graphic are a little exaggerated. Still, we really shouldn’t be drinking unhealthy beverages like Coca-Cola.



11 Easy Slow Cooker Recipes for Summer

I love slow cooker recipes, especially now that I have a daughter. I can get everything together in the evening and turn it on in the morning when I leave for work. Get home and dinner is done! The slow cooker bread recipe sounds interesting because it allows you to throw it right into the cooker without waiting for the dough to rise.



5 Kama Sutra Sex Positions You Should Try

There would be no wars if we all practiced Kama Sutra. Amiright?



5 Ways to Build a Vice Grip

Funny timing with this one because I’ve been concerned with my grip strength after trying to do the monkey bars when I took my daughter to the park. I can hang on to a bar to do pull-ups just fine but trying to maintain grip while swinging from bar to bar is completely different.



15 Irresistible Vegan Popsicles to Make This Summer

Alright! I need some popsicle recipes. I have some popsicle molds just sitting in the cabinet waiting to be used. I can’t wait to try these.

The Best Health and Fitness Articles of the Week #162 – Common Paleo Mistakes, Cooking Juicy Chicken, and a New Take on HIIT Training That You’ll Love

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5 Common Paleo Mistakes

I follow the Paleo community fairly closely and I see people making these mistakes all the time. I’m not going to lie, I make the same mistakes. But sometimes I just have to have a little comfort food and if that means eating a gluten-free bread, then I will. I don’t suffer from a serious health problem like Dr. Wahls does but if I did I would probably follow her advice to a T. For now, I’m still going to eat gluten-free bread occasionally and I’m going to enjoy honey too.


8 Ways to Juicy Chicken

Dry chicken sucks! I’m a big fan of the poaching method because it’s so easy and the chicken stays nice and juicy every time. The steaming method in this article sounds interesting too.


The Tips That Made Lena Dunham Learn to Love Running

I’m not much of a fan of running myself so perhaps I could learn a few things from this article. My wife has taken up running over the summer and it has been quite motivating. She’s FitMotherRunner on Instagram if you want some motivation too! I’m still not running much, but I’m tempted to get out there and hit the pavement a lot more because of her.


Turmeric more Effective than Prozac at Treating Depression

I bought a large bag of turmeric a long time ago after learning about all of its health benefits, but I can never bring myself to use it because I hate how it stains everything.


All In: How to Dominate Leg Day

I use pretty much all of the tips mentioned in this article and I feel like they really help me get through leg workouts. The only tip I don’t use is the one about leaving the phone in the locker, because I use my phone for music and to track my sets and reps. I also use it to read fitness articles during rest periods.


A Way to Get Fit and Also Have Fun

The method described here is basically a variation of the HIIT training method but with a little twist. They call it the 10/20/30 method, but it works backwards – the concept is that you do an exercise at a light intensity for 30 seconds, a moderate intensity for 20 seconds, and high-intensity for 10 seconds. The study mentioned here was performed on average exercisers and they found that these people shaved off an average of 38 seconds on their 5K times and ended up sticking to the program even after the study was finished. Very interesting!


Keep Knee Tendonitis Away with these Two Tips

I have a lot of knee pain because I squat a lot in the gym and I do a lot of cycling back-and-forth to work. It also probably doesn’t help that I sit at a desk all day at work. I definitely need to start doing some glute strengthening and calf stretch exercises such as the ones mentioned in this post. He uses a Bosu ball for the calf stretch and I don’t own one, so I’ll just go with a plain old regular calf stretch.

The Best Health and Fitness Articles of the Week #161 – Gain 20 Pounds in a Month, Blue Light Blocking Phone Screens, and Making Sourdough Bread

I haven’t published an update here in quite a while, but I’m hoping to get back into it.



How To Gain 20 Pounds In 28 Days: The Extreme Muscle Building Secrets of UFC Fighters

I’ve been purposely putting on weight for about a month now (I’ve gained 10 lbs. so far) but I haven’t really created a solid strategy to do it, though I have in the past. I’ve done two large weight gains over the last 15 years, once on a “SAD” Standard American Diet (before I had an interest in health and fitness) and once on an entirely vegan diet, and both were pretty miserable.

On the vegan weight gain I went from 170 to 210 in about 3 months. It sucked! I put on a lot more fat than I had hoped though so I went back down to about 185 or so and managed to stay at that weight until going Paleo, which caused me to drop down to about 150 lbs. My new goal weight is 175 lbs, with minimal fat gain, so I couldn’t have come across this article at a better time.



The Amen Diet

This sounds like a pretty extreme diet, but very interesting. You eat one meal per day at about 1250 calories, fast for the other 23 hours, drink only water, and eat entirely vegan. The creator of the diet, Dr. Amen-Ra, is freakin’ buff though!



SleepShield

I know I shouldn’t be on my phone or iPad before bed, but I do it anyway. I should definitely invest in some of these blue-light blocking screen protectors.



Three Minutes of All-Out Intermittent Exercise per Week Increases Skeletal Muscle Oxidative Capacity and Improves Cardiometabolic Health

There’s no excuse for not getting a workout in, especially when all it takes is three minutes of your time and only once per week.



I Did It: 6 Days of Eating Dog Food

Eating paleo isn’t cheap but what about eating paleo dog food? This woman ate dog food, dried and canned, and even some biscuits for snacks for a week.



Could This Baker Solve the Gluten Mystery?

Ben Greenfield has mentioned several times in his podcasts that the only bread he eats is sourdough because the fermentation process removes all of the negative aspects of grains. That still doesn’t make it safe for celiacs though. Making sourdough bread looks like a long annoying process, but I’m willing to give it a try.



Drink this 2 hrs before bed to sleep better -plus 5 tips for insomnia

I don’t have any problems falling asleep, but I seem to have problems staying asleep. I often wake up after only 4 or 6 hours and sometimes have trouble getting back to sleep. I wonder if these tips will help with that.



Biohacking: There’s An App For That!

All the apps an aspiring biohacker could ever need. There are categories here for brain training and self-quantification, sleep hacking, food sensitivities, stress management, money management, exercise & fitness, and productivity.



Small Amounts of Gluten in Subjects with Suspected Nonceliac Gluten

Here’s a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial that shows non-celiac gluten sensitivity is real. Keep in mind that this study was done on only 61 subjects, which isn’t a large sample size, but the results are interesting and hopefully leads to larger studies.



Adding Sea Salt to your drinking water can help with Hydration

Instead of drinking a gallon of water a day, drink some salt in your water so that you stay hydrated.



Kaatsu training is blowing fitness researchers’ minds

The idea behind Kaatsu training is that by applying pressure to your arms and legs while working out, you reduce the amount of blood flow from your muscles. By restricting the blood flow to the heart, your limbs fill with blood which fills unused capillaries and increases the lactic acid in the blood. This is what happens normally during long bouts of exercise, but by using Kaatsu training, you can make this process happen in a short amount of time and with minimal exercise. Your brain sends out a signal for hormonal response to recover those muscles, but with a light workout, little muscle fiber damage has occurred, allowing you to recover faster and build muscle faster. You don’t need to use the pressure cuffs mentioned in this article either. Some old bicycle tubes will work just fine.



The “Food Babe” Blogger Is Full of Shit

There are many excellent points made in this article. Influencers in the health community like the “Food Babe” spread misinformation online and stand to potentially cause more harm than good. I actually listened to an interview with the Food Babe on a podcast a couple months ago and I really didn’t like a lot of what I was hearing – lots of fear mongering. That’s not to say everything she says is bad. I think she started with good intentions, and maybe still has good intentions, but it has spiraled out of control and now it’s all business.



Yes, You Can Freeze Milk, Eggs, And Cheese For Later Use

I’m currently trying to put on weight so I’m buying a bunch of dairy products from Costco. I freakin’ hate going to Costco so I really don’t want to stock up once a week, so I wanted to know if I could buy a ton of stuff and freeze it all to use throughout the month. Looks like you can!

The Best Health and Fitness Articles of the Week #160 – Enhancing Performance With Beets, How to Heal Sore Muscles, and Training Tips for Women

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Is Beet Juice Really a Performance-Enhancing “Drug”? Digging In…

This article provides a great explanation of how scientific studies are performed, how the statistics are reviewed and why small studies can be misleading. In this case the study was performed on too small of a group, which meant the researchers weren’t able to claim the benefits of beet root juice that they thought they would. But had they used a larger group, the “p-value” would have been below 0.05 (the cutoff point for most journals) and they would have been able to show that beet juice actually does have significant benefits, at least in generally athletic people.

So if you want to see some benefits of beet juice in your own performance:

  • It’s best in events that last 5-30 minutes
  • Take 500-600 mL of beet juice 2 to 2.5 hours before event
  • You can take concentrated beet juice to prevent a full stomach


You’ve Been Recovering Wrong

Most of us are familiar with the RICE method of recovery – rest, ice, compression, and elevation. You probably still want to use this method if you’re suffering from a serious injury or if you’re not in a rush to recover, but if you’re an athlete with sore muscles, RICE can actually delay healing by half a day. You don’t want to use anti-inflammatories either because they can delay healing and also cause additional damage. Instead you should speed up healing with more movement without pressure, or basically, get moving again. If you’re sore from running, go for a walk or a light bike ride.



This Harvard researcher wants you to know that your supplements can kill you

This is scary and a big reason of why I don’t trust supplements that contain more than 1-2 ingredients. Most of the supplements I take are basic, like creatine, fish oil, and protein. I’ve taken pre-workouts in the past, but I’ve never trusted them enough to use more than a few times. If it tastes like chemical soup, it probably is.



Rise and Shine: What kids all around the world eat for breakfast

A fun article, but there are also some great examples (especially the girl from Tokyo) of how we can teach our kids to like healthy foods by giving it to them early in life. Even if they hate it at first, they can grow to love it.



Bulletproof Coffee Warning: 3 Potentially Disastrous Problems

“Potentially” is the key word here. The first two issues brought up here are about using bulletproof coffee as a meal replacement. They’re valid concerns, but I wouldn’t guess likely in most people who are drinking it. The third issue is an interesting one though – we don’t much about consuming large amounts of saturated fat in this manner. It could be good or it could be bad.



The 20,000 Calorie Strongman Diet: FUEL – YouTube

Here’s a short 10 minute documentary of what America’s leading strongman, Robert Oberst, eats in a day. Check out his shopping cart! Wow!



10 Training Tips for the Ladies

Some excellent tips here for women looking to get more out of strength training, Mostly as it relates to proper form and physical anatomy



3 Complexes for Rapid Female Fat Loss

This article is focused on doing complexes, which are workouts that consist of a series of exercises all performed in a row (kinda like Crossfit WODs). The post is directed towards women, but complexes are great for men too. There are several examples of complexes here. I’m definitely going to try them after my broken foot heals.

The Best Health and Fitness Articles of the Week #159 – Olive Oil For Heart Health, Why Women Should Be Doing HIIT Training, And a Vacation Workout Game

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Healthy fats help diseased heart muscle process, use fuel

This study was performed on rats, but may be useful to humans too. The researchers were able to balance fat metabolism and reduce toxic fat metabolites for heart health in rats by feeding them oleate, a healthy fat found in olive oil.



Too many colonoscopies

Not only are colonoscopies being done unnecessarily in people who don’t need them (essentially wasting more than $1 million in health care costs), but colonoscopies are also not being done as often as they should in people who DO need them.



Men Are Different, Women, Too – Also, When it Comes to the Metabolic Effects of Exercise

According to this, it’s easier for men to burn fat than women when it comes to aerobic exercise. Not only that, aerobic exercise simply isn’t the best way for women to get in shape. Instead, women should lift weights and do high intensity interval training (HIIT).



Fitness & menstrual health: How to stay lean, healthy, and fit while maintaining your period

Irregular periods or losing a period altogether is a sure sign of extreme stress on the body and if left untreated for too long, can cause serious health issues down the road. Poor hormonal health can cause low energy, decreased bone health, poor sleep, hair loss, dry skin, acne, inflammation in the body, anxiety, depression, and a whole bunch of other problems.



Crossfit Kids Classics: Rock Paper Scissors Tag

A fun game that also gets kids active and exercising.



K2: The Vitamin, Not the Mountain

Is vitamin K2 deficiency a real problem? Maybe. Maybe not.



Stay Healthy on Vacation With This Simple Hack

I love this vacation workout game Steve came up with. When I went on a trip to Las Vegas a few years ago, I actually did a pretty good job of keeping myself in check. I ate mostly healthy, although I allowed myself to cheat a little, and I also did at least 15-20 minutes of body weight exercises each morning.



One thing every woman 35+ should know about her moods

Whether your over 34 years old or not, if you’re dealing with mood issues such as anxiety or depression, you should make sure to eat quality fats, take care of your adrenals, and reduce stress on your body.



Realistic Reps and The Rule of Ten

This article is difficult to read because it’s dictated from Dan John’s DVD, but it’s worth trying to decipher the gold nuggets hidden within the various lines of Dan’s thoughts. Basically, there are specific exercises that are best performed using the “rule of 10”, which can be broken out into many ways – 5 sets of 2, 2 sets of 5, or 3 sets of 5-3-2, or whatever works for you.

The Best Health and Fitness Articles of the Week #158 – Quick Paleo Meals, Frozen Portable Shower, and How Caffeine Might Be Killing Your Success

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Quick Paleo Meals

I’m always looking for quick and easy paleo dinners for nights when I just don’t feel like spending the night cooking and I recently came across this post. There are a lot of great looking recipes in this list. They started the post off strong with two of my own favorites; steak & eggs and chicken fajitas.



Bicycle Flat Tire Permanent Repair: How to Fix Flat Tire

This device isn’t out yet, but it looks pretty damn awesome. My coworker sent this to me after overhearing me talking about all the flats I’ve been getting when riding into work. I’ve had at least 6 flats in the last two weeks. On the plus side, I’m getting pretty quick at patching them!



The Paleo problem: Examining the pros and cons of the Paleo Diet

Here’s 4000 words of research about the paleo diet, the good and the bad. Mostly the bad. This document dispels some of the most common arguments that paleo advocates make for the diet. This guide talks about what the paleo diet is, the evidence that shows that some foods that are considered off-limits in the paleo diet are actually good, and quite a bit more. Set aside some time to read through this.



Frozen Portable Shower

I can’t remember if I’ve posted this before, but I came across it again and wanted to share it. This is useful if you play outdoor sports with friends. All you do is get a little plastic container, put some shower gel in the bottom, pour water on top and freeze it. Put it in a cooler and when you’re done playing, use the shower gel side to soap up and the other side to rinse off. Neat!



Mount Evans Chill Climb

This cycling crew took Denver’s B-Cycle bikes (heavy, single speed cruiser bikes) up to Mt. Evans, which is North America’s Highest Auto Road. It started as a joke and they all knew it was a terrible idea, but they did it! Check out all the great pics and the video.



How Resistant Starch Will Help to Make You Healthier and Thinner

Resistant starch seems to be a great way to feed beneficial gut bacteria. It can improve insulin sensitivity, decrease inflammation in the gut, and it might even help you lose weight. The benefits are expected when consuming about 15 to 30 grams daily, but you’ll need to take it slow while your gut adjusts. It’s not something I’ve tested on myself yet, but I plan to. I’ll probably start by adding potato starch to my smoothies. There’s a great PDF here with a chart listing foods that contain resistant starch, including the amount of resistant starch per 100 grams of food.



7 Surprising Reasons Why Your Microwave is Your Paleo BFF

Are you scared to use your microwave? According to scientific research you shouldn’t be, but I have to admit that I’ve questioned the safety of the microwave over long-term. I still use it though πŸ˜‰



7 Things Everyone Should Know About Low-Carb Diets

The low-carb, ketogenic diet philosophy has grown popular lately and just like with any diet, some fans in these circles have let dogma take over their line of thinking. Chris Kresser does an awesome job discussing the common misconceptions about low-carb diets. And as always on Chris’s posts, there’s a great discussion happening in the comments section.



Caffeine: The Silent Killer of Success

This is why I limit myself to only 1 cup per day. I mean that literally. I sometimes even drink as little as a 1/2 cup measurement. I often hear people say they drink only one or two cups per day, but they actually mean a large glass mug, a tall travel mug, or a tall paper cup from Starbucks. According to this research, there are quite a lot of bad things that coffee can cause. I wonder if there’s any difference in the type of coffee, such as something really high quality like Bulletproof Coffee.



Skin ‘sees’ the light to protect against sunshine

Shawn Stevenson from the “The Model Health Show” podcast was a guest on Pat Flynn’s marketing podcast recently and he was discussing sleep hacks. He mentioned that while using a sleep mask is a good thing, it’s best to sleep in complete darkness because the skin has photoreceptors and can still “see” the light. Really interesting stuff!



Homemade Ghee

I buy organic grass-fed ghee from the supermarket (from Purity Farms and it’s affordable so I have no need to make this, but I wanted to post this recipe for anyone who doesn’t have access to ghee at their local grocery store.

The Best Health and Fitness Articles of the Week #157 – Paleo Mayo Recipe, Homemade Sunscreen, and Why Assisted Pullups With Elastic Bands Is a Bad Idea

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Paleo Mayonnaise

I’ve tried making mayo before with no luck, but I made this one and it came out great. I think the key might be the size of the container. This time I made it in a tall round container that was just a little bigger than the immersion blender. I used avocado oil and it’s freakin’ delicious.



Non-Toxic Homemade Sunscreen Recipe

I’m interested in making my own natural sunscreen because I hate how costly good sunscreens are and I also don’t feel like the best sunscreens on the market are really that good. You might already have a lot of these ingredients in your cupboard, but if not, the entire list of ingredients would cost about $84.57. You’d be able to make several batches with this though and after that, you’d probably only need to stock up on a couple of things with plenty of other ingredients still left over.



Fudgsicles

These sure do look good don’t they?



The One Probiotic Supplement You Need to be Taking

Did you know that the intestinal wall that keeps the contents of the intestines – the food you eat – from passing through is only one cell thick? This is why gut permeability (“leaky gut”) happens. When we take antibiotics, steroids, and medications, we weaken that wall. Stress, harmful bacteria and gluten also work against that barrier. But one of the key things all of us can do, especially those suffering from leaky gut, is to take a probiotic containing Lactobacillus plantarum. Research has shown that Lactobacillus plantarum can significantly reduce gut lining permeability, which in turn can reduce inflammation of the body, making it stronger and more resistant to undesirable substances.



Barefoot running survey: Evidence from the field

Remember that lawsuit against Vibram back in May? So Vibram might have made false claims about what their shoes can do, but only because there is no scientific research behind it. It doesn’t mean that their claims aren’t true and this survey is a pretty good example of how beneficial barefoot shoes are, if used correctly. I’ve actually used barefoot shoes to help with knee problems in the past, so I know that they can be beneficial, at least for me.



Is Glass Bakeware Safe Anymore? The Dangers Of Exploding Glass Dishes

I never thought about my glass bakeware exploding. It’s never happened to me. I have had a glass plate explode in the microwave once though. That was kinda scary. After reading this article and watching the Consumer Reports video, I don’t want to use my glass bakeware anymore. Looks like the issue is really just that if you’re cooking at really high temperatures, you shouldn’t set the glass dish on a cold surface right out of the oven.



Elastic bands are doing more harm to your pull-up progress than good

Using elastic bands to assist in doing pullups is a common recommendation by fitness experts. Maybe it’s not such a good idea after all. It prevents a full range of motion and doesn’t engage all of the necessary muscles needed to be able to eventually do pullups unassisted. So what are your options if you can’t do a pullup yet? Well, you can still do assisted pullups, just not with resistance bands. Check out the article for links to instructional videos.



Higher antioxidant and lower cadmium concentrations and lower incidence of pesticide residues in organically grown crops: a systematic literature review and meta-analysis

The long title explains it all. Buy organic when you can!



7 Exercises Fitness Experts Wish You Would Stop Doing

All great points, although the “curls in the squat rack” tip is a big of a cop-out. It’s a common joke, but not really helpful. A common theme in a couple of these tips, although not specifically mentioned, is that people shouldn’t be doing isolation exercises because there are much more beneficial exercises to do. Isolation exercises just aren’t useful for the common gym-goer.

The Best Health and Fitness Articles of the Week #156 – Probiotics For Treating Fatty Liver Disease, Health Risks of E-Cigarettes, and 10 Benefits of Deadlifts

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Consuming probiotics for a month helps diminish fat accumulation in the liver, according to a new study

Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) is when more than 5-10% of the liver is fat. NAFLD is more likely to develop in people who are obese or who have diabetes. This study found that by giving rats probiotics for a month, the accumulation of fat that’s stored in their liver was less than what was stored in rats who did not receive the probiotics. The probiotics used in the study were Lactobacillus paracasei, Bifidobacterium breve, and Lactobacillus rhamnosus.



Vanilla Pudding Pops with Homemade Magic Shell

I’m definitely making these!



Studies Reveal Health Risks Of E-Cigarettes

It’s really too bad that e-cigs aren’t very healthy, because I think they could be a great alternative to real cigarettes. It’s not really a huge surprise to me though. I was a smoker for about 15 years and I quit by using an e-cig and eventually weaning myself down to lower nicotine levels. E-cigs aren’t approved as smoking cessation devices, but they worked for me, and despite the potential negative effects, I’m thankful that they helped me kick my terrible smoking habit.



10 Benefits of Deadlifts You Probably Never Knew

If you want to burn fat, increase hormones, fix your posture, build more muscles, improve grip strength, prevent injury and improve cardio, deadlifts are cheap, easy and one of the safest exercise you can do.



How To Make Creamy Ice Cream with Just One Ingredient!

Bananas! I love bananas so much! Frozen banana ice cream is way healthier than store-bought ice cream. We sometimes make small frozen banana/peanut butter disks for dog treats too.



How To Make Caramelized Onions in a Slow Cooker

I’ve never actually made caramelized onions before because I just don’t want to stand around for hours making them. Making them in the crockpot though, is doable. And freezing them into ice cubes to save for later is such a great idea!



Top 6 Challenge Workouts

Challenge training is sort of like turning your workout into a game. It could be something like trying to do as many reps as you can within 20 minutes or increasing reps/weights each set until you can’t take it anymore. Some of these workouts are the kind that will leave you gasping for air and running to a trash can to vomit in. These workouts are contributed by Dan John, a well known strength and conditioning coach. If you’re looking to switch things up, give one of these a try.



Mobility Drills and Foam Rollers Suck

The author of this article, Jesse Irizarry is a strength and conditioning coach who claims that people are wasting time with mobility drills and foam rollers when they should be warming up with exercises that work the muscles that they will be working on during their workout. It’s sort of like killing two birds with one stone, because not only do you get your warmup in, but you also work out your muscles with beneficial lifts for increased strength. Right after reading this I went into the basement to try the Sotts presses and I could barely do just the 45 lb. bar without falling over.

A Guide to Fitness and Health