May 20, 2015
The next time you reach for a soda, consider the findings of a recent study published in the American Journal of Public Health. In this study, researchers found that soda actually ages our cells as much as cigarette smoking. Wow, let’s write that again. Soda ages our cells as much as cigarette smoking. Most of us are aware of the link between drinking soda and an increased risk of obesity and diabetes, but we don’t usually think of the sugary beverage as contributing to pre-mature aging.The study revealed that telomeres, our DNA’s protective end caps, were significantly shorter in those who reported drinking more soda. Short telomeres are a marker for biological aging, and several scientific studies have shown a link between short telomere length and age-related diseases. Researchers estimate that the daily consumption of a 20-ounce serving of soda is associated with 4.6 years of additional biological aging, comparable to the aging effects of smoking.Sugary sodas are ... [More]
February 23, 2015
Meghan Trainor's All About That Bass sounds good and delivers a great message for women and girls to be a-okay with their themselves as they are; you are perfect from the bottom to the top. [More]
January 20, 2015
Let’s say you followed our 15 natural tips on how to avoid colds and flus from a couple years ago, but you got sick anyway. What do you do now? Take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or aspirin? Eat chicken soup? Feed a cold and starve a fever?We’ve got some natural suggestions that sound a little crazy but they really work (really!)
1. "If you feed a cold, you’ll have to starve a fever." That’s right: the aphorism you’ve heard before is incorrect, mistranslated somewhere along the line. The original point was that eating is the wrong thing to do when you’re sick. So, if you eat when you’re sick, you may end up making yourself sicker. When you’re sick, your body wants a rest from the work of digesting and metabolizing food.
What to do instead? Fast. That’s right, don’t eat. Just drink water, herbal tea, or maybe some broth. At most, cook some brown rice or oatmeal in four parts water (instead of two). Whatever you do, don’t eat sw... [More]
December 1, 2014
Since she first appeared on the pages of All-Star Comics in 1941, Wonder Woman has been a paragon of a strong, heroic woman. She stands for truth, justice, and peace. She is widely described as a feminist icon—and with good reason. Wonder Woman was designed by psychologist William Moulton Marston to be the type of woman who could "rule the world."Marston was not only a noted psychologist and professor but also a prominent women’s rights activist. This paragraph comes directly from the recent The New Yorker article: "'Wonder Woman' was conceived by Dr. Marston to set up a standard among children and young people of strong, free, courageous womanhood; to combat the idea that women are inferior to men; and to inspire girls to self-confidence and achievement in athletics, occupations, and professions monopolized by men."Marston was of the belief that women were the best hope for future civilization. In fact, in 1937, he predicted that women would eventually rule the world. He h... [More]
November 29, 2014
The origins of the Paleo concept stem, at least partly, from the perfectly reasonable observation that modern diets and lifestyles create a lot of unnecessary disease. It’s not a very big step from that to realize that we weren’t meant to be couch potatoes; we weren’t meant to subsist on salty, fried, sweetened, packaged, refined, and manufactured foods that didn’t exist until 50 or 100 years ago.Based on this information, some authors (or marketers) found an apparently perfect target for their wrath: agriculture! Had not agriculture given us white flour and white rice? Wasn’t agriculture the ultimate source of potato chips and white sugar and corn syrup and genetically modified soy? Who regulates factory farms? The Department of Agriculture. Where are the most and herbicides sprayed and applied? Whoops, not on farms. They’re actually applied to on our lawns and gardens more, or at least those of our neighbors. But anyway, farms are the second most c... [More]
November 28, 2014
In the first post on the Paleo diet, I discussed how Paleo advocates don’t make a good case against agricultural-based diets. I’d like to have some fun here with the Paleo notion that a hunter-gatherer lifestyle is what humans are really evolved for. These are points you might want to keep in mind if someone tries to tell you that Paleo is the right way. And if you yourself are a fan of the Paleo concept, I mean no harm. Read on, and you might learn something of value.
Hunter gatherers hunted and gathered everything they ate (they didn’t raise animals or crops.) So if you what you’re eating came from a farm, or a farmer’s market, or a ranch, or a dairy, or the grocery store, it’s not Paleo. Go out and catch yourself a rabbit and collect some wild sorrel—that’s Paleo.
That cell phone in your hand? Everything associated with the technology/Information Revolution—and what isn’t, nowadays—which itself rides piggyback on the... [More]
November 27, 2014
In our first gluten-free post, I introduced to you a few ideas about wheat and gluten allergy and sensitivity:
That wheat is probably a much bigger problem that gluten
That people who feel better going off gluten have probably benefitted, inadvertently, from cutting out all wheat;
And that the food marketing industry is partially responsible for the popularity of the gluten-free concept, as they’re quick to jump on fads and trends, even when (as is the case here) science and medicine may not support them.
There is a tricky concept to try to tease apart here. Celiac Disease is a serious and destructive illness. In the past, it frequently went undiagnosed, and the medical profession—dubious as always about any claims that food and diet could cause actual symptoms—minimized and pooh-poohed it. This story may be familiar to women who’ve found the medical profession unsympathetic to their request for help when their hormonal fluctuations are causing premenstrual s... [More]
November 25, 2014
You must have heard by now about eating gluten-free, whether it’s in a restaurant or on a TV show or from a friend or relative. So what’s the deal with gluten? And being gluten-free? It seems like gluten-free food is everywhere now, whereas you never heard about it just a few short years ago. What is gluten, and why is it so bad for you?To answer the second question first, gluten probably isn’t bad for you. It may be kind of bad for some people, and it’s positively toxic to a very small group of people with a condition called Celiac Disease. In Celiac Disease, an autoimmune condition triggers a highly destructive reaction in your body when you eat gluten-containing foods and grains. Here’s the problem. Only a very small—indeed, it’s tiny—fraction of people in most parts of the world has Celiac Disease, or will ever develop it. However, the idea that gluten-free is good for you, and that gluten is bad, has caught on like wildfire. Th... [More]
November 24, 2014
What does it mean to be authentic? The word has been thrown around over the last few years by self-help gurus and therapists as a universal goal. So what is authenticity? Can developing our authentic selves actually make us healthier?
Very simply, authenticity means being true to one’s self. A person who is authentic approaches life—for example, social interactions and big decisions—with sincerity and truth. The idea seems easy enough, but in today’s world, where we’re asked to summarize our thoughts in 140 characters and ourselves in a single profile page, it can be difficult to achieve. Our fast-paced world can also get in the way. How can we be true to ourselves if we don’t have the time to reflect on who we really are?
Authenticity is something that takes practice, courage, and commitment. Taking the road less traveled is easier said than done, and learning to speak your mind isn’t a switch we flip in an instant. We’re conditioned to ... [More]
November 23, 2014
By now, you’ve probably heard about Paleo Diet. As diet fads go, Paleo Diet is right up there with gluten-free and raw-food-veganism in terms of trendiness. And, all three are neck and neck for making claims they can’t verify.Before I go any further, though, and give too many people too much ammunition to find fault with my position here, I’ll say this: Paleo Diet has some very helpful concepts that are worthwhile for your health. In a similar way, gluten-free diets can help a lot of people feel better, even when the popular conception of gluten-free is a big misunderstanding. (Gluten free diets are an absolute necessity for those with the serious condition, Celiac Disease.) Even raw food veganism, an extreme food fad, can be a seemingly miraculous cure for people with life-threatening or crippling conditions like cancer, advanced heart disease, and autoimmune disease.Now, back to the problems with Paleo. Paleo diet is based on the idea that we should be eating ... [More]