Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Yes, I would like my salad sanz feces, por favor.

If you are buying bagged salad or eating a salad at a restaurant, the hard and scary truth is that you may be eating (brace yourself) poop. Yes, the latest studies of WASHED bagged salad show that there is a high level of manure in those salads. Very few show e coli or other bacteria that will cause serious illness, but the fact that they contain POOP is still a little unnerving. WASH that salad!

Jillian Michael 30 Day Shred: A review

I was excited to try the 30 Day Shred, as many people I know say they are getting a good workout from it. I will say that I enjoyed Michaels's workout, though I don't agree with everything on the video.
I did level 3, which I don't recommend on the first try with this video, unless you happen to be a fitness professional. Here is what I like: It is a continuous transition from one activity to another, which for most of the workout, keeps the heartrate up and continues to challenge different body parts. She does challenge the abs and back quite a bit in just the cardio and strength section, which begs to ask: why have the minute of abs every few minutes? She stops and has the client lay down for abs...to that affect, she does this RIGHT AFTER major cardio work???? Any exercise teacher that passed the first day knows you do not have a student lie down at the highest point of cardiovascular work. It's like she elevates the heart rate to a peak, and that is when she has the client lie down. This is strange, awkward, and questionable. Why not do abs from a standing or from plank, as she tends to like? We could hit more parts with that ab minute without stopping the heart full force and going to a supine position. Of course, the mommy diastasis issue is never brought up, so the mommies trying this workout will be vastly devastated as their bellies grow rather than decline. And another issue: how long are we elevating the heart rate? Is it worthy of weight loss efforts? And another issue: Are we causing danger by dropping the heart rate immediately?
I love plyometrics, so I am excited that there is some plyo in this workout. This is the way to raise the heartrate quickly and really challenge the muscles in a way that nothing else can. However, I would not recommend her rock star jumps. She encourages landing softly, but this jump forces a hard landing. And she does a lot of them. One or two, and it's kinda fun. A lot, and you might have a blown knee or ankle in a minute.
I am no Jillian Michaels, and I am not on TV, but I wonder if results would be even more stellar if she followed regular guidelines of ACE or her certification brand. I wonder how her own review of her workout was, and how much time she took to review this.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Jamie Oliver

If you aren't paying attention to Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution reality series, it's time to pay attention. He is reading my mind. The food we feed kids in school is disgusting and irresponsible. We teach them to make good food choices in health class, and then send them to a school-run cafeteria full of junk food. My personal favorite that I see on my students' plates is chips with fake cheese, a bread stick, chocolate milk (or birthday cake flavored!), and chocolate ice cream. If we are what we eat, then our kids are saturated fat, high fructose corn syrup, and salt. The guidelines are a joke. We are basically setting the future up to be a nation of heart disease and diabetes. Not to mention lack of productivity! Have you ever had that after-birthday-party feeling? You have the hot dog, the chips, the soda, and the chocolate cake. How much do you get done after that party? How much are you inspired to do? Can you imagine doing that to a 5 year old every day? It's what we're doing to our kids and our future business and governmental leaders every day. It is in our education system, so this is our education: eat junk and treat your body like a garbage dump. And then, pass the taks test. Good luck, Johnny and Susie.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Consumer Reports

I love a couple of the articles in this month's Consumer Reports. First of all , it reminds us that we need to be wary of ingredient labels. We do NOT need anything added to our foods, especially sugars. People are starting to get wise to "high fructose corn syrup," which is just a way of saying "a darned lot of unnecessary sugar," so now they are listing things like "evaporated cane juice" instead of just saying "SUGAR." If something looks like unnecessary added sugar, it probably is, and the calories will probably tell you the same thing. Drinks do not need calories, and if they have calories, it's sugar. Sugar when it comes in food naturally, like in fruit, is not bad, but when it needs to be added, remember that it adds pounds to your body and cavities to your teeth.
The other thing that caught my eye this month is the amazing accessibility to ephedra, deemed illegal by the FDA. The ephedra accessible online says it is not the part of the plant deemed illegal, but the legal part of the ephedrine plant. Let me just warn you that ephedra is linked to heart palpitations, heart attacks, and strokes. Even if you do not suffer these extreme symptoms, extreme hyperactivity is likely, to the point of being socially unacceptable or causing irrational behaviors and decisions.