Sceptically Fit

22/05/2012

Lots of Links

Filed under: Exercise, Health and Nutrition — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — Sceptically Me @ 19:29

Stress can make you fat. Should we just sleep more? Is meditation the answer?

A look at the idea of sustainable agriculture and the role of subsidies. Another look at the question of is Paleo sustainable?

British tastes in breakfast cereal is moving away from highly processed and sugary. Can we move away from cereal altogether? Mark offers some conversational rebuttals that may come in handy when explaining you don’t eat grains.

A further look at the role of inflammation and mood disorders.

A look at the myths and pseudoscience in the cosmetic industry.

I don’t expect to win, yes its just about taking part and yes, races are just more fun.

Caitlin talks about why fit is a feminist issue:

But when you’ve internalized the social messages that you are weak because you are a woman, well, just existing in the world becomes a lot harder than it needs to be.  And when you pursue fitness simply so you can fit a new definition of “sexy,” you are continuing to buy into a system of thought that says women’s highest value lies in how they look to others.

I think it is critical that we feminists engage with fitness and athletics in a way that takes these things seriously and recognizes their potential to change lives for the better.  It doesn’t have to be about hating yourself and your body, nor does it have to be about embracing fascist beauty standards.  It can also be about loving your body and wanting to take the best possible care of yourself.  It can also be about rejecting the social equation that says to be a woman is to be weak and in need of protection.  It can be about redefining yourself as a creature of strength and power.

16/05/2012

The Obesity Epidemic

Filed under: Health and Nutrition — Tags: , , — Sceptically Me @ 10:59

There’s a new HBO documentary coming out looking at the obesity epidemic in America. And Gary Taubes picks holes in it

But when David Wallinga of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy tells us in The Weight of the Nation that the USDA has established the cause of the obesity epidemic and it’s “an increase in our calorie consumption over the last 30, 35 years,” he also tells us where those calories come from: a quarter come from added sugars, a quarter from added fats (“most of which are from soy”), and “almost half is from refined grains, mainly corn starches, wheat, and the like.” What Wallinga doesn’t say is that the same USDA data clearly shows that red-meat consumption peaked in this country in the mid-1970s, before the obesity epidemic started. It’s been dropping ever since, consistent with a nation that has been doing exactly what health authorities have been telling it to do.

If The Weight of the Nation accomplishes anything, it’s communicating the desperation of obese Americans trying to understand their condition and, even more, of lean (or relatively lean) parents trying to cope with the obesity of their offspring. Lack of will isn’t their problem. It’s the absence of advice that might actually work. If our authorities on this subject could accept that maybe their fundamental understanding of the problem needs to be rethought, we and they might begin to make progress. Clearly the conventional wisdom has failed so far. We can hold onto it only so long.

21/04/2012

A month of links

Filed under: Exercise, Health and Nutrition — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , — Sceptically Me @ 14:38

Its been a busy month (and a half) for me – more on that in another post – but its been a busy time in the world of health and fitness.

The Meat will kill you Study: I’d jump straight in with a comment from Gary Taubes and  Silverhydra’s interpretation   before rounding it out with a post from Mark Sisson. And a heart surgeon speaks out – what really causes heart disease.

More on the use it or lose it

“We control 70 per cent of how we age,” she says. “The other 30 per cent is genetic, and we can blame our mothers for that. But 70 per cent is in our hands.”

Omega 3 supplementation is recommended for a lot of people – but you can over do it. And more reasons to supplement with vitamin d.

Do you remember to use the foam roller on your upper body?

Wheat – more ways it damages you. And a look at the spectrum of gluten sensitivity disorders.

Given my diet for the last month or so, I’m not surprised that evidence keeps emerging that lack of sleep causes you to overeat.

A study suggests women are more susceptible to hormonally induced hunger after exercise. And another study looks at the effect of resistance training on overall energy expenditure.

Its disappointing to watch my country’s educational institution’s reputations ruined by pseudoscience.

When will my gym start offering Kitty-robics?

Inspiring Women

Filed under: Exercise — Tags: , , , , , , — Sceptically Me @ 13:37

In both meanings of the phrase.

Caitlin at Fit and Feminist looks back at A league of Their Own. A movie that not only explored the fact that women love to play sport, but also the societal pressures that limit that opportunity.

That tension between love of sport and the demands of femininity plays a big part in “A League of Their Own,” and later in other “women in sports” movies like “Love and Basketball,” “Bend It Like Beckham” and “Girlfight.”   The specifics of each movie do vary, as each has a different cultural context, but the overarching theme remains the same: that a woman who tries to pursue her athletic passions will be seen as failing to perform femininity correctly.

Nia asks all women to Lift Like a Girl

Building a better body comes down to lifting heavy with compound exercises, getting stronger, and eating smart. Bottom line – I lift like a girl. Maybe you should finally give it a try.”

Seattle University profiles powerlifter Paula Houston.

Amber of BodyPositiveYoga asks all women not to postpone their life.

Please don’t wait until you’re thinner or have the perfect outfit. Don’t wait for motivation, just show up. Go outside. Start walking. Get on your bike and pedal. Go to the beginners yoga class. Call the gym and ask for a tour. Text your friend and invite her to go dancing with you. Give the hot guy your phone number. Laugh. Be loud. Louder, please.

When you’re on your deathbed, I guarantee you won’t wish that you did more situps or worried a little more about your fat thighs. Go live your life. You totally deserve it.

26/02/2012

The ideal food pyramid

Filed under: Health and Nutrition — Tags: , , , — Sceptically Me @ 19:48

22/01/2012

A very prolific week of links…

Filed under: Health and Nutrition — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Sceptically Me @ 22:39

Another reason to exercise – it helps your body get rid of damaged or degraded cells.  And while exercise preserves muscle – it only preserves the muscle you use so don’t stop the full body routines… and sorry to disappoint – stretching doesn’t stop the doms.

How to ensure good gut health.

A new study suggests the marathon won’t kill you (if you’ve trained for it). Mark Sisson gives some advice on combining weight training with running, and here are some more tips to run faster.

A study postulating that most of humanity evolved with carbohydrate scarcity causing a greater insulin resistance to be selected for which is now what presupposes many ethnic groups for type2 diabetes.

Looking into the wider animal kingdom – researchers have discovered predators will hunt to ensure a nutritionally balanced diet.

Morning People – that’s as good as you’re going to be. Me, my brain’s just warming up!

Conditioning Research takes a look at the importance of sleep and its effect on obesity.

Evolvify takes a look at the (lack of) evidence behind the women like alpha males theory in pickup culture.

Despite being the ready energy source of many – another study suggests avoiding carbohydrates will help you stay awake.

Lifehacker looks at the science behind a bad mood.

From Not Just a Man’s World – a look at a study on the effects of resistance training on flexibility for young women.

Loren Cordain answers a few questions on the paleo diet – its going to take me a while to get through his paper on Cereal Grains.

A good reminder of the power of the placebo.

07/01/2012

Lots of Links

Filed under: Health and Nutrition — Tags: , , , , , — Sceptically Me @ 23:00

A lot of people have given up drinking alcohol as part of a January detox, but maybe the better option is to drink smarter and choose paleo friendly options.

Here’s another guide to meditation for those looking for a more grounded 2012. Maybe I’m biased, but in two different countries and many different centres I’m yet to come across a yoga practice that seemed to work with my body instead of just try for the pose, so this article came as no surprise.

Does your new year commitment to a paleo diet mean you’re explaining the why’s over and over again? Dr Terry Wahls talks about how the paleo diet means protecting your mitochondria. One of the key things that will come up when trying to explain a healthy primal/paleo diet is preventing inflammation. Mark looks at just what inflammation means for the body.  Unfortunately, Paleo isn’t a cure-all for everyone – Melissa talks about how she had to look further than a general paleo diet to resolve her IBS.

Ignoring the fat-fear-mongering, seems veggie burgers are the one time to avoid a high protein count – to avoid processed soy and actually get vegetables!

Seth takes a look at the value of the  epidemiological method. And Silverhydra asks does masturbation lower testosterone levels?

31/12/2011

New Years Resolutions

Filed under: Personal — Tags: , , — Sceptically Me @ 19:10

Update – not everything saved when I posted it from the phone…

So it’s that time. I started the year quite well last year but did too much without looking after myself and it kind of fell apart. This year I aim to make more of an effort to look after myself.

  • get eight hours sleep most nights
  • complete the 30 day paleo challenge
  • continue eating paleo most of the time
  • improve my paleo cooking
  • be able to do a full pull up
  • do the Survival of the Fittest and be able to get over the 6″ wall without help
  • move into my own apartment
  • complete the beginners swing dancing course and finally be able to stay for the intermediate and social dancing
  • run a half marathon in under two hours in May
  • finish a book a month
  • take the time to indulge my creative side at least once a week: painting, sewing, drawing, writing
  • Email/Call/Skype more often with friends and family
  • keep my home clean and tidy.
  • keep my house plants alive

26/11/2011

Months of thinking – lots of links

Due to a multitude of life stress going on I’ve really feel behind on this site. So in an attempt to catch up I’m going to just link to all the stories that have caught my eye over the last few months.

Vitamin C supplementation may aid recovery from intense exercise in the cold. Is honey even honey any more? Why do we keep messing with our food.   Are our agricultural staples trying to kill us? A look at which nutrients are essential for healthy mitochondria. Can you eat too much liquorice? Yoghurt doesn’t work the way we thought. A look at the effect of a paleo diet on testosterone. The evolution of lactose tolerance and how to use it if you have it. An interview with Dr Loren CordainWholegrain pasta offers no benefit over refined pasta. A look at preparing traditional grains. Are eggs the answer to weightloss? Here’s seven more reasons to eat them.

Meat doesn’t rot in your colon – grains do. Another study shows that grass-fed red meat is healthier. A diet high in fat is not fattening. A ted talk on using diet to stop angiogenesis. And a diet high in carbohydrates is linked to cancer. So while low carb seems better for reducing cancer and heart disease, its best to keep it high in vegetables.

However, is it just a matter of  eating whole foods that’s more important than individual nutrients. The Perfect Health Diet offers a food apple guide, and lifehacker suggests how to begin eating ancestrally

Are you always aware of what you eat – a look at how your subconscious mind affects your diet. The link between  omega3  imbalances and depression and how increasing your omega3 levels can reduce inflammation and anxiety. How to balance your omega 6 vs omega 3 ratios. A guide to cravings and what your body might actually be needing.

Mark Sisson talks about the idea of gateway foods and helpfully provides a delicious sounding recipe for pumpkin pie. How about paleo egg-cupcakes? On the low-carb front – if you’re missing burgers how about a recipe for an oopsie bun. When the winter colds hit – here’s some suggestions for healthy comfort food. And now you’re inspired – here’s a big recipe roundup.

Letting children’s playground be fun results in less accidents then those awful safety playgrounds. A look at the differences of American-European values. Interesting how a respect for individual rights plays out when the people are women. Alas offers a simple primer to evaluate the anti-women’s health arguments. Another reason to damn the development of agriculture. Sam Harris looks at how to be safe in a world with a propensity for violence.

Weightlifting for women is starting to hit the mainstream. A guide to dynamic stretching. Does muscle really burn more calories? Its important to pay attention to muscle imbalances.  Is chocolate milk the best post-exercise drink? Exercising on an empty stomach may not be a good idea. Why cardio is not the best way to lose fat. How exercise can you become more sensitive to feeling full when eating. What ever you do – just stop sitting  down!

Cycling can be dangerous – the Florida Dept of Transport says riding 4-5 ft from curb, not wearing spandex, being a woman all cause cars to move further over in the lane when passing you. And its shown to be cheaper to build cycling infrastructure than not.

Seven ideas to improve your running, and how to improve your mileage.

21/10/2011

Is there a case for eating phytates?

Filed under: Health and Nutrition — Tags: , , — Sceptically Me @ 23:42

Don from Primal Wisdom discusses some of the effects of phytates on the body including potentially cancer prevention.

 

According to researchers from Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine, phytates appear to have anticancer effects by binding excess minerals in tissues, depriving tumors of essential minerals.[4 pdf]

Vucenik and Shamsuddin discuss the anticancer properties of phytate in detail; all information and quotes remaining in this post come from their report in the Journal of Nutrition.[5 full text]

Almost all mammalian cells contain phytate in the inositol hexaphosphate (IP6) form and others with smaller numbers of phosphate groups (IP1-5).  When we ingest dietary phytate, intracellular levels of IP6 increase, and from this cells increase the levels of the other forms, which appear involved in “cellular signal transduction, regulation of cell function, growth, and differentiation.”

Dietary phytate enters the blood stream and reaches tissues, including tumors, far from the gut.

Tumor cells take up phytate, probably by pinocytosis or receptor-mediated endocytosis.

Phytate inhibits malignant growth in human leukemic, colon cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer, and liver cancer cells.

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