Quickie of the Week: Calcium–A Heart Breaker or Friend with Boney Benefits?

Is Calcium Tricking Us?

I heard that calcium causes heart disease! I’m emptying all my yogurt on my lawn for those cats that brawl outside my window at 4 AM to eat.”

“My bones are fine! I’m so young, and I wear a weighted vest to school. I don’t need calcium!”

“I get all my calcium from broccoli and spinach! Screw milk!”

“Uh…will dairy products make me lose weight?”

I grouped all these questions together to form this week’s quickie. If you think you could give two zits about calcium, and it certainly isn’t a concern of yours that ranks higher than wondering how Snookie’s new maternity line of clothing is panning out, then you among all people should read on to find out more about this super awesome and controversial mineral. Continue reading

ENERGY DRINKS!!!!! OMG!!!!!……!!!!!!!….!!!!!!

REDBULL GIVES US WINGS!! (Seth Casteel’s brilliant photography!)

Caffeine fashion has evolved. In the sweet yore-days, I worked at Starbucks, where this one strung-out guy would roll deep with his posse every night before closing and ask for his “late 8,” a packed 8 shots of espresso he’d promptly slam to demonstrate he actually could compensate for his shortcomings.  Bartending through grad school, I’d see a different dude stumble in; he, too, would ask just a little too loudly for a Redbull-vodka, bragging to the nearby barstool that the caffeine “metabolizes the alcohol so I can drink more.” (PS, dude #2: not true!)  And now, we have the calorie-conscious, I’m-so-productive-I-exhale-steam 4 AM worker-outers who heed Jim Rome’s morning plugs for a 5-Hour Energy shot, with all the caffeine you need in one little 1.5 oz mini iridescent bottle.

What gives? Is this cool? Should we all trade in our coffees for some Venom Hyperdrive so we, too, can dominate our own little worlds with a swagger and some to spare, despite the fact that our eyelid twitches and we absentmindedly consume our cuticles during “downtime”?

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Organic or not? The latest study that’s keeping people up at night

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“43.92, please” the dude at your local grocery store chain emptily mumbles, as he robotically arranges your two bundles of organic mint, four organic radishes, and one organic caramel stuffed marshmallow into your hand-sewn, Hemp Ziploc bag. You demonstratively hand him your organic credit card made from naturally-fallen bamboo leaves, and think to yourself “Gosh, I’m so healthy, and such a socially-responsible rockstar. Look at that guy with his inorganic apple! He should be arrested for abusing his body.”

OK, so maybe not. For sure, not everyone who eats organic green beans tacks it onto their psychological resume as a moral credential. If they have the option and the means, most people who choose to buy organic purchase cite health and environmental reasons. But a recent study grabbed all the sexy headlines, sending everyone’s reasoning on a Teacups ride. Newspapers are screaming: “Organic is no better than conventional!” The collective gasp of horror could be heard throughout the globally-warmed planet, (or at least throughout the artificially freezing grocery store I go to). Is it true!?

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Chocolate milk does an athlete’s body good? The latest research on a childhood fave.

You’ve heard him: those porn-like grunts; the grating screams of chains dog-piling on top of each other; the head-butting of tons of heavy iron against…more tons of heavy iron; blaring beats at next-door-night-club decibel levels advertising his music taste; even the almost-audible throbbing of his veins painting his body like a corrugated road-map. It’s “that guy” at the gym: conductor of Cacophonous Symphony, demanding you to listen, hoping that you’ll envy, and expecting that you’ll judge.

Enough people have slammed on “that guy.” He puts tuna in his oatmeal. He deadlifts his car for fun. He brings chicken breasts to movies as snacks. And he wouldn’t be caught dead in the gym without his beloved protein shake, either the home-spun version found in some measuring Tupperware-like bottle, or the Muscle Milks that are typically sold at the gym’s front desk.

But can we learn something from “that guy”? And what would happen if he saved 3.75 on his Muscle Milk or 44.98 on his Whey protein powder and just rolled with some 99 cent Moo-tastic chocolate milk instead (oh, the image-detonating horrors!) And while we’re at it, what’s up with chocolate milk for the rest of us who don’t bench press the weight of an adolescent polar bear?

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The KALEO Diet: How to win friends with kale and sulforaphane!

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When I first encountered kale in real life, it was being munched on raw by a too-thin-to-be-healthy woman as her excuse for lunch.  The unmistakable sulfuric air that commonly accompanies such cruciferous veggies soon followed.  It’s easy to be a shallow judge and subsequently label kale as socially suicidal food for people who should consider befriending more calories.  But here’s why the research says that kale can not only make you a social rockstar, but can insanely enhance your health as well!

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Carbs: Is it OVER? What to expect if you break up with carbohydrates.

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You’re bloated. You’re tired. You’re irritated. “Is this all life has to offer?” You slap peanut butter on your same-see-it-all-the-time bagel, wishing your life could be more exciting and fresh. You squint your eyes at your dear toasted buddy, and begin to wonder….Could it be true that your comfort BFF is the real enemy? You need something to blame your woes on, and the media, your friends, even your gym have all been desperately screaming at you who they think the culprit is: Carbs.  Dump that loser Carb from your life, and your troubles, and trouble areas, will melt away!

But you’ve been together so long! Should you really end your relationship?! Or will you find a new set of problems in the almost-too-green-to-be-real grass on the other side of your fence?  Before you kick your Carb-mate to the curb, let’s see what the research says you can expect if you decide to “break up” with Carbohydrates…*

(Blog previously posted on nutrivise.tumblr.com!)

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Detox-arrhea and Other Pure-ific Trends! Should you “Cleanse”?

What Detox sounds like:

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What it can often be like:

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“Cleansing” or “detoxing:” Ten years ago these either implied potentially pH-offsetting genital washing with perfumed products or checking oneself into a hardcore rehab with people unable to brush their teeth without heavy narcotics, respectively. Today, it is the new chic thing to brag about doing.  Whether it’s giving up sugar / caffeine / anything that you like or swearing off all food except for a daily 42 oz dram of what appears to be reconstituted lawn trimmings, many people strongly feel they should follow some strict guidelines in order to get rid of all the “toxins” that they’ve been convinced their body is unable to process.

Before you rush out to join in on the colonic explosion party, let’s visit this land of envisioned virginal purity and see what the experts and research (or lack thereof) seem to say about it…

(Blog previously posted on nutrivise.tumblr.com!)

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