Monthly Archives: July 2007

Longevity Pill Tested in Humans

If this thing works, I’d better stick to my day job…

What if I told you there was a pill that slows aging and allows you to live a healthy life to age 100?

Such a pill may exist right now. It’s being tested in people in very early-stage human clinical trials. Today, the company making the pill, Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, announced its findings from preclinical testing in cells and animals, and also from tests conducted on 85 male volunteers this summer.

The verdict: so far, the pill works, although it will be years before we know how well it works, or if it can actually extend the life span of people in the same way that it has bumped up the life span of mice.

Link (via Digg)

Organic tomatoes have more antioxidants


A ten-year study comparing organic tomatoes with standard produce found that they had almost double the quantity of antioxidants called flavonoids which help to prevent high blood pressure and thus reduce the likelihood of heart disease and strokes.Alyson Mitchell, a food chemist, who led the research at the University of California, believes that flavonoids can also help to stave off some forms of cancer and dementia.

She found that levels of quercetin and kaempferol, both flavonoids, were on average 79 and 97 per cent higher, respectively, in organic tomatoes. Her findings are due to be published in full in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Link (via Treehugger)

More bad food: The Double Roll Pizza Hut Pizza


The above photo, from the Pizza Hut Japan website, is of what I think is called the Double Roll. Remember Stuffed Crust Pizzas, where there was cheese tucked inside the crust of the pizza? The Double Roll takes that concept and basically blows it up by adding hot dogs and pepperoni (I think) to the crust like tiny corn dogs or maybe pigs in blankets, then throws on peas, corn and miniature hamburger patties as toppings.

Link (via Slashfood)

6 Principles of Change

Psychology Today has a list of 6 principles of change. I agree with Lifehacker: it is a “wee bit Dr. Phil-ish”, but interesting nonetheless.

Change is a tough one for people who want healthier bodies and minds. The health and fitness industry wouldn’t be booming like it is if people found it easy to change their physical self. What makes it so hard?

If you want to improve your fitness level, but can’t seem to make that change, maybe the list can shed some light on what’s missing. Here’s a summary of the six principles of change:

  1. The belief that you can change is the key to change.
  2. The type of treatment is less critical than the individual’s commitment to change.
  3. It is not the duration of the treatment that allows people to change but rather its ability to inspire continued efforts in that direction.
  4. Life skills can be the key to licking addiction.
  5. Repeated efforts are critical to changing.
  6. Improvement, without abstinence, counts.

Link (via Lifehacker)

How to Ferment Your Own Vegetables

We know that yogurt contains beneficial, “probiotic” bacteria that play a vital role in healthy digestion. But yogurt isn’t the only probiotic food out there.

All fermented foods contain beneficial living cultures. That goes for fermented vegetables like my beloved sauerkraut. Recently, we’ve been getting loads of cabbage in our weekly organic box, and I’ve been tempted to make kraut on my own, but didn’t know where to start.

Sandor Ellix Katz, aka Sandorkraut, wrote a book on vegetable ferments and has a website full of useful facts and recipes (including a recipe for sauerkraut!). This exerpt from her book describes how the basic process works:

The simple key to successful vegetable fermentation is to make sure your vegetables are submerged in liquid. That’s it, the big secret. Usually the liquid is salty water, also known as brine, but fermentation can be done without salt, or with other liquids, such as wine or whey. Typically, when fresh vegetables are chopped or grated in preparation for fermentation—which creates greater surface area—salting pulls out the vegetable juices via osmosis, and pounding or tamping the vegetables breaks down cell walls to further release juices, so no additional water is required. However, if the vegetables have lost moisture during long storage, occasionally some water is needed; if brine hasn’t risen to submerge the weighted vegetables by the following day, add a little water. In the case of vegetables left whole (cabbage heads, cucumbers, green tomatoes, string beans, okra, zucchini, eggplant, peppers—try anything), the vegetables should be submerged in brine.

Pretty much any vegetable can be fermented. Use what is abundantly available and be bold in your experimentation. Seaweeds are a wonderful addition to ferments, as are fruits, though mostly fruit ferments go through their process very quickly. I’ve even made delicious sauerkraut with mashed potatoes layered in with the salted cabbage, as well as kimchi with sticky rice layers. The sharp fermented starches are delicious. The spicing of vegetable ferments is quite varied, too. Kimchi typically includes red chili peppers, garlic, ginger, and scallions. Sauerkraut might include caraway seeds (my favorite), juniper berries, apples, or cranberries. New York–style sour pickles are spiced with dill, garlic, and sometimes hot peppers. To keep cucumbers crunchy, add to the brine some grape leaves or leaves of horseradish, oak, currant, or cherry.

Link (via No Impact Man)

Triathlon Training Programs for Beginners

One of our friends is training for her first triathlon and wonders where to find a training plan.  Here’s what I found while perusing the internets:

Anything else I’ve missed?  Post away in the comments!

50 Healthy Food Magnets


SimpleMemoryArt sells these cool food magnets. I like that they show each food’s key nutrients. They would be cooler if they showed when each food was in season!

Did you know cauliflower is high in vitamin C? Do you know how many calories are in an apricot? Our new 50 Healthy Foods magnet set has the answers and much more! Each food magnet includes key nutrients, calories, fat, fiber, and protein information to make choosing a healthy meal easy and fun! Just snap the magnets apart and arrange them on your refrigerator.

Link (via FitSugar)

Diet Soda Does Not Cause Diabetes

Recent reports on diet soda’s link with diabetes demonstrates how the media and blog community can further our ignorance of health and nutrition.

The reports stem from a recent study published in the journal of the American Heart Association.  The study shows that consumption of soda – both diet and regular – is associated with an increased incidence of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors linked to the development of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Associate does not imply cause and effect. Soda consumption is linked with heart disease in the same way that wheatgrass consumption is linked with longevity. Wheatgrass doesn’t necessarily make you live longer, but the people who drink wheatgrass shots are more likely to make other healthy choices that would lead to a longer life.

The Washington Post gives a well-rounded explanation of the study and its drawbacks, and noted by the study’s senior researcher, Dr. Vasan Ramachandran:

People who drank one or more diet sodas each day developed the same risks for heart disease as those who downed sugary regular soda, a large but inconclusive study found. The results surprised the researchers who expected to see a difference between regular and diet soda drinkers.It could be, they suggest, that even no-calorie sweet drinks increase the craving for more sweets, and that people who indulge in sodas probably have less healthy diets overall.

The study’s senior author, Dr. Vasan Ramachandran, emphasized the findings don’t show diet sodas are a cause of increased heart disease risks. But he said they show a surprising link that must be studied.


Nike Maxsight: Sunglasses and contacts merged into one

Nike Maxsight

Outdoor sports can be a real drag for people like me who wear glasses. It’s annoying enough when the frames slight down my sweaty face, but add the sun to that and a pleasant game of soccer can turn into an annoying game of squint and sweat.

Nike just came out with some UV contacts that could be very cool, but not as cool as I look in a pair of aviator sunglasses.

UV contacts are made to filter UV rays, but Nike Maxsight lenses take it one step further and throw a sunglasses-like tint into the lenses so you get all the benefits of wearing polarized shades but without the inconvenience of glasses that can fall off or get in the way during sports or athletic activities.

Available in two colors (grey/green for golf, running, training and amber for sports like tennis, baseball, football, and rugby), Fitsugar has some good pictures of what they look like compared to regular contacts if you’re curious. And Nike is offering a free trial so you can see how big of a difference they make before committing — I for one can’t wait to try them!

Link (via that’sfit)

Yoga at your desk

I don’t know about you, but I’d feel kind of silly practicing yoga in front of all my office workers. And frankly, the suit isn’t very conducive to mobility. But if you have your own office (and no issues about wearing sweatpants in public), this might work for you:

Yoga instructor Marcia Langenberg has a series of yoga poses cubicle workers who spend most of their workday sitting still can do at their desks. To demonstrate, she’s offering 4 10-minute videos which teach you how to practice the poses without leaving the office or cubicle.

Link (via Lifehacker)