Monday, October 31, 2011

Tooth Health

Many people use toothpaste as part of their oral health care regimen. However, you should know that some toothpaste can cause problems. Many types of toothpaste are too abrasive and actually strip away tooth enamel which never grows back. The teeth may become sensitive when tooth enamel is worn away. Toothpaste’s abrasiveness is measured by its Relative Dentin Abrasively (RDA). The table below shows the RDA of some common toothpaste. We suggest that you use toothpastes with the lowest RDA ratings. In addition to finding a toothpaste that is minimally abrasive, we suggesting finding one with fluoride.
Fluoride helps strengthen enamel and prevent cavities. Toothpaste contains abrasives which help clean teeth. Unfortunately, these abrasives can sometimes strip away tooth enamel, making teeth sensitive toheat, cold, and sweets.

The RDA table:
0-70 = Low Abrasive
70-100 = Medium Abrasive
100-150 = Highly Abrasive
150-250 = Regarded as Harmful Limit

Straight Baking Soda 7
Arm & Hammer Tooth Powder 8
Arm & Hammer Dental Care 35
Oxyfresh 45
Tom’s of Maine Sensitive 49
Arm & Hammer Peroxicare 49
Rembrandt Original 53
CloSYS 53
Tom’s of Main Children 57
Colgate Regular 68
Colgate Total 70
Sensodyne 79
Aim 80
Colgate Sensitive Max Strength 83
Aquafresh Sensitive 91
Tom’s of Maine Regular 93
Crest Regular 95
Mentadent 103
Sensodyne Extra Whitening 104
Colgate Platinum 106
Crest Sensitivity 107
Colgate Herbal 110
Aquafresh Whitening 113
Arm & Hammer Tarter Control 117
Arm & Hammer Advance White Gel 117
Close-up with Baking Soda 120
Colgate Whitening 124
Ultra Brite 130
Crest MultiCare Whitening 144
Colgate Baking Soda Whitening 145
Pepsodent 150
Colgate Tarter Control 165
FDA Recommended Limit 200
ADA Recommended Limit 250

Sunday, October 30, 2011

MacGyver Tips


Freeze Candles to Make them Last Twice as Long

Candles will last longer (almost 2X), if they are placed in the freezer for a day before using them. Chilling the wax gives it a bit longer before burning through and leaving you with an empty jar. For some candles this will also cause them to drip less and burn straight down without burning through the side of the candle.

Use Doritos (or Other Chips) to Start a Fire
All kind of chips work for that. Works as well as birch bark for starting a fire in a hurry.
If you think about it, its basically pure hydrocarbons (which burn) soaked in fat (which burns). You'll still need a match or something to spark your fire.

How to Make Tea Using a Coffee Pot.
Yes, it is possible to make tea using a coffee pot, and no it won't send your coffee maker to coffee heaven. It's a useful fix for brewing a large pot of herbal tea that you want to keep warm for hours, such as when you're caring for someone with a cold or the flu.

Keep Your Kitchen Sponges Dry and Grime-Free with Binder Clips
If you leave your kitchen sponges flat on the counter, you may notice they can get pretty gross—mostly because they won't dry as quickly. The solution? Stand it up on a binder clip. It'll air dry much quicker and your sponge will last longer. Just one more reason to have a big bag of these things lying around.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Protein Question

I saw yet another study the other day showing how a high protein intake can help with short-term weight loss. This has been shown probably dozens of times, where if someone is on a reduced calorie diet, higher protein helps through reduced hunger and better retention of lean mass.

What these studies are not addressing is how high protein intakes may affect long-term weight regulation. For example, this new study shows that higher protein intake in adults is correlated with higher body fat. People can pick apart this particular study if they like, but if you look at different studies, you tend to see higher protein intake correlated with higher BMI/body fat.

I think someone else (maybe Perfect Health Diet?) was brave enough to write about this before. Is a high protein intake really that beneficial in the long run?

Here's another way to think of it: if protein is the key to weight regulation, then how can there be cultures that eat moderate or even low-protein and yet still maintain normal weights. This would suggest that either protein is not the key to weight regulation that people believe it is, or there are multiple macronutrient paths to a stable body weight.

Either way, I think it's a lot more complex than just, "eat more protein and lose weight". I remember another study (don't have time to dig it up now), where subjects started on a high-protein intake but then after a year or so ended up back to consuming moderate levels of protein. You could interpret this as either subjects going back to their old habits, or perhaps they grew weary of consuming high protein.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Stress fractures: is it weak bones or muscles?

A new study from researchers at the University of Calgary, published in the November issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, looks at bone quality and leg muscle strength in a group of 19 women who have suffered stress fractures in their legs, and compares them to a group of matched controls. The basic results:

the women who got stress fractures had thinner bones;
at certain key locations, the quality of the bone was lower in the stress fracture group;
the stress fracture group also had weaker leg muscles, particularly for knee extension (lower by 18.3%, statistically significant) and plantarflexion (lower by 17.3%, though not statistically significant).

Now, this sounds very similar to the results of a University of Minnesota study published a couple of years ago. Here‘s how I summed up the conclusions reached by those researchers:

What’s interesting, though, it that the bone differences were exactly in proportion to the size of the muscles in the same area, and there was no difference in bone mineral density. What this suggests is that the best way to avoid stress fractures is to make sure you have enough muscle on your legs — presumably by doing weights and (it goes without saying) eating enough.

What I don’t understand is that, in the new Calgary study, even though they mention the Minnesota study repeatedly in their discussion, they don’t discuss at all this idea that it’s the lower muscle strength that dictates the reduced bone size and thus the stress fracture risk — even though that was the primary conclusion of the Minnesota study. Instead, they say “the role of muscle weakness in [stress fractures] is unclear from previous studies,” and suggest that weaker knee extension might change running form to produce a “stiffer” running stride or somehow alter the direction of forces on the bone during running — both of which seem like unnecessarily complex and speculative ideas compared to the straightforward link between muscle strength and bone strength.

It’s entirely possible that I’m missing something here, because the paper is quite complex. But what I take away from it is, once again, that strengthening your legs is likely (though not yet proven in a prospective trial) to reduce your stress fracture risk.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Eat Your Beets!


One of my most regular blog readers, who happens to be a psychologist working with elite British athletes (so he knows a thing or two!) has long been touting the benefits of eating beets (or as my husband, being a fellow Brit calls this plant, beetroot).

Not only is this plant indicated for EVERYONE, athlete or not, as it's been shown to promote brain health and lower blood pressure.

For those of us who ARE endurance athletes, eating beetroot in advance of a workout is being shown to help improve said endurance.

Since it's off season for me from Ironman, and I spent the last two weeks in a semi-recovery phase while I get ready for the NYC Marathon, I've been doing a bit of experimenting and have completed several key workouts fueled by beets...and soft boiled eggs and coconut, of course...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Shocking True Story of How Pringles are Made

Posted By Dr. Mercola

To understand the nature of Pringles and other stackable chips, forget the notion that they come from actual potatoes in any recognizable way. The Pringles company, in an effort to avoid taxes, once even argued that the potato content of their chips was so low that they are technically not even potato chips.

The process begins with with a slurry of rice, wheat, corn, and potato flakes that are pressed into shape. This dough-like substance is then rolled out into an ultra-thin sheet cut into chip-cookies by a machine.

According to io9:

“The chips move forward on a conveyor belt until they're pressed onto molds, which give them the curve that makes them fit into one another. Those molds move through boiling oil ... Then they're blown dry, sprayed with powdered flavors, and at last, flipped onto a slower-moving conveyor belt in a way that allows them to stack. From then on, it's into the ... and off towards the innocent mouths of the consumers.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Should You Train Like Pro Athletes?


The answer is not simple, but certainly the response is no. These athletes’ success is largely due to 2 major factors, DNA and the perfection of the sport skill such as pitching and hitting. The third and last vital piece of this puzzle is their physical preparation, and unfortunately worthless without great parents and knowledgeable sport coaches. And when it comes to physical preparation, the best advice is to follow what we know, science. We are just unaware of professional athletes’ genetic contribution, as well as their relative acuity at sport specific skills.

So let’s review a few crucial training components

1. Programming

Everything should be geared towards increasing and balancing GRF (see Sparta Point 12/8/10). The bodybuilding exercises mentioned above are not as efficient as squats or other total body movements in improving your force production into the ground, which results in more speed in any direction as well as reduced injury risk from balanced energy absorption (see Sparta Point 3/8/11). In fact, exercises like biceps curls can even inhibit your range of motion which will result in less power (see Sparta Point 11/17/10).

2. Environment

Key aspects of your environment are your peers, coaches and fellow athletes that keep your workouts accountable and grueling, yet fun. Another important environmental aspect is the time, specifically circadian rhythms, as you need to train at similar times each day, like going to bed and waking at the same time. Such patterns will allow your body’s hormones to be released optimally and provide the best ergogenic effects (see Sparta Point 11/2/09).

3. Consistency

Sprinting, jumping, and weightlifting are all simple skill or strength movements, and their execution improves with repetition, allowing more speed and heavier weight over time. With this greater intensity during training, a larger stimulus is provided, which is crucial in more trained athletes with higher thresholds for improvements (see Sparta Point 2/24/10). Therefore changing exercises every week, or each offseason, will impede this linear, or perhaps greater, curve of improvement.

Another baseball example, flush runs, started after Roger Clemens was famed for performing these longer jogs after his baseball starts (see Sparta Point 12/31/08). However, would this logic encourage us to drink more alcohol like Mickey Mantle or others who have succeeded despite off-field problems?

Rather than asking what professional athletes do to train, follow their skills, and perhaps family tree, but let the science guide your physical preparation.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Is the Cafeteria Diet Responsible for the Obesity Epidemic?

Dr Mercola

In the 1970s, investigators were searching for new models of diet-induced obesity. Anthony Sclafani looked at something new, and disarmingly simple -- what came to be known as the "cafeteria diet". He gave rats access to a variety of both palatable human foods and standard rat food. They ignored the rat food and rapidly became obese. The cafeteria diet remains the quickest and most effective way of producing dietary obesity and metabolic syndrome in rodents using solid food.

A number of studies have found similar effects in humans, sometimes when the studies weren’t even looking for it. One such study began simply as an attempt to design a novel way of accurately measuring food intake. Investigators created an "automated food-selection system" consisting of two large vending machines filled with a variety of prepared foods. The study subjects immediately began consuming excessive calories. Over the course of just seven days, the volunteers gained an average of 5.1 pounds.

According o Whole Health Source:

“Just as in rats, exposing humans to a variety of readily accessible, energy dense, palatable foods causes excessive food intake and rapid weight gain. The degree of overeating varies by individual, but nearly everyone overeats to some degree. Whatever the mechanism(s) underlying this may be, the phenomenon has important implications for the commercialization of food and the associated obesity epidemic in affluent nations.”

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The 10 golden acupressure points

(NaturalNews) The 10 golden acupressure points are:
1.Stomach 36 (ST 36): This is the 36th point on the stomach meridian. It balances the digestion power of the body. According to TCM, diabetes begins with increase of stomach fire. So this point can prevent diabetes. It can also prevent aging and weakness for which it is commonly used in China. Locally good for arthritis.

2. Large intestine 11 (LI 11): 11th point on the LI meridian which is one of the best for improving immunity and persistent infections. Also used for elbow stiffness.

3.Large intestine 4 (LI 4): This is one of the best analgesic points for any type of pain, for e.g. headache, body ache etc. It is very helpful to clear excess heat in the body which causes nose bleeds, fevers etc.

4. Urinary Bladder 40 (BL 40): This point is very useful in back pain, lumbago and knee stiffness in arthritis. Lower back pain is a common problem for which this is a panacea.

5.Liver 3 (LIV 3): This is the best point for hypertension, insomnia, diabetes and painful breasts. By regularly pressing this point one can get rid of hypertension for good.

6.Gallbladder 34 (GB 34): This point controls the wind rising up to the head that causes insomnia, migraine and anxiety. Also prevents gallstones and is used for swollen knees due to arthritis etc.

7.Lung 7 (LU 7): This is a very good point for relief in asthma, breathlessness and migraine.

8.Heart 7 (HE 7): This point balances all the emotional issues in the heart and harmonizes its function.

9.Spleen 6 (SP 6): Massaging this point improves digestion and relieves feeling of distention after having food which many people experience. It nourishes the spleen and increases blood production. It relieves feeling of heaviness and tiredness.

10.Kidney 1 (KID 1): This point is very important for the elderly. As we age the kidney grows weaker according to TCM and its fire dwindles. Along with acupressure, warm this point with any kind of heat or immerse feet in warm water for 15 minutes daily.

Friday, October 21, 2011

CDC: Antidepressant use skyrockets 400% in past 20 years


Use of antidepressant drugs has soared nearly 400% since 1988, making the medication the most frequently used by people ages 18-44, a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows.Doctors who prescribe some popular antidepressants should monitor their patients closely for warning signs of suicide, especially when they first start the pills or change a dose.

Eleven percent of Americans ages 12 years and older took antidepressants during the 2005-08 study period, the authors write. They add that though the majority of antidepressants were taken to treat depression, the drugs also can be used for anxiety disorders and other conditions.

The data are from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, which included information from 12,637 participants about prescription-drug use, antidepressant use, length of use, severity of depressive symptoms and contact with a health professional.

Mental-health professionals not associated with the survey cited several reasons as possible explanations for the spike:

•The struggling economy and the record number of layoffs and home foreclosures. "These drugs can be very helpful for people who need them,'' says Elaine Ducharme, a psychologist and public educator in Connecticut for the American Psychological Association. "People should expect to be depressed after a layoff. They should not be put on a drug, though, unless they have an acute problem."

•Ad campaigns waged by pharmaceutical companies citing benefits of the drugs.

•Families who might be reimbursed by health insurance companies for a prescription but may delay getting therapy from a mental-health professional because of the cost of treatment.

In fact, less than one-third of Americans taking one antidepressant and less than one-half of those taking multiple antidepressants have seen a mental-health professional in the past year, the report shows.

"Unfortunately, some families are looking for a quick fix, but a pill is never going to get to the root of the problem," says David Palmiter, a psychologist and author of Working Parents, Thriving Families: 10 Strategies That Make a Difference.

Ducharme agrees. "That is the thing that bothers me the most," she says. "These drugs can be dangerous, and there needs to be follow-up care."

The survey also found that nearly one in four women ages 40 to 59 are taking antidepressants. Women are more likely to take antidepressants; however, among those taking antidepressants, men were more likely than women to have seen a mental-health professional in the past year.

The survey found that about one in 25 teens take the medication.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Multivitamin Study

from Marks Daily Apple

The second study found that multivitamin usage was positively associated with mortality in older women. Broken down by specific micronutrients, zinc, magnesium, vitamin B6, folic acid, copper, and (most strongly) iron were linked to higher mortality, while calcium was not. Sounds horrible, right?

But then you look at this other, recent “multivitamin and mortality” study, which distinguished between “baseline users,” “baseline non-users,” and “never-users.” A baseline user is someone who had been taking supplements before the start of the study. A baseline non-user is someone who had been taking no supplements before the start, but who began taking them during the study. A never-user is someone who took no supplements at all, neither before or during the study. Baseline users had the lowest mortality (both all-cause and from cancer). Never-users had the next lowest mortality, while baseline non-users who began taking supplements during the study were the most likely to die. Who else is most likely to start taking supplements later in life? Sick people. Unhealthy people. Who’s more likely to die? Sick, unhealthy people. In fact, the authors of the study conclude that a “sick user effect” likely explains the results.

In the original multivitamin study, no distinction was made between baseline users and baseline non-users. They were all packaged together, and I suspect the sick user effect is also at play in this one. Furthermore, as the Jaminets point out in a recent post, the authors also failed to adjust for the age of the participants. That older people tend to die more often than younger people is a pretty basic concept and a function of the aging process, so you’d think it would be included in their “multivariate analysis.” The study also showed that older people tended to take more supplements than younger people. And indeed – when you do adjust for age, select supplement usage actually lowered the risk of mortality.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sugar, Insulin Resistance

By Jason Seib

Carbohydrate is converted to glucose (blood sugar), so each one of these meals causes a nice bolus of glucose to enter your blood stream very quickly. Your body closely regulates glucose to keep it within a safe range – not too high and not too low. After you consume easily digestible carbohydrates like the ones on your daily menu above, your pancreas must secrete insulin to mitigate the resulting elevated glucose. Insulin’s job is primarily to feed the glucose in your blood stream to hungry cells and then send the leftovers to the liver to be turned into triglycerides for storage in your fat cells. Are you still with me? Take a deep breath. Maybe do a few squats. Okay, let’s keep moving. We need to dig deeper.

The story so far: carbs are eaten and broken down to glucose, insulin sends glucose to your cells to be used as energy or to the liver for a quick composition change so it can be stored as fat.

Moving on. Since your Standard American Diet (SAD) is nowhere near natural because of all those processed carbs, glucose and insulin remain high throughout your day. This can eventually lead to insulin resistance in those cells that use glucose as energy. Insulin resistance is when insulin is ever present and its “I come bearing food” signal to the cells is reduced to a whisper and then finally ignored. This means your pancreas must produce more insulin to get the same job done, and this in turn means that insulin is ever present in greater quantities. If you have managed to make sense of all this so far, you can see that you are amassing more and more insulin in your blood stream. I’m about to explain why this is a problem, but you might want to do a few more squats first.

Hyperinsulinemia, this state of elevated insulin you have created by this point, is bad. Very bad. Robb Wolf once suggested that you can Google hyperinsulinemia and any noninfectious disease that comes to mind and you will at least find strong correlations in more links than you would ever take the time to read. When insulin hangs around too often, it also means you store a lot of fat and have trouble using fat as energy. This is because insulin is your body’s primary storage hormone. Here’s how it works (take another deep breath):

High levels of glucose in the blood stream are toxic, just ask a type 1 diabetic. As I said above, your body devotes a lot of energy to keeping glucose within a fairly tight range. This means glucose is used for energy before fatty acids because it can’t be allowed to hang out and cause problems. You can only store a small amount of glucose (as glycogen), but a nearly unlimited amount of fat can be stored, much to the dismay of your buns and thighs. This is why the liver converts the extra glucose to triglycerides and ships it off to be stored in the fat cells.

Okay, we have finally come to the point of this whole sermon. At the fat cell, an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase (LPL) acts as the doorman, ushering fatty acids into the fat cells. Inside the fat cell, another enzyme, hormone sensitive lipase (HSL), has the job of cleaving the first sulfide bond on the triglycerides and releasing fatty acids to be used as energy. So LPL is working when you are storing fat and HSL is working when you are “burning” fat. Here’s the rub – both of these enzymes are sensitive to the presence of insulin. When insulin is present, LPL is on duty and you are storing fat. When insulin is gone, HSL is on duty and you are using your stored fat as energy. If you understand the story so far, this process makes perfect sense. Since we know that glucose can’t be allowed to hang out and it must be used first, we also know that there is no reason to access stored fat in the presence of glucose and, therefore, insulin. When insulin is in the blood stream, the message is clear – you have glucose to take care of before you use your stored fat. Now it’s easy to see why hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance are a problem. They keep you in fat storage mode, without the ability to access your stored fat for energy, for plenty of time to make you plump and squishy.

Please don’t misunderstand, I am not trying to paint carbohydrates and insulin as villains. They are a normal and natural part of human nutrition and biochemistry. What is not normal is our mass consumption of processed carbohydrates, both in unnatural forms and in never ending supply regardless of season.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Vitamin D and muscle injuries

I’m on the record as a bit of a vitamin D skeptic. Not a total skeptic, mind you — it’s actually the only supplement of any kind that I take on a regular basis these days. But the claims that vitamin D enhances athletic performance have seemed pretty weak to me so far. However, I’ll dutifully pass along this press release from the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, which describes some new research linking vitamin D levels with muscle injuries in NFL football players.

The study: 89 players from one NFL team were tested for vitamin D levels in spring 2010, during pre-season. Not surprisingly, the levels were generally low compared to what’s considered desirable (which seems to be true for pretty much every population group in the developed world):

Twenty-seven players had deficient levels (< 20 ng/ML) and an additional 45 had levels consistent with insufficiency (20-31.9 ng/mL). Seventeen players had values within normal limits (>32 ng/mL).

The team then provided data on time missed due to injuries during the season. Sure enough, players who suffered muscle injuries has “significantly lower levels” of vitamin D. How much lower? It’s not clear: this is conference data, so not yet published in a journal, and unfortunately the press release release doesn’t do a very good job of presenting the data. The average level for players with a muscle injury was 19.9, but it doesn’t tell us what the average for uninjured players was.

First thing to wonder: is it this cause or correlation? Do the players with crappy diets also neglect their strength, flexbility and warm-up routine? Second thing: if it is causal, what’s the mechanism? Why does this work?

Leaving that aside, I’ll just reiterate my hair-splitting distinction between a “performance-enhancing” substance and one that hurts performance if you’re deficient in it. Water helps your performance if you’re dehydrated, but we don’t consider it an ergogenic aid. As far as I can tell, vitamin D falls into the same category: something that you shouldn’t be deficient in, whether you’re an athlete or not. But I’m still not convinced that more is better if you’re in a healthy range.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Do runners get less efficient as they age?


We know that lots of things start to decline as you age — maximal heart rate, VO2max, muscle strength, power, flexibility, etc. But what about running economy? Do you become less efficient (in translating oxygen consumption into forward motion) as you get older, or do you keep the same efficiency while working with a smaller total capacity? Researchers at the University of New Hampshire looked at this question by studying 51 sub-elite runners in three groups: young (18-39), master (40-59) and old (60+), and published the results in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. Here’s what they found:measurements of how much oxygen they used (in ml per kg of bodyweight per minute) at different submaximal speeds. What’s of interest is the slope of those lines, which tells you how much oxygen they use per metre. And as it happens, there was no significant difference in the slopes between the three groups, contradicting the researchers’ hypothesis that running economy would decline with age.

This is a surprising result, and one we should look at with considerable suspicion. It’s a fairly small study, and the paces involved were relatively slow in order to make sure that the oldest runners could maintain them comfortably and remain below lactate threshold (which causes the slope to deviate from linear). Still, it does suggest that age-related decline in running economy, even if it does turn out to exist, is a relatively small factor. Instead, other factors like declining aerobic capacity and muscular strength are probably the main reasons we slow down as we age. And that’s kind of good news, because we already know how to fight those particular types of decline: keep training.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Hacking Plantar Fasciitis


First, if you happen to have plantar fasciitis, all hope is not lost. Depending on the severity of the injury, you can usually treat it and be back running with 3-7 days. Within two weeks, you should be back to your normal training.

Follow these steps if you come down with a case of plantar fasciitis and you can cut your recovery time down substantially.

Stop running during the acute phase of the injury. For most runners, this will be 3-7 days.
Ice your affected foot for 20 minutes three times a day. If you can, cycle the icing as 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off. The best ways to ice your foot are dunking it in a bucket or cooler of ice water or using a frozen cup of water to give yourself an ice massage. Use the edges of the ice cup to dig into your plantar fascia!
Just because you’re not running doesn’t mean you’re not working out. Stay current with your strength and core exercises as planned.
Substitute cycling or pool running for approximately the same amount of time for your running workouts. Simulate the same intensity as you would when running. This greatly helps the healing process. Don’t forget to do a dynamic stretching routine before your workout.
After you pool run or cycle, and you’ve finished whatever warm-down you have planned, spend 5-10 minutes doing specific foot exercises to strengthen your feet. These include picking up marbles with your toes and scrunching up a towel with your toes.
When you finish the foot exercises, use a golf ball or lacrosse ball to roll the underside of your foot. There is no “best way” to do this – just feel around your arch and plantar fascia and aggressively massage any area that’s sore or feels “crunchy” (this is scar tissue – break it up!). You should be aggressive but don’t roll so hard that you’re in pain. Find a balance.
Use your foam roller to roll your soleus and calf muscles. Tightness here can aggravate plantar fasciitis.
Ice your foot after every workout.
Repeat every day or every other day.
While I don’t have experience with a night splint, many runners have found them helpful. Experiment with what works for you.
Your body is healing itself, so help it out by eating a nutrient filled diet and getting a lot of sleep.

This routine is far more aggressive than what the majority of runners do for an injury. It also rivals the recovery protocols of most physical therapists. It’s also more effective at getting you back on the road and running sooner.

Once you start running again, take care to limit your faster workouts during the first week. Your plantar fascia will first be able to handle running slowly – then it’ll be ready for more intensity.

When you start running, you should continue to massage your foot with a golf or lacrosse ball and foam roll your soleus and calf to break up residual scar tissue and keep the area supple. Keep up with the foot exercises and remember to ice religiously.
Plantar Fasciitis Prevention Strategies

Plantar Fasciitis

If you don’t have PF, or if you’ve had it in the past and want to remain healthy now, certain prevention tactics are worth doing on a regular basis. Many of these strategies will not only help prevent PF, but make you a more injury-resistant runner in general (and may even make you stronger, faster, and more attractive…or something like that).

Run barefoot strides 2-3 times per week on a synthetic turf or smooth grass field. PF is often caused by a weakness of the foot and lower leg musculature – barefoot work helps strengthen your feet.
You can also do some easy barefoot running at the end of a typical distance run. Limit yourself to 2-10 minutes depending on your fitness level, weight, and experience with barefoot running. A little bit goes a long way.
Embrace your foam roller and golf ball like good friends! If you’re more sore than usual, spend 5-10 minutes rolling out the soreness. Chronically tight muscles (the opposite of being supple) can lead to injury if you don’t take care of them properly.
Make a slow transition to wearing more minimalist shoes. Note that I’m not recommending you do your runs in FiveFingers or racing flats. But the vast majority of runners don’t need bulky motion-control or stability shoes unless there’s a prominent biomechanical problem. Odds are, that’s not you. Note: watch my video on the spectrum of minimalist running shoes for shoe ideas plus recommendations for more minimalist casual shoes. Shoes with very high heels (for both men and women) should be worn in strict moderation.
Beware of too much running on a road’s camber, or its slope toward the curb. When you always stay on the left side of the road (which is the safest way to run – toward traffic), your feet are always slightly tilted to the left which can result in a huge number of problems. Get on the sidewalk, switch sides if traffic permits, or better yet….
Run more trails! The undulating terrain, roots and rocks, and uneven surface stresses your feet in many different ways. Unlike the road, which is a much more predictable surface, trails aren’t as likely to contribute to overuse injuries.
If you can’t do any barefoot work or lack access to a trail system, keep up with the foot exercises mentioned above. You need a way to develop additional strength in your feet and lower legs.
Of course, no injury discussion is complete without this reminder: don’t run too much, too soon, too fast. Recognize your limits and be cautious about how and when you add mileage and intensity to your program. If you don’t know where to start, be safe and get a custom training plan so you don’t have to worry.

Naturally, different things will work better for different runners. It depends on why you developed PF in the first place, your stride pattern, and training history. Experiment with both the recovery routine outlined above and the prevention strategies.

Remember, a runner who only runs is bound to get hurt. The strength work, self-massage, and training variety will do wonders in keeping you healthy over the long-term.

These “little things” maybe aren’t so little. After all, they enable you to run consistently and ultimately, healthier and faster.

Monday, October 10, 2011

(NaturalNews) Adding enough of the right kind of spices to your food can partially offset the negative health impact of a high-fat meal, according to a recent study published in The Journal of Nutrition. Sheila West, PhD, associate professor of bio-behavioral health at Penn State University and lead researcher for the study, stated that "Antioxidants like spices may be important in reducing oxidative stress and thus reducing the risk of chronic disease."

Researchers looked at the effects of spices in the post-meal metabolic markers of six healthy but overweight male volunteers, 30-65 years old. "Normally, when you eat a high-fat meal, you end up with high levels of triglycerides, a type of fat, in your blood," West noted.

"If this happens too frequently, or if triglyceride levels are raised too much, your risk of heart disease is increased." The research team wanted to determine whether adding proven anti-oxidant spices to a meal protected volunteers from some of effects of eating a high-fat meal.

"In the spiced meal, we used rosemary, oregano, cinnamon, turmeric, black pepper, cloves, garlic powder and paprika," said Ann Skulas-Ray, a postdoctoral candidate at Penn State who was one of the research team. "We selected these spices because they had potent antioxidant activity previously under controlled conditions in the lab." The researchers estimated the spices provided antioxidants roughly equivalent to a glass of red wine or an ounce and a half of dark chocolate.

First, the men were served a control meal consisting of bland foods. The following week they ate a meal of similar caloric and fat content but prepared with the anti-oxidant spices.

Researchers sampled study participants blood prior to each meal and at 30-minute intervals for 3.5 hours afterward. Analysis of the blood samples showed lower insulin and triglyceride levels after the spicy meal compared with postprandial blood insulin and triglyceride levels after the first meal.

The spices had a significant effect: a 31% drop in triglycerides and 21% for insulin. The glucose levels were similar after both meals. The overall antioxidant activity in the blood increased by 13% after the meal prepared with spices.

The researchers point out that the study findings about the spices appear consistent with effects seen with tea, also known for its antioxidant benefits. They theorize that the mechanisms involved in the improved antioxidant levels after the spicy meal may include delayed gastric emptying and direct inhibition of pancreatic lipases.

Both meals in the study contained 1,200 calories. Study participants reported similar satisfaction levels with both meals, and no gastrointestinal effects from the spicier meal. The second meal contained a total of two tablespoons of spices.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Herbal tea

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Herbal Teas have been used for hundreds and even thousands of years as natural cures for many diseases and conditions and although our ancestors didn’t really know why these plants help so much, they sure knew how to use them in many ways, some of which still completely unknown to the modern man. Modern medicine has replaced herbs nowadays, making us forget about all those benefits of herbal teas, nature and things that are best when not synthesized into a pill. Well, it’s time to rediscover good old ways to stay healthy and what better way there is to do such thing than with a big cup of one of these amazing herbal teas listed below:

1. Chamomile
Feeling a bit jumpy? Well, have a cup of chamomile tea! This tasty tea will help you calm down and if you think that’s the only thing it can do, you’re up for a big surprise. You see, apart from being a natural, completely safe antidepressant, chamomile tea can be used to deal with sleeping problems and help you finally have peaceful nights. But chamomile is a powerful, 100% natural anti-inflammatory medicine as well so you can drink it, inhale its vapors or soak a cotton ball or a clean cloth in it and apply on the sore spot. It also helps with menstrual cramps, girls, and it sure is much healthier than all those painkillers we often resort to.

2. Peppermint
The list of foods and drinks that could give you gases and make you feel like a big balloon runs pretty long which practically means getting ready for a big, important even is a time-consuming process that requires at least a day or two of dieting. Right? Wrong! In case you’re bloated (and we all know that is a luxury some dresses simply don’t allow) all you need to do is turn to herbal teas for help. Peppermint tea will help you deal with the situation and is actually quite nice, tasty and refreshing which means you can drink it on daily basis.

3. Juniper Tea
Now this tea is really something and if you see no reason for drinking something like this, here’s what you should have in mind! First of all, juniper will help you detoxify which doesn’t involve only flushing toxins but excess fluids as well and you must agree that’s great news for us. Second good news is that this amazing tea isn’t just a cool beverage but an antiseptic too and drinking it could not only prevent infections of the urinary tract but also cure them if and when they appear. As you see, it’s never too late to start drinking it! But wait, there’s more! Some even believe Juniper can cure swine flu and, quite honestly, it sounds waaay healthier than those shady vaccines!

4. Green Tea
This powerful source of anti-oxidants is a known weight loss aid and just one of many great herbal teas you might want to consider replacing your lattes, cappuccinos or sodas with. “Why?” – some of you may ask, -“I don’t need to lose weight!” Well, ladies and gents, there is more to it than just speed up your metabolism helping you shed extra pounds, green tea will boost your immunity as well. Those precious anti-oxidants the green tea is so rich in help our body function better, making it more resistant and able to fight off all those bad things we breathe and eat!

5. Ginger Tea
Motion sickness could get in your way and stop you from experiencing many great things like boat cruises, road trips or even bike rides, if you’re brave enough. Yes, you can pop a pill and hope you won’t need a sick bag but you can do something even better and waaaay healthier – have a cup of ginger tea! Yes, this tea will shush your nervous tummy but it could also help you get back on your feet faster the next time you feel that you’re coming down with something.

6. Milk Thistle and Dandelion Mixture
Liver is the only organ that has the ability to regenerate itself which leads to a very logical but totally wrong conclusion that we can do whatever we want with it. People who have been diagnosed with a liver damage certainly know what I’m talking about and I bet they’d like to hear more about herbal teas that could aid liver regeneration. Well, let’s just say this simple and yet very effective herbal mixture is the answer to your prayers as it basically flushes out all those harmful matters collected in the liver, helping it work better. Some even say the combination of these two herbal teas aids digestion which could certainly come handy next time you overeat!

Do you like and drink herbal teas? Well, I hope this article made even the most hardcore anti fans of tea think about giving some of these tasty herbal teas a second chance!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Why do we eat beyond fullness


I love nachos, they are delicious and when done right can be semi nutritious. With the right balance of meat, veggies, corn cheese, light cheese, a side of guacamole and no sour cream, it’s the perfect comfort food. But as I was happily enjoying my nachos I noticed that I had hit and gone way way waaaaay beyond my “happy, I’m full point”, basically I ignored the trigger and continued eating. I notice the full feeling a few times during my nacho feast and each time I pushed it over with just one more chip. I even stopped at one point, sat back and said “I’m full” followed by “one more chip” and of course then came the question “why am I eating still when I’m full?!” a question interesting enough to warrant a blog post.

Everyone has experienced this place at one point or another… Thanksgiving (hint, hint). So why do we do it? And more importantly how do we stop it?!

The first answer is simple: honestly we overeat because it FEELS GOOD. Yup, even as our bellies are expanding, pants are unbuttoning; we continue to stuff our faces with tasty food because food releases feel good hormones which, in time, can overpower the belly pains of a fully stretched stomach. The other answer is that we are genetically designed to eat when food is there, worked out great for our hunter and gather ancestors, not so great for our fast food and computer society. Some scientists call this: ingestion analgesia and present it as just one more reason why you should not underestimate the power of food on your brain.

The second answer is not so simple. Here are some general tips:

First, know that it will happen SOMETIMES but doesn’t have to happen ALL the time. The key to this is developing our inner senses so that we can hear the “I’m full, stop eating” message loud and clear.
Second, put portions on smaller sized plates and take seconds as needed vs. adding piles of food to one plate. (lesson learned- do not eat nachos out of the box it is served in.)
Third, ask yourself during meals “am I full?” The first signs of fullness stop. The battle here is the little voice that says “one more bite” it never really means ONE (I speak from experience). You can even use a 1-10 scale to determine hunger levels.
Finally, be kind to yourself. If you overeat one time, it’s not the end of the world unless you let it be. There is always the next meal to practice right eating. So have integrity and be kind.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Tooth Health

The toothpaste you are using may be wearing away the enamel and dentin on your teeth,especially at the gum line. The "GRIT" in toothpaste is not unlike the use of grit on sandpaper. The more grit,the more effective at removing stains and plaque. Unfortunatley this grit removes tooth structure. The abrasive index for toothpaste is call RDA Index.

Below 70 is low abrasive toothpaste
70-100 is medium abrasive toothpaste
101+ is highly abrasive toothpaste

Radioactive Dentin Abrasiveness Index of Toothpastes
• Anything below 70-80 RDA is considered low abrasive
04 Toothbrush with plain water 91 Aquafresh Sensitive
07 Plain baking soda 93 Tom’s of Maine
15 Weleda Salt Toothpaste 94 Rembrandt Plus
30 Elmex Sensitive Plus 95 Oxyfresh with Fluoride
30 Weleda Plant Tooth Gel 95 Crest Regular
35 Arm & Hammer Dental Care 97 Oxyfresh Powder
40 Weleda Children’s Tooth Gel 101 Natural White
42 Arm &Hammer Advance Whitening 103 Mentadent
44 Squiggle Enamel Saver 103 Arm & Hammer Sensation
45 Weleda Calendula Toothpaste 104 Sensodyne Extra Whitening
45 Weleda Pink Toothpaste with Ratanhia 106 Colgate Platinum
45 Oxyfresh 106 Arm & Hammer Advance White
48 Arm & Hammer Dental Care Sensitive 107 Crest Sensitivity Protection
49 Tom’s of Maine Sensitive 110 Colgate Herbal
52 Arm & Hammer Peroxicare Regular 110 Amway Glister
53 Rembrandt Original 113 Aquafresh Whitening
53 Closys 117 Arm & Hammer Advance White Gel
54 Arm & Hammer Dental Care PM Bold Mint 117 Arm & Hammer Sensation Tartar Control
57 Tom’s of Maine Childrens 120 Close Up with Baking Soda
62 Supersmile 124 Colgate Whitening
63 Rembrandt Mint 130 Crest Extra Whitening
68 Colgate Regular 133 Ultra Brite
70 Colgate Total 144 Crest Multicare Whitening
70 Arm & Hammer Advance White Sensitive 145 Ultra Brite Advanced Whitening Formula
70 Colgate 2-in-1 Fresh Mint 150 Pepsodent
78 Biotene 65 Colgate Tartar Control
79 Sensodyne 168 Arm & Hammer Dental Care PM Fresh Mint
80 AIM 176 Nature’s Gate Paste
80 Close Up 200 Colgate 2-in-1TartarControl/Whitening
82 Under the Gum
83 Colgate Sensitive Max Strength 200 FDA recommended upper limit
87 Nature’s Gate 250 ADA recommended upper limit
Read more: Toothpaste Abrasiveness & Low Abrasive Toothpastes
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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Masters track athlete, 63, banned for steroids

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - A 63-year-old Masters track and field athlete has been suspended from competition for two years for testing positive for a doctor-prescribed steroid without a therapeutic use exemption.

S. Craig Shumaker of Glenmoore, Pa., tested positive at the USA Masters Track & Field Championships in July in Berea, Ohio. He won the men's 60 shot put and was second in the discus for his age group.

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said Friday those results will be forfeited

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