Health and Wellness

Sugar You’re Goin Down Swingin’

Depending on who you ask, I’m a pretty alright Catholic. In fact, a nun in elementary school once told me that, regardless of what anyone tells me, I’m a “shoe-in” to heaven. While I’m sure she only said that because she had to, and because I volunteered to altar serve per my own mother’s request, I still hold that woman to her word.

And so like any good Catholic on her merry way to heaven, I’ve decided to partake in Lent. Decided… because really it’s my own choice whether or not I want to get right with the Lord. But I did decide to do it, and what I’m giving up might surprise a lot of people.

Chipotle, added sugar, and swearing. That’s right, I’m using religion to lose weight, challenge myself, and sound a little more like I graduated from a legitimate University.

So far, I’m three days in and want nothing more than a Hershey bar in and around my mouth. But I have altered my diet significantly. From time to time, I’ll post recipes and blurbs about how it’s going, and we’ll both decide whether or not the ideas were worth it. Yep, that means pictures to come!

Health and Wellness

Baby Got Back, Smarts, and Health

ImageWe all want what we don’t have — and this is especially true when it comes to assets both upper and lower. It seems we can only be blessed with one or the other, and because of this we turn to anything push-up, padded, and/or involving those things Miley should have done pre-VMAs.

But, according to a new study coming from the University of Oxford, one asset really is better than the other in terms of overall health and intelligence. Enter, “dat ass.” We hate to love it if we have it – especially when it comes to having to buy a size up in jeans because our thighs fit but our backside has its own zip code.

A team of scientists at the prestigious University have discovered that women with larger than average butts and hips are not only increasingly intelligent, but also more resistant to chronic illnesses. (You can go back to wearing jeans now. It’s okay.)

Professor Konstantinos Manolopoulos, who leads the team at the University of Oxford, says that women with more fat on the buttocks have lower levels of cholesterol and glucose. Having a big butt also favors leptin levels in the female body, leptin is a hormone that is responsible for regulating the weight, and the dinopectina, hormone with anti-inflammatory, vascular-protective and anti-diabetic.

ABC News reported that when it comes to higher intelligence, excess fat around your lower region requires a greater amount of Omega 3 Fatty Acids, which are proven to catalyze brain development.

I’d like to take this time to personally thank my mother for her generous donation of genetics, and to also apologize for complaining about that donation prior to this. I guess I didn’t see what was right in back of me.

Health and Wellness

Your Boobs Can Tweet Too!

ImageIn honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, Nestle Fitness is doing their part in reminding women to get their breasts checked with their idea of the latest in cancer prevention and early detection. Introducing, The Twitter Bra.

Yes, I did imply the use of Twittering with your ta-tas.

Each time Greek celebrity Maria Bakodimus unhooks the clasp on her Twitter Bra, a tweet is automatically sent reminding women to examine their breasts. Somehow I feel this is sort of geared more towards men…

The bra’s clasp is fitted with a sensor that contains a Bluetooth transmitter. When the clasp is unhooked and the connection is broken, it sends a signal to the user’s mobile device.

Sure, it’s a hot concept. But did we forget that Bluetooth devices emit small amounts of radiation — which kinda sorta linked to cancer? Sure, Maria Bakodimus. Keep the radiation on your boobs, to remind us all to get our own checked. Is this weird to anyone else?
In case you’re wondering how many times a day a woman unhooks her bra, or how sexually active maria Bakodimus is, check the Twitter account @tweetingbra. A translated version of the tweet says: ‘Don’t forget to check your breasts women #tweetingbra.’
Health and Wellness

Top 5 Riskiest Gyms In NYC

spinningGetting fit is all about having the right amount of will power to say “yes” to an extra half hour at the gym, and “no” to that spicy chicken sandwich after the gym. But when your fat loss palace is located just below a Wendy’s, you may begin to justify the walk up a flight of stairs in exchange for a small fry. These inconvenient fast food locations are more than common around some of the more popular gyms around this here city, and we’re labeling them risky.

#1. Crunch Fitness – 90 John St New York, NY – 25 fast food restaurants within a one-block radius.

#2. New York Sports Club – 30 Wall Street New York, NY – 25 fast food restaurants within a one-block radius.

#3. OM Factory – 265 W 37th St, 7th Floor New York, NY – 25 fast food restaurants within a one-block radius.

#4. 24 Hour Fitness – 153 E 53rd St New York, NY – 24 fast food restaurants within a one-block radius.

#5. Beyond Pilates Integrated Fitness Center – 545 8th Ave New York, NY – 23 fast food restaurants within a one-block radius.

Health and Wellness

Oreos: Just as Addicting as Cocaine, According to New Study

oreosThere is nothing more satisfying than a new bag of Oreos, a personalized way of eating them, and a tall glass of milk. Remember those wholesome commercials? Grandfather and Grandson eating Oreos together — ugh, such a “come together” food.

Want to know what else brings people together? Cocaine.

Okay, only in some situations. But, according to a brand new study from students and professors at Connecticut College, lab rats find Oreos to be just as addicting as cocaine.

Whoa, drop your spoon and whip out a rice cake.

Our research supports the theory that high-fat/high-sugar foods stimulate the brain in the same way that drugs do.

– Joseph Schroeder, associate professor of Neuroscience at Connecticut College.

How did they do it? The researchers placed lab rats in a maze in which one end contained rice cakes, and the other, Oreos. A separate test group of rats were injected with morphine or cocaine on one side, and saline on the other. Lo and behold, the rats spent the same amount of time on the Oreo end of the maze as the other mice on the cocaine side.
We may be able to draw some conclusions here in terms of high caloric foods and their affects on public health issues. Unlike cocaine, high-caloric foods are often low-priced, thus making it a lot a bit more accessible and possible to face the deleterious effects of sugar on the body. The combination of sugar and fat is sometimes particularly hard for people to resist, after all.

With all of this in mind, I decided to pick up some double stuff Oreos after work and have myself an addictive feast. What I really want though is a giant bowl of Oreo O’s. Anyone else remember those? Well you can order them now off Amazon — from China.

Health and Wellness

Telling Kids to Go on a Diet, and Diet Tricks for You

For parents who are concerned that their kids are gaining too much weight, author Paul Kramer thinks he has the perfect solution. Introducing his new book “Maggie Goes on a Diet.” On explaining his intentions for writing the book: “This book is about a 14 year old girl who goes on a diet and is transformed from being extremely overweight and insecure to a normal sized girl who becomes the school soccer star. Through time, exercise and hard work, Maggie becomes more and more confident and develops a positive self image.”

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While I think his intentions are all there, and that childhood obesity is damn wrong — I don’t think there should be a book with the word “diet” on the cover. Could you imagine as a kid getting this book from a parent? “Happy birthday Maggie, now go on a diet.” I would be mortified. My self esteem would just plummet. If you’re concerned about your child’s weight gain — here’s an idea: teach them healthy eating yourself. Don’t feed them ideas that they’re ugly or tell them they need a “diet.”Cook healthier. Feed them healthier. Encourage activity and sports and running around rather than allowing them to sit in front of the TV or Xbox. Common sense here — if you buy healthy foods in your home, and avoid all junk food — or buy “fake junk food“, you’re changing your child’s eating habits for the better, and simultaneously changing yours as well.

The book is aimed at kids aged 6-12. Really!? Kids, especially young girls, are extremely susceptible to body image issues (especially entering their teen years). This book, even though it has good intentions, is an eating disorder waiting to happen. Parents, educate your kids on healthy eating and exercise — don’t rely on this book to do it for you.  And for God’s sake — don’t tell your six year old they need to go on a diet. Stop buying McDonald’s, and promote healthy eating.

Fun fact: If you clicked on the link “fake junk food”, you will have read a new study suggesting that when we know we are about to eat junk food, we experience significant highs in a gut hormone that triggers us into thinking we are fuller faster. This, according to researchers, could mean that we take in more calories from health foods, or foods labeled “low-fat”, than we do indulgent treats.

“When you are dieting, you want to eat fewer actual calories, but the mind-set of ‘Okay, I’ve got to eat sensibly, I’ve got to eat low-fat,’ … regardless of what you are eating, is actually countereffective,” study researcher Alia Crum of Yale University said. “It’s telling your body, ‘I’m not getting enough,’ which relays back to your brain, “I’m not getting enough.”

Source of information: May 28, Association for Psychological Science conference. May 16, Health Psychology.

Health and Wellness

Shorter Women At Less Risk for Cancer

If you’re sitting there scratching your head as to why I posted this, you clearly haven’t seen me. I stand at a whopping five foot one, so naturally, this information is completely interesting to me. A new study published in the Lancet Oncology suggests that the shorter a woman is,  the less of a risk she has at having cancer. Thus, the taller the woman, the greater a chance at having cancer. Now, there are obviously other risk factors such as genetics and environment and so on and so forth, but height, according to this study, is also a key player.

British researchers say that for every four inches of growth, a woman increases her risk by 16%. Specifically, a risk for developing breast cancer was increased by seventeen percent, ovarian cancer 16%, and cervical cancer by 19%. Doctor Jane Green of Oxford University led the research, which followed the lives of 1.3 million middle aged U.K. women for the past ten years.

“Even after accounting for the women’s different lifestyles and socio-economic backgrounds, there was still a significant jump in cancer risk associated with increasing stature. And it wasn’t just one kind of cancer. Taller women were more likely to develop cancers of the breast, ovary, uterus and bowel, as well as leukemia and melanoma.”

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