Category Archives: Uncategorized

The danger of drinking more sugary beverages – Harvard

People who increase their consumption of sugary beverageswhether they contain added or naturally occurring sugar—may face moderately higher risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Drinking more sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), like soft drinks, as well as 100% fruit juices, was associated with higher type 2 diabetes risk.

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Photo by GEORGE DESIPRIS on Pexels.com

The study also found that drinking more artificially sweetened beverages (ASBs) in place of sugary beverages did not appear to lessen diabetes risk. However, diabetes risk decreased when one daily serving of any type of sugary beverage was replaced with water, coffee, or tea. It is the first study to look at whether long-term changes in SSB and ASB consumption are linked with type 2 diabetes risk. Continue reading

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The coolest water bottle ever …

This post will not help you to exercise more, lose weight or live longer.  However, it may pique your interest. I just found this great water bottle for my bike ( or any other travels ) and I wanted to share the details with you.

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As you can read I got it at Starbucks in Las Vegas. I was staying at Caesars Palace. Just got back and may get around to posting the trip details later. For now, what happened in Las Vegas stays there.

Right now – the water bottle. As  you can see it has cheery free form designs that may be construed as suggestive of gambling in the form of spades, clubs and hearts … or not. I do think they look delightful. The material is some kind of composite, very light weight and also insulated. Ice cubes stay firm and the drink cool for the longest ride.

But, besides its lovely visual appeal, I considered its construction to be ingenious. Check out the next picture. IMG_8118.jpeg

The top unscrews to reveal a wide mouth suitable for loading in ice cubes. For me that is a sine qua non for water bottles. As you can see the top also converts to a charming little cup with a finger hole if you feel like drinking that way. Personally, I just tilt it back and drink out of the bottle like it was a big glass – yet another cool option. But wait, there is more ….

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Next, if you are so inclined, you can unscrew the top and just drink out of it like a regular water bottle. Tell me that is not cool!

Last, but not least, is the handy orange acrylic ring that doubles as a carry ring if you don’t happen to be using it on your bike which has a bottle holder.

If you find yourself falling in love with it, you might find one at your Starbucks.

Tony

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Filed under Exercise, hydration, Las Vegas, Uncategorized, water, water bottle

Not a bargain on Amazon!

As they used to say on Monty Python, “And now for something new and completely different.” Really. In the nearly 4000 posts I have written for the blog I don’t remember ever giving a shopping tip before. I think this one is fascinating.

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This is the product, a taste treat from my youth.

As regular readers know, I am an old man and because of that I often shop online. Amazon is has been one of my favorite shopping sites.

Here is the story. I love the macaroni and bean dish pictured above. On the west side of Chicago growing up we called it pasta fazool. Because of the ease of ordering, instead of walking or driving to the super market to buy some, I simply dialed up the Amazon site on my desktop and ordered six cans. Continue reading

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Current obesity epidemic may be result of childhood sugar intake decades ago

Bad habits have long tails it seems.

Current obesity rates in adults in the United States could be the result of dietary changes that took place decades ago, according to a new study published by researchers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

“While most public health studies focus on current behaviors and diets, we took a novel approach and looked at how the diets we consumed in our childhood affect obesity levels now that we are adults,” said Alex Bentley, head of UT’s Department of Anthropology and lead researcher of the study, which was published in Economics and Human Biology.

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Consumption of excess sugar, particularly in sugar-sweetened beverages, is a known contributor to both childhood and adult obesity. Many population health studies have identified sugar as a major factor in the obesity epidemic. One problem with this theory, however, has been that sugar consumption in the US began to decline in the late 1990s while obesity rates continued to rise well into the 2010s.

That increase shows in the numbers: By 2016, nearly 40 percent of all adults in the US–a little over 93 million people–were affected by obesity. In Tennessee alone, the adult obesity rate more than tripled, from about 11 percent in 1990 to almost 35 percent in 2016. By 2017, however, obesity in Tennessee had fallen 2 percent from the previous year.

If high-sugar diets in childhood have long-lasting effects, the changes we see now in adult obesity rates may have started with diets decades ago, when those adults were children.

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Time Outside May Benefit Health – Study

According to a recent British study published in the journal Scientific Reports, spending at least two hours a week outside may be good for one’s health. Nearly 20,000 English people were asked how many hours they spent in natural environments like parks, forests, and beaches in the last seven days; whether they considered their health to be good or poor; and if they felt their well-being was high or low. Those reporting nature contact of at least two hours per week were significantly more likely to report ‘good’ health and ‘high’ well-being compared to those reporting zero. (No additional benefit was seen from spending over 3.5 to 5 hours in nature.)

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I shot this on a bike ride earlier this week. I love the reflections of the lights on Lake Michigan

While this association was seen even in people who did not meet current physical activity guidelines, the authors were unable to fully untangle time spent outside from time spent being active. It is possible that healthier, happier people are simply more likely to spend more time in nature or live in areas with more open space, but the association was seen even for those with long-term illness or disability. In this study, even people who needed to travel outside of their neighborhoods to reach a park or other natural area benefited from regularly spending time in nature.

As regular readers know, I am a nature lover. Here are a couple of my posts on being outside:

Urban greenspace boosts mental health

Tips on enjoying the outdoors safely

Benefits of exercising outdoors

Tony

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Study finds human hearts evolved for endurance

This blog has evolved  over the nine years I have been writing it.  Starting as a men’s weight-loss helper, it has developed into a general good health and long life messenger. I have also learned along the way about certain physical dangers that are not at once obvious. I think I am most concerned with the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle. It’s possibly that being sedentary does a person more damage than smoking. This seems particularly insidious to me as when folks retire, they think about ‘taking it easy.’ Big mistake. One specific aspect of that is prolonged sitting. Check out my Page – The dangers of too much sitting for more details.

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Major physical changes occurred in the human heart as people shifted from hunting and foraging to farming and modern life. As a result, human hearts are now less “ape-like” and better suited to endurance types of activity. But that also means those who lead sedentary lives are at greater risk for heart disease. Those are the main conclusions from a unique study led by Aaron L. Baggish, MD, director of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Cardiovascular Performance Program. Baggish and his collaborators examined how ape hearts differ from those of humans, why those differences exist and what that means to human health. Continue reading

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Why you should avoid marathon running …

I have stated previously in these pages that I while I respect and admire the exercise of running, I have even considered taking it up to get more weight-bearing exercise, I think that on-balance marathons damage the body and should be avoided. Since October is the beginning of marathon season, I wanted to put this out.

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Dr. Mercola
says, “Several recent studies have indicated that conventional cardio, especially endurance exercises such as marathon running can pose significant risks to your heart. It can result in acute volume overload, inflammation, thickening and stiffening of the heart muscle and arteries, arterial calcification, arrhythmias, and potentially sudden cardiac arrest and stroke—the very things you’re trying to avoid by exercising. 
”

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How about a reduced calorie version of Jamba Juice’s Orange Dream Machine?

I have to confess that the taste of the Jamba Juice Orange Dream Machine takes me all the way back to the joy of my childhood instantaneously. Even though I know that I now have far fewer taste buds functioning in my mouth than I did when I was a child, the Jamba Juice flavor is identical to what I remember the original Orange Dreamsicle starburst of flavor tasted like in my mouth as a child. I know I had one before I was a teenager, so it was many years ago.

Whenever I pass a Jamba Juice I will stop in and order an Orange Dream Machine and savor it for the next quarter of an hour or so. I think it costs around $5.00. I wondered if it would be possible to duplicate that flavor at home on my Vita-Mix machine.

It seems simple enough. There is the taste of orange and the mellowing flavor of milk. This is the kind of ingredient list made to order for Mr. Lazy Cook.

After a number of ‘close calls’ I have come up with the following recipe:

1/2 cup of vanilla soymilk
1/2 cup of orange juice
1/2 cup of vanilla non-fat yogurt
2/3 cup of orange sherbet
1/2 cup of ice cubes

Place it all in the Vita-Mix container and close the lid. Begin on the lowest speed and build to the top. I did not shift into the top speed as I did not want to make it solid. Blend just till smooth.

By my taste buds this is an exact match as far as taste goes to the Jamba Juice product. I specified taste because nutrition-wise, Mr. Lazy Cook’s is far superior.
Continue reading

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Filed under calories, lazy cook, Uncategorized, Vita Mix, Vita-Mix, Weight, weight control

Weekend funnies … Italian jokes

Okay, please chill, PC police. I am Italian and I think they are funny and not offensive. I hope you can enjoy the humor in these ahead of the weekend.

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Tony

 

 

 

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Some more librarian funnies …

I still don’t know where or how these originated, but they crack me up every time I run across one. As a guy who used to be in the paperback book business, I think they are really funny while pointing out some of the trials and tribulations of those under-appreciated ladies. They also forever alter any ideas you might entertain about staid ladies of the stacks.

 

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Tony

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One brobdingnagian dessert …

Eat less; move more; live longer is still the mantra of this blog. Nonetheless, there are times when size matters. In this case, one brobdingnagian dessert … On the off-chance you aren’t familiar with that word, it’s current use simply means colossal. It refers back to Gulliver’s Travels and a land of giants.

As regular readers know I got back from Las Vegas last Thursday. I recounted the trip and some of the wonderful meals my girlfriend and I enjoyed there in What happens in Vegas ….. The meal I am about to describe to you could easily have originated in Las Vegas.

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My girlfriend and I subscribe to the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. On Sunday we attended its performance of Hamlet. Before the theater we always dine at Riva, a superb restaurant on Chicago’s famed Navy Pier.

Herewith the details of that meal and subsequent dessert. Continue reading

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Weekend funnies …

Here’s hoping you are about to have a great weekend. Enjoy! May the fourth be with you!

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This is actually my dog, Gabi, checking the microwave lid for snacks.

Tony

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Novel 5-minute workout improves blood pressure, may boost your brain – UC

As regular readers know, the mantra of this blog is eat less; move more; live longer. Moving more means discarding your sedentary lifestyle and exercising regularly.  University of Colorado Boulder have uncorked a novel angle on exercising. Not cardio or weight bearing exercise, but a muscular challenge just the same. Following comes from CU Boulder Today, by Lisa Marshall.

Could working out five minutes a day, without lifting a single weight or jogging a single step, reduce your heart attack risk, help you think more clearly and boost your sports performance?

Preliminary evidence suggests yes.

Now, with a new grant from the National Institute on Aging, CU Boulder researchers have launched a clinical trial to learn more about the ultra-time-efficient exercise known as Inspiratory Muscle Strength Training (IMST).

“It’s basically strength-training for the muscles you breathe in with,” explains Daniel Craighead, a postdoctoral researcher in the Integrative Physiology department. “It’s something you can do quickly in your home or office, without having to change your clothes, and so far it looks like it is very beneficial to lower blood pressure and possibly boost cognitive and physical performance.” Continue reading

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Weekend funnies …

Good Friday morning. Time for a visit to the internet animal kingdom, etc.

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Have a great weekend!

Tony

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Weekend funnies …

Here we are at weekend time again, no need to beware the Ides of March. Hope you have a fun one. Consider the following as an overture …

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Guess who has never seen snow before …

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Tony

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What are Two Good Yoga Stretches for Cyclists?

Because the weather appears to be mellowing, I am guessing that a lot more folks will be getting out their bikes to ride ‘in the new season.’ Here are a couple of stretches that I recommend you do before and after your ride.

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One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Past 100

I ride my bicycle virtually every day here in Chicago. Last year I averaged just over 17 miles per day for all 365 days for a total of 6350 miles for the year.

As you can imagine in a four season city like Chicago, I am not always able to ride at all, so I end up with some longer rides to compensate.

As a senior citizen riding the bike every day can sometimes stiffen up my leg muscles. I have found two wonderful stretches that do a super job of rejuvenating my legs on long rides. I usually do them after about ten miles so the muscles are warmed up. Every time I do them, I can always feel the energy flow back into my legs when I finish.

I have pictures of each stretch, but I want to explain how I do them as that makes the difference…

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