Weekly Wrap Up
Weekly Wrap Up
27 December 2013 | Stephanie, Fitness Specialist
On occasion, fashion trends have posed some health risks (including injuries from high heels and decreased blood circulation and digestion issues from skinny jeans). However, there’s a new health worry on the horizon, and it comes in brightly colored accessories such as bracelets or handbags. According to this article, many accessories may be tainted with high levels of lead, a contaminant that is easily stored in the human body. Check out the article for more information on stores that tested clean, and stores that sold products with high levels of contaminants.
Recent testing in the European Union shows that a popular Danish pastry (similar to a cinnamon swirl) may “too unhealthy” to be legal. To obtain the traditional cinnamon taste, bakeries must surpass the recommended limit of Cassia cinnamon set by the government. While the cinnamon itself isn’t an issue, a naturally occurring component of Cassia cinnamon (called coumarin) has caused liver damage in sensitive individuals. More than half of pastries tested contained more than the recommended level of cinnamon, but the Danish Food and Drug Administration has recently begun cracking down. If bakeries are forced to comply with the regulations, the taste of these traditional pastries would need to change.
There are plenty of ways to burn a few calories after a large holiday meal. We most often hear about people going on walks or jogs with their families, or even getting a group together to play a sport of some kind. In Cocoa Beach, Florida, this adventurous group stays fit by surfing while dressed as Christmas characters. What started as just a small group of friends has morphed into a community event, providing both fitness and entertainment.
Favorite Things 2013: My Fitness Pal
20 December 2013 | Stephanie, Fitness Specialist
In a neighborhood full of technology and software based companies, you’ll find “Hampton Creek Foods,” a start up funded by Bill Gates to find a sustainable alternative for eggs. From cookies and cakes to mayonnaise and scrambled eggs, Hampton Creek Foods is working to alter the global egg industry that the company says “wastes energy [and] pollutes the environment.”
According to this article, Breathalyzers could soon be used to determine more than just alcohol content. Though this is a different device, this Breathalyzer mimics alcohol-testing techniques to instead measure acetone content in the subject’s breath; an indicator for fat loss. The validity of this device is still in question, but if found to produce true values, it could shape the future of diet and exercise planning.
Does bribing your kids to eat their vegetables really work? Research from Brigham Young University suggests that while it’s not a permanent solution, it could definitely help. During the study performed, children that were offered a nickel, quarter, or raffle ticket ate nearly 80% more vegetables than they did without the incentive. While the veggie consumption decreased as soon as the promotion was over, the study indicates that using incentives may still be a viable option to help children create healthy habits at a young age .
Favorite Things 2013: Sarah Adler, Simply Real Health
18 December 2013 | Danielle, Wellness Manager
Favorite Fitness/Nutrition Tracker: My Fitness Pal
Why We Love It: This multi-functional tracker is incredibly easy to use. The website is also accessible via a free iPhone or Android app. You can log meals with their database of more than three million foods, create your own food database and track workouts wherever you go.
Favorite Things 2013: Kid President’s Pep Talk
17 December 2013 | Danielle, Wellness Manager
Favorite Nutrition Guru: Sarah Adler, www.simplyrealhealth.com
Why We Love Her: This Seattle-based nutritionist works with clients all over the country, giving them healthy, whole-foods meal plans even the pickiest palate would love. Her visually appealing website is full of tasty recipes, product testimonials and nutrition guidance.
16 December 2013 | Danielle, Wellness Manager
Favorite YouTube Video: Kid President’s “Pep Talk”
Why We Love It: 9-year-old Robbie Novak, aka “Kid President” and his brother-in-law Brad Montague began creating funny, thoughtful videos back in 2012 and they are, as their website states, “On a mission to make grown-ups less boring.” The idea behind the videos is that kids have things to say, too. And boy, do they! The Pep Talk video went viral, but we love them all – especially the Guide to Being a Party and 20 Things We Should Say More Often.
13 December 2013 | Stephanie, Fitness Specialist
If you’re biking to work on this bike, you’re not just benefiting your health, but also the health of the environment. Through a photosynthesis-like reaction, this bicycle converts polluted air into cleaner air, and releases it toward the rider. While the prototype hasn’t been developed yet, this bicycle would be a great mode of transportation (and form of exercise) through a dense, polluted city.
Do you ever feel as though your entire vacation flew by, and you need to look at your photos to jog your memory? You’re not alone. Scientists call this the “photo-taking impairment effect,” and are studying the effects of technology on memory as a whole. Though you won’t have photographic evidence after the fact, putting the camera down to focus on your surroundings may create more vivid memories for you to enjoy later.
Have you ever wondered what footwear will look like in 2050? While we can’t be sure, let’s hope it’s similar to the shoes described here! Made of technology that works similarly to human skin, these “awesomely weird” shoes would respond to each step you take and deliver the proper amount of cushioning. Would you wear them?
Favorite Things 2013: HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
12 December 2013 | Stephanie, Fitness Specialist
Most people are familiar with the USDA’s "Choose My Plate" model, as well as many "Food Pyramid" models before that. But from 1943-1955, the “Basic Seven” model (shown above) was the diagram to follow for a healthy diet.
The guide’s final suggestion to “Eat any other foods you want.” is a far cry from today’s “Eat This, Not That” mentality.
What do you think? Is this better or worse than today’s model?
Favorite Things 2013: LunchBots
11 December 2013 | Danielle, Wellness Manager
Favorite Bang-For-Your-Buck Workout: HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training)
Why We Love It: These short, intense workouts push you to challenge yourself, and can be done with little or no exercise equipment. Workouts can be scaled to all ability levels and allow even the most time-starved individual to fit in exercise. Better yet, studies show HIIT workouts are incredibly effective at burning calories and reducing body fat.
10 December 2013 | Danielle, Wellness Manager
Favorite Lunch Boxes for Grown-ups (or Kids!): LunchBots
Why We Love Them: One easy way to eat well is to bring your lunch to work. So why not do it in style? These lightweight, stainless steel containers are leak-proof, easy to clean and won’t break. They come in a variety of sizes and colors and won’t leach unwanted chemicals into your food. Insulated LunchBots are also available to keep food warm.
Favorite Things 2013: Meditation
9 December 2013 | Danielle, Wellness Manager
Favorite Stress Reliever: Meditation
Why We Love It: In addition to being free, accessible to everyone and travel-friendly, meditation offers a host of benefits. Pain reduction, reduced feelings of depression and anxiety, increased energy, enhanced immune system, increased blood flow, and lower blood pressure are all known effects of meditation. Consider starting a meditation group at work or download a meditation app with a timer – we like the free app Meditation Timer.