Health, Fitness, & Nutrition Archives

May 19, 2004

Food for thought

Viewing this site is both enlightening and scary. Partially hydrogenated oils--a.k.a. "trans fats"--are among the very worst things you can put into your body. And yet they are ubiquitous in the American diet. Fortunately, the tide is turning, as labeling is beginning to reflect trans fat content in food and manufacturers of processed foods and restaurants are exploring healthier alternatives.

June 9, 2004

Super Sized


Don't miss the documentary Super Size Me, still out in theaters. It's better muckraking than I thought it would be. It's about a man who spends thirty days eating nothing but McDonald's meals and the catastrophic effects this has on his physical and mental health. It tackles all sorts of important related issues, too: school districts shilling sugar water, corporate influence on Congressional legislation regarding nutrition, the hidden agenda behind fast food advertising, and similar topics.

August 12, 2004

Banged Up

I've been real good about my exercise regimen in recent weeks, with a string of uninterrupted daily workouts. My runs, for instance, have got to be at least a mile long for them to count. But I reluctantly took a day off in light of a very sore back, and it's made me itchy all day long. The effects of a positive addiction, I guess. I probably strained my back from a combination of swimming pool hijinks with a half-dozen kids under the age of ten the other day and the cumulative effect of banging out dozens of laps on the hard surface of the indoor track in the Johnson Athletic Center. My knees feel the pounding, too, so I concluded I had better take it easy today, especially with a 14-hour flight just two days away. Hopefully this day of rest will have me ready to resume my training tomorrow. My goal is to stay on softer surfaces as much as possible when running.

August 11, 2005

Trans Fats = Asbestos?

The New York Times ran a front page story this morning discussing the City's recommendation that all restaurants cease use of trans fats in their food preparation, comparing trans fatty acids to asbestos! The article can be read here (free registration required).

November 22, 2006


Been sick as a dog most of the past couple of days, spending most of it in bed (though not sleeping all that well, which is unusual for me). The symptoms: a deep cough, slight nausea, mild headache, and general achiness. This is putting me behind on my report-writing and generally ruining what otherwise could have been a productive week with rare unscheduled time at hand.

December 6, 2006

A Breakthrough For Health


New York City officially acted yesterday to ban artificial trans fats from its restaurants in a move that may have a ripple effect in communities across the country. While the usual whiners will complain that this constitutes undue government interference, I argue it's a good move for two reasons: (1) it will raise awareness of the dangers of trans fatty acids in the typical American diet; and (2) chains that operate in New York City will be forced to innovate in their ingredients and food preparation to avoid violating the ban, which may mean healthier alternatives will become available nationwide sooner rather than later.

Mmmmmmm . . . Burmese Food!

Just got in from a meal at Burma Superstar Restaurant (on Clement Street near Fourth Street in San Francisco). The food was delicious. Given Burma's shared borders with India, China, and Thailand and its proximity to Vietnam, it's not surprising that those countries' influences were strong in the cuisine, but Burma clearly has its own distinct twist on food. This restaurant is highly recommended, though it's likely you'll have to wait for a table.

December 9, 2006

Saying Goodbye To Partially Hydrogenated Oils has a thoughtful overview on the trans fat public policy issue here.

May 10, 2007

An Interesting Concept


The blue caps on the Diet Cokes caught my eye in the convenience store a couple weeks back. DIet Coke Plus is apparently the garden variety of the soft drink but with an extra helping of vitamins and minerals. I don't really see the point of it, but I guess it can't hurt.

July 9, 2007



September 6, 2007

Beverage Du Jour

I've probably become a bit too fond of this drink in recent months.

July 26, 2008

California Taking The Lead

California has become the first state to ban the use of trans fats in food preparation in public establishments. As this is such a big state, it will mean restaurant chains and food processors will be forced away from the use of these poisonous substances, rather than establishing a dual supply chain. The law takes effect in 2010 for restaurants and a year later for non-packaged food sold on a retail basis. This is a good development for the health of the country.

January 4, 2010

45 Minutes A Day

I am back in the daily exercise routine: 45 minutes a day, every day. Not that hard to do, and I feel a lot better getting this done regularly. I don't coach any on-court coaching time against this total, either.

January 27, 2010

King Corn


Late last night and early this morning, I watched another iTunes movie rental that is about to expire: King Corn, a documentary by two recent college graduates who spend a year in Iowa growing an acre of corn and attempt to follow it through the food supply chain. As in Super Size Me, the focal point of the film is as political as it is about nutrition: how American agricultural policy since the 1970s has influenced the prominence of high fructose corn syrup and other corn by-products in the American diet.

February 1, 2010

More Muckraking


Just finished the last of the backlog of rented movies from the iTunes Store: Food, Inc. This was another exploration of the American food industry, though one with a broader focus than King Corn. This film certainly gives me plenty to think about next time I go to the supermarket.

September 19, 2010

So Long, Soda


I gave up drinking all soda--I pretty much only drank the diet varieties--on September 1, and am getting used to the new routine. Although there are times when I am sure I would enjoy a nice cold effervescent drink, consuming water as my beverage of choice is a much healthier alternative. I am seeing how long I can go without any soda, though I imagine I will indulge once in a while once I establish a clean break from a bad habit.

October 23, 2011

Café Du Monde and the Beignet


One of the "authentic" experiences in New Orleans is sampling the beignets at Café Du Monde. For a few bucks you get three French doughnuts absolutely smothered in powdered sugar. (The other traditional item on the menus here is café au lait--no thanks!) A totally unhealthy treat, but anyone who comes here should try the beignets at least once.

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