Here’s a recap of the best health and fitness articles I’ve read over the past week.
3 reasons why coconut milk may not be your friend
Can we eat anything without worrying about the side-effects these days? Just when I thought consuming canned coconut milk was safe, I find out that there are only two commercial brands that don’t contain BPA and neither of those two come without guar gum. So the only good way to consume coconut milk is by making it yourself. For now, I’m just not going to worry about guar gum and I’ll buy Native Forest and Arroy-D brands.
Another Look at a Drink Ingredient, Brominated Vegetable Oil – NYTimes.com
I stopped drinking Gatorade a long time ago because of all the chemicals it contains. I’d much rather fuel my body with more natural sources, like coconut water. Now I know not to ever drink Gatorade again (or lots of other soft drinks) unless they remove brominated vegetable oil from their formulas. B.V.O has possible side effects of neurological disorders, altered thyroid hormones and a whole bunch of other crazy issues. More reason to eat mostly whole foods, that way you know what you’re putting into your body.
DIY Doggie Treats – with your leftover juicing pulp!
I throw my leftover juicing pulp into my compost bin, but I’ve always wanted to find a more useful purpose for it, so I was excited to come across this post. It’s more work thank simply dumping into my compost bin, but it doesn’t sound like much work at all and I’m sure my dogs will love it. Remember that some foods can be toxic for pets. Here’s a list of known food toxins for dogs.
All the Hype Behind Kipping Pull-Ups
It takes some time for the author to get to the point of the article, but when you finally get to it, he makes some great points. Ever since learning about kipping pull-ups, and trying them out several times, my own opinion has been that regular pull-ups are better and safer. Check out the comments on this post for more intelligent discussion. Oh! And check out that fail video of CrossFitters doing clean and jerks. My heart was beating so fast waiting for someone to get an injury. I couldn’t even finish it. Wow…
Vegan Weight Gainer Shake
A bean shake doesn’t sound very tasty, but I haven’t tried this so I’m not going to judge just yet. I was thinking about putting on a little more weight to help me increase my squat gains back to where they were last year when I was 15 lbs. heavier. On a side note, I also learned of a new protein powder after seeing it mentioned in the comments – Omega Nutrition Pumpkin Seed Protein Powder. I’ll have to give that a try too.
Bike Fit: Set Your Saddle Height
It’s too cold to commute by bike to the office now, so I’ll probably get my bike on the trainer soon. I’ll use this article to set my bike fit then.
Dorian Yates demonstrating bent over Barbell Row – YouTube
This is interesting because I’ve always heard the best way to perform barbell rows is by pulling the weight to your chest, or just under the nipple line, but Dorian Yates says that works out the upper back. He recommends pulling them to the abs instead, which works the lats, allows you to control form, protect your back and lift heavier weight.
Nine Fascinating Health Benefits of Basil
Basil can help reduce digestive problems, reduce inflammation in the body, relieve stress, protect against cancer and plenty of other great things. I don’t know how much basil it takes to get these benefits, but the more you eat, the more likely you are to reap the rewards.
Beetroot Juice and Tart Cherry Juice for a Fitness Boost
I learned about the anti-inflammatory and recovery benefits of tart cherry juice at the 2012 Fitness and Health Bloggers Conference, but I never made it a regular part of my diet. I mentioned to friend recently that I’ve been having problems with staying asleep at night and she told me that tart cherry juice can help with sleep issues (link to Pubmed study) because of the melatonin it contains. Two 8 or 12-ounce bottles of tart cherry juice per day should be enough to see all of these benefits.
Body Hacks for a Longer Life (Infographic)
There are a lot of good tips here, but the two that I like the most are that 1.5 oz. of dark chocolate per day can reduce blood pressure by 3 points and a glass of wine per day works similarly. Those two go perfect together! I’m going to try to start doing a daily crossword puzzle from now on too.
The Greatest Workout Ever Created
You can’t go wrong with a workout designed around the world-famous extra lives code for Contra – Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A start. I wonder how many rounds I can do? I’m in the middle of a routine that I don’t want to interrupt so I’ll have to remember to try this out later.
Office Chair Advice
I really like the tip in this article to place two tennis balls on each side of the spine as you’re sitting in an office chair. It keeps you an ergonomic position, provides an acupuncture effect and if you lose position, the balls fall and remind you to move back into proper posture.
Pressing Charges: 7 Bench-Press Crimes, Solved
Everyone makes these mistakes when starting out – sadly many never learn better. The one about the “crazy legs” is funny because I hate to admit it, but it actually happened to me a few days ago. I was doing floor presses (which I’ve never done before) so I had no leverage, no place to plant my feet and I did one too many reps. Since I was on the floor, I didn’t have my squat rack to protect me and in came crazy legs. I think that was the first time I’ve ever done that. I laughed at myself for that one… No more floor presses.
12 Weeks to Ridiculous Wheels
Ahh, now here’s a worthwhile routine, as opposed to the “4 weeks to bigger arms” routine I’m currently doing. What can I say, I’m a typical guy that want’s big arms 😉 Anyway, this leg routine looks tough and the progression is interesting – you alternate weeks of doing heavy weights with weeks of higher volume.
France Bans BPA in Food Packaging
If only the U.S. was anywhere near as progressive as other countries when it comes to their citizens health and nutrition. We have to take charge of our own health and help each other as much as we can.