The Best Health and Fitness Articles of the Week #92 – Knee Rehab, Asparagus Extract for Hangovers and 93 Juicing Recipes


Here’s a recap of the best health and fitness articles I’ve read over the past week.

Straightforward Knee Rehab

I’ve been having issues with one of my knees so I did some searching and came across this article. There are some good tips here that I plan to do, but it’s also set me on a path to learn more about what’s causing my knee pain. I see a lot more research in my future πŸ˜‰

Three Weeks on Modafinil

I do marketing for a living so I sometimes visit the marketing forums. I came across this one earlier in the week. The original poster’s thoughts on Modafinil are interesting, especially as it pertains to helping with boring busy work that many of us marketers do regularly. There’s a lot of other great info in this thread too, for example a mention of the book “The UltraMind Solution” which I now plan to look into.

Eating asparagus may prevent a hangover, study suggests

Plan on partying on New Year’s Eve? Better pick up some asparagus extract to protect your liver cells and alleviate the symptoms of a hangover. I skimmed the study to find out how much extract is needed to see these benefits, but I couldn’t find an exact number. They took 100 grams of asparagus leaves and shoots, dried the samples and extracted them using 1 liter of boiling distilled water for 2 hours at 100 degrees celsius (212 degrees fahrenheit). The extracts were then passed through a Whatman GF/C filter. They found that the leaves provided more benefits than the shoots, so try to find a leaf extract if you can.

93 Juicing Recipes to Help You Through Your Juice Fast

I imagine there are going to be tons of people juice fasting as a way of detoxing or to lose weight as a New Years resolution, so I thought this would be helpful. Click the image to magnify the recipes so that you can see them. This list was created by Israel Torres, who has lost a ton of weight and likely added many more years to his life, by juice fasting.

The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness 2012

This list starts off weak but the further down you go, the better it gets. The list redeemed itself once I started seeing people like Tim Ferris, Eric Cressey, Chris Keller, and Mark Sisson. There are actually a lot of people in this list who sound really interesting. It’s going to take a lot of time for me to visit all of these websites to see if I want to start following what they write, but it’s on my list of things to do…

Pipes and Gears – YouTube

If you’ve got six minutes to spare, check out this short documentary. Nikola Giorgiev turned an old air raid shelter into a gym so that kids had something to do. He created the equipment using old junk and by welding stuff together. It’s awesome what this guy is doing for these kids.

Top Ten Gifts for the Deadlift Junkie

I know Christmas is over but I like this article because it has so many cool products I’ve never heard of before. I really want a home glute ham raise machine. Too bad it’s so expensive. The deadlift bar jack sounds really cool too.

The Best Health and Fitness Articles of the Week #91 – Is Coconut Milk Bad, Setting Proper Bike Fit and Office Chair Advice

organic coconut milk

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 –

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 πŸ˜‰ 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.

The Best Health and Fitness Articles of the Week #90 – B12 Effectiveness After Being Cooked, Nutrition for Vegan Children and How to Shop for Coconut Milk

Deva Vegan b12 bottle

Here’s a recap of the best health and fitness articles I’ve read over the past week.

Cooking B12

All vegans should be supplementing with B12, otherwise serious neurological problems can occur, but I bet not many vegans knew that B12 in fortified foods is damaged by cooking those foods. If you’re vegan, rely on uncooked sources of B12.

Seitan – A High Lysine Food

Lysine is an essential amino acid that can only be found in food or supplements. A deficiency in lysine can result in fatigue, dizziness, anemia and other issues. It’s easy to get enough of this amino acid in foods like meat, cheese, fish, and eggs, but vegans can find it nuts, legumes, tofu, spirulina and as this article suggests, seitan. Since seitan is basically a log of gluten, I’m not sure I’d like to get most of my lysine from that source, but it’s good info to know nonetheless.

Six Done-For-You Exercise Resources To Get A Killer Workout Without The Mental Strain

This sounds like a really fun workout schedule, but to follow this exact plan, you’d have to purchase a lot of different products. This plan is very fitting for a triathlete. I think it’s a great example of how we can stay healthy by doing activities that we enjoy.

A Healthy Start for Vegan Children

When it comes to vegan nutrition, in children or adults, Ginny Messina knows what she’s talking about. I’m not a parent myself, but I can only imagine how scary it is for new parents to find articles online about vegan children having nutrient deficiencies or when their doctors recommend animal-based supplements. But there’s no need to worry. It’s totally possible, and safe, to raise vegan children.

How To Shop For Coconut Milk

Should you buy coconut milk canned, in the carton or should you make it yourself? The healthiest way is to make it yourself, but the next best option is probably to buy it canned. I’ve read the ingredients on carton coconut milk many times and I never felt great about all of those weird ingredients, but I buy it anyway. Not anymore though. It’s canned or homemade from now on.

Find Your Strength: Strongman Training In Your Average Gym

This sounds like an excellent strongman training program. It’s basic, but it makes total sense. I would love to come back to this one once I get some fat grips and heavier dumbbells to do carrying exercises.

Lessons from the History of Insulin

Interesting post from the folks over at the Science-Based Medicine blog. I always love reading these posts because the writers on this site have a much different perspective on health and medicine than most of what we read online – a perspective based on academics, research and facts. This post discusses not only the history of insulin, but also the benefits of GMO and big pharma, which is something you’ll never hear anyone else say.

Dear Mark: Vegetable Juicing, G_BOMBS, Blood Sugar, and Hot Workouts

If you’re a fan of juicing, you should read this article from Mark Sisson. The key takeaways for me are that you should juice mostly vegetables, eat fruits instead of juicing them, you don’t really need to worry about insulin spikes and if you really want to drink fruits, consider blending them instead of juicing them.

An Unnamed Single Leg Gem of an Exercise

If you’ve done P90X, you’ll be familiar with the “skater squat” and you know how difficult it is. The version shown in this article is an advanced version of the skater squat and puts more emphasis on proper form. There are some great tips on progression here too.

New Innovative Ways to Use Your Fat Gripz

This made me laugh. To hell with the trolls in the comments. I’m glad these guys had fun putting this post together.

Is it Dangerous to “Squeeze the Glutes” During Hip Extension Exercises?

In short, Bret Contreras recommends that all lifters should squeeze their glutes when performing the hip extension. It helps protects the hips and the spine. You’ll have to read the article to learn the science behind it.

Plant Based Nutrition – Will I Get Anemic?

I just recently had blood work done and everything came back fine. I don’t think anemia is something most vegans need to worry about but getting tested is still a good idea, if nothing for peace of mind. I love the response from Marcella to a commenter in the comments section. A person named Bob said “wait a couple of years a retake your tests, and then tell me what your restlts are.” To which Marcella responded “Wait a couple of years after…what? I’ve already been vegan for 12 years and Derek has been vegan for 5 and we both have always tested with excellent iron levels – I even had above average iron levels while pregnant. Additionally, your results reflect your current diet…it doesn’t take years for your diet to influence your iron levels.” Bob is a great example of how clueless people are when it comes to nutrition.

Non-Alcoholic Beer, Non-Alcoholic Wine, Gluten-Free Beer, and Other Foods Scrutinized

The part I liked most in this post is about when Mark scrutinizes maca powder, because it’s a supplement I use regularly. I don’t use it for any of the sex-related benefits mentioned in the post, but it’s good to know πŸ˜‰

The Best Health and Fitness Articles of the Week #89 – 32 Types of Pushups, a Homemade Mauler Sled and Workouts For Your Brain

Here’s a recap of the best health and fitness articles I’ve read over the past week.

Bodyweight Training Basics – Push-ups 101

I admit that I’m more of a bench press guy, but I really should throw more pushups into my routine. This article provides a a great explanation of getting the perfect pushup form and also includes huge list of 32 pushup variations and a video showing how to do all of them.

Signs and Symptoms of Insulin Resistance: Can You Be Insulin Resistant and Not Know It?

This article provides an excellent explanation of insulin, how it works in your body and how insulin resistance occurs. There are also some great tips on preventing insulin resistance.

Exercise makes middle-aged people smarter

I’ve been working out regularly for years and I’ve always noticed that I think more clearly on days that I workout. Well here’s proof! A study from the Montreal Heart Institute shows that exercise helps the body oxygenate the brain and increase cognitive function.

Drug used to treat glaucoma actually grows human hair

If you have glaucoma, you might have heard about the drug Bimatoprost. Interestingly, it seems the drug not only slows the progression of glaucoma, but it might also help grow back hair. My brother actually suffers from a condition called alopecia that causes him to lose hair in random patches. It would be awesome if Bimatoprost could help him.

Homemade Push Pull Mauler Sled

I don’t have the skills or tools necessary to build this, but it sure is an awesome idea. This is a really cool blog too because it’s all about creating DIY fitness equipment. Definitely going into my favorites.

What Is The Diet Of Top Athletes?

It’s interesting to see the varying diets of top athletes of the world. It’s crazy to see how crappy some of these athletes ate, yet still managed to be the best at what they do.

Men who do exercise produce better quality semen, study finds

Good to know if you’re planning to have a baby. There’s also a long list of sperm quality parameters in this article that can help men diagnose various issues with their semen. Updates: Four New Tools for Brain Workouts

I’ve had very noticeable results in cognitive function on days that I workout and occasionally when I drink coffee, but I’ve never really done any tests. I would really like to do everything mentioned in this post, so I’m going to turn it all into actionable goals that I work on over time.