Posts concerning health

Sometimes the Disease is Better

23:42 15 Nov 2010

Tired. And there are things to do. Aren’t there always? Tired enough to start thinking about chemical solutions. Like modafinil!

I was hoping that the website for the drug would have some appropriately cheesy lines, but it’s really quite responsible-looking. Damn. Some video footage of highly energetic and perhaps creepily awake people accompanied by soft music and the usual background of muted side effect warnings would have been ideal.

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Another Stint of the Paleo Diet

19:23 31 Aug 2010

Starting tomorrow, I’m going to go on the paleo diet again, in preparation for Tough Mudder. This time I’m going to cut down on dairy, although I’m not sure I’ll cut it entirely. I’m hoping to stick to the diet just as strictly as I did last time, although there’s no threat of 100 burpee pullups hanging over me.

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5 Weeks of the Paleo Diet

13:39 25 Jul 2010

I stayed on the diet for five weeks, a little longer than the challenge required. When I last was on the diet, in the run up to Sectionals, I cheated once per week, getting a burger with buns. This time I didn’t cheat, at least not knowingly. I derived more benefit from it this time around, although I didn’t start really feeling that until the last two weeks.

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Late Paleo Challenge Entry

22:11 22 Jun 2010

The rest of my CrossFit gym started a month-long paleo diet last week. I didn’t want to try to go strict paleo while restricted to soft food, so my month started yesterday. Naturally, there’s a penalty for straying: 100 burpee pullups (as unpleasant as you might think).

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Boredom Kills

10:57 09 Feb 2010

According to a University College London study which monitored the boredom levels of civil servants in the late eighties and then checked in on them last year:

Those who reported feeling a great deal of boredom were 37 per cent more likely to have died by the end of the study, the researchers found.

—Asian News International. “Boredom can kill you”. Yahoo! News India, 8 February 2010.

So boredom isn’t just a waste of time, it can be lethal. I’m not sure what advice is appropriate here, other than: find things you’re into and do them!

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CrossFit and Coding (and Meat)

10:28 31 Dec 2009

In 2009 I achieved some significant things that weren’t on my list of goals, although they’re not concrete achievements in the same sense.

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Consider Taking Vitamin D Supplements

16:16 07 Dec 2009

I’m not a doctor, and this isn’t medical advice.

I am, however, currently deficient in Vitamin D, and apparently so might many of you be—particularly those of you living in less-sunny climes.

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“Nutritious”: ”Has Nutrients”

16:07 20 Sep 2009

Friday’s post about Froot Loops and the “Smart Choices” program reminded me of a portion of the McLibel case, in which McDonald’s brought in an expert witness, Verner Wheelock, to assert that statements claiming that McDonald’s food wasn’t ”nutritious”, or was “junk food”, were false. I can’t find a transcript online—the site that should have them is producing errors instead—but Wheelock defined “nutritious” as “contains nutrients” and “junk food” as “whatever a person doesn’t like”.

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The Smart Choice is Froot

13:29 18 Sep 2009

Apparently in response to increased public interest in eating better, the American food manufacturing industry has put together a campaign called Smart Choices. This is essentially a marketing effort masquerading as a health information campaign, as demonstrated quite well by the fact that Froot Loops qualify as a “smart choice”.

To defend this, the president of the Smart Choices board, Eileen T. Kennedy, gave the New York Times one of the most egregious pieces of dodgy rhetoric I’ve seen in quite some time:

“You’re rushing around, you’re trying to think about healthy eating for your kids and you have a choice between a doughnut and a cereal,” Dr. Kennedy said, evoking a hypothetical parent in the supermarket. “So Froot Loops is a better choice.”

—William Neuman. “For Your Health, Froot Loops”. The New York Times, 04 September 2009.


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Considering Carnivorism

14:05 20 Jul 2009

(Actually, I’m considering a return to a wider variety of omnivorism, but that’s not as cool a title.)

I gave up eating meat about ten years ago. Since then I’ve been an ovo-lacto-pesce-vegetarian. Now, for the first time, I’m seriously considering eating meat again.

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Body Mass Index: Bogus

22:05 07 Jul 2009

I’ve never paid much attention to things like body mass index, and always had an idea that it might not be completely reliable as an indicator of individual health, but apparently it really shouldn’t be trusted at all.

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The Afternoon Nap

10:14 09 Feb 2009. Updated: 21:35 09 Feb 2009

There are plenty of reports that the afternoon nap is good for you, and that it increases alertness and clarity of thought.

I’m not a great sleeper generally, and I’ve wondered whether or not sleeping in the afternoon would help. Now that my schedule is more flexible, I’m going to try a 45-minute nap at 15:00 most days and see whether or not that makes any difference. Anyone out there tried similar experiments?

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Time to Stop Drinking Vitamin Water

23:39 19 Jun 2007. Updated: 00:45 20 Jun 2007

Which is a shame, because I rather like the stuff. Am probably mildly addicted to it, in fact. But this post makes me aware of a bunch of thinsg I’ve been ignoring about it—primarily the true nature of “crystalline fructose”.

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