Happy February! It’s time for another edition of 5 Reads to Start Your Week. Click the links below for engaging reads ranging from healthier chickens to getting back on the fitness bandwagon. You’ll likely be as engaged as Homer Simpson above.
There’s a lot to love in JJ Virgin‘s easy-to-follow list of eliminating the winter blues, now that we’re entering the “dog days of winter.” (If it’s a thing for summer, I’m assuming it is for winter. :))
In fact, many of her tips echo some of our own recent blog posts. For example, she recommends that you “Eat more soup,” and we recently curated a few recipes for just that. Plus, if you’re interested in reading more about the science behind SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), JJ’s tips go hand-in-hand.
Big companies and fast food chains like McDonald’s, Subway, and even Starbucks started to implement healthier actions to use cage-free eggs in their products in 2015. Wired’s Jennifer Chaussee provides a deep dive into the complications of implementing cage-free eggs — a process that may take 5-10 years.
There is now immense pressure for farmers to let the chickens out of their cages. Chaussee writes, “The surge in demand seems likely to force fundamental changes in how the egg industry operates. McDonald’s alone buys up two billion eggs a year for its US restaurants alone.”
Healthier chickens equals healthier eggs distributed by society’s biggest food suppliers. Even if it takes the better part of a decade, this is an optimistic step forward.
A new study by the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics is one of many new ones strongly recommending that conventional dairy products are a detriment to our health. The one product that is particularly in the crosshairs is “low-fat” milk due to added sweeteners (sugars) to compensate for the lack of taste.
David Ludwig’s research also suggests that milk doesn’t have to be the go-to product for calcium.
“The worst possible situation is reduced-fat chocolate milk: you take out the fat, it’s less tasty. So to get kids to drink 3 cups a day, you get this sugar-sweetened beverage. We can get plenty of calcium from a whole range of foods. On a gram for gram basis, cooked kale has more calcium than milk. Sardines, nuts seeds beans, green leafy vegetables are all sources of calcium.”
Beth Skwarecki of Lifehacker produced this great primer for getting back into working out. It was published after the new year, but relevant for any time of year. I learned a few timetables for when to expect your “normal” metrics in your efforts to regain strength and endurance. Naturally, this is some good inspiration to hit the gym and start off the week right!
With the first major of the tennis year in the books yesterday, I stumbled on a fascinating rundown of mid-match snacks from the world’s best players at the Australian Open. There are tidbits and quotes from Maria Sharapova, who stopped eating bananas in lieu of energy gels and bars, and Novak Djokovic, who famously credits a gluten-free diet for helping him rise to the world number one ranking, citing dates as “a fruit that give you a low glycemic index, which is very important.”
But back to bananas, as I’ve actually relied on those during basketball games to prevent cramps. I guess I may be trying something new…
Page Love, a registered dietician and member of the U.S. Tennis Association’s Sport Science Committee, says bananas actually aren’t the best option.
Her go-to, in-match meal for players? Read on.
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