7 Great Things I Read This Week

Usually, I sit down to write my blog post, and something comes to me fairly quickly.  Either I have it planned (like Monday’s big announcement, a new study that I want to discuss, or a recipe I’ve recently made), or I think about what is going on in my own life, health, or fitness, and I write about that.  But yesterday as I sat down to write, I think my 20-mile run (my first 20-mile training run since September 18th, 2011!) got the best of my mind, and nothing came to me.  Never fear, because you know when 7 Tips Sundays come along, I’ll always resort to sharing some recent things I’ve read so you can still learn something and/ or be entertained!  So before I ramble any more, enjoy these 7 links, and let me know what you think!

  1. What is a Health Coach, anyway?  Several of you have asked me what Health Coaches do, and as I was working with a friend who works in healthcare this week, I came across this article which explains it quite well.  Here are a few quotes in case you don’t read the whole thing: “[Health coaching] probes the total well-being of the patient to learn what is happening in the patient’s life that could be contributing to his or her physical illness” and “Primary objectives of health coaching are to educate the patient regarding self health management and to encourage patients in taking a more proactive role in staying healthy.”
  2. The Health Benefits of Coffee: of course, it is human nature to try to defend things that we love, and I really do love my one cup of coffee every morning, but a new study published this week (linked in the article) shows that coffee may not dehydrate at all.  When I talked all about dehydration and gave you tips on how much water you need to drink, I mentioned that I consider coffee a “neutral” – not hydrating and not dehydrating.  I think I’ll continue to think of coffee this way, but I love seeing that my habit may also be good for my brain, heart, and happiness! coffee love(picture source, via Wikipedia)
  3. Scientific Evidence for Popular Supplements: After I posted about the supplements I’m currently taking, a reader and friend sent me this cool interactive infographic.  I spent far too much time playing with it, and think it’s fun to look at.  My two complaints: 1) Because most studies are done on serious diseases like cancer, the supplements that help those serious diseases are well-represented, but general health is (in my opinion) under-represented, and 2) Some supplements that help a variety of conditions are rated as less effective for individual conditions, but the publishers fail to recognize the value overall.  Still fun, if you’re into seeing the studies behind the hype, like I am!
  4. Woman Records 100 Days of Going to the Gym: If you’re looking for some motivation to stick to healthy habits, the transformation that this woman makes in just 100 days is a must-watch!  She goes from depressed to determined, from embarrassed to self-confident … and that is a major reason that I encourage everyone to exercise!  (I learned about this through Heather‘s Facebook page) Screen Shot 2014-01-12 at 9.27.05 AM
  5. On Burnout and Peace: If you related to my post on leaving my job because you are personally feeling burned out, you owe it to yourself to read this.  We all deserve to prioritize ourselves and give ourselves what we truly need to be happy, so if you’re not doing that, I encourage you to try. peace(picture source)
  6. The McDonald’s Diet Making News Again: We’ve heard of “Super Size Me,” but this time a teacher decided to eat only at McDonald’s, stick to a calorie limit, and start exercising.  Spoiler alert: he does lose weight. In fact, he loses 37 pounds in 90 days, which is pretty amazing.  BUT, the study still unsettles me because it presents McDonald’s as “healthy” food and doesn’t focus on the quality of the nutrition the teacher is getting.  I’ve said it several times before, but weight loss is very different from nutrition and health.  I can help you lose weight while eating just Twinkies, but it may also take years off of your life.  I can also help you lose weight while eating high-quality, nutrient-dense foods, and we’ll all be happier and better off :).  For additional thoughts, you can check out the interesting comments on Michael’s post, where I learned about this article. mcdonalds(picture source)
  7. A few more: OK, I couldn’t decide on the last one.  So if you want to read 18 things women should never have to justify, click here (I love the recent trend of living YOUR life unapologetically!).  If you want to read the top predicted 2014 fitness trends, click here (I had already posted this on The Lyons’ Share Facebook page – please “like” the page for more updates!).  And if you want to read a blog post from KathEats on her thoughts on alcohol (which I agree with almost to a “t,” aside from the home-brewing part), click here.

Spill-it-Sunday-option-2-1Spill It Sundays

This week’s prompt was to mention embarrassing trends that you followed.  I had a surprisingly hard time thinking of them, although I’m sure I did far more embarrassing things than I can remember here.  I do remember:

  • Collecting POGS.  I never actually played the POG game that I can remember, but it was cool to collect them! pogs(picture source)
  • Wearing side knots in my t-shirts, including these plastic things that held your shirt over so you didn’t have to tie a knot! Screen Shot 2014-01-12 at 9.15.45 AM(picture source)
  • Hair rollers – I used to sleep in those foam rollers to get curly hair the next day!  My mom always put so much effort into making sure I looked cute, and while I’m not going to revert back to those outfits anytime soon, I don’t have regrets! (I’m third from the right in the bottom row)
  • elementary school

So tell me in the comments … Did you read any good articles this week?  Feel free to link up!  What was the most embarrassing trend you followed as a child?

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Comments

  1. Robert says

    I think the article with the McDonalds diet is important. It shows that despite all the expensive fad diets and surgeries, good ‘ole calorie restriction and exercise are very effective (if not the most effective) tools to lose weight. You are absolutely right that it doesn’t necessarily promote health. However, the person that chooses to eat at McDonalds regularly is probably lacking in health knowledge to begin with. Losing weight is important, not only in direct health benefits, but often as a gateway to total body health and fitness. In your experience, how many people start off to just lose some pounds, but end up pursuing loftier health goals?

    Regarding the supplements article–I think it’s a perfect illustration of “our” mindset. Western medicine’s focus is “sick care” not “health care”. Until there is a paradigm shift in our thinking (and we are starting to see some movement in that direction) the preponderance of the research time and dollars will continue to be spent on diseases and sick care.

    • says

      You’re totally right, Robert. Calorie restriction in almost any form DOES work to lose weight, at least initially, although health overall is a different story. And good point that losing weight is a gateway to overall health. I have seen many people start JUST wanting to lose weight, and become interested in overall health and fitness, like you say. My mom is a great example of this! When I first started helping her, she was only interested in the scale, but she eventually lowered her cholesterol dramatically and started gaining interest in the health side of things!

    • says

      Thank you so much, Jessie! One week in, it’s been absolutely amazing. I couldn’t be more grateful for the life change, and I’m already having a blast! Hope you’re having a great weekend.

  2. says

    I remember collecting pogs as a kid! Someone recently posted this article on facebook and it brought back a lot of memories! http://www.buzzfeed.com/amandamarsh/the-typical-day-of-a-teenage-girl-in-the-late-90s-96ht
    I enjoyed reading the post about alcohol on KathEatsRealFood, especially after writing about finding my own balance with running and drinking. I will probably read over the other articles this week. Thanks for sharing!
    Lisa @ running out of wine recently posted…Raleigh Marathon Training- Week 3My Profile

    • says

      Haha, I relate to the feeling, Tempie – most of the others who did today’s Spill It Sundays link ups had trends that I was way too old to follow. It’s all relative :).

  3. says

    Great links you’ve collated- Nothing grinds my gears more than these ‘experiments’ where people use fast food to prove a weight loss point- Even if you ate whipped cream all day but under your BMR, you will obviously lose weight! Very intrigued by that coffee article- I think my 2 cups a day do nothing, so wondering if I could sneak a third…;)

    Rocking them curls like a BOSS.
    Arman @ thebigmansworld recently posted…Spill it, Sundays #7- TrendsMy Profile

    • says

      According to the study, you could sneak in a 3rd with no harm! You may need it with the move and the new job! Thinking about you as I know this week will be challenging!

  4. says

    Bunch of great reads there – and thanks for the link-up!

    I have expressed my skepticism on supplements as you know – not on a core level (getting proper nutrients) but their use in people who eat healthy diets. But what is stunning in your bubble-plot link is the paucity of research on ‘general health’ stuff.

    I was doing a review on some oolong tea (Wu-Long, FYI), and wanted to understand the science behind it all … and it was sketchy. But it had been used for thousands of years, and recent data indicated at least a potential impact – and the tea in question is delicious … so why not?!? And that is how I think of supplements – so long as you aren’t taking things in excess, why not do what you think might help your body?

    As for caffeine, there has been a bunch recently showing us how much of those older studies were based on excess consumption – so in moderation we don’t get the diuretic effect or other stuff.

    The health coach thing is definitely interesting. There are some people who don’t need one, some who need one but will never accept one … but increasingly it is good that like quitting smoking people are finally realizing that health is a lifelong thing, and can require some really hard changes to how they look at nearly everything … and can use outside help.

    While I’m rambling, I was reminded of how our corporate ‘healthy eating’ initiative finally came to Kentucky this year – one of the weeks I was there! The portions, meal choices and so on had been in place in the main Corning NY locations pretty much since I started 5 years ago, but there was a big push to get them across the boards. So they had a dietician and another person from the health team head to each plant and sit in the cafeteria all week as the new plans were put in place.

    Prior to this the wonderful people who worked serving lunches were the ‘aw c’mon honey, here’s an extra scoop of gravy, gotta put some meat on those bones’ types (why I did the veggie wraps!). They bristled with the new changes, the workers hated so many vegetables and fruits (what, the tomato on the burger isn’t enough?) … and because the people who came in were ‘outsiders’, I could see where the plan was headed …

    Within a couple of weeks, the required meals were still there, but they were increasingly getting modified and served in larger portions … so by the time my travel there was done it was closer to the original menu, with the ‘healthy meal’ there as a token offering. And I heard very directly those who worked there who thought they had ‘won’ against corporate oppression. Some victory – since all that was happening was someone trying to help with their health.
    Michael Anderson recently posted…Spill-It Sunday – The Near Disaster of Our First ‘Date’My Profile

    • says

      Your review of Wu-Long reminds me of this stuff that I sometimes drink called Tianchi … its made of Chinese adaptogenic herbs, which people have obviously been taking for centuries, but no one is *exactly* sure how it works. Too expensive for me to drink it every day, but kinda cool for us nutrition geeks :).
      Thank you for sharing the story about meal changes in your Kentucky plant. If (when! I’m using positive language that all my entrepreneur books are recommending!) I do get into corporate wellness, this is exactly the type of thing that I’ll be confronting, so it’s helpful to hear about all the obstacles that I might face. Having the nutrition professionals sit in the cafeteria and just watch sounds like it might have been setting the wrong tone for the changes – I would prefer having a council made of some of the food servers, employees, nutritional professionals all together who came to a mutual agreement on the new food plan and how to implement it. Very helpful of you to share this stuff!

    • says

      Julie, funny you mention it – my mom just gave me a new set of hot rollers for Christmas. So I think I’ll be getting back into them, too! Funny how trends circle back :).

    • says

      I didn’t play with crazy bones, but now I feel like I missed out – Danielle commented about these, too! Did you check eBay to see if your found pogs were worth anything? Or am I the only nerd who would do that?

      • Katie says

        It took a very long time to get hair to stand up and out like that. And then there was the caked onbaby blue eyeshadow and electric blue mascara, that took a while to do too! :)

  5. says

    I collected POGS but never used them to play the game that they were meant for, just like I rarely ever used my Pokeman cards to play that game! I always used to attempt the side knot in my shirt but I’d use a hair tie and it always came undone so I constantly just gave up that battle. And went to play Battleship :P
    I’m really excited to read that article about alc from Kath. I missed it. Thanks!
    Caitlin recently posted…Let’s See How Far We’ve ComeMy Profile

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