Blueberries vs. Blue 42: What's the Difference Between Natural and Synthetic in Your Diet

“…a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” writes Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet. Well, what if the rose was “enhanced” by synthetic materials in a factory in Minneapolis? And what if instead of being a pastel pink, it was neon red with white stripes? And what if your kid ate it with milk for breakfast? Maybe the rose would smell even sweeter!This is what General Mills, the cereal Read More...

Have an Active Staycation

In the eastern part of Los Angeles, there are many concrete stairs. They are tucked into residential streets, sometimes right in the middle, sometimes at the end of the block. They rise anywhere from 30-70 feet up the hills that give East L.A. its unique topography. And they usually lead to…oh, just to another row of residential houses. Some Angelenos call them “stairways to nowhere.” Indeed, in a Read More...

Ages of the Heart

As most of us who have lived long enough are aware, the body ages. But the parts of the body have a funny way of not seeming to age at the same rate. Sometimes it happens in the stomach: one day it’s flat, the next it’s bulging. Sometimes it’s in the knees: one day you’re jumping around like a kid, the next day you’re limping and reaching for the Advil.The heart is aging, too, but often its aging Read More...

The “Nature” of Exercise

Your heart rate climbs. You sweat. You feel elation at your sense of accomplishment.A pleasing soreness comes into your muscles. You may feel a little fatigue and hunger. You sleep like a champ.We know this is what happens when we exercise. But what’s really going on? What happens beyond our immediate perception?As you stretch before or after your daily workout, let’s take a quick look at the “ Read More...

Strawberries in December

All over cold Europe in the Christmas season, fruitcakes are given as edible gifts. Why? Well, speculations vary on how the tradition arose, but here’s one to consider: European fruitcakes are made with candied fruits and are often baked with alcohol. The result: preservation. How well does alcohol preserve? In 2003, Jay Leno on The Tonight Show sampled a fruitcake that had been made with alcohol… Read More...

But I Still Feel Young?

People often say that it’s never too late to start good habits. But is it ever too early to start good habits?It Depends...It is possible to dot all your healthy i’s and cross all your healthy t’s and still wind up full of behavior-related health problems. What, you ask, would that behavior be? It would be the condition of anxiety and worry. If you are fretting all the time about dotting those i’s Read More...

Can I Still Eat That?

Bailey’s Irish Cream is a dessert drink made of whiskey and heavy cream. Night after night it sits—unrefrigerated—on the shelves of bars and restaurants. Occasionally it gets poured into a thirsty Irishman’s glass. The question is: why doesn’t its milk spoil? The answer is: the alcohol acts as a natural preservative.But that doesn’t mean you can always preserve milk with alcohol. A long time ago, Read More...

Your Memory As You Age

It has been said that we know more about the outer workings of the solar system than we do about the inner workings of our brains. There are many reasons for this, and two of the most important are: for so much of human history, we were so busy using our brains to think about other things that we forgot to think about the thing doing the thinking. Also, our brains are incredibly complex and until Read More...

Swapping Food: a better choice for your health

The waiter arrives to take your breakfast order. You ask for the buttermilk pancakes and coffee with cream. The waiter says, “What would you like on the side? Cottage cheese or bacon?”Let’s admit it: the waiter has presented you with a guilt-inducing choice. If you’re a carnivore, you know the cottage cheese isn’t nearly as satisfying as the bacon. Cottage cheese is even farther away from bacon Read More...

Stress and Your Heart

This may come as a surprise: the word “stress” as we know it is relatively new. Initially used by physicists to refer to a force that causes strain on a physical body, “stress” was taken up by physiologists and biologists only in the 1920s. The basic concept is that a stressor—that which causes the stress—acts upon something that is in relative equilibrium, and throws that equilibrium off.An Read More...

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