Monthly Archives: August 2012

How Farmers Markets can give you a superior workout

Ok, you’re probably starting to think I’m crazy. First, I suggest you buy all your food at farmers markets. Then, I tell you it will improve your health and start talking about getting to know your baker and making winter stores. Now, I’m going to make the argument that it will give you a superior edge in your workouts.

The explanation is pretty simple. Most of us workout once-a-day (if that) while we eat three times-a-day. This means food has a greater impact on our bodies than any individual workout does. Or, put another way, a workout breaks down the muscles in the body and recovery requires high-quality food to rebuild.

Right now, the popular advice is to eat protein bars and protein shakes, hearty meals of protein and vegetables, and energy drinks with electrolytes and vitamins. None of which is based on a solid foundation of science or nutrition. It’s all marketing.

Let me repeat that, none of the health claims coming from these food manufacturers are true. Hard to believe, I know, but the following explanation, from the Harvard School of Public Health, will help out.

On protein:

Surprisingly little is known about protein and health. The Institute of Medicine recommends that adults get a minimum of…about 8 grams of protein for every 20 pounds of body weight. Beyond that, there’s relatively little solid information on the ideal amount of protein in the diet, a healthy target for calories contributed by protein, or the best kinds of protein.

Harvard, a trusted name in medicine, is basically saying they have no idea. So how do food companies know the right amount? Aren’t we buying these products because of their health claims?

If you read the rest of the Harvard article it actually lays out the answers for you. Protein is a general term referring to the 20+ amino acids that our bodies need. These “building blocks” are found in all foods, with some containing more than others. Meats tend to contain all of them, a “complete package”, while beans, fruits, and vegetables contain varying amounts.

It goes on to recommend that we eat a diverse diet of high quality foods, while making sure to not over-indulge on meat. In this way, you guarantee yourself a diverse source for the 20 amino acids, as well as other nutrients and vitamins.

Which brings us back to that superior edge you can get in your workouts. If you can find high quality food and eat that three times-a-day then you will maximize the growth, health, and weight loss your body can attain from working out.

What is high quality food? It’s grass-fed beef, sustainable seafood, free-range chicken and pork. Vegetables and fruits that are ripe and in peak season form. Bread made from heirloom grains. Cheese and milk from grass-fed cows.

All things you will find at a farmers market. No need to read labels or learn about the differences among organic/local/grass-fed. Just visit your local market, build a relationship with the farmers there, and start making your post-workout meals from the food you buy.

I promise you will notice a marked increase in energy, weight loss, muscle gain, stamina, and more. You will be eating the finest food money can buy and sometimes you may even see restaurant chefs buying at the market too. They will be from those high-end restaurants searching out the highest quality food with you. There is a reason they are shopping there and when you start eating the food you will soon see why.

 

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EPA gets tough, forces all power plants to slash air pollution

Woot! This is good news for all of us, from the NRDC’s report on Toxic Power:

The electric power sector is the largest industrial source of toxic air pollution in the United States. Thanks to new standards by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), toxic pollution from power plants will decline dramatically over the next several years. In fact, some companies have already begun reducing emissions in anticipation of the new standards.

Compared to 2010 levels, the EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics standard (MATS) will cut:

  • Mercury pollution from 34 tons to 7 tons, a 79 percent reduction.
  • Sulfur dioxide pollution from 5,140,000 tons in 2010 to 1,900,000 tons, a 63 percent reduction.
  • Hydrochloric acid from 106,000 tons to 5,500 tons, a 95 percent reduction.

 

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All about Zero Waste

The week in Zero Waste, starting with:

 

What Does ZeroWaste Mean?

To explain all this let’s start with what Zero Waste means. The concept isn’t about throwing things away, like most think, it’s about sustainability and recycling. We are all consumers and will continue to be, and the goal isn’t to get rid of consumption but to modify it. To create a system where everything we use ends up someplace other than a landfill.

 

Zero Waste: Stopping all that junk mail

Zero Waste: The recycled toothbrush

Zero Waste: The coffee maker

Zero Waste: Moving boxes – Recopack

 

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California pushes its citizens towards Zero Waste – new law asks for 75% reduction

California set a goal of a 50% reduction in 1989. In the last decade, most of the state has achieved that and surpassed it (the current statewide rate is 65%). Now, the government has upped the ante, asking for 75% by 2020.

 

London 2012 Olympics were planned as Zero Waste

Staging a One Planet Olympics in London would help achieve the first sustainable Games. Sustainability has been at the heart of the London 2012 Bid and Masterplan.

 

Why can’t mainstream media cannot write about sustainability?

I am often frustrated by the lack of depth in articles about sustainability. It’s as if all writers and “experts” are recycling the same content. We all feel this impending sense of climactic doom and want to make changes, but then we are fed the same tips we already know. I think I’ve discovered why this is happening.

You can do it, go Zero Waste!

The amazing shots of surf photographer Morgan Maassen

(image: Facebook)

 

Morgan Maassen is possibly the world’s most talented surf photographer. All you have to do is look at these shots and you will be impressed. He is also a past winner of the Follow the Light Foundation.

Here are 8 of his images pulled from his public Facebook page, where you can find tons more. He can also be found at:

 

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Amazon to hold next Kindle event on Sep 6, 2012 – new tablet, lower prices

(image: Drew Olanoff)

 

One thing is for certain about the upcoming Amazon event on September 6, 2012 – prices will be dropped. Maybe not on all devices, but the company will want to keep pushing that price advantage. There are millions to be made in the e-reader market.

A quote from Matt Brian:

The announcement all but confirms that Amazon will debut new tablet devices next week, with its founder and CEO Jeff Bezos noting that the company will “offer our customers the best hardware, the best prices, the best customer service, the best cross-platform interoperability, and the best content ecosystem.”

 

With a new tablet coming out and lower prices, I expect Amazon to change the game (again). But, we’ll have to wait until next to week to see what that means.

Ecology goes Big Data – 15,000 sensors to measure everything in the soil

This project, called NEON, should revolutionize the study of ecology, and with it global warming.

The Economist – NEON light

Once this network is completed, in 2016 if all goes well, 15,000 sensors will be collecting more than 500 types of data, including temperature, precipitation, air pressure, wind speed and direction, humidity, sunshine, levels of air pollutants such as ozone, the amount of various nutrients in soils and streams, and the state of an area’s vegetation and microbes.

 

I just can’t believe they were able to get $400+ million in funding for this project.

 

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Zero Waste: the recycled toothbrush

Here is another way to reduce your trash on your way to Zero Waste – the recycled toothbrush. It looks, acts, and feels like a normal toothbrush, but when you are done with it you replace the head instead of throwing the whole thing out. You can buy replacement heads in packs of 3, 6 and it comes in sensitive, soft, and medium bristle strength. They’re usually completely recyclable and made of recycled materials.

It’s a rather genius idea and I’m not sure why it hasn’t caught on already. I’ve been using mine for nearly 3 years (the same brush) and have switched out the head several times. Here is the brand I use:

 

Eco-Dent Terradent 31 Toothbrush

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It’s the peak of the season, have you started your Winter Stores?

Peak of the season means deals are everywhere at the farmers market. There is an abundance of fruits and vegetables and prices are dropping. You can get great deals on buckets and boxes of tomatoes and strawberries, watermelons, peaches, plums, cantaloupes, etc.

But, what to do with all of them?

The time-tested, ancient answer is to turn them into winter stores. Jam, can, and preserve. Or, if you prefer to be more modern, freeze them.

Freezing is my preferred method because it is so darn easy. The recipe is simple: cut it into squares, put it in container and freeze it. I’ve done this with anything you can imagine and everything has turned out fine.

The other option is to jam and preserve. This is an ancient method for the era before freezers. For most of us, freezer space is still limited and we have to preserve. This method allows food to last for months in a closet. 

My recommended recipe comes from Pomona’s Universal Pectin, which is also my recommended brand of pectin because it is sugar-free and preservative-free (uses honey). You can order it online or find it (or something similar) in your natural foods store.

Here is a link to the recipes.

Next, your probably wondering what to do with all this stuff. Here’s what I do.

First, cash in on the abundant tomatoes because there is so much to do with them. Over the next 12 months I make pizza, marinara sauce, salsa, and any number of soups, including plain-old tomato soup.

Second, I turn my fruit into amazing smoothies. Since I use the freezer method, I have a diverse assortment of fruit ready-cut into squares for smoothie-making.

How about you, do you have any special recipes for your winter stores?

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If you want to live a low-carbon lifestyle then winter stores is definitely the way to go. Not only is it an essential part of the all-farmers market diet, but it also reduces the need to buy high-mileage fruit in the winter. During those winter months, any fruit you buy most likely flew in on a plane from halfway around the world. You can avoid this problem by buying dirt-cheap now, saving it for the winter, and absolutely delighting in high-quality (guilt-free) watermelon, blueberry, or strawberry in the heart of February.

Inside Barack Obama’s visit to Reddit’s “Ask Me Anything”

Peter Kafka got a chance to ask Reddit founder, Alexis Ohanian, “How Reddit Got Obama”:

There’s not a lot to it. I’ve gotten to know quite a few folks in the WH & Obama campaign team over the years and it was always something I brought up when I got the chance. There are quite a few redditors at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave and at the campaign HQ — given the prominence of reddit, it’s an easy sell.

 

I’ve met Alexis and that’s really how he is, but there has to be more to it than that. Read the rest of Peter’s article for the answer (hint: nope that’s really it).

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Here are my two favorite question/answers from the whole event:

What’s the recipe for the White House’s beer?

Obama: It will be out soon! I can tell from first hand experience, it is tasty.

The most upvoted link, 1604 votes, shows this picture -http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/3qop0b/

Redditor: This may be the most appropriate use of this meme in reddit’s history.

 

 

Who’s your favourite Basketball player?

Obama: Jordan – I’m a Bulls guy.

Redditor: damn right you are

edit: …sir.

 

For a complete listing of the session visit Alex Howard’s rundown on Google Plus.

 

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Great maps of the Native American Tribes of North America

The other day I found this map in Facebook, covering the major linguistic groups of the North America. Attached to it was question, “Why isn’t this in any of our history books?”

It received 3,800 likes and over 5,000 shares.

Clearly, it hit a nerve with many people, after all it isn’t that high quality of an image. It definitely caught my attention and so I wanted to write about the native people of North America. I’m not an expert so instead I will just pull together some interesting maps and links for you to expand your knowledge.

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