Oct 042012
 

Mike isn’t the only ShrinkGeek who has done the opposite of shrinking around here. Admittedly, his was both more dramatic and less intentional than mine, but there have been heretofore unexplored numbers showing up on my bathroom scale. In a vacuum, gravitational attraction between my body and the planet is merely a point of data that doesn’t say a whole hell of a lot. The child’s riddle about “which weighs more, a pound of feathers or a pound of nails?” applies to the meat of which we’re made, of course; a pound of fat weighs the same as a pound of muscle, but takes up a lot more space and is generally less aesthetically delicious. (Note: I can’t tell how good my marbling is, but I don’t think I’m bacon-grade flesh yet.)

Those of you who follow me elsewhere on social media will already have been treated to a variation of this rant yesterday, but, since we’re blowing the dust off stuff around here, it’s still apropos.

We had health screenings at the office yesterday, and I was about a glass of water from falling into the “Obese” category (>30.0) based on my BMI.

So, yeah – jump the cut to see the body of a quote-unquote “obese” guy.

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Aug 112010
 

Make your own "choppin' broccoli" joke here.

Sinfest (c) Tatsuya Ishida

It’s practically a given – if you buy a pre-packaged “healthy” meal, it’s all but guaranteed to have broccoli in it. This penchant for bundling the ubiquitous green stuff is so pronounced that some metalhead friends of ShrinkGeek have likened an unwanted opening act that performs at numerous shows headlined by more desirable bands, “The broccoli of metal.”

What, however, is behind this? Why does broccoli wear the mantle of “default healthy food” in the same way that bacon and cheeseburgers are shorthand for “crap that is bad for you”?

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Jun 142010
 
Oil... can...

C-3PO? Scrap Iron? Our slash sense is tingling something fierce...

It is amazing how much crisper the general experience of life becomes when your body is given a chance to develop a little strength.

— Frank Duff

It is also amazing how fantastically aggravating getting kicked out of your regular workout schedule can be. Not only does it impede your progress (you can’t gear up or earn XP when your internet connection is down), it can really mess up your whole daily routine. We try hard to get our regular workouts in, and when it’s pushed aside – for whatever reason – that can cascade and cause other things to get knocked out of whack.

Like, you know, writing blog posts. *cough*

This is an extremely indirect way of approaching the subject of, “We know it’s been a little too quiet around here lately. Sorry about that.” The underlying reasons are both good (Mike and Krys have been really involved with a local theater company production) – and not so good (I’ve been dealing with an injury that landed me at the chiropractor’s office for unscheduled maintenance). So, in any case, mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa (whatever the plural of that is).

However, it does put Mr. Duff’s words into perspective. It looks like there’s some science to back him up on the subject of, “Not being able to get my exercise fix is making me cranky.”

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May 192010
 

I see the red pill, but where's the blue one?

Not exactly a balanced breakfast...

Last time, we began delving into the subject of nutritional supplements. With such a broad spectrum of claims being made, it’s useful to narrow the field a bit this time around, and focus on things that are expressly aimed at folks who work out. That’s still a fairly wide swath, so we’re not going to be able touch on every workout supplement under the sun. If you have something in particular you’re curious about, leave a note in the comments, or send us an email at ask@shrinkgeek.com.

Show of hands: Who thinks all this stuff is just a bunch of marketing-fueled malarkey? (Yeah, I still love the word “malarkey.” At some point, I’ll manage to gain some traction with my plan to bring “gadzooks” back into the vernacular, too.)

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Apr 192010
 
Snakes in a Flask!

Modern snake oil, from Vietnam (courtesy of w a a on Flickr)

Q: What is a dietary supplement?

A: A dietary supplement is a product intended for ingestion that contains a “dietary ingredient” intended to add further nutritional value to (supplement) the diet.

Source: United States Food & Drug Administration

This is the first installment of a multi-part series of articles, taking a look at the various facets of the nutritional supplement field. This time around, we’ll be looking at the more mundane, or at least less-freaky-sounding, end of the spectrum – stuff you’re apt to find in a casual perusal of your local drug store or supermarket. Basically, things like vitamins and less-esoteric herbs… things you won’t need to need to skill up (or head to a specialty store, either online or in the big blue room) to gather, basically.

One thing that you’ll become intimately familiar with, whether you’re looking at the latest workout-blasting powder or something as simple as a multivitamin, is the asterisk (*), which appears on pretty much every single thing that proclaims to offer a health benefit.

* – These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

What this means is that there is a whole buttload of leeway here, and, furthermore, that many of the nutrients don’t have any kind of recommended daily amount (RDA). In short, it’s the Wild West out there – anyone can say anything does whatever they want. As a result, a lot of research has been done to support or debunk the efficacy of various supplements, which has resulted in a little bit more clarity on the subject, as well as this really cool graph.

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