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Corrie Pikul (131 posts)
If you have a question, send it to us!
Q: Can I cheat on my diet on the weekends?
A: We asked Janis Jibrin, MS, RD, Best Life lead nutritionist and diet counselor, to answer this question. She says she's heard this a lot lately—and she gave us four reasons to rethink this as a weight loss plan.
Some weekend cheaters gained almost 9 pounds in a year.
Your body doesn't know the difference between weekdays and weekends. If you splurge on the lumberjack breakfast or a plate of beignets, that could have three times the calories of your ordinary oatmeal breakfast. A 2008 study published in the journal Obesity found that participants who were likely to increase their calories on Saturday and decrease their activity on Sunday racked up tiny weight gains that led to almost 9 pounds at the end of a year.
That's what motivated John Carson, a triathlete who was struck by an SUV during a training ride just a mile from his home in Long Island, New York. He suffered a serious spinal cord injury that left him a quadriplegic. Carson threw himself into rehab, and (you know where this is going) within a few months, he stunned doctors by slowly, carefully putting one foot in front of the other. Carson still lacks sensation in his feet—his spinal surgeon refers to him as a "walking quadriplegic"—but just one year after his accident, Carson competed in the 2010 Lake Placid Ironman. He then raced in this year's Boston Marathon and, last weekend, in the Coeur d'Alene Ironman in Idaho.
Carson's near-miraculous recovery story provides inspiration for anyone facing insurmountable obstacles. But what really struck us was what Carson decided to do after he exceeded the expectations of his doctors, his family and himself. Carson told The New York Times last week that he was planning to retire from Ironmans after the Coeur d'Alene.
"Racing used to be the most important thing in my life," said Mr. Carson. "But ... this is a very selfish sport. I've done enough. That five or six hours I spend on a bike Saturday mornings, the run on Sunday, I want to take that time I'd be spending out there and put it to better use."
Carson, now 30, told The Times he would rather devote his energy to his wife, his family and his fundraising work with the Reeve Foundation.
It sounds as if his epiphany came not when he lost his physical abilities, but when he regained them. He reminded us that even when we go beyond where we thought we could...we still might need to go a little farther to get where we want to be.
Given the importance of catching HIV early to get the care necessary to prevent it from becoming AIDS (and to prevent passing it along), I was glad to see the volunteers. Getting tested for something as serious as HIV can be intimidating, and—as many of us know from experience—it can be easy to put off. By approaching all passersby and urging them to take responsibility for their health, these volunteers made HIV tests seem like another ordinary, responsible habit for conscientious adults.
The Black Women's Health Imperative is also trying to get people talking openly about HIV. In honor of National HIV Testing Day, the BWHI's Elevate campaign has organized a "blog-a-thon" to "elevate the conversation about black women and HIV." They've asked popular African-American female bloggers to weigh in on the topic. We especially enjoyed this music video featuring a Lil Wayne look-alike (complete with grill and Auto-Tune). It addresses the elevated HIV risks of the African-American population while cheerfully spreading the catchy message that women and men of all ethnicities should get tested. You'll be humming this tune all the way home...or to a testing center in your area.
[After the jump, learn more about the diet drawbacks of "sensible snacking."]
[After the jump, the explanation behind the study, plus five things that are comforting to touch that are not George Clooney]
Imagine my dismay when I
read in this month's O magazine that jet dryers actually increase the amount of bacteria on users' hands—it's because the air inside isn't exactly sterile. Even worse, the dryers blast bacteria all over the restroom (and presumably, those inside), "spewing germs more than six feet." After reading this, the jet dryer morphed in my mind from a
futuristic time saver to a potential weapon of germ warfare. O writer Ramona Emerson explains that the superiority of jet dryers is actually a myth. The hand-drying
researcher whose work she cites says that paper towels are more sanitary, but this still doesn't solve my eco-dilemma.
Here's an idea: We could take a cue from the Japanese, who have taken hand drying (among many other things) to a new level. Many public washrooms in Japan lack towels or dryers, and it is common for Japanese people to carry small, personal hand towels or handkerchiefs (okay for drying your hands, but not for blowing your nose). The towels are so ubiquitous that there's even a museum dedicated to them. By tucking my own little reusable towel in my purse, I'll at least be able to keep my germs to myself. But I admit: I'll miss the roar of the jets.
The longest day of the year is, not surprisingly, National Daylight Appreciation Day. You could take the easy way out and simply turn your face toward the sun (after coating it in sunscreen, of course). Or you could challenge the sun to a game of hide-and-seek, with glorious potential rewards. Here are 10 sometimes-underappreciated ways to see the light:
After the jump: The moment that left the lead surgeon almost at a loss for words
Imagine that you're a 2011 graduate of Hampshire College, a school popular with intellectual do-gooders. On May 21, the only things standing between you and your upcoming Peace Corps mission were a few commencement speeches that—you were willing to bet your Mexican raffia tote on this—were going to tell you to "dream big," embrace challenge" and "not be afraid of failure." You barely caught the introduction of the staff speaker, Roberta Tudryn, the beloved cashier who's worked in the school dining commons for 30 years. Then you tuned in to her words:
And that's when you thought about all those times that you chatted with Roberta in the dining hall, and you hoped that you never said anything rude or jerky, and then you remembered your grandmother, who couldn't make it to today's commencement but sent you a card so sweet it made your throat burn, and you forgot about saving the world (for now), and you forgot about that night's parties, and you jumped up and whooped for this hardworking woman who had often brightened your day and who just spent five minutes thanking you for making her job worthwhile.