There Are No Shortcuts To Good Health

It’s extraordinary what you can find on the Internet: weight-loss pills, miraculous teas, physical performance supplements, or anti-aging pills.

You don’t even have to go deep. A quick search on Amazon will show hundreds of products, many with good reviews.

When someone has bad health, it’s very tempting to get one of these and believe you will get rid of symptoms quick. The reality is that the supplements industry is not regulated by governments. Anyone can call themselves a supplement designer, mix baking powder with pesticides (USA Today article), fool people with marketing tricks, and totally get away with it. There are simply no rules and it’s not far from snake oil salesmen in the 19th century.

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Accepting Imperfection

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One of my training goal is to be able to run 5 km in less than 20 minutes before the end of 2016.

I like a lot the idea of this goal. During the day, I would already imagine my legs powering me forward, the wind flowing, and the constant battle against the watch. I was already eager on sharing my success everywhere.

Recently, it started snowing. Sidewalks become a sliding game, shoes become soggy and fingers are frozen. And what was once beautiful green trails become cold, dark and snow paths like above. Result: I loose half of my speed!

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Healthy nutrition doesn’t have to be expensive

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A surprising read: The Royal College of General Practitioners want to stop recommending 5 portions of vegetables per day.

The main reason was cost: eating healthy was said to be three times more expensive than a junk food diet.

Does that mean that well-off people can have good healthy food and others have to be content with junk food, with all the health consequences it entails?

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The Free Radical Theory of Aging

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The picture above shows iron rust. Oxygen reacts with steel, in a process called oxidation. It gives a grey and red color, and soon, steel disintegrate. The process can be accelerated with air or water moisture.

Oxidation can also been seen in food, turning rancid cooking oils or transforming nice apples into sad brown food. This process of oxidation creates free radicals.

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Meal planning with Mealime

How a meal app reconciled me with healthy cooking

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This was my typical work day a year ago:

  • Grab a bowl of cereal or whatever there is in the fridge for breakfast.
  • Run to the subway and grab a coffee on my way to work.
  • A bagel with cream cheese, a shawarma, a muffin or whatever I could find at lunch. This would coincide with my third cup of coffee of the day. Other times, I went to a restaurant for a business meeting and this would be my main meal of the day.
  • Go to a networking evening event and eat whatever they have. Pretzels, beers, coffee, chips, you name it. If there is no event, I would otherwise pick up a hefty meal from a neighboring restaurant on my way home.

Repeat this five days a week and you have a recipe for disaster. It is a diet composed of processed foods, refined carbs and inflammatory foods that lead to obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, or worse.

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Cancer : Working Against the “Bad Luck”

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In my personal opinion, cancer is the worst type of disease.

I remember a friend who was diagnosed cancer. She was your typical urban geek : front-end programmer at a popular tech startup, lover of yoga, non-smoker, vegan and commuting by bike to work.

She is the kind of hip person you see around the latest bio-vegan-gluten-free coffee shop. You think they’d keep forever their slim waists and healthy composure.

Yet the worst came.

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Tracking food intake to achieve health goals

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When talking to most people, I realize most do not know what is the appropriate food intake for them.

Most people eat and drink by “feel”. I am hungry so I need to eat a snack or lunch. I have finished my plate so I do not eat anymore. This coffee shop sells snacks in this portion size so I will be happy with what they offer.

And then, we are surprised by the extra weight building up. Or we cannot figure why we cannot go through a weight plateau, or why we cannot perform as well in sports. Even worse, a few will see the onset of debilitating chronic diseases, even if they thought they had a clean diet.

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Can cooking skills be the key to health?

Cooking could prevent chronic diseases and improve your overall well-being.

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Nutrition is a major component of health but far too often, most go for easy solutions.

This goes from eating out at lunch breaks, picking up frozen dinners or prepared food at the grocery store, and eating chicken in buckets in the evening.

In fact, it’s easy and practical in modern times no to cook at all and only use the fridge to stock up on prepared food. That goes from adolescents, busy professionals to ambitious mums. And when there is cooking, it involves convenience food such as canned tomatoes, frozen vegetables and ready-made ingredients.

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