Posts Tagged ‘Health’

Here’s the deal. A few days ago I got a coupon in the mail for one dollar off my purchase of –

milk-2

 

I have no idea what a2 milk is. I’ve never heard of it before. Then again, the dairy case at my grocery store gets more confusing every day. The choice used to be: whole, 2%, 1% or skim. And, to be honest, I didn’t even fully understand these choices. 2% of what? Or is it 2% milk…and, in that case, what’s the other 98%? Generally these choices were color coded and I typically made my decision based on which hue I found most appealing.

Now, of course, there’s almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, rice milk, and many, many more. I don’t have the faintest notion as to how one gets milk from an almond – but this stuff is increasingly popular, so I can only suppose that someone out there is sitting on the world’s tiniest stool and placing the world’s tiniest bucket under an almond and milking it.

Every day I hear a report that one of the above is healthiest for me, followed by a report the following day that reveals that the previous day’s report was entirely incorrect and I should, in fact, drink something else entirely. Meanwhile, all I want is for my cereal not to be dry.

Remember those simple days when the milkman would drop off a bottle every Sunday? Me either. But I’ve seen it in movies. The milkman dressed from head to toe in white with a cool milkman hat and a smile that is borderline creepy in its excessive joy. Regardless, it was certainly a simpler time. The milkman never asked if you wanted unsweetened vanilla flavored soy coconut milk. He never asked anything. He just kept smiling and incessantly bringing you bottles of milk…come to think of it, I don’t recall ever having asked him to brink milk. What’s with that guy?

I’m way off track. The point is, there are too many milk options. I don’t need this many choices. And now, I’ve got an inexplicable coupon for a2 milk.

My coupon informs me that this particular milk comes from “cows that naturally produce only the pure A2 protein.” As if that is at all helpful.

It further offers the following diagram –

milk

So, apparently, regular milk comes from half gray, half purple bovines, whilst this new and improved product comes from the special all-purple cows. What kind of madness is this? I’m supposed to go buy something I’ve never heard of based on a barnyard coloring book? This is the least informative graphic ever.

You know, I don’t care if the milkman was psychotic, I just want someone to bring me a refreshing liquid to pour on my cereal tomorrow morning. I don’t want to have to search through the dairy case like it’s a Where’s Waldo book. I don’t want to have to compare and contrast the most recently milked nut. And I don’t want to have to figure out the difference between purple and multi-colored cows.

Screw it. I’ll just have oatmeal.

Here’s the deal. We live in a fast paced world. Our nation’s attention span is getting shorter. Recent studies indicate that…no, don’t stop reading, I’ll skip that and get to the point.

You’re busy. I get it. Between uploading your ipads and downloading your ifloppy mainstreams, you don’t have time to read a blog. And it goes without saying that I don’t have the time to write it.

Problem solved.

I just invented the mini-blog.

It’s just like a blog, only shorter. And not as good.

Welcome to the future.

MINI-BLOG #1 – VS. SLOW MOTION WET FRUIT

Here’s the deal. I just saw a yogurt commercial that featured wet fruit being thrown, in slow motion, across the screen where it crashes into wet fruit being thrown across the screen from the other direction. I know this imagery is designed to make me rush out and buy their product, but instead of thinking, “Gosh, I’d like to get me some of that delicious yogurt,” I find myself thinking, “Why is wet fruit being thrown, in slow motion, across the screen where it crashes into wet fruit being thrown across the screen from the other direction?”

Surely this is not a necessary part of the food preparation. And yet I’ve seen this move in ads for any type of food that has fruit in it (or, in the case of hamburgers, they’ll sometimes toss lettuce and onions…what’s with these people?) That’s not how you make yogurt. Is it?

English: Fruit stall in a market in Barcelona,...

Fruit not being wet or thrown.

Why is that fruit so wet? Why is it being tossed about? Are they not concerned that it could bruise when it collides with the other fruit?

Just stop it. Please.

MINI-BLOG #2 – VS. MEMBERSHIPS

Here’s the deal. I went to buy a sandwich and they asked me if I had a membership. Why would I have a membership to a sandwich place? Why is this now a part of our society?

If I had a membership to every place that offers me a membership…I’d have way too many memberships. Like a lot of them. I don’t have a number for you off the top of my head, but I can assure you it would be a comical amount of memberships.

It’s becoming quite silly. No more memberships. Please.

MINI-BLOG #3 – VS. CHEESE

Here’s the deal. Cheese is way too delicious. If there is cheese in my refrigerator, I will eat it. Period. Sometimes I don’t even know how the cheese got in my refrigerator. But there it is. And then I consume it. I know it’s not the healthiest choice (I should probably try some wet fruit), but it’s scrumptious and I want it in my belly.

It’s so cruel that all of the delicious foods are the ones that we’re not supposed to eat and everything that will make us live longer tastes like a lawn.

I cannot resist you, cheese. So just stop being so tasty. Please.

Here’s the deal. There are books full of “You Know You’re Getting Older When…” jokes and observations. I’m not here to do that. In fact, allow me to simplify the whole matter. You know you’re getting older when…you continue to be alive. That’s it. We’re all getting older every day. And I’m pretty sure it’s beats the alternative (being Benjamin Button).

That being said, there are a few troubling elements to the aging process. In my twenties, I could eat anything without gaining weight, I could stay up all night without getting tired, and I could say things like, “Hey, everybody, look at me, I’m in my twenties!” And the best part – my body still worked.

Cruciate ligaments

This is a knee…or maybe an aerial shot of the Great Lakes…or some kind of dinosaur…what do I know, I’m not a doctor.

It all started last year when I hurt my knee…shooting free throws. How this is possible, I’ll never know. I wasn’t jumping. I wasn’t running. I was barely using my knee at all. Did this matter to my knee? Not a bit. My knee just sat down there saying, “Check this out, calf, I’m gonna hurt myself good even though I’m not under any duress.” (And it’s not like it was my first time shooting free throws. I’ve shot a lot of free throws in my life. The summer following my parent’s divorce, I would console myself/avoid all human contact by heading out back and shooting hundreds of free throws a day. And, even though no one believes me when I tell them this – at one point I made 97 out of 100. True story. So, you know, divorce isn’t all bad…maybe if Shaq’s parents had separated he could have avoided the clang of the rim from time to time).

 

Anyway, my knee hurt for like nine months…because I made the mistake of using it for standing. Come on, body parts are meant to be used. That’s what they’re there for. To work. My knee is specifically designed to bend in a pain-free fashion. That’s why I hired it. I thought it was the best body part for the job.

And this week is even worse. I woke up Sunday afternoon (don’t judge me, I have a mornings phobia) and my back was hurting. That’s right, now I’m injuring myself while sleeping. If I can’t figure out how to sleep without doing bodily harm, I’m in for a long rest of my life. Seriously, I’ve been sleeping for decades now incident free. I’m actually pretty good at it. I list napping on the Special Skills section of my resume. My Mom tells me I was even a good sleeper as a baby. It’s the one thing I’ve always excelled at. Until now.

Apparently I pulled every muscle in my back…it’s my own fault, my doctor did warn me about the dangers of lying completely still on a soft surface. And, guess what, it turns out you use the muscles in your back when you’re doing…everything. Walking. Sitting. Movement of any type. Even thinking to myself, “How is it that every single thing I do hurts my back?” somehow hurts my back.

Fortunately, my complete lack of work or a social life rarely calls for heavy lifting. And that gives me plenty of time to heal myself by keeping perfectly still…then again, that’s what got me into this situation in the first place…

Here’s the deal. I went to Vegas last week and on the drive home I was battling sleep. You know the feeling, you’re driving along and your sleep-deprived brain is convinced that a quick nap is more important than steering the car. Wait just a second, you tell your brain, if we take a nap while operating a motor vehicle we will probably die. Don’t be so dramatic, our brain replies, I’m really, really tired up here.

That’s my brain talking. Supposedly the smartest part of my body. If I can’t trust it, who’s to say that I can rely on any of my organs? Now that I think about it, my liver talked me into betting on the Oklahoma City Thunder – are all of my body parts trying to sabotage me?

It’s truly astonishing that my brain would consider this an appropriate time to sleep. Even as I almost nod off, then jerk back to consciousness and right my Kia, the surge of adrenaline immediately subsides and is replaced by soothing lullabies from my internal clock trying to hypnotize me into certain peril again. Seriously? You’d think the memory of almost dying would last more than fifteen seconds…I’m chugging down the road at 72 miles per hour and you will not stop trying to put me to sleep? Who’s side are you on here?

A chimpanzee brain at the Science Museum London

Funny, he looks so trustworthy.

Eventually, my brain had a rational thought and convinced me to pull over and take a ten minute nap in a McDonald’s parking lot. (Sleeping, by the way, is the healthiest thing you can do at a McDonald’s, ever since they eliminated their transcendental McYoga workshops). Refreshed, I returned to the highway and made it the rest of the way home with no additional sleep issues.

But I still don’t understand it. It’s sort of like when you gulp up a beverage and it goes down your windpipe. It’s inexplicable. Most human beings are very accomplished swallowers. And 99.993% of the time we get it right. That’s why I have no idea why once in a blue moon our bodies will simply forget how everything works and send some Mountain Dew down our breathing tubes leaving us hacking as if this were our very first time attempt to drink a beverage. Come on, body, this is routine stuff.

Similarly, our survival instinct should kick in and recognize that speeding down the road in a car is one of the worst times ever to consider catching some shuteye. We’re driving. It’s really important to keep our eyes open. That way we can see the road and avoid hitting the other cars. But our eyelids are suddenly made out of lead and it feels like a pair of marionettes are tugging them down as they dance a lively jig (please vote now – this has just been nominated for the Unusual Blogging Simile of the Year Award). And no amount of awareness about the importance of staying alert can stop our bodies from trying to doze off.

I guess there are some things we can’t learn, no matter how many times we try. It’s like coming up with a clever way to end a blog post. Although I do it time and time again, it just feels like sometimes I

Here’s the deal. Welcome to Part II of my multi-part series, Makya McBee addresses the issue of antiquated proverbs in a multi-part series. Part One has already been called, “A prime example of letters stringed together to form words,” “Better than many things which are worse than it,” and “The first part of a multi-part series.”

And with “praise” like this, I’m sure you’re as eager to read Part II as I am to write it (i.e. not particularly). Nonetheless a multi-part series is nothing without its multi-parts, so let’s do this thing.

A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step – Sure, but who walks anywhere nowadays? How about this update, “A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single click on Travelocity.”

Laughter is the best medicine – I wish. It turns out that laughter does have health benefits, but I hardly believe it’s the bestmedicine. We can’t go around making claims like this in our new, lawsuit-happy society. We need a medical disclaimer. “While laughter has been proven to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and boost your immune system it is not a substitute for your current medicinal routine and you should consult your physician before starting a comedic treatment plan.”

English: Many dollar banknotes.

Another good harvest.

Money doesn’t grow on trees – I don’t know who this proverb is for…is there anyone who thinks that money does grow on trees? Or, more importantly, is there even anyone that believes the metaphor – that money is very easy to obtain, as if plucking fruit from a low-lying branch? Everyone not named Kardashian or Romney knows that money is not easy to come by. Most of our lives are dedicated to having this lesson drilled into us again and again. Here’s my new version, “I need some money.”

A picture’s worth a thousand words – As a writer, I’m offended by this ridiculous exchange rate. Sure, it’s often easier to convey information with a picture, but I hardly think they’re still worth a thousand words. Not in this economy. Very simple solution, “A picture’s worth two hundred and twenty five to three hundred and ten words, dependant on fluctuations in the interest rate.”

The pen is mightier than the sword – This is more like it. The power of the written word. I’m on board. Let’s just give it a twenty-first century twist, “The blog is mightier than the taser.”

People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones – This is ridiculous. There are so many things that people who live in glass houses shouldn’t do. Throw stones. Run out of Windex. Sleep in the nude. How about we just cut to the chase? “People shouldn’t live in glass houses.”

TO BE CONCLUDED…

Here’s the deal. My typical sleep schedule looks something like this – go to bed at 5:30 am, wake up at 11:45, back for a late afternoon nap from 3:20 to 4:10, awake and productive for the early evening, a quick forty winks at 10:30 pm then back up at 12:40 in the morning where I power through until I get sleepy again. In other words, I don’t have a typical sleep schedule. What can I say? Some of need a little  beauty sleep…some of us need a lot.

Many might think that this constant napping makes me a lazy man. They would be wrong. It’s not the napping that makes me lazy, it’s just my nature. The napping, in fact, is a benefit of my apathy.

According to the National Sleep Foundation (the only place where workers are rewarded for sleeping on the job) the power napper may have many advantages over the more conventional stay-awake-all-day individual.

Koala sleeping on a tree top

Now that's a professional napper.

A brief, afternoon sleep can enhance alertness, increase productivity, improve your memory and boost creativity. I know that every time I wake up from a nap, my creative juices are flowing and I’m always coming up with new and interesting places to take my next nap.

Even better, a recent study found that those who nap at least three times per week have a 37% lower risk of heart-related death. And, double bonus, there’s a good chance that if they do suffer a heart-related death that they’ll just sleep through it.

And all of these are benefits of what sleep experts call the “power nap.” A power nap is 18-25 minutes in duration and ends before the snoozer enters slow-wave sleep. But if you want to see a truly powerful napper, you should check out my style. Sure, a 25 minute nap is fine if you’re a kindergartener, but I’m a full grown man…and I nap like it. If twenty minutes asleep in the afternoon can lower your risk of heart ailments by 37%, my 90 minute super nap will eliminate the possibility entirely. And if those brief dozers think they’re memory, alertness and productivity are increased, they should check out what I can accomplish after my vigorous, dynamic, ultra nap – which can last up to four hours.

That’s right. I’m never more productive than when I’m asleep. Just imagine what I could accomplish if I never got up at all…

So I humbly suggest that all of you try to incorporate a nap or two (or fourteen) into your daily schedule. Invite your friends over and have a nap party. A siesta fiesta, if you will. Take a nap with your kids. Snuggle up with the family pet for a quick catnap. Grab your iphone and open up your nap app. However, whenever, wherever, treat yourself to a nap. And if you’re simply too busy for napping….I wouldn’t worry about it…I mean, it’s nothing to lose sleep over.

Here’s the deal. When I was a young whippersnapper (now that I think back on it, my parents could have probably given me a safer toy than a whip…but I loved snappin’ that sucker) all toothbrushes looked the same. Long plastic handle with straight, white bristles at the end. When it came to making your oral care purchases, your choice of toothbrush was red or blue.

Not anymore.

English: Putting toothpaste on a toothbrush. T...

Those colors...those curves...

Now, your local drugstore offers an amazing, Willy Wonkaish array of toothbrushes. Dazzling colors. Implausible shapes. Flabbergasting concoctions from the minds of dental imaginarians.

It’s amazing how far we’ve come. Archaeological digs have found that ancient civilizations would clean their mouths with twigs and feathers. Then again, ancient civilizations did everything with twigs and feathers. Silly ancient civilizations.

Now, we have an infinite selection of futuristic plaque-removal devices. And I, for one, love shopping for a new toothbrush. They’re…just…so…beautiful.

And toothbrushes are no longer just for teeth. They’re now “gum massaging” and “tongue cleaning.” (I used to have to pay a professional masseuse to work out the knots in my gums, now my toothbrush does it for me.) They have “polishing cups,” “angled necks,” and “flexing heads.” They’re “deep penetrating” and “vibra-clean pulsating.” And some are “super advanced.” (My toothbrush is only two months old, but it’s brushing at a third-grade level.)

Cover art

Brush...Tooth, brush.

Toothbrushes now have “dual action brush heads.” They use “calcium carbonate micrawhitening technology.” And, yes, they’re even, “Xtreme.” I feel like James Bond when I shop for a toothbrush. I feel like Shaun White when I cruise down the dental aisle. When I’m looking for a new toothbrush, I feel like I can do anything.

They now have “tri-level, virgin nylon bristles.” I don’t know what that means, but it sounds freaking awesome. Bristles are now “ultra fine,” “tapered,” or “color indicators” that change their hue over time to tell you when to purchase a new toothbrush. They now have “ergonomic handles,” “smart grips,” “control grips,” and “precision grips.” Remember when your toothbrush used to fall out of your hand ALL of the time? That, my friend, is a problem of the past. And even with the improved grips, some feature “soft thumb rests.” I don’t about you, but after a long, hard day of work, my thumbs are tired. Don’t our digits deserve some down time?

And the amazingness doesn’t stop there. Ever feel under-entertained while wiling away the minutes brushing your teeth? Perhaps I can interest you in the Justin Bieber singing toothbrush. That’s right. This marvel of modern engineering makes sweet, sweet music while you dislodge the day’s food remnants. We live in a wonderful age.

Okay, I may have drifted slightly into sarcasm there, but I honestly enjoy shopping for a new toothbrush. I really like it. I think it’s fun. Maybe it doesn’t make me the coolest guy in the world. But if loving the sleek look of a new toothbrush and comparing features with enthusiastic glee is wrong…lock me up and throw away the key. And why shouldn’t I love this ever-improving consumer experience? Every time I turn around, there are new bells and whistles on toothbrushes (coming soon, actual bells and whistles on your toothbrush, now that spells bathroom fun.) And, perhaps the best part of it all, even with the spectacular innovations that polish our choppers daily, you can still buy a new toothbrush for two or three bucks. Because we’re not all born with a silver spoon in our mouth, but we all end up with a toothbrush there.