Health and Fitness

Is It More Expensive to Eat Better?

We have been pounding the drum of eating better for your health for a while here at Gear Diary. But Dan brought up an interesting point last week, one that gets tossed around as an excuse often: is it really cheaper to eat processed food options over fresh food you prepare yourself? I decided to do some comparison shopping this weekend, buying food for a typical day and comparing the prices for a pre-made, processed substitute meal. The results were …. read on to find out! Here was my “fresh” menu: Breakfast: Two eggs ($.22), one slice Canadian bacon($.36), and…


Global Bacon Shortage Coming in 2013!

In this age of global shipping and corporate farming conglomerates, we like to think that dealing with seasons and shortages of anything is a thing of the past. But now the British National Pig Association issues a warning that I am sure is being met with great consternation at places like Epic Meal Time: New data shows the European Union pig herd is declining at a significant rate, and this is a trend that is being mirrored around the world. Pig farmers have been plunged into loss by high pig-feed costs, caused by the global failure of maize and soya…


“Weight of the Nation” Documentary Series Challenges Obesity on DVD

Film documentaries can weigh heavy on our hearts with stark, realistic presentation on prevalent issues in our lives. In the Emmy nominated 2012 documentary film series The Weight of the Nation, filmmakers present individual testimonials, interviews, stories, and day-in-the-life footage through many perspectives on our obesity epidemic. Individual health narratives, economic factors, health care system, food industries, and genetic history/biological consequences from unhealthy diets provide the evidence and support that a multidimensional solution is essential to stop the “obesity epidemic” in our nation. Part 1, titled Consequences, contains many personal stories including a landmark study in a small Louisiana town….


SOUND+SLEEP Nomad Sound Machine Review

I tend to fall asleep with earphones in and soft music on. It works for me and helps me fall asleep fairly quickly. (The fact that I usually go to be quite late and get up fairly early doesn’t hurt either.) My wife Elana, on the other hand, has a tough time relaxing and an even tougher time falling asleep some nights. That’s why I was interested in getting a review sample of the SOUND+SLEEP Nomad Sound Machine. The nomad is the smaller of the company’s two sound machines and it is primarily intended for travel. (It works just fine…


My Five Day ‘Juice Detox’ Experience

The expression goes that a juice diet has three stages: “I’m hungry”, “this isn’t so bad”, and “please someone shoot me NOW”! I had the opportunity to get a package from ‘A Choice for Life’ for a 5 day detox, and as I had just spent the past several months losing weight and getting into shape I was intrigued about the ability to ‘press reset’ on my system. So I decided to give it a shot. Of course there were a few concerns and caveats: – The ‘check with your doctor’ advice should always be taken seriously: I had a…


Aqua Zinger Water Bottle, Review

Water! It is wet. Water! It is cold (when it comes out of the fridge at least)! Water! It is key to a healthy life. Water! Too often it has been replaced by sugary soda and “sports drinks”. And it is killing us. Water is healthy. Soda is not. Unfortunately soda tastes awesome and waters… well it tastes like water. It is, in fact, why I have been drinking (way too much) Crystal Light for the past few months. Yes, diet drinks are bad for us too but I like the flavor and miss the flavor when I drink water…


The Most Amazing Breakfast Frittata Ever

Ok, so the title of this recipe might be slightly exaggerated, but the great thing about it is that you can make it with practically any ingredients, so while my fully customized frittata may not be your favorite, the base recipe can be used to make one you think is pretty darn good! Sarah and I eat this for breakfast almost every morning, but it would make an equally good lunch or dinner. I love it because it stays well for a few days in the fridge, and only requires 10 minutes of prep time. This covers two days of…


Make Your Next Trip as Healthy as You Want

Ask any business traveler, the toughest thing is maintaining your exercise and eating regime while on the road. I remember when I was traveling heavily many years ago, it made keeping a routine very difficult – but gaining weight easy. I don’t have to travel very much for work anymore, but when I was planning my trip to Utah to check out the new Hyundai Santa Fe, I wanted to be sure that my marathon training and associated eating habits were not severely impacted. The first thing is exercise – this can be the hardest thing to do, as you…


Grocery Shopping Across Generations

Last year, my mom was complaining about the quality of her local grocery store. She still liked their produce, but their meat offerings had been dropping in quality. There was a newer grocery store that opened equidistant to her house, and she just switched completely to the other store. I asked her why she didn’t shop at both stores, since each offered foods she liked, and she explained it was just too much work. In contrast, Sarah and I shop at three to four grocery stores. There’s a farmer’s market down the street and the big box grocery store up…


Does Organic Mean “More Nutritious”?

I am going to admit that while we eat a lot of fruits and veggies in my house, I can’t always bring myself to buy organic. I try to, but sometimes certain foods are just too expensive or unavailable in my area. Still, it’s always in the back of my head that it would be “better” if we bought more organic produce, but is it actually more nutritionally sound? According to a new study, it depends. There is no magic change that makes foods healthier when they are grown organic. NPR did an excellent job breaking this down into layman’s…


Eating Well on the Road

Sarah and I recently took a road trip out to Ohio for a family wedding. New Jersey to Dayton, Ohio is about a 10 hour drive, so it required travel time as well as a few days in Ohio itself. We knew from previous experiences that if we failed to eat well on the road, we would regret it with low energy and cranky behavior, so we set out to plan healthy meals and snacks along the way. Not only did we eat well, we saved money and felt better! How did we do it? It was remarkably easy! First,…


Go Caddy Water Bottle/Gear Pack Review

Last week we posted about the importance of staying hydrated. We won’t reopen that kettle of fish but I will say that on more than one occasion I let myself get dehydrated while working on archaeological excavations in Israel and it wasn’t a whole lot of fun. So while there may be differences in opinion with regard to how much water one should drink, we can all agree that drinking water is a smart thing to do. Right? And we can all agree that drinking water beats sugary soda or diet whatever. Right? That’s what I thought. So when we…


Garmin Introduces the Entry-Level Forerunner 10 GPS Watch for Runners

When Carly and I went for our run at GearFest in July, something that came with each of us was our GPS watch. We compared and contrasted the features and results in a video here, but the bottom line is this: we both firmly believe that using a GPS watch has made us better runners. Two of the problems with GPS watches are that they are bulky and expensive. More recently watches have dropped below $200, which is the range both of our watches cost. But the bulky part has only somewhat diminished from the Garmin 305 days to current…


When Changing Body Shape, Make Sure You Have a ‘Body Image Partner’

When you look at the image above, what do you notice after the cool car on the right and mountains in the background? For me, the answer was I didn’t like how the residual fat/skin at my ‘love handles’ showed up … but for my wife her comment was that she couldn’t believe how huge the size 32 pants looked on me. I have been losing weight as I have noted several times here, and back in early April I was pushing out of a size 40 waist – worse still, they were the type with the stretchy expander waist….


Bloomberg, Soda and the Nanny-State

Mayor Mike Bloomberg caught a good deal of flack about his proposed ban on big soda. And for good reason. After all this is (or is supposed to be) a free country isn’t it? If someone wants to drink gallons of soda, boxes of donuts or smoke pack after pack of cigarettes that is their right… Right? To many, this is a huge blow to their sense of freedom. A step forward in the installation of a nanny-state that not only invades our bedrooms but also our dining out. But maybe Bloomberg’s ultimate goal was to get debate going. If…


Wait … That Drink Has HOW Much Caffeine?

The tremors have already shaken us – Judie quit diet coke cold turkey (and yesterday — three days in — the massive headaches started). Last week the guy at my office who picks up the recycling noted that my intake of Diet Mountain Dew was way down (to at MOST one per day), and I haven’t had any coffee at work in more than four months (and I stick to one cup in the morning at home). In other words, we here at Gear Diary are much less caffeinated than we were  earlier this year. But that same trend is certainly…


Lose 20lbs and Run Faster with One Easy Step!

I have seen some bizarre iterations of treadmills, but the one I have always wanted to try is the Alter-G. It adjusts how much gravity affects you through air jets, and is used quite a bit by elite athletes and physical therapists assisting people with injuries. Effectively, by floating the runner with air, you reduce the pounding on their joints. You can also “run” much faster on it. Unfortunately, it’s a wee bit pricey, like $25,000 and up pricey. Luckily, someone has invented a more low tech but equally cool solution: the LightSpeed. Instead of crazy air jets, you use…



Goodbye Diet Coke, Hello Fruit Water?

You had best stay away from Judie this week. You see, after years of drinking a minimum of two Diet Cokes each morning for… years…  last night she quit cold turkey. Yes, no Diet Coke for her. As she announced on Facebook, I hesitate to say anything, but i will need all the moral support you all can provide … i had my (hopefully) last diet coke this evening. i’m quitting cold turkey as of about 30 minutes ago. can i do it? we shall seeeeeee…. When many of us had expressed our concern for Kevin and… small animals Judie…


SkinnyBits, a NOT Recommended Product

Eat real food and improve your health. This is not a hard concept, and yet we all want shortcuts, no matter how badly they reek of snake oil (Shape-ups, anyone?). But nothing beats the smarmy, self-congratulatory press release we received this morning at Gear Diary. In it, we were assured of “Better Skin! Weight loss! Better nutrition!” And all it will take to accomplish this is algae tablets! Just 30 a day — though 40-100 would be even better (not surprising since the company charges $117 for 1,000 of them). Apparently, Spirulina is nature’s little miracle plant! Being the skeptical type,…


With Weight and Exercise Like Everything Else, If It Sounds Too Good To Be True …

Pretty much everyone would like to alter their body in some way: lose weight, gain weight, more muscular build, change ratios or sizes of things, and so on. And another thing you can be certain about: for every desired change there is someone waiting to try to sell you something to deal with it. There are plenty of legitimate supplements if you have a deficiency or absorption issues or whatever, but those are all things you should be getting from your doctor. Chances are that your general practitioner is NOT going to be giving you something to ‘lose 20 pounds…