Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ditch The Reduced Fat Peanut Butter

Often times when we are trying to go healthy, we get sucked into the "reduced fat" scheme and ultimately end up making choices that are even less healthy than the food we are trying to avoid.  In today's edition of Substitute That!, we are going to be returning to the basics, ditching your "healthy" reduced fat peanut butter, and replacing it with nothing other than the real thing!

mmmm, get some!

So, you're a peanut butter lover, but you just can't stomach the 15g of fat (3g saturated) and 200 calories per standard 2 tablespoon serving that is found in the real thing.  Besides, you have been taught your whole life that fat, and particularly saturated fat, is evil, right (a topic for another day...)?  So you do the "smart" thing and you pick up the innocent and healthy alternative, fresh factory made reduced fat peanut butter!  Now you can slather up your apples with confidence, knowing that you are making the right choice for your body.  But did you ever stop to take a look at the ingredients in your "healthy" reduced fat peanut butter?

Source: jif.com

Look out!  Corn syrup?  Pea protein?  Copper sulfate?  Ferric Orthophosphate?  WTF is that?  Beyond the cesspool of unnecessary ingredients, the reduced fat peanut butter still has 12g of fat (2g saturated), and 190 calories per 2 tablespoon serving.  So for a paltry reduction of 3g fat per serving, you are gaining a cornucopia of chemicals and sugars.  Yum.  Is it worth it?  I'd suggest that it's not, but everybody has to make that decision for themselves.  In my opinion though, reduced fat peanut butter is a totally worthless waste of everybody's time and money.

So if you are going to be buying peanut butter, go ahead and opt for the real thing.  If your supermarket offers the "grind it yourself" peanut butter making machine, that would be the optimal choice.  And if you still just can't get over your fear of fats, Id suggest taking a look at PB2, a powdered peanut butter product.  I personally can't get behind the taste of it, but my wife swears by it, and one look at the label says it all:


Friday, August 8, 2014

Welcome to the New Ape Health!


Welcome to the new Ape Health!  Regular readers will probably notice quite a few changes to the site today.  Ape Health has now ditched its old WordPress roots and transitioned to a Blogger powered website.  We have switched to a new layout and logo as well, moving more in line with the general style and theme used by the rest of Ape Apps.  The move to Blogger should facilitate more user engagement by tying the commenting system into Google+.  I also intend to provide more regular updates to the site, and there may even be a mobile app in the pipeline!

So go ahead and take a look around the new site.  All of the old posts have been migrated over from the old server, so all of the content and recipes that you love are still here waiting for you.  So stay tuned, bookmark the site, and enjoy Ape Health!

Oatmeal Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup applesause
  • 1 egg
  • 2 T sugar

Instructions

  1. Combine ingredients in a blender
  2. Heat greased pan to medium high
  3. Pour batter onto pan
  4. Cook till pancake edges are firm and flip till golden brown

Thursday, June 19, 2014

CDC Exposes 75 Staff Members to Anthrax

Today it came out that the Centers for Disease control in Atlanta has inadvertently exposed 75 of it's own employees to the deadly Anthrax disease.  According to CNN,

Early reports show that a lab did not adequately inactivate samples, which were then moved and used for experimentation in three laboratories not equipped to handle live Bacillus anthracis, or anthrax.
Believing the samples were inactivated, workers in those labs did not don adequate protective equipment, the CDC said.

These CDC workers would have most likely been exposed through either their lungs, or by direct skin contact.  A respiratory anthrax infection starts out mimicking a common cold, eventually leading to pneumonia and then death.  On the other hand, skin exposure to anthrax can cause brutal skin lesions and ulcers, but it is generally less fatal then a respiratory infection.



As for the case of the CDC workers, exposure is said to be low and vaccines have already been distributed.  The CDC said in a statement that disciplinary action will be taken against the workers who allowed this disaster to take place.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Cure Depression with Supplements

In the second part in a series on fighting depression, we are going to take a look at vitamin alternatives to prescription drugs that can help remedy depression.  Often times, being depressed for no apparent reason is actually your brain trying to tell you that it is deficient in certain vitamins and nutrients that you are not getting through your diet (rarely will your body tell you that it is deficient in Prozac, so don't be fooled).

B Vitamin Deficiencies
B Vitamins are naturally found in whole, unprocessed foods.  That being the case, you can see where many people now days are probably deficient.  Common names for your B-Vitamins are thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, biotin, folic acid, and cobalamin.  If you are suffering from mood problems, insomnia, or depression, Vitamin B deficiency could be to blame.  A lot of people find that taking a daily B Complex vitamin improved both their mood and general well being. Nature Made Super B Complex Tablets, Value Size, 360 Count

Vitamin C Deficiencies
Basically, Vitamin C is the god vitamin, and everyone should get to know this vitamin a little better.  If you haven't yet, read our article on the benefits of Vitamin C.  Here is something you need to know.  The 'recommended daily amounts' of Vitamin C are basically set at the bare minimum required to avoid contracting scurvy.  So even if you think you are getting '100% of your daily intake,' you probably still are Vitamin C deficient.  Like B Vitamin deficiencies, Vitamin C deficiencies also can cause symptoms of depression.  Another benefit of Vitamin C supplementation is that it will bolster your immune system. NOW Foods Vitamin C-1000 Sustained Release with Rose Hips, 250 Tablets

Mineral Deficiencies
Sadly, the modern diet leaves mineral deficiencies all too common these days, and many of these deficiencies lead to depression and other symptoms.  Luckily, most essential minerals are found in your standard multi-vitamin supplements.  Taking one multi per day in conjunction with addition B and C supplementation can go a long way to improving your mental health. Kirkland Signature Daily Multi Vitamins & Minerals Tablets, 500-Count Bottle

Bonus - Happiness in a Bottle
One final supplement that can go a long way in improving your mood is the amino acid called L-Tryptophan.  Tryptophan is an essential ammino acid largly found in meats and other animal products.  Supplementing tryptophan will not only improve your mood, but also help you sleep better at night.  It is by far one of the best remedies you can get (in pill form) for the blues. NOW Foods L-Tryptophan 500mg, 120 Vcaps

In conclusion, for severe cases of depression, you should probably seek professional help.  But all too often the medical establishment likes to simply hook you with prescription drugs, usually turning you into a life long drug addict.  Before it gets that far, you owe it to yourself to try more natural supplementation first, as they can often yield the same results without the harmful dependency side effects.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Fight The Blues With Sunlight

According to the CDC, 1 in 10 Americans report that they are currently suffering from some form of depression.  Further, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America reports that a staggering 18% of the U.S. population suffers from some form of anxiety disorder.  Meanwhile, Americans are spending tens of billions of dollars each year on prescription anti-depressant medication.  These drugs often times cause dependencies and carry other risky side effects.

There are many alternative, natural, and safe remedies for depression that you may not get from your doctor.  In this first article in a series on depression, we will take a look at the cheapest and easiest anti-depressant you can get - natural sunlight.

After decades of of hearing how bad the sun is for us, people are now suffering from the effects of a lack of sun exposure.  According to this article on HowStuffWorks,
A chronic lack of sun exposure has been linked to fertility problems, several forms of cancer, general poor health and varying degrees of depression. People actually get depressed, with symptoms like sadness, fatigue and hopelessness -- from a lack of sunlight.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is generally a depression that many people experience each year during the onset of fall and winter, when the days become shorter and their is less sunlight.  Many people working 'normal hours' will leave for their job before the sun comes up and get home after it sets.  This lack of sunlight contributes to depression.  However now days, even in the summer when people simply stay indoors all day, this depression can last year round.  Fortunately though, the remedy is simple.

Go outside!  Really, that's all you have to do.  And the amount of sunlight you need is probably less than you think.  Studies have shown that to get the proper amount of Vitamin D from the sunlight to promote wellbeing, you really only need about 10 minutes of sunlight per day during peak hours.  That's all.  If you work all day, just take a walk during your lunch break.  If you are at home, do some gardening.  In the winter, shovel some snow.  Yes it will work better in short sleeves and shorts, but something is better than nothing.

Note, that you should be getting this direct sunlight without the use of sunscreens.  Also keep in mind that many commercial sunscreens actually increase the risk of skin cancer.  If you absolutely think you need sun protection when you go outside, take a look at our article on Natural Sunscreen.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Go Low Carb To Shed Pounds Fast

Sometimes you just want to shed the pounds quickly, and you don't really care about long term weight stability.  Perhaps you have a reunion coming up, or an important job interview.  Whatever the reasoning, millions of people just want a quick and easy weight loss method and they don't want to wait for results.  For them, an ultra low carb diet will most likely do the trick.  Just beware of the discomforting side effects.

So I recently did a bit of vacationing, and like many people who travel, I came home to find an entirely different number on the scale than the one I had left behind.  Fast food, soda, and gas station goodies has all taken their toll on my waistline.  Coupled with the steady increase of pounds I have been experiencing since turning the big 3-0, I decided that it was time to take control of my weight and institute a diet change.  And like most people, I wanted quick results.  And also like most people, ain't nobody got time for things like exercise.  So I turned to the only thing that has always worked for me 100% in the past.  The silver bullet.  The surgical elimination of carbs from the diet.

I had done low and even no carb diets in the past, always with great success.  It was always easy for me, since meat has basically always been front and center in my diet.  But this time around, I thought I would experiment by keeping things like fresh fruits and vegetables in my diet, items which I had omitted during previous low carb adventures.  So my new diet basically consisted of the following:

  • Meats
  • Vegetables
  • Fruit/Berries
  • Nuts/Seeds
  • Cheeses
  • Oils
  • Water and Tea

As you can see, there is basically a ton of food that I can still eat while on this diet.  The big omissions here that most people eat regularly are your breads, grains, oats, sugars, and sodas.  Also keep in mind, that I am basically eating all fresh and natural produce here.  Nothing pre packaged.  I don't like anything that comes out of a box, and neither should you.  Stick along the outside edges of the grocery store and you will be fine.

So what kind of meals would I eat on this diet?  Here are a few example meals that I have been eating over the last week and a half since beginning this program.

Breakfast


  • Almondy Blueberries - This little meal is exactly what it sounds like.  Take a normal cereal bowl, but instead of filling it with your deadly [insert cereal name here], fill it half and half with whole natural almonds and frozen blueberries.  Stir with a spoon and eat.  It's that simple, and it tastes epic.  Enjoy with a glass of Earl Grey, hot.  So you can be a pimp like Picard.  Just remember to brush your teeth after you eat!
  • Deviled Eggs - Yes, my lovely wife made me Deviled Eggs for breakfast the other day, and it was glorious.  Anybody who says they aren't a breakfast food needs to be slapped.
  • Fruit Smoothie - This one does have some carbs in it, but whatevs, it's healthy and yummy.  And it's not like you are having a breakfast soda, or a coffee laced with sugar.  And the best part is, Ape Health has your back with our amazing Smoothie Ideas!
  • Bacon and Eggs - Ok, I haven't had this one while on this most recent diet, but I have had dreams about it none the less.  Fry your bacon in the pan, then fry your eggs in the bacon grease.  Delightful.

Dinner or Supper Meals

  • Grilled Wings and Asparagus - If you have a grill, this is one of the best meals you can make.  Grill up some chicken wings and a hand full of asparagus and then go to town.
  • Cheesy Almondy Salady Delight - I couldn't think of a better name for this salad, but the taste is off the charts.  Take your romaine, spinach, or whatever kind of greens you prefer, throw some raw whole almonds on top, give it some shredded or bleu cheese, and top it with olive oil instead of dressing.  Throw on some salt and pepper to taste.  Basically a quick, easy, and epic salad.
  • Baked Tilapia - If you like fish, fire up the oven and have some baked tilapia.  Eat it with some frozen grapes, and you've got yourself a fine meal right there.
  • Go to town on the grill - I love grilled anything.  During this past week or so I have been making burgers, steaks, wings, you name it.  Grilled pineapple is also amazing.  If you have a grill, this is one easy diet.

These are just a few of the things I have been eating, but obviously with all of the food categories, if you can't find anything to eat on a low carb diet, you just aren't looking hard enough.  For a quick snack, apples are good, and I also love frozen grapes.  And if you are eating out with friends or family, you aren't screwed by any means.  I can't think of any respectable restaurant that doesn't carry a salad at this point.

So... has the diet been working?  Well, it's only been about a week so far, and I am already down over 10 pounds.  And honestly, I'm really not that big of a guy to begin with.  If you are carrying a lot of extra weight, I suspect the results would be even more dramatic.  Cutting bread and soda alone would do wonders for most people.

Now, while the weight loss has been good, low carbing is not without its side effects.  The main one is the headaches.  From about the second through the 5th days of the diet, expect a constant barrage of headaches.  I believe this is the point where most people give up and abort on a low carb diet.  Your body is basically going through withdrawal symptoms resulting from the lack of the refined sugars and flours that it is used to.  At this point it's pretty easy to say 'Screw this' and pick up a donut and go back to your old ways.  But, Excedrin works, and if you can just man (or woman) up and tough it out for a few days, you will have more energy and feel better than you have in years.  I also experiences slight nausea in the late mornings, but that also passes.  Just one week in and I am already feeling good, so honestly you don't have to wait long for the pain to pass.  You can do it!

In conclusion, if you want to shed weight quick, carbs are the enemy.  Cut them out and your body fat will follow.  And if nothing else, do yourself a gigantic favor and remove soda from your diet completely.  That goes for 'diet' soda as well, it's just as bad if not worse.  That step alone would help most people who are suffering with obesity.