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Aug 31

Why Are Diets and Biodiversity Linked? Food Tank – Food Tank

This is the second piece in a series produced by the Global Action Platform on Sustainable Consumption and Diets. To learn more, visit the webpagehere.

Biodiversity is crucial to societies worldwide. Plants produce oxygen and store carbonboth important for climate regulation and creating breathable airbut they also release water and volatile compounds into the atmosphere, which in turn influence cloud formation and rainfall.Biodiversity enables carbon to be stored in soil and maintains soil fertility. It provides food we eat directly and supports the production of food in agriculture through pollination, pest control and soil health. Biodiversity also provides important cultural and well-being benefits: many societies recognize iconic plants and animals as culturally important and throughout the COVID-19 lockdown, hearing singing birds has lifted the hearts of people around the world.

Despite the fundamental importance of biodiversity,thousands of specieshave gone extinct this century indicating that we are in a sixth mass extinction of species that is human caused and accelerating. The primary cause of this biodiversity loss is the production of ever more food.The conversion of land for agriculture, as well as theintensificationof agriculture, impacts the quality and quantity of available habitat. Food production also affects fresh-water wildlife* through extraction of water and reduction in water quality from soil and farm chemical runoff. Downstream pollution, especially from fertilizers, even affects marine systems. Marine wildlife is, of course, also heavily impacted through fishing.

The biggest driver of habitat loss on land has been theconversion of natural ecosystemsto crop production or pasture. The land occupation of agriculture has increased around 5.5 times since 1600 and is still increasing. Currently,land for food productionoccupies roughly40 percent of the worlds landthat is not desert and uses 70 percent of the available water resources.

Instead of wild animals, a handful of farmed speciesnow dominateglobal animal biomass. Farmed animals (mainly cows and pigs) now constitute 60 percent of the global biomass of all mammals, while humans make up 36 percent and wild mammals make up just 4 percent. For birds, the global biomass is29 percent wild birdsand 57 percent chickens. More than three quarters of agricultural land is used to farm these animals or their feed. Overall, agriculture is anidentified threatto 24,000 of the 28,000 terrestrial species at risk of extinction. In marine ecosystems, fishing is the largest driver of biodiversity loss.

Conserving biodiversity, reducing carbon emissions, and building climate resilience all have a critical role to play in building more productive and healthy food systems and ensuring food security for everyone. While food is currently one of the biggestthreats toandvictims ofenvironmental change, the good news is that its also our best bet at bending the curves on health and sustainability. Thepreponderance of evidencesuggests that sustainably managed food production systems can actually support and enhance biodiversity and reduce carbon emissions. Incorporating a greater diversity of crops and integration of livestock, creating and maintaining well-connected habitat for associated biodiversity,practicing sustainable soil managementand reducing the use of synthetic inputs can increase biodiversity and ecosystem services without negatively affecting agriculture yields.

Changing diets is crucial for conserving biodiversity

Developments on the post-2020global biodiversity frameworksuggest that we need to promote agrobiodiversity both in our diets, as well as biodiversity more generally, in our production landscapes, thus managing the supply side and the demand side malpractices across the food systems. This means we must transition towards bio-diverse and sustainable diets that provide diverse multi-nutrition diets accessible for all, while also adopting nature-based solutions in agriculture and reducing food waste. Dietary change is a potent tool forreducing the pressure on land, enabling land to sustain both nature and more nature-positive farming. We believe this is possible for two main reasons:

1. At a global level, we produce more food than we need per capita. Approximately, 40 percent of the food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted, equal to more than 2.5 billion tons per year.For many people in more affluent societies, eating fewer total calories, but more diverse, plant-based foods and wasting less can radically reduce environmental footprints and yield significant health benefits. Whilst it is clear demand for food is growing, this is often stimulated by markets and increased population wealth, and evidence is rapidly accumulating that, at a societal level, eating less and better can be highly beneficial.

2. The environmental footprint of foodits associated land use, greenhouse gas emissions, water use and biodiversity impactvaries significantly from one type of food to the next. In general, the largest differences occur between animal-sourced and plant-sourced foods, with the latter having lower footprintsin some cases, substantially lower.

If we did not waste food, over-consume calories, or demand excessive amounts of the most environmentally damaging foods, and ate the right amount of the right sorts of food for our health, we would very significantly reduce our total demand for foodand with it, our total demand for land and other natural resources. This is particularly true in more developed countries and urban settings, though in some developing countries consumption of animal-sourced foods may need to increase to tackle burdens of undernutrition.

TheGlobal Biodiversity Outlook 5provides valuable lessons for facilitating systemic shifts towards sustainable food systems transition. Sustainable food transition implies that we must promote sustainable and healthy diets with a greater emphasis on a diversity of foods and nutrients, and more moderate consumption of meat and fish, as well as dramatic cuts in the waste involved in food supply and consumption.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to achieve the necessary shifts in our consumption patterns to restore global biodiversity. For example, while shifting to a more plant-based diet might work well for many western countries, it might be difficult at this time for many others.In fact, in some countries, consumption of animal-sourced foods may need to increase to tackle burdens of undernutrition. We must also recognize that food producers are valuable stewards of our land and waters, and many protect vital biodiversity. In all cases, we must work with deep cooperation and empathy to understand diverse perspectives and situations so that we can achieve healthy and sustainable diets for all while restoring the biodiversity that is fundamental to humanity.

*We use the term wildlife to refer to wildnon domesticatedplants and animals (including fungi and microbes) that contribute to the biodiversity in a place.

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Why Are Diets and Biodiversity Linked? Food Tank - Food Tank

Aug 31

The One Breakfast Food to Eat to Lower Your Blood Pressure, Says Dietitian | Eat This Not That – Eat This, Not That

You can make the so-called "most important meal of the day" really count for something if you get in the habit of eating certain foods for breakfast. And we're not just talking about healthy foods that nourish and energize your body so you can tackle the day at your best. Depending on what foods you decide you put on your plate, you can manage important aspects of your health, from your heart to your brain.

Specifically, if you're interested in managing your blood pressure, one way you can do that beyond eating a healthy diet, exercising, and keeping stress levels low is by eating one blood pressure-managing food at breakfast: amaranth. This ancient grain is rich in fiber and magnesium: two nutrients that have been linked to low blood pressure.

Before we get into how your diet can influence blood pressure, let's start with what blood pressure really is and how it's linked to your overall health:

"Your blood pressure is the telltale sign of how hard your heart is working to pump blood and oxygen throughout the body, and if your blood pressure is high, it means there's a lot more strain on your heart muscle," says registered dietitian Grace A. Derocha, RD, a national spokesperson with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, who has certifications in diabetes and heart disease prevention and management.

High blood pressure can foretell a related problem: stiff blood vessels. The more rigid your blood vessels, the harder your heart must work, and the combinationblood vessel rigidity and heart straincan increase the risk of plaque build-up (atherosclerosis), heart disease, and stroke.

"We want our blood vessels to be like yoga instructors, really flexible so they don't build up that plaque and further increase blood pressure," Derocha says.

Actually, there are lots of foods that'll help lower blood pressure, but if you want to start your day off with a powerful blood pressure reducer meal, here's your recipe for amaranth porridge.

Make a porridge of amaranth, an ancient grain, rich in fiber and blood pressure-lowering magnesium.

"One cup of cooked amaranth gives you 38% of your daily needs of magnesium," says Deroacha. "Studies show that magnesium is a relaxer of blood vessels. This mineral is lacking in the American diet because we don't eat enough fruits and vegetables, two or three servings at best when we should push 4 or 5. The people who live so long in some of those blue zone areas get 9 to 10 servings."

The fiber in the whole grain also helps to tamp down inflammation in the body, which can impact blood pressure. (Derocha combines steel-cut oats in her amaranth hot cereal for texture and taste; amaranth has a nutty flavor.)

Top that amaranth porridge with berries and pumpkin seeds. "Pumpkin seeds are a good source of the amino acid arginine that helps produce nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels," says Derocha: "The deep colors of berries come from anthocyanins that also help to increase nitric oxide."

Bananas are well known for lowering blood pressure because they're a good source of potassium, a mineral and electrolyte the relaxes the walls of the blood vessels. So, add them to your amaranth porridge if you wish, but you can get more potassium by making a smoothie with coconut water, says Derocha: "Coconut water has six times the amount of potassium in a banana." She recommends a smoothie or smoothie bowl made with coconut water and frozen fruit as a perfect blood-pressure-lowering breakfast when you're in a hurry.

Don't stop at breakfast for heart health. There are many powerful blood-pressure-lowering foods that can work into lunch or dinner. One of the best, says Derocha is Swiss chard, a leafy green rich in potassium, magnesium, and calcium that studies suggest can prevent hypertension. Other good sources of potassium and magnesium are beans and lentils, which are also high in heart-healthy fiber.

Raw carrots should be on your bp-lowering food list, too. "They contain powerful plant chemicals. Beets contain nitrates. Broccoli is rich in magnesium. Celery has a phytochemical called phthalides that helps relax blood vessels. Tip: Add celery to soups. Research suggests celery might be better for blood pressure when cooked," Derocha notes.

With 23 years of helping people with high blood pressure improve their diets, Derocha knows the eating strategies that work best to lower BP. But before she tells us what to do, it's important to understand which foods cause blood pressure to rise and why.

The American Heart Association gave the worst food culprits a nickname: The Salty Six, the six common foods that are very high in sodium.

Sodium is essential to your health because it regulates the fluid balance in your body. But when you eat too much salt, it pulls more water into your blood vessels and, in turn, your bloodstream, increasing the volume of blood.

High blood volume increases pressure against the walls of your blood vessels. Over time, this elevated blood pressure injures blood vessels, encourages plaque buildup, and forces your heart to work extra hard to pump blood throughout your body.

The American Heart Association recommends we keep our sodium intake to 2,300 mg per day. For ballpark reference, you get nearly half that amount lunching on a Philly cheesesteak and fries. No wonder the average American consumes 3,400 mg of salt per day. It adds up. We love our salt. And so do food manufacturers, who pile it on for taste and its preservative power for extending shelf life. Restaurants are notorious for oversalting their offerings, too. Beware of these 10 Saltiest Restaurant Foods in America.

"The Salty Six are mostly processed foods," says Derocha. "When life gets in the way, we reach for convenience foods." And that can get us in trouble.

Avoiding those salty foods will help reduce high blood pressure, if you have it, she says. But you can do more by replacing them with foods that contain compounds clinically proven to drive down blood pressure and improve the health of your blood vessels.

(For more details and an infographic, visit

While food choice is a strong weapon against high blood pressure, it's not the only one in your arsenal. Read on for advice from doctors on Proven Ways to Lower Your Blood Pressure Now, especially during the pandemic.

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The One Breakfast Food to Eat to Lower Your Blood Pressure, Says Dietitian | Eat This Not That - Eat This, Not That

Aug 31

The 7 Biggest Myths About Calories – Everyday Health

You may think you know all about calories. Many people have been counting them, cutting them, and adding them up for most of their lives. But when it comes to weight loss, theres actually still a lot of confusion out there about calorie counting. It turns out that many of the most common beliefs on the subject are really just myths. Here are seven of the most persistent calorie counting myths plus the facts, straight from experts.

Plenty of people believe that as long as they stick to a certain number of calories per day, theyre eating healthy. This myth can get in the way of eating a balanced, nutritious diet. You cannot compare 100 calories of salmon to 100 calories of soda, says Samantha Cassetty, RD, former nutrition director of Good Housekeeping, who is based in New York City.

She points out that salmon is loaded with beneficial nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids and protein one reason the American Heart Association recommends eating it twice a week that work really hard to nourish your body. With soda, its the opposite those calories are working against you, she says. Not only are they lacking in nutrition, but they are also full of sugar, and drinking them has been associated with an increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes, past research shows. Its a total mistake to think all calories are the same, Cassetty says.

With only about 9 calories a stalk, per the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), its obvious how this myth got started. Its easy to imagine that the act of chewing celery erases enough of those calories to take the food into negative calorie territory. Its an idea leftover from another era, says Cassetty.

Cucumbers, radishes, lettuce, and other water-rich vegetables are also sometimes said to be negative-calorie foods, but just like with celery, its nothing more than a myth. There are no negative calorie foods, says Cassetty.

Related: What Is the CICO Diet and Can It Really Help You Lose Weight?

What you see is not necessarily what you get when it comes to calorie information on nutrition labels. There is leeway for manufacturers, says Cassetty. In fact, by law, food manufacturers can be up to 20 percent off the mark with this number, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). That means a product youre eating that you believe has 200 calories might actually have up to 240 calories. A study published in the journal Obesity investigated the accuracy of nutrition labels andfound that prepackaged convenience meals had 8 percent more calories on average than their labels claimed. That can add up.

This is a gross oversimplification of the science of calories, and hardly the way weight loss works in real life, according to Cassetty. Overall body size, genetics, sleep, and stress can all complicate this general rule, she says. As a body loses weight, the amount of calories it needs to maintain that weight goes down.

The 3,500 calories-equals-one-pound math simply doesnt account for this. Nor does it take into consideration other factors including gender, changing diet and exercise habits, and poor compliance, according to an article in Todays Dietitian. Carson C. Chow, PhD, a senior investigator in the mathematical biology section of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is quoted in the article explaining: Every 10 calories per day decrease in calorie intake leads to an eventual one-pound loss, but it can take three years to get there." (You can check out the National Institutes of Healths Body Weight Planner tool to try this new math out for yourself.) This rule of thumb isnt quite as appealing to dieters as the 3,500 calorie rule, but its more accurate.

Related: The 16 Best Apps for Weight Loss: Diet Plan Tools, Fitness Trackers, and More

Theres a difference between the number of calories a given food contains and how many calories your specific body absorbs from that food. The number of calories you may assimilate can vary based on the makeup of your gut microbiome, according to research, among other things. In anotherprevious study, researchers from Harvard even discovered that calorie counts can vary between raw and cooked foods. And then theres the fiber effect. Because your body doesnt absorb fiber (its the indigestible part of plants), the amount a food contains can also affect the calories you actually get. One small study of 18 people, which was published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that almonds contain more calories than they contribute to a persons diet. Almonds, in particular, are a source of prebiotic fiber, which we do not absorb, according to previous research.

Related:I Tried Noom for Weight Loss and It Worked

Many calorie counters live and die by the calories burned readouts on their exercise equipment and fitness trackers. Its very common for people to decide to eat an extra snack or have dessert based on a number supplied by their device, says Cassetty. But a study from Stanford Universitypublished in May 2017 in the Journal of Personalized Medicinefound that wearable fitness trackers are generally off by 27 percent. Thats a substantial amount. If youre overestimating your calories burned by that much, it can not only make it impossible to lose weight, it can result in weight gain, she says.

People dont realize when they exercise, theyll unconsciously decrease other energy spent throughout the day, says Cassetty. Previous research supports the notion that after exercise people may fidget less, stand less, or take the stairs less often. The body is always compensating, making small adjustments to maintain energy balance below the level of your awareness. Its not necessarily something you can control, says Cassetty.

People do a really bad job of estimating the number of calories they eat, then they get an inflated idea about how many calories they burned thanks to these devices, says Cassetty. You can really end up on the wrong side of that equation.

Can calorie counting be a helpful guide for weight loss? Sure. But theres no need to feel like youll never shed excess pounds if you cant commit to tracking every calorie especially when research suggests otherwise. A study published in September 2017 in Perspectives on Psychological Science concluded that reducing calorie intake may not be the golden ticket to weight loss that people assume it will be.

And a study published in February 2018 in JAMA found that other dietary changes, for instance eliminating processed foods, can be just as effective for weight loss. Notably, the study was designed to determine whether a low-carb or low-fat diet was better for weight loss. Neither group counted calories, but they were given nutrition advice. Both groups lost around the same amount of weight, and what they had in common was a diet of natural whole foods, not processed food. So count, or dont count, but know that the best approach is the one that works for you.

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The 7 Biggest Myths About Calories - Everyday Health

Aug 31

The Mediterranean diet: why it could lead to a more satisfying sex life – The Guardian

Name: The Mediterranean diet.

Age: Coming up for 60 years old.

Effect: Positively tumescent.

Oh no, am I going to need a sick bucket for this? Not at all. The health benefits of the Mediterranean diet have been well known for decades. The combination of olive oil, legumes, fruit and vegetables, and comparatively low amounts of red meat is incredibly good for the human body.

Why am I so nervous? Dont be nervous. Observational studies have shown that this diet has any number of benefits. It has been claimed to lower the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, depression and dementia.

Right. Plus it could help with erectile dysfunction.

OK, see, there it is. I knew you couldnt keep this wholesome. There is nothing wrong with a better sex life. Erectile dysfunction is thought to affect around a third of men at some point. Its a serious condition.

And olive oil helps? It can, yes. According to research presented at this years European Society of Cardiology congress, men with high blood pressure are twice as likely to experience erectile dysfunction than their peers with normal blood pressure. And the Mediterranean diet is fantastic for lowering blood pressure.

Which can get things working downstairs again? Yes. The researchers found that men who stuck closely to the Mediterranean diet had higher coronary flow reserve (which means they were better able to increase blood flow when needed), and better erectile performance.

Wow! We should all be eating the Mediterranean diet. No, really, we should. Especially the part about red meat. The Mediterranean Diet Foundation states that you should try to eat no more than two servings of red meat a week. Not only is that better for your health, but it is also better for the environment.

This is all well and good, but I dont enjoy sex and therefore cannot see the benefit of the Mediterranean diet. Im glad you brought this up. What if I told you that the diet had another benefit?

Im listening. Well, in 2014, Spanish researcher Fernando Azpiroz examined the Mediterranean diet for other benefits, and found that it can also reduce the incidence of farting by 28%.

Astonishing. It isnt the best fart-decreaser, though. For that you have to adopt a much more regulated anti-fart diet. But nobody is going to knock 28%.

So youre saying that people who eat the Mediterranean diet are healthier, less prone to disease, have better sex and fart almost a third less than their peers? Thats right. Out of interest, what did you have for breakfast this morning?

Three Mars bars and a steak. Well, at least that explains the smell.

Do say: Ill have Greek salad, please.

Dont say: And a cold shower, just in case.

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The Mediterranean diet: why it could lead to a more satisfying sex life - The Guardian

Aug 31

Leon Neyfakh Always Waits Too Long to Eat – Grub Street

Leon Neyfakh is a herring guy. Illustration: Elly Rodgers

Journalist Leon Neyfakh takes a meticulous approach to the podcasts for which he is known like Fiasco, which has been adapted into an Epix series that debuts September 19 but he admits his attitude toward eating is a bit more relaxed. Eats like shit is how he jokingly refers to his dietary habits. This week, while putting in the work on podcasts for Prologue Projects (the company he founded in 2018), he ate soft-boiled eggs, a huge club sandwich, pasta, burrata, steak, salmon, and a croissant-based frozen pizza that was honestly amazing.

Monday, August 16I woke up at 6 a.m. feeling the kind of ambient half-hunger that I always tolerate for way too long. Not to be dramatic, but this is something I genuinely hate about myself I always wait too long to eat, and I inevitably get into a bad mood before finally fixing the problem.

My wife Alice rescued me with yogurt. She put all kinds of stuff in there that would never occur to me, like honey, almond shavings, plum slices, and a syrupy jam made out of sour cherries. I also had some instant coffee, which I prefer to real coffee. Im not trying to take a stand here, but unless Im drinking espresso, I like my coffee cheap-tasting and not bitter.

I started work around 9. My goal for the day was to give notes on two rough cuts of Fiasco. Were on our fifth season of the show now having just finished a six-part series on Benghazi, were doing the next one on the HIV crisis.

I got hungry for lunch around noon, but again waited like 90 minutes to do anything about it. Once I hit a breaking point, I needed something fast and potent, so I made myself three soft-boiled eggs using a Japanese device my friend David gave me. It looks kind of like a UFO: You stick as many as six eggs inside then cover them with a clear plastic dome and pour a bit of water into a tiny hole. The device only has one button, and once you press it, the water starts turning into hot steam; when all the water runs out, a surprisingly beautiful song plays to inform you the eggs are ready. I eat them, one by one, out of a little egg cup Alice got me for my birthday; it has feet and is wearing gym shoes, and while its not the most stable egg cup in the world, its worth it to me for the aesthetic experience.

In the end, the three eggs turned out not to be enough, but luckily Alice came home with a vat of white rice from Hancos, and she let me eat her leftovers. Ordinarily a vat of rice wouldnt taste like anything, but Alice dusted it with some nutritional yeast. I wish nutritional yeast had a name that made it sound less like hospital food; seems like with a rebrand it could easily be an American staple.

Then I made a phone call Id been avoiding for over a week. My 91-year-old grandmother, who has dementia, broke her hip recently, and I spent about a week in Chicago making arrangements for her to move into a nursing home that specializes in patients who only speak Russian. I had gone to see her there three times before flying back to New York, and while she seemed okay in her new surroundings, somehow that had changed by the time I called her from New York for the first time, at which point she told me, with apparent lucidity, that unless I was calling to pick her up and take her home, she had nothing to say to me. Im quoting verbatim here because I wrote it down at the time: Youve betrayed me. I dont have a grandson anymore. The nurses assured me this was just the dementia talking, but still it made me scared to call her again.

Finally I gathered the courage to reach out and was delighted that she seemed to have no recollection of our previous conversation. Because Id heard from the dietician on her floor that she had been refusing to eat, I asked how the food at the nursing home was. Im not so worried about the food, she said. They can give me whatever they want. I suggested, hopefully, that surely some of it was good, and she said, No. Never. Theres never anything good. Like in all of America. She didnt beg me to take her home this time, but toward the end of the call, she said, I want my head to stop spinning. I want my back to stop hurting. I just want to disappear, and I want to be forgotten. When I said I loved her, she said, I love you, too, kitten thats a normal term of endearment in Russian but theres nothing much here left to love.

For dinner, Alice and I sat at the bar at River Deli, an Italian bistro (not a deli) about a block from Brooklyn Bridge Park. We shared burrata my favorite food, particularly when they dont drown it in balsamic glaze and then shared two pasta dishes, one with mushrooms, the other with tuna. I also had a martini. I love River Deli because every dish looks small but is actually quite dense and filling, and while Im no expert on Italian food, or any food, the flavors there always strike me as precise and unusual.

For dessert, we had chocolate mousse in a mug, which tasted like my favorite dessert from growing up in Soviet Russia: sweetened condensed milk mixed with cocoa powder.

Tuesday, August 17Before I ate anything I lay in bed and uploaded the new episode of 365 Stories I Want to Tell You Before We Both Die, a daily micro-podcast hosted by filmmaker Caveh Zahedi, produced by moi. Its a pandemic project, basically a memoir thats been broken up into tiny pieces, usually between two-to-four-minutes long, and released in nonchronological order every day of 2021. After I got that out of the way, I drank a chocolate Soylent while reading the new novel by Rivka Galchen. I know Rivka a little and reading her book feels like hanging out with her, even though its set in the 1600s. (Alice has said that my favorite genre of literature seems to be novels written by my female acquaintances.)

For lunch I met up with Avery Trufelman, who is fresh off a run as the host of The Cut podcast. We sat outside at Happy Days in Brooklyn Heights, a pleasantly rundown diner with a halfhearted 50s theme (glittery blue vinyl seats, photos of Frank Sinatra on the wall, etc). I ordered a Lindy Club, mostly because the word lindy has been rattling around in my brain ever since my friend Juiceboxxx told me about it. Apparently lindy is new internet slang that refers to anything thats eternal, or somehow endemic to human society, like taking a walk, or gambling. One recent example would be the taking of Kabul by the Taliban; Im not trying to make light of it, but assuming power in a ritualistic manner is definitely lindy.

The Lindy Club was fine but mainly it was huge.

For dinner Alice and I met up with our friend Liz, who makes puzzles and crosswords at The New Yorker, and Nick, who is an archivist for Yoko Ono. Nick recently made the boss move of getting an apartment in Tudor City a magical little district on the outskirts of midtown, right next to the U.N. building. We went to a steakhouse thats literally on the first floor of his building. I noticed they had a very generous and, to me, unusual happy hour schedule: In addition to 3 to 6:30 p.m., they offered HH from 9 to 11 p.m. AND ladies can get HH prices all day and all night if they sit at the bar.

I ordered a martini; Alice got prosecco. Together we decided to share a 12-ounce filet mignon and a 22-ounce sirloin, both rare.

In addition to working for Yoko Ono, Nick is an amateur nose, a.k.a. fraghead, a.k.a. perfume-maker. He told us over dinner that his latest scent is called Players Musk he described it as a combination of fresh-cut grass in the suburbs, laundry, and a little BO. The overall vibe is youthful. Nick is a genius and Im trying to convince him to make a podcast for my company about the fraghead community.

We asked Liz about the new game shes writing for The New Yorker its called Name Drop, and the idea is to guess the celebrity based on a series of six clues, which are deployed in order from most challenging to least. The fewer clues you need, the better you do. Nick told a story about freaking out on acid at the airport once and then seeing Roxane Gay at his gate.

After dinner we ducked into a tiny convenience store inside of Tudor City where they had a dazzling collection of rare snacks. I picked up a chocolate-covered Payday bar, which Id never seen before it was softer than a regular Payday, and didnt require as much exertion to chew. A-plus snack innovation.

Wednesday, August 18I didnt eat anything till lunch, at which point I ordered delivery from Aji Sushi, a restaurant that punches way above its weight. Its priced more or less like cheap delivery sushi, but, as I discovered one night after randomly ordering it on Seamless, the quality is out of this freakin world. In addition to a five-piece sushi appetizer, I ordered a few pieces of my two favorite sushis: white tuna and unagi. White tuna I love for its subtle salty taste, combined with the slipperiness of the fish; unagi I love because the texture and the sauce are both so unexpected, while the temperature warm is always such a nice change of pace when youre eating a bunch of cold fish. I also got myself two hand rolls: one salmon, one yellowtail. Something about the ratio of rice to fish to seaweed in a hand roll reminds me of the densely packed fish snacks you can buy in any Tokyo convenience store.

For dessert I ate two handfuls of dried wild strawberries that I bought in Brighton Beach, and one handful of rainbow sprinkles of unknown origin. A couple hours later I opened a Becks and found a bag of Flamin Hot Cheetos popcorn I bought as a party snack last time we had friends over.

One defining fact about my life is that Alice and I live within a few blocks of six close friends three couples, I should say and we hang out with them several times a week. On this day, we took a six-pack of Heineken to Dave and Sophies apartment. Dave graciously prepared for us an appetizer of croissant-style DiGiornos microwave pizza. The pizza was honestly amazing.

For actual dinner we ordered from Hadramout, an under-discussed Yemeni restaurant across from Sahadis. The food here is unlike any food Ive ever eaten. I got my normal order of lamb ghallaba on a bed of hummus. If you dont know what this is, I want you to get it without reading anything about it, the way you would go to a movie without reading any reviews because you just know its going to be good and you want to come in as a blank slate.

After we finished dinner, we watched the first 15 minutes of the new Netflix movie Beckett. I couldnt tell if it was John David Washingtons acting, or the script, or the fact that David and Sophies TV had motion smoothing on, but it seemed to have been written by people who had never seen a movie before. The plot summary on the Beckett Wikipedia page is worth reading.

Thursday, August 19I woke up a little before 7 a.m. to a voicemail from my grandmothers nursing home. It had been left just a few minutes earlier. A woman with a pretty thick accent said, Hey Leon, your grandmother just passed now. Shes dead. Please call back so we can talk together.

Apparently around 5 a.m., my grandmas breathing had become erratic and her blood pressure had fallen, and by the time the ambulance arrived she was dead.

I was stunned, but it didnt take long for me to experience profound relief about getting to talk to her on Monday, and gratitude for the fact that the previous conversation wed had, when she told me I had betrayed her, hadnt been our last.

I thought about the fact that, every time anyone had talked to her during the last few months, she had expressed hope that she would die that she had asked to be moved to hospice, even though there was nothing wrong with her, because in her mind that would accelerate things. So what right did we have to be sad that she was gone? I was anyway.

After I arranged for a funeral home to pick up my grandmas body from the nursing home I drank a Soylent and edited an episode of 5-4, a podcast I help produce about how much the Supreme Court sucks. It was a barnburner in which they argued Neal Katyal should pay a reputational cost for representing the Nestle Corporation before the Supreme Court. For lunch, I scarfed down all the leftover lamb ghallaba.

My grandma stopped cooking food for me about two years before she died. Before that, she was constantly sending me back to New York with precariously wrapped meat pies, herring, etc., and when I was growing up she was responsible along with my mom for most of my diet. As you can probably tell by this point, Im not the most refined person when it comes to food, but I am open-minded, and my grandmas cooking fried zucchini, radishes with butter, meatballs, borscht, mushroom soup, pelmeni, cow brains is almost certainly to thank.

Oddly enough my grandmas two favorite dishes to make for me when I was a kid were both named after birds. One was pigeons theyre kind of like dumplings, filled with beef, except the beef is wrapped in cabbage leaves. I dont know why Russians call them pigeons but thats the way it is. The other thing my grandma made for me were swans. They werent called swans; they were swans. Shed build them out of four pieces of fried dough, with a base, two wings, and a little neck and head. She would put sweet cream in the base. Shed make like a dozen of them, along with a sheet of Jell-O that would serve as their lake.

As if the day couldnt get any weirder, I spent the afternoon wrestling with an ethical dilemma: As the recipient of a Johnson & Johnson vaccine, should I get an mRNA booster before going to Greece in a few weeks? Multiple people urged me to do so, saying that the upcoming vacation means that even an asymptomatic case could result in me getting stuck abroad. The problem was that in order to get the vaccine, Id have to lie to a pharmacist and say I hadnt been vaccinated yet. And I really didnt want to lie. Alice didnt understand why I had any qualms about it. And I couldnt really defend it, its not like theres been a shortage of vaccines in New York. Plus, the CDC guidelines are going to be calling for people to get extra shots in like a month. And yet I still didnt want to lie. Among other things, I didnt want the pharmacists, or anyone within earshot, to think I was only just getting vaccinated. What kind of person would they take me for?

Finally I caved, and after getting the illicit injection at a Rite Aid, I bought a bottle of Snapple strawberry-pineapple lemonade an elaborate concoction that called out to me from the shelf. Usually these kinds of drinks are disappointing but this one really hit the spot, a gentle sour instead of an adversarial one.

I did some work and wondered when the side effects from my Moderna shot were going to kick in. I had dinner plans with John Koblin, my old friend from the New York Observer, and since I really wanted to see him and was feeling fine, I didnt even think about canceling.

Koblin and I always go to the same Indian place in Brooklyn Heights and when I got there we realized it had turned BYOB, so I ran across the street to Green Apple Mart a majestic deli and bought a six-pack of Heinekens. We both ordered tikka masala Koblin got chicken and I got fish, a new thing for me. Ill confess that the salmon that arrived was not what I was picturing I thought itd be a stew for some reason but it was delicious.

I wanted to tell Koblin about my grandma but I also wanted to make it entertaining instead of melancholy, so I told him a whole drawn-out story about the hip injury, and the surgery, and the process of moving her into the nursing home, and then my two phone calls with her the whole time not revealing that she had died just 12 hours earlier. And then I revealed it like a punch line and he couldnt believe it. Honestly I think he loved it! And he was very compassionate. Im usually bad at talking about death, but this felt natural and right.

Friday, August 20I was expecting to wake up wrecked by my Moderna shot, but I was totally fine. Alice, who got her extra shot about an hour before I got mine, was completely out of commission, and it was understood that I would be on my own journey for the day.

While walking Mickey, I picked up a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich at the deli closest to our apartment and ate half of it. I didnt eat the other half of the sandwich till 2:30. I wasnt sure if I should try to warm it up to make the cheese melt again, but after one bite I decided it was good enough cold.

My plan for the evening was to meet up with my friend Meg, a producer who works with me on the podcast Celebrity Book Club with Steven and Lily. Meg lives upstate but was coming to the city for the weekend. Because I was out of ideas and didnt want to be responsible for setting the parameters of Megs night, I asked her to just make a plan and promised to meet her wherever. She told me to come to Bacaro in Chinatown, and that shed be with her friend Chase, a documentary filmmaker.

It was around 5 p.m. that I realized the vaccine was finally hitting. My arm really hurt, and the pain seemed to be spreading into the rest of my body, like some kind of poisonous gas. (I know thats not what it was though, I promise!) I felt sluggish and my head hurt and my eyeballs were moving around in a halting and unnatural way. Alice was still asleep but stirring, and when I told her my situation she said I should definitely just stay home. But I didnt want to cancel on Meg, or end this diary in a pathetic anticlimax, so I decided to rally.

Meg and Chase were drinking martinis when I arrived, so I ordered one too, even though in my head I had been planning to go home after two beers. One martini turned into two, and two turned into three, which I couldnt believe. Then we ordered dinner I got ricotta cavatelli with duck ragu and somehow I ended up with a fourth martini.

Four martinis is fucking insane, and before long it was after midnight, and somehow I was still seeing straight and saying yes when Chase asked if I wanted a Fernet Branca before we left. After walking over to another bar nearby Meg ran into a friend of hers from Ohio who works at Online Ceramics, a thing I recognized from Instagram, and at 2 a.m. a group of us including a shoe designer named Maggie found ourselves in the lobby of the Bowery Hotel, splitting some kind of gelato. For reasons I could not explain to myself in the moment, I told Maggie, a stranger, about my grandma. She sounded genuinely sad to hear the news, which I appreciated.

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Leon Neyfakh Always Waits Too Long to Eat - Grub Street

Aug 31

How I Lost More Than 110 Poundsand Kept the Weight Off –

Jason shares with Men's Health how he found the motivation to keep pursuing his health and fitness goals, even after several serious injuries.

At my heaviest, I weighed 317 pounds. The biggest contributing factor to my weight was working a stressful full-time job, as well as having a part-time job on top of that. I was frequently on the go for work, eating fast food or carryout for breakfast and lunch more days than not. I also drank limited water. During the day it was coffee and Diet Coke, then every evening when I got home it was nothing but beer until I fell asleep. I got complacent with my life, and at my size, I did not do much of any activity.

During the years of 2015 and 2016, my resting pulse was always at or over 100. I remember being so scared one time, I was just standing at work and my heart was pounding, like it could not pump fast enough. I went to the ER from work and my heart rate was out of control. That's when I also found out I had high blood pressure and was put on medication. Because of this I had to start seeing a cardiologist too. This was all in my mid-thirties. During that time period there were three trips total to the ER and at least one to urgent care for EKGs because of the same issue. I knew I had to make changes, and I would get serious when I had a health scare.

I did all the right thingslimited alcohol and ate rightbut it was all short lived. I would go back to my old habits after about a week or two, and it would take months to get back on track. Food and beer just seemed to take priority in life until I would have another health scare, and the cycle continued until I joined WW for New Years in 2017.

When I joined WW I specifically changed my diet. I began doing all the grocery shopping and preparing all meals for my family, even if I had to prepare myself something separate. I would track everything that I ate to ensure it was accounted for on my app. I lost about 70 pounds on WW just by tracking my food intake.

I then began exercising in September of 2018. I didn't tell anyone I joined the gym, because I joined gyms before and never used the membership. I started with just cardio, building onto the workouts each month. I told myself I needed to go three times a week at least, and I followed through with that goal and bumped that up to five times a week. I just got to the point where I felt better if I was exercising and moving.

I lost a total of 114 pounds. Then, in 2019, I broke my neck and ended up wearing a brace, unable to exercise, for several months. During this time, I was so scared to gain weight among a million other things. Fortunately, I did not gain weight during this time. I tracked everything, every bite, every ounce, every sip to ensure I stayed within my points. After being cleared to return to the gym, I slowly started to incorporate cardio and strength training once again. Once I started the strength training again my shoulder began hurting. I would push through the pain, but later found out that I had an AC separation. This was just all prior to the pandemic starting. I did a few months of physical therapy, and when gyms re-opened, I joined a private personal training studio to continue with strength training but with direction to avoid further injuries.

My family was a huge motivating factor in my journey. I work so hard professionally to ensure my family is provided for, and losing weight was necessary because I did not want to leave my wife a widow and my children without a father. I would ask myself what their life would be like if I were dead, especially because of health issues. I didnt like those thoughts. I did not want to leave my family sad because of my inability to change my habits. I knew I needed to set an example, especially as my children got older.

Those injuries could have left me dead or paralyzed but I am here working out, running, trying to enjoy life. Those injuries keep me going because this is my second chance and I dont want to blow it. My life could have been very different, so I owe it to myself to stay active and healthy.

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Aug 31

Serena Williams Reveals Her Exact Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner to Stay Fit | Eat This Not That – Eat This, Not That

Serena Williams is one of the most decorated tennis players of all time, with 39 Grand Slam titles to her name. Williams' athletic achievements may be the result of a combination of natural talent, determination, and hard work, but there's yet another component that's been essential to making her the star she is today: a commitment to healthy eating.

Read on to discover the exact diet Williams adheres to stay fit and healthy both on and off the court. And for more on how your favorite stars stay in shape, check out Vanessa Hudgens Reveals Her Exact Butt and Abs Workout.

In a new interview with Women's Health, Williams reveals that she rarely has time for breakfast in the morning.

"I often don't make breakfast because I just forget or I'm running around getting Olympia ready," she tells the publication. "And then I go work out." And for more insight into how stars stay fit, check out Cindy Crawford Reveals Her Exact Workout for Flat Abs.

While Williams hasn't officially declared herself a vegan or vegetarian, she relies on plant-based meals to fuel up midday.

"I had a bean burger the other day today[Today] I had a gluten-free bean burrito," she says.

Williams relies on social media to find fun new recipes to prepare at dinnertime.

"I get inspired by what I see on Instagram," she says. While she keeps her diet diverse, she says she never eats beef or avocados.

Related: For the latest celebrity health and fitness news delivered to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter!

To ensure she has ample energy for matches, Williams will fuel up with a high-carb meal, like pasta.

"The only time I eat pasta is when I'm playing/training. Usually, you'll never see me eating pasta otherwise," she says.

However, she doesn't exclusively carbo-load when she's training. "I usually like to have lots of greens before my match and then fruit actually, and a little carbs and some sort of a protein," Williams explains.

Related: The Wrong Amount of Carbs to Eat Every Day, Says Dietitian

Though Williams sticks to a healthy diet for the most part, she says there's one sweet treat she just can't get enough of.

"I love Moon Pies. If 'Moon Pie' sponsored me, I'd be bigger than any house on this planet!" she jokes.

For more on how celebs stay in shape, check out Hailey Bieber Shares Her Exact Butt Workout.

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Aug 31

Pityriasis Rosea and Diet: Is There a Connection? – Healthline

Pityriasis rosea is a skin condition that causes a Christmas tree rash. It starts with one patch, known as the mother patch, and branches out with smaller daughter patches on other parts of the body.

Although the rash will go away on its own with time, some people turn to medication, topical treatments, and dietary changes in an attempt to improve their symptoms (1, 2).

This article explores whether any diet, supplements, or other treatments can help treat pityriasis rosea.

Pityriasis rosea is a skin condition. It causes scaly, oval-shaped rashes that begin on the stomach, back, or chest and branch out onto the neck, arms, and legs (1, 2).

Its considered a self-limiting condition, meaning that it goes away on its own. It typically lasts 68 weeks, though it can last longer in some people (1, 2).

In most cases, the rash does not return once it has gone away, although one small study estimated that around 25% of people will experience recurrence (3).

Some, but not all, people with pityriasis rosea experience mild itching. Other symptoms of the condition are fatigue, nausea, headaches, fever, and sore throat. These symptoms can occur before or at the same time as the rash (2).

Sometimes, pityriasis rosea is mistaken for other skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, or ringworm. Your doctor may order blood tests to rule out other conditions before confirming a pityriasis rosea diagnosis.

The cause of pityriasis rosea is not known. Some speculate that it could be associated with a viral infection because it has been shown to spread through communities (2).

Anyone can get pityriasis rosea, but its most common between the ages of 10 and 35 and in those who are pregnant (2, 4).

Pityriasis rosea in pregnancy may be linked to miscarriage, especially during the first 15 weeks, although this correlation is not confirmed (1).

Because the rash goes away on its own with time, treatment is typically focused on symptom relief. Medical treatment can include antihistamines, topical steroids, and light therapy, all of which aim to reduce the intensity of itching (1).

Pityriasis rosea is a skin condition associated with a rash that can be itchy. The rash goes away on its own, often after 68 weeks, and treatment typically focuses on symptom relief.

No research directly supports the idea that dietary changes can help manage pityriasis rosea.

Still, some people believe that eating an anti-inflammatory diet might improve itching. An anti-inflammatory diet is high in foods that provide antioxidants, beneficial compounds that help prevent oxidative stress in your body (5).

Because pityriasis rosea is thought to be associated with increased oxidative stress, eating a diet high in antioxidants theoretically makes sense. However, there is currently no research supporting this idea (5).

Similarly, some people believe that the Autoimmune Protocol a diet that aims to lower inflammation could reduce pityriasis rosea symptoms (6).

In theory, a diet that decreases inflammation in your body might help manage the itching associated with the condition. However, no research supports this idea.

Current research doesnt suggest that any specific dietary changes can treat pityriasis rosea. Still, some people theorize that anti-inflammatory or antioxidant-rich diets might help relieve itching.

Pityriasis rosea usually goes away on its own, without requiring treatment. Still, certain supplements, topical treatments, medications, and lifestyle changes may offer some relief for those who experience irritated, itchy skin.

No strong evidence indicates that any supplements could help treat pityriasis rosea. However, certain supplements may relieve itchy skin in general.

Research suggests that vitamin D may relieve skin itch associated with eczema, a condition that makes skin red and itchy. One study found that taking 1,5001,600 IU of vitamin D per day reduced the severity of the symptoms (7, 8).

Fish oil is another supplement that has been shown to benefit the skin. One study in rats found that a daily fish oil supplement relieved itchiness associated with dry skin (9, 10).

Taking turmeric as a supplement and applying it topically may also help relieve itchy skin thanks to turmerics anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties (11, 12, 13).

Lastly, animal studies have found that compounds in bilberry may relieve itchy skin (14).

Keep in mind that although these potential anti-itch benefits of vitamin D, fish oil, turmeric, and bilberry are promising, more research in humans is still needed.

Further, these supplements have not been studied specifically in relation to pityriasis rosea. If youre experiencing itchy skin from the rash, its best to talk with your doctor to see if any of these supplements are worth a try.

Certain topical treatments may relieve some of the itching caused by pityriasis rosea.

Hydrocortisone is a cream that reduces your skins immune response to relieve itching, swelling, and redness. However, its not recommended for long-term use, so its a good idea to check with your doctor if youre interested in trying it (15).

Another option is calamine lotion. It contains zinc oxide, an essential mineral that can help with itching. It does so by decreasing the effects of histamine, a compound thats part of your bodys immune response and is associated with symptoms like itching (16).

Applying aloe vera may also cool and calm itchy skin. You can find bottled aloe vera in stores or use the gel from a fresh aloe vera leaf. When looking for aloe vera products, check out the ingredients and choose one that has aloe vera listed first (17).

Interestingly, oatmeal has been found to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may soothe irritated skin. Simply add 12 cups of oats to a bath and soak for 1520 minutes. You can also look for lotions containing oatmeal to enjoy its benefits (18, 19).

While these topical remedies may provide some relief, they wont treat the condition. Further, even though theyre generally considered safe, its best to talk with your doctor before trying them, especially if youre pregnant or breastfeeding.

Your doctor may be able to prescribe a stronger topical treatment if none of these over-the-counter options do the trick.

Over-the-counter antihistamines like diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and cetirizine (Zyrtec) can relieve itching by blocking the effects of histamine. Keep in mind, though, that some types may make you sleepy (20, 21).

Acyclovir, a drug often used to treat chickenpox, may also help those with pityriasis rosea. In fact, research has found that it may reduce skin redness, relieve symptoms, and even reduce the duration of rash (22, 23, 24).

A type of anti-inflammatory medications known as corticosteroids may also improve symptoms, although they are recommended only for severe or lingering cases of the condition. One study found that relapse rate was higher in those who were treated with a corticosteroid (25).

Some lifestyle factors may affect your skin, especially if youre dealing with a rash.

Try to avoid hot temperatures, as they can cause sweating, which might irritate your rash. Hot baths and showers and perfume-containing soaps and lotions may also cause irritation.

Because symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, fever, and sore throat can occur before or at the same time as the rash, be sure to get plenty of rest, stay hydrated, and check in with your doctor to make sure youre staying healthy.

Although pityriasis rosea cant be cured, certain medications, topical treatments, supplements, and lifestyle changes may reduce your symptoms.

There is currently no research to suggest that dietary changes can help treat or manage pityriasis rosea.

However, remedies such as antihistamines and topical treatments can help relieve itchy, irritated skin. And avoiding hot temperatures may help you avoid further irritating your skin.

Its best to talk with your doctor to find out which options may work best for you especially if youre pregnant or breastfeeding.

Remember, the rash usually goes away on its own without treatment.

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Pityriasis Rosea and Diet: Is There a Connection? - Healthline

Aug 31

Ancient Roman vacationers consumed gobs of olive oil and fish, volcano victims reveal – Science Magazine

Herculaneum was covered by Mount Vesuviuss eruption in 79 C.E., but unlike Pompeii, many human remains there were well preserved.

By Andrew CurryAug. 25, 2021 , 2:00 PM

Almost 2000 years ago, a volcanic eruption buried the seaside Roman town of Herculaneum in the same rush of hot ash and gas that decimated Pompeii. The catastrophe didnt just preserve buildings and bonesit saved clues to the Roman diet. A new analysis of the bones of 17 victims reveals what these ancient villagers were eating, and in what proportions. Residents scarfed a lot of seafood and olive oil, confirming historians estimates that average Romans consumed 20 liters (more than 5 gallons) of the oil each year.

Previous studies have only given broad outlines, not the nitty-gritty details, of the ancient Roman diet, says Erica Rowan, an archaeobotanist at the Royal Holloway University of London who was not involved with the new work. Here they do a good job of filling in those details.

In 79 C.E., in a desperate attempt to escape the impact of the Mount Vesuvius eruption, the people of Herculaneum huddled in boathouses along the towns waterfront, situated on the west coast of central Italy. But a sudden blast of 250C ash and gas killed them instantly, cooking their flesh while preserving their bones almost perfectly.

In previous work, scientists analyzed the collagen in those bones to conclude that men at Herculaneum had a more diverse diet than women. In the new study, researchers isolated specific amino acidsthe building blocks of proteinsfrom the collagen, and determined the ratios of varieties, or isotopes, of nitrogen and carbon atoms. Those isotopes can be traced to specific foods.

Thanks to the remains of plants and animals found at the site, archaeologists know the people of Herculaneum ate grains such as wheat and millet. They also consumed lentils, beans, cherries, peaches, and olives, plus 70 kinds of fish and shellfish from the Bay of Naples. But the proportions remained a mystery.

Using the new method, We can tell where their calories were coming from, says study co-author Oliver Craig, an archaeologist at the University of York. We were able to see foodstuffs were usually not able to see because theyre not proteins.

The analysis held some shocks: People at Herculaneum ate a lot of seafood, especially compared with humans in the Mediterranean region today. Approximately one-quarter of their protein was netted from the nearby sea, nearly triple the amount in the modern Mediterranean diet, the team reports today in Science Advances. We havent been able to see that before in regular isotopic analysis, Rowan says.

Olive oil was also a big hit. It made up at least 12% of calories consumed at Herculaneum, and perhaps much more. The find supports historical sources indicating the average Roman consumed 20 liters of oil each year, and that the oil was one of the most significant fat sources in the Roman diet. Olives were grown widely all across the Roman Empire, providing ample supplies. Oil wasnt a condiment, it was a proper ingredient, says co-author Silvia Soncin, an archaeologist at Sapienza University of Rome. They got a lot of energy out of it.

The women of Herculaneum also ate fewer grains and cereals than did the men. Herculaneums men, meanwhile, seemed to down more fish and shellfish. Soncin and Craig suggest mens varied diets might be a sign that they spent more time outside of the house.

The scientists acknowledge that the Herculaneum diet may not be representative of ancient Rome as a whole. Its possible the people of the townsituated on the rich Bay of Naples, surrounded by fertile volcanic soil, and near a major port importing goods from across the Mediterraneanhad an especially diverse diet.

Still, Rowan says, the approach could shed light on other ancient diets across the globe. If they could use the same methods at different sites, it would be really interesting.

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Ancient Roman vacationers consumed gobs of olive oil and fish, volcano victims reveal - Science Magazine

Aug 31

Stretches, breaths and food to get fit (even if you sit most of the day) – Entrepreneur

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The current pace of life demands greater effort and dedication. But what happens when you start the week and you already feel tired? Or does the work climate generate an emotional drain on you that also affects your personal life? According to the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), 30% of the country's employees experience work stress, which directly affects their productivity.

Therefore, it is best to stop, identify what you are doing wrong and start an action plan that includes exercise, rest and a balanced diet, among other basic points. Maybe you think that with your work rate it is impossible to get fit and balance your life. Contrary to what you think, simply giving yourself a 15-minute break during the day can be the key to improving your work performance and avoiding health problems.

For Gabriela Zapata, manager of Tiempo Activo - a Chilean franchise that offers physical activity programs in the workplace - there are several common problems associated with work routines. For example: tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, neck pain, limb pain, lumbago, spinal pain and, of course, stress.

Faced with these conditions, the recommendation is that you incorporate the following tips and exercises into your routine.


Practice relaxation techniques in times of greatest stress. Just take a five-minute break during a stressful work day. During this time, close your eyes, breathe in until your lungs fill with air, and for a count of five, breathe out slowly.

At home - after arriving from the office - do not forget to completely disconnect from work matters and take time to think and be with yourself. A good practice, for example, is to read a book of interest to relieve tension and stress.


It is common for people to have tight muscles in the workplace. And it is precisely for this reason that when they get home they feel heavy and hard. Faced with this reality, from which most cannot escape, specialists recommend that you stretch all parts of your body and work with your breath to achieve complete relaxation.

The first movement can be done, even in the office, leaning on a table or on the back of a chair. Stretch your hands until your back is flat as if it were a board. In this position count to 15, inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth.

To strain your lower muscles, stand upright, bring your legs together, and extend your arms forward. Lower them slowly until you touch the calves with your hands; take a breath and return to the starting position. Repeat this movement about five times.

These simple exercises help to activate circulation during a long work day. They are also the perfect solution to feel more clear, relaxed and, consequently, be more productive.


If you feel pain in your neck or lower back, stretch your spine every two hours to avoid poor posture. Also, do not use soft seats, that have no backrest or those that are too big or small for you. Don't forget to exercise to keep your abdominal and back muscles in proper muscle tone.


Every wellness routine begins with a good diet. Therefore, avoid those foods that overload the body with slow digestion and make it prone to overload, cholesterol, blood pressure, etc. Golden rule: avoid flour and fat.

If you have trouble eating well while at the office, remember that you can eat a healthy diet just by including vegetables, grains, fruits, and low-fat meats. Do not forget to drink at least a liter of water a day.


Experts agree that exercise is the best way to achieve a healthy life.

Use the stairs instead of the elevator; walk to work or park at one end of the parking lot. Also take time to walk around the office area or go for a group walk after lunch to clear your mind a bit.


Strike a balance between work obligations and all aspects of your personal life, so they don't affect your mental and physical health.

To achieve a work-personal balance, start with the following routine. Don't take work and worries home with you. Once through the entrance of your home, take a deep breath and do a chip change that has nothing to do with what you do in the office.

Answer these key questions to have a first diagnosis of your health condition.


Most Yes. If at night you find it difficult to fall asleep and you are increasingly tired and irritable, you suffer from Professional Burnout Syndrome. This is commonly seen in the administrative, health sector and customer service personnel.

In addition, it leaves negative consequences that affect job performance and generates conflicts at work and in the family environment.

Tip: take a break from your activities, visit a doctor for a more thorough check-up, and follow his instructions.

Majority No. Congratulations! You are at a point of equilibrium and you stay fit and healthy. Therefore, you shouldn't have a hard time concentrating on your daily chores and putting work aside in your spare time.

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Stretches, breaths and food to get fit (even if you sit most of the day) - Entrepreneur

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