Friday, March 15, 2013

Todd Terje: It's The Arps EP. Review Sketch

year: 2012

tones of: lcd soundsystem, lindstrom

genre samples: electro-pop, disco, sound-synth, house

music: robotic, shimmering, upbeat, danceable, trance-like, happy, fluttering, racing, layered, fun, spacey

favs: inspector norse, swing star pt1, swing star pt2, swing star pt1 + pt2

note: this entire album was made with an ARP 2600 synthesizer! cool.

score: 8.5/10

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy: Book Review

Author: Walter Willett (with Patrick Skerrett and co-developed with the Harvard School of Public Health)

Length: 250 pages (plus a 68 pages of recipes)

What is ItA practical guide through the facts and statistics on nutrition and their link to health and disease (heart attack, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer). EDBH educates by conveniently repeating important details and definitions, which helps deprogram common misconceptions and reinforce the absorption of new health information. The book covers these topics: weight control, diets, fats, carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, calcium, protein, fruits, vegetables and multivitamins.

What's Said
Genes play a role, but only partly. Weight change equals calories in minus calories out. A calorie is a calorie, no matter how you get it. There is a positive correlation between BMI and the death rate. When fad diets "work" it is mainly because they make you focus on what and how much you eat. Weight gain is not inevitable, many cultures maintain their adulthood weight. Exercise! Activity is most beneficial when it speeds up your heart rate and breathing. 
Not all fat is bad for you (eg: most liquid oils, omega fats), but trans fat absolutely is, and saturated fat should be limited. Eating good fat (mono- and poly- unsaturated fats) improves your cholesterol (by lowering LDL). Not all simple or complex carbohydrates are bad (eg: intact whole wheat grains). However, highly refined carbohydrates (white: flour, rice) create volatile glucose-insulin levels that can generate a feeling of unsatisfied hunger (just like sugar). You need calcium, not milk and dairy products. Vitamin D and K are just as important to building healthy bones. Vegetable protein is better in terms of saturated fat and fiber, though meat protein is more complete (fix by mixing beans, nuts, grains). Organic fruits and vegetables are not materially better than regular or frozen ones (they taste and are better for the environment though). Eat fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors for optimal benefit. Fruits and vegetables are better fresh than cooked (destroys nutrients - except in tomatoes). 
Coffee in moderation is good for you (antidepressant, lowers risk of kidney/gall- stones, diabetes). Alcohol is good in moderation (increases HDL, reduces clotting). Soda is an awful beverage with no nutritionally redeeming value. Drink enough fluids so that your urine is consistently clear or pale yellow. 
Check nutritional tables against the list of ingredients provided. Ingredients are listed in order of descending weight/importance. Wheat flour is not the same as whole-wheat flour (much better). Trans fat is also known as vegetable shortening and partially (or just) hydrogenated oil. Check total fat against sum of listed fats (difference is trans fat).
Store brand, RDA-level, USP approved multivitamins are perfectly fine.

What's TrueNutrition is a complex, evolving science; do not be surprised by the lack of clear, definite answers. The following have solid foundations, however: Maintaining a healthy weight is the most important thing you can do for your health. Exercise and activeness are the best things that you can do for weight control. Based on nutritional factors, most diets do not actually workThe next best health move is to eat better fats and carbohydrates. Substituting your diet with more fruits and vegetables has tremendous health benefits. Taking a multivitamin in addition to the above is a good back up option. 

So What: Food companies have built billion dollar businesses exploiting our tastes/habits (ex: got milk ads, sugar additions) and influencing agricultural policies (ex: the USDA food pyramid, corn consumption). There are key components you need to understand and specific knowledge you can act upon to protect your health. Youth and genes are vulnerable defenses. They are not enough. You need leverage. This book is that leverage, and thankfully its purpose is not just to inform or entertain; it has a higher standard - to educate. It challenges you look at your food differently and, as a result, hopefully eat healthier.

Final Word: Must Read

My Cheat Sheet*:
- replace some of your packaged snacks and desserts with fruits and nuts
- stock less junk food (if it's not around you're less likely to eat it!)
- don't drink soda regularly (it's just sugar and unnecessary calories)
- dilute juices with flat/sparkling water (lasts longer and saves calories)
- practice eating until the point you are satisfied, but before you are full
- eat smaller when you eat out (share/save the rest - it's multi-servings!)
- instead of butter/margerine, use oils or avocado for cooking or spreading
- drive less and walk more, park farther away, take the stairs
- eat meals with a large variety, instead of a large quantity, of food
- specific foods to substitute with more:
    spinach (so many nutrients: vitamin A, D, K, folic acid, potassium)
    beans - black, kidney, baked, lentils (protein, potassium, folic acid)
    oils - olive, safflower, sunflower, canola (lowers LDL and raises HDL)
    grainy and dark breads (low glycemic load, good carbs)
    wheat thins, triscuits (good replacement for crackers, chips)
    cereals: wheat chex, wheaties, kashi 1st; bran flakes, wheat germ 2nd
    chicken and tuna (higher % protein and less calories than beef)
    nuts - hazel, almonds, pine, walnuts, pecans (in order of UnS/S fat)
- general foods to consume less of or use in moderation:
    white potatoes, white rice (not so great, refined carbohydrates)
    dairy (saturated fat, hormones, lactose issues, excess linked to cancer)
    soy (good protein substitute in moderation, but still studying +/-s)

*DISCLOSURE: I am not a doctor, nor do I even pretend to be one on TV so [1] you can always read EDBH yourself and draw insights directly (it's worth it), and [2] always consult your physician before making major changes to your diet.