by Ryan Fu •
Winner gets their blog promoted by BLW this whole week!
I cried when I watched this video. A frightening reality planted itself in front of me as I remembered that my own grandmother had passed away from diabetes almost 20 years ago. She spent her last years injecting multiple daily insulin shots, in and out of a hospital bed 300 km away from her hometown. I remember my mother telling me that nana used to drink a lot of soda.
The implications of a disease are hard to fully grasp unless you or someone you love has suffered through it. But even more horrifying than my nan’s sole story, is the fact that diabetes is a reality for millions of people worldwide at this very moment. In America alone, over 29 million people were diagnosed with diabetes in 2012. It stands as the 7th leading cause of death in that country.
According to these statistics, Americans consume close to 50 billion liters of soda per year, which equates to about 216 liters, or about 57 gallons per person. That is a colossal amount of sugar. And not just any sugar, but some of the worst we know of – fructose, in the form of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
Tragically, high fructose corn syrup, in the form of soda, has become the number one source of calories in the United States, and it is very clear that it is the primary cause of the obesity and diabetes epidemic.
Soda companies are masters at fooling customers and masking their products as fun, cool and delicious. Take this commercial for example:
The “Thin Line” spoken poem not only exposes the hard reality about diabetes, but it also raises attention around the specific socio-economic demographic who are commonly affected by this disease,
“Nearly 1 in 2 children of color born in the year 2000 will get diabetes in their lifetime.”
The truth is that most low-income families often end up spending what little they have on these junk food products because they don’t have access to healthier options. The consequences are heartbreaking and pretty terrifying. With the ever-increasing cost of living and declining wages, more and more families are being forced into poverty as the middle class is being eradicated.
It may seem like common sense for some to stray far away from high-fructose corn syrup sodas, but a large majority of the population are not properly educated on the implications of poor nutrition, a vast percentage of these people being low-income families.
If someone you know consumes soda on a regular basis, be the one to supply them with the facts they need to know. Soda is an empty, modified can of death.
Raise your voice today and join the conversation about diabetes.
Credit: Collective Evolution
CrossFitters often revel in the fact that our workouts have bloodied our hands. “We’re such badasses! We’re SO hardcore!” But let’s call a spade a spade: IT IS NOT “COOL” TO HAVE CHUNKS OF OUR SKIN RIPPED FROM OUR HANDS.
Flayed skin is not a badge of bad-assery. It does not mean that you are tougher or better at working out. And it most definitely does not mean that CrossFit, lifting and/or gymnastics should be avoided because of the possibility that the skin on your hands might get torn.
All it means is that:
Torn skin is painful and annoying, and may put you out of commission for a spell. And THAT is unequivocally un-hardcore.
My first encounter with shredded hands occurred shortly after starting CrossFit, back when the roughest activity my hands saw was an occasional difficult-to-open jar of spaghetti sauce. And my latest (and greatest) rip was during yesterday’s Mary WOD, after neglecting proper hand care for weeks. Over the past year, I’ve experienced minor tears and major ones. In this post, I’m going to discuss what I could (and should) have done to prevent bloody hand, and what treatment options are available to those of us unfortunate enough to gash open our hands doing high-rep pull-ups, kettlebell snatches and the like.
Those who are new to gymnastics, weightlifting or CrossFit in general often start with soft, callus-free hands. Ideally, to reduce the likelihood of hand tears, beginners should try to gradually build up calluses (through — what else? — handling bars) to the point where the skin on their palms and fingers are tough and thick — but smooth. Once some skin-thickening is achieved, the goal is to keep any calluses filed down. The goal is have a consistent, smooth palm surface, without noticeable ridges or fluctuating thicknesses of skin. A raised, rough callus will eventually blister and tear away from the surrounding skin, ripping open your hands and making a bloody mess. A general rule of thumb: If you can pinch a raised edge of the callus, it needs to be filed down. Constant vigilance and regular hand care is key to preventing tears.
You can use a number of different tools to keep your calluses in check, including:
A lot of CrossFitters rip open their hands doing high-rep bar movements: kipping pull-ups, clean-and-jerks, snatches. But there are ways to tweak your technique to reduce the chances of a nasty tear.
First, use the right grip.
When working with a barbell, some folks are inclined to grip the bar across the middle of their palms. This, unfortunately, squishes the fleshy pad below the base of your fingers against the bar, causing discomfort, added friction, blisters, and worse. A better way to go is to grip the barbell across the base of your fingers — where the metacarpals meet the proximal phalanges.
I’m using Neosporin, but there are, of course, lots of other remedies that people swear by, including:
Do you feel that you must eat carbs in your pre-workout meal?!
The optimal pre-workout meal should be to fuel your brain for best gym performance, not feeding your muscles “for performance”. Carbs are therefore secondary to protein, for optimal nitrogen balance whilst training, and fats, and if carbs calm you down, as they do many people, do you really think they should be in your pre-workout meal?!
Brushing your teeth: It’s something you (should) do twice a day, every day. But it’s not as a simple as just scrubbing and rinsing.Timothy Chase, D.M.D., a New York City-based cosmetic dentist, says these are the flubs most people make:
All toothbrush bristles have a rating — hard, medium, soft, and extra soft. Just ignore the medium and hard bristles altogether, says Chase. “I see a tremendous amount of [gum and tooth] damage from brushes that are not soft enough. Imagine you have a broom and you’re trying to get dust out of a corner. If you had a really stiff broom, you’d wind up scuffing up the wall. A soft broom would take the shape of a corner and remove the dust easily,” he says. The same goes for your toothbrush.
You should buy a new toothbrush or, if you use an electric toothbrush, replace the head every three months. If you forget, pay attention to the bristles. When they begin to feel soft and lose their original shape, it’s time to pitch it (or at least retire it to the cleaning cabinet).
Every dentist will say it: The correct way to brush your teeth is in small circular movements. Remember that the only thing you should be removing is leftover food debris — not brushing so hard that you ruin your enamel. “Most people use a sawing motion back and forth, which can cause damage to the gums and tooth abrasion. This can lead to root exposure and sensitivity,” Chase says.
“You don’t get a great result from whitening toothpaste,” warns Chase. “Instead, use a cavity-fighting toothpaste, and then use trays or white strips independent of brushing.” Another tip: Only squeeze out a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. “A good rule of thumb is half the brushing surface,” he says.
There is a lot of bacteria on your tongue, which can lead to bad breath and tooth decay. As you’re brushing your teeth, remember to scrape the surface of your tongue in a forward motion. This will pull all of that bacteria forward before you finish.
“Flossing is 40% of the job,” says Chase. You need to floss daily. The American Dental Association says that flossing before or after brushing is fine, but if you floss before, the fluoride from your toothpaste has a better chance of reaching in between teeth.
You only need to use a mouthwash if you like it, and if you’re going to use it, stick with an alcohol-free variety. (Chase likes Listerine Zero.) Your mouth needs saliva in order to clean itself, and alcohol can dry out your mouth. And before making your kids rinse with a fluoride mouthwash, check with your pediatric dentist. “Don’t just automatically assume your kids should use one,” says Chase.
Chase recommends that his patients spend a full two minutes brushing. There are some electronic toothbrushes that will automatically stop after two minutes, or simply use a timer until you get the timing down.
It’s worth it to invest in a quality electric toothbrush, says Chase. It does all of the work for you and doesn’t overpower your teeth. But don’t be persuaded by the disposable electric toothbrush. “Some of the disposal electric toothbrushes cheap out on the most important part, which is the bristle,” he says. “Generally the bristles are so hard that you cause a lot of damage.”