Rants & Raves – 03/31/12

Oh, the webbernet! It gets me all riled up with dire news and mainstream idiocy, then blammo! it hits me with something so awesome, it must be shared. Dear friends, welcome to this week’s collection of Rants & Raves.


Here are the things that worked me up into a lather this week. My computer monitor has shown amazing patience and fortitude in the face of my shock and outrage.

Another reason statins are a bad, bad idea
Statins are cholesterol-reducing drugs taken by more than 20 million Americans. The drugs are controversial for a variety of reasons, and one of the side effects is muscle ache and fatigue. Now new research indicates that that negative effect is more pronounced in exercisers. “When the scientists studied muscle tissues, they found that oxidative stress, a measure of possible cell damage, was increased by 60 percent in sedentary animals receiving statins, compared with the unmedicated control group. The effect was magnified in the [running rats], whose cells showed 226 percent more oxidative stress than exercising animals that had not been given statins.”

Three words: Savory. Pork. Donuts.
I’m not too proud to admit that I’m painfully attracted and only mildly repulsed by this idea. Is that wrong?! (I argued with myself for at least 5 minutes about whether this belonged in Rants or Raves.)

Sugar, you leave that pompadour alone!
Four different studies seemed to find that “men with insulin resistance, a condition that leads to diabetes and obesity and is linked to heart disease, were much more likely to be bald.” And y’all know what causes insulin resistance: sugar and craptastic carbs.

Further evidence that we shouldn’t eat something just because it’s “natural”
To move away from using artificial ingredients, Starbucks is now coloring its Strawberry Frappucino with cochineal extract, which is made by grinding up the died bodies of cochineal bugs. I supposed we could shrug and say “extra protein.” A vegetarian web site has dubbed the drink “strawberry insecto-Frapp non-vegan.”

LifeHacker debunks 10 exercise myths
How are these outdated ideas perpetuated?! “Myth 9: If You Don’t Exercise When You’re Young, It’s Dangerous When You Get Older: A 2009 study of over 1800 seniors concluded that seniors who exercised — or even started to exercise— late in life were likely to live longer than those who didn’t, and live out their last years healthier than their counterparts who avoided exercise.” I bet they had a lot more fun, too!


And now onto the really good stuff that was delightful, enlightening, or just plain fun…

MUST READ: What the 2012 CrossFit Open Workouts Have Meant to the Everyday Athlete
I triple-dog dare you not to well up while you read this beautiful story of personal triumph.

How great is it when you meet an online friend, and they’re even nicer/cooler/prettier in person?! So great.
Photographic evidence of when I visited the Experience Life offices to visit with the good people who named me an Ambassador. (Man! I love that freakin’ tiara!)

JUST START, and other excellent advice
Holly of Holly Would If She Could gets real with her smarts. In a post filled with wonderful sentences, this one  might be the wonderful-est for me right now: “You are not in competition with the fittest version of yourself.” Ahem.

We could cook up serious paleo feast in this joint
TheKitchn give us a peek inside America’s Test Kitchen with a brilliant slideshow tour. The “Wall of Awesome” is redonkulously cute, and the library made me feel kinda weepy with envy. Think we could ever convince Chris Kimball to work the test kitchen magic on a paleo recipe?!

From the “I Need This Now” Department: the world’s most adorbs tea towel

Things That Make Me Go Ew

I’m not sure if this first one makes me rant-y or rave-y — it’s mostly just weird.

Forbes says “Fill ‘Er Up With Human Fat”
Apparently, our human fat contains triglycerides that can be turned into diesel fuel. Tyson is using chicken schmaltz to fuel its trucks, and a Beverly Hills doctor turned lyposuction patients into a personal gas station. “…Craig Alan Bittner turned the fat he removed from patients into biodiesel that fueled his Ford SUV and his girlfriend’s Lincoln Navigator.”

And finally… Ouch! This is what women’s feet and ankles look like in high heels; I’m sticking to my Converse.


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Rants & Raves 2/22/2014

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  • Michelle says:

    The Test Kitchen tour made me slightly giddy. I have The Best Simple Recipes checked out from the library now, and I have about 20 recipes bookmarked to adapt. ATK/CI doesn’t have many paleo-ready recipes, but they’re always good for inspiration!

  • Amber says:

    I’m not a fan of bugs, but the sugar quantity in the drink is far more disturbing. I can’t believe I used to drink frappuccinos on a regular basis.

    I want the pink t-rex tea towel 🙂

    I wish my kitchen was as big and cozy as the test kitchen!

  • Lydia says:

    BRB–reblogging the CrossFit Open Workouts post.

    I don’t wear them very often, but when I do, I love my high heels. Who cares if it’s a socially-conditioned response? I feel like a sexy badass in ’em. =D

  • Mel says:

    1) The cochineal thing cracks me up! 🙂 I spin yarn, and cochineal has been used for literally thousands of years as a natural red dye. They grow the little beetles on special cacti. They’re a mainstay in coloring lipstick red (yep)… so, many people have probably eaten lots of cochineal without realizing it. 🙂

    2) HEELS. SweetBabyJesus. My boyfriend’s a Navy officer, and we’re going to our last (sad) Navy ball this month (think “grown-up prom”). So I needed some shoes to match my dress. I went to DSW on the hunt for some heels, and I’d estimate at least 90% of the heels that are “in” right now are, at minimum, 4″ tall. Not just that, many heels are 5″ tall or more but with a 1″ platform. I kept thinking to myself, “What are women doing to themselves? It feels like I’m en pointe!” It took me an hour searching to find something that was less painful to wear.

  • Aimee says:

    Oh how I miss my high heeled babies…I am on forced restriction from them right now until I get the results of my MRI 🙁 Sucks bad enough to have a hurt foot (which BTW hurts in flats, awesome workout shoes or my beautiful high heels)but being forced to wear ugly shoes is just torture! My orthopedic would love to hang this xray in his office I bet!

  • Amy says:

    I think the pink Good n’ Plenty candies that I *used* to enjoy are also colored with cochineal insects. Hershey’s website doesn’t list the ingredients, but apparently they are Kosher! 🙂 I’d much rather eat the bug-derived dye than Red No. 40 or whatever – scary stuff!

  • elaine! says:

    I find it hilarious that cochineal extract is news again, all of a sudden. I seem to recall it cropping up on MSN or whatever every couple years to freak people out. “Oh noes, we’re eating BUGS?” Yeah, and? I’m not exactly going to go grub hunting any time soon, but bugs a perfectly appropriate food source. It’s the sugar in the frapps that’s the real tragedy.

  • ms jane says:

    Those doughnuts…ewwwwwww!!!!