Sesame Dressing

An easy salad dressing that complements a variety of vegetables and salads. 

You’ll Need

  • 10 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon (or less sugar), we encourage you to start with less and know you can always add more.


Mix all together.

Slim but sedentary might face same heart risks as overweight

(Reuters Health) – Adults with a healthy weight but a sedentary lifestyle may have the same risk for heart attacks or strokes as people who are overweight, a recent study suggests.

Researchers found that normal-weight people who spent much of the day sitting but still hit minimum recommended weekly exercise targets of 150 minutes of moderate activity had about a 58 percent lower risk of a heart attack or stroke than overweight people.

But when individuals with a normal weight sat around most of the time and got very little exercise, their risk of serious cardiac events wasn’t significantly different from that of overweight people.

“Being at normal weight is not sufficient to be healthy,” said lead study author Arch Mainous of the University of Florida in Gainesville.

“This matters for patients because they may get a false sense of security by just looking at the number on the scale,” Mainous said by email. “A sedentary lifestyle can erode the advantage of a healthy weight and increase the cardiovascular risk to that of their overweight counterparts.”

When people are sedentary – especially in middle age and beyond – they lose lean muscle mass and cardiorespiratory fitness, Mainous said.

Participants in the current study were ages 40 to 79, without a history of heart disease. Researchers used the standard American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association risk-factor calculator ( to assess people’s risk of events like heart attacks and strokes. A high risk was at least a 7.5 percent chance of this happening over the next decade. A “low risk” was a less than 7.5 percent chance.

Researchers identified people as being at a healthy weight if they had a body mass index (BMI, a ratio of height to weight) of 18.5 to 24.9 and overweight if their BMI was from 25 to 29.9. (A BMI calculator is online here:


Overall, 35 percent study participants had a high risk of events like heart attacks or strokes when risk factors other than BMI were also taken into consideration, researchers report in the American Journal of Cardiology.

Among individuals with a normal-range BMI, about 30 percent had a high risk of cardiac events.

For example, when researchers looked at fat in the gut region (or “sagittal abdominal diameter”), they found normal-weight participants with too much of this fat were more than twice as likely to be at a high risk of cardiac events as participants with a normal BMI and without much of this fat.

And, adults with a normal BMI who got short of breath during exercise were 35 percent more likely to have a high risk of heart attacks and strokes than normal-weight individuals who didn’t have breathing issues with exertion.

One limitation of the study is that researchers measured respiratory fitness based on how often participants reported shortness of breath, and not with objective breathing or exercise tests.

Even so, the results underscore the importance of staying active even with a healthy BMI, said Dr. Michael Hall, a researcher at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson who wasn’t involved in the study.

“While being in the normal-weight BMI category is good, reducing sedentariness and increasing physical activity still has important benefits,” Hall said by email.

“Unfortunately, many people have sedentary jobs, so it is important to work in time for moderate to vigorous exercise,” Hall added. “Small things like taking the stairs, adding in a few brief walks in the day or other intermittent activities may help attenuate some of the risks associated with sedentary behavior.”

SOURCE: American Journal of Cardiology, online December 4, 2018.


When It’s Okay To Be Type-A

I feel like I need to go to meetings. 

“Hello, my name is Will”. 

[in unison] “Hello Will.” 

“It’s been two weeks since my last workaholic episode, my phone is no longer physically plugged into my umbilical cord, and I don’t hyperventilate until I pass out when I take an entire day off.” 

[polite applause] I nod. Smile meekly but appreciatively, and sit back down.  

Yes, I am that person. The one who works all the time. And I know how that seems like I’m a tortured soul with a one-dimensional life, but that’s not actually true. And I also know that this article is going to sound a bit like a rationalization for an obvious mental disorder, but it also isn’t.  

Where The Concern Comes From 

The Type-A behavior pattern is defined as a temperament with excessive ambition, aggression, competitiveness, drive, impatience, need for control, and unrealistic sense of urgency. These are the overachievers who just cannot get themselves to sit down and chill out for a second.  

It’s also commonly stated that this pattern of behavior can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. In fact, this WebMD article is explicit: “Type A Triggers Heart Disease”. Nothing equivocal about that. And if you’re a competitive person, or someone driven to succeed, you might read this and think that these tendencies will be the death of you.  

However, although it’s true that the Type-A personality profile is more prone to cardiovascular disease and death, it’s also completely misleading. Type A behavior has many traits associated it (seven of them, based on the list above). And the uber anal-retentive fact-finding obsessives like me will doubtless ask which one of these traits is most responsible, or whether it is the combination of those traits, or perhaps a subset of those traits. Huh? Huh?  

It turns out that there is hope for my people.  

Type-A personality is to heart disease … as coffee is to cancer   

Several decades ago, researchers discovered that those people who drink coffee also have a greater risk of getting cancer. As a result, these two factors were linked and we were burdened with an incorrect assumption: coffee consumption increases the risk of cancer.  

The problem with this conclusion – in addition coffee-deprived mornings – was that those who drank coffee also tended to smoke. In other words, many variables were associated with coffee consumption and only one of them was actually responsible an increased risk of cancer (smoking). That means all the other variables associated with coffee consumption – like actually drinking coffee – are not related an increasing risk of cancer at all.  

It’s a totally rookie science error.  

The same basic problem seems to be at play in the link between the Type-A personality and cardiovascular disease. Of the seven different traits all assigned to this personality type, it turns out that only a couple of them contribute to heart problems.  And the question really is, which trait is contributing to heart problems?  

Anger and Hostility Are Not Your Friend 

Hostility itself is a well-established risk factor for heart disease, all on its own.  This effect held up for healthy people as well as those who have had prior cardiovascular problems.  

This is supported by the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study. A total of 3308 adults aged 18 to 30 years from 4 US metropolitan areas were followed up on over 15 years. Researchers wanted to discover which of the traits (time urgency/impatience (TUI), achievement striving/competitiveness (ASC), hostility, depression, and/or anxiety) were associated with hypertension.  

They found that achievement, striving, and competitiveness – all classic hallmarks of a Type-A person – were not related to hypertension at all. However, the traits of impatience and hostility were related in a dose-dependent manner. In other words, the higher the hostility and impatience, the higher the risk of hypertension.  

The message seems to be that being a hypermotivated slacker-annoying overachiever is irrelevant to your cardiovascular health. It’s neither here nor there (one less thing to micromanage, right?). So go ahead and achieve away. Have a good time running through your infinite do-loop of tasks.  

What does matter is whether you carry yourself through this life with anger and hostility, or live through more positive emotions. And this distinction seems to be the case no matter where you are on the scale, from busy bee to beach bum.   

When Your Cancer Fighting Food Is A Drink?

It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee my friends, because they used to think coffee caused cancer. But good morning, sunshine, it’s a new day. Experts now recognize that coffee is a cancer fighter instead.

So while you’re chewing over those cancer fighting foods I told to add to your diet all week, maybe have some tea or that second cup of coffee because they are ridiculously good for you.

Of course, like everything else in the universe, high volume consumption can turn a healthy food into an unhealthy option. So don’t do this to your coffee and tea — drink it small, and you get all the health benefits without having so much that you make it bad for you.


Haley’s Comet Is Making My Cat Creaky, and Other Observations

When health pieces come out that seem too weird to be right, they probably are.

The article (pulled in below for your reading pleasure) makes the point, and I’ll chat about it in this video. 



Trying to lose weight? The colder months might be the perfect time.

Freezing temps are no excuse to give up on fitness. As it turns out, you might stand a better chance of losing weight when it’s cold.
A new study published in the journal Scientific Reports found that people actively trying to shed pounds had the best results when the temperature dropped. The more inhospitable the weather, the more conscientious people became about keeping track of their meals and calories.“Climate-related factors can directly change a person’s behavior, and these factors can have a certain impact on intentional efforts to lose weight,” said Sang Youl Rhee, who led the research team at Kyung Hee University Medical Center in Seoul. “In addition, various climatic factors can lead to a significant change in the level of energy expenditure in the body.”

Researchers tracked the weight loss of 3,274 people under 42 throughout Europe, the Americas and Asia with Noom Coach, a fitness app that can pinpoint the location of users. They then used a meteorology service, called Weather Underground API, to monitor conditions, and discovered that colder temperatures and lower dew points as well as higher wind speed and precipitation were all linked to the app users’ weight loss.

On average, people logged into Noom 110 days during the year-long study, or roughly every three days. Men tended to use the app more frequently than women and were more likely to lose weight. People who logged their meals regularly, especially dinner, lost the most weight.

 “During the weight-loss journey, it’s important to focus on changing the underlying behaviors that lead to obesity,” said Rhee, an endocrinologist. “Those who continue logging food and have an awareness around what they are eating will be most successful in losing weight.”

Chronicling meals, physical activity and weight have been proven in previous studies to be effective ways to lose weight. A Kaiser Permanente study of 1,700 people found that those who kept a daily account of what they ate lost twice as much weight as those who kept no record.

Noom, which launched in 2012, lets users choose from a variety of courses, ranging from 16 to 22 weeks, designed to prevent or manage chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes. Courses are created by physicians and come with a coach to guide users through the process. One week might be dedicated to understanding triggers to unhealthy foods you’re eating while another focuses on getting you to try a variety of veggies.

“It’s a cognitive behavior-based program, meaning you’re trying to understand what makes you have certain habits and behaviors and change your thinking around those behaviors and habits,” said Artem Petakov, president and co-founder of Noom. “There are different exercises to make you more mindful and more likely to problem-solve around those areas.”

Petakov said Noom has worked with other researchers, including a team at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, on wellness studies. In this case, the team at Kyung Hee approached the company, which has 45 million users worldwide, to get a diverse collection of anonymous data.

The study did not take exercise into account, but Petakov said that’s not necessarily a shortcoming.

“The popular notion is that physical activity is the key to achieving weight loss, but the truth is it’s more about nutrition,” Petakov said. “When it’s colder, you have more time to focus on the nutrition aspects, cooking more for example, and just have more time to dedicate to it without as many distractions as far as going outside.”


Which Milk Is Better For Kids? Get Ready To Have Your Mind Changed.

Low-fat milk may not be the best option for kids, though many experts recommend it to fight obesity for children over 2.

kids-milks-low-fat-chocolateCanadian researchers collected height and weight data on 2,745 healthy children ages 1 to 6 years. They took blood samples, and their parents reported how much skim, 1 percent, 2 percent and whole milk the children drank.

After controlling for age, sex, outdoor play and other factors that affect both vitamin D levels and weight, they found that children who drank one cup of whole milk per day had a vitamin D level comparable to that of children who drank 2.9 cups of 1 percent milk, but their body mass index was lower by 0.79 points. The higher the fat content of the milk they drank, the lower the children’s B.M.I. and the higher their vitamin D levels. The study is in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

“These two things together may make it a double whammy for low-fat milk,” he said. “But this is a small piece of the puzzle. We really need to do the research to answer these very basic questions.”

Why this happens is unknown, but the senior author, Dr. Jonathon L. Maguire, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Toronto, suggested that vitamin D is better absorbed with fat, and drinking low-fat milk may leave a child hungrier for more calorie-dense food.

Article source: NYTimes Well:

Quick Video: The Best Foods Are Pedestrian Foods. But What Does That Even Mean?

The healthiest foods on Earth are the simple ones. You can look harder, you can look longer for the latest shiny nutritional distraction that purports some magical mystery tour to thinner thighs in thirty days or whatever, but the best foods for the best health have been there all along. They may be boring for our A.D.D. brains but they’re anything but boring for your body and mind.

No, You Can’t Prevent All Cancers

My wife’s diagnosis taught me a lot about the disease

October, as you certainly know, is Breast Cancer awareness month. Football players are wearing pink, little ribbons show up on lapels, and a slew of articles will no doubt arise about preventing cancer. But like millions of people each year, my experience with this month is a bit more personal.

I know exactly where I was the moment my wife Dottie told me, “They got the results, Will. It’s cancer. Outside the duct. Invasive.” I lost my legs and the world collapsed in on itself like a scene from Inception. I sat there in the middle of a sidewalk outside Starbucks, lost to all else. As of today though, we are now on the other side of it and after 5 years of Tamoxifen, thank God are still cancer free.

The disorienting process made us both reprocess the things we thought we had known, particularly around the language we hear around cancer. Specifically, articles, videos, and entire websites proclaim that you can “prevent cancer.”

prevent-cancer-imageBut stating that you can prevent cancer leaves the impression that if you do contract this disease, then you didn’t do what it took to prevent it. It’s your fault. You should have, could have done more of something or less of something else. If you had just eaten more kale, did a few more laps, or followed through on those yoga classes, you could have prevented this from happening to you.

But the unfortunate truth is that you cannot prevent a lot of cancers or stop it, despite what the articles say: not by eating right, not by exercising, not by meditating. You just can’t.

How many anecdotes have you heard of people who were super healthy, doing everything exactly right (much like Dottie) and yet they still contracted the disease? Conversely, someone’s grandfather smoked all his life, was a junk food fiend, broke all the rules of health and still lived to the ridiculous age of 97. Living well no more prevents most cancer than living poorly causes it.

And this sounds like an enormous bummer, but makes an important point for those going through this wrenching process and those who fear they may: Even though you can’t turn it off or on with your behavior, you can change your risk probability. This may sound a bit academic, but the idea is quite simple. Think of it like playing dice, in which you have a certain chance of getting a good roll or bad roll. “Changing your risk probability” is like switching out the fair dice you were given with weighted dice.

To weight them in your favor, eat right, exercise, and control stress levels. Doing those things doesn’t mean they’ll always come up in your favor, only that you have better odds that they will. To weight them against you, eat poorly, be sedentary, smoke, binge drink. Doing those things won’t ensure you’ll land a terrible roll, only that it’s much more likely to happen.

This explains the chain smoking octogenarian junk food-a-holic, who may have tilted their risk profile very far against them, but still improbably managed to roll a Yahtzee in 6s. It also explains how you can lower your risk levels by perfectly healthy habits, and yet still roll the worst Yahtzee roll possible. Both of these can very easily happen, though odds are very small.

The most important piece of this is to not beat yourself up over the language suggesting you may have done something wrong. Dealing with the intense emotional and physical toll of the disease is plenty to manage without buying into the chatter that you could have prevented it in the first place.