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10 Vices and Indulgences that do a Body Good.

30 Oct

chris-hemsworth-covers-details-november-2013In the latest issue of details magazine, the one with Chris Hemsworth on the cover, there is an article that talks about how many of our vices and indulgences may actually have health benefits. Check out the article below, and if you like it please comment and share!

 

 

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When it comes to matters of health, it seems that everything you do—or at least want to do—is bad for you. But recent research is calling into question exactly how bad our biggest vices truly are.

It turns out these so-called health offenders can actually strengthen your muscles, up your gym performance, boost your immune system, fight flab, and even prevent chronic diseases. Not bad for “unhealthy” habits, eh?

Here, 10 vices you can finally embrace guilt-free.

Sleeping In

Go ahead—hit the snooze. Or just break the damn thing altogether. According to a recent study from the University of Munich, people who wake up to an alarm rather than according to their body’s internal clock are three times more likely to be overweight. Waking up before your body is ready messes up your circadian rhythms, leading you to feel perpetually jet lagged and eat when your body isn’t primed to absorb nutrients, slowing your metabolism considerably.

Smoking Marijuana

“Medical” marijuana is bit of a misnomer. Every dooby comes with health benefits. A 2013 study published in The American Journal of Medicine found that regular pot smokers have 16 percent lower fasting insulin levels and smaller waist circumferences compared to marijuana virgins, dramatically lowering their risk of diabetes. Researchers don’t yet know why marijuana has the effect, but who cares? We’re heading to Colorado.

Snacking on Candy

Grab some gummies on your way through the checkout line. People who eat candy have lower BMIs, smaller waists, and less health-wrecking inflammation than those who skip sugary treats, per findings published in Nutrition Research. Sound counterintuitive? While candy is a veritable sugar bomb, it’s low in saturated fat and calories when compared to other desserts, making it a pretty good way to curb your sweet tooth and avoid devouring a whole cheesecake when your willpower finally relents.

Biting Your Nails

Gnawing on your nails isn’t exactly a turn-on, but it does have legitimate health benefits. Ingesting the germs that live on fingernails can potentially strengthen the immune system, according to Hilary Longhurst, Ph.D., a consultant clinical immunologist at Barts Health and the London NHS Trust. Nail biting exposes your body to relatively small amounts of bacteria so that when your immune system meets them again, its already equipped with the weapons that will annihilate them.

Drinking Alcohol

Next to diet and exercise (we know, we know) the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has ID’ed moderate alcohol consumption as one of the key behaviors that can lead to a longer life. A healthy happy hour habit lowers your risk of heart disease and wards off Alzheimer’s and other chronic illnesses, according to the CDC’s research. Keep it to two drinks a day, though. Any more than that and you can actually reverse alcohol’s good-for-you effects.

Going on Vacation

Put those PTO days to good use. In one study of 13,000 men, researchers from the State University of New York found that taking even one vacation a year reduces your risk of dying—from pretty much anything. And when it comes to men’s No 1. killer (that would be you, heart disease), one week away annually for just five years can reduce your risk by 30 percent.

Eating Chocolate

That bottle of chocolate syrup in your fridge is good for more than making sundaes. Cacao’s flavonoids lower blood pressure, slash stress hormones, and even fire up alertness and performance by increasing blood flow to the brain and heart. One Italian study found that participants who ate dark chocolate every day for 15 days cut their risk of insulin resistance by nearly half, thanks to chocolate’s high-powered flavonols. Snack smart: Bars with at least 70 percent cacao blend the greatest amount of antioxidants with the least amount of sugar.

Having Lots of Sex

As if you really needed a reason to get it on, sex can improve your immunity, help you sleep better, and—get this—look younger. As described in his book, Superyoung: The Proven Way to Stay Young Forever, neuropsychologist David Weeks kept tabs for 10 years on thousands of men and women who looked significantly younger than their years. What did they have in common? Active sex lives. (That’s at least two to three romps per week.) Apart from the aforementioned health boosters, sex keeps you looking young by triggering the release of human growth hormone, which promotes skin elasticity and prevents wrinkles, Weeks says.

Guzzling Coffee

Perk up! People who drink four cups of coffee each day are about 10 percent less likely to get depressed, according to a 2013 study from the National Institute of Health. One possible explanation: Coffee beans are ridiculously rich in antioxidants, among them chlorogenic acid (CGA). When consumed in moderate doses, the polyphenol has a major anti-inflammatory effect and is linked with reduced blood pressure, improved insulin response, reduced risk of Alzheimer’s, and even weight loss.

Getting a Massage

It does more than feel good. It does good, too. Regular Swedish massages (the ones that go deep) reduce the adrenal gland’s secretion of stress hormones, according to one recent study from researchers at Emory University School of Medicine. As those hormones are known to suppress the immune system, spur inflammation, and degrade muscle cells, getting rubdowns on the regular may combat a whole host of chronic diseases. A previous study from the same researchers found that even a single massage session is enough to bolster the immune system.

Read More http://www.details.com/blogs/daily-details/2013/10/10-vices-that-do-a-body-good.html#ixzz2jDhjGbeo

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The Movie Theater That Fits in Your Pocket

24 Feb

There is a great highlight in the newest Details magazine (March, the one with The Social Network’s Andrew Garfield on the cover) of the new ShowWX+ projector by Microvision. They say “time will only tell if Microvision’s ShowWX+ is mentioned in the same breath as the camera obscura or IMAX, but for now it’s the palm-size reason to give up your flat-screen.  The size of a cell phone, the projector connects directly to your iPod, iPhone or iPad (or, with an adapter, to a laptop or digital camera). Aim it at a dark wall and view high-resolution photos, TV shows, sales graphs – anything you have stored – at up to 100 inches wide. Just like that, your home video collection is a movable filmfest.”

$450; www.microvision.com

 


Whiskey Your Way

26 May

Now this is a post we can get behind.  No matter how many artisanal whiskeys hit the market, it seems there’s never one that matches your idea of smokey, caramel-hued perfection.  The May 2010 issue of Details Magazine (True Blood’s Stephen Moyer on the cover) asks us a very important question: why not make your own?  The Whiskey Your Way program at House Spirits Distillery in Portland, Oregon, lets you tailor an entire barrel ?(about 100 Bottles) to your exact specifications.  And just to make sure you know what you’re doing, the process kicks off with a tasting seminar, which will help you explain to your drinking companions back home why a Port finish and Oregon oak barrels are the only way to go.

Barrel of Whiskey Your Way

From $5,400; whiskeyyourway.com


The Easy 4 Day Detox

9 Jan

Thank you, Details Magazine.  There is an article in their “Health and Grooming” section in the January 2010 issue that discusses this post-holiday must:

Who says all that end-of-the-year gluttony requires months of penance? You may think you’re doomed to nibble kale until the Fourth of July, but you’re wrong. “All you need is four days to get back on track,” says New York dietitian Keri Glassman, author of The O2 Diet. “That’s enough time to reset your body.” Follow these simple tips and you’ll get rid of the bloat and maybe even find yourself thinking about fruit and vegetables instead of cheeseburger sliders.

Eat Early, Eat Often
You should have a good breakfast—no-brainer, right?—but the key is to be eating within one hour of waking. If you wait until you’re at your desk, you’re more likely to overindulge. When should you stop eating? That’s where things get interesting. Despite what your girlfriend says, it’s okay to keep feeding right up until you go to bed. “The goal is to be eating consistently,” Glassman says. “If you’re on a schedule where you have dinner at 9, that’s not so bad. By munching throughout the day, your body’s always burning calories at its best. It’s like throwing twigs onto a fire.”

[Read More: The Best Breakfast in America]

Take a Sabbatical from Sugar and Salt
Although one Oreo cookie is fine in theory, it’s hard to stop there. Sweets and alcohol often make you crave more sugar, putting your noble efforts at self-control in peril. Sodium prompts your body to retain water. It’s not enough to put down the salt shaker; beware the lunchtime deli run, too. Pickles, sliced meats, and split-pea soup are all known to pump you full of H2O.

[Read More: Ice Cream Sandwiches are Back]

Don’t Overdo the Juice Fast
Liquid diets can help you feel lighter in the short term, but maintain them for any longer than three days and you’re setting yourself up for nutrient deficiencies, fatigue, and failure. Juicers often start bingeing right after swallowing their last sip, warns dietitian Keri Gans of the American Dietetic Association. “If you’re going to try it,” she says, “don’t think you can just drink juice and then go to McDonald’s.”

[Read More: A Details Classic: Manorexics]

Give Up the Shredded Wheat
According to New York nutritionist Oz Garcia, the wheat-based starches you find in breakfast cereals are trouble. “Many men, as they move toward a better diet, think whole wheat is good for them,” he says. “But it triggers appetite and water retention. It also contributes to gaining weight around the gut and developing man boobs.” Try oats or grains like quinoa or millet instead—or get your carbs from vegetables like yams, squashes, and pumpkins.

[Read More: A User’s Guide to Man Boobs]

Bring On the Artichoke
A plate of fiber-rich lentils or chickpeas will fill you up, but so will the often overlooked—and decidely delicious—artichoke. Glassman suggests having one every afternoon. “It’s low-calorie,” she says, “and it takes a while to eat.”

[Read More: The Pills You Should Be Popping]

Don’t Be Too Spartan
When Bradley Cooper had to shed a few pounds for his upcoming role in The A-Team, he ate mostly boiled chicken, broccoli, and brown rice. Channing Tatum has streamlined his physique with the same regimen. Glassman says it’s a good plan, though a bit too ascetic. Boiling the chicken adds no fat or calories. But grilling it with a little nonstick spray and some herbs and spices adds about two calories and lots more flavor.

[Read More: Bradley Cooper Has Hollywood by the Balls]

Bite Your Tongue
As a topic of conversation, your diet restrictions are about as interesting as a grocery list. Unless your name is Oprah, no one cares that you’d kill for some lardo on wheat bread. So be a champ and keep your virtue to yourself.

[Read More: O-Face or Oprah Face?]

Turn Up the Heat
No less an expert on overindulgence than John Belushi would head to the sauna after a wild night. The Animal House star was crazy, yes, but he was no fool. One 20-minute session can improve your mood and your appearance. The heat raises your outer body temperature, boosting your circulation and making you feel euphoric, and the sweat flushes debris from your pores. “It mimics the effects of running the Central Park loop,” Oz Garcia says. Try saying that about wheatgrass.

[Read More: Find the Right Massage]

Need Motivation: Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

StickK.com lets you bet against your weak, impulsive self. If you lose the wager, you fork the cash over to a friend, an enemy, or even a cause you despise—like, say, Sarah Palin 2012.

Fatbet.net—founded by two buddies trying to drop 10 pounds each—helps you set up weight-loss competitions with friends and chart the results. Those who meet their goals split the winnings.

[Read More: The Slacker Workout]

Put Down the Protein Shake
Put down the whey powder. Dr. Jeffrey Morrison, a New York weight-loss specialist, recommends breakfast shakes made from rice protein, which is less rough on the stomach. Mix two scoops of protein powder, two tablespoons of flaxseed fiber, eight ounces of water, and ice in a blender. Consume with the morning paper.

[Read More: Meal-Replacement Shakes]

The Sports Drink Myth
“Coconut water is what Gatorade wishes it was,” Oz Garcia says. It has the potassium and the sugar you need to feel restored after a workout but none of the artificial ingredients or the food coloring.

[Read More: Alex Rodriguez: Confessions of a Damned Yankee]

The Hangover Remedy
Forget hair of the dog. Come the morning after, try rehydrating with this: Fill one half of a glass with apple juice, the other half with water, and add a pinch of sea salt. “As a cure, it works,” Morrison says.

[Read More: The Best way to Drink Tequilla—Hangover Not Included]

Groomsman: Tidy Up

13 Dec

In the december 2009 issue of Details Magazine, the one with John Mayer on the cover, the style issue brings to light a good point:  grooming is just as important as your clothes when you are getting ready for a big event.  “You don’t just put on a tux – you get dressed up in one.  There’s a ritual to the fastening of the cuff links and the positioning of the bow tie.  But while most men take their time perfecting the getup for a big event, they rarely do the same for their hair, nails and skin.  Your grooming should be equal to the occasion.”

1.  Style your hair. The parted-on-the-side, cemented-with-gel hair helmet works if you look like Cary Grant, Jon Hamm or Tom Brady.  For mortals,, however, there’s a less slick way to make your dome look more polished: Pick up a hair dryer.  “Most guys just shower and go,” says New York hairstylist Jerome Orby. “But half an hour later when their hair starts drying, they’ve got a surprise.”  You don’t need to be a pro with a brush; you can use your fingers to style your hair as you blow dry it.  Once it’s dry, keep it in place with a dab of pomade or wax.  Davines defining Wonder Wax ($24), davines.com

2.  Trim your beard.  Just because you’re snapping on smooth enamel studs doesn’t mean your face has to be clean-shaven.  But your scruff should look neat and even.  Los Angeles barber Craig Whitely suggests using a trimmer for stray hairs on the neck, stopping about half an inch above the Adam’s apple in te front.  And don’t forget, Whitely says “You can’t look sharp with hair on the back of your neck.”  Finish by snipping any hair hanging over your lip and smoothing on a dime-size amount of beard wax (regular hair pomade works, too). Clubman Moustache Wax ($6), clubmanonline.com

3.  Perfect your skin. When the flashbulbs pop, your face shouldn’t reflect the glare.  De-sheen with a mousturizer that’s designed to sop up oil.  It will keep your skin from shining like your tux shoes.  Chanel Allure Homme edition Blanche Anti-shine Moisturizing After Shave ($50), chanel.com

4.  Clean up your hands. You don’t necessarily need a manicure.  Your hands will look better in three minutes if you give them a snip with a clipper, then do what guys rarely do – file down the corners.  Wash them thoroughly and mousturize with a lotion made specifically for hands.  Top the nail beds off with a cuticle pen, which instantly hydrates dry skin.   Santa Maria Novella Crema Per Le Mani ($50), paullabrecque.com

5.  fortify your cologne. A formal occasion calls for a more substantial fragrance than the citrusy scent you get away with every day.  One with hints of vetiver or patchouli will last until you take off your cumberbund.  Hermes Terre d’Hermes Pure Perfume ($112), hermes.com


Science Fiction Books – Not Just for Nerds

27 Nov

In the November 2009 issue of Details Magazine, with a fab-tastic Glambert on the cover, the “Words” section caught my eye.  The spotlight is on Brandon Sanderson, an up-and-coming author specializing in science-fiction.  Here is the excerpt:

“If the epic-fantasy genre seems suited only to people who play Magic: The Gathering and own Star Wars bedding, consider this: Robert Jordan’s unfinished Wheel of Time series has sold more than 44 million copies. That’s a lot of readers who were left on the edge of their seats when the author died in 2007—including Brandon Sanderson, the 33-year-old writer who was chosen by Jordan’s widow to complete the series using the notes her husband left behind. Today, Sanderson is releasing the first of the three concluding volumes, A Memory of Light: The Gathering Storm (Tor, $30), and is facing expectations from fans who make a tween girl’s passion for the Jonas brothers look like what it is: child’s play.”

Below are 4 additional sci-fi selections that are worth reading.  Choose to do so…if you dare.

1. Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer [Little, Brown, $26] – “The literary wonderkind you love to hate puts a pomo finish on Michael Pollan in this polemic about carnivorism and food production.  Foer’s usual stylistic trickery (e.g. a Swiftian endorsement of eating dogs) doesn’t make reading about castrated piglets much more enjoyable, but maybe a subject like this shouldn’t be fun.”

2. Evening’s Empire by Zachary Lazar [Little, Brown, $25] – “In 1975, when the author was 6, the father he barely knew was shot in the head in a parking garage.  More than 30 years later, Lazar tells the haunting story of this outwardly conventional accountant’s secret life – while painting an indelible portrait of the Space-Age suburbs and an American dream built on fraud.”

3. Changing My Mind by Zadie Smith [Penguin Press, $26] – “Analyzing her father’s comedy obsession, 50 Cent’s film Get Rich or Die Tryin’, and E.M. Forster in her first collection of essays, the novelist effortlessly shifts her tone from academically stiff to whimsical.  Bits like the piece about having multiple linguistic personalities offer insight into the author and will appeal to super-fans hoping to better understand Archie Jones of White Teeth.

4. Invisible by Paul Auster [Henry Holt, $25] – “In this novel with multiple (possibly unreliable) narrators, a young poet is sucked into the orbit of an older French couple in 1967 New York, until a shocking violent act derails their association. As usual with Auster, things are more complicated than they appear, and a Russian doll-like series of tales within tales unfolds – all in the author’s crystal clear prose.”

Hard Cider: It’s Easier (To Find a Good One) Than It Sounds

27 Nov

Ask most men, and you will be told that Hard Cider is for girls.  Incorrect – the December 2009 issue of Details Magazine, the one with John Mayer on the cover, points out some good truths about hard cider.  “If you think cider comes in those six-packs you see in the Smirnoff Ice aisle of the grocery store, you’ve clearly never had the good stuff – which is quirky, elegant, and a little hard to find.  Crafted from long-forgotten apples with names like Bramtot and Nehou, in places like Austria, Spain, and Upstate New York, it combines the food-friendly refreshment of beer with the layered intensity of a top-notch bubbly. You can even serve it in a flute, if you’d like.  But guzzling it from a Mason jar while polishing off a plate of ribs is okay, too.  That’s the beauty of a first-rate cider: options.

5 Top-Notch Options:

1.  Isastegi Sagardo Naturaia (Pictured) – $10, demaisonselections.com – This classic basque cider is pungent  – right on the cusp of unlikable – and does its best work with aggressive foods such as salt cod or a rib-eye served bloody.

2.  West County Cider Refield – $13, westcountycider.com – A single-variety cider made from scarlet-fleshed redfield apples (hence the rose hue).  This Berkshire’s find makes for a smart stand-in for Prosecco or demi-sec champagne.

3.Etienne Dupont Cidre Bouche Brut de Normandie 2007 – $11, bunitedint.com – This addictive French cider may smell like plain old apple juice, but one sip reveals a winey complexity that stands up to rib-sticking stews and charcuterie.

4. Farnum Hill Extra Dry – $14, farnumhillciders.com – The driest offering from a crew of New Hampshire cider wizards, this lean concoction is versatile – so you don’t have to stress about the pairing.

5. Wandering Aengus Ciderworks Semi-Dry Cider – $16, wanderingaengus.com – With its very subtle sweetness and ginger flavors, this organic cider from Oregon is great with dessert, especially pies and tarts.