Why Not Be Your Own Biggest Superfan

By Joel Wasmann

Becoming Your Own Biggest Superfan

How do you spend your time?

I have a friend who knows so little about sports that he probably couldn’t name more than a handful of sports franchises. He knew that Michael Jordan existed but couldn’t even tell you what team he played on. This obviously is pretty rare and unique for a grown man to have absolutely no interest in sports and to spend literally zero minutes a year watching them. I was curious so I asked him why he never followed sports and his answer I will never forget:

“Why would I sit on the couch watching other people live out their dreams when I can be focusing on living out my own.”

In the time he has allotted himself by not watching sports, little TV at all I believe, he has racked up numerous black belts in several different styles, he plays Beethoven on his acoustic guitar, and he hits a golf ball like a pro. That’s not a joke, he can drive a golf ball almost as well as the pros....

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What Makes Produce Nutritious?

By Joel Wasmann, blogger of By the Handful

So what makes produce nutritious?

The carrots you just grabbed off the shelf were either organic or non-organic, is this all that matters? I will assume most of us are on the organic bandwagon but there are other factors that go into creating a healthy fruit or vegetable. Before I studied nutrition I was a gardening nerd. I use the word nerd because that’s really what I was, studying everything from the genetic histories of apples to soil microbiology. One thing I learned is that the vitamin and mineral content of the soil was directly related to that of the vegetable growing in it. Maybe this seems a little obvious but do you think that you might be deficient in Calcium and Magnesium because your local soil is too? It’s possible that both you and your spinach are deficient if you live in an area where it rains a lot and the soil has not been amended. Rain leaches minerals from soil. In some cases the produce might give you some...

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Bitter: The Lost Flavor of Health

By Joel Wasmann

The human tongue is capable of recognizing five flavors: sweet, salty, sour, bitter, & umami. Sometimes pungent gets thrown into the mix but the tongue has no receptor for it and it is really just a sensation rather than a taste - think cayenne pepper.

Umami is such a subtle taste that it was only fairly recently discovered in Japan and has no real English translation, although it is sometimes referred to as savory. Umami is a faint meaty/smoky flavor usually present in mushrooms, red meat, some cheeses, and soy sauce. Sweet and salty are prominent flavors in our diet and we consume them in abundance. I can only assume we all get enough sweet and salty foods. The boldest and most paradoxical flavor of the bunch is bitter as it is often considered an undesirable flavor, yet it is so crucial to our health.

With our ancestors, a bitter taste might indicate a poisonous plant or food, compelling the consumer to stay away. We have, however evolved to not only accept...

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Dandelion Root Detox Tea

picture of a dandelion By Joel Wasmann

The Dandelion is used as an herbal remedy in European, Ayurvedic, and Traditional Chinese Medicine, and oh yeah, its also a lawn weed.  The roots, leaves and flowers are all edible and very healthy, containing vitamins A, C, Potassium, Iron and Zinc, in much denser proportions than any other leafy green. The primary reason this flower is used worldwide however is for its bitter properties. “Bitter,” a taste that has become quite rare in our diet, is actually very important for our health. Our palate has a diminished  sense for the flavor “bitter” as salty and sweet have become increasingly and overly represented. Bitter naturally increases the flow of gastric juices including saliva in the mouth and bile flow which benefits the liver and gallbladder. Bitter flavors aid digestion but also help regulate blood sugar. Dandelion assists with these crucial functions especially well.

The Dandelion flower can be eaten fresh, just...

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