Entries by Janet

Goof Off, and Put Down the Phone

Do you feel connected, or tethered? While you’re mulling that over, here’s another one: Can you handle downtime?  The art of loafing — made famous by such characters as Huckleberry Finn; the morbidly obese passengers of the spaceship, Axiom, in the Pixar movie WALL-E; and cats everywhere – has its good points.  There’s something to […]

Do the Laundry and Feel Less Gross, More Healthy

This post, as many Vital Jake posts do, came because of a conversation I happened to have with a guy at church.  He said he felt bad, and that he had been waking up with itchy eyes and a headache.  I asked him how often he changed his sheets, and he was stumped.  He didn’t […]

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Lyme Disease: A Ticking Timebomb

When Lyme Disease Doesn’t Really Go Away Ticks are evil.  Deer ticks are even worse: little dots of evil, the size of a freckle.  They spread Lyme disease, and what can happen next sounds like a horror movie.  But first, the ticks:  They are the minuscule vectors that transmit Lyme disease.  But really what they […]

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Charred Food Bad, Veggies Good for the Prostate

Good news for people who love barbecue, hot dogs, burgers, and steak cooked on the grill: It pays to eat your veggies. The key to this story is something called “PhIP.” A few years ago, noted Johns Hopkins scientist Bill Nelson, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, began investigating its role […]

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Heart Attack Triggers: The Four Deadly Horsemen

A broken heart.  Shoveling snow.   Being a weekend warrior.   Eating like a pig, no offense to pigs.  What do these things have in common?  They all have the potential to cause a heart attack.  They could kill you.  “But wait!” you may say.  “I exercise.  I have a good diet.  Gosh darn it, […]

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Don’t Shun the Sun

In 2002, when I ghostwrote the first edition of The Paleo Diet for Loren Cordain, I thought we were writing sacrilege when he said people need sunlight.  That’s because our view of what’s normal and natural has gotten skewed.  “Oh, no!” I thought.  “Must have sunscreen.  Sunscreen good, sun bad!”  Just a few steps away […]

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Coffee’s Number Two Side Effect

Imagine:  John Wayne in True Grit, charging bad guys on horseback, with the reins in his teeth, a Colt revolver in one hand and a Winchester rifle in the other, and suddenly, he veers off and heads for the woods.   He’s acutely regretting that cup of coffee he had back at the campfire. Well, […]