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“Digital Distractions” Feature Earns Applause

Sep 24, 2013

Fitness Forum

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, has written another high-quality article (“Digital Distractions,” June). The piece had a thoughtful premise; it had a clear research focus; it was well-organized; and it provided stimulating discussion as well as a variety of insights and perspectives.

The author’s writing is so consistently topical and relevant and technically so good that she keeps raising the bar another notch with almost every feature article. I admire the way she finds experts in the field to build the main tangents and then sprinkles in a few comments from fitness professionals to lend perspective.

Ken Alan
Group Fitness Instructor, Personal Trainer
Los Angeles, California

Is the “Dirty Dozen™” List Legit?

Are pesticides really lurking in our fruits and vegetables? Are you afraid to eat fruits and vegetables on the “Dirty Dozen” list (Food for Thought, July-August)?

In 2010, Carl Winter, PhD, a professor at the University of California, Davis, and a member of the Institute of Food Technologists, looked at the Environmental Working Group’s methods for determining the Dirty Dozen list and came up with different results. Using the same U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Pesticide Data Program as the EWG, Winter found the amount of detected pesticides on the list to be negligible.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, washing fresh fruits and vegetables in a large amount of cold or warm tap water and throwing away the outer leaves of vegetables, such as cabbage and lettuce, will reduce and often eliminate pesticide residues, if they are present.

The Alliance for Food & Farming is a nonprofit group of both organic and conventional farmers. Check out their website at According to their online calculator, “A woman could consume 529 servings of apples in one day without any effect even if the apples have the highest pesticide residue recorded for apples by the USDA.”

The health benefits from eating fruits and vegetables far outweigh any risks. In fact, a peer reviewed analysis [in Food and Chemical Toxicology 2013; 50, 4421-27] stated that 20,000 cancer cases could be prevented every year if half of Americans ate one more serving of fruits and vegetables a day. The studies were based on conventional produce. Mother was right: It’s okay to eat and enjoy conventional fruits and vegetables—without fear.

Ruth Frechman, MA, RDN, CPT
Owner, On the Weigh
Burbank, California

What’s More Important: Fresh Food Prep or Exercise?

Editor’s note: In the June issue (Food For Thought), we asked readers—if they had to choose—which health behavior would they rather see clients spend more time on: preparing fresh food or exercising? Here is one reader’s response.

Thank you for asking this question and providing a little “food” for thought!

I am always trying to convince my clients to cook fresh and cook often. Preparing fresh food on a regular basis is not just eating the right foods; it’s also about being active. To have fresh food you have to grow it, harvest it or buy it at the market--all of which require activity. Additional activities include preparing the meal; enjoying the fruits of your labor (eating); and cleaning up. As I tell my clients, all of these activities mean the body is moving and burning calories, as well as providing the best fuel (versus picking up food at the drive-through and plopping down in front of the TV or being waited on in a restaurant). Cooking and eating clean takes energy and time, but it is an investment in your overall health.

I really enjoy IDEA Fitness Journal—it is the best journal for the fitness practitioner. I have been in the fitness business for 30 years and have watched the evolution of IDEA and the journal. I have used this valuable resource for personal training inspiration and ideas, as well as a guide for facility management. Thank you for your contributions to the world of fitness.

Mary Mattingly
Fitness Director
Birmingham, Alabama

Marking Career Milestones With IDEA

IDEA is doing a great job promoting fitness during a time of great change. When I look back over [my career], which started as a dance and water exercise instructor in the basement of a YMCA and has evolved to my current (land and water) clinical work, it's been a rewarding, lifelong learning pathway that's provided professional evolution for over 30 years! IDEA Fitness Journal is still motivational, educational, inspiring and fun to read. It's nice to grow older with a professional organization that nurtures alongside!

I feel grateful and lucky because I have been given the gift of working with patients, dieticians, physicians, residents, fellows, medical students, doctoral students and personal trainers who are interested in clinical exercise physiology as lifestyle medicine within a medical environment. Wow. Great life-long learning.

My passion was ignited when I attended my first IDEA conference in the early 1980s, and I saw that health and fitness could evolve as a profession. Another turning point was when I was invited to write for IDEA’s journal . Sports training in the pool was the subject of one of my first articles, and I recall a comment from a reader who basically said we were suggesting dangerous water exercises. Well, we've published a few abstracts on sports studies, and our new study on HIIT training in the pool is slated for Physician and Sports Medicine this fall. Nobody has been hurt or died yet!

I'll also never forget that IDEA had the only journal in the industry to publish an article on personal training for AIDS patients. It was at the start of the disease, and no one wanted to talk about it. My colleague and I wrote about our experiences as trainers working with AIDS patients, and IDEA published it. Writing is an integral part of my life that keeps me learning, teaching and sharing our research, and it started with IDEA.

Mary E. Sanders, PhD, RCEP, CDE, FACSM
Clinical Exercise Physiologist, Assistant Professor in Family Medicine
University of Nevada School of Medicine
Reno, Nevada

Working Apple Cider Vinegar Into Your Diet

Editor’s note: The following letter is in response to an item in IDEA Food & Nutrition Tips newsletter (July). See also IDEA Fitness Journal Food For Thought, September).

Apple cider vinegar is an ingredient in a fantastic all-organic product called Braggberry™ Organic Dressing and Marinade. It also contains super antioxidant blueberries, raspberries, acai berries, gogi berries, grapes and more. I put a tablespoon [of Braggberry] in my millet/rice breakfast cereal, along with sunflower, pumpkin and chia seeds, whole-food protein powder and a banana; then I add water. It’s delicious, filling and so healthy. Braggberry is also delicious in a smoothie or in iced water, for a refreshing summer drink. I've found it a yummy way to get apple cider vinegar into my diet.

Laurie Back Fitness for 10 Prescott, Arizona

IDEA Fitness Journal, Volume 10, Issue 10

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