Although it took me a lot longer than I thought, I finally have another health myth to dispel.
Earlier this month the Today Show featured a story called “9 Things To Stop Worrying About Right Now” by Dorothy Foltz-Gray. She addressed several health myths, but I thought the myth “fresh fruits and vegetables are more nutritious than frozen fruits and vegetables” was an interesting one.
We’re always told “eat fresh fruits and vegetables.”
And any company that has anything to do with produce always emphasizes how their stuff is fresh and how they are better than the competition because their stuff is just-picked-off-the-tree/vine/bush-fresh.
So fresh must be best, right?
Well, according to Health Magazine, fruits and vegetables don’t have to be fresh to be beneficial. Frozen is just as good!
They did such a good job of dispelling this myth on the Today Show that I’m just going to directly quote here. “‘Frozen can be just as good as fresh because the fruits and vegetables are harvested at the peak of their nutritional content, taken to a plant and frozen on the spot, locking in nutrients,’ Beeson says. ‘They aren’t trucked far distances to sit on grocery shelves.’ And, unless it’s picked and sold the same day, produce at farmers markets–though still nutritious–may lose nutrients because of heat, air, and water.”
I also know the “fresh is better than frozen” myth is false because our friends at the Children’s Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine agree. Not only is frozen just as good for you, it can also be less expensive and more convenient because they can be stored for long periods of time. Fresh, frozen, canned, or dried–just eat those fruits and vegetables!
I attended my first meeting for the Houston Wellness Association (HWA) last week. HWA is a non-profit created to help grow and develop the wellness industry in Houston. If you ask me Houston needs it–being named one of the fattest cities in the US and all. It’s a very fascinating group comprised of corporations from Minute Maid to Texas Children’s Hospital and everything in between (including us!).
My first meeting was a lot of fun because I ran into some old friends from UTHSCH Dell Center for Advancement of Healthy Living, Nathalie Sessions and Nancy Benedict, as well as Dr. Bobby Moore, founder of Body of Knowledge. It’s always nice to walk into a huge group of people and actually see a familiar face or two.
The meeting last week was a networking breakfast at an unexpectedly luxurious Randalls grocery store. For those of you unfamiliar with Randalls, their other affiliates include Tom Thumb and Safeway. They had beautiful dark hardwood floors, soft lighting, neatly stacked produce, and friendly staff that was very helpful. Customer service still exists…really!
The keynote speakers were very impressive including Connie Yates, Director of Public Affairs, and Tom Schwilke, President of Randalls/Tom Thumb. What Mr. Schwilke had to say was very interesting. Apparently Randalls is on a mission to bring health back to their customers.
I’d had some of the new Randalls products before, such as the Eating Right frozen lunches, and let me tell you, the quality far exceeds what you will get in a Lean Cuisine. I hope they keep it up…especially in relation to the amazing chicken they put in their meals. Their O Organics products are excellent too. I recommend the cheese quesadillas.
I had no idea what an emphasis Randalls is trying to put on these healthier products. This includes putting them on prominent shelves and having snack bar areas with healthier options like nuts. They even have nutritionists, like Lori Valencic, MEd, RD, LD, who I met last week. Oh, and get this, even their bakery is jumping in on the deal. Their chocolate chewy cookies (my personal favorite) are made with egg whites and pecans, are low in saturated fat, cholesterol free, and trans fat free. I’ll take a dozen please!
In summary, kudos to Randalls/Tom Thumb/Safeway for their efforts to give us a healthier place to shop…without paying specialty health store prices.
Receiving a Webby Award is like receiving an Oscar–but for spectacular Internet-based media. It even has an Academy which judges the best websites, interactive advertising, online film and video, and mobile media. With so many amazing entries every year, this is not an easy task! Archimage’s website for Escape from Diab was a Webby Award Nominee last year, as a matter of fact.
There are several impressive websites in the competition this year.
These were some of the 2008 nominees that I found to be Monster’s Blog-worthy:
One of our clients, Dr. Cliff Dasco, a physician at The Methodist Hospital and Director of the Abramson Center For The Future of Health, always says his worst nightmare is when a patient comes into his office with information found exclusively on the Web.
I have to confess, I love searching the Internet for information on the latest health craze or my own ailments. However, I always have to remember that a lot of the health information out there is not based on anything more than personal opinion or the opinion of the site’s sponsors. If there’s anything I learned in the past five years it’s that medical and health studies and articles can be easily manipulated and biased. Non peer-reviewed health information is even more prone to inaccuracies.
HealthRatings.org uses strict methodology to test the credibility of frequently visited health sites. I’m all about the strict methodology. Check out the results for 2007 and learn about the strengths, weaknesses, and scientific adequacy of the top 20 most visited sites for health information.
According to the latest consumer reports, the following websites were rated as “excellent” resources for health information.
I do a lot of surfing the web for health information. Credible and sometimes unusual health information, that is. The following are a few sites I thought I would share with you. Some are informative, some are just cool. You won’t find any of these on the top 20 most visited list!
Have any others to add to the list?
As I sat at my desk today I was thinking about a friend of mine from graduate school that just had a baby. She’s all into the baby world now…even her Superbowl party was “couples with babies only.” As I sat thinking about what to write, I thought to myself, “What knowledge would parents really want to gain from reading Monster’s Blog? If my friend were to allow her child to use Playnormous, what would she want to know?”
For many, the online game business is a complete mystery. Even for those IN the online game business, the online game business can be a mystery. Most people just go online, sign in, and start playing. No one really explains how the games are created and why.
And thus emerged my brilliant (well, I think it’s brilliant) idea for Monster’s Blog’s first pillar post series: How to create a casual game for health.
In this series, I am going to teach you how we create casual games for health at the Playnormous studio. The example I will use is a game initially entitled “What’s An Aerobic Exercise?” and now named “Bubble Trouble.” Who knows what it will be called by next week. For now, I will refer to this game as “What’s An Aerobic Exercise: Bubble Trouble” just to cover all bases.
First and foremost, and before I go into any detail, note that game design is an evolution. It sounds corny, but it’s true. We mix a little primordial soup, throw in some crazy ideas, strain out some of the goopy stuff, sprinkle with a little brilliance, and out pops some sort of…creature. Hopefully it will grow arms and legs and sprint away. Maybe it will even grow wings and learn to fly on its own. That’s what every game studio hopes for at least.
Let’s get a little less metaphoric and move on to the concrete–complete with numbered lists. There are several initial questions one must ask when designing a healthy game:
Notice the game title and theme are near the bottom of the list. As you will see, these tend to change dramatically as the game evolves.
Although rather obvious, the first step in designing a health game requires one to decide what the player will actually be learning. This differs from traditional online game design where learning and behavior change are not considered a priority.
For “What’s An Aerobic Exercise: Bubble Trouble,” we hope the player will be able to answer four questions after using the game. These are the learning goals: