Health Blog Archive - Jul 2016

Posts Below
7/11/2016 - Dancing: probably more interesting than many other forms of exercise
7/13/2016 - Going to try a standing desk
7/29/2016 - Chicory and barley: reputedly good for dental health, etc.


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Dancing: probably more interesting than many other forms of exercise
Monday, July 11th, 2016
11:27:56 GMT

Like many other computer programmers, I probably ought to get more exercise.

But most exercise sounds boring to me, or otherwise inconvenient. There's a swimming pool I could go to, and I have a bicycle, and I could always go on walks, but, I much prefer to avoid people.

So, I think what I might prefer do instead is, stay in my room and try to learn bellydancing, and maybe other types of dancing too. :-)

I don't know if dancing is the best possible exercise for me, but, no doubt anything is better than nothing, or just fidgeting and walking around my house.

And becoming a good (or otherwise amusing) dancer seems like a much more fun goal than becoming capable of performing ever-larger quantities of ungraceful, boring, repetitive exercises such as sit-ups and squats.

It might also result in some amusing videos someday. :-)

Though I actually wouldn't mind an exercise bike or a non-motorized treadmill to use while I work on my computer stuff. Then I could just mindlessly get a significant amount of exercise while I get more useful things done at the same time.

Maybe I should convert my bike into an exercise bike.

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Going to try a standing desk
Wednesday, July 13th, 2016
21:19:19 GMT

Yesterday, in my family's basement, I was able to find an old rolling table which is tall enough to use as a standing desk for my laptops.

Why did I want a standing desk? Because I keep running into articles which suggest that standing might be healthier than continually sitting.

And it will make it easier to do a wider variety of random exercises (or bellydancing :-D ) while continuing to work on my computer at the same time.

However, here's a partly negative article about standing desks:

From, Sept. 29, 2014 - There's a huge hidden downside to standing desks that no one told me about

So, I'm going to be careful to avoid swollen ankles. Though I think I might have avoided that without even trying, because I'm so fidgety that I'll probably seldom stand still for long at my standing desk.

(Addition, July 13, 2016, 6:28 PM EDT. Another partly negative article:

From, Feb. 17, 2015 - 5 Ways Your Standing Desk Is Doing More Harm Than Good

So, judging by that article, it seems that alternating between standing and sitting is probably better than constantly standing or constantly sitting. And also that fidgeting is good.

I'm definitely not interested in overdoing standing, exercise, sitting, or anything else. So, hopefully it will overall be good for me to get more variation and movement into my habitual routines. End of addition.)

I wonder if lying or sitting in bed is healthier than sitting in a chair all day? My computers are usually next to my bed, and I shift positions a lot more than is possible in the average chair.

Another thing I found in the basement was a nice swiveling office chair I didn't even know we had.

And it turns out that despite being 35, I still like spinning around in an office chair about as much as I did when I was 5. :-)

So, who knows how much standing and other exercise I'm really going to do now. :-)

But since I have a laptop, this chair won't necessarily interfere with my computing too much. It will at least be amusing to see how well I can program while dizzy.

My next task is to clear enough junk out of my room to make adequate room for these delights. Cleaning isn't my favorite thing to do, but at least it has more immediately perceptible good results than the average boring exercise.

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Chicory and barley: reputedly good for dental health, etc.
Friday, July 29th, 2016
13:02:44 GMT

I recently started drinking Teeccino, an "herbal coffee", which got me curious about some of its ingredients, such as chicory and barley.

I was very pleased to find these articles.

Antimicrobial and anti-adherence activity of various combinations of coffee-chicory solutions on Streptococcus mutans: An in-vitro study
May-Aug 2014, from

The Health Benefits of Roasted Barley Tea With Chicory
June 23, 2015 from LIVESTRONG.COM

One of my least favorite things about ordinary tea (without chicory or barley) was the damage I suspected it (and/or the sugar I put in it) might be doing to my teeth and gums.

(Addition, 9:28 AM EDT: Actually, here's an article which says black tea 'combats bacteria linked with tooth decay and gum disease'. Which surprises me, since I never felt like tea was helpful at all. Vitamin C seems to do my possible gum disease tremendously more good than tea. After having tea, I was always reluctant to put off brushing my teeth, for fear that my gum soreness would come back. End of addition.)

So, I'm very happy that I was able to quit ordinary tea, and am now only drinking Teeccino, which tastes so good it made it easy to give up caffeinated tea and coffee.

I seldom drank coffee to begin with, but until trying Teeccino, I drank one 12 ounce mug of tea per day.

I like Teeccino more than any herbal tea I ever had, and more than any decaf coffee I ever had. Teeccino also compares so well to the best caffeinated coffees I ever had that I can't even decide which I like more, so I guess it's a tie. And Teeccino even makes my favorite caffeinated tea seem relatively boring and weak in comparison.

Even flavor alone would make me stick with Teeccino. But the reputed health benefits (which also go beyond dental health benefits) are icing on the cake.

Addition, Aug. 13, 2016, 10:09 PM EDT. I read on this page that chicory contains high amounts of oxalates. (Oxalates are antinutrients found in many common foods.)

So, I wrote this new blog post:

Oxalates and their interference with the absorption of nutrients

But for me, I think the benefits of chicory and other foods with oxalates probably outweigh the possible drawbacks, so I'm going to keep having them.

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