Required Reading: Top 5 Health & Wellness Links This Week (March 18, 2011)

Hey, all. Hope you had a good week. Starting to get warmer out there…hopefully we have some more days like Friday pretty soon. Here’s this week’s links if you’re looking for some reading over the weekend.

1. Top 10 Deceptively Unhealthy Foods

Great list of foods that may seem healthy but really aren’t (similar to our Junk Food in Healthy Disguises series). The article also offers some suggestions as to what to replace them with. Very informative / helpful stuff.

See the list over at That’s Fit…

2. 6 simple rules to a good night’s sleep

This a must read for those of us who feel like we’re not getting enough sleep these days (who is, really?). It’s the best list of practical sleep tips we’ve come across. Short, simple, and actually doable.

Check it out over at Well+Good NYC…

3. Clues to Gluten Sensitivity

A new study shows that “gluten sensitivity,” which is a more mild but still quite uncomfortable physical reaction to gluten, does indeed exist. Give this is a read if you’ve ever suspected that you might be allergic to gluten, a protein found in wheat and other grains.

Read more over at the Wall Street Journal online…

(Note: if you don’t have a subscription to, you can read the article by searching for the title in Google and clicking on the link from there.)

4. Food finesse: how to boost food nutrients

“The way you prepare your food can be just as important as what food you eat.” This may be obvious to most of us, but it’s a point that’s worth emphasizing. As many of you are probably aware, it’s a key component of our food philosophy here at The Pump – all of the items on our menu are prepared in very healthful ways. This article provides some tips on how to prepare some very popular foods (eggs, meat in general, broccoli, tomatoes, etc.) in ways that will maximize their health benefits.

Read the full article over at the Chicago Tribune…

5. For mental health, bad job worse than no job

Interesting article that suggests you’re better off holding out for a job you’ll really enjoy than taking the first thing that comes along (if you can afford to wait). The article also offers some insight for managers who are trying to create a more positive and productive work environment.

Give it a read over at…

* Photo courtesy of Kevin Lallier via Flickr.

Required Reading: Top 5 Health and Wellness Links This Week (January 28, 2011)

Hey, all. Sorry for being so late to post this week’s required reading list…had one of those weeks. (You know, the kind where you look at your to do list for the week at 4pm on Friday afternoon and realize that you haven’t crossed off a single thing…always makes you feel good.)

Anyway, since I’m posting these so late, we’re going to make this week’s reading optional. Don’t think we’re getting soft, though…we’ll resume our regular schedule this coming Friday, and we might even throw in a pop quiz the following Monday. You’ve been warned. ;)

1. Plains Giants Have Foothold on Tables

An interesting piece from the New York Times on the rising prominence of buffalo meat, or bison, in the American diet. Bison has much less fat than beef, which is one of the reasons it’s featured on the menu here at The Pump (not to mention that it tastes really good the way we prepare it). But there’s some debate as to what taste American consumers are looking for and how buffalo should be raised (purely grass-fed vs. “grain-finished”). Good read if you’re a fan of our bison and wonder why it’s priced at something of a premium…demand is just far outstripping supply these days.

Check out the full article over at the New York Times…

2. Taco Bell’s ‘Beef’: Just 36% Actual Beef

Wow…seriously? That’s some scary stuff. No wonder people are suing them for false advertising…

Read more over at Newser…

3. 5 Things You Need to Know About Whole Grains

So you know whole grains are good for you, right? But do you understand why? Or why they’re called “whole” in the first place? I have to admit that this article taught me a few things. That being said, I’m the tech / finance guy here at The Pump, and I’m pretty new, so I’m still getting up to speed on all this nutritional stuff that the rest of the team knows like the back of their hand. Regardless, I bet you’ll learn a thing or two.

Check out the full article over at…

4. How to Cut 1,700 Calories from Your Super Bowl Snacking (and Still Have Fun)

Some helpful tips on how to avoid consuming an excessive amount of calories this coming Superbowl Sunday. Don’t get us wrong, we’re not saying you shouldn’t enjoy yourself and let yourself go a little, but it’s good to be aware of just how caloric some of these Superbowl staples can be. Make a couple of small changes to your typical habits, and you’ll feel a lot less guilty on Monday morning.

Check out these 5 helpful tips over at The Daily Green…

5. Never Said About Restaurant Websites

Not an article per se, and not particularly educational, but HIGHLY entertaining. If you’ve ever been frustrated by a restaurant website (actually, has anyone ever come across a restaurant website that hasn’t frustrated them in some way?), check out this great blog devoted to the subject. Constant entertainment. A couple of our favorites:

“I love it when I can’t find the restaurant’s address on their website – I’ll just drive around the city until I find it!”

And no doubt this thought has crossed your mind at some point:

“I love the sexy background music. That way people think I’m on a porn site, when little do they know I’m checking out tapas.”

Or simply:

“Best. Website. Ever.”

Plenty more over at the Never Said About Restaurant Websites tumblog…

P.S. We realize that our own website has some serious room for improvement, and we’ll be launching a new, vastly improved version in the coming months. Rest assured that we’re making careful note of all the great features mentioned on this blog…

Required Reading: Top 5 Health and Wellness Links This Week (January 21, 2011)

Hope you all had a good week. We had a productive one over here at The Pump…served a bunch of food and made a lot of progress internally (exciting things that will be making their way into the restaurant sooner rather than later).

We also found some time do a little reading. Have a great weekend!

1. In South Los Angeles, New Fast-Food Spots Get a ‘No, Thanks’

In a controversial move, LA puts its foot down when it comes to new fast food places – they’re simply not allowed. While we like to think that people are capable of making their own smart decisions about food, we can’t blame the city for wanting to limit the temptations. Hopefully more responsible food concepts will fill the void.

Check out the article for some interesting perspectives from both sides of the debate…

2. How To Start Working Out When You Don’t Like To Exercise

Here’s a great, very realistic perspective on what it takes to get into working out when it’s really just not your thing. The key according to the author: get to a level of fitness where working out stops hurting and starts to feel good. Yes, such a thing exists! If you’ve been trying to get into a regular workout routine but it’s just not sticking, you should give this a read. The author provides 10 excellent tips on how to ease into it.

Check out the full post over at the Summer Tomato blog…

3. Wal-Mart Shifts Strategy to Promote Healthy Foods

Did you know that Wal-Mart sells more groceries than any other company in the US? Me neither, although I guess it’s not that surprising when you think about it. But this suggests that this strategy shift could actually have an impact if it comes to fruition, and we’d be happy to see that.

Learn more about the changes and the timeline over at The New York Times…

4. Phys Ed: Brains and Brawn

What? Lifting weights actually makes you more intelligent? Running does, too, it turns out. It’s all about increasing blood movement to the brain, and both types of exercise have that effect.

Check out this fascinating article over at the Well blog…

5. The Onion: “Just Eat a Goddamn Vegetable”

The Onion has apparently figured out how to solve to the obesity epidemic (we’d expect nothing less). It seems so obvious now…

Required Reading: Top 5 Health and Wellness Links of the Week (December 31, 2010)

Happy New Year’s Eve! Soon to be Happy New Year, of course. We’ll let you slide today if you’re out celebrating already (which would be impressive, given that it’s now 10am in New York), but this week’s links will make for some great reading over the holiday weekend. Lots of good info here to help you start the new year off on the right foot…

1. Is Pizza Healthy?

Here’s a topic that’s near and dear to many New Yorkers’ hearts, and it’s actually a very thoughtful article about how pizza may not be the worst thing in the world when it comes to fast food (you could certainly do much worse). The article offers a number of tips about how you can minimize the bad calories you’re taking in when you grab a slice – practical things like removing 30 fat calories just by blotting the grease off the surface of the cheese.

Check out other ways to make pizza more healthful over at That’s Fit…

2. The Benefits of Exercising Before Breakfast

A new study offers some compelling evidence as to why it’s better to exercise before you have breakfast. I’ve never quite believed this one, as I’ve always heard that working out on an empty stomach (or in a “fasted state”) causes your body to burn protein for energy (thereby hurting muscular development). But it turns out that your body burns fat more efficiently when you have fewer carbs in your system, and it actually makes your muscles healthier (I was way off…). So working out before breakfast is particularly helpful when your diet is high in fat, like it tends to be around the holidays.

Check out the full article over at The New York Times…

3. Nutrition labels on cuts of meat to debut in 2012

We’ve always wondered exactly what kind of calories we’re getting from all the different cuts of meat one finds at the grocery store. We get that it’s a lot of protein, but it can also be a lot of fat, right? So how much of each? Starting in 2012, you’ll no longer have to guess, but the numbers may shock you.

See what we mean over at USA Today…

4. How to Lose Holiday Weight Gain

We had to throw in one article about getting back in shape after a week or two of letting ourselves slide. But no gimmicks here…the folks over at tell it like it is.

Check out this practical 4-step plan for shedding holiday weight gain…

5. “Science sense” list trashes celebrity health tips

Our big takeaway: don’t listen to celebrities when they dish out health advice! Well, that’s not totally true…some of them know what they’re talking about when it comes to basic things like hitting the gym a few times a week, but if it sounds too good to be true (or just plain weird), it probably is.

Check out some crazy celebrity health tips and why they’re just not right over at Reuters…