Daily Archives: December 9, 2013

Vegan Pasta e Fagioli

IMG_2258There’s nothing like coming home to a hot soup after a run in the frigid cold. Pasta e fagioli is one of my most favorite soups and it is so easy to make. All I did was throw together some Trader Joe’s vegetable broth, pinto beans, elbow pasta, kale, a dash of olive oil, and a little pepper.

My taste buds couldn’t get enough of it. It was wonderfully delicious and super nutritious. It’s an excellent recovery meal due to its high protein content. I suggest you try making it and experimenting with different legumes and vegetables.

What kind of soups or recovery meals are you making this winter?

The obesity paradox

An example of a paradox, an impossible cube. Source: Wikipedia 4C

An example of a paradox, an impossible cube. Source: Wikipedia 4C

Paradoxes abound in science, and this is especially true when it comes to health. There are those 2 pack a day smokers who die at 90, and there are those people who eat healthy and exercise yet drop dead of a heart attack at 50. There is a phenomenon similar to this called the “obesity paradox”, in which obese surgery patients have a lower death rate compared to “normal” weight surgery patients.

According to the Harvard Medical School, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston MA in The obesity paradox: body mass index and outcomes in patients undergoing nonbariatric general surgery:

Overweight and moderately obese patients undergoing nonbariatric general surgery have paradoxically “lower” crude and adjusted risks of mortality compared with patients at a “normal” weight. This finding is in contrast to observations from the general population, confirming the existence of an “obesity paradox” in this patient population.

Note the “moderately” before “obese”. According to the same study, severe obesity has no protective effect. Still, it seems odd, even incredible that obesity would have a protective effect at all. This doesn’t mean of course that it is okay to be obese, since obesity is associated with many very serious health conditions.

Why obesity seems to have a protective effect on many surgery patients is a mystery. This will require a lot more research. In the mean time, there is no good reason to abandon a healthy lifestyle just because of this paradox.