A Few Good Websites

July 22, 2009 | By | Comments (0)

Computer-mouse_75 There are a few cool online tools/websites I want to highlight today:

1. If you've ever wondered how what you put into your body—protein, fat, carbohydrates—actually makes its way through your system, then check out this new graphic feature from The Washington Post. In a charmingly remedial way, it highlights exactly where these building blocks of your food go after you've eaten them, and also tracks vitamins, minerals, fiber, and water, as well as the role of exercise, sweat and other 'output' processes in which your body naturally engages. I feel like knowing how a simple bagel or piece of pie is broken up can actually help you make better food choices, since you'll more accurately understand how your body receives, breaks down and uses the fuel!

2. And since summertime seems to the season where we all tend squeeze in the most outdoor walking and strolling, it makes sense to track how far you've gone. (Hey—give yourself a pat on the back after a day of wandering through a new neighborhood, a long beach stroll, or an epic shopping adventure!) Of course, we all don't always wear a pedometer or have car to retrace our steps. Simply long onto Mapmyfitness.com—which, obviously, can be used for purposes other than simply plotting out your next run. Just enter the zip code of where you'll be (or where you were) and draw lines between your beginning and end-points and voila—you can see exactly how much ground you covered. An added bonus: You can set the map to show elevation if you want—so if you are tromping in an area with some ups-and-downs you'll be able to see that too. If you think you'll follow the route again, simply create a profile and save the route and you can re-trace your steps the next time you like.

3. Finally, I received a few forwarded emails in the last week or two, touting the use of a copper penny to squelch the pain from a bee sting. (You simply apply a one-center, they say, to the newly-stung area.) Well, since I'd never heard of a red cent as an antidote to the ouch of a bee sting, I sniffed around online and quickly came upon the venerable website Snopes.com—the home of debunking urban myths and other information that's being bandied about on the web. Seems that this particular email about pennies and bee stings has been getting a lot of play since mid-May of this year, and it has little scientific truth. (Granted, it's not going to HURT you much, either.) But beyond just debunking this one bit of homespun wisdom, Snopes.com has a treasure trove of information to help you take many of those oft-forwarded, liberal with the CAPS LOCK and boldface typing, and urgency-laden emails with a grain of salt. (Why do they so often come from Mom, by the way?)

4. Oh, and since I happen to have a baby on the way, here's one more I love! It's a brand-new new pregnancy and parenting website that had me in stitches—it's a parody site, I should note. It's perfect if you want to take a breather from the seriousness and earnestness and gooey-lovey-dovey nature of some the top parenting sites out there; check out Let's Panic About Babies!. One of my favorite pieces is entitled: "Baby's Here! Your Life Is Over!