Why high protein products are deceitful

Have you also started following one of the latest health trends – everything in protein?
This is something the food industry has noticed! And they are taking advantage of your ignorance.

Certain foods are made by nature and have a natural (high) protein content such as eggs.
At the other end of the scale we have protein powder representing the extreme of artificially made protein.
Let’s call a spade a spade – these groups are honest about their protein content.

The problem is to be found in very common everyday foods, such as dairy products. 
Example: yoghurt. 
Most dairy products come with protein. Some of these products advertise that they are high in protein. The logical explanation behind this could be that extra protein had been added to the product. But no-no, that is rarely the case. Instead, water has been removed. Why does this give a higher protein content? Well, it doesn’t really! But given the way nutrients are explained as a percentage, the less water, the more protein! 
Is that a problem? Not necessarily. If you eat the same amount of regular yoghurt as high-protein yoghurt you will no doubt consume more protein.
BUT you will also consume more calories. Since the water has been removed, the calorie content per unit is also higher.

 

Therefore, read the labels. Always read the labels.

Aarhus University BSS – what do grades reflect?

I recently graduated from Aarhus University BSS (Denmark) with a bachelor’s degree.
In retrospect there are numerous grades, teaching methods, grading methods, exams, classes, assignments that baffle me. What I find most questionable is the connection between the above.
The business department (BSS) is considered to be a good school, though it has fallen a bit in ratings since becoming part of the standard university. Any who, it makes sense for a good university to be tough with the grades when the level is high. Does it also justify poor teaching?

Let me first explain how Aarhus University BSS works (this is a generalization based on the Business Administration programme).
Almost every class consists of lectures and tutorials with exercises.
Although there are many exercises and occasionally presentations and assignments, they are all voluntary and do not take part in the final grade. It is only the final exam that matters in the end.
There is no doubt that there are both good and bad aspects of whatever teaching method you encounter. However, in this case a few things ought to be questioned.

First of all there is the attitude towards higher education in Denmark. The main idea is that the learning outcome is the responsibility of the student and the student alone. This also means that students can choose to not study all year-long but instead study right before the exam. It is therefore reflected in the “you-have-one-chance-method” (the final exam).
A characteristic of the programmes taught at BSS is that they all have relatively many classes, lectures and assignments. Ergo they’re using significant resources teaching the students that choose to show up. Naturally there is nothing wrong with using resources on ambitious students. Though, did anyone every consider whether students choose to study on their own as a result of the quality of the teaching during the year? The content of the classes bring me to the second part.

Secondly, the classes, assignments and lectures are not necessarily directly preparing the students for the exam. Some exams, especially in excel, are highly standardized and similar each year. Still, the curriculum throughout the year is often more broad, more simple or taught from another angle. This means that even if you keep up all year, you still have to study specifically for the final exam by going through previous exams.
My point is, don’t the preparations during the year appear redundant if they are not mandatory, not directly preparing and not counting in any way in the final score?
Or is the reason why no assignments, presentations or midway tests count really that they do not represent the course? Redundant, right?

Third of all, this arrangement is not necessarily fair when it comes to evaluating the students in the end. Since all the effort during the year does not count in any way, it is actually possible to learn a substantial amount but still fail the exam. This is possible because of a slightly different content and type of exercises. Ergo, learning the curriculum and learning to pass the exam is not the same thing. One could argue that the more knowledge the better. However, since the students only end up with one grade for passing the final exam, they have no legitimate proof of knowing anything else (or better performance)!
Example: the elective course “UK Society”
This course consists of tutorials and lectures. This means that there are small exercises to prepare and even presentations. The class goes through different aspects of the UK and the final exam consists of writing a paper about a specific topic and occasionally defending it orally. You can easily go through several aspects of the UK during the year and then write a final paper about yet another aspect. This means that going to class doesn’t prepare you for the exam. Yes, surely there will be a learning outcome, but you cannot prove it. Because basically, you can do killer presentations during the year, but write a bad paper at last (or defend it poorly) and end up with a poor grade IRREGARDLESS of your performance during the year.
Fairness?

For some students this system is fine. Though, I am having a hard time focusing on the upside.
When classes ≠ exams it is highly demotivating to show up for class when you don’t get any credit out of it. You can read the entire book and fail the exam or choose to not read the book and only study for the exam and hereby pass. What does that say about the exam? About the classes? And most importantly, what does that say about the grades that the students end up with? Do they represent skill, effort and knowledge?

I ask?

 

Gardening tips for dummies

 

Are your plants always dying before your eyes? Cry no more! Gardening is often simple which also means it is simple to mess up. Here are some simple pointers.

 

firkløver

#1 There is such a thing as too much water
Someone once told me that you cannot kill a cactus. Well I did. I think part of the reason was too much water. Plants drown and very few know how to swim.

#2 The more sun, the more water. 
This seems always to logic to be true. When it is hot the plant gets thirsty,
This also means that watering too much in the cold is a bad idea generally speaking

#3 Use Youtube
If you are not sure how your plant/flower/vegetable/fruit/tree should look, try Youtube!
There are so many nice people out there with the best advice.

#4 Don’t let climate needs stop you
If you are planning  to grow something that requires a certain type of climate (that you don’t have) have faith! A combination of pots, a greenhouse, a sunny spot and space inside will give you everything you need (as long as you’re willing to carry your plant around)

 

Green fingers are for everyone ^^

 

Why health advice is everything but user friendly

Have you ever stumbled upon the amount of health advice out there? Probably you have. It is everywhere.
The physical activity, the diets, the super fruits, the recommended daily amounts, the calorie restrictions and so on.
Because of the amount and the diversity it is a jungle. Plus there are still many  mechanisms in the body that we know very little about. If we were to boil down the problem with health advice it would sound something like that one idea contradicts the next. In addition the lack of extensive knowledge and narrow studies make it misleading to generalize. Yet generalizations are everywhere. Healthy vs. unhealthy have become black vs. white although reality is that there are a thousand shades of grey.

One example of such misleading advice concerns the calorie amount advice vs “health food” advice.

Eat more

#1: Calorie amount advice
This type of advice concerns the amount of calories that a person should consume in a given day. It is easily accessible by going online and using google to find a page that computes your personal recommended daily amount based on your information.
This is interesting, but unless you measure everything you eat, this number is not very useful. All in all one could say that it is a simple, harmless recommendation.

#2: “Healthy food” advice
In number one we establish how much energy we need. Here in number 2 we acknowledge the existence of energy coming from different sources. Ergo, calories are not just calories, it depends on where they come from. Today food will either get the “unhealth stamp” or the “healthy stamp” – the problem is whether you listen to both of them AND the calorie amount advice or look at them seperately. You shouldn’t look at them seperately.

Here is why:
Scenario 1: You strictly follow your daily amount of calories.
Problem  : Some calories burn faster that others and by disregarding that you shoot yourself                  in the foot. Additionally you could be missing out on essential minerals and                              vitamins.
Scenario 2: Your world is black and white so foods are either good or bad for you.
Problem   : You are potentially being brain washed by all sorts of health magazines dictating                    the latest narrow studies concerning the essence of some poor food that hit the                      spot light.
Scenario 3: You add healthy foods to your diet.
Problem   : Now what’s wrong with that? Potentially nothing. But if you are trying to lose weight (or sustain your weight) adding more calories to your diet is not the solution.
Yes, some foods have proven to boost your metabolism (narrow minded study or not). However, you will also be consuming more energy so even if the food in question gives a boost, it also has to burn it self first. Therefore, the point behind “healthy foods” is not to ADD them to one’s diet, but to substitute instead.

 

 

 

 

Such discussion will go on and on and this is far from being a comprehensive contribution.
My main point is that health advice in general is taken out of context in which case it is worth very little.

 

 

Listen to your body!

Travel story: Sleeping on top of a garage in Marseille

Travelling is all about taking the good with the bad. Most (un)pleasant surprises are something you can laugh at later or at least something you will never forget.

I recently went to Marseille, France and I had booked the hostel in advance. This particular hostel was situated on a residential street so at first sight I thought the address was wrong but no no.

The “hostel” was actually a garage squeezed in between the rest of the buildings. But instead of a car they had placed a dining table and next to it a small kitchen.
Looking aside the size of the place it was well equipped and clean.

The funny part came when it was time to see the bedrooms. As it turned out, there were no rooms. Instead, one had to sleep in a loft above the garage. In the loft, the floor was covered entirely by mattresses.  And the space between mattresses and the ceiling was just enough for crawling around up there – but not more. And since there was no space between the mattresses one had to crawl over other people’s mattresses (thank God there were only a few other people there)
Should be fun to crawl over somebody in order to get to your matress, huh ^^.

photo (23)
I
t is a bit difficult to see, but this is what the loft looked like.

The host was very friendly, but slept in a room far away from the garage opening. So one night a few guys had come back rather late and after realizing that nobody was coming to let them in (the garage door was locked) I crawled down to let them in.

This hostel is by far the strangest one I have seen.