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230: BMI is a Useless Metric, Spring Cleaning Tips & Pineapple Guacamole - the GOOD, BAD & YUMMY

On Air with Ella - episode 230

This is a regular feature where I share one thing that I'm loving, one thing I'm not, and one super simple, yummy recipe.

THE GOOD: Spring Cleaning!

  • Things I do every day:

    • Make my bed - every. single. day

    • Put things away RIGHT THEN. I follow the 1 min rule.

    • Clean up kitchen every night, so that every day is fresh start!


All you need is water, lemon and vinegar for these natural cleaning options - and maybe an onion?

  • FAUCETS: Remove water stains with lemon

    • Simply rub a lemon half on the water stains. The citric acid helps remove hard water marks.

  • MICROWAVE: Clean even the tough grime easily with lemon

    • Cut a lemon into halves, squeeze the juice into 1/2 cup of water and drop the rinds into the cup

    • Microwave for 3 minutes; let it stand for 5 minutes without opening the door

    • The trapped steam will loosen the grime, so you can easily wipe the microwave clean!

  • SHOWER: Use white vinegar to remove shower head buildup

    • Vinegar dissolves the mineral deposits that accumulate in showerheads and cause reduced pressure and water flow

    • Fill a plastic bag with white vinegar, secure it over the showerhead with a rubber band and leave it overnight to get rid of buildup

    • TIP: Run the shower before you hop in, or you might smelling like vinegar!

  • GRILL: Clean the grill with vinegar and an onion?!?

    • Heat the grill, then spray white vinegar onto the grates to loosen the residue

    • Next, scrub the grates with half an onion

    • The acid from the onion cuts the grime more easily!

Make your own natural cleaning solution - it's EASY!

This all-natural cleanser can be used on appliances, sinks, and quartz, granite and marble counters.

And, it’s EASY:

  • 3/4 cup water

  • 3/4 cup rubbing alcohol

  • 1 squirt natural dish soap

  • 5 - 10 drops peppermint, lemon, or orange essential oil

Just combine the ingredients in a spray bottle (shake well!), and spray!

THE BAD: Body Mass Index (BMI) as a Metric for Health

BMI is a ratio based a person’s height and weight. The BMI number is calculated by dividing a person's weight (in kilograms) by their height (in meters squared), and is intended to be an estimate of body fat.

What’s wrong with BMI?

Weight includes fat, but it also includes bones, muscle, fluids and everything else!

Body Mass Index’s biggest flaw is that it does not take into account the person’s body fat versus muscle / lean tissue content. Because muscle weighs more than fat, the extremely simple BMI ratio calculates athletic people as fatter than they really are, among other things.

For example:

Any two women will have the same BMI if they are the same same height and weight. If you have a 5’ 4” gymnast and a 5' 4" non-exercising adult who both weigh 146 lbs (~66 kg), the BMI calculation would class both of them as "overweight."

Also, BMI does not take any differences in race, ethnicity or gender into account. It was based exclusively on the average white, European male of the 1800's.

Where did BMI come from?

BMI was devised in the 1830s by Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet, a Belgian mathematician, sociologist, statistician and astronomer - he was not a doctor, and he was not even trying to measure health!

Quetelet produced the BMI formula as a quick and easy way to categorize people and look at the distribution of a general* population. At the time, there were no calculators or computers, so this extremely basic calculation may have actually served its limited purpose almost 200 years ago.

*Quetelet collected his data primarily from white European men to look at the distribution of a population - it was a population-level tool and not meant to be used on individuals, nor did it take into effect any differences of gender, ethnicity or race.

In 1972, physiologist Ancel Keys reintroduced the calculation as the "Body Mass Index," and it has since been adopted by the medical community as a way to measure individual health.

So, two centuries ago, a white European in Belgium came up with a ratio reflecting his local population. 190+ years later, this is used by health experts, insurance companies and doctors to decide whether or not to insure - and often how to treat - a wide array of people.

It's the ratio we still use to discriminate against others and to judge ourselves. It's time for a better way.


THE YUMMY: Pineapple Guacamole

You'll need:

  • 4 large ripe avocados

  • 1 jalapeño (seeded & diced)

  • 1 cup diced pineapple (fresh or canned)

  • 1/2 cup diced red onion

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

  • 2 tbsp lime juice

  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Recipe & photo credit:

Check out her instagram, too! @maryswholelife

Let me know if you try this or any variations!



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xxoo Ella



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