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Decadently Wholesome

[Excerpts from an article by Joanne Chen, body+soul, March 2010, wholeliving.com]

Wait long enough and even high-waisted pants come back in style.  In similar fashion, it may be time to pull some of your old, banned habits out of the closet.  A number of formerly sinful luxuries now seem to be healthy-and this according to scientists from highly regarded universities.  In fact, if you didn't cheat, you'd be cheating yourself.

Old Rep
:  Lazy pastime.
New Cred: Recharge tactic
Call it Mother Nature's patented Ritalin: an antidote to mental fuzziness without the unpleasant side effects.

Old Rep: Heart attack on a plate
New Cred: Breakfast of champions
Both eggs and cheese have suffered an image problem since the '80's.  But the combo isn't so bad after all.  Of the 4.9 grams of fat in an egg, 1.6 of them are saturated; the rest are unsaturated-the type that actually helps lower cholesterol in blood.  And not all cheeses are high in fat:  Parmesan contains only 1.4 grams (and 22 calories) per tablespoon.  Furthermore, an average egg with a tablespoon of cheese offers calcium, 13 vitamins, and protein.  You can sprinkle on oregano or basil for a hit of antioxidants, and all you need for cooking is a spritz of olive oil.

Old Rep
: Mean-girl entertainment
New Cred: Bonding technique
Research suggests that gossiping isn't so much a moral slipup as it is a way of bonding.  Furthermore, we're wired to do it.  Of course, there are more virtuous ways to bond (like joining a book club), but gossip, social scientists agree, does build community-and that's been shown by countless studies to help maintain good overall mental health.

Old Rep
: Gut bloater
New Cred: Wine replacement
Wine may be the toast of the health-conscious, but beer is just as good for you.  It's got more calcium and magnesium than a Cabernet or Merlot, and four to five times the level of free-radical fighting polyphenols as a glass of white.  In fact, a 12-ounce bottle of beer a day (but no more than that) may up "good" HDL cholesterol, decrease the risk of blood clots, and reduce coronary heart disease rates by 30 to 40 percent.

Old Rep
: Brain drainer
New Cred: Brain trainer
Research suggests that interacting with new smart-phone apps or computer programs stimulates your neural circuits.  Research [also] suggests that web searching, even more than reading online, activates neural areas responsible for decision making and reasoning, keeping the brain fit.

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