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Gritty Digest: Cancer-beating foods, Exercise in smoke, and Why you should use a Sled

In this installment:

  • Cancer-beating foods

  • Working out in smoky conditions

  • Why you should drag or push a sled (or tire, car, etc)


In the below podcast, host Dhru Purohit discusses foods that can help stave or stall cancer. These foods include blueberries (which bolster your immune system, compounds like EGCG in green tea, lycopene in tomatoes, and the polyphenols in red grapes (and red wine!) Listen for more details and studies referenced.

#218: The Mind-Blowing Science of Starving Cancer with Food with Dr. William Li

Regarding those foods- here is a list I found. Some easy ones to have on hand- whether it’s in your pantry or your patrol car. As always, if you aren’t peeling it, try to lean organic. I’ve thrown the #shiftwork friendly versions in parentheses:

  • Almonds

  • Apples

  • Apricots (dried)

  • Salmon (canned or smoked)

  • Tea (green, black, oolong, chamomile)

  • Black beans (canned)


With the recent smoke (thanks a lot, wildfires), I debated indulging my urge to go on a jog (since I hate jogging, I’m trying to do it more #chooseyourhard). I found a couple sources that say “orange” as it was this weekend is about the limit where experts would recommend non-sensitive individuals exercise outside.

I recall doing sprints in hazardous smoke conditions in Tahoe last year… I woke up with chest pains and felt like I got hit by a truck the next day (not the best decision). Ultimately, as we *should know, smoke aggravates and inflames your lungs, so it’s not ideal.

Details also suggested shorter, easier activity since you will be pumping less air. They recommend opting for indoor activity, with recycling/filtering air. If you’re endurance training for something serious, consider swapping days with an indoor strength session with bodyweight movement, or go find a large indoor area where you can speed walk or just crush flights and flights of stairs (public skyscraper, malls, airport).

Otherwise, consider driving outside of your area. Check your app and see if another area has more favorable air quality. I just checked towns going toward the mountains, which don’t show warnings at all.


Sled training is literally dragging dead weight. You can keep it lighter and go a distance or load it up and do sets with shorter length. You can go forward or backward. Unlike many higher intensity training (like sprints or explosive weight lifting), it reduces impact on your knees and other joints.

The range of motion needed is not likely to be limiting. You won’t be able to pull faster than your ability, so it’s harder to hurt yourself. AND it works EVERY part of your body. You will engage every muscle exerting yourself, which means its not just safe but extremely effective and functional.

To that end, you can also push equipment with the same injury-reducing benefits. A prowler is a specific piece of equipment you can push or pull, but there are other options:

  • Throw a car in neutral and push it

    • recommend a friend to steer/brake for safety

    • on level parking lot)

  • Plate pushes

    • using a flat sided metal plate

    • place on surface where it will slide, ie turf or stiff carpet

    • get down on hands and knees

    • place hands on the plate

    • drive forward on your feet, bear crawling with knees off of the ground

(with set recommendations, but there’s no magic to it)

Want to hear a Gritty Digest about something else? Let me know!

Take care, be well, and as always- Stay Gritty.

photo credits: Delaware Today, Valor Fitness, Twitter

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