The SparkPeople Blog

From Garden to Picnic, 12 Ways to Store Summer Food Favorites

By: , – Elizabeth Lowry, Staff Writer
5/30/2016  12:00:00 AM   :  0 comments   :  388 views

These days, you can't drive past a strip mall or check your Facebook feed without coming across a Container Store or coworker selling kitchen items promising to solve all of your storage issues. And with summer comes plenty of food storage conundrums. If you're blessed with a bountiful garden you'll likely have more produce than you can eat. A great problem to have, sure, but how should you store it?

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Socialize Smarter: 6 Picks for 3 Popular Meet-Up Spots

By: , – Staff Writer
5/27/2016  12:00:00 AM   :  3 comments   :  2,339 views

Tuesday: Meet mom for coffee. Thursday: Birthday happy hour for Carol at that killer place down the street, you know, the one with the perfect jukebox? Friday: Date night at the movies.
Sound familiar? Unless you're The Bachelor being whisked away by a private jet for dates to hike in Montana or jet ski in Tahiti, chances are the majority of your social outings revolve around the food and drink scene. Whether it's a date night or a friend night penciled in on your social calendar, the opportunities for an outing to throw off your carefully planned nutrition are plentiful for the average person. No one wants to be a hermit, after all.

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No Butts About It: 50 Reasons to Quit Smoking

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
5/27/2016  12:00:00 AM   :  2 comments   :  19,540 views

Smoking is an expensive habit. Beyond the $5 to $13 for a pack of cigarettes (depending on where you live) it also costs the lives of 480,000 Americans, $300 billion in medical expenses and $156 billion in lost productivity each year, according to the CDC. With such a staggering expense at stake, it's hard to believe that more than 16 percent of U.S. adults were still smoking as of 2014.

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What Advice Would You Give Your Younger Self?

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
5/26/2016  12:00:00 AM   :  19 comments   :  9,071 views

The older I get, the faster time goes. As each year passes with the blink of an eye, I try to learn from my mistakes and am constantly striving to be a better version of myself. Let's be honest, sometimes that works, and sometimes it doesn't. Either way, I still keep trying.

When I think back to my health and fitness habits 10, 15 or 20 years ago, a lot has changed. I've become much more aware of the food I put into my body. Gone are the days of "diet" cookies or fat-free chips, foods that used to be part of the healthy food section of my grocery list. I've become a conscious label reader, and while my diet is far from perfect, I try not to eat too many foods with ingredients I can't pronounce. My exercise routine has changed considerably, as well. I used to feel like any workout under 60 minutes was a waste of time, and 90 percent of my exercise routine involved running. These days, I focus more on quality over quantity and try to add more variety—including challenging strength exercises and new forms of cardio—into the mix. As a result, I've uncovered muscles I never knew I had and have even discovered new exercises that I love just as much as running. Hello, Muay Thai kickboxing!.

There are so many things I wish I could tell my younger self on the topic of being healthy. Of course, hindsight is 20/20, right? Which is not to say that this sense of "infinite wisdom" means I do everything right. I make mistakes every day, just like anyone else. But now I recognize a better way to think about my health and my body. Given the chance, I would tell 25-year-old Jen:

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Piloxing in Action: 8 Moves to Try at Home

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
5/26/2016  12:00:00 AM   :  14 comments   :  14,188 views

Want to try Piloxing in the comfort of your own home before heading to a class? Below are some of the founder's favorite routines as demonstrated by Colette Van Dyk, U.S. Master Trainer of Piloxing. Shoot for 10 to 20 repetitions of each exercise on each side.

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Dinner on Demand: 10 Key Foods You Need in Your Pantry

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
5/25/2016  12:00:00 AM   :  6 comments   :  15,321 views

On busy weeknights when six o'clock sneaks up out of nowhere (again), does the sequence of events at your house go something like this: First, someone hollers that ubiquitous question, "What's for dinner?" Next, you or your significant other play the “The Pantry Showdown,” which involves standing in front of said space, scanning the shelves for the miraculous combination of ingredients that will rescue everyone from the hangry zone. And finally, if luck is on your side, some nights you actually manage to cobble together something that strikes an acceptable balance between yummy and healthy.

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