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The Awards Show Workout Game: Sweat with the Stars!


It seems like almost every time you turn on the TV there is another award show coming. In January alone, there are the Golden Globes, People's Choice, Critic's Choice, Grammy's (this weekend!) and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards. Later in winter, the always-hilarious Golden Raspberry (Razzes) Awards take place around the same time as the more serious Academy Awards. And throughout the year, there's a host of music related award shows (like the Country Music Awards) and even MTV has their own Video Music Awards and Movie Awards shows. I'm sure I haven't even listed them all...
 
If you love fashion, celebrity news, or simply think of yourself as a music or movie buff, you'll probably catch at least one of these shows. The performances are entertaining, the jokes and hosts often funny, and the fashion is usually worth seeing.
 
Many people have dress-up parties or get-togethers to watch these shows with friends, often with lots of drinks and appetizers. But you can enjoy the show—and work toward your healthy goals, too—by incorporating SparkPeople's "Award Show Workout Game" at home or with your friends. This workout plan works with any televised award show! It allows you to watch and enjoy the show while also fitting in a serious workout!
Posted 1/24/2014  5:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 15 comments   12,403 views
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8 Ingredients for the Perfect Super Bowl Party


Hosting the Super Bowl bash this year? Beyond wings, beer, and plenty of chips and dip, there are a few more things you'll need to ensure your game-day festivities don’t commit any party fouls. Keep reading for eight ingredients for the perfect Super Bowl party!
Posted 1/20/2014  12:00:00 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 4 comments   9,635 views
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Gear Up for the Perfect Tailgate


Once you've planned the perfect tailgate party, you'll want to stock up on gear to help you celebrate your favorite team and serve up delicious snacks in style.

We've rounded up 10 of our favorite products to make your party even more fun.

(We're showcasing Bengals gear here, since SparkPeople's hometown is Cincinnati, but all the team products listed are available for your favorite NFL teams.)
Posted 11/15/2013  6:00:00 AM By: Megan Patrick : 7 comments   4,600 views
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Festive Football Food Accessories


Whether you're having a get together to watch the big game, a Super Bowl bash or a party for your kid's football team, there are tons of great themed accessories available to help bring your appetizers to life.
Posted 11/13/2013  6:00:00 AM By: Megan Patrick : 6 comments   6,559 views
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Fun Fitness Halloween Costume Ideas


Since your closet is full of workout clothes anyway, why not use this Halloween as an excuse to celebrate your healthy lifestyle by dressing as your favorite fitness personality? There are tons of possibilities, but here are 10 that are pretty easy to pull off.
Posted 10/10/2013  6:00:00 AM By: Megan Patrick : 22 comments   23,416 views
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15 Healthy Snacks for Super Bowl Sunday


Speaking as a native San Franciscan, it's been a great year for professional sports! Between the Giant's World Series championship and the 49ers super bowl berth, our athletes have given us a lot to brag about. Rooting for your team is fun, but thinking about what you eat while watching the game (and the commercials) is just as important. According to USA Today, the Super Bowl is "only second behind Thanksgiving for the average amount of calories consumed in a day." To combat this unfortunate fact, I’ve gathered our favorite healthy super bowl party food so you can celebrate without the super-high calories, fat, and sodium. Don't forget to get up at halftime and dance to the music or get outside to throw the ball with your friends, neighbors, and loved ones. That way you can enjoy some great food and keep moving too. You know who I will be rooting for on the field ("Go 49ers!"), but I'm also rooting for all my fellow Sparkers out there to have a fun and healthy super bowl celebration. 
Posted 1/29/2013  12:00:00 PM By: Samantha Donohue : 16 comments   121,399 views
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10 Light Beers to Toast with This New Year's Eve


3-2-1, Happy New Year!

When you toast the new year this weekend, pick a drink that 's not going to weigh you down.

Sip one of these light beers if you choose to imbibe.
Posted 12/27/2012  12:00:00 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 84 comments   33,596 views
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10 Cocktails with 150 Calories or Less


If you're planning to ring in the New Year with a drink, watch out: Many popular cocktails contain more calories than a cheeseburger! To celebrate without adding to your weight, try one of these low-calorie cocktails.
Posted 12/26/2012  12:00:00 PM By: Nicole Nichols : 46 comments   380,488 views
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How to Throw a Party without Breaking a Sweat


As a chef, I love to entertain in our home--especially around the holidays when the house is decorated and we want to spend time with our family and friends. 
As part of my schooling, we were taught how to entertain as part of our hospitality training. We learned to plan and pull off magnificent events without a drop of sweat.

You don't need to go to culinary school to learn the same skills. Go ahead and set the date--you'll be prepared! Just follow my tips below for a well-planned event, and you'll still be smiling at the end of the night while saying (and believing), "Well, that was fun.  Let's do it again next year."
 
Make a party plan!
Posted 12/20/2012  6:00:00 AM By: Meg Galvin : 10 comments   14,593 views
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15 5-Minute Appetizers


This time of year, there's always an occasion where you need to bring a dish to share. But between work, home, and school obligations, not to mention your workouts and healthy meal prep, however will you find time to come up with something delicious and creative to take to the neighborhood gathering?
 
I've compiled a list of appetizers that will take no more than five minutes of hands-on work!
 
Appetizer vs. Hors D'Oeuvres
These days, appetizers and hors d'oeuvres are often used interchangeably (though we tend to use the word appetizer more commonly, probably because it's easier to spell), there is a difference. Appetizers are the first course of a meal, while hors d'oeuvres are bite-size portions of food displayed on a buffet or passed on a tray by the host or, at my house, a teenager trying to make up for tossing baseballs near the Christmas tree.  So really there's no big difference and who in the heck cares what they are called as long as they taste good.  To get started let's look at what make a good single bite of party food.
Posted 12/10/2012  12:00:00 PM By: Meg Galvin : 7 comments   18,320 views
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4 Ways to Eat What You Want during the Holidays (without Gaining Weight)


It's the most wonderful time of the year, unless you are trying to adhere to a weight-loss plan.  Then the holidays can feel like a day-after-day deprivation. The 41 days between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day can be packed with festivities filled with fattening foods making you feel frantic and frustrated.  But denying yourself of all the holiday treats is not the way to go.
 
The act of restricting your favorite foods can actually backfire and bring about unplanned overeating and binging.  A 2007 study in the journal Appetite documented this vicious cycle which can result in feelings of guilt, anxiety and depression.  Dieters who implemented strict food restrictions had an increased desire for those "forbidden foods," bringing about food cravings and greater temptation; when compared to dieters who included these type "forbidden foods" on occasion.

So keep this the most wonderful time of the year--relax, enjoy the holiday and include the foods you love--on occasion! Here are strategies and tips to help:
Posted 12/7/2012  8:00:00 AM By: Becky Hand : 19 comments   23,588 views
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Things That Don't Suck about Getting Older


Yesterday was a pivotal day. I said goodbye to being a 20-something and today I woke up as a 30-year-old woman. 
 
I don't really feel different, but I also kind of do. Maybe because when I was growing up, 30 seemed so old (certainly I don't feel that way now). It also seemed so "grown up" when I was a kid, a teen, and a college student.  Turning 30 has been on my mind a lot these past few weeks.
 
My dad, now nearing 60, has always told me that mentally, he doesn't feel any different now than when he was 25; it's only our bodies that show and feel our age. I think I understand that more and more as I get older. Each passing year, whether it's New Year's Day, a birthday or an anniversary, is a chance to reflect, regroup and refocus. You can choose to change or start fresh. But no matter what, these life events remind me that I need to appreciate the passage of time more than I do. It goes SO fast, and I can say for certain that every year I get older, time seems to fly by even faster than it did the year before.
 
Everyone who is older than me says that life get better with age. But I'll be honest: I sometimes have trouble seeing the upside of things. When my husband threw me a surprise party last weekend to celebrate, I felt sad about all the people who didn't come instead of being happy to mingle with those who did. And now that I'm another calendar year older, I can't help but think of all the things I haven't done—rather than recollecting all of my accomplishments to date. And then there's the big elephant in the room: babies! I thought that by 30 I'd feel ready (I do want kids), but I don't feel any more "ready" than when I was 22. I guess that only shows how little I really knew when I was younger!
 
Of course, even a glass-half-empty girl 30-year-old like me knows that it's not all bad. I mean, personally, I've always looked way younger than my age, so I'm actually hoping I look old enough to be perceived as a person with experience and credibility. (When I first joined the SparkPeople staff at age 22, my boss thought no one would take me seriously as a fitness expert because I looked, in his words, "15 years old.")  But there are even things about your body, your mind and your life in general that get better as you get older. So to celebrate each day you wake up alive, and each year that passes—and you're still here living it—here's a big list of things to look forward to as you get older (as told by SparkPeople members!).
Posted 9/19/2012  6:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 143 comments   26,261 views
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Celebrate Your Freedom from Greasy Burgers: Save 50% on Our 'Grilling Guide'


Looking for new recipes for your Fourth of July or Canada Day cookout?
SparkPeople has you covered. Check out our "Ultimate Grilling Guide"--which is on sale to help you celebrate your independence from greasy burgers and mayo-laden salads. For just $1.99 (50% off through July 4) you can make grill season the healthiest season with "SparkPeople's Ultimate Grilling Guide" by World Master Chef Meg Galvin and Becky Hand, R.D., M.Ed.

With 75 hearty, healthy recipes from Chef Meg, plus SparkPeople's members, this book is a must-have for the grill master in your house.

More than just a collection of recipes, you'll get:
  • Tips on grilling burgers, veggies--and everything in between
  • 13 ways to top your burger for 100 calories or less (including bacon!)
  • Step-by-step instructions for perfect steak, burgers, chicken, and more
  • Dozens of sauce combinations, plus 10 ways to spice up leftover grilled chicken
  • Advice on which meats are healthy, tasty choices for the grill
  • Tips for staying on track at BBQs, potlucks, and picnics
  • Answers to all your toughest BBQ questions
Intimidated by the grill? Frustrated with burned hockey-puck burgers and undercooked, bland chicken? With "SparkPeople's Ultimate Grilling Guide," you'll learn how to make your grill work for you--from appetizers to desserts.

Click here to download the book from BarnesandNoble.com.
Click here to download the book from Amazon.com.

Get a sneak peek inside the "Ultimate Grilling Guide" with our new slideshow, 13 Ways to Top Your Burger for 100 Calories or Less!


Posted 6/29/2012  6:00:00 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 4 comments   6,341 views
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Make Cinco de Mayo Healthier, with 30+ of Our Best Mexican Recipes


Just in time for Cinco de Mayo, we rounded up our favorite Mexican-inspired recipes. Let's get this party started!
Posted 5/3/2012  2:00:00 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 20 comments   37,307 views
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Celebrate Derby Day with This Authentic Recipe


Those who are close to me know that I'm not one to brag. But today, as I look out my kitchen window and prepare for my favorite holiday feast of the year, I am reminded of my days riding the greatest Thoroughbred in history, Man O'War.  OK, so I brag sometimes
 
For those of you that know horseracing history, I am sure the numbers are working in your heads now. That can't be right. (Or, "she looks great for her age!")  Man O'War won 20 of 21 races just after World War I, how could she of possibly ridden that horse? 
 
Well, this is what happens to the truth when we brag, it gets shaded. I rode the statue.  I grew up surrounded by horse and grain farms in central Kentucky. Man O'War was born and died near my family's farm.  On beautiful spring days after picking wild strawberries and asparagus, we would make our way to the tall statue and saddle up.  Man O'War's remains have since moved to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky.  Sadly, you can no longer saddle up and ride Man O'War, but you can take a short drive to Louisville to enjoy the fastest two minutes in sports, the Kentucky Derby. 
 
Some folks throw Super Bowl parties. We throw a Derby party. 
Posted 4/30/2012  2:00:00 PM By: Meg Galvin : 8 comments   6,914 views
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