For the past several years, GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) have been dominating the health news headlines. But what are GMOs, really? What do they do? What kinds of foods contain them? And—most importantly—are they really safe to consume? Let's set the record straight on these common questions about GMOs.
Q: What are GMOs?
A: Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs (also called GE or GM foods), are the result of a laboratory process in which the genetic material of living organisms is manipulated and then artificially inserted into the genes of an entirely unrelated plant or animal. The foreign genes can come from bacteria, viruses, animals, insects or even humans. GMOs are known as ''transgenic'' organisms because they involve the transfer of genes.
Posted 10/6/2015 12:00:00 AM By: : 13 comments 5,034 views
How many times a day do you open your pantry or fridge hoping that something new, healthy and filling will appear? Does your kitchen seem messy, cluttered and full of unhealthy foods? Do you want to make over your pantry and fridge, but aren’t sure where to start?
We are here to help! Make a pledge to rid your pantry and fridge of unhealthy items and to re-stock it with real foods using the following doable steps.
Part with the Unhealthy Non-Perishables
It’s easy to promise yourself that you'll eat better, but you’re setting yourself up for sabotage if you don’t physically remove the unhealthy foods from your house. Go through every single item on your kitchen shelves and get rid of or donate anything that is overly high in sugar, sodium, artificial colorings or preservatives, or with a long laundry list of ingredients that you can't pronounce. Many condiments fit this bill—consider how much you and your family enjoy them and whether or not you can find substitutions for these items. Only keep those foods that you truly think you can continue to eat in moderation.
Posted 10/5/2015 12:00:00 AM By: : 3 comments 5,620 views
These days, it’s hard to avoid all the buzzwords surrounding the latest diet trends. There are social media pages, websites, books, magazines and even clothing touting various messages about how or what to eat. "Clean eating" is one such term that's been thrown around for years. But what does ''clean eating'' actually mean, and how can you apply it in your own life? Let's break it down once and for all!
What Is Clean Eating?
To ''eat clean'' means to eat whole, largely unprocessed foods in order to minimize the amount of unnecessary or potentially harmful chemicals and additives one ingests. People who eat this way avoid foods processed or altered by manufacturers, and instead choose foods that are as close to their natural forms as possible. (''Processing'' includes additions of any kind, such as salt, sugar, fat and/or preservatives.) Studies have shown that clean eating can result in improved mood, more energy, better sleep, enhanced athletic performance, healthier skin and greater feelings of overall happiness.
Posted 10/2/2015 12:00:00 AM By: : 7 comments 19,752 views
Have you ever had a true Cinderella moment—when you slip into a pair of shoes and immediately say, ''YES!''? If you have, consider yourself lucky; when it comes to shoes, finding the perfect fit is not always an easy feat!
Vionic, a pioneer in developing shoes that provide natural alignment from the ground up, knows a thing or two about shoes. Their collection was developed by a team of world-class podiatrists and is designed to hug your arches and support your feet for all-day comfort. Here, they provide their six tips for making sure your shoe fits perfectly every time.
Posted 9/9/2015 12:00:00 AM By: : 7 comments 14,678 views
Your feet go through a lot. Believe it or not, the majority of Americans will log almost 75,000 miles on their feet by age 50, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association. And if you exercise regularly, that number goes up even more. The experts at Vionic Shoes have come up with five quick tips for protecting your tootsies and helping you stay on your feet for many years to come.
1. Stretch your feet daily. Yes, your feet! Just like any other part of your body, the muscles in your feet greatly benefit from massage and stretching to keep the tendons, muscles and ligaments flexible and loose. Aim to massage your feet daily using either a tennis ball or foam roller, being sure to focus on the arch and any sore spots. This routine is a great place to start.
2. Be cautious of your flip flops. Summer is unofficially flip flop season, but most flip flops lack the necessary arch support to keep your feet healthy. Sports Physical Therapist and Vionic Innovation Lab expert, Brian Hoke, suggests looking for styles that have a footbed with built-in orthotic technology that mimics the natural alignment of your feet, such as the Tide II Toe Post Sandal from Vionic shoes.
Posted 8/7/2015 12:00:00 AM By: : 13,637 views
As the weather gets hot and steamy in the summer, you probably wear lighter clothing, shift what you eat and make sure to apply sunscreen frequently. What often gets overlooked is what to drink. Staying well-hydrated not only quenches your thirst, but it can also help keep you energized, control hunger and enable you to stay the course to lead a balanced, active life. To help you better hydrate this summer, here are three simple tips to keep in mind.
Posted 7/27/2015 12:00:00 AM By: : 17,972 views
Losing weight and keeping it off can be a challenge, especially in the summer months when travel, outdoor barbecues and other social events are in full swing. But it’s not impossible.
I know this because not long ago, I was nearly twice my current weight. As a neurologist, busy wife and mom of five kids, I realize how hard it can be to lead a balanced lifestyle. The key to my 140-pound weight loss was making smart choices.
Posted 7/17/2015 12:00:00 AM By: : 18,099 views
Do you often find health and wellness taking a backseat to... well, almost everything else in your life? Between work, family, friends and hobbies, it can be hard to keep a date with your treadmill. But studies show that working to find just 30 minutes a day to dedicate to movement can have significant effects on your health, and you can achieve this goal simply by getting creative!
Posted 7/17/2015 12:00:00 AM By: : 2 comments 8,095 views
If you've been around SparkPeople for a while, you've probably heard us say it over and over (and over): Every single minute of fitness adds up. And it's true! Each active choice you make, no matter how small, contributes to your health on a larger scale. Unfortunately, reminding ourselves to add more movement into our busy daily lives can be a struggle. To help you make regular movement a bigger priority in your life, we've partnered with Vionic® with Orthaheel Technology footwear to bring you the #Find30 Challenge! By joining the challenge, you'll receive a 30-day plan to help you fit more activity into your days.
What can I expect from the #Find30 Challenge?
- 30 Daily "Mini Challenges"
- 150 SparkPoints
- Social Support
- Open to Anyone: Invite Your Friends to Join!
Sounds great! How do I sign up?
Go to our #Find30 Challenge page and sign up by clicking the "Take the Challenge" button to enter your email address. After you've signed up, you will receive one email per day for the next 30 and a reminder to complete your daily challenge (and get your SparkPoints). Note that once you sign up, you should expect to receive your first challenge email the following day at 8 am EST.
When does it start?
RIGHT NOW. The challenge is open and ready for you to join—and you can start or join at any time. The sooner you start, the sooner you'll be on the path to a healthier, happier you!
What are you waiting for? Sign up right now to get started today—and feel happier, healthier and refreshed in 30 days. (Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, too.) Let's do this!
Will you be participating in our #Find30 Challenge? Let us know in the comments if you'll be joining us!
About Vionic Footwear
Shoes should make your feet feel great and look good doing it. That's why at Vionic, we build every style starting with a tried and true foundation invented by a world-renowned podiatrist—a contoured footbed with Orthaheel Technology that is biomechanically designed to hug your arches and support your feet in comfort, providing all-day support from the ground up. Our mission is to transform your wardrobe and your lifestyle matching the way you want to look to the way you want to feel. Learn more at vionicshoes.com.
Posted 7/16/2015 12:00:00 AM By: : 14 comments 23,525 views
There’s no perfect formula for successful weight loss and maintenance. As a veteran weight-loss researcher, I’ve seen it all: people who continually struggle to shed pounds and, on the flipside, champion losers.
What’s their secret? To help answer that very question, Dr. Rena Wing of Brown University and I founded the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) in 1994.
Posted 7/9/2015 12:00:00 AM By: : 34,212 views
When you're juggling work, family life, social obligations and other responsibilities, your healthy lifestyle probably often seems like it's pushed to the very bottom of your to-do list. But the good news is that you can find the balance you're looking for in just a few minutes per day. Healthy living doesn't have to be all-consuming; your health is a result of small, consistent choices over time. We're here to help with a new challenge to help you make healthy choices at your own pace--and balance your life in the process. If you liked our Healthy Habits Reset Challenge, you're going to love this one, too!
What can I expect from the Balanced Life Challenge?
Posted 7/7/2015 4:00:00 PM By: : 8 comments 18,420 views
It’s a buyer’s market out there. Whatever you need – from a smart TV to walking shoes – you’ll find a sea of options. These days, even blood glucose meters have seemingly infinite variations and features.
To avoid becoming overwhelmed with all the different glucose meters out there, it might help to start with these three criteria: ease of use, required sample size and cost of the meter and test strips.
Is the Meter User-Friendly?
If you choose a meter that’s user-friendly and delivers quick, accurate results, you’re much more likely to stick to your testing schedule. Testing regularly will help you understand how your blood sugar responds to everything from your meal choices to physical activity.
Ease of use means something different for everyone, so consider everything from the size and weight of the meter to how readable the display numbers are. You might benefit from a larger meter that’s easier to hold. If you’re always on the go, a super portable meter that allows you to test discreetly might suit you better.
What Size Blood Sample Is Needed?
If you’re like most people, you’ll be interested in a meter that requires a small sample size. This is particularly important if you need to test often or have sensitive fingers. Fortunately, you’ll find that many meters use less than 1.0 microliter – or 1.0 μL – and take 10 seconds or less to display results.
The FreeStyle family of products offers several meters that require a sample size of just 0.6 microliters or less, and can display results in 5 seconds, on average or less.
How Much Do the Meter and Supplies Cost?
We all know that diabetes can be an expensive condition to manage, so out-of-pocket costs for testing supplies will probably factor into your decision. Although buying a meter may be a one-time cost, it’s really the test strips that are the recurring expense, so make sure you look closely at the total cost when selecting a meter and test strips.
Bonus Tip: Consider Buying Your System Over the Counter
In addition to all the other options in the marketplace, there is another approach to diabetes management – buying your test strips over the counter. Now you can avoid the hassles of insurance, including paperwork, pharmacy lines and the ever-increasing cost of copays.
Until recently, it hasn’t been possible to buy meters and test strips from leading brands over the counter at accessible prices. But now, you can get the FreeStyle Precision Neo meter and test strips at your pharmacy without a prescription. This gives patients a quality alternative to using insurance and paying high copays for blood glucose test strips. You can find the FreeStyle Precision Neo meter and test strips at major retailers or drugstores in the diabetes supplies section, or you can buy them online. Prices may vary, but the MSRP for 50 test strips is $21.99.
The bottom line: You have to find what works for you! To help you come up with your ''Best for Me'' short list, be sure to tap into resources like user reviews, manufacturer comparison charts and how-to videos. Good luck finding the meter that suits your needs best.
Posted 7/6/2015 12:00:00 AM By: : 6,018 views
There's no question that owning a pet can be great for your health. Our pets melt away stress, make great workout buddies, and are constant sources of unconditional love. So, it's only fair that we return the favor and treat our four-legged companions with as much love and care as possible. Our friends at Nature’s Recipe believe that all pets deserve to live long, vibrant lives. That's why they focus on providing real, delicious pet food at a real value. We are proud to partner with Nature's Recipe to nourish the relationship between you and your pet with the Make It Real™ 30 Day Challenge. Take our month-long pledge to get happier and healthier together, with fun activities to do each day that will bring you and your furry friend closer than ever.
What can I expect from the Make It Real™ Challenge?
- 30 Daily "Mini Challenges"
- 150 SparkPoints
- Social Integration
- Open to Anyone: Invite Your Friends to Join!
Sounds great! How do I sign up?
Go to our Make It Real™ Challenge page and sign up by clicking the "Get Started" button to enter your email address. After you've signed up, you will receive one email per day for the next 30 days with a reminder to complete your daily challenge (and get your SparkPoints). Note that once you sign up, you should expect to receive your first challenge email the following day at 8 am EST.
When does it start?
RIGHT NOW. The challenge is open and ready for you to join—and you can start or join at any time. The sooner you start, the sooner you'll be on the path to a stronger bond with your furry friend!
What are you waiting for? Sign up right now to get started today—and get ready for 30 days of fun with Fido. (Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, too.) Let's do this!
Will you be participating in our 30-Day Make It Real™ Challenge? Let us know in the comments if you (and your pet) are up for the challenge!
Posted 6/26/2015 10:00:00 AM By: : 12 comments 8,639 views
Whether you’re newly diagnosed or have been managing diabetes for years, you know that out-of-pocket expenses can add up fast. The American Diabetes Association reports that, on average, people who have been diagnosed with diabetes spend more than twice as much on medical expenses than people who don’t have diabetes.1 Here's how to keep costs down while managing your diabetes as effectively as possible.
Posted 6/1/2015 12:00:00 AM By: : 12,695 views
Are you newly diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity? Feeling overwhelmed and aren't sure how to start a gluten-free lifestyle? You've come to the right place! Join the 30-Day Goodbye Gluten Challenge to get tips, meal ideas and more. It's just the blueprint you need to teach you gluten-free basics and help you phase gluten out of your diet to start feeling better in no time.*
Posted 5/1/2015 10:00:00 AM By: : 7 comments 15,274 views