The SparkPeople Blog

Melinda Hershey (SP_MELINDA)

SparkPeople Editor and Health Educator

Melinda has a bachelorís degree in health promotion and education and is an ACE-Certified Personal Trainer. Before working as an editor for SparkPeople, she developed and taught health programs for several non-profit organizations. She enjoys writing, interval training, yoga, and cooking with friends.


Read More of Melinda's Blogs:

Get Fit before You Feast: A November Challenge!

Halloween is just one week from today, and we all know what that means—the holiday season will be upon us before we know it. Unfortunately, the "most wonderful time of the year" also tends to be the most stressful time of the year for a lot of people; especially for those who are striving to lose weight or get fit. How do you avoid falling off the wagon during such a busy time full of food, friends and family obligations? 

Posted 10/24/2013  12:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 164 comments   34,761 views

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Join the 30-Day 'Fit Food' Challenge!

Now is the perfect time to kick off a brand new challenge to help you get on your way to your healthiest, fittest self yet: 30 Days of Fit Food. It's a great way to kick the season and head into the holidays (just around the corner!) feeling your best.

Posted 9/26/2013  6:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 27 comments   95,590 views

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CONTEST CLOSED: Win a Copy of Leslie Sansone's Newest Walking DVD!

This contest is officially closed. The winners are:

DEEDEE2610
MOLLYJ96
WOODMAN169
GRANNY2B2
STANDY15

Congratulations!


We're big fans of Leslie Sansone. Her approachable, safety-focused workout DVDs completely align with SparkPeople's philosophy that fitness should be an enjoyable, attainable part of life—without making drastic sacrifices or falling for gimmicks. Leslie is the real deal, and she's helped millions of people around the world lose weight, get fit and feel great about themselves through her fitness DVDs.

A few years ago, Coach Nicole reviewed one of Leslie's DVDs and really enjoyed it. So, when we found out that Leslie has a new DVD coming out, we couldn't wait to get the scoop! Walk It Off in 30 Days is a month-long program that combines walking and strength training to get you results in 30 minutes a day. Here's what the most recent press release has to say about the program: 

Posted 8/23/2013  6:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 59 comments   10,691 views

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The Best and Worst Sips for Your Hips

Made with wholesome fruit, milk and ice, what's not to love about a healthy smoothie on a hot day? Not so fast—although they may sound innocent enough, these summer sippers could actually be massive calorie bombs in disguise. Many common selections at smoothie chains and fast food restaurants pack two times more sugar than a candy bar and more calories than a burger and fries! Before drinking up, read on for the best and worst picks from popular smoothie establishments across the country. 

Posted 8/14/2013  6:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 47 comments   40,284 views

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NEW: SparkCoach App for On-the-Go Results

Since our launch of SparkCoach, other SparkPeople members like you have found incredible success with the help of our revolutionary program. And now, you can get the same great results on the go, because SparkCoach is now available on your iPhone and Android mobile devices! 

Posted 8/5/2013  6:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 3 comments   13,823 views

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Food Showdown: How Sweet is Your Tea?

As temperatures continue to climb this summer, sitting out on the porch with a tall glass of iced tea might sound like the perfect way to relax and refresh. Iced tea certainly isn't new on the beverage scene, but we have been slowly increasing our consumption of the warm-weather staple; last year, a national consumer survey reported that 10% of U.S. consumers are purchasing more iced tea than they did in 2009. The survey also revealed that 73% of tea drinkers prefer green tea for its antioxidants and health benefits. Drink companies have taken note of America's love of green tea and have produced dozens of flavored varieties over the past few years; however, many of those varieties pack a mean sugar punch that rivals the most sugary soft drinks on the market.

Between two popular flavored green tea varieties, Arizona Georgia Peach Green Tea and Snapple Peach Green Tea, which one should you choose if you're watching your sugar intake?
 

Posted 6/20/2013  12:00:00 PM By: Melinda Hershey : 73 comments   28,387 views

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The Top 20 SparkRecipes on Pinterest

If you're an avid cook and foodie, you've probably discovered the wonderful (and addictive!) world of Pinterest. This website gives you access to literally millions of recipes, cooking tips and inspiring food ideas, which is great! But we know that you don't always have the time to sift through the countless recipes floating around out there to find the very best ones. Which recipes are going to impress your guests, cause your mouth to water, and make you want to make them again and again? Well, we've taken the time to sift through our most popular SparkRecipes from our Pinterest page. These are the best recipes from our site that keep getting shared and re-pinned time and time again—because they're just that good. And now you can have them all in one handy list! All of these recipes are relatively fast, healthy and easy to make—and are guaranteed to make you want to make them for years to come. Bon appetit! 

Posted 6/12/2013  6:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 17 comments   73,449 views

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The Healthiest Leafy Green--and How to Eat It

We all know it's a good idea to eat leafy green veggies. They're chock-full of nutritious vitamins and minerals, and they're low in calories to boot. But if you can only stomach so much green in your life, which leafy green should you choose for the maximum nutritional benefits: Spinach, kale, mustard greens, Swiss chard, or collard greens?

Posted 6/6/2013  9:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 85 comments   51,563 views

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At First, They'll Ask You...








Inspired by this piece of motivation? Share it! Check out hundreds of inspirational quotes and images on SparkPeople's Healthy Inspiration page.

Posted 6/5/2013  12:00:00 PM By: Melinda Hershey : 21 comments   24,152 views

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To Beef or Not to Beef?

Red meat gets a bad rap sometimes. Criticized for its high levels of fat and cholesterol, it's been avoided in the diet world for years. However, not all red meat is created equal; when choosing the right cuts in moderation, beef can be a great source of iron, protein and zinc. Between 3 ounces of cooked flank steak and 3 ounces of cooked 80/20% ground beef, which is the leaner choice?

Posted 5/30/2013  10:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 66 comments   41,789 views

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Motivation Boost: Make Your Life!








Inspired by this piece of motivation? Share it! Check out hundreds of inspirational quotes and images on SparkPeople's Healthy Inspiration page.

Posted 5/29/2013  12:00:00 PM By: Melinda Hershey : 27 comments   14,302 views

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A Reminder: What Can You Do TODAY?

Inspired by this piece of motivation? Share it on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr! Check out hundreds of inspirational quotes and images on SparkPeople's Healthy Inspiration page.

Posted 5/17/2013  12:00:00 PM By: Melinda Hershey : 32 comments   10,827 views

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SparkPeople and SparkRecipes Back Up After Technical Difficulties

Hey, everyone! 

As you may have noticed, SparkPeople.com and SparkRecipes.com were down for a bit last night, and we apologize for the inconvenience. Unfortunately, there was a fire near our server facility, which shut everything down temporarily. We're happy to say that we are officially back up and running now, and nobody was hurt in the fire.

If you were unable to log in yesterday to get your daily SparkPoints, you can click here to get credit for the day you missed. We know how important consistency is to you all, and we'd hate to mess up your streak because of a technical difficulty on our end!

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask--we'll answer them the best we can!

SparkCheers!

The SparkPeople Team

Posted 5/17/2013  8:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 47 comments   6,596 views

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Tired of Starting Over?








Inspired by this piece of motivation? Share it! Check out hundreds of inspirational quotes and images on SparkPeople's Healthy Inspiration page.

Posted 4/5/2013  12:00:00 PM By: Melinda Hershey : 43 comments   30,371 views

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Food Showdown: Battle of the St. Paddy's Day Brews!

Top o' the morning to ya and Happy St. Patrick's Day! Even if you're not of Irish descent, there are many ways you can still get into the spirit of this fun, heritage-based holiday. You could deck yourself out in green from head to toe, or blast Irish music and jig around your house while you do chores. Or, you could enjoy a frosty mug of Irish beer, green food coloring optional. If you do choose to indulge in a festive drink tonight, which Irish brew will set you back the least amount of calories: a Guinness Draught stout or a Killian's Irish Red lager?

Posted 3/17/2013  10:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 18 comments   11,747 views

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