SparkPeople Guest Blogger

Four Healthy Changes That Start in Your Kitchen Cabinets

Keeping that promise you made to yourself to kick off your healthiest year yet becomes possible when you're armed with more than just good intentions. If you're one of the many people who committed to a healthier lifestyle, both for yourself and for your family, the key to success may just lie in feng shui-ing your kitchen. Making the right changes to your kitchen cabinets could be the extra push you need to eat healthier in the coming year. 

Posted 2/2/2016  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 5 comments   13,901 views

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The Amazing Avocado: Health Benefits You Need to Know

It's no secret that delicious avocados can be the shining star in guacamole, salads, sandwiches and as the creamy center of your California roll. But did you know that avocados are packed with nutritients and make a great diet food, even with their high fat content?

Hass avocados are the most popular variety in the United States, but you can choose from dozens of types. Whatever variety you select, avocados should earn a spot on your plate for both their unparalleled taste and their various health benefits.

Posted 1/20/2016  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 16 comments   15,157 views

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How Often Should I Replace my Running Shoes?

Running shoes cushion feet during jogging and other high-impact exercises, keeping them comfortable while also preventing injury. Fail to replace shoes when they get too old, and you expose yourself to unnecessary risk. Thankfully, there are a variety of methods you can use to determine whether it's time to hit up the local sporting goods store.

Posted 1/8/2016  10:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 2 comments   11,046 views

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4 Ways to Avoid Late-Night Snacking

Though it can be a source of comfort at the end of a long day, late-night snacking adds unnecessary calories to your diet and can lead to weight gain. Eating late at night means you're consuming calories at a time when your body is unlikely to burn them off before sleeping, which can lead to those calories being directed to your body's fat stores. To avoid this problem, it is important to think about what you are eating after the sun sets and rexamine why it is that you choose that time of night to munch. 

Posted 12/29/2015  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 3 comments   21,640 views

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Supercharge Your Meals with Fat-Burning Foods

If you read the headline and exuberantly tore open this blog post hoping to see wine and chocolate on the list, you are out of luck. No need to despair, though. The great news is, whether you are a committed healthy eater or just trying to add a few healthy choices to your daily meals, this list offers several benefits. Being aware of the best fat-burning foods helps you make better choices and maintain a desirable weight.

Posted 12/18/2015  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 6 comments   20,773 views

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Gluten Sensitivity Might Not Exist, Say Researchers Who Originally Discovered It

In 2011, researchers found evidence that gluten--a protein found in many grains like wheat, rye and barley--may cause gastrointesinal distress in some people who do not have celiac disease. The same team ran a second test to see if they could replicate the original results and the results were not the same. For the follow-up test, the team of scientists recruited 37 subjects who self-identify as "gluten-intolerant" and fed them a succession of high-gluten, low-gluten and no-gluten diets. When researchers analyzed the data, they found that the levels of reported pain, bloating, nausea and gas for all diets were similar.

What do you think? Will this study prompt you to give gluten a second chance? Vote in our poll below!

According to researchers who originally discovered (non-celiac) gluten sensitivity, key evidence discovered in the... in SparkPeople's Hangs on LockerDome

Posted 11/2/2015  3:00:00 PM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 6 comments   5,866 views

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Walnut Health Benefits

Walnuts, which are part of the tree nut family, provide an array of health benefits, and because of their versatility, they can be chopped and sprinkled onto salads, vegetable dishes, yogurt, fruits, and desserts. Here's why you should get more of these healthy nuts in your everyday diet. 

Walnuts Help You Feel Fuller Longer

While walnuts are calorie-dense, the combination of Omega-3 fats, protein, and fiber work to help keep you feeling full longer. Caloric intake should be a consideration in any weight-management plan, but not all calories are created equal. Because of their high protein and fiber, a meal that includes walnuts can help prevent the consumption of empty calories later in the day.

Walnuts Are Heart-Healthy

Like most tree nuts, walnuts can help fight heart disease. Walnuts contain a high amount of antioxidants and Omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol production.

Walnuts May Help Prevent Cancer

Studies have shown that regular, daily walnut consumption can help prevent certain types of cancer, such as pancreatic, prostate, and breast cancer.

Walnuts Support a Healthy Lifestyle

Studies have shown that people who consume tree nuts regularly take in more fiber, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin E, as well as less sodium than people who do not eat tree nuts. 

Walnuts May Help Prevent Diabetes

All types of nuts, including walnuts, have been linked to a decreased risk of diabetes. For individuals with a higher risk of diabetes, adding walnuts to your diet is an easy and delicious way to help take control of your health.

Walnuts Can Support a Healthy Pregnancy

Don't throw out the walnuts after successfully getting pregnant. Women who eat diets rich in fatty acids like those found in walnuts can reduce the risk of certain types of food allergies in their unborn child. 

Walnuts Might Make You Feel Less Stressed

If you suffer from daily stress, walnuts just might be the ideal food for you. Eating walnuts and walnut oil has been shown to lower resting blood pressure and blood pressure responses to stress, which can help keep you calm and relaxed.

Walnuts Can Help You Sleep

Whether your sleep problems stem from stress or other factors, eating walnuts can help induce sleep. Walnuts naturally contain melatonin, which is a compound many people buy over-the-counter to aid in sleep.

Walnuts Can Improve Hair Health

In addition to being great for your internal organs, walnuts also contain biotin, which can strengthen hair, reduce hair loss, and improve hair growth.

Walnuts Fosters Healthy Skin

Walnuts are rich in B-vitamins and antioxidants, which prevent free radical damage, wrinkles, and other signs of aging, making them the perfect food for people who want healthier, glowing skin.

Walnuts May Help Prevent Dementia

Studies have shown that regular consumption of walnuts can help ward off dementia. Eating walnuts can help prevent memory and learning problems while fostering healthy emotional control.

Whether you're a casual nut eater or someone looking to make healthy diet changes, eating more walnuts should be a no-brainer!

Posted 10/3/2015  10:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 6 comments   14,390 views

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One-Mile Wake Up and Walk Workout

One of my favorite ways to start the day is with a morning walk. Not only is walking a great exercise to gently wake up your entire body, but it also boosts energy levels and activates your brain. This one-mile, indoor power-walking workout will help you start the day off on the right foot, no matter what the weather is like outside. Squeeze in some extra daily steps and give your body and brain a wake-up call at any time of day with this fast-paced mile workout. Using a mix of moves and directional change, we'll avoid joint strain while keeping your body and brain awake and alert. 

Posted 10/2/2015  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 8 comments   49,910 views

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The Incredible Health Benefits of Okra

Fried okra is a delicious southern staple that pairs well with other hearty dishes. Unfortunately, eating it fried undoes many of the natural health benefits of this unique vegetable.

Not only is okra extremely tasty in its own right, but it also provides a wide range of outstanding health benefits when it is not fried. From preventing diabetes to promoting healthy pregnancies, this vegetable is a must-try dietary staple for enhancing overall health and wellness.

Posted 9/29/2015  2:00:00 PM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 13 comments   12,017 views

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Kale Health Benefits

There's a reason why kale is all the rage--this powerhouse veggie is packed with nutrients that offer many health benefits, offering even more nutritional value than spinach.

Posted 9/23/2015  10:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 9 comments   9,755 views

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7 Good Mid-Run Snacks

Whether you’re training for a 10K, competing in an all-day marathon, or simply running after a long day at work, you're bound to get hungry somewhere along the way. If you're competing, you definitely don't want to stop to eat for too long, but a quick mid-run snack can help you to gain the energy and endurance needed to finish strongly. These top mid-run snacks are the perfect means to quickly and healthily refuel without feeling too full!

Posted 9/21/2015  10:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 3 comments   8,651 views

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Debunking 4 of the Top Obesity Myths

Obesity is a critical health issue affecting the quality of life of millions of Americans. Unfortunately, too many myths still persist that prevent Americans from tackling their obesity head-on. This post looks to debunk four of the most persistent obesity myths.

Posted 9/18/2015  1:00:00 PM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 9 comments   15,779 views

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Best Vegan Foods For Weight Loss

Many people opt for a vegan diet as a way of reducing their impact on the environment and to improve their health. Vegetables, seeds, nuts and other vegan foods contain a variety of compounds and nutrients that are often lacking in other foods. Furthermore, most vegan foods are easy to digest and contain plenty of calories to keep the stomach full, the mind nourished and the energy flowing. However, it is important to remember that a calorie is a calorie, whether those calories come from french fries or avocados, and consuming more calories than you burn, even on a healthy vegan diet, can cause weight gain. If you want to lose weight and maintain your vegan diet, try eating these nine foods.  

Posted 9/7/2015  11:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 5 comments   13,684 views

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4 Push-Up Modifications You Can Try Today

Struggling to master a full push-up? You aren't alone. Push-ups are a great exercise that engages almost every muscle in your body, but they aren't exactly easy to do! The good news is there are several modifications you can use while you are building up into a full one. In this video I'll show you 4 easy ways to modify a push-up (shown from easiest to most challenging) to help you progress and build the strength and stamina you need to finally master a full push-up on your toes. 

Posted 9/3/2015  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 8 comments   21,603 views

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Challenge Every Muscle with This Walking Interval Workout

Flowers and trees are pretty, but sometimes a walking workout needs a bit more than scenery to keep things interesting. Incorporating intervals and strength-training moves into a walk not only adds variety, but also challenges your muscles and can boost your metabolism. Dallas-based trainer Kim Truman developed this varied walking workout, which includes three different intervals and three body moves, for people looking to break up their usual walks.
 
Keep boredom at bay today with this fun, heart-pumping workout.

Posted 8/31/2015  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 8 comments   27,784 views

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