All Entries For fall
As you know, we're now on Instagram, the photo and video sharing app! We love how easy Instagram is to use and that it allows us to share fun, healthy tidbits from behind the scenes at SparkPeople every day. While we do love writing about healthy living, it's true that a picture is worth a thousand words.
Over the last few months, we've loved seeing your photos documenting your healthy living habits. From your daily lunch photos to selfies after the gym, we love witnessing the proof that healthy living is possible--and fun!
You know how much SparkPeople likes challenges. We had such fun with our #backontrack consistency challenge in August that we're doing another one--on Instagram this time!
Fall is a time when many people, well, fall off the healthy living wagon. Days are shorter, nights are longer, and the air is colder. Snuggling up on the couch or staying in bed becomes that much more appealing. We're hoping that by getting you excited about all things autumnal. From the first signs of the changing leaves to pumpkin-flavored everything, from fall sports to Halloween costumes, we want proof that you're making every day healthier and happier. Our staff will be sharing their own proof on the SparkPeople Instagram account.
The challenge is simple: Take a look at the graphic below, which shares the day-by-day themes for the challenge, starting with October 1. Share your photos every day (or most days), making sure to tag them #sparkpeople and #fallfavorites to join in the challenge and give us permission to repost them. (And don’t forget to start following us to get the inside scoop on healthy living.) Read More ›
Summer is winding down and now my favorite season of the year is here: fall. I have always felt nostalgic and dreamy this time of year. I think it's because I enjoyed school as a kid and still associate the autumn season with the start of a new school year that promised good times, good friends and even better memories that still live with me today, like the smell of bonfires, Friday night football games, donning my favorite new back-to-school clothes, and my feet crunching on leaves in the crisp weather. Fall even smells better, if you ask me.
Why not harness the magical power of this new season (which begins officially on September 23) to recommit to your healthy living goals and weight-loss program? You may not be heading back to school like you did in years past, but that doesn’t mean that you can't reinvent yourself all the same. Read More ›
Since I started working at SparkPeople this April, I've gotten into the habit of wearing workout clothes to work on most days of the week. It helps me fit in fitness breaks throughout the day without having to spend time changing clothes. But because I'm wearing fitness gear so much, my old ratty yoga pants and oversized T-shirts just aren't cutting it anymore. If this is what I'm going to wear every day, I want to look cute, too! Luckily, it's getting easier and easier to find cute workout clothes in extended sizes. (I wear a 14 or 16 depending on the brand.)
Fall is a tricky season for exercise clothes. It can be quite cool in the mornings but then warm up throughout the day. There are also sometimes weeks of lingering summer heat or sudden, overnight cold snaps. At least that's what it's like here in Ohio. If you don't like the weather, just wait 24 hours and you'll get something completely different! My strategy is to dress in layers and to always keep some of my summer clothes in the rotation until the first freeze of the season. Here are some of my current favorites and some things I'm putting on my list for fall shopping. Read More ›
It's almost August, and whether we like it or not, the days of summer are dwindling. Bathing suit season may be mostly behind you, but that doesn't mean it's time to abandon your healthy efforts now that autumn is in sight! Plus, maybe all those barbecues you've attended this summer are starting to show on the scale. Maybe your vacations and kids' activity schedules have taken precedence over your exercise routine. Maybe, now that the wild ride of the season is coming to an end, it's time to get back on track and consciously recommit to your healthy lifestyle. And we're here to help you do it with a brand new challenge! Read More ›
Fall and winter squash varieties, including acorn, butternut and spaghetti, are now showing up in farmers’ markets. You’ll be delighted by how delicious, easy to prepare and versatile spaghetti squash can be.
Spaghetti squash is named for its uncanny resemblance to pasta once cooked. The squash is tasty yet neutral enough to pair with anything you would normally eat atop pasta.
And, if you're watching your carb intake, spaghetti squash should go in your cart. Take a look at how it measures up against standard noodles: Read More ›
The Super Bowl is synonymous with friendly get-togethers and party food. Too bad it usually leaves us feeling weighed down by the time the night is over. This year, let's change that!
Whether you watch the game on your own this weekend or invite a few fitness-minded friends to join you, vow to keep this year's game night healthy with light Super Bowl eats or my favorite: The Super Bowl Workout Game! It's a fun, calorie-torching, muscle-challenging game that you can play (if you dare!) while you watch on Sunday.
Try this workout on Super Bowl Sunday or while you watch any football game in the future. Read More ›
Fall in love with sweet potatoes again and again with these 10 deliciously healthy recipes.
One medium tuber contains 105 calories and 4 grams of fiber. These babies are bursting with antioxidant vitamins A and C, potassium and manganese. They also contain lycopene, another antioxidant that’s been shown to help fight certain types of cancer and heart disease. Read More ›
Are you still looking for Thanksgiving meal plan ideas? Don’t panic. Instead, use these simple recipes to give your Thanksgiving dinner the special touch you're looking for. These recipes utilize ingredients you may already have on-hand and are healthier versions of the traditional full-fat calorie laden side dishes. Happy Thanksgiving! Read More ›
Butternut squash is my favorite fall vegetable. I tell my kids that it's like vegetable candy, because roasting brings out its natural sweetness and reduces the need for sugar in our favorite fall deserts.
Consuming butternut squash adds fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamins A and C to your diet. Here's an easy way to pick the perfect one at most stores. For maximum efficiency, roast extra squashes and freeze the extra flesh for later use. If you're short on time, just pick up some pre-cut Butternut Squash in the freezer section at your market. Another fun tip is to grind the seeds in a coffee or spice grinder and use as a natural thickening agent in soups and stews.
Celebrate fall with these butternut squash recipes. Read More ›
Sacrifice neither your diet nor the traditional Thanksgiving experience with this menu. Each serving of these classic dishes contains less than 500 calories, less than 18 grams of fat and less than 800 mg of sodium.
Roasted Cauliflower Soup
Makes: 8 servings
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Roast: 30 mins
Get recipe Read More ›
It can be easy to complain about the dark mornings, chilly temperatures and gloomy weather that fall brings. It's also the start of the holiday season, which can be cheerful (presents, family and fun!) or dreadful (food, stress and calories!), depending on your viewpoint. But if you look on the bright side, this season of changes has a lot to offer when it comes to your health and fitness.
In fact, according to SparkPeople.com polls with more than 5,000 responses each, fall is a clear winner for exercising outdoors (46%) and offering the best activity options (47%) of all the seasons.
So how can you avoid the pitfalls and let this season work in your favor—so that you get fitter and healthier and continue reaching your goals? Read More ›
Fall is here. Apples are in season. Leaves are falling. Pumpkin just begs to be baked into a pie.
But with all of those good things comes at least one not-so-good thing: the flu.
Flu season can begin in October and end as late as May, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Influenza is caused by viruses and because these can change, each flu season is a different. Individuals also are affected differently by the flu, including fever, cough, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea or respiratory distress. Typically the worst cases are in people 65 or older. CDC estimates of flu-related deaths between 1976 and 2007 range from 3,000 to 49,000, and in a normal year, about 90 percent of deaths are in people older than 65.
Several years ago, swine flu – the H1N1 virus – hit the U.S. and caused a great deal of concern because it seemed to strike pregnant women and younger adults much harder than the typical flu virus. Odd flu seasons like that are when you start seeing headlines about the flu killing people and urging people to get vaccinated against the virus.
But the CDC and other health organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a flu vaccine every year for anyone older than 6 months. The vaccine especially is important for people who might develop complications, such as pneumonia, from the flu – this includes people older than 65 or people with asthma or other respiratory illnesses – as well as pregnant women and anyone caring for someone who might be struck harder than normal with the flu.
How does the vaccine work?
Read More ›
In my home town, near San Francisco, orange and black is bursting forth and its not just because the Giants won the World Series. Halloween pumpkins have arrived! These colorful gourds come in all different shapes, colors and sizes, but they're not just for decorating. Pumpkins are a delicious base in many savory dishes. A simple one-cup serving gives almost double the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of Beta-Carotene, not to mention vitamin C, niacin, phosphorus, potassium and fiber too. Look for smaller pumpkins with minimal blemishes. They should be heavy for their size with stems intact. Pumpkin can be boiled, baked or steamed. Instead of tossing the pumpkin seeds, roast them for a delicious snack or topping. Cook double or triple the amount you need for your recipe and freeze the rest. Enjoy each bite of these savory pumpkin recipes. Read More ›