All Entries For spread the spark
As you might have seen--or heard--by now, SparkPeople has launched our own radio show!
We're excited to share with you SparkPeople Radio, a premium on-demand radio show that lets you listen to our latest and greatest content anytime! This is unlike anything we've done before, though we have done radio interviews in the past. This time, we have our OWN SHOW, designed with you in mind! WooHoo!
Here's what people are saying so far:
"I listened yesterday and LOVED it. I am addicted to podcasts, so this one will definitely go on my playlist. Thanks."
"I'm excited about this! The SparkCoach videos have really been helping me to keep motivated every day and my daily work commute is just about an hour long. It'd be perfect to stick this broadcast on my iPod and listen on my way to work.
Cool idea! I look forward to the 10 minute segments (good call on that, I'd never be able to do the full hour at once)."
"I tried this last night. I love their upbeat talk and information! Thank you SP."
"I had never been very interested in talk radio as most "talk shows" cover very dull topics, are filled with trivial nonsense, or have such monotone, dry commentators that I can't keep the peepers open.
NOT SO WITH SPARKRADIO!!! I really enjoy listening to Lily and Karen - what great ladies!!! I have a little over an hour commute - just the perfect time to fit in a show (or most of one at least).
I love that the episodes are broken into smaller segments for the times that I don't get to hear the entire show, I can just pick up at the last segment. The downside, now I want more than once a week programming - the upside, at least as a digital version I won't be wearing out the tape re-listening to my favorites!! ;-)
Lily and Karen -- Welcome!!! Thanks for being so positive, energetic, sincere, and enthusiastic while presenting relevant, important topics!!
SparkPeople -- Thank you for adding such a wonderful element to your great program!!!"
About the Show
We have paired with some of the best in the business--this is a partnership with ERN (Entertainment Radio Network), where we are working with veteran TV and radio host Alan Taylor and the former head of ABC Radio, John McConnell, who launched ESPN radio! Plus, we have brought on two fantastic hosts who are also SparkPeople members.
Best friends, authors and empowerment experts Lily Hills (above, right) and Karen Hudson (above, left) are the energetic and inspiring hosts of SparkPeople Radio—and SparkPeople members. This lively duo delivers a weekly mental tune-up as they bring you an hour of SparkPeople Radio that is enlightening, empowering, and entertaining. Learn more about Lily and Karen (those links go to their SparkPages, so leave them some comments!). They are fun!
Here's a quick video that they taped to share with all of you: Read More ›
We have some great news, and it could lead to even better news if we can enlist your help!
SparkPeople has been named a finalist in the OMMA Awards (Online Media, Marketing & Advertising). Winning would bring great national exposure among key influencers in the media and therefore be a terrific way to Spread the Spark and help more people get healthy and happy and reach their goals.
We are a finalist in the Website Excellence Group within the "Social Networking (excluding Facebook and MySpace)" category. The winner of that category will be chosen by judges, but there’s a much bigger prize at stake that we hope will be chosen by YOU: a Members’ Choice Award, which is decided by voters who are fans of finalists’ sites.
If SparkPeople is sparking YOU to lead a healthier, happier life and reach your goals, or generally brightening your days, we would love for you to express your support by voting to make SparkPeople a Members’ Choice Award winner! Read More ›
A few weeks ago, we asked you to let us into your fridges, freezers, pantries and even shopping carts. Many of you sent us photos and answered our questions.
Why did we want a sneak-peek into your food stashes? Not because we wanted to see who had the healthiest fridge, the most organized pantry, or the barest freezer (look, Ma, no ice cream!). Nope. We wanted to show the world that SparkPeople embraces moderation. Treats are OK. No one's "on a diet" here. We're all changing our lives, one meal, one day, one step at a time.
That's why SparkPeople has grown into the largest website of its kind in America--with more than 12 million members and counting--because we focus on the living aspect of healthy living.
Today we're sharing with you some of the entries we received. Two of those we chose will receive a Kindle Fire and e-copies of all of our books. The others whose photos we're sharing will get e-copies of the books. (If your photo was chosen, you'll be contacted via email.)
We chose to share photos that had interesting and even downright funny stories behind them. Are they the healthiest fridges in America? Who's judging?
Let's open the fridge and take a look. Read More ›
Spring is just around the corner, and that means racing season is almost here! What better way to spread the Spark than to show off some SparkPeople gear when you run in your next 5K? Check out these fun offerings from the SparkPeople Store to wear all season long! Read More ›
Editor's Note: By popular demand, our Behind the Scenes at SparkPeople feature has returned.
Name: Samantha Donohue (SAMANTHA_SP)
Position at SparkPeople: Community Team Member
Family: Patrick, Husband (37) Jacob (8), Jonathan (7) and Aliyah (5)
How long have you worked for SparkPeople? I started in August 2004 – 7 years.
Tell us your proudest accomplishment at SparkPeople or a fun fact about your job: I love that I get paid to encourage pregnant women to stay healthy. My proudest accomplishment was the blog I recently wrote on my father and his health journey.
How do you stay in shape? I work out often, at least 4 times a week, but I’ve made it a goal to be active every day. I walk to pick my kids up from school and structure my time with them to include as much movement as possible. I love to run and you’ll often find me hitting the hills in my neighborhood or even the trails of Andale Park. My love for hitting the road on my road bike is on hiatus as I have young children, but in the near future I do see a future Donohue Family Peloton. I also like to exercise at the gym because I love the community of friends at the gym. I take weekly core and strengthen training classes. My friends and I are able to drop our young children off and then are able to go for a run outdoors. Read More ›
Hey, SparkPeople! We know that plenty of you are Spreading the Spark and sharing your passion for healthy living beyond the confines of the internet. We've heard stories of how you influence your friends, your co-workers, your family, and even your kids and your community through your healthy habits and better choices. Every meal you make, every workout you complete, every pound you lose--it all gets noticed.
Back when SparkPeople was a mere "spark" in Chris Downie's eye, his own healthy habits inspired his co-worker, which in turn inspired others. All these years later, look at how many people Chris' healthy choices have affected and motivated! We know plenty of you have stories that are equally as inspiring.
We want you to get the recognition you deserve, so that's why we're so excited to tell you about the The White House Champions of Change initiative for physical activity. The deadline is January 23 at midnight, so you don't have much time!
What is it?
The White House Champions of Change program highlights the stories and examples of citizens across the country that represents President Obama's vision of out-innovating, out-educating, and out-building the rest of the world through projects and initiatives that move their communities forward.
More than one out of every three American children is overweight or obese, placing them at greater risk for chronic disease and contributing to rising health care costs, as well as declining productivity. In 2009, the magnitude of the problem moved First Lady Michelle Obama to launch Let’s Move!, a comprehensive, collaborative initiative to combat childhood obesity. Last April, the White House hosted a Champions of Change event to highlight the work of chefs in improving school nutrition programs. This year, we are seeking recommendations of individuals and organizations that are increasing access to physical activity and play for young people.
Tell us about an individual who is helping youth in your community get the recommended 60 minutes of activity per day. Please use the form below to nominate a champion to come to the White House to be honored for his/her work:
Champions may increase access to physical activity through some/all of the following:
- Organized or competitive activities for teams and/or individuals, including youth with disabilities;
- Unstructured play;
- School-based activities, including physical education, recess and activity breaks;
- Outdoor activities that promote time in nature;
- Afterschool or summer programs.
Great news: Chef Meg will be on The Doctors on Thursday, January 19, to talk about "The SparkPeople Cookbook: Love Your Food, Lose the Weight." This is huge, and we're incredibly excited!
You'll have to tune in for all the details, but we can tell you this: She'll be spreading the Spark and talking about the cookbook. Here's a hint, from "The Doctors": Boost your nutrition, lower your weight and maintain flavor in your favorite comfort foods! Master chef Meg Galvin shares healthy recipes for sloppy Joes, creamy broccoli soup and more. Plus, the daily habit that can cut your chocolate craving in half.
Click here to check local listings, and please help us spread the word by sharing this on Facebook and Twitter, emailing this blog post to your friends, and asking others to tune in.
We're thrilled to have this opportunity to tell so many people about SparkPeople and the cookbook. The SparkPeople team will be tuning in on Thursday from our offices, and we hope you'll join us from your home, office, or gym. Read More ›
I have a confession. I am obsessed with a website that isn't SparkPeople. com. I think about it during the day. I visit the site before I go to bed each night. I even had a dream about it once. Don't get me wrong, I love SparkPeople and would recommend it to anyone for all of your healthy lifestyle needs, but I have a new flame. It's name is Pinterest. I could
Those of you who have a Pinterest account probably "get it." Those of you who have no idea what Pinterest is are probably scratching your heads and saying, "Huh?"
Allow me to explain. Read More ›
In October, SparkPeople partnered with National Geographic Kids magazine to attempt to break a Guinness World Record for the most people doing jumping jacks in a 24-hour period. We needed more than 20,000 people to do jumping jacks to break the record.
We are excited to announce that we broke the record! More than 300,000 people– including many SparkPeople members – participated in Let’s Jump! events around the world between 3 p.m. on Oct. 11 and 3 p.m. on Oct. 12. The record now stands at 300,265 — far surpassing the previous record of 20,425. (Find out how many calories you can burn while doing jumping jacks!)
Here's what our partner, National Geographic Kids magazine, had to say about the event: Read More ›
Growing up, I was not an athlete.
I did wrestle for a number of years, but I was more of a band geek. (Proud to say that too!) I've traveled the world "making music with my friends," as I marched in various marching bands and Drum Corps. I was always fit, firm and muscular due to the demands that band and Drum Corps put on my body.
Then, in 1998, I changed careers and got a desk job. Things started to change.
I quickly grew accustomed to sitting all day. Sitting behind a desk got easier and easier. It also got easier to sit on my chair at home and do nothing.
I lost my mother in February 2001 and I started eating, much more than normal. I never knew I was an emotional eater, but there I was, eating away the grief and loss. As time moved forward, and my habits did not improve, I slowly grew to my top measured weight of 264 pounds. I knew I wasn't healthy. I couldn't walk up a small flight of stairs without being winded, I had no energy and I made poor eating choices most of the time. I didn't like what I saw when I looked in the mirror. I avoided having my picture taken. In fact it was the picture taken for my security badge at work that scared me into action. My swollen face and eyes were not a pretty sight!
That just begs the question words, why, when, how, what? I simply can't come up with a better answer than I got tired of being fat. Why at the ripe ole age of 40 did I decide to take my life back? Why, when I knew it was going to take so much discipline, so much work would I make a life changing decision?
I made this decision for me.
Now, let me give you three more reasons I changed my life. My wife and two daughters. My wife deserves a husband who is willing and able to help out around the house. I believe she deserves a husband that she can be proud of, who can come home from work and have the energy necessary to help with dinner, kids, activities, etc. My daughters deserve a Daddy who doesn't sit in his chair asleep all the time. They deserve a daddy who has energy to play with them, get on the floor and wrestle, tickle, and not be a grump all the time. They need a role model.
So I made the decision on December 28, 2009 to take my life back! Read More ›
Golly, what a week this has been! Last week, I was in New York with The Slowest Loser to promote the book and tape my national TV debut, and this week--wow, are people noticing that we wrote a cookbook (a pretty darn good one)!
Before I share with you all the praise we've received, I want to thank each and every one of you who has bought "The SparkPeople Cookbook: Love Your Food, Lose the Weight" already.
What a fun time I had in New York! With the help of food stylist Nicki Sizemore (it's hard to do your own cooking when you're staying in a hotel!), we prepped Three Cheese Macaroni for the folks at Better TV--and it was a hit. Watch my clip from the show, which aired on Tuesday!
On Wednesday, The Cincinnati Enquirer ran an excellent story on the cookbook, with a can't-beat-it headline: SparkPeople book instant hit. A preview of the story was on A1, with a huge photo of Stepfanie and me on the cover of the food section, three recipes--and a great story that featured successful member Tara (HALLELUL). Even better, the online version had six photos! (Click here to read the story) All mentions of the cookbook are fun to see, but it's even neater to see an article on the book in the newspaper you read every morning (and the one where Stepfanie worked before coming to SparkPeople).
There's more--and you can win a copy of the cookbook, too!
SparkPeople.com is a 100% free site, but a couple years ago, we created an online store to help satisfy member demand for SparkPeople goods. You asked us for T-shirts, workout DVDs and more, so we delivered not only those items, but additional things as well (think key chains, apparel, and fitness equipment)!
Purchasing something from the SparkPeople Store not only helps us earn additional revenue to keep our website free for all, but it is also a great way to Spread the Spark. If you've ever worn a SparkPeople T-shirt in public, or proudly displayed our window decal on your vehicle, then you've probably also fielded questions from friends and strangers alike that led into you telling them about the site. And if that's the case: Thank you! Word of mouth is by far our biggest source of new members.
For those who haven't visited the SparkPeople store lately, we have four new products that make for inexpensive and fun ways to reward yourself for reaching your goals—including a couple items inspired by our members! Read More ›
Many of you might know that I'm the co-author (with Chef Meg) of The SparkPeople Cookbook: Love Your Food, Lose The Weight, which will be published Oct. 4 by Hay House. Hay House also published our New York Times best-seller, The Spark, and for that reason, today's giveaway is very special to us.
Hay House founder and legendary metaphysical lecturer and teacher Louise Hay has teamed up with author and life coach Cheryl Richardson to write an inspiring new book: You Can Create An Exceptional Life. It will be published Sept. 20, but we're giving away three copies now!
The book brings together the styles and experiences of these two NYT best-selling authors in a series of heart-to-hearts about their own spiritual principles. You really feel like you're having a conversation with two wise girlfriends, and their words somehow reassure you that life is good and you're able to make of it what you want. Read More ›
I recently spoke at the Healthy Living Summit on the topic of writing a better recipe. Participants asked me to share my presentation, so I am posting it here, with notes that make it helpful for those of us who also share our recipes on SparkRecipes.com.
Before I delve into the recipe writing tips, let's talk about recipes for a bit.
As the editor of dailySpark.com and SparkRecipes.com, I'm always on the lookout for talented healthy home cooks. With more than 300,000 recipes on the site, it can be difficult to choose among them. I hope that you'll share this blog post with your friends (both on SparkPeople and on other sites) and encourage them to publish their recipes on SparkRecipes. Good recipes are featured on the homepage, in our daily email newsletters and elsewhere on the site.
“I invite you to skip the technology, the SEO, and all the other shoulds you’ve collected up along the way. Instead, step up to that darling morsel and sink your teeth in.”Sometimes we forget that recipes are stories, meant to entice the reader into making a dish. We, as food bloggers, worry more about aggregating audience and increasing SEO than we do about the words on a page.
--Brooke Burton, FoodWoolf.com
I sat in on a session that Brooke Burton moderated at last year's Food Buzz Festival in San Francisco. She was enthusiastic and encouraging as she and her fellow panelists urged us to invoke all our senses as we wrote. This quote, borrowed with citation from her blog, seemed a fitting reminder for the topic of better recipe writing.
Let's get started! Read More ›
Editor's Note: EMMABE1 has lost 143 pounds and counting with SparkPeople. Ann, who is from Australia, recently answered ~INDYGIRL's questions via email.
~INDYGIRL: What was your a-ha moment when you decided to finally lose the weight?
EMMABE1: As far as one single a-ha moment – I really didn’t have one! It sort of snuck up on me. There was a huge media blitz on "healthy living" and this maybe had some effect. I was also having problems with osteoarthritis in my knees and ankles, so my doctor was talking "knee replacement." The risks were too high at that weight; however I knew that one day the time would come. With weight loss, healthy eating and exercise, I have managed to stop all pain in my knees and at this time, replacement is definitely "off" indefinitely!
~INDYGIRL: How much weight have you lost?
EMMABE1: 65 kg (143 lb approx.) I had lost 35 kg (77 lb approx.) in the 7 yrs before joining SparkPeople, but was just "fiddling about" reducing the amount of food and calories I was eating, but not changing my lifestyle. Consequently I was still wearing the same size clothes despite the weight loss, and because of this I was totally fed up with what I viewed as yet another failed attempt. Read More ›