All Entries For spring
Do you love spring as much as I do? It's so energizing to wake up when the sun is shining, enjoy the outdoors without wearing a coat, and see the green grass and tiny flower buds flanking the streets. Every sunny day, I lament that I'm in the office instead of outdoors, which is why I get outside as much as possible after work and each weekend. When the scenery is beautiful and the temperature perfect, almost any activity—including exercise—seems more fun and enjoyable. Here are 7 worthwhile pastimes that can help you get fit, burn calories and enjoy the outdoors this spring! Read More ›
Dear Old Man Winter,
Why do you keep hanging around? You go away for a few days, letting sunny skies and warm breezes fill your place, making us all very happy. And just when I think you're gone for good, you come back with a vengeance, bringing snow, cold rains, grey skies, and miserable temperatures. Not cool...
You can't keep doing this to us. I think you have outworn your welcome. Time to go away until next year so my friends spring and summer can run the show for a little while. OK? Thanks for your cooperation,
Do you feel like I do, waiting impatiently for spring to arrive? Are you tired of winter and ready for some sun? Then put a little spring into your step—and your workouts—with these sunny workout songs. Even if it's cold outside, you can enjoy some warm thoughts with these fun tunes! Read More ›
Asparagus is delicious when prepared simply: steamed, roasted or grilled. I like to blanch and shock the asparagus before grilling. Boil the asparagus for 1 minute (this is the "blanch" part of the process). Immediately plunge the asparagus into ice water to stop the cooking process (this is the "shock"). The asparagus will turn bright green and retain all its taste and nutrition. Dry it off and then grill it. Serve alone or on a pizza. Or serve it cold with vinaigrette.
How do you prepare it? Easy--Mother Nature gave you a guide. Pick up a spear, hold one end in each hand, and snap it. It will naturally break at the spot where it turns from woody to tender. You can either snap each spear or use the first one as a guide and cut them all off at the same spot.
Don't throw away those tough ends. You can simmer them for stocks or puree and use in soups. If all your spears are thick and woody, use a vegetable peeler to trim the outside and expose the tender interior.
You'll love these easy asparagus recipes:
Phyllo Wrapped Asparagus
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Can you believe that spring is finally here? (Officially, anyway.) Here in Cincinnati we've received a few little tastes of spring-like sunshine and temperatures over the past couple of weeks, but it's been enough to get all of us excited about the changing seasons. I can't wait to break out the grill, get my hands dirty with a new vegetable garden, and go for a run without wearing an extra 20 pounds of insulating gear. How about you?
To celebrate spring, I thought I'd share some of my favorite things right now, from new running shoes to my favorite protein powder to new apparel that supports your active, healthy lifestyle. Read More ›
Spring is right around the corner, and as I glance around my home, I see that a thorough cleaning is in order. Dust bunnies are multiplying under my bed, spider webs are glistening on my chandelier, and a layer of dust has settled on all places too difficult to comfortably reach.
As I strategically plan my upcoming cleaning project, I start to wonder if my body is also in need of a cleaning, so to speak.
Like many of you, I tend to go into hibernation mode during the winter months. With less daylight hours and physical work to do outside, along with an influx of sugary treats and comfort foods, my body has been insulated by an added layer of fat. I'm surely not alone in feeling this way, judging from the number of questions we field on the site about detox diets this time of year.
While the idea of cleaning out harmful toxins in your body or removing body fat quickly may sound tempting and even beneficial, is a detox the answer? Read More ›
It's almost March, which means we've made it through the worst of winter (knock on wood!). Can you believe that spring is less than a month away? Although the arrival of spring promises warmer weather and better conditions for exercising outdoors, it might also make some of us realize that we hibernated a little too much over the winter. Maybe you skipped a few workouts due to bad weather or the flu, or the winter blues derailed even your best efforts to stay consistent. It can be hard to get active again after a lull in your exercise plan, but it's entirely possible to get back on your feet. And we're here to help you do it! Read More ›
What was cooking in Chef Meg's kitchen last month?
After last month's asparagus feast and Derby Day party, our healthy cooking expert started looking ahead to summer. She served up 6 sweet and savory brunch recipes, then fired up the grill for a super-simple side dish for all you potato lovers out there. Chef Meg made scones for weekend guests and devised a way to get us to actually like anchovies!
Keep reading to see photos of her creations--and get the recipes!
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This summer, take some time to rev up your workout. Make a new playlist and clean up your exercise equipment. Renew that gym membership. Take time to find fitness opportunities, because there are a lot of them! Here are ten fun suggestions, some for the mobile and some for the less mobile.
- Take some wild pictures of yourself doing active things for your Spark Page. Snap a few photos of yourself acting silly and running through the sprinkler with the kids, playing tag or walking the long treks of a zoo or amusement park. Get the souvenir photo where everyone is screaming on their way down on the ride!
- Aqua-cise. Yes, water is the perfect place to go for a low impact ouch-less workout and it's fun, too. Check with your local YMCA for lower-fee classes or even with your doctor to see if some classes are covered by insurance for a particular physical issue you may be having. Often times they will be covered under water physical therapy. Still, even without a class, water is a blast to play and work out in. I love going to water parks. The swimming and the balancing combined with the walking make it a great workout. Read More ›
I’m lucky that I’ve never had to deal with seasonal allergies, but I know a lot of people who do. When springtime hits and there’s a thick layer of pollen on the open windowsills in my house, it’s only a matter of time before some of my family members are affected. My husband has trouble cutting the grass without fits of sneezing for hours afterward, and my daughter always has a runny nose when she comes in from playing. This year we experienced a very mild winter in my area and spring seemed to come earlier than usual. As a result, their symptoms showed up earlier as well. Read More ›
Where does the time go? Every day, week and month that goes by, I am always in disbelief at how fast time passes. Now we're already into spring (can you believe it?) and summer is going to be here before we know it. I don’t know about you, but I tend to ramp up my workouts a bit when swimsuit season is coming. It helps me feel more confident at the beach or the pool (and heck, even in shorts) when I know I'm taking good care of my body and feeling strong.
If you'd like to enter the summer season a little more toned and confident, then be sure to join SparkPeople's Spring Into Shape Bootcamp! This 4-week fitness plan features my favorite resistance-band toning moves. In just four weeks, you'll be fitter and stand taller. All you have to do is follow the simple Bootcamp workout plan along with the free diet plan available at SparkPeople.com. It's by far the most fun way to get fit!
The Spring Into Shape Bootcamp Challenge includes an easy-to-follow workout plan, built-in support, and motivational prizes! But don't let the name "Bootcamp" fool you. This motivating challenge isn't geared toward already-fit people or hardcore exercisers. However, it does involve a commitment to daily exercise—often in 10- to 15-minute chunks that fit into your day—so you can build a lasting exercise habit and get real results in just one month.
Here are 5 reasons to join Bootcamp today—and tell your friends! Read More ›
Spring gardens, local farms, and markets offer nature’s gifts year after year, such as greens, berries, asparagus, radishes, and peas. What better choice can you make for your own health, than to dedicate a sizeable space on each plate this season to healthy and delicious salads? Have fun and get creative, trying new combinations of lettuce, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. Add lean protein to your salad and enjoy it as a main dish. Salad is a great way to get multiple servings of fruit, move away from the tempting and heavy comfort foods of winter, not to mention that salads are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Here are 12 springtime salad recipes from SparkRecipes.com.
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Style expert and best-selling author Charla Krupp shares easy ways to look thinner, taller, and sexier.
Trim Your Top Half
Visually pare arms and chest with these upside tips:
- Live in V-necks -- camis, tees, cardigans, anything and everything. The downward diamond shape elongates you. Just be sure to stop short of major cleavage; it looks tacky at any size.
- Wear a minimizer bra. Seek out styles that dip low in front to go with your V-necks. (If you've never been professionally fitted, do it ASAP at your local department store.)
- To cover less-than-toned arms, pick three-quarter-length sleeves. Check that the body of the shirt or sweater is tapered -- you don't want an allover blousy effect. Read More ›
One of the reasons I have managed to work out consistently for many years is that I always keep my routines fresh and interesting. For me, it's not enough to just change up my strength-training routine or running route (although I do both). I also like to set new goals to give myself something to look forward to with anticipation and excitement.
With winter behind us and the spring in full swing, now is a great time to revisit your fitness goals and try something new—especially if it involves the great outdoors. Here's what I'm doing this spring, plus a few more fitness ideas that are perfect for the season of rebirth. Read More ›
The boys just finished school, and we've been spending weekends at my family farm in central Kentucky, picking strawberries. Last weekend, the boys and their cousins helped me by picking all the bad berries (one bad berry will spoil the bunch!), then having a strawberry fight in the garden. You've never seen something so funny!
I spent the whole next day making strawberry compote, which is like a whole berry jam. (Sorry, no recipe for that one yet!) We've been eating berries morning, noon and night. Are you, too?
Since I've been so busy in the strawberry patch, I really haven't had any time to create new recipes using the harvest. But I have been turning to plenty of old favorites. I thought I'd share some of those with you today. Read More ›