Stepfanie Romine

Stepfanie Romine is a writer, recipe developer, published author and certified yoga teacher who has lived--and cooked--on three continents. She currently calls Asheville, North Carolina home.


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7 Hiking Essentials for Beginners

Walking is a great way to get fit, but if you're ready to add a more challenging element, go take a hike! Hiking works different muscles and burns more calories as you navigate rolling hills and uneven terrain. As an added bonus, you'll get to reconnect with nature and escape from everyday stressors.  

Whether you're exploring one of these epic U.S. hiking destinations or just trekking the trails in your own backyard, having the right gear is essential to making the most of your experience. Before lacing up and striking out on your first hike, try to gather these basic essentials.

Posted 3/28/2017  12:00:00 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 81 comments   147,003 views

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10 Tips to Keep from Overeating at a Party

Temptations abound at parties, but celebration doesn't have to mean overindulgence. Follow these tips to stay on track at your Super Bowl parties this weekend.

Posted 3/14/2017  1:00:00 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 109 comments   29,447 views

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Study: Socializing on SparkPeople Helps with Weight Loss

Try out our newest improvement to help you reach your goals: the Community Feed!

The gallery of Success Stories, piles of media clips and endless stream of thank-you message from members who have reached their goals and changed their lives forever are all proof that SparkPeople's program works. But now, a second study led by researchers at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston bolsters what our experts and millions of members already knew: No Spark man (or woman) is an island, and the support provided by our community is invaluable.

Dr. Kevin O. Hwang, lead researcher and assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, surveyed 193 members, conducted interviews and analyzed selected posts on the Message Boards.

Hwang also led a 2007 study published in the American Journal of Medicine that determined that SparkPeople.com members can trust the weight-loss advice they receive from other members on our Message Boards.

The new study, published in the International Journal of Medical Informatics, set out to describe the social support provided to members and concluded:

Posted 3/13/2017  10:00:00 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 87 comments   25,714 views

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Which Fruits and Veggies are in the New Dirty Dozen?

We often hear that organic produce is "cleaner" than conventional (non-organic) produce and free of pesticides; however, organic remains more expensive and isn't available everywhere.

Which conventional fruits and vegetables contain more pesticide residue? Which ones have the least?

Posted 4/21/2016  12:00:00 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 115 comments   59,583 views

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How a Roller Coaster Led Erin to Lose 117 Pounds*

Meet Erin. She's 30 and lives in Florida. Happily engaged and recently promoted at work, she loves her life. She wakes up feeling great, rarely stops moving throughout her waking hours, and goes to sleep each night with a smile on her face. Life isn't perfect, but every day feels better than the last, she says.
 
Erin is so committed to this life that it's hard for her to remember what it was like before, when she weighed almost twice what she does now. When she had little energy to stay awake after work and all she wanted to do on her days off was sleep. When she was in excruciating pain from even the smallest physical efforts and walking around the block seemed like torture. When she looked in the mirror and didn't recognize the woman she'd become and didn't know how to change her life.

Posted 5/15/2014  12:00:00 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 135 comments   75,979 views

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13 Healthy Ways to Eat Leftover Easter Eggs

Is anyone else overwhelmed by the number of leftover hard-boiled Easter eggs? While hard-boiled eggs are a great (quick!), protein-packed snack, those get boring fast. Here are seven super recipes that highlight the humble egg, plus another six ideas for using hard-cooked eggs in new ways.

Posted 4/21/2014  12:00:00 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 17 comments   85,714 views

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6 Ways to Try New Recipes for Less

Travel around the world in just one bite--without spending a fortune! Here's how to go global and try new recipes for less at dinnertime tonight.

Posted 4/11/2014  12:00:00 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 34,820 views

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6 Everyday Ingredients That Make Meals More Exciting

Tired of the same-old dinners? With just a few affordable ingredients from your neighborhood supermarket, you can turn any meal into a culinary adventure!

Not this again! It's a familiar yet dreaded lament at the dinner table. No one wants to waste food or time, which are both precious commodities. Let us help you make over your meals with everyday ingredients that can lend an exotic flare.

Trying new cuisines from around the world doesn't have to be complicated. After all, while these dishes might be new to you, it's the food that people in other countries eat every day, so it can't be time consuming or expensive.

Today we're sharing five not-so-exotic types of ingredients that can help turn even your usual fare into something different and delicious.

Posted 3/31/2014  12:00:00 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 11 comments   34,553 views

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If You're Not Following This Rule, You're Strength Training the Wrong Way

A round-up of the most interesting and thought-provoking stories of the week.
The Myth of Happiness—and How to Be Truly Happy Greatist
Are you searching for happiness in all the wrong places? Turn it around and find out how to really be happy.
 
The Secret to These Sauces Is Nuts NPR Kitchen Window
These tasty gluten-free and/or vegan sauces use nuts for richness and flavor. You'll love them (we do!)!
 
Study: Salt Accelerates Aging in Overweight Teens Time
Putting down the salt shaker and limiting consumption of processed foods with added sodium could help slow cellular aging and prevent heart disease in teens who are overweight, according to a new study.

If You're Not Following This Rule, You're Strength Training the Wrong Way Fit Sugar
If you lift weights, you'll want to read this story. Are you putting your body at risk?

Posted 3/29/2014  12:00:00 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 0 comments   20,155 views

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Our 5 Favorite Spring Foods

I don't know about you, but I'm so over winter. I'm so grateful that spring is officially here. I'm tired of eating heavy comfort foods that our bodies crave all winter.

One of the best things about spring is all the all the fresh, light, delicious produce that starts to appear at farmers markets and in the supermarkets.

Today we're counting down our top five spring foods (in video format!):

Posted 3/26/2014  12:00:00 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 9 comments   15,063 views

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Your Genes Might Make Fried Foods More Fattening

A round-up of the most interesting and thought-provoking stories of the week.

TV pitchman Kevin Trudeau sentenced to 10 years in prison Chicago Tribune
Kevin Trudeau, who for decades fraudulently sold weight-loss books and programs via infomercials, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for criminal contempt. Trudeau lied about the contents of his best-selling book, The Weight Loss Cure 'They' Don't Want You to Know About, which touts fad diet practices such as hCG injections. (Read Coach Nicole's blog about the hCG diet.) In addition, Trudeau had more than a dozen aliases and had used his mother's Social Security number as part of a scam.

Study: Fried food more fattening depending on genes USA Today
Fried foods aren't good for anyone, but for those with a genetic predisposition for obesity, they're even worse. Find out why. Thanks, Mom! (Just kidding!)

To Keep Teenagers Alert, Schools Let Them Sleep In NYT
We all know how hard it can be to rouse a teen from a warm and comfy bed before sunrise. Some schools are letting them sleep in--and allowing their developmental drive to stay up late to help them better perform.

Advice For Eating Well On A Tight Budget, From A Mom Who's Been There NPR The Salt
A mom who knows what it's like to feed kids while on a tight budget has published a cookbook aimed at helping people eat right--even when they are living on very little. She's now teaching low-income families how to choose and cook healthy produce. We love this cookbook!

Companies Tap Celebrity Power For Extreme Vegetable Makeover NPR The Salt
Stars--from Ben Stiller to Disney tween celebs--are shilling some unlikely products to kids: fruits and vegetables! Do you think star power will get children to embrace healthier foods?

Posted 3/22/2014  12:00:00 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 4 comments   15,712 views

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5 Tricks to Boost Your Workout Motivation Instantly

We all have those days where, no matter how much we try, we just can't find the motivation to go work out. Here are our top five tips for motivating yourself to exercise even when you don't want to get moving. Watch the video, or read the tips in the video summary below.



Posted 3/18/2014  12:00:00 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 6 comments   24,367 views

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10 Slow-Cooker Breakfasts You'll Dream about All Night

A round-up of the most interesting and thought-provoking stories of the week.

4 Reasons to Love the Body You Have Yoga Journal
This is a message we can't reiterate often enough: Love the body you have now!

How Being Nice Can Boost Your Health ABC News
Nice guys might finish last, but they're healthier, according to new research. If you needed a reason to be nicer, here are six!

How Fat May Hurt the Brain, and How Exercise May Help NYT Well
According to new experiments with some pretty fancy equipment, obesity might actually harm your brain--but exercise can help.

8 Workout Tights We're Obsessing Over SELF
Back in the day (say, two years ago), there were two, maybe three, colors of workout pants available: black, gray and sometimes navy blue. Then the patterned workout tights trend started. From muscles to clouds and from cats to camo, you can find workout tights in just about any print imaginable. Tell us: What do you think about the wild print craze? Will you try/have you tried it?

10 Slow-Cooker Breakfasts You'll Dream about All Night TODAY
Go on, hit the snooze alarm. Breakfast will be ready and waiting on you tomorrow morning!

Posted 3/15/2014  12:00:00 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 4 comments   27,690 views

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D.I.Y. Natural Easter Egg Dyes

A symbol of rebirth and renewal, eggs are closely associated with spring and Easter. Dyeing these iconic orbs is a popular spring pastime that yields a beautiful decoration, protein-packed treat.

With so many people interested in making their own healthy pantry staples at home, we thought it would be fun to share one of our favorite seasonal D.I.Y. projects: natural dyes for Easter eggs!

You'll start with perfect hard-boiled eggs, plus a few ingredients you likely have in your home already. Natural dyes are easy, and you can even create custom colors if you want to get creative!

Posted 3/15/2014  12:00:00 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 13 comments   46,807 views

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Watch: SparkPeople's NEW Live Video Chats

Last week SparkPeople launched a new feature that we're excited to share with you. On select Fridays, we will be hosting live On-Air Hangouts on Google+ called "Take 5 with SparkPeople." (Learn more about Google+ Hangouts here.) Each Hangout (basically a live, interactive video chat) will share five tips related to popular and timely healthy living topics--and we'll answer your questions live on the air as well. "Take 5" will air at noon EST and will last about five minutes. (We picked the time and length so you could easily take a break and join us without disrupting your day too much.) You don't need a G+ page to watch, but you'll need to check out our G+ Page for info on these Hangouts and to watch live.

If you can't watch live, not to worry: Each video is uploaded to SparkPeople's YouTube channel after the Hangout is over, so you can watch at your convenience. We will also be sharing an abbreviated transcript of each "Take 5," then sharing the videos on our blog. We're excited to connect with our members in this new way, and we look forward to answering your questions!

If you missed the first installment, here's your chance to watch.

Posted 3/12/2014  12:00:00 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 3 comments   10,716 views

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