The SparkPeople Blog

Don't Miss Out on This Year’s 10 Most Healthy Foods

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
1/23/2018  12:00:00 AM   :  0 comments   :  198 views

Congratulations on making the decision to eat right! Now for the harder part: to figure out what "right" actually means.
 
It's easy to get tricked by deceptive marketing into choosing foods that look and sound like smart choices—using buzzwords like "low-fat," "sugar-free" and "high-protein"—but are actually more hype than health. Junk food doesn’t always come in the form of donuts and potato chips.
 
Or maybe you do have an idea of what the "right" foods are, but you're still hung up on how much you hated them as a kid. The good news is, much like your taste in music, your tastebuds can change right along with your lifestyle, especially if you start mixing things up and experimenting with new recipes. Maybe Brussels sprouts just weren't your mom's forte.
 
To help kickstart your body-nourishing journey, we asked a few dietitians and nutritionists to suggest some health-boosting items to add to your repertoire this year. Consider this your cheat sheet for making the right food choices, and sticking with them!

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Spark Spotlight: Saedah (LADYSAE)

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
1/22/2018  12:00:00 AM   :  13 comments   :  2,663 views

At SparkPeople, we love helping people accomplish big goals—but we believe it's equally important to celebrate the small successes along the way. Each week in the Spark Spotlight, we'll check in with a featured member about his or her proudest moments, biggest challenges and advice for others on living, thinking and feeling healthier. We hope these quick snapshots will help motivate you to keep moving steadily toward your own goals, week by week.

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10 Challenging Chair Exercises

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
1/18/2018  11:00:00 AM   :  81 comments   :  127,600 views

You should not have to join a fancy gym or spend loads of money on home fitness equipment in order to build lean body mass. Using simple at-home objects such as canned food, a towel or even a chair can be just as effective as using a dumbbell or a resistance band. Remember, the body does not know the difference between lifting a one-pound can of beans or a dumbbell. As long as you are overloading the muscles (even if that overload is from your own body weight) you will build muscle strength.

If you have limited mobility or are recovering from an injury, you don't have to sit still and do nothing. Consider exercising right from the comfort of your home in a seated position. Using a chair and a light set of dumbbells (or soup cans) can help challenge your back, shoulders, abs, biceps, triceps, glutes, quads and calves. One of the great things about these exercises is that you can do them anywhere you have access to a chair, whether at home or on the job. 

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Tips and Recipes for Successful Sous Vide Cooking

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
1/18/2018  12:00:00 AM   :  25 comments   :  1,695 views

Sous what?
 
Sous vide.
 
Most people fall into one of two camps: Either they've never heard of sous vide cooking or they're already diehard fans. If you're one of the former, hopefully we can inspire you to give this trendy technique a try. And if you've recently received or purchased a sous vide precision cooker and haven't yet taken the plunge, this is a great place to start.
 
Sous vide, which is French for "under vacuum," refers to the process of placing food in a vacuum-sealed bag and then cooking it in hot water using an appliance called a precision cooker. (Technically, the precision cooker isn't required, as you can improvise with a resealable bag and a large stock pot or a cooler—but it does make the process easier and more foolproof.)
 
Sous vide cooks food at a very precise temperature, so the results are more consistent than conventional methods. While oven cooking can sometimes leave your meals on the dry side, cooking in water helps food retain its juices and flavors. You also won't have to worry about hovering over the cooker and triple-checking to make sure your meal isn't getting overcooked, as the precision cooker will never go over the optimal temperature.
 
Chances are you've eaten food prepared using the sous vide method at some point, as many upscale restaurants have been using this technique for years. Now that precision cookers are available for affordable home use, anyone can enjoy the delicious results.

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SparkChallenges: Fun for Personal Goals or With Friends!

By: , – Always looking for new challenges to keep you motivated!
1/16/2018  10:00:00 AM   :  43 comments   :  8,610 views

2018 is well underway, and we know you’re knocking your resolutions out of the park this year. Way to go! :) But if you feel your resolve slipping a little this January, or if you’d like to one-up your goal game, we have a new and super-fun feature you can start using today. Queue inspirational music:

SparkChallenges: Strive for Your Personal Goals or Contend With Friends!


We built a whole new challenge platform that will help you to make small improvements to your fitness, diet or general wellbeing for as little as a week or as long as three months! They’re a fun and positive way to feel a sense of accomplishment for healthy habits you set and stand by, even if you’re just getting started with a seven-day challenge. You can set up a personal challenge in a few minutes, or--if you want a little friendly rivalry--you can invite your friends, your Sparkfriends or even your family to participate too!

We have six new challenges to get you started (with more to come soon):

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15 Surprising Things You Never Knew About Jenny Craig

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
1/16/2018  12:00:00 AM   :  6,896 views

There are some things that are synonymous with weight loss—those terms, emotions and activities that on their own conjure up the image of someone taking control of their health and achieving the incredible. Since 1983, Jenny Craig has been one of those terms. Started in Melbourne, Australia, Jenny Craig has helped millions reach their goal weight and come to understand health and wellness in a more positive, sustainable light.

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