by Heidi Pashman for SHAPE.com
Do you know where your fave Starbucks drink comes from?On a recent trip to Costa Rica with Contiki Travel, I took a tour of a coffee plantation. As an avid coffee enthusiast (okay, bordering on addict), I was confronted with a very humbling question, "Do you know where your coffee beans come from?"
Costa Ricans typically drink coffee at home without sugar or cream (forget pumpkin spice lattés). Instead, it's enjoyed "like a good glass of wine," said my tour guide at Don Juan Coffee Plantation- straight black so you can swirl the aroma and smell and taste all of the different flavors. And like a good glass of wine, the flavor of the coffee directly relates to where it's grown and produced. "If you don't know where it's from, you don't know why you do or don't like it," the tour guide said.
But figuring out where your coffee is from can be hard. You can scour the website of your local coffee shop and see if you can figure it out that way. Stumptown Coffee Roasters is the model child for transparency, offering
Blog Posts by SHAPE magazine
by Heidi Pashman for SHAPE.comRead More »from Do You Know Where Your Coffee Beans Come From?
by Matthew Kadey, R.D.Read More »from Everything You Need to Know About Coconut Oil
Is coconut oil really that good for you?Once castigated for its generous saturated fat content, coconut oil has been given a second life as a (gasp!) healthy fat. And while drinking it by the tablespoon still isn't a great idea, you definitely should consider adding the oil to your diet.
Yes, coconut oil is almost 90 percent saturated fat, but not all sat fats are created equal. "The saturated fat in coconut oil is mostly lauric acid, a medium-chain saturated fatty acid that appears to have a more neutral effect on heart health when compared to longer-chain saturated fats found in meats and dairy products," says Wendy Bazilian, R.D., author of The SuperFoodsRx Diet.
This makes sense considering citizens of nations that consume prodigious amounts of coconut products, such as Sri Lanka, have lower rates of heart disease than Americans. Some research even suggests that coconut oil can paradoxically improve cholesterol numbers by revving up enzymes in the body that break down fats.
Bazilian adds that
by Alanna Nuñez for SHAPE.comRead More »from Do You Need a Digital Detox?
Can you be addicted to the Internet?Can you go more than a few hours without checking your Facebook? Does the idea of being away from your laptop or iPad make you break out into a sweat? Do you spend so much time on the Internet that you're ignoring your friends, family, and work? If you said yes, yes, and yes, you may be addicted to the Internet.
Internet addiction is a hotly debated topic within the medical community. According to the American Psychiatric Association, it's not an official psychiatric disorder, so it's not in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). However, the country's first inpatient treatment program for Internet addiction opened this week at Bradford Regional Medical Center in Pennsylvania. Designed to house up to four patients at one time, the program aims to provide a 72-hour digital detox and lasts 10 days total. Because Internet addiction is not considered a mental illness, the treatments won't be covered by insurance.
by Lindsey Emery for SHAPE.comRead More »from 10 Snacking Mistakes that Cause Weight Gain
Your between-meal bites could be sabotaging your weight loss.Like any smart woman trying to make the number on the scale go down or stay steady, you snack during the day to keep your energy tank full, boost metabolism, and make sure you don't stand a chance of overeating. But to reap those benefits, you need to be strategic about what you eat, when you eat it, and how much you eat, otherwise you'll end up packing on pounds. Follow these easy snacking tips, and your munching will never meddle with your weight.
1. Focus on Your Health: Since most Americans are not eating enough fruits and vegetables every day, or getting in the daily-recommended amount of omega 3s, "consider snacking a prime opportunity to work on fulfilling these nutritional needs," says Elizabeth Somer, R.D., author of Eat Your Way to Sexy. Skip candy, cheese puffs, and other foods without benefits, and instead try to include two food groups at every meal: one fruit or vegetable and a source of omega-3 fatty acids, such as walnuts, flaxseeds, or
by Alanna Nuñez for SHAPE.comRead More »from New Study Fires Up Old Mammogram Debate
Are younger women benefiting from mammograms?The breast cancer screening debate that started in 2009 when the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended that women should start receiving regular mammograms at age 50 instead of 40 has started up again thanks to a new Harvard University study that suggests testing younger women may saves lives.
Researchers followed 600 women who had been diagnosed between 1990 and 1999 and tracked them until 2007. They found that half of the women who died were under age 50, and 71 percent of them never received a mammogram until their diagnosis.
"The biological nature of breast cancer in young women is more aggressive, while breast cancer in older women tends to be more indolent," lead author Blake Cady, professor emeritus of surgery at Harvard Medical School, told Science Recorder. "This suggests that less frequent screening in older women, but more frequent screening in younger women, may be more biologically based, practical, and cost
- SHAPE magazine | Healthy Living – Tue, Sep 10, 2013 4:15 PM EDT
by Charlotte Andersen for SHAPE.comRead More »from USDA to Allow China to Process Chickens, Ship Back to U.S
Newly implemented rules will change the way we process chicken in the U.S."Chinese chicken" will soon have a whole new meaning, as the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently gave the green-light to four chicken processing plants in China, allowing chicken raised and slaughtered in the U.S. to be exported to China for processing, and then shipped back to the U.S. and sold on grocery shelves here.
The actual arrangement will take some time to set in, however. "All this means is that we've deemed China's poultry processing equivalent to the process in the United States," says Arianne Perkins, USDA public affairs specialist. Individual companies will still have to be certified, something Perkins says has not happened yet.
RELATED: 9 Common Foods that Contain Toxic Ingredients
While the logistics are hard to imagine-if we can't safely leave chicken out for the length of a family picnic, how can it be shipped halfway around the world and back with no ill effects?-the USDA is doing its best to reassure both chicken farmers and
by Keri Gans, R.D.N., for SHAPE.comRead More »from Should You Double Up Your Protein to Lose Weight?
Should you eat more protein to lose weight and gain muscle?Typically when women think of weight loss, they think of restricting calories or food groups, such as carbs. And many may think that adding more protein to their diet will pack on muscle, which may lead to weight gain. But in addition to be satiating, increasing your protein intake may help you lose weight while maintaining fat-burning muscle, according to new research.
In the study, 39 adults were all fed a calorie-restricted diet but with varying levels of protein: the recommended daily amount (RDA), twice the RDA, or three times the RDA. They also exercised daily. After 31 days, the group consuming twice the RDA of protein saw the greatest reduction in fat mass while maintaining muscle.
RELATED: 7 Foods a Nutritionist Would Never Eat
But just how much protein are we really talking about? Following this study's guidelines, the average needs for a 5'5" woman trying to lose weight would be 90 grams (g) per day. And this adds up rather quickly
by Elizabeth Goodman Artis for SHAPE.comRead More »from 5 Things You Didn't Know About Body Fat
Surprising facts about fatFat is the ultimate three-letter word, especially the kind that you spend so much time watching your diet and hitting the gym to keep at bay (or at least to keep off your butt). But beyond making you look less-than-svelte, fat can have significant physical and emotional implications.
We talked to Shawn Talbott, Ph.D., a nutritional biochemist and author of The Secret of Vigor: How to Overcome Burnout, Restore Biochemical Balance, and Reclaim Your Natural Energy, to find out a few essential facts that might surprise you.
1. It comes in different colors: More specifically, there are different types of fat that have different hues and functions, according to Talbott: white, brown, and beige. The white fat is what most people think of as fat-pale and useless. Useless in that it has a low metabolic rate so it doesn't help you burn any calories the way muscle does, and it's the predominant type of fat in the human body, encompassing more than 90
by Charlotte Andersen for SHAPE.comRead More »from Why Won't My Eye Stop Twitching?
Why does my eye always twitch? Here are 7 surprising reasons...Possibly the only thing more irritating than an itch you can't scratch, involuntary eye twitching, or myokymia, is a feeling that many of us are familiar with. Sometimes the trigger is obvious (fatigue or seasonal allergies), while other times it's a total mystery. The good news is that it's rarely a cause for concern.
"Nine out of 10 times, [eye twitching] is nothing to worry about, it's just more of an annoyance than anything else," says Dr. Jeremy Fine, a Los Angeles-based concierge doctor. But just because it's not dangerous doesn't mean you should grin and bear it. We asked experts to share some lesser-known reasons why this happens and tips on how to quit the twitch fast.
1. Stress: Stress is the number one reason for a twitchy eye, or eye spasm, says Dr. Monica L. Monica M.D., a clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. "Typically the patient deals with the twitching for a week or so when something is troubling them,
by Jay Cardiello for SHAPE.comRead More »from 9 Ways to Fit in Fitness This Fall
9 foolproof ways to fit in fitness this fallAfter indulging this summer with frozen drinks and backyard barbecues, getting back into shape in the first few weeks of the fall season can be grueling.
On top of it, autumn often comes with over-booked schedules, leaving little or no time for fitness. Instead of worrying about dedicating an hour a day at the gym (which probably has no chance of happening), I have developed nine simple and effective ways to seamlessly carve fitness into your schedule this fall.
Balance while you brush. The next time you're brushing your teeth, simply lift your right foot off the ground and balance on your left for 30 seconds. Then switch sides. Taking this uni-lateral stance will help develop symmetry, stability, balance, and strength in your hips and legs. This is a must-do move for heel-wearing professionals and women on the go.
Stay in bed. Start off your day by performing plank holds, kneeling push-ups, or mountain climbers in bed for just 60