Blog Posts by SparkPeople.com

  • 15 Hunger-Fighting Foods

    By Beth Donovan, for SparkPeople

    The day started innocently enough. I ate my healthy breakfast, and I really wasn't hungry after that. A car trip later and I'm drooling like Homer Simpson at the sight of a Dunkin' Donuts sign. Should I or shouldn't I? One won't hurt. No, usually one doesn't, but it does cause cravings--mad crazy cravings! I find myself staring straight into the abyss that might be a downfall of super sugary and fatty portions. I control it by driving through and getting one and leaving. If I get any more than that, I'm in trouble.

    Surely you know the foods you eat that cause cravings. They are the magical ones like chocolate that send you into another world with just a thought. Everyone has their personal favorites. We often concentrate on what we shouldn't eat in large quantities or what triggers our hunger, but what about those foods that satisfy us? Finding foods we should be eating that are healthful, tasty, and filling can be fun.

    Hunger sometimes has much to

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  • Your 5 Most Embarrassing Yoga Questions Answered

    By Stepfanie Romine, Certified Yoga Teacher, for SparkPeople

    It happened one night during a quiet class, the thing I feared most in the practice. I twisted myself into Marichyasana D on the right side, and… tweet. I passed gas, and it was audible (but not smelly, thank goodness!). I was embarrassed but thankfully my teacher was on the other side of the room (not adjusting me!) and no one else seemed to notice. I kept breathing, held the pose, and quickly my embarrassment passed. We're all human, after all, and the physical body does not always cooperate when you're trying to exercise or practice yoga. Only once in almost six years of practice has that happened, and it wasn't nearly as catastrophic as I had imagined.

    That moment reminded me that no one comes to yoga class to judge me, that we're all human, and that the ego is what creates embarrassment. If you do anything long enough, you're likely to uncover the unsavory elements of it. (Just ask any runner--surely they have a

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  • Food Showdown: Which Energy Bar Should You Go Nuts For?

    By Melinda Hershey, for SparkPeople

    Walk into any grocery store, and you'll find aisle after aisle of energy bars. Some claim that they will boost exercise performance, while others boast organic labels and all-natural ingredients. In recent years, energy bars made with a simple combination of fruits and nuts have become more popular. Larabar, an energy bar famous for its minimal ingredients list, has been around for years, boasting an array of flavors ranging from Carrot Cake to Chocolate Chip Cherry Torte. But now there's a new bar on the block: The Kit's Organic Fruit and Nut Bar from Clif, which also has a short, wholesome ingredients list. So what's the difference? Is one bar nutritionally better than the other? We're comparing the Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar with the Kit's Organic Peanut Butter Bar to find out!

    The Winner: It's a Tie!

    Both bars are made with fewer than five all-natural ingredients. The Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar contains peanuts, dates, and salt, while

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  • A Healthier 7-Layer Dip for Game Day

    By Chef Meg Galvin, Healthy Cooking Expert at SparkPeople.com


    Football and snacks go hand in hand, but so can game-day noshing and healthy eating. Nachos, pizza, even wings can be a part of your healthy game-watching menu.

    One of my favorite football snacks is layered Mexican dip. I always make a beeline for this dish at game-day parties. With layers of beans, cheese, black olives, sour cream, guacamole, and onions, the dip is made with healthy, whole ingredients.

    Then I checked out the nutrition on the dish.

    Even with baked chips, a cup of this dip has a whopping 562 calories, 42 g fat and 824 mg of sodium!

    Do you know how much I probably have consumed of this dish at parties? So much that I decided to make it over before this year's football season.

    My Skinny Fiesta Dip with Baked Lime Chips has all the flavor of the original, but it's much easier on the waistline.

    Original dip (1 cup):
    562 calories
    42 g fat
    19 g saturated fat
    824 mg sodium

    New dip(1 cup):
    211 caloriesRead More »from A Healthier 7-Layer Dip for Game Day
  • 9 Healthy Apple Dessert Recipes for Fall

    By Denise Tausig, for SparkPeople

    Now that fall is almost here, are you looking for some new apple dessert recipes that won't break your calorie bank? We've rounded up some healthy and delicious apple recipes for you to try.





    Apple Crisp

    Fresh Apple Cake

    Chef Meg's Mini Apple Tarts

    Quince Apple Sauce

    Apple Pockets

    Autumn Spiced Apples

    Baked Cinnamon Apples

    Oatmeal Apple Cookies

    Which of these recipes will you be trying? Do you have other favorite apple dessert recipes that you enjoy in the fall?


    Related links:

    Figure-Friendly Desserts for Fall

    Pumpkin: Fresh vs. Canned

    14 Pear Recipes


    SparkPeople is the country's largest health and fitness website. Learn more--and get a free fitness and diet plan.

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  • Microwave Herb Potato Chips

    By Chef Meg Galvin, Healthy Cooking Expert at SparkPeople.com


    When you're craving something crunchy but don't want the added fat, whip up a batch of these chips. You will not need any special equipment for this recipe, just a couple of brown paper bags.




    Minutes to Prepare:
    3
    Minutes to Cook: 20
    Number of Servings: 4


    Tips

    Feel free to change up the spices or seasonings. Cayenne pepper, garlic powder, or rosemary will all work well with these chips.

    Ingredients

    1 large baking potato
    pinch dried thyme
    pinch free-flowing salt*
    pinch black pepper
    2 brown paper lunch bags

    * Free-flowing salt is finer than table salt, so a little goes a long way. If you don't have free-flowing salt, grind regular salt in a spice grinder until it's powdery.


    Directions


    Using a knife, the slicing blade of a food processor or a mandoline, cut the unpeeled potato into 1/16-inch slices.

    Soak the potato slices in a bowl of cool water for a couple of minutes to remove excess Read More »from Microwave Herb Potato Chips
  • 9 Ways to Get More Out of Your Day

    By Mary Guarino, for BabyFit

    Do you always feel pressed for time? You're running from work, to the store, to the doctor, and back again. The routine, even in your pregnancy, is not getting any easier. If so, you are certainly not alone. Last October, millions of Americans participated in the first annual "Take Back Your Time Day," a project of the Center for Religion, Ethics and Social Policy at Cornell University. The idea arose as a way to make the public aware of the "epidemic of overwork, over-scheduling and time famine" in our society.

    Lack of time can be detrimental to our physical, emotional and spiritual health, 3 things that become extra-important when carrying a child. When we are pressed for time, we tend to exercise less, eat foods for their convenience rather than their nutritional value, have less time to interact with our families and friends, and spend little, if any time, on self-development and spiritual growth.

    Here are some simple ways you can begin to take back

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  • The Soccer Mom Fitness Trap

    By Rebecca Pratt, for SparkPeople

    Always on the run, but no time to jog? Or bike, hike, swim, or otherwise participate in activities that would mean better health, more energy, and even fun?

    If this sounds like your life, maybe it's time to consider how you can get off that routine treadmill of busyness and blaze a new trail that allows you to be physically active while completing important tasks.

    For inspiration, meet 46-year-old Taimi Henderson (pronounced Tammy), who had three kids in two years and eight months, raised them as a single "soccer mom"-before that term existed-and survived to smile about it all.

    Acknowledging the hard lessons of organizing life with two young daughters and a son, Taimi admits feeling envious when she heard other adults say they were heading off to the gym or signing up for aerobics classes: "I would think, 'I so want to exercise!' But I couldn't. I was too busy to be active."

    Faced with mounting mounds of laundry and pre-teens who

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  • Quick and Easy Salad: California Roll in a Bowl

    By Stepfanie Romine, for SparkPeople

    Ever get stuck in a dinner rut? I sure do! Recently, while digging around in the 100-page homemade recipe file I keep on my computer, (I like to cook. Can you tell?) I found a salad I created years ago.

    Delicious and easy, it combines all of my favorite sushi ingredients in one bowl! And, because it's based on a California roll, it uses fully cooked seafood. This is a great way to introduce friends and family to the taste of sushi. Add slivered sushi ginger, bits of nori (seaweed), and sesame seeds to make it even more authentic.


    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup brown rice, cooked (1/2 c dry)
    • 1 head butter or romaine lettuce, chopped
    • 8 oz. imitation crab meat or cooked shrimp, chopped
    • 1 English (seedless) cucumber, thinly sliced (and peeled if not organic)
    • 1 ripe avocado, diced
    • 1 carrot, grated
    • 3 T pickled ginger, chopped (available in the Asian section of most supermarkets)

    Dressing:
    • 3 T rice wine vinegar
    • 2 T
    Read More »from Quick and Easy Salad: California Roll in a Bowl
  • The Truth About Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte

    By Melinda Hershey, for SparkPeople

    Fall is in the air, which means that the coffee shops are starting to roll out their pumpkin-flavored treats. Starbucks' infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte officially hit stores this past week, much to the joy of orange squash aficionados everywhere. Though this seasonal latte may be tasty, how does it stack up to a plain old Starbucks Vanilla Latte in terms of nutrition? Both lattes (size ''grande'') are made with 2% steamed milk and flavored syrup. So, is there really that much of a difference? Is there a winner in this battle of the bean, or do both drinks stack up pretty equally?

    The Winner: Vanilla Latte!

    Although both lattes are made with essentially the same ingredients, the vanilla comes out on top! A ''grande'' size, made with 2% milk and no whipped cream, clocks in at 250 calories and 6 grams of fat, with 35 grams of sugar. The ''grande'' Pumpkin Spice Latte, also made with 2% milk and no whipped cream, weighs in at 310 calories, 6 grams of

    Read More »from The Truth About Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte

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