Monthly Archives: November 2014

Kelly Guy Lost 66 Pounds with Jenny Craig and Became an Award-Winning Food Blogger

On her award-winning blog, No Thanks to Cake, Kelly Guy shares tasty, easy-to-make recipes, offers advice on how to eat healthy while traveling and professes her love for the Gilmore Girls. After a 66-pound weight loss, Kelly has firsthand experience with the struggle to find a healthy balance with food. I’m her newest fan.

kelly guy collageMore from Kelly in her own words –

What habits specifically led you to gain weight? Emotional eating habits. I can remember coming home after school and eating cheese and crackers, chips, cookies, and anything else that was available. I consumed way too much fast food , ate larger than necessary portions and had no physical activity.

What caused you to realize you needed to change? I was overwhelmed by the idea of losing almost 100 lbs. A good friend had just scheduled gastric-bypass surgery. It terrified me that weight loss surgery was also becoming an option for me. A few days later I took pictures with a friend who was 6 months pregnant and I looked bigger than she did.

How did you lose the weight? I followed the Jenny Craig program for about 12 months, finding great success with the simplicity of the program. I told friends that I “took it like a prescription.” My meals were planned and I didn’t have a ton of decisions to make on a daily basis. The weight started rolling off.


Regulation Nation: What Consumers Really Think About the Feds in Our Food

The question of whether or not the government should regulate the food industry seems like a simple one, but it’s really an incredibly complex topic. Variables like price, availability, variety of offerings, and quality of products are all involved. Also, there’s the issue of how much regulation the food industry should have. Should it all be regulated? None? Or maybe somewhere in the middle?

To help us make sense of the issue, Sullivan Higdon & Sink (SHS) has produced its latest White Paper, Regulation Nation. Through their research, they’ve learned the issue of food regulation comes down to a lot more than a simple yes we should have it, or no we shouldn’t.

regulation pros and cons

Regulation Benefits: Food is safer, healthier, better-quality.

Regulation Negatives: limit choices, restrict freedoms, and ultimately drive up costs.


The Only Fitness Tracker Review Guide You Need

2014 Fitness Tracker Review Guide


These are the top wearable fitness trackers you should consider using to monitor your fitness goals. Last year’s 2013 Fitness Tracker Review Guide was a huge hit, so we’re doing it again with the new 2014 models. Several bands have gotten bumps in battery life, there are new and improved features across the board, and some new players to consider.


The two notable entries are aimed squarely at the budget-minded among us, with price points both under $60. They don’t pack all the high-tech bells and whistles of their more expensive siblings, but for many, they get the job done and serve as a reminder to be more active.

For a modest $50, you’ll find the Jawbone UP Move, which clips onto your shirt, pants, blouse, or purse. It’s a pedometer, first and foremost, and via the free iPhone or Android apps, also helps you keep track of calories consumed and calories burned.

The $60 Fitbit Zip competes head-on here, but is also waterproof up to 30 feet. (more…)

One Minute Workouts to Break Your All-Or-Nothing Mentality


We need 30 minutes a day of moderate intensity physical activity, according to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. It’s a great goal but it can feel unattainable for many people. If you’re new to exercise, jumping from zero to 30 minutes EVERY DAY can feel as daunting as being asked to run a marathon. This is especially true if you have no idea where to start or what to do for those 30 minutes.

Even for experienced exercisers there are days with back-to-back meetings or when the alarm doesn’t go off – again. Exercise can get pushed off the plate to balance out the daily demands on our time. With the holidays upon us, time for workouts becomes even more precious and scarce then usual. Rookie or pro, we can all fall into the “all or nothing” trap.

By the time I drive to the gym, I’ll just have to turn around and come right back. If I can’t get my whole workout in why even bother?

I can’t walk on the treadmill for FIVE minutes, how am I supposed to do 30? Where am I even going to find 30 minutes in my day?

New Book Preview: What You Can, When You Can

If the “all or nothing” mentality is holding you back from getting your daily workout, I’ve got good news for you. The latest research says our minimum dose of exercise may be lower than we once thought. A recent study in the journal Lancet looked at exercise patterns and life expectancy of over 400,000 men and women. They found that as little as 15 minutes a day provided health benefits and reduced all cause mortality. (more…)

Crustless Pumpkin Pie Mini Muffins: Clean Eating Dessert That’s Entirely Decadent


The holidays are here and that means we get to feast! Whether you do so mindfully or mindlessly, the point is to enjoy the time, the family, and definitely the food.

I LOVE sweets, however I don’t love how I feel afterwards. This means that some of my greatest ingenuity in the kitchen happens while trying to create desserts that still taste sinful without punishing my tummy later on. And this becomes especially necessary during Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season.

Enter: the Crustless Pumpkin Pie Mini Muffins. This quintessential holiday dessert does not need to be on your “No-no” list this year. I have adapted this recipe from 58 Day Dreams into a cleaner more health-friendly version. Why wait until New Year’s to start eating right again?


My favorite way to watch portions with most delectable treats is to make mini versions, and in this case that’s mini muffin pies. I often find that those few bites are enough to satisfy me for the rest of the night. (more…)

Julie Wilson Lost 100 Pounds and Now Helps Others at Retrofit Ministries

Julie Wilson lost and gained the same pounds for years. Finally, she decided to take a new approach. One night she made a quiet vow to her young daughter, asked for strength from God and then took baby steps toward her goal. After losing 100 pounds, now Julie is helping others.

Julie Wilson beforeafterMore from Julie in her own words –

What habits specifically led you to gain weight? I always ate very fast and my portions were out of control. I didn’t know how to eat “one” of anything. While I have always loved vegetables, they were few and far between. I remember coming home after middle school and eating a box of macaroni and cheese for a snack along with two hot dogs. Then, I would eat dinner.

I was an athlete in middle school and high school, playing basketball, soccer, and throwing shot put – so I justified my eating. In high school, I got a job at McDonald’s where I worked for 5 years and gained 80 lbs.

What caused you to realize you needed to change? On December 12, 2010, I looked at my newborn daughter and promised her I would be an example for her. I had to do this for good.

How did you lose the weight? I started by tracking my food on My Fitness Pal. As time went on, I realized I needed to change the types of food I was eating. I ate smaller portions, drank more water, and started exercising.

What diet and exercise methods did you employ? I started my journey differently than my previous attempts. I vowed to keep my faith in God and trust him for strength. I tracked my food, pushed the baby in the stroller, did Taebo videos at home, and found a love for running. After losing 80 pounds, I joined a gym.


The 16 Most Hilariously Terrifying Holiday Fitness Stock Photos


I’d like to sit in on the photoshoot brainstorming where someone sees a need for poorly dressed, overly excitable models to pose for completely unrealistic holiday pictures. We’ve consolidated the 16 best (or worst) images (17 if you count the thumbs-up weight loss gal) so that you can join us in shuddering to some pure unadulterated what the Frosty is going on here confusion. Try to focus on happy sugar plums or sing a line of “Jingle Bells” if necessary…


Ho-ho-hold on a second. I don’t want anyone like this sliding down my chimney.

1 santa barbell

Because one creepy Santa photo isn’t enough.

3 santa weights

Help your kids eat more veggies by putting a terrifying Santa on top! A day’s worth of vitamins with a side of nightmares.

4 santa veggies (more…)

Are Your Kids Over-Fortified? Too Much of a Good Thing Puts Their Health at Risk


Millions of well-intentioned American parents, unbeknownst to them, are over-fortifying their kids with too many nutrients. That’s according to a report published earlier this year by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

EWG, an American-based health and research organization, analyzed the nutrition facts labels for 1,550 breakfast cereals and found that 114 cereals were fortified by the manufacturer with 30 percent or more of the adult Daily Value of vitamin A, zinc, and/or niacin. They also looked at 1,000 snack bars and found that 27 common brands were fortified with 50 percent or more of the Daily Value of at least one of those nutrients.

Among the most fortified cereals were:

  • General Mills’ Total line
  • Wheaties Fuel
  • Kellogg’s Product 19
  • Smart Start
  • All-Bran Complete
  • Cocoa Krispies
  • Krave

The most fortified snack bars included

  • Balance
  • Kind
  • Marathon

Food Awards: Best & Worst Breakfast Cereals

When foods are fortified, vitamins and minerals that aren’t originally in a food are added by the manufacturer. Classic examples include adding vitamin D to milk, iron to flour, fiber to cereal, and iodine to salt. Since 1998, folic acid has been added to breads, cereals, and other products that use enriched flour in an effort to reduce Spina Bifida and other serious birth defects. The idea of fortification was developed almost 100 years ago to treat common nutrition-deficiency diseases.
But it is possible to consume too many fortified foods, especially by children, because the Daily Values are set for the needs of adults not kids. Furthermore, the Daily Value standards were set in 1968 and so some are higher than levels currently deemed to be safe. (more…)

Pizza Hut Introduces 2 Billion Ordering Options! Do We Need That?

new pizza hut (600x253)

If variety is the spice of life, then Pizza Hut may just become over-seasoned. The pizza chain recently announced a complete overhaul of their menu, which according to Pizza Hut, can be combined in more than 2 billion ways.

With these changes, Pizza Hut becomes the newest member of a growing list of long-standing restaurant chains adjusting to cater to a new, younger taste. That new taste has some interesting demands, and it’s nice to know people are listening.

More customers, particularly millennials, are looking for more variety in their food choices, which include a selection of more exotic flavors and higher-quality food. They’re also looking for the ability to completely customize their order. We’re blaming Chipotle (in a good way) for that one.

To help customers get their customization on, Pizza Hut is introducing five new ingredients: Peruvian cherry peppers, classic meatballs, sliced banana peppers, premium salami, and fresh spinach. There are also six sauce options, which include old favorites and new flavors like honey sriracha and creamy garlic parmesan.

Pizza Hut Now Delivering a New Whole Wheat Pizza to Meet School Lunch Nutrition Guidelines


Running for Her Life: One Woman’s Escape from Human Trafficking Made Her a Runner and Survivor


Megan grew up in what some might consider an idealistic environment. They were a seemingly typical middle-class, Caucasian family; mom stayed home with her and her sister, and dad made it to all of her soccer games. Megan was first chair violin and graduated from high school as part of the National Honor Society. Her parents have been married more than 30 years and the family attended church regularly. However, after an abusive five-year marriage, she was left alone to support two small children. Her naivety and vulnerability, both emotionally and financially, put her at risk for sexual trafficking.

“Human trafficking is a very complex issue, and a lot of times people think that it’s something you can just ‘get out’ of. Unfortunately, it is not always that easy because there are social and economic obstacles, as well as mental and physical safety that all must come together. It is often, as in my case, a long process to fully get away from a predator and the subculture entirely,” shared Megan. “In short, I was able to leave my pimp and move back across the country, but it took another six months until I was in a place I could leave the sex industry entirely, and it has been almost two years of intensive recovery since then.” (more…)