Author Archives: Dana

About Dana

Dana runs, she bakes, and she writes, making her perfect for us! She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Wichita State University, has a self-taught proficiency for vegan and vegetarian baking, and considers herself a lifelong learner of all things health. She lives life to the fullest in Wichita, KS with her husband.

Two Explosions Near Boston Marathon Finish Line Hault Race, Injuries Reported

  • Two explosions have occurred just near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Two loud booms were reportedly heard from near the finish line, just inside the Fairmount Copley Plaza Hotel.
  • As a result, race officials have locked down the hotel and the area has been evacuated. The blasts reportedly sounded like thunder.
  • Various people are injured but conscious. Spectators are being shepherded to medical tents. No deaths have been reported.
  • People are being urged to stay away from trash recepticals and garbage cans, as it is unclear where the explosion originated from.
  • Runners are being redirected away from the finish line. As a result, Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley tweeted that he and around 20,000 runners are stuck at a corral at mile 26.
  • 3:43p ET: “Trauma nurse tells ABC News that the race’s medical tent has become a makeshift morgue. Dealing with injuries including severed limbs and children with severe burns.”
  • 4:00p ET: ABC reports 15 to 20 injured.

Find more information at LA Times and NYPost. (more…)

Food Blogger Spotlight: Madison Mayberry of Espresso and Cream

A love for food and blogging collided for 25-year-old Madison Mayberry, who discovered her love for recipe development and food photography as an intern at Better Homes and Gardens. Today Madison runs the successful food blog Espresso and Cream and plays food editor at Betty Crocker Kitchens. One visit to Madison’s blog and she had me at almond meal pancakes and whole wheat chocolate banana bread. Stop by and we think you’ll fall for Espresso and Cream, too.

Madison-Mayberry-pic

We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Madison about her blog, her approach to health and diet, and some of her favorite recipes to date. Here’s what she had to say.

How did you start your food blog?
I started my blog, Espresso and Cream, when I was an intern at Better Homes and Gardens magazine back in 2009. I was working on the food editorial team and wanted a creative outlet that allowed me to share the recipes I was working on and enjoying in my personal life, not just the things I was working on as part of the magazine staff. (more…)

Saturday Morning Drill: Gentle Springtime Yoga for Flexibility

The weather is finally warming up, which means we’re all gearing up to get outside and exercise more. For many, this means strapping on the tennishoes and getting out for for a run. I’m hoping to do so myself as running is one of my absolute favorite activities to do outside, especially in the springtime.

With increased exercise often comes soreness and tight muscles, which requires a proper stretch and adequate rest for our bodies. Our solution? A gentle yoga routine that will help you slow down, breathe, get re-centered and give your muscles a good stretch. Stretching is not only important for preventing injury, but it also keeps our bodies limber and flexible to complete all of the activities we love to do – indoor and out.

This 8-move yoga routine was designed by our own Jill Lawson, a certified yoga instructor in Colorado. We recommend getting into some yoga-appropriate attire, finding a good place to practice, and then reading through all of the instructions before jumping in. Doing so will allow you to practice the movements fluidly, and ensure you do them properly to avoid injury.

View Saturday Morning Drills: Yoga for Flexibility Slideshow

World Travelers Betsy and Warren Talbot Lost 80 Pounds by Simply ‘Paying Attention’

Betsy Talbot, 42, and her husband Warren, 41, are healthy, happily married, world travelers these days, but that hasn’t always been the case. The couple who used to be overweight, unhappy and tied to office jobs now travels the world “full-time,” living out their dreams.

At their heaviest, Betsy and Warren weighed 210 and 178 pounds, respectively. But today, Betsy is a trim 160 pounds (just 10 pounds shy of her goal weight) and Warren has already reached his goal weight of 145 pounds. We had the pleasure of speaking with this adventurous pair recently about their weight loss journey as a couple. Here’s what they had to say.

Tell me when your weight struggles began.
Our weight struggles really began in adulthood when we began sitting for our jobs and our entertainment instead of being active. And we “over-busied” ourselves into thinking we had to eat fast and cram meals in instead of planning and enjoying them. This is a deadly combination for weight gain that most people can relate to. (more…)

5 Diet Tips to Gain Bikini Confidence by May 1

It happens this time every year. Just as sure as spring rain comes, so does the ambition to look good in a bikini. Is it just us or is the pressure a bit overwhelming?

Looking good in a swimsuit isn’t a bad goal. In fact, it can help us shed unwanted pounds and even shape up quicker than we would otherwise. But being healthy and fit should always trump what size your clothes are, or in this case, your swimsuit.

For most, the goal isn’t looking like Heidi Klum when we hit the pool. The goal is to feel good about ourselves in a swimsuit if we happen upon the beach or a pool this summer. The key to getting there? Setting realistic goals and mapping out a plan to get there.

We asked health and fitness expert Stephanie Mansour of Step It Up With Steph to share five diet tips on how to get bikini ready quickly and effectively while keeping a healthy perspective on body image. Here’s what she had to say. (more…)

Invokana Drug May be Game Changer for Type 2 Diabetes Patients

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first of a new class of drugs to treat Type 2 Diabetes called Invokana.
  • Invokana filters sugar into the kidney as opposed to previous medications which manipulated insulin levels to control blood sugar.
  • Our resident pharmacist Dr. Sarah Kahn says there are some concerns regarding how Invokana will affect the heart. According to Kahn, the current data is inconclusive, so they are conducting a trial called the CANVAS study (Canagliflozin Cardiovascular Assessment Study). Those results won’t be available until 2015. In addition, the FDA is requiring Janssen Pharmaceuticals – Invokana’s manufacturer – to conduct five studies once the drug hits the market. (more…)

Food Blogger Spotlight: Brittany Barr of Barr and Table

I’ve been loving our new food blogger spotlight series more and more as it’s allowed me to branch out and meet new healthy bloggers I would’ve otherwise never known about. One such new-to-me face is Brittany Barr of Barr and Table, who just happens to be an amazingly talented recipe developer with a healthy dose of personality and passion for fitness. I found myself scouring her recipes page and was hooked right away!

If you visit Barr and Table expect to find healthy, creative recipes for breakfast, post-workout snacks, and filling, simple week-night meals. We recently spoke with Brittany about her blog and her approach to health and fitness. Here’s what she had to say. (more…)

Dr. Jason Cleveland Followed His Own Medical Advice to Lose 60 Pounds

It was around the age of 9 that Dr. Jason Cleveland of Lake Worth, Florida, started to develop a weight problem. Eating too much and choosing poor quality food were his primary downfalls – a result of poor eating habits he learned from his parents. Cleveland, now 42, doesn’t necessarily fault his parents. However, he does admit they simply didn’t know much about proper nutrition for kids – a problem that’s becoming more and more prevalent in today’s society.

This poor nutritional foundation ultimately resulted in Cleveland reaching his highest weight of nearly 250 pounds. It wasn’t until attending a wedding in May 2010 that he realized it was time for a change. “I had to have my entire tuxedo enlarged to wear. I am a wellness practitioner, and I could not believe how far I had fallen,” he said.” The next day I started my quest.”

To lose the weight, Cleveland adopted an 80% diet-20% exercise motto – a plan he created years earlier for patients at his practice. “I do not start any of my clients on exercise until they have lost a significant amount of weight for fear of injury,” he said. After losing the first 40 pounds, Cleveland began cardio only – something as simple as jumping rope. (more…)

Chia Bar Battle and a “No Bake Cookie” Chia Bar Recipe

Not all chia seed bars are made equal. We realized this in a recent taste test where we faced Health Warrior Chia Bars with Chi Innovations Chi Bars to see which one came out on top.

So what’s the big deal about chia seeds? For starters, one 16 ounce bag contains the same amount of Omega-3 fatty acids as 10 pounds of salmon. Yes, 10! As Health Warrior points out, Omega-3s are essential for brain function and cell and tissue growth. One pound of chia seeds also contains the same amount of protein as three pounds of tofu, and the same amount of fiber as four pounds of oatmeal. That’s a lot of nutrients in a tiny package.

Our competitors both tout the superfood chia seed as their star ingredient, but beyond that the two brands are worlds apart. Let’s dig into what makes them unique. (more…)

Food Blogger Spotlight: Ashley M. of Never Homemaker

Sometimes you “meet” a blogger online and instantly know you’ll be fast friends. Such was the case when I came across Ashley’s blog, Never Homemaker. Her blog name was clever, the content was intriguing, the recipes made me drool, and she and her family were as cute as can be.

If you stop by Ashley’s blog expect to find fitness and running inspiration, tasty and healthy recipes, and glimpses of her life as a mother to her adorable toddler daughter, Ada.

We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Ashley about her blog and her approach to living a healthy, happy life. Here’s what she had to say.  (more…)