Author Archives: Elizabeth

About Elizabeth

Liz Simmons is a fun-loving, stubbornly positive person who will try just about anything once. Her competitive spirit rarely says no to sand volleyball, but gets chilled out by practicing yoga. She's an avid reader whose love of writing led her to a bachelor's degree in communication from Wichita State University.

ModCloth is Fed Up with Photoshop and Signs ‘Truth in Advertising’ Pledge

fashion truth

The fashion industry has earned an ugly reputation for itself by relying on one “standard” body image and the extreme use of Photoshop to depict the “perfect” figure. Though individuals and some companies have come out against these practices, they are still mainstream.

This wasn’t acceptable to Susan Koger, co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of ModCloth, an online fashion retailer. In a recent op-ed, she challenged the fashion industry to do better, and announced her company will help lead the way.

“I’m proud to call myself a fashion insider; but I’m also deeply disappointed in the way my industry depicts fashion to consumers,” she wrote.

“I look out, and it seems less about helping people find fashion they love to wear, and more about convincing them that they need to conform to one eerily consistent standard of beauty. A standard built on highly altered and often unrealistic images. I think we can do better.”

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Wine’s Health Benefits Only Work When You Workout

wine

Responsibly indulging in wine has been shown to have a variety of positive health impacts. From heart health to stronger teeth, red wine can improve a lot when it comes to your health. However, it’s not just enough to hit the hooch.

A comprehensive study shows that wine only protects against cardiovascular disease (CVD) in people who also exercise.

“We found that moderate wine drinking was only protective in people who exercised,” said Professor Taborsky, researcher on the study. “Red and white wine produced the same results.”

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8 Signs Your Workout is All Wrong

exercise pain

You’re in the middle of your workout, everything is going great, and then suddenly something feels off. There’s a twinge of pain, a tingling sensation, or a wave of nausea comes over you. Or maybe you don’t feel anything until later, in the form of soreness or shin splints.

Whatever the symptoms may be, the cause is likely that you’re doing something about your workout wrong. With the help of fitness experts Dempsey Marks, Jessica Smith and Valerie Orsoni, we’ve got a list of the top signs your workout is doing more harm than good, and ways you can fix the problems.

You’re Super Sore the Next Day

A little soreness can be good, but if you’re so sore you can’t move, you need to tone your workout down a bit. According to Shape Magazine, that level of soreness can indicate that you’re well on your way to an overuse injury.

Dempsey Marks, fitness expert, yoga trainer, and founder of DempseyFit.com, suggests decreasing the intensity of your workouts by lifting less weight or doing fewer reps. She also suggests properly refueling your body by eating a post-workout snack, like her Strawberry Banana Crunch Smoothie Bowl, full of carbohydrates and protein.

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Where Your Paleo Diet Actually Came From in National Geographic’s Evolution of Diet

evolution of diet

Paleo is certainly a buzzword in the diet and health communities, but do people really know what it means when they say they “want to eat like their ancestors?” National Geographic’s Evolution of Diet investigates what an original Paleolithic diet might have been, and how the modern diet developed.

To start, they first looked at the few groups of true hunter-gatherers remaining — those whose diets haven’t changed much in thousands of years.

“Hunter-gatherers are not living fossils,” Alyssa Crittenden, a nutritional anthropologist at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, told National Geographic. “That being said, we have a small handful of foraging populations that remain on the planet. We are running out of time. If we want to glean any information on what a nomadic, foraging lifestyle looks like, we need to capture their diet now.”

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Your Grades are What You Eat! 10 Smart Back to School Foods to Boost Kids’ Grades

As the school year kicks off, it’s safe to say that good grades are at the top of many people’s school wishlists. While you can’t deny that paying attention in class and doing the assigned work makes up a major part of the grade, there are other, usually overlooked, ways to earn fridge-worthy grade cards.

We spoke with with our resident nutrition expert, Mary Hartley, RD, and nutritionist and author Dr. Keith Kantor about which healthy habits may boost grades and improve performance in school.

judah rainbow smoothie

Nutrition

Eat Healthy Foods

Mary shared that getting the right nutrients can boost the speed at which the brain works. “So many nutrients have a role in cognition, including cholesterol from egg yolks and dairy products, essential fatty acids from fatty fish, nuts and olive oil, and carotenoids and flavonoids found in colorful fruits and vegetables.”

Back to School Food: Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast Donut Sandwiches

Get Your Vitamins and Minerals

“A host of micronutrients also play key roles in processes that run the brain, including iron, zinc, choline, selenium, iodine, magnesium, B vitamins, and vitamins A and C,” Mary added.

Back to School Food: Rainbow Smoothie

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Go Bananas! Franken-Bananas May Help Prevent Blindness

Who’s afraid of the big, bad…banana? Apparently plenty of people. They’re concerned that “franken-bananas,” or those that have undergone gene manipulation may do more harm than good.

bananas

Shape.com reported that scientists have unlocked a way to modify bananas so that they contain much more Vitamin A. Bananas with this modification could help many malnourished people, and may even prevent some from going blind due to vitamin A deficiency.

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11 Recipes That Will Convince You to Try the Veggies You Love to Hate

Kids are notorious for it, but there are still plenty of adults who struggle to eat their vegetables. However, the time has come to move on from the idea that vegetables beyond potatoes, carrots and green beans are “yucky,” and expand our palates.

We want to set the record straight for some of the least-loved vegetables (and one fruit) and encourage you to give them a chance. All are packed with nutrients, and are a healthy addition to any diet. We’ll start you down your new vegetable-eating path by providing some recipe suggestions that are so good, you won’t want to pick out the previously-offensive veggies.

Look at this list as your own personal vegetable challenge. Try a new one at least once a week, and you may be surprised which formerly condemned veggies become new favorites!

chicken broccoli

Broccoli

It’s hard to say if the “little trees” nickname helps or hurts broccoli’s appeal. Regardless, the vegetable is packed with vitamin K, important for blood clotting, and can be enjoyed raw or cooked. Ease your way into eating broccoli by combining it with foods you already like.

Try it mixed into your stir-fry for added flavor, fiber, bulk, and color!

 

beets

Beets

A beet’s color may be the prettiest in mother nature’s palette. This nutrient-rich root veggie is also full of carbohydrates, which means they can be a great way of boosting your energy without a sugar crash later. Beets are chock full of many nutrients including calcium, iron and vitamins A and C.

Try it in our amazing Harvest Chopped Salad. (more…)

More Moms Worried About Their Own Weight, but Focus on Family Health First, Says New Survey

mom and daughter shopping

Families are an important support system, especially when it comes to health and nutrition. When the entire family is focused on health, it’s easier to keep concerns like childhood obesity at bay.

In fact, in a new survey of more than 1000 women by WomensForum.com, more than one-third of moms revealed that they are regularly concerned about childhood obesity in their home. Interestingly, the same survey revealed that 70 percent of moms are worried about their own weight.

So does that mean moms are more focused on their own weight than their children’s? Andrea Metcalf, a health and fitness expert for WomensForum.com, warns people away from jumping to that conclusion.

“It may appear surprising that moms seem to be more concerned about their own weight rather than their children’s, but if you look at what they actually buy at the supermarket, it becomes clear that they view health and nutrition differently from dieting and calorie cutting,” she said.

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Peanut and Nut Butter Recall Due to Salmonella Risk Announced by FDA

If you’ve purchase peanut or other nut butters from Kroger, Safeway, Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods recently, you may want to toss it before you eat any of it. Nut butter producer nSPIRED Natural Foods, Inc. announced on August 19 they are voluntarily recalling many of their products.

nut butter

The recall came about after routine testing by the FDA showed evidence of salmonella in the company’s nut butter products. Prior to FDA testing, the company received reports of four people falling ill that may be related to consuming products contaminated with salmonella.

Brands under the recall include:

Arrowhead Mills Peanut Butters

MaraNatha Almond Butters and Peanut Butters

Whole Foods private label

Trader Joe’s private label

Kroger private label

Safeway private label

The FDA has a full list of brands and products affected on their website.

Most of the products under the recall have a sell-by date between December 2014 and June 2015. They were sold in the United States, Canada, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates and the Dominican Republic. (more…)

Cheerleading is a Sport and Just as Much a Workout as Football

cheerleading

The impending autumn means one thing and one thing only for many people – the kickoff of football season. Millions will sit on bleachers and couches to watch the football players play their sport, cheering on their athleticism and strength.

But what about the dedicated athletes on the sidelines? Few people recognize it, and it’s been a point of contention for years, but the cheerleaders supporting the team are working just as hard as the players on the field.

“Football has historically been viewed as a very ‘manly sport,'” remarked our guest editor Dempsey Marks, a fitness expert and yoga trainer who founded DepmseyFit.com, about what separates football and cheerleading in people’s minds. “The sport itself is associated with toughness, pain, and even violence. And primarily football is played by men. [The sport] glorifies aggressive behavior, which society associates with men and masculinity.”

“Cheerleading has evolved from simple movements and cheers to a highly athletic undertaking, which requires strength, coordination, agility, and skill,” she added. (more…)