Author Archives: Samantha

About Samantha

Samantha Bandasack is a junior at Wichita State University studying marketing and communications. She enjoys staying healthy by practicing hot yoga, weight lifting, and eating plenty of spinach so she can still have her favorite cookies.

Nothing Funny About Tina Fey’s and Amy Poehler’s Healthy Approach to Diet and Exercise

If you don’t usually tune into the Golden Globes, I think you should this Sunday. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will be hosting this year’s Golden Globes and I bet the two funny ladies will be sending you into a laugh attack.

In a hilarious interview with Marie Claire, Tina joked about her exercise regimen, saying, “Some people work with a trainer, some people work with a stylist. I work with a celebrity fecalist. A fecalist is basically a person who comes and collects my stools, and then examines them to see if I’m eating right and if I should be drinking more water and what my moods should be.” Of course, Tina is kidding, so we took the time to look at her real diet and exercise routines.

Before Tina hit her late 20s, she could eat anything she wanted to without having to worry about her waistline. At the age of 29, she noticed that she wasn’t at a healthy weight like most women her age. She started Weight Watchers to learn how to eat healthier and about portion control. With the help of the program, by the time she was 35 she’d lost 35 pounds. While on set people should stay away from the actress because she eats lots of beans and kale, healthy choices for the funny lady whose weakness is white cake with white icing. (more…)

Get Back to Diet Basics in 2013 with Low-Fat, Low-Carb, Low-Sodium, and High-Fiber Diets

With a new year comes tons of resolutions. Most people vow to lose weight with lots of exercising, but they forget to change their diet to accommodate their workouts. While a healthy diet can help shed pounds effectively, eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself. A healthy diet should leave you feeling energized and stabilize your mood, not to mention satisfied. With thousands of diets out on the market we recommend choosing from one of the four diets: low-fat diet, low-carb diet, low-sodium diet, and high-fiber diet.


When you combine the primary principles of each of these very basic diet ideals, you get a pretty well-rounded healthful approach to eating that can be summarized as “Paleo-ish,” according to Biggest Loser dietitian Cheryl Forberg, RD. Since you are eating no grains (low carb), no dairy (lower fat), nothing processed (no added sodium), and unlimited fruits and vegetables (high fiber) it becomes strikingly similar to the Paleo, or caveman, diet.

Bonnie Taub-Dix, author of Read It Before You Eat It and nutrition expert in New York, also commented on how all four diets could work well together if one chooses to eat a lowfat, low-carb, low-sodium, and high-fiber diet.

“We have a diabetes epidemic and a high-fiber and low-carb diet can help control blood sugar levels. There is a large percentage of people with diabetes who should keep an eye on sodium and fat intake because eating a low-fat and -sodium diet can control heart disease and blood pressure.”

Learn more about each of these diets and see how one or some might suit your health and weight loss goals. (more…)

9 Worst Obesity Prevention Ads of 2012

As a consumer, you are subjected to around 5,000 advertisements every day, according to the New York Times. Without ads, businesses and organizations would have no way to promote their products, services, and ideas. With that much noise, ads continue to reach a point where they’ll cross any boundary just to be seen, heard, and stand out, and we see that especially where ads for obesity prevention and weight management are concerned.

We compiled the worst obesity prevention ads of 2012. Taking a look at the ads, we asked ourselves, why would these messages ever come to market? And, what would make companies want to advertise their ideas or products in such tasteless, thoughtless ways? The state of Georgia and Active Life Movement are two ads we’ll feature that really missed the mark. However, there is one ad that took the number one spot as the best obesity prevention ad, and that belongs to Nike.

The Worst Obesity Prevention Ads of 2012

The “Stop Child Obesity” ads in Georgia may have done one thing the organization wanted it to, and that was get attention. However, the attention was more backlash than action. The series of ads and billboards were targeted toward parents, but they made the mistake of putting photos of children on the billboards along with messages calling children out and making them feel ashamed for being overweight, also known as fat shaming. With tag lines like “Being fat takes the fun out of being a kid,” the ads created no value for the consumer and the message was read as if you are overweight then you should be ashamed of your weight. Although the ads were never intended to hurt or offend people, it did in such a way that the boards were removed. (more…)

Health Buzz: 2013’s Biggest Health News, Food Trends for 2013, and Our Most Pinned Recipes

It is Friday, December 21 and the Mayans were wrong! Since the world didn’t end, it is time for you to get a dose of healthy news from us and our friends! As we slowly approach the new year, we’ve compiled 2012’s most buzz worthy  healthy stories. In addition, we have our most pinned recipes of the year with a  new healthy donut recipe.

California’s Push for Labeling of Genetically Modified Foods

You couldn’t get around the web this year without seeing news about Genetically Modified Foods (GMO). Earlier this year people in California wanted their food packaging to be labeled with a GMO stamp, letting them know if it had any genetically modified ingredients. It was the people of California versus giant food industry companies, like Kelloggs and General Mills. However, Californians going up against the multi-million dollar food industry companies is easier said than done. The initiative may have failed on the ballot, but expect more big action from this movement in 2013.

The 6 Miracle Diets Dr. Oz Tried to Sell Us in 2012

Looking to lose weight without the hard work? Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, if you watch the Dr. Oz show the doc will try to sell you a miracle weight loss diet in what feels like every episode. Check out the six miracle diets that Dr. Oz tried selling to the masses this year, that we debunked! We can’t wait to see what kind of miracle diets Dr. Oz will have up his sleeves for 2013.

Jillian Michaels Announces Return to Biggest Loser With a Big Twist [VIDEO]

Biggest Loser season 14 will be return with new faces, new cast members, and old faces, like Jillian Michaels! Her announcement to return to Biggest Loser was all the buzz this fall. Not only will she be motivating and training overweight adults, but she will be helping overweight children tackle their weight as well! Biggest Loser returns January 6, and the show’s new concept will surely have Americans watching, since childhood obesity is a growing epidemic in America.

New York City Soda Ban Passes; Soda Industry Plans to Fight [UPDATED]

Earlier this year, Mayor Bloomberg proposed a soda ban in New York City. Any sugary beverage over 16 ounces could not be sold in New York City. The proposal was a way Mayor Bloomberg could help fight the obesity epidemic in his city. On October 12, 2012 the soda ban was passed and now the soda industry plans to fight back. Do you think the ban will help fight obesity? Tell us what you think!

The Obamacare Vote and How it Affects the Health of Americans

Besides the 2012 presidential election, Obamacare was one of the most talked about issues in America this year. The Affordable Care Act, commonly known now as Obamacare, requires Americans to carry health insurance. For those who cannot afford health insurance the act makes it more affordable for them. There are many pros and cons to Obamacare, take a look to see how the act will affect your health. (more…)

Retired NFL Players Adopt Retrofit as Official Weight Loss Plan

Working out everyday is required for professional athletes; staying in tip top shape is their job. But, what happens to athletes’ bodies, like professional football players, after their career is over? Some players try to live a normal life then start gaining an unhealthy amount of weight. It’s understandable how retired athletes can this weight after their career is over because they are no longer motivated by trainers and required to workout.

There’s now a very smart solution for retired NFL players. Retrofit has announced a formal partnership with the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), a move brought on by VP of business development Reggie Smith, a former player himself. He gained an unhealthy amount of weight after his football career ended, but with Retrofit has lost 70 pounds!

Nolan Harrison, NFLPA Senior Director of Former Player Services, comments on the new partnership, saying “The NFLPA is excited about the opportunity to partner with Retrofit. The partnership with Retrofit shows our commitment to strengthen and improve the health of our players once they leave the gridiron.” (more…)

Two Dozen New Nutrisystem Menu Items Offer More Selection in the New Year

Sometimes dieting involves eating the same boring food over and over again. But that’s not how it should be. Eating boring, tasteless food is not in association with Nutrisystem. The brand added two dozen new and improved dishes to their menu just in time for the new year, a move that comes a month after Nutrisytem announced their first female CEO, Dawn Zier.

Nutrisystem already has hundreds of different kinds of food on their menu, but adding more variety will satisfy new and older customers. Like all of Nutrisystem’s menu choices the new items are designed to help curb hunger and cravings.

Meghan Nichols, a registered dietitian and member of Nutrisystem’s Research and Development team, commented on the new menu, saying, “We are focused on three components when it comes to our menu – quality nutrition, great tastes and variety. Delivering all three increases our customers’ odds of successfully losing weight by helping them eat healthy, fight cravings and manage hunger while still eating the foods they enjoy – just healthier versions of those foods in the right amount.”

So what does that food look like? New options are available for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and desserts/snacks and cover a variety of tastes. (more…)

Saturday Morning Drill: Zombie Apocalypse Workout

According to the ancient Mayan calendar the world is going to end on December 21, 2012 – which has now been deemed the zombie apocalypse. We don’t know exactly what the world’s end could mean. There could potentially be a virus that enters human bodies and turns half the population into zombies! This is serious stuff people (wink, wink)!

To survive this supposed doomsday you’re going to want stamina to escape the clutches of zombies and other serious threats. Luckily, this week’s Saturday Morning Drill provides workouts that will help you prepare for a potential zombie apocalypse. Zombies have been a hot topic this year. Zombie Runs were held in cities where runners completed a 5k dodging zombies along the course. Although compared to humans, zombies are slower and lack communication skills, the only thing they think about is killing and eating you – yikes! So in order to live through the zombie apocalypse you’ll need to be faster and smarter than any zombie out there hungry for blood.

Running, boxing, and kickboxing are just a few of the workouts incorporated into our zombie apocalypse workout. Don’t forget to have your water bottle nearby because dodging zombies will leave you thirsty! And, even if there isn’t a zombie apocalypse after all, the workouts in this drill will still help you feel healthier and more physically fit. Let’s get started!
View Saturday Morning Drill: Zombie Apocalypse Workout Slideshow

10 Healthy Cookie Recipes for Your Cookie Exchange Party

‘Tis the season for exchanging cookies! Around the holiday season cookie exchange parties have become an exciting tradition. Each person takes one cookie from another person’s cookie tray, and the idea is to walk out with a variety of delicious treats. The only downside is they aren’t usually too good for us. Cookies can be packed in calories, fat, and sugar and certainly a culprit in the holiday weight gain game.

We love a good cookie and a good cookie exchange too, so we hope you’ll share some of these healthier cookie recipes that we’ve found. Ingredients like whole grain flour, dried fruits, applesauce, fresh vegetables, and even chocolate make for some pretty splendid desserts!

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Our healthy chocolate cookie is not only tasty but vegan friendly, too. The recipe calls for bananas, maple syrup, and dark chocolate. There is no butter and barely any added sugar. Also, the Vegan Chocolate Cookies taste delicious with a tiny scoop of light vanilla ice cream! (more…)

HealthBuzz November 30: Obesity Prediction Calculator, AIDS Blueprint, and 3 New Chicken Dinner Recipes

We are hours away from the weekend! This means it is time for your dose of healthy news. DIR’s headliners for this week include a new obesity prediction calculator, the diet gimmicks Dr. Oz tried selling this year, and how much Sensa’s paying for false advertising. In addition to our headliners we have health news from Forbes, CNN Health, and Best Life Diet. Plus, exciting new chicken dinner recipes with one from Pinch of Yum.

Obesity Prediction Calculator Reinforces Parents’ Role in Child’s Weight

Are you scared your child might fall into the statistics of the obesity epidemic? Instead of waiting for time to answer that question you could simply use the Obesity Prediction Calculator, developed by researchers at Imperial College London and it can accurately predict childhood obesity up to 85% of the time. Parents should use the results from the Obesity Prediction Calculator to make it their responsibility to ensure that their child will learn to lead a healthful, balanced life.

The 6 Miracle Diets Dr. Oz Tried to Sell Us in 2012

We are almost a month away from the New Year. This means “weight loss” season will be in full effect. And, if you watch Dr. Oz, you know he will be advocating a new miracle weight loss program or diet soon after the ball drops. DIR has highlighted six weight-loss diets Dr.Oz has tried selling to the masses in 2012, deeming each as a miracle cure.

Sensa’s False Advertising Costs Them $800,000

Another diet company has to pay for their false advertising claims. Sensa, also as known as “the sprinkle diet,” has to pay $800,000 in penalties for their false weight loss claims. Sensa seemed too good to be true – sprinkle little crystals on your food and that will guarantee weight loss -because it was. We’re not buying it and neither are consumers in California. (more…)

Justin Bieber and Hayden Panettiere Ditch Their Vegetarian Diets Over Bad Attitudes and Low Energy

We usually hear about the crazy diets celebrities are on like the Baby Food Diet or the Master Cleanse Diet. Every now and then we’ll hear that a celebrity is actually on a healthy diet like the vegetarian or vegan diet. Many a star has stepped forward to denounce meat, fewer have denounced vegetarianism, putting two celebs in a unique hot seat.

Earlier this year, Justin Bieber tried to follow in his mentor’s footsteps (Usher) by eating an animal-free diet. When Bieber said that he would try a vegan diet, some of his devoted fans, known as “beliebers,” vowed to do the same. Well, Bieber is shocking the world today by ditching his vegan diet. According to Examiner.com, an insider said “Justin ordered a tofu steak and tempeh tacos from Real Food Daily in L.A. and was really grossed out. He made a big show of spitting out the food and making gagging noises.” Apparently friends and family of the pop star wanted him to start eating meat again because he started to become unpleasant to be around. Since Justin ditched his vegan diet, his ‘beliebers’ are following suit.

Or maybe, Bieber will make fans who are vegetarians go back to eating meat? (more…)