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Beyonce and McConaughey are Vegan Until 6pm: The VB6 Plan Lets You Ease into Veganism

beyonce-vb6

By Shae Blevins

The New Year is upon us and we’re sure that you’re ready to start the new diet and exercise plan you’ve been talking about since eating your fill (and then some) at Thanksgiving dinner.

A variety of celeb-backed options outrank more traditional approaches. The Paleo diet marks Jessica Biel amongst its followers. The “eating a spoonful of clay” diet favored by Shailene Woodley, of “The Fault in Our Stars.” And Zooey Deschanel, who has given up gluten.

There is also the super fit Matthew McConaughey, the ultra-fabulous Dita Von Teese, and The Queen and King — Beyonce and Jay Z — the sexy A-listers who have gone vegan by way of Mark Bittman’s VB6.
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The Hottest Fitness Trends to Rock Your Body in 2015

fitness-trends

Each year the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) surveys its membership of fitness professionals (myself included) to identify the top trends in fitness. The 2015 list was recently published with, in my opinion, only a few surprises.

What did surprise me on this list? Outdoor activities are #12! I see and hear a lot about running in fitness circles, but not much else. Most popular classes and activities take place in some sort of gym, be it a commercial one or the budget home gym you created in the spare bedroom. I would love to see more people get off the spin bike and on the bike path. Hiking is a new love of mine and, unlike the treadmill, it does wonders for your body and soul. Boot camps are last on the ACSM list at #20. They are still very popular in the Midwest so I am curious what group fitness trend will be taking their place. What are you seeing where you live?

Agree or disagree, here are five “big” fitness trends you can look forward to in the coming year.

1. Body weight training and High Intensity Interval Training came in #1 and #2, respectively, on the ACSM list. This worries me for two reasons. One, the high rate of injury that goes along with beginners starting at too high of intensity as well as over-training, and two, the level of burnout that often follows. I think body weight exercises are great. They can be some of the most challenging exercises you can do, but if proper form isn’t developed before adding the explosive intensity of popular programs like Insanity or P90X you may be asking for trouble.

Trend tip: Perfect your form on squats, push-ups and other body weight exercises slowly before adding weight or plyometrics. 

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How Celebrities Resolve to Live Better in 2015

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Yes, celebs are just like us. They make New Year’s resolutions, too! If you have yet to plan your 2015 goals, look to these famous role models to come up with your own! We like how they’re keeping it simple and realistic.

1. “When people are talking to me, I will listen.” — Matt Preston, MasterChef Australia

Preston goes on to tell the Daily Mail that he does not usually believe in resolutions, but he and his daughter resolved to make this goal together.

2. “I just need to be better this year than I was last year.” — Ne-Yo, singer

He says, “New Year’s resolutions don’t work for me because I’ll be real disciplined for like a week and then I’ll fall off.” Ne-Yo has a good plan regardless: resolve to not make any resolutions. Personally, trying to be overall “better” than you were in a prior year is a perfect resolution.

3. “I don’t make ‘em, ’cause I always break ‘em.” — Dolly Parton, country starThough Parton has a similar mindset as Ne-Yo, she also went on to tell Female First that she will stay busy, which keeps her energetic. Her other secret? Naps. “Where I am, whatever I’m doing, I take a quick nap.” Not a bad resolution — more naps!
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Better Oats is the Best Darn Microwave Oatmeal: 4 Easy Microwave Oatmeal Recipes

The best part of waking up is oatmeal in my daughter’s bowl. The morning is the most routine part of her day and she sticks by it with military precision. This is her own doing. She rises at 8, requests a bowl of oatmeal, and then gets dressed. Every single day. Her penchant for oatmeal used to be a sticking point for us; I had to boil the water and prep the oatmeal from scratch. This wasn’t feasible every morning.

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Have you looked at microwave oatmeals? Honestly, they’re gross — at least to me! For something so pure and natural, most of those boxes read like a chemistry experiment. So we reserved oatmeal for the mornings I had time to make the real thing. Until I discovered Better Oats Raw Pure & Simple Oatmeal. I swear this isn’t sponsored; my endorsement is as organic as the oats themselves! I found it on the shelf at my Kroger one day, and at $1.99 per eight-count box, I couldn’t afford not to stock up. Now it’s a staple on the grocery list and for six months my daughter has had a bowl of this oatmeal every single morning.

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Each pouch is filled with raw, pure oats and a blend of quinoa, flax, and barley. We buy the “Bare” — just plain Jane oatmeal. It takes two minutes to prepare: Oats in the bowl, water, microwave for 1:45, and serve. We’ve found that using a little less water than recommended and cooking for less time gives a thicker oatmeal, which my kiddo prefers.

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What she actually ends up eating is anything but plain Jane. She has a standard recipe that we abide by: butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, dried fruit, fresh fruit.
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Nuking the Microwave Myth: Microwaved Foods are Actually Safe and Nutritious

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More than 90 percent of Americans have a microwave primarily to reheat leftovers and coffee. Yet a growing legion of eco-lovers want no part of the convenient device. The microwave oven may be falling out of fashion. Perhaps the internet is to blame.

Article after article claims microwave ovens leak radiation, and since high levels of direct radiation cause DNA damage and cancer, then microwave ovens cannot possibly be safe. Except that’s not true.

Microwaves are a form of electromagnetic radiation, something like radio waves, that make water molecules in food vibrate, producing heat that cooks the food. Microwave ovens leak no more radiation than a cellphone, laptop computer, or an airplane flight. The Food and Drug Administration enforces strict standards for the amount of radiation that is allowed to leak. Consumer Reports says the vast majority of microwave ovens show very little leakage of radiation. And the level of exposure drops dramatically as you move away from the oven.

But because the risks of long-term exposure to low-level radiation emissions is unknown, to be absolutely safe, avoid all electronic contraptions. (Yeah right.)
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