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National Yoga Month Educates the World About Yoga’s Health Benefits

September is a great time for everyone to get back to business. Whether you are returning to school, renewing your fitness resolutions, or incorporating a new and improved healthy diet into your lifestyle, the fall season is the perfect time to establish a new routine.

The month of September is also very special because it was chosen by the Department of Health and Human Services to be the month that highlights, celebrates, and spreads the word about yoga and the myriad health benefits of yoga.

Augmented by an advisory board of leading yoga instructors, National Yoga Month offers something for both new and seasoned yoga practitioners.

Activities and educational opportunities during National Yoga Month are plentiful. From free yoga classes in participating studios across the country to larger, global events and gatherings, yogis worldwide are sure to be inspired to partake or contribute on some level to this wonderful cause.
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Scouting Calories for Charity: Girl Scout Cookies vs. Boy Scout Popcorn

Trail's End PopcornThe Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts teach children a lot of noble life lessons, but unfortunately their practice of using high-calorie snacks for fundraiser no longer seems noble in a nation facing an unprecedented childhood obesity crisis. It’s easy to pick apart the Girl Scout cookies for their inherently high levels of sugar and fat, but a closer look at the Trail’s End snacks sold to support the Boy Scouts shows they are little better.

On the FAQ page of the Trail’s End website, there is a discussion of the health benefits of popcorn, which is a whole grain. However, the amount of added sodium, sugar and fat in the Trail’s End products pretty much negate this one healthy aspect. For example, the ingredients list on the Classic Carmel Corn reveals that three forms of sugar precede the actual popcorn. Also of concern are the artificial flavors and colors found in a number of these products. The nuts found in the trail mix may offer some real nutrients as a snack, but again the 10 grams of sugar show’s there’s an awful lot of candy.

Below is a quick look at some of the most popular Girl Scout Cookies and Trail’s End Snacks.


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Infographic: Girl Scout Cookies Calories vs. Popularity

Click here to embed this infographic on your site.

Knock-knock. Who’s there? Just a sweet girl with an endearing smile and a box full of calories and trans-fat.

After Wired Magazine shared the most popular Girl Scout Cookies by sales we decided to see how that data compared to their caloric value. Two of the least popular varieties also have the most calories/cookie, so at least not that many people are indulging in those. The most popular’s, the Thin Mint of course, saving grace might be that it’s second-to-last for calories/cookie.

Philanthropic calories count the same as any other. So imagine walking 10 minutes for each Thin Mint you eat. If you eat the entire sleeve in one sitting… well, we’ll be here when you get back. Or, you can just make a direct donation to the Girl Scouts. Your local troop will get more of your generous dollar, and you won’t have to burn off an unhealthy snack.

Not Pictured: 2012′s Savannah Smiles lemon cookie

 



Guilt-Free School Fundraisers Are Replacing Candy Pushers

Chocolate bars. Take and bake pizza and cookies. Popcorn. Lollipops. Candy canes. Candied nuts. The list of typical school fundraisers goes on and on, and none of it is any good for you.

True, there’s always wrapping paper, pencils or magazines, but how much of that does one family need? Many schools have come up with new and creative ways to raise funds, with the added bonus that some of these new fundraisers work hard to help improve the nutrition in the students. After all, kids who eat healthier have better immune systems, which translates to fewer missed days at school. Kids who aren’t tired due to a poor diet have more energy and often have less discipline issues – all benefits that every school could use.

Here are some great healthy fundraising ideas for your school to try:

The New York Road Runners serve over 100,000 kids a week across the country in their youth fitness program Mighty Milers. Currently available in every state in the country, NYRR provides schools with the tools necessary to host successful Fitness Fundraisers based on mileage goals. In March 2010, P.S. 269 in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, NY’s “Little Haiti,” held a quarter mile charity run for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti and raised $3,200. One year later, P.S. 269 had another Fitness Fundraiser and raised over $5,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project.


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