Filter Excess Calories from Your Life



Water keeps our life moving fluidly and supports our health journey. The human body is 65% water, which is why it’s important to stay hydrated. Sadly, when we get thirsty, water isn’t always the first choice—calorie-laden beverages tend to get in the way. This month, make it a goal to drink more water.

Are you meeting your hydration goals?

Experts recommend about 10 cups of water per day for women and 13 cups of water per day for men for optimal hydration. Pledge to do this for 7 days—5 winners will win $680 worth of UA Swag. What are you waiting for?

Enter the Drink Up: Take the 7-Day Water Pledge Powered by Brita® by November 15, 2016, and you could win!
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5 Ways to Sneak Spinach Into Your Meals

I’m always trying to work more vegetables into my diet, and one of my new favorite things to do is stealthily include spinach in surprising dishes. It’s a powerhouse low-calorie superfood, loaded with iron, fiber, minerals and vitamins. That rich green color makes it pretty tough to miss the sight of those leafy greens in these spinach recipes, but I promise, your taste buds won’t detect a thing.

PancakesBlend a little spinach into your pancake batter to get some greens into your breakfast.

Photo by Mackenzie Schieck

I came up with the idea to blend spinach into pancake batter when I was trying to create a Seattle Seahawks-inspired pre-game breakfast, but it’s great for everyday pancakes, too. Simply throw a handful of spinach into your favorite batter, then blend! They look super green (go Hawks!), but the taste is all pancake-y goodness.

Grain-Free Secret Spinach PancakesFluffy PancakesWhole Wheat Blueberry PancakesBanana PancakesOven PancakesSmoothies and Smoothie BowlsBlend spinach into your smoothie bowl base to work some greens into your breakfast.

Photo by Mackenzie Schieck

This one is actually pretty obvious, but still worth mentioning. I am always shocked at the amount of spinach I can blend into a smoothie or smoothie bowl, and still not taste it. Such an easy way to get some greens in first thing in the morning.

Spinach Smoothie BowlGreen Smoothie BowlSpinach and Kale SmoothieStrawberry Spinach SmoothieJalapeno Green SmoothiePesto

Photo by Mackenzie Schieck

This traditionally basil-packed sauce is the perfect hiding place for spinach. After all, it’s already green!

Spinach Basil Pesto

Yogurt BowlsPuree spinach and freeze it in ice cube trays, then pull one out the night before to stir into your morning yogurt bowl.

Photo by Mackenzie Schieck

I often wished that I could add spinach to things that I didn’t necessarily want to put in a blender, like a yogurt and granola bowl. Then I thought, why don’t I purée the spinach and stir it in? So, that’s what I did! Use this simple recipe for making and freezing puréed spinach, then defrost one or two cubes the night before your morning yogurt.

Oatmeal and Overnight Oats

Try stirring your puréed spinach into hot oatmeal (you can also mix it with some cashew cream first, as pictured below), or drop some frozen cubes into your favorite overnight oats recipes, then stir it all together in the morning.

Photo by Mackenzie Schieck

Photo by Mackenzie Schieck

Super-Good OatmealSweet Coconut OatmealNo-Cook Overnight OatmealTHM Overnight OatmealOvernight Chai Oatmeal

Related Content

9 Ways to Use Spinach That Don’t Include SaladBrowse All Spinach Recipes7 Delicious Ways to Sneak Veggies into your Kids’ Lives

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Pumpkin Seed Trail Mix

Pumpkin Seed Trail Mix

Tired of breaking the bank buying premade trail mix? Save money by making a batch of Uproot Kitchen’s easy pumpkin seed trail mix, and portion them out for long hikes or snack breaks. No cooking required! If you’re not a fan of cracking open seeds, sub out the in-shell pumpkin seeds for shelled green ones instead.


Pumpkin Seed Trail Mix

1 1/2 cups in-shell pumpkin seeds, roasted and salted
1 cup raw unsalted walnuts
1 cup roasted unsalted hazelnuts
1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks or chips
1/2 cup unsweetened dried cranberries
1/2 cup unsweetened dried cherries


In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.

Store trail mix in airtight containers for up to 3 weeks.

Nutrition Information

Serves: 20 |  Serving Size: about 1/4 cup

Per serving: Calories: 200; Total Fat: 15g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 284mg; Carbohydrate: 16g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 8g; Protein: 4g

Nutrition Bonus: Potassium: 88mg; Iron: 10%; Vitamin A: 0%; Vitamin C: 2%; Calcium: 1% 

Westbrook_HeadshotMarisa Westbrook is a public health professional and food blogger who shares healthy recipes for active lifestyles. By using whole ingredients, getting workouts in, and walking to fro-yo, she finds a healthy living balance. Visit her blog Uproot Kitchen for healthy recipes, travel and restaurant recaps, and active lifestyle tips, or connect with her via Twitter, Facebook & Instagram.

Photo courtesy of Marisa Westbrook. Original recipe published on Uproot Kitchen.

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When It Comes To Fitness, Is Sleep Really More Important Than Exercise?


When Karlie Kloss wants to get her sweat on, she turns to trainer Anna Kaiser of AKT. Kaiser also works with Shakira, Kelly Ripa, and Sarah Jessica Parker, so it’s not too surprising that fans are eager to listen anytime Kaiser doles out wellness advice. What is surprising, though, is Kaiser’s recent suggestion the people prioritize sleep over exercise in certain situations. “Sleep more,” Kaiser told New York Magazine’s The Cut. “I don’t think anyone understands how important it is. If you have a choice where you’ve only been sleeping five or six hours and can sleep an extra hour or work out, sleep an extra hour. You’re running your body down, which will affect your energy and hold onto excess water and weight.” Kaiser continued. “It will make you hungrier. Five to six hours for a week really prohibits your cognitive and hormone functions. You really need seven to eight hours. Working out harder or better or eating less isn’t the answer. It’s about getting enough sleep.”

Kaiser is doing us a solid by making this suggestion—catching shut-eye really is important to our fitness and wellbeing. “Sufficient, quality sleep is critical for health,” Kelly Sullivan, Ph.D., assistant professor at Georgia Southern University’s department of epidemiology, tells SELF. “Studies have shown that chronic insufficient sleep increases a person’s risk for heart disease, diabetes, and cognitive impairment.” So, does that mean you should heed Kaiser’s advice and opt for sleep over sweat when you’re extra burned out? That depends on your individual needs. “After a night of poor sleep, the decision to sleep later or get up to exercise is best made based on the demands of the following day,” Sullivan explains. “Activities requiring concentration or fast reactions, such as driving, will benefit from being well-rested.”

Kaiser told the The Cut that she regularly gets eight hours of sleep, but as we all know, life happens—on some nights, getting lots of rest just isn’t in the cards. On those nights when you have to go to bed late but still want to be as functional as possible the next day, “it would be better to reset the alarm for a later time than to wake at [your] usual time and use the snooze button,” says Sullivan. “Pressing the snooze button repeatedly isn’t going to provide much benefit. A typical sleep cycle lasts 90 minutes and a snooze alarm will interrupt the sleep cycle, likely resulting in a person feeling less rested.” Another secret weapon when you’re running on little sleep is a 30-minute afternoon nap. According to Sullivan, type of quick doze can help with short-term memory and alertness to get you through your day.

If you’re regularly having trouble getting enough sleep, and it’s interfering with your fitness routine—or your life in general—it’s a good idea to talk to a pro. “Chronic insufficient sleep should be addressed by a physician, especially if lifestyle changes do not adequately improve sleeplessness or fatigue, as this may be a symptom of an underlying issue such as depression or sleep apnea.” Happy snoozing, friends.

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Pickled Shrimp

Pickled Shrimp

Pickled shrimp is one of those party dishes that has everyone rushing into the kitchen to see how you made it. In fact, you didn’t do very much at all, which is what makes pickled shrimp such a great choice for cocktail parties and holiday gatherings.

The shrimp look so amazing packed into a jar. You can see the pink curls against the glass with spices and herbs swirling around them.

It’s an easy, make-ahead appetizer that never fails to impress.

Continue reading “Pickled Shrimp” »

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5 Best Yoga Poses for Runners


Although running and yoga may seem like activities that are on opposite ends of the spectrum, they really are complementary activities that work together beautifully. Running is an excellent way to exercise your whole body aerobically at a high level of intensity. The main benefit of running includes gaining muscular strength, better cardiovascular health, and losing weight. It can also be quite meditative.

However, running can be stressful on muscles, joints, and ligaments. It’s estimated that after every mile, your feet will hit the ground around 1,000 times. This means if you run about 20 miles every week, each foot will hit the ground approximately 20,000 times.

This repetitive impact may affect your hips and legs, which can lead to stiffness and sometimes even pain. For you to get rid of these stressful effects of running, practicing yoga before and after you run will help you to stay flexible, limber, and less prone to injury.

Additionally, if you are looking for a way to not get tired when running, these five yoga poses will definitely help and improve your running.

1. Butterfly


This yoga pose helps in adding flexibility to your groin and hips by opening up your inner thighs. Lean forward a little and the activity also aids in stretching the back. Here’s how to do it:

Sit tall on a mat and make sure that the soles of your feet are together, from here interlace your fingers and keep them on your toes when still sitting tall.
Next, turn your shoulders back and try to look at a point past the end of your nose tip.
Lean forward until you can feel the stretch.
While breathing in, imagine that your head is moving towards the wall in front of you and then breathe out, allowing your body to sink close to the floor.
For the best results, ensure you hold this position for about thirty seconds.

2. Thread the Needle

picture3If you need a yoga move to stretch the outside of your hips and the inner thighs, then this is it. Do the following:

Lie flat on your back on a mat and bring your knee towards your chest at a ninety-degree angle.
Position your right ankle on your left thigh and then interlock your fingers while keeping them at the back of your thighs.
Try to pull your left thigh towards your chest and hold in this position for about thirty seconds.
Allow yourself to relax when you feel the tension building and repeat the pose on the other side.

3. Bridge


This move will help in opening your shoulders and front of the body as well as strengthen the core. It’s a great activity to counteract the effects of running since the longer we run, the more we tend to hunch forward. Follow these steps:

Lie on your back and place your feet flat on the ground, hip-width apart.
Lift your hips up towards the ceiling while engaging the core.
Clasp your hands together underneath your pelvis and roll the shoulders blades towards each other.

4. Seated Spinal Twist


This pose not only helps to loosen the spine but also ease stiff shoulders and neck after a long run. Here’s what to do:

Cross one leg over the other while keeping your knees pointed to the ceiling with the sole of your feet on the ground.
Try to reach your opposite hand across your body while pushing it against the outside of the thigh and downwards to your knee to make the twist deep.

 5. Low Lunge


From standing pose lunge the right leg forward until the back left knee touches the ground.
Raise the arms above the head and hold for 30 seconds.

These five poses are an excellent way to end any running session. They work the front and back of the legs, strengthen the core, and open the hips. Do them regularly and you should stay a happy and healthy runner.


picture7Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Emily Carter, founder of GoAheadRunner, where she and her team blog about everything a runner needs, whether you are a seasoned pro or an absolute beginner. The blog provides information on training, running gear, supplements and much more. Follow Emily on Twitter.

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Enlightened Exercise

Men cannot see their reflection in running water, but only in still water.

–Chuang Tzu, philosopher (c. 4th century BCE)

It seems like thos…

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Greek Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner


What are the four keys to a successful weeknight dinner? It must be quick, flavorful, inexpensive and easy. Thanks to Skinnytaste you can hit all four with this Greek chicken sheet pan recipe. Call it a complete meal on a baking sheet! Simply toss ingredients together, and dinner is ready in 30 minutes. Tip: If you line your baking sheet with foil clean up is a snap.


Greek Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner

2 medium lemons
4 (4-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 pound baby red potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
12 small (12 ounces) heirloom carrots, trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, divided
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest


Adjust the oven racks in the center and bottom third, and preheat the oven to 450°F. Line two large rimmed baking sheets with foil and spray with oil.

Slice one lemon into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Cut the second lemon in half.

In a large bowl, combine chicken, potatoes, carrots, juice from 1/2 lemon, olive oil, 1 tablespoon oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, garlic powder and pepper to taste, and toss well with hands until everything is evenly coated. Spread out in a single layer along with the lemon slices, without overcrowding, onto the prepared baking sheets.

Roast until the bottoms of the potatoes are golden, about 14 minutes. Flip the potatoes and carrots, rotate the baking sheets and roast until carrots are tender, potatoes are golden on both sides and chicken is cooked through, another 14 minutes.

Squeeze the remaining 1/2 lemon over everything. Top with feta, lemon zest, 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper and 1 teaspoon oregano. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Information

Serves: 4 |  Serving Size: 1 chicken thigh + 1/4 potatoes and carrots

Per serving: Calories: 335; Total Fat: 13g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 5g; Cholesterol: 117mg; Sodium: 650mg; Carbohydrate: 28g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 6g; Protein: 28g

Nutrition Bonus: Potassium: 915mg; Iron: 10%; Vitamin A: 162%; Vitamin C: 55%; Calcium: 9% 

skinnytastefastandslowThe easiest, tastiest, most convenient healthy recipes—ever! With Skinnytaste Fast and Slow, you can get a nutritious, flavor-packed meal—complete with a flourless chocolate brownie made in a slow cooker—on the table any night of the week. Gina Homolka shares 140 dishes that come together in a snap—whether in a slow cooker or in the oven or on the stovetop. Skinnytaste Fast and Slow is available everywhere books are sold. Get your copy today!

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7 Ways to Get Better Sleep


You might be the healthiest eater, the most disciplined about your workouts and the most skilled at coping with stress and tension. But if you aren’t getting the right amount of high-quality sleep, odds are that you aren’t going to feel your best. Here are some simple tricks for optimizing your sleep — whether you need six hours, eight hours or 10.  

1. Stick to a routine. Train your body to recognize when it’s time for bed and when it’s time to wake up. Bedtime routines aren’t just for kids: Establish a presleep ritual that helps your body relax and prepare for rest. This might include reading a book, sipping hot water or herbal tea or preparing yourself for the next day.

2. Turn off the tech. It’s tempting to spend any down time we have catching up on social media, checking emails or binge-watching Stranger Things. But research shows that screen time inhibits sleep: The blue light emitted from screens actually simulates daylight, preventing your body from resting. Take at least 30 screen-free minutes before you go to bed.  

3. Turn down the thermostat. Your ideal temperature for sinking into a restful night’s sleep is likely between 60—67°F. When your body is beginning to initiate sleep, it decreases your temperature. By lowering the thermostat or opening a window to promote the flow of cool, fresh air, you facilitate this natural process.

4. Nix the nightcap. That evening glass of red wine might be to blame for a restless night of sleep. Although alcohol is a sedative, the substance is metabolized during the second half of the night, which lifts your body out of deep sleep.

5. No caffeine after 2. This one is straightforward: Caffeine is a stimulant, so it’s designed to keep you awake. Resist the urge to fix your late-in-the-day slump with a cup of joe, and try taking a brisk walk outside instead. If you’re still finding it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep through the night, consider limiting your intake to one cup per day. Your body will thank you.

6. Eat dinner early, and keep it light. Even though a big meal may initially make you feel unspeakably drowsy, it will take much longer to digest, which prevents your body from fully resting. Have your biggest meal midday to enable better sleep come nighttime.

7. Breathe deeply. One of the many benefits of mindful breathing is reduced anxiety and stress. By spending five or more minutes simply focusing on your breath — or even counting your inhales and exhales — you will elicit a state of total calmness, making it easier to drift to sleep.

Feeling under the weather, moody or just a little “off”? Listen to your body. Most likely, you aren’t giving it the deep, rejuvenating sleep it needs to perform at its best.

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Adorable DIY: Mini Thanksgiving Cornucopias

You are going to look like a crafty genius when you decorate your Thanksgiving table with adorable, edible mini cornucopias. Traditional symbols of an abundant harvest, these pint-size horns of plenty can be filled with anything from sweets to nuts, and personalized for each of your guests. Best part? They’re incredibly easy to DIY. Here’s how to make them.

Mini Thanksgiving Cornucopias | Mini Cornucopia

Photo by Vanessa Greaves

I was searching for inspiration for this year’s Thanksgiving table ideas when I stumbled upon this super-cute craft on onelittleproject. I instantly loved the idea of making scaled-down cornucopias, but then I went a few steps further by putting the candy filler into treat bags and adding ribbons and name tags. Because that’s just how I roll. How did they turn out? Everyone at Allrecipes who saw these gave them the oohs and aahs I was hoping for. These are definitely going on my own Thanksgiving table from now on.

How to Make Mini Thanksgiving CornucopiasYou’ll Need

Waffle cones (you could also use sugar cones)
Cone-shaped cellophane treat bags (available at craft stores and online)
Name tags
Candy, trail mix, granola, nuts, popcorn, etc.

Mini Thanksgiving Cornucopias | Mini Cornucopia Supplies

Mini cornucopia supplies. | Photo by Vanessa Greaves


1. Working with one cone at a time, immerse the pointed end of a waffle or sugar cone in a glass of warm water to a depth of about 2 inches for 20 seconds. Dab off excess water with a paper towel. Microwave the cone for 10 seconds to soften it and make it pliable. Check carefully to see if you can gently bend the tip. If not, microwave for a few more seconds. Don’t let it go too long or it’ll scorch. (Ask me how I know.)

2. Gently bend the softened tip around a pencil or wooden spoon handle to form the curl at the end of the cornucopia, and hold it for 20 or 30 seconds until it starts to hold its shape. The cone will be quite hot from the microwave, so you might want to protect your fingers with a rubber glove. If your cone has a slanted rim (like the photo above), put it in a bowl or mug to hold it tip-side-up, and place it on a baking sheet. If your cone has a straight rim,  you can simply place it on a baking sheet tip-side-up. Repeat with the rest of the cones.

3. Slide the baking sheet into a 250 degree oven for 5 minutes or longer, just until the curved tips start feeling dry and firm. The tips will harden further as they cool.

4. Fill the treat bags with your choice of candy, trail mix, popcorn, nuts, etc.,  leaving enough head room to tie the bag close with a pretty ribbon. Attach a name tag and slide the treat bag into the waffle cone.

Use these mini cornucopias as place cards for each guest, or gather them all together in a basket on your buffet. This Thanksgiving project is so easy, even the littlest kids can pitch in filling bags and decorating name tags.

Related Thanksgiving FunVideo: See how to make a full-size edible cornucopia out of refrigerated bread dough.Steal this idea: Create a Thanksgiving mini-dessert buffet.Get tips for hosting your first ever Thanksgiving.Find all the Thanksgiving recipes you need for a fabulous feast.Follow me to more cooking tips and recipe inspiration.

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Before and After Kid Lunch Makeovers

Add great nutrition to kid lunches with fast, easy ingredient swaps!

Before and After Kid Lunch Makeovers

Picture this: it’s Saturday afternoon, and you and the kids are just kicking off your shoes after a morning at the park. The kids are hungry, but you don’t have anything prepped. What do you do?

Even though you want your kids to eat a balanced lunch, it’s still tempting to slap together a PB&J and grab a packaged side. But you don’t have to! Easy tweaks and swaps can make fresh food just as quick and easy as opening up a bag of chips.

We put together a fun before-and-after series to give you some ideas for adding great nutrition to the lunches your kids already like to eat. Scroll down to see some lunch makeover inspiration, then give it a try in your own kitchen!

At the end of the post, we’ll show you our favorite tool for assembling good food fast. First, the lunches:

Lunch #1
Before and After Kid Lunch Makeovers
The Makeover:
Replace a hot dog on a white bun, cheese crackers and a clementine with…
Tuna salad on whole wheat bun with pea pods and a clementine.

Why It’s Better:
Since the WHO recommends eating processed meats sparingly, it’s best to save those hot dogs for the family barbecue! For an everyday lunch, swap tuna salad into the bun. You’ll cut back on sodium and add important omega-3 fatty acids for growing brains. A whole wheat bun brings fiber and B-vitamins to this meal, and fresh pea pods help meet your kids’ daily recommended amount of veggies.

Lunch #2Before and After Kid Lunch Makeovers
The Makeover:
Replace peanut butter and jelly on white bread and pretzels with…
Peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat bread and baby carrots.

Why It’s Better:
Whole grain bread provides great fiber and vitamins for kids, and baby carrots are a perfect substitute for pretzels because they are satisfyingly crunchy and they require no prep or peeling… just open the bag and get a colorful serving of Vitamins A, K, and C.

Lunch #3
Before and After Kid Lunch Makeovers
The Makeover:
Replace boxed macaroni and cheese and deli ham with…
whole wheat stove-top macaroni and cheese with veggies, plus grapes.

Why It’s Better:
This made-over meal serves up essential veggies, fruits and whole grains, and a lot less sodium than the original meal–with little to no extra prep time. Try it: boil one cup of whole wheat macaroni. Just before draining, add ¾ cup of frozen mixed vegetables to the pot. Drain the pasta and veggies, return them to the pot, then add one cup of shredded cheese plus a splash of milk or cream. Stir until creamy, then serve, with grapes on the side. Don’t worry about protein: the cheese has plenty.

Lunch #4
Before and After Kid Lunch Makeovers
The Makeover:
Replace turkey and cheese wrap and fruit snacks with…
Hummus and veggie wrap, and raisins.

Why It’s Better:
There’s nothing wrong with turkey and cheese, but here’s an easy option that makes veggies and legumes part of the main lunch, so your kids can learn that those important foods deserve a place in the spotlight! Spread a whole wheat tortilla with hummus, then sprinkle shredded carrots and chopped lettuce inside before rolling it up. Real dried fruit like raisins or apricots provide iron and fiber without the added sugars of packaged fruit snacks.

Lunch #5
Before and After Kid Lunch Makeovers
The Makeover:
Replace cheese and crackers, yogurt tube and veggie snacks with…
Cheese and crackers, fresh berry yogurt, and green beans.

Why It’s Better:
Serving plain yogurt and berries instead of a yogurt tube eliminates two teaspoons of sugar from your kids’ day. And swapping in green beans provides a vitamin-packed whole vegetable in place of the veggie snacks, which are mostly potato starch with a touch of spinach powder for color. Picky eater tip: blanch or microwave whole French green beans, add a little butter and salt, and call them “green bean straws.”

There you have it! The takeaway message is simple: you can make big improvements to your kids’ lunchtime nutrition by adding fruits, vegetables and whole grains to their meals.

Speaking of big improvements, here are our favorite tools for making fruits and veggies a priority in every lunch: the kid’s MyPlate and the Healthy Habits plate. Check out a couple of our made-over kid lunches in these fun, colorful plates:

Before and After Kid Lunch Makeovers

We like to serve sandwiches in the grains AND protein compartments, because a sandwich usually includes both, and it’s fun to talk about why!

And take it from us: if you ever forget to include a fruit or a veggie with your kids’ MyPlate lunch, don’t worry. Your kids will remind you. 😉

Before and After Kid Lunch Makeovers

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