Life-Changing with LV: One Couples’ Journey to Lose Weight Together

Couple Getting Healthy TogetherLaura Meier, 52, on a health journey with her husband, Brice

Goal(s): Lose a combined total of 150 lbs

Six months ago, Laura Meier joined LifeVest, and set out with her husband Brice on a mission to lose weight. They planned a trip to the Caribbean as motivation, and began making significant changes that would move them towards their goals. Each now two clothing sizes smaller and two energy levels higher, the two set sail this week and are ready to celebrate.

“We’re looking forward to enjoying [the trip] together and being motivated to continue on,” says Laura who’s over halfway to her goal of losing 50 pounds. Brice has exceeded the halfway point towards his goal, too, down 65 pounds and on his way to 100.

Laura was initially motivated by the opportunity to earn money through LifeVest. However, this quickly became merely an added benefit of the experience. She earned a FitBit early into her program and soon after bought Brice one too, and it was at this point that Laura decided to make her LifeVest journey one that would last for life. Together, the couple began powering up their step count, and benefiting from the results.

“Brice has problems with sciatic nerves and back pain, and he used to hardly be able to make it to the corner with me,” says Laura. “Now, he’s sometimes walking 40,000 steps per day because he’s feeling so much better by getting the weight off and getting active.”

Through the weight loss, Brice has been able to relieve some of the pressure from his knees and back, and Laura says she feels better about herself than ever before. They’ve decided they won’t be stopping once they reach their weight loss goal, but instead continuing to find new ways they can lead a healthier life together. Laura shares some advice on what’s worked for them so far, and how her and Brice are make the changes together.

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“Turnip For What?” These 5 Turnip Recipes

In a video-gone-viral, Michelle Obama says, “Turnip for what?” We’re responding to that question with this roundup of healthful turnip-central recipes.

The late autumn crop is particularly low in calories among the root vegetable kingdom – just 34 cals per cup vs. 116 per cup of diced potatoes – and is packed with vitamin C and other antioxidants. This makes it a great filler and addition to lighten up traditional starchy dishes, like Turnip Mashed Potatoes (swap 1/2 the potatoes with turnips), and some of the recipes you’ll find below.

Both the turnip’s greens and bulb can be eaten. Each provide a nice bitterness that pairs well with sweeter veggies, meats, and spices. See for yourself as you turnip some music and your stove, and dive into one of the recipes below.

Sweet Turnip and Carrot Soup

Sweet Turnip and Carrot Soup via InFine Balance Read the rest of this entry »


Meatless Monday: Curry Harvest Soup

Curry Harvest Soup

Fall has fallen upon us, which means sweater, sweet potato, and soup season have all officially arrived! We love all three, especially that latter one, which we encourage you to add into your eat-clean-toolbox.

With the temps cooling down, it’s easy to slide away from light summer fare into heavier winter territory. However, jumbo sweaters are no excuse to add another layer to your diet or your tummy. Luckily with an arsenal of soup recipes on-hand, you can stay warm and satisfied without needing to take that path.

This particular recipe from our food blogging LifeVester Grace calls on an array of hearty harvest veggies to create a soup that’s both robust, yet light. That’s exactly the combination we recommend employing to stay slimming down and feeling good all throughout the season.

Perfect for both Meatless Monday and late October days when you want something a little warm and brothy, head on over to Grace’s blog for the recipe.

Then, as you continue to add more soup recipes to your eat-clean-toolbox, please share them with us! We’re suckers for soup, and would love to hear what’s filling your bowl.


5 Common Nutrition Questions Answered

 

Your health is huge! Of course you’ve got questions. And we’ve got love-your-body answers. Let’s start with diet. Following, we’ll take a look at some interesting common nutrition uncertainties, with answers that’ll help set your mind straight and your waistline even straighter.

 

Will nuts make me fat?

In moderation, nuts are an excellent addition to your diet. They are high in protein and fiber, and make for a crunchy, satisfying snack. But what about all their fat, you ask? While nuts do contain a significant amount, most of this fat is of a beneficial variety to your body in the form of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.

“In fact, some studies show that people who eat a handful of nuts daily weigh less than those who don’t eat nuts,” says LifeVest health coach Bridget Wright, MPH. “This is because nuts have a high satiety content, meaning they make you feel full and satisfied.” 

Just don’t go too nuts. Since they are calorie-dense, Wright recommends sticking to no more than a handful or so per day. She notes that the best choices are raw almonds and walnuts, or toasted pistachios, all of which are superior to most crackers, pretzels, and other — fat-free or no t— empty-calorie, crunchy snacks.

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5 “Healthy” Foods with Hidden Sugar

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There’s no way to sugarcoat it – sugar is bad & we’re eating too much of it.

On average, Americans consume 156 pounds – or 31 five-pound bags – of sugar per year. Yikes! When considering its linked to everything from diabetes to high blood pressure to heart disease, that’s some Sour Patch Kid news right there. In fact, many experts believe our collective sweet tooth may not just be making us fat, but bringing us to our death. Poison alert, poison alert!

Some of you might be thinking, “I’m no Cookie Monster. I don’t eat candy or drink soda, so I’m fine.” It’s a thought that some of us here at the LifeVest have held, too. Yet, according to the latest guidelines from the World Health Organization, no more than 100 daily calories (25 grams) should come from sugar, and with it often lurking in unexpected places, that’s a number that can add up quickly.

From bread to breakfast to salad dressing, here are five hidden sources of sugar that could be taking a toll on your health without you even knowing it, along with the best options to keep these “healthy” foods actually beneficial to your health.

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Meatless Monday: Toasted Wheat Berry and Summer Herb Salad

Toasted Wheat Berry and Summer Herb Salad

Here on the East Coast, there is a small window where cucumber season meets tomato season. In those few weeks, us East Coasters rejoice in veggie heaven. The two were meant to mingle, table-side, with a fine bottle of olive oil and vinegar.

Together, the duo brings more than just the joys of Christmas colors to a white bowl. They also present a slew of vitamins and nutrients. In fact, tomatoes are one of the healthiest veggies (or fruit, by the technical definition) you can bring to your table, and we can attribute much of this to the noteworthy nutrient explained below.

  • Loaded in lycopene: Tomatoes can thank lycopene for their beautiful red color, and we can thank lycopene for the cancer-fighting benefits it brings to our body. Lycopene is an antioxidant that lends yellow, red, and orange vegetables/fruits their colors, and has shown in studies to lower the risk of certain types of cancer (especially prostate, lung, and stomach cancers). As Dr. Edward Giovannucci, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, explains, “The shape of the lycopene molecule makes it very effective in being able to quench free radicals. We don’t really understand it entirely yet, but lycopene may have specific properties that protect the cell in a way other antioxidants may not.”

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Minor changes for major impact

Small steps for health

There are some things in life we don’t have direct control over – like when it rains and our shoes get wet (free laundry?). Or like when we walk down the road and bird poop falls from the sky (good luck?). Or when the vending machine runs out of M&Ms (even better luck – for our health, at least?). Luckily, however, life is not all surprises, and one thing we can control is choosing how to take care of our bodies. Many people hit the cookie jar after a long, strenuous day at work, or buddy up with the couch instead of our running shoes, even when we know the latter is what we really need. Even us LifeVesters can admit to doing that from time to time.

The important thing is to become aware of your triggers for unhealthy behavior so that you can then realize how to change them. A few simple choices in a different, healthier direction can end up drawing a major impact.

Below, we’ve got tips for 5 common challenges that take a lot of us by the belly.

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