5 Ways to Exercise as A Family


If you are among the many who find family to be one of the biggest sources of stress this time of year, let’s take a different approach to the next family gathering. Let’s make moves, together.

Families that move together, bond together. Studies show that when individuals engage in exercise together, afterwards they naturally feel happier with their relationship. Endorphins > stress = happiness. Let’s not forget, exercise is also a good way for us all to ward off that Santa stomach.

So, your approach for this holiday season: less fighting, more moving. If you feel the urge to snap at Uncle Bill, at your mom or dad, or to snap within your own self from stress, make moves instead. We’ve got 5 ideas below for doing it together.

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5 Healthier Holiday Cookie Recipes

‘Tis the season for holiday carols, cookies, and sugar-crashes.

Errr, wait a minute. Scratch that last part.

Let’s replace that with holiday cheer instead, with five healthier cookie recipes that make it easy to do just that. From protein-packed chickpeas, to naturally sweet dates, to fiber-filled oats, the following recipes include some magical ingredients that’ll take your holiday baking to the next (and better-for-you) level. While they’re probably not your grandma’s cookies, we promise that they’ll be just as tasty!


Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies via Sweet Treats & More

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Link Love: Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

4,500 – The average number of calories eaten per American on Thanksgiving.

This whopping number makes us feel that as a nation, we’re not giving nearly enough thanks to our bodies. Even with exercise to the rescue, that splurge would take a 155-pound person six hours of running to burn it all off. If you’re taking a slow jog around the track, make that ten hours.

Rather than take on that fitness feat, this year we’re making a commitment to give thanks to our health. Join us as we celebrate Thanksgiving both by practicing moderation, and also by revamping some of our favorite holiday dishes. The menu below allows you to dig into many of the classics with a slightly healthier spoon, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie included.

Choose one or two to bring to your celebratory table, and then allow yourself to enjoy what else is offered. Just be mindful not to go too overboard so you can walk away feeling energized and thankful (rather than passed out on the couch!).
Baked Greens Casserole

Green Sans Bean Casserole: Baked Greens Casserole with Crusty Crumb Topping via Cia Chow Read the rest of this entry »

Happy National Fruit & Vegetable Month!

green and red healthy food

“Hey June, don’t make it bad.
Take a sad diet and make it better.
Remember to let produce into your bowl.
Then you can start to make it better.”

In honor of National Fruit & Vegetable Month, we’re calling on the Beatles for a little celebration. (If it’s sounding like we drank too much carrot juice and you have no idea what we’re referencing, you best take a few moments to watch the original Hey Jude.) The month’s farm-to-fork designation has officially made June our favorite time of year.

We’d like to invited you to join us in using the month-long holiday as extra motivation to fill up on fruits and veggies. Here’s the research on why you simply can’t say no:
  • A study released this past March suggests people who eat up to 7 servings of fruit & vegetables a day can cut their risk of premature death by 42%. Um, yes peas!
  • The unfortunate news? Research shows most people are consuming less than half of what the government recommends. And when we do plate up on produce, the #1 items in America are potatoes and tomatoes — in the not-so-nutritious forms of french fries and pizza, according to a report from the U.S. Dpt. of Agriculture. With that comes a hefty side of fat and sodium.
  • Are your readings showing high blood pressure? Filling up on produce lowers blood pressure and your risk for type 2 diabetes since fiber tempers blood-sugar swings by slowing the absorption of carbohydrates into your bloodstream after meals.
  • They’re also packed with cancer-fighting antioxidants, and a recent study released by the American Heart Association suggests with every 200 grams per day, you could cut your risk of stroke by 1/3.

We could have a never-ending sing-off about the benefits of fruits and veggies. Instead, however, we’re going to move on and highlight some of this month’s prime produce.


Celebrate the holiday and the month of June with these 3 seasonal S’s:
If you want to make your diet smile like a banana, fill it with tons of fruits and veggies. And if you recall from our farmer’s market email, seasonal produce is often the best. (Remember – local produce needn’t travel as far, meaning it can be picked closer to its prime ripeness. This results in both tastier and more nutritious food for you.) This month, cook up a few of the items below, all cropstars of June.

  • Strawberries: 8 medium-sized berries yield 150% daily value (DV) of vitamin C at just 50 calories. That sounds pretty sweet to us, as does this recipe for Fish Tacos with Strawberry Mango Salsa.
  • Sugarsnap Peas: This hybrid of both a green pea and a snow pea is known for its high levels of B vitamins, which help your body convert food to energy. Pair them with shrimp and toss over brown rice in this light coconut curry recipe for a satisfying meal.
  • Spinach: Spinach is a vitamin K superstar, a vitamin essential for bone health. One cup contains nearly 200% DV, and also contains twice the amount of iron as most other greens, which is important for keeping your energy levels up. Serve this Spinach and Pumpkin Seed Pesto over whole wheat pasta for a Popeye and LifeVest approved meal.

Want more farmers’ market inspired ideas? Check out this recipe generator from the New York Times.

‘Tis the Season to Run a Holiday 5-K

Run a holiday 5-K to shed stress and stoke good cheer.

By Jeff Galloway, First Posted on Runner’s World, November 12, 2012

The holidays can be a time of stress and high expectations. Fortunately, it’s also a great time for 5-Ks, with Turkey Trots and Jingle Bell Jogs held nearly every weekend. Training for and running a race might seem impossible when work and family obligations are colliding, but putting an event on your to-do list can help you stay focused and motivated. Short, purposeful training runs will invigorate you, clear your mind, and renew your enthusiasm for the challenges ahead. Here’s how to time a race with your current fitness—and get safely across the finish line.

Five weeks to A 5-K
You can do it if you already run/walk twice a week for 15 to 20 minutes.
Make it happen:  Add a third long run (preferably on the weekend). Begin at a half-mile longer than your typical run length; add a half-mile each week. Insert as many walk breaks as necessary to keep from huffing and puffing. Increase weekly workouts to 20 minutes. Once there, add five to 10 seconds to your run segments; decrease or maintain the walk segments.
Three weeks to a 5-K
You can do it if you regularly run for at least 20 minutes three days a week.
Make it happen:  On the first of your two weekends before race day, run/walk for 2.5 miles; on the second weekend, run three. Run twice during the week for 20 minutes. During race week, follow the plan below.
Continue Reading about Holiday 5-K’s…

You know what else it ’tis the season for? Good health and great gifts. Sponsor your friends and family on LifeVest Health so they have more incentive to get healthy and make more money for it! 

Click here to learn more about sponsorship through LifeVest Health