Guest Post: The Best Running Shoes for Women

Although I’m a die-hard Brooks fan, I’m always open to other brands that claim to help me “get the job done” when it comes to my running performance. Thanks to a recent submission, now you too can explore some of your running shoe options.

Are you a running pro or just someone who loves to run and do some good and healthy workout? Then you will be the first to know that choosing the right running shoes can really make all the difference. They have to provide comfort, stability, dryness and of course, because we are women, design is also very important to us. But how can you look stylish while running and make sure to have all the the comfort that you need? Well, look no further; here are the best 3 running shoes that will give you everything you want and make your running sessions much better. You can get them with coupons to save money!

Nike Reax Run 7

running shoes 3
The first of our list of the best running shoes are these really stylish ones that are perfect for the girl who wants to look fab also when she works out, either by running or going to the gym. The combination of white, red, pink and grey make a really fresh and young design for these comfortable and practical running shoes by Nike. The sole is made in solid rubber with a waffle pattern and a flex groove that will provide a great traction when you go on the road. The upper part is made in synthetic and mesh that will make your feet breathe as you sweat, keeping them fresh and dry. In the inside there is an abundant cushioning for really soft landings and maximum comfort. Available at Finish Line for a super deal of only $39.98 (previously $69.99).

Adidas Energy Boost

running shoes1
These running shoes in a really aggressive and powerful design come in 4 different versions, either black, pink, blue or electric green, to meet the individual style of every woman. This shoe combines all the technology offered by Adidas, especially in the midsole, which has the innovative energy-returning boost technology that will provide an endless supply of energy to your run, keeping you energized and active throughout the whole workout. It is a shoe worth investing in thanks to its high-wear durability that will make it last for years and years. It is also lightweight and really flexible and it has an external heel counter that will provide maximal heel fit and running comfort. The ideal shoe for long runs that you can buy now on Adidas.com for $150.

Asics Gel-Nimbus 15

running shoes2
This colorful and punchy shoe comes in 3 different sets of colors: wine, flash yellow and white, grey, red and orange or grey, hot pink and mint. It has a heel counter for improved support and heal fitting and also the upper fit is improved for maximum comfort when you are running. A combination of bounce back and cushioning will provide for your extra comfort and energy boost and its anti-odor property will keep your feet fresh and dry. It has also an extra feature for women’s health, as with its 3 mm of additional height it helps relieve Achilles tension. Get them now on Asicsamerica.com for $145. For more savings, don’t forget to get free shipping coupons when you buy them online.

Guest Post: Kindred Spirits

Maya Rodgers is the proud owner of Mindy, the charismatic 13-year-old yellow lab featured above, who’s just as energetic and puppy-ish as when she first joined the family. During the day, Maya works as a pest control consultant for Terminix, in the evenings, she tries to keep her family out of trouble, and in her limited free time, she blogs at www.petsandpests.com.

There are many of us whose family consists of more than just humans. Whether we’re cat enthusiasts or dog lovers, our four-legged family members drive us crazy and love us unconditionally. Sure, they might drag in the occasional bout of fleas, but they really give us so much more. I’ve lived with both cats and dogs, and I’m thinking about adopting another Fido into our family, so I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the benefits of our furry friends. After all, they’ve taught me a lot about life!

  • Wake Up in the Morning: As puppies, dogs require a lot of attention and patience, just like human babies require of their parents. No matter the time of
    Mindy, the 13-year-old bff of Maya enjoying the water.

    Mindy, the 13-year-old bff of Maya enjoying the water.

    day, a puppy parent has to be prepared to hurry their dog outside to go to the bathroom. But as they age, dogs calm down and learn to stick to a schedule – just like we do. That being said, no matter how old they are, a morning trip outside is a must. Though I’m not a natural morning person, my first dog taught me a lot about how useful, productive, and beautiful the mornings can be. Plus, he brought me discipline – ensuring I got up and took care of him whether it was a weekday, weekend, or holiday.

  • Know What’s Important: It’s easy to get bogged down in the little things. Like the red light we’re caught at when we’re late for work. Or how many dishes are in the sink. Or how our children are being preposterously stubborn, again. But when my dog looks at me and lets out a little whine, reminding me it’s time for her evening walk in the park nearby, it’s a required break from whatever I’m working on. (Yes, she has trained me well.) In the park, we can go on a mini-hike, romp with some other dogs, and meet many dog-friendly human pals. Our walks always remind me to take a deep breath of air and relax and not get worked up by whatever comes my way. After all, if the light’s red, there’s nothing to do but wait it out.
  • Set a Strong Example:  Dogs are pack-driven, social animals that demand guidance and respect. Their loyalty is the direct result of a strong and ever-present pet-parent who projects, as Cesar Millan says, “Calm, assertive energy”. My dogs have taught me how to set an example as a leader, not only for them, but also for my children, and even in the workplace. A dog will do almost anything for its person, and being able to inspire some of that confidence and loyalty at home and at work has been very important for me.
  • A Little Love Goes a Long Way: The bond between a person and their dog is very, very strong. Although not (in my experience) quite as strong as the familial ties, there’s something indescribably wonderful about coming home after a long day of work, or chauffeuring the kids, and having my dog pad up to me, furiously wagging her tail and smiling, asking for a few pets. I reach out, rubbing my fingers through her fur, scratching the back of her neck as she presses against my hand.

There is little that is more gratifying than knowing that you can always count on your dog. Their love seems endless, and my dogs have taught me so much about living life and being myself. If you’re living life with a furry comrade, I hope you give them a little extra love after reading this, and if you don’t have a special fuzzy someone but are thinking about adopting, go check out your local pet rescue – at least in my experience, they’ve got lots of kittens and puppies (along with their older, calmer counterparts) who are just waiting for you to bring them home.

Key Lime Greek Yogurt: Dannon Oikos VS Yoplait

Oikos VS Yoplait

Brands Oikos Greek Yogurt Key Lime Yoplait Greek 100 Key Lime
Calories 160 100
Fat 4.5g 0
Sugars 17g 7g
Protein 11g 13g
Sodium 85mg 55mg
Calcium 15% 15%
Vitamin D Not listed 20%
Taste Due to the high sugar content and full-fat flavor, Oikos beats Yoplait hands-down in the taste department. A lighter flavor than Oikos, but a decent sacrifice for 100 calories. Plus, fewer calories means less guilt for adding crushed up graham crackers!
Verdict Winner

As you can see from my table above, Yoplait clearly takes the cake in the health department. Not only does it have 7 grams of sugar less than Oikos and less sodium, but it also beats out its competitor in the protein department. The ingredients were virtually identical, making me feel much better about the winning product. The thing that baffles me is that Oikos has an entire line of fat-free yogurts, but for some reason, Key Lime doesn’t make an appearance. Perhaps this is their opportunity to follow Yoplait’s lead and lighten up this amazing dessert-like flavor. Don’t just take my word for it. Head to the store and compare some of your favorite flavors to other brands. You might be surprised!

Guest Post: Healthy Recipes for People Who Don’t Eat Healthy

Leon Harris is a contributing writer for Diet Direct. Harris lives in Southern California, and enjoys eating healthy and exercising with his two Golden Retrievers.

There’s a trick to eating healthy, in case you didn’t know, but it can’t be a once-in-a-while activity. I’m not talking about these fads that make you cut entire food groups out of your diet; I’m talking about a balanced diet that provides your body with all the nutrients you need, helps you to make smarter choices that are still satisfying, provides you with the proper portion size for your body and doesn’t make you feel guilty about having some extras here and there. In short, I’m talking about a healthy diet for life.

The trick to eating healthy isn’t religious adherence to a wildly restrictive diet, although some people certainly try to pull it off, and even succeed for several years at a time. You just don’t need to go to these extremes. What you should do is learn all you can about creating a diet that provides you with what you need, sans all the extras that permeate modern eating, such as an over-abundance of sugar, fat, sodium, and preservatives, just for example. And it all starts with finding a few go-to recipes that you can stick with and build off of, learning to love healthy eating along the way. Here are some ideas to get you going.

A good place to start is by modifying the unhealthy recipes you already love. Pizza, for example, can provide you with tons of options for more nutritious fare. You might want to start by making your own at home, where you can control the portion size and all of the ingredients. There are tons of easy dough recipes to be found online, including options for lower-calorie thin crust. From there you can create personal pizzas to limit the amount you eat. Then it’s just a matter of adding fresh, healthy ingredients in moderation, including sauce, cheese, meats, veggies, and even fruit. Obviously the healthiest options include low-fat cheese (in small doses) and a variety of vegetables, but so long as you’re paying attention to what you add and how much and you control the portion size, you can turn this perennial calorie-fest into a healthy meal.

Of course, you should also be willing to try new things. For example, many people who love milkshakes can easily switch to healthier fare like smoothies. And from there it’s simple enough to start working in your daily dose of roughage via a green monster recipe. You’ll start with your liquid, be it water, milk, juice (preferably natural, as in no sugar added), soy milk, or coconut water, just to name a few. Then you’ll throw in your favorite fruits (bananas, oranges, berries, etc.). From there you simply add 1-2 handfuls of spinach, kale, or other leafy greens and blend thoroughly to eradicate chunks. And you can rival the best protein bar by adding protein powder or Greek yogurt, just for example.

It’s not easy to make the switch to healthier eating habits, especially if your traditional diet consists of fast food and prepackaged items. But if you want to lose weight, lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, stave off conditions like diabetes and heart disease, or simply look and feel better, you might be looking for easy ways to incorporate healthier dietary options. And there are plenty of ways to modify the recipes you already love or substitute healthy but still satisfying foods for the high-calorie consumables that currently fill your fridge, so long as you’re willing to do a little research.

Thanks so much for the submission, Leon. It really is important to find things that aren’t just healthy, but that taste yummy too!

My Healthy Tip of the Day: Don’t be afraid to load your boring salad up with lots of healthy treats, such as walnuts, feta cheese, dried cranberries and other good-for-you treats. My favorite combination is a spinach salad with feta, strawberries, almonds and a light vinaigrette dressing.

 

Back on Track

Whew, it feels good to be back in the blogosphere. The last few months have been a blur of weddings, bridal showers, work events and a 5K to boot! Sure I had fun at each, but I’m so glad to have some much needed down time for the next few months. Too bad my psychotic cat Grace refuses to let me get caught up on sleep.

Grace Soon

Grace Soon 3

Grace Soon 5

Moving on to the newest excitement in life: my Round Right Farm CSA membership! Back in the fall, I signed up with Round Right Farm’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), but got put on a waiting list. Sometime in February, I received notification that a spot had opened up. I quickly sent in my deposit and patiently waited until my first arrival last week.

IMG_2742

In this batch, I received one bundle of radishes, asparagus, swiss chard, one head of lettuce and a bagged salad mix. I had never tried swiss chard before, but after I sauteed it with some onion and added quinoa, I was sold! I roasted the asparagus and stuffed myself silly.

IMG_2771

Fast forward to tonight’s pickup…

IMG_2781

IMG_2784

Look how beautiful this swiss chard is! Anyway, this batch contained one bunch of swiss chard, radishes, green onion, two heads of lettuce and a bag of spinach. I pretty much had a repeat of the quinoa dish, but this time I sauteed the spinach and added shaved Parmesan. Yum yum.

Before I sign off, let me talk a little bit about CSAs. I had never heard of this sort of program until one of my coworkers started bringing in tons of fresh vegetables for lunch. I had inquired about where he purchased the bulk of his produce and learned that he was part of this Round Right Farm CSA program. The concept sounded really cool to me. Who doesn’t love to support local farmers by eating tons of fresh veggies? Anyway, if you want to find a similar program in your area, check out Local Harvest. It will tell  you everything you need to know about joining a CSA program.

Ok, I’m off to the gym. Have a great evening!

My Healthy Tip of the Day: Step out of your comfort zone and try a new vegetable or fruit. You might be surprised what new recipes you can whip up!