The SparkPeople Blog

SparkCoach: Own Your Day With Our New Feature!

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
10/8/2018  10:00:00 AM   :  89 comments   :  12,662 views

We're very excited to share with you a new feature that's been in the works for quite some time—SparkCoach! A virtual planner and so much more, SparkCoach is designed to help you prioritize your day, reach goals in all areas of life and make changes that will be sustainable for a lifetime. Much more than just reading information, SparkCoach will lead you through an easy-to-follow, 28-day program, coaching you through the steps that will allow you to become the best version of yourself. Best of all, these new features are all part of the FREE SparkPeople Program available to any member on the site.

For new members, this program will show prominently as a checklist on your Start page; existing members can turn on the feature by clicking on "Account/Email Preferences" at the top left of your Start page and scrolling down to the box that says "Use New Start Page with SparkCoach". You can switch back and forth at any time, so there's no downside to checking it out!

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SparkSpotlight: Jillian (JILLIAN48)

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
10/8/2018  12:00:00 AM   :  41 comments   :  7,352 views

At SparkPeople, we love helping people accomplish big goals—but we believe it's equally important to celebrate the small successes along the way. Each week in the Spark Spotlight, we'll check in with a featured member about his or her proudest moments, biggest challenges and advice for others on living, thinking and feeling healthier. We hope these quick snapshots will help motivate you to keep moving steadily toward your own goals, week by week.
 
This Week's Spotlight: Jillian (JILLIAN48)
Age: 39
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
 
Small Success of the Week
 
Jillian recently discovered that she could fit into a size XL shirt again. She has held on to the shirt for the past eight years and has barely been able to wear it because it has been too tight and uncomfortable. Now when she puts on the shirt, not only does it fit, but it has room to spare!  

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A Night Owl Tries Morning Workouts & New Gear in the Go Get It Guide

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By: , – Alicia Capetillo, Editor-in-Chief
10/5/2018  12:00:00 AM   :  48 comments   :  10,754 views

Every month The Go Get It Guide is your destination for motivation, musings on random goals and probably pop culture references. It's a space where we'll sort through the PR pitches and news, then share our honest thoughts on what's happening in the health and fitness world, what's on the horizon and just what we think of that video the internet obsessed over last week. Check in each month to Spark, Sweat, Smile, Savor and Shop with us!
 

Spark: To Snooze or Not to Snooze?

 
Is there any characteristic more defining than the stereotypes that go along with being a night owl or early bird? Tell me you're a morning person and my mind immediately jumps to Apple CEO Tim Cook waking up at 4:30 a.m., which is to say I'm impressed. I assume you spend your mornings maximizing your time by checking stocks (you definitely maintain an impressive stock portfolio), whipping up a nutritious breakfast, maybe squeezing in a quick stretch, writing in your journal and so on—effectively having an entire day before I would ever dare set an alarm.
 
I, however, am the opposite of that morning person. I regularly hit the snooze button four times before I begrudgingly get up and stumble through the daily race to make it to work on time. In college, I was known to sleep well past 2 p.m. on days when I had afternoon classes. These days, it's a struggle to make it to the farmers market on Sunday before 11:30 a.m., after which time all the good stuff has disappeared.

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Meet 9 Meat-Free Alternatives You'll Love

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
10/3/2018  12:00:00 AM   :  47 comments   :  7,737 views

Alternatives. We all want them. Whether you want to figure out a different way to work out that keeps pressure off your knees or are looking for a lightened-up version of your favorite restaurant food, you want to be able to tweak things to your needs. For those on special diets, that might mean finding alternatives to carbs, sugar or saturated fats. If you are a soda addict, you might be looking for alternative ways to hydrate. And, if you're a vegetarian, vegan or are simply looking to eat less meat, you want to find alternative meat products that look and taste good, yet are still nutritious.

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35 Self-Care Ideas You Can Start Practicing Today

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
10/2/2018  12:00:00 AM   :  65 comments   :  28,125 views

Self-care is a hot buzzword these days, but what does it really mean? Beyond the obvious tenets of eating healthier, exercising regularly and relaxing more, what could or should you be doing to pamper and protect your mind and body?
 
Dr. Heather Hammerstedt, a board-certified physician and CEO of lifestyle coaching company Wholist, says that self-care is far from selfish, and is in fact an essential health tool. It resets your cortisol levels, which helps with prevention of weight gain, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and a multitude of other issues—not to mention what it does for balancing your neurotransmitters for mood and emotional reset.
 
"You can't fill anyone else's cup if yours is empty, something that busy moms, dads and professionals often forget," Hammerstedt says. "Planning is key. You will always make better decisions ahead of time than you will in the moment. This means that you have to find a way to schedule and plan for you.”
 
So, you know this self-care thing is legit—but how are you supposed to carve out time in your busy days when every minute seems to be monopolized by other people's needs? Good news: It's easier than you might think to sneak in some much-deserved selfishness.

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Spark Spotlight: Noelle (LUCKY1964)

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
10/1/2018  12:00:00 AM   :  19 comments   :  5,620 views

At SparkPeople, we love helping people accomplish big goals—but we believe it's equally important to celebrate the small successes along the way. Each week in the Spark Spotlight, we'll check in with a featured member about his or her proudest moments, biggest challenges and advice for others on living, thinking and feeling healthier. We hope these quick snapshots will help motivate you to keep moving steadily toward your own goals, week by week.
 

This Week's Spotlight: Noelle (LUCKY1964)
Age: 33
Location: Ball Ground, Georgia
 
Small Success of the Week
 
Noelle has the food prep thing down—including all of her snacks. "Food prep should always include your healthy snacks. You can have too much of a good thing easily and we all are guilty of over-sizing our plates or snack bags when hungry," she said in the Community Goal Feed. "I have started portioning my snacks into snack cups the second I come home from the store. This makes the grab-and-go so much easier and also saves me from having to portion each time I eat." 

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