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Essential Safety Tips for Running Outdoors

ESP_running_outdoors_safety_pinterest

Whether it’s because of busy schedules or personal preferences, many runners often run by themselves. If you run alone, it is imperative that you take the necessary precautions to keep yourself safe. Safety is especially important if you’re someone who is outside logging miles in the early morning or late evening.

As a general rule, running alone is not recommended; however, if you have to do it, be sure to follow these safety tips.

Be Visible

If you wear bright colors, you are much more likely to be seen by motorists. When running at dawn, dusk, or at night, be sure to put on reflective or illuminated gear.

Always Run Against Traffic

It’s much easier to avoid traffic and oncoming vehicles if you can see them coming.

Run with Buddies

When possible, always run with a partner or group as there’s strength and safety in numbers. In fact, your dog can make a great running buddy.

Vary Your Routes and Times

It’s easier to become a target when you are predictable. Potential attackers can study runners’ routines and loom in a particularly dark or isolated area. Change it up. Also, beware if you have a public account on popular running apps such as MapMyRun or Strava. With these apps, strangers could have the ability to track your run.

Avoid Wearing Headphones

Save the headphones for the treadmill. If you must run outdoors to music, make sure the volume is low enough so you are aware of your surroundings and can hear other pedestrians, cyclists or cars.

Stick to Well-lit, Populated Areas

On days when you’re running solo, avoid secluded, dark areas. Move your run to a public space with good lighting, and if possible, run during daylight hours.

Only Explore with a Partner

When you explore new routes, always find someone to run with you. Once you’ve run it with a partner, you can then decide whether it’s safe enough to run alone. If you’re visiting a new city and want to find a good place to run, contact local running stores and ask for their recommendations.

Carry a Cell Phone

Keep your cell phone with you when you run. It’s great to be able to make a phone call in case of any emergency.

Follow Your Instincts

If you feel like you’re entering an unsafe situation, trust your gut and move to a safe location.

Don’t Hesitate to Call the Police

If something happens to you or you notice anything out of the ordinary, call the police. It is important to report incidents immediately.

Pin It:

ESP_running_outdoors_safety_list

Here are a few more tips from some of our runner friends on Twitter:

@FemmeFitaleFitClub
My running tip would be – make sure you are seen. When running in the dark wear a reflective vest so cars and pedestrians can see you as you approach or run past.

@coach_karenw
If you aren’t sure whether you should run on the isolated trail alone, you probably shouldn’t. Trust your instincts and always play it safe. I like to use the Live Tracking feature on my Garmin 620 to share my run in real time with my family.

@cindyruns
Try to run on a busy road or path and wear bright colors – plus they’re fun too!

@Fit_Disney_Mom
My safety running tip is to always wear reflective clothing. Especially as we head into the Fall months.

Do you have any additional tips for running safely? Please share with us on Twitter @eatsmartscales.

Grilled Pasta and Vegetables

Grilled Pasta And Vegetables

Guest recipe by CafeTerraBlog.com

Prep Time: 10 min | Cook Time: 20 min | Total time: 30 min | Serves: 4-6

Grilled Pasta? Since you can grill just about anything- why not pasta? This recipe uses fresh pasta that only takes about five minutes when boiled in water. It’s easy to make, uses your propane grill, and is extremely versatile to your palate. Take a trip to your local farmer’s market and grab your favorite vegetables- then bring it all together to enjoy some delicious Grilled Pasta and Vegetables!

Ingredients:

Cheese Tortellini (fresh pasta that needs to be quickly cooked)
Green, red, and yellow bell peppers (cut in 1 inch squares)
Medium sweet onion (Vidalia onion preferred) (cut in 1 inch squares)
One bunch of asparagus (cut in 1 inch pieces)
Sliced baby bella mushrooms
Fresh herbs chopped finely (I used thyme and rosemary)
One stick of salted butter (1/2 cup)

Directions:

This recipe used a propane grill and was set to high heat.
In a vegetable grill pan, cook the pasta for about five minutes, turning frequently. The pasta will get some grill marks with the slotted vegetable pan.

Place a cast iron pan or Dutch oven directly on grill, melt butter, add chopped fresh herbs, then add grilled pasta and prepared vegetables.

Cook pasta and vegetables together for about 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and with crunch.

This recipe will serve six if used as a side-dish, or four if a main dish.

Enjoy!

About the Author: Cafe Terra shares BBQ/Grilling recipes and more- that are perfect anytime of the year. When they are not cooking up something fun, you can find Terra and her husband over at their business site – Imagine B & T. Come on in – have a seat!

How to Prevent Text Neck

how to prevent text neck

Smartphones have transformed the way we live. As new apps are developed and cellular networks have improved, we are using our phones more than ever before. Most users spend two to five hours per day on their phone. Teenagers, the most devoted smartphone users, can spend eight hours per day, or more, using their phone. This adds up to thousands of hours per year!

While we can’t get enough of our phones, there is a risk to staring down at our screens all day long. Hunching forward for extended periods of time can result in shoulder pain, neck spasms and headaches; commonly known as “Text-Neck”. SpineHealth.com describes Text-Neck as the neck pain and damage sustained from looking down at your cell phone, tablet, or other wireless devices too frequently and for too long.

The average human head weighs 10 – 12 pounds, but for every inch we lean forward our head weighs an additional 10 pounds. Bending your neck to read a text message can place an additional 50 pounds of pressure on your neck! The farther the head tilts forward, the more pressure it puts on the spine:

  • 15 degrees puts 27 pounds of pressure on the spine
  • 30 degrees puts 40 pounds of pressure on the spine
  • 45 degrees places 49 pounds of pressure on the spine
  • 60 degrees places 60 pounds of pressure on the spine

Continued pressure can result in large amounts of wear and tear, degeneration of the spine and neck, muscle strain, herniated discs, and pinched nerves. There is a risk of losing the curvature in the neck, which may require corrective surgery. Normally, these injuries affect people in their late 40’s, but now teens and young adults are at greater risk.

There are several things you can do to prevent poor posture and relieve any resulting pain including:

  • Always keep your smart devices at eye level to prevent leaning forward.
  • Spend 15 minutes per day stretching out your neck, spine and chest.
  • Every hour, rotate your neck by gently looking to the left and right, 10 times on each side.
  • Strengthen your core muscles so they can help support your upper body and help create proper posture.
  • Maintain a healthy weight to help keep your spine healthy. Every extra pound puts an additional 4 pounds of pressure on your joints. Our Precision CalPal Digital Bathroom Scale tracks weight, features a daily caloric reference that calculates how many calories are needed to maintain your weight and calculates BMI (Body Mass Index).calpal-digital-bathroom-scale
  • Take breaks at least twice an hour to reduce pressure when working at your computer for long periods of time.
  • Make sure laptops and desktop computers are positioned to be read at eye level.
  • Be cognizant of your posture throughout the day. Are you leaning forward to watch TV or drive? Being mindful can help you maintain good posture and relax sore muscles.
  • See a doctor if you fail to obtain relief. They may recommend massage and physical therapy to relieve pain and help you heal.

Enjoy your technology but be sure to take care of your neck and spine.

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How To Prevent Text Neck

Healthy Picnic Recipes

ESP_healthy_picnic_recipes_pinterestThere is something fun about eating al fresco on warm summer days. However, it might be a challenge to come up with foods that are delicious, healthy and easy to transport. If you’re looking for inspiration beyond a sandwich and a bag of chips, we have found that balance with the following portable picnic recipes. They are easy to make, taste great and are sure to become your new go-to picnic items.


Strawberry Watermelon Salad with Honey Lime Vinaigrette
Watermelon-Strawberry-Salad-with-Honey-Lime-Vinaigrette_Giggles-Galore

Get the recipe from Giggles Galore.


Honey Lavender Lemonade
honey-lavender-lemonade Get the recipe from Fit Foodie Finds.


Homemade Pico de Gallo
pico-de-galloGet the recipe from Coffee Cake and Cardio.


Spiralized Carrot Salad with Lemon Ginger Dressing
Carrot-Salad-with-Lemon-Ginger-Dressing-3Get the recipe from Girl in the Little Red Kitchen.


Grilled Corn, Tomato Arugula Salad
roasted-corn-690-7Get the recipe from Seasons and Suppers.


Sausage and Pineapple Party Bites
Sausage-and-Pineapple-Party-Bites-77Get the recipe from Noshtastic.


Pecan Grape Chicken Salad Sandwich
Pecan-Grape-Chicken-Salad-Recipe-2Get the recipe from Wishes and Dishes.


Southwest Chicken Salad
Southwest-Chicken-Salad-1Get the recipe from Catz in the Kitchen.


Spicy Avocado Chickpea Salad Sandwich
chickpea-avocado-sandwich-9065Get the recipe fromVegan Richa.


Fudgy Dark Chocolate Frosted Brownies
fudgy-dark-chocolate-frosted-brownies_4358-cropped
Get the recipe from Amy’s Healthy Baking.


Do you have a favorite picnic recipe that you want to share? Tweet it to us at @eatsmartscales.

Charity of the Month – Play Like a Girl

EatSmart fans will continue to select a Charity of the Month in 2016. Fans will submit short stories about the charity’s mission and why it’s meaningful to them. We began our Charity of the Month donations in 2011. We’ve chosen Play Like a Girl! as our charity for August because we’ve been inspired by the 2016 Olympics and the female athletes competing.

play like a girl

About Play Like a Girl!:

Our mission is to advance the health and empowerment of women and girls through the transformative power of sport and physical activity.

Click here to visit their website.

For every new Instagram follower we acquire during the month of August, we will donate 50 cents/follower to the Play Like a Girl! (So spread the word!)

Click here and EatSmart will donate:

play like a girl

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If interested in submitting a charity for consideration, please email karen@eatsmartproducts.com. The donation amount will be capped at 500 new followers/likes.

Easy, Homemade Waffles

These homemade waffles take less than 15-minutes to prepare. They are perfect for weekend breakfasts.
Homemade-Easy-Waffle-Recipe-DIY
Recipe makes approximately 6 Belgian Style Waffles

Ingredients

2 eggs
2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 + ¾  cups milk
½ cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions

Combine all ingredients and stir until just mixed.
Spray waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray.
Pour in batter, and wait until waffle iron indicates ready.
Top with your favorite fruit.
Enjoy!

The Differences Between the EatSmart Body Fat Scales: GetFit vs. Body Check

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All bathroom scales measure your weight. However, weight alone is not an accurate indicator of health. A body fat scale can distinguish between pounds that come from body fat and pounds that come from mass muscle and total body water, providing a complete picture of health. Body fat scales such as the Precision GetFit Digital Body Fat Scale and the Precision Body Check Digital Body Fat Scale are great tools to monitor your health and fitness at home.

How they work: EatSmart body fat scales use BIA (Bio-Electrical Impedance Analysis) technology to send a low intensity electrical signal through the body. The rate at which the signal flows through body, combined with the user’s gender, height, age, activity level, allows the scale to calculate body composition. This signal is perfectly safe and is not felt by the user.

Body fat scales are ideal when losing weight or training for an athletic event. Even if weight plateaus, users could notice a decrease in body fat and increased muscle mass. Body water ratios are higher in lean tissue than fat tissue and knowing your stats is a good indicator of your body’s health. Water ratios are especially important for athletes, as dehydration can derail performance.

Body fat scales give you the information you need to ensure that you are on the right path to health and fitness.

The similarities:

In addition to measuring weight, both of the EatSmart Body Fat Scales provide the user with a total body composition analysis. Both scales share the following features:

  • Measure up to 400lbs and display an accurate readout to the nearest 0.2 lbs
  • Use “Step-On” technology – no more tapping to turn on your scale
  • Store up to 8 unique user profiles, and recognize the individual user as soon as they step on the scale
  • Athlete mode allows active users to get more accurate readings for health metrics
  • Sturdy, slim profiles that will fit perfectly (and look good!) in your bathroom
  • Contain detailed instruction manuals (which also defines body fat, body water, body muscle and bone mass) and come with batteries
  • Bright blue backlit LCD displays with touch screen buttons
  • Backed by 100% EatSmart Guaranteed Product Satisfaction

The Differences:

THE LOOK

The Precision GetFit Body Fat Scale comes in black and is a square with rounded edges. The Body Check Scale is white with slightly curved top and bottom edges. The LCD screen on the GetFit is a square and slightly smaller than the rectangular LCD screen on the Body Check.EatSmartBodyFatScale-Dimensions

EXTRA FEATURES – BMI AND CALORIE INTAKE

In addition to weight, the GetFit Body Fat Scale calculates body fat, muscle mass, total body water and bone mass. The Body Check Scale monitors 7 important health metrics including weight, body fat, muscle mass, total body water, bone mass, BMI (Body Mass Index), and estimated caloric intake. The daily caloric intake estimate calculates how many calories are needed to maintain your weight.

eatsmart-body-fat-scales

BEEP FEATURE

The Body Check Scale features a unique weight lock-in indicator. When the user’s weight is registered, the scale will beep allowing them to step off the scale and easily view the display. The GetFit does not have this beep feature.

BATTERIES

The GetFit runs on 4 AAA batteries and the Body Check runs on 3 AAA batteries.

Body-Fat-Scales-Back-of-scale

PRICE

The GetFit is priced at $44.95 and the Body Check is on sale for $24.95. bodycheck getfit vs

Anyone looking for a long term commitment to a healthy lifestyle would benefit from using a body fat scale.

Do you have a question about our Body Fat Scales? Tweet to us @eatsmartscales.

Double Chocolate Cherry Chipotle Bars

double-chocolate-bars

Guest recipe by CafeTerraBlog.com

Chocolate, no wait, double chocolate love. Yes, that is what we need- or want- for some. These bars provide three dimensions of flavors with each bite. As you bite down, your teeth will pass a soft fudgy layer, followed by a crunch from the chocolate crust. The third dimension, and the unique flavor, comes from No Ketchup’s Cherry Chipotle Sauce. These bars will not only make you dance with each bite, they will give you cold chills from the amazing flavors melting in your mouth. Who’s ready to enjoy a Double Chocolate Cherry Chipotle Bar?

Prep: 20 min | Cook: 55 min | Yield: 6-9 bars

Ingredients

For Crust:

1 3/4 cup chocolate graham cracker crumbs (7.5oz box of Annie’s Homegrown Bunny Chocolate Grahams ground finely)
1/2 cup ( 1 stick) salted butter, melted

For Brownie:

1 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
1 3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup Not Ketchup Cherry Chipotle Sauce
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray cooking spray on 9 x9 inch square pan, or line pan with parchment paper.

For Crust:

Note: Buy chocolate graham crumbs already ground up, or if in cracker form, grind in food processor.

In small sauce pot, melt down 1/2 cup butter. In small bowl, mix together melted butter and chocolate graham crumbs. Spread out evenly in prepared pan, and press down well.

For Brownies:

In a double boiler pan, (or use metal pan that will sit over medium sauce pot). Add one inch of water to pan, set stove top to medium-high heat. Add chocolate chips and butter to metal bowl, melt down, stir frequently.

In medium bowl, add white sugar, and eggs and with electric hand mixer, mix together for 2 minutes or until fluffy and smooth in appearance. Add Not Ketchup Cherry Chipotle Sauce and mix for another 30 second. Then add in melted chocolate and butter into batter and mix for another 30 seconds. With spatula, fold in flour and baking powder.

Add the brownie batter on top of the chocolate graham crust, and spread the batter out evenly.

Bake brownies for 45-55 minutes depending on oven. You want the batter to have a more solid appearance, but still be fudgy in the center. Let cool.

Enjoy!

About the Author: Cafe Terra Blog is a sweet and savory food blog where there is something for everyone. It is a place where you can sit down, relax, and enjoy new recipes along with family favorites. Come on in – have a seat!

How a Kitchen Scale Can Help You Lose Weight

How a Kitchen Scale Can Help You Lose Weight

A kitchen scale is a must-have tool for anyone serious about weight loss. When preparing meals, it is nearly impossible to eyeball a serving size, and most people overestimate portion sizes. Using a kitchen scale teaches you what an actual serving of food looks like. Additionally, a food scale will give you an accurate weight, so you can easily calculate the amount of calories on your plate. Keeping your meals and snacks in check will help you reach your health and fitness goals.

Calories and nutrients are usually based on weight

Measuring cups and spoons leave room for error. It’s easy to overload them, and food can vary in volume which makes measuring cups unreliable. The best way to get an accurate serving size is to measure your food on one of our digital kitchen scales, especially when eating calorie dense foods, such as cheese, pasta or avocado. This video shows portion sizes for cheese and steak from our blogger friend Girls Gone Sporty.

Photo credit The ABCD Diariesa

Photo credit The ABCD Diariesa

Serving sizes are difficult to guess

You may read that one bagel is 245 calories, but that’s based on a 98g serving size. Many stores and food chains have bagels that are much larger than 98g. In fact, you may be eating 400 calories before you even add a topping! Small, medium and large servings vary and, as a result, so do the calories. This is why measuring by weight is necessary. This is what a serving size of pretzels looks like using the Precision Elite Digital Kitchen Scale.

No more guessing portion sizes

It can be shocking to see what an actual serving of certain foods looks like. You may think you know the portion size of your favorite food, but it’s often an eye opener to measure a true portion by weight. Our Precision Elite Digital Kitchen Scale eliminates the guesswork when measuring out your foods. This video by our blogger friend Cassie Gant, demonstrates how use an EatSmart kitchen scale to count calories in a serving of halibut.

Unreliable estimated serving sizes on packaged food

Many packaged foods, such as cereals, snacks, and nuts, give the calories by weight and an estimated serving size. When you actually weigh a cup of cereal you may see that it’s closer to one and half servings, rather than one. This may not seem like a big deal for lower calorie foods, but throughout the day these additional calories make a big difference. Most packaged foods give their weight in ounces or grams, so all of our kitchen scales weigh in both units so you always have a precise measurement. Here’s a great video showing how to measure a serving size of carrots from our blogger friend Erica D House.

eatsmart-nutrition-scaleKeep track of key nutrients

Knowing that your portions are on point allows you to accurately keep track of your calorie and carb intake. It makes managing diabetes or sticking to a diet plan much easier. Our Digital Nutrition Scale – Professional Food and Nutrient Calculator calculates calories, carbs, fiber, sodium, fats and other nutrients so you don’t have to.

Dine out with confidence

After you get into a habit of weighing your foods, you will have a much better idea of what a standard portion looks like. This is helpful when you are dining out or are at a party and don’t have access to your Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale. It will become easy to recognize when your dish of food is two portions, and you can take the additional serving home as a leftover. Just look how quickly this plate of Thanksgiving leftovers added up to 1 pound of food!EATSMARTKITCHEN SCALE - leftover-thanksgiving

Has an EatSmart kitchen scale helped you lose weight? Tweet us at @eatsmartscales.

How to Stick to Healthy Habits While on Vacation

healthy eating habits while on vacation

Are you looking forward to some well-deserved time off this summer? Vacations are an excellent way to rest, relax, and recharge your batteries. At the same time, it’s important to maintain healthy habits during your trip. While a few indulgences won’t derail your health and fitness, we have a few tips to help keep you on the right track.

Take before and after measurements

body fat scaleTake your body composition measurements before and after your trip with our EatSmart Precision Body Fat Scale. It measures muscle, body water and body fat percentage. If you’ve gained weight during the trip, compare your before-and-after body water percentages to better understand the source of the weight gain. In addition, the Body Fat Scale will provide estimated daily calorie needs to help you stay on track while traveling for a lengthy period of time.

Bring fitness gear

packing cube 1000

Designate one of your EatSmart TravelWise Packing Cubes for workout clothes, swimsuits and sneakers while packing. Then, start each day with exercise, which will help keep you energized throughout the day. Going for a walk, run or a bike ride with the family is also an excellent way to take in the local sites.

Have an airport survival plan

Airport food is rarely delicious or healthy. Improve your options with some snacks from home or purchase familiar, healthy food in the terminal. Oatmeal, yogurt with fruit, green salads and grilled chicken are all healthy options.

Start with a healthy breakfast

precision pro scale
Choose a healthy breakfast to start your day off right. Even quick buffets generally have some healthy choices. You can enjoy hard boiled eggs, fresh fruit, whole grain cereal, yogurt and even a slice or two of turkey bacon. Our EatSmart Precision Pro Kitchen Scale is lightweight and easy to bring along for when you want to measure your portions, especially if you are renting a home or condo.

Treat yourself

Vacation means some indulgences along the way. Decide what your special meal or treat will be for the day and let yourself go. Try the chowder in a bread bowl while in San Francisco or indulge in pasta and gelato during your trip to Italy. Enjoy your treat and be sure to make healthier choices the rest of the day.

Drink lots of water

A day of fun in the sun, running around, overeating, drinking daiquiris or making poor food choices can leave you dehydrated. Be sure to always carry a water bottle with you and drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. Also, it’s common to mistake feelings of thirst for feelings of hunger, leading to extra calorie consumption. A great rule to follow when drinking alcohol is to drink a glass of water immediately following every alcoholic beverage imbibed.

travelwise voyager luggage scale

Pro travel tip: Worried about your suitcase exceeding the airline’s weight limit? Weigh your luggage before you head off to the airport with the EatSmart Voyager Luggage Scale to prevent excess baggage fees.

You can be easily derailed from your healthy habits on vacation. With a little planning ahead, you can enjoy your vacation to the fullest while still maintaining your health and fitness regime.

Do you have healthy travel tips that you would like to share? Tweet them to us at @eatsmartscales.

healthy habits while on vacation

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