Healthy Byte: Simple Ways to Keep the Weight Off

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So you want to drop a couple sizes. You know the drill: Eat more veggies; fewer cookies. Drink more water; less soda. Work out a few times a week.

Still, while most of us know the basics of healthy living, getting trim is hard work.

That’s why we recently talked to exercise scientist Philip Stanforth, executive director of the Fitness Institute of Texas and a professor of exercise science at the University of Texas, to find out more about what to look out for when losing weight.

He told us there are three main obstacles that face most people who are trying to lose weight, and overcoming them can make a huge difference.

1. We spend way too much time sitting

“In the world we live today to think people could not be overweight is ridiculous, because in the normal course of the day we expend so few calories,” said Stanforth. “The chances are much higher that we’re going to eat more than that.” In other words, a daily regimen of sitting at our desks, driving to and from work, and ordering takeout probably means we’re going to end up eating more than we burn off.

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This, plus the fact that much of the food we eat comes stuffed with calorie-rich sugar and fat, makes evening out this ratio of burning to eating even harder.

There are some simple solutions to a sedentary lifestyle, though. While research has shown that simply working outwon’t cut it, getting up for a few minutes every hour might just do the trick.

2. We’re really, really bad at remembering what we’ve eaten and how much exercise we’ve done

Even when we’re making an effort to be more conscious of what we’re putting into our bodies and how active we are, we tend to give ourselves more credit than we deserve.

“People tend to overestimate their physical activity and underestimate how much food they eat,” Stanforth said. “They consistently think they’ve worked out more and consistently think they’ve eaten less.”

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Several recent studies back up Stanforth’s observations. In a recent editorial published in the Mayo Clinic’s peer-reviewed journal, Mayo Clinic Proceedings, the researchers wrote: “The assumption that human memory can provide accurate or precise reproductions of past ingestive behavior is indisputably false.”

The problem here isn’t just that memories aren’t reliable historical records — it’s also that we often overlook the calories in many of the foods we eat habitually.

Take coffee, for instance. Black coffee has just about 2 calories — less than a stick of sugar-free gum. But cream and sugar can add anywhere from 25-150 calories per serving.

“Most people will think, ‘Oh I had a coffee this morning and coffee has few-to-no calories,’ so it’s not significant,” says Stanforth.“ But when you add cream and sugar, that can end up being far more significant.”

3. Our portion sizes are way, way out of proportion

In recent years, the amount of food we consider to be a single serving has ballooned. In some foods, it’s increased as much as a whopping 138%. What most people would think of as a serving of ice cream, for example, is probably about a cup. In reality, though, a 230-calorie “serving” of Ben and Jerry’s is half a cup, or just about 8 large spoonfuls!

“Portion size is a big problem,” says Stanforth. “Most people would say, ‘Well that looks like a serving,’ but in reality it’s two or three servings.”

Think of this the time you’re out to eat. If you get a bowl of pasta, consider taking half to-go. If you’re eating family-style, start by covering half your plate in salad greens.

Originally Posted HERE

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Special Edition: Women’s History Month

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Meet The Women Who Changed Your Life

What does it take to make history? From Susan B. Anthony to Rosa Parks to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, there’s been no shortage of women who weren’t afraid to fight the good fight and change the world. In celebration of Women’s History Month, we’re putting the spotlight on the contributions of women in history by honoring the pioneers who made major advances in civil rights, women’s suffrage, racial equality, environmental justice, reproductive rights, and much, much more. Ahead, we’ve rounded up the stories behind some of the most influential women, ever. And make sure to check back often; we’re adding a new name to the list every day in March.

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Emily Dickinson
(1830 – 1886)

Her mark on history: American poet

How life would be different without her: Emily Dickinson, though not published as a poet until after her death, revolutionized the art of poetry. Her frequently untitled poems bucked convention with unusual punctuation and rhyme schemes, as well as a frequent focus on morbid subjects, like death and illness. In the years since her death, Dickinson has come to be considered one of the greatest American poets and is taught in schools across the country.

Her words to live by:Luck is not chance— / It’s Toil—

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Aretha Franklin
(born 1942)

Her mark on history: Legendary singer and musician

How life would be different without her: If you’ve ever power-sung Franklin’s version of “Respect” in the shower, she’s changed your life. Besides her effect on everyone’s start-of-the-day confidence levels, the Queen of Soul made multiple historic firsts in the music industry. In 1987, she was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2005, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 2010, Rolling Stone listed her as #1 on its listof 100 Greatest Singers, calling Franklin “a gift from God.”

Her words to live by: “All I’m asking for is a little respect.”

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Betty Friedan
(1921 – 2006)

Her mark on history: Feminist leader and author of The Feminine Mystique

How life would be different without her: Betty Friedan wasn’t the sole instigator of second-wave feminism, but it wouldn’t have looked the same without her. Friedan helped found two of the biggest organizations for women’s rights, the National Organization for Women and the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws, which would develop into NARAL Pro-Choice America. Additionally, she wrote The Feminine Mystique, a landmark book addressing the depression and unhappiness of women forced by society into the role of homemaker or mother, which she called “the problem that has no name.”

Her words to live by: “A girl should not expect special privileges because of her sex, but neither should she ‘adjust’ to prejudice and discrimination,” Friedan wrote.

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Noor Inayat Khan
(1914 – 1944)

Her mark on history: World War II spy and member of the French Resistance

How life would be different without her: Noor (also known as Nora) Inayat Khan was one of the many under-recognized female war heroes who risked — and in some cases sacrificed — their lives to help defeat Nazism. A descendant of Indian nobility, she was recruited by the British to sneak her way into Nazi-occupied France and work as a radio operator. As the Gestapo rounded up her comrades, Inayat Khan became the last remaining link holding open vital communications between Allied forces and the French Resistance. She evaded capture for months as the Nazis hunted her down. Despite the danger, Inayat Khan refused to leave what had become the “principal and most dangerous” post in occupied France. Eventually captured, she consistently refused to reveal any information under interrogation. She was executed by her captors after 10 months in captivity. In 1949, she was posthumously awardedBritain’s George Cross, for her “conspicuous courage” in her duty.

Her words to live by: “Liberté” was her last word before execution.

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Marie Curie
(1867 – 1934)

Her mark on history: Physicist and chemist who discovered multiple chemical elements

How life would be different without her: Curie’s (and husband Pierre’s) research into radioactivity was more than groundbreaking — it was world-changing. Her theory of radioactivity forms the basis for much of the science we have today, including nuclear power and weapons, medical research, and even pieces of your smoke detector. Curie also gave a role model to every little girl who dreams of being a scientist — she was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, shared with her husband for physics in 1903. Curie remains the only woman to win two Nobel Prizes, after winning her second, for chemistry, in 1911.

Her words to live by: “Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and, above all, confidence in ourselves,” Eve, Curie’s daughter, quoted her mother in a 1937 biography.

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Toni Morrison
(born 1931)

Her mark on history: The first Black woman to win the Nobel Prize in literature

How life would be different without her: Morrison’s work is varied and diverse, but two themes always stand out: the realities of race and gender. From her 1970 debut, The Bluest Eye, to her most recent 2015 novel, God Help the Child, Morrison’s writing explores what it means to be Black and female in a world that doesn’t value Black women. Morrison has won myriad awards for her work, including a Pulitzer Prize for Beloved in 1988, and the Nobel Prize in literature in 1993. For her win, the Nobel organization simply stated that Morrison “gave the African-American people their history back.”

Her words to live by: “Passion is never enough; neither is skill. But try,” Morrison said in her 1993 Nobel Prize lecture.

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Lilly Ledbetter
(born 1938)

Her mark on history: Activist for women’s pay equality

How life would be different without her: In 1998, Lilly Ledbetter filed suit against her former employer, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, alleging discrimination based on the fact she had been paid significantly less than her male colleagues. In 2007, the court ruled against Ledbetter, on the grounds that she would have had to bring the suit within six months of the discrimination occurring — even though she didn’t discover the discrepancy until years later. Her story brought attention to the inadequacy of existing legislation to address pay inequality — and two years later, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which eased the time limitations on filing a pay discrimination claim, was the first piece of legislation President Obama signed into law.

Her words to live by: “Equal pay for equal work is a fundamental American principle,” she said in 2008 speech to the Democratic National Convention.

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Alice Paul
(1885 – 1977)

Her mark on history: Suffragist and activist

How life would be different without her: Paul was the main strategist behind the push for women’s voting rights in the 1910s. After moving to England to study in 1907, she became involved in the suffragist movement. She was arrested multiple times while fighting for British women’s right to vote, and went on hunger strikes in prison. When she moved back to the United States, she carried on the fight for women’s rights in her home country. She helped secure the passage of the 19th Amendment to the constitution in 1920, guaranteeing women the right to vote.

In this photo, she toasts Tennessee’s ratification of the Amendment – with a glass of grape juice, since prohibition was in effect at the time.

Her words to live by: “Most reforms, most problems are complicated. But to me there is nothing complicated about ordinary equality,” she said in a 1974 interview with American Heritage Magazine.

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Annie Oakley
(1860 – 1926)

Her mark on history: Sharpshooter and performer

How life would be different without her: The woman nicknamed “Little Sure Shot” helped solidify the mythos of the American Old West, becoming the female face of the legends. She earned her fame and reputation performing with Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West sideshow, dazzling the crowds with tricks like splitting playing cards along their edges. When war with Spain threatened in 1898, Oakley, then 37, contacted the U.S. government with an offer to raise a regiment of sharpshooting women. Unfortunately for the potential Hollywood war dramas, the government did not take her up on it.

Her words to live by:Aim at a high mark and you will hit it. No, not the first time, nor the second, and maybe not the third. But keep on aiming and keep on shooting for only practice will make you perfect.”

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Sally Ride
(1951 – 2012)

Her mark on history: First American woman in space

How life would be different without her: Sally Ride showed millions of little girls that their dreams of being an astronaut were just as valid as their brothers’. But before her historic flight in 1983, she had to put up with a lot of sexism. At a press conference, reporters asked Ride if she cried when things went wrong on the job, and whether space flight would “affect her reproductive organs.” (She acerbically responded, “there’s no evidence of that.”)

It wasn’t until after Ride’s death that the world found out that besides being the first woman, Ride may have been the first LGBT person in space. After her 2012 death from pancreatic cancer, her obituary revealed her 27-year relationship with partner Tam O’Shaughnessy.

Her words to live by: “Studying whether there’s life on Mars or studying how the universe began, there’s something magical about pushing back the frontiers of knowledge,” she said in a 2003 interview with NPR.

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Margaret Thatcher
(1925 – 2013)

Her mark on history: As prime minister of the United Kingdom, she was the first woman to lead a major Western democracy.

How life would be different without her: The Iron Lady held the highest office in Britain for more than a decade, from 1979 to 1990. Though her conservative politics were variably received by the country over her tenure, her legacy was influential enough to see her name affixed to a political philosophy. “Thatcherism” has become a shorthand in British politics for an agenda characterized by free markets and a diminished government. After leaving office, she was made a Baroness by the queen, and later awarded the highest honor of all — being played by Meryl Streep.

Her words to live by: “You turn if you want to. The lady’s not for turning!

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Louisa May Alcott
(1832 – 1888)

Her mark on history: American literature

How life would be different without her: Alcott’s best-known novel, Little Women, set a bar for both writers and all the tomboys of the world. The novel made the lives of women and girls its central purpose, and her most famous character, Jo March, gave ambitious and temperamental little girls a role model. Alcott’s beloved story has been adapted for film and television multiple times, from a 1919 silent version to the 1994 Winona Ryder classic.

Her words to live by:Love is the only thing that we can carry with us when we go, and it makes the end so easy.

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Amelia Earhart
(1897 – 1937)

Her mark on history: The first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean alone

How life would be different without her: Earhart, an aviator born in Kansas, didn’t let her gender stop her from achieving her dreams. She was the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean solo, and she went on to design clothesand to become a faculty consultant at Purdue University. In 1937, Earhart attempted to fly around the world, and her plane disappeared that year. Her legacy continues to inspire pilots of all genders today, and her bravery proved that women (and men) can do whatever they set their minds to. Earhart’s story is still taught to schoolchildren today.

Her words to live by:The most effective way to do it is to do it.

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Helen Keller
(1880 – 1968)

Her mark on history: The first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree, changing public perception of what a disabled person could accomplish

How life would be different without her: Keller didn’t let the fact that she was blind and deaf stop her from becoming a prominent activist, and she eventually co-founded the American Civil Liberties Union in 1920. Keller earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Radcliffe College in 1904, and she was the first deaf and blind person to do so, setting an example for others to follow. Keller and her teacher Anne Sullivan are an example of the power of compassion and determination, and their story is still taught to children in the United States today.

Her words to live by:Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.

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Harriet Tubman
(1822 – 1913)

Her mark on history: The Underground Railroad and abolitionism

How life would be different without her: Tubman was born into slavery in Maryland, and after she escaped, she devoted her life to helping others escape slavery, too. In the 1850s, Tubman served as a “conductor” on the Underground Railroad. She also served as a Union spy during the Civil War. Tubman is celebrated as one of the most prominent figures in the United States’ abolitionist movement.

Her words to live by:Slavery is the next thing to hell.

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Clara Barton
(1821 – 1912)

Her mark on history: The American Red Cross

How life would be different without her: Barton founded the American Red Cross in 1881, after serving as a nurse during the Civil War. Her work directly affected countless lives, and the Red Cross continues to help the wounded today. Aside from her work in establishing the aid organization, Barton also knew Susan B. Anthony and was active in the women’s suffrage movement.

Her words to live by:The surest test of discipline is its absence.”

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Sandra Day O’Connor
(born 1930)

Her mark on history: The first woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court

How life would be different without her: Former President Ronald Reagan appointed O’Connor to the Supreme Court in 1981, and she served as an associate justice until her retirement in 2006. As a moderate conservative, O’Connor gained support from both sides of the aisle and served as an example for future justices. O’Connor cast the deciding vote in many notable Supreme Court cases, including 1992’s Planned Parenthood v. Casey, in which she defended women’s rights to choose. Though she is retired, O’Connor continues to be involved in politics — she recently spoke out about why President Obama should nominate a replacement for the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

Her words to live by:The power I exert on the court depends on the power of my arguments, not on my gender.

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Elizabeth Cady Stanton
(1815 – 1902)

Her mark on history: The women’s suffrage movement

How life would be different without her: Stanton, a formally educated woman born in Johnstown, NY, was involved in the abolitionist and women’s suffrage movements. In 1848, she helped organize America’s first convention for women’s rights. She later worked with Susan B. Anthony to present a bill on women’s rights to the New York Legislature, and the pair’s efforts eventually led to the passage of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote.

Her words to live by:The best protection any woman can have…is courage.

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Harriet Beecher Stowe
(1811 – 1896)

Her mark on history: Abolitionist and author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin

How life would be different without her: Stowe was born into a prominent religious family in Connecticut, and her father was a Calvinist preacher. When Stowe’s family moved to Cincinnati, she joined a literary club, where she met her husband, an abolitionist. The pair supported the work of the Underground Railroad, and Stowe went on to write Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which described the horrible treatment of slaves in America. The book sold more than 300,000 copies the first year it was published and helped many Americans learn about the harsh realities of slavery.

Her words to live by:It’s a matter of taking the side of the weak against the strong, something the best people have always done.

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Dorothea Dix
(1802 – 1887)

Her mark on history: Pioneering treatment for mental health

How life would be different without her: Dorothea Dix, a teacher in Boston, fought tirelessly to de-stigmatize mental illness. After teaching at a local prison and learning of the poor living conditions there, Dix traveled to other prisons in Massachusetts to observe the quality of life for the imprisoned and insane. She took her findings to Massachusetts’ legislature, which led to the creation of America’s first mental institutions. After the mental institutions were formed, Dix also served as the Superintendent of Army Nurses during the American Civil War. When the war was over, Dix continued writing about her experiences and fighting for better treatment of people struggling with mental illness.

Her words to live by: “In a world where there is so much to be done, I felt strongly impressed that there must be something for me to do.”

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Billie Jean King
(born 1943)

Her mark on history: Champion of women’s sports: Former World No. 1 professional tennis player who won 39 Grand Slam titles

How life would be different without her: King was an incredible tennis player — she won six Wimbledon championships as well as four U.S. Open titles. But she’s also lauded as a key figure in the fight for equality in professional sports. During 1973’s “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match, a nationally televised media event, King beat Bobby Riggs (who was roughly 30 years older than her during the match), and her victory was hailed as a win for female athletes everywhere. That same year, King founded the Women’s Tennis Association. King has also spoken out against the sexism in the way many people discuss female athletes’ appearance, telling CNN in 2015 that commentators should “stop evaluating” their looks and instead focus on their achievements. In addition, she was one of the first openly gay female athletes.

Her words to live by:Champions keep playing until they get it right.

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Lucretia Mott
(1793 – 1880)

Her mark on history: Pioneer of the women’s rights movement

How life would be different without her: Mott, a Quaker, was an abolitionist and women’s rights activist who fought for equal rights for all citizens. In 1833, she helped to form the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society and was an organizer of the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention, a landmark women’s rights gathering, where she served as the keynote speaker. During the convention, the attendees penned the Declaration of Sentiments, a list of rights they believed women deserved.

Her words to live by: “The world has never yet seen a truly great and virtuous nation, because in the degradation of woman, the very fountains of life are poisoned at their source.”

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Maya Angelou
(1928 – 2014)

Her mark on history: American literature

How life would be different without her: Angelou authored seven autobiographical books, including I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and will be forever beloved for her powerful poems. Born in Missouri, she was an active voice in the civil rights movement. She recited her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at Bill Clinton’s presidential inauguration in 1993. In addition to gaining national recognition for her writing, Angelou made many people rethink their ideas about sex workers by writing about her own experience as a sex worker.

Her words to live by:Be a rainbow in somebody else’s cloud.”

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Sacagawea
(1788 – 1812)

Her mark on history: Member of the Lewis and Clark expedition

How life would be different without her: A Native American from the Shoshone tribe, Sacajawea was married to French fur trapper Toussaint Charbonneau when the couple joined the expedition ordered by Thomas Jefferson to explore the lands of the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase. Sacagawea’s language skills made her an invaluable resource for Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, the expedition’s leaders, on a trek that took them from St. Louis, MO, to the Pacific Ocean in 1804 to 1806. Sacajawea brought her newborn son, Jean-Baptiste Charbonneau, on the mission, too — he was born just two months before the group headed west. While Sacajawea ended up on the mission largelybecause of her husband, she proved to be essential to it in her own right, becoming an example for generations of women in the United States.

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Madeleine Albright
(born 1937)

Her mark on history: The first female U.S. secretary of state

How life would be different without her: Born in Czechoslovakia, Albright and her parents moved to the United States when she was a child. Albright has been candid about her childhood experiences — in 2015, she tweeted, “My family fled Hitler and then communism. Becoming an American was the best thing that ever happened to me.” As a diplomat representing the U.S. government, she served as ambassador to the United Nations before Bill Clinton named her secretary of state in 1996. Albright paved the way for Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton. She has never been afraid to speak her mind: She recently told CNN that the 2016 GOP primary race is “like children in a school yard calling each other names.”

Her words to live by: “There is a special place in hell for women who do not help other women.”

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Sojourner Truth
(1797 – 1883)

Her mark on history: The U.S. abolitionism movement

How life would be different without her: Sojourner Truth escaped slavery in Ulster County, N.Y., in 1826, along with her infant daughter. Truth also made history when she won a legal battle against a white man to get her son back when he was sold into slavery in Alabama. She was an essential figure in the abolitionism movement, and she is widely recognized for her “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech, delivered in 1851 at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention.

Her words to live by:
Truth is powerful, and it prevails.”

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg
(born 1933)

Her mark on history: The U.S. Supreme Court

How life would be different without her: Ginsburg was the second female justice ever appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court (Sandra Day O’Connor was the first). Now, she serves along with two other female justices, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. Before serving on the Supreme Court, Ginsburg fought for women’s rights as a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union. Ginsburg continues to fight for equality as a Supreme Court justice today.

Her words to live by: “Now the perception is, yes, women are here to stay,” Ginsburg said of the Supreme Court during the 10th Circuit Bench & Bar Conference in 2012. “And when I’m sometimes asked, ‘When will there be enough?’ and I say, ‘when there are nine,’ people are shocked. But there’d been nine men, and nobody’s ever raised a question about that.”

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Susan B. Anthony
(1820 – 1906)

How she made her mark on history: The women’s suffrage movement

How life would be different without her: A teacher in the New York state school system, Anthony fought for equal education for women and Black people in 19th-century America. She orchestrated the first women’s suffrage convention in Washington, D.C. in 1869, and three years later, was arrested and convicted for voting in Rochester, N.Y. She refused to pay her fine. In 1920, the United States passed the 19th Amendment, unofficially known as the Anthony Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.

Her words to live by: “
Independence is happiness.”

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Gloria Steinem
(born 1934)

How she made her mark on history: The second-wave feminism movement

How life would be different without her:
Steinem is one of modern feminism’s most inspiring voices. She testified in Senate hearings about the Equal Rights Amendment in 1970, and has been vocal about a variety of issues that impact women, including reproductive rights, child abuse, and female genital mutilation. She grabbed national attention with her undercover exposé of working as a Playboy bunny, rose to prominence as a columnist for New Yorkmagazine, and cofounded the feminist magazine Ms.

Her words to live by:
Imagine we are linked, not ranked.”

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Rosa Parks
(1913 – 2005)

How she made her mark on history: The Civil Rights movement

How life would be different without her: Parks helped spark a revolution when she refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a city bus in Montgomery, AL, in 1955. She was arrested and eventually lost her job as a seamstress at a local department store. But her act of civil disobedience inspired a boycott of Montgomery’s buses that lasted 381 days and drew national attention. The following year, the Supreme Court declared segregation on buses to be unconstitutional — an important victory in the fight for racial equality in the United States.

Her words to live by:
“I believe we are here on the planet Earth to live, grow up, and do what we can to make this world a better place for all people to enjoy freedom,” Parks told Life magazine in 1988.

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Jane Goodall
(born 1934)

Her mark on history: The world’s leading primatologist

How life would be different without her:
Born in London, Goodall has been fascinated with animals since she was child, and she wrote her doctoral thesis at Cambridge University about her research on the behavior of chimpanzees. She is now one of the world’s most knowledgeable experts on the species, which she has studied in Tanzania for more than 50 years. She now advocates on behalf of many endangered animals, and she’s spread awareness about a variety of animal species to people across the globe.

Her words to live by: “To achieve global peace, we must not only stop fighting each other, but also stop destroying the natural world.”

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Lucy Stone
(1818 – 1893)

Her mark on history: Abolitionist and suffragist

How life would be different without her: Stone was one of the original suffragists, and an all-around badass. She worked with activists like Elizabeth Cady Stanton to establish the first National Women’s Rights Convention, and used her talent as an orator to advocate for women’s rights and ending slavery. She put herself through college by working part time, and was the first Massachusetts woman to earn a college degree (though she had to go to Ohio to do it).

She was no less principled in her personal life — she refused to marry her husband unless the marriage was guaranteed to be egalitarian, and she kept her own name after they wed.

Her words to live by:We ask only for justice and equal rights — the right to vote, the right to our own earnings, equality before the law.

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Eleanor Roosevelt
(1884 – 1962)

Her mark on history: Activist and politician who changed the role of first lady

How life would be different without her: During her time as First Lady, she was a public advocate of civil rights, working to improve the state of minority rights and lobbying the federal government to end lynching. After her White House tenure, she pressured the United States to join the United Nations, eventually serving as the first chair of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights. She was also active domestically, serving as chair of JFK’s Presidential Commission on the Status of Women. When she died in 1962, The New York Times called her “one of the most esteemed women in the world.”

Her words to live by: I know that we will be the sufferers if we let great wrongs occur without exerting ourselves to correct them.”

Originally Posted HERE

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Healthy Byte: Stop the Diets – Try Real Life Tips

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Foundry via Pixabay

How is your diet working for you?

I spent years trying to perfect my eating. Admittedly, I was a nutritional fundamentalist. There were a few reasons for that, some foods gave me brain fog and I had a bad case of IBS. My bloating would get so past the stage of “has she gained a few pounds?” people would boldly ask me if I was pregnant. But truth is, I feared food, and in trying to keep my symptoms at bay I created a self fulfilling prophecy.

I was not one to sit on the sidelines watching my health spiraling downhill. So I tested, researched, chuck some “nutritional truths” out of the window and made of nutrition my life’s work. Eventually I found that there are as many perspectives on diet as there are people on the planet, but in the end, it all comes down to 3 fundamental guidelines I work with, and suggest you try. Experience tells me they work:

1. Be an emotional eater

In other words, embrace who you already are. We all are emotional eaters, but not in the way we usually speak of, tail between our legs as if it were a shameful thing. Your body is sensitive to the chemistry of your emotions, and very much so. Depending on what’s going on inside you will digest food differently, metabolize differently, burn calories differently and use energy differently. You will be more, or less pone to falling ill, and to developing a health condition.

It’s not about taking emotions out of the equation, it’s about learning to manage them. For this reason, learning to relax your body during a meal is vital for a healthy metabolism, and deep breathing is one of the simplest, most effective ways to relax. Don’t discard simple, it’s often the most powerful.

 

2. Stay curious about your eating behaviors

Binge eating, overeating, emotional eating, shopping sprees, one drink too many… Our most disconcerting actions can be stepping stones to our deepest insights. Exploring the driving force behind them gives us the understanding, wisdom and maturity we are being called to develop. Addiction taught me that what you resist, persists. Rather than control, observation, curiosity and inquiry will ‘unlock’ an unwanted behavior. Try to beat it it’ll beat you. Invite it to the table, you’ll be surprised at what it has to say.

2016-06-02-1464886271-4201623-lake712118.jpgStaffordgreen0 via Pixabay

3. Let your diet evolve

This — is important. Your health mirrors how you do life and your life mirrors how you care for your health. You move through periods that require from you new choices in food as they do in your life, and the healthy diet that worked miracles 5 years ago may have reached its expiration date.

We can outgrow a diet like we outgrow a jumper. Does this mean the diet was bad? No. Even a life saving medicine works until it does. Your ability to listen to your changing needs and move into what best supports you right now keeps you awake. It keeps you healthy in body and sharp in your thoughts, open in your beliefs and elastic in your ability to change them.

Because a diet made you feel superhuman doesn’t mean it will continue to do so. While there are long term preferences you stick to because they work, it’s important to stay aware of your body senses, keep an open mind and continue to assess whether yesterday’s choice is still the right one.

Now, I’d love to hear from you. Which of the above 3 tips did you resonate with the most, and why?

Originally Posted HERE

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Healthy Byte: Strength Training Tips from the Pros

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Every guy dreams of attaining chiseled abs and arms, which usually leads to lots of hours at the gym. Putting in the time will definitely set you on the right path, but it might not be enough to get the results you want. Tons of elements go into a well-rounded strength routine, and the little details really do matter. You may be greatat maximizing your effort for individual lifts, but slacking on recovery or consistency.

Fitness can be a tricky puzzle to put together, so it’s time to clear up some of the confusion. We asked six leading weight-lifting experts to share the advice that had the greatest impact on their own training, which they’ve since passed on to others. Read on to hear what they had to say.

1. Don’t shy away from intensity

personal trainer pushing a man at the gym

Working out | Source: iStock

‘Go to failure.’ That’s the best weight-lifting advice I received when I was a young man. Now that I’m a professional trainer, I witness the power of it often, and still in my own life.

After my wife’s second pregnancy and the joy of bringing a second little girl into the world, I reprioritized my workouts. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of backing off my intensity in the gym. That meant less resistance, ending before failure, and longer rest periods. The result? I saw a 10% increase in my body fat.

When I realized how I’d drifted, I repurposed my workouts and increased my intensity again. I used several resistance training methods to do it. With a change in diet, I dropped to below 4% body fat.

Joe Cross, CPT, and founder of Cross Fitness in Minneapolis

2. Remember to take time for recovery

resting, taking a break at the gym

‘Fatigue masks fitness.’ If you’re always doing a high volume of work, you’ll never give yourself an opportunity to realize or demonstrate your fitness gains. Short-term overreaching is a good thing, and part of the training process, whereas long-term overtraining is a huge problem.

Eric Cressey, CSCS, and president and co-founder of Cressey Sports Performance in Hudson, Mass.

3. Dedication is everything

a man lifting weights

A dedicated man pushing himself | Source: iStock

The most important advice anyone can take with regards to strength training isn’t something I was ever given explicitly, but something that was reinforced over my years as a weightlifter by my coaches. And that is hard work and consistency are the keys to success. There are no magic tricks. And thinking, reading, talking, and arguing about every new thing you hear of is wasting time and energy you should be putting into training and recovery. Or, as I like to tell my lifters, “shut up and get back to work.”

Greg Everett, head coach of the Catalyst Athletics weightlifting team, owner of Catalyst Athletics in Sunnyvale, Calif., and author of Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes & Coaches

4. Keep everything in balance

performing push-ups at the gym

A man performing push-ups | Source: iStock

Maintain a strength balance between anterior, front, and posterior, rear, chains. Things usually go wrong when the strength ratio is far off between the two. The biggest areas to prioritize are the shoulder girdle, the middle to lower torso and trunk, and finally, the upper legs. All of these need a balanced, though not necessarily equal, strength ratio to perform optimally and prevent or stave off injury for as long as possible.

Ryan Hopkins, Olympic weightlifter and CPT at Soho Strength Lab in New York

5. Try to be patient

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A workout plan | Source: iStock

The best advice I’ve ever received, and now give to my clients, would be stick to your programming. All too often I see people either, A: write elaborate training programs just to follow them on and off for a while, and get no real results, or B: jump from program to program after 3 to 4 weeks of not seeing the results they want. Stick to a program for 8 to 10 weeks, and assess where you are and where you want to be. Then change to a different program, if needed. Simple is better if it means you’ll be consistent!

Brody Maves, CrossFit Level 1 coach and director of training at goCrossFit in Nashville, Tenn.

Originally Posted HERE

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Healthy Byte: The Fitness Cliff

What New Year’s resolution? (Photo: Getty Images)

The start of a new workout plan starts with a burst of energy: You hit the gym thinking, “Yeah, I got this! Bring it!” But after a few weeks, the initial excitement starts to fizzle. Be honest: Have you even thought about your New Year’s resolution lately?

Turns out, there’s a specific day when this waning motivation starts to happen. Today, Feb. 10, is the day gym check-ins begin to steadily decline — known as the “fitness cliff” — according to an analysis of check-in data from corporate Gold’s Gym locations across the United States.

There are a few reasons motivation starts to wane in February. “People think of ‘motivation’ as a strategy, but really it’s an emotional state,” explains Jessi Kneeland, certified personal trainer and founder of Remodel Fitness. And since motivation is an emotion, ultimately it’s a fleeting feeling, she says.

“Motivation tends to be high around New Year’s, because people get filled with hope and excitement and visions of ‘a new me!’ They ride that emotional state until it ends, which is … usually right about now,” Kneeland tells Yahoo Health.

In addition, a visible change in your body takes time. It’s easy to think “this isn’t working” and quit. “Most of us don’t structure exercise to fold into the habit cycle of our psychology,” Emmett Williams, president of the heart-rate-tracking system MYZONE, tells Yahoo Health. “We don’t reward ourselves quickly enough, and the payoff — weight loss in three months, lower blood pressure in six months — is just too far away for it to be motivating,” Williams says.

So how do you keep from falling off the fitness cliff? “Today is the day when you have the choice to make it or break it,” strength expert Holly Perkins, CSCS, creator of The GLUTES Project, tells Yahoo Health. “The difference between success and failure here is simply action,” she says. “Don’t think about it, just go to the gym. Don’t negotiate, just do your workout!”

If the “just do it” philosophy still isn’t enough to get you moving today, tomorrow, and all month long, bookmark these tips from five top fitness experts.

How to Avoid the Fitness Cliff and Stay Motivated to Work Out

The expert: Nick Tumminello, CPT, strength expert and author of Building Muscle and Performance

The advice:

  • Be honest with yourself. Most people start off doing too much because they’re so motivated, but it’s unrealistic and unsustainable. For example, if you hate getting up early and are the type of person who hits snooze until they absolutely have to get up, it’s unrealistic to say “I’ll get up two hours early to work out and shower.” You’re setting yourself up for failure. Instead, look at your history of behavior and find what’s most realistic — not necessarily what you’d like to do or what you think is ideal.
  • Do something that you like. We all know exercise is medicine, but we don’t like to take medicine when it doesn’t taste good. If you like weight machines, use machines. If you hate machines, don’t use machines. Make the medicine taste good.

The expert: Jessi Kneeland, certified personal trainer and founder of Remodel Fitness

The advice:

  • Acknowledge that motivation is an emotional state and thus, by definition, a fleeting plan. Have compassion for yourself when you run out of motivation. It was nice, but it was never meant to last, so don’t let yourself feel guilt or shame when it’s gone.
  • Put into place a real plan by looking at your goals and working backward to break it into daily tasks. For example, if your goal was to be able to run three miles nonstop, instead of running whenever you’re motivated, work out how long it would take you to build up to your goal if you consistently run three days a week.
  • Be generous with your plan; make it easier than you think you need. Set yourself up to experience tiny victory after tiny victory. Feeling like a success will help you stay in a long-term state of motivation.

The expert: Mike Ryan, Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute expert trainer

The advice:

  • Add some “class” to your routine. Whether it’s functional training like TRX or moving to the beat with a Zumba class, group exercise is a great way to inject some energy into a stale routine and will help you with your pledge to get back in shape.
  • Enlist a trainer. Even if it’s just for a few sessions, working with a certified personal trainer who can design a program that’s tailored to your body is the big step to transforming your body and reaching your goals

The expert: Adam Rosante, celebrity trainer and author of The 30-Second Body

The advice:

  • Find a deeper reason to work out. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a hot body, but your impulse to sit on the couch and binge watch a season of Empire is going to overrun your six-pack fantasies. Ask yourself why it’s important to work out. Once you have an answer, ask why again. Repeat that five times and you’ll come up with something truly impactful. Now you have real ammo to help you get your butt up and moving.
  • Take a single step. Most people fail at their fitness goals because they try to overhaul everything at once. It’s just not sustainable. You wind up burning out and quitting completely. Take a second to evaluate your plan and focus on just one thing. Those small daily steps are what add up to massive change.
  • Just freaking do it. Sometimes the best strategies in the world fail to motivate us. Here’s where you need to force yourself to do something, however small. Ten bodyweight squats. A few jumping jacks. Whatever. You’ll find that this simple act ignites the desire for more movement.

The expert: Harley Pasternak, celebrity trainer and nutritionist, author of 5 Pounds: The Breakthrough 5-Day Plan to Jump-Start Rapid Weight Loss and Never Gain It Back

The Advice:

  • Make your goals actionable. Think: Walk 10,000 steps a day, sleep at least seven hours a night. Don’t make it about a dress size or a weight.

  • Set empirical (number-based) goals so that you can actually count them and push yourself to hit that number. For example, eat protein five times a day, unplug for at least 20 minutes, or do at least five minutes of strength exercises each day.

Originally Posted HERE

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Healthy Byte: 8-Minute Workout ANYWHERE!

This 8-minute workout is broken down into 16 different 30-second intervals — including moves to warm you up and cool you down some. For each interval, you can take it as hard or as easy as you want. If you want to make it a true HIIT session, then really push yourself to do as many reps as you can of each move per interval. If you’re wanting to take it easier (say, you’re doing this over your lunch break and don’t have access to a shower), then take your intensity down a notch. It’s up to you! No matter how fast you do it, you’ll be working your entire body — and getting strength and cardio work in at the same time. Plus, we think it’s totally fun. And, only 8 minutes, so totally doable!

1. March in place. Think about what you want to get out of this workout today.

2. Jog in place. Think about why you’re doing this workout today.

3. Jumping jacks. Be sure to reach all the way up and touch your hands overhead.

4. Squats. If you need a refresher on proper squat form, read this. And if squats are too easy, try jump squats.

5. Mountain climbers. Really try to get your feet up and near your hands.

6. Plank on your hands. Oh, the fun is just getting started in plank.

7. Side plank to the right. If you need to drop down to a knee, that’s totally cool.

8. Side plank to the left. Again, feel free to modify down to that knee.

9. Reverse plank. Keep those hips lifted! Almost done with the planks, we swear.

10. Plank on your forearms. If you need a break, come into down dog, and then get right back in it as soon as you can.

11. Dance party. After all of those planks, you deserve a 30-second impromptu dance party, don’t ya think?

12. Forward lunges. Don’t let that knee go past your front toe for proper alignment.

13. Jumping lunges. If these are too intense, try backward lunges.

14. Burpees. You’re in the home stretch! After this, we start cooling down. So give this one your all!

15. Left to right side touches. Bring that heart rate down. Think about what you got out of your workout today.

16. Big inhales and exhales as you reach your arms over ahead and back down again. Think about your why again. And then feel really freakin’ proud of yourself.

Originally Posted HERE

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Healthy Byte: Lose Weight for Life

There’s no fad diet or miracle pill that will change your body overnight, but losing weight is within your reach — it just might take a little longer than you’d like. Consider this: when you lose weight at a slow and healthy pace, you’ll be more likely to keep it off for good. If you’re done with the days of yo-yo dieting, these 10 tips are the emotional stepping stones to a healthier lifestyle.

  1. Start small: Chances are, if in the past, you’ve tried to change everything all at once, few of your intentions have stuck for good. The answer to staying committed for the long haul is to start small. Make one positive shift every week, instead of overwhelming yourself with a bunch of changes at once.
  2. Find out what fuels you: Whatever your true motivation is, tap into it, and use it. Is it about fitting into a ton of clothes tucked away in the back of your closet? Is it about being lighter and more active, so you can run around outside with your kids? Getting serious about your long-term goals will keep you committed to your lifestyle change.
  3. Don’t focus on deprivation: According to celebrity trainer Heidi Powell, anytime you deprive yourself of food, or of anything, “all you want is what you can’t have!” Take your mind-set away from sacrifice and start celebrating the fact that you’re cultivating a healthier, happier, more energized life.
  4. Learn to love consistency: When you have a regular mealtime schedule and fridge full of fresh produce and healthy staples, making choices that support your goals won’t feel like a constant battle. Remember, this isn’t a quick fix — this is a lifestyle change. After a few weeks, these things will feel like second nature.
  5. Find healthy foods you love: It’s true! Healthy food that supports weight loss can also be delicious! If you’ve been on a solid sugar- and salt-laden diet for years, it will take a little getting used to. But sooner than you think, those cravings start to dissipate, and clean, natural foods sound much more palatable.
  6. Seek out exercise you enjoy: Heading to the gym shouldn’t feel like pulling teeth. Keep on trying new group fitness classes, cardio machines, and different styles of exercise. When you find that one activity that flies by and feels like fun, you’ll know you’ve met your match.
  7. Plan ahead for indulgences whenever possible: Occasionally enjoying a sweet treat or special meal out are essential parts of sustainable weight-loss plan. When you know you’re going to want a burger at your BBQ or an ice cream cone when you’re at the beach next weekend, keep your diet extra clean leading up to your special indulgence. It will make the whole experience that much sweeter.
  8. Have compassion for yourself: Sometimes, we’re triggered by foods around us, we haven’t planned ahead, and slipups happen. Instead of being hard on yourself after eating a food that’s “off-limits,” forgive yourself, and move on. When you treat yourself with kindness, you’ll be able to bounce back and stay on track. Let’s skip the downward spiral of a whole day (or week) filled with junk food, shall we?
  9. Keep setting new goals: As you’re evolving and progressing on your weight-loss journey, your goals have got to keep up! There’s so much to celebrate beyond that number on the scale, and setting specific and personal minigoals like training for a race (or slipping into that pair of old jeans) will help you stay connected.
  10. Picture the new you: If you’ve struggled with your weight for a long time, it can be hard to visualize a new, healthier life. You might not be able to find the words right now, but creating a tangible reminder, like a healthy vision board covered in inspirational images, will help you start to recognize what your dreams look like.

Originally Posted HERE

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