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Hot Topic Tuesday: Would You Buy Your Valentine a Healthy Gift?

Written on February 7, 2012 at 10:31 am , by

Will you wrap candy hearts or a heart-smart gift? (Photo by Peter Ardito)

Love is in the air and the hunt is on for the perfect gift for your Valentine. Whether it’s for someone you’re newly dating or your spouse of many years, a good present can mean a lot. You’ll also never live down a bad present, so it’s important to get it right!

If your honey is trying to lose a few lbs, you may be thinking that a gym membership or a few workout DVDs would make for a perfect gift. Unfortunately, recipients might read this gesture as “honey, I think you need to spend more time on the treadmill” or “I love you, but I don’t love your love handles.”

There are a few health-minded gifts that we wouldn’t mind unwrapping, like:

  • A spa gift card
  • Dinner for two at a nice restaurant with healthy options
  • Dark chocolate
  • Red wine

But just remember to watch your step if you opt for goodies that don’t say, “I love you just the way you are!” (And a final hint to guys out there: We love our Spanx, but we can take care of that investment on our own.)

Now tell us: Will you have health in mind during your Valentine’s Day shopping? What is the best gift you’ve ever received on February 14?

Hot Topic Tuesday: Do You Throw a Healthy Party?

Written on January 31, 2012 at 12:27 pm , by

A tray of sliced veggies and hummus—that's one smart Super Bowl snack. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

With the Super Bowl just days away, many will be hosting gatherings for friends and family to cheer on the athletes (and let’s not forget, enjoy the commercials and halftime show)! Just like around holidays, some consider this as an occasion to indulge—the Super Bowl happens only once a year, right?

According to a recent National Restaurant Association survey, 42 percent of Americans say that nutritious options are a mandatory part of their game day spread. While it’s certainly better than none, this means about six in 10 get-togethers may not have healthy choices for fans. For some, a Super Bowl party just doesn’t feel right if a pizza delivery man isn’t invited! We enjoy throwing parties that include options to please all palates and dietary needs (click here for some of our favorite nutritious, crowd-pleasing snacks), but understand that some don’t consider bruschetta and sushi to be traditional football-viewing fare.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Now tell us: Do you consider parties to be a time for all-out indulgence or do you stray from tradition and offer nutritious food options for you and your guests? What will you be snacking on during the big game?

Hot Topic Tuesday: What If You Got Fined for Skipping a Workout?

Written on January 24, 2012 at 9:36 am , by

Would this app keep you motivated? (Photo by Alexa Miller)

Many of us pay a hefty price for a membership, but what if it cost you more money not to go to the gym? That’s the concept behind GymPact, an app for your iPhone or iPod Touch (and soon to be on the Android), that lets you set a penalty fee if you don’t stick to your gym agenda.

How does it work? You tell the app the number of times you want to go to the gym every week and the amount you’re fined if you don’t meet your goal. At the gym (or your local park, yoga studio or swimming pool), you can check in using your iPhone’s GPS or Wi-Fi on your iPod Touch. If you meet your weekly schedule, you’ll get cash from the people who missed their workouts.

Now tell us: Have you tried GymPact? Would getting fined make you stick to your fitness routine?