Just when you think you've gotten your hands on the best fitness gear or health food of the year, another tempting one comes along. Instead of trying them all, we did the work for you! Throughout 2013, we tested the best of the best, from shoes to sunscreen to snacks. Check out our top picks, and buy them for yourself now, or give them as gifts this holiday season. They'll be just as noteworthy in 2014; they're that good.
Haven't you noticed? No place is off limits when it comes to taking selfies, not even bathrooms or the red carpet. So it's no surprise that people have been taking and sharing gym selfies — or gym "healthies" as they're called. Many of you participated when we asked you to post your healthie snaps, but not everyone can get behind the trend. Some consider it inappropriate or awkward at best ("Let me just pretend no one else can see me"), while selfie supporters see nothing wrong with some sweaty self-love.
We want to know: what's your take on the gym selfie showdown?
A homemade edible gift is always a thoughtful gesture, whether it's destined for a spot under the Christmas tree or to be toted along to a party as a hostess gift, but it's no secret that most take a fair amount of time and foresight to prepare. Still, that's no reason to abandon the idea entirely. If you're pressed for time, turn to this fast yet festive fix: za'atar spiced nuts. Not only are they a nice reprieve from the onslaught of holiday sweets and decadent treats, but they also can be made (cooling included) in only about an hour, so you can get on with the festivities at hand. Get the easy recipe.
If you're one of those eat-peanut-butter-straight-out-of-the-jar people, get your spoon ready for this recipe. While peanut butter is quite possibly one of the most perfect foods, even die-hard fans can get a little bored of the same old spread. Surprise your whole wheat toast and apple slices by spreading this mixed nut butter instead.
This homemade version will really rock your PB-loving world because it actually contains no peanuts at all. It's made with almonds, cashews, and sunflower seeds, creating a taste so fresh and unique that you'll never buy another jar from the store again. But it doesn't stop here — since there are so many different nuts and seeds to choose from, the possibilities of mixed nut butter creations are as wild as your imagination.
Keep reading for this simple 94-calorie recipe.
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup water, warm
Cream Cheese Frosting
4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- For cupcakes: Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter with powdered sugar on low speed. Add molasses, egg, and egg yolk. Add flour mixture, and stir until just combined.
- Dissolve baking soda in warm water. On a low speed, mix the warm water mixture into the batter.
- Fill cupcakes liners 3/4 full. Bake at 350ºF for 18 to 20 minutes or until cupcakes bounce back when touched.
- For cream cheese frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed. With mixer on low speed, add powdered sugar a cup at a time until smooth and creamy. Beat in vanilla extract.
- To assemble: Use an offset spatula to ice cupcakes. Decorate with sprinkles and seasonal candy, optional.
- Desserts, Cupcakes
- North American
- Makes 12 cupcakes
2 cups of two to four kinds of nuts (I used 3/4 cup cashews, 3/4 cup almonds, and 1/2 cup sunflower seeds)
- Place the nuts in a food processor, and grind until smooth, about five minutes or long enough for the desired consistency.
- Store unused nut butter in an airtight container (keeps longer in the fridge).
- Snacks, Nuts
- 12 one-tablespoon servings
- Cook Time
- 10 minutes
- Calories per serving
Keep your pup in great shape with these healthy low-fat dog biscuits, which are easier than you think to make. Instead of heading to the store for artisan treats, you can toss these together with simple organic ingredients that only cost a couple of bucks. Plus, you can easily tailor the biscuits to your pup's taste.
Free of sugar, oils, additives, and preservatives, these munchies are just the right thing to keep your loyal friend happy, healthy, and begging for more. Rather than using peanut butter as a base, these healthy low-fat dog biscuits are made with organic pumpkin puree and fresh spinach. Pumpkin is beneficial to your pup's digestive health, full of antioxidants, and aids in keeping your dog at his ideal weight. And spinach is packed with vitamins and iron.
Ideally, there would always be time to cook a fresh, balanced supper every night, but life doesn't always work that way. Steer clear of dialing for overpriced, overindulgent takeout on busy evenings, and keep a handful of frozen dinners tucked away in your freezer for the nights you really need them. Check out this video to see the three light and tasty options I always have on hand.
If you're trying to get a friend or relative to hop on board the healthy train, you want to be sure not to overstep your boundary and give a gift that could potentially offend. A fitness DVD titled Cardio For the Overweight will definitely send the message that you think they need to lose weight — not exactly spreading holiday cheer, are we?
You just want to offer a healthy gift in a way that's thoughtful, sensitive, and effective. Here are some picks that are sure to inspire a healthy lifestyle without offending the receiver.
Here's some food for thought: birthday boy Jay Z and his wife, Beyoncé, have decided to go vegan for a full 22 days. From now until Christmas, the music moguls will embrace a plant-based diet inspired by Marco Borges and his 22-day nutrition plan. But this isn't the first time Hollywood has gone vegan. Back in 2011, Oprah took a one-week challenge, not to mention the wide array of celebrities who have embraced veganism for good. In fact, eating one vegan meal a day can even help you lose weight! With all this hype, have you ever tried a vegan diet? Let us know in the poll below!