At one point while I was rambling on during the raffle at the end of Saturday’s sessions earlier this month at the Healthy Living Summit, I mentioned how much I really love SparkPeople.com. I said something about the fact that Spark People helped me to lose 50+ pounds at the beginning of my health journey and we all had a good hoot and holler over it.
I like to hoot and holler about the tools that have helped to make my healthy living journey just a tad bit easier. In our day and age choosing health isn’t always as easy as it should and could be; if something has made me want to jump for joy along this journey, it’s only fair that I share it. While health means something different to every soul, and it’s true that what works for one person definitely won’t work for every person, I share because I care. And I want you to know about the things I love to love!*
And I love to love Spark People, for about a billion reasons. Here’s just a few:
1 // Have a health topic you want to learn about? Spark People has TONS of articles and videos covering a wide range of specific health topics from experts to trust.
2 // Meal planning made easy with SparkRecipes.com; a site dedicated to healthy recipes for any and every occasion. Spark Recipes is a tool I have been using for YEARS for meal planning inspiration and has recently received a beautiful facelift with wonderful photography and a focus on eating better with quick and easy cooking. One of my favorite features of Spark Recipes is the ability to “Add/Calculate a Recipe.” It allows you to input the ingredients of your own recipes to calculate the nutritional info.
3 // Spark People trackers are customizable; a dream for this self-proclaimed organization nerd. You can track calories, fitness activity, weight gained and lost, plus any other goal you’d like to keep on your radar. To this day when I want to work towards a specific health goal, I find myself logged on to Spark People to do some goal setting and tracking.
4 // Spark People was the birthing site of some of my greatest friendships. I am so thankful for the COMMUNITY aspect of Spark People. I’ve made some lasting friendships through that site. As a matter of fact, Spark People is how I first started my friendship with Laura.
5 // Spark has gone mobile, and I love having the tracking tools at my finger tips when I’m on the go. There is also a v. cool “scan barcode” feature in which you can scan a package barcode to upload the nutritional info. Technology is uber-fun!
6 // Spark resources go beyond the web and onto my bookshelves. I love Spark People founder Chris Downie’s book, The Spark, which is full of motivational stories, tips and suggestions of how you can find the spark within you to make positive changes in your life. I’m currently reading The Spark Solution, the latest Spark People book release, and one of my favorite cookbooks in my kitchen is The SparkPeople Cookbook.
The cookbook is such a fantastic resource for the kitchen, full of delicious, nutritious recipes, but also narrative on healthy choices, lots of cooking and food prep tips, and motivation to make your health a priority as you eat. Some of my favorite go-to week night meals come of this book. As a matter of fact, Nick and I had an at-home date night where we made dinner together using three recipes from the cookbook; Baked Chicken Tenders (love the cheesy panko crust,) Three-Cheese Macaroni with Broccoli(blanching the broccoli makes such a huge difference! it’s the perfect texture,) and Roasted Red Potatoes with Garlic Herb Oil(so flavorful – probably my favorite dish of the night.)
All of the dishes were wonderful and I was stoked to have leftovers to use in other meals throughout the weekend. I’ve used some leftover tenders for quick tacos using stuff I already had in the house: my favorite pineapple salsa, corn tortillas, mixed greens, and shredded cheese. Other tenders and extra broccoli were used to top a big ole freggie filled salad and I diced up the roasted reds to make a potato egg hash for brunch. And the mac and cheese was fantastic reheated on its own and also topped with a runny egg.
I’ve marked at least a dozen recipes to add to our meal plan this fall from The SparkPeople Cookbook and I’m excited to offer you the opportunity to meal plan with a copy of your own, too. In celebration of the gorgeous relaunch of SparkRecipes.com, Spark People has offered to give TWO of the friends of THS their own copy of The SparkPeople Cookbook!
Update: Congratulations to Kelly from Living the Before and Rachel from The House Always Wins for winning a copy of The SparkPeople Cookbook. Ladies, be on the lookout for an email to confirm shipping details!
To enter to win one of two copies of The SparkPeople Cookbook, leave a comment on this post answering one of the following two questions before Friday, October 4th:
- What cookbook do you use the most often? Mine is a toss up between The SparkPeople Cookbook and How to Boil Water, especially for technique how-to.
- What cookbook feature is most important to you when you determining if it’s a “great cookbook?” I love extra trips and tricks that go along side the recipes to help make cooking easier on the beginner, home cook.
*if you’ve read this blog for more than 5 seconds, you probably are already aware that this extends way beyond health tools and products. I can’t stop talking about media recommendations, either.