Friday Foreigner: Savvy Life

Low-Fat Labels May Break Your Scale

First off, I want to say thank you to my fellow blogger and personal friend, Bumfuzzled Jane, for giving me the opportunity to share some of my writing on her site. I also manage my own blog Savvy Life, where I write about any way to live, well, a savvy life.
Secondly, I just want to, quickly, introduce myself. My name is Shana, an aspiring researcher. What field? Being that I love to cook and eat, I’d say in the field of food. How food affects the body, how food plays a role in
our psyche, and how ingredients interact with each other to form something spectacular to shove down our throats.

Now let’s proceed with the title of this post. Low-fat foods can actually make you fat! Interested yet? Recent research suggests that when a food is labeled as “low-fat”, people tend to consume more of this food than they would of a regularly labeled food item.

Let’s examine the thought process, “Hmm, these Chips Ahoy cookies are the new low-fat kind. I guess that means I can have double of my regular amount,” as it will even out. WRONG! Just because something is labeled as low-fat does not make it good. Sure it makes it slightly better than its “regular-fat” counterpart, but that does not mean you get to binge. According to research done at the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab, low-fat labeled food items made people consume 50% more of that item, as compared to foods that did not have any label. Fifty percent?! That means, if you have a bag of “low-fat” M&M’s at 200 calories per bag (or serving)  and 5 grams of fat rather than 12 grams of fat, you ate 1 ½ bags just because it was labeled low fat. That’s 300 calories total or 100 extra calories than you would have eaten regularly!

In addition, the research also suggests that items labeled as low-fat made a person’s perception of what a serving size is, rise by roughly, 25%. That is nothing to laugh at! People also seemed to believe that low-fat labeled food items had 260 less calories than a regular food item. Are we this naïve? I mean, 260 is a lot of calories to think you are consuming less, just because it says “low-fat”. Needless to say, people also answered that they felt less guilty for eating these types of food.

Moral of the story is to make sure to read through the entire nutritional information before you dive, face first, into those Dove chocolate Easter eggs. Just because it’s low-fat, doesn’t give you a free pass at eating more than your usual amount. If you do, your scale will quickly remind you to dial it back again!

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Friday Foreigner: Belly Pops

And….I made it! It’s Friday and I love it for so many reasons. I get to sleep in tomorrow, I get to stay up as late as I can handle tonight (11p.m. and I’ll be in a coma) and I get a break from blogging but still get to bring in some new material!

Earlier last week I interviewed Rebecca Trosset, a friend of mine and newlywed who has recently found good health as an essential part of her life. This equated to raising that awareness with others by way of 100 calorie, organic, sweet treats. I know, I’m freaking out a little too. Ok, like a lot and I want her to be my personal snack maker.
While she hasn’t added “private snack maker” to her resume yet, she has launched a company that is sure to take off. Without further delay, please enjoy the adorable Rebecca Trosset from Belly Pops and her inspiring road to healthy baking.

1. First and foremost congratulations on becoming a newlywed! What exactly is the story behind Belly Pops and did this recent milestone play any part in its creation?

Thank you so much!  Before the wedding I put a lot of effort into getting into the best shape I possibly could, making sure that everything I put into my body was the healthiest.  I really took an interest into natural, clean cooking and realized that a lot of the fats and unneeded empty calories we consume on a daily basis are not necessary for creating delicious meals and treats.  Simple modifications to your daily diet can really change your life.  I ended up losing about 26 pounds before my wedding, and I did it the right way!  So as my girlfriends began to become first time mothers, I could hear their constant cry for help and one of the biggest obstacles for myself was a late night sweet snack!  So I put my new knowledge of nutrition to work, and constructed a delicious treat without the guilt!

2. With such an adorable product name, please dish on how you came up with it?

 Belly Pops as a product name really derived from my consumer audience.  I wanted to make a product that would help women tackle one of the most challenging moments in their lives, becoming a mom and losing the mom weight.  I want to empower women to be healthy, confident mothers!

 3. What is your goal for Belly Pops to do for others?

 The main goal for Belly Pops is to provide the consumer with a delicious product that they can feel good about eating.  A low fat snack they can put into their mouths and know they are not getting artificial sugars or sweeteners.  Especially for the new mothers who are breastfeeding, what mommy eats, baby does as well.

4. Why is that goal so important to you or why does it speak to you?

 This goal is so important to me and Belly Pops because I have been a first hand witness to women who suffer from postpartum depression due to pregnancy and not knowing the women who is staring back it them in the mirror.  I want to empower women to jump start their health and give them a realistic way to reach it.  Having a dream body after pregnancy is not impossible and I believe we all preform at our best when we are confident!

5. What sets Belly Pops apart from other low-calorie snacks and treats?

 Belly Pops is unlike any other low-calorie snack or treat because unlike most of these 100 calorie pack you can find, we use all natural organic sugar, fruits and veggies in a unique way to add flavor.  You are not getting anything that can not be found naturally in nature!  Our pops are also bigger than the average cake snack and perfectly portioned to what a serving size should be, making it easier for our customers to satisfy their sweet tooth without over indulging!

6. Looking into the future at the Belly Pops franchise you have created, what is the one thing you never want to change or make sure you always stay true to its origin?

 Looking into our future, Belly Pops is never going to change out natural products or our main goal of helping our costumers reach their health goals.  Healthy does not have to be out of reach and we will never make it impossible to have or compromise our product for company benefit!

To keep up with Rebecca and Belly Pops, become a fan on Facebook!

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Friday Foreigner: Running Off the Reeses

I know it’s late but it’s still technially Friday. I’ll keep this one up until Sunday to be fair :) Or maybe I’m just trying to take a day off…

I would like to give a warm welcome to Cely from the blog Running off the Reeses. Any girl who likes chocolate peanut butter wonders and running is ok in my book.
Being a runner, Cely brought some reasons why and how she stays on track with running despite a disheartening diagnosis.

Why I Run (Sometimes)

In sixth grade we had to sign up for a sport. I panicked. I hated sports. I was terrible at them. Running was the only sport that didn’t involve catching or throwing a ball, so I joined the cross country team. I continued running cross country and track through middle school and high school and kept running into college. Unfortunately, in 2003 I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, and my relationship with running has been a struggle ever since. Sometimes I takes months off, but I always come back because it just resonates with me. I love running and I love the way it makes me feel (most of the time). But even on the worst of days, I still keep trying. These are the reasons why:

1. Health
I honestly believe that running is good for you. I often get questions asking if running is hard on my joints or if it is ruining my knees. In all honesty, I would rather have the benefits of running and risk bad knees. I’ll take a healthy heart and bum knee over the reverse any day of the week. A study in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatism supports the theory that our chances for various types of joint disorders and pain are largely based on genetics. My grandmother has had multiple knee and hip replacements and she has never run a day in her life. I believe that there are several ways to prevent joint pain and ease discomfort that can be found by visiting a physical therapist. At the end of the day, being in poor health is going to have a greater impact on your life than occasional knee pain. So start slow and ease in to it. Take breaks, take rest days, ice, stretch, and take care of your body.

2. Mental Health
There are few things in life that are better than a run through a beautiful area on a crisp fall day. I feel like a giant cheeseball saying that, but it is true. It feels so good to get away from my computer, the constantly ringing phones, emails, problems, and complaining. Running gives me the space to think through any situation and make plans in silence and solitude. I come back feeling calm and resolved about many of life’s challenges. Of course, there are times when being alone with myself is not preferable, and on those days I do other things.

3. It’s Hard
Running is a challenge for me every time. Even the most magical runs that are filled with unicorn kisses and pony winks are still difficult. I am not an athletic person and I am not that person that just craves exercise. I crave time with my couch. Getting up and actually doing something requires me to constantly re-motivate myself. No one would look at me and think I’m a runner. In fact, most people think I’m joking when I tell them I ran a marathon last year. But, this is part of why I love it. Running makes me push myself to do something I struggle with. I am the only person that can get me out the door and hitting the pavement. I feel proud that I do run and I feel proud that I do something that most people don’t think I can do.

4. It’s Cheap
Bottom line, all you need are good fitting shoes (you can get fitted for shoes at a local running shop) and clothes that don’t cause chafing. You don’t need $80 shorts or $120 compression tights to run. The more you run the more you will know what kind of fit and material you like. I can run in cheap Walmart shorts and a t-shirt for six miles without any problems. Eventually I do get to a point where I need a different kind of shorts because I start to chafe, but as a new runner you hopefully won’t deal with that. You can run anywhere (well theoretically, don’t run in the middle of a highway or in creepy poorly lit areas filled with serial killers). I just walk outside and start going. I don’t need memberships or equipment.
5. You Can Race
It would be a lie if I told you that getting medals after races isn’t awesome. As someone who never achieved athletically in my youth, I really love getting a medal to commemorate an achievement. You don’t have to sign up for races to run, but it can be a really fun motivator and payoff. It’s exciting to be around so many other people who are so pumped up to run. It is also rewarding to pass the finish the line and accomplish times and distances that you never thought possible. Personally, races usually serve as a good motivator to get me to train. They give me a definable goal to train towards and look forward to. I also like the free snacks at the end.

So in conclusion, just give running a shot. Millions of people who have been in worse shape than you have started running. The Couch-to-5k program is an excellent way to get started if you have not run in a while or have no experience running at all. Running is a great way to get active, do something challenging with your family and friends, and to push your own limits.

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Friday Foreigner: POWERCAKES

Happy Friday everyone! I’m starting a new Friday tradition to celebrate the beginning of the best time of the week…the weekend!

Every other Friday, I’ll be hosting Friday Foreigner: an opportunity for a guest or foreign blogger to write a post for my blog.
This week I asked Kasey from Powercakes to start the tradition off and tell us more about how someone her age got into fitness, how she stays motivated and to spill the beans on wtf a Powercake is?!

Hi everyone! My name is Kasey and I blog over at
Thank you to Sarah for having me on this Fit Friday! ;]

My blog is mainly about my fitness tips/routines, my fitness competition preps, & my EAT CLEAN recipes that I bake & cook myself to share with all of you!

 I am a Health & Physical Education major who is currently student teaching while prepping for my University’s bikini competition in March.
Talk about multi-taking, right?
Honestly though, it does keep me on track to be on a busy schedule! I just work in my meal times with my breaks in the day & it all works out!

Growing up though was a different story. My mom is a personal Trainer, therefore health and fitness was all around me!

Did I take advantage of this knowledge?
 Unfortunately, not as much as I could have.
But then again, I was a child who loved big cookies & piles of white bread.

Was I deprived as a child? NOPE!
 I did get treats at home & that’s what Grandma’s are for, right? ;]

Which moves me riiiight along to
where the POWERCAKES came into play.

My mom was always trying to sneak protein into my meals
since I was very active as a child.
On Sunday’s (game day) we would always have a nice family breakfast
& my dad would always make pancakes.
Not just any kind of pancakes though… POWERCAKES!

POWERCAKES = pancakes with protein powder added
without little Kasey knowing.

Therefore, I would have hidden “POWER” throughout my soccer games!

Well, I later adopted the idea of being healthy and “POWERING” through my days in high school. I noticed that whenever I would eat unhealthy foods for lunch (example: chips & pop), I wouldn’t have much energy at Soccer or Track practice after school! I began to think…
“Hey, maybe mom was right?”
(Don’t you mother’s just looove when your kids admit that?)

I started to pack my lunch every single day in 9th grade! I would bring a whole wheat wrap with a banana & peanut butter rolled up in side! Along with some type of yogurt, veggies, or trail mix! Everyone around me started to become envious of my Vera Bradley lunchbox yummy lunches!

I really started to understand the relationship between food & body.
I realized there was a reason to eat nutritious foods to “fuel” my body for all of my physical activity.

When I got to college, I began noticing my stomach was not on my side. I would wake up & eat whole grain cereal, followed by whole grains at lunch, & some type of whole grain at dinner.
Now you would think that sounds healthy…but lying in your bed at 6p.m., curled up in the fetal position due to stomach cramps; is not my idea of healthy.

There was obviously something going on that my body wasn’t agreeing with.

After finally getting some blood work done, I found out that I had intolerance to gluten, almonds, green beans, kidney beans, and egg yolks.

Random, I know.

But my doctor said, I was eating way too many of these things on a daily basis & my body actually developed an allergy to them!

Now that I’ve cut out gluten from my diet, I honestly have never felt better! I hardly get stomach pains & I now understand to listen to my body and see how it reacts to certain foods.

This realization has also helped me with my Fitness Goals. Once my stomach felt better, I started to feel better about myself! Last year I competed in my first fitness competition last year at my University & got 2nd in my height class!
 I did a few more shows after that and am currently in prep for my show in March at school!

I may not have the “most amazing 6 pack abs” but I do these
shows for motivation and I love having a goal to work towards!!

I honestly do these the healthy way.
I keep my diet very balanced with plenty of
 lean proteins, healthy fats, & good carbs.
I have turned into a VEGGIE ADDICT!

I am proud of the body I have created and
I’m even more proud to say that I do it the healthy way.

I train hard, lift weights, HIIT cardio, Plyos, yoga; you name it, I do it.

I love being fit & active and I truly have a passion for it.
I also am quite the cook & baker, if I do say so myself ;]
I come up with very clean recipes that I can incorporate into my daily diet; even when I’m getting ready for a show.
I never want to get bored with my food
 & I truly believe that you can eat the foods you enjoy, the CLEAN way!

So I have developed some tips for staying on track and not getting discouraged or distracted.
5 Tips to Staying On Track

1) Preparation (I always prep food on Sunday’s and have it for the week!)
It’s so much easier to have food cooked when you’re ready to eat!

2) Eat every 2-3 hours – This is SO important to stay on track with your fitness or weight loss goals. You’ve got to FUEL your body all throughout the day!

3) Make Lists – I have TO DO lists everywhere to stay on track & organized!
It really does help to write things down.

4) Write out meal ideas – Honestly, if you write down what you’re eating and what time you will be eating your meal, it’s a great way to stay on track & keep track of what you’re putting into your body.

5) Don’t get frustrated I can’t stress this enough. You will not see results over night!
 Gosh, wouldn’t that be wonderful if that actually did happen?
But honestly, it takes at least 4 weeks to see a change in your body
so DON’T GIVE UP & keep moving & eating clean! You got this ;]

Honestly, this is all from weight lifting & eating clean!
I can’t stress it enough!! :]

Don’t forget to check out my blog for healthy recipes & fitness tips!! :]

My favorites being my POWERCAKES,

A special thanks to Kasey from Powercakes for taking time out of her insanely healthy and fit schedule to give some advice and crazy awesome recipes! Show this girl some love and give her a follow or a shoutout below.

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