Tagged: Healthy

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10 pumpkin recipes to get to you ready for the fall

This fall favorite may be better known for making Jack O’ Lanterns, but pumpkin tastes darn good in a lot of healthy fare, too.

But making something like your own pumpkin puree takes time and effort. You can purchase 100% pure pumpkin puree at your local grocery store (Libby’s is one of the more popular brands, and pumpkin is the only ingredient.) This is different from the pumpkin pie filling, which is brimming with sugar[1]—so forgo those cans.

Pumpkins are a type of squash and oddly related to watermelon and cucumbers[2]. They are low in calories, fat, and carbs—and packed with flavor and fiber.

A half cup of pumpkin puree contains 50 calories, 0.5g of total fat, 10g of carbohydrates, and 3g of fiber. It also has a bit of protein and twice the daily recommended amount of the antioxidant vitamin A. This orange-hued fruit—yes, it’s a fruit—also contains the antioxidant lutein, thought to help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (a loss of vision as you age.) Lutein has also been linked with heart health, helping to prevent plaque buildup in the arteries.


  1. ^ brimming with sugar (www.mensfitness.com)
  2. ^ related to watermelon and cucumbers (www.mensfitness.com)
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Business Awards: Urban Jungle launches new shop selling fitness supplements and sportswear

Fitness company Urban Jungle has teamed up with online sport and nutrition specialists Renegade Supplements to open a new shop.[1]

The firm has launched the new venture at its base at the old Town Hall, in Fenton, as part of an ongoing investment programme.

Urban Jungle was launched in 2016 by Simon Dyer as an alternative way of training and exercise, focusing on strength and fitness workouts.

Now the company is entering The Sentinel Business Awards[2] in the Small Business of the Year category, sponsored by Beswicks Legal.

Simon said: “We sell a lot of clothes, before we had to get them printed and order them in. At the same time, we offer our clients advise on nutrition and healthier ways of living.

“So we decided to bring everything in house to allow us to provide an all-round service.”

The new store boasts a range of fitness wear as well as supplements used to help aid recovery after a workout and healthy snacks.

Simon Dyer, founder of Fenton-based fitness company Urban Jungle

Simon said: “One thing we have learned over the last 12 to 18 months is that while people have made the effort to change their way of life, they cannot change overnight which means they are still looking for things like crisps and chocolate bars to snack on – that’s why we are offering a healthier alternative.”

Today, Urban Jungle has 750 members and 16 in-house trainers which stage 32 classes a week, but the number of classes is set to double over the next 12 months with the introduction of spinning, squatting, dance and street fighter classes.

Simon added: “Over the last couple of years we have been focusing on our four-year business plan which is working really well.”

“We have also worked hard on establishing and building our brand and at the moment every penny we make is being re-invested back into the business.”


  1. ^ open a new shop. (www.stokesentinel.co.uk)
  2. ^ The Sentinel Business Awards (www.stokesentinel.co.uk)
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Internet shopping is harming your physical health, warn top physios


Internet shopping is harming your physical health, warn top physios
Strength training has many benefits to the body, including weight loss, increasing bone density, muscle toning, reducing musculo-skeletal pain, and being fit and healthy. In addition, it improves your ability to do every day tasks like lifting

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The Best Smoothie Recipes

Smoothies are big business. First they were an indulgent way to get a couple of your five-a-day, then a high-end gym staple and now ubiquitous. 

But while enterprising supermarkets and juice bars are engaged in an arms-race of flavour combinations – mango and mint is surprisingly good – are they actually doing anyone any good? It’s tough to say. A typical bottle of Innocent, the UK’s biggest brand, packs in 33g of sugar, essentially the same as a can of Coke (possibly not surprising, since it’s been majority-owned by Coca-Cola since 2013). The obvious problem: you’ll only come back if they taste good, and our stupid caveman brains love sugar.

So what’s the fix? Simple: make your own. By sticking to a few simple rules, you can customise your smoothie to your own fitness goals, and only put in what you need to support your training. Or, to make it even easier, just use our recipes below.

The Pre-Workout Energiser

Step away from the double espresso and Metallica megamix: if you’re aiming to get the most from your workout, you want a more targeted approach. “The best pre-workout snacks make you feel satisfied and excited to exercise without leaving you feeling bloated or tired,” says nutritionist Lee Holmes.

“That’s exactly what this smoothie’s designed for. The frozen banana gives you digestible carbs for energy, but it also has a drizzle of healthy fats in the tahini, as well as a great source of vegetable protein from cacao and spinach, to fuel you up for a squat session.

“Cacao is also a performance-enhancer and can help with muscle recovery and growth. Besides, who doesn’t get excited when they’re drinking a chocolate smoothie?”

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and whizz until smooth, then drink immediately. If you’re looking to economise, frozen spinach works almost as well as fresh.


  • ½ a peeled frozen banana
  • 45g baby English spinach leaves
  • 1tsp tahini
  • 1tbsp raw cacao nibs
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20 foods that seem healthy but aren’t

Wraps are thinner than hoagies, buns, and bread, so they’ve gotta be healthier, right? Eh, sometimes, but most restaurants and to-go shops wrap all your sandwich fixings in a 12-inch wrap that can pack twice the amount of calories as plain old bread. Plus, spinach, tomato, and whole grain wraps don’t contain nearly as much veggies and whole grains as you’d think; more often than not, they’ve got additional coloring and flavoring. The problem with pre-made wraps, too, is you can’t control what’s in them. The bacon, ham, and ranch dressing can’t be taken out once they’re rolled up, and odds are you’re not getting additional veggies to add to your mix.     

Five Fast Lunches to Build More Muscle >>>[1]


  1. ^ Five Fast Lunches to Build More Muscle >>> (www.mensfitness.com)
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Plantronics BackBeat FIT Review: Fantastic Wireless Headphones

I almost never run, cycle or do anything active without headphones (I’m sociable that way) and I’ve tried dozens of sets of wireless headphones. The Plantronics BackBeat FIT aren’t just good – they’re the first pair to finally convince me to give up my trusty wired Bose SoundSports when exercising.

The requirements of a set of wireless headphones[1] for sports are quite simple. They have to stay in your ear, be comfortable, have a decent battery life and sound good. However, I’ve found that most sets don’t hit even half of these targets. The BackBeat FIT delivers on every count, and throws in some extra features for good measure. And all for a very reasonable £70.40 on Amazon at time of writing[2] (RRP £99.99).

The lightweight headset is barely noticeable once on and didn’t shift at all over the course of a half marathon. The earbuds are not designed to be jammed right down into your ears, which I found far more comfortable than standard in-ear buds, and they also let in some ambient noise – always handy when running on busy roads.

The battery life is a healthy eight hours and every time your turn them on a voice notification tells you how many hours you have left. That’s an extremely useful feature and one that should be on all Bluetooth headphones. The BackBeat FIT charges fully in around 2½ hours, with a 15-minute quick charge delivering an hour of playback.

Given the ambient fit and modest price point, it’s perhaps not surprising the sound quality doesn’t quite match top-end headsets like the BEOPLAY H5, especially when it comes to bass. As someone who mostly listens to podcasts and embarrassing pop music when running, I value a comfortable fit far more than thundering bass, but for some it might not suffice.

The headset has controls for play and pause, and taking calls, although the latter will reduce the battery life by a couple of hours. The band is flexible and the whole caboodle is waterproof, which bodes well for its durability. A wide variety of colours is available and the headset also has some reflective detailing. It probably won’t be the difference between life and death when running at night, but every little helps.

Every time I tried to pair the BackBeat FITs with a device I had no problems connecting quickly – in fact, they turned out to be a little too good at this. It’s all too easy to turn the headset on accidentally when it’s in a rucksack and once on, it immediately connected to my phone, overriding the headphones I was wearing. It took a while to work out why my music had suddenly stopped.

Aside from that minor confusion, the BackBeat FIT was a joy to use, setting standards that I wish were met by far pricier Bluetooth headphones. Unless you’re an absolute bass fiend, or prefer an in-ear fit, it’s a fantastic headset at a very good price. plantronics.com[3]


  1. ^ wireless headphones (www.coachmag.co.uk)
  2. ^ £70.40 on Amazon at time of writing (www.amazon.co.uk)
  3. ^ plantronics.com (www.plantronics.com)