by | Feb 2, 2014 | 16 comments

Remember that my Arctic Zero giveaway ends tonight!  Enter here!

It’s that time again … I debated between the 7 Things I Read This Week and a post on getting your running motivation back, since I struggled a bit with that this week, so that one will come soon.  Here’s a sneak preview … If you’re reading this on Sunday morning, I’m currently running an unplanned race, which is part of my plan to get my motivation back!

7 Interesting Things I Read This Week

Here are some of my favorite links from this week – enjoy!

  1. A set of twins perform an amazing dietary experiment on themselves.  I loved reading about this “study” (I hesitate to call it that, because it’s not exactly scientific, and there are obvious drawbacks to an “n” of 2).  Basically, one twin gave up carbs almost entirely, and one twin gave up fat almost entirely.  They both lost weight … and were both miserable and unhealthy.  They concluded that eating a balanced diet is essential, and that completely eliminating any food group is not the best way to diet.  Of course, I like this so much because it is so aligned with my approach to nutrition … while I believe that everyone thrives on a unique and individualized diet, no one should completely eliminate any macronutrient! twins nutritional experiment(picture source)
  2. 28 fruits and vegetables that you had no idea grew like that.  Here’s some random knowledge and humor (warning: there is some bad language).  Did you have any idea that cashews grew on the end of a brightly-colored fruit, or that chickpea plants look the way they do?  My in-laws’ house gave me a head start … they grow (or have grown) avocados, lemons, limes, grapefruits, and oranges right in their backyard! Pretty amazing, right?  I’ve also purchased Brussels sprouts on a stalk before, just for fun, so I knew that one and a few sprouts stalk(picture source)
  3. A Healthy Diet Costs $1.50/ day More.  I’ve never been one to say that living a healthy lifestyle is easier or cheaper than an “unhealthy lifestyle.”  In my opinion, it takes commitment, time, investment, and above all – planning.  I have found many ways to make healthy living much easier, and much cheaper, and it certainly does not have to (and should not) consume your entire life.  Like most things, it’s all about balance.  And once you find the balance, you’ll find that all of the required inputs are SO worth it for the energy, self-confidence, happiness, and vitality you can achieve from living a healthy lifestyle.  Even though money is tight for so many of us, I believe in doing everything we can to work $550/ year (what this meta-analysis concludes is required to eat healthily) into our budgets. healthy diet cost(picture source)
  4.  7 Ways Junk Food Makes You Miserable.  We all know that eating too much refined sugar or processed foods can make us feel lethargic, gain unnecessary weight, or have insulin spikes.  But did you know that these “junk foods” can also speed aging, cause indigestion, or worsen PMS? wrinkles and aging(picture source)
  5. 13 Winter Superfoods You Should Be Eating.  Aside from chicories (which I’m now determined to try), this list includes some of my very favorites!  Check out my Autumn Harvest Soup or my Creamy Parsnip Apple Soup to get in your root vegetables, or the Jicama Nachos I adapted to get in your jicama.  My 10+ recipes that contain squash are a shoo-in to get in your winter squash, and Friday’s Asparagus Feta Pizza will fill your cauliflower needs!  I could go on, but suffice it to say that chia seeds, avocados, pomegranates, and berries are also some of my favorites!  You can always type an ingredient into the “Search” bar on the right side of my page to see if I have a recipe containing that ingredient! winter squash(picture source)
  6. Natural Sugar is not our Enemy.  I’ve talked about added sugars several times, and the harm of consuming too many added sugars.  However, I try to be very clear with my clients that the focus should be on limiting added sugars, and that fruit is not the enemy.  Sure, I don’t think you should be drinking 20 glasses of fresh-squeezed juice per day or consuming only fruit, but an apple for a snack or a handful of berries on your yogurt will not make you fat – I promise! fruit(picture source)
  7. Jim Gaffigan on Kale.  I have to finish with a funny one, because this truly cracked me up.  I am (obviously) all about living a healthy lifestyle, and I sure do love my kale, but sometimes it’s fun to laugh at ourselves … and if you have fallen into popular nutritional trends like kale and almond milk, you’ll be laughing at yourself right along with me after this video!

Spill It Sundays


This week’s “Spill It Sundays” Theme is about our most important possessions.  To be honest, I’m really not a “things” person.  I’m not saying that I live a minimalistic life or don’t purchase “things” on a regular basis.  But truthfully, while many of my “things” might make my life easier or more fun on a day-to-day basis, they don’t really mean all that much to me.  If I had to pick my most prized possession, I would probably choose my engagement/wedding ring (I actually had them fused together, so I consider it one possession!).  Not only do I love looking at it, but I also love what it symbolizes, and my marriage is obviously at the top of my list of importance.

Here’s one of my favorite pictures from our wedding (in 2010).  My mom is looking at my ring, with Kevin high-fiving my dad, and my father-in-law and sister looking on. wedding ring

So tell me in the comments … What is your favorite article of the 7 I highlighted here?  Any additional articles you want to highlight?  What’s your most prized possession?


  1. Carina

    I guess it’s hard to compare healthy v. unhealthy grocery budgets without seeing what exactly they consider unhealthy besides the obvious junk food and soda. I think we eat very healthfully but we also spend more per week than almost anyone I’ve read about who shares actual numbers (but we also don’t eat out often and do a fair amount of entertaining at home).

    • Megan Lyons

      I agree, Carina! I tried to look into it, but couldn’t find details for this particular study. Like you, I think that Kevin and I tend to spend more on food than we could if we were being 100% budget conscious. I do look for coupons and deals, try to shop at the Farmer’s Market when I can, and definitely don’t go out to eat often, but I also don’t restrict myself from buying healthy food that I want just because it’s more expensive than the processed version. I appreciate that I have that luxury, though, and I know that not everyone does.

  2. Michael Anderson

    Another great selection of articles … and you want us to select ONE! Too cruel 🙂

    I loved the messages between the articles and how they tied together – I have always hated ‘fad diets’, as elimination to reasons other than intolerance/allergy seems counterproductive to me. The whole goal should be finding your balance.

    The health food junk food thing is very true – and depending on season and use of frozen vegetables, can even out pretty well. At another site I write for the other editors and I did this after one of the writers was complaining that eating healthy was too expensive (naturally he and is wife are obese and his son is well on the way). We actually put together a week’s worth of meals and found that looking at regular prices the healthy foods came out a bit cheaper. But the problem is that coupons and sales are *always* on processed foods, so it makes it ~$25 less per week for a family of four to eat like crap. (I really need to resurrect that email chain and turn it into a post someday)

    On the ‘way junk food makes you miserable’, we have something in our house called the ‘junk food hangover’. I find that eating too much fried or processed food leaves me feeling like crap. Gladly with all of our compromises (broiled chicken breasts rather than fried wings, for example) after the Super Bowl I feel just fine 🙂

    We have also been having an awesome winter with the root veggies – parsnip recipes have been a revelation, and totally livened up a chicken noodle soup I made last night! (perfect for my poor sick wife!)

    As for Sugar … I can’t believe we really STILL need to justify the sugar/carbs in an apple or banana at this point. I mean, it is laughable looking at old advertisements from the refined sugar industry saying there are less calories in 3tsps of sugar than an apple … as if they were saying that refined sugar was healthier, Yet the same things are being pushed today from the industry, More money, more misinformation, I guess.

    • Megan Lyons

      I couldn’t agree more that “the whole goal should be finding your balance” – emphasis on YOUR. I believe it’s different for everyone, and we have to find what works for us individually (of course, as you mention, leaving intolerances/ allergies aside). I would LOVE to see a post on your healthy vs. processed food experiment – that would be so interesting! I’ve never actually tried to compare baskets myself, but I do remain as conscious as possible – choosing in-season produce, visiting the Farmer’s Market, and relying on frozen in the off season, as you mention. I love the ‘junk food hangover’!! (Well, I don’t love experiencing it, but I love the term!). And finally, parsnips in chicken soup sounds amazing!

  3. Arman @ thebigmansworld

    Whoa, number one is crazy- then again, the BBC and British television are renown for doing this crazy dieting documentaries (supersize VS superskinny) or the one where 2 presenters went on a quest to become size 0 and one of them ended up nearly getting an ED!!!!!

    That has to be the most epic wedding photo ever- so much action in one shot!

    • Megan Lyons

      Oh wow, I’ve never heard of that crazy dieting documentary, but it sounds pretty scary. I’m definitely not in favor of such dramatic diets, but I thought the point it proved was a good one. Glad you like the wedding photo – completely unstaged, if you can believe it!

  4. Angela

    I really enjoyed reading this post! I especially liked #2 and #4. I had no idea Brussels sprouts grew like that! I’m not a materialistic person either. We live in a 1 bedroom apartment and I hate clutter, so I buy very little. My most prized possession is my laptop because all of my life’s photos are stored on it.

    • Megan Lyons

      That’s a great one, Angela. I forgot about my laptop! I try to back up my important photos on an external hard drive, but I think I would be pretty crushed if my laptop got lost/ stolen/ destroyed!!!

  5. Amy @ The Little Honey Bee

    I love #3! It’s so nice to see research backing up what we already claim 🙂 I read a great post on Friday on Kath Eats Real Food regarding the pros and cons of the paleo diet. Happy Super Bowl Sunday friend!

    • Megan Lyons

      I read that one after you commented, too! (And it’s actually a guest post from Amelia, who I guest posted for last week!) I really appreciated the balanced perspective, and I agree with her points on the Paleo diet … basically, the focus on whole foods is excellent, but it’s pretty hard to sustain over time and may not be any better than a “regular” diet focused on a balance of whole foods. Good stuff!

  6. Sarah

    Personally, I like the article about the twins because I also don’t prescribe to those diets which totally eliminate one food group (like paleo, grain-free, etc.). It’s always so difficult for me to believe the claims that people say they “feel so much better” now that they’ve eliminated something from their diet. I think moderation is key!

    • Megan Lyons

      I agree, Sarah – I think that for most people, moderation is key. I enjoy eating from all food groups. At the same time, I think that for some people, cutting out things like grains, dairy, meat, etc. CAN make them feel better. Going so far as to cut out fats overall or carbs overall, though, is too far for me!

  7. Laura@FitFreshandFunny

    I was getting ready to write my Spill It Sunday and realized I don’t prize my stuff as much either! I can’t think of much aside from my wedding ring. Everything else I love has a pulse.

    • Megan Lyons

      I agree, Laura! I asked my husband what I should put down and he said “me” – ha! After reading several other posts, though, I realize that I would be pretty upset if I lost my laptop or my phone!

  8. Chrissy

    I loved the twin experiment story-fascinating. Another great reminder that you can (and should) eat everything- in moderation!

    • Megan Lyons

      Couldn’t agree more, Chrissy! Although I can’t imagine being one of the twins in the experiment, I found it very interesting!



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Hi! I'm Megan Lyons,

the voice behind The Lyons’ Share. I love all things health, wellness, and fitness-related, and I hope to share some of my passion with you. Thanks for stopping by!
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