by | Jun 8, 2014 | 20 comments

Happy Sunday!  Did you get to the Farmer’s Market?  Are you signed up for my 30 Day Ab Challenge? (starts TOMORROW!)

It’s time for another edition of 7 Interesting Things I Read This Week! Enjoy! 7 Interesting Things I Read This Week

7 Interesting Things I Read This Week

  1. Losing weight may require some serious fun.  I LOVE this one!  I’ve always said that you need to find something that you enjoy for exercise – what’s right for one person may not be right for the next person.  But the study reported in this article shows that those who treated a walk as fun (rather than dreaded it as exercise) felt less fatigued, more happy, and ate significantly fewer calories worth of unhealthy food when offered.  Our minds are such powerful tools, so go find a form of movement you love! exercise is fun
  2. 83 Healthy Recipe Substitutions.  A great article to keep bookmarked for when the baking urge strikes!  I already use many of these, but there were a few new-to-me ones (prunes for butter? interesting!). 83HealthierRecipeSubs_Banner
  3. The ideal length of everything online.  For any bloggers or social media enthusiasts, this is an interesting read.  I think my Instagram posts and Tweets are way too wordy, and my Facebook posts are on the upper end, too.  The one that surprises me is 1600 words for a blog post – most of mine hover around 800 words, and I already feel they’re too wordy.  Food for thought! tweet length ideal
  4. There’s no such thing as ‘healthier’ sugar.  A really good read, especially for those of us that like to make tweaks to make everything just a tad bit healthier.  The fact is that even if you’re using agave nectar instead of table sugar in your brownies, it’s still not a free pass to eat as many brownies as you want … because that agave is still sugar.  Of course, I think there’s room for splurges if you’re eating an otherwise healthy diet, but this is worth considering.  And remember – we needed to be concerned with added sugar, not naturally-occuring sugars like those in fruit! healthiest sugar
  5. Do I have to give up alcohol to be healthy?  A great article that explains how alcohol impacts our diets and our efforts to be healthy.  I agree with almost all of the author (a fellow health coach!)’s points here, and if I were trying to lose weight, I would probably consider giving up alcohol for that time – alcohol does slow your fat burning, make you crave unhealthy foods, and reduce your inhibitions.  However, in my day-to-day life, I enjoy a drink or a glass of wine regularly, and I definitely think alcohol can be included as a part of an overall healthy diet – in moderation. enjoying wine
  6. 15 tactics to double your productivityI love reading little “life-hacks” like this, and I’m pleased that I already use many of these tricks (drinking water, planning, exercise, audio while driving <– huge for me!  I listened to three conferences while driving to and from Colorado, and often listen to podcasts, entrepreneurship lessons, or inspirational talks while driving!).  There are still a few I’d like to get better at (do important things first, take a short break, and more!).  boost-productivity
  7. Teenage sunburns raise melanoma risk.  Consider this a PSA, but this article scared me too much not to share.  I have very fair skin, and as a teenager, I always used to say something along the lines of “I’m either white or red, so I’d rather be red!”  Suffice it to say, I was burned more than my fair share of times.  And several years ago, my dad had melanoma – I’ll never forget falling on my hotel bed in the middle of nowhere (traveling for consulting) when I found out, and feeling so scared and helpless.  Thankfully, he’s fine, and I’ve had my skin checked and it looks great.  Still, I know I am at risk, and while I try to be uber-careful about sunscreen, I know I could do even better.  PLEASE wear your sunscreen, especially if there happen to be any teenagers reading!  sunscreen(picture source)

All pictures are from linked sources unless otherwise cited.

So tell me in the comments … Which article was your favorite?  Which cooking or baking swap do you use most?  Any other great reads from this week?  (Feel free to link up your own favorite blog post!)


  1. Amy @ The Little Honey Bee

    The blog post length statistic made me feel a bit better! But I did work on shortening my usual Monday post for tomorrow so hoping that it’s better received 🙂 I am really grappling with sunscreen… I tan very easily and get very dark during the summer but I also burn if I’m not careful. But as per reading up a lot about sunscreen, it seems that it doesn’t protect us against the UVA rays but rather the vitamin D providing UVB rays so I am figuring out if I should even use it. And all the chemicals drive me nuts. I have yet to find a decent brand. Thanks for the, as always, interesting reads. Time to do some hill sprints! xo

    • Megan Lyons

      Your posts are perfect just as they are – don’t beat yourself up over every piece of feedback, or you’ll end up driving yourself crazy. You know I read every word!

      Really good point about sunscreen – I know that for me personally, I am definitely MUCH more likely to get painfully burned without sunscreen, and I know that the burn itself is damaging, so I feel that sunscreen protects me. That said, there’s definitely a benefit of being sunscreen-free for a short period of time each day to absorb the sun and help keep Vitamin D levels up. It’s something I really should do more research on – if you come across any interesting studies and wouldn’t mind forwarding them over, I’d appreciate it!

  2. Susie @ SuzLyfe

    These are really fantastic links–I like the fact that you are looking at a different set of articles from the majority of bloggers! I don’t think that I have a favorite article, per se–I find the social media length stats pretty interesting–I have had longer posts, but I try to never go over 1300 words. And that is for the reallllly long ones.
    My husband and I were recently talking about the tanning epidemic and melanoma risk, actually. I had a friend who had already had a pre-cancerous mole removed by the time she was SIXTEEN. And she still went to the tanning bed. Terrifying.

    • Megan Lyons

      Thank you so much for that compliment, Susie. It really means a lot!!! Yes, I couldn’t agree more about how scary the tannic epidemic is. I’d be lying if I said I’d never been in a tanning bed, but I definitely regret it!

  3. Tonya@Budget and the Beach

    I enjoyed the alcohol article because it’s something I’ve been curious about lately. I’n not trying to lose weight per say, but my middle is hard to keep toned and I wonder if cutting out alcohol would help, but then that would be a depressing thought to give it up entirely because I do enjoy the taste of wine and a good craft beer.

    • Megan Lyons

      Hi, Tonya! So great to see you around here! I do think that giving up alcohol can help lose some weight around the middle, but it’s all about balance – if it’s depressing, it’s probably not worth it!

  4. Karen

    Nutritional yeast for cheese ???? Need to pursue – think too much cheese has crept into my diet.
    Was the increasing your productivity by PLANNING article targeted at me ?????? Guilty as charged.
    I should have gotten that homemade seasoned cayenne mixture at the Farmers Market to put on kale chips. BTW, trying 4 kinds of squash and bison burgers for dinner tonight. 🙂

    • Megan Lyons

      Yes! I ALWAYS use nutritional yeast for cheese! On soups, eggs, salads, and more! And no, the planning article was not targeted at you at all, although you did great planning today (and I appreciate it!). Can’t wait to hear how you liked bison and squash!

  5. Julie

    I agree with your comments on the alcohol one… For some reason I don’t like telling people they have to give up alcohol completely but I have no problem saying that about added sugar. I think it has to do with the social connection piece. It’s acceptable to skip dessert for most people but not drinking often makes the people around you feel awkward. Like everything else… It’s about finding what works for you while still moving in the direction of your goals!

    • Megan Lyons

      I totally agree, Julie. Very interesting when you lay it out that way. I guess that if a client came to me and said she had no problem giving up alcohol but wanted a brownie every week, I would be fine with that, too, so it really is about finding your own little indulgences and doing what works best for your body the majority of the time!

  6. Michael Anderson

    Great bunch of links as always!

    I have a large graphic of baking substitutions we regularly use … some Lisa can tolerate and some she can’t. Like anything, you find what works, but the important thing is understanding and knowledge.

    The ‘online length’ thing is a bit more tricky … because while some of the stuff makes sense, others seem to get trapped in the ‘correlation doesn’t equal causation’. In other words – is it that most highly-shared content is a certain length, or that content of a certain length becomes highly shared? Probably a bit of both … but I think that having folks like George Takei on Facebook with loads of shares of his stuff, and it being very uniform in length makes me wonder.

    Finally I really love the sugar article – it is very true, and like so many others I fell into the trap of believing that ‘natural’ substitutes were better for a short time until I read a similar thing a couple of years ago and realized that they ALL have very similar impacts. Which is why I have really gotten back to more sweetening through fruits … in everything 🙂

    It reminds me of the almond mild vs. milk thing – there is this huge opinion of almond/soy milk being ‘better’ … but really it is just DIFFERENT. If you have lactose issues, it is clear. But if not … I think a balance is better for most – and that is what I have started doing, getting natural milk fats sometimes that also gives me all of the great milk benefits, and almond milk for all of THOSE benefits.

    So many great articles that remind us to think and be educated eaters and bloggers and consumers! 🙂

    • Megan Lyons

      Thank you, Michael! I don’t follow George Takei on Facebook, but now I’m intrigued. And you know I support fruit consumption no matter what – that is NOT added sugar, for sure! You have a good point on the milks and milk substitutes, too! There’s a lot of interesting research about how terrible regular milk is (basically, it contains tons of hormones that are designed to make baby calves into big cows, so the hormones can also make us grow more than we’d like), but I personally advocate a balance, unless the person has an intolerance or allergy!

  7. Cassie @ Rural Running Redhead

    That melanoma article is terrifying. I wish I had been more diligent about sunscreen as a teenager. It wasn’t “cool” to slather on the sunscreen at pool parties, so apparently it was cooler to blister? So stupid. The sugar article was interesting, too!

    • Megan Lyons

      I agree, Cassie! If only we could go back and slap our teenaged selves around!

  8. Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine

    I’ve wondered about the appropriate lengths of blog posts…I usually prefer reading posts on the shorter end or I start losing interest. (I think your post lengths are perfect!) so I try to be mindful of how long my posts are.
    I found the alcohol post interesting (and reassuring:)) I don’t find that I eat any more when I drink, but it is extra calories and obviously there are other negative effects so I typically have 2 drinks 2-3 days a week. And I’m always drinking water along side whatever drink I’m having.
    I am always looking for healthy baking substitutions, so just pinned that article!

  9. Arman @ thebigmansworld

    You really do gather the best range of links- not one sided, not all running, not all food related- love it.

    I LOVE the sugar one- that is so true. You should hear some of the things on our TV’s here- ‘use brown sugar it’s healthier’- Use honey it’s healthier. …..well maybe Trace for vitamins but at the end, it’s still sugar!

    …it’s June 9th today so I should be starting the ab challenge. I’ll start from the 10th. I have (ironically) a sugar coma.

  10. Laura @ Mommy Run Fast

    The healthier sugar post is so true- people are always asking me what to eat instead… if only there was an ideal substitute! But I think we need to learn to “need” sugar and sweets a little bit less. Great finds!

    • Megan Lyons

      Agreed, Laura! It’s not that I think we should NEVER have any sugar (that would be no fun!) … it’s just that I think we shouldn’t use “healthier” sugars as an excuse to over consume!

  11. Carina

    Haha, based on 4 and 5, now I feel extra guilty for those Jello shots I did this weekend — it’s like they’re doubly bad. If only I’d just had jello, or just done shots… Haha. Life is short I guess.

    I have few regrets from my youth. Even some awful experiences had positive impacts or were valuable lessons. But my big two regrets were participating in a bullying incident in junior high and laying out as often as possible from about age 11 to about 20. I never did tanning beds, but I distinctly remember wanting to get a tattoo (prohibited) and deciding I’d just “tan tattoo.” As in laying out as much as I could, trying to get my legs to turn almost black while I kept one peace sign earring perfectly stationary on my calf. I hope I won’t pay for it in the future.

    • Megan Lyons

      Don’t feel guilty about your jello shots … I think bootcamp has burned them out of you by now! Thanks for sharing your experiences with regret from your youth. It’s hard to look back on stuff like that, but I like to think that even the “stupid” things we did helped teach us some lesson and shaped us into who we are today!

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Megan Lyons Headshot

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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