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Check-ins Get Healthy

Foursquare is stepping up their health game with two new partnerships. Both of which I am super excited about.

RunKeeper

About a week and a half in to my Foursquare usage I earned the Gym Rat badge.

Since then, I have been itching for something new (I even contemplated asking for a Super Gym Rat) and something that wasn’t necessarily tied to me being at the gym.

Thank you RunKeeper partnership! Since I am not actually training for any race in particular right now, these badges will help keep me motivated. It will be interesting to see how long it takes before I seriously go after that marathon badge.

CNN Healthy Eater

Studies have shown that economics play a HUGE role in what you choose to eat. That $1 menu from McDonalds is tempting when you are running low on cash (not for me, but for other people).

On Sunday, September 26, CNN will launch a week-long series dedicated to healthy eating called, “Eatocracy: Mind, Body and Wallet”. They already have a fancy blog set up.

Foursquare comes in by offering people a “Healthy Eater” badge when they check-in at their local farmer’s market. Too bad this gets launched on Sunday and my farmer’s market is not held on Sunday.

Do you plan on jumping on Foursquare’s healthy kick?

Obesity and the Common Cold?

Childhood obesity is not only an epidemic, it may be an infectious disease transmitted by a common cold virus.

The study was small (only 124 kids) but antibodies for a virus called AD36–a common viral strain that is linked to respiratory ailments as well as eye infections and GI disorders–were found in 15 of the participants who were also obese.

Only four kids who were of normal weight had the virus.

Not only were obese children more likely to have antibodies to the virus — 22 percent of obese children had antibodies compared with 7 percent of normal-weight kids — but the obese kids with evidence of prior AD36 infections were on average about 35 pounds fatter than obese children who hadn’t caught the virus.

Scientists have yet to determine a real link though.  No studies have shown that AD36 makes you gain weight. TBC…

New Business and the Young Professional

How does the young professional fit in the new business game?

You learn quickly in PR that a major part of your job is making sure your clients are happy.  But, as a young professional this is your opportunity to bring in new business.

The client you already have, is probably one of the easier places to look for new business.

Organic growth relies on repeat business from satisfied customers. Clients will rarely buy a product a second time if the first experience isn’t top notch.

Quality starts with the first contact a client has with the company all the way to the delivery of the final product. While you may not be on the phone with them every day, you are the person conducting the day-to-day activities, exposing your clients to your company’s services.

The work you do directly impacts whether you keep the client or they leave.

When your client is so impressed with your current work that she gives you a new project, you are responsible for bringing that in.

Earning trust from your client can also translate into earning your bosses trust. That trust allows your bosses to give you more responsibility freeing them to concentrate on new business.

So the next time you are trying to figure out how you can help build the practice, just remember your work is the launching point for the easiest get in the business.

Tasty Tuesday 9/14

Who are you calling shrimp?

Grilled Curried Shrimp with Mango Couscous

Gingered Shrimp and Asparagus

Caribbean Shrimp Salad

Shrimp Salad Nicoise

  • 2 tablespoons tarragon vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
  • 6 ounces haricots verts (French green beans) or fresh thin green beans, trimmed
  • 3/4 pound frozen shelled and deveined large shrimp, thawed
  • 1/2 pound small (1-1/2 inches in diameter) new potatoes
  • 4 large heads Bibb or 2 small heads Boston lettuce, trimmed, leaves separated and torn slightly
  • 2 large eggs, hard-boiled
  • 1 loaf crusty bread (optional)

Directions

1. Whisk together vinegar and mustard in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in oil until emulsified and thickened. Whisk in water, then shallot; salt and pepper to taste, for vinaigrette.

2. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil; add salt. Add beans and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl filled with ice and cold water, reserving water in saucepan. Add shrimp to reserved boiling water and cook until pink and opaque, about 3 minutes. Transfer to bowl with ice and cold water. Drain beans and shrimp; pat both dry.

3. Place potatoes in a clean saucepan, cover with cold water by 2 inches and bring to a boil; add salt. Simmer until potatoes are tender but not falling apart, about 15 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water; halve. Separately arrange beans, shrimp, potatoes, and lettuce on a large serving platter. Peel and quarter eggs; tuck into lettuce.

4. Drizzle vinaigrette over all; salt and pepper to taste. Serve with bread, if desired. Makes 4 servings.

Under Armour Eyes the Female Athlete

For as long as I can remember Under Armour meant “protecting this house.” Whatever “house” that was depended on the giant scary looking male athletes grunting across my television screen.

Now with its brand solidified as the sportswear du jour for men in their teens and young adults; the company has set its sights on young athletic women. Women like me.

The Under Armour woman is apparently, a female who is competitive (check) and confident (check) and who plays on high school or college sports teams (check-a handful of years ago), or who, after college, continues to work out regularly (check).

The company launched its new women’s line along with a new advertising campaign part of their “Protect This House, I Will” theme. They are trying to connect emotionally with women who are already wearing the product but don’t necessarily care (raise your hand if you only bought it because it was on saleàhand raised over here).

The campaign includes a Facebook page and a TV spot featuring some famous women athletes and celebrities.

Gold Medalist Lindsey Vonn working out in her Under Armour gear (source: Under Armour Combines)

The digital components seem brand loyalty boosting enough—an application to share videos and exchange workout tips with others. (Subsequent enhancements will include personalized workout tip videos and live chats with some of the athletes in the campaign.)

My one hang-up with the campaign, are the videos featuring Whitney Port and her exercise tips.

I think the female athletes are inspiring enough on their own. I know we live in a celeb-obsessed world and they are probably there to show that you don’t have to be a ridiculous athlete to work out, but I don’t really count Whitney Port as a normal person either. (Most celebs have trainers, time to work out 2 hrs a day and personal chefs).

I think Under Armour is better off sticking with the athletes than featuring celebs and their tips. I would even take a Dancing With the Stars or So You Think You Can Dance athlete over another realty star. What about you?

Tasty Tuesday 9/7

Stirring it up edition

I love Stir Fry. I could probably make a different kind every night….

Carrots w/ Red Pepper from the NYT

Stir Fried Tofu with Carrots and Red Peppers

Shrimp and Broccoli Stir Fry

Tofu, Mushrooms, Sugar Snap Peas and Green Onions

Spicy Tofu and Cashew Stir Fry with Snow Peas and Red Pepper

1 tablespoon medium-dry Sherry

2 teaspoons cornstarch

3 tablespoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil

1 12 oz package of tofu

1 teaspoon sugar

3 tablespoons peanut oil

2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes

1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips

1/2 lb snow peas, trimmed

1 cup salted roasted cashews

You May Not Like This…But You Are Fat

Americans are in denial. At least that is what a recent Harris Interactive/HealthDay survey found.

The numbers don’t lie but apparently people lie to themselves.

Thirty percent of those in the “overweight” class believed they were actually normal size. Even worse, 70 percent considered to be obese just thought they were overweight.

So are people just not recognizing the problem or is obesity becoming the new norm? As reported in Obesity Rate Increases, 34% of adults aged 20 and older are obese.

More organizations are trying to push a healthy lifestyle on us it, but it doesn’t seem to be working.

According to the survey, people are not associating their food choice with their weight. Rather they think their lack of exercise is to blame.

But that doesn’t mean they want to do more to lose the weight. The respondents felt weight loss surgery was the most effective method, followed by prescription drugs, then OTC drugs and diet-food supplements.

It’s amazing considering studies of diet pills like Meridia continue to demonstrate increased risks of heart attacks and strokes.

Maybe it’s because for some it’s a battle against genes, but I have news for them. PLoS Medicine published a study showing that they can burn off 40% of their genetic predisposition to obesity by exercising.

With the number of obese adults expected to hit 700 million by 2015, it’s time to wake up and read the numbers on the scale.