We scoured the market. These are the spring sneakers to know.

Save maybe undergarments, there is no item more personal for which to shop than the running shoe. And while we know there will never be a one-size-fits-all solution, the sneaker spread below represents the season’s top performers for almost every preference. 


Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit

This smooth, lightweight shoe with a minimal, 6mm heel-to-forefoot drop allows you to maintain a more natural stride, while still offering just-enough cushioning. A stretchy Flyknit upper hugs your foot, hexagonal grooves on the outsole improve flexibility and a molded sock-liner provides good arch support.Women’s > I Men’s >


Skechers GOrun 4

Every time we see Olympian Meb Keflezighi crush a race (ala winning last year’s Boston Marathon), we have to wonder if the Skechers’ athlete is on to something… The breathable GOrun4 training shoe is a great way to test that theory. It encourages a midfoot strike via a short, 4mm drop, a barely-there weight of 5.2 ounces (women’s) and really responsive cushioning.
Women’s > I Men’s >


New Balance Fresh Foam Zante

With a more form-fitting last, a low-to-the-ground profile and a moderate, 6mm heel-to-forefoot drop, the sweet Fresh Foam Zante gives you a fast, neutral ride. Plus, its soft, no-sew upper and springy midsole keeps you feeling (ahem) fresh as you bound through those miles.
Women’s > I Men’s >


Brooks Transcend 2

For runners who tend to overpronate (foot turns inward as you strike), the Transcend 2 provides a little bit of stability to help keep your form in check. It features an 8mm drop, a breathable mesh upper, a cushy biodegradable foam midsole and a segmented outsole that helps absorb—and more evenly distribute— impact along your foot.
Women’s > I Men’s >


Hoka One One Challenger ATR

This fat, all-terrain sneaker gives you plush cushioning and plenty of stability out on the trails. Aggressive, 4mm lugs on its outsole keep you stable on uneven surfaces, a rocker technology in the midsole helps propel you forward, and a 5mm heel-to-forefoot drop allows you to maintain a more natural stride.
Women’s > I Men’s >


Adidas Ultra Boost

There are a reported 3,000 energy capsules in the Ultra Boost’s firm, yet cushy midsole, which gives you amazing bounce-back every time you strike. It also features a slipper-like, breathable, mesh knit upper, a solid 10mm heel-to-forefoot drop and a molded heel for extra support.
Women’s > I Men’s >


Asics 33-DFA

Designed for neutral runners who aren’t afraid to push the pace, the 33-DFA has a rounded last that allows all 33 joints of your foot to move more freely (hence, the name). With a seamless (chafe-free) upper, a minimal 4mm drop and deep flex grooves on its outsole, this lightweight (8.7 ounces for guys) sneaker is ready for the starting line.
Women’s > I Men’s >


Saucony Zealot ISO

These colorful kicks are a beautiful blend of comfort and support. A molded heel counter and structured mesh upper helps get your gait in line whenever you even start to overpronate, while a stacked midsole provides 20 percent more cushioning than normal. Plus, with only a 4mm drop, the Zealot is still perfect for runners with a neutral stride.
Women’s > I Men’s >

For full article by Lindsey Emery visit

Mood food: How to fight depression naturally with nutrition

Can you eat your way to a better state of mind? Making certain changes to your diet might help with depression.

Depression: Increasingly common, yet poorly understood. Felt intensely by the sufferer, yet often invisible to the outside world.

Least fair of all: Studied ad nauseum, and yet, for too many people, seemingly unconquerable.

I know that feeling.

I’ve struggled with depression a few times in my life, most recently a couple of years ago.

During my “down” periods, I tried everything

Waiting it out (I don’t recommend it). Therapy (valuable, but by no means a quick fix). Antidepressants (important to my recovery but not, as they’re sometimes portrayed in the media, a cure-all).

I have yet to find the magic bullet.

Complex, multifaceted, stubborn. When I boil it all down, here’s the takeaway: Depression really sucks. If you’ve ever gone through it on any level, you already know that.

But during my last bout, just when I thought I’d tried everything, I stumbled upon what might just be the best thing I’ve ever done to feel better.

I started boxing.

The intense physical workout was a great relief. Boxing requires your full attention. You can’t think about much else — least of all the nuances of your feelings — when you’re focused on not getting your lights knocked out.

I poured more and more of myself into it. Soon, I even started changing my diet to support the boxing — and my performance improved.

Then I thought, Why stop there? What if optimizing my nutrition could help me feel better mentally, not just physically?

So, I started exploring.

I’m not alone

And if you’ve struggled with depression, you’re not alone either.

Depression affects more than 120 million people worldwide, making it the leading cause of disability, according to the World Health Organization.

In North America, the problem is even more pronounced. Statistics vary a bit, but most data sources show that at least 6 percent of U.S. adults are depressed and one in 10 are on antidepressants.

But not everyone reveals their secret sadness. This means depression might affect even more people than we realize.

And depression isn’t just a mind game. It stamps itself all over our bodies.

One recent study captured high school seniors’ struggles with depression.

  • 23 percent couldn’t sleep.
  • 36 percent couldn’t remember things.
  • 30 percent felt overwhelmed.

Others felt lost, ate too much or too little, or felt like they were almost literally drowning — short of breath, gasping for air.

Even if they’re not calling themselves “depressed” or going to the doctor for treatment, their bodies bear witness.

Though the 1980s-era Generation Xers supposedly invented the downer and 1990s grungers perfected it, Millennials vastly outnumber them in depressive symptoms.

Not only is depression distressing, it’s frustratingly, mockingly ironic: It’s one of the most common diseases, but uncommonly — and notoriously — hard to treat.

About a third of people being treated for clinical depression are considered “nonresponders.” They try drug after drug, with no relief. Another third feel a little better, but still not great.

If you’re depressed, you already feel bad. On top of that, you feel like you’ll never get any better.

precision nutrition depression diet Mood Food: How to fight depression naturally with nutrition

Major depression is different from your everyday bummer

Everyone has bad days, maybe even a string of bad days.

Major depression is different. It’s like all color goes out of the rainbow. All oxygen goes out of the air.

Everything is just… harder.

Getting through a day is like pushing through thick tar. When you try to think or remember, it’s like your brain is full of old rusty gears that barely turn.

Your body is heavy. Achy — perhaps nonspecifically sore, painful in weird places.

You feel hopeless, guilty, worthless, and/or totally helpless. Any energy you have goes to feeling irritable, or maybe crying.

Nothing is interesting or fun, even the stuff you used to love.

Your appetite is out of whack. Perhaps you’re ravenously hungry. Or the opposite — chewing (or caring about potential starvation) seems too hard.

In extreme cases, you just think What’s the point? You might even think about ways to just stop doing anything at all.

Like I said, depression sucks.

As do the side effects of the many medications used to treat depression. For many people, the drugs don’t work. For some, they may even make them feel worse.

Is there another path?

Can nutrition make you feel happier?


Mental health disorders are complex. So is the brain. And so are the foods we eat, and the ways our bodies interact with those foods.

We’re still new to this game of figuring out exactly how the brain works, and exactly how nutrients may improve brain health.

Still, there are some promising possibilities. 

How eating right may boost mental health

Your brain is greedy. It needs a lot of energy to work properly and to create neurotransmitters — chemicals that send signals through the nervous system.

Without enough energy or the right nutrients, your brain won’t get what it needs. In fact, one study suggests that eating a lot of nutrient-sparse processed foods could up your chances of becoming depressed by as much as 60 percent.

Other research has shown that nutrient deficiencies often look like mental health problems.

Here are some pathways by which a healthy diet might protect your brain.

Nutrition can fight inflammation

Chronic inflammation happens when our body turns on an immune response, then doesn’t turn it off again. The resulting damage and chemical stew is linked to all manner of health problems, including cancer, heart disease, neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s… and depression.

One theory is that proinflammatory cytokines — markers of inflammation — may interact with other proteins in the brain, promoting changes that contribute to depressive illness. 

Nutrition can get your gut health back on track

Your GI tract does more than move food from one end to the other. It’s responsible for absorbing the nutrients your organs — including the brain — need to function properly, and for constraining harmful bacteria and other molecules so they can’t get access to (and harm) the rest of the body.

To do these important jobs, your gut relies on healthy intestinal cells and beneficial bacteria, which help manufacture vitamins, absorb minerals, and digest food.

If your gut microbiome is out of whack, or if the problem develops, via irritation or inflammation, into full-blown gut permeability (a.k.a. “leaky gut”), your brain could be in trouble.

Consider this: 60 liters of blood are pumped into your brain every hour, providing oxygen, removing waste products, and delivering nutrients. If that blood is nutrient-deficient, or carrying junk that doesn’t belong, it’s going to interfere with your brain’s function — specifically its ability to create necessary neurotransmitters (more about that in a moment.)

As if that weren’t enough, a permeable gut can encourage more inflammation in the body, turning all of this into an ongoing cycle.

Consider this

Most serotonin — the happy-making neurotransmitter — is made in the gut, not the brain. Poor GI health could prevent its production, meaning you’ve got less of those good, happy chemicals in your brain.

Nutrition feeds your mitochondria

You may remember from high-school biology that mitochondria are the “energy factories” of our cells.

Recent studies suggest that mitochondria play an important role in brain function and cognition — and that sub-optimal mitochondria, and mitochondrial diseases, may contribute to mental disorders, including depression.

We don’t have a complete picture of what mitochondria need to stay healthy. But we know they need lots of nutrients.

Nutrition may promote neuroplasticity

The brain uses nutrients to produce brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF, a protein that’s essential to the central nervous system.

Some research suggests that BDNF could support neuroplasticity — the brain’s ability to adapt, rewire itself and grow. This would be especially beneficial in recovery from trauma and mental illness. 

What might feed our brain?

Our brain is part of our bodies, of course.

So anything that makes our bodies healthier — fresh air, sunshine, clean water, exercise, de-stressing, vitamins and minerals, improved circulation, etc. — will make our brains healthier.

Some nutrients in particular seem to be linked to brain health.

  • Omega 3 fatty acids (fish, nuts, seeds, algae oil): Omega-3 fatty acids provide building blocks for healthy brain development and function, and thus have been explored for their potential role in preventing everything from ADHD to Alzheimer’s. In terms of depression, studies are mixed: Some suggest that supplementing with these healthy fats (via fish oil) may help ease symptoms, but we’re just not sure. 
  • B vitamins (meat, eggs, seafood, green leafy vegetables, legumes and whole grains): Studies have shown that a deficiency in B vitamins (particularly B12) can be linked to depression, though we don’t know exactly why. In a 2014 study from the British Journal of Psychiatry, supplementing with B12, B6 and folic acid improved subjects’ response to antidepressant medication. But a year later, a study published in the same journal found no improvement in older women who were given the supplements.
  • Vitamin D (sun exposure; fortified breakfast cereals, breads, juices, milk): Vitamin D is required for brain development and function. Deficiency in this “sunshine vitamin” is sometimes associated with depression and other mood disorders, though a recent research review showed mixed results.
  • Selenium (cod, Brazil nuts, walnuts, poultry): Selenium is an essential mineral, meaning we have to get it from food. Among its various roles, selenium works with other nutrients to create antioxidant balance in our body’s cells. Many studies have shown a link between low selenium and depression, but the mechanism is unclear. One hypothesis is that selenium’s function as an antioxidant could be necessary for preventing or managing depression.
  • Tryptophan (protein sources including turkey, beef, eggs, some dairy products, dark, leafy greens): One of the 22 essential amino acids, tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin. It’s not well understood, but low tryptophan seems to trigger depressive symptoms in some people who have taken antidepressants.

It’s not as simple as just supplementing these. Nutrients work together in context. And we don’t know if low levels of nutrients are a cause or consequence of poor brain health.

So you can’t “biohack” your way to happiness with a few pills or “superfoods.”

If you want to focus on particular nutrients and/or explore possible deficiencies, it’s best to do so with a trusted health professional like a registered dietician, nutritionist or doctor trained in functional medicine.

What to do next 

Depression is overwhelming. Don’t try to fix everything at once. 

But if you’re ready, consider a small, manageable lifestyle-oriented step or two. 

First, make sure you’re eating, at least a little bit. Depression can do a number on your appetite. But no food means no nutrients. No nutrients means sad brain. 

Next, consider one of the following basic steps.

#1: Notice and name

Before you even start making any changes, get more aware of what you’re already doing and feeling. 

Try keeping a simple journal — for instance, how you’re feeling today on a 1-10 scale, what you ate, and any symptoms that you notice. 

This will provide a starting point for observing what foods (and other lifestyle factors) might ease or exacerbate your depression (bonus: writing, in general, has been shown to help).

#2: Eat whole foods

Make this as easy as possible. 

  • Find fresh foods that don’t take much prep (such as fresh fruits, pre-cut vegetables, or pre-bagged salads).
  • Get them delivered, either as a grocery delivery or a healthy meal delivery service.
  • If you have a friend-and-family support network, see if someone is willing to help you with the shopping and cooking.

For more tips to help you prioritize whole foods, check out our healthy eating success strategies.

#3: Avoid or limit the depression-promoting stuff

What does your food and feelings journal tell you? Do you notice any connections?

Here are some common ones: 

  • Alcohol is a nervous system depressant. So, not helpful.
  • Caffeine: It brings you up then knocks you down. It may also worsen anxiety and insomnia.
  • Sugar: It may numb the pain or distract you from it for a while, but then it makes you feel worse emotionally and physically — especially since it can worsen inflammation.
  • Processed foods: Some folks notice that they’re sensitive to things like preservatives in processed foods.

Some people report that gluten worsens symptoms. Use your journal and see what you notice. Try avoiding gluten-containing foods for a week or so, and observe. 

#4 Nurture your gut health

Keep your gut bacteria and intestinal cells happy. For example:

  • Eat yogurt and fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, and pickles, or drink kombucha. These must be in their raw, unpasteurized form to offer live bacteria. You’ll find them in the refrigerator section of a well-stocked grocery or health food store.
  • Take a probiotic supplement.
  • Sip bone broth, a long-simmering stock made with chicken or beef bones. Simply put the bones in a pot, cover with water, and simmer for a loooong time (24 hours is good). The resulting stock contains glycine, which is thought to help with internal wound healing, including in your gut.
  • Choose meat and dairy that’s antibiotic and hormone free (if possible), and comes from a trusted butcher or farm. Buy organic if you can.
  • Be selective when taking antibiotics, which can kill gut bacteria. If you have to take them, build your belly bacteria back up through fermented foods and probiotics.
  • Limit refined sugars and grains, which can make gut problems worse.

#5: Supplement with caution

If there’s one thing experts tend to agree on, it’s “real food first.”

We don’t know exactly how specific nutrients work in the context of individual foods, or how they work within the body — let alone how they work in pill form.

If you’re trying to use supplements to address depression, it’s best to work with a doctor and nutrition coach, who can help determine which ones might be right for you.

Supplements such as fish oil, probiotics, B-complex, and/or a good multivitamin could be helpful for depression, but do your homework: Choose a brand with studies supporting its effectiveness for mental health.

Not all supplements are created equal. A low-quality vitamin might contain too low a dose or be hard to absorb.

Remember the big picture

That’s hard when you’re depressed. Because your world shrinks to a tiny little black hole.

As much as possible, though, try to focus on the big picture.

  • Get outside and get sunlight. There’s a reason depression is associated with darkness.
  • Ask for help. Start to find your tribe of helpers. That may include a doctor, a therapist, close supportive friends and family members, a fitness trainer, even a pet.
  • Move. Depression is immobilizing. Do your best to act against that force by moving whatever you can move, however you can move it.
  • Express yourself. Draw, write, talk about what you’re feeling, howl at the moon. Or, like me, smash a punching bag. Whatever gets the bad stuff out. Don’t keep it all in there.

Depression is difficult. I know, I’ve been there.

But building your personal toolbox of helpful actions can be incredibly empowering. There’s no rush. Just start adding in good things to help your body and mind.

Those positive steps truly add up over time.

Bit by bit, things can get a whole lot better.

Eat, move, and live… better.

The health and fitness world can sometimes be a confusing place. But it doesn’t have to be.

Let us help you make sense of it all with this free special report.

In it you’ll learn the best eating, exercise, and lifestyle strategies — unique and personal — for you.


For full article by Camille DePutter please visit


To fast-track your results, switch up the ground beneath your feet.

Here, how the ground beneath you impacts your fitness routine — and how to best spend your time on each.


Cross-train in water

Traditionally, aquatic exercise has been thought of as a rehabilitation tool, however, more and more you are seeing water-based training as a cross training tool that can add variety without the impact and pounding of land based training,” says Michael J. Ryan, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Exercise Science at Fairmont State University.

Water is 800 times thicker than air, he says. “That thickness provides continuous three-dimensional resistance, requiring additional muscle activation.” Additionally, the buoyancy of water reduces your body weight — reducing, too, the likelihood of injuries.


Build strength and stability on sand

Sand can give you a great workout while lessening the blow of impact. “Running on soft sand strengthens the arches in your foot, increases ankle stability, and strengthens the muscles of the lower leg and hip stabilizers,” Ryan says. That’s because the ever-changing, uneven surface forces the neuromuscular system to constantly adjust — which means greater activation of muscles, increased force production, and a more significant arm drive, he explains.

Just remember: Sand can put stress on the calf and foot muscles, so start slow with a few sprints or short runs, Ryan suggests.


Gain speed on pavement

This hard, flat surface means a solid and predicable platform to push off of. “This allows you to run faster because less energy is absorbed by the surface,” says Ryan. “The predictability also makes it easier to keep a fast, steady pace.” And it’s not as much pounding as you may think: “Running on pavement puts less stress on the Achilles tendon when compared to softer surfaces.”

Just avoid high impact movements such as plyometrics, says Ryan. “Because less energy in absorbed by the pavement, those forces are transferred back to your body increasing the stress put on bones, muscle, and joints.”


Do plyometrics on grass

Beyond the physiological benefits — a change in scenery or the lack of pressure to PR — soft grass absorbs much of the impact forces of your exercise, says Ryan. Thus, it’s easier on your body when it comes to plyometrics. Grassy surfaces are also less stable, which fires up stabilizer muscles in the foot, lower legs, and core, he says.

As for your run? “After training on grass, many runners say they feel stronger when they return to the roads,” Ryan says. How come? “There is a greater cardiovascular cost running on grass compared to running the exact same speed on pavement,” he says. “If you can maintain the same pace, you will get a better workout. Most people slow down a bit on grass.”


Recover on trails

Trail running can be tough: Some trails are technical, peppered with rocks, logs, or tree roots — and many force you to slow down and pay attention to where you step, says Ryan. But this is exactly why a weekly trail run can benefit you. “Trail running often forces you to take shorter strides, which may lead to more efficient running mechanics when you return even surfaces,” says Ryan.

“Well-maintained dirt trails, cinder paths, and wood chip trails are some of the best places to run. They usually provide an even surface that is soft enough to reduce impact forces while still allowing you to maintain a fairly fast pace.”


For fukll article by Cassie Shortsleeve, visit


Fear not if you like a daily turkey sandwich. Variety may not be as important as you think.

“The surprising answer is yes. I tend to eat the same meals 75-95% of the time. Regular food habits can be healthy. First and foremost because it’s hard to buy, stock and prepare lots of different types of food each day,” says Brian St. Pierre, R.D. a fitness and nutrition coach with Precision Nutrition. “There’s benefit to having healthy go-tos that you like and can get into the habit of eating.”

One such benefit: It minimizes the number of food decisions you make in a day. “We tend to overthink food nutrition already. I work with lots of clients and find that if you can automate some of those decisions and have a bit of a routine, you’re more apt to make healthy, diet-positive choices,” says St. Pierre.

That said, it’s plausible that, for some people, eating the same stuff day in and day out could cause problems such as indigestion, bloating, headaches or fogginess. But that’s likely a small part of the population, says St. Pierre.

The key to avoiding nutritional deficiencies is not to eat chicken, rice, and broccoli three times a day or the same protein shake three times a day, warns St. Pierre. “But if you look good, feel good, and perform well, it’s not a huge concern if you like a daily turkey sandwich.” Here, St. Pierre’s tips for a minimally-rotating routine.

1) Establish go-to breakfasts and lunches
For clients I generally recommend 2 to 3 recipes to rotate for their breakfasts, lunches and snacks. Then they can vary their dinners because people tend to like more diversity in the evening.”

2) Vary your accompaniments and snacks
If you like eggs in the morning, just change up the veggies you put in your omelette, having mushrooms and peppers one day, tomatoes and spinach another, and so on. Nutritionally, little things make a difference. For weekly snacks, just swap the type of fruit you eat or the type of nuts or nut butter. But know that you’re also going to be fine if you eat an apple every day. “I have a Gala with every lunch. It’s part of my routine,” says St. Pierre.

3) Be creative with condiments
For that daily sandwich, go ahead and stick with turkey or chicken but cut the monotony by changing up your healthy fat sources, alternating between olive oil, pesto, or avocado.

For full article by Wendy Schmid please visit


To diffuse them, you must deconstruct them. Read Tier 4 coach Bethany Snodgrass’s surprising insight.

A craving can crop up seemingly out of nowhere. An overwhelming urge for ice cream, potato chips or Shepherd’s pie. You may have assumed that there’s nothing more to it than wanting something sweet, salty, or cozy, but there are often physical and psychological reasons as to why you crave what you crave.

“Cravings are signals our bodies send us but there’s often a message behind them. By looking at the message, you can create awareness around what may be missing—in your diet or even in your life,” says Tier 4 Coach and nutrition pro Bethany Snodgrass. “For instance, emotional eating often results from a lack of nourishment in other areas of our lives—in our work, relationships, spirituality, or physical movement. It can lead to reaching for food in order to fill a void.”

While your abs can probably withstand occasional indulgences, too-frequent food urges will impact your progress in the gym. Snodgrass’s recommend: Deconstruct the craving and you may be able to diffuse it. Ask what does my body want and why?

To do that it first helps to gain some insight into how your body may be speaking to you and whether you could be suffering from a dietary deficiency or merely a case of nostalgia. Here, in her own words, Snodgrass breaks it down into a cravings cheat-sheet.

(1) Chocolate
The Origin:
 If you’re regularly craving a specific sweet like chocolate, you may have a magnesium deficiency since chocolate is high in that mineral.
The Solution: Try adding magnesium-rich leafy greens, nuts, and avocado to your diet. Cravings for sweets are often tied to wanting love and the result of an overall environment that isn’t nourishing; you can also to quench the feeling by doing something other than eating like spending time with a friend.

(2) Salty foods
The Origin: 
Salt cravings are a tip-off that you’re low in overall mineral levels.
The Solution: Try snacking on seaweed chips or consider a multi-mineral supplement. Salty, crunchy foods also create heat in the body so if you work in a cold environment and regularly have these cravings, you may simply need to bundle up more or sip on hot lemon water or tea.

(3) Caffeine
The Origin: 
If you eat a highly processed diet, you’ll tend to crave more caffeinated beverages. Junk food can also leave you constantly hungry because there’s no nutritional value in what you’re eating. Your body is craving caffeine to provide it with the energy it needs.
The Solution: Add colorful whole foods into your diet instead for healthy energy.

(4) Childhood foods
The Origin: 
It could be your mom’s meatloaf. For me, it’s my grandmother’s pierogies. She played Jamaican music as she made them and hearing it can trigger a craving in me.
The Solution: So ask yourself, is it the food or the feeling I had with family that I’m craving? If it’s the latter, calling them may quench it.

(5) Late-in-the-day munchies
The Origin: 
A common craving influenced by a hormonal imbalance is when your cortisol levels are elevated. You’ll crave foods late in the day or evening because you’re intuitively trying to relieve stress.
The Solution: See if a stress-relieving activity like a yoga class or an Epsom salt bath diffuses it. 

(6) Carb-laden foods
The Origin: 
This can mean that your gut flora is imbalanced. The majority of your serotonin is produced in your gut so you may instinctively be reaching for carbs that aid in the production of it. The problem is that this negatively impacts your flora further, setting you up for a vicious cycle.
The Solution: Eating Greek yogurt, kefir, kimchi or supplementing with a probiotic can help.


Please refer to full article by Wendy Schmid at