Monday, November 29, 2010

The Science of Blogging


I'm a huge lover of all things scientific, and believe in evidence-based practices. So I was especially intrigued with I saw that Dan Zarella was hosting a Webinar on "The Science of Blogging". This "Social Media Scientist" is THE go-to guy in Social Media Marketing, and I was honored to interview him on some of his new findings. While I also know that blogging is an art, and i'm still trying to master both, I found these answers fascinating! If you want to increase your clout in the social media world, take careful notes!

Q. How can you optimize tags and word choice to get more hits?
A The word "you" tops the list of most ReTweetable words, meaning that
people are interested in reading and sharing content that talks
directly to them instead of about the author. As a bloggers we should
avoid talking about ourselves. Also, like all forms of marketing,
calls-to-action are super important, so if you want your readers to
Tweet your posts or share them on Facebook, ask them to do so.

Q. What is one way to guarantee a ReTweet on Twitter?
A. Tweet about ReTweets. It works almost everytime.

Q. How do I know if i'm following the right people on twitter?
A. As a marketer, I tend to concern myself more with the question of "are
the right people following me?" You want influential, engaged
followers who are ReTweeting and replying to you. Then I ask myself if
I'm following the right searches on Twitter. Listening is important
and you can't follow everyone who may Tweet about your niche, so I use
TweetDeck search columns.

Q. How do I get more followers?
A. First of all, fill out your Twitter profile fully, provide a bio, link
and profile picture. Accounts that do that have many more followers
than accounts that don't. Be sure your Tweets aren't all
self-referential and avoid being overly negative. Nobody likes a
self-centered Debbie downer.

Q. What is the best time/day to post a blog post?
A. My data shows that articles published in the morning tend to get
shared on Facebook more, but later in the day is better for getting
ReTweets. So, I'd suggest publishing your posts early in the morning
and then Tweeting them out later in the day. Experiment with the day
of the week, but definitely try out Friday and Saturday. My data
(surprisingly) suggests those days may be the best.


I found those answers fascinating, and highly recommend that you follow Dan on Twitter, check out his blog "The Social Media Scientist" , and listen in on December 9th, 2pm during the "Science of Blogging Webinar"

Blogging: More art or science? Weigh in!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giving Thanks

I have so much to be Thankful for this (and every) Thanksgiving! Stephanie and I wanted to give thanks this week on Guiltless and this is what I wanted to share

I breathe a deep thank you every morning to those people and things that have shaped my life. A thanks to my mentors, teachers, friends, supporters, family, acquaintances, to have taught me so much, and whom I continue to learn from everyday. For a warm bed, cozy comforter, in a wonderful apartment, with a sizeable kitchen, IKEA (blood and sweat) furniture and a fantastic roommate. For a body that runs, crunches, dances, spins and twirls. For nourishing food in my fridge, and warm coffee in the morning. For a determination that burns bright inside me, and blatant optimism. For the constant inspiration that the world provides from a myriad of sources. Thank YOU for reading, for commenting, for talking!

I loved and agree 100% with this Wall Street Journal article that compiled psychology research to find:
Adults who frequently feel grateful have more energy, more optimism, more social connections and more happiness than those who do not, according to studies conducted over the past decade. They're also less likely to be depressed, envious, greedy or alcoholics. They earn more money, sleep more soundly, exercise more regularly and have greater resistance to viral infections.
So let's give thanks!!

a few other T-Giving Musings:
Turkey doesn't have to take center stage:

If I was making Thanksgiving I would start with this list of amazing vegan recipes from LunchBox Bunch. Choosing Raw also has a fantastic sampling of vegan/mostly raw dishes that will make your tofurky run for cover. I also love Well Blog's compliation of vegan recipes from star chefs.

Don't feel guilty about the holidays:

I loved Rachel Berman's
advice:
My 'how to eat healthy at the holidays' guide = allow yourself your favorite foods in moderation & listen to your internal hunger cues
Find how to have a Balanced & Healthy Thanksgiving on Rebecca Scritchfield's blog.

and of course don't forget to put yourself first!

Runnin it off?

I'm running the Gobble Gobble Gobble with several fantastic friends thanksgiving morning. This 4 miler is my first race under 13.1 miles, and it's a little nerve-wracking. Oh well, it was named one of the Top 100 New England Races and the race entry goes to Project Soup: New England's first free supper program.

I also decided to do The 15th Annual Don't Do Boston 50K the day before the Boston marathon. Why not, right? It's right in my backyard, and I have a fantastic friend who wants to run it with me! Any ultra experts want to recommend a training plan? It's not much more than 26 miles, but very difficult terrain, so i'm shopping for plans right now.

My life can be totally random:

Nothing says winter like hot boozy drinks right? I may be warming up to one of these, courtesy of Chow

Oh so wise 'There is a lot of love in the silences or in just listening' -Jake Gyllenhaal: i NEED to see Love and other Drugs. Add that to my list of cinematic must-sees including Howl, 127 Hours, and HP7 of course.

That I do: Love Food: Hate Waste


What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Don't Fail Your Fruit and Veggies Report Card

The National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance (NFVA) recently released a report that showed in an average day, only 6 percent of individuals consume the recommended amount of vegetables and 8 percent the recommended amount of fruit. The US’s report card didn’t look to great, and even received a couple Fs.
The societal cost of NOT eating fruits and vegetables: $56.2 billion (grew 9% each year over last 5 years), growing health care cost of treating diet-related diseases To put this in perspective, eight of the states with the lowest fruit and vegetable consumption are also in the top 10 states with the highest obesity rates. William Dietz, M.D., Ph.D., director of CDC's Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity said,
“A diet high in fruits and vegetables helps maintain a healthy weight and
reduces the risk of several serious, chronic diseases. We need to continue
our effort in making the healthy choice the easy choice.”
Fruits and vegetables are cancer fighters, heart protectors, and just plain delicious. And as Joan Salge-Blake RD, always says, “They’ll fill you UP before they fill you OUT.” I'm a self-proclaimed vegetable junkie, and it breaks my little heart to see them left off of other people's plates!


So how can you make the healthy choice and increase your fruit and vegetable consumption? Here are some great tips from the Fruits & vegetables: More Matters Campaign.




  • Add strawberries, blueberries, or bananas to your waffles, pancakes, cereal, oatmeal, or toast.


  • Top toasted whole-grain bread with peanut butter and sliced bananas


  • Add some cooked dry beans to your salad. Or, if you have a sweet tooth, add chopped apples, pears, or raisins.


  • Pack a fruit with your lunch.


  • Have soup. You can stick with the basics like tomato or vegetable soup or mix up some minestrone or veggie chili to cut winter's chill. When possible, choose soups with less sodium.


  • Try eating at least 2 vegetables with dinner


  • Snack on vegetables like bell pepper strips and broccoli with hummus


  • Stash bags of dried fruit at your desk for a convenient snack.


  • Drink a fruit smoothie made with whole fruit, ice cubes, and soy or almond milk


  • Canned, dried, and frozen fruits and vegetables are also good options. Look for fruit without added sugar or syrups and vegetables without added salt, butter, or cream sauces.


  • Ants on a log isn’t just for kids- put some natural peanut butter on celeries and top with raisins


What's your favorite way to eat your fruits and vegetables?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Me First

An inspiring week, a rejuvenating weekend and I feel like I can conquer the world. I'm keeping this momentum going by posting some of my goals for this Holiday season.

One of my mentors and role models, Rebecca Scritchfield just launched a new initiative called the Me Movement-a way to help you stay healthy and sane this holiday season. She designed a pledge to commit to positive self care through the hectic holiday season. Of course, I signed up asap. I printed out the pledge I made for myself and put it on my desk. I have never been someone who makes New Years Resolutions. Every year on New Years Day my family pulls out our gigantic calender and looks at all the things we accomplished in the year, while going through photos. We talk about some of the things we have to look forward to, and with a "love, love, rabbit rabbit" start the new year off right. But although I never feel guilty around January 1st, I know the next couple of months are going to be a bit stressful. Change is in the air, and while that is positive, I know it could get taxing. Finals are coming up, I have a funeral to attend, Thanksgiving here in Boston, Home to Wyoming, oh and a little thing called Graduation and DI applications. These are all periods when I could start stress eating, over/underexercising and not listening to what my body, mind and soul needs. I acknowledge that I am a person-pleaser and can be a perfectionist, but need to remember that I can not accomplish these things if I don't take time for myself.


The "me" movement

For my health and wellness, I want to put myself first this holiday season. This year will be different. I am going to take care of myself during this busy (sometimes hectic) time. If that means asking for help, saying “no”, or scheduling “down time,” I will do it. I’m done being overcommitted.

  • I pledge to remember how good it feels when I’m taking care of myself. And when I feel good, I am able to take better care of those I love.
  • I pledge to keep in mind that social situations are about the companionship, as much as the delicious food and drinks. I want to enjoy foods that look and taste good while respecting my body’s “fullness” and “satisfied” signals. I won’t judge myself if I ate “too much” of the holiday foods that don’t come around that often.
  • I pledge to stay in tune with what my body needs, whether that’s food, rest, exercise, or sleep.

My well-being is my priority. The goals below reflect the healthiest ways I know how to meet my own needs.


Goal 1: I will dedicate 20 minutes of every day for “me” time. This can not be in front of a screen-I will use this time to read a book for pleasure, collage, or meditate.

Goal 2: I will get 7-8 hours of sleep every night.

Goal 3: I will incorporate more yoga into my workouts, for balance, flexibility and peace of mind.

___________________________________________________________________

Signature Elizabeth Jarrard Date 11/11/10



I would love for you to join me!Download the “me” movement pledge (PDF) Feel free to print the pledge and spend some time thinking about what self care habits YOU want to be accountable for this holiday season. Need some ideas for your own pledge? Check out this list!
Rebecca and I will also be holding weekly twitterparties, and i'd love for you to tweet with us #mefirst! check out this post for more information. Guiltless is joining too-come join the conversation!

What are you inspired by right now? Are the holidays a stressful time for you? Would you consider signing the pledge and putting yourself first this holiday season?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

FNCE Love

This past weekend was spent at the American Dietetics Associations's Food and Nutrition Conference/Expo (ADA's FNCE). (for more information on the ADA and why I want to become an RD, see this post )
I'm still decompressing a bit from a the thrilling, inspiring, but exhausting weekend. Janel Ovrut, RD wrote a fantastic recap you should read here. (just know that I won...):
My favorite part, obviously, was being surrounded by some very inspiring, role models of mine. Corinne was back in town, and I saw all my Boston ladies, Janel, Jessica, Kara, Jamie, & Lindsey. I finally met Jenny Westerkamp, the genius behind All Access Internship.
Not only is she a sweetheart, but she also arranged a lunch get-together at Flour for young RDs,
AND I finally met the rockstar I've been interning for since May, Rebecca Scritchfield! She had some fantastic advice for how to shape my career, and it was so great to finally put a face to the voice behind our conference calls!
she really took me under her wing, and introduced me to more great RDs. I'm helping her launch this amazing new initiative, which I'll talk about in 2 seconds!

Expo-tastic: which caused much debate among members about ADA's corporate sponsors-Coke, Hershey, and Nestle to name a few. I snagged a few nuts, lara bars, and svelte, but didn't feel like pushing and shoving to get a taste of avocado cupcakes. Gluten free + stevia products were super hot.

One of the highlights was definitely getting a picture with a raisin. I. love. raisins.
Sessions: I sat in on some fantastic session, on Marketing, Coaching, vegetarian Nutrition, spices and green eating. If you follow me on twitter you got little snippets of the presentations, and I will try to do a full summary soon. (Also, check out #FNCE on twitter-fantastic updates!)

Entrepreneurs. My favorite session by far was the networking session with Nutrition Entrepreneurs. It was "speed networking" and I met a range of people doing really neat things in the field. I got to talk with Maye Musk, a very successful private practice RD in NYC. She is on fire with her adorable S. African accent. Oh and did I mention she's a model? I also met Kate Donelan, Leslie, Wendy Jo, Nour and Alex!!
Janel and Alex!
It was a great conference, and gave me all the inspiration and motivation I need to pull me through the next five weeks. Which brings me to other things I am loving right now:

Inspiration is everywhere: On Friday we had an extra class assignment to attend Grand Rounds at Sargent College. We are lucky that the nutrition department shares space with other Health Sciences, including Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech therapy. once a semester they gather together and discuss a case for us all to learn from. I approached the afternoon thinking I would probably fall asleep during it, but it was one of the most inspirational parts of a very inspiring week. "Our patients are our best teachers" one of the professor's started and we were honored to have Matt there to teach us what it was like living after a Stroke. His resilience, and dedication to trying to restore the activities of daily life, while being Mr. Mom to two small children was so touching. The entire time he kept saying "step by step" "little by little" "One step at a time" If Matt can recover from a very serious stroke and impairment, and work hard to regain his Independence, we all can. It was so wonderful to see the amazing work therapist can do to really make a difference in people's quality of life. Thank you Matt.

Me First- This holiday season I'm putting myself first. Join Rebecca Scritchfield with the Me Movement! Sign the pledge! I'll be posting my pledge next Monday!

Poet: my little sister has a way with words that I never will. Her writing moves. Check out the blog she just started here! I'm signing the pledge and will reveal it here on Monday!


Openings: I have two new favorite restaurants in Cambridge, that I hope to become a regular at: Clover Harvard Sq (Yes, like the food truck, but the permanent location) (see the article in the globe here) and Life Alive. i love the food, atmosphere, owners, employees, locations, of both. oh and their both open to 10pm everyday. wins.

New Goal in Life: Create a vegan version of "a gypsy kitchen that is part underground supper club and part food truck." Read more: Food Truck Owners Pave the Way for Renegade Dining -- Grub Street Boston

Whip your hair: Jake Gyllenhaal does. This redeems him possibly being with T. Swift.

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Guiltless Giveaway

Pull up a stool It's been a whirlwind weekend at FNCE-the annual convention of Registered Dietitians, held in Boston this year. I've been meeting RDs that inspire me daily, real role models and mentors in my life. The sessions have been educational, conversations superb. I have a lot of thinking, and digesting to do in the next couple of days!. I have so much to share, but I want to do it justice with a thoughtful post, which will come when my schedule opens up in a bit. One of my mentors, Rebecca Scritchfield is writing fantastic little posts here. And I would love for you to stalk me on Twitter. Seriously. I'm a Addict. Go. Now.


But I am very excited to announce the First Ever Guiltless Giveaway!!!! There is a fantastic event coming to Boston this week and we were asked if one of our readers would like a pair of tickets. We thought you'd be interested so we're hosting a Giveaway! Unfortunately it's only for those who are free November 10th, at 7pm in Boston, but we have two tickets to LUNAFEST! First more info on the event:


LUNAFEST is coming to Boston!!! Lunafest is similar to other traveling indie film festivals except one thing...it's films by, for and about women! You will find the films offered unique, artistic efforts by female directors, producers and writers, who are under-represented in the world of film. And, it's the feel-good event of the season. Add on some dessert and drinks, and it will be the best night out you've had in awhile.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 @ 7pm

THE LIBERTY HOTEL

215 CHARLES STREET

BOSTON

Post-show reception in the Rotunda includes open bar (wine & beer), dessert, door prizes

More information can be found here


In case you've never been the Liberty Hotel is FANTASTIC. It's going to be a stellar event and I'm so bummed I can't be there. Enter the giveaway here: http://iamguiltless.blogspot.com/2010/11/guiltless-giveaway.html


Have a fantastic week!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Spooky Halloween Love

Halloween is quite possibly one of my favorite holidays, and this year I was so happy/obsessed with my costume I just had to share it with the world. Read my post today on Guiltless!
For some reason, unbeknown to me, I didn't even crave or want any candy this halloween. and this is from sugar queen #1. All I wanted is more pumpkin hummus. and you can be sure I fulfilled that craving!!!

November is one of my favorite months and I'm sure this year will exceed expectations! FNCE, my birthday, Thanksgiving, family, it'll be a ride and a half!

And a quote for today:
"What is a bombshell? Its a sexy energy that comes from inside"
-Alessandra Ambrosio Victoria's Secret model
Do you like Halloween? The dressing up part or the candy bit? Tell me your favorite halloween costume this year!