The Bark – A Healthy Living Blog

The attribute of greatness once awarded to leaders and spiritual icons is now found everywhere. From the classrooms to the field – from beneath us to heavens, the boundaries of greatness are being blurred. So go out and live. Live with a purpose and Live Better, Longer™!

So you've decided to cut back on caffeine? If so, then these caffeine-free alternatives to coffee are going to come in handy the next time you're craving a hot beverage that doesn't have that unwanted caffeine kick in it. I know, I know... the thought of not having that morning cup of joe seems unbearable to a lot of people, but I can promise you that there are some of us in this world who like to stay away from caffeine. You. Are. Seriously. Not. Alone.

There are plenty of reasons to stop drinking coffee, and they range from medical issues (high blood pressure individuals) to mental well-being issues (anxiety-prone individuals)....

The supplement “Pycnogenol” a French maritime pine bark extract that’s been growing in popularity over the past decade, has many possible uses.

Here, in part three of this article series, we look at the Pycnogenol benefits against osteoarthritis, blood clots, and male infertility.

Benefits of Pycnogenol: #1 Osteoarthritis

In a good-quality study, 100 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee were treated for three months either with 150 mg of Pycnogenol a day or placebo. Pycnogenol-treated patients reported significant improvement with knee pain, as compared to the placebo group. Moreover, Pycnogenol treatment reduced...

1. Just take a walk

That’s it. Start with something you know you can accomplish: Go for a 30-minute walk after dinner. Don’t worry about speed; don’t worry about distance. Just walk. Go out 15 minutes, come back 15 minutes. If it’s not safe for you to walk at night where you live, do it on your lunch hour or some other time of day. What you want to do is create a habit. This is a very simple way to start training yourself to live differently. Ultimately, use these walks to segue into a more vigorous cardiovascular workout routine. This could be anything from more walking to running or working out on an elliptical trainer. Here...

Sam’s TestSince we let you in on what to have handy in the freezer, we thought it be useful to let you know what not to leave in the refrigerator. As much as your fridge is probably stocked with a variety of healthy eats, most meats and produce have to be consumed within a short time after purchase to avoid any unwanted bacteria or gut issues.

When it comes to food safety, it’s always best to play it safe. If it’s been a while since you checked what’s been living deep down there, consider these few facts before you dive in.

7 refrigerator items you need to keep an eye on 1. Open cans and tins

When exposed to...

Lather up! You’ve heard that sunscreen is an essential for a beach day or any day–UVA rays are just as strong in the winter as they are in the summer. There’s really no replacement for it, not even an SPF tinted moisturizer, but there are foods lurking in your produce aisles that can provide a potent double-team against skin damage. Bonus: some of them are meant to be enjoyed on the beach.

Green Tea

In a study published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2011, people who drank a beverage containing green tea polyphenols daily for 12 weeks had skin that was more elastic and smooth, and had one-quarter less sun damage when...

Sara and Ryan Hall met in college, when they were both competitive runners at Stanford University. Since then, they've had quite a bit of success as professional runners. Ryan has posted the best American times both in half marathons and marathons, while Sara won the 2012 National U.S. Cross Country competition—and those are just a few of their accomplishments!

When I got a chance to run a 5K with the Halls, I was understandably intimidated, but also had a few (winded) minutes to chat with Sara about what she and Ryan eat for breakfast.

When it comes to breakfast, the Halls are all about chocolate pancakes.

"Right now I'm...

How we approach our work is greatly dependent on our mindset.  If we're in a good place, it's effortless.  If we're stressed or unhappy, everything feels exhausting.  As important as it is to be good at what you do, your craft, it is equally as important to practice your approach and master yourself.

Here are 5 ways to cultivate a positive mindset:

1. Make Time For Input

If you're constantly in "output" mode, you will eventually run dry.  Output mode is whenever you are calling upon yourself to create, to work, to "do." 

Input mode is when you are replenishing yourself--your knowledge bank, your inspiration, your emotional...

High blood sugar occurs when your body can’t effectively transport sugar from blood into cells.

When left unchecked, this can lead to diabetes.

One study from 2012 reported that 12–14% of US adults had type 2 diabetes, while 37–38% were classified as pre-diabetic (1).

This means that 50% of all US adults have diabetes or pre-diabetes.

Here are 15 easy ways to lower blood sugar levels naturally:

1. Exercise regularly

Regular exercise can help you lose weight and increase insulin sensitivity.

Increased insulin sensitivity means your cells are better able to use the available sugar in your...