From Our Friends: January 24, 2014

Welcome to this week’s installment of From Our Friends, a weekly roundup where we highlight some of our favorite posts, published by our friends and partners around the web.

This week’s edition includes a sneak peek at why sugar might be souring your looks, the changes to a ladies-only gym chain that might draw you in, a sought-after personal trainer’s simple strategy for squeezing in an effective 15-minute workout, an easy way to contribute to our planet with your online purchases, an eye-opening look at the meaning of eco-fashion, uncovering the motivation for your midnight snack attacks, infused vinegar recipes to freshen up your cleaning routine, and how to get the most flavor and nutrition from popcorn without all the junk. Enjoy!

1. They say you are what you eat, but all those sweet snacks are definitely an exception. With all the ways sugar dangerously affects our health, it’s no surprise that it’s also not doing nice things for your skin and complexion. Eating like a candy-crazed teen might be making you look a bit beyond your years. The Gloss Health explains how it’s speeding up your skin’s aging process.

2. Have you thought about stepping up your workout at a local ladies-only Curves gym? Our friends at HooplaHa share some positive changes the chain has made that prospective members might want to know about. What draws you in to getting in shape at the gym?

3. Still convincing yourself that you haven’t got a spare moment for fitness? gets the skinny on a time-saving workout from trainer Michelle Bridges. She’s known for her role as the fitness guru on “The Biggest Loser Australia”, and is introducing herself to Americans in a big way this year, with her online 12 Week Body Transformation. She is also ready to release her first book in the U.S., and is coming with a clear message: you don’t need as much time as you think!

4. Do something good for your body and the planet both, in one easy step. The Organic Whey wants to make a difference, and is proud to contribute 1% of its sales to 1% for the Planet. Look for their logo when you shop, and consider membership for your company too. Shop with The Organic Whey (now available via too!) and check off two of those New Year’s resolutions at once!

5. Eco-friendly fashion can mean different things to different people, and is certainly approached in different ways by different labels and designers. It can be hard quantify the term, as it can come in many different forms. EcoSalon explores how to evaluate a clothing brand’s commitment to sustainability and what eco-fashion really means.

6. Why are we so prone to little midnight delights by the refrigerator light? Experience Life Magazine says that once you get to the bottom of that mystery, you’ve got a good shot at getting down to your ideal weight! Learn the hidden causes of late-night snacking and stop the hazardous habit tonight.

7. Vinegar and water make the best all-purpose natural cleaner, but did you know you can easily jazz it up and create a more powerful, nicer smelling, specialty cleaner that rivals any of those toxic cleaners at the store? From fresh citrus peels like grapefruit or lime, to cinnamon, cloves, and bay leaves, infuse a batch of vinegar as a natural solution to repel bugs or make surfaces shine. CraftingAGreenWorld shares how!

8. Snack healthy by popping your own popcorn! As tasty as it is, we all know that movie popcorn is full of calories, unhealthy fats, loads of sodium, additives, and mystery ingredients. MightyNest shares how to get the best taste and nutrition out of your popcorn with this handy DIY.

You can follow Spencer on Twitter @SpencerKent

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