Elizabeth Lowry

I'm a member of SparkPeople's editorial team and I write, edit and manage the content you read. I am passionate about living a healthy lifestyle and enjoy cooking for my family and friends, running, strength training, teaching weekly spin classes and playing outside with my kids. I also love a good challenge and recently found that in Barre class. That's not to say I don't enjoy a good indulgence once in a while--wine and chocolate are two of my favorite things. I am grateful to be here, helping our members reach their own healthy living goals.


Read More of Elizabeth's Blogs:

12 Perfect Products for a Healthier Tailgate

Fall is here and you know what that means: plenty of layers, cooler workouts and football. And, with football comes the inevitable tailgate. While tailgate parties might be known for beer, chicken wings and an assortment of fattening dips and chips, there is no reason you can't keep yours on the healthier side.

Posted 9/19/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Elizabeth Lowry : 12 comments   16,109 views

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SparkSpotlight: Krystin (GOODFELINE)

At SparkPeople, we love helping people accomplish big goals—but we believe it's equally important to celebrate the small successes along the way. Each week in the Spark Spotlight, we'll check in with a featured member about his or her proudest moments, biggest challenges and advice for others on living, thinking and feeling healthier. We hope these quick snapshots will help motivate you to keep moving steadily toward your own goals, week by week.
 
This Week's Spotlight: Krystin (GOODFELINE)
Age: 31
Location: Bellevue, Nebraska 
 
Small Success of the Week
 
For #throwbackthursday, Krystin posted a fabulous before-and-after photo showing her weight loss efforts, with the caption "29 lbs to go!"  

Posted 9/17/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Elizabeth Lowry : 31 comments   5,975 views

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Do Your Part for the Planet With 10 Earth-Friendly Kitchen Items

These days, seeing photos of whales washing up on beaches, stomachs full of plastic waste and other debris seems, sadly, like a regular occurance. Single-use plastics and other trash make up the majority of the pollutants in the ocean and elsewhere. One look out your car window to the side of the highway or other main roads reveals another such place for garbage disposal. And that oddly shaped "hill" with trucks running up and down it? That's your friendly neighborhood landfill, folks, and that small mountain is all your trash.

Posted 9/12/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Elizabeth Lowry : 54 comments   6,709 views

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SparkSpotlight: Meg Marie (PEACELOVENYOGA)

At SparkPeople, we love helping people accomplish big goals—but we believe it's equally important to celebrate the small successes along the way. Each week in the Spark Spotlight, we'll check in with a featured member about his or her proudest moments, biggest challenges and advice for others on living, thinking and feeling healthier. We hope these quick snapshots will help motivate you to keep moving steadily toward your own goals, week by week.
 
This Week's Spotlight: Meg Marie (PEACELOVENYOGA)
Age: 31
Location: West Salem, Ohio
 
Small Success of the Week
 
Meg Marie dropped to less than 300 pounds and is over the moon. She credits her weight loss to her daily yoga practice and determination to dig deeper into her practice and have more energy for her family.

Posted 9/10/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Elizabeth Lowry : 47 comments   6,729 views

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SparkPeople Challenge Winner Trains With Jillian Michaels

When Debbie Morales discovered she won the grand prize after finishing the FitFusion & SparkPeople 28-Day Check-In Challenge, she was shocked. After all, it's not every day you win a trip to train with Jillian Michaels in Los Angeles.

But win it, she did. In order to be eligible for the grand prize, Debbie had to complete 28 straight days of workouts with the FitFusion trainers via their on-demand video series. Tailored especially for SparkPeople, these workouts could be completed at home on almost any device in 10-, 20- and 30-plus-minute time frames. The challenge cycled through workouts that targeted the entire body—buns and thighs; chest, arms and back; and abs and core. The FitFusion challenge also included built-in rest days.

Posted 9/7/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Elizabeth Lowry : 49 comments   7,083 views

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Master Meatless Meals With These 10 Vegetarian Cookbooks

Anyone else enjoy reading cookbooks for fun? I can't be the only one. I sometimes read them cover-to-cover like a good non-fiction novel. Words like, "macerate," "baste," "caramelize," "deglaze" and "julienne" make my mouth water as my fingers reach out for the chef's knife. There's something so special to me about creating something out of nothing—especially when that something is delicious.
 
Because there are plenty of cookbooks out there with fabulous, good-for-you recipes, it's easy to overlook the ones that are free of meat. However, adding a plant-based meal or two (or three) from time to time to your meal rotation can help lower your cholesterol and your risk for heart disease, among other benefits. That doesn't mean you have to become a vegetarian to enjoy meals without the meat, though—you can begin by replacing just one meal a week with a vegetarian option and go from there. After a few veggie-packed meals, you might even surprise yourself with how much you don't miss the meat and opt to go meatless more often.
 
To get you started, we've rounded up ten of our favorite vegetarian cookbooks we think you'll love.

1. "Vegetarian Cookbook for Beginners: The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook to Get Started" ($9.59)


Photo courtesy of Amazon 

What better place to start than at the beginning? This vegetarian cookbook is specifically for veggie newbies who want to start eating more plant-based meals. Filled with 150 recipes, the cookbook shows you how to keep all the flavors and textures you love in a meal without the meat. Plus, it includes a 14-day plan if you want to extend your vegetarian cooking adventures.
 
2. "The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out" ($16.65)


Photo courtesy of Amazon 

What can a self-trained chef and photographer teach you about cooking vegan? It turns out, plenty! Angela Liddon's plant-based recipes and popular vegan blog have drawn thousands of followers from all corners of the world. Liddon discusses how her joyous relationship with whole, unprocessed foods makes her glow, both on the inside and the outside. Discover more than 100 recipes that run the gamut from classic dishes to new, inventive meals that are all as delicious as they are nutritious.  
3. "Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London's Ottolenghi" ($23.99)


Photo courtesy of Amazon
 

Yotam Ottolenghi
is a world-renowned chef, owner of five London delis and restaurants and a cookbook author whose cookbook, "Plenty," brings the joy of vegetable dishes to the kitchens of amateur chefs everywhere. Even though Ottolenghi isn't a vegetarian, his recipes for vegetable dishes are unique, innovative, delicious and widely applauded. Though you could find these dishes in a five-star restaurant, you can also learn to make them at home with the help of this best-selling cookbook.
 
4. "Love Real Food: More Than 100 Feel-Good Vegetarian Favorites to Delight the Senses and Nourish the Body" ($11.63)


Photo courtesy of Amazon
 
 
Kathryne Taylor, a popular vegetarian food blogger at Cookie + Kate, offers up 100 of her most popular recipes to the masses. Some recipes also come with substitution suggestions for special diets (gluten-free, vegan, egg-free, etc.), so each recipe can be adapted to your own healthy-living lifestyle. Recipes take you from breakfast to lunch, happy hour to dessert, and everything in between—there are even recipes for your favorite four-legged friend!
 
5. "Forks Over Knives: The Cookbook" ($14.58)


Photo courtesy of Amazon
 
 
This New York Times bestseller combines eating whole foods as part of a vegetarian diet into more than 300 mouth-watering recipes. Modeled after the Forks Over Knives movement, this cookbook walks you through the transition from a meat-based diet to a plant-based one through simple, easy-to-follow recipes. Recipes include Breakfast Quinoa with Apple Compote, Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Stew and Polenta Pizza with Tomatoes and Basil.
 
6. "The Essential Vegetable Cookbook: Simple and Satisfying Ways to Eat More Veggies" ($16.28)


Photo courtesy of Amazon
  

For those looking to add more vegetables to your life—either through vegetarian meals or by simply learning new ways to incorporate seasonal produce into your meals—"The Essential Vegetable Cookbook" is for you. Not only does this cookbook offer simple, delicious recipes, but it also gives an ingredients list and directions for how to prep the vegetables you'll be cooking. Arranged by season, the recipes also afford you the opportunity to take advantage of produce varieties during their peak growing times.
 
7. "The High-Protein Vegetarian Cookbook: Hearty Dishes that Even Carnivores Will Love" ($15.91)


Photo courtesy of Amazon 
 
If you've been holding on to your meat because you're worried you'll be missing out on protein, worry no more. This cookbook promises to deliver all the protein you need to fuel your diet, without any of the meat you're looking to eliminate. Author Katie Parker is a vegetarian who lives with a meat-eater, so she knows how to satisfy even the pickiest carnivore's appetite through healthy, delicious and filling meals.
 
8. "The Moosewood Cookbook" ($19.99)


Photo courtesy of Amazon
  

Mollie Katzen inspired a generation with her simple, healthy, vegetarian recipes in this 1974 classic cookbook. Originally this book was illustrated, authored and published by Katzen in spiral-bound notebook to promote recipes she offered as a chef at the Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, New York. Now released as a special edition in honor of its 40th anniversary, you can revisit the recipes that made this collection one of the most popular vegetarian cookbooks of all time.
 
9. "Happy Herbivore Abroad: A Travelogue and Over 135 Fat-Free and Low-Fat Vegan Recipes from Around the World" ($14.50)


Photo courtesy of Amazon
  

This five-star-rated cookbook lets you travel alongside author Lindsay S. Nixon, a travel enthusiast who has lived in eight states and a Caribbean island and has traveled to nearly all 50 states plus 35 other stops abroad. Part travel diary, part cookbook, vegans and vegetarians alike will enjoy her internationally inspired, meat-free, plant-based, healthy recipes featuring everyday ingredients.
 
One reviewer wrote that "Happy Herbivore" is "Hands down the best cookbook for beginners or busy people. I have a family of five and some are vegan and some are not, yet our all-time favorite family recipes are from 'Happy Herbivore.' [...] An absolute home run for families looking to add some vegan meals for family meal times that all will love and eat."
 
10. "Minimalist Baker's Everyday Cooking: 101 Entirely Plant-Based, Mostly Gluten-Free, Easy and Delicious Recipes" ($23.79)


Photo courtesy of Amazon
  

Minimalist Baker
blogger Dana Shultz published her debut cookbook to showcase 101 all-new, simple, vegan recipes that can be made in 30 minutes or less, using 10 or fewer ingredients with one bowl or pot. Recipe options include sides, breakfasts, entrees and desserts, and come complete with colorful, vibrant photography. The cookbook offers pantry and equipment tips as well as step-by-step recipes with standard and metric measurements. Most recipes are gluten-free and all are vegan and delicious.
 
What's your favorite vegetarian or vegan cookbook?
 
We hope you love these products as much as we do. SparkPeople may collect a small percentage of revenue from the links on this page. Prices subject to change. 

Posted 9/5/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Elizabeth Lowry : 33 comments   6,236 views

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Spark Spotlight: Maricela (CHELAGETSFIT)

SparkSpotlight CHELAGETSFIT
 
At SparkPeople, we love helping people accomplish big goals—but we believe it's equally important to celebrate the small successes along the way. Each week in the Spark Spotlight, we'll check in with a featured member about his or her proudest moments, biggest challenges and advice for others on living, thinking and feeling healthier. We hope these quick snapshots will help motivate you to keep moving steadily toward your own goals, week by week.
 
This Week's Spotlight: Maricela (CHELAGETSFIT)
Age: 35
Location: Wasco, California
 
Small Success of the Week
 
Maricela took a walk during her morning break, logging 22 minutes, 1.3 miles and burning 106 calories. "That felt good!" she says.

Posted 9/3/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Elizabeth Lowry : 40 comments   5,702 views

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8 Yoga Essentials That Instructors Can't Live Without

Yoga is a practice that's been around for thousands of years. While there are different forms of yoga, the basic principles apply to each method: focus on your breathing, postures, flexibility and meditation. Many yogis practice for the spiritual aspect of the process, as it links your mind and body as you work through the postures and learn to breathe with intent.

Even if yoga seems intimidating, the great thing about it is that anyone can do it, at any level. However, if you're brand new to yoga or want to take your practice up a notch, there are products that yoga instructors swear by that can help get you in the zone and feel more comfortable while you work through your flow.

Posted 8/29/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Elizabeth Lowry : 58 comments   110,626 views

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SparkSpotlight: GROWINGSOUL

At SparkPeople, we love helping people accomplish big goals—but we believe it's equally important to celebrate the small successes along the way. Each week in the Spark Spotlight, we'll check in with a featured member about his or her proudest moments, biggest challenges and advice for others on living, thinking and feeling healthier. We hope these quick snapshots will help motivate you to keep moving steadily toward your own goals, week by week.
 
This Week's Spotlight: Jessice (GROWINGSOUL)

Age: 30

Location: Kenosha, Wisconsin
 
Small Success of the Week
 
Jessice made a small choice that had a big impact—she left her car at home and walked to and from work. The extra walking time put her at more than 10,000 steps for the day! 

Posted 8/27/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Elizabeth Lowry : 35 comments   5,973 views

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Spark Spotlight: Kathryn (CHANGING-TURTLE)

At SparkPeople, we love helping people accomplish big goals—but we believe it's equally important to celebrate the small successes along the way. Each week in the Spark Spotlight, we'll check in with a featured member about his or her proudest moments, biggest challenges and advice for others on living, thinking and feeling healthier. We hope these quick snapshots will help motivate you to keep moving steadily toward your own goals, week by week.
 
This Week's Spotlight: Kathryn (CHANGING-TURTLE)
Age: 62
Location: Sacramento, California
 
Small Success of the Week
 
Sometimes success can be as simple as making a plan and sticking to it. For Kathryn, she did just that. On her husband's birthday, she made a plan to have one thin slice of cake and a small bowl of ice cream and not go back for seconds—and she did it! 

Posted 8/20/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Elizabeth Lowry : 61 comments   7,472 views

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Spark Spotlight: Linzy (LINZY7)

At SparkPeople, we love helping people accomplish big goals—but we believe it's equally important to celebrate the small successes along the way. Each week in the Spark Spotlight, we'll check in with a featured member about his or her proudest moments, biggest challenges and advice for others on living, thinking and feeling healthier. We hope these quick snapshots will help motivate you to keep moving steadily toward your own goals, week by week.
 

This Week's Spotlight: Linzy (LINZY7)
Age:  26
Location: Midlothian, Virginia
 
Small Success of the Week
 
Linzy is proud of how much she's accomplished in one year and shared her amazing "before" and "after" photos on the Community Feed. In addition, she stated her optimism toward her weight-loss journey by saying "It’s never too late to change your life."

Posted 8/13/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Elizabeth Lowry : 33 comments   8,486 views

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Discover Amazing Fitness Deals at These 5 Discount Department Stores

How many times have you found yourself at a discount department store searching for one specific thing, only to find yourself wandering the maze of aisles and randomly scanning the shelves or racks "just to see"? If you're like most, probably more than once.
 
While shopping can be a pain at times, the thrill of the hunt (and a good deal!) keeps many coming back for more. However, did you know that many of the health and fitness items you stumble upon at a store can also be found for the same price (or better) on the store's website, including items like weight-lifting gloves, yoga mats and even kayaks?  

Posted 8/8/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Elizabeth Lowry : 58 comments   16,626 views

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Spark Spotlight: Jeanie (WALKIN4JEANIE)

At SparkPeople, we love helping people accomplish big goals—but we believe it's equally important to celebrate the small successes along the way. Each week in the Spark Spotlight, we'll check in with a featured member about his or her proudest moments, biggest challenges and advice for others on living, thinking and feeling healthier. We hope these quick snapshots will help motivate you to keep moving steadily toward your own goals, week by week.

This Week's Spotlight: Jeanie (WALKIN4JEANIE)
Age: 57
Location: Hickory, North Carolina

Small Success of the Week

Jeanie is proud of her NSV (non-scale victory): She put on and wore a pair of pants that she was not able to even pull up at the end of the last school year! She says it felt good!

Posted 8/6/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Elizabeth Lowry : 24 comments   6,893 views

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10 Fitness Items You Can Get for Less Than $10 on Amazon

When you think about working out, do you imagine yourself having to shell out hundreds of dollars a year on a gym membership or buying expensive equipment that you'll probably never use? While there certainly are benefits to belonging to a gym, or in owning home gym equipment, none of those things is necessary to get in shape and live a healthy lifestyle. In fact, there are plenty of items you can purchase for the price of a burger and fries that will last a lot longer and serve your health goals a heck of a lot better.

From light weights that travel well to a mini exercise ball that helps you target those tiny muscles, items that help you stay in shape can be just a 10 spot (or less) away.

Posted 8/1/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Elizabeth Lowry : 48 comments   16,483 views

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Spark Spotlight: Celynne (CEL3131)

At SparkPeople, we love helping people accomplish big goals—but we believe it's equally important to celebrate the small successes along the way. Each week in the Spark Spotlight, we'll check in with a featured member about his or her proudest moments, biggest challenges and advice for others on living, thinking and feeling healthier. We hope these quick snapshots will help motivate you to keep moving steadily toward your own goals, week by week.

This Week's Spotlight: Celynne (CEL3131)
Age: 29
Location: Barrie, Ontario, Canada

Small Success of the Week

Celynne hiked 15 kilometers while carrying a 30-pound pack. She is training for long-distance overnight hikes and this was her longest hike at the time of her Community Feed posting. Since then, Celynne has worked her way up to 20 kilometers!  

Posted 7/30/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Elizabeth Lowry : 26 comments   6,108 views

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