The Checkup: Why You Should Open Your Curtains Right When You Wake Up 

• You’re going to want to start raising your blinds first thing in the morning. Research shows, people who were exposed to sunlight in the early morning had lower BMIs than those who weren’t, probably thanks to sunlight giving the body’s internal clock (metabolism included) a kickstart. Here, four more morning habits to tweak for weight loss. [Prevention]

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The Checkup: The Expert-Backed Case for Skipping Your Workout Today (Really!)

• If you’re just re-kick-starting your commitment to your New Year’s resolution of getting fit, do know, you don’t need to hit the gym every single day. Experts recommend sticking to an every-other-day gym routine (so around three days a week) to start — and easing up on the intensity of your workouts while you’re at it — in order to see the best results. [Self]

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Uh-oh: New Study Discovers Hidden Downside to Gluten-Free Diets 

If you’ve been to any grocery store recently, you know: going gluten-free is BIG right now, with reasons ranging from fear of chronic inflammation to gluten sensitivity to celiac disease. We’re not here to talk about the reasons people are ditching gluten in droves right now, though — we’re here to talk about a newly discovered unintended health consequence of doing so.

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The Weird New $5 Philly Breakfast Item to Curb Your Bagel Addiction

A sample of the new sweet potato breakfast soup at Pure Fare

A sample of the new sweet potato breakfast soup at Pure Fare

I’ve got two words for you: Breakfast soup. If you imagine some sort of wholly unappetizing brothy egg concoction when you read those words, let me assure you: That’s not what I’m talking about here. But I do understand why your mind would go there — that’s exactly where my mind went when Kriti Sehgal, owner of the fast-casual spot Pure Fare, told me they’d added breakfast soup, along with a number of other new breakfast items, to the menu at their Rittenhouse location at 119 South 21st Street.

Breakfast soup does NOT sound appetizing to me. And this is why I was so surprised at how darn delicious and delightful their take on it is.

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Watch Out, Sweetgreen: Another Salad Chain Is Coming to Rittenhouse

Just Salad | Photo via Facebook

Just Salad | Photo via Facebook

Our friends over on BizPhilly just clued us in on the news that Knit Wit, the much-loved boutique at 1729 Chestnut Street, has lost its lease (don’t worry, they plan to open another location soon. And yes, there is a lost-our-lease sale happening). What’s replacing them, you ask? That would be Just Salad, a salad chain based in New York City.

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The Checkup: All the Protein Mistakes You’re Making (And How to Fix Them)

Protein, much like Britney Spears or calculus, is complicated. You know you need it — but it turns out, many of us are consuming it in the wrong ways, like, for one, by downing way too much at once rather than spreading our servings out from breakfast through dinnertime. Here, six protein mistakes you’re probably making, plus how to correct them. [Women’s Health]

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MAKE: Cheesy Stuffed Acorn Squash With Quinoa and Chicken

Cheesy Stuffed Acorn Squash | Photo by Becca Boyd

Cheesy Stuffed Acorn Squash | Photo by Becca Boyd

I bought a few gorgeous acorn squash at the market and then they sat in my pull-out pantry … for, like, three weeks. I was frozen in indecision, and maybe feeling a little lazy. But eventually, I buckled down to whip up this recipe, filled with healthy (and gluten-free!) grains and lean protein, that checks off all the important meal boxes: light, delicious and downright drool-worthy.

The good news is, though, if you never stop feeling lazy, acorn squash has an even sweeter flavor than butternut and with some salt and coconut oil, it’s quite special on its own. In fact, you can eat it just like you would a sweet potato.

But if the cooking mood does strike you, the recipe below is sure to satisfy.

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The Checkup: The 50/25/25 Plate Rule That Makes Weight Loss Way Easier 

• Figuring out what your plate should look like when you’re trying to shed pounds can be confusing. But the dietitian-backed 50/25/25 rule — which gives 50 percent of your plate to veggies or salad, 25 percent to lean protein and 25 percent to starchy vegetables or carbs — makes figuring it out a whole lot easier. [Self]

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The Meal-Prep Trick That’s Saved Me Tons of Money

I nearly start sobbing when I think about the year 2014, when I would go to HipCityVeg every single day and order the drool-worthy Curry Tofu Wrap for lunch. Every. Single. Day. I was young and stupid and had not yet experienced the big unexpected bills caused by broken cars or broken pets or a broken body that everyone talks about having a savings account for. So away went hundreds (and hundreds) of dollars on Curry Tofu Wraps over the course of a year. More if you factor in the occasional green lemonade I’d get to wash the wrap down with. Insert puddle of tears here.

Now, a few years later and after dealing with a number of my dog’s weird health problems (she somehow managed to get a paint chip in her eye, and who knew ear infections could be so draining on your wallet?), I think about what I eat for lunch a bit more and go out for lunch a whole lot less. Because I get it: Savings accounts are helpful.

But this shift from a lady who lunches at HipCityVeg and Sweetgreen all the freakin’ time to a lady who lunches out of a trusty Tupperware container did not come easy.

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The Checkup: What You Should Be Topping Every Salad With (But Aren’t) 

• I’ve waxed poetic about the benefits of hemp seeds many a time, but they’re not the only seed worth throwing on your salads: flax seeds, chia seeds and pumpkin seeds — all of which blend in with just about any mix of ingredients — all offer tons of benefits, like high fiber counts, zinc, magnesium and protein. So get to sprinklin’, people! [Prevention]

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