The Checkup: The Ingredient Swap to Instantly Upgrade Your Lunch Salads

• Forking the same ol’ spinach salad into your mouth day after day after day can eat away at your soul. So if you’ve been doing just that since Myspace mattered, it’s time to switch it up: Take note of these six little-used vitamin-packed greens, from sorrel to baby Swiss chard to dandelion greens, that will spice up your salad game, stat. [Shape]

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The Checkup: Starbucks Hacks to Healthify Your Pumpkin Spice Latte Order 

• We agree: It’s WAY too early to be talking about pumpkin spice lattes. But that doesn’t change the fact that Starbucks has declared it is, in fact, already pumpkin spice latte season. If you can’t resist the fall concoction, take note of these five hacks — like opting for a pumpkin spice cappuccino instead of a latte — to healthify your seasonal addiction. [Shape]

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The Checkup: Working Out Saves You HOW Much Money Each Year?!

• If you’re in need of some workout motivation this Monday morning (aren’t we all?), take note: A new study published in the Journal of American Heart Association found that hitting the gym regularly saved folks, on average, anywhere from $500 to $2,500 a year. Psst: You can maximize those savings with these free workouts around town. [Science of Us]

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The Checkup: Why You Should Order a Fancy Cocktail Tonight — For Your Waistline

One weekend habit that could help you shed pounds? When you head out for drinks after work with friends (because it’s the freakin’ weekend!), treat yourself to a fancy cocktail instead of a cheap happy hour deal. It’s simple math: If you’re sticking to a budget, you’ll probably indulge in just one instead of overdoing it on the cheap stuff, lowering your calorie count in the process. [Women’s Health]

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The Checkup: How to Pick the Fastest Checkout Line at the Grocery Store 

• Scary fact: Americans spend 37 billion HOURS a year waiting in line. And if you want to cut down on your personal contribution to that time, express checkout may not be your best bet at the grocery store. According to research, hopping in line behind one cart with many items should be faster than getting behind a few people with just a few items. That, plus many more tips to help you spend as little time in line as possible the next time you hit the grocery store. [New York Times]

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The Checkup: How to Tell If Your Breath Stinks

Bad breath happens. If you’re worried it might be happening in your mouth right this very second, breathing into your hand and sniffing won’t give you a definitive answer. Apparently, the best way to tell is your breath is smelling funky is to use a spoon to scrap your tongue, let it dry for a few seconds, then smell. Weird? Yes. Effective? Also yes. [Refinery29]

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The Checkup: The Unexpected Everyday Habits That Are Making You Bloated

• Plan on eating a salad for lunch paired with a can of sparkling water sipped through a straw? Well, if that salad has broccoli or Brussels sprouts in it, be prepared for some post-lunch bloat. Turns out we don’t have the enzyme to break those guys down well. And you may want to lose the carbonation and the straw — both of those are bloat culprits, too. Here, everything you need to know about bloating, including the unexpected everyday habits that cause it and how to best deal with it. [Women’s Health]

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Recipe: Lighter (And More Delicious!) Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad | Photo by Becca Boyd

Chicken Salad | Photo by Becca Boyd

Chicken salad is a make-ahead, crowd-pleasing healthy option for a back to school party or potluck. Do I sense some raised eyebrows? I’m not referring to chicken salad of ye olden days: one drenched in mayonnaise. This vinaigrette-dressed salad is full of veggies, protein, and healthy fats — and way less mayo than you’d find in your nearest deli’s variation.

Not feeding a crowd? Either half the recipe or plan on freezing leftovers in plastic sandwich bags so you have perfectly portioned lunches to toss over mixed greens or fill a whole-wheat pita!

This recipe is incredibly straightforward (read: pretty hard to mess up), so I will let the instructions speak for themselves. One thing to note, though: I chose to poach the chicken because I find it yields the most tender results. To poach a food you cook it at a near simmer. This means that as it cooks, you should see a bit of movement in the water, but no bubbles. If you bubble away your chicken it will not be tender, it will be tough and chewy. Just glance at the pot a few times and make sure it’s not simmering. Easy.

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