Denise Tausig (SP_COACH_DENISE)

SparkPeople Community Coordinator

Denise's first introduction to SparkPeople was January 1, 2004, as a member. It took her eight months to lose 40 pounds and reach her goal weight, which she's maintained for many years thanks to regular walking, yoga, and fitness videos. Losing weight and exercising inspired Denise to change her life. She went back to school and earned a bachelor's degree in wellness at Lincoln University in Missouri and become an ACE-certified personal trainer. Now a SparkPeople employee, she helps others achieve their health and fitness goals, including the 13- to 17-year-old members of our sister site, SparkTeens.com, where Denise works as the Community Leader. At SparkPeople, you'll find her throughout the Community, answering questions, leading SparkTeams and challenges and providing support to members.


Read More of Denise's Blogs:

Spark Spotlight: Robin (RASAYLOR)

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: Robin (RASAYLOR)
Age: 28
Location: Morgan City, Louisiana
 
Small Success of the Week
 
Robin has gone from barely walking six months ago to walking a lot more now, while also cutting down her time for a 5K by about two and a half minutes. She's also celebrating a loss of 14 pounds since January, which will help her reach her ultimate goal! 

Posted 3/25/2019  12:00:00 AM By: Denise Tausig : 60 comments   22,313 views

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Spark Spotlight: Jen (JENNMT)

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: Jen (JENNMT)
Age: 49
Location: Silver Bow County, Montana 
 
Small Success of the Week
 
Jen is celebrating her first month of using SparkPeople with the loss of 11.4 pounds and 15.5 inches! 

Posted 3/18/2019  12:00:00 AM By: Denise Tausig : 50 comments   18,020 views

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Spark Spotlight: Nico (NICO_2023)

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: Nico (NICO_2023)
Age: 20
Location: Laconia, Indiana
 
Small Success of the Week
 
Nico is very proud of being able to resist the urge to overeat recently. This was a huge accomplishment and is definitely something to be celebrated! 

Posted 3/11/2019  12:00:00 AM By: Denise Tausig : 46 comments   17,605 views

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Spark Spotlight: Deb (DLREYNOLDS2000)

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: Deb (DLREYNOLDS2000)
Age: 64
Location: North Tustin, California
 
Small Success of the Week
 
Deb is feeling great after starting a new habit of exercising at least 10 minutes a day, and is already increasing to 30 minutes a day with the #moveit SparkChallenge

Posted 3/4/2019  12:00:00 AM By: Denise Tausig : 43 comments   18,138 views

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Spark Spotlight: Lisa (1EVIL_ANGEL)

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: Lisa (1EVIL_ANGEL)
Age: 30
Location: Northamptonshire, United Kingdom
 
Small Success of the Week
 
Lisa recently posted in the Community Goal Feed about how great she was feeling now that she has quit smoking for one full month. Even better, she's still going strong with breaking that old habit!

Posted 2/25/2019  12:00:00 AM By: Denise Tausig : 79 comments   18,152 views

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Spark Spotlight: Jessica (JESSALELO)

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: Jessica (JESSALELO)
Age: 31
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
 
Small Success of the Week
 
Jessica recently posted in the Community Goal Feed that she was celebrating a 20-day streak of not having any sodaand the streak is still going!

Posted 2/18/2019  12:00:00 AM By: Denise Tausig : 42 comments   18,427 views

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Spark Spotlight: Beth (BETHLYN84)

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: Beth (BETHLYN84)
Age: 34 
 
Small Success of the Week
 
Beth recently posted in the Community Goal Feed that, despite not wanting to, she did a 30-minute workout.

Posted 2/11/2019  12:00:00 AM By: Denise Tausig : 26 comments   19,138 views

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Spark Spotlight: Annette (NETTY129)

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: Annette (NETTY129)
Age: 51
Location: Toledo, Ohio 
 
Small Success of the Week
 
Annette recently shared her excitement in the Community Goal Feed that she was finally able to do a Leslie Sansone one-mile walk video to help her reach her goals.

Posted 2/4/2019  12:00:00 AM By: Denise Tausig : 21 comments   19,295 views

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Spark Spotlight: Marcie (MARCIE18)

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: Marcie (MARCIE18)
Age: 66
Location: Fredericksburg, Virginia
 
Small Success of the Week
 
Marcie recently shared in the Community Goal Feed that she created a new habit of drinking her coffee black, rather than using coffee creamer, which often has lots of added sugar.

Posted 1/28/2019  12:00:00 AM By: Denise Tausig : 33 comments   19,068 views

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Spark Spotlight: Becca (BECCALOU09)

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: Becca (BECCALOU09)
Age: 26
Location: United Kingdom
 
Small Success of the Week
 
Becca recently shared in the Community Goal Feed that she was able to hold a pike for three minutes, which is a full minute longer than her first try.

Posted 1/21/2019  12:00:00 AM By: Denise Tausig : 17 comments   19,118 views

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Spark Spotlight: Rebecca (COUNTRYGAL1975)

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: Rebecca (COUNTRYGAL1975)
Age: 43
Location: Colorado Spring, Colorado
 
Small Success of the Week
 
Rebecca recently shared in the Community Goal Feed that she went for a walk with her grandchildren. During her walk, she had to carry the youngest grandchild a few times and noticed that her fitness had improved so much that she didn't have trouble breathing at all.

Posted 1/14/2019  12:00:00 AM By: Denise Tausig : 29 comments   19,731 views

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Spark Spotlight: Carolyn (CESUMMERFORD)

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: Carolyn (CESUMMERFORD)
Age: 63
Location: Glennville, Georgia
 
Small Success of the Week
 
Carolyn recently shared in the Community Goal Feed that she can now fit into a size XL shirt (down from a 3XL), and she's wearing a size 20 pant (down from a size 28)! 

Posted 1/7/2019  12:00:00 AM By: Denise Tausig : 36 comments   14,755 views

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Spark Spotlight: Amy (ABELAWSKI)

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: Amy (ABELAWSKI)
Age: 38
Location: New York
 
Small Success of the Week
 
Amy recently announced in the Community Goal Feed that she had an excellent workout and did 12 pushups in a row, as well as a 45-second plank. 

Posted 12/31/2018  12:00:00 AM By: Denise Tausig : 26 comments   11,154 views

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20 Member Ideas for Eating Healthy on a Budget

Updated by Melissa Rudy, 1/24/16

Sticking to a healthy diet is already challenging enough, but when you factor in climbing prices and shrinking grocery budgets, it can sometimes seem downright impossible. Don't throw in the towel and fall into the takeout trap just yet—with some smart strategies, you can eat higher-quality foods while still saving money. Some of our members offer their real-world tips for cutting costs and calories.

  1. "Consider adding cooked lentils to replace some meat when making chili or tacos. Most of the time you don't even notice." – ZELDA13
  1. "Instead of starting with what I want to eat, I start with what's on sale. A good rule of thumb for me has been to look for produce less than $1 per pound. I always look for the dented cans, quick-sale meat that is turning (cook that day or freeze) and manager's special (read: overripe or bruised) fruits and veggies. From there, I look through Pinterest for inspiration on dishes." – KOTWBB
  1. "Meat is more expensive (money and calories) than fruits and veggies. I dice a zucchini up to cook with taco meat to stretch it. I can have two huge taco salads with just four ounces of raw ground meat." – KOTWBB
  1. "I can routinely get a whole chicken on sale for 99 cents per pound. Pull up YouTube and learn to carve up a bird! I freeze pieces on cutting boards, then transfer to freezer bags. Make stock from the bones, too. If cutting up a raw bird isn't your thing, I started by roasting the whole chicken and carving it afterwards." – KOTWBB
  1. "Protein foods and fresh foods tend to be the most expensive. Luckily we don't have to only eat steak and avocados. Oatmeal, potatoes, milk, butter and oils, eggs, fatty meats and canned fish can make up a big part of the calories in a healthy diet." – GRATISHORE
  1. "If you have a yard, patio or sunny window, plant two or three pots of herbs. I believe that my small patio herb garden saves me hundreds of dollars a year. Even if you only have a sunny window, a little rosemary, thyme, parsley or cilantro can turn simple beans and rice into something sublime. A little oil with garlic and rosemary or thyme rubbed on chicken or pork (or whatever is on sale this week) makes a world of difference when it comes to flavor." – CLARISSABOND
  1. "We bake much of our own bread, but it is healthier and cheaper than most store bread, as we don't add any preservatives—just a little honey and oil sometimes—and use 100 percent whole wheat." – VIENNA61
  1. "Take advantage of reduced for quick sale veggies and meats. If you freeze the meats and cook the vegetables in a day or two, you're good to go." – CLARISSABOND
  1. "I buy peppers, celery, carrots, onions and eggplant on the sale rack, then wash, dice and freeze them in baggies. When I need a quick meal, I cook dry lentils with a tin of diced tomatoes and a handful of each veggie I have frozen with spices." – KAMELIA71
  1. "I like to make salads interesting by putting some fruit and nuts on them, or including fresh herbs you don't usually have like mint, watercress and/or flat leaf parsley. I also like a mixture of balsamic vinegar and soy sauce as a dressing, without oil or with just a tiny bit." – SQUEEDLE
  1. "For fish, canned salmon is a pretty good deal and very healthy (lots of canned salmon recipes!) and I try to serve it a couple of times a week. Tofu or canned salmon can be used instead of ground beef in a surprising number of recipes." – VIENNA61
  1. "Make your own stock by using trimmings from meats, chicken bones, etc. You can make great veggie stock if you save all your peelings and trims for a week or so. Put them in a large pot with enough water to cover and simmer about 20 to 30 minutes. Strain and freeze in saved plastic containers." – SHARONPENNING
  1. "I often plan homemade soup as the main course with homemade bread to go with it, or a nice Italian bread if it is on sale. You could also pair it with a salad or a bowl of applesauce. You could use leftovers for the meat, as soup doesn't need as much meat as a regular meal, so a little goes a long way." – RACEWIFE
  1. "The saying 'fresh is best' may not always be true. Most frozen and canned items are picked and processed at their peak. You just have to read the label to find out what is or is not in the package. Do a little research to ensure that you're making the best nutritional choices." – LONGLIFE
  1. "Farmers markets late in the day, community gardens and your own backyard garden can help a lot. I grow tomatoes and green peppers mostly for a high yield from a small space. Also, herbs and strawberries." – SHARONPENNING
  1. "If you have the storage room and have any staple dry foods, such as oats, rice or beans, get some prices from local markets that have bulk food sections to see if they'll order a full 25-pound bag for you. Most places give a discount for doing this." – STUZZICADENTI
  1. "Carrots are one of the cheaper vegetables. Cook them (they sweeten anything), scrape them and eat raw or dip into hummus, guacamole or even cottage cheese." – PATHFINDER52
  1. "A sleeve of barley is under $1.50—it tastes good with carrots, mushrooms and onions, and you can cook it in a slow cooker." – SUNSHINE6442
  1. "Eggs are a great buy, and two hardboiled eggs with a salad can easily make lunch." – PATHFINDER52
  1. "As long as you are cooking from scratch, you are probably already leaning toward healthy and low cost. Stay away from convenience foods—anything that's ready to open and eat or just needs a microwave to be a meal." – KOTWBB
To help you get started on the road to eating healthier on a budget, try these affordable recipes from our nutritionist, Becky Hand.

Are you able to eat healthy on a budget? How do you save money on groceries?

Posted 1/27/2017  2:00:00 PM By: Denise Tausig : 58 comments   113,644 views

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12 Soul-Satisfying Chili Recipes

Winter might have been a little late to show up in many places this season, but it appears to be back in action as of late. The cold weather has set in, which can only mean one thing: It's chili time. In addition to its belly-warming super powers, chili is a great way to get your veggies and protein all in one complete meal. Chili dishes can be as diverse as any meal, with many meatless options, spicy recipes, hearty dishes packed with meat and mild chicken creations available.

Posted 2/24/2016  12:00:00 AM By: Denise Tausig : 12 comments   42,305 views

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