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April 2011

Have Your (Carrot) Cake and Eat It Too!

Written on April 29, 2011 at 2:56 pm , by

Tina's new book hits bookstores on May 3. (Image from Amazon.com)

Tina's new book hits bookstores on May 3. (Image from Amazon.com)

As big fans of health and fitness blogs, we were excited when Tina Haupert’s new book hit our desks. Who is Tina, you ask? She’s the brains behind Carrots ‘N’ Cake, a popular blog that she started in early 2008 to stay on track while shaping up for her wedding. Today, she chronicles her daily life and offers helpful hints for readers who want to live a healthy lifestyle without deprivation.

Her tips, recipes and entertaining stories are included in Carrots ‘N’ Cake: Healthy Living One Carrot and Cupcake at a Time, which will be released on Tuesday. We asked Tina to share a few of her favorite things…besides carrot cake, of course!

Favorite Workout(s): “Every week, I combine running, Body Pump and yoga for a well-balanced routine. I also enjoy walking and hiking with my husband and dog.”

Best Piece of Advice for Our Readers: “Pay attention to the nutrients in your food, not the calorie count.”

Top Blogs to Read: “My current favorites are Kath Eats Real Food, Healthy Tipping Point, Skinny Runner and Health on the Run.”

Choice Healthy Snack: “Anything with peanut butter! I love these Peanut Butter Bars as a treat, but my favorite snack has to be a Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie.”

Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup Almond Breeze almond milk
  • 2 tbsp. peanut butter
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder

Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

We can’t wait to try some of the other amazing sounding recipes in Carrots ‘N’ Cake. Cinnamon-Brown Sugar Pancakes, Easy Eggplant Pizza or Margarita Granita? Sign us up!

More from FITNESS: The FITNESS Guide to Healthy Snacking

Celebrate the Weekend with a New Workout Playlist!

Written on April 29, 2011 at 12:23 pm , by

Listen up! (Photo by Peter Ardito)

In honor of the big royal wedding weekend, we asked SoulCycle instructor Jenny Gaither to create a party song playlist exclusively for FITNESS! Add these to your iPod today for some major motivation in the gym.

My personal favorite? “Dog Days Are Over,” an ideal song for interval training, which is a mainstay (on repeat) on my playlists lately. Test it out and tell me what you think!

Now tell us: What song on your workout playlist puts you in a celebratory mood?

Bright, Bold Fitness Gear for Spring and Summer

Written on April 29, 2011 at 10:31 am , by

Ready, set, fiesta! With Cinco de Mayo right around the corner and the smell of summer in the air, we are so ready to to whip out the tortilla chips and party! One of spring/summer’s biggest trends is bold colors and we think Cinco de Mayo is the perfect day to test it out! From gym time to fiesta time, you can’t go wrong with any of these great pieces…bring on the salsa baby!


1. Under Armour Charged Cotton Tee $25 Perfect for an energy-filled gym class!

2. Kate Spade New York Color of the Month iPhone 4 Case $35 The stripes are so fun!

3. Kate Spade New York Women for Women Beaded Bracelet $45 Adds a great pop of color to any outfit!

4. LemLem Adama Tunic $175 Reminds us of a native Mexican blanket!

5. Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in Pulsion $25 A sweet treat for your hands and feet!

6. Nike Printed Tempo Track Short $32 Spices up your run!

7. Aspire Strappy Racerback Tank $32 A blast of color for yoga time!

8. TopShop Mexicana Embroidered Shift $76 The right amount of flare for a fiesta!

9. Skull Candy Smokin Buds $23 For your salsa playlists!

Royal Wedding Inside Scoop: The First Dance!

Written on April 28, 2011 at 4:58 pm , by

Professional choreographer Staś Kmieć (in tux) leads the Royal Wedding Dance Workout at New York Sports Clubs. (Photo by Milena Bejouleva/ NYSC)

Professional choreographer Staś Kmieć (in tux) leads the Royal Wedding Dance Workout. (Photo by Milena Bejouleva/ NYSC)

We here at FITNESS have royal wedding fever! And what better way to celebrate than getting insider details about the most fitness-y activity of the day: the dancing.

To gear up for the big event, I spoke with ballet dancer and choreographer Staś Kmieć, who has taught the Royal Wedding Dance Workout at New York Sports Clubs the past few weeks, to learn about how to get in shape for a wedding (the season is upon us!) and how to feel confident on the dance floor. But he had even more to share, since one of his close pals is choreographing THE dance—that’s right, Will and Kate’s first dance at the reception.

What motivated you to develop this workout?

“There is such a fascination with the wedding, and as a choreographer, I wanted to put a dance spin on it. A British choreographer named Arlene Phillips is in the Broadway dancers society with me, and was able to give some insight into the actual royal wedding. We worked these details into the class!”

So can you tell us what you know about the royal reception?

“It’s kept tightly under wraps, but the last time I spoke with Arlene, she hinted that William and Kate would do a waltz to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” for their first dance. So we do that in class as well!

There are actually two receptions: the first is more contemporary and fun, like William and Kate. I hear there is a ’70s and ’80s theme, which will include Kate’s request of Abba. The queen will attend the more traditional second reception, which Prince Charles is throwing.”

Read more

Fit Blogger We Love: Run, Eat, Repeat

Written on April 28, 2011 at 3:55 pm , by

Monica at Run, Eat, Repeat started her blog to document her weight loss through running and healthy eating. And like many of us who love food (who doesn’t, really?), keeping track of calories so you burn more than you eat can be hard. We can definitely relate to, and enjoy reading, her posts about yummy food and fun running routes. Read on for her motivational mantra and her ultimate fitness dream:

Monica at RunEatRepeat.com

Monica at RunEatRepeat.com

On my fit life list: Run a Sub 4 hour Marathon!!! I can’t believe I’m admitting that on the internet since I’m so scared of doing it, but I gotta dream big right?

My biggest indulgence: Self serve frozen yogurt with as many toppings as actual yogurt. Granola, chocolate chips, fruit, almonds, animal cookies… you name it, I’ll put it on my ice cream. I make it a point to get it once a week so I never feel deprived.

Most embarrassing song I’ll admit I work out to: “F*** You” by Cee-Lo Green. But it’s mostly only embarrassing because I sing it out loud as I go along.

My fitness mantra: “You will tell them ‘Yes’.” It’s from an old Nike ad I found in high school. I have the whole poem memorized and sometimes repeat it to myself when I’m having a tough run. Basically it says that your entire life everyone will tell you “No” and you must tell them “Yes”. I love that the message can be applied to anything we aspire to do.
My “I Did It” moment: When I completed my first marathon. Literally, until I crossed the finish line I thought there was a 60% chance I’d just collapse and die at some point on the course.

Do you have a favorite fit blogger you want us to highlight? Leave a comment below or email blog@fitnessmagazine.com.

Race To Erase MS “Rock & Royalty” Gala

Written on April 28, 2011 at 2:50 pm , by

Support the fight against MS by rocking this t-shirt at the gym for the month of May!

Support the fight against multiple sclerosis by rocking this t-shirt at the gym for the month of May!

Tomorrow is a glorious day in the land of wannabe princesses all over the country (me included). Watching soon-to-be Princess Katherine Middleton walk down the aisle to her handsome Prince William will be such an awe-inspiring (as in awww they’re so cute together!) morning for myself and so many other millions, maybe billions, of people watching. We’re all suckers for a real love story as good as this. How many of you plan to wake up early to watch Will and Kate say their “I do’s”? I do!

Tomorrow also marks the 18th anniversary of the Race To Erase MS gala—appropriately named the “Rock & Royalty to Erase MS.” At this celeb-filled kickoff event, in which Joan Jett and country music star Clay Walker will perform, the Nancy Davis Foundation will launch a new crop of royal-themed items (like t-shirts and jewelry) which give proceeds to research and awareness for this disease and the people suffering from multiple sclerosis today (check out the touching story of Jennifer Schuble on our “That’s The Spirit” back page in our May issue).

During the entire month of May, the foundation celebrates Orange You Happy to Erase MS with these following brands and famous faces that will do their part to give back to this very deserving cause. Check out this long list of awesome orange stuff you can snag to support MS research.

  • Proceeds of an exclusively designed shirt and a crown necklace, earring and ring collection from Peace and Love Jewelry by Nancy Davis.
  • 30% of the proceeds from any item purchased from the Peace and Love Jewelry by Nancy Davis retail website will be donated to the charity.
  • Beginning in April Harry & David will donate 20% of the proceeds from their Royal Oranges.

For the complete list of  give-back gear, read more.

Read more

The Loopholes of Food Labeling

Written on April 28, 2011 at 10:00 am , by

woman looking at food label

Photo courtesy of SparkPeople

Ready to find out what food manufacturers don’t want you to really know? Okay, here we go…

When you’re shopping in the grocery store, you may notice that food packages are always labeled with the latest buzz words. When the food guide pyramid was first marketed and touted the importance of whole grains, for example, suddenly words and logos for “whole grains” plastered the fronts of cereal boxes, crackers, breads…and even cookies! Now with the media’s attention on the harmful effects of trans fats, many food manufacturers are trying to draw your attention to the fact that their product is free of trans fats. No matter what the fad is—low-carb, fat-free, organic, or heart-healthy—manufacturers will try to lure you into buying their product. But, while food manufacturers can’t lie to you about the nutrition and ingredients of their products, they can easily mislead you into thinking something is healthier than it really is.

Reading and understanding a nutrition label doesn’t require a degree in nutrition, but it does require that you look beyond the fancy claims on the front of the box. If you know how to read between the lines of the marketing spin, you too can know how to make the most nutritious choices without having to read the fine print.

By law, food labels must be truthful. But manufacturers can pick and choose which facts to highlight and spin. As a consumer, your best option is to disregard the claims on the front of the package because, while they may be true, it may not tell you the whole story.

Read the full article about The Loopholes of Food Labeling and you’ll find out the truth about these buzz words:

“Natural”: The word “natural” is not regulated by the FDA and therefore is very misleading…

“Made with Real Fruit” or “Contains Real Fruit Juice”: Since there is no law that requires how much real fruit has to be included in a food that uses this claim, the product could contain just one grape or one drop of orange juice to be accurate.

“Whole Grains”: The reality is that refined white flour—with just a touch of whole wheat added back in—can be listed as “whole grain.” A food manufacturer can use the term “whole grain” no matter how much whole wheat the product contains.

“Zero Trans Fats”: If the words “partially hydrogenated” appear on the food label at all, then the food DOES contain trans fats. But thanks to labeling guidelines, any food that contains 0.5 grams or less of a nutrient can be listed as zero grams on the nutrition facts label. This may seem insignificant, but it does add up.

Continued: The Loopholes of Food Labeling

More From Spark People:

9 Foods You Think Are Healthy But Aren’t

How to Read a Nutrition Facts Label

Get a Free Fitness and Weight-Loss Plan

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How Biggest Loser Season 10 Winner Patrick House Is Giving Back

Written on April 27, 2011 at 2:01 pm , by

Patrick finishes the highly esteemed Boston Marathon

Patrick finishes the highly esteemed Boston Marathon

I recently got a chance at the Cybex Arc Trainer launch to spend some one-on-one time with Patrick House, last season’s winner of The Biggest Loser.  As one of The Biggest Loser‘s number one fans (yes, I really am, there is no denying that), this was definitely right up my alley.

After winning The Biggest Loser Patrick went home to South Carolina and founded a co-ed boarding school program for overweight teens. At MindStream Academy kids learn how to follow a healthy lifestyle, get fit, and build better self-confidence. The students are given a unique experience, unlike the schedule that regular junior high and high school students follow. They’re given nutrition lessons (with hands on experiences like harvesting their own fresh food!) and engage in outdoor fitness programs, like yoga, throughout the day. To think that some schools across America have cut P.E. classes seems crazy to me, so I love that Patrick is making health and fitness a top priority with the help of his program. This is something I love as I really hope to one day be able to help teens in the same way that Patrick is able to with his program at MindStream. I don’t think kids these days are as involved in sports and eating right as they were back when I was young (video games, junk food, and technology may be to blame), so we really need to pass on the right habits to them now.

My goal for this summer is to give a helping hand wherever I can pay it forward all that I’ve learned–visiting South Carolina to check out Patrick’s camp is definitely on my must-do list! I think we all need to take some time out of our busy lives and help our youth build a better future for themselves—they are the leaders of tomorrow!

[Another Biggest Loser fan favorite, Tara Costa, is also doing her part to pay it forward with her  Inspire Change Foundation. Check it out!]

What are you guys doing to give back this summer?

P.S. Patrick ran in the Boston Marathon last Monday with a few of his other Biggest Loser buddies. I love how the contestants are like one big happy family!

Cool New Workout Machine: The Cybex Arc Trainer

Written on April 27, 2011 at 11:55 am , by

Say hello to the latest Biggest Loser Arc Trainer

I recently got to check out this cool new workout machine: the Biggest Loser Arc Trainer from Cybex. If you haven’t tried an Arc Trainer yet, it’s like an elliptical but with less impact on your knees (and you thought the elliptical was less impact on the knees than using the treadmill—well wait until you try this one). You’re also able to burn calories faster, with less perceived exertion, than any other cross trainer too. How so? Well on the Arc Trainer, you’re on a constant flow of movement since the way your feet and legs are moving is the same as that on an elliptical (AKA no pounding the pavement), except, there’s no bottom platform that your feet are sliding up and down on. You’re pretty much running in mid-air, while staying stationary. Pretty cool. It’s an easier way to get your heart rate up and maintain that speed for a longer time too. (Or you can achieve a higher calorie burn in less time than you would on an elliptical.) But, gym machines are like sports bras—we all have a preference to what feels most comfortable when getting our burn on. So if you haven’t tried an Arc Trainer yet, don’t be scared, hop on one the next time you’re at the gym and tell me what you think.

Have you tried this cool new machine yet? Leave a comment below with your own review!

#1 Weight-Loss Secret: Be Nice to Yourself

Written on April 26, 2011 at 2:34 pm , by

The Self-Compassion Diet by Jean Fain

The Self-Compassion Diet by Jean Fain

Cutting yourself a little slack is the secret to big weight-loss, according to Jean Fain, a licensed psychotherapist and author of the recent book The Self-Compassion Diet. She explains:

How does self-compassion help with weight-loss?

Most weight-loss plans revolve around deprivation and neglect. You’re supposed to stick to the plan no matter what. If you’re starving, keep eating tiny portions. If you’re exhausted, keep moving—no pain, no gain. Going on vacation? Keep counting…calories, carbs, points. It’s not a very compassionate or effective approach, and it’s no fun.

What I’m saying: when you treat yourself with self-compassion, you’re more apt to eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full; rest when you’re tired and move when you feel energized. When you do that, you lose weight naturally.

So what is self-compassion, exactly?

Most simply put, self-compassion is treating yourself like you’d treat a friend or a loved one—with care and concern.

My favorite definition comes from research psychologist Kristin Neff, Ph.D., who defines self-compassion as having three essential ingredients: mindful awareness, loving-kindness and common humanity.

(Learn more and test how self-compassionate you are with Kristin Neff’s quiz.) Read more