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September 2011

Fit Links: Find More Fruit and Fitness Rules You Should Break

Written on September 30, 2011 at 4:25 pm , by

This week’s fit links from around the web:

Make it easy to grab the healthy grub. (Photo by James Worrell)

Cooking Expert Marcus Samuelsson Encourages Veggie Love

Written on September 30, 2011 at 2:18 pm , by

Chef Samuelsson says anyone can become a veggie fan. (Photo courtesy of AP Images for Birds Eye)

Although fall weather seems to be tip-toeing its way into our lives, the seasonal produce has hit the shelves with full force. Pumpkin, apples, squash and sweet potatoes are ripe for the taking, and new recipes are constantly being created to satisfy your palate. We caught up with award-winning chef Marcus Samuelsson, who has been a judge on Top Chef, Iron Chef America, and Chopped, to learn more about his favorite seasonal eats.

What are some of your favorite fall foods?

No matter what season, I love incorporating vegetables into all of my meals. They’re so good and colorful! But for fall I love spinach, pumpkin, squash and many others.

But what if you come across someone who doesn’t like vegetables?

I think it’s just about finding the right kind of vegetable, something they do actually like that is prepared well. Test it out by working with what you’re already eating. It’s not about completely changing what you eat, it’s about incorporating new things. So if you like macaroni and cheese, fold in some avocado or spinach to get a little green mixed in.

Should I just hide the vegetable in the dish, so that they don’t know it’s there?

No, don’t hide the vegetable, highlight it. Adding different kinds of vegetables gives your meal crunch, texture and flavor. Just try to convince them to give it a chance.

What about the person who is constantly on the go? What if they don’t have time to prep vegetables?

Pick up a bag of frozen veggies. Birds Eye vegetables are great because they’re so fast. You can get a Steamfresh bag and just pop it in the microwave for a few minutes, then it’s done. I like them when you’re in a time crunch – they keep all the flavor and color.

What’s your favorite fall meal?

I love making Thanksgiving-esque meals for my family. I get to visit them about twice a year in Sweden, and I like to bring American meals to them. Turkey is a big staple.

Any other fall-type recipes you love?

Chickpea dumplings with squash. It’s so healthy and really delicious. Here’s how to make it:

Chickpea Dumplings with Squash

  • 2 Idaho potatoes
  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric
  • 1 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1 cup cubed Birds Eye Cooked Winter Squash
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red Thai chili, chopped
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  1. Preheat oven at 325 degrees. Place potatoes on baking sheet and place in oven. Bake for about an hour or until done. Let cool.
  2. Once cool, rice potatoes in ricer then mix with chickpea and all-purpose flour. Work in egg and egg yolks, then knead in spices until fully mixed. Let dough rest for 20 minutes.
  3. On a floured surface, divide the dough in half. Roll each half into 1/2-inch thick ropes. Cut each rope into 1/2-inch long pieces and press the tines of a fork into each piece to make grooves in the surfaces. Place on a parchment-lined sheet tray lightly sprinkled with flour.
  4. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Working in batches, drop the dumplings into the water and simmer until they float to the top, about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in ice water for 30 seconds.
  5. Heat butter in pan. Saute the cooked dumplings and add marjoram, squash, shallots, garlic and chili. Pour in vegetable stock and bring to simmer.

Now tell us: What are your favorite fall veggies?

Fashion Diaries: Closet Mashup with Utility Pants

Written on September 30, 2011 at 12:51 pm , by

Let’s face it: Not all of us can afford to go out and drop tons of money on a new wardrobe every season. But that doesn’t mean we still can’t be trendy and up-to-date with the latest fashions, right? Right. We just have to be selective with our purchases and make sure that we buy pieces that can be versatile and worn from day-to-night and for different occasions.

One Pair Three Ways

One of the easiest ways to mixup your wardrobe is to mix and match tops and bottoms. I am a huge jean lover, but sometimes jeans just don’t cut it, which is why I love these J. Crew army green utility pants (or these cheapy pairs from Forever 21 and H&M!) . They are causal enough to run your errands in on the weekend with a slouchy sweater and a pair of kicks, or they can be dressed up with a sexy top and a pair of heels for date night with your hubby or a fun girls night out. What’s better than two for the price of one?! How about three for the price of one, when you factor in pairing these pants with a blazer or a button down and a pair of loafers for work. Genius! See, three outfits, one pair of pants—like music to my ears.

For styling tips to capture each look perfectly,  Read more

What Lisa Ling Wants You to Know About “The Girls”

Written on September 30, 2011 at 10:00 am , by

Keep your eyes peeled for your P&G GIVE Hope brandSAVER. (Photo courtesy of P&G GIVE Hope)

October kicks off Breast Cancer Awareness month, and soon enough we’ll start seeing products splashed in pink all over storefronts with the proceeds going towards research and education for a disease in which one in eight women will be diagnosed in her lifetime. Though breast cancer is widely talked about, there’s still a number of women every year who don’t take the time out to check themselves, whether through a self-exam or  mammogram.

To spread awareness about early detection, Lisa Ling, TV journalist and host of Our America on OWN has teamed up with the P&G GIVE Hope campaign to support early detection in the fight against breast cancer. On Sunday, Oct. 2 and Sunday, Oct. 16 a P&G GIVE Hope brandSAVER will be distributed in newspapers across the country. For each coupon redeemed, 2 cents will be donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

We got a few minutes to chat with Ling on why the topic is so important to her, some breast cancer myths busted, and lots more.

Click below to read Lisa Ling’s interview and see how she fits exercise into her busy schedule.

Read more

Fitness Items: When to Splurge vs. When to Save

Written on September 29, 2011 at 4:53 pm , by

calculator

Photo courtesy of Spark People

We’ll admit it: Between the apparel, at-home equipment, and gadgets, you can spend a small fortune on working out. But—and this is a big but—you don’t have to! Follow these hard and fast rules for when you’re trying to decide if you can (or should) afford something or not.

Splurge: 5 Fitness Items Worth Spending More On
For many, money is tight. But when it comes to these items (assuming you’re in the market for them), skimping for a cheaper model might cost you more in the long run.

1. Shoes. If you’ve ever bought a pair of cheap sneakers and tried to run in them, you know a good pair of workout shoes is worth every cent. The proper footwear isn’t just a matter of comfort—it’s a matter of safety! Wearing shoes that don’t correctly support the activity you’re doing can lead to muscular imbalance, decreased performance and even injury or overuse.

2. Sports Bras. The difference between a cheap sports bra and a quality one is huge. Most department stores now have a sports section for bras, so try on a variety of options and find one that fully supports you and is comfortable.

3. Pedometer. Sure, you can buy a pedometer for $5, but it won’t be very accurate—and it will probably only work for a few months before you need to replace it. If you want to count your steps, plan to spend at least $25 on a more expensive pedometer that comes with instructions and requires calibration.

4. Gym Membership. Always ask for a 5- to 7-day trial membership first (which should be free). While some chains do have low rates that offer good-quality equipment, it’s best to shop around. From having old equipment that doesn’t get repaired, to not being clean to not being properly staffed, most of the time you pay for what you get. So pay for what you want.

5. Home Cardio Machines. Buying a good cardio machine the first time is far more cost effective than having to buy another model after the cheap one breaks down! And a high-quality model will last you for years and years to come, making its per-use cost much lower than a cheaper model. Do your online research, go to a fitness equipment store and try out a variety of models,  and check out consumer reviews at ConsumerReports.org.

Save: 5 Fitness Items Worth Buying on the Cheap
There’s no point spending extra money if you don’t have to. Look for deals on the following fitness items; you won’t go wrong, but will save a lot! Read more

Fit Blogger We Love: A Healthy, Happier Bear

Written on September 29, 2011 at 3:22 pm , by

Ashley seems to always be on the run—and likes it that way!

If you’re looking for inspiration from someone who works 60 hours a week and balances the roles of wife, friend, workout partner and co-worker, then head on over to A Healthy, Happier Bear. Ashley chronicles her balancing act while she lives in “the city that never sleeps” working, blogging, traveling and training for the New York City marathon! Keep reading to find out this busy athlete’s future fit dreams and what two little words keep her pushing through tough times.

My fave fit snacks: I used to aimlessly snack on junk food left around our office after meetings. These days, I turn to apples with peanut butter, homemade trail mix, Greek yogurt and fruit to keep the munchies at bay.

On my fit life list: Oh my gosh, there are so many things I want to enjoy while I’m still healthy and able. Here a few that top my list:

  • Run the New York City marathon in sub-4:45 this year, then hopefully sub-4:30 in the future!
  • Run the London, Paris and Berlin marathons
  • Run a race, of any distance, in every state
  • Bike through the hills and small towns of Italy
  • Whitewater raft on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon
  • Go to the Olympics

Most embarrassing song I’ll admit I work out to: Growing up, my family and I took long road trips across the country. My dad would drive, and therefore choose the music. These long hours of only a few tapes in our Honda Accord forever carved a place in my heart for Neil Diamond, The Dirty Dancing soundtrack, KC and the Sunshine Band, and the Mamas & Papas.

My fitness mantra: Just breathe. During races or training, when I find myself exhausted and ready to quit, I take a moment to focus on my breathing. This tends to calm my muscles, nerves and emotions. Nine times out of ten, it cures my nerves and I’m able to focus on the movement again and keep moving forward, one step at a time.

My “I Did It” moment: I wasn’t a runner growing up, so I never fathomed running a marathon, much less finishing the New York City marathon with a smile on my face! On November 7, 2010 I crossed the finish line having enjoyed every mile of the amazing course. I experienced the wind tunnel on the Verazanno Bridge, high-fived adorable kids in Brooklyn, reminisced as I ran through Long Island City and saw my first NYC apartment, cringed through every mile of First Avenue’s gradual uphill, and cried with joy as I saw my friends and husband in Central Park with less than a mile left in the race. I’m proof that training for a marathon is a feasible item on your bucket list if you have the time and are willing to dedicate to yourself to proper training!

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

10 Ways to Save Money While Staying Healthy

Written on September 29, 2011 at 10:59 am , by

Stuff that sandwich with seasonal produce to save dough. (Photo by Reggie Casagrande)

Fancy home gym equipment, organic food and a wardrobe of the latest fitness apparel can be pricey, but consumer savings expert Andrea Woroch says that doesn’t have to be the case. “As a young girl, I tagged along with my mom on shopping trips and learned that you don’t have to spend a lot to look good,” she explains.

Woroch herself ranks health as one of her top priorities (besides helping others save money), and loves bike riding, hiking, running, swimming and skiing—”anything and everything that gets me moving.”

So we asked Woroch to share her insider intel about how we all can keep our wallets happy while staying fit and looking and feeling great.

1. Subscribe. Group coupon emails offer deals for more than clothes shopping and restaurant meals! “Sites like LivingSocial and Dealery often offer discounts for health clubs, fitness studios and outdoor activities at up to 70 percent off,” Woroch says. Another plus? There’s no long-term commitment, so if you like, you can just continue trying new things based on what is offering a coupon!

2. Take advantage of free trials. “Request free or deeply discounted trial memberships from various gyms and fitness studios you’re thinking about joining,” Woroch suggests. This way you can find your favorite before getting locked in with a location that may not be your favorite.

3. Use technology. Online coupon sites like RetailMeNot and SmartSource offer a wide variety of discounts for online or in-store shopping at grocery, fitness specialty stores and more. Combine coupons you find online for stores like Whole Foods with what’s on special when you get to the store to score even bigger savings.

Check out these Coupon Sherpa sites for printable coupons at common retailers:

For seven more cost-cutting tricks,  Read more

Tailgate Like a Pro This Season

Written on September 28, 2011 at 1:19 pm , by

Catelli believes that you don't have to hide veggies from your kids. (Photo courtesy of Domenica Catelli)

Domenica Catelli grew up with a taste for the culinary world. “My grandparents opened a restaurant in California in 1935, which was passed down to my dad. I was sure I’d never work there but I started working at a different restaurant in college. I was a hard worker and spent most of my life around the business, and took over as head chef at 19,” Catelli says.

Today the mom, cookbook author and event chef (she cooked for Oprah’s Legend’s Ball in 2006!) focuses on teaching families how to enjoy well-balanced meals without sneaking in ingredients through her “Mom-a-licious” brand. “I believe there’s no long-term payoff for hiding vegetables in your kids’ meals. You can build a lifelong healthy relationship with food by starting young,” Catelli says. “Adults at the table need to have a good attitude and be a role model for eating a nutritious diet, and kids will do the same.”

One of her top tips for busy parents? “Stock three or four go-to snacks in your car or purse, so you have something for you and more to share with your children, their carpool friends and even neighbors on a plane,” Catelli says. “That way you’ll be able to bypass the potato chips at the convenience store. I like raw almonds or Kashi’s TLC Peanutty Dark Chocolate Layered Bars.”

Since Catelli is such a pro at entertaining and pleasing the whole family with delicious dishes, we thought she would be the perfect person to give us some new inspiration for all of our fall tailgating parties. For your next game day meal, Catelli suggests serving her turkey chili, which her friends who are Olympic athletes love. Simply set out the bowls, spoons, chili and an array of toppings and make it a build-your-own bar.

Turkey Chili

Diners can add as many or as few toppings as they like with a chili bar. (Photo courtesy of Lucini Italia)

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1-3 teaspoons red chili flakes
  • 3 tablespoons fresh garlic, chopped
  • 1 pound ground turkey breast
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 14.5-ounce can of fire roasted organic crushed tomatoes
  • 2 15-ounce cans of black beans
  • 2 15-ounce cans of kidney beans
  • 1 cup of water or chicken broth
  • Optional: Jack or sharp cheddar cheese, fresh onion, sour cream, Kashi TLC Pita Crisps
  1. In a heavy-bottomed pot, saute onion, cumin and chili flakes over medium heat with extra virgin olive oil. Do not let onions brown. As onions become soft, after about five minutes, add garlic and cook about two minutes.
  2. Add ground turkey and stir to smash up turkey. Add soy sauce, fire-roasted tomatoes, beans and water (or broth).
  3. Bring to a boil, turn down to medium heat and cook for 10 minutes.
Now tell us: What appetizers or meals do you serve to wow a crowd on game days?

Female Ironman Champ Tyler Stewart Shares Her Gluten-Free Secrets

Written on September 28, 2011 at 10:48 am , by

Written by Alyssa Belanger, editorial intern

Stewart chases down the competition. (Photo courtesy of LUNA Pro Sports Team)

For Tyler Stewart, female Ironman titleholder, LUNA Chix Pro Team member and successful business owner, a gluten-free diet is more than just a passing fad. It took years of dealing with stomach pain, bloating, headaches and fatigue for Stewart to figure out that gluten was the culprit of her stomach issues. But within a few weeks of eliminating the hard-to-digest protein from her diet, she noticed her discomfort went away and her energy skyrocketed. (This diet is not the fix for all individuals, but those with gluten sensitivities benefit from eliminating wheat products from their meal plans.)

The superstar athlete, who openly admits that she “hates swimming” despite her success with the sport, shared her diet journey, daily menu and motivation tricks during a recent webcast.

Find your priorities. Stewart of course trains for upcoming events, but also runs a full-service dog grooming business with her husband and coaches other athletes. But, she says, “the key to being gluten-free is making time for you and your health.”

Make smart choices for you. “My family is so far from gluten-free,” Stewart says. “Sometimes I take it personally when we get together for dinner and they say, ‘Hey Ty, you’re going to bring your own food, right?’” Despite the joking around, Stewart’s family has been supportive of her lifestyle and she has been trying to teach them simple substitutions so everyone can eat together (opt for rice instead of pasta; potatoes over white bread).

Don’t strive to be perfect. To be successful, you have to be reasonable with yourself and avoid beating yourself up if you make a mistake—say eating an indulgent dessert or skipping a workout. “You have to manage your highs and lows,” she says. “You just have to keep looking forward.”

Enjoy your eats. “The whole perception that gluten-free is not tasty is old news,” Stewart says. She has found delicious substitutes for almost every type of food—there’s even gluten-free beer!

A typical day in Stewart’s diet:

  • Breakfast: Gluten-free muffin, banana and almond butter; coffee
  • Snack: LUNA gluten-free protein bar
  • Lunch: Big salad with chicken and roasted potatoes
  • Snack: Yogurt with fruit
  • Dinner: Chicken with baked potato and broccoli

To learn more about Tyler Stewart, the LUNA Chix Pro Team and LUNA’s gluten free products check out lunabar.com.

More from FITNESS: Diet Myths Debunked: Five “Healthy” Eating Plans You Should (or Shouldn’t) Try

NYC Readers—Run with Under Armour this Weekend!

Written on September 27, 2011 at 8:01 pm , by

Support the cause for Breast Cancer Awareness Month! (Photo courtesy of Under Armour)

Hey New York City readers: If you have a friend or loved one affected by breast cancer, we found the perfect opportunity to support the cause. This Saturday you can run in Central Park with our friends over at Under Armour for their Power In Pink: On The Run NYC program. Go for an easy 2.5 mile guided run through the park, ending at Bloomingdale’s on 59th Street.

Do you really think that would be all? Head into the store and Under Armour will provide you with free fitness consultations with certified trainers, enjoy a relaxing sports massage and receive a complimentary gift with any Under Armour purchase.

Marathon training? Get up early and add this into your morning routine. Looking to turn over a new leaf next month? Make October 1st the day to do it! Plus, the first 50 people to register will be automatically entered to win a $1,000 donation to his/her choice of breast cancer charities that Under Armour supports. Two people will win. Find out more about registration here.

When: Saturday, October 1st

Where: 9 a.m. run begins at East 61st Street & 5th Avenue entrance to Central Park; in-store event from 10:30 am to 12 pm