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Christie Griffin

Models Making a Difference

Written on March 21, 2012 at 9:35 am , by

heide lindgren and georgie badiel

Models 4 Water's co-founders Heide and Georgie

In 10 days, the 2012 Ludus Athletics Model Beach Volleyball Tournament will hit South Beach—and give us a motivational kick in the butt to get ready for bikini season. But the two-day event will also give us a little boost of hope, too, thanks to its charity partnership, Models 4 Water.

Co-founder models Georgie Badiel (runway stunner) and Heide Lindgren (face of Guess by Marciano) started M4W last year, with the goal of raising money to bring sustainable, clean water to the people in Burkina Faso, Georgie’s homeland. The country is one of the poorest in the world and about 85 percent of the population doesn’t have clean drinking water. And as you may suspect, most of the burden of finding usable water falls on the local women.

brukina faso children

Taken at Nakar, Burkina Faso: After M4W's first drill hit water, children celebrate. (Photo courtesy of Models 4 Water on Facebook)

“We want to use our level of exposure to give back and work (as an industry) together to make a difference,” Heide says. “But this isn’t about being a ‘rewarding experience.’ It’s about fulfilling your duty as a human being to use your blessings to help bless others.”

M4W works with The Water Project, which also hosts the donations. (They’ll accept as little as $1, so go for it!) But the Model Beach Volleyball Tournament will also have an area dedicated to M4W, and additional Global Ambassadors will lend their image and connections to the cause in the future.

Until then, Heide says the dream is simple: “Water is one of the few things the body requires to live, and we don’t want access to clean water to be an issue or concern for anyone.”

Stay tuned for more updates about the exciting 2012 Ludus Athletics Model Beach Volleyball Tournament, an event FITNESS is proud to partner with!

An Organic Product for Seasonal Allergy Sufferers

Written on March 6, 2012 at 12:34 pm , by

allergease allergy support natural remedy allergies

Deal alert! Score free samples at aedrops.com. (Photo courtesy of AllergEase)

Sneezing, itchy eyes, a stuffy nose…nothing puts a damper on our excitement to get outside quite like seasonal allergies.

 So, first the bad news: 2011 was reportedly “the worst” allergy season ever—if you go by pollen counts—and 2012 is going to terrorize allergy sufferers once again. Because of the warmer winter, some trees started budding super-early (before Groundhog’s Day!). Great.

 Now, the good news: You don’t have to spend the next few months in an OTC-drug haze, or wondering what to do if you only have mild allergies. There are several all-natural strategies for fighting allergies, like eating the right foods, acupuncture (which helps balance the immune system), and even oils like #15 – Decongest from 21 Drops. Most recently, the first-ever organic lozenges landed on our desk: AllergEase. They’re like cough drops—but for allergy sufferers.

“Many women today want to avoid medications and the associated side effects that can slow them down,” says Omar Javery, MD, who created the formula with his wife in mind.  “Even mild allergies can be miserable when you’re on the go and trying to stay active. The last thing you need is to be groggy and in a daze.”

Amen, doctorman. With a formula featuring five herbs that either battle or suppress the allergic response—plus a dose of Vitamin C—AllergEase can be a complement to your favorite allergy medicines, or be consumed on its own. The high Vitamin C content and the high flavonoid levels provide anti-oxidants, which are essential in minimizing oxidative stress that can be damaging to the body, explains Dr. Javery.

Bonus: They’re actually really tasty—and you can taste-test them yourselves by requesting a free sample at aedrops.com.

 For more strategies to manage your seasonal allergies:

Get Ready to Run With Track and Field Olympian Kerron Clement’s Playlist

Written on February 28, 2012 at 3:33 pm , by

kerron clement hurdles and running playlist

Kerron is an Olympic gold medalist in the 400-meter hurdles. (Photo courtesy of AP and Conversion Sports and Entertainment)

Talk about an impressive guy: Olympian silver medalist hurdler Kerron Clement also holds the indoor world record for the 400-meter sprint, is ridiculously handsome (what? we’re all mostly girls here), and is even nice enough to share his personal playlist with us! He’s also combines some spirituality in his sports too: “Sometimes listening to gospel music for me puts me ‘in a zone’ before training or competing,” Kerron says. Interesting!

Bonus: After the songs, we reveal a little more inside dish on 26 year-old Trinidadian-born Kerron.

5 songs you love to warm-up to:

5 songs that get you really motivated:

Interesting Notes Kerron Told Us: 

Q: Off the topic of playlists…what do you think makes you such a successful athlete?
KC: My will to overcome many obstacles in my sport truly fuels me to be the best. I’m determined to excel at everything that I do.

Q: Do you have a mantra and if so, what is it?
KC: “Make it happen.”

Q: What is your immediate goal in your sports career? What about down the road?
KC: My goal is to be both the Olympic Champion in the 400-meter hurdles and world record holder in that event. Down the road, I’ll take it one step at a time.

Q: Are you single? If yes, do you prefer girls who run?
KC: I’m single, but I don’t prefer a girl who runs—just someone who loves to stay in shape. Fitness is key to a healthy lifestyle.

Exclusive for Fitness Readers: Early Access to Wellness Week!

Written on February 21, 2012 at 11:25 am , by

wellness week spafinder

Logo is courtesy of SpaFinder.

We all love a good deal…except when we trampled by the mad rush and miss out on the goodies, right?! That’s why we’re psyched to have secured early access to SpaFinder’s “Wellness Week” deals! (Which means YOU get in, too! Yesss.)

The deets: You have until next Tuesday (2/28) to enjoy early access booking for appointments during SpaFinder’s Wellness Week, which is March 19-25. (Woohoo, something to look forward to!) It’s your chance to look and feel your best with exclusive spa treatments, private training sessions, and more–all at either $50 prices or 50% discounts. Mariel Hemingway, Wellness Week’s spokesperson, is leading the charge to helping women discover how they can take charge of their health without sacrificing their budgets. (Bonus: There are even some free events across the U.S.)

To sign up for your exclusive early booking, visit spafinder.com/fitnessmag.

What’s In a Shamrock Shake?

Written on February 9, 2012 at 12:36 pm , by

shamrock shake mcdonalds

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Strupey

McDonald’s announced yesterday that—for the first time in its history—their annual Shamrock Shake will be available nationwide. Other than meaning that its cult-like following no longer has to track which of the locations offers the green concoction, this also means we’re all suddenly faced with yet another easily-accessible temptation! (Not that you should be frequenting fast food restaurants…)

Let’s break down what you’re in for if you consume the seasonal shake:

For a 16 oz. Shamrock Shake…

  • 550 calories
  • 16 grams of fat (8 of which are saturated, and 1 that’s trans fat)
  • 96 grams of carbohydrates
  • 72 grams of sugar
  • 13 grams of protein (from the milk)
  • 190 mg of sodium
  • 3 oz. of leprechaun blood
  • And then these ingredients for the special Shamrock Shake syrup: high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, water, sugar, natural plant flavoring (plant source), xanthan gum, citric acid, sodium benzoate (preservative), yellow 5, blue 1.

Our recommendation: Make a low-calorie vanilla shake at home by using low-fat ice cream and skim milk, add a dash of peppermint extract, and then a couple drops of green food coloring.

Should Soda Be Taxed Like Alcohol and Tobacco?

Written on February 3, 2012 at 12:46 pm , by

A glass of soda may be a bit more pricey if a tax is approved. (Photo by Jack Miskell)

The debate around whether or not consumers should be taxed more for soda continues to spread, as the journal Nature recently published additional expert opinions. A few of their points, which are in line with numerous other reports:

  • More and more scientific evidence suggests chronic sugar consumption has a slow-moving, complex—but devastating—role in metabolic syndromes, such as hypertension and diabetes.
  • This class of diseases cost the U.S. $65 billion a year in lost productivity and $150 billion in medical care.
  • A levy on added sugars would help meet the growing costs of sugar-related health problems and discourage consumption.

Tobacco and alcohol are both already taxed differently, and we can’t help but understand why scientists (and the government) feel that soda might be the “new” cigarette or scotch.

Should there be a tax on soda? Tell us what you think, below!

FITNESS Cover Model on “The Bachelor”

Written on January 4, 2012 at 4:30 pm , by

In case any of you watched the premiere of “The Bachelor” on Monday night and kept thinking the gorgeous model, Courtney, looked familiar…you were right. The 28 year-old brunette stunner was on the cover of our April 2011 issue!

courtney robertson cover girl on the bachelor

April 2011 issue of Fitness!

model courtney on the bachelor

Screenshot courtesy of ABC.com

Argy Koutsothanasis, our Fashion Director, remembers Courtney’s photo shoot well, which took place nearly a year ago at the El Conquistador Resort in Puerto Rico. Courtney was a last-minute fill-in for the cover photo shoot and was booked just days before flying out.

“It was her first-ever magazine cover shoot and she seemed more nervous than the other two girls who were being considered,” Argy says. “But even though she hadn’t quite found her groove as a model yet, you couldn’t tell once the final photos came in.”

The Oakley bikini Courtney wore for the cover was chosen by the stylists because it complimented her athletic figure. Argy also revealed that Courtney “had a hard time doing ‘sexy,’ at the time.”

She must’ve worked on it, because she certainly has some smoldering looks on the hit reality TV show! As for her flattering figure, Courtney reportedly ate healthier than some models do, and was “definitely into working out.”

A few more pics of the model who is turning Ben Flajnik’s head and (probably) making other contestants jealous:

courtney robertson models for fitness magazine

This shot of Courtney was from the same shoot, but featured in our May 2011 "You Can Do It!" nutrition plan. Photo by Cheyenne Ellis.

courtney robertson butt the bachelor

Courtney (left) poses with the other potential cover girls in Puerto Rico. Photo by Cheyenne Ellis.

courtney from the bachelor models for fitness magazine

An unpublished style shot of Courtney. Photo by Cheyenne Ellis.

courtney robertson fitness magazine the bachelor model

An unpublished version of a similar pose to Courtney's cover. Photo by Cheyenne Ellis.

courtney robertson the bachelor poses for fitness magazine

An unpublished potential cover shot of Courtney. Photo by Cheyenne Ellis.

courtney robertson fitness magazine outtake

An unpublished close-up from Courtney's photoshoot. Photo by Cheyenne Ellis.

An Affordable, Accessible, and Awesome Getaway Destination

Written on December 22, 2011 at 8:30 am , by

My Christmas cards finally went out, complete with a list of 11 things I learned in 2011. Among the lessons? “Sometimes you have to peel shrimp before you eat them. —Dewey Destin’s, Emerald Coast, Florida”

(I also learned Yoloboarding in Florida, but I wanted to keep my destinations diversified!)

My point: As the year wraps up, we can’t help but think about the memories we made in the past twelve months and the trips we took. Our Fit Stop readers have heard about staff adventures like Karla’s in Colorado  and Marla’s in Mexico, and I’m going to throw another log on the inspiration fire: When you’re thinking about your affordable options in 2012 and looking to get a little sand in your soul and in between your toes, I’d head toward the “Emerald Coast” (Destin area) in Florida. Because I like lists, here’s why:

*The sand is like perfect, white flour and the water is a pretty, jewel-green. It doesn’t feel like other American beaches. My sun salutations were extra peaceful!
christie griffin warrior 1 sun salutation at inn at crystal beach on emerald coast in florida

*It’s where YOLO/paddle boarding really took off! You can rent a board for $20 from lifeguards and don’t need any special lessons. I scored mine right outside  the Inn at Crystal Beach, which is where I was lucky enough to stay.christie griffin paddleboarding on yolo board in destin, florida

*Locals call it the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village.” I had absolutely no idea what I was doing and just look!christie griffin and red snapper catch deep sea fishing

*There are a lot of family-friendly things to do, like parasailing, jet-skiing, the “Gulfarium” (sooo fun!), dolphin watching, and more!
women interacting with dolphin at Gulfarium in Emerald Coast Florida

*There are grown-up things to do, too: golfing, wine and cheese cruises, and even the top level of AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar turns into quite the party later at night!AJs seafood and oyster bar

*Lastly, the people are so nice and you’re treated like a new friend, rather than a tourist…Which can be a huge sigh of relief when you have no idea how to eat their local cuisine.emerald coast florida zimmerman agency destin locals

For more on the Emerald Coast, visit emeraldcoastfl.com or check out this cool video.

 

We’re Giving Away a Copy of the SparkPeople Cookbook!

Written on October 14, 2011 at 2:19 pm , by

Spark People Cookbook

Photo courtesy of SparkPeople

Update 10/17/11: We have a winner! Congrats to Elizabeth from Walnut Creek, California! Thanks to everyone who entered!

—–

In the October issue of FITNESS, there’s a delicious, slimmed-down version of French Onion Soup that clocks in at just 266 calories per serving. In case you missed it, we’re defriending you. you can still get your hands on the recipe created by Meg Galvin, World Master Chef and Healthy Cooking Expert at SparkPeople.com, in the brand-new book, The SparkPeople Cookbook: Love Your Food, Lose the Weight. SparkRecipes.com Editor Stepfanie Romie worked with Meg and the rest of the Spark team to pull together a thick collection of light-and-healthy recipes, like:

  • Skinny Eggs Florentine
  • Lifesaving Lentil Soup
  • Bluegrass Jambalaya
  • Spicy Turkey Mini Meatloaves
  • Key Lime Tartlets
  • And more!

That’s all good news, right? Now for the great news: We’re giving away one of the cookbooks to a lucky reader this weekend! All you have to do is click here to answer a quick question and enter your contact info. We won’t use your info for anything else and we’ll announce on Monday morning who the lucky cookbook recipient is!

Good luck!

We Tried It: Hot Power Yoga

Written on August 23, 2011 at 12:58 pm , by

Power yoga can boost balance and core strength. (Photo by Chris Fanning)

Power yoga can boost balance and core strength. (Photo by Chris Fanning)

Even though the FITNESS staff is made up of a bunch of sweatsetters—we love trying the latest classes!—we’re going to reveal a little secret: A few of us totally got our butts kicked from “om” to “namaste” at Pure Yoga last week. The web team had signed up for “a little field trip,” aka a hot power yoga class during lunch. And even though the Pure Yoga staff could’ve mopped the floors with our drenched workout clothes afterward, we still loved it! Read on for the editors’ reactions:

Colleen Moody, Web Editor

Hot Power Yoga made me feel: A little nervous at first, but then super energized when I left the class. I skipped my 3 p.m. coffee without even thinking about it!

During class, I learned: You have to give your body time to adjust. During a tricky bridge pose the instructor sat down next to me and told me he used to be a mountain biker and spent most of his time hunched over riding. After practicing and stretching regularly, his muscles eventually loosened up to yoga. Being a runner, this gave me hope that with a little practice my limbs could loosen up enough to master a bridge one day as well.

Karla Walsh, Editorial Assistant

Hot Power Yoga made me feel: Sweaty, flexible and strong. The poses were challenging enough that the class was never boring.

During class, I learned: Hot yoga can be fun from time to time, but I’d probably opt for traditional power yoga. It’s fun to mix it up, but I think I am better able to focus on the poses rather than the sweat dripping into my eyes!

Marianne Magno, Associate Web Editor

Hot Power Yoga made me feel: More flexible and ready to stretch into deeper poses.

During class, I learned: I had to work on my posture more. Our instructor helped me adjust my form for a few poses and reminded me that it’s been a while since I’ve gotten a good yoga class into my workout routine. I’ll be back for more!

Christie Griffin, Digital Director

Hot Power Yoga made me feel: Detoxed. It was great because if I’m sweating that much, it’s probably because I’m overdoing it with cardio. I liked getting the toxins out without feeling nearly nauseated!

During class, I learned: Some really cool poses. It was a lot of fun!

More fun yoga stuff: