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!
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:
- Yoga 101: Poses for Beginners
- Quiz: Which Yoga Pose Are You?
- The Best Mats for Every Type of Yogi
- Quiz: Which Yoga Style Should You Try?
In the current issue of FITNESS (July/August, with Jillian Michaels on the cover!), our Editor in Chief writes about the rewards of having an adventure and going out of your comfort zone. When she was writing her note, Betty asked some of the other staffers about their summer adventures. And at the time, I had no idea exactly how far out of my safe space I was going to go…
For me, the thought of learning to surf was on the same level as me becoming an astronaut. I just assumed it would never happen because I’m like a cat when it comes to water; I get very frazzled when submerged in the stuff. But as I was getting ready to go on vacation, I felt more and more inspired to try something totally new. The truth is that I had often fantasized about riding the waves and pretending to be a chilled-out beach babe, instead of a high-strung New Yorker. So I scheduled a lesson with Baja Outback in San Jose del Cabo, and before I knew it, I was wearing a rash guard and looking out at the ocean.
My instructors had taught me the basics (in the sand, of course!) and one pro, Jorge, was going to stick by my side the whole time. I told him I was nervous, but I left out just how nervous…and decided to go with the flow, literally. “You have to challenge yourself, see what you can do! It’s the only way to live,” one of the Baja Outback people had said. So that’s what I did.
And would you believe it? I actually managed to get up on my surf board!
Sure it took a little bit of courage, but it also helped that the folks at Baja Outback were so supportive and talented…oh, and that the water was nice and warm! If you’ve never been surfing before and are thinking about it, take it from me: You can totally do it! A few tips I learned:
1. If you think you’re bending your knees enough, go lower. As a beginner, you’re never as low as you think you are, and my (unpublished) pictures prove it!
2. Keep your cool. You’re going to fall and you might swallow a gallon of water in the process. It’s okay.
3. Don’t think twice about who’s watching you from the shore. “It’s not about your ego,” Instructor Denise had said. “It’s just about you doing your best.”
4. Consider wearing board shorts or boy-short bikini bottoms. You are not starring in “Blue Crush” and a string bikini will not hold up when you crash into the water.
5. Don’t try to stay on your board until you get to shore; that’s where there are usually the most rocks. Go ahead and fall off about 15-20 feet out!
Any other surfing tips out there? What’s your summer adventure?
More from FITNESS: The Best 2011 Surf Gear
As some of you may remember, we had a very exciting online competition going on just before summer hit: The Face of Fitness cover contest! After you selected the Readers’ Choice Winner, Lauren, the judges went on to select four more inspiring finalists. Since then, the finalists have flown to NYC, had a photoshoot, and we’re now in the process of choosing our cover girl! So exciting!
And while we can’t reveal all the finalists, we can tell you all about their trip to NYC! How it went down:
- As soon as they checked into their swanky hotel, each finalist had a car waiting for her to whisk her off to the FITNESS office for a fitting. A fitting is when the fashion editors see how the apparel they’ve selected actually fits on the model…and if anything needs to be adjusted or tailored.
- The Photoshoot Day was a loooong day: Our FOF finalists had to rise and shine by 7 a.m., and didn’t finish until early evening. Since each finalist had her own shoot, it was like five photoshoots in one.
- The next day, the finalists joined some of the FITNESS editors for a tasty-but-healthy lunch. After they explored New York for a few more hours, the women were then treated to a private, rooftop yoga session by Emilie Smith at The Sports Club/LA, a luxurious fitness center on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. “After yesterday, this is exactly what we needed!” one of the finalists commented.
What then? Well, we don’t officially know. But we’re pretty sure the five new friends took a big bite out of the New York nightlife…and undoubtedly turned a few heads while they were at it!
Next up: The Grand Prize Winner and Face of Fitness cover girl will be revealed on our November/December issue, which hits stands in October. Be sure to check for more info online, too: We’ll reveal some behind-the-scenes photos, finalists’ profiles, and feature other submissions we loved.
Advice for looking cover-worthy:
Ever dream of being on the cover of a magazine? Oh wait…who hasn’t?!
And yet we were still completely blown away by the 3,500-ish submissions we received for our first-ever Face of Fitness cover contest! The overwhelmed feeling wasn’t just because of the number of entries though; it was because of how inspiring, motivating, and amazing many of your stories were. The editors at FITNESS already know how awesome our readers are, but we couldn’t have been prouder to see who reads our magazine and visits our website. You guys rock!
But now for an update: We’ve officially declared a Readers’ Choice* Finalist!
(* = For 10 weeks, we posted the latest submissions here on FitnessMagazine.com and whoever got enough votes from other users was declared the weekly winner…and scored some cash, too. These 10 survivors then battled it out for a chance to be named one of the finalists who will fly to NYC next month for a photoshoot, along with four other finalists selected by the judges.)
So, everyone, meet Lauren Lopez. At 28, Lauren is a mother of two daughters under the age of three and she has been married for almost six years. Rudy, her husband, is in the Navy, and when Lauren isn’t playing with her girls, exercising, or volunteering, she is in the classroom working on obtaining her MBA. Here’s a little more of what Lauren wrote about having a healthy, fulfilling lifestyle:
“Fitness has always been an important ingredient in my life. I want to take care of myself so I can live a long, healthy, and happy life, but I also want to set a good example for my kids. They see me exercising and want to join in, which is awesome! But sometimes, exercise is my way of spoiling myself and focusing just on me, which I believe is very important to living a balanced life.”
After we called Lauren to officially tell her she was one of the five finalists and might wind up on our cover, she said, “What an extraordinary opportunity! I can’t put into words how happy everyone is and we’re all over the moon!”
Our live Facebook chat was a huge hit last week—more than 120 questions were posted for Colbie, and she was able to answer about 40 of them in the hour that we stole from her busy schedule. (Did you see that she was at the White House this morning?! And on Friday, she’ll be in Times Square to sing “I Do” during the TLC Royal Wedding celebration!)
We found out so many fun things about Colbie that we wanted to post them here, in case you missed ‘em.
1. She’s an American Idol fan.
2. She thinks cell phone cameras are kinda annoying.
3. Her role model growing up was Sheryl Crow.
Magazines have gotten a bad rap–for a pretty long time–for publishing photos of beautiful models instead of “real” women. The message that media sends about body images has always been a hot topic, and we’re not about to open up that can-o-worms. But some new research recently blew us away: It turns out that reading a magazine like FITNESS–with hot bodies and all–isn’t so bad for your self-esteem.
Dr. Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick, an Associate Professor at Ohio State University, did something different than the other researchers out there…she focused on what types of articles were surrounding the pictures of the beautiful models. Her and her co-author Joshua Romero’s ground-breaking findings: People who identify themselves as dissatisfied with their bodies were much more comfortable looking at images of ideal body shapes when the photos were surrounded by articles or content suggesting that they too can be as attractive as the models. But if the articles or content don’t inspire them, then they tended to avoid the photos. Take a look below to see how this is illustrated. Fun fact: These are actual images that were shown in Dr. Knoblock-Westerwick’s study!
How it works: Read more
“Don’t accept it as natural,” actress Susan Sarandon firmly told a crowd of Endometriosis Foundation of America supporters last week, referring to intense pain from severe cramps. “It is not okay.”
A lot of us have come to accept certain things about being a woman. (These high heels hurt! Why are my breasts itchy? I have a serious chocolate craving.) But when it comes to endometriosis, a disease that affects 1 in 10 women, accepting discomfort is what needs to not happen. The organization mentioned above, founded by Dr. Tamer Seckin and the stunning “Top Chef” host Padma Lakshi, is trying to change that. Its goal is to educate young women about endo and help those who have it.
At the foundation’s 3rd Annual Blossom Ball, I had the chance to listen to how both Padma and Susan suffered from endometriosis, a debilitating and incurable disease that can be managed and treated if caught early. But because its symptoms are the kinds of signs that most women would rather keep a secret—painful sex, gas-y period cycles, insane menstrual cramps that leave you in bed for days—endo goes an average of 10 years without being diagnosed. TEN. YEARS. OF. PAIN. To top it all off, it can also result in infertility.
Now that I’ve got your attention, let’s get clinical with what else I learned during Endometriosis Awareness Month. In short, endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue in your uterus lining wanders outside your uterus…and then grows and can spread and cause problems throughout your body. There is no actual cause or reason for why a woman gets endo. Although, she’s seven times more likely to have it if her mother did. Something else important to know: It’s not uncommon for endo to occur when you’re a teenager. So if you’ve ever thought to yourself, “My period is really awful, but it’s been this way my whole life,” then you should talk to your doctor, stat.
Week #3 Winner: Lydia Ambrose
A few years ago, Lydia had dropped down to just 92 pounds and was very ill. The culprit? Lupus. “It was difficult for me to walk or stand, and for almost 2 years my husband would basically carry me from bed to couch,” Lydia wrote. But then one day, she won a free gym membership. So she started walking on the treadmill, slowly…and eventually got to the point where one of the personal trainers gave her some encouragement about working for the gym. She applied, and has been one of the gym rats for the past two years…and is even thinking about entering fitness competitions now!
FITNESS says: Amazing! Way to bounce back!
What Lydia says about winning Week 3: “I’m so excited to be part of the winner’s circle and to get to the next phase!”
Week #4 Winner: Amanda Smith
Amanda’s background is one that a lot of twenty-something women can relate to: She wrote about how she didn’t really know how to eat properly and spent years judging her body’s flaws. But the change came for her when a college friend–and now boyfriend–taught her how to love herself and her body! And because they have such a fit lifestyle, Amanda’s never been in better shape. “Our relationship does not revolve around calorie-laden meals, but on getting active,” she wrote. “We hit the gym together when we can and try to include some physical activity in our dates…I have my moments of weaknesses still, but I know I’m finally on the right track.”
FITNESS says: Awesome! But even though the bf inspired her, we bet she’ll be her own inspiration for years to come!
What Amanda says about winning Week 4: “Wow! So exciting! Thank you, FITNESS!”
Congrats, Lydia and Amanda!
So, who will win Week 5? Don’t forget to vote for your favorite before Monday!
And most importantly, make sure to submit your photo and story to our Face of Fitness Cover Contest! Five finalists will be flown to NYC for photo shoots, with one Grand Prize Winner scoring the cover of an upcoming FITNESS issue—and a 5-night vacation for two to an amazing Hawaiian resort!
PLUS: Some Face of Fitness entrants were even recently featured on Better TV! Check it out here!