Written on July 1, 2013 at 10:18 am , by Colleen Moody
Anytime a surfer comes into the office for a meeting, I’m immediately jealous. The tan, the sun-streaked hair and the overall free-spirited attitude they all seem to encompass has me tempted to trade in my cubicle for a surfboard (except for the tiny issue of having absolutely no idea, nor the courage to learn how to surf). But though she may seem laid back, Roxy pro Lee Ann Curren is a busy lady! Between competing in the ASP Women’s World Championship Tour at the Roxy Pro Biarritz this month in addition to rehearsing with her band Betty the Shark in her free time; Curren’s fearless spirit is completely contagious. Below, Curren chats about her workouts, favorite places to surf and more.
Your dad is surf legend Tom Curren. Did you feel pressured to surf growing up?
There really wasn’t any pressure, because I loved surfing when I was younger. It was cool having my dad always there and looking after us and it was something we could share with him. I have four brothers and we all surf, so it’s kind of like family bonding time. Read more
Written on June 25, 2013 at 11:01 am , by Colleen Moody
Find yourself tossing and turning on Sunday nights? You’re not alone. A new survey conducted by Toluna Omnibus showed that more than one-third of adults have the most difficulty falling asleep Sunday night, with 70 percent of those adults reporting it takes them at least a half hour longer to start snoozing than any other night of the week. (Saturday came in second, followed by Monday and then Friday). Not OK! Below, Dr. Michael Breus, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and sleep expert shares more insights from the survey and some surefire ways to get to sleep faster any night of the week.
What surprised you most about this survey?
It was most interesting to learn that stay-at-home moms and those who are employed full time have the most trouble falling asleep on Sunday nights, compared to those of other employment status. Being a stay-at-home mom is a full time job, and getting a family ready for the week ahead can cause as much anxiety on a Sunday night as those getting ready for the work week ahead.
Why do you think Sundays are the hardest days to fall asleep?
Many have trouble falling asleep on Sunday night for two major reasons. Over the weekends, because we don’t have the same obligations we do during the week, people tend to go out and stay up later, and sleep in the following morning. It’s crucial to keep a regular sleep routine, going to bed and getting up at the same time every day (even on the weekends), or at least waking up within the same 30 minutes daily, to avoid throwing off your regular sleep cycle. Over the weekend, we also tend to ‘forget’ about our weekly responsibilities, causing many to struggle on Sunday nights, due to transitioning to and anticipating the week ahead.
What are three tips to get to sleep faster any night of the week?
- Use a worry journal prior to going to sleep, to get thoughts out of your head, onto the page and scheduled for active thought at another time. On one side of a piece of paper, write down the things that are bothering you. Next to them, write down a solution, even if it is to think about the worry tomorrow.
- Try taking a natural sleep supplement 30 minutes before bed, like Dream Water, which includes natural ingredients like Melatonin, 5-HTP and GABA that will help you to relax and fall asleep, without the potential side effects of OTC and prescription drugs.
- Make sure your environment is conducive to a good night sleep. I recommend a cool room at about 65-72 degrees and making your bedroom as dark as possible, avoiding any glaring lights from computers, bedside clocks, streetlights, etc. To block out light, consider a sleep mask, like the Dream Essentials Escape™ Luxury Travel & Sleep Mask, which allows for complete coverage without any pressure on the eyes.
When it comes to the debate on exercising at night or in the morning, which is better in order to get a good night’s sleep?
Numerous studies show exercise at any time of day, especially cardio, leads to a better night sleep, but it’s important to ensure your exercise routine does not interfere with your sleep cycle. It really depends on the individual to figure out what time works best. Those who find exercising provides them with a burst of energy should schedule their exercise earlier in the day, at least four hours prior to bedtime; however, it is also important not to sacrifice hours of sleep in the morning, by waking up early to fit in a work out. Bottom line – schedule a workout, but make sure it does not come at the expense of the seven to nine hours of sleep needed daily.
For more sleep tips and advice from Dr. Breus, visit thesleepdoctor.com.
More from FITNESS: The Get-to-Sleep Guide
Written on June 24, 2013 at 12:52 pm , by Colleen Moody
One of the many perks of working here at FITNESS is the ability to test out new workouts and routines often. And while as a staff we work up a sweat quite a bit, we have our fair share of standard 9-to-5 days too, which of course means sitting all day long. But now thanks to the new TechnoGym Wellness Ball, anyone can get a workout at their desk by using it for what trainer Josh Holland calls, “active sitting.” The ball is composed of two different densities, so that bottom half is heavier than the top half (so no rogue ball rolling down the hall!). It also comes with a QR code on the handle, which gives you the ability to scan with your smartphone to grab additional exercises.
To correct your posture, strengthen your core and improve your flexibility on those days when you can’t make it to yoga or even a quick lunchtime walk, sneak into a conference room and try a few of these moves below using the Wellness Ball.
First, start with a stretch. Wrap your arms as far around the ball as you can then do the inverse, lie with your back on the ball and roll it slightly to elongate your back and open up your chest and shoulders.
Plank and Pike (Core): Start with a plank, forearms on the ball and feet on the floor (for additional support put the ball against a wall). Hold for 10 seconds and go into a Pike and Level–from plank position pop your butt into the air, then back down to level for 10 reps.
Chair and Squats (Legs): Place the ball between you and a wall at waist height with your back to the ball. Squat into a seated position for 10 seconds and hold. Next, squat up and down, rolling the ball against the wall with your back from the seated position for 10 reps. End back in Chair position and lift one knee at a time for 10 reps.
Even if you can’t bust out a squat in the middle of your busy day, just sitting on the ball gives you a slow and steady burn if sitting correctly. Holland says to make sure you are always engaging your core. To give yourself a quick self-check, place your hands behind your back and lengthen the chest to straighten out your posture.
For more information on the TechnoGym Wellness Ball, visit technogym.com.
Written on May 20, 2013 at 12:57 pm , by Colleen Moody
For some reason, pasta always seems to get linked to a winter comfort food. And it’s true that on a cold, blustery day a bowl of spaghetti can hit the spot, but when given the right ingredients it can make a pretty mean, lean summer dish as well. Check out this recipe below from Christine Avanti, CN, author of Skinny Chicks Don’t Eat Salad and Skinny Chicks Eat Real Food so you can continue your carb love affair and still sport a bikini this summer.
Simple Skinny Pasta
Makes 7 servings
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 cup artichoke hearts packed in water
4 ounces mozzarella (fresh packed in water), cubed
1 cup Skinny Vine Slim Chardonnay
1 pound whole wheat pasta, cooked according to package directions
1. In an extra large frying pan, sauté onions, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes and tomatoes in olive oil until onions being to caramelize. Deglaze pan with Skinny Vine Slim Chardonnay wine scraping all the brown bits from the pan. Add artichoke hearts and lightly sauté until artichokes are evenly distributed.
2. Add cooked pasta and fresh mozzarella and lightly toss with a set of tongs.
3. Plate and sprinkle with flat leaf parsley or basil.
Nutrition info per serving: 366 calories, 18g protein, 53g carbohydrates, 8g fiber, 10g fat
More from FITNESS: Give It a Twirl: Low-Calorie Pasta Recipes
Written on May 1, 2013 at 9:29 am , by Colleen Moody
An interesting stat: The average U.S. elementary school child gets just about 3.4 hours of food and nutrition education a year. And with over 43 million children overweight or obese, if this epidemic continues on this road, that number will rise to 60 million by 2020. Yikes! Take a stand and join celebrity chef and food activist Jamie Oliver on May 17 for Food Revolution Day, a movement to raise awareness or funds for better food education and cooking skills in your area.
Started last year as an effort to get back to basics with healthy cooking skills, Food Revolution has racked up 1,000 events in 664 cities across 62 countries. This year, Oliver is asking individuals, schools, businesses and organizations everywhere to host or attend activities in their areas to combat obesity and health epidemics that affect more than 500 million adults worldwide. Interested? Check out foodrevolution.org for a list of events in your city, recipes and ideas on how you can host your own Food Revolution Day. Below, Oliver shared one of his favorite recipes with us, proving that getting your kids interested in healthy eating doesn’t have to be a drag.
Jamie Oliver’s Berry Ice Cream
1.5 pound pack of mixed frozen berries
5 ounces blueberries
3-4 tablespoons of honey
1.5 pound tub of natural yogurt
1. Get ahead by putting 4 small glasses in the freezer for a few hours, or until nicely chilled.
2. Then, get the glasses and the frozen berries out of the freezer and divide the fresh blueberries between the glasses.
3. Put the honey and yogurt into a food processor and mix, then add the frozen berries and mix again until combined. Spoon the frozen yogurt over the fresh berries and serve.
Written on April 29, 2013 at 3:29 pm , by Colleen Moody
As someone who is feverishly planning her own nuptials, I came to a realization I’m sure many brides arrived at much quicker than I did: Weddings are expensive! To then even think about shelling out beaucoup bucks on a pricey boot camp tailored toward brides made me want to curl up in a ball (or elope, though I’m not sure Mom would be too pleased about that).
Luckily, The White Gown, a bridal boutique in Dumbo, Brooklyn understands that brides want to look great despite their budget and are setting up a series of public workout sessions this summer in NYC at Pier 46 in Greenwich Village. Workouts will be led my Molly Winter Stewart of Molly Winter Fitness, and will be designed to hit the spots most visible on your wedding day based on your dress shape–mermaid, halter, strapless and backless. The best part? You can cross “find fitness plan” off your very long wedding to-do list without spending a single penny.
Fit to Be Bride Bootcamp starts Saturday, May 18 at 9:30 a.m., at Pier 46 in Manhattan. Sign up by emailing email@example.com.
More from FITNESS: Vow to Stress Less: Wedding Day Tips from Brides
Written on April 23, 2013 at 12:15 pm , by Colleen Moody
By now, you’ve been revving up your workouts at the gym with our Trim and Tone Circuit Workout but as they say, a girl needs to unwind a little too, right? (At least we sure do!) To make sure you don’t completely blow all your hard work, Voli Light Vodka has given three super slim, super summery cocktail recipes that you can sip without guilt. Bonus: If you’re a morning smoothie lover, you probably have most of the ingredients already! Get the recipes below and tell us your favorite in the comments!
1.5 ounces Voli Mango Coconut
1 ounce Sweet and Sour Lite Mix
1 ounce light orange juice
Directions: Muddle fruit, add all ingredients together and stir. Garnish with skewered blueberries and strawberries. (Approximately 94 calories) Read more
Written on April 22, 2013 at 2:00 pm , by Colleen Moody
In light of recent events, we can’t think of a better time for this new KIND initiative to kick off. Starting today, KIND is launching its #kindwords Letter Writing Week, anonymously delivering thoughtful words of kindness into the nooks and crannies of cities everywhere in need of a little pick-me-up. Here’s the run-down:
Step 1: Host a letter writing party with your friends. Follow @KINDSnacks and @MoreLoveLetters for tips and tricks on how to write your anonymous letters of inspiration. And if you tweet a picture of your party with the hashtag #kindwords, you could be selected to win a case of KIND bars. Sweet!
Step 2: On April 27-28 deliver your letters in places around your community that could use some inspiration. Leave them in a flowerpot, taped to the wall of your work elevator, wherever! Snap a pic using #kindwords and share it on Twitter and Instagram to show where your kindness is going.
It’s that simple! To get more information and to download your letter writing kit visit the KIND Facebook page. After all, couldn’t we all use a little note of encouragement once and awhile? Happy writing!
Written on April 22, 2013 at 11:08 am , by Colleen Moody
There should be no shame in your snacking game. That’s because a recent study by The NPD Group found that 83 percent of Americans snack, and those with the healthiest lifestyles are also the ones who snack most frequently. Score! Below, we chatted with Jessica Levinson, MS, RD, CDN and founder of Nutritioulicious, a nutrition consulting and counseling practice in New York about the benefits of snacking, especially when it comes to managing your weight.
Why is snacking so important?
This is something I’ve talked to clients for years about. Snacking is what really keeps your metabolism going. Think of the analogy of wood in a fire—the more you put in, the more you burn. The same is true with eating. Skipping meals or waiting too long causes your metabolism to slow down, while also putting you at risk for overeating the next time you do sit down to eat.
Does it matter when you snack?
It is a big nutrition myth that the time of day that you eat impacts your weight. If you have a 1,600 calorie allotment for your diet and lifestyle, then what matters more is if you’ve taken in that many calories or not. Let’s say you’ve consumed 1,400 calories by the time 6:00 p.m. rolls around. Now you only have 200 calories to get you through the rest of the day (taking exercise out of the equation here, which of course gives you some of those calories back). But if you’ve only eaten 1,000 calories by 6:00 p.m. then it doesn’t matter what time you’re eating or having a late-night snack, as long as you don’t go past your daily allotment.
How can you keep your snacking portions controlled?
This is a big issue for most people, because it’s hard to stop once you start! My biggest tip is to portion out in advance at home. For example, if you like almonds portion out an ounce (23 almonds) into 5 brown bags at the beginning of the week. Then you can grab a bag for your snack every day as you walk out the door. Just bring one bag at a time; if you take the whole stash you’ll be more tempted to dig into multiple bags. There are also a ton of companies who make portion controlled snack packs. Justin’s Nut Butter is great for baby carrots or a banana or a bag of 100-calorie air popped popcorn is perfect for salt lovers. And of course, fruit! You can’t really ever overdo it on fruits and veggies. Fruit especially is a good sweet tooth fix while also quenching your thirst and filling you up since so many have a high water content.
Now tell us: What’s your healthy snack go-to?
More from FITNESS: Healthy Food Awards: The Best Snacks from the Store
Written on April 12, 2013 at 3:00 pm , by Colleen Moody
Now that I have finally jumped the hurdle of being an early morning runner, there are a number of reasons I lace up instead of hitting the snooze. Fun weekend plans. My brother’s wedding. My wedding. Wanting to PR in the Pittsburgh Marathon next month. The list goes on. And of course, there are dozens of reasons that inspire others that aren’t on my list. To figure out what motivates healthy lifestyles among its consumers, Tyson Foods on behalf of the Tyson® Grilled & Ready® product line surveyed over 2,000 participants all across the country and found out what really sparks the masses to eat healthier and work out harder. Below, some findings we found particularly interesting:
- Nearly everyone surveyed–94 percent–is looking to make a positive change related to his or her health this year. Of those, 79 percent want to eat healthy. (Get started with our new Healthy Snack Finder, to make mid-morning and afternoon munching satisfying, without being total calorie bombs.)
- When it comes to motivation, 79 percent say their health motivates them to live a healthy lifestyle while 58 percent want their clothes to fit better. Around 52 percent stay motivated for their family (aww!) and 28 percent do it for an upcoming social event.
- In terms of the most motivating tool, there’s no surprise here–social media! About 43 percent said they were more motivated to work out after seeing a friend post or tweet about having a great workout.
Some other fun facts: For those wishing a celebrity chef would pop up in their kitchen and help them cook, 1 out of 4 picked Emeril Lagasse. As for favorite trainer, Jillian Michaels is queen by both women (45 percent) and men (41 percent).
Now Tell Us: What motivates you to live a healthy lifestyle?