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Colleen Travers

Join the Food Revolution This Month

Written on May 1, 2013 at 9:29 am , by

Who says dessert can’t be healthy? (Photo courtesy Jamie Oliver)

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.

Getting Hitched Near NYC? Join the Fit to Be Bride Bootcamp!

Written on April 29, 2013 at 3:29 pm , by

Molly Winter Stewart knows how to get you in tip-top wedding dress shape! (Photo courtesy Molly Winter Fitness)

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 info@thewhitegown.com.

More from FITNESS: Vow to Stress Less: Wedding Day Tips from Brides


3 Skinny Summer Cocktails to Pair with Our Bikini Body Boot Camp

Written on April 23, 2013 at 12:15 pm , by

Talk about a perfect post-workout treat! (Photo courtesy of Voli Vodka)

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!

Island Oasis

1.5 ounces Voli Mango Coconut
6 blueberries
2 strawberries
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

A KIND Way to Start Your Week

Written on April 22, 2013 at 2:00 pm , by

Make someone’s day with a surprise supermarket letter. (Photo courtesy of KIND)

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.

Step 3: Check in with your letter by following @KINDSnacks and @MoreLoveLetters to see the lucky recipients of your letters.

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!

Categories: The Fit Stop | Tags: ,

Study Shows That Snacking Is the Key to Your Happy Weight

Written on April 22, 2013 at 11:08 am , by

Plan out your snacks in advance to stop seeing the scale bounce back and forth. (Photo courtesy of Claire Benoist)

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


Guess What the Most Motivating Tool to a Healthy Lifestyle Is?

Written on April 12, 2013 at 3:00 pm , by

Had a great run? Tweet it! You may just motivate a pal to do the same. (Photo courtesy of Newton Daly)

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?

The Scary Stats You Need to Know on Secondhand Smoke (Whether You Smoke or Not!)

Written on April 12, 2013 at 10:45 am , by

One word: Ick. (Photo courtesy iStockPhoto)

According to the Center for Disease Control, more than 440,000 Americans lose their lives every year to smoking related illnesses. On top of that, for one death, 20 more live with serious illnesses from smoking and 8 million Americans suffer from chronic diseases caused from smoking. With stats like these it’s not surprising that 70 percent of smokers say they want to quit.

This sparked the CDC to launch the first anti-smoking campaign funded by the U.S. government, Tips from Former Smokers. Due to the response and success of the campaign the CDC is launching a second phase this month, with more personal stories from smokers and how the habit has hurt their health, their family and their lives. We got the chance to chat with Dr. Tim McAfee, director of the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health on how smoking affects more than just the person doing it, and how you can help a friend, family member or yourself quit for good.

This campaign if pretty graphic. What made the CDC decide to go this route?

This campaign is the first that the federal government has funded since the 50thAnniversary of the first Surgeon General’s report in 1964, although separate states have run campaigns consistently. We felt that we needed the ads to get a visual point across so we could be a counterweight to the tobacco industry’s promotion. They are spending $8.5 billion a year on promotion, so it’s a steep climb to compete with. This is not something you can do once and then it’s done with, people need to hear it and see it regularly to really register with them.

With this phase of the campaign we address several conditions linked to smoking, although there are so many more. We have a story about diabetes and smoking, as well as someone with COPD and someone who suffered serious lung damage from secondhand smoke exposure. The first time around we stuck to the impact of smoking on the smoker, this time we’re focusing on the impact on those around a smoker. Read more

Want Ne-Yo and Cher Lloyd to Sing a Song About You? Here’s How

Written on April 11, 2013 at 11:15 am , by

Ne-Yo is looking forward to swimming with his kids this summer, while Cher Llyod is gearing up for some badminton games outside with family! (Photo courtesy Fruttare)

We finally had our first glimpse of some warm weather this week in NYC and to celebrate, we did it with popsicles of course! To help kick off the launch of Fruttare Fruit Bars, Grammy-Award winning singer Ne-Yo and platinum-selling superstar Cher Lloyd are teaming to do a song collaboration–inspired by you!

To make it into the tune, all you have to do is log on to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram and share what keeps you looking on the positive side of things, with the hashtag #itsallgood. And let’s be honest–when the sun is out and you’re heading on your long awaited vacation, beach trip, a hot and sweaty outdoor workout or whatever else you’ve got planned, there’s not much that’s not good.

Ne-Yo, who admitted to thinking of himself as a “fake freelance photographer” with his Instagram photos and Cher Lloyd, who loves Twitter (follow her @CherLlyod!) to connect with her fans and catch up on the news, will round up your responses to work them into their tune. The duo will also sing it live at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas this September. Pretty sweet, right?

To see Ne-Yo and Cher Lloyd in the studio and to purchase their song, visit the Fruttare Facebook page.

 More from FITNESS: Tony Horton’s Sweat-Dripping Workout Playlist

A Sweet Way to Support Parkinson’s Awareness Month

Written on April 8, 2013 at 3:45 pm , by

The Michael J. Fox Foundation has given more than $304 million to Parkinson’s research so far. This is an easy (and cheap!) way to help them give more.

The next time you get the itch for a sweet treat, cave in for a good cause. In honor of Parkinson’s Awareness Month (FYI: One American is diagnosed every nine minutes), Magnolia Bakery has teamed up with the Michael J. Fox Foundation on a limited-edition cupcake, available online and sold in stores throughout April. For $1.75, you can support the MJFF and Parkinson’s disease research for new treatments and ultimately–a cure.

To purchase a cupcake, visit magnoliabakery.com or stop by a Magnolia Bakery near you. To learn more about the MJFF, visit michaeljfox.org.

More from FITNESS: A New Way to Get Inspired to Race This Spring

Categories: Causes, The Fit Stop | Tags:
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Harley Pasternak on Losing Weight Fast (As in This Week)

Written on March 12, 2013 at 9:00 am , by

When looking for a blender, keep in mind Harley’s top tip: Make sure it can crush ice.

Megan Fox. Jennifer Hudson. Amanda Seyfried. Katy Perry. Those are just a few of the celebs trainer Harley Pasternak has whipped into A-list shape. Here at FITNESS, we’ve been getting a lot of Harley time lately (lucky us!). Not only is he the newest member of our advisory board, he recently treated us to an exclusive staff workout to talk about his latest collaboration with New Balance with the New Balance 5 Factor997 for cross-training and his latest book The Body Reset Diet, which helps you lose weight fast (we’re talking five days fast) in a healthy, non-cleansing or detoxing way. See what Harley had to say about his new program below (spoiler–it involves quitting the gym!) and find out why if you don’t already have one, you should go get yourself a blender ASAP!

What prompted you to create this new plan for The Body Reset Diet?

I finally understood the sense of urgency women have in wanting to see a difference in the way they look and feel. They don’t want it to take weeks, they want to see a change this week. It made me realize that I need to offer them a healthy option to quickly drop weight and transform their body. I wanted to talk them out of doing cleanses and using diuretics and show them that there is a healthy way you can lose weight and feel great.

In the book, you map out a three-phase plan to slim down that incorporates smoothies in each phase. What are some common myths you’ve heard in the past from your clients about smoothies?

People definitely don’t know the difference between blending and juicing. They think blending is for body builders and they are all just forms of protein shakes packed with calories that bulk you up. But that’s wrong. Believe it or not, a fresh cold pressed apple juice can have twice the calories of an entire blended meal and four times the sugar! Read more