There are few better ways to show mom how much you care than breakfast in bed. That tray of goodies—perhaps pancakes with sausage or Eggs Benedict—sure tastes great, but may not be too nice for her health, though.
New research found that a meat-free diet can cut risk for heart disease by 32 percent, so the two vegan recipes below from The China Study Cookbook, will keep mom’s heart happy, too. By the way, all of the dishes in the book are not only vegetarian, but vegan!
Scrumptious Apple-Filled Turnovers
- 3½–4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
- 1 tablespoon Sucanat
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2½ teaspoons instant (fast rise) yeast
- 1½ cups warm water
- 3 cups apples, diced finely
- ½ cup walnuts, chopped
- ¾ cup raisins
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- Mix all the turnover ingredients together in a bowl. Knead with your hands for 8–10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Separate into 8 balls; cover, and let rise for 40 minutes.
- Once turnovers are covered, prepare filling by mixing all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and set aside.
- After 40 minutes, roll out each ball to a diameter of about 3 inches. Place one heaping tablespoon of filling into the center. For each turnover, fold the edges together to form a half moon. Pinch the edges together with a fork so there are no openings.
- Preheat oven to 425˚F.
- Let your turnovers rise on the counter for 15 minutes, then place turnovers on nonstick baking sheet.
- Bake at 425˚F for 20–25 minutes.
On our quest to find the most unique classes around, we discovered the class for type As: Yoga Bootcamp. This variety includes a mix of flowing poses and muscle-building strength moves performed at a heart-pumping pace. In our class, a top 40 playlist kept the pace moving at a fast clip…until the final five minutes. Then, the instructor (and triathlete) Lindsey Opp of PowHer Fitness, says, “The most difficult part of the class begins.” In other words, the time you lie still in corpse pose and clear your brain to focus on your breath might be even more of a challenge than the super-sculpting moves. Yup, there is a yoga class for us all…even those who have slowing down.
Try this style yourself at home with two moves from the bootcamp:
- Start in plank position, with abs tight, body in a straight diagonal line from shoulders to heels and hands under shoulders.
- Slowly lower down in a triceps push-up, keeping elbows near ribcage. As you lower, bring right knee out to the side and forward to meet right elbow (see picture).
- Push back up to starting position and place right leg back behind to meet left.
- Switch sides and repeat. Try to complete 5 reps per side.
- Begin with feet about two feet in front of an empty wall. Bend down and place hands at shoulder-width, about one foot on front of toes (A).
- Place most of body weight on hands and carefully place one foot low on the wall while the other remains on the floor.
- Step other foot up on the wall and alternate stepping legs higher, until legs are fully extended (B).
- Hold handstand position for five seconds, then walk feet back down the wall until you can step back to the starting position.
- Repeat, stepping first with the opposite leg.
The men’s NCAA March Madness Final Four is officially set. Congratulations to Syracuse, Wichita State, Louisville and Michigan (and their fans)! The ultimate winner will be decided one week from today, but there’s another heated competition going on for a fitness-related trophy this week: Gold’s Gym’s March Music Madness.
In this battle, fans and celebrities, including Will Ferrell and Gabby Reece, nominate their favorite workout songs. Each round, tracks are voted on at marchmusicmadness.com and winnowed down until a victor emerges on April 18. “We thought it would allow for some spirited debate and, more importantly, help people discover new music for their workout playlists,” says Dave Reiseman, vice president of communications for Gold’s Gym.
This program caught our attention with the awesome, varied selection of tunes, but we were completely sold once we heard that the person who nominated the winning song gets $5,000 to award to their charity of choice.
After listening to the sweet 16 with us, go vote and make your voice heard. Fans who select the most winning songs win sweet gym swag and memberships!
“Music is just as much a part of the workout experience as a towel or water bottle. The right song can be just the motivation you need to push through when you feel like quitting, or the inspiration you need to take your workout to the next level,” Reiseman says. We couldn’t agree more.
Now tell us: Which of the contenders do you hope to see come out on top in the music bracket?
We’re right in the middle of National Nutrition Month—the perfect time for a pantry raid! We asked Allison Enke, R.D., a dietitian with Whole Foods Market, to help us examine our kitchen shelves and shopping lists to see if we’re picking the proper fueling foods. Keep reading for her picks for the 10 essential items active women need in their pantries, refrigerators and freezers. “These foods that are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients,” says Enke.
1. Oatmeal. Soluble fiber from oatmeal, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease. Click here for 11 fun ways our readers jazz up a usual bowl of oats!
2. Berries. A handful of frozen berries adds antioxidants and fiber to your morning smoothie or oatmeal. Blueberries are only 80 calories per cup, Enke notes, and they pack a powerful nutrition punch by supporting brain, eye and heart health.
3. Fish. Fatty fish are one of the best foods sources of essential omega-3 fatty acids and also provide vitamin D, a critical nutrient that many women lack (it works with calcium to preserve bone strength). Enke keeps cans of ready-to-serve 365 Everyday Value Wild Alaskan Red Sockeye Salmon in her pantry to add to salads or to make salmon patties for a quick, healthy dinner.
4. Flaxseed. Not a seafood fan? Flaxseeds are also rich in omega-3 fats, and they’re also filled with fiber. Mix a spoonful into oatmeal, Greek yogurt or smoothies to add flavor, texture and nutrition.
5. Quinoa. It contains all 9 essential amino acids as well as bone-boosting minerals like copper, phosphorous, iron and magnesium. Try it in one of these FITNESS fan-favorite meals.
To see the other five foods you should always have on-hand for quick, nutritious meals and snacks, click below.
The fit woman you see at right, Cherie, used to weigh 230 pounds. Can you believe it?! We hardly could, until she shared her amazing transformation story with us for the April issue (on newsstands now). Flip to page 16 to learn more about the amazing moment that motivated her weight-loss journey and how she went from struggling to walk up the stairs to finishing a half-marathon.
For now, keep reading for a few details about the inspiring woman behind the tip-packed blog, Cherie Runs This!
My gym bag must-have: iPod Shuffle, weight lifting gloves, protein powder, water bottle and my Polar heart rate monitor!
I can’t live without… My baby blanket, cell phone, coffee and my family.
My biggest indulgence: Crusty French bread with real butter. The perfect part of my cheat meal!
My favorite way to work out: Weight lifting and running.
My fitness mantra: “Suck it up so you don’t have to suck it in.” That phrase gets me through my workout each time!
Do you have a favorite fit blogger you want us to highlight? Leave a comment below or email email@example.com
More from FITNESS:
- Submit Your “I Did It!” Story
- How 18 Women Reached Their Weight-Loss Goals
- The 10 Commandments of Dieting, Debunked
- Exhibit A: Justin Timberlake‘s major comeback (who caught the amazing SNL show this weekend?)
- Exhibit B: The 98°/New Kids on the Block/Boyz II Men concert kicking off in May
- Exhibit C: Current teen-favorite bands like One Direction and The Wanted…
It’s safe to say that all things boy band-related are having a moment. So there’s no better time to celebrate with a workout playlist spanning the decades of boy bands!
From Michael Jackson’s big break in Jackson 5 to Big Time Rush’s latest single, download this guilty pleasure playlist to dance your way through your next workout. Cheesy pop music is what earbuds are made for, right?
Now tell us: What’s your all-time favorite boy band song? And which group would you most like to see make a comeback?
The recipes in FITNESS magazine can’t really be as easy and tasty as the mouthwatering pictures in the magazine make them look, can they? Some readers write in and say they are a bit skeptical, so I (quite an amateur when it comes to the kitchen), decided to put a dish to the test. My hands know their way around a keyboard way better than a cutting board, so believe me when I say everything that I can do, you can as well!
The evening I needed dinner, I was going to indoor cycling class soon after work—meaning I didn’t have much prep time the day of. This also meant that I would need something filling (it was going to be a late meal) yet nutritious (so I wouldn’t undo all of that hard work at the gym). I stumbled upon a yummy-looking fix: Vegetable and Chickpea Curry.
The evening before, I took about 20 minutes to chop all of the vegetables and scooted them into my little slow-cooker dish with the rest of the ingredients to be cooked, which I then placed in the refrigerator. When I came home to change for my workout, I poured in the vegetable broth, put the meal into the slow-cooker and flipped it on high.
By the time I returned from class, my kitchen smelled like an Indian restaurant. I stirred in the light coconut milk and prepared some quick-cooking stove top brown rice, and dinner was ready!
I surprised myself and a pal who joined me for dinner with the gourmet result, which really looked fairly similar to the image in the story, and the taste lived up to the description from the recipe developer. Click below to see the side-by-side pictures and get the recipe to try yourself.
One smart strategy FITNESS editors rely on to stay on track with fitness goals: signing up for future active events! (Like the MORE/FITNESS Half-Marathon coming up in April. Have you registered?) Doing so inspires us to train to stay in shape, plus the actual race/fundraiser/conference is a fun way to test your limits and maybe even meet some like-minded new friends.
Interested in trying this approach yourself? We found a great option for those who aren’t big on competition: the Merrithew Mindful Movement World Tour. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Merrithew Health & Fitness (founders of Stott Pilates), they are hosting three-day gatherings in New York, California and other locations worldwide. While certified Pilates instructors will be on-hand to learn new techniques, those who have never tried the core-focused fitness method are invited to try something new with master instructors leading the way.
Click here to learn more about the classes and events offered, and register by February 15 to receive an early bird discount.
Now tell us: What get-moving get-togethers are on your to-do list?
We’re about halfway through January. How’s your healthy eating resolution holding up? We spoke with sports nutritionist Heidi Skolnik, who’s worked with the New York Knicks, Olympians and dancers at the School of American Ballet, among others, to snag 13 easy upgrades to make our diets more well-rounded all year long.
- Be flexible. “It’s easy to add nutrition to a meal with frozen vegetables, which are a great stand-in for fresh when certain items aren’t in season,” Skolnik says.
- Go with the trends. Ginger is the flavor of the moment, she says, and grating some of the root into your dish can add a lot of flavor for minimal calories. Try it (and some frozen veggies!) in our Sesame-Tofu Stir-Fry.
- But stick with what’s tried and true. “Greens have been, and always will be, a healthy choice. Kale, of course, is one of my favorites right now!” Skolnik says.
- Warm up to comfort food. Cold-weather meals don’t have to weigh you down. Instead of filling up on gooey casseroles (think macaroni and cheese), “try soups and stews,” she explains. “They can be satisfying and nutritious if you fill them with the right ingredients.”
- Time it right. What you eat and when you eat are both important. “It’s really bad for body composition, cholesterol and blood sugar to skip breakfast,” Skolnik says.
- Snack before you sweat. If you’re working out right after you roll out of bed and don’t want a full meal yet, grab as little as a 60- to 100-calorie snack to give you energy (15-25 grams of carbohydrate). A serving of whole-wheat pretzels will do the trick.
- Better your breakfast. Since skipping is not allowed, you might as well get the most out of the first meal of the day! Skolnik’s top picks: eggs, whole grain toast and 100% Florida Orange juice; or use the OJ to make a delicious breakfast smoothie and pair with a Greek yogurt sprinkled with some nuts. A peanut butter and banana sandwich with a glass of milk also works! Click for one of Skolnik’s favorite smoothies.
- Find balance.“If you use starch as your entree, serve protein elsewhere in your meal,” Skolnik suggests. For example, if pasta is your main, start with chicken satay or shrimp cocktail. If you begin your meal starch heavy (garlic bread, anyone?) stick with protein and vegetables for your entrée (sea bass with a mango salsa and sautéed spinach). Try pairing a baked sweet potato with grilled lean beef or whole-wheat pasta with grilled chicken. Read more
Now that the holiday season has passed, we’re experiencing a bit of cabin fever. Not all of us can jet off for a warm-weather getaway, but we can all take a trip to the kitchen to whip up meals that take our taste buds on a trip around the globe! Lindsay Nixon, author of the new book Happy Herbivore Abroad, shared two low-fat, vegan recipes to help us do just that.
Lentil Taco Meat
“I got this idea from one of my fans and now we make lentil tacos (or burritos, or enchiladas!) at least once a week. Use brown- or the greenish-colored lentils here, not red or yellow,” Nixon suggests.
- 2 cups cooked lentils
- 2 tablespoosn ketchup
- 1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons lemon or lime (juice)
- 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder (granulated)
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder (granulated)
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano or marjoram
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- nondairy milk (optional)
- salsa (optional)
- Pulse warm lentils in a food processor or blender until chopped up or pureed (your choice).
- Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in remaining ingredients.
- Taste, adding salt or pepper as desired, plus a splash of nondairy milk or a touch of salsa if the mixture looks dry.
Nutrition information per serving: Calories 137, Total Fat 1.1g, Carbohydrates 23.9g, Fiber 9g, Sugars 3.9g, Protein 9.9g