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Karla Walsh

10 Foods Fit Women Need: Your National Nutrition Month Shopping List!

Written on March 19, 2013 at 9:29 am , by

How many of these items are regularly on your grocery list? (Photo by Peter Ardito)

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.

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Fit Blogger We Love: Cherie Runs This

Written on March 14, 2013 at 9:45 am , by

Cherie lost 82 pounds and is now a certified personal trainer!

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 blog@fitnessmagazine.com

More from FITNESS:

Music Monday: The Boy Band Revival

Written on March 11, 2013 at 1:13 pm , by

With…

  • 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?

Taste and Tell: Slow-Cooker Vegetable and Chickpea Curry

Written on February 18, 2013 at 9:05 am , by

Time to sharpen my knife skills!

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.

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Take a Breather With the Merrithew Movement Tour

Written on January 23, 2013 at 2:55 pm , by

Moira Merrithew, program director of Stott Pilates, leads a workshop. (Photo courtesy of Merrithew Corporation 2013)

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?

13 Ways to Eat Healthier in 2013

Written on January 15, 2013 at 1:41 pm , by

Veggies with hummus is an ideal snack, according to Skolnik. (Photo by Mike Dieter)

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.”
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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

2 Ways to Take a Culinary Vacation (in Your Own Kitchen!)

Written on January 4, 2013 at 9:44 am , by

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.

This “meat” would also be great in a taco salad. (Photo courtesy of BenBella Books)

  • 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)
  1. Pulse warm lentils in a food processor or blender until chopped up or pureed (your choice).
  2. Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in remaining ingredients.
  3. 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

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Fit Links: An Equipment-Free Home Workout Challenge and 2012′s Top Fitness Findings

Written on December 21, 2012 at 11:02 am , by

This week’s fit links from around the web:

Save those dumbbells for another day. You won’t even need them for this workout! (Photo by Jason Todd)

Fit Links: 2013′s Top Food Trends and Fit Gift Picks

Written on December 7, 2012 at 3:53 pm , by

Beat the crowd! Start cooking with these foods now to wrap up 2012 in a healthy way. (Photo by Sarah Kehoe)

This week’s fit links from around the web:

Fit Blogger We Love: Cait Plus Ate

Written on December 6, 2012 at 2:40 pm , by

Cait is a pro at eating healthy on-the-go. We’re in awe of her daily salad creations!

We’ve all probably had our fill of “Kate Plus 8.” But Cait Plus Ate? That’s a completely different story. Just like that other Kate, Cait is a master at juggling: she rocks her job, her school work (Cait’s working toward her MBA!) and her active lifestyle—and with way less conflict than on a reality show.

Read on for Cait’s can’t-miss gym class,  her super-powered snack pick and more.

My favorite way to work out: A well-choreographed, intense step class! My gym has an amazing one during which a routine is taught (broken down into combos) and dispersed throughout are tough cardio peak intervals. The step routine includes kicks, jumping knees and more heart-rate elevating workouts. It’s fun to try to hit every move and the class flies by because I’m so busy concentrating on learning the combos! Top 40 hits on the playlist are the cherry on top.

On my fit life (fitness bucket) list: Aerial yoga! I have read so many cool reviews of these classes on blogs and would love to try one out for myself, but none are offered in my area. I enjoy yoga and any workout that switches it up and keeps things interesting is one for me—how much more unique can you get than aerial yoga?!

My fave fit snack: Fruit with plain Chobani. I prefer to flavor plain Chobani with chopped fruit than purchase the flavored Cho varieties. Bananas are my favorite fruit to combine with the Greek yogurt but I also love doing blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. Sometimes I also throw PB into the mix.

My fitness mantra: Do what I enjoy, not what I “should.” I have forced myself to attend plenty of group fitness classes that absolutely crawled by simply because I thought that they were the classes I should be doing. I’ve realized that I reap so many more mental benefits of exercise when I go with the form of fitness I’m feelin’ on a given day. If I want to do Zumba, I’ll enjoy my workout and it’ll go by faster if I do that and don’t make myself run on a treadmill just because running seems like it might burn more calories. Movement should be fun and the enjoyment-not-should mantra is something I am actively working on learning each day, but I have made great progress!

My gym bag must-have: My Big Banjees running wallet by Sprigs! I actually use it to hold my iPhone, case and all, when I lift weights because I use my phone as my iPod too. It’s the only running wallet I’ve ever found that will a) stay fixed on my arm and b) hold my iPhone with the case still on. I used to try to stick the iPhone in my waistband or sports bra, but you can imagine how cumbersome that was. My strength training sessions are easier now!

Do you have a favorite fit blogger you want us to highlight? Leave a comment below or email blog@fitnessmagazine.com