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Karla Walsh

Iron Chef Bobby Flay’s Favorite Secret Ingredient

Written on October 1, 2012 at 11:07 am , by

You’ll find Greek yogurt on the menu at many of Flay’s restaurants. (Photo courtesy of Fage)

On Iron Chef, Bobby Flay has slayed the competition using ingredients as varied as buffalo, bananas and blue foot chicken. Clearly, this is one man who knows his way around the kitchen (or grill!). So what’s this Food Network star’s dream secret ingredient? “Greek yogurt. It’s good for so much more than just eating straight topped with honey and berries,” Flay says.

In fact, the tangy dairy item has made an appearance in several of his Iron Chef battles, including a grilled lamb dish with pomegranate and mint yogurt sauce that “takes 60 seconds to make.” [Editor's note: Can we be on the tasting panel?]

Flay loves the versatility of Greek yogurt, using it as a meat marinade, substitute for heavy cream or creme fraiche as a soup-topper, and in dessert, of course. “Frozen yogurt is nothing new, so why not frozen Greek yogurt?” he suggests. “Think of it as a vanilla base and add berries, cinnamon or ricotta cheese.”

Flay, who dreams of taking on Gordon Ramsay in Kitchen Stadium one day, has teamed up with Fage Total to host a recipe contest. They want to see your most innovative, flavorful Greek yogurt ideas. The winner will see her recipe featured on the menu at a special Plain Kitchen event (not to mention a trip to New York City to meet the chef himself)!

To get things rolling, Flay shared one of his favorite snack recipes that includes Greek yogurt: hummus with pita chips. Click below for the recipe, and find more at fageusa.com/plainkitchen.

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Fit Blogger We Love: STUFT Mama

Written on September 27, 2012 at 2:51 pm , by

Lifting up those adorable boys must have helped Kristin sculpt those unbelievable arms!

True, she’s a marathoner, group fitness instructor and personal trainer, but we’re pretty sure any busy mom—or woman in general—will relate to STUFT Mama‘s Kristin. In a recent post, she hilariously used her compression socks as an excuse not to shave her legs (love those time-saving tricks!).

We love her humorous approach to all things fitness, so we asked this speedy mom of twins to share the tips and tools that keep her energized and how she treats herself after all those hard workouts.

My fitness mantra: I have a couple:

  1. “A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.” I tell my clients that every step towards health counts, even if it’s a small one. We have the opportunity every day to succeed instead of letting fear or insecurity hold us back. Being uncomfortable and going for it is not a bad thing.
  2. “You can do anything you want, anything you put your heart and your mind into.” —Ronald Miller, Can’t Buy Me Love

My “I Did It” moment: When I finished my very first marathon right after my twins turned one. I always told myself that I wanted to be that person who stayed fit throughout pregnancy and then ran a marathon after having kids. That’s exactly what I did and now racing is a part of who I am. In a way I got to live the dream I always wanted. I have since gotten a Boston qualifying time.

My biggest motivation comes from: Being the best mom I can be to my boys. It’s hard to balance motherhood, career and taking time to exercise and take care of myself, but every day I want to lead by example and show my boys the importance of healthy eating and fitness.

5 things I can’t live without: My BOB double jogging stroller, Mizuno running shoes, egg whites, dark chocolate and espresso.

Most embarrassing song I’ll admit I work out to: I have more than one Kenny Loggins song on my current playlist. “Footloose” is my favorite.

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

How Your Next Run Could Help Fight Childhood Obesity

Written on September 19, 2012 at 12:22 pm , by

Those miles can do more than boost your endurance. (Photo by Laura Doss)

The numbers paint a clear picture: Nearly one in three American kids and teens are overweight or obese, according to Michelle Obama’s health initiative Let’s Move! So it wasn’t surprising when her husband, President Obama, signed a proclamation a few weeks ago that declared September as “Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.”

We have a few too many candles on our birthday cakes to directly impact those statistics, but we can take steps to promote healthy habits to the little ones in our lives (like leading by exercise example and cooking nutritious meals with them). And one new way to help—while fitting in our own workouts—caught our eye. In the case of fighting childhood obesity, yes, there’s an app for that.

The Saucony Run4Good app allows people to support the cause by earning donations for miles run,”says Chris Lindner, Chief Marketing Officer of Saucony. “The GPS-enabled app tracks your mileage. Each month, when a collective predetermined mileage goal is reached, Saucony will double its current donation to selected youth running programs.”

The free app is part of Saucony’s Run For Good Foundation, which was launched in 2006. To date, the foundation has awarded nearly $1 million to over 100 organizations dedicated to getting kids active through running (these include American Diabetes Association chapters, YMCA locations and United Way groups). Monthly leader boards allow users to “challenge friends and join teams that compete together to accumulate mileage toward the monthly goal,” Lindner says.

So the next time your motivation to lace up your sneakers is flagging, think of the benefits of your workout beyond the calories and stress that’s burned off. Your mileage could add up to awesome active opportunities for some youngsters out there.

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4 Quick Fixes to Tame Emotional Eating

Written on September 18, 2012 at 10:02 am , by

Stressed? Put down the pint and call a pal. (Photo by Stephanie Russer)

Even health pros struggle with making smart diet choices all the time. FITNESS advisory board member Pam Peeke, MD, admits that she “turned to food for comfort” after a family illness when she was a teen. “Bridge Mix was my ‘crack’ and seemed to numb my pain,” she says.

Peeke learned to avoid her trigger foods, and says that we can all learn to bypass temptation or emotional eating by doing the same. According to Peeke, it’s sometimes necessary to “reclaim your hijacked reward system in your brain” to conquer this issue (for example, going for a walk rather than scooping up a bowl of ice cream when you are stressing out about your upcoming performance review).

Easier said than done, though. So we asked Peeke to share tips from her new book The Hunger Fix, on sale today, for some examples of how to overcome life’s most stressful situations and still be able to slide into our skinny jeans afterward.

Struggling with a work deadline…

  • False fix: Staying up too late, using caffeine as a crutch, stress eating
  • Healthy fix: Eating nutritious foods every three to four hours, sipping green tea, standing up every 30 minutes to stretch

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An Olympian in the Making? A 15-Year-Old Triathlete Shares Her Top Tips

Written on September 13, 2012 at 9:06 am , by

Fiona makes the most of her time by training with family, including her mom, right. (Photo courtesy of Fiona Chesley)

It’s a trend that we probably first noticed with the bodybuilding kid C.J. Senters, continued on with the Fierce Five (median age of 16) and now is spreading to the triathlon circuit: young athletes seem to be making their mark on more serious athletic events than ever. Clearly, it’s not just team sports either. The number of teens participating in road races and triathlons continues to grow, according to USA Triathlon.

To learn more about this trend, and how students balance their coursework with their workouts, we spoke with Fiona Chesley, a 15-year-old who aims to complete her 18th triathlon at the Nautica Malibu Triathlon on September 16 to benefit the pediatric cancer research program at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.

Most kids stick with team sports like basketball, volleyball, cheerleading, etc. What drew you to triathlons?

I’ve played many sports, but none seemed right. I enjoy competing in sports with a finish line. There isn’t a coach on the sidelines telling you if you’re right or wrong—it’s all you. You’re the one who has to find all of the determination deep within and put it to use.

What does your training regimen look like, and how do you fit it in with school and your social life?

It helps that racing is a family affair for me. Typically, I swim with my stepmother and run with my dad when he gets home around 6 p.m. I also go to the YMCA and do weight and ab workouts when I have time. Sometimes, I train and bike with the Cal Tri team.

Time for the lightning round…Fill in the blank:

  • My role model is: “Chrissie Wellington, the four-time world Ironman champion. She is a great triathlete and has inspired me to do an Ironman someday!”
  • My top motivation trick: “When I’m not in the mood to exercise, I play long games of Ultimate Frisbee with friends. It’s loads of fun and an easy way sneak in a workout.”
  • My go-to pre-race meal: “The night before a triathlon, my family has our favorite pasta dish: fusilli pasta with butter, ham, peas and mozzarella cheese.”
  • My dream competition: “I aim to do my best at every race, but I eventually want to compete in the triathlon at the Olympics.”

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Music Monday: The “Hold on to Summer” Edition

Written on September 10, 2012 at 10:40 am , by

We're not packing up our warm weather gear quite yet. (Photo by Joseph Montezinos)

We know, we know: the unofficial end of summer, Labor Day, was last week. But we’re starting a long list of the things we’re not quite ready to give up quite yet:

  • Our favorite pair of strappy sandals
  • Cute workout shorts and tanks
  • The bikini-ready abs we worked so hard to earn
  • Low maintenance, beachy hair…

That’s why we reached out to surfing star Carissa Moore, who recently took second place the the US Open of Surfing (catch all of the action this Saturday—find air times on redbullsignatureseries.com). Who better than an athlete who spends nearly all of her waking hours in the waves to help us hold on to that easy breezy summer feeling during our workouts all year long?

Now tell us: What song immediately sends you into summer mode?

5 Ways “Empire Girl” Adrienne Bailon Stays Fashionably Fit

Written on September 7, 2012 at 8:41 am , by

Bailon's gym uniform often includes capri leggings and brightly-colored accessories. (Photo by Tim Hiatt/Getty Images)

Actress and singer Adrienne Bailon is known for her former role on The Cheetah Girls, for being a founding member of the music group 3LW (remember “Playas Gon’ Play“?) and today for her reality show Empire Girls. Now, in addition to her series that “focuses on friendship and following your dreams rather than fighting,” according to Bailon, she is recording a solo album, working on an upcoming film and is in talks to expand into the fashion world.

Bailon recently teamed up with Lady Foot Locker to celebrate their Fashionably Fit “refresh.” The campaign aims to make stores brighter, cheerier and filled with bolder clothing and different music. We spoke with Bailon before an event in Chicago to find out her top five tips to look stylish while sweating.

  1. Invest in quality clothing. “You feel better when you look better while exercising. I get inspired to go to the gym if I feel good in my workout clothes.”
  2. Save time with multitasking wardrobe items. “My go-to outfit is capri pants with a bright top and Nike sneakers. The gym can really feel like a fashion show with the vibrant colors on the racks now! What I love most is that if I make smart fashion choices, I can throw on a hoodie and meet my girls for brunch right after.”
  3. Aim to be your best you.“My goal is to have the body of my dreams by age 30, but that’s strong and toned, not skinny.”
  4. Make the most of today. “I get up at 5 a.m. to hit the treadmill and don’t stop working toward my goals—in all areas of life—until I hit the pillow. There are so many things I want to accomplish and I don’t want to have any regrets!”
  5. Find a role model. “If I could join any other celebrity in the gym, it would be Beyonce. She’s extremely focused, so I know I would try hard to keep up with her. I wouldn’t be messing around with Instagram, that’s for sure! Even when I’m working out solo, her music motivates me.”

Now tell us: What is your favorite fitness outfit?

Fit Blogger We Love: Hungry Healthy Happy

Written on September 6, 2012 at 9:56 am , by

Dannii began her transformation three years ago and is now in maintenance mode.

One of the best things about our digital age is how small it makes the world feel. Just a decade or two ago, it may have been tricky to connect with UK resident Dannii of Hungry Healthy Happy (requested by you, her fans, as an individual to feature on a previous Fit Blogger We Love post!). But when we reached out to her just days ago, we heard back within minutes. Awesome news for us, since we could hardly wait to hear how she was able to drop nearly 100 pounds!

Read on for success secrets from this clean eating fan who inspires readers worldwide.

My “I did it” moment: Winning the mental battle that comes along with losing weight. One day everything just “clicked.” I realized that eating didn’t have to be a battle. I didn’t have to deprive myself and I could still enjoy the foods I loved every now and then. Working out didn’t have to be a chore, I just needed to find the workouts that I enjoyed and looked forward to doing. Of course there are still days when I don’t want to get up at 6 a.m. to hit the gym and other days where I want to eat a giant pizza (I’m human), but giving myself permission to sometimes skip a workout and indulge in a pizza was pretty liberating. I have found balance, happiness and health, to me that means that “I did it.”

My favorite fit snack: I am a big snacker—that is something that hasn’t really changed since I have lost 98 pounds—but what I snack on has changed. I definitely have a sweet tooth, so I get creative in the kitchen and create healthy snacks that taste like chocolate cake, but don’t come with all the calories, like these healthy chocolate fudgey brownies. You would never know they were healthy and only 135 calories a slice!

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Fit Blogger We Love: Powercakes

Written on August 30, 2012 at 3:14 pm , by

“Like mother, like daughter” is a common refrain, and Kasey from Powercakes and her “mamacakes” are proof that can be true. With a personal trainer mom, Kasey learned the power of fitness and recently graduated with a degree in health and physical education!

We caught up with the clean eater and CrossFit newbie to discover her favorite fitness method and go-to splurge food.

Kasey fuels her busy days with five to six small meals.

My favorite way to work out: I love weight lifting. I used to be a cardio junkie but my mindset has completely changed, along with my body, once I introduced weights! I also love to superset my exercises to keep my heart rate up. When it comes to cardio, I absolutely love Tabata intervals (which consists of doing 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest for a set amount of rounds). I have a few of my favorites on my video page!

My biggest indulgence: Cheese. Give me some good feta and I can eat the whole block!

Most embarrassing song I’ll admit I work out to: “Baby” by Justin Bieber. It’s the best to jump rope too, I swear!

My motivation comes from: My family, friends, boyfriend, the FitFluential community and my followers! I really wouldn’t be where I am today without them.

My fave fit snack: Powercakes! I make a big one in the morning or the night before and then cut it up to snack on throughout the day!

Kasey was kind enough to share one of her blog’s namesake recipes. Keep reading for a dish that tastes like dessert (but you have her permission to eat it anytime!)

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Talking Battleship With Rihanna’s Film Trainer

Written on August 28, 2012 at 9:29 am , by

Rihanna and Carrizonsa, right, bonded between scenes. (Photo courtesy of Universal Studios Home Entertainment)

We know from Rihanna’s music that she’s “Hard,” but even she needed a little help to look authentic as a fighter in the film Battleship (out on DVD today). Director Peter Berg put out as “SOS” (OK, enough with the song title references!) to US Navy officer Jacqueline Carrizosa to show Rihanna the military ropes. After spotting Carrizosa on the soccer field before her deployment, Berg called her superiors and arranged for Carrizosa to return to the states to help out on the Battleship set. She is more than a weapons expert, though: Carrizosa is an avid runner, diver, swimmer and skateboarder.

So what was it like to work with the R&B star on her film debut? Carrizosa spills:

  • She can sing, dance and act, but Rihanna can’t do everything. “Rihanna sucks at playing soccer!” Carrizosa says. In a scene where her character is supposed to play, Carrizosa almost stood in for Rihanna, but Berg decided it would take too much editing to make the women look similar. Rihanna’s outfit in that scene did resemble Carrizosa’s look when Berg first spotted her on the field, though.
  • The pair stayed active off set too. “We went hiking with Taylor Kitsch and Brooklyn Decker, and I got them all to jump off a cliff into the water below,” Carrizosa says.
  • Things did get serious during filming. “I stood on set from sunrise to sunset to make sure that everything was safe and looked authentic,” she says. Gun safety was of utmost importance, so they trained for about four weeks. By the end, Carrizosa remembers, “Rihanna was saying, ‘I can see why you love this stuff!’ It was pretty rad.”
  • The end result earned Carrizosa’s stamp of approval. When she went to see the finished movie with a group, “My friends laughed so hard and said, ‘Dude, that’s you!’ when they showed Rihanna,” Carrizosa says. “My favorite part, though, was when the veterans came out. That gave me chills and it made me remember how neat it was to meet those Pearl Harbor veterans in person during filming.”

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