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Why You Need to See—And Read—”Wild”

Written on July 16, 2014 at 4:54 pm , by

It’s been more than a year since Cheryl Strayed released her gripping memoir, Wild, about her solo 1,100-mile trek across the Pacific Crest Trail. The book is a New York Times bestseller for a reason, so if you haven’t read it yet, do it now. Strayed’s  tale is gripping, and the honest look at herself as a person throughout her painful hike (literally painful—the speed at which she loses toenails makes me cringe) is refreshing. So when I found out Reese Witherspoon, one of my favorite actresses, would star in the film adaptation, I may have shrieked with joy.

The movie doesn’t hit theaters until December 5, but the official trailer has just been released. Watch:

Now, everyone knows the film version is rarely as good as the book, but I honestly think those working in film are stepping up their game. And while Witherspoon has a lot to live up to, I think she can handle it. Director Jean-Marc Vallee (Dallas Buyers Club) fortunately doesn’t make us sit through two straight hours of a girl lugging a 50-pound pack through the woods, but rather bounces back to the story of why the heck this woman decided to go it alone. And believe me, that’s a twisted story you want to know about. I’ve only seen the trailer and I already see a myriad of awards in Reese’s future.

But more importantly, go see Wild because in a world of men in hardcore, badass lead roles (I’m looking at you, Captain Phillips), there’s now a strong (albeit unlikable) female in the mix doing something physically—not to mention mentally and emotionally—trying. For me, it serves as a little reminder that I don’t have to follow the crowd, and I can conquer a crazy-hard trail, and all that that comes with, just as well as any man.

But you tell me: have you read the book? Did you love it or hate it? And either way, will you see the movie? 

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Music Monday: Making Music with The Roots

Written on July 14, 2014 at 5:04 pm , by

You watch ‘em rock the stage regularly on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, but The Roots are known for a particular type of instrumentation that I’m, well, obsessed with. And that’s using quirky, unorthodox instruments to create awesome, YouTube-breaking music. Two of my faves: singing “Your Body” with X-tina and this Brady Bunch styling of “We Can’t Stop.” So it was no surprise when they teamed up with Kellogg’s at their Recharge Bar in Times Square and performed rockin’ tunes using tons of breakfast equipment—I’m talking bowls, spoons, the works. Now if only I could be that musical with my cereal bowl in the morning…

Of course, The Roots do play on regular instruments once in a while, which they’re using to create their new album. What can we expect when it drops? “It’s another concept album, and we’re showing the life of the common man,” says Questlove. “Hip-hop often celebrates the plight of the winner, those who are living the good life. But sometimes that’s misleading, and 99 percent of the people out here are living regular lives. This is their story.”

That said, I can only imagine how many will end up on my workout playlist (um, all of them). But until I can get my hands on those tracks, I’ll have to substitute this playlist. It’s what The Roots are jamming out to this summer themselves, while they squeeze in workouts on their European tour. I’ll just imagine that I’m in the same awesome locales they are.

Photo courtesy of Edelman

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How Dancing With The Stars’ Peta Murgatroyd’s Stays Fit Outside of the Ballroom

Written on July 1, 2014 at 10:54 am , by

Written by Anna Hecht, editorial intern

Imagine having 23 years of dancing under your belt, Broadway acting experience, a fitness wardrobe to die for, and a killer bod. That’s why we’re completely obsessing over Peta Murgatroyd, the 27-year-old Dancing with the Stars veteran competitor.

“I truly believe that dancing is the best form of fitness and exercise,” Murgatroyd recently told us during a visit to the FITNESS offices. “Dancing makes you feel good. It makes you feel happy, especially if you can do it with a loved one.”

That being said, it’s no surprise that she highly recommends fitness dance classes—for both men and women—as a fun way to stay in shape.

“Even for a guy to be able to lead a girl and to be able to go out and feel comfortable, like in a club situation, and not be dorky—I think that’s really hot and sexy if he can do that. If I ever have a son, I’m going to be putting him into dance.”

Although Murgatroyd credits her toned physique to long hours of dancing, another season of DWTS has come and gone (um, who else thinks this was the best season yet?) and she admits she can easily pack on an extra five pounds during her time away from the show. To keep weight gain at bay, she hits the gym six days a week, cycles, hikes, and does hot yoga to elongate her muscles. “My body needs cardio,” she says. “Treadmill, stepper, running outside—I love running for my body. I love running super fast because I feel better about myself. Rather than jogging, I like full-on sprinting.”

And when she’s ready to crank up the toning, you’ll find a TheraBand in heavy rotation.“I take them everywhere with me,” she says. “You can tie them anywhere, do all of your reps, and there is no weight.”

Always active, Murgatroyd loves fusing fitness with fashion. Her favorite sporty ensembles are usually from Nike, Lululemon, Reebok and FunKey’s pants. She says she would love to start her own fitness apparel line, but don’t worry, friends. Her mesmerizing dance performances won’t be coming to a halt anytime soon.

“People want something that’s going to look good as well, like a cute open back or cute sleeves. Something like that is what I’d want to develop,” she says. “I definitely want to stay in dancing because I love it, but I want to go back to Broadway. I would love to be in a different type of musical, maybe Chicago or something heavily dance-based.”

We’re so excited to see what Murgatroyd will end up doing next, but for now, we’ll continue drooling over her amazing dancing skills on DWTS.

Photo courtesy of Glenn Nutley

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Music Monday: Flo Rida Can’t Sweat Without This Music

Written on June 30, 2014 at 4:20 pm , by

Written by Macklin Stern, editorial intern

Whenever I work out, I need to be listening to music—not want, but need. Whether it’s Katy Perry’s new hit or a classic from the King of Pop himself, there has to be an up-tempo, catchy sound reverberating in my ears. Studies even show that music can push us through that final mile, that extra set of squats.

So it’s no surprise then that rapper Flo Rida, a self-proclaimed fitness lover, is a man who lives and breathes that connection. A workout fiend since his football days in high school, the musician is constantly on the muscle-building grind both in the studio and on stage. In fact, he considers himself lucky that his profession allows—actually, kind of forces—him to incorporate music with exercise and vice versa. “You get a two-for-one with what I do.”

He’s not kidding: Flo constantly runs back and forth on stage, spewing out his lyrics at an incredibly fast rate. This not-much-time-for-breathing rapping style requires him to hit the pavement regularly. “I love doing a lot of cardio,” he says. “My records are up-tempo, so I have to make sure that I can go for over an hour.”

But just as any well-rounded fitness aficionado knows, cardio isn’t the end-all, be-all. The artist loves to regularly lift weights, and occasionally steps into the boxing ring for a few punches (and sips on Celsius when he needs a boost).  And despite a hectic schedule, Flo manages to get in two-a-day routines. Guess that explains why his shows are so fun to watch.

While I prefer to put in miles to tunes by the rapper (“Wild Ones” is a fave), we always wonder: do artists listen to their own tunes? We found out LL Cool J does now and then, and it turns out Flo is no different. Along with David Guetta and Pitbull, you’ll find his own tracks sprinkled through a playlist. “I love listening to my music because it definitely has all the attributes to enhance a great workout in the gym.”

So while we wait for his latest album, The Perfect 10, to drop later this year, we made sure to get Flo Rida’s current sweat-it-out playlist. Plug in, shape up, and try not to groove on that treadmill. On second thought, go ahead. We won’t tell.

Photo courtesy of Celsius

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What Jessica Alba Eats That You Don’t

Written on June 27, 2014 at 9:50 am , by

Jessica Alba loves salt.

Did that catch you by surprise? We about fell out of our chairs when she said it during a private cooking class last week with Chef Anthony Sasso of New York’s Casa Mono restaurant, but then again, it just means she’s up-to-date on her nutrition news. Maybe she reads FITNESS…

So why were we cooking with Alba? As the new brand ambassador for Zico Coconut Water’s “Crack Life Open” campaign, the actress helped Sasso create various dishes that can all be made using coconut water: a chicken marinade, salad dressing, ice pops, or even chocolate cake. Umm, yum!

Alba is no stranger to flavor (her weaknesses: cheese, crackers, wine, French bread, and all things Mexican—we can totally relate, girlfriend), but she knows what foods to stay away from. “I try to eat as much fresh and natural food as possible,” she says. “I don’t eat a whole lot of processed food or packaged food.”

Well, that explains her perfect bod. She loves kale and butter lettuce, and keeps an abundant supply of fruits and veggies at home for hubby Cash Warren and daughters Honor, 6, and Haven, 2. (When she’s on the go, it’s dried fruit and nuts.) She even has a hanging felt wall that she uses to maintain her herb garden. Amazing!

“We use bananas a lot in the house,” she says. “We use apples, strawberries, and watermelon, but then it also depends on what’s in season. We get a monthly delivery of organic fruits and vegetables and it’s whatever is in our box that we just use.”

Her secret to dishing up the perfect kale salad? “Massaging the kale was something that changed my life,” she says.  “I tried to make it so many times at home and it’s just not the same when you don’t.”

Try it yourself: mix ¼ cup of Zico Coconut Water with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, a teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of black pepper to get the dressing. Knead the kale with your hands into the dressing until the kale becomes soft. Sweeten it up with some peach, plum, and nectarine slices, toss in some blackberries and almonds, and violà! You have a refreshing summer salad with dressing you didn’t just grab off the shelf, and are one step closer to following a Jessica Alba-approved diet. Sign us up!

Photo courtesy of ZICO Premium Coconut Water

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‘Bachelor’ Bad Girl Courtney Robertson’s Inner Winner Secrets

Written on June 19, 2014 at 9:54 am , by

Flip open any dictionary and you’ll find “villain” to be defined as some version of “an uncouth person who does bad things.” But when we sat down to chat with notorious Bachelor contestant Courtney Robertson about her new memoir, I Didn’t Come Here to Make Friends, the alleged villain wasn’t the reality TV rogue the media has cast her as over the years. In fact, Courtney was quite the opposite—sweet and sincere, bubbly and funny with a confidence that somehow shined brighter than her dewy complexion. “I learned a long time ago that I can’t be anyone other than me,” our April 2011 cover model told us. “I’ve learned to embrace and love myself for all the parts that make me, me—flaws and all!” Preach, girlfriend. Preach.

The past few years haven’t been easy, Courtney admitted, and her short—but very public—relationship with season 16 Bachelor Ben Flajnik cued a barrage of backlash and gossip when it ended privately. To set the record straight once and for all, not to mention give fans an inside look of what the showmance is really like, Courtney shared her love story in book form for your beach bum pleasure. “I was trampled in the press and I had people that I’ve never met writing about me, pretending they knew my story. I decided to take matters into my own hands,” she said with conviction, adding that it was a very cathartic process.

So how does Courtney brush off the haters? Positive thinking is key, she dished—only you can control your own attitude and happiness. “I always try to put on a happy face and act like my best self even if I’m exhausted or have had a stressful day,” Courtney told us. “You never know why someone feels the need to be mean or hurtful. I try to be brave and put on my big girl panties.” Humor has also become a coping mechanism. “The best thing to do in uncomfortable situations is address the awkwardness in all of its glory,” she said. “I just remind myself that it will make for a great story to tell my grandkids someday!”

It doesn’t hurt that she has a killer bod, too. (Insert girl envy here.) The LA-based model tries to squeeze a cardio workout in every day—even if it’s just a 20-minute walk around the block—and lives by the motto “a little goes a long way.” Courtney’s go-to gym routine includes 10 minutes on the StairMaster, 2 miles on the Elliptical and treadmill interval training followed by a stretching sesh. Before calling it a day, she’ll also crank out a quick circuit of push-ups (on her knees), butt raises, wheelhouse crunches and squats…15 each! And we all know that a solid diet is the key to success too, and Courtney swears by a clean-but-not-”perfect” diet. Instead, she “tries her best” on most days and allows for the occasional indulgence. “I enjoy pizza, Thai food and, of course, a good bottle of wine.” A girl after our own hearts.

Get more of Courtney’s tips and tricks (oh, and you know, The Bachelor dirt and dramedy you’ve always craved!) in her new memoir, on sale June 24.

Photo courtesy of Harper Collins

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The New Stylish, Sporty Sunglasses from Oakley and the Tone It Up Girls

Written on June 18, 2014 at 9:53 am , by

Written by Anna Hecht, editorial intern

Equal parts fun and fit is how we’d describe the dynamic duo that is the Tone It Up Girls, Katrina Hodgson and Karena Dawn. They developed their own fitness following through YouTube workout videos, fitness products, a Bravo reality TV show and a bikini line. Now Karena and Katrina have teamed up with Oakley, creating a fashionably fit sunglasses line. Available at BeachBabe.com, the “Oakley Sunnies” range in price from $170 for the “Katrina” aviators, and $190 for the “Karena” activewear frame. While many activewear sunglasses traditionally have a sportier look, these styles still function as activewear shades, yet they are ultra stylish for everyday wear as well. Finally, the best of both worlds!

We met up with the California cuties at the launch party in New York City last week to chat about their new sunglasses line and get the inside scoop on their bikini body secrets.

What inspired you to collaborate with Oakley to make a sunglasses line?

Karena: We were like, “Let’s do it!” Oakley is actually the only brand of active sunglasses I’ve ever worn. I have been wearing them for like 8 years—way back when I first started competing in triathlons.

Katrina: We love all of their sunglasses. They are lightweight—so, you don’t get headaches.

Karena: Kat and I do painting and drawing and we love design—so it seemed like the perfect match to design sunglasses. We incorporated some of our artwork. The blue and green colors from my painting of the wave, which hangs in my house, and they are on the inside of the “Karena” frame. And, the colors in Kat’s painting of the mermaid inspired the color of the “Katrina” aviators.

What are some features women should look for when buying a pair of active wear sunglasses?

Katrina: I think it’s good to have someone fit you so you can get a good pair for your face. If the lenses are resting on your cheeks, then maybe you need a smaller frame, or they just need to tighten up the nose pad—there are so many things that I didn’t even know about sunglasses until I started working with Oakley, [so getting that fit right is important].

Read more

Adriana Lima Is a Knockout (in More Ways Than One!)

Written on June 2, 2014 at 4:46 pm , by

On most any day in downtown New York City, you might spot a celeb or two ducking into hip Aerospace gym for a kick-butt boxing session. But last Thursday morning, supermodel Adriana Lima took over the studio—with a film crew and card-carrying Vegas showgirls in tow—to fight for a great cause. (She has the mean left hook to do it.)

Credit: Gary He for Insider Images

Lima led a sweaty 45-minute workout with longtime trainer Michael Olajide, Jr., to raise funds for the St. Luke Foundation for Haiti. “I’ve been supporting the St. Luke Foundation since I visited Haiti when I was pregnant,” says Lima, the mother of two little girls. “I had the chance to meet the inspirational people that volunteer there. As an organization, they provide education and medical outreach to more than 150,000 people a year.”

The Victoria’s Secret model had raffled off a spot in Thursday’s class to benefit St. Luke’s. Minus the rolling cameras—the event was being taped to promote the charity—the cardio-boxing session reflects Lima’s typical lean routine. “I have worked with Michael Olajide, Jr. for more than 10 years,” she says—and it shows, not just in her physique but her footwork. Part of the plyo-tastic session involved speed jump-roping with criss-cross maneuvers that would make your usual rope drill look like playground stuff. Lima didn’t miss a beat doing high knees, alternating one-legged landings and jacks. “My first few months of training, I tripped over my rope,” she admits. “The best part of boxing is that, after working out at least three times a week for 10 years, it’s still a challenge, whether with an opponent or with myself.”

Training with Olajide in fact helped Lima bounce back in record time for the Victoria’s Secret show in 2012 when she had only a month and a half to get lingerie-ready after having her second daughter.

Another go-to for Lima is coconut water. “It’s my pre- and post-workout drink,” says Lima. “I grew up in Bahia, Brazil where everyone of every age drinks coconut water—it’s healthy, delicious and of course reminds me of home.”

You can check out Lima’s real-deal punches and rope skills at http://www.aerospacehpc.com.

 

 

Maria Menounos’ 5 Favorite Get-Fit Tips (Plus, Win A Signed Copy of Her New Book!)

Written on May 30, 2014 at 5:58 pm , by

“I really want to lose a few pounds.”

We’ve all been there, said that, amiright? But it’s one thing to say it, and another to actually do it. What with busy work schedules, taking care of the family and, you know, maintaining some form of social life, some days it feels like a miracle to squeeze a workout in—while remembering to eat mindfully—on top of it all. So if you feel like you’re swimming in unchartered waters with your head barely above water, don’t freak out: you’re not alone. TV host and journalist Maria Menounos lost 40 pounds over the course of a year, and she did it without cutting corners. Thankfully, she also decided to write a book about it that hits shelves on Tuesday, June 3rd. After you pre-order your copy (you can do that here), take a sneak peek at some of her tips below:

Set a Deadline. You can’t just say “I want to lose weight…someday.”It’s that kind of loose talk, without a guideline, that discourages you from getting started and undermines success. My goal was to stop overeating, make healthier choices and lose weight slowly over the course of one year. Trying to rush or do crazy crash diets does not give you sustainable results. And I never focused on losing a specific number of pounds. I just knew by the end of a  year I wanted to look and feel great, whatever my weight was. 

Keep It To Yourself. When you tell others you’re trying to lose weight, you’re just putting pressure on yourself. Weight loss is tough enough—why make it any harder?

Avoid the Scale. Though you may have a targeted number of pounds in mind, weight loss isn’t always mathematical. There’s no way to be sure you’ll lose exactly how much you want per week. Some weeks you might only lose a pound instead of two or nothing at all. You’ll just get discouraged if you weigh yourself a lot. Plus I don’t want you obsessing about scales or numbers. First and foremost, this is about gaining long-term health. After a few months, if your clothes feel a bit looser and you can’t resist, hop on the scale. But no matter what it says, stick with the program.

Eat Your Calories—Be Sure Not to Drink Them. A lot of drinks are full of sugar. Soda is the most obvious one, but sports drinks, bottled ice tea and flavored coffee drinks are usually packed with sugar, too. You can opt for artificially sweetened diet versions but they aren’t the healthiest alternatives. When I lost weight I chopped up lemons, pushed them into jugs of spring water and drank that instead of juice or anything else. I still drink lemon water and plain hot water.

If you Like Dessert, Have It. Dessert is not forbidden. I didn’t cut it out when I was losing weight and I still have it occasionally. However, that doesn’t mean you have to eat the most decadent options. You’ll find that as you get used to eating better, heavy treats with lots of sugar will leave you feeling blah and you won’t crave them as much. To keep dessert in your life, try lower-fat frozen yogurts. Or serve plain Greek yogurt with a little honey or fresh fruit. When you’re out to dinner, order dessert for the table and let everyone share. You’ll be surprised how much a little bit satisfies you. 

For more where that came from, remember to pick up a copy of The EveryGirl’s Guide to Diet and Fitness yourself. Want one—for free? Tune in to our Twitter chat with Maria next Wednesday at 2p.m. EST and you could win one of three SIGNED copies. See you there!

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How Lo Bosworth Pumps Up Her Menu with Pumpkin

Written on May 29, 2014 at 1:24 pm , by

Orange is the new black for Lo Bosworth. The Laguna Beach star-turned-chef is reinventing the face of LIBBY’S canned pumpkin because, let’s be real, the vitamin A powerhouse isn’t just for rich, Thanksgiving pies anymore. “I didn’t know that pumpkin was a superfood when I first started,” she recently admitted to us. “There is no added sugar or salt in LIBBY’S—just a simple, whole product, which is what I look for whenever I cook.”

The soon-to-be International Culinary Center grad has been incorporating lots of pumpkin into her meals and entertaining menus since her revelation. “It’s a really interesting addition to desserts,” Lo dished. “What’s cool is that you can substitute it for an egg or butter!” The result: spongy cakes, decadent cookies and very little guilt. Win. Lo also loves using pumpkin to cut fat in savory snacks like hummus, smoothies and peanut butter on toast. “It doesn’t taste like pumpkin!” she swears.

With all that food prep and casual sampling (which goes hand-in-hand with culinary school, right?), it must be tough to keep a svelte figure, right? But according to Lo, it’s all about control. “It’s really about tasting the food so that the seasoning and texture is appropriate, but I don’t actually eat much of the food I’m making at school. If I did, I think I would put on 25 pounds,” she joked. In fact, Lo has lost weight since starting her program—partly due to her SoulCycle obsession (she gets in the saddle four days a week) alongside being on her feet all day; running around the kitchen. “I also go to a great cardio dance class called 305 Fitness! It’s so fun because they have a live DJ every class,” she said. And since the FITNESS staff has hit up a 305 class before, we know she’s totally right.

So what’s next for Lo? “Right now, I’m working quite a bit on my blog and YouTube channel but long term, I would love to have my own lifestyle show with cooking as an element,” she said. Um, we’d watch it! As for her partner-in-crime LC’s upcoming wedding, Lo will definitely be in attendance (“I’m very excited. Her wedding will be beautiful, I’m sure!”) and who knows, maybe she’ll even bake some treats for the bachelorette party. Oh, come on. This fan girl simply had to ask…

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