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Kristin Cavallari Gets Bumpin’ for the Holidays

Written on November 22, 2013 at 10:26 am , by

Eating organic, Pilates and Just Dance 2014 keeps preggo entrepreneur Kristin Cavallari going—and glowing! (Photo by Casey Rodgers/Invision for Ubisoft/AP Images)

Kristin Cavallari has a lot to be thankful for this year—a talented hubby (Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler), 15-month-old Camden, thriving jewelry and shoe lines and now another baby on the way! So what does the former reality TV star have up her sleeve for the holidays? Like most of us, a whole lot of turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing…her faves.

“We’re very traditional,” she told us a few days ago, shortly after putting her order in for an organic bird from Whole Foods. “This year, I’m actually hosting the meal at my house. It’s my first year making anything for a large group so I’m a little nervous!”

The fit mommy, who admits to giving into a few cravings lately (sweets and carbs!), won’t be digging into preservative-laden treats anytime soon, though. “With both of my pregnancies, the first trimester I’ve been really tired and I kind of eat like crap,” she confesses. “Once I get some energy back, I kick it into health mode.” One thing you’ll never see Kristin doing is counting calories. “I only read what’s in it and if there are chemicals and a bunch of crap in it, then I’m probably not going to be putting it in my mouth.” She and her growing family try to eat as organic as possible with lots of fish, veggies, fruit and whole grains, including Ezekiel Sprouted Bread, brown rice or quinoa pastas.

Kristin’s strict exercise regimen has also been dialed back a bit with baby on board. “I’m not as hard on myself about going four to five times a week and when I do workout, I don’t work out as hard as I typically do,” she says. Lately she’s been taking Pilates twice a week, followed by 15 minutes on the Stairmaster and a half-hour of light weight training. “The bigger I get, I’ll probably start yoga again,” Kristin says, adding that she enjoyed hitting the mat when she was pregnant with Camden. Another fun way she gets the family moving: Ubisoft’s hit video game Just Dance 2014. “It’s such a fun, silly way to fit in exercise,” she exclaims. “We’re big fans of ‘Get Lucky’ by Daft Punk.” Talk about a fun way to burn off that slice of apple crisp!

Cutting down on gym time has surely freed up some time for her other passions. For one, she’s been having fun cheering on the Bears—even though a few years back she wasn’t much of a football fan at all. “I didn’t even know who Jay was when I met him!” she told us. “I’ve learned a lot in the last few years.” (And on that note, we’re sending speedy recovery vibes Jay’s way, who’s been sidelined battling an ankle injury.)

She’s also been killing it in the fashion industry with her own jewelry collection and Chinese Laundry shoe line. “Shoes for me were always my obsession, so to have my own line was really a dream come true,” explains Cavallari. “The jewelry came next—accessories are just so fun and there’s a ton you can do.” Her one piece of advice for those interested in becoming your own boss? “You’re going to get a lot of ‘no’s’ but you can’t let that discourage you. You have to keep going and if you really believe in something and love it, then stick with it.” We couldn’t agree more.

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Tackle Healthy Tailgating With Top Chef Stefan Richter

Written on November 21, 2013 at 11:44 am , by

The pro’s tailgate time-saving trick: caramelize onions the night before the game for sweet flavor, sans stress. (Photo courtesy of Stefan Richter)

Hot dogs, nachos and burgers are tailgate staples but can lead to healthy practice turnovers. Topping them off with calorie-dense condiments and cocktails? Game over. Cheer on your favorite team (and your own self-control) with these three guilt-free swaps from Top Chef contestant and Stefan’s at L.A. Farm Chef/owner Stefan Richter. Winning never tasted so good.

Add Flavor, Not Fat. “Everyone loves Sloppy Joes!” Richter says. Use lean ground turkey meat instead of beef and add in your favorite veggies like onion, green pepper and metabolism-boosting habanero. “The spicier, the better.” Spoon onto a toasted whole-grain bun from your local bakery and you’re ready for kickoff!

Re-Think Your Drink. What kind of six-pack do you really want? Forget the heavy brews and try Richter’s crowd pleaser: Mulled Cider. “Mix together two quarts apple cider, two allspice berries, a tablespoon of brown sugar and a sliced apple and orange,” he suggests. Lightly simmer on the grill then serve, spiking with a rum or bourbon of your choice for a hot toddy.

On the Light Side. German coleslaw is a must for this Finland native who spent the majority of his childhood in Germany. “We don’t use a mayonnaise base,” he explains. Start by combining a bag of shredded cabbage with chopped onion and green pepper. “For the sauce, boil a cup of brown sugar, a cup of white vinegar, a sprinkle of celery seeds and a half a cup of oil.” Pour over the veggie mix and chill for a refreshing, better version of the unhealthy stuff.

Want to add a festive flair to your football foods? ‘Tis the season to sport your spirit by serving and eating from plates of your team’s colors and logo. “Tailgating is paper plates and Solo cups,” the chef explains. “Why make a mess out of something that’s quick, fun and easy?” Now that deserves a touchdown dance. Hut, hut, hike!

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Music Monday: Christina Aguilera Knows How to Work It (Not to Be Confused with Twerk It)

Written on November 11, 2013 at 1:08 pm , by

After watching season 3 of The Voice, I wasn’t sure I wanted to hop on the Christina Aguilera bandwagon. Her actions and clothes were a bit too provocative for my taste; she seemed to be grasping for attention. But after taking a step back from the show in season 4 with fellow coach Cee Lo Green, and reportedly spending more time with her family, the megastar is back for season 5 with a vengeance and I could not be more in love. Her look is more classic, the advice she doles out is top notch and she seems to really care about the contestants. Although we got a glimpse of Xtina’s season 3 behavior in last week’s performance of “How I Feel” with Flo Rida (girl wants to show she’s still got sass!), she reeled me back in with her performance of “Say Something” with A Great Big World the following night.

While I could go on and on about my reignited love for the singer (I mean, I did grow up working it to “Genie in a Bottle”), it’s her svelte figure that I’m going gaga over. And it turns out you are, too – you told us one thing you’re most curious about is how she slimmed down. Ask, and you shall receive! Reports say she’s worked with trainer Tee Sorge to peel off the pounds, citing yoga and hiking as two of the fat-blasters that worked for her. We personally recommend this yoga routine, where you’ll burn 500+ cals in a speedy 45 minutes.

We’re not sure if she jams to her own tunes (after all, sometimes LL Cool J catches his own hits), but I certainly will. Download these old and new hits to your next rise-and-grind playlist. There’s something about “Fighter” that’s guaranteed to bring out your inner badass.

L.L. Cool J Brings His “A” Game to New Passion Project

Written on October 31, 2013 at 12:06 pm , by

The Hip-Hop Station on Pandora is L.L.’s go-to when it comes to workouts beats. So is it strange when one of his own songs come on mid-sweatfest? “Only when I hear things I should have done better.” (Photo courtesy of Marion Curtis/StarPix)

Dedication. That’s the name of the game for Grammy-winning rapper, entrepreneur and actor L.L. Cool J. Whether he’s memorizing lines for his Navy SEAL turned NCIS operative character (Sam Hanna) on NCIS: Los Angeles or hitting the gym, L.L. is committed to giving it his all—and then some.

Finding the time for a healthy balance is his secret. “You just have to be willing to get [to the gym] when you can fit it,” says Cool J. With long-time trainer Dave “Scooter” Honig, one of Hollywood’s fittest musician sticks to a rigorous routine bursting with burpees, sprints, pushups, hanging abs, running mans and more. Hello, tank top-ready guns! And according to the multi-talented artist, there’s no excuse for skipping a sweat sesh. “It could be late at night when I get home around midnight, or early in the morning, like 3 or 4 a.m. I just try to figure it out,” he explains, adding that he couldn’t live without protein shakes, oatmeal, tuna and chicken breasts when it comes to refueling.

It certainly helps that fitness is a family affair. “Everyone loves getting to the gym and understands the importance of it, without a doubt,” the father of four shares. “[My kids] grew up seeing me work out like a maniac!” But many children aren’t nearly as lucky to have such a fit and fabulous role model, which is why Cool J teamed up with After-School All-Stars (ASAS).

The organization, which provides youth the tools they need for success through skill development programs coupled with athletic and academic competitions, struck a chord. “It’s great because when I think about how I grew up and where I come from, you know, after-school programs are super duper important,” he explains, hinting at his personal childhood struggles. “ACE Brand Sports Medicine Products just launched the ‘A’ Game Challenge. They’re paying it forward.”

In celebration of youth athletics, the trio created this video entry contest to inspire youngsters to showcase their outstanding athletic skills for a $10,000 scholarship. Learn more about the initiative with ASAS here and if you know any interested participants, be sure to submit their all-star moment by November 15.

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How Maria Menounos Stays Healthy with Basically No Workout Time

Written on October 17, 2013 at 1:29 pm , by

 

Maria loves cooking with cranberries during the holidays. (Photo courtesy of Jon Simon/Feature Photo Service)

Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern

Actress, television personality and writer Maria Menounos has a lot on her plate. From filming her reality TV show Chasing Maria Menounos, which debuts on the Oxygen Network early next year, to writing her new book, The Every Girl’s Guide to Diet and Fitness (out April 2014), this fit lady admits that her workouts have taken a backseat to her workload over the past couple of months. However, she looks as healthy and fit as ever! We met up with Menounos outside Ocean Spray’s cranberry bog in the middle of Rockefeller Center, where she let us in on her diet and fitness tricks for when a workout just won’t fit into her day.

Menounos’ early fitness journey involved losing 40 pounds slowly and steadily over the course of 11 months, but the best part is that she manages to keep it off with smart eating strategies. “When I was losing my weight, I did a lot of things that would spike my metabolism,” says Menounos. Hot peppers and spicy foods frequented her plate to keep that internal engine revving throughout the day.

She also swears by the power of hot water, which can be surprisingly useful, accessible and, you know, free. “It’s de-stressing, it’s detoxifying, it helps digest the food in your stomach, and it really helps you stay full so that you know when you actually are hungry,” she says. “A lot of times you’ll see something and think you’re hungry, but you’re thirsty and just think you’re hungry.”

Besides bringing the heat, Menounos suggests simply eating as clean as you can and abiding by a 75-25 rule. “I don’t deprive myself of anything, so I don’t necessarily crave things,” says Menounos. “Like, yesterday I was in the airport and I wanted some M&Ms, and I’m not going to feel guilty because it’s rare for me to eat that. If you stick to the 75-25 rule and eat 75 percent clean, then you have a little wiggle room.”

And don’t forget the cranberries! She loves tossing a handful of craisins into her salads and cooking with them around the holidays. “A lot of women know the obvious benefits of cranberries, but I actually used it on my dog once to cure bladder stones,” says Menounos. “I know it sounds weird, but it works!”

Since her hectic schedule does not allow time for daily sweat sessions, Menounos does what she calls “convenience conditioning.” “I keep a pedometer on me at all times and I make sure that I’m tracking my steps. So if I’m getting 10,000 steps a day, I know that I’m still going to be able to maintain my weight, be healthy and try to ride through those periods where I can’t work out,” she says. When she does find the time, however, she takes her workouts outdoors. From hiking to shooting hoops, Menounos sticks to activities best enjoyed in the fresh air. Now that’s something we can get on board with!

More from FITNESS:

3 Ways to Enjoy Cranberries

Maria Menounos’ Krav Maga Workout

Harley Pasternak’s No-Gym Workout Tips  

HGTV’s Property Brothers Face-Off In a FITNESS Competition: Who’s the Better Brother?

Written on October 16, 2013 at 12:56 pm , by

If you’re anything like me, then you agree that there’s not much better than cozying up on the couch after a tough workout, flipping to the HGTV channel and watching two cute twins help people find a diamond-in-the-rough house, fix ‘er up and present a dream home – all within a budget that the new homeowners decide on. Of course, I’m talking about one of HGTV’s most popular shows, Property Brothers, featuring Jonathan and Drew Scott. The guys have been in the business since they were 18 (making a $50K profit on their first home), but they’ve had plenty of other things on their plate over the years. Fun fact: Drew – the real estate expert – was a personal trainer and has a degree in Kinesiology!

“Both Jonathan and I coached karate, basketball and volleyball in high school,” explains Drew. “So I studied kinesiology, fully planning on becoming a PE teacher, which ended up turning into me being a personal trainer instead.”

Watch the videos below to find out why the Property Brothers are wearing those ridiculous outfits, and who’s more skilled with a hula hoop.

While he’s the gym junkie of the duo, Jonathan does his fair share of heavy lifting for work – after all, he is tearing down walls and putting them back up. And you might just catch him jamming to Hilary Duff while hammering away (no, we’re not kidding). Most embarrassing song on his playlist? “A remake of  ‘Reach Out,’” he says. “It’s a really great song!” As for what’s pulsing through Drew’s earbuds, it’s a healthy mix of Miley Cyrus (now we know where Jonathan gets his wrecking ball and twerking inspiration from), Muse and…Tony Robbins’ motivational clips.

“I played Drew’s playlist once and he’s got good music playing,” says Jonathan. “There’s a country song here, pop there and all of a sudden it goes to, ‘You are a great person. And people like you.’”

Drew quickly interjects, explaining those are Robbins’ tracks. “It’s not like I have myself on my recorder saying, ‘Drew, you’re amazing. People love you. I accept you.’ I get made fun of all the time because I’m a motivated individual.”

That motivation is a big part of the brothers’ success. Tune in to HGTV a few nights a week because you’ll find them more than once. There’s the aforementioned Property Brothers, then they have Buying and Selling and their latest competition show, Brother vs. Brother. So why three shows? “Every one’s a little bit different,” explains Jonathan. “I like that they’re all the perfect compliment to the others. On Property Brothers, I get to do the biggest designs, and they’re my designs, so I love that aspect of it. Whereas on Brother vs. Brother, we’re more just mentoring these contestants, and it’s completely up to them to make the decisions and mistakes, and of course, there a lot of mistakes.”

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Spice Up Healthy Cooking (Fast!) with Food Network’s Robin Miller

Written on October 15, 2013 at 10:47 am , by

Don’t have enough time to make quick fix meals? “Just try one thing and see how it goes,” Robin says. Are you up to the challenge? You got it!

Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern

Healthy cooking becomes a chore when it involves extensive ingredient lists, advanced preparation and lengthy cooking times. Lucky for us, Food Network’s Robin Miller has made it her mission to help us simplify the process so we can spend more time enjoying our food with the people we love most. Her latest book, Robin Takes 5 for Busy Families, offers a wide variety of 5-ingredient recipes for breakfast, lunch, snacks and gluten-free dishes that taste gourmet with little work required on your end. During a recent visit to New York City, Robin dished how she keeps every meal quick, healthy and delicious so pull up a seat and dig into this!

What inspired your career in educating others on how to make quick and healthy meals for themselves and their families?

My kids, to put it simply. Before kids, I had all morning or all afternoon to deglaze, caramelize, test recipes and play in the kitchen. After kids, I didn’t have that amount of time, but I still wanted those flavors. It was my goal to create delicious meals that I can enjoy with my family in minimal time with minimal ingredients. I didn’t want to sacrifice flavor, but I wanted to get to the table faster and then spend more time there.

What do you find to be the greatest challenge with quick and healthy cooking?

I can’t start making dinner at 6 o’clock at night, chopping the onions and the mushrooms and the carrots, or deciding what to cook. So I like to plan ahead. I don’t do a week’s worth of meals on Saturday, but I’ll say in the morning, “What can I do today that’s going to make tonight easier?” And I find that that’s other people’s struggle, too, finding time in their head to prep ahead so that they can make meal time easier during the week. I like meal time to almost be assemble and serve, not start from scratch and wait.

Now that summer is over, how do you cope with the more limited selection of fresh fall and winter produce in your cooking?

I still feel like there are plenty of delicious produce items that are available throughout the fall and winter. We’re getting into grapefruits and oranges and other really nutritious fruits. The acorn squash, butternut squash and spaghetti squash are phenomenal. They’re loaded with nutrients and just scream fall. Also, frozen vegetables and fruits that don’t have any sugar or butter added and they are quickly frozen at the peak of their ripeness, which is at the peak of their nutrient value. So you should never feel guilty about going down the frozen vegetable and fruit aisle and loading up on that stuff too. I have plenty in my freezer, because I like to add them to soups and stews. They have all the nutrients I would hope to get from a farmer’s market or something I just got at the grocery store. They’re so convenient—always there in your freezer and ready to go.

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Music Monday: The Latest Miley-Obsessed Trend We’re On Board With

Written on October 14, 2013 at 1:45 pm , by

Ever since that notorious VMAs performance, people cannot stop talking about Miley Cyrus. And I’m no exception: every time I see a link about her latest antics pop up in my newsfeed, you know I’m clicking through to see what’s up. While I’m shaking my head most of the time, and I may not agree with all of her – eh hem – visual antics, the girl’s got me hooked. Which, of course, is the point. She’s even got me jamming to her music on my late-night runs, and no matter how ridiculous I find the music videos to be (I really want Michael Jordan to weigh in on “23″), I will admit to being mildly obsessed with “Wrecking Ball.”

But the latest Miley trend? Combining forces with other musicians, whether she knows about it beforehand or not. We’re talking mash-ups, collaborations, spoofs and covers. In case you’ve missed out on the good, the bad, and the absolutely hilarious, I’ve rounded up my faves. Get watching, and then maybe mix a few tracks from Bangerz into your playlist. Girl may be cray-cray, but her voice is motivating.

Miley and Mumford & Sons mash-up to create “Little Wrecking Ball.” Now this is a video I can actually get behind. And adding Miley’s power-ballad vocals on top of Mumford’s fast-strumming, bluegrass beats was brilliant.

Jimmy Fallon, Miley and The Roots sing an acoustic version of “We Can’t Stop,” and it’s set up Brady-bunch style. Genius.

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Misty May-Treanor Keeps Her Eye On The Prize With New Partner

Written on October 14, 2013 at 9:50 am , by

Oh, you know. Misty kickin’ glass, per usual! (Photo courtesy of VSP Vision Care)

Gauging the speed, distance and spin of an opponent’s 60+ mph serve is crucial in the game of volleyball — especially when you’re three-time Olympic gold medalist Misty May-Treanor. That’s why she never messed around with her astigmatism and far sightedness. “Growing up, I always got an annual eye exam,” she told us as she kicked off VSP Vision Care’s five day-long free screenings in Atlanta, GA last week in honor of yesterday’s World Sight Day. “It’s important for people to maintain their eye health. Many people don’t have vision insurance for their eye care needs.” And by many people, around 210,000 Atlanta residents are currently without coverage.

Giving back by hosting the largest free eye care event in the U.S. during the controversy surrounding Obamacare and the current government is just one of the projects Misty has up her sleeve now that she’s retired from international competition. “This is one way that I can lend my voice to help others in the community,” she says. “I’m also coaching and trying to start a family.”  So what about playing the game? Of course she can’t keep herself off the court! “I still play for fun,” she says, spilling that her fit routine is focused more now on low-impact exercises with lighter weight training than she endured pre-Olympics. And don’t think that just because she’s not sporting those skimpy (but awesome) uni’s she has given up on staying strong with that killer muscle tone. Her current goal? “To burn as many calories as I can so that I can eat whatever I want at Thanksgiving,” she jokes.

With Sochi right around the corner, Misty looks forward to cheering on the good ol’ U.S. of A. “A lot of the winter sports are foreign to me,” she admits. “I didn’t grow up a skier or ever go to a luge competition, but they’re just as exciting to watch.” Her favorite to watch? Figure skating, although bobsled and hockey are close seconds. Don’t expect this decorated Olympian (she keeps her medals safe in their boxes in a “secret place”) to get sentimental, though. “I’ve gone through four Olympics and it’s nice to take a break from competition and be able to focus on other aspects of my life, which I think makes you a more well-rounded person,” Misty says.

For more information on the importance of annual eye exams, check out VSP Vision Care’s website. Be sure to talk to your local optometrist about early detection for vision problems and other potential chronic diseases linked to eye health, too.

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Hot Beach Body Secrets from Volleyball Players
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Volleyball Pro Misty May-Treanor’s Fuel-Up Tips and Recipes

Actor Taye Diggs Dishes on His New Children’s Book, Staying Fit as a Family and ‘Baggage Claim’

Written on October 2, 2013 at 2:45 pm , by

Taye Diggs not only pens children’s books, he helps kiddos get their hands on them, too! (Photo courtesy of Kellogg’s)

You watched him heat up the small screen as Dr. Sam Bennett on Private Practice, and now you can catch him in his latest romantic comedy, Baggage Claim, as part of a star-studded cast (you’ll see the likes of Paula Patton, aka wife to one-half of the VMA twerking fiasco, Tia Mowry and Adam Brody). But what really fires up Taye Diggs happens behind-the scenes, in a place much closer to home – the school systems. Fun fact: Diggs is also the children’s book author of “Chocolate Me,”and he’s teamed up with Kellogg’s and Scholastic to get more reading material in kids’ hands.

With a four-year-old of his own, it seems like just the right time for Diggs to get involved. “I grew up reading a ridiculous amount when I was a kid, and now I read to my kid three or four times a day,” he told us during a visit to the FITNESS offices. “Childhood literacy is very important. Two-thirds of every family in poverty doesn’t have books, so we’re just trying to get everybody involved and put an end to that.”

How, exactly, can we help then? In one of two ways:

  1. Buy any Kellogg’s product, and visit kelloggsfreebook.com to enter the Great Starts, Great Stories codes you’ll find on the inside flap of the box. For each code entered, Kellogg’s will send you a free book that you can keep or donate. Up to 200,000 books will go to schools, homes and communities.
  2. Participate in the Frosted Mini Wheats Mini Missions program, and earn free scholastic books and the chance to win a sweepstakes for books and grants for your community.

We’ve all heard of Kellogg’s, and the company does a lot to give back, clearly. But when it comes right down to it, we wanted to know: out of all the cereal brands, why partner with this one? “It was what we grew up on,” Diggs says. “For my family, it was like a weekend delicacy. My father would mix up the different cereals – a lot of the time it would be Rice Krispies and Corn Flakes because it had a little less sugar.” And as far as eating as a family goes, there’s zero negotiation for the actor. “I didn’t realize how much of an impact a simple meal could have until I had Walker,” he says. “But now that’s a time, either as a family or just daddy-son time, that you don’t get during any other time of the day. For us, we talk about dreams or nightmares he had the night before, or what we’re going to do for the rest of the day. We can check in with each other. Not to mention, that’s when he’s the most cute. When he wakes up.” Cue a round of aww’s, please!

But reading and eating a morning meal together aren’t the only things the star does with his son. They get their sweat on together, too (which begins to explain that, um, enviable physique). “I’m trying to gently massage the importance of staying healthy and in shape. He likes looking at big muscles, so I use that as a bribe. I’ll say, ‘If you want those, you have to eat your protein, eat your vegetables, do a couple push-ups and stretch out.’” When he’s not, er, bribing the boy, they’re doing fun activities together, like running and soccer. And on top of that, Diggs manages to fit in his own workouts – think basketball, tennis and weight lifting – to stay in tip-top shape for his acting gigs. Maybe we’ll see him as an athlete in his next role? “Someone asked my son what I did for a living, and he said, ‘He changes into shorts and he plays basketball!’ Because I always go from the gym to work, so he rarely hears me say I’m going to work. It was pretty funny.”

Sounds like Diggs is a pro at leading by example. For more of his tips on getting active with your own kiddos, watch this:

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Your Age-by-Age Fit Family Guide

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