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Boxing Legend Laila Ali Shares Her Best Fit and Foodie Secrets

Written on June 20, 2013 at 9:48 am , by

 

Laila Ali takes charge of her health. Your turn. (Photo courtesy of Brian Ach/Associated Press for Pfizer)

Written by Chloe Metzger, editorial intern

Boxing champ and fitness expert Laila Ali (you know, daughter of the Muhammad Ali) may have retired from the ring six years ago, but that doesn’t mean her fighting days are done. The mom of two is now battling a new opponent: age.

Laila has teamed up with Pfizer’s “Get Old” campaign to redefine the way we think about health as we grow older, explaining how wellness today will impact our tomorrows. “It’s a simple message,” says Ali. “How great is it to be preventative when you’re young, before you do get older and do start having problems?” And as the undefeated Super Middleweight Champion of our generation, she definitely knows her way around fit living. We chatted with the athlete to find out how she conquers motherhood, health and her hectic schedule…without feeling old.

You’re a mom, an author, a cook and a fitness fanatic. Wow! With such a busy agenda, how do you find time to exercise?

Being a mom makes it harder. I can’t just do what I want, when I want, so I have to really make sure that it’s a priority to get my workout in early. Some days, I just don’t make it; there’s too much going on and I can’t do it, but I don’t beat myself up about it. I focus more on my health because I’m getting older and I want to make sure that I’m thinking about being here for my kids and living a long life.

Very wise. Other than being busy, how has your workout routine changed since you hung up your gloves?

I was boxing before I had kids, so the difference is that I’m not a professional athlete anymore, when it was my job to train. Before, I had to do it in order to compete. Now, I don’t. Instead of boxing, I’m doing things that other people do, like running, Spinning and Pilates. I’m trying new things that I’m not necessarily going to injure myself trying to do.

If you could only do one boxing move for the rest of your life to keep fit and toned, what would that be?

Hit the heavy bags! That’s what we do—we punch. I’m hitting something; it’s not a person, it’s a bag, and I can do everything that I’ve learned. I can do a jab or an uppercut, and I’m working my full body.

A big congrats, by the way, on making it to the final round on Chopped: All Stars! What’s your favorite memory from the show?

The whole entire show was fun, but being competitive again was great. I love being competitive—that’s my thing. Make it a competition and I’m in it all the way.

What healthy snack do you love to quickly whip up?

If I have a sweet tooth, it’s going to be Greek yogurt. I’ll sprinkle on a little bit of Xylitol, a sugar replacement, to sweeten it. Because if you buy yogurt sweetened, there’s a lot of sugar in it. So I get the plain Greek yogurt and add a little bit of fruit; maybe some granola and nuts. If I want vegetables, I’ll probably do kale—bake it and make kale chips.

Yum! We love Greek yogurt. And kale. So now that you’ve finished Chopped, what can we expect from you next?

I’m getting into the cooking space. That’s part of the reason I went on Chopped. That was a great experience for me; it gave me a lot of credibility. I would love to do a cooking lifestyle show. I also have a line of hair-styling tools. I have a lot going on!

More from FITNESS:
Take the Crazy Out of Busy: How to Live a Balanced Life

FITNESS Fans Interview Ted Allen of Chopped!

Kickboxing Workout: Sculpt Muscles and Blast Fat

Save Lives and Look Stylish on World Blood Donor Day

Written on June 13, 2013 at 2:52 pm , by

Forget boring bandaids. (Photo courtesy of Nexcare gives)

Written by Chloe Metzger, editorial intern

We like to think that each and every one of you exercises regularly, eats five servings of fruits and veggies daily, and gets adequate amounts of sleep at night (right?!). But how many of you regularly donate blood? Maybe not quite as many.

During the summer months, the nation’s blood supply often dips dangerously low as vacation and travel plans soar. So in celebration of tomorrow’s World Blood Donor Day, Nexcare give has partnered with the American Red Cross spokesperson and actress Soleil Moon Frye to launch a season-inspired collection of Nexcare give bandages, reminding you that “it’s always in season to give blood.” This week only, anyone who donates blood at participating American Red Cross locations can score free samples of the bandage collection, and of course, save a few lives at the same time.

Not a bad way to end the week, huh?

To find a blood center near you, check out the Nexcare give Facebook page and donate ASAP. Just this one time, your workout can wait.

More from FITNESS:

Hot Topic Tuesday: Are You An Organ Donor?

Will Walking Help Lower My Blood Pressure?

How to Eat for a Healthy Heart

The Health Initiative Close to Vanessa Williams’ Heart

Written on June 7, 2013 at 11:17 am , by

The diet tip Vanessa swears by: Don’t keep unhealthy options in your house. “You’re going to torture yourself!”

As an actress, singer, dancer, author, model and mother, Vanessa Williams puts a triple-threat to shame. No wonder she looks so darn good at 50! Since being crowned the first African American to be crowned Miss America back in 1983, Vanessa has conquered television (Ugly Betty, Desperate Housewives and 666 Park Avenue, to name a few) and the big screen. Most recently, she returned to the Broadway stage in “The Trip to Bountiful.” But a busy life of fame and fortune doesn’t stand in Vanessa’s way for one of her biggest passion projects: spreading heart health awareness. With loved ones affected by heart disease, she turned to Bayer and WomenHeart to make a difference. We sat down with the starlet to learn more about how a simple handbag item can save lives and—of course—found out her age defying secrets. Read on for the full interview.

What inspired you to connect with Bayer aspirin in this whole initiative of the Handbags and Hearts?

I’ve been involved with heart issues for probably 10 years now. My grandmother died at 28 of a heart attack, my other grandmother died at 64 of a heart attack and so I’ve always been pretty vocal about women’s health issues—especially heart disease. They approached me about starting the campaign for Handbags and Hearts to increase the awareness of the correlation, being the number one killer for women, but also to have people—especially women—carry aspirin in their handbags, their purse, their pocketbooks. That’s important. And also to have women know that our symptoms are different than men’s. We want to drive people to the website so they can see what the symptoms are, be aware of them. Obviously if there is an issue, the first thing they need to do is call 911, but go in their bag and grab an aspirin because it’s shown that it helps to reduce further damage to the heart once a heart attack actually happens to you. It helps save lives. It’s been a fantastic partnership with WomenHeart and Bayer. Every person that pledges and every woman that goes online to pledge at the site, they’re going to donate up to $200,000.

Besides aspirin, how do you personally boost your heart health?

Cardio—I work out all the time. I mix it up, whether its treadmill at my house, or riding bikes. Recently, I’ve been doing in LA a gym called Body Theory, and there’s a class called “Drench.” You are literally drenched by the time you finish it! It’s an hour and a half of pure cardio and weights, which is fantastic and I’m obsessed with. In NY, I do at Westchester MMA a heavy bag fit class, which is everything from jumping rope to a lot of boot camp exercises. But then you tape up your hands—you do wraps—put your boxing gloves on and you fight a heavy bag, one of those big six-foot bags. You do combinations of that—kicks and punches. I like to mix it up.

So staying fit as a busy mother on four, killing it on Broadway…that must be really tough. How do you keep up with fitness and healthy food on-the-go?

You make time for it. Sometimes, you can’t. If you cant make it to the gym, try to get on a treadmill. If you cant get into the gym or to a treadmill, try walking. Try to do something for at least (for me) 45 minutes to an hour in a day, just to feel energized, and feel like my body is woken up, that I’ve felt all the endorphins, then start my day. And I like to work out in the morning—I can’t do afternoon or evening workouts. I need to do it in the morning. Get it done, start my day, feel the adrenaline. But you have to make time. Same thing with food. You have to make an effort. My biggest tip is to not have anything that I don’t want to eat in my house. It’s one thing when you know there are cookies that are calling your name and you know that every time you walk by the cupboard, they’re there and you’re battling with yourself—should I open it, should I not, should I have one…you’re going to torture yourself. So don’t have them in your house. As soon as, if I get a basket or gift bag filled with something delicious that I know I don’t want to wipe out the entire thing, I’ll bring it to the cast and say, “Put it on the green room table, enjoy!” I’ll have one and walk out of the room so I don’t have to wrestle with should I or should I not. Because food is good! It’s easy to make healthy choices, too. Living in this country, there are so many opportunities for anything, anything online, for sure. I fast, I do juice cleanses maybe three times a year. I’ve done BluePrint for probably five years. But that’s always great to kind of reboot your system, especially if you feel sluggish or a bit toxic like after holidays—you just want to clean yourself out and start fresh.

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Prepare to Be a Hero During National CPR Week

Written on June 4, 2013 at 12:44 pm , by

Use this hand position while performing CPR. (Image courtesy of the American Heart Association)

Did you know…

  • Nearly 360,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur annually in the United States, accounting for 80 percent of total cardiac arrest cases.
  • About 90 percent of people who experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital die because they don’t receive immediate CPR from someone on the scene.
  • Only 41 percent of people who experience a cardiac arrest get the immediate help that they need before emergency help arrives.

For these reasons and more, the American Heart Association wants you to brush up on your skills now during National CPR Week (June 1-7). According to the AHA, CPR can double, and perhaps even triple, the likelihood of survival of someone whose heart has stopped. Think about it: if you do nothing, nothing has a chance to improve!

If you’re turned off by the traditional idea of CPR including mouth-to-mouth, fear not. Updated recommendations promote a hands-only method, which has only two steps:

  1. Call 9-1-1.
  2. Push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of the disco song “Stayin’ Alive.”

Are you CPR-certified? If so, post the AHA’s hand image above on your social media accounts or share pictures of your own hands in the #CPRReady position. If not, stop sitting on the sidelines and find a course near you!

More from FITNESS:

Salads That Boost Your Energy

Written on May 27, 2013 at 12:30 pm , by

Photo by Dole Salads

Sherry vinaigrette over arugla with red peppers. Photo courtesy of Dole Salads.

By Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD

You’ve just eaten lunch and BAM—the desire to take a nap hits you like a ton of bricks. If your mid-day meals are dragging you down, swap in one of these energizing salads instead of your usual fare.

With the help of The Dole Taste of Spain Salads,  I have posted 31 salad recipes throughout May. Below are the final 5 delicious salads, each focused on giving you a shot of natural energy to get the most out of your day.

Sherry Vinaigrette Salad w/ Serrano Ham Breadsticks & Roasted Red Peppers

ENERGY BOOST: Red Peppers. The vitamin C in red peppers helps absorb iron in greens for healthy red blood cells – which carry energizing oxygen throughout the body.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pkg. (5 oz.) DOLE® Spring Mix
  • 8 pieces roasted red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 8 paper thin slices Serrano ham or Prosciutto
  • 8 thin breadsticks

Sherry Vinaigrette Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 6 tablespoons of olive oil
  • salt and pepper (optional)

DIRECTIONS 

  1. Make dressing: Whisk together sherry vinegar, shallot and Dijon mustard. Slowly whisk in olive oil until blended. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. (Makes about 3/4 cup.)
  2. Toss spring mix with sherry vinaigrette to taste; add roasted red peppers.
  3. Place piece of ham on a flat work surface, such as a cutting board. Wrap tightly around a breadstick. Repeat with remaining breadsticks.
  4. Divide salad evenly among plates; place 2 ham breadsticks on each plate. Drizzle with additional dressing, if desired. Serve immediately.
Serves 4. Serving size: 1/4 recipe. 290 calories and 23g fat per serving.

Here are more Energizing Salad recipes:

1. Romaine Salad with Orange, Feta & Beans
ENERGY BOOST: Beans. Their high fiber & protein content work to regulate blood sugar to prevent energy spikes & crashes.

2. Nouveau Nicoise
ENERGY BOOST: Potatoes. Their unprocessed, smart carb content gives a dose of time-released energy.

3. Arugula & Avocado Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette
ENERGY BOOST: Grapefruit. Its high water content hydrates and its fresh, invigorating flavor acts as a natural perk-me-up.

4. Grilled Shrimp Salad with Green Tea Citrus Dressing
ENERGY BOOST: Green Tea. The caffeine in green tea provides a subtle, gentle energy without a jittery side effect.

About the Author: Dawn Jackson Blatner, RDN, CSSD is a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified specialist in sports nutrition based in Chicago. She is the author of The Flexitarian Diet. Dawn is working with Dole throughout the month of May to inspire more salad eating.

Summer Entertaining Salads

Written on May 21, 2013 at 12:25 pm , by

Photo courtesy of Dole Salads.

Grilled peaches and goat cheese are mixed into this yummy spinach salad. Photo courtesy of Dole Salads.

By Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD

You know the usual suspects at all the backyard barbeque: burgers, chicken, potato salad, chips and dip. Add a pop of creativity—and health—to your next summer soiree by throwing together a colorful veggie-inspired salad.

With the help of The Dole Taste of Spain Salads, I am posting 31 salad recipes throughout the month of May—enough for a different salad every day. This week, the 7 featured recipes are perfect for summer entertaining and sharing with friends.

Below are salad recipes and some healthy entertaining tips to give your party a punch of flavor, creativity and nutrition. Enjoy!

Spinach Salad with Grilled Peaches & Goat Cheese


ENTERTAINING TIP: Serve grilled fruit in a salad and/or as a dessert with a scoop of fro-yo. Fruits that grill well include peaches, plums, nectarines, pineapple and bananas.
INGREDIENTS

  • 3 peaches, halved and pitted
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 package (6 ounces) DOLE Baby Spinach
  • 6 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt & black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat grill (or grill pan) over medium heat.
  2. Mist peaches with cooking spray.
  3. Grill peaches flesh side down for 4 minutes (until grill marks appear & they easily come off grill grates).
  4. Flip and grill another 3 minutes (until tender).
  5. Let peaches cool and then cut each peach half into 6 slices.
  6. Toss spinach with vinegar, salt and pepper. Top with peaches, goat cheese and pecans.

Serves 6. Serving size: 1.5 cups. 110 calories and 6g fat per serving.

Here are  more Summer Entertaining Salad recipes. Check back next week for a new round of salads!

Toasted Pita & Bean Salad
ENTERTAINING TIP: Have a vegetarian option for those with special dietary needs. This is a filling veggie-friendly salad for your non-meat eating guests.

Mexican Coleslaw
ENTERTAINING TIP: Serve slaw as a side on its own or as a nutritious & crunchy burger or fish taco topper.

Grilled Smokey Eggplant Salad 
ENTERTAINING TIP: Get your veggies party-ready by dressing them up with flavorful herbs & spices – this salad uses smoky paprika for a Spanish-flare.

Banh Mi Chopped Salad 
ENTERTAINING TIP: Entertain guests with an Asian inspired salad – have chopsticks available for those who want a more interactive & authentic experience.

Tempeh Taco Salad 
ENTERTAINING TIP: Lighten up your fiesta by serving a taco salad instead of tacos. Tempeh is a simple & healthy vegetarian swap for ground beef.

Orzo Salad with Artichoke, Tomato, Red Onion & Capers
ENTERTAINING TIP: Change up your standard pasta salad by swapping to a different pasta shape & vary your veggies. This recipe uses orzo pasta tossed with Mediterranean flavors.

About the Author: Dawn Jackson Blatner, RDN, CSSD is a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified specialist in sports nutrition based in Chicago. She is the author of The Flexitarian Diet. Dawn is working with Dole throughout the month of May to inspire more salad eating.

4 Tips for Top-Notch Health

Written on May 16, 2013 at 3:31 am , by

Chris Mohr Fitness

Dr. Christopher Mohr, PhD RD is a nutrition spokesperson and co-founder of MohrResults.com with his wife, Dr. Kara Mohr, PhD.

I am surrounded by estrogen.

My wife and I have two daughters. We run Mohr Results Women Only Fitness Boot Camp. I am a Registered Dietitian, a profession that is 97% female. And I currently have pink toenails after our almost 4 year-old thought it would be fun to “paint daddy’s toenails like mine.”

It’s fitting, then, that I would be writing about ways to celebrate YOU — for National Women’s Health Week.  Of course, at Fitness magazine, every week is women’s health week…but now the rest of the country jumped on board and this whole week has officially been a week to celebrate YOU.

So: How do YOU celebrate YOU?

Taking care of your body from the inside out (and the outside in) is surely a great start. That means fueling your body with quality nutrients to perform at your peak, physically and mentally.  Physically, it may be at the gym and/or playing mom and chasing little ones around all day.  Mentally, it may be at the office and THEN chasing little ones around all day.

Regardless, the foods you fuel your body with can make or break you.  After all, don’t you want to have the most energy possible instead of wanting to curl up and excuse yourself from the rest of the world?

Here are 4 ways to support your health:

1. Two words: Move. More.  We are not meant to sit all day, every day.  If you work a traditional 9-5 type job, though, this is exactly what happens.

2. Hydrate. Your goal is to drink half your body weight in ounces (if you weigh 150 pounds, that is 75 ounces, or around 9 cups of water daily). Try adding some citrus fruit to water, or a splash of juice to seltzer, to make it more appealing.

3. Snack smart. Eating frequent meals can keep your energy up, curb cravings and help feed your body the fuel it needs to chase after kids, stay focused at work or whatever it may be. The key is that snacks should: 1) include some protein, 2) include healthy fats, 3) be convenient 4) include fiber (bonus!).

KIND Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate + Protein (OMG!) is one of our faves—it has a little added protein boost, healthy fat AND 3 grams of fiber all packaged in convenient awesomeness.  These are awesome because they A) taste great, B) offer satisfying protein and fiber C) provide healthy fats.

4. Fuel Your Body with Fresh, Quality Foods.  This is an important one.  Outside of the snacks you choose, the other meals you eat are important too.  Start with a quality breakfast (eggs, oats, a homemade smoothie, or even just a piece of fruit and some nuts) and then follow it up with a quality lunch and dinner.

Now, the lunch and dinner parts can be tricky.  You’re on the go, challenged on what to eat, or maybe don’t like to cook.  The same “rules” apply for meals as they do snacks — protein + healthy fat + fiber = awesome.  For an on the go option, I love Subway’s Double Chicken Chopped Salad.

There you have it.  Four super easy, practical strategies to take care of you.  When you take care of you, you aren’t just taking better take care of everyone else, you’re also celebrating YOU.

RELATED: Get more nutrition and women’s health advice from Chris and Kara Mohr.

Angelina Jolie’s Brave Decision for Her Health

Written on May 14, 2013 at 12:08 pm , by

Photo by Peter Ardito

In a brave, must-read editorial for The New York Times, Angelina Jolie reveals that she underwent a preventive double mastectomy earlier this year to reduce her risk of breast cancer. Jolie explains that it was her mother, who died of breast cancer at 56, who motivated her to take charge of her health. The actress, director and humanitarian explains that she is a carrier of a “faulty” BRCA1 gene, which puts her at an estimated 87% risk of breast cancer and 50% risk of ovarian cancer .

Jolie hopes that sharing her story will encourage others to be proactive about their own health:

“I am writing about it now because I hope that other women can benefit from my experience. Cancer is still a word that strikes fear into people’s hearts, producing a deep sense of powerlessness. But today it is possible to find out through a blood test whether you are highly susceptible to breast and ovarian cancer, and then take action.

…For any woman reading this, I hope it helps you to know you have options. I want to encourage every woman, especially if you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, to seek out the information and medical experts who can help you through this aspect of your life, and to make your own informed choices.”

We here at FITNESS applaud Jolie’s decision to take preventative measures against cancer and to use her celebrity to encourage other women to do the same. We’ve been inspired by other women who also chose to have preemptive mastectomies: our marketing manager, Kristin Guinan, who underwent the same procedure at age  27, and marathoner, soldier and mom Margaret Smith who decided to forgo reconstructive surgery after her mastectomy.

Early detection and action are important, and it is up to us to take control. In Angelina Jolie’s words: “Life comes with many challenges. The ones that should not scare us are the ones we can take on and take control of.”

Resources for Your Healthy Breasts:

 Read Angelina Jolie’s full op-ed here.

Superfood Salads

Written on May 13, 2013 at 4:00 pm , by

Enjoy a taste of spain in this superfood salad! Photo courtesy of DOLE.

Enjoy a taste of Spain in this superfood salad! Photo courtesy of DOLE.

By Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD

Superfoods help keep us healthy and youthful. They potentially fight diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease and may even help slow the aging process. So what better foods to toss into your salads?

With the help of The Dole Taste of Spain Salads, I am posting 31 salad recipes throughout the month of May — enough for a different salad every day. This week, the 7 featured recipes have a Mediterranean vibe and are packed with suprfoods.

These salads are high in flavor, easy on the waistline and will supercharge your health and energy so you can enjoy all the activities summer has to offer from volleyball to paddle boarding to playing frisbee on the beach.

Southern Spanish Market Salad

SUPERFOOD SPOTLIGHT: Avocado. Avocados are worshiped for their heart healthy unsaturated fat, filling fiber (14 grams per avocado!) and essential nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin K and folate.

INGREDIENTS 

  • 1 package (11.3 oz.) DOLE All-Natural Ultimate Caesar Kit
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives
  • 1 avocado, peeled, and cut into chunks
  • 1 medium bell pepper, cut into short thin strips
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 anchovy fillets (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large bowl, combine all DOLE® All-Natural Ultimate Caesar Kit ingredients except Caesar Dressing. Add olives, avocado, bell pepper, balsamic vinegar and toss with dressing.
  2. Transfer salad to shallow bowls or plates and garnish each with an anchovy fillet, if desired.
  3. Family Friendly Suggestion: So you’re a poultry person…no problem! Try swapping anchovies for a half-cup of pulled or diced cooked chicken to add extra protein that pairs just as easily with olives, cheery bell peppers and balsamic.

Serves 4. Serving size: 1/4 salad. 252 calories and 19g fat per serving.

Here are  more Superfood Salad recipes. Check back next week for a new round of salads!

Seville Potato Verde

SUPERFOOD SPOTLIGHT: Potatoes. Potatoes contain resistant starch, which is a compound that works overtime to help you feel fuller longer. Also, potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C and potassium.

Raspberry Avocado & Mango 

SUPERFOOD SPOTLIGHT: Raspberries. Raspberries are loaded with anti-cancer and anti-inflammation compounds. Plus they are a low-cal, high nutrition way to curb a sweet tooth.

Beet Salad w/ Citrus Goat Cheese

SUPERFOOD SPOTLIGHT: Beets. Thanks to a unique pigment, called betalain, biting into a beet provides antioxidants, reduces inflammation and may help flush toxins out of the body. Beets are also rich in blood pressure lowering nitrates.

Crunchy Broccoli Salad

SUPERFOOD SPOTLIGHT: Broccoli. Raw broccoli provides high amounts of immune-boosting vitamin C and bone-beneficial vitamin K.

Endless Summer 3-Bean Salad

SUPERFOOD SPOTLIGHT: Beans. Beans provide protein, heart smart fiber and energy enhancing iron. Beans also help keep cholesterol in check and blood sugar balanced.

Caprese Chopped Salad 

SUPERFOOD SPOTLIGHT: Tomatoes. Tomatoes are rich in antioxidants (particularly the trifecta of carotinoids: lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin) which may improve the health of particularly your eyes and heart.

About the Author: Dawn Jackson Blatner, RDN, CSSD is a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified specialist in sports nutrition based in Chicago. She is the author of The Flexitarian Diet. Dawn is working with Dole throughout the month of May to inspire more salad eating.

What You Need to Eat to Be Heart-Healthy

Written on May 13, 2013 at 9:28 am , by

Boost heart health by indulging in seafood? You don’t have to tell us twice! (Photo courtesy of the National Fisheries Institute)

According to a recent statement made by the American Heart Association, heart failure costs are expected to more than double by 2030, potentially costing Americans a whopping $244 per year! Time is tickin’ to beat the rising heart disease incidence—the leading cause of death in women. Insert omega-3 fatty acids, which has proven study after study to reduce the risks. Opt for food sources of supplements, says New York University adjunct nutrition professor and FITNESS Advisory Board member Lisa Young, Ph.D., R.D. It’s as easy peasy (and affordable) as cracking open a can of tuna—just two servings of seafood a week! Now isn’t that just fin-tastic?

Jazz up the versatile canned good with your favorite spices, Dr. Young suggests, and fold it into a cold pasta salad, wrap or form into burgers. Another great idea? Tasty crostinis made with thin baguette slices, fresh rosemary and Kalamata olives. No more fishing for heart health excuses. Here’s a quick and easy recipe that pairs perfectly with a glass of white for a summer soiree app. Your friends and heart will thank you later.

White Bean and Tuna Crostini
(Recipe courtesy of Melissa d’Arabian)
Makes 4 servings

  • 10 thin baguette slices
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1/8 cup dry white wine
  • 1 15-ounce can white kidney beans, drained
  • 1 5-ounce can chunk-light tuna packed in water, drained and flaked
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Directions: Preheat oven to 350° F. Arrange baguette slices in single layer on baking sheet; brush slices with 3 tablespoons olive oil. Bake until bread is crisp and golden, about 15 minutes. Set aside. In a preheated skillet, cook onion, garlic, rosemary, and salt and pepper to taste in the oil over moderately low heat, stirring, until the onion is softened. Add the wine and simmer the mixture until the wine is reduced by half. In a food processor, purée the beans and the onion mixture and salt and pepper to taste, transfer the mixture to a bowl and chill it, covered, until it is cool. In a small bowl, toss together tuna, onion, olives, parsley, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.Spread bean puree among baguette slices and top with tuna salad. Garnish each with 1 small rosemary sprig.

For more recipe ideas and information on heart healthy fish, visit getrealaboutseafood.com.