Written on August 7, 2013 at 5:11 pm , by Karla Walsh
Did you know that August is National Picnic Month? As if we needed an excuse to eat al fresco in this gorgeous weather…
Too bad so many picnic favorites pack way more calories than we’d like to eat–especially considering this holiday falls right in the middle of bikini season! Luckily, some simple swaps can slim down your spread and FITNESS has plenty of recipes with all the flavors you love (but a fraction of the fat and calories).
Four we can’t wait to try this weekend:
- Cool Skewers (150 calories): This no-cook app couldn’t be easier. Just slice, stack and serve!
- Healthy Potato Salad (131 calories, 2 g fat): Low-fat mayo lightens up this cookout classic, plus, diced veggies amp up the nutrition.
- Greek Salad Pita Pocket (286 calories, 6 g fat): Think of this as a portable version of your favorite Mediterranean salad! Everything’s betta with feta, right?
- Double-Chocolate Brownies (111 calories, 4 g fat): Surprise! Cocoa powder can be a diet do when you opt for the unsweetened version. Try using white whole-wheat flour or whole-wheat pastry flour for even more fiber.
More from FITNESS:
Written on July 19, 2013 at 3:19 pm , by Christie Griffin
A friend of FITNESS for several years, Dr. Chris Mohr is always up for doling out helpful nutrition advice. When he recently swung by the office, he was even telling us about a new probiotic for cholesterol. Still a little confused on what probiotics are and why you should care? Listen in as Chris explains.
Want more? Read up on probiotics here:
Written on July 18, 2013 at 10:52 am , by Christie Griffin
Whenever we ask you about your favorite apps, MyFitnessPal is always a popular response. The company has been helping people get and/or stay in shape since 2005, and they hit a huge milestone this week: The MyFitnessPal users have lost a total of 100 million pounds over the years! That’s amazing! Check out the awesome infographic from MyFitnessPal for more fun stats.
BONUS: Scroll down to the bottom of this post to hear Mike Lee, the Co-Founder, tell his story about why he created the app. (Spoiler: It’s a cute love story!)
BONUS: How MyFitnessPal Got Started Video:
Categories: Fitness, Health, Healthy Eating, Motivation, Nutrition, The Fit Stop, Weight Loss | Tags: apps, best f itness apps, fitness app, health apps, iphone apps, lose weight, myfitnesspal, weight loss tools
Written on July 12, 2013 at 1:35 pm , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Chloe Metzger, editorial intern
Let’s be honest—summer isn’t really summer without a few awesome barbeques. Lucky for you, National BBQ day is this Saturday, giving you another reason to cook out (as if you needed it). To lighten up your grill this summer, we nabbed some tips from Top Chef: All-Stars winner Richard Blais to help you build a better, healthier burger this grilling season.
Buy the best ingredients. Make sure your meats and breads are fresh by either buying straight from the butcher or knowing what to look for. According to The Book of Steak, the easiest way to check the freshness of grocery store meat is to look at its plastic wrap. A sure sign that the meat has been sitting on the shelf for a while is if blood has pooled at the bottom of the packaging.
Know your temps. One of the most common grilling mistakes Blais sees is cooking at the wrong temperature. As a good rule of thumb, big pieces of meat or fish should be cooked at a lower temperature for a longer time.
Don’t leave leftovers…for too long. You don’t have to chow down that day, but meat doesn’t keep for very long post-purchase. The Book of Steak notes raw beef can be refrigerated in the bottom of the fridge for 3-5 days, but ground beef should be eaten within 1-2 days.
Customize your condiments. Get more nutritional bang for your buck by adding a splash of pomegranate juice to store-bought ketchup for a quick boost of tartness and antioxidants. Top your burger with good fats and great flavor by adding a few slices of avocado before chowing down.
Pump up your patty. Cut the calories and extend the portion size of your average burger by adding finely chopped mushrooms to ground beef or turkey to create a moist patty that’s packed with vitamin D, B, and potassium. Check out the Earth & Turf burger, Blais’ specialty, which blends portabella, shiitake and button mushrooms into a tasty creation. Best of all, this mushroom and beef blend has 25 percent less fat and 130 fewer calories than its all-beef counterpart. Yum!
Click below for the recipe!
Written on July 3, 2013 at 2:20 pm , by Lauren Cardarelli
The Fourth of July is full of fireworks, food, friends and patriotic festivities—all best accompanied by a cold alcoholic beverage in hand, right? That’s if we can drink without the guilt. We want the fun frills of a cocktail, not a cheeseburger’s-worth of calories! That’s why we compiled four of our favorite recipes to sip in the sun (fingers crossed!) this Thursday and toast to the good ol’ U.S. of A.
Independence Day Pucker
- 1 lemon
- ⅓ ounce orange liqueur
- 1 ½ ounces gin
- 1 ⅓ ounces ZICO natural
- ½ teaspoon sugar substitute
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Add 1 tbsp blue caracao and garnish with maraschino cherries
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Halve the lemons, dip them in the sugar and roast in the oven for approximately 20 minutes or until the lemon’s edges begin to take on a caramel color. Remove the lemons and allow to cool. Run the liquid from the roasting pan through a strainer. Roughly chop the lemons and strain, as well. In a separate pan heat your ZICO Natural and sugar substitute until melted and allow to cool. Combine the roasted lemon juice, orange liqueur, gin and ZICO “simple syrup” in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds. Strain into martini glass.
Recipe courtesy of ZICO
Berry Explosive Raspado
- 4 ounces Milagro Silver Tequila
- 1 ounce fresh lime juice
- 2 ounces agave nectar
- 8 raspberries
- 12 blueberries
- 4 fresh mint leaves
- 6 dashes peach bitters
Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Fill two glasses with crushed or shaved ice and pour over. Garnish with fresh raspberries and blueberries.
Recipe courtesy of Milagro Tequila
Calories per serving: 250
Skinnygirl® The Firecracker
- 2 parts Skinnygirl™ Cucumber Vodka
- 2 parts low-sodium tomato juice
- Splash of fresh lemon juice
- Squeeze of fresh lime juice
- Dash of Worcestershire sauce (to taste)
- Dash of hot sauce
- Sprinkle of celery salt
Mix ingredients together and pour over ice. Garnish with lime, cucumber, celery salt and serve.
Recipe courtesy of Skinnygirl®
Berry Peach Lemonade
- 1 bottle Van Gogh Cool Peach Vodka
- 1 ⅓ cups chilled, unsweetened iced tea
- 20 blackberries or raspberries
- 1 ⅓ cups lemonade
In a large pitcher, muddle the berries. Add remaining ingredients with ice and stir a bit to dilute and chill. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve. Serve over ice into rocks glass and garnish with a lemon wheel. Serves 15-20.
Recipe courtesy of Van Gogh Vodka
Calories per serving: 131
Now You Tell Us: What’s your must-have (and healthy!) summer cocktail?
Written on June 21, 2013 at 11:29 am , by Karla Walsh
This week’s fit links from around the web:
- Chill out! We can’t wait to try several of these 14 light, ice cold desserts. Which is calling your name? — SpaBettie
- We’ve heard that too much salt can harm your heart, but new research says sodium overload might also affect your skeleton. — Science Daily
- There’s no need to skip your sweat session while on your summer vacation! Knock out this 15-minute hotel room workout in the morning, then relax and enjoy the day with family and friends. — A Healthy, Happier Bear
- Guac is great, but it can crank up your meal’s calorie count fast. That’s why this slimmed down swap is so smart—it also takes advantage of another in-season vegetable! — Dashing Dish
- Obesity is now a disease, according to the American Medical Association. Read about the pros and cons of this new classification. — TIME Healthland
Written on June 14, 2013 at 5:21 pm , by Karla Walsh
This week’s fit links from around the web:
- Sometimes little things, like these 7 diet tweaks, add up to a big difference on the scale. — Kath Eats
- Find out why that hands-free gadget policy might not be as safe as you thought. — NPR
- Laughing is an ab workout, right? We can’t stop giggling at these 10 hilarious gym signs. — The Great Fitness Experiment
- You need no equipment, a small amount space and a little mental game to master this fun 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 workout. It’s totally on our weekend to-do list! — Fitnessista
- Three words: baked Sriracha fries. Time to heat things up in the kitchen! — Diets in Review
- Could the wrong pair of sneakers be sabotaging your workout? Check out this handy infographic to learn how to select the right pair for your fitness routine. — Greatist
Written on June 13, 2013 at 11:13 am , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Chloe Metzger, editorial intern
Let’s face it—breakroom vending machines are notorious fat traps. Between the sugar-laden granola bars and bags of not-so-innocent trail mix, seemingly healthy snacks can derail your diet before noon. But LUNA, the makers of some of our fave nutrition bars, wants to revamp mid-day munchies with their new “Feed Your Strength…at Work!” contest.
For the past year, LUNA has been striving to debunk common diet misconceptions and those crazy health fads we’ve all seen floating around Facebook. Now they’re tackling workplace wellness—which, we’ll admit, can get pretty inconsistent as schedules get more hectic—through healthy eating campaigns, FAQ webisodes, and, of course, contests!
The “Feed Your Strength…at Work!” prize is pretty sweet—a vending machine stocked with six-months worth of LUNA bars for your office, and six consultations with expert dieticians. (Truth: we’re kind of jealous we can’t partake.) To enter, head over to LUNA’s Facebook page and post a photo of you and your coworkers making healthy changes in your workplace. (Our FITNESS staffers recently rocked a 10k together!) The contest ends June30th, so bust out those get-fit photos stat!
Now You Tell Us: What healthy snacks do you have on hand in the office?
Written on June 11, 2013 at 1:57 pm , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Chloe Metzger, editorial intern
It’s no secret that Subway is known for being one of the healthiest fast-food options in the industry (who could forget Jared’s larger-than-life weight loss?). But as of last year, it’s also the first of its kind to receive the stamp of approval by the American Heart Association. So what does that mean for you? More nutritious (and tasty!) bang for your buck.
In fact, Subway recently got 16 AHA-approved meals on its menu. To bring you expert nutritional know-how for your crazy-busy summer, we chatted with Subway’s Corporate Dietician of 13 years, Lanette Kovachi, RD. She knows it can get difficult to stay on track while on-the-go, and facing a variety of fast-food choices is no joke. “When it comes to eating out, people get overly hungry and end up choosing a restaurant where they’re not going to get good options,” Kovachi explains. “They’re in dire-hunger mode, and they just go for that indulgent sandwich or meal, or they eat too many portions.” The trick, she says, is not letting yourself become too ravenous. When that happens, “your body takes over and craves more calories and fat.”
But when you’re on the brink of an I’ll-eat-absolutely-anything-right-now-level of hunger, limiting portions and staying satisfied is easier said than done. To keep from succumbing to the pitfalls of dining out, curb your cravings by eating fresh fruit right before chowing down. Kovachi recommends snacking on apples: “They fill you up and take off the edge.” It’s no surprise, then, that apple slices are a staple item on Subway’s menu. “It’s not exciting,” she admits, “but they’re quick to grab and cost-friendly.”
Of course, we can’t always find a Subway when we’re on the road and hunger pangs strike. Then, it’s all about moderation: “When you order out, just try to think about what’s a sensible portion,” Kovachi suggests. “Even if you’re feeling really hungry, know that ordering half of what you really want is still going to satisfy your cravings.”
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Written on May 27, 2013 at 12:30 pm , by Guest Blogger
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.
- 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)
- 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.)
- Toss spring mix with sherry vinaigrette to taste; add roasted red peppers.
- Place piece of ham on a flat work surface, such as a cutting board. Wrap tightly around a breadstick. Repeat with remaining breadsticks.
- Divide salad evenly among plates; place 2 ham breadsticks on each plate. Drizzle with additional dressing, if desired. Serve immediately.
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.