Written on November 29, 2013 at 10:13 am , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern
Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, and you’ve likely allowed a little (hopefully!) indulgence to occur, what are you supposed to do with all the leftovers hanging out in the fridge? Celebrity chef Robert Irvine from Food Network’s Dinner: Impossible and Restaurant: Impossible is here on behalf of Gold’s Gym with a few tips for making the most out of Thanksgiving scraps while leaving our diets in tact, of course.
First and foremost, think ahead when preparing each dish for the big day. Make more of the vegetable-based sides so you have healthier leftovers to work with the following day. And watch the cooking time! “I like vegetables that still have texture to them,” says Irvine. “When we cook carrots, we don’t cook them so you can actually squash them in your hand. They should have some bite to them, so when you reutilize them the next day, they still have nutrients in them.”
And on the flipside, make fewer desserts to avoid the post-holiday sweets binge. While Chef Irvine is a believer in ending every meal with a bite of something sweet (read: not a handful of cookies!), he doesn’t go to town on the holiday pumpkin and pecan pies. “I make individual servings so that everybody gets one and that’s it. There is no seconds and therefore there’s no leftovers and I don’t have to deal with it staring at me the next day,” he says. “There’s only the good stuff.”
When it comes to the main attraction, there are plenty of ways to reinvent Mr. Turkey that don’t include two slices of gravy-soaked bread. Irvine combines the star ingredient with cranberry, brussel sprouts or cabbage and mashed potatoes—white or sweet—and gives the typical potato cake an upgrade. After chopping and combining all of the leftover ingredients, form each cake, coat them in egg white and panko breadcrumbs, pan-fry and top with a runny, poached egg. Now that’s a post-Thanksgiving breakfast! Check out this version of his recipe where good-for-you collard greens take center stage.
Otherwise, try making risotto without your leftover potatoes. Chef Irvine poaches diced potatoes and combines them with chicken stock, sour cream, chopped parsley, a little salt and white pepper, and uses it as a risotto. “People look at me like I’m crazy, but it’s really good and healthy,” he says.
And as far as those leftover carrots are concerned, why not transform them into a gourmet salad dressing? Reheat them in chicken or vegetable stock and blend them in a blender with fresh, unpeeled ginger and a teaspoon of stone ground mustard. Add a little grapeseed oil and sparkling water, and voila! “You have a brand new carrot and ginger dressing for salads that will keep for a week or so. And you can do that with any othervegetable you have left,” says Irvine.
Last but not least, a solid post-workout recovery meal is key for a guy who loves fitness almost as much as he loves food. Chef Irvine uses Thanksgiving turkey and vegetables in a fresh egg white frittata, which he serves cold, Spanish-style. After letting the pie cool, he plates slices alongside fresh tomato pico de gallo and smoked salmon. “That’s our post-workout meal and it only takes 25 minutes to make,” he says. You leave it on the side, let it cool down, wrap it up and leave it in the fridge. Then it’s always there to munch on.” Maybe the day (and weekend) after Thanksgiving won’t be such a diet disaster after all.
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- Two International Twists on Turkey Day Leftovers
- Rocco DiSpirito’s Party-Perfect Recipes
- Top Chef All-Star Winner Richard Blais Trims Down Thanksgiving Dinner
Written on November 28, 2013 at 1:43 pm , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Chloe Metzger, editorial intern
It’s that time of year again! The holidays are upon us, marking a major increase in family gatherings, festive parties and, of course, shopping. But between Black Friday sales and dinner party planning, our wallets take a beating as soon as the weather changes. According to Mint.com, a personal money management service, the average American spent a whopping $384 on shopping last December alone, almost 33 percent more than what they spent in September. So how can you stay in the holiday spirit without going over budget? We chatted with Hitha Prabhakar, retail expert and Mint.com Financial Advocate, to get the scoop on how to cut costs on the four most common—and unexpected—money drainers. Read on to start saving!
Spending limits can seem impossible to stick to when the holidays come around, leading to some pretty unhealthy buying habits. Luckily, you can actually stay within your budget without becoming scrooge-tastic, says Prabhakar. When it comes to gift-giving, repeat after us: It’s the thought that counts. “If you’re in a tight financial spot, focus on presentation,” recommends Prabhakar. “DIY gifts like frames, knitted socks or baked goods are always a hit, especially when you spend time wrapping them in pretty paper, containers or recycled bags.”
At the beginning of each month, set specific budgets for yourself for food expenditures, including week-to-week groceries and special occasions. Of course, when it comes to shopping for an upcoming dinner party, cutting corners can seem tricky. “According to the 2012 Intuit Consumer Index, Americans spent an average of $322.29 per month on groceries,” says Prabhakar. “That can really add up over the year. Don’t be afraid to purchase items that are store brand, especially when you’re entertaining for a large group. They tend to be much cheaper and taste the same.”
Going to the gym
We’ve all been there: The temperature drops below freezing, and suddenly your favorite morning run seems way less appealing than the weight room. If you decide to switch to the gym-life when the winter weather peaks, make sure you’re not wasting cash by sitting in the house. “On average, people spent $83.73 per month on gym memberships in 2012, so get your money’s worth by going frequently,” says Prabhakar. “You can also think about taking your budgeted gym funds and purchasing blocks of classes at smaller studios. To get new students in the door, these smaller studios often offer discounted classes or trial periods at a tenth of the cost of regular classes.” (We love Groupon and Living Social for finding awesome discounts on fun classes and personal training sessions!)
“Last year, the average American spent $2,654.69 on dining out,” says Prabhakar, “And I used to be that person who went to restaurants 15 times a week and used my oven as storage for my shoes!” To cut down on her eating-out expenses, Prabhakar created a “restaurant only” budget in Mint.com and signed up to be alerted when she was low on balances. (We tested the Mint.com app, and totally agree that it’s extremely helpful for staying on track with easy-to-forget entertainment expenses). If you’ve almost reached your budget and have to dine out, try pre-gaming (meal-style!) beforehand. “Have a quick and healthy appetizer at home prior to dinner, so you feel fuller and order less from the menu,” suggests Prabhakar.
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Written on November 28, 2013 at 10:07 am , by FITNESS Editors
Here it is. The homestretch to 2014. What lies between now and next year are potentially weeks of unbridled eating and holiday abandon. But in the spirit of “the best defense is a good offense,” Flywheel studios may just yet give your year, ahem, a tight end.
The hip indoor cycling chain is kicking off what it calls a Holiday Express Challenge on Monday, December 2 (Yes, this coming Monday, after you’ve polished off the last slice of pie). Your mission for the following 21 days, if you choose to accept it: Take five classes per week. At Flywheel studios that also offer sculpting classes, the split will be three FlyBarre classes and two Flywheel classes.
The Holiday Express Challenge will also include a special workshop on techniques and a nutrition seminar for surviving all that party food. Check out Flywheel’s website to sign up or get more scoop.
So, who’s joining the challenge? We’re ready to get our rears in gear!
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Written on November 27, 2013 at 11:22 am , by Lauren Cardarelli
Maria Kang is just a mom—a mom gone viral, that is, when her ab-flaunting “What’s your excuse?” captioned photo sparked controversy and media scrutiny. Things had just died down for the Californian fitness enthusiast when she hit another nerve last week with a Facebook rant about plus-size women in lingerie.
Kang issued a warning about what she had to say, then vented her disapproval for those who encourage overweight women to be proud of their bodies. The mother of three urged her nearly 230,000 followers to change the mentality that’s sweeping the nation (sourcing multiple statistics), noting that she was not knocking those who are proud and heavy…but instead simply trying to empower healthy role models in society. Three hours later, Facebook removed her post and she was temporarily blocked from the site altogether.
“I think that everyone should love and accept their bodies,” Kang told FITNESS yesterday. “I don’t think that anyone can progress when they have a foundation of shame, so I didn’t want to seem like I was bashing them. No one should be ashamed of who they are. But there is a fine line that we’re walking, and that’s what I was talking about: When you say you love and accept yourself versus love and progress yourself.”
With two-thirds of our nation obese, $3 trillion being spent on health care, and childhood obesity on the rise, Kang believes there are multiple contributing factors tipping the scales, all in which stem from family. “Economically, it’s tougher to get good food when you’re poor,” she says. “Socially, if people around you are eating like crap and it’s normal, then it’s normalized. And culturally, if people are saying you’re okay being overweight, they keep on reinforcing this outlook.” The root of the problem, in her eyes, lies in leadership. “If the parents are healthy and they are healthy role models, then they can raise healthy kids. That’s just how it goes. It’s so simple but so hard when we live in such a blameful culture.”
So is she at fault for fat-shaming? Is the criticism warranted? According to Kang, she’s simply telling the truth and would never intend on hurting anyone’s feelings. “If you have excess body fat, especially around your midsection where your organs are, that’s not healthy for you,” she said in response to the recent backlash. “I think we should never shame anybody to lose weight. We should motivate them in a positive way, but when you say love and accept yourself, you’re creating not only a normalization, but a sedentary, complacent society.”
Although some have deemed Kang a pudge-loathing personal trainer, that’s not exactly the case. “I’m average…and nowhere near a size zero,” the former NASM-certified instructor said. She doesn’t work out for a living — her day job revolves around overseeing the ownership of two residential care homes for the elderly — but she loves volunteering her time to mommy exercise groups every Tuesday night. “I think your job is to be healthy if you’re a mom,” she added, a concept that provoked her founding of Fitness Without Borders, a community education and motivation non-profit.
So, why so passionate about the obesity epidemic? Kang, a former bulimic, witnessed first-hand the debilitating repercussions of the medical condition with her own mother. “She’s 52 years-old and has so many health issues. I work with people who are overweight by choice. I think that’s the reason why people are so pissed off; I’m telling them that they have a choice when they really want to have an excuse.”
Is it a choice? We at FITNESS believe someone can be fat but fit, and you can’t tell what’s going on with a person’s body just by the way they look. Regardless, Kang certainly knows how to stir the pot, and one thing we can totally get behind is her belief that small steps in the right direction can lead to major gains, which doesn’t happen over night. According to Kang, you have to be uncomfortable with where you are to desire change. “It’s not an all or nothing thing,” she said. “You have to take it one step at a time.”
More from FITNESS:
- The Anti-Diet: How Not Dieting Is the Key to Losing Weight
- Hot Mamas: How 4 Moms Got Their Fitness Back
- Top Moves to Get Your After-Baby Body, Fast!
Written on November 26, 2013 at 10:11 am , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern
With Thanksgiving only a few days away, many of us are starting to feel the stress creeping up. Yes, it’s one of the best holidays when it comes to gathering with friends and family, not to mention indulging in some delicious eats. But extensive preparation often cuts into our stress-relieving workout time, and the focus on food can really threaten our waistlines. So why not take a bit of your Thanksgiving celebration outside this year?
The National Wildlife Refuge is hosting several fitness events across the country that honor our feathered friends in their natural state. The upcoming walks and runs coordinate with some of the peak migratory bird seasons, so you just might get to see Mr. Turkey trotting nearby! Check out these Thanksgiving-themed events for fun ways to get the whole family out and about together.
- Ready to get moving? Join in the Modoc National Wildlife Refuge’s Turkey Trot 5K Walk/Run on Thursday, Nov. 28, at 9 a.m. for just $20. You’ll see plenty of mule deer, eagles, Canada geese and mallard ducks.
- Rather go with the flow? The Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge is hosting the Bird Migration Walk on Saturday, Nov. 30, 1-2:30 p.m. Free to all visitors, this walk features peaceful views full of shorebirds, wading birds and waterfowl.
- Walk off all that turkey with the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge’s Turkey Walk on Saturday, Nov. 30, 1:30-3:30 p.m. With a little luck, you’ll see some wild turkeys, deer, red foxes, bald eagles, great blue herons and hawks on this free, easy stroll.
Can’t make it out to one of these events? No problem! The refuge trails are open from sunrise to sunset daily—even Thanksgiving Day. Search for a fun spot near you on the Refuge’s trail system website and get moving. What better way to give thanks for your health?
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Written on November 25, 2013 at 1:54 pm , by Samantha Shelton
Every year, we patiently wait for People magazine to release their latest list of sexiest men, and which stud will grace the cover to be crowned Sexiest Man Alive. It came as no surprise that Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine claimed the title this go ’round – after all, anyone who tunes in weekly to see him coach on The Voice knows the guy can turn on the charm. His bromance with Blake Shelton, another singer topping the sexy men list, and recent engagement to model Behati Prinsloo doesn’t hurt either (someone managed to lock him down!). But he’s not the only smoldering star on the list. Luke Bryan, Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars can all be found too, and with swoon-worthy songs coming from each of their albums, again, we’re not surprised. So get a little boost during your next workout and plug into this playlist made only of the Sexiest Men of 2013. And hey, picturing them with their shirts off probably won’t hurt either…
Written on November 22, 2013 at 12:56 pm , by Christie Griffin
Paige used the month of October in Japan to raise money for the Colorado flood relief efforts of the American Red Cross. The Red Cross responded immediately to the September flash floods that claimed over 17,000 homes along the Front Range with rescue, food, shelter, care, and comfort for those who suffered severe damage. Help Paige raise $10,000 for the American Red Cross at http://www.crowdrise.com/leadnowtourcolorado. Donate $27 or more and you’ll be entered into a monthly raffle to win a Marmot tent!
By Paige Claassen
Imagine you’re unable to distinguish between a restaurant and a bank when walking down the street. Going to the grocery store is a three hour event. A busy city street full of people is completely silent. This is Japan, one of the most unique and fascinating countries I’ve ever visited.
‘Organized chaos’ is the only way to truly describe Japan. From the outside, Japan seems cluttered, frantic, and hectic. But focus in and you’ll find perfect order and tidiness. At first, I found Japan intimidating in it’s lack of familiarity. But after a bit of acquaintance, I fell in love with this country, aptly known as the Land of the Rising Sun. Everything is sunny in Japan, except the weather.
I visited Japan in October and encountered an unusually late typhoon season. While my objective was to rock climb, I was forced out of the mountains by torrential rains, a small earthquake, and the threat of tsunamis.
Perhaps this interruption in my plans was a blessing in disguise, as it allowed me to dive into the Japanese culture. Here’s what I discovered:
- My new favorite foods: Okonomiyaki (the Japanese pancake, which is nothing like a pancake) and sashimi fresh off the boat, which melts in your mouth like butter. Japan also grows amazing fruits. My favorites were Fuji apples and Asian pears.
- Bowing: To thank one another, or even to greet or bid farewell, the Japanese people bow. As a foreigner, I found this incredibly convenient, because even when I couldn’t express my gratitude in words, I could smile and bow.
- Cleanliness: Feeling under the weather? The Japanese wear face masks when feeling ill to prevent the spread of germs out of respect for those around them. Hand rails in public areas are sterilized throughout the day. As a result of this respect for health, I found I could eat nearly anything in Japan. Unrecognizable seafood, street food, and nearly raw eggs served on top of most meals – no problem.
- Prices: I had always heard Japan was incredibly expensive. In general, I found prices comparable with the US. The few things that will empty your wallet are toll roads, gasoline, and fruit (expect to pay $50 for a cantaloupe and $3 for one apple). On the other hand, I regularly paid $5-$10 for a full meal of sushi at the popular conveyor belt restaurants.
- 7-Eleven convenience stores: 14,000 7-Eleven stores throughout Japan are open 24 hours a day and provide cheap meals on the go, prepared daily. For a quick, inexpensive, and tasty lunch, this is your stop.
I hope these tips help you navigate Japan. While overwhelming at first, I think Japan might actually be a more comfortable and convenient vacation option than Europe. Try it out for yourself!
To get involved and donate online to help the Colorado Flood Recovery efforts, visit leadnowtourcoloradoflood.
Check back next month for a video and update about Location #5. And stay tuned for the video of Paige’s time in Japan! FitnessMagazine.com, with thanks to Marmot and Louder Than 11, will have the first-look exclusive video .
Related: Lead Now Tour Main Page
Written on November 15, 2013 at 9:14 am , by Colleen Moody
It seems the sport of bobsledding has a way of tempting track stars to come over to the icy side. Lolo Jones recently made the switch to try to qualify for the 2014 Olympics, but she wasn’t the first track star to trade in her sneakers for snow. Jazmine Fenlator, who is currently ranked eighth in the world after winning two silvers and a bronze during last year’s World Cup circuit, was a former track athlete from Rider University who made the switch to bobsledding after her coach mentioned that she should give it a shot. Below, she talks about her experiences with the sport so far, and what she’s looking forward to in 2014 on behalf of Team Liberty Mutual.
What was something that surprised you about bobsledding when you first got started in the sport?
Definitely how hard it is to push a 400lb. sled! I’m used to the shot put or throwing around a max of 25lb. weights or lifting in the weight room. But learning how to be explosive and fast while not letting go (because I then have to hop into the sled) was a real challenge.
Lolo Jones has been making some press about her big change in diet – do you have any crazy eating habits you have to keep up for the sport?
I am a lot heavier than Lolo, so contrary to her diet I am on a pretty strict plan. I’m gluten, dairy and sugar-free. I eat very clean and timely and have certain eating strategies for each training day, so sadly our diets are not the same!
Many people are familiar with the Night Train, the U.S. men’s team from the 2010 Olympics. If you qualify – will you name your bobsled? Is this a tradition for your sport?
Yes – it’s actually a tradition to name your bobsled! The women name their bobsleds and if it won a medal the name stays with it. The sled I was driving at the last Games won a bronze medal, so that name will stick with it. I’m looking into names right now for my new BMW sled and looking for an inspirational and meaningful English term that I can translate into Russian. I have a list of ten that I’m going to narrow down to three and have my fans help me decide.
Fenlator also spoke to the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation about Hurricane Irene, where her family lost their home due to flooding days before she competed in the World Cup. Watch below to see how she was able to compete during tragedy.
Written on November 12, 2013 at 2:21 pm , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern
Last month, I headed over to the Astro Turf Pier on the West Side just before sunrise to meet up with celebrity trainer Lacey Stone. Her neon orange sweatpants glowed against the green field filled with her local followers ready for another day of her SWEAT Week NY outdoor boot camp. The hour-long leg and butt workout began promptly at 6:30 a.m. when she blew the whistle hanging around her neck. What a way to start your day!
Stone’s training persona was even more vibrant than her workout apparel, barking orders all the while joking excitedly and sharing quite a few cheesy puns with the group. I laughed more than I winced through her tough routine, something I had yet to experience in any other group fitness setting. Combining just the right amount of high intensity cardio moves and bodyweight strength training, Stone’s contagious enthusiasm motivated the entire group through non-stop exercises.
The early bird boot camp utilized all of the surrounding elements of the park: the cement side walls served as plyometric boxes, the poles lining the turf field marked each leg of suicide runs, and the pier itself served as a timed running loop on which we raced one another. Toward the end of the hour, as we started losing steam, Stone grouped us into teams to instill a fun sense of competition that made everyone give it their all.
Stone’s no-frills approach to fitness made each participant leave excuses at home and commit to the butt-blasting workout—and it worked! It’s always interesting to see how using back-to-basic moves in a unique outdoor space can make such a difference. Plus, few workouts can beat getting your butt kicked by the hilarious Lacey Stone as the sun rises over the Hudson River around you.
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Written on November 11, 2013 at 1:08 pm , by Samantha Shelton
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.