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Fit Links: Smarter School Lunches and 89 Ways to Live Healthier

Written on January 27, 2012 at 2:13 pm , by

Forget to pack a lunch? Your child will soon have better choices at school. (Photo by Evan Sklar)

This week’s fit links from around the web:

FITNESS Staffers’ Top Holiday Traditions

Written on December 20, 2011 at 12:02 pm , by

Elaine's nephew Zachary is a budding chef!

Just like you, our staff is gearing up to celebrate the holidays with family and friends! While we’re planning to indulge (Exhibit A: the discussions about cookies and feasting below; Exhibit B: the dessert spread at our staff holiday party!), we also have some fit customs that have been passed down through the generations.

Here are a few of our favorite fun ways to mark the holidays with our loved ones.

  • “My sister and I make a large variety of cookies, then give them as gifts and share with each other! A lot of time is put into creating the different varieties, but now we have help! We’re continuing our productions with the assistance of my two helpers—my niece and nephew.” — Elaine Roake, photo director
  • “Everyone in my family is a huge fan of games, so some new contraption finds its way under the tree each year. On Christmas, after opening gifts and eating breakfast, we spend the morning testing out our new game, whether it’s Rock Band, Wii Fit or something else equally fun!” — Samantha Shelton, editorial assistant
  • “On Christmas, my brother and I usually run three miles around a lake near my parent’s house. That way we don’t feel too guilty filling up later at our Aunt Christine’s epic Christmas Day feast.” — Lisa Haney, health editor
  • The classic Autuori family baked goods—fresh from the oven to the post office!

    “My mom and I make these special thumbprint cookies. Now that I’m not at home anymore, she always sends me a batch and I send her some of mine too. I even made them for a holiday party I hosted this past weekend!” — Jenna Autuori-Dedic, fitness editor

  • “One of my favorite holiday traditions with my good girlfriends is our Holiday White Elephant Thong Party. Instead of bringing gifts, we buy elaborate, ridiculous, hilarious undergarments to put under the Christmas tree. (They’re all brand-new of course…and are usually from Victoria’s Secret!) The night is always an absolute riot and I don’t think gift-giving can be more entertaining!” — Christie Griffin, digital director

    Karla, on left at age 4, builds a mini-me with her sisters and uncle.

  • “If there’s snow on the ground, my family and I would always take the opportunity to build our snow ‘twin’ with all of the trimmings—charcoal eyes, carrot noses and paper towel roll arms. They even get our hats when we’re sweating from all the rolling, packing and lifting. Biggest snowman wins!” — Karla Walsh, editorial assistant
  • “On New Year’s Eve, I do the Emerald Nuts Midnight Run in Central Park. The gun goes off at midnight along with the fireworks. It’s four miles and this is my third year doing it. It’s fun to start the new year off with a run and it makes me feel like I’m able to stick to running and staying fit all year long.” — Argy Koutsothanasis, fashion director

Now tell us: What is your favorite holiday tradition?

Fit Links: The Healthy Holiday Edition

Written on December 9, 2011 at 4:06 pm , by

Hummus: A smart cocktail hour treat. (Photo by Tina Rupp)

This week’s fit links from around the web:

Three Tips For Lighter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Written on August 5, 2011 at 9:07 am , by

Keep the yummy cookie taste and lose the fat with these smart strategies. (Photo by Evan Sklar)

Written by Theresa K. Brady, editorial intern

You’ll find them on supermarket shelves, in ice cream and even cereal—the humble chocolate chip cookie has come a long way from its Nestle Toll House roots in the 1930s! However, the classic sweet treats aren’t always a figure-friendly snack. We spoke with Candice Kumai, author of Pretty Delicious, to get three tips and tricks for making guilt-free cookies that are actually a good-for-you-treat!

  • Cut calories with almond milk. “Unsweetened almond milk contains only 40 calories per cup and all the fat is a healthy kind.”
  • Add nutrition. “Make your cookies nutrient-dense by adding rolled oats, raw walnuts, raw almonds, raw pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries or raisins.”
  • Swap and save! “When the recipe calls for approximately two to four tablespoons of butter, swap out half for 1/4 cup natural applesauce, 1/4 cup ripe mashed banana or 1/4 cup pureed dried dates or date paste.”

Since some say that yesterday was National Chocolate Chip Day, we took that as the perfect excuse to head straight to the kitchen after work and bake up Candice’s Totally Bananas Chocolate Chip-Oat Cookies. Now we’re hooked! The bananas add tenderness and moisture to the cookies, making them perfectly soft and decedent. For the recipe, click below.

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Guilt-Free Cookies!

Written on January 27, 2011 at 2:25 pm , by

Hello, my name is...Cookie Monster. (Photo courtesy of No Whine with Dinner)

Hello, my name is...Cookie Monster. (Photo courtesy of No Whine with Dinner)

I’m a sucker for peanut butter and chocolate. Seriously. I’d do almost anything for a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, and I really would do anything for a Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg (you know, the kind that comes out around Easter and has the ideal chocolate to gooey peanut butter ratio). So imagine my surprise (and glee!) when I turned to page 183 of a new cookbook by Janice Newell Bissex, R.D., and Liz Weiss, R.D., called No Whine with Dinner: 150 Healthy, Kid-Tested Recipes from The Meal Makeover Moms, and found this healthy take on peanut-butter chocolate-chip cookies for only 120 calories a pop. Read more