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Low-Cal Cocktails for a Slim and Spirited St. Patty’s Day

Written on March 14, 2014 at 4:59 pm , by

Written by Jordan Clifford, editorial intern

Going green never tasted so good.                 (Photo courtesy of UV Vodka)

Green, calorie-packed drinks are simply part of the St. Patrick’s Day tradition, right? Think again. Celebrate your Irish heritage this weekend with one of these three guilt-free recipes—all under 200 calories. So go ahead, throw on your best shamrock-covered ensemble and drink up!

Delightfully Delicious

  • 1 oz. Smirnoff Sorbet Light Pineapple Coconut
  • 1  oz. Blue Curacao
  • 2 oz. pineapple juice

Combine ingredients in glass over ice. Stir and enjoy.

Calories: 172
Recipe courtesy of Smirnoff

Herradura Green Agave

  • 1 1/2 oz. Herradura Silver
  • 1 oz. melon liqueur
  • Squeezed fresh lime juice

Shake tequila, melon liqueur and lime juice with ice for 15 seconds. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a Shamrock carved lime. Shake and pour into martini glass

Calories: 186
Recipe courtesy of Tequila Herradura

The ShamROCK

  • 1.5 oz of UV Apple
  • 1 part Diet Lemon-Lime Soda
  • Garnish with 1 apple wedge

Shake and serve over ice.

Calories: 130
Recipe courtesy of UV Vodka

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Jennie Garth Sees Good in New Charity Campaign

Written on July 19, 2013 at 11:04 am , by

Jennie’s latest project, ahem, behind writing a new book and television show? Promoting vision wellness in children. (Photo courtesy of Michael Murphree)

Jennie Garth is the definition of a supermom: She’s a mother of three and manages to juggle her career as an actress and director with family time. And don’t think a swamped schedule ever stands in this gal’s way of a good sweat—it’s obviously not a problem! The 40-year-old, notoriously known for her role as Kelly Taylor on Beverly Hills, 90210 and Melrose Place, has been flaunting a slim bod this summer and (holy teeny bikini) she’s never looked better. Sneaking in jogs and maintaining a healthy cuisine regime is key, Jennie told us this week when we chatted about her new passion project, Eye Saw Good. Read on to find out how you can donate and help kids’ eye care without ever whipping out your checkbook—plus Jennie’s must-do move for those six-pack abs!

What inspired you to connect with Alcon and Eye Saw Good?

I have three girls. Two of them are in glasses already and one of them wants glasses! It was startling to me to find out that one in four kids in America need vision correction and they don’t have access to it. So this is an opportunity for me to bring awareness to a campaign called Eye Saw Good. It’s a really interactive, fun way for everybody out there to get involved and feel good about something that they’re doing: Just take photos of something you consider to be good and positive and share them on Twitter with #eyesawgood. The hashtag triggers a donation to Kids Vision for Life, an organization that provides kids in need with glasses, eye care and exams. It’s a cool, sort of artistic, way for people to be a part of something. They just have to share their pictures; they don’t have to share their money!

Staying fit as a busy, working mom must be tough. How do you make time to keep up with fitness and a balanced diet?

It’s definitely challenging—I’ve been traveling so much lately. I do what I can wherever I am. I love running outside or just fast walking. All you need are sneakers! That’s how I do it—just mindful eating and continuing to stay active.

OK, spill. What’s your bikini body secret? Your abs are fab!

I like this ab move: Hold something behind your head (we suggest a weight, ball or your buddy’s ankles) and lift your legs up and down, like a straight pike. Just keep your abs tight the whole time! My other favorite is a handstand. Against a tree, a wall, or a person. It comes from yoga—I used to do yoga but haven’t been lately because I just can’t commit to a class schedule. It is one of my favorite yoga moves because it’s an arm wonder, too.

Snap a photo of something good—it’s as easy as that! (Photo courtesy of Michael Murphree)

You rocked Dancing with the Stars a few seasons back. Do you still dance?

I don’t! I recently danced at a wedding and it was clear that I lost all my moves. I need a dancing partner; that’s my problem. Those are hard to find.

Best pump-up song on your workout playlist?

Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Macklemore, and Dubstep is something that keeps me going. It’s funny to think that I’m running up the canyon listening to Dubstep!

What’s a healthy dish you whip up for a family dinner?

I’ve converted my kids to brown rice now, which I think is a great start if they’re going to eat a complex carb or starch. We drink a lot of coconut water at our house, and for oils, we love light olive or coconut oil.

Want to get involved with Jennie’s project? Do good with what you see. Simply “donate” a dollar by uploading your picture on Instagram or Twitter with #eyesawgood and help make a difference in children’s vision services, provided by Alcon’s The EyeSolution program and the Kids Vision for Life charity. Curious about what else Jennie has in the works? Be on the lookout for a forthcoming book and television show!

Fit Links: 7 Diet Tips To Drop Pounds and a Weekend Workout

Written on June 14, 2013 at 5:21 pm , by

One of the seven healthy eating ideas: serve up a satisfying salad once a day. (Photo by Peter Ardito)

This week’s fit links from around the web:

 

The Healthy Eating Tips Jillian Michaels Is Teaching Her Kids

Written on August 13, 2012 at 2:57 pm , by

Jillian makes meals with her kids, which include lots of veggies from their garden! (Photo courtesy of popchips)

It seems since stepping down from The Biggest Loser in 2011 life has gotten even busier for star trainer Jillian Michaels if possible. Aside from numerous TV appearances, her latest DVD Body Revolution and many other projects, she’s also been expanding her family as well! In just one month, Michaels and her partner Hilary Rhoades adopted their daughter Lukensia, from Haiti and gave birth to their son, Phoenix. We got the chance to catch up with the new mom on behalf of popchips to see how she’s teaching her kids healthy eating practices and how she fits in a good workout these days!

Congrats on the new additions to your family! What are some healthy eating tips you’re trying to incorporate into your kids’ lives?

Since the kids are so young (Lukensia is 2 and Phoenix is 3 months old) it is incredibly important that we develop healthy eating habits for them now. Whenever possible, I prefer to make their food myself, so I know exactly what they are eating. As a rule of thumb, I like to suggest to parents to use fruits and vegetables with bright colors, they are the ones with the most nutrients. Having meals at a set time helps establish a routine, making sure both kids are hydrated without resorting to sugary drinks. I also try to feed them organic foods as often as possible. Pesticides and other chemicals are pure poison to their little bodies and need to be avoided. Read more

#140Wednesdays: Would You Take a Pill to Lose Weight?

Written on July 18, 2012 at 6:00 pm , by

Move your butt for 30 minutes 5 days a week. A prescription to live by!

Written by Lisa Turner, editorial intern

With a seal of approval from the FDA yesterday, brand new diet drug Qsymia promises to help people shed unwanted pounds. Right now, it’s only approved for people who are not only overweight, but struggle with an accompanying condition such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure. Taking a pill sounds like an easy solution, but here at FITNESS, we believe in a prescription of exercise and healthy eating habits. We wanted to know if our Twitter followers felt the same way, so we asked them: Would you take a pill to make weight loss easier?

@KateSchlag: Research proves it–there’s no quick fix for weight loss. Not even in a pill.

@redcurlgurl: No. I like to lose weight the old fashioned way with diet and exercise. I want to earn those “You look great!” compliments.

@Trhi10: We need more whole foods and less pills; it’s another Band-aid.

@xtinamcknight: They also approve of highly processed death trap food like McDonald’s. So thanks, but no thanks.

Now tell us: What do you think about the FDA approving Qsymia?

7 Healthy Lessons Learned From Fad Diets

Written on June 5, 2012 at 7:00 am , by

They may work fast, but fad diets rarely last.

Constant dieting may not be the best way to maintain weight, but chances are you’ve been on one (or two, or a few!) at one point in your life. And that can mean a lifetime of dieting failures, but there’s always something to learn from your attempts. Here are some lessons learned from those fad diets.

  1. Steer clear of empty calories (Low-carb diet): Low-carb diets like the Atkins or Dukan diets can be hard to maintain and aren’t always the healthiest eating choices to make, since you’re at risk for eating too much saturated fat in lieu of nutrient-rich (but also high-carb) produce like carrots. But what a low-carb diet does teach you is to rely less on refined carbs like breads and crackers, too, which can be the source of many empty calories for lots of people.
  2. Stick with whole foods (Paleo diet): Processed foods aren’t exactly waist-line-friendly, so the Paleo diet’s focus on fruits, veggies, meat, and anything else our foraging ancestors could get their hands on is a healthy principle. While grains and dairy may be off limits, Paleo dieters fill up on fresh produce and lean proteins.
  3. Keep your heart healthy (Mediterranean diet) There’s a reason why those living on the Mediterranean coast are so happy; their diet has been proven to help people live longer. As a diet craze, people turn to the Mediterranean diet to lose weight with its focus on fresh foods and low-calorie seafood, but the benefits of the diet, which is full of healthy fats found in fish, nuts, and olive oil, include lowering your risk of heart disease and brain aging.

Read on for more lessons learned from popular diets.

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Dieting Rules You’ll Love to Follow

Written on May 1, 2012 at 7:00 am , by

Breakfast is the key to dropping a jeans size. (Photo courtesy of Laura Doss)

Don’t eat this, stay away from that — following a diet can seem like a total killjoy. If you’re feeling depressed about how restrictive your diet is, here are some proven weight-loss rules you’ll welcome with open arms.

1. Dig into a big breakfast: Skipping breakfast to save calories? That’s a big mistake because eating breakfast actually jump-starts your metabolism. Your first meal of the day should include protein to reduce sugar cravings, and fiber to satiate your hunger. A veggie omelet, fruit smoothie with spinach, oatmeal with fruit and nuts, or Greek yogurt with fresh fruit are excellent choices.

2. Say yes to carbs: Before you get all excited, I’m not talking about bagels, regular pasta, and pretzels. Simple carbs made from enriched white flour offer little nutritional value and more calories than you need. Stick to complex carbs like quinoa, brown rice, and oats, as well as foods made from whole grain flour such as pasta and crackers — the least processed and as close to nature as possible. (Of course, you still need to be mindful of portion sizes.) Complex carbs are not only full of fiber that keep hunger at bay, they also contain valuable vitamins and minerals your body needs such as vitamins B6 and E and iron.

3. Eat between meals: No need to feel starved all day! Aside from your three main meals, schedule a morning and afternoon snack to keep hunger at bay. Stick to munching on snacks that are 150 calories or less, and use your two snacks as a time to fill holes in your diet such as getting a little extra protein or fiber. Not sure what to eat? Check out these 150-calorie snack ideas.

4. Set a time to indulge each day: Whether it’s chocolate you long for or some crunchy, salty chips, choose a time each day where you can splurge on a little something you crave. Keep it under 50 calories and really take the time to sit down and savor it. Satisfying your edible desires is a great way to prevent breaking down and binging on huge portions of unhealthy foods later.

Keep reading for more weight-loss rules you’ll love following.

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6 Tricks to Stay Slim All Spring and Summer Long

Written on April 26, 2012 at 12:15 pm , by

Burgers are still on the menu. Just balance them out with a side of veggies! (Photo by Peter Ardito)

True, the traditional “eating holidays” like Thanksgiving and Super Bowl Sunday occur during the colder months. No matter the month, though, diet disasters are sure to pop up. That’s why Karen Ansel, a registered dietitian in Long Island, New York, decided to write her new book with CNN diet and fitness expert Melina Jampolis, M.D. The Calendar Diet: A Month to Month Guide to Losing Weight While Living Life shows readers how to fit in their skinny jeans—and make smart, healthy choices—from Valentine’s Day to Cinco de Mayo to Halloween.

Here are Ansel’s top tips to outsmart seasonal diet traps:

  1. Pack travel snacks. “For car trips or when you’ll be staying at a hotel, bring energy bars and portion-controlled bags of nuts, crackers and dried fruit. This way, you won’t be as tempted by fast food restaurants or the hotel mini bar.”
  2. Store pantry staples. “The key to maintaining a healthy diet when you’re busy is a well-stocked pantry so you don’t dial for Chinese takeout on a busy evening or when you’re just back from a trip. Items like pasta and beans last a long time and can make a nice meal in a hurry.”
  3. Order drinks on ice. “Frosty drinks, like sweetened iced teas and margaritas, can increase your calorie total for the day very quickly. Ask for plenty of ice and order your margarita on the rocks rather than blended. It’s automatic portion control and will keep you from downing glass after glass too fast.”
  4. Skip the chips. “With Cinco de Mayo and outdoor picnics approaching, keep in mind that a few big handfuls of tortilla chips can be 500 calories! I tell me clients to skip them because it’s really hard to stop after just a few. Cut red and yellow peppers into strips and dip them into a mix of salsa and guacamole.”
  5. Go fish. “Shrimp fajitas and fish tacos are wise choices whether your hosting a barbecue or dining out. Skip the cheese and pile on veggies for a filling, satisfying meal.”
  6. Plan ahead. “It’s all about balance. If you know your dinner is going to be heavy on macaroni salad and hamburger buns, try to get plenty of protein, fruits and vegetables in your breakfast and lunch.”

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Eat Chocolate for a Good Cause

Written on March 7, 2012 at 9:00 am , by

Buy a bunny and help raise autism awareness this month. (Photo courtesy of Lindt Chocolate)

There are lots of reasons you should be eating chocolate, even if you are on a diet. Just an ounce a day helps your skin, prevents heart disease and can instantly boost your mood. But now there is another reason to let yourself indulge a little bit, for charity. Just in time for Easter basket purchases, Lindt Chocolate is teaming up with Autism Speaks to help raise awareness of the developmental disability that affects 1 in 110 American children. Here’s how you can help:

  • Between now and Easter, April 8, buy a Lindt Gold Bunny, and Lindt will donate 10 cents for every purchase to Autism Speaks.
  • For every Easter e-card sent from lindtgoldbunny.com, Lindt will donate $1.
  • Cast your bid at the Lindt Gold Bunny Celebrity Auction, where 70 porcelain bunnies signed by celebs like Jennifer Garner, Julie Bowen, Katherine Heigl and other A-listers will be auctioned off at lindtgoldbunnyauction.com from March 8 to 18.
  • Repin any of Lindt’s Easter-related pins on Pinterest (and follow us on Pinterest too while you’re at it!) and Lindt will donate up to $10,000 for your pinning efforts.

So there you have it, eating chocolate can not only help you, but also give back at the same time. Plus, can you really resist the cuteness of those little gold bunnies?

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How Do You Eat a Heart-Smart Diet?

Written on March 1, 2012 at 12:11 pm , by

The Heart-Check mark appears on foods that are good for your ticker. (Photo courtesy of the American Heart Association)

March 1 marks more than the start of a new month—it’s the beginning of a 31-day celebration of healthy eating. Welcome to National Nutrition Month! You’ll discover delicious recipes, food news and simple nutrition-boosting strategies to help you celebrate in style all month long here at The Fit Stop.

To kick things off, let’s talk food shopping. We know that it’s smart to shop in the produce aisle and save cookies for treats, but the gray area between these ends of the grocery spectrum can be tricky! That’s why the American Heart Association (AHA) awards their Heart-Check mark to food products that meet their requirements as cardiac-friendly.

“It’s an easy way to identify, on the front of a package, heart-healthy foods,” says Rachel Johnson, R.D., PH.D., an AHA spokesperson and a professor of nutrition and medicine at the University of Vermont. “The science-based criteria takes into account fat, sugar, sodium and a number of other factors. It’s really helpful because you don’t need a Ph.D. in nutrition to know if a food is healthy or not.”

To respond to the most recent research, new guidelines will go into place by 2014. Sodium and added sugar limits will be lowered and the total fat limit will be raised to accommodate products with healthy unsaturated fats, like nuts and oily fish.

Of course, there are many foods and drinks out there that are super-nutritious and don’t need a label to tell you (Strawberries! Oats! Water!). Follow these general guidelines from the AHA to consume a heart-healthy diet:

  • 4.5 cups of fruits and vegetables or more daily
  • Two 3.5-ounce servings of oily fish (such as salmon, tuna or mackerel) weekly
  • Three 1-ounce servings of whole grains daily
  • Less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium daily
  • No more than 36 ounces of sugar-sweetened beverages weekly (less is better)

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