Written on January 25, 2013 at 11:33 am , by Lauren Cardarelli
Gabby lives in foodie heaven as a blogger, freelance recipe developer and food photographer, not to mention she’s married to a chef! Almost two years ago, though, the bakeaholic had to make some major diet and lifestyle changes when she was diagnosed with gluten intolerance. With some of her favorite ingredients and meals no longer an option (she’s used to be a sucker for Belgian beer!), the self-proclaimed “kitchen explorer” had to take matters into her own oven-mitted hands to make gluten-free cooking taste not only good, but great.
Monotonous rice and lettuce-based meals were quickly transformed and with it—Gabby’s life. She felt better and food became more personal and exhilarating, thanks to a new-found creativity fueling her “science experiments.” From drool-worthy desserts (Grain-Free Chipotle Chocolate Donuts with Chocolate Glaze? Yes, please!) to energizing, on-the-go breakfasts, like Vegan Blueberry Power Muffins, Gabby shows that a food allergy doesn’t stop your meals from being tasty and fun! Read on to hear about how Gabby stays motivated and fit outside of the kitchen.
My favorite way to work out: CrossFit! I love the combination of weight lifting (my favorite), intensity and focused training. Since starting CrossFit about seven months ago, I’m the strongest and fittest I’ve ever been! The community you find yourself is second to none—your coaches and fellow athletes see you at your best and your worst, support you, cheer for you when you think you can’t keep going and keep you accountable.
On my fit life list: Deadlift 250 lb (current max is 230 lb), unassisted strict pull-up, do a muscle up, run a race with my mom in a different state (she is a great runner–me, not so much), stay healthy, lift weights throughout my life.
I’m happiest when I’m: Doing something I love whether that is cooking with my husband (he went to culinary school!), wine tasting with my family, doing food photography for my job (I work for a magazine) or just picking up a heavy barbell. Cooking and baking are my stress relievers and I’m lucky that I get to do that as a job. I’m convinced that there is not much a late night cookie baking session can’t fix.
My biggest motivator: My biggest motivation each day is that I want to be better/stronger/faster than I was the day before. Some days are great, some days aren’t but with support from my fellow athletes, coach and others, I move in that direction each day. A long-term motivator for me is trying to be the most fit I can be so that I can live life to the fullest. There is no doubt that picking up 200 pounds is satisfying on its own, but it’s also extremely beneficial—if something were to happen to my husband, I could help him, I have the capacity to move objects without assistance and I’m a better functioning human being because of it. I hope to be the grandmother who can still pick up her grandkids at 80 years old and can continue to do activities with my family—building and maintaining strength will make that possible.
Olympic sport I’d love to try: Olympic weightlifting or gymnastics!
Do you have a favorite fit blogger you want us to highlight? Leave a comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Written on November 15, 2011 at 3:07 pm , by Karla Walsh
You’ve met personal trainer/physical therapist Maria and dance queen Jordan, now learn more about a.m. all-star Melanie. While many are just beginning their casino games on the Strip in her hometown, Melanie is jumping out of bed for an al fresco exercise session!
Melanie Millan, Las Vegas
After Melanie, 29, was diagnosed with gluten sensitivity in August, she has completely overhauled her diet. Now she sleeps better, her complexion is brighter and she has plenty of energy for her evening kickball league.
Morning motivation “During the week, I get up at 5 a.m. for bootcamp on the Las Vegas Strip. We run stairs in parking garages, sprint the sidewalks and do strength moves like push-ups and squats. It inspires me to eat well all day so I don’t undo my hard work.”
Most embarrassing workout song “Anything by Justin Bieber!”
My aha moment “Three years ago, I saw a picture of myself 20 pounds heavier. It made me sad—why wasn’t I taking care of myself? The next day my friend and I made a pact to exercise at least three days a week and eat healthier.”
Written on September 28, 2011 at 10:48 am , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Alyssa Belanger, editorial intern
For Tyler Stewart, female Ironman titleholder, LUNA Chix Pro Team member and successful business owner, a gluten-free diet is more than just a passing fad. It took years of dealing with stomach pain, bloating, headaches and fatigue for Stewart to figure out that gluten was the culprit of her stomach issues. But within a few weeks of eliminating the hard-to-digest protein from her diet, she noticed her discomfort went away and her energy skyrocketed. (This diet is not the fix for all individuals, but those with gluten sensitivities benefit from eliminating wheat products from their meal plans.)
The superstar athlete, who openly admits that she “hates swimming” despite her success with the sport, shared her diet journey, daily menu and motivation tricks during a recent webcast.
Find your priorities. Stewart of course trains for upcoming events, but also runs a full-service dog grooming business with her husband and coaches other athletes. But, she says, “the key to being gluten-free is making time for you and your health.”
Make smart choices for you. “My family is so far from gluten-free,” Stewart says. “Sometimes I take it personally when we get together for dinner and they say, ‘Hey Ty, you’re going to bring your own food, right?’” Despite the joking around, Stewart’s family has been supportive of her lifestyle and she has been trying to teach them simple substitutions so everyone can eat together (opt for rice instead of pasta; potatoes over white bread).
Don’t strive to be perfect. To be successful, you have to be reasonable with yourself and avoid beating yourself up if you make a mistake—say eating an indulgent dessert or skipping a workout. “You have to manage your highs and lows,” she says. “You just have to keep looking forward.”
Enjoy your eats. “The whole perception that gluten-free is not tasty is old news,” Stewart says. She has found delicious substitutes for almost every type of food—there’s even gluten-free beer!
A typical day in Stewart’s diet:
- Breakfast: Gluten-free muffin, banana and almond butter; coffee
- Snack: LUNA gluten-free protein bar
- Lunch: Big salad with chicken and roasted potatoes
- Snack: Yogurt with fruit
- Dinner: Chicken with baked potato and broccoli
To learn more about Tyler Stewart, the LUNA Chix Pro Team and LUNA’s gluten free products check out lunabar.com.