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Diet Tips to Cure Your Cold Before It Starts

Written on October 17, 2011 at 9:10 am , by

Bottoms up! (Photo courtesy of Chris Gallo)

It’s not even November yet and we’ve already had the first round of sniffles, coughs, and colds here at the FITNESS offices. Chances are, if you haven’t had any cold or flu symptoms yet, you know someone who has, making you that much more vulnerable to getting sick.

We chatted with Gail Rampersaud, a registered dietitian in Florida for some ways to guard yourself against a cold this season. Below, her healthy eating tips for keeping your immune system in tact:

  • Consume at least five servings of fruits and veggies a day to get enough vitamins and antioxidants to keep you from catching a cold.
  • Lean meats, such as skinless chicken or beef contain iron and zinc, two minerals that will boost your immune system all winter long.
  • Drink up! One 8 oz. glass of 100 percent orange juice provides at least 100 percent of the daily value for vitamin C.

Rampersaud also shared this recipe for spiced orange green tea, so you can arm yourself with the proper nutrients before cold season officially starts.

Spiced Orange Green Tea


  • 4 oz. Florida Orange Juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 oz. green tea


Combine all ingredients in a pot and heat until heavily steaming. Strain and serve hot.

Now tell us: How do you prep for cold season?

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Judy Greer Gets Reluctantly Healthy

Written on October 7, 2011 at 2:51 pm , by

Check out the first epsiode of Reluctantly Healthy to learn how to make a healthy pantry chili recipe! (Photo courtesy of Yahoo!)

When you really think about it, it’s pretty ironic there are a slew of shows on TV dedicated to busy women who need fast recipes to whip up during the week when the shows themselves run anywhere between a half hour to an hour. If you’re really that busy, who has time to watch a show on how to not be quite as busy?

That’s why Yahoo! has decided to launch a new series called, Reluctantly Healthy, a weekly three to five minute Webisode hosted by actress and comedian Judy Greer on how to stay healthy on-the-go, whether you’re constantly traveling, work long hours, or just don’t have time to constantly watch what you’re putting in your mouth. We got the chance to chat with Greer about the series and some quirky tips she’s picked up along the way. See what she had to say below.

What makes Reluctantly Healthy different from other shows out there?

The fact that it’s short and simple is key. No episode is longer than five minutes because busy women don’t have time to watch a half-hour show on healthy habits. Each show features myself with a dream team of experts—trainer Tanja Djelevic, chef Jared Sokoloff and nutritionist Carey Peters asking questions on how to exercise faster, eat better and make healthier choices in everyday life.

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8 Warning Signs to Look After Your Breasts

Written on October 7, 2011 at 11:00 am , by

Give your girls lots of love this month! (Photo courtesy of Kelly Heyworth)

In the latest issue of FITNESS we broke down all the weird little things that can happen to your breasts. And while some lumps and bumps might be normal, others are not. Below, experts from Susan G. Komen for the Cure share some warning signs to look out for in your breasts. If you see any of these changes, schedule an appointment with your doc.

  • A lump, hard knot, or thickening inside the breast.
  • Change in size or shape of your breast.
  • Swelling, warmth, redness, or darkening of the breast.
  • Dimpling or puckering of the skin around the breast.
  • Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple.
  • Nipple discharge that starts suddenly.
  • Pulling in of your nipple or other part of the breast.
  • New pain in one spot that doesn’t go away.

Visit komen.org to get information all month on breast cancer prevention, events, and more. Plus, read this step-by-step guide on how to give yourself a self-exam.

Tell us: Have you given yourself a breast self-exam yet this month?

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Safe Driving: Is There an App for That?

Written on September 14, 2011 at 10:49 am , by

If your speed is up, the phone powers down. (Image courtesy of Sprint)

It’s a shocking reality: using a cell phone of any kind (even with a headset!) while driving impairs your reaction time as much as having a blood alcohol level at the legal limit of .08, according to a University of Utah study. And nearly one in five car accidents can be attributed to distracted driving. But besides tossing your phone in the back seat, what can you do to steer clear of the temptation of calls, texts or tweets at a red light—or help your teens do the same?

Sprint launched an app yesterday called “Drive First” that automatically locks the phone when the car’s speed exceeds 10 miles per hour. All calls and text conversations will be forced to end and the phone will be locked on the home screen, customized by the account holder (this can include just a 911 button or specific apps that the user deems necessary, such as weather and music). After the car stops moving for a few minutes, it fully unlocks. Considering many of us (myself included!) have a massive multitasking habit, this app could be a lifesaver.

Drive First is now available for Sprint android phones for $2 per month and in the near future, Blackberry and other phone users will be able to use the app as well. Learn more and sign up for a free trial or the app here.

Now tell us: What are your top safe driving tips?

Categories: Health, The Fit Stop | Tags: , , ,
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Forks Over Knives: Healthy Eating Tips from Groundbreaking Researcher Dr. T. Colin Campbell

Written on September 8, 2011 at 11:25 am , by

You may be able to chew yourself away from disease. (Image courtesy of Virgil Fims & Entertainment)

Does what we eat determine how long we live? That’s the premise behind the new film Forks Over Knives, which promotes a whole foods, plant-based diet to reduce cardiovascular disease and improve overall health.

We first learned about the film from trainer Bob Harper, who said that the scientific research that the film was based on (which also can be found in the book The China Study) inspired him to go vegan. So when the film was officially released to the public, we decided to speak with one of the main scientists interviewed in the film, Dr. T. Colin Campbell. He also happens to be the co-author of The China Study.

Read on to learn about how he says we can use food as medicine and how he inspired former President Bill Clinton to eat meat-free.

What did you discover when you went to China to research health, nutrition and longevity?
Cancer was much more common in some regions of China than others, so we did a survey to find out why. Individuals who ate a diet mainly of whole, plant-based foods had a lower risk for cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases. This specific study, along with 30 years of related nutrition research, helped me to see the major impact the way we eat can have on health, politics and the environment.

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Five Solutions for Serious Sweating

Written on August 30, 2011 at 10:22 am , by

Written by Theresa K. Brady, editorial intern

Don't forget to stay hydrated and wear layers you can peel of as you warm up. (Photo by Susan Pittard)

The last few days of summer are rapidly approaching, and we’re all trying to get in as many warm-weather workouts as possible. But with the rare day of scorching temperatures still popping up, outdoor exercisers can experience dehydration and excessive sweating. We spoke with experts from the International Hyperhydrosis Society to find out how to keep cool, stay dry and recognize when sweating becomes serious.

  • Hydration is key.Drinking water helps cool the body off,” says Kelley Redbord, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist in private practice in Vienna, Virginia and associate professor at George Washington University. If your body isn’t hydrated it won’t produce sweat, which could lead to heat stroke, says David M. Pariser, MD, founding member and secretary of the International Hyperhidrosis Society and professor of dermatology at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk. Body temperature is regulated during hot weather by sweat evaporating off your skin.
  • Apply antiperspirant at night. Both Redboard and Pariser recommend using an antiperspirant (which decrease sweating, while deodorants decrease odor-causing bacteria) in the evening because your skin will, most likely, be drier. “In the morning you’re body is moving and making heat, causing your body to sweat,” says Pariser. Wet skin makes antiperspirants less effective.
  • Look for clinical strength. These antiperspirants have higher amounts of the active ingredient aluminum salt that makes them more effective than standard ones, says Pariser. They are sold over-the-counter at most local drugstores. Redboard recommends Secret Clinical Strength for women and Gilette Clinical Strength for men.
  • Apply it anywhere. Antiperspirants are not reserved for under your arms. You can apply them anywhere you find you perspire like your hands, knees, feet, back or chest. Just be aware that these areas might be more sensitive than your underarms so choose an unscented product, advises Redboard.
  • Excessive sweating may require treatment. If you find perspiration affecting your daily life, you may have a condition called hyperhydrosis. It sounds serious, but this just means you sweat more than necessary, and the condition is testable and treatable, Redboard and Pariser say. Symptoms include excessive sweating while resting, physical discomfort and sweaty palms making writing or shaking hands difficult. Consult with your doctor or dermatologist if you think you may suffer from hyperhydrosis.

You can also visit sweathelp.org to learn more about what you can do to keep your sweating under control.

More from FITNESS: Did you know that a women’s pro soccer player can sweat about three liters per match? Find more perspiration facts (and fixes) in “Don’t Sweat It.”

Skip the Salt: Healthy Alternatives to Please Your Taste Buds

Written on August 22, 2011 at 3:56 pm , by

Stick to just a pinch of salt and reap the health benefits. (Photo courtesy of Peter Ardito)

I love to cook, and thanks to my Italian mother I often use measurements like “five healthy shakes” instead of exact amounts. So when making dinner for a friend that’s on a low sodium diet this weekend, (my “five healthy shakes” would probably max out her sodium intake for the next year) I came to a realization — salt is everywhere, especially in my kitchen!

It’s no secret that a majority of Americans crave all things salty. In fact, this ABC News article reports that companies like Campbell’s are adding more salt to their Harvest Select soups after consumers complained they were too bland. With health experts telling us to avoid excess salt, and companies adding more into processed foods, what’s a girl to do?

I tested out some salt substitutes to see if I could live without my beloved salt shaker. Below, some of the things I tried and how my taste buds fared.

  • Lemon juice: I used this on almost everything I would normally salt, like pasta, chicken, and veggies. Not only did I find a new condiment I’m obsessed with, I didn’t miss my usual salty taste one bit.
  • Vinegar: A quick lesson learned, a little bit of this goes a long, long way. Add to potato salads, regular leafy salads, and raw veggies.
  • Spices: Another tasty substitute, I swapped out garlic salt for rosemary and oregano when making homemade tomato sauce. Not only did the sauce taste basically the same, I finally put my spice rack to good use!

Now tell us: What do you use to substitute salt when you cook?

Planned Parenthood’s Dancing Birth Control

Written on August 10, 2011 at 1:26 pm , by

Anything that's free (especially co-pays!) makes us want to dance a little bit too. (Photo courtesy of Blaine Moats)

Now that we’ve got your attention, let us explain. As you may have heard, The Department of Health and Human Services has ruled that as of August 12, 2012 new guidelines under the Affordable Care Act will require health insurance plans to cover women’s preventative services. This includes annual trips to your gynecologist, domestic violence screenings and counseling, and FDA-approved contraception methods that you would get a prescription for. The bottom line? No more co-pays for your birth control!

Clearly, this is something to get excited about  for those who have been paying high co-pays for years or aren’t on the pill because they can’t afford to pay one at all. Planned Parenthood launched this attention-grabbing video to celebrate the new ruling. Check it out below and go to healthcare.gov for more information on the Affordable Care Act.

Now tell us: What’s your reaction to this video? Harmless fun or is it a little too much?

More from FITNESS: The Facts About Birth Control

Fashionable Livesavers: Hope Paige Medical Alert ID Bracelets

Written on August 2, 2011 at 4:37 pm , by

We're too busy admiring the beads to notice this is a medical bracelet! (Photo courtesy of Hope Paige Designs)

Written by Danielle Paquette, Editorial Intern

Don’t sacrifice chic to stay safe. Medical professionals recommend that anyone who suffers from a range of conditions—from asthma and diabetes, to drug, food and insect allergies—wear ID bracelets in case  she requires emergency medical care and cannot explain her needs. Until recently, these ID bands were only available in clunky and boring styles. To remedy this, Shelly Hope Fisher designed cute medical alert bracelets for Hope Paige Designs, which Crystal Bowsersox rocked on American Idol, to please fashionistas at any age.

Fisher put a fresh twist on the classic medical ID bands to boost confidence among wearers. “People don’t want to feel defined by their ailment,” she said. “These bracelets let you express yourself while staying safe.”

Go to hopepaige.com to customize your own band or stop by your local grocery store, pharmacy or doctor’s office to pick up one of these stylish and functional bracelets.

More from FITNESS: This bracelet reminds us that it’s important to be prepared for any situation that arises. So after you get your ID, check out these tips to build an emergency survival kit.

Would You Let Your 10-Year-Old Be a Bodybuilder?

Written on July 19, 2011 at 4:49 pm , by

It's OK, we didn't know we had this many ab muscles either. (Photo courtesy of WorkOutKid.com)

Meet C.J. Senters. Pretty buff, right? He’s also pretty young—10 years old to be exact.

I stumbled across Senters after one of the editors here at FITNESS sent this article over on the next child fitness prodigy. Senters started working out five years ago after his football coach told the team to go home over the weekend and get some exercise (youthful ears really do listen well!). He started with some push-ups and crunches and just kept going. He’s tried P90X, and has even started making his own routines, teaching kids at a gym near his home.

Senters isn’t the only one starting early on his physique. This Today Show segment talks about the increase in the amount of young boys, from 6 to 13 years old, strength training and getting involved in bodybuilding competitions.

With the rise in childhood obesity it’s nice to see the other side of the spectrum, with kids taking their health and fitness into their own hands (both cases here started with the child’s interest, not from the provoking of parents). But now child psychologists say such an obsession with fitness at a young age could also be problematic, even leading to an Adonis Complex and obsessing over their bodies.

So tell us: What do you think about kids bodybuilding and getting super fit? Is it healthy, or way too much too soon?