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Healthy Eating

Guess What the Most Motivating Tool to a Healthy Lifestyle Is?

Written on April 12, 2013 at 3:00 pm , by

Had a great run? Tweet it! You may just motivate a pal to do the same. (Photo courtesy of Newton Daly)

Now that I have finally jumped the hurdle of being an early morning runner, there are a number of reasons I lace up instead of hitting the snooze. Fun weekend plans. My brother’s wedding. My wedding. Wanting to PR in the Pittsburgh Marathon next month. The list goes on. And of course, there are dozens of reasons that inspire others that aren’t on my list. To figure out what motivates healthy lifestyles among its consumers, Tyson Foods on behalf of the Tyson® Grilled & Ready® product line surveyed over 2,000 participants all across the country and found out what really sparks the masses to eat healthier and work out harder. Below, some findings we found particularly interesting:

  • Nearly everyone surveyed–94 percent–is looking to make a positive change related to his or her health this year. Of those, 79 percent want to eat healthy. (Get started with our new Healthy Snack Finder, to make mid-morning and afternoon munching satisfying, without being total calorie bombs.)
  • When it comes to motivation, 79 percent say their health motivates them to live a healthy lifestyle while 58 percent want their clothes to fit better. Around 52 percent stay motivated for their family (aww!) and 28 percent do it for an upcoming social event.
  • In terms of the most motivating tool, there’s no surprise here–social media! About 43 percent said they were more motivated to work out after seeing a friend post or tweet about having a great workout.

Some other fun facts: For those wishing a celebrity chef would pop up in their kitchen and help them cook, 1 out of 4 picked Emeril Lagasse. As for favorite trainer, Jillian Michaels is queen by both women (45 percent) and men (41 percent).

Now Tell Us: What motivates you to live a healthy lifestyle?

Celebrate National Grilled Cheese Day with a Healthy Comfort Food Twist

Written on April 11, 2013 at 5:30 pm , by

Grilled cheese just got a whole lot fancier. (Photo courtesy of Kobrand)

Written by Carrie Stevens, editorial intern

These national food holidays are seriously some of the best inventions ever. Nothing hits the spot quite like a warm and crispy grilled cheese sandwich, and if you’re looking to add some flavor and a boost of well, adulthood, to your comfort food game—without a ton of extra calories—then you’re covered here. We recently sampled gourmet sandwiches crafted by Jason Sobocinski of The Big Cheese with wine pairings from St. Francis Winery and Vineyard, and two sent our taste buds into a frenzy. Grill one up for a classy, no-fuss weekend meal that your guy will love. Because everyone needs to channel their inner kid a little bit, right?

Fresh Chevre, Caramelized Pear, Pickled Ginger and Honey on Sourdough

Paired with Sonoma County Chardonnay

Serves: 2

What we think: Don’t knock it til’ you try it! The crisp chardonnay intensifies the cheese and pear flavors while the ginger and honey are great complements.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large ripe pear, skin removed, cored and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon pickled ginger, drained and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 3 oz fresh goat’s milk chevre
  • 4 slices sourdough bread

Directions

1. Coat a small sauté pan with olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add pear slices, pickled ginger and honey and cook, stirring occasionally, until pear begins to color and soften, 5 to 7 minutes. Pour mixture into a bowl and set aside. Let cool slightly.

2. Meanwhile, spread fresh goat’s milk chevre onto sourdough bread. Add 4 to 6 slices of cooked pears to 2 bread slices. Top with remaining bread.

3. Spread butter onto outsides of each sandwich. Coat a large sauté pan with olive oil and heat over medium heat. Toast sandwiches until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip sandwiches and repeat. Let cool slightly before serving.

Calories per serving: 488

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Want Ne-Yo and Cher Lloyd to Sing a Song About You? Here’s How

Written on April 11, 2013 at 11:15 am , by

Ne-Yo is looking forward to swimming with his kids this summer, while Cher Llyod is gearing up for some badminton games outside with family! (Photo courtesy Fruttare)

We finally had our first glimpse of some warm weather this week in NYC and to celebrate, we did it with popsicles of course! To help kick off the launch of Fruttare Fruit Bars, Grammy-Award winning singer Ne-Yo and platinum-selling superstar Cher Lloyd are teaming to do a song collaboration–inspired by you!

To make it into the tune, all you have to do is log on to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram and share what keeps you looking on the positive side of things, with the hashtag #itsallgood. And let’s be honest–when the sun is out and you’re heading on your long awaited vacation, beach trip, a hot and sweaty outdoor workout or whatever else you’ve got planned, there’s not much that’s not good.

Ne-Yo, who admitted to thinking of himself as a “fake freelance photographer” with his Instagram photos and Cher Lloyd, who loves Twitter (follow her @CherLlyod!) to connect with her fans and catch up on the news, will round up your responses to work them into their tune. The duo will also sing it live at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas this September. Pretty sweet, right?

To see Ne-Yo and Cher Lloyd in the studio and to purchase their song, visit the Fruttare Facebook page.

 More from FITNESS: Tony Horton’s Sweat-Dripping Workout Playlist

Fit Blogger We Love: Running to the Kitchen

Written on March 21, 2013 at 1:04 pm , by

 

Gina zeroes in on her CrossFit workouts to drum up a good dose of sweat.

After a tough workout, the first place we tend to head isn’t the shower, but the kitchen – gotta squeeze in that recovery fuel within a half hour! As someone who loves food just as much as we do, it’s safe to say Gina of Running to the Kitchen does the same thing. After all, it’s in her blog name! This CrossFit junkie makes us drool with all of her beautiful recipe images, and she’ll make you do the same. Go ahead and check it out – we bet you can’t prove us wrong.

My favorite way to work out: CrossFit! I know, I know, it’s all the rage right now and that’s a totally predictable answer, but I started CrossFit when it opened in my town last July and have been hooked ever since. It’s efficient, effective (hello, muscles I’ve never seen before) and an absolute blast. I think every box (read: gym) has  different vibe, but something that seems pretty consistent across the board is the rapport among members. It’s not only my workout for the day, but a time I get to hang out with like-minded people and have fun. An hour of endorphins pumping, music blasting and people cheering each other on beats any other workout I can think of.

On my fit life list: A strict unassisted pull-up. No marathons, no triathlons. Just one darn pull-up without a band or kipping.

My “I Did It” moment: Finishing my first half-marathon in less than two hours. 2010 was a year of a lot of change for me. I lost 20 pounds, revamped the way I ate (slowly) and started running. Having played sports all my life as a kid, running was always something I was “forced” to do, not a sport I enjoyed. When I decided to pick it up as an adult in an effort to live a healthier lifestyle, I had no idea I’d grow to love it as much as I do. What started as a little competitive bet with myself to run my first 5K ended with my first half-marathon seven months later. Finishing it in under two hours, when I couldn’t even run one mile eight months prior, was pretty awesome.

I’m happiest when I’m: Doing anything with food. Eating it, cooking it, photographing it – anything. As cliche as it may sound, food is definitely my life passion. I contemplated going to culinary school in my mid-twenties, and while that didn’t actually happen, my blog has become the perfect creative outlet for that passion.

Olympic sport I’d love to try: While I think I’d be horrendous at it, I would pick gymnastics! Considering I can stay in an unassisted handstand for about three seconds, at best, and still haven’t come close to mastering the muscle-up in CrossFit (both gymnastic-type skills), it would be interesting.

Do you have a favorite fit blogger you want us to highlight? Leave a comment below or email blog@fitnessmagazine.com

Harley Pasternak on Losing Weight Fast (As in This Week)

Written on March 12, 2013 at 9:00 am , by

When looking for a blender, keep in mind Harley’s top tip: Make sure it can crush ice.

Megan Fox. Jennifer Hudson. Amanda Seyfried. Katy Perry. Those are just a few of the celebs trainer Harley Pasternak has whipped into A-list shape. Here at FITNESS, we’ve been getting a lot of Harley time lately (lucky us!). Not only is he the newest member of our advisory board, he recently treated us to an exclusive staff workout to talk about his latest collaboration with New Balance with the New Balance 5 Factor997 for cross-training and his latest book The Body Reset Diet, which helps you lose weight fast (we’re talking five days fast) in a healthy, non-cleansing or detoxing way. See what Harley had to say about his new program below (spoiler–it involves quitting the gym!) and find out why if you don’t already have one, you should go get yourself a blender ASAP!

What prompted you to create this new plan for The Body Reset Diet?

I finally understood the sense of urgency women have in wanting to see a difference in the way they look and feel. They don’t want it to take weeks, they want to see a change this week. It made me realize that I need to offer them a healthy option to quickly drop weight and transform their body. I wanted to talk them out of doing cleanses and using diuretics and show them that there is a healthy way you can lose weight and feel great.

In the book, you map out a three-phase plan to slim down that incorporates smoothies in each phase. What are some common myths you’ve heard in the past from your clients about smoothies?

People definitely don’t know the difference between blending and juicing. They think blending is for body builders and they are all just forms of protein shakes packed with calories that bulk you up. But that’s wrong. Believe it or not, a fresh cold pressed apple juice can have twice the calories of an entire blended meal and four times the sugar! Read more

Jennie Garth on Giving Back, Weight Loss Secrets and Staying in Shape

Written on March 7, 2013 at 4:30 pm , by

No Jock Jams here! Jennie Garth listens to mellow music to stay in the zone during a sweat session. (Photo courtesy Lindt)

Have you ever walked into a Lindt store before? I had not, until this week when I went to go see actress Jennie Garth kick off the Lindt Gold Bunny Celebrity Auction to raise funds for Autism Speaks. Let me tell you, it is a deliciously terrifying place if you have a sweet tooth. The walls are covered with chocolate, not to mention the gold bunnies that basically spoke to you as soon as you walked in the door. (I swear one of them whispered to me that I could take all their chocolate ears and no one would care). But luckily, watching Garth sign her bunny and looking more in shape than ever was enough motivation to keep me from ransacking the walls. Below, Garth chats with us on her latest fitness routine, weight loss tricks and how she stays in shape.

What made you decide to get involved in the Lindt Gold Bunny Celebrity Auction this year?
I have three daughters and Easter is a big family time holiday for us. It’s also a valuable time to tell them about the importance of giving back, so partnering up with Lindt for this is just something I can really feel good about.

What’s your fitness routine like these days?
I’m really into hiking and jogging with my dog right now. I recently got a really big dog and he needs exercise all the time, so that is something that is new for me. I work out in a gym with a trainer two to three days a week on top of that. Read more

Breakfast Fact vs. Fiction: Do You Know the Difference?

Written on March 4, 2013 at 8:09 am , by

What are your best breakfast options? Skolnik sifts through loads of info to get you the right answers. (Photo courtesy of Heidi Skolnik)

Written by Carrie Stevens, editorial intern

Did you eat breakfast this morning? Of course you did. So here’s a better question: what exactly did you eat?  Thanks to low-carb crazes and high-cholesterol concerns, it can be difficult to make a morning meal decision that leaves you not only feeling full, but energized and ready for the day. To debunk some of the most popular myths, we turned to nutritionist Heidi Skolnik, owner of Nutrition Conditioning, Inc. Can you separate fact from fiction?

Why are there so many misconceptions about healthy breakfast options?

I think we’re just bombarded with information. Nutrition is such a popular topic, and everyone is interested in it.  But we get information from all different kinds of places; it’s hard to sift through it and figure out what’s credible and solid and what isn’t.

What’s one of the biggest myths you continually set straight?

“I’m going to save my calories for later. I don’t like to eat breakfast because I can control myself in the morning, and then I can save those calories and eat them at dinner.” That really sabotages anyone who’s trying to lose weight. We know breakfast skippers have higher BMIs (body mass index) than breakfast eaters. When you skip breakfast, you’re way more likely to overeat later. Of course you get hungry later, but you can eat and be satisfied as opposed to eat dinner and raid the refrigerator for the rest of the evening. It’s hard for people to put together that what they eat in the morning affects their appetite at night, but that connection exists.

With that being said, what are some of the healthiest breakfast options?

The very most basic guideline is to include a whole grain, a protein, and a whole fruit or 100 percent fruit juice. An example of that would be a breakfast sandwich: go ahead and get an English muffin with egg and eight ounces of 100 percent Florida Orange Juice, which will give you vitamin C, potassium, folate, phytonutrients – all of those wonderfully occurring nutrients in oranges.  Or you can make yourself a yogurt parfait. I happen to like Greek yogurt because it’s high in protein. Add some fruit, granola and some healthy nuts on top.

What are the best on-the-go choices?

If you’re commuting, a whole-wheat pita with some peanut butter and sliced banana is really easy to take and go. You can eat it in the subway, on a train, in a taxi, on a bus – however you commute. Or, if you’re one of those who can’t get it together until work, then keep instant oatmeal at your desk and pair that with some yogurt and juice for a more balanced meal.

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The Little Black Book of Healthy Restaurants

Written on February 28, 2013 at 10:25 am , by

Eating out just got a whole lot healthier. (Photo courtesy of Equinox)

Whether you’re an Equinox member or not, the gym just made finding a healthy spot to nosh at as easy as turning a page. That’s because they’ve teamed up with Zagat to create Zagat’s Dining Out. By Equinox. It’s a health-conscious Zagat guide highlighting restaurants located near the 58 Equinox locations in cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Boston, Dallas and Washington, D.C. Stop by select Equinox shop locations and pick up your copy to start navigating the restaurants in your area.

The guide helps launch Equinox’s new nutrition philosophy, which consists of 12 pillars of healthy eating (you can read about them at q.equinox.com). We flipped through the book and quickly reached a verdict: We’ve got a lot of eating to do in 2013! And that’s just fine with us.

Zagat’s Dining Out. By Equinox. is available at 28 Equinox stores for $18.95.

 More from FITNESS: Eat Out and Still Lose Weight

Food Network Gina Neely’s New Healthy Lifestyle

Written on February 20, 2013 at 9:02 am , by

Neely made a few healthy eating swaps and dropped 20lbs in 12 weeks! (Photo courtesy of Spectrum Brand Holidngs, Inc.)

Written by Rachel Torgerson, editorial intern

Anyone who watches Down Home with the Neelys on the Food Network knows that Gina Neely likes buttery, southern cooking.  So when we heard that she was participating in George Foreman’s Weight Loss Challenge—a 12-week food and exercise plan complete with week-by-week grocery lists—we were more than curious to see how it would pan out. Fast-forward twelve weeks later and Gina’s lost 20 lbs and gained a new, healthy lifestyle. We chatted with her about what changes she’s made (and sticking to!), her favorite recipes and even her Billy Blanks workout tapes.

What inspired you to make these changes in your life?

I think it was just when I went to the doctor and got my physical. She told me my cholesterol was getting a little high. I just said, “You know what? I’ve got to start changing that!” This is my body and if I’m not going to be good to it, it’s not going to be good to me. I said to my girls, “If I don’t do this and make time for myself, if you need me, I’m not going to be around.” And that’s just a really serious part of it: making sure that you’re healthy for your loved ones.

Was it hard to start the challenge?

The first week and a half I noticed my pants fitting a little looser and I was like, “Hey, hey, hey!” I was already doing little things like taking the bun off of my burger, but sticking to the challenge really helped me see the results. I lost 20 lbs and 12 inches by the end.

On the show and in your restaurants, you’re surrounded by food constantly. How do you stay focused and motivated?

When I’m in the restaurant, I’m around food a lot, so it’s kind of just picking at it and filling up. The George Foreman helped me stop doing that so much because it’s a fast meal, as opposed to a bunch of chopping. Because after doing that all day, you don’t want to put effort into dinner; you’re over it. The grill cleans up easy, it makes cooking fun and my girls can use it.

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Sneaky Cooking Tips to Stop Winter Weight Gain

Written on February 4, 2013 at 1:52 pm , by

A quick marinade makes any lean meat instantly more flavorful. (Photo courtesy Peter Ardito)

We get it–it’s cold, dark and you want to curl up in sweat pants and stick your face into something ooey, gooey, slightly cheesy and warm. Just because you’re jonesing for some comfort food doesn’t mean you have to write off your diet for the day. Chef Jessica James and Amy Goche, registered dietician and member of the National Restaurant Association’s Nutrition Executive Study Group shared with us their top culinary secrets to amp up flavor and cut calories when it comes to those winter favorites. The pair helped create Applebee’s Weight Watchers dishes for the chain’s menus, with each dish clocking in less than 550 calories. Below, tips, cooking tricks and a super easy recipe to jazz up almost any dish.

If you want something creamy…
Make a citrus gremolata instead. “I’m always trying to break the conception that eating healthy means you can’t indulge,” says James. Try this recipe below to as a no-calorie alternative to add some flavor to soups or as a sauce or dressing.

Lemon Greomlata

Ingredients

  • Zest of one large lemon
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions
Thoroughly combine all ingredients in a small bowl, cover with plastic and refrigerate for one hour.

When you’re ordering from a menu…
Check out the description, says Goche. “Some healthy keywords to look out for are grilled, broiled or sautéed. Stay away from any items in cream-based sauces.”

A must-make marinade…
“If you’re cooking at home, marinade! It boosts flavor to lean meats that the fat would usually do,” says Goche. Her quick marinade is a splash or orange juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, garlic and some chopped herbs of your choosing. Combine, and let sit on the meat anywhere between a half hour up to 12 hours.

More Recipes: Low-Cal Recipes for Your Favorite Comfort Foods