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Healthy Eating

Thanksgiving Myths–Busted!

Written on November 19, 2012 at 9:28 am , by

Opt for oven roasted turkey without the skin for a slimmer holiday dinner this year. (Photo courtesy Blaine Moats)

Think Thanksgiving is the ultimate lazy holiday, filled with fatty fried turkeys and sweet treats galore? Think again! Wayfair.com, the largest online home goods retailer, recently conducted a survey of 1,200 people nationwide on their Turkey Day habits and we found a few that may surprise you:

Myth: Couch is king on Thanksgiving Day.

Truth: Whether families are mingling with the in-laws or gearing up for Black Friday, Wayfair.com found that the majority of people surveyed spend less than two hours on the couch. About 30 percent of people will not spend any time lounging at all, and will be in the kitchen instead. And for those couch potatoes, 15 percent admitted to spending more than four hours there.

Myth: When it comes to food, fry, baby, fry.

Truth: One third of this year’s Thanksgiving dinners will include more than 10 people around the table with more than 80 percent of dinners having oven roasted turkey as the main entree. For side dishes, stuffing and mashed potatoes are the perennial favorites with both dishes running out first on most tables. And thankfully, only 5 percent of people plan to deep-fry their turkeys this year.

So there you have it, most of us aren’t so lazy during Thanksgiving. Not cooking? Then hop off the couch and get a workout in before dinner!

More from FITNESS: Burn Off That Stuffing! America’s Best Thanksgiving Day Runs

 

Why You Should Shop a Little Smarter This Month

Written on October 10, 2012 at 10:34 am , by

Look for this seal when you shop for the Fair Trade stamp of approval. (Photo courtesy Fair Trade USA)

Written by Ashley Koff, R.D. FITNESS advisory board member and founder of Ashley Koff Approved

October is a unique time of year.  As summer ends and winter approaches, we make changes to adjust our bodies and minds.  The changing of seasons is a great time to think about our health and power – individually and globally. It’s an important time to learn about women’s empowerment and health issues (such as breast cancer awareness), but also another issue that affects women and sustainable food production directly–Fair Trade Month. It’s a time to think about how everyday purchases affect the lives of millions of families who produce the food that feeds us.

You may think of Fair Trade as a label for your daily cup of coffee, but do you know what’s behind it? Fair Trade certification helps to improve the lives of women and their families across the globe, as well as protect the environment. This really hit home for me when I heard is the story of Maria Filha de Jesus, a coffee farm worker in Brazil who has needed eyeglasses for many years but could not afford them (she is 60!); it was getting harder and harder to do her job and see at home. Now that Maria works on a Fair Trade farm, she receives a wealth of benefits and finally got her long overdue pair of glasses that will allow her to continue working with the ability to pick the best beans possible.

Everyone can help women like Maria with the power of their dollar. Buying Fair Trade Certified products like tea, coffee, chocolate and produce (among others) not only guarantees that you are getting quality products, it means mothers, children and communities worldwide get paid fairly which translates into better healthcare, social care, environmental care and so much more.

That’s why this month is the perfect time to celebrate women’s health and empowerment through your everyday choices. Creating big impact is easy. For example, simply swap one of your staple grocery items with a Fair Trade Certified product. Why not upgrade your morning caffeine routine by switching your typical brew for a cup of Fair Trade Certified coffee paired with a Fair Trade Certified banana? It’s that simple, and makes a bigger difference than you think.

Read on for a Fair Trade recipe perfect for fall from Koff. Read more

Sheryl Crow’s Nutrition Mission to Help Feed America

Written on September 19, 2012 at 2:29 pm , by

Sheryl Crow kicks off the Nutrition Mission with One A Day® Women’s in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Bayer)

It’s not something that gets splashed all over the tabloids, but when she’s not working or taking care of her kids, singer-songwriter, producer, and mom Sheryl Crow has been volunteering at food banks. “It was eye opening,” she says. “It’s not just homeless people going there. It’s moms who need to feed their kids. But people don’t talk about it. They’re embarrassed.” It was this realization that motivated Crow to work with Feeding America and One A Day’s Nutrition Mission for Hunger Action Month. We got to talk to the star in Union Square in New York City, where Crow kicked off the charitable initiative, encouraging others to donate cans of food for the Food Bank for New York City.

More than 50 million people in America today need help getting food on the table, and like you said, it’s not something we talk about everyday. How can other people across the country help?
You can go to NutritionMission.com to make a donation to Feeding America. Just one dollar can equal eight meals. You can donate a can of food to your food shelter. A can of beans or corn costs less than a dollar but it goes a long way. You can also volunteer your time at a food bank.

You and your kids must have a busy schedule. How do you make sure they eat healthy?
I’m like every other mom who has kids who’d rather eat mac and cheese and chicken fingers everyday. I try to feed them clean  foods that don’t have additives, and foods that are in season. I rely on Jessica Seinfeld’s method of hiding healthy food in dishes they like and I try to get them to try new things. Our rule is that you have to try everything on your plate. Read more

How Nia Vardalos Keeps It Healthy On-the-Go

Written on September 11, 2012 at 10:35 am , by

Nia's weight loss journey all started with a walk around the block. (Photo courtesy of Life...supplemented)

When My Big Fat Greek Wedding star Nia Vardalos decided to shed 40 pounds back in 2009, she did it for her health, not to squeeze into a smaller dress size. “I never felt well, I was constantly getting dizzy and because I already had thyroid disease I had a serious blood sugar issue. My choices were to lose weight or go on medication,” she told us when chatting earlier this week about her partnership the new health app from Life…supplemented called WannaBeWell app. Read on to see what simple steps led to Vardalos’ transformation and the tricks she uses everyday to maintain her weight and health.

Losing weight can be a daunting task. How did you get started?

After that visit with my doctor, I knew medication wasn’t an option for me. I’m not a pop a pill person, but I really wanted to find a way to start feeling better. So I started simple, just by walking. After that I cut out food high in starches and sugar and went from there. It was a slow process, but once I started it I looked better, felt better and even slept better!

What made you want to get involved with the WannaBeWell app?

For me it was a natural fit. I started taking supplements when I first started to lose weight, and I’ve kept up with it. My family makes fun of me because I take so many! So to have something to remind you when to take what, it’s really a no brainer for me.

What kind of supplements do you take?

First, every woman is different and we don’t all need the same things. So you should talk to your doctor before starting any type of supplement plan. I take fish oil, biotin and vitamins E, C and D (since I’m a writer and holed up in the dark all day!). If you don’t have time to get to a doctor but want to take something, start with a multivitamin and then discuss a plan at your next office visit. Read more

Savor Summer with This Weekend Smoothie Recipe

Written on August 31, 2012 at 4:11 pm , by

As long as this glass is full, summer's not going anywhere. (Photo courtesy of Quaker Oats)

Written by Deanna Cioppa, editorial intern

Summer is coming to a close (sniff, sniff!) but that doesn’t mean you can’t still relish the sunny days. The slow-burning carbs and 8 grams of protein in this sweet smoothie from Quaker Oats will keep you full and fueled up so you can make the most of these precious last days. Blend one up this weekend and hit the great outdoors.

Strawberry Orange Smoothie

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 cup frozen, unsweetened strawberries (5 ounces is about 10 berries)
  • 3/4 cup light vanilla yogurt (reduced fat, sweetened with aspartame)
  • 1 cup calcium-fortified Tropicana or Dole orange juice
  • 2/3 cup Quaker Oats (Quick or Old Fashioned, uncooked)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger or 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions

Combine all ingredients in blender container or food processor work bowl; blend until smooth, stopping blender once and stirring.

Nutrition info per serving: Calories 230, total fat 2.5 g, saturated fat 0.5 g, trans fat 0g, cholesterol 0 mg, sodium 60 mg, carbohydrates 45 g, dietary fiber 4 g, sugar 16 g, protein 8 g

More from FITNESS: More Healthy and Refreshing Smoothie Recipes to Try

How Actress and Mom Ali Landry Loses the Baby Weight Without Going Crazy

Written on August 17, 2012 at 11:00 am , by

Ali treats herself at the end of the night with a sweet bite. (Photo courtesy Hershey's Simple Pleasures)

Ali Landry has been kicking it up a notch at the gym. As a mother of two (daughter Estela was born in 2007 and her son Marcelo 10 months ago), she and hubby Alejandro Monteverde are planning a little getaway to Hawaii. “I have 7 pounds of baby weight left, and I’m on a mission to get them off!” she told us when chatting recently about her latest partnership with Hershey’s Simple Pleasures. Read on to see Landry’s baby weight plan of attack, her diet and why she’d never give up her chocolate. (That’s out kind of gal!)

As a mom of two, you must have a routine you use to lose the baby weight. What is it?

While I was pregnant both times, I worked out through the pregnancy. It really helped not only physically but mentally as well. But once I had the kids, I made sure to not feel pressured to drop the baby weight immediately. Our society is a little crazy with that, with all the magazine covers of celebrities getting back into a bikini three weeks after giving birth–I am just not one of those people! It’s a little unrealistic, and the average person does not bounce back that quickly. People also claim you lose weight nursing, but I nursed both of my kids and felt like a linebacker! I just made sure to eat healthy and drink water constantly. Even with that, once I finished nursing Estela, I had 10 pounds left to lose. With Marcelo, I have 7. I think that’s just the way my body is built.

What kind of exercises did you do while pregnant?

I did mostly the same workouts I normally do, just less intense. I ran in the beginning and then switched to the elliptical for cardio. For strength training I did a lot on the BOSU ball which was great because it worked more than one muscle at a time. Read more

Extra’s Maria Menounos Talks Food and Fitness

Written on August 15, 2012 at 9:30 am , by

Maria laces up to fit in some healthy doses of sweat! (Photo courtesy of Reebok)

Written by Lisa Turner, editorial intern

Maria Menounos is always challenging herself in new ways. She danced her way through painful injuries on season 14 of Dancing with the Stars, and runs her own charity, Take Action Hollywood!, which raises awareness for causes like diabetes and AIDS. If that isn’t enough, she often travels from L.A. to New York for her role as host on popular entertainment show EXTRA!, and produces AfterBuzz TV, a network devoted to giving “post-game” wrap-ups of the most popular shows.

Now, as a longtime fan of Crocs, she helped them celebrate their 10-year anniversary by ringing the opening bell for NASDAQ on July 31. We caught up with her right before to find out how she stays fit and keeps her energy up through the long work hours.

How did you get involved with Crocs?

I’ve been a fan for a while. I’m actually sporting the Carlisa style right now and got a ton of compliments! I like them a lot because they’re comfy and cute, and I can fit in my orthotics.

Tell me about your injuries on Dancing with the Stars.

I had multiple stress fractures in my feet. I was looking back at a video of our doble paso, and though I remember being in so much pain, I’m not showing it. I never complained! I just kept doing it. I was kind of impressed with myself, I have to say! Now I’m just trying to heal from the show.

What was your favorite part about competing?

It didn’t feel like a competition. I was having way too much fun to compete with anybody. We set the tone by being friendly and helping each other. I made so many good friends, like instructors Derek Hough and Peta Murgatroyd. We all still keep in touch.

Read more

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?

Featured Fitterati: Weight-Loss Blog Runs for Cookies

Written on July 17, 2012 at 6:26 pm , by

Katie shows off just how far she's come, holding her old jeans!

Each Tuesday, we’re highlighting one category of winners from our Fitterati Blogger Awards! This week we’re focusing on the Best Weight-Loss Blogs!

Katie Foster

  • 30, Newport, Michigan

Tired of being overweight, Katie hit the point where she was ready to drop the extra weight – for good. Shedding 125 pounds from her frame through small, realistic changes and blogging about it at Runs for Cookies, her story was even showcased on Dr. Oz! She shared her secrets to success with us, and filled us in on what running time she’s gunning for next.

Fit Wish “I would love to run a half-marathon in under two hours. My current personal record (PR) is 2:02.57, so I’m close. I know that I have a sub-2:00 in me, I just have to work hard to make it happen!”

Life Lesson “Through my journey, I learned that it’s very important not to make any changes you aren’t willing to live with forever. I knew that working out 6 days a week for two hours each time, or living on 1,200 calories a day, wasn’t something I would stick with for life, so I didn’t try to reach my goals that way. I shaped my exercise and diet around my life, rather than shaping my life around them.”

Craving Kick “So I don’t go crazy, I usually eat a portion of whatever it is that I really want. I tend to crave desserts, and I find that eating a sweet treat every day keeps my cravings under control. I plan it out in advance, so I have something to look forward to.