Written by Rachel Torgerson, editorial intern
Life in post-resolution January can be rough, unless you simplify your goals. That’s exactly why former Bachelor contestant Melissa Rycroft teamed up with Extra gum to promote healthy swaps. We chatted with Melissa and got the scoop on her favorite healthy snacks, exercising with a new toddler in tow and life after Dancing with the Stars. Spoiler alert: this ex-Dallas Cowboys cheerleader won’t be putting on her dancing shoes anytime soon!
How do you make your health a priority?
I’m a huge advocate for living a healthy lifestyle. I have a family now, so health is of the utmost importance to me, but I also think it’s important not to disguise your old lifestyle. I think we all have guilty pleasures, but that’s a part of who we are. So, I really love this idea of “Simple Swaps!” It’s not about overhauling your entire life and wiping out your fridge full of food and putting in dry lettuce leaves, because let’s be honest, that’s not fun! It’s all about taking the things that you love and just swapping one or two ingredients. For example, swapping Greek yogurt for sour cream.
What is your stay-healthy routine?
I grew up very healthy and active, knowing which foods to eat and stay away from. Now, having my own little one, I like to go on bike rides, I like to go on jogs—just being outside and staying active makes me feel better. I feel like there’s a misconception sometimes that ‘healthy’ means ‘skinny’ or ‘stick thin.’ I think it’s important to get the message out that we all look different and we’re all shaped differently but it’s so important just to give your body the nutrients that it wants and work it out the way it wants.
Can you tell us some of your favorite healthy snacks?
I love Greek yogurt, love oatmeal, love blueberries and I love my stick of gum that I put in when I’m craving a snack. My guilty pleasure is chocolate so I really have to stay away from candy bars!
Since we are talking about swaps, what else would you recommend to make meals healthier?
Swapping your dinner plates. It sounds silly going from a full-size dinner plate to a medium plate, but you don’t put as much food on and, to be honest, we don’t need to eat that entire meal. I also really like substituting the bottled salad dressing that you buy for olive oil and balsamic vinegar—it tastes really good, but it has nothing added to it compared to even the healthiest of healthiest pre-bottled salad dressings. Easy stuff that you switch out can really transform how healthy a meal can be. Read more
True, she’s a marathoner, group fitness instructor and personal trainer, but we’re pretty sure any busy mom—or woman in general—will relate to STUFT Mama‘s Kristin. In a recent post, she hilariously used her compression socks as an excuse not to shave her legs (love those time-saving tricks!).
We love her humorous approach to all things fitness, so we asked this speedy mom of twins to share the tips and tools that keep her energized and how she treats herself after all those hard workouts.
My fitness mantra: I have a couple:
- “A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.” I tell my clients that every step towards health counts, even if it’s a small one. We have the opportunity every day to succeed instead of letting fear or insecurity hold us back. Being uncomfortable and going for it is not a bad thing.
- “You can do anything you want, anything you put your heart and your mind into.” —Ronald Miller, Can’t Buy Me Love
My “I Did It” moment: When I finished my very first marathon right after my twins turned one. I always told myself that I wanted to be that person who stayed fit throughout pregnancy and then ran a marathon after having kids. That’s exactly what I did and now racing is a part of who I am. In a way I got to live the dream I always wanted. I have since gotten a Boston qualifying time.
My biggest motivation comes from: Being the best mom I can be to my boys. It’s hard to balance motherhood, career and taking time to exercise and take care of myself, but every day I want to lead by example and show my boys the importance of healthy eating and fitness.
5 things I can’t live without: My BOB double jogging stroller, Mizuno running shoes, egg whites, dark chocolate and espresso.
Most embarrassing song I’ll admit I work out to: I have more than one Kenny Loggins song on my current playlist. “Footloose” is my favorite.
Do you have a favorite fit blogger you want us to highlight? Leave a comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Dara Torres has been one of our heroes here at FITNESS for years. She even appeared on the cover a couple times in the ’90s! But this 44-year-old fit mom is out to prove that age is just a number and is training to compete in her sixth—yes, sixth—Olympic Games.
We had to ask: Will there be seven? “This will be my last try at the Olympics, no matter what. Going back to 1984, I had always thought that would be my last swim, but I mean it this time,” says Torres, who was in town as a BENGAY Brand Ambassador.
As she prepares for her final quest for Olympic hardware (she already has twelve medals), we sat down with Torres to learn more about her training, her hobbies and the other swimmer in her house.
You recently had surgery—how are you feeling?
I took a year off after the 2009 World Championships to have a cartilage transplant in my knee. It really helped with my quality of life—I can now walk without pain and train again. But I never completely stopped. I would do pull-ups with my crutches resting against a nearby bench! Being fit is so important to me. Exercises relieves stress, gives me energy and I like the way I look because of it.
Speaking of that training, what does a typical week look like for you?
I train five days a week while my daughter is in school and take Thursdays and Sundays off. I swim for two hours, spend 60 to 90 minutes in the weight room and do 45 minutes of leg rehab, including Ki-Hara resistance stretching for recovery.
So the 2012 Olympics are in seven months! How do you feel?
The trials are at the end of June and beginning of July. I’m training for that now, or as I like to say, “I’ve been training for this since I was eight!” My Olympic prep really began in August 2010. I’ll be 45 by the Olympics, so tapering before trials is important, but I can’t rest quite as much as I used to because I lose muscle quicker at my age.
For Dara’s pick for the next great swimmer and her favorite pool-free activities, Read more