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healthy recipes

Yael Cohen’s Holiday Ingredient Swaps and Clean Brownies

Written on December 12, 2012 at 12:27 pm , by


Yael travels a lot but plane/car time is no excuse. Tabata interval training and running are her on the road workout musts. (Photo courtesy of Jamie Lauren)

Yael Cohen, CEO of FCancer and proclaimed “Chief Cancer Effer,” is on a mission to educate about early detection—90 percent of cancers are curable in stage one. Part of her initiative, besides using humor to promote self exams (check out their hilarious video contest!), is to promote awareness that “everything you put into, onto and do with your body affects your health.” According to Yael, having a happy, healthy holiday season does exist by reverting back to the basics. “Eat clean, whole foods. Eat stuff that you know what it used to be. If you can’t tell what plant or animal it came from, try to avoid it. If it’s wrapped in tin foil or plastic, try to avoid it. If it doesn’t spoil, be scared,” she joked. Interested in baking lighter versions of your festive favorites? Try swapping out butter for coconut oil and use crushed dates or agave nectar over processed sugar. Chocolate lovers, embrace baking with carob for a low-fat, naturally sweet and caffeine-free alternative. Speaking of chocolate, we scored Yael’s famous brownie recipe sealed with a sweet tooth’s approval. Santa has nothing on this! Read more

Top Chef All-Star Winner Richard Blais Trims Down Thanksgiving Dinner

Written on November 12, 2012 at 9:40 am , by

If only we could get Blais to cook dinner for us every night. Sigh. (Photo courtesy of Dannon Oikos Greek Yogurt)

While Thanksgiving is one of the most delicious meals of the year, it’s also usually the heaviest. Instead of chowing down on foods filled with oil, butter and mayonnaise, we searched for lighter fare that was still super tasty. What (or who) did we find? Bravo’s Top Chef All-Star winner, Richard Blais. We met the cooking extraordinaire at a recent Dannon Oikos Greek yogurt event, where he wined and dined us with dishes that left us feeling full and satisfied, without the “oh my gosh I need to go run 10 miles” feeling.

So what’s Blais’ big secret? Aside from the fact that he’s a top-notch chef who blows our aprons out of the water, he subbed the aforementioned ingredients with Dannon’s Oikos Greek nonfat yogurt. We didn’t miss any of the heavy-calorie items, and got to keep all the flavor. Win-win for us!

It wouldn’t be right to brag about the decadent meal this marathoner whipped up without nabbing some recipes, though. Check out the appetizer and dessert dishes below, then use them to start and end a perfect Thanksgiving meal in your own home.

Malted Panna Cotta

Serves: 4


  • 5 fl. oz. heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup Dannon Oikos vanilla Greek nonfat yogurt (or use a 5.3 oz. single-serve container)
  • 1 oz. sugar
  • 1 oz. malted barley
  • 1 gelatin sheet
  • Clementine slices for garnish
  • Candied ginger for garnish
  • Chocolate dusted almonds for garnish


  • Heat the heavy cream and sugar together until the sugar dissolves. Remove liquid from the heat and add malted barley. Let steep for 1 hour.
  • Strain mixture into a clean pot and stir in Greek yogurt.
  • Bloom gelatin in an ice bath. Meanwhile, bring strained mixture to a simmer.
  • Remove strained mixture from heat and add gelatin.
  • Pour liquid into four small containers. Let chill for 2 hour or until panna cottas have set.
  • Garnish each with a few slices of clementine, a scattering of candied ginger and chocolate dusted almonds.

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Fit Blogger We Love: Food and Fun on the Run

Written on September 13, 2012 at 3:36 pm , by

Mary dominates during running season. Are you gearing up for any races this fall?

When we think of Florida, we imagine palm trees, sandy beaches and an escape from the hustle and bustle of New York City. If the weather is cool-ish, we’ll toss a jog in for good measure. Mary, a Tampa Bay resident, sees things a bit differently. She details her running adventures on her blog, Food and Fun on the Run, filling us in on the nitty gritty of what it’s like to train in such humid weather, along with the fun food she gets to devour after accomplishing a beastly workout. Nothing screams “balance” to us more!

My favorite way to work out: Definitely running! I started in high school to stay in shape for other sports, and haven’t stopped since! I love the feeling of getting outside and hitting the pavement, with only my current run on my mind. It’s therapeutic for me!

On my fit life list: I want to run all five of the major marathons! I have already completed NYC and Boston, I have Chicago in a few weeks, and then I need to complete London and Berlin! I cannot wait for the day that I have the chance to say I completed all five races!

My biggest indulgence: Chicken fingers and french fries with a side of honey mustard. Yep, it’s that specific! I love this guilty-pleasure meal. A little secret: my husband and I had it the night of our wedding after we left the reception, and it tasted so good! [Editor's note: Be sure to check out our more waistline-friendly chicken fingers. Just as tasty and only 212 calories per serving!]

My fitness mantra: “Attitude is everything.” I truly believe that we all create our lives, good or bad. If you start your fitness journey thinking that you are going to fail, then you have created that for your future. Rather, know that you are going to work incredibly hard to achieve everything you set out to do, and you will accomplish it, little by little. Your attitude is everything – make it amazing!

My motivation comes from: A burning desire deep inside me wanting to beat my times and accomplishments from before. I am very competitive with myself, and constantly strive to make myself a better athlete and overall person. As soon as I reach a goal, I set another one to continuously push myself harder.

After we saw the delicious spread of food she whipped up at a recent bridal shower for another Fit Blogger We Love, we couldn’t help but beg Mary for a tasty dish sending us into the fall season. Check it out below!

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Fit Blogger We Love: Dashing Dish

Written on August 23, 2012 at 9:50 am , by

Katie loves experimenting in the kitchen to create nutritious and flavorful dishes.

Do you ever crave waffles drizzled with syrup, cheeseburgers with all the fixings or red velvet cake? Maybe a better question is “who doesn’t?” Katie at Dashing Dish has a knack for taking calorie-packed recipes and making guilt-free versions that taste just as decadent, which is why she’s landed on our bookmarked reading list! Here’s what keeps her moving and motivated.

My favorite way to work out: A combination of weight training and interval/HIIT (high intensity interval training).

5 things I can’t live without:

  1. My husband
  2. My family and friends
  3. My Pomeranian Zoey
  4. My Bible
  5. My Nike tennis shoes

I’m happiest when I’m: In my pajamas at night cuddled up with my husband watching movies!

My fave fit snack: One of my protein shake or protein muffin recipes!

My gym bag must-have: My iPhone (which has a fully loaded iTunes workout playlist) with my armband and headphones.

Of course we had to ask Katie to share one of her favorite recipes! Click below for her 187-calorie cake batter shake—a much lighter take on the treat that can sometimes offer a full day’s worth of calories.

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#140Wednesdays: What’s Your Favorite Healthy BBQ Pick?

Written on July 4, 2012 at 11:55 am , by

Grilled corn and veggies? Yes, please! (Photo by Peter Ardito)

Written by Lisa Turner, editorial intern

Ahh, Independence Day. Sunshine, fireworks and enough delicious food and beer to put a roadblock on all that progress you’ve made on your summer routine. Hey, you haven’t been working at the gym for a rockin’ bikini bod just to throw it away on hot dogs and apple pie!

We asked our Twitter followers what kind of healthful indulgences they’ll be digging into to celebrate the Fourth of July. If these aren’t mouth-watering enough, check out these healthy summer grilling recipes to find your next barbecue favorite.

@thebendigirl: @FitnessMagazine my fav healthy pick for BBQ is grilled corn on the cob with chili powder sprinkled on it, turkey burger & watermelon

@redcurlgirl: @FitnessMagazine lots of fresh fruit #140Wednesdays

@Michaela_J_: @FitnessMagazine watermelon and grilled veggies!!

@FITNESSjenna: Planning on making one of these recipes this week! Thinking the grilled avocado with salsa :) http://fitm.ag/j9Xvnp

Now tell us: What’s your favorite healthy barbecue food?

#140Wednesdays: What’s Your Favorite Healthy Smoothie Recipe?

Written on June 27, 2012 at 4:43 pm , by

Don't forget about portion control! (Photo courtesy Peter Ardito)

Written by Lisa Turner, editorial intern

When the weather heats up, there’s nothing more refreshing than a smoothie on the go. Plus they’re so easy–just toss in your favorite healthy ingredients in a blender and go! We’re always looking for new recipes to mix up our breakfast and snack routine up, so we polled our Twitter followers to see which smoothies they love the most.
Check out some of the creative ideas we got and try them out next time you’re craving a cool snack.

@GETFITVISALUS: Fresh strawberries, a tablespoon of orange juice, cranberry juice and two scoops protein mix on ice. Refreshing and tasty! 

@DeBelle77: Strawberries, a little orange juice and some honey.

@_ChristineD_: Right now it’s almond milk, half a frozen banana, unflavored protein powder, ground oatmeal, and chocolate PB2. Try it!

@MyLastBite: Apple, banana, blueberries and cucumber kale!

Now tell us: What’s in your favorite smoothie recipe?

Two Easy Summer Cocktails to Make This Weekend

Written on June 15, 2012 at 4:05 pm , by

Serve up a bowl of this punch for your next BBQ. (Photo courtesy of Polar Seltzer)

There’s nothing better than a fruity, tropical drink in your hand to celebrate the beginning of another weekend. Except for the fact that those refreshing recipes often call for some superstar mixologist skills with ingredients you can barely pronounce, let alone find. But thanks to Polar Beverage‘s limited edition collection of summer seltzers, the mixing is already done for you. In fun flavors like piña colada, mint mojito, mango and more you can make a health-smart sip without the mortar and pestle. Not to mention shave off a ton of unwanted calories–the average mojito is approximately 200 calories while a piña colada can clock in at 644!). Try these cocktail recipes for an instant escape.

Sparkling Summer Punch


  • 2 ounces of grenadine
  • 2 ounces of Cointreau
  • 2 ounces of quality brandy
  • 3 ounces of lemonade or passion fruit juice
  • 1 cup of frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1 bottle of Polar Pineapple Passionfruit Seltzer (about 4 cups)
  • Lots of ice


Combine grenadine, Cointreau, brandy, lemonade (or passion fruit) and frozen pineapple with ice in large pitcher. Stir vigorously. Add Polar Seltzer, stir gently and ladle into glasses.

Calories per serving: 33

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Whip Up a Guilt-Free Mother’s Day Breakfast This Weekend

Written on May 11, 2012 at 9:00 am , by

Devin's mouth-watering breakfast recipes will wake Mom up with a smile. (Photo courtesy of Theresa Raffetto)

Want to spoil Mom this weekend with some breakfast in bed? Devin Alexander, author of The Biggest Loser Cookbook and The Most Decadent Diet Ever shared two of her favorite recipes with us to treat her taste buds without the side of guilt. Try one of these this weekend for a better-for-you brunch. Don’t forget to tell her to share with the cook!

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Devin Says: These pancakes are chock full of chocolate chips, so I prefer them without butter. If you like a more buttery taste with just a hint of chips, use only 1 tablespoon of chips and spread 1 teaspoon of light butter over the top of each pancake. You’ll add 17 calories and 2 g of fat per teaspoon. You’ll also notice that the recipe calls for very little syrup. Each teaspoon has 17 calories and 0 g of fat. And remember–pancakes have much more sodium than most people realize. If you get even a half stack at your local pancake house, you’re probably eating more than half of your sodium allowance for a day. That said, I usually eat only one or two pancakes for breakfast as a treat to follow an egg white dish instead of eating a big plate of them. You may want to do the same, since pancakes require baking soda and salt to rise, and thus I couldn’t reduce the sodium much here.


  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup whole-grain oat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
  • Butter-flavored cooking spray
  • 4 teaspoons pure maple syrup, divided

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Volleyball Pro Misty May-Treanor’s Fuel-Up Tips and Recipes

Written on May 1, 2012 at 2:37 pm , by

One lucky winner will get a private training session with volleyball pro Misty May! (Photo courtesy of Arnold and Oroweat Bread)

With more career wins than any other female volleyball player, Misty May-Treanor is a pro at getting her body in top shape. With less than 100 days until the London Games, she chatted with us in between competitions to share her nutrition tips and favorite fueling recipes, and told us about a fun opportunity for you to learn volleyball from none other than the champ herself.

What do you eat to fuel up before a big game? What do you eat after?

As an athlete, it’s important to watch what you eat. I eat meals throughout the day, so I carry foods that help sustain energy. I eat a lot of sandwiches and try to be conscious of eating carbs and protein. I try to eat every couple of hours. I like sandwiches with whole wheat/grain and use pickles or cucumbers for moisture instead of mayo or mustard. I like having chicken or turkey breast sandwiches right after working out. Some other sandwich combinations that I love are:

  • Tuna with sprouts, tomatoes, lettuce and red onions
  • Roast beef with avocado and red onions

Do you have any go-to healthy meals or snacks?

Since I try to eat every few hours, if I feel like I need a little extra after a meal, I’ll have a piece of fruit or add more vegetables to my lunch to stay fuller. When I’m home I like to have almond butter and strawberry jelly sandwiches. They’re easy to make and kids love them, too.

How does your diet change when you start training for competitions?

I think diet needs to be a constant routine, so I don’t stray so much. But you need to give yourself some sort of leeway—if you want a brownie once in a while, then you can have one. But it takes discipline and it’s easier to stay on top of it than play catch up later on. It’s all about having a healthy lifestyle.

Do you have any techniques or mantras to get your more motivated, especially on off days?

I try to live life to the fullest and live in the present. What keeps me motivated is wanting to constantly get better. I want to keep improving. [As gold medalists,] we have a huge target on our back and competitors are trying to bring us down, so that always keeps me wanting to do better.

You’ve teamed up with Arnold and Oroweat Bread to give one lucky person a private training clinic. Do you have any special tips for people wanting to learn or get better at volleyball?

The person that wins this contest will get a taste of the lifestyle that I lead. Have fun, get out there and play, even if you don’t know all the rules.

How to Enter The Arnold and Oroweat Bread Slice of Gold Contest: Submit your original healthy sandwich recipe on Facebook to enter for a chance to win a private volleyball clinic with Misty May Treanor!

Announcing: The Skinny Pins Contest!

Written on May 1, 2012 at 6:00 am , by

Pinterest Logo

Show us your go-to moves, recipes, inspiration and gear, and you could win a $100 American Express gift card!

Fitness Pin

When it comes to staying in shape, one great way to keep your eye on the prize is through visual reminders. That’s why we’re obsessed with Pinterest, the free social-networking site that lets you create your own virtual inspiration boards, instantly.

But it’s also fun to share what works for you! So in the spirit of good health, we’re inviting you to pin the stuff that keeps you strong and healthy: The exercise moves, recipes, motivating quotes, fitness gear, and more. A panel of FITNESS judges will check out the submitted boards and five winners will score a $100 American Express gift card.

Here’s How to Enter:

  1. Follow FitnessMagazine on Pinterest.
  2. Create a new Pinterest board entitled “The Skinny Pins Contest – Fitness Mag.”
  3. Fill that board with at least 10 pins. Of those 10 pins, at least 5 of them must be items (recipes, exercises, etc.) pinned from FitnessMagazine.com.
  4. Each pin’s description must explain why or how the pinned content keeps you in shape. Are tricep kickbacks your never-miss move at the gym? Do you keep the weight off with Greek yogurt? Tell us! This step is very important with the judging.
  5. Once your pinboard is complete, enter the contest by submitting the board’s exact url here.

Pinboards will be judged on effectiveness and believability of the pinned content, originality, adherence to the contest rules, and understanding of the FITNESS lifestyle and voice. The contest is open from May 1 through May 31.

Disclaimer: You must be a member of Pinterest.com to enter and you must follow Fitness Magazine on Pinterest. If you do not have a Pinterest account, you can sign up here.

Official Rules