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healthy snacks

3 Smart Superbowl Snack Ideas

Written on January 31, 2013 at 1:05 pm , by

Pigs in a Blanket

Step away from these little piggies. Photo courtesy of Flickr user kalebdf.

You’re just one month out from the New Year’s Resolutions you set.  And if you’re like many people, fat loss was at the top of that resolution list.

But can you guess the average amount of calories an American consumes while snacking during the Superbowl?

About 1,200. This doesn’t include meals or drinks. (!)

So what can you do? Swear off all the wings, guac, chips, and beer while cheering for your favorite team?  That’s certainly not realistic…so let’s instead share some options that would be better. Try these snacks this year:

1. In-Shell Pistachios – Yes, pistachios are high in fat, but it’s super-healthy fat. With all the other food options around, in-shell pistachios can help you slow down because it takes time to remove that shell and you won’t be mindlessly munching. Adding to this snack strategy: Keep a bowl in sight that has the shells that were removed  – seeing how much you’ve already had might just curb how much you eat during the game. (FYI, we’re personal fans of the Wonderful Pistachio Sweet Chili flavor.)

2. Pizza! Kashi now makes frozen pizzas that are great (and less expensive than what you’d pay from a traditional pizza chain!).  The BBQ Recipe Chicken pizza is a really good, unique, and may very well appeal to those guests who would normally crave wings instead.

3. White Bean Dip – A strong-flavored dip is a great trick because it makes you feel satiated, it won’t break the bank in terms of calories, and you can pair it with heathier chips. (We’re partial to the Food Should Taste Good brand.) But back to the dip… here’s a recipe from Food Network’s Giada De Laurentilis that’s a big hit in our house.

Happy munching!

-Chris and Kara Mohr, mohrresults.com

Snack Like a Pro: Tips from the NY Knicks’ Nutritionist

Written on November 14, 2012 at 4:42 pm , by

Make your own trail mix to always have a healthy snack ready. (Photo by Peter Ardito)

Written by Lisa Turner, Editorial Intern

When the New York Knicks need to refuel for a big game, they turn to Heidi Skolnik, M.S., C.D.N., FACSM, and founder and president of Nutrition Conditioning, which oversees the nutrition programs at The Juilliard School, The New York Knicks, School of American Ballet, and Fordham University Athletics. We got Skolnik’s pointers on how to make good-for-you snacks that won’t damage your waistline.

What can I stock in my fridge that I can grab n’ go?

Planning ahead is always the best way to ensure you’re prepared with a healthy snack and don’t face the vending machine dilemma. There’s a lot of easy and simple options to choose from:

Breakfast:

  • Whole wheat Pita stuffed with peanut butter and banana with a small glass of milk
  • Hard boiled egg, small OJ, whole grain crackers
  • Fruit parfait: fresh or frozen fruit, yogurt, a sprinkle of Grape nuts or muesli and nuts
  • Homemade trail mix with nuts and dried fruits and a cheese stick

Grab ‘n Go Snacks:

What’s a calorie limit I should shoot for with a snack?

Ultimately, it depends on your meal size and daily caloric needs.   If you need 1800 calories in a day and meals are 400-500 calories that leaves two snacks at 150-300 calories.

Snack ideas:

  • Banana and almond butter
  • Mango smoothie made with calcium fortified OJ and lactose free whey protein powder
  • Quinoa, vegetable and edamame cold salad
  • Popcorn –sprinkle with olive oil and herbs of choice
  • Hummus with crudités or spread on a corn or rice cake Read more

Fit Blogger We Love: Spa Bettie

Written on October 18, 2012 at 12:35 pm , by

True, her name’s Kristina, but you can find her on her blog, Spa Bettie!

Ah, the spa lifestyle. Waking up and playing a low-stress tennis match, sneaking off for a massage and wrapping up the day with a nutritious meal. It’s vacation for most, but for spa director Kristina, these are events that she thinks about daily, and she tries to infuse these ideals into her own lifestyle. It’s a treat to follow along on her blog, Spa Bettie, as Kristina lives according to her personal philosophy: “Clean eating and fun movement balanced with the right amount of indulgence.”

So what is Kristina’s favorite way to start her day and how does she make eating clean feel indulgent (besides with these irresistible chocolate peanut butter pancakes)? Read on to find out.

My favorite way to work out: It’s an unappreciated workout—I love my treadmill! I know the value of a good weight workout and I also love tennis and rollerskating!

Most embarrassing song I’ll admit I work out to: “Brandy” by Looking Glass. Yep, I like the oldies. An upbeat song I can sing to gives me energy and that’s all I need. It’s also my favorite karaoke song…

My fitness mantra: “I never regret a workout.” When I am running, I am chasing that runner’s high. When I am playing tennis, it’s to get that perfect shot. Skiing down a hill, to have fun and go fast! Fitness to me is about motivation. It’s fun and goal-oriented.

Read more

Fit Blogger We Love: Clean Eating Chelsey

Written on August 16, 2012 at 1:22 pm , by

Chelsey stretches post-race to help jumpstart recovery!

There’s not much we love more than a tasty, easy-to-whip-up recipe for any meal of the day. Which is why we love popping over to Clean Eating Chelsey when hunger strikes – we’re always guaranteed to find something as yummy as it is healthy! Pop on over for some inspiration of your own and you might find some fun – we hear there’s a delicious giveaway going on this week.

My favorite way to work out: Running! I’ve had to cut back lately, but running will always be my favorite way to exercise. I have run a few half-marathons, and I hope to continue to compete in races in the future. It’s a great time for me to clear my head and get some “me” time.

On my fit life list: I would love to run a marathon or complete a triathlon some day!

My fave fit snack: Raisins and almonds – I usually eat that combination every day after school (I’m a teacher) to get me through the afternoon until dinner time.

My biggest indulgence: Chocolate – I can’t live without it.

Most embarrassing song I’ll admit I work out to: I’ve got something even better: during my last half-marathon (Disney Half in January 2012), I sang out loud to Justin Bieber’s “Never Say Never.” Apparently that song made me run really fast because I was flying as I was singing it! I figured I would never see those people again or they couldn’t hear me anyway.

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

Fit Blogger We Love: Run For Your Life

Written on August 9, 2012 at 10:20 am , by

Emilia crushes her previous half-marathon PR in Houston. Hard work pays off!

A runner since her teens, Emilia from Run For Your Life knows a thing or two about the sport – and all the ups and downs that come with it. After sitting on the sidelines for a few months due to an injury, she’s back in the game and more than ready to ramp up training for her third go-around at the ING NYC Marathon this fall. We can’t wait to cheer her to the finish line!

My favorite way to work out: Running, of course! I don’t have a gym membership, but I’ll occasionally do something different to mix things up (like racing to the top of the Empire State building last spring). After having to sit out most of the summer due to injury, though, I’m more grateful than ever to be able to run in the mornings again.

On my fit life list: Qualifying for and running the Boston Marathon. While I’m definitely proud of my current best times (I broke four hours in this year’s Houston Marathon), I’m the queen of positive splitting right now and have a long way to go to make this goal happen. Maybe by the time I’m 30?

My “I Did It” moment: Finishing my first marathon, the 2010 New York City Marathon, in 4:09 – more than 20 minutes faster than my goal time. It was my long-term goal all throughout college and I was really proud of the training I put into running it one year after graduation. My second NYCM running in 2011 did not go as well, so I’m looking forward to showing the Queensboro bridge who’s boss when I return on November 4!

My fave fit snack: Chobani zero percent strawberry Greek yogurt. I’m not much of a breakfast person, so I eat this with a side of frozen mango pieces as my “morning snack” almost every morning when I get to work.

My biggest indulgence: Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream. It’s a Texas thing. I rarely go a day without a dessert and this is most often it. I know my flavor choice sounds so, well, “vanilla,” but seriously, it’s the best.

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

Ted Actress Laura Vandervoort’s Favorite Fit Snacks

Written on June 27, 2012 at 2:20 pm , by

Vandervoort plays Tanya, a co-worker and confidant of Mark Wahlberg's character, John. (Photo by John Bregar)

Working on a film set with writer and director Seth MacFarlane (the creator of Family Guy) must be a great ab workout. Think about how much laughing you would do! We guessed that Laura Vandervoort, who stars in the the new movie Ted alongside Mila Kunis, Mark Wahlberg and Joel McHale, might have taken it easy with her exercise routine because of the workout her co-stars gave her and because her hectic filming schedule, but she did nothing of the sort.

“I love to take indoor cycling classes, do Bikram yoga, Pilates and hike with my friends whenever possible,” Vandervoort says.

The thing that makes her truly strong though, according to her pals, is her super-human willpower. “My friends dislike that I have such willpower sometimes,” Vandervoort tells us. “But when I can, I love to enjoy my food! I’m a bit of a foodie.”

When she’s “being good,” Vandervoort tries to snack throughout the day. Here are a few of her top picks:

  • Quinoa with cinnamon and almond milk over bananas
  • Greek yogurt
  • Apples with almond butter
  • Baked chickpeas with cayenne pepper
  • Kale chips

After Ted, which is released this Friday, you can catch Vandervoort in an episode of White Collar airing this July.

Now tell us: What are some of your go-to nutritious snacks?

We Tried It: New Snack Bars From Luna and Kind

Written on June 21, 2012 at 2:46 pm , by

How do some of the new bars stack up? (Photo by Claire Benoist)

New snack bars seem to pop up on supermarket shelves nearly every week. With so many options, it’s hard to know which are worth your money—and calories. Recently, readers and staff members chewed and scored for our best bar food awards, and since then a few new items have caught our eye. The FITNESS team did the tasty work of testing out the latest in the Luna Fiber and Kind lines. Read on for their honest feedback!

Luna Fiber Vanilla Blueberry

  • “I loved the rich blueberry taste and at 110 calories, it’s a great go-to snack for my 3 p.m. munchies.” — Kathy Green, managing editor

Luna Fiber Chocolate Raspberry

  • “For 110 calories, I think you might as well have a real cookie. I really like the crunchy Luna bars, so I was surprised at the over-syrupy, artificial taste.” — Betty Wong, editor in chief

Luna Fiber Peanut Butter Strawberry

  • “I immediately noticed the strawberry flavor, then the peanut butter hit my taste buds after. This would be a good on-the-go treat before hitting the gym.” — Samantha Shelton, editorial assistant

Kind Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt

  • “The first bite was so flavorful and had a lot of depth. It was crunchy and is truly one of the best bars I’ve ever had. I have to buy a crate and keep them in my fridge.” — Lapo Belmestieri, freelance designer

Kind Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan

  • “This tasted like French toast drizzled in dark chocolate!” — Colleen Moody, web editor

Kind Cashew & Ginger Spice

  • “It’s nice and crunchy, and since it’s mostly nuts, you could tell that it doesn’t have the filler junk that a lot of snack bars do. It wasn’t too sweet, which I like, but it was filling. Even half would be a good post-workout snack!” — Lisa Turner, editorial intern

Now tell us: What are your favorite snack/breakfast/energy bars?

Fit Blogger We Love: Emily Bites

Written on June 21, 2012 at 1:00 pm , by

Emily loves creating fast, healthy recipes—and we love her for that!

We’re all busy. So when it’s time to whip up a healthy dinner that won’t have us slaving away for hours, where’s a girl to turn? We love hopping over to Emily Bites for a dose of inspiration, where we’re guaranteed a simple recipe that’s going to tickle our taste buds. Heck, even Anderson Cooper loves her stuff! We chatted with the chef in the kitchen to find out more about how she keeps her fit life balanced and which snack she always loves to whip up. Oh, we managed to nab a yummy recipe from her too. You can thank us later.

My favorite way to work out: Definitely Zumba. I love to dance and Zumba is so much fun. If I wasn’t sweating so hard, I’d almost forget I was working out! I always wear my heart rate monitor when I go and at the end of class I get a kick out of seeing how many calories I’ve burned doing an activity I love.

On my fit life list: To run a half-marathon someday, preferably the Disney Princess Half because it looks like a blast (and I really want a race bib that says “Princess Emily” on it). I used to run a few years back, but I got out of it. I’m currently walking and running in intervals, trying to work my way back up to straight running.

My fave fit snack: I love hummus with veggies, particularly the homemade Buffalo Wing Hummus I have on my blog. I almost never buy pre-made hummus now that I know how easy it is to make at home.

Most embarrassing song I’ll admit I work out to: This is hard because I listen to a lot of embarrassing ’90s music. Maybe “I Wanna Be Bad” by Willa Ford?

Olympic sport I’d love to try: I used to figure skate when I was growing up, so if it’s the winter Olympics, I’d definitely go with skating. As for the summer Olympics, I’ve always wanted to play tennis. I have a racquet and I’ve fooled around with it a little bit, but I would love to be great at it.

Keep reading for a delicious snack straight from Emily’s kitchen!

Read more

Fit Blogger We Love: Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen

Written on April 19, 2012 at 3:33 pm , by

Gretchen loves treats, healthy or not! It's all about moderation.

Remember the oldie-but-goodie film, “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids?” That was a great flick. So we can’t help but smile every time we type Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen into our search bar, waiting to hop onto Gretchen’s blog and catch up on her weight loss journey. From the fun, witty adventures to the serious, self-reflective posts, she knows how to entertain us while keeping it real. We wanted to find out more about this blogger’s  must-haves, so we went straight to the source. Read on to find out what keeps her motivated and what indulgences she still struggles with today.

My favorite way to work out: With variety! When I first started to get healthy, I tried to force myself into long distance running because I thought that’s what I needed to do in order to be “healthy.” Turns out, I don’t really like running! So while I recognize the need for cardio for my overall weight loss and fitness goals, I’m much better at maintaining a regular workout schedule if there’s a lot of variety involved. Now I switch it up between short runs, weight training and fun classes, like Zumba!

My fave fit snack: In between meals, I’m a huge fan of the peanut butter/almond butter and celery or apple slices combo. You get a little sugar to energize you, a little fiber to keep you full and some delicious, filling healthy fats to stave off hunger. Win-win-win!

My biggest indulgence: As much as I love to cook, I also tend to eat out a lot. I’m a huge foodie and love trying new restaurants, and it’s difficult for me to pass up the pastas, steaks and creamy, dreamy dishes when I do. I’m really working on finding the balance in eating out without always overindulging because I don’t believe you should have to completely give up something you love in the name of health.

5 things I can’t live without: My family (we’re super close), sushi (it’s my favorite!), my iPhone (how did we exist before smart phones?), Harry Potter (confession: I am a huge nerd), and my two amazing miniature schnauzers, Harry and Daxter.

My motivation comes from: My blog, funnily enough! I weighed 246 when I started it, but didn’t have any kind of “Eureka!” moment where I saw a photo or someone said something that made me decide to change my life and get healthy. I simply said, “I want to start a weight loss blog.” A year and a half and 60 pounds later, it’s my blog that keeps me going. Having that accountability that writing every day provides, as well as the amazing support of my readers, has really been the key to making it all stick this time around.

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

Fit Blogger We Love: Bee Goes Bananas

Written on April 5, 2012 at 1:28 pm , by

Bee loves a sweet treat every once in a while!

Bee Goes Bananas reminds us of the simplicities in life. Even when her days are jam-packed with activities, she takes the time to relax with her loved ones and just be (or bee!). Her most important rule? Make sure you’re having fun! We think that’s something everyone should incorporate into their daily routine more often, don’t you?

Bee let us in on exactly how she likes to live it up and what piece of technology she can’t live without. You might be surprised!

My favorite way to work out: I used to spend day after day at the gym just going through the motions, doing the same interval workout on the same elliptical machine. That isn’t fun! I’ve learned to incorporate fitness into my daily life, whether I’m horseback riding, hiking with my dog, taking cycling classes or keeping up with the kids at work. I try to switch it up as much as possible to keep me excited and always wanting more!

5 things I can’t live without:

  1. My loved ones! My husband; my dog, Zeke; my family; friends; horses—I love them all!
  2. My camera. Ever since I owned my first one, it’s been attached to my hip wherever I go. I always have two cameras on me at any given moment, if not more!
  3. Cereal. I’ve tried giving it up, but I just can’t do it. I’ve learned moderation with cereal, though—I only eat one bowl a day now.
  4. Asics GT2150 running shoes. I have flat feet and I overpronate, but these shoes keep everything in alignment so I can comfortably move around all day. [Editor's note: Find your perfect sneaker in our 2012 sneaker guide in the April issue!]
  5. My cell phone. I know, it’s so bad! But I use it for everything. It’s my cookbook, interval timer, nutrition consultant and camera, along with many other things.

I’m happiest when I’m: On a horse! There’s nothing more peaceful and grounding than spending time with one. My favorite way to unwind at the end of a hectic day is to hop on one of my favorite horses bareback and feel connected to their every step.

My fave fit snack: A small peanut butter and banana wrap. I spread a bit of the nut butter on a small whole wheat tortilla wrap, then roll it around a banana. Sometimes I even sprinkle a bit of chocolate protein powder on top of top of the banana before rolling it up. It’s easy, fast and doesn’t require a lot of ingredients.

My fitness mantra: “Do what you love and love what you do.” This isn’t exactly a fitness mantra, but I think it’s something that carries over to all areas of life. You only live once! I can’t stress that enough. Why do something if you don’t enjoy some aspect of the process? Try a new sport, pick up a hobby, experiment with healthy versions of your favorite foods. Do anything that will get you moving and help you live a healthy lifestyle, and make sure you’re having fun while doing it!

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