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The Must-Visit Site For Weight-Loss, Workouts and More!

Written on October 29, 2013 at 5:22 pm , by

Snag a copy of Mitzi’s new book for over 50 easy-to-make clean eating recipes, learn how you can “Pin 10″ to achieve your goals and more! (Photo courtesy of Mitzi Dulan, RD)

True Life: I’m addicted to Pinterest. I mean, what’s not to love? From pinning my fave workouts and recipes (courtesy of FITNESS, duh!) to saving photos on how to spin summer dresses into fall-friendly ensembles, the site has the answer to anything and everything you need to know about.

So when I heard about registered dietician Mitzi Dulan’s new book The Pinterest Diet: How To Pin Your Way Thin, I couldn’t wait to gain her insight on how to pin it to win it, wellness-wise. Known as America’s Nutrition, Mitzi has 3.5-million followers, and after trying her Skinny One Pot Chicken Caprese Pasta (a recipe she created from Pinspiration, see below) I understand why. So tasty!

So how can you use the social media platform to improve your diet? Here are Mitzi’s top three tips:

Banish Boredom. Sick of that same old salad? Time to mix things up. “One of my Pinterest Diet rules is to make at least two new recipes a week,” Mitzi explains. Use the site to keep things fresh in the kitchen and at the gym.

Motivated to Move. Create a photo and quote-filled “Daily Inspiration Board” for a friendly eye-on-the-prize reminder. Toned tri’s, here you come!

Pin 10. Swap Facebook scrolling for Pinterest during downtime. Blocking off 10 minutes helps inspire you to live healthy, eat better and exercise,” she says.

Skinny One Pot Chicken Caprese Pasta(Makes 8 servings)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless chicken breast, cooked and torn apart
  • 13 oz whole wheat linguini
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz) no salt diced tomatoes with liquid
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 3 large sprigs of basil, torn up
  • 3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella, cubed

Directions

Add pasta, tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, basil and cooked chicken to a large stock pot. Pour chicken broth over the top. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer on low for about 8-12 minutes, stirring often. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated or as desired. Top with fresh mozzarella and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, if desired.

Now you tell us: How do you use Pinterest for fitspiration?

Rocco DiSpirito’s Healthy Tweaks on a Classic Italian Dessert (Recipe Included!)

Written on September 17, 2013 at 4:34 pm , by

Want to cook like Rocco? Check out the best-selling author’s Now Eat This! Italian cookbook for more of his waist-friendly cuisine and tips. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)

Written by Kristen Haney, editorial intern

While most of us are guilty of digging into a decadent dessert from time to time, these caloric bombs aren’t the best way to maintain a svelte waistline. But at a recent dinner hosted by Shutterfly at New York’s SD-26, celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito gave an array of Italian favorites an image reboot, slashing calories, sugar and fat.

As we snapped away photos to create our own personalized recipe books with Shutterfly’s new Photo Story app, the host of the upcoming syndicated Now Eat This! TV show demonstrated how to make lightened up Italian eats. Our favorite was his insanely easy take on raspberry Italian ice. The dessert blends together in minutes and boasts a fifth of the calories you’d normally find in the icy treat. So next time you’re jonesing for a frozen treat, bust this healthy recipe out and consider your craving curbed.

Dig in! No guilt here with Rocco’s healthy spin on an Italian classic. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)

 

Instant Italian Ice
(55 calories/serving)


Ingredients

  • 6 packets Stevia
  • ½ teaspoon xantham gum
  • 2 tablespoons raw agave nectar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 cups frozen unsweetened strawberries (do not thaw)

Directions
Mix the Stevia and xantham gum together in a small mixing bowl and set aside. Pour the agave nectar, lemon juice and water into a high-powered blender. Cover and blend until well combined.

Add the stevia and xantham mixture to the blender. Cover and blend on low until the mixture is well combined, about ten seconds. Add the still-frozen strawberries to the blender. Cover and blend on high while pushing the strawberries down into the blade with the wand, until the mixture is smooth but still frozen, about 5 to 10 seconds.

Spoon the strawberry ice into paper cups or chilled bowls and serve immediately. This ice will stay fresh and tasty, tightly covered, in the freezer up to a month. If it is too hard after freezing, simply temper in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving or put in the microwave on high for 5 to 10 seconds until just soft enough to scoop.

More from FITNESS:

Iron Chef Michael Symon Teaches Us How to Bake Healthy Biscuits

 How to Pack a Low-Calorie Picnic: 4 Healthy Recipes

Celebrate National Grilled Cheese Day with a Healthy Comfort Food Twist

Fit Blogger We Love: Knead to Cook

Written on September 5, 2013 at 10:43 am , by

Robin and her hubby after the speedster pounded the Maine pavement for the Beach to Beacon 10K in August.

Need to stir up your go-to healthy eats? Robin over at Knead to Cook has what you crave—muffins, cookies, pies, you name it—without the guilt. And whoa, it shows! The fit mom who sticks to an impressive six-day workout regimen (three days running, the other three hitting the gym for cardio and lifting) cut down on sugar and recently lost over 30 pounds, making major PR strides. We’ll have what she’s having! From lightened-up, homestyle Italian dishes to perfect pre- and post-workout fuel (check out her addictive No-Bake Energy Balls below), this gal cozies you up to her table like you’re a part of the family and proves that nutritious cuisine can taste good, too.

My favorite way to workout: Running, especially in the fall and winter. I’m definitely a cold-weather runner.

My biggest motivators: My two daughters. I want them to look at me as an inspiration for what is possible. They shouldn’t use age as an excuse—ever!

My favorite fit snack: Non-fat Cabot cottage cheese. It’s packed with protein and I mix it with Justin’s almond butter; it’s such a treat! I cannot get enough of it.

Motivational mantra: “No one ever drowned in his own sweat,” by Ann Landers. I actually have it written on the chalkboard wall in my kitchen and I look at it every single day.

My “I did it” moment: Even after running a marathon, my biggest “I did it” moment was recently, at the Beach to Beacon 10K, when I ran it in 49:01. That’s my fastest race time yet, thanks to my recent 31-pound weight loss.

These little protein-packed nuggets are highly sought after at Robin’s daughter’s swim meets—and for good reason. Sweet, tasty and filling!

 

No-Bake Energy Balls

  • 1 c old-fashioned oats
  • 1 c toasted coconut flakes
  • 1/2 c dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c almond butter (or whatever nut butter you have in your pantry)
  • 1/2 c flaxseed meal
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/3 c + 1 /4 tsp raw honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt

 

Mix together in a bowl and refrigerate for 45 minutes. Remove and roll into balls. (Robin uses a small scooper!) Place in an airtight container to refrigerate for 5-7 days, although they will most likely be long gone before that!

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

The Pros of Probiotics

Written on February 16, 2012 at 1:24 pm , by

Written by Lauren Cardarelli, editorial intern

Many yogurts pack a healthy amount of "good bacteria." (Photo by Jonathan Kantor)

We often hear that probiotics are important to maintain healthy digestion, but what exactly do they do? FITNESS recently learned all about the friendly bacteria from Dr. Melina B. Jampolis, M.D., who we met with at an Activia event. We asked her about the digestive system, the role of probiotics in overall health and how to incorporate the live microorganisms in our diets. Here’s what she had to say:

How do probiotics help regulate our digestive system?

Probiotics are friendly bacteria that live in our intestines. The gut contains 70 percent of our body’s immune tissue so a healthy gut is important for healthy immune function. Probiotics help keep the cells of the colon healthy, promoting good digestion. Things like stress, lack of sleep, medication and infection can throw off the ratio of good to bad bacteria in the intestines which can lead to overall health and digestive problems. This bacteria keeps the cells that line the gut healthy, they produce vitamins and produce lactase, an enzyme that helps break down milk.

Can you get probiotics from frozen yogurt? 

It depends on the preparation of the frozen yogurt and if probiotics are added. Although yogurt contains live cultures, it does not contain probiotics unless they are added. If it is frozen slowly the probiotics can survive but if it’s just placed in the freezer they will not.

How can those who don’t like yogurt incorporate probiotics into their diet?

Probiotic supplements, both refrigerated and shelf stable, are available. You can also find different strains in chocolate bars and juices but the benefits of probiotics are strain specific so if you are looking for a specific benefit, such as supporting a healthy digestive system, it is important to choose a clinically validated product.

Pastry Chef and Bravo’s Top Chef Just Desserts judge, Johnny Iuzzini, showed us how easy (and delicious!) incorporating probiotics into your diet can be. Check out his sweet recipe!

Panna cotta is Italian for cooked cream. (Photo courtesy of Activia)

Yogurt-Orange Blossom Panna Cotta

  • 2 1/4 cups Activia Vanilla Yogurt
  • 1/3 cup skim milk
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 gelatin sheets or 1 tablespoon gelatin powder
  • Lime zest
  • 1 teaspoon orange blossom water
  1. Heat sugar and milk until hot.
  2. Soak the gelatin in ice water for 10 minutes then squeeze out excess water and add to the hot milk. Allow milk to cool to room temperature.
  3. Stir in the vanilla yogurt, lime zest and orange blossom water and pour into a 4-ounce ramekin or a mold and allow to set in the refrigerator.
  4. Once set, carefully unmold into the serving bowl by inverting and releasing one edge.

Holiday Cookies That Take You Back in Time…Way Back!

Written on December 5, 2011 at 3:52 pm , by

In our November/December issue, four game readers each tried out different popular diets (see page 132 for the full story!). A Paleo diet—which promotes eating a whole-foods diet like our early ancestors—was one of the more successful options, but our tester was bummed that she couldn’t find desserts to fit her eating plan.

Enter Make It Paleo, a book we just stumbled upon that offers Paleo twists on traditional dishes. Bloggers Bill Staley and Hayley Mason of The Food Lover’s Primal Palate share recipes like huevos rancheros, portobello turkey burgers and chocolate mocha cupcakes with their Paleo spin.

Since our tester had trouble satisfying her sweet tooth, we were instantly drawn to the dessert section. Interested in giving a caveman-style cookie a try yourself? Here’s the Make It Paleo version of the traditional holiday favorite: gingerbread!

The authors recommend decorating with raisins and Enjoy Life semi-sweet chocolate chips. (Photo courtesy of Make It Paleo)

Gingerbread Cookies

Serves 12

  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons palm shortening
  • 1 tablespoon coconut milk
  • 3 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda’
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a sauce pan, heat molasses to a boil. Add maple syrup, palm shortening and coconut milk to sauce pan. Stir ingredients until combined, then remove from heat.
  3. In a small bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Pour dry ingredients into wet, and stir until batter is fully blended.
  4. Refrigerate dough for 20 minutes.
  5. Roll out dough between two sheets of parchment paper, until about 1/4 inch thick. Cut batter with cookie cutters of choice.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Let cool, decorate as desired, and enjoy.

Now tell us: Have you or would you be willing to try a primal diet?

In the Kitchen with Food Network’s Claire Robinson

Written on August 10, 2011 at 3:04 pm , by

Claire (left) and Lauren

Claire (left) and Lauren chat cuisine at a Coffee-mate event in New York City. (Photo courtesy of Coffee-mate)

Written by Lauren Cardarelli, editorial intern

With a hint of Southern twang and a whole lot of the hospitality, the host of Food Network’s 5 Ingredient Fix, Claire Robinson, demonstrates that time in the kitchen doesn’t have to be a chore. By simplifying recipes down to just a few, fresh ingredients (yep, you guessed it: five!), Claire makes preparing a delicious meal easier than ever.

“Turn over your packages! Know what you’re putting in your body,” advised the charismatic food enthusiast and adventure sport extraordinaire as she whipped up French Toast with Strawberries and Cream (keep reading for the recipe). “If you can’t pronounce what’s on the back, most likely it’s not good for you.”

After the cooking demonstration at the Coffee-mate Natural Bliss event last week, we sat down with Claire and asked her about her workout regimen, kitchen pantry staples and a whole lot more! Here’s what we learned:

  • Coffee pairs great with red meats and chocolate. Claire loves using espresso powder or a strong coffee to bring out the flavors in her savory desserts and beef dishes. Try this technique yourself with this unique dry-rubbed beef brisket recipe.
  • Swap your extra virgin for plain olive oil when cooking. You lose the flavoring of the extra virgin olive oil’s raw form when cooking with it over heat. Save some extra cash by buying the cheaper, regular olive oil for cooking purposes and keep the good stuff for drizzling over your meal before serving.<

Guilt-Free (and Delicious!) Salad Dressing Recipes

Written on June 27, 2011 at 11:14 am , by

When summer rolls around, few of us want to heat up our homes with a scorching oven! That’s why salads become a diet mainstay for many of us here at FITNESS. But if you’re not careful, your salad can be a diet disaster, often thanks to overly-fatty dressings and decadent toppings.

So when I met with the Whole Foods Market “Health Starts Here” team last week and heard about their oil-free dressings, I of course had to ask for a recipe or two to try—and share with all of you!

Strawberry balsamic is the perfect seasonal salad topper this time of year. (Photo courtesy of Whole Foods Market)

Strawberry balsamic is the perfect seasonal salad topper this time of year. (Photo courtesy of Whole Foods Market)

Strawberry Balsamic
Serves 8

Strawberries are in season and tasting great. Add them to your salad, then drizzle some of this on top for additional berry flavor!

  • 2/3 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 shallot, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a blender with 1/4 cup water. Mix until smooth.

Nutrition facts per serving (about 2 tablespoons): 15 calories, 0 g. fat

Low-Fat Caesar
Serves 8

One serving of the average Caesar dressing has at least 150 calories and 15 grams of fat per serving. Swapping this salad dressing for the typical one everyday for a month? A simple way to drop a full pound.

  • 2/3 cup (about 5 oz.) firm silken tofu
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons light soy or chickpea miso
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Ground black pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Mix until smooth.

Nutrition facts per serving (about 2 tablespoons): 25 calories, 0.5 g. fat (0 g. saturated fat)

Now tell us: What salad ingredients do you love to add to your bowl to fill you up without filling you out?

Chef Cat Cora Chats Catering the CMT Music Awards

Written on June 1, 2011 at 3:11 pm , by

(Photo by David Carlson)

Cat Cora will soon hit the kitchen to prepare tasty treats for the CMT Awards after party. (Photo by David Carlson)

The first and only female Iron Chef won’t be hitting Kitchen Stadium for her next big meal, but she will certainly be serving some VIPs. Cat Cora is hosting the official CMT Music Awards after party this year, and will no doubt be offering a spread that even the harshest critics would love.

We spoke with Cat to get the inside scoop about the how she stays in such great shape (did you know she also has a degree in exercise physiology?) and what the CMT menu will offer. And don’t worry, we managed to steal one of the recipes that will be offered so you can host your own all-star viewing party at home!

Are you a fan of country music yourself?

I grew up in Mississippi, surrounded by country and Southern rock music and continue to love it.

So if you could pick the after party playlist, what would be included?

I love all genres of music, so I’d mix it up. Everything from my friend Zac Brown to the Black Eyed Peas, Mary J. Blige, Kid Rock and Beyonce.

Sounds like a great soundtrack for a gym trip too! What are your favorite ways to stay fit?

Exercise is something I do every day, whether it’s running, cycling or the elliptical machine.

Keep reading to find out what the stars of country music will be munching on at the after party and get an Iron Chef-worthy recipe to try yourself!

Read more

High-Octane Eats: Top Chef Angelo Sosa’s Recipes

Written on May 2, 2011 at 4:41 pm , by

Chef Angelo Sosa and Porshe factory driver Patrick Long prepare high-performer's milkshakes. (Mark Dye/newscast)

Get revved up with a sip from a high-performer milkshake. (Mark Dye/newscast)

The New York International Auto Show just wrapped up, and among the cars and new technology, wellness was on display. Porsche and one of their race car drivers, Patrick Long, hosted the Healthy Intelligent Performance event, which discussed how to kick your health into high gear. Apparently, there’s a lot more than sitting and steering that go into being a good race car driver!

Patrick stays fit with a mix of cardio (running, cycling, kayaking), strength (core work with a stability ball and resistance band) and balance (single leg exercises). He fuels up with well-balanced meals like oven baked cod and chilled ramen with wasabi and citrus. When he wants a sweet treat, he grabs one of these delicious beverages, created by Top Chef veteran and Social Eatz owner Angelo Sosa.

High-Performer’s Milkshake (Serves 4)

  • 5 oz. Wheaties (about 5 cups)
  • 3 pieces cardamom
  • 1 piece star anise
  • 2 cups non-fat soy milk
  • 2 tbsp. agave nectar

Bring the milk to a simmer in a pot and add all other ingredients to let them steep, like a tea. Remove the spices and blend the liquid mixture, chill and serve.

Nutrition facts per serving: 200 calories, 1 g. fat

Pineapple & Mango Lassi

  • 1 lb. pineapple, diced in large cubes
  • 8 oz. mango (about 1 1/3 cups)
  • 6 oz. non-fat Greek yogurt (one small container)
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Toss all ingredients into a blender, mix until smooth and serve.

Nutrition facts per serving: 147 calories, 0.25 g. fat

Click here for more recipes by Chef Sosa.

Now tell us: What foods or drinks help power you through challenging workouts?

Simple Smoothies for a Healthy Heart

Written on February 15, 2011 at 2:39 pm , by

In honor of Heart Health Month, let’s talk about taking care of our tickers! We spoke to Dr. Michael Roizen, chief wellness officer of the Cleveland Clinic (and cocreator of the Real Age test with Dr. Oz), who shared a few of his Heart Smart Smoothie recipes that make it easy to whip up a healthy breakfast on even your busiest mornings.

“The ingredients [in these smoothies], including psyllium husks and fruit, help lower lousy (LDL) cholesterol while tasting great,” says Dr. Roizen. “Most Americans are only getting about half the fiber they should, and these smoothies, enjoyed every day, are a good start to help you reach the goal of 20-35mg of fiber a day.”

Dr. Roizen's Heart Healthy Smoothie

Dr. Roizen’s Heart Smart Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup soy protein powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon flaxseed oil
  • 1/4 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 large ripe banana (or berries of your choice)
  • 1/2 tablespoon apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons psyllium fiber (sugar-free Metamucil)

Directions
Peel banana; break into chunks. Put all ingredients in a blender. Add 16 ounces of water with ice. Cover, blend until fairly smooth. Enjoy! Read more