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Telluride, Colorado: The Vacation Spot Perfect for Snow Bunnies

Written on March 13, 2014 at 1:42 pm , by

I felt like I was home the second I touched down in Colorado’s tiny Montrose Airport two weeks ago. The sun tickled my pasty skin as I  bounded off of my puddle jumper plane with a list of to-dos a mile long—pee, claim baggage, find my shuttle, etc.—yet all of those thoughts and former stresses seemed to disappear in thin air (literally, hello altitude) when I laid eyes on the snowcapped mountain skyline. Holy snowplow. I could get used to this.

As a self-proclaimed “summer girl” who finds winter’s only redeeming quality to be powder-packed slopes, it has been a dream of mine for far too long to experience trails (both “groomies” and glades) out West. So when I was invited on a trip to Telluride, I felt like a kid in Toys-R-Us the week before Christmas—wide-eyed, jaw ajar the entire five days I spent gallivanting about. But is the skiing really that much better than the Northeast? Like, worth the extra travel and lugging of clunky equipment? Abso-freaking-lutely. The conditions rocked the socks off my go-to stomping grounds (while lacking that bone-gnawing bitter cold us Northerners are all accustomed to), and the town itself had the local charm a city dweller craves…without sacrificing cell service. From backcountry hikes and wildlife tours to snowmobiling and gaga-worthy dining views, the destination is a fit gal’s heaven. And the food? I can’t even begin to explain the flavor explosion my taste buds experienced. It had the high-end Manhattan quality, touting a local farm-to-table flair. Insert your choice of an expletive adjective to describe the melt-in-your mouth pork belly.

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Looking Forward to the Winter Olympics With Pro Snowboarder Torah Bright

Written on August 10, 2012 at 8:33 am , by

Snowboarder Torah Bright (Photo courtesy of Roxy)

Summer may be Olympic Snowboarder Torah Bright’s downtime, but she already has the 2014 Winter Games on her mind. This summer, when she’s not on the beach, she’s doing something active like bike riding, tennis, yoga or doing some plyometric work on her own, then it’s off to New Zealand for training to qualify for the next winter Olympics. She talked to us about preparing for the Games, her favorite Olympic moments and designing her line of snowboarding gear for Roxy, the Roxy Bright Edition.

How do you gear up for a winter competition?

“I practice on the snow and ride a bike and do yoga to work off the lactic acid that builds up throughout the day. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but three hours of working on tricks and hiking up the pike is draining.”

What body parts are important for snowboarding?

“It’s whole body. You don’t use your upper body per se but it’s part of your motions. You can hurt your shoulders so it’s important to keep that strong. The main focus is on the legs, butt, abs for sure. But you can hurt your shoulders and arms easily, too. When you’re stronger overall, the less harmful your injuries are.” Read more

Snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler’s Top 5 Healthy Living Tricks

Written on April 10, 2012 at 2:07 pm , by

Written by Brittany Vickers, editorial intern

Bleiler co-founded the company that makes the fun ALEX bottle she's toting! (Photo courtesy of Lauren Ross)

We may not all be Olympic level athletes, but some days, it can feel like we have a schedule worthy of one. The only difference is, for us, hitting the gym doesn’t pay the rent. So how can we stay on top of our game? We asked Olympic snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler how she conquers the mountains (both literal and figurative) she faces everyday.

Recently, Bleiler partnered with Listerine, Reach and the American Heart Association’s My Heart. My Life initiative, aimed at keeping American’s healthy, so she filled us in about that as well.

I’m sure you’re busy! How do you fit in time to keep yourself healthy?

If you take care of your health you’ll have the energy for everything and everyone else too! It’s like the emergency announcement when you fly; they stress to put the oxygen mask on yourself, before helping others. The same thing is true in life!

How do you fit in activity during your most jam-packed days?

I think the secret to staying healthy is in the daily habits that you build into your everyday life that help create balance, energy and the foundation to create the life you want. My five favorite tips for keeping up with an active and healthy lifestyle are: eating a healthy balanced diet, exercising, drinking water, following through with a proper oral care routine and always wearing sunscreen!

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Tear Up the Slopes During Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month!

Written on January 5, 2012 at 10:11 am , by

So what if you're a beginner? Lessons will have you on your feet in no time. (Photo by Alexa Miller)

For winter sport newbies, the slopes can sure be intimidating. Staring down a steep hill and plunging off the top…I can just feel my heart beating faster thinking about it! Thankfully, there are many resources available to make novices more comfortable, and many of them have teamed up in January for Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month.

Last year during the festivities, instructors offered more than 75,000 beginner lessons and passed along priceless scoop about how to fuel winter activities, what to wear when on the hills and lifts for hours and how to stay safe. You can also find retailers and resorts near you to gear up and plan your next adventure—Vail, anyone?

For all of the details, visit skiandsnowboardmonth.org and stay tuned because next Friday our fashion team will be pulling together their favorite looks for your snow adventures this season here on The Fit Stop!

And for tips straight from the pros, look no further:

Now tell us: Are you a snow bunny? What is your favorite snow sport?

Fit Blogger We Love: Happy Herbivore

Written on December 22, 2011 at 1:58 pm , by

Come January, nutritious, wholesome and low-fat recipes will be all the rage. But why wait? Lindsay Nixon is sharing guilt-free recipes today on her blog Happy Herbivore and in her just-released cookbook Everyday Happy Herbivore. No wacky, expensive ingredients, Nixon promises, and she says that we can create all of the dishes in less time than it takes to watch an episode of 30-Minute Meals. Sold!

We asked Nixon to share more about her favorite hobbies and snacks, then were lucky enough to snag a recipe from her new cookbook. It’s perfect as part of a delicious breakfast or dessert!

Lindsay's vegan cookbook is available now.

My favorite way to work out: Snowboarding. I actually moved to Colorado for the winter so I could ride every day!

I’m happiest when I’m: In motion. I get ants in my pants if I sit too long.

My fave fit snack: Jicama slices with lime juice.

My fitness mantra: “Be better today than you were yesterday.”

My “I Did It” moment: I climbed Mount Washington a few years ago, and because I’m crazy, I did the most aggressive trail. It was wonderful to get to the top and say “I did this! Yeah, I rock!”

Muffin cups make perfect portions. (Photo courtesy of Lindsay Nixon)

Apple Fritter Cups

Serves 12

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped apple (skin optional)
  • 1 cup nondairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup light brown or raw sugar
  • 2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, divided
  • nutmeg or ground ginger
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.
    Toss 1 cup apples with a few dashes of cinnamon and a little brown sugar until well coated and set aside. (This is your topping.)
  2. In a small bowl, whisk nondairy milk with vinegar and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon (your choice) plus a dash of nutmeg or ginger, and stir to combine.
  4. Whisk in sugar, then pour in milk mixture. Add vanilla to remaining 1/2 cup apples and stir to combine.
  5. Spoon into muffin cups just a tad more than halfway full. Add topping on each.
  6. Bake for 15 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Tip: Once the fritters completely cool, the liners will peel off. If you plan to eat them warm, lightly spray the inside of the liner with oil-spray to prevent stick or forgo the liners and grease your muffin tin or use a nonstick pan.

Nutrition information per serving: 102 calories, <1 g fat

Who Says It’s a Guy’s Sport? These Female Snowboarders Are Breaking Boundaries

Written on December 15, 2011 at 11:57 am , by

Spencer O'Brien knows how to get serious air! (Photo courtesy of Alli Sports)

In the world of snowboarding, amazing athletes like Shaun White seem to get the majority of the spotlight (and the TV time). But there are many women who are rocking the slopes too, who can also pull off fantastic tricks and pull in Olympic gold.

FITNESS caught up with two of those ladies before their next competition—the Winter Dew Tour Nike Breckenridge Open, starting today and running through Sunday.

Get to know…

  • Kelly Clark, snowboard superpipe competitor, the only female to win three US Open halfpipe events, Olympic gold (Salt Lake City) and bronze (Vancouver) medal winner, founder of the Kelly Clark Foundation
  • Spencer O’Brien, snowboard slopestyle competitor, 2009 Dew Cup champion and female athlete of the year, X Games silver (2009) and bronze (2008) medalist

How did snowboarding become a passion of yours?

Kelly Clark: I grew up in a small mountain town in Vermont with not much else going on! I was on skis at age 2, and began snowboarding when I was 7. I found it really fun and loved the element of creativity involved.

Spencer O’Brien: My dad used to take my sisters and I skiing, then taught us all to snowboard. It was really a family activity.

What does a typical day of training look like for you?

KC: I’m riding from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., grab lunch, then go to the gym for a few hours. Some days I Spin—it’s good to get the lactic acid out and relieve soreness—and other days I walk or use the trampoline.

SO: I’m typically on the snow two to four hours a day. I warm up and stretch, work on tricks, recover on the Spin bike and do a strength training maintenance program with my physical therapist.

Read on for the workout moves that will make you a better boarder.

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Snowboard Star Jeremy Jones Aims to Protect Our Winters

Written on November 2, 2011 at 12:25 pm , by

Jeremy Jones wants to see snow on the world's mountains for generations to come. (Photo courtesy of Protect Our Winters)

Written by Alyssa Belanger, editorial intern

Jeremy Jones has conquered the slopes as a snowboarding superstar, and now he’s set his sights on the environment. He created Protect Our Winters (POW), an organization bringing awareness to climate change issues that impact a wide variety of industries that rely on the cooler climates of mountainous communities—from snowboarding to wineries like Alamos Wines, which he also supports.

In his new movie Further, set to release next year, Jeremy and his team takes viewers along as he explores some of the world’s most beautiful and extreme terrain in the Arctic Circle, Japan, the High Sierra and the Pickett Range. Jeremy’s body and mind were forced to face some of nature’s most unimaginable tests during this journey.

Jeremy gave me the scoop on POW, his film and his fitness secrets.

Why did you start Protect Our Winters?

I started POW in 2007 after seeing a change in the climate. I have traveled the world and spent my life in the mountains, so when I started seeing a change I felt like as someone in the heart of the snowboarding industry I needed to do something. I felt that the whole industry needed to come together and rally around the issue.

When did you start training for your excursions in your movie Further?

It’s funny, I have been snowboarding for 25 years and it has been an ongoing progression with snowboarding and fitness. Fitness is a lifestyle that you choose, and hopefully, you’re always building and evolving as both an athlete and human being.

Outside of boarding and hiking, what else do you do to exercise?

I try to find stuff that I am excited about so that it doesn’t feel like a workout. In the summer, I enjoy things like rock climbing, mountain biking, stand-up paddleboarding or even just using my town bike to run errands.

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Heading to the Altar…Then Off to VAIL, CO for Some Snow Time!

Written on February 9, 2011 at 8:20 am , by

I’m getting married this weekend (February 12th!) and then I’m off on a wonderful winter wonderland “mini” moon to Vail, Colorado and The Lodge At Vail. My soon-to-be hubby and I decided that planning our “real” honeymoon would have to wait a bit (wedding planning was fun, but it was certainly time consuming too!),  so we booked a quick trip to the slopes to embrace the winter theme. And we’re going to learn how to snowboard! (When we visit Hawaii in June we’ll hit up the waves for our first time too and learn how to surf!) But before I can even get excited about that, I’m psyched to see Colorado in its glory, white snow and all. The last time I went to Colorado was in the summer months during a press trip to visit the amazing RockResort lodges. I think I fell in love with Colorado’s amazing views and the easiness of life there—everyone just seemed so relaxed and they’re all so athletic! Visiting now during peak snow season (not to mention Valentine’s Day!) I’m sure will be a totally different experience. Pro skiers and avid snowboarders are zipping down those mountains as we speak—and I’m not so sure they’re ready to witness an inexperienced snow girl like me. I’ve skied before, down bunny hills during high school trips, but more than ten years later, I’m feeling a little nervous about falling and hurting myself (my fears have grown as I’ve gotten older!). Thankfully my hubby-to-be has never ventured into snowboarding either (he is however a very avid skier), so colliding and falling down is something we can do together.

Spencer O'Brien, Photo Credit: Tomas Zuccareno/Shazamm/ESPN Images

Spencer O'Brien, Photo Credit: Tomas Zuccareno/Shazamm/ESPN Images

Before I catch some air down any hills, I’m remembering these top tips for snowboarding newbies from two-time X Games medalist, Spencer O’Brien:

1. Don’t take it too seriously. You’re going to look like a goof for the first day and that’s totally OK.

2. Make sure you have the proper equipment. Your older brother’s boots that are two sizes too big won’t do. Having proper gear that fits is crucial and will make your first time so much easier and enjoyable. (I’ll tell you all about what I used when I’m back from my trip and give my rave review!)

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