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Eat to Slim: Skinny Dips for Your Holiday Weekend BBQ

Written on May 20, 2014 at 4:21 pm , by

Memorial Day weekend is just a few days away (who’s ready for a long weekend?). Kick summer off on the right sandal-sportin’ foot by snacking smart. We rounded up three bikini-friendly recipes to dip into without the guilt—or bloat. The secret ingredient? Avocado, which research has linked to lower BMI and waist circumference, among a laundry list of other health benefits. Um, win! And forget the greasy munchie pairings. Late July Organics’ new SubLime will rock your socks off.

Blue Cheese Avocado Dip
Calories: 240
Serves: 6

Ingredients
4 ripe avocados
1 garlic clove, minced
4 scallions
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup Stonyfield Organic Greek Plain Nonfat Yogurt (or their Fat Free Plain works, too!)
½ cup blue cheese (crumbled)

Peel, seed and coarsely mash avocados. Chop the green part of the scallions. Combine all ingredients into a mixing bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Nutrition Info: 420 calories, 26g total fat, 65mg cholesterol, 890mg sodium, 17g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 3g sugar, 25g protein

Wholly Guacamole Chicken Salad
Calories: 340
Serves: 4

Ingredients
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 chicken breasts
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 limes, juiced (and zest from one)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup yellow bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1 cup Wholly Guacamole dip

Mix oil, salt, black pepper, cumin, sugar, chili powder, lime zest and juice of 1 1/2 limes. Combine with chicken to marinate for 20 to 30 minutes. Grill chicken on each side for 2 minutes. Finish cooking in 400°F oven for 8 minutes and allow chicken to rest for 5 minutes before dicing. Once cool, fold chicken in with bell peppers, onion, cilantro, Wholly Guacamole dip, the rest of the lime juiced and the remaining salt.

Nutrition Info: 340 calories, 17g total fat, 90mg cholesterol, 570mg sodium, 9g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 2g sugar, 35g protein

Avocado Dip
Calories: 110
Serves: 4

 Ingredients
½ tub Nasoya® Silken or Lite Silken Tofu
1 ripe avocado
1 teaspoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon onion, chopped

In a blender, blend the tofu, avocado, lemon juice, garlic, salt and cilantro until smooth. Place mixture in bowl and stir in onions. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Serve chilled. 

Nutrition Info: 110 calories, 9g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 150mg sodium, 6g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 4g protein

Photo courtesy of Late July

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Bug Off! Tick Season Safety Tips and Tricks

Written on May 16, 2014 at 10:44 am , by

Tick. The 4-lettered word alone gives me the heebie-jeebies—and for good reason. These creepy crawlers are the perpetrators of one of the fastest growing epidemics to date, Lyme disease (LD). And now that the temps are finally warming up, ticks are back in full swing. (I’ve already pulled two of the little buggers off my pup. Not cool.) Are you prepared? We talked about the nasty pests with A Twist of Lyme author Andrea H. Caesar, who has battled chronic LD since she was 11-years-old. Here are the must-know dirty deets to bite back.

The No-Zone Walking Fido around the block? Catching up on the newest FITNESS issue poolside in the shade? Risky business, girlfriend. “You can get a tick [bite] in a parking lot…anytime of the year,” warns Caesar. Like us, ticks are most active from April to September. Steer clear of wooded, shady areas as much as possible; in particular, stonewalls and moist leaf piles are their playgrounds. Hitting the open trail? Stick to the middle of the path, away from weedy edges.

Play It Safe Sport light-colored clothing to your next outdoor BBQ so you can easily spot the bad guys and tie long locks back into a tight ponytail. “Then they can’t crawl right up into your scalp,” says Caesar. (Your fave baseball cap will do the trick, too!) Swap out the shorts for leggings or pants tucked into tall socks when tackling yard work. The latter is a total fashion faux pas, we know, but hey—wouldn’t you rather be safe than sorry!? And don’t forget the repellent sprays/lotions. The CDC suggests products with 20 percent or more DEET, although Caesar—who lives a non-toxic life—prefers catnip oil. “It can be ten times more effective [than DEET]!” Her fave: Ava Anderson’s Natural Bug Spray ($19.95, avaandersonnontoxic.com).

Check Mate “In my house, we do a tick check morning and night from head to toe,” says Caesar. “The problem is that deer ticks are the size of a piece of dirt so you’re not only looking—it’s a sensory test, too.” Thoroughly comb through your hair with your fingers and be sure to examine your, err, nooks and crannies (where they unfortunately love to take cover). According to the CDC, it takes more than 24 to 36 hours of attachment for ticks to transmit LD bacteria…hence the hide-and-seek urgency. Found one? Start by disinfecting the area with an alcohol swab. Next, use tweezers to grab the tick “head” as close to the skin as possible. Pull straight out and disinfect the bite site. “Put it in a plastic bag with a damp cotton ball if you want to send it away for testing,” advises Caesar. “It’s much more effective and easy to test a tick than a person!”

Tick’s Best Friend You may follow all of the prevention rules, but your pooch? Doubtful. Animals are LD carriers, which includes those not-so-welcome houseguests. “Set mouse traps to keep them under control!” says Caesar. As for pets, discuss repellent products with your vet, inspect their coats daily and reduce tick habitats in your yard, if possible. “My dogs are crated downstairs [at night] because of LD,” Caesar says.

Ticking Time Bomb “In its chronic form, Lyme disease can represent a complex set of infections involving the nervous system and its most basic functions,” says Caesar. “But it really also represents all of the body systems.” Translation: There is a seemingly endless rap sheet of symptoms, making the illness difficult to diagnose. Some general indicators to be aware of include achiness, headaches, tingling or numbness in extremities, fatigue and fever, which can have severe implications if undetected or ignored.

Learn more about LD at CDC.org and be sure to pick up your copy of A Twist of Lyme today.

Photo courtesy of Andrea H. Caesar

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Soak Up the Last of Summer with Super-Cute Sweats

Written on August 22, 2013 at 3:39 pm , by

We hate to be those people, but we’ve just come to the realization that our beloved summer nights are numbered. Being the beach bums that we are,  we’re not ready to ditch our bikinis and flip-flops yet, so we’ve taken to wearing our comfies on the beach when the sun starts to set and the salty air gets breezy.

But comfy doesn’t have to be frumpy. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite sweatshirts for you to keep warm in for those last few bonfires on the beach. All you have to do is throw one on over your favorite bikini (we’re obsessed with everything L*Space), and pair with denim cutoffs, for the perfect low maintenance, beachy-chic look.

 

Nike Rally Sweatshirt ($50, nike.com)

Billabong Here We Are Pullover ($40, billabong.com)

Rebecca Taylor Pullover ($350, rebeccataylor.com)

SoulCycle E Hoodie ($88, soul-cycle.com)

Aerie Classic Crew ($30, aerie.com)

Victoria’s Secret Pink Slouchy Crew ($45, victoriassecret.com)

 

Roxy Pros Reveal How You, Too, Can Rock The Waves and Teeny Bikinis

Written on May 7, 2013 at 9:17 am , by

When asked her favorite surfing destination, Monyca gushed about Mexico’s fun waves but as far as culture goes, she said, “I think Bali is really rad.” (Photo courtesy of ROXY)

“Follow your heart and dare!” The DVF Loves Roxy Spring 2013 line’s motto perfectly describes the collaboration’s bold prints and playful silhouettes. In celebration of this laid-back but confident surfer sprit, Roxy pros Kelia Moniz and Monyca Byrne-Wickey flaunted the new bikinis for the camera after lending a hand in the design process. We sat down with the two gals to hear about their recent epic ride. Read on to learn about Kelia and Monyca’s swimsuit requirements, bikini-friendly diet and why fitness is not just a passion, but their lifestyle. 

How did you two get into surfing?

KM: My dad was a professional surfer, so it was in the family. We were raised going to the beach—pretty much on the beach. My mom homeschooled us so surfing was a big part of my life. Every day after school (and during school!) we’d go to the beach and surf. And I have four brothers—it was something we did for fun. Being in Hawaii, there’s not much to do so the beach is pretty much our playground.
MBW: I grew up in a really small town—like literally two general stores, one gas station. There’s not a ton of stuff to do and so the beach is kind of like our playground. That’s where everybody goes after school to have fun. My family didn’t really surf. My sister surfed a bit, but I mostly learned from my two best friends growing up…they’re all boys and boys usually pick up surfing a lot easier than girls do so I always was trying to be as good as them and keep up. They’d really push me.

What do you look for when searching for the perfect suit?

MBW: Comfort is very important, especially in the water because you need something that’s tight to stay on, but at the same time you don’t want it digging into your neck or imprinting on your sides. You want it to stay on so a cross-back top is always really good. Something that’s not adjustable here [points to rib cage] so you’re not flying open. As far as bottoms go, I prefer regular—no ties or anything like that—because a lot of times you’re standing up on your board and you could get them caught on your hand…I want something that’s functional, comfortable and also looks cute on the beach. So if you’re going to the beach, the waves aren’t looking good and you decide you’re not going out, you’re still going to be really cute. And just as cute as all the other girls who aren’t surfing. I also prefer a smaller bottom just because I think it’s more flattering and you don’t get as crazy tan lines.

Do you draw your color/pattern inspiration from Hawaii or other places you visit during competition?

MBW: Sort of. I feel like there are some places we go that there’s definitely more of a style that we don’t see at home in Hawaii. In Australia, all the girls wear structured tops, like mostly bra tops and florescent colors. I do like a bra top, but I feel like for surfing, if you’re going to be out there for hours it can get really uncomfortable. It’s super cute; I still love it. I prefer pastels, florals and solids mostly. All the girls we travel with and all the girls on our team completely enjoy a different thing and the great thing is we’re all with Roxy and they have such a wide array of all that—there’s a print for everybody, there’s a style for everybody and there’s a color for everybody.
KM: [Monyca] loves, just like she said, a cross-back and I love triangle adjustable tops. I love tie sides.
MBW: And we’re super different surfers. I ride a short board and she rides a long board so she could even get away with wearing a bandeau because it’s not as rough.
KM: I’m above the water most of the time and I’m not duck diving where my top’s going to come off so I wear bandeaus all the time, especially to stay away from tan lines. Read more

Music Monday: The “Hold on to Summer” Edition

Written on September 10, 2012 at 10:40 am , by

We're not packing up our warm weather gear quite yet. (Photo by Joseph Montezinos)

We know, we know: the unofficial end of summer, Labor Day, was last week. But we’re starting a long list of the things we’re not quite ready to give up quite yet:

  • Our favorite pair of strappy sandals
  • Cute workout shorts and tanks
  • The bikini-ready abs we worked so hard to earn
  • Low maintenance, beachy hair…

That’s why we reached out to surfing star Carissa Moore, who recently took second place the the US Open of Surfing (catch all of the action this Saturday—find air times on redbullsignatureseries.com). Who better than an athlete who spends nearly all of her waking hours in the waves to help us hold on to that easy breezy summer feeling during our workouts all year long?

Now tell us: What song immediately sends you into summer mode?

Fit Links: How to Pick a Healthy Road Trip Snack and Support 8 Awesome Sports Charities

Written on June 15, 2012 at 2:08 pm , by

Trail mix, veggies and whole grain crackers make for excellent travel munchies. (Photo by Evan Sklar)

This week’s fit links from around the web:

Buy One Pair of Cute Flip-Flops, Give One Pair To Soles4Souls

Written on May 24, 2012 at 11:08 am , by

Your pair funds another pair for someone who can't afford them. (Photo courtesy of Planet Flops)

Did you know…

  • One in four adults across the globe live on less than $1 a day, making even daily essentials hard to afford
  • Feet with cuts can easily get infected by ground debris, and these infections can become life-threatening
  • In 2011, Americans tossed more than 300 million pairs of shoes

For these reasons and more (including our need to replace our gym flip-flops and gear up for summer!), we were pumped to hear about a new partnership with the non-profit Soles4Souls and Planet Flops. For each pair of the $28 sandals sold online, Planet Flops will donate another pair to those in need here in the U.S. and in developing countries including Haiti, India and Sudan.

Another neat way to help the cause: Download the new all-star country song “The Choice” by artists including Kellie Pickler, LeAnn Rimes, Keith Urban and more. All proceeds from the song go directly to help put shoes on feet of those without. Click here for a sample and/or to download.

And for more about Souls4Soles and other organizations that will help your fitness gear find a new life, check out this recent recycling roundup from our friends at FitSugar!

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Outrun the Sun to Support Skin Cancer Education and Research

Written on May 4, 2012 at 1:43 pm , by

A cover-up—and sunscreen—are the chicest summer accessories. (Photo by Amy Postle)

Unless you’re an elite runner, you’ve likely been intimidated toeing the starting line at a race. This month, there is a stress-free opportunity to complete your race—while helping a good cause—no matter where you live!

From now until May 31, you can sign up to Outrun (or walk) the Sun and complete a race on the day and at the distance of your choosing. Your $12 entry fee will support skin cancer education and melanoma research, so don’t forget your sunscreen, sunglasses and hat! It’s the perfect time to practice and support sun safety, as May is National Skin Cancer and Melanoma Awareness Month. Scary stat: Melanoma kills one American every hour and more than two million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year.

Runners, walkers and athletes of all kinds are often at higher risk than the general population, due to their frequent outdoor pursuits. So participants will receive more than the pride that comes with finishing a race—they will also get a reminder about the importance of sun safety.

For more about Outrun the Sun, click here.

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6 Tricks to Stay Slim All Spring and Summer Long

Written on April 26, 2012 at 12:15 pm , by

Burgers are still on the menu. Just balance them out with a side of veggies! (Photo by Peter Ardito)

True, the traditional “eating holidays” like Thanksgiving and Super Bowl Sunday occur during the colder months. No matter the month, though, diet disasters are sure to pop up. That’s why Karen Ansel, a registered dietitian in Long Island, New York, decided to write her new book with CNN diet and fitness expert Melina Jampolis, M.D. The Calendar Diet: A Month to Month Guide to Losing Weight While Living Life shows readers how to fit in their skinny jeans—and make smart, healthy choices—from Valentine’s Day to Cinco de Mayo to Halloween.

Here are Ansel’s top tips to outsmart seasonal diet traps:

  1. Pack travel snacks. “For car trips or when you’ll be staying at a hotel, bring energy bars and portion-controlled bags of nuts, crackers and dried fruit. This way, you won’t be as tempted by fast food restaurants or the hotel mini bar.”
  2. Store pantry staples. “The key to maintaining a healthy diet when you’re busy is a well-stocked pantry so you don’t dial for Chinese takeout on a busy evening or when you’re just back from a trip. Items like pasta and beans last a long time and can make a nice meal in a hurry.”
  3. Order drinks on ice. “Frosty drinks, like sweetened iced teas and margaritas, can increase your calorie total for the day very quickly. Ask for plenty of ice and order your margarita on the rocks rather than blended. It’s automatic portion control and will keep you from downing glass after glass too fast.”
  4. Skip the chips. “With Cinco de Mayo and outdoor picnics approaching, keep in mind that a few big handfuls of tortilla chips can be 500 calories! I tell me clients to skip them because it’s really hard to stop after just a few. Cut red and yellow peppers into strips and dip them into a mix of salsa and guacamole.”
  5. Go fish. “Shrimp fajitas and fish tacos are wise choices whether your hosting a barbecue or dining out. Skip the cheese and pile on veggies for a filling, satisfying meal.”
  6. Plan ahead. “It’s all about balance. If you know your dinner is going to be heavy on macaroni salad and hamburger buns, try to get plenty of protein, fruits and vegetables in your breakfast and lunch.”

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6 Exercises to Get You Surf-Ready For Summer

Written on April 6, 2012 at 11:55 am , by

Next up: riding the waves while standing! (Photo by Joseph Montezinos)

With spring break in full swing (or already passed for many!) thoughts turn to summer and upcoming getaways. If a beach getaway is in the books, a surf session is likely on the agenda. While it’s rare to have a surf school nearby in most areas of the country, there’s plenty you can do now to hit the waves feeling strong, prepared and confident.

“Pre-training is important for excelling, keeping safe and having fun with summer water sports,” says Rob Stuart, private trainer at The Sports Club/LA in Washington, D.C. Four to six weeks before your departure, follow Stuart’s plan for a three-pronged approach at a surf-ready (and beach-ready) body:

  1. Cardio 15 to 20 minutes three days a week
  2. Total-body strength training three days a week
  3. Yoga and swimming to complement

To hit all the muscle groups you’ll need on the board, try these seven moves during your strength sessions. Do three sets of 12 reps of each exercise.

 Now tell us: Are you planning a spring or summer getaway? If so, do you change your exercise routine beforehand?