Written on February 15, 2013 at 5:25 pm , by Samantha Shelton
A bowl of oatmeal for breakfast is…sexy? When Fabio Viviani is serving it, we like to think so. Which is why he’s the star of Quaker’s new video in support of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement. And on the day of love (Valentine’s Day, in case you missed it), we had to get a piece of this Italian’s mind. Here’s his take on breakfast, and what you should be doing to spice up your love life.
Tell me about this steamy video! What made you want to get involved?
It’s a good cause. If you’ve followed me in the last few years, then you know I’m all about good food and what’s good for you. As a chef, it has to be tasty. And well, let’s be honest, sometimes something that’s good for you is not necessarily delicious. But oatmeal is! So when I was approached by the Go Red for Women movement with Quaker Oats, it was perfect – we’re talking about food, breakfast and ladies – it was a good fit.
Whose idea was it to make it a funny, sexy video?
The good news is that it’s easy for me to make things steamy because I have an accent! But if I’m going to do a video, it’s got to be funny – food is fun!
Are you a breakfast lover yourself?
When I came to the United States, I learned to love it. Back in Italy, I didn’t really have it a lot. Now I like oatmeal and I like to make things different. Breakfast is something that can really change a lot about your day. We always talk about making the right choices, and something as easy and small as breakfast being done in the right way is huge.
Other than as a standard bowl for breakfast, how do you use Quaker oats?
It’s a staple for breakfast, absolutely. But I also use oatmeal powder as a thickening agent instead of using gelatin and other chemical-filled things when I work in the kitchen. I make an oatmeal gelato that is delicious.
Healthy eating is clearly a big part of strong heart health. What strategies do you like to follow?
You’re talking to an Italian guy, so you’re never going to hear me say drop carbs or meat! A balanced diet is the one that makes you happy while keeping you healthy. Being miserable is not healthy; it’s stressful. So I try to balance my diet with a lot of vegetables and good protein, but it’s OK to have steak once a week or so. Fish, in general, is good too. Maybe avoid tilapia because it’s really fatty, but others are great. And risotto – I love risotto! I’ll eat it any day of the week. I mean that, sometimes I’ve done it. And I’ll cook it in red wine instead of broth.
Written on February 14, 2013 at 10:07 am , by Samantha Shelton
We love a nice box of dark chocolate as much as the next girl, but a date to get all hot and sweaty with loved ones on Valentine’s Day? That’s the real way to make us swoon. Grab your sweetheart and get ready for four heart-racing routines designed to spike your endorphins before segueing into a cuddle sesh after class.
Tough Love: Bars, Bands & Blindfolds Bootcamp – New York Sports Club
If you’re in New York City, head to the 59th and Park Ave location on Thursday at 5:15pm throughout the month to go through four sweat-dripping circuits that will definitely get your, um, blood pumping. We tested the routine ourselves, and before we knew it, they had us tied up, blindfolded and channeling our inner Fifty Shades of Grey characters for 45 minutes.
If you’re not in NYC, check out their schedule to see if there’s a class near you. The best part? It’s free! So there’s really no excuse to not experience this lusty routine yourself. (free; mysportsclubs.com)
Revolve’s Red Hot Rip Ride
All the single ladies, this one’s for you! Head to Revolve, where they’ll celebrate the hot bod you work hard for. Grab a girlfriend for the 7:30pm class and party on a bike with reckless abandon – no men allowed! ($28 per ride; revolvefitness.com)
Aerial Duo: Valentine’s Workshop with Seanna Sharpe
Always want to try the moves acrobats seem to pull off so effortlessly? Now’s your chance. Sharpe has been teaching people to fly for over seven years, and now she wants to help you and your best friend pull off the crazy bends and twists together. Solo but still want to try? No problem: they have options for singles, too. ($40 individuals, $75/duo; omfactorynyc.com)
Detox Your Valentine’s Day – Brooklyn BodyBurn
Get an exclusive sneak peak of one of Williamsburg’s newest fitness studios and experience sweat for a cause. There’s no entry fee, but organizers are asking for a $5 charitable donation with all proceeds going to New York Cares. After the warm fuzzies make your skin glisten, enjoy appetizers, desserts and smoothie shots with a side of Prosecco to wash it all down. Jonesing for a gift on V-day? Every attendee walks away with a goodie bag. Sweat and swag? These guys know how to take our breath away. ($5 suggested donation, urbandetoxclub.com)
More from FITNESS: Sweat with Your Sweetie at SoulCycle This Valentine’s Day
Written on February 13, 2013 at 10:06 am , by Marianne Magno
The story behind how Denise Austin met her future husband, Jeff, couldn’t be more fitting for the workout instructor. The two, who have been married for almost 30 years, met in 1981 at a fitness studio where Denise was teaching and Jeff, a former professional tennis player, was practicing with his sister, Tracy. The manager introduced the two and they have been together since. (Cute, right?) We asked the world-renowned fitness expert, who just launched a new book, Side Effect: Skinny, how she and her husband stay fit and her tips for a healthy relationship.
You and Jeff both have busy schedules. How do you make time for fitness and quality time together?
We like to mix it up and do different activities together. We play tennis, go on bike rides. We work out together in the morning, before kids would wake up.
How can other couples squeeze fitness in their routines?
It’s so much fun to have your spouse working out with you. Jeff puts together playlists, or our daughter would put together playlists, and we talk about music. Riding bikes is also an easy way to hang out. You become each other’s motivation, like a personal trainer. Pre-plan based on each other’s schedules. My husband is a guinea pig for my workout DVDs. I make sure that my exercises are still good for guys too.
What about when you have different fitness preferences from your husband? Say he’s a runner and you’d rather take classes at the gym.
The simplest thing you can do is stretching at home. Whatever you’re doing, stretching is usually ignored. You can help each other stretch, which can be sexy. Everyone has the same set of muscles to stretch. That’s an easy thing to do at home. Especially if your husband doesn’t exercise, you can encourage him and get him started. I don’t play tennis as well as my husband, but we play together and have fun.
What do you two have planned for Valentine’s Day?
We’re just going to have a nice healthy dinner with red wine. We’ll work out in the morning. It’s also my birthday the day before (Ed’s note: Happy Birthday Denise!), so maybe we’ll mix the two celebrations.
Do you have any fit date ideas? What about ways you can make the dinner and a movie date healthier?
You can go for a walk, even if it’s just around the neighborhood. Play golf, play sports. It can be anything, like playing Frisbee. Jeff and I play ping pong together. We also do plank challenges.
Written on February 11, 2013 at 10:55 am , by Samantha Shelton
Looking for a way to work up a sweat with your main squeeze this Valentine’s Day? Have we got a treat for you. SoulCycle, the Spinning studio taking the country by storm, is cranking the heat with tons of themed rides on the day of love. It’s a great way to catch up on the day and bond with your partner – our fitness editor, Jenna, has a regular weekend SoulCycle date with her hubby!
So grab your sweetheart and get ready to register Monday at noon to nab a bike! If you’re single, no worries – you just might find your soulmate on the bike next to you. Getting active is a great way to find someone with interests similar to yours, and if they’re working out, well, they may be a nice piece of eye candy this holiday.
Wondering which ride you want to raise your heart rate in? These studios are offering plenty to get your blood pumping:
- East 63rd Street, New York, NY: Grab a seat in the 10:30am ride and indulge in complimentary blowouts from Fix Beauty Bar!
- ROS, SCA, GWICH, New York, NY: Head over after work for the 7:30pm ride and sweat next to your special someone in the couples date night ride.
- NOHO, New York, NY: Getting over a breakup? This studio has your back in the Achy Breaky Heart ride at 7:30pm.
- East 83rd Street, New York, NY: Channel your inner vixen with the Moulin Rouge ride at 7:30pm. Bonus! There’s another ride on Saturday, February 16 at 2:30pm.
- WEHO, CA: Single but ready to mingle? Hit up the post-valentine’s day singles ride in Cali on February 15 at 7pm.
Written on February 11, 2013 at 10:01 am , by Samantha Shelton
Whether you’re single or coupled up, love is in the air this February! Instead of hating on February 14, we’ve decided to take a more optimistic approach: showing our friends, family and loved ones just how much they mean to us, whether it’s through a quick “thinking of you” note, a box of conversation hearts or a workout playlist.
Wait, what was that last one? Yes, we said a workout playlist – how else are you going to share the best songs all about love? After all, music is such a dominant part of our every day lives, and it’s such an easy way to tell someone how you’re feeling. So we turned to our friends at Sony to find out exactly what you wanted to hear. Turns out, you guys are all suckers for the mushy, gushy songs belted out by chart toppers like Aerosmith and the late Whitney Houston.
So go ahead and plug in your headphones for this playlist and indulge in the serenades that top Americans’ list during your next sweet, er, sweat session.
Now you tell us: What’s your favorite love song?
Written on January 28, 2013 at 2:31 pm , by Samantha Shelton
Sometimes, heading out for a typical run can be, well, boring. When you’re doing the same thing day in and day out, a punch of excitement helps spice things up. And we say there’s no better way to heat up a race than to strip down to your skivvies!
Bear with us, we swear it’s a good idea. If streaking 1.5 miles down the street in your underwear sounds a smidge too extreme for you, maybe the fact that this run helps fight tumors will convince you. Cupid’s Undie Run, the world’s largest organized underwear run, takes place every year to raise funds for The Children’s Tumor Foundation and Neurofibromatosis.
Never heard of neurofibromatosis? It’s a genetic disorder that disrupts cell growth in the nervous system and can lead to deafness, blindness, learning disabilities and chronic pain, according to Mayo Clinic. Most who have the disorder are diagnosed at a young age, but unfortunately there’s still no cure.
If that still isn’t enough to persuade you, maybe the starry-eyed love theme will push you to click “register” on that computer screen. After all, it isn’t called Cupid’s Undie Run for no reason – celebrate Valentine’s Day a few days early, and bring a loved one in on the fun. Single but ready to mingle? We think this could be the perfect fun run - you never know what tumor-fighting hunk you might find there!
Ready to sign up (we are!)? Find a location near you here. And if there isn’t one near you and you still want to strip down and run, we recommend checking out the Santa Speedo Run or Undie Dash later this year!
More from FITNESS:
Written on February 14, 2012 at 2:38 pm , by Samantha Shelton
Happy Valentine’s Day! Today is filled with love and joy, and what’s better than showing yourself a little of the good stuff? Fitting in a workout on a holiday is tough, so we’ve got the tunes to get you in the festive spirit while torching those unwanted calories. Download these upbeat tracks today, courtesy of SoulCycle instructor Danny Kopel, and be prepared to immerse yourself in a full-blown love-fest.
- “Always Be My Baby,” Mariah Carey
- “Somebody to Love (House Trip Remix),” Justin Bieber, featuring Usher
- “LoveGame,” Lady Gaga
- “Bad Romance,” Lady Gaga
- “Teenage Dream (DJ MegaMan & Panic City Remix),” Katy Perry
- “Heartbreaker (Wolfgang Gartner Remix),” MSTRKRFT
- “Try Sleeping With a Broken Heart,” Alicia Keys
- “Heavy Metal Lover,” Lady Gaga
- “We Found Love,” Rihanna, featuring Calvin Harris
- “I Will Always Love You,” Whitney Houston
Want more SoulCycle? Don’t forget about their SoulSingles ride on Thursday!
Now tell us: What’s your favorite love song?
Written on February 14, 2012 at 12:24 pm , by Samantha Shelton
With the month of love in full bloom, it’s not uncommon to celebrate a sip or two of a tasty cocktail while basking in the glow of love from another. To keep that glow on the healthy side this Valentine’s Day, we nabbed two low-cal cocktail recipes that won’t have you worrying about your waistline.
- 1 part Pucker Raspberry Rave Vodka
- 1/2 part grenadine
- 1 Lemon Twist
- 1 Cherry
Pour vodka in a chilled champagne flute. Top with champagne and slowly pour grenadine so that it settles to the bottom. Garnish with a lemon twist and a cherry.
Nutrition information per serving: approximately 140 calories
- 1 part Pucker Lemonade Lust Vodka
- 2 ounces fresh lemon sour
- 4 ounces iced tea
- 1 lemon wedge
Build in order over ice in a tall highball glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge.
Nutrition information per serving: approximately 220 calories
Recipes developed by Beam, Inc.
More from FITNESS:
- Cocktails Under 200 Calories
- Can a Cocktail Make You Even More Beautiful?
- QUIZ: What’s Your Cocktail IQ?
Written on February 10, 2012 at 4:12 pm , by Karla Walsh
- Are you tough enough? One TV anchor takes on a fitness class that rivals the strong man competitions. — Today Show
- “Whole Paycheck” may be a misnomer. One woman proves that you can eat well and eat frugally at the popular grocery chain. — Diets in Review
- Do you phone it in at the gym? Three reasons to unplug. — FitSugar
- Serve up a heart-smart breakfast for your Valentine to show them how much you care! — Eating Bird Food
- If you find yourself skipping workouts without a second thought, try one of these seven ways to keep yourself accountable. — A Healthy, Happier Bear
- Because one can never have too much workout music…one blogger’s favorite songs for the gym—both classic and contemporary! — Carrots ‘N’ Cake
- A spa gift card
- Dinner for two at a nice restaurant with healthy options
- Dark chocolate
- Red wine
This week’s fit links from around the web:
Written on February 7, 2012 at 10:31 am , by Karla Walsh
Love is in the air and the hunt is on for the perfect gift for your Valentine. Whether it’s for someone you’re newly dating or your spouse of many years, a good present can mean a lot. You’ll also never live down a bad present, so it’s important to get it right!
If your honey is trying to lose a few lbs, you may be thinking that a gym membership or a few workout DVDs would make for a perfect gift. Unfortunately, recipients might read this gesture as “honey, I think you need to spend more time on the treadmill” or “I love you, but I don’t love your love handles.”
There are a few health-minded gifts that we wouldn’t mind unwrapping, like:
But just remember to watch your step if you opt for goodies that don’t say, “I love you just the way you are!” (And a final hint to guys out there: We love our Spanx, but we can take care of that investment on our own.)
Now tell us: Will you have health in mind during your Valentine’s Day shopping? What is the best gift you’ve ever received on February 14?