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Fit Blogger We Love: Gabby’s Gluten-Free

Written on January 25, 2013 at 11:33 am , by

Gabby demonstrates the perfect form for cleans at CrossFit Full Circle. Check out that muscle definition! (Photo courtesy of Joshua Winn)

Gabby lives in foodie heaven as a blogger, freelance recipe developer and food photographer, not to mention she’s married to a chef! Almost two years ago, though, the bakeaholic had to make some major diet and lifestyle changes when she was diagnosed with gluten intolerance. With some of her favorite ingredients and meals no longer an option (she’s used to be a sucker for Belgian beer!), the self-proclaimed “kitchen explorer” had to take matters into her own oven-mitted hands to make gluten-free cooking taste not only good, but great.

Monotonous rice and lettuce-based meals were quickly transformed and with it—Gabby’s life. She felt better and food became more personal and exhilarating, thanks to a new-found creativity fueling her “science experiments.” From drool-worthy desserts (Grain-Free Chipotle Chocolate Donuts with Chocolate Glaze? Yes, please!) to energizing, on-the-go breakfasts, like Vegan Blueberry Power Muffins, Gabby shows that a food allergy doesn’t stop your meals from being tasty and fun! Read on to hear about how Gabby stays motivated and fit outside of the kitchen.

My favorite way to work out: CrossFit! I love the combination of weight lifting (my favorite), intensity and focused training. Since starting CrossFit about seven months ago, I’m the strongest and fittest I’ve ever been! The community you find yourself is second to none—your coaches and fellow athletes see you at your best and your worst, support you, cheer for you when you think you can’t keep going and keep you accountable.

On my fit life list: Deadlift 250 lb (current max is 230 lb), unassisted strict pull-up, do a muscle up, run a race with my mom in a different state (she is a great runner–me, not so much), stay healthy, lift weights throughout my life.

I’m happiest when I’m: Doing something I love whether that is cooking with my husband (he went to culinary school!), wine tasting with my family, doing food photography for my job (I work for a magazine) or just picking up a heavy barbell. Cooking and baking are my stress relievers and I’m lucky that I get to do that as a job. I’m convinced that there is not much a late night cookie baking session can’t fix.

My biggest motivator: My biggest motivation each day is that I want to be better/stronger/faster than I was the day before. Some days are great, some days aren’t but with support from my fellow athletes, coach and others, I move in that direction each day. A long-term motivator for me is trying to be the most fit I can be so that I can live life to the fullest. There is no doubt that picking up 200 pounds is satisfying on its own, but it’s also extremely beneficial—if something were to happen to my husband, I could help him, I have the capacity to move objects without assistance and I’m a better functioning human being because of it. I hope to be the grandmother who can still pick up her grandkids at 80 years old and can continue to do activities with my family—building and maintaining strength will make that possible.

Olympic sport I’d love to try: Olympic weightlifting or gymnastics!

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: Powercakes

Written on August 30, 2012 at 3:14 pm , by

“Like mother, like daughter” is a common refrain, and Kasey from Powercakes and her “mamacakes” are proof that can be true. With a personal trainer mom, Kasey learned the power of fitness and recently graduated with a degree in health and physical education!

We caught up with the clean eater and CrossFit newbie to discover her favorite fitness method and go-to splurge food.

Kasey fuels her busy days with five to six small meals.

My favorite way to work out: I love weight lifting. I used to be a cardio junkie but my mindset has completely changed, along with my body, once I introduced weights! I also love to superset my exercises to keep my heart rate up. When it comes to cardio, I absolutely love Tabata intervals (which consists of doing 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest for a set amount of rounds). I have a few of my favorites on my video page!

My biggest indulgence: Cheese. Give me some good feta and I can eat the whole block!

Most embarrassing song I’ll admit I work out to: “Baby” by Justin Bieber. It’s the best to jump rope too, I swear!

My motivation comes from: My family, friends, boyfriend, the FitFluential community and my followers! I really wouldn’t be where I am today without them.

My fave fit snack: Powercakes! I make a big one in the morning or the night before and then cut it up to snack on throughout the day!

Kasey was kind enough to share one of her blog’s namesake recipes. Keep reading for a dish that tastes like dessert (but you have her permission to eat it anytime!)

Read more

3 Myths About Toning Up vs. Bulking Up

Written on October 6, 2011 at 5:43 pm , by

don't want to bulk up

Photo courtesy of Spark People

When most women say that they want to “tone up,” what they usually mean is that they want to become leaner. Basically, they want to lose fat, and add a little muscle definition—but not so much muscle mass that they look like a bodybuilder. Here are some helpful guidelines for toning up without bulking up.

Myth #1: Lifting light weights will tone your body and lifting heavy weights will bulk you up.

The Truth: While there is some truth to the idea that lifting lighter weights for more reps does a better job of increasing the muscular endurance, lighter weights will not help you “tone” better than heavy weights. In fact, because heavier weights build the strength of your muscles–thereby helping to increase your metabolism and burn fat–lifting heavier weights with fewer reps (8 to 12 on average) and working until you’re fatigued is more effective at helping you reach your toning goals than lifting lighter weights.

Myth #2: Lifting light weights won’t help you get stronger.

The Truth: When it comes to lifting weights, the secret to really getting stronger isn’t about how much weight you’re lifting. Instead, it’s all about working your muscle to fatigue where you literally cannot lift the weight for another repetition. The August 2010 study from McMaster University that proved this found that even when subjects lifted lighter weights, they added as much muscle as those lifting heavy weights. However, the time it takes to reach fatigue with light weights is much longer than the time it takes to reach fatigue with heavier weights.

Myth #3: Certain forms of exercise build long, lean muscles.

The Truth: Many forms of exercise claim to lengthen the muscles or develop “lean” muscles, not bulky ones. But here’s a truth that may be shocking to some: To put it another way, no form of exercise makes muscles “longer” because your muscles do not—and will not—respond to exercise by getting longer. It’s just not how they work. Muscles are a certain length because they attach to your bones. A wide variety of movements and exercises can help you strengthen your muscles without necessarily making them bigger. In fact, you can develop a lot of muscular strength without your muscles ever increasing in size (girth).

That said, exercises such as yoga, Pilates, dance and barre classes can help to increase your flexibility (improving your range of motion at certain joints) and your posture, which can give you the illusion of feeling and looking longer or taller.

Read the complete article about toning up vs. bulking up


More from SparkPeople:

Smart Ways to Soothe Sore Muscles

8 Ways to Build Maximum Muscle in Minimal Time

Eat Like a Chef and Still Lose Weight