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Satisfy Your Man’s Appetite While Saving Your Waistline

Written on July 17, 2012 at 8:16 am , by

Hello! My name’s Kristin and I’m the blogger behind Iowa Girl Eats, where I share my quick & easy recipe ideas, travel adventures, and workout routines. I was thrilled to receive FITNESS Magazine’s Editor’s Choice Fitterati Award for Best Healthy Eating Blog, and am excited to be posting here on FitnessMagazine.com!

I get a lot of emails from readers asking how I balance healthy eating with my husband’s meat & potatoes appetite. It’s not always easy, but here are some tips and tricks I’ve learned over the past four years of marriage to my bestie, Ben, for satisfying his appetite, while saving my waistline! (Click to keep reading!) Read more


3 Healthy and Delicious Zucchini Recipes

Written on July 16, 2012 at 11:19 am , by

This past year, I decided that I wanted to start my own garden.

As a young girl, my summers were always filled with fresh grown veggies from my dad’s garden, and I was always amazed at just how much better they tasted. So fresh and flavorful. The best part was, I didn’t have to do any of the work to enjoy them (well, except for those few times where my best friend and I would go in and pick the carrots and onions way before they were even ready – oops).

Now that I’ve been in my own home for almost four years, I figured it was about time to give the ‘ol gardening thing a try. If you already know me, then you’d also know that my “green” thumb has always been a bit closer to being black. My ability to grow and maintain plants has not been a strong suit.

Despite my horrible track record, I decided to throw caution to the wind and give it a go. (Click to keep reading!) Read more


On Behalf Of All the 10+ Minute Mile Runners

Written on July 13, 2012 at 11:54 am , by

I know that for many of you who read Fitness Magazine, running a 10 minute mile is no big deal. In fact, you may be like my husband who says it is physically painful for him to run as slow as I run.

So on behalf of all the 10+ minute mile runners out there, I have a few things I’d like to tell the rest of the world.

1. Yes, we ARE running.

It’s true. You may be able to walk as fast as we are running. It may look like a slow jog to you, but we are giving it all we’ve got. Please do not insult us by telling us we are not really running. We are giving it everything we’ve got.

2. It is OUR race too.

At a recent 10k race, we ran on roads that had to have some level of vehicle access. The volunteers did an awesome job of directing traffic. The drivers, however, weren’t so kind. I actually had a UPS driver honking at us, tell us to stop so he could get through. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? You know there is a race going on! I turned and yelled at him, “I am having the best 10k of my life! PLEASE do not do this!” Less than half a mile from the finish line, a volunteer directed a car to cross across the road in a gap in front of me. It would have been just fine – except that the car behind him went too, blocking my access to the road. I got SO mad. I ran around the car, smacking it with my hand as I went past. Childish? Probably. I couldn’t believe that I had run over 5.5 miles without walking but that car tried to get in my way. It was as though I wasn’t even racing. As if I didn’t matter.

True, I may not have been racing against others in the race itself. The first place runner had long since finished. But I was in a race – against myself. Against the voices in my head telling me it would be easier to walk. Against those feelings of self-doubt. Of not feeling good enough. And you know what? I won that race!

3. We can use some encouragement too.

Sometimes it’s easy to cheer for the people running a ridiculous 5:20 mile on the race course. And yes, I’m sure they appreciate the cheers too. But please save some for those runners gutting out a 12 minute mile.

You don’t know their battle – what they have overcome. You may be tired of cheering by the time we pass by a half hour later, but please muster up a cheer. You never know how much your encouragement might mean to someone!

Any other 10+ Minute Mile Runners have something you’d like people to know? Please share! 

—-

Callie, 29, is a working mom in Venice, Florida who blogs about her journey to a healthier lifestyle and hopes to inspire a few other “wannabe athletes” along the way. You can follow her on Twitter at @AthleteWannabe or on Facebook at  /TheWannabeAthlete.


How to Get Back on Track after Vacation

Written on July 12, 2012 at 2:15 pm , by

Last week was the Fourth of July and many families went on vacations and trips out of town to visit family or friends.  Many people allow themselves to “take a break” from healthy eating when on vacation.  Maybe they feel like they “deserve” a vacation from all things, including watching portion sizes and counting calories.

A few weeks ago, I was on vacation in Destin. It was a great week but I didn’t focus on my eating like I should.  This week, I am planning to get back on track and get focused once again on my goals.

Jennifer It sucks to be fat in Florida

Vacation trip to Florida. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Swafford.

If you are one of those people who tends to “take a break” from healthy living while on vacation, here are 3 ways you can get back on track after vacation (or even just after taking some time off from your healthiness goals).

1.  START – I know this seems simple but if we don’t start, or if we put it off until tomorrow, we will never start.  Tomorrow never comes!  Pick a day (today) and start now!

2.  GET MOVING – Make an exercise goal and stick with it.  When we are feeling bad from poor eating on vacation, nothing can release better endorphines than a good walk/run.  Just go at least 10-20 minutes a day and you will have a better outlook on getting back on track!

3.  TELL SOMEONE – Accountability is so important.  Tell a close friend or relative that today you are going to start eating better and exercising.  Call them each night and tell them how you did or maybe even have them call you (if we haven’t done so well, we might not want to call).  If you have an accountability partner, you are more likely to stick to the plan!

The main thing you can do is just do it.  Just go ahead and start TODAY because You-Are-Worth-It!

——

Jennifer writes about weekly weigh ins, healthy recipes, product reviews, and weight loss at It Sux To Be Fat. Follow her journey on Twitter or Facebook as she goes through life’s ups and downs and takes her new healthy lifestyle one day at a time.


Give Triathlons a Try: Advice for First-Timers

Written on July 11, 2012 at 9:22 am , by

Photo courtesy of Caitlin Boyle.

When you visualize a triathlete, you probably do not imagine someone like me. For one, I was terrified of open water until a few years ago. I’m a middle-of-the-pack runner. And – occasionally – I crash my bike because I’m so uncoordinated.  However, I absolutely love to do triathlons, and the hobby keeps me feeling fit and healthy.  Triathlons have shaped my body in new ways, increased my confidence, and give me a reason to stick to my exercise habits.

Did I mention tris are tons of fun? Because they really are a blast!

If you feel like a tri is out of your reach, consider the super sprint or sprint triathlon. Most sprints consider of a 250 meter to 500 meter swim, a 10 mile bike ride, and a 5K run; super sprints are even shorter. It’s not unrealistic to expect to finish such a sprint event in less than an hour and forty five minutes. Sprints are a great way to get introduced to the sport and don’t require oodles of training.

Here are some introductory tips to triathlons:

  • Not all triathlons are in open water - there are also pool triathlons.
  • If your event is in a lake or the ocean, practice open water swimming if possible.
  • If you need to buy a bike, check out my post on buying a new or used road bike. 
  • Practice back-to-back brick workouts at least once a week.  So swim and then bike, or bike and then run.
  • Practice your transitions, which refers to the ‘in-between’ the swim and the bike (“T1″) or the bike and the run (“T2″).  Here’s a list of the essential items you’ll need for a sprint triathlon.
  • If you don’t have a trisuit (a special piece of clothing that functions well for all three sports), you can wear a sports bra and bike shorts for the swim – it will dry out.  I actually once wore a bikini bottom with strings under my wetsuit and pulled my shorts on over it, untying and slipping off the bottom once I had my shorts on.  It worked!
  • For even more tips, check out my So You Wanna Do a Triathlon series, which covers running, biking, swimming, transitioning, training, and selecting a race. 

—–

Caitlin blogs at Healthy Tipping Point and Operation Beautiful.  You can follow her on Twitter at CaitlinHTP. Her second book, a guide to healthy living, was just released this past May.


Can I Get a Great Workout Without Any Equipment?

Written on July 10, 2012 at 9:59 am , by

Hello! My name is Courtney and I’m the author behind the blog Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life, which was recently given a Fitterati award for Best Personal Trainer Blog. I’m a 28-year old personal trainer and former elementary school teacher (you can read a bit more about that here if you’d like). I live up in Upstate, NY with my husband and high school sweetheart, Jay, and have lived here all of my life. When I’m not training, I’m most likely blogging, in the kitchen, or spending time with some of my favorite friends and family.

I often get emails from readers asking whether or not you really can get in a great workout without any equipment, and the answer is YES! Bodyweight exercises are some of my absolute favorite types of exercise for a number of reasons. They not only tend to be a bit easier on the joints, but they also allow for a more natural range of motion, thus effectively improving your overall fitness.

So what exercises should you do?

Here’s a few basics to try out, even if you’re stuck at your desk at work:

  • Chair Squats (don’t sit back down completely – use the chair as a guide)
  • Push ups (if you’re at your desk, use it! The farther away your legs are from the desk, the tougher the move)
  • Chair Crunch (keep contracting those abs and draw in that belly button)
  • Alternating Lunges (switch it up by doing some lunges side to side and other front to back)
  • Chair Dips (the farther you walk the feet out, the tougher the move)
  • Calf Raises (place a sturdy book right under those feet and lift up and down)
  • Wall Sit (hold your back against a wall with knees bent at 90 degrees and keep those abs tight – hold your arms out for some shoulder toning too)

If you’re not afraid to get a little sweaty, try kicking it up a notch with some more intense, bodyweight-only exercises:

  • Tuck Jumps
  • Squat Jumps
  • Ice Skaters
  • Butt Kicks
  • Burpees
  • Planks
  • Reverse Crunches
  • Supermans
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Mountain Climbers

Who says you need all those bulky dumbbells and weight machines, right?


When Do Working Moms Workout?

Written on July 9, 2012 at 8:30 am , by

As a working mom of a one year old (with another on the way!), I have discovered that “me time” is at a premium. I love my job as the Executive Director of a non-profit, but my workload isn’t exactly conducive for stealing away for a midday workout at the gym. My son “the Mini Athlete” is an early riser and that also means he goes to bed pretty early – between 7 and 8pm. Gone are the days of heading to the gym right after work – I want to soak up every moment with my little one before he’s asleep! So that leaves me with the obvious question…when do working moms workout?

I know I’m not alone in this. Thousands upon thousands of competitive runners, yogis and amateur triathletes also juggle the responsibilities of motherhood and a full-time job. Here is some of the best advice I have received:

1. Find Community

When I first went back to work nine weeks after having my son, I felt pretty alone as I navigated my new identity as a working mom. I quickly realized I couldn’t go at it alone. I found a wonderfully encouraging group of moms in the area where I lived at the time – the IRunMommies in St. Petersburg, Florida. In addition to meeting twice weekly to run – once on Tuesday evenings and again on Saturday mornings – the group actively participates in a Facebook group where you can always find another busy mom looking to squeeze in a run. I highly recommend finding a group like this – or if you don’t have one in your area, start one! Another great place to find community online is through Twitter or blogs. I cannot tell you the encouragement I have received from other moms in those places!

2. Establish a Schedule Read more

Categories: Fitterati, Inspiration, Workouts | Tags:
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Making Peace with the Dreadmill

Written on July 6, 2012 at 3:11 pm , by

Dreadmill.

While it’s not in the dictionary, I would guess that most runners are familiar with that made-up word–a combination of the feeling of dread and the torture device that we know as a treadmill.

The first time I ran on a treadmill, I was so bored I wanted to shoot myself after just 5 minutes. I couldn’t even fathom running a single mile on a treadmill, let alone MILES (plural). I have no idea what possessed me to fork over $700 for the modest hamster wheel that I bought, but it was a hot day, and I thought, “Anything is better than running in this heat!”

Anything except the dreadmill, I quickly learned.

Over the past couple of years that I’ve been a runner, I’ve avoided using the treadmill like I avoid taking my kids to Chuck E. Cheese’s on a Saturday. Or returning something to Wal-Mart the day after Christmas. Or…well, you get the picture. (click to keep reading…) Read more


Favorite Summer Drink Alternatives

Written on July 3, 2012 at 11:25 am , by

Blueberry Lime Margarita

Summer Cocktails!

Summer is in full swing! For most people, summer is spent by the pool or the beach or outside grilling with friends and family.

It also means drinking alcoholic beverages.  Nothing beats the 100 degree temps like a nice frosty beverage.

For those of us trying to live a healthy lifestyle, alcohol can pack a serious caloric punch. According to WebMD and Forbes, there are some drinks that you need to avoid at all costs due to the high number of calories.

  • Long Island Iced Tea (780 calories)
  • Margarita (740 calories)
  • Pina Colada (644 calories)
  • Chocolate Martini (438 calories)
  • White Russian (425 calories)
  • Mai Tai (350 calories)

So, the question is, “How can we still enjoy a summer cocktail without drinking a meal’s worth of calories!?!” My opinion is to try and find some healthier options to replace these favorites but still let you enjoy a summer drink.

Here are some healthy alternatives to your favorite summer drinks.  Try them and let us know what you think:

  • Long Island Iced Tea  - This recipe has 80% fewer calories and 1/3 the carbs of the traditional recipe.
  • Margarita – Fellow Fitterati, Skinnytaste has made a citrus margarita spritzer for you to enjoy!
  • Pina Colada – Fitness has given you a pina colada cooler along with eight other refreshing low calorie cocktails!
  • Chocolate Martini – This chocolate martini has only 136 calories!
  • White Russian – This alternative will only cost you 250 calories!
  • Mai Tai – This mai tai is slimmed down with only 127 calories!

If you are someone who would rather just skip the fancy drinks all together and find a solution for every day drinking, here are some tips to use:

  • Drink Wine – Most glasses of wine will only cost you between 100 and 200 calories depending on the portion.
  • Drink Light Beer – Most light beers contain the same amount of alcohol but with fewer carbs!
  • Mix your favorite liquor with diet soda instead of regular.
  • You can also mix up drinks and add more flavor by choosing flavored vodkas.

As always, before hitting the bar or the beach, make a plan.  If you can go into a situation with a plan in your mind, you won’t be making hasty last minute decisions that you will regret later on.

Above all, take time this summer to relax, spend time with friends and family, and go ahead and enjoy a few beverages.  Just try and make smarter choices so you can feel good afterwards!

 

Photo Credit


5 Ways to Beat the Heat

Written on July 2, 2012 at 10:45 am , by

Hello, everyone! My name is Caitlin, and I blog at Healthy Tipping Point, which was selected for a Fitterati for Best Healthy Living Blog. I’m 28 years old and live in Charlotte, North Carolina. I love to do triathlons and run, although I’m on a bit of a hiatus because I just had my first baby on June 12.

If your location is anything like North Carolina, you’re in the middle of a heat wave. Temperatures here are supposed to top 105 degrees for the next five days – ouch! I’m used to the heat – I was born and raised in Florida – but such high temperatures certainly make outside exercise challenging.

Click through to read my five tips for exercising outdoors in the heat.

Read more