Tag Archives: Guest Blog

5 Ways to Add Big, Low-Calorie Flavor with Roasted Red Peppers

By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., Best Life lead nutritionist

Both smoky and sweet, roasted red peppers add instant oomph to any dish. While it’s easy to make your own (remember to turn on the hood fan as even sweet red peppers can make your eyes sting), the jarred versions can also be good. For instance, I just discovered Trader Joe’s house brand, which are dead ringers for homemade.

Here are five ways I like to use them, and you’ll no doubt enjoy, too!

roasted peppers
Add to salads, just as you would any other vegetable. This Balsamic Tomato and Red Pepper salad recipe includes instructions for roasting the peppers.

Purée in dips, like the red pepper and walnut-based muhammara from Syria that’s popping up in Middle Eastern restaurants, or this lower calorie Roasted Red Pepper Dip. (more…)

6 Non-Egg Protein-Filled Breakfast Ideas

What’s not to love about eggs? They are inexpensive, readily available, and easy to cook. Despite their former bad wrap, they are actually a nutritional powerhouse with good fat and the vital nutrients vitamin D and choline. They seem like the answer to everyone’s breakfast protein problem.

Until you simply can’t look at another egg.

cottage cheese and fruit

Burnout happens. But you still need to start your day with a breakfast that will stay with you and keep your willpower strong as you stroll past the donuts in the break room. Here are five breakfasts with plenty of protein and where eggs aren’t the star. I guarantee they will fuel your long run or keep you from hitting the vending machine before lunch.

Cottage Cheese: This dieter’s staple found popularity for good reason – one half-cup has 16 grams of protein! Sprinkle with some milled flaxseed and your favorite fruit (I hear kiwi is awesome) for a heartier-than-it-looks morning treat. You can even use it to make these breakfast brownies.

Protein pancakes: The eggs are hiding in many varieties of this fitness staple, but you’ll never know it. Try my Vanilla Coconut Protein pancakes. Make a big batch on the weekend and reheat throughout the week for a quick breakfast. (more…)

Fit Enough to Fornicate! 5 Ways to Start Having More Sex With Your Partner

Dating is fun—especially in the flirty, passionate beginning of a relationship. But eventually, life settles in, and between the kids, family, work, and finances, you might forget all about that fire.

It’s perfectly natural—for most people, this passion plunge occurs between one and four years into cohabitation, and women experience it more than men. But that doesn’t mean you have to take the situation, um, lying down.

couple

Keeping in mind all the physical and emotional perks of frequent sex—the cardiovascular benefits alone are impressive—it’s well worth it to make the effort to keep the home fires smoldering. Here are some ways to do just that:

Keep on moving. The benefits of exercise are endless. In the sex column, studies show that people who exercise more get more action in the bedroom—and they’re more satisfied when they do. They also have more stamina and higher levels of self-confidence, which benefit sexual experience. (more…)

The Big Weight Loss Pay Off: Find What’s in it For You

Whenever you venture into a healthy lifestyle journey, it’s important to establish what will feel like you’re winning. Being really specific and clear on what you would like to do when you get healthy will inspire you along the way when you feel like giving up.

dreamer
Some questions to consider as you look ahead include:

How do you want to live your life?

What kind of new activities will you get involved in?

Will you present yourself differently? A new look perhaps?

Will you make a career change?

Spend more time with your family? Make a family of your own?

Picturing yourself in the life that you dream of is important and acknowledging all the steps you are taking to make it a reality is priceless. (more…)

5 Moves to Build Stronger Cores for Runners

By Meghan Reynolds

Having a strong core is a major component to becoming a stronger, healthier runner. At Hot Bird Running, we give every runner 3-5 days of core exercises within their weekly plan. This is both preventative and strength building.

The core, comprised of the transverse abdominal muscles (deep abs), obliques, erector spinea (lower back muscles), and gluteal muscles (your butt), provides you with stability, power and endurance. If your core is weak, it can lead to poor running patterns, i.e. overstriding, understriding, or a pelvis that swings from side to side, and eventually injury. As a result, you are more susceptible to lower back, hamstring and knee injuries with a weak core.

The moves below help prevent injury, make you a stronger runner, and help make running more enjoyable. Aim for two sets of each exercise 3-5 times a week.

plank hotbird
Plank
Strengthens:  Deep abs, lower back
How to do: Begin by lying face down, resting on your forearms. Push off the floor, rising up onto toes and forearms so your body is parallel to the floor and in a straight line from your head to your heels. Make sure you are looking slightly forward so as not to put strain on the neck.
How much: 20-60 seconds
Make it harder: Extend the hold time or try lifting one foot off the ground. (more…)

Ali Vincent Finishes Her 8th Half Marathon at Run Disney

This weekend is all about Run Disney. I am in Disneyland and ready to conquer my 8th half marathon of the year. Disneyland is so magical because you are surrounded by people who BELIEVE. Believe in what, you say? It depends, and is different for each and every person you come in contact with. What is the common denominator is that this is a place where dreams come true.

Live with Ali - Tinkerbell Run

I love doing Run Disney for a couple of reasons. One reason is because there is a standard of excellence that is unprecedented when the Disney brand is attached to it. If you have ever been to one of the Disney parks you know exactly what I’m talking about. For the most part you won’t ever see a piece of trash on the ground, everyone goes out of their way to help you with anything you might need, and if you are dressed as a princess then you are addressed as such. Every “t” is crossed and every “i” is dotted. From the firework start to the many Disney royalty and characters throughout the courses encouraging you and taking pictures with you, to the AMAZING medals draped around your neck as you cross the finish line, it truly is a magical experience.

(more…)

Floppy Fish: Core-Strengthening Move with a Twist

by Alexandra Williams, MA from Fun and Fit

Holding a plank for a few minutes or doing 100 crunches may be impressive, but did you know these exercises don’t actually make you much stronger in the abs or back? If you want to assess and improve your core strength, try the “Floppy Fish.” A funny name for an exercise, but videotape yourself doing it, and you just might discover why it has that name!

Core strength is important for keeping you upright with good posture. You want that, because good posture helps you look more confident and fit.

* Lie down on one end of your mat in prone position, perpendicular to the mat
* Place one hand on top of the other, with arms out long in front of you and off the floor. Elbows should be slightly bent
* Cross your feet at the ankles, knees slightly bent, with legs out long and off the floor
* Tuck your chin toward (not to) your chest so that you are looking down at the floor directly below your head
* Verify that you are touching the mat (or floor) only from the chest to the hips. Everything else is lifted slightly
* Tighten everywhere your belt touches, then roll slowly from one end of the mat to the other. Return back to start.
* Repeat this exercise 3 times in each direction, remembering to keep your limbs off the ground (more…)

SweatBox Workout: Sneak Peek of Sara Haley’s Sweat Unlimited DVD

Here’s a sneak peak at one of five workouts on Sara Haley’s newest DVD Sweat UNLIMITED. Sweat UNLIMITED excuse-proofs your workout with a selection of 45, 30, 15, or 5 minute workouts, so that you always have something to fit into your day.  The workout Sara shares here combines boxing drills and core training for a quick and efficient cardio sculpting routine that you can get done in thirty minutes or less.

View Sweatbox Workout by Sara Haley Slideshow (more…)

Why it’s Crucial to Eat Right Before You Conceive

By Emily Wade Adams, CNC at PrimingTheBump.com and Natal-Nutrition.com

Eat Right Before You ConceiveWhy It’s Crucial to Eat Right Before You Conceive

Some people get pregnant without any preparation, it’s true. So what’s the point of undertaking a fertility preparation program? Why can’t you just sit down with a tub of ice cream and watch Jersey Shore instead?

Well, aside from the obvious explanation that in most cases, watching Snooki isn’t going to get you pregnant, there are two crucial reasons to eat right before you conceive:

EASE OF CONCEPTION. Speaking of ‘reality,’ not everyone is as fecund as TV shows may have you believe (see: 16 and Pregnant; 19 Kids and Counting). In fact, about 10-15% of couples now experience some form of infertility, and that percentage is steadily rising.

To conceive with ease, your reproductive system must be in good working order. Which means that your body must have all the necessary nutrients on hand – and in sufficient quantities – to feed the cells, hormones & processes of the reproductive system. In addition, any compounds that interfere with fertility must be avoided.

A nutritional preparation period helps stock your body full of healthy, fertility-boosting nutrients while eliminating anything that could block reproduction. Not only does this improve reproductive health, but it also puts you in control of your journey toward conception. (more…)

5 Go-To Fitter Fast Food Menu Items

Eating out as a vegetarian who says no to dairy (most of the time) is a challenge. That’s why I don’t do it often. But fast food can be a necessary evil on a busy day of errands, if I forget my lunch, or if I’m traveling. While chain restaurants are being required to post calories, calories don’t provide the whole story. Lower calorie options can be loaded with sugar and lack protein, leaving you unsatisfied and headed toward a blood sugar crash.

Eating healthy on the go means being prepared and doing your research. It helps to have a go-to list of preselected options so you can grab and go. Try these fast food finds to make eating on the go a little healthier.

veggie skillet

Denny’s Fit Fare menu: At IDEA Personal Trainer Institute West, I had the privilege of having breakfast with Kymberly and Alexandra from FunandFit.org. When Denny’s, which was across the street from our hotel, was suggested I was skeptical. I was pleasantly surprised however by their Fit Fare menu. Since they serve breakfast all day, try the Veggie Skillet. With egg whites, broccoli, spinach, mushrooms and potatoes it has 20 grams of protein and only 330 calories. While it may not be as fast they do offer take out service. (more…)