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fit blogger we love

Fit Blogger We Love: Knead to Cook

Written on September 5, 2013 at 10:43 am , by

Robin and her hubby after the speedster pounded the Maine pavement for the Beach to Beacon 10K in August.

Need to stir up your go-to healthy eats? Robin over at Knead to Cook has what you crave—muffins, cookies, pies, you name it—without the guilt. And whoa, it shows! The fit mom who sticks to an impressive six-day workout regimen (three days running, the other three hitting the gym for cardio and lifting) cut down on sugar and recently lost over 30 pounds, making major PR strides. We’ll have what she’s having! From lightened-up, homestyle Italian dishes to perfect pre- and post-workout fuel (check out her addictive No-Bake Energy Balls below), this gal cozies you up to her table like you’re a part of the family and proves that nutritious cuisine can taste good, too.

My favorite way to workout: Running, especially in the fall and winter. I’m definitely a cold-weather runner.

My biggest motivators: My two daughters. I want them to look at me as an inspiration for what is possible. They shouldn’t use age as an excuse—ever!

My favorite fit snack: Non-fat Cabot cottage cheese. It’s packed with protein and I mix it with Justin’s almond butter; it’s such a treat! I cannot get enough of it.

Motivational mantra: “No one ever drowned in his own sweat,” by Ann Landers. I actually have it written on the chalkboard wall in my kitchen and I look at it every single day.

My “I did it” moment: Even after running a marathon, my biggest “I did it” moment was recently, at the Beach to Beacon 10K, when I ran it in 49:01. That’s my fastest race time yet, thanks to my recent 31-pound weight loss.

These little protein-packed nuggets are highly sought after at Robin’s daughter’s swim meets—and for good reason. Sweet, tasty and filling!

 

No-Bake Energy Balls

  • 1 c old-fashioned oats
  • 1 c toasted coconut flakes
  • 1/2 c dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c almond butter (or whatever nut butter you have in your pantry)
  • 1/2 c flaxseed meal
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/3 c + 1 /4 tsp raw honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt

 

Mix together in a bowl and refrigerate for 45 minutes. Remove and roll into balls. (Robin uses a small scooper!) Place in an airtight container to refrigerate for 5-7 days, although they will most likely be long gone before that!

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: Running to the Kitchen

Written on March 21, 2013 at 1:04 pm , by

 

Gina zeroes in on her CrossFit workouts to drum up a good dose of sweat.

After a tough workout, the first place we tend to head isn’t the shower, but the kitchen – gotta squeeze in that recovery fuel within a half hour! As someone who loves food just as much as we do, it’s safe to say Gina of Running to the Kitchen does the same thing. After all, it’s in her blog name! This CrossFit junkie makes us drool with all of her beautiful recipe images, and she’ll make you do the same. Go ahead and check it out – we bet you can’t prove us wrong.

My favorite way to work out: CrossFit! I know, I know, it’s all the rage right now and that’s a totally predictable answer, but I started CrossFit when it opened in my town last July and have been hooked ever since. It’s efficient, effective (hello, muscles I’ve never seen before) and an absolute blast. I think every box (read: gym) has  different vibe, but something that seems pretty consistent across the board is the rapport among members. It’s not only my workout for the day, but a time I get to hang out with like-minded people and have fun. An hour of endorphins pumping, music blasting and people cheering each other on beats any other workout I can think of.

On my fit life list: A strict unassisted pull-up. No marathons, no triathlons. Just one darn pull-up without a band or kipping.

My “I Did It” moment: Finishing my first half-marathon in less than two hours. 2010 was a year of a lot of change for me. I lost 20 pounds, revamped the way I ate (slowly) and started running. Having played sports all my life as a kid, running was always something I was “forced” to do, not a sport I enjoyed. When I decided to pick it up as an adult in an effort to live a healthier lifestyle, I had no idea I’d grow to love it as much as I do. What started as a little competitive bet with myself to run my first 5K ended with my first half-marathon seven months later. Finishing it in under two hours, when I couldn’t even run one mile eight months prior, was pretty awesome.

I’m happiest when I’m: Doing anything with food. Eating it, cooking it, photographing it – anything. As cliche as it may sound, food is definitely my life passion. I contemplated going to culinary school in my mid-twenties, and while that didn’t actually happen, my blog has become the perfect creative outlet for that passion.

Olympic sport I’d love to try: While I think I’d be horrendous at it, I would pick gymnastics! Considering I can stay in an unassisted handstand for about three seconds, at best, and still haven’t come close to mastering the muscle-up in CrossFit (both gymnastic-type skills), it would be interesting.

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: Cherie Runs This

Written on March 14, 2013 at 9:45 am , by

Cherie lost 82 pounds and is now a certified personal trainer!

The fit woman you see at right, Cherie, used to weigh 230 pounds. Can you believe it?! We hardly could, until she shared her amazing transformation story with us for the April issue (on newsstands now). Flip to page 16 to learn more about the amazing moment that motivated her weight-loss journey and how she went from struggling to walk up the stairs to finishing a half-marathon.

For now, keep reading for a few details about the inspiring woman behind the tip-packed blog, Cherie Runs This!

My gym bag must-have:  iPod Shuffle, weight lifting gloves, protein powder, water bottle and my Polar heart rate monitor!
I can’t live without… My baby blanket, cell phone, coffee and my family.
My biggest indulgence: Crusty French bread with real butter. The perfect part of my cheat meal!
My favorite way to work out: Weight lifting and running.
My fitness mantra: “Suck it up so you don’t have to suck it in.” That phrase gets me through my workout each time!

Do you have a favorite fit blogger you want us to highlight? Leave a comment below or email blog@fitnessmagazine.com

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Fit Blogger We Love: Hit the Road Jane

Written on February 8, 2013 at 9:20 am , by

Jane hits the ground running – now try to keep up!

“Hit the Road, Jack, and don’t you come back no more, no more, no more, no more…”

That’s exactly what we think of every time we head over to visit Lynda’s blog, Hit the Road Jane, no matter how much we try not to. But we say that’s the perfect kind of branding – nothing like leaving a lasting impression! Instead of setting off solo though, we’ll just hit the road running with Lynda, an energetic Latina from Florida who’s showing us day by day how to keep moving, going after goals (no matter how crazy they may seem!) and always having a good dose of hope in her back pocket. Find out what she’s dreaming of next and how she keeps her workout routine interesting.

I’m happiest when I’m: Done with a tough workout! Nothing compares with the satisfaction I get after completing a tough run, group class or swim. I always gain more confidence and am amazed at how strong my body can be, even if I had my doubts coming into the workout. It just goes to show that we are all stronger than we think!

My favorite way to workout: Variety really is the spice of life. I enjoy mixing things up and have really embraced training for my first triathlon because of this. I noticed that doing the same workouts every week bored me in the past. So I like having a plan to run, bike, swim and cross-train with weights, Zumba or a Spin class.

5 things I can’t live without:

  1. Books. I’ve been an avid reader since I was a kid, thanks to my Dad. If I had to choose only one thing I couldn’t live without, this would be it. Books are an escape, an inspiration, and can sometimes offer my personal favorite – perspective.
  2. Technology. Call me a nerd, but I love gadgets (especially fitness ones like Polar, Garmin or FitBit). It’s just fun to learn how to use them and make them a part of daily life.
  3. Music, especially during runs. Try listening to the movie soundtrack channel on Pandora during your next long run and tell me you don’t feel like you’re on your way to save the world.
  4. My passport. I’m addicted to travel and exploring the world around me. I want to keep visiting new places for as long as I can! Running has definitely helped me travel to places I never would have gone otherwise, like Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
  5. Hope. It drives everything I do an aspire for. Without it, I’d never dream big or set out to accomplish the things that scare me.

My biggest indulgence: Chocolate, hands down. Mmm…

On my fit life list: A half-Ironman, the Boston marathon, and an international marathon, like Paris or Athens.

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: 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: Coffee Cake and Cardio

Written on January 17, 2013 at 3:16 pm , by

Ashley put childhood fears aside when she tried a challenging Jumpsport. She sweat buckets but enjoyed the challenge!

Weight and body image issues are struggles we can all relate to. Sharing these feelings of insecurity candidly with the world? Well, that’s a whole different ball game. One of our favorite bloggers, Ashley, isn’t afraid to open up about a fluctuating scale and her fit trial and errors. Plus, like us, she adores Coffee Cake and Cardio—I mean, who doesn’t?

The former powerlifter and collegiate student-athlete has wrestled with pesky pounds since she was a kid but has embraced Weight Watchers, running, professional football—she plays on the DC Divas—among a variety of other workouts to reach her goal weight. Every day, Ashley motivates her readers by inviting them to witness her journey. Her recipes and sweaty tales are icing on the [coffee] cake! As her blog says, “Every person has a story, a beautiful story…just take a minute to listen.” Read on to hear more about Ashley and how life as a newlywed has changed her healthy ambitions.

My favorite way to work out:  My favorite machine at the gym is the Arc Trainer by Cybex.  That machine will give you a TOTAL body workout. If I’m looking for a heart rate-raising, sweat-inducing workout then the Arc Trainer is the way to go. My favorite class, however, is spin. I love going into the class knowing that no matter what, I will leave the class feeling great and having burned a lot of calories. Fear not, it is a great workout!

My fave fit snack:  I recently started juicing and it has quickly become my favorite go-to snack. There’s just something about a glass of apple, orange, carrot and ginger juice. I’ve tried all different combinations, but that one is my favorite so far. It’s a refreshing and filling snack that is perfect for the three slump.

My “I Did It” moment:  In 2010 I ran the Country Music Half Marathon in Nashville, TN with Team in Training. Just four years earlier, I could not run for more than three minutes at a time and weighed 261 pounds. The morning of the race I wrote a note to myself inside of my visor stating, “Do this for you! You have come so far and deserve to enjoy every moment of this run.” Running does not come easy for me, but running intervals and being patient with myself helped me to build the endurance to run a half marathon. 

My biggest motivator/My motivation comes from: My motivation changes year to year but as a newlywed, my motivation is to get close to my goal weight before having children. I want to be as healthy as possible before getting pregnant. Even though I do not have children, I already feel my motivation shifting to them and wanting to be healthier for my family.

Olympic sport I’d love to try:  As a former powerlifter, I still think it would be amazing to train to compete in the Olympics. On the flip side though, how cool would it be to curling?

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: Sweet Tater

Written on January 4, 2013 at 9:18 am , by

Katie practices hot yoga every day – we only hope we can be as flexible as her some day! (Photo by Courtney Linnehan)

If we ever got the chance to meet Katie Levans, or should we say Tater, from Sweet Tater in person, we can only imagine it would be full of smiles, laughs and quickly segue into a blissful hot yoga session. The instructor and nutritionist draws us in with her yummy meal posts and makes us laugh with her weekly “Caturday” blurbs.

Since we likely won’t get to hang anytime soon though (darn!), we’ll take the next best thing: Katie is starring on one of our favorite guilty-pleasure TV shows: season 17 of The Bachelor. Gunning for Sean Lowe’s heart, we’ll cozy up on the couch while she tries to win the coveted rose week after week from the blonde heartthrob. If he doesn’t immediately fall in love with her beautiful curly hair like we did, then the bachelor definitely will once he sees her bust out some yoga poses, right?

Regardless, we wanted to get to know a bit more about the yogi with great taste. Check out some of her favorite things, and keep reading for a super yummy recipe!

My favorite way to work out: I practice hot yoga every day, but prefer to separate that from the concept of “working out” because it’s so much more than that. When I strictly want to work my body, I head to FlyBarre. It’s 60 minutes of low-weight, high-rep intervals that tone and tighten all over. If you’re looking to shed inches (not necessarily pounds), this is hands-down the most effective workout I’ve ever done.

I’m happiest when I’m: Cooking. I guess when most people are stressed out or short on time, they order takeout. I crack open a cookbook and all of my cares seem to melt away. There’s something so therapeutic about chopping, dicing and dreaming up new dishes.

My fave fit snack: If I could buy Blue Diamond Smokehouse Almonds by the barrel, I would. I usually prefer not to eat immediately before or after a hot yoga class, but almonds fuel me with healthy fat and protein without leaving me feeling full or unsettled.

My “I Did It” moment: When I finished my 200-hour yoga teacher training and Master of Science in Nutrition in the same week. In hindsight, it probably wasn’t wise to work on both simultaneously. I was mentally and physically burned out and, by the end, had hit a major breaking point. Once I was done, the sense of accomplishment overshadowed anything else, but I can’t say I’d do it all again.

My gym bag must-have: Suave Dry Shampoo. When I’m teaching back-to-back classes or have to run straight from the studio to an appointment, dry shampoo saves me the hassle of washing and air-drying my long, unruly curly hair. People are always telling me I smell so clean. But oh, if only they knew!

For a fun, hearty recipe sure to warm you up during these cold winter months, check out Katie’s Vegan Chili below – the dish comes straight from mom!

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Fit Blogger We Love: Running Bun

Written on December 20, 2012 at 5:17 pm , by

Ashley dominated her Ragnar Relay miles without losing that infectious smile.

The first time we found Ashley at Running Bun and clicked over to her “About Me” page, we fell in love. When a girl lists “spandex” as the first item in a list of favorite things, we’ve found a girl after our own hearts. From her inner monologue during races to the detailed class reviews she shares, we can’t get enough of the witty runner. And the fact that she figured out the perfect solution for girls with super long and thick hair? Genius.

Read on to find out what else she can’t live without and which mantra she sweats by – it’s OK, we added it to our motivational boards, too.

5 things I can’t live without: My dogs, leggings, coffee, Bruce Springsteen concerts and vegetables.

Most embarrassing song I’ll admit I work out to: I don’t think it’s embarrassing, but others have suggested it be deleted off of my iPod: “Can’t Be Tamed,” by Miley Cyrus.

My “I Did It” moment: Finishing 33 miles at the Ragnar Adirondacks Relay in September 2012. I had just come back from a foot injury, and finishing that type of distance gave me the confidence to pick up and continue to train for my fall marathon! After the NYC Marathon was cancelled, I ran the Richmond Marathon a week later and ended up with a new PR (personal record)!

My fitness mantra: “The body achieves what the mind believes!” A great friend told me this and I will never stop repeating it to myself when I am having a hard time getting through a workout or a run!

My motivation comes from: Wanting to run faster. There is nothing like training and racing your a** off. I feel so accomplished when I reach a goal and am able to set and work toward a new one!

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: The Concrete Runner

Written on December 13, 2012 at 8:30 am , by

Kristen takes advantage of a jogging stroller to still fit in her workouts – we love it!

When we sign up for running races, we’re usually just happy to be outside, soaking in the weather and enjoying the camaraderie among all the happy-to-be-there runners. But for Kristen, there’s a little bit more to it: this girl actually wins races! We can’t help but be in awe when we click over to The Concrete Runner and soak in her different experiences, especially now that she’s balancing life as an athlete and new mom (and OK, we admit it: we can’t stop looking at the photos of her adorable daughter). Who knows, maybe some of her speedy secrets will rub off on us?

My favorite way to workout: I love to run! It’s always the best part of my day and keeps my stress levels down (for the most part).

My biggest indulgence: Frozen custard or ice cream – I eat ice cream for dessert almost every night. It helps curb my craving so I don’t overdo it!

My “I Did It” moment: Winning my first 5K. I’ve never worked so hard or raced smarter than I did that race. It was one of the best moments of my life!

My biggest motivator: My daughter. I want to be a healthy role model as she grows up, and I hope that someday she’ll want to run with me!

Olympic sport I’d love to try: Gymnastics! I’ve always loved tumbling, but was told I would be too tall for gymnastics. I wish I was as athletic as Olympic gymnasts are!

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: A Nutritionist Eats

Written on November 29, 2012 at 11:57 am , by

Emily has been sharing recipes on her blog for nearly four years.

Thanksgiving may be over, but we’re still in the middle of prime food celebration season. Luckily, we can all learn some tasty tips from Emily at A Nutritionist Eats about how to find a healthy balance. (She aims to eat mostly fruits, vegetables, lean protein and “good” fats with the occasional cookie or plate of nachos). We asked Emily to share how she strikes that balance, what she likes to do to stay active and how she uses up Thanksgiving leftovers (recipe included!).

Favorite way to exercise: Spinning! I belong to a cycling and yoga studio and try to go three to four times a week. Yoga comes in at a close second, although I don’t do it nearly as much as I should.

Go-to fit snack: Lately my afternoon snack is an apple and string cheese. It satisfies my sweet and salty craving and contains protein and fiber to keep me satisfied until dinner.

Gym Bag Must-Have: I have a huge, stuffed gym bag. I really only use my bag if I’m working out in the morning which means I’ve gotten up early so I definitely need my under-eye cream!

5 things I can’t live without: Coffee, kale, cheese, the Internet and restaurants.

My biggest indulgence: Cheeseburger and fries—I love them!

For a simple recipe from Emily, click below.

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