Fitness Friday: Burn More Calories Trail Running

Need some new ways to blast calories? Since it’s warmer outside, head to the trails. Try some of these three fun, fast-paced trail routines designed by Vindum and Nikki Kimball, three-time winner of the prestigious Western States 100-mile endurance race. I love all of three trail running suggestions.

1. Circuit Play
Why: Mixing walking, running, sprinting, and strength work transforms a hike into a full-body workout.

How: As you move along the trail, vary your pace: Go easy for two minutes, pick it up a bit for five, then sprint or speed-walk hard for 15 to 60 seconds. Recover at a slow pace until your breathing returns to normal. Then launch into a strength move (pushups and triceps dips on a log, calf raises on a rock, squats with one foot propped up on a rock) for 60 to 90 seconds. That’s one cycle. Do four to six cycles, switching up the strength moves and your speeds throughout your workout.

2. Cardio Hill Blast
Why: Running and hiking uphill increases your leg strength and improves your cardiovascular fitness while also torching fat—win, win, win! For each degree of incline, count on at least a 10 percent increase in calories burned, according to New York City nutrition and metabolism expert Jana Klauer, M.D., author of The Park Avenue Nutritionist’s Plan: The No-Fail Prescription for Energy, Vitality & Weight Loss. So running up a 5 percent grade (a gentle hill) will burn 50 percent more calories than running on a totally flat surface for the same amount of time.

How: Run up gradual hills at a strong but comfortable pace (you’re breathing hard, but you can still say a few words). Keep your chest lifted and your shoulders relaxed and down. On steep grades, switch to a quick walk, using medium to long strides. If the route you take has only one or two hills, do repeats: Run or walk the hill, jog back down, then take the climb again. Aim for four to eight total hill climbs.

3. Power Up, Race Down
Why: When you do squats, lunges, and other strength moves uphill, and then run downhill, you’ll get a balanced lower-body workout. The uphill exercises target the glutes, calves, and inner and outer thighs, while downhill running works your quads. Bonus: Doing strength moves on an incline requires more energy, so you’ll burn more calories, and managing uneven ground as you descend improves balance and coordination.

How: When you get to a hill, work in a few strength moves. Then run down the other side (or the same side). If the climb is long enough, perform 20 reps of each exercise on the way up.

Read more of this story at Women’s Health

Fitness Friday: Bob Harper’s Top 5 Fitness Tips

Bob Harper is America’s #1 TV weight-loss authority and fitness expert from NBC’s The Biggest Loser. You can also find him here on twitter, and he is the creator of Smart Success. Here are his top five weight-loss and fitness tips:

1. Protein is important for building muscle and repair. It is essential to get at least half of your body weight of protein in grams. For example if you way 180 pounds, you must get 90 grams of protein.

2. When traveling, stick to your workout regiment; sneak out to your hotel gym, and get a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio a day. Pack a jump rope-it doesn’t take up much space. Grab a hotel bath towel, and create a short circuit, or just run around the surrounding area of your hotel to keep your body trim and in its normal fitness routine

3. Your warm up sets the mood for your entire workout. Choose something that gives you a dynamic and strong start. An example is standing kicks. They are excellent for getting the blood pumping.

4. When building better abs (or any muscle), work them out 2 to 3 times a week. Not everyday.

5. For an overall body workout, you can keep it simple and stick to push ups. You will see great results.

Photo via Pinterest

Food Blog South Conference This Weekend and Teens

If you haven’t heard, this weekend is FoodBlog South, a great southern food blogging conference in my hometown, Birmingham, Alabama. Last year was the first ever FoodBlog South, and it was one of the best conferences of the year. This year has an incredible line-up of speakers and attendees, so check it out. And guess what?  I am so excited that this conference also has a teen blogging conference too.  “Teen FoodBlog South” is for students in grades 7th-12th. It’s a free half-day blogging conference teaching them tips and tricks of the trade. I’ll be there teaching “Recipe Development for food blogging,” so don’t miss out if you live near or around Birmingham.

Fashion Friday: Stylish Handbags and Link Party

I’ve been searching for a new fall/winter handbag, and there are so many great trends this season: Satchels, hobos, clutches, messenger bags, totes, backpacks and even wristlets. My daughter, Leigh, told me the rage at her school was Longchamp purses (I thought, how nice). She even saved up money to purchase one for herself, the Le Pliage (below). When looking for her first purse she has ever owned, I bumped into this messenger bag that is so awesome (above). This Imperial Messenger Bag is also from Longchamp ($662). This would be a major splurge :).

I’m loving this Satchel from Steve Madden from Macys ($108), It’s so casual and perfect for cooler weather. It would look great with my cowboy boots.

How cute is this little “Flap” handbag by Gianni Bini Ariel from Dillards priced ($69)?

And this one is on my list for sure. Clutches are the rage this season. This Metallic BCBG Clutch from Dillards ($98) would go with just about anything in my closet.

 

Snakeskin and leopard prints are hot this season.  This “Snakeskin Clutch” from Zara ($79) is fun and trendy, but also is so versatile.

If you’re looking for something instead of a briefcase, this bag is for you. I would be jumping for joy to own this Tory Burch Tote Bag from Nordstrom ($450)? I could even fit my laptop in it. Happy “Fashion Friday” everyone! Please link anything you want to share below.


‘); // ]]>

What are Your Diet Pitfalls?

If you are trying to lose weight, whether it be ten pounds or one hundred pounds, it is not uncommon to backslide into unhealthy eating and exercise habits. In March 2011, CNN identified “The Moments That Make us Fat” from dinner at a buffet restaurant to resisting dessert at a swanky cocktail party. According to James Hill, executive of the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center at the University of Colorado, it can be dangerous to rely solely on willpower to sustain your diet in challenging situations. “Willpower is not inexhaustible, ” Hill told CNN.com. You only have a certain amount of it, and it’s gone.” Instead of relying on willpower, Hill suggests planning ahead. Identify the situations that tempt you to veer away from your healthy habits and plan strategies to keep yourself on track.

Diet Pitfall: Vacation

When you’re on vacation, sipping cocktails by the pool and indulging in new regional cuisine might be appealing but it will quickly result in weight gain if you aren’t careful. When on vacation, enjoy local food and beverages in moderation. Try to get plenty of exercise on vacation to offset indulgences.

Diet Pitfall: After a break-up

Instead of seeking comfort in your favorite flavor of ice cream or a deep-dish pizza, opt for exercise. The endorphins released during a sweat session will improve your mood. If you’re ready to get back out there and mingle, choose a group activity, like training for a 5K, which will help you socialize and meet new people.

Diet Pitfall: A party with fabulous food

Parties can be an easy place to fall off the diet wagon, especially when there is a spread of delicious food and drink. Before you head to your next affair, eat a small, healthy snack and limit alcohol consumption to avoid overindulging.

Diet Pitfall: Watching TV

When you settle in to watch a night of prime time TV, it can be tempting to pair your favorite shows with an unhealthy snack. Instead of eating junk food when you aren’t even hungry, beat mindless eating by becoming more aware of your own hunger cues. If you need to eat a snack, opt for fresh fruit, veggies or low-fat yogurt.

Diet Pitfall: A Buffet

Whether you’re dining out or enjoying a meal in someone’s home, buffets offer endless temptation.  Limit yourself to one plate of food and fill half of it with fruits and vegetables. If a second helping tempts you, drink a glass of water and wait twenty minutes before eating again to decide if you’re actually hungry. The cute diet journal (above) can be found at Cafe Press.  Thanks to Diets in Review and author, Maris Callahan, for sharing this post.

Easy Grilling: Jamaican Spiced Flank Steak

I do a lot of grilling in the summer, but honestly, I am grilling year-round. Every year, I work on so many grilling recipe projects for food clients, magazines and cookbooks, and my kids love almost anything that is cooked on the grill. Flank steak is always on the top of my list, and I love this Jamaican Flank Steak recipe. The marinade is really fabulous, made with orange juice, lime juice, fresh ginger, brown sugar, pepper and cinnamon. One of my friends tried it, and she told me she only cooks flank steak this way now. Serve this with a tossed salad, fresh fruit or grilled asparagus, and dinner is fresh, healthy and simple.

Evo Conference and Park City, Utah

This weekend I am in one of my favorite cities, Park City, Utah for Evo Conference. Last year I was fortunate to win a trip to the first ever Evo Conference. I wasn’t sure what to expect. This was my first social media conference for one thing. Also, I had never stepped food in Utah. Needless to say, this was one of the best conferences I attended all year long filled with useful information in the most incredible venue. I made so many wonderful friendships last year, and I am looking forward to seeing them as well as making new ones. The conference is held at the Canyons resort, a beautiful resort in the winter and summertime for families or creative minds. Thank you to The Canyons for use of their photos. 

Pepper Place Farmers Market This Saturday

Come see me tomorrow, Saturday, at the Pepper Place Farmers Market in downtown Birmingham. I will be there selling my book “400 Best Sandwich Recipes” with Bob Carlton of the Birmingham News as he showcases his new “Soon-to-be-Famous Pimiento Cheese”. We will be there from 7 to noon. Stop by and say hello, and try a Pimiento Cheese Sandwich on Big Sky Bread. Have a super weekend!

Only 1 of my cookbooks is currently available on Amazon this week, so come get a signed copy in person.

Any Occasion Chocolate Cupcakes

This is not one of my typical “lightened-up” recipes, but I had to share these Any Occasion Chocolate Cupcakes with you. My daughter, Leigh, made this recipe for me the night I arrived home from being in Italy for a week. I was so excited to come home to my family and true comfort food. These are so spectacular. You don’t even need to make homemade icing. I wanted to post the recipe for Father’s Day, but I was traveling again this past week. I realized that this recipe is perfect for so many occasions: Father’s Day, birthdays, parties, showers or just because. I thought they would be a great way to start off the week so enjoy.

Part 2 Marche Region: Food, Fashion and Travel

For 4 nights, we stayed at Hotel Emilia in Portonovo in Ancona, Italy which sits on the mountain where you have a spectacular view of the coast. It’s a serene spot that speaks beauty and relaxation. I loved to sit out here overlooking the mountains.

An outdoor bar was the perfect place to sit after a busy day.

The pool was beautiful sitting in front of the rooms of the hotel.

It’s difficult to pinpoint the most exciting part of the trip, but visiting Tod’s headquarters seemed to be the highlight for some of us women. Tod’s is the largest shoe manufacturer in Europe and the largest business in the Marche Region, which is publicly traded on the Italian stock exchange. We saw the entire shoe making process; how they check the leather and why these shoes are such great quality. This is the coolest work of art when you walk in the lobby of Tod’s.

Do you think these boots will be the hit of fall 2011?

After the tour, we went to the Tod’s and Prada outlets nearby. This is also a must stop if you’re in the Marche region :). I love these kid’s shoes.

Next, we were off to lunch in the town of San Benedetto del Tronto at Ristorante Mattia with Chef Marco Cameli. I loved his Miami-style restaurant. His specialty is fish since his restaurants sits right near the beach. This clever way to present an appetizer was a favorite. I call this an Italian version of ceviche.

Next was a pasta course with clams and shrimp. I have never tasted a dish so fresh. I loved that the Chefs don’t over-salt their food.

One of my favorite dishes on the entire trip was this fish dish. It’s monkfish cooked in garlic, olive oil, white wine, with fresh tomato sauce and rosemary. I am trying to recreate this one for sure. Delizioso!

And the dessert was phenomenal and nothing like I have ever had before. Bomboloni (Italian doughnuts) with Chantilly Cream and Limoncello topped with chocolate.

There’s more to come. So much to say…This region is too spectacular for words.