Jumpstarting—or restarting—your 2014 health and fitness goals
How are those New Year’s resolutions holding up? New Year’s resolutions often mean fad diets and fitness routines that are more often destined to fail than to help you achieve your goals. Whether you’re right on track, or have already lost your way, our Life Squad has new tips and relevant advice to help create long-lasting changes for a healthier lifestyle. In our second episode, the Life Squad – a cast of experts from the food, fitness and health/nutrition fields – share with you how to create achievable goals for the New Year and beyond.
Led by actress, author, host of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” and busy mom Alison Sweeney, the Life Squad team includes Seamus Mullen, award-winning chef, restaurateur and cookbook author; Keri Gans, registered dietitian and nutritionist; Ashley Borden, celebrity personal trainer and fitness expert; and Joy McCarthy, Canadian holistic nutritionist.
More Healthful Eating Doesn’t Mean Tasteless. Use Texture and Flavor to Power Up Any Recipe – from Seamus
Chef Seamus Mullen wants you to know that you don’t have sacrifice flavor when eating more healthfully. Your New Year’s diet of veggies and lean protein can be powered up with a variety of spices and textures, without affecting your fitness goals. We know he loves Smoked Paprika and slivered almonds for flavor and texture (see video), and they combine here to make a delicious Romesco Sauce that can flavor fish, chicken or vegetables just enough to make you forget you’re eating more healthfully.
Romesco sauce combines olive oil, peppers and almonds—It’s highly flavored and a little goes a long way, so keep this recipe in the refrigerator and use a tablespoon or two per serving.
Don't Just Join a Gym, Do Something New and Fun - from Ashley
It’s a known fact: gym memberships skyrocket this time of year, but by February the gyms are emptying out. Ashley knows -- she sees it every year! It’s the fitness mindset that simply joining gym and working out for a short time will achieve fitness goals, but that’s not sustainable.
Do something different and make it last, Ashley recommends. Get a friend to sign up with you for a salsa class or martial arts training; this commitment to doing something with a partner will help in keeping your fitness interest at its peak!
Or add a different piece of equipment or routine to your existing workout, like this foam roller. Ashley is a huge fan “rolling out” because it stretches the muscles and tendons, increasing blood flow and circulation to the soft tissues which will allow muscles to fire at peak efficiency during exercise.
Phew! That’s a mouthful, but actually “rolling out” couldn’t be easier—watch the video for an introduction by Ashley, and if you want to learn more, visit her website and download the free booklet she wrote on how to roll out your entire body, and we’re sure you’ll make it a part of your 2014 fitness routine!
Don’t Diet: Small Changes Make the Biggest Difference - from Keri
Keri has heard it all, and those grand New Year’s resolutions always seem to fail! Maybe the problem has to do with making too many changes at once or choosing too large of a goal achieve, then feeling frustrated when it’s too much to keep up.
Instead, focus on small changes with big impact. Here, Keri recommends a few good habits that can help achieve your healthy lifestyle goals in 2014:
Eat Breakfast. Every Day.
Mom was right, breakfast is the most important meal. It jumpstarts your metabolism and provides fuel to get you through the morning. But make it count—power up with protein and pack in the nutrition with some combination of whole grain, fruit and yogurt, and top it off with almonds for crunch and important nutrients. Even your morning smoothie or whole grain toast could benefit from a dollop of almond butter.
Snacking Is Good.
Mom maybe wasn’t right about in-between meal snacks being bad for you—smart snacking is essential to keeping up your energy and keeping you feeling full, so you don’t make poor snacking or meal choices later in the day. Stick to a snack with fewer than 200 calories at mid-morning and mid-afternoon, and make sure those 200 calories are satisfying and nutritious. For example:
- An apple and a handful of almonds, or a tablespoon of almond butter
- Small piece of cheese and a handful of strawberries, grapes or carrots
- Low-fat plain yogurt or cottage cheese flavored up with almonds, fruit and cinnamon
- Breakfast for snacks—a hard-boiled egg and a banana
Learn Portion Control
Instead of never eating cheese or chocolate again, simply learn the amount of your favorite foods you should be eating. For example, one ounce (28g) of almonds can fit into a shot glass or on the surface of a 3x3 sticky note. Likewise, when you create your evening meal, look at your dinner plate as a guide. First, don’t use a huge plate. Then, fill HALF your plate with vegetables; the remaining quarters are for protein and a whole grain carbohydrate like quinoa or brown rice.
Incorporating these small changes into your new lifestyle regimen will go a long way to successfully meet your 2014 goals! Keri should know, she wrote a book about it! For more of Keri’s “Small Change Diet,” check out her website.
Dive a Little Deeper into the Life Squad
About Alison Sweeney
Alison Sweeney is busy juggling the roles of hosting NBC’s hit reality series “The Biggest Loser,” playing Sami Brady on NBC’s Emmy Award winning daytime drama “Days of our Lives,” and author of several books including her first novel “The Star Attraction,” in addition to her roles as producer, director, wife and mother.
Sweeney, who is hosting her twelfth consecutive season of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” leads the hit reality series in transforming the lives of show contestants and television viewers worldwide. Sweeney’s previously released book, “The Mommy Diet,” revealed the “diet” of nutrition, fitness and self-care that women can follow to look and feel fantastic – before and during pregnancy, and after giving birth. Her recent novel, "The Star Attraction," gives a glimpse into the world of Hollywood amidst a fun tale of romance. Her next novel will be released in June.
Sweeney resides in Los Angeles with her husband Dave, a California Highway Patrol officer, and their 8-year-old son Ben and 4-year-old daughter Megan.
For more information on Sweeney’s tips for health, wellness, fashion and personal anecdotes, follow her on Twitter here or at @Ali_Sweeney.
About Keri Gans
Keri Gans is a registered dietitian/nutritionist, spokesperson and media personality with a private practice in New York City. She is the author of “The Small Change Diet,” (Gallery, March 2011), a weekly blogger for Shape.com and US News & World Report’s Eat + Run. Keri is a past spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and a past president of The New York State Dietetic Association.
The Huffington Post voted Keri one of the top 35 Nutrition & Diet Experts to follow on Twitter in 2011 and 2012. She is also the proud winner of the New York State Dietetic Association’s 2010 Media Excellence Award and 2006 Emerging Dietetic Leader Award.
Keri lives with her husband Bart and four-legged son, Henry, in New York City and East Hampton and is an avid yoga practitioner. She can be found at www.kerigansnutrition.com and followed on Twitter here.
About Seamus Mullen
Seamus Mullen is an award-winning New York chef, restaurateur and cookbook author known for his inventive yet approachable modern Spanish cuisine. In August 2011, Seamus opened his first solo restaurant Tertulia in Manhattan’s West Village, which was awarded two stars from The New York Times, three stars from New York Magazine and was a finalist for one of the industry’s highest honors, the James Beard Foundation Award for Best New Restaurant.
Seamus has appeared as a finalist on Food Network’s “The Next Iron Chef” in 2009, and was a regularly featured judge on the James Beard Award-winning Food Network series “Chopped.” In 2012, Seamus released his “Hero Food: How Cooking with Delicious Things Can Make Us Feel Better,” (Andrews McMeel) and currently contributes to SURFACE Magazine and Panna, an iPad video cooking app.
Most recently, Seamus opened his restaurant project El Colmado, a tapas and wine bar at Gotham West Market, a new food hall in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen. Learn more about Seamus at www.seamusmullen.com; Like Seamus on Facebook here, and follow him on Twitter here.
About Ashley Borden
Ashley Borden is a globally recognized fitness and lifestyle expert and consultant. Borden’s ability to customize her training system, coupled with her sharp wit and candor, suits many types of the high-profile clients she has worked with including Christina Aguilera, Chelsea Handler, Mandy Moore and Ryan Gosling, to the likes of New York Yankee Nick Swisher and UFC Champion Matt Hughes. Borden also works as a master trainer with fellow trainers and coaches.
Women’s Health named Borden a top “Body Transformer” in 2011, one of only six trainers in the country, and Women’s Health UK just named Borden among their "A-Team" as one of the seven best personal trainers in the world. Her tips and techniques are regularly featured in publications such as InStyle, Vogue, Elle, Allure, Departures, and the Los Angeles Times, and most recently she can be seen on "The Doctors" and Hallmark's "Home & Family." She is also an advisor for Livestrong.com and Fitness magazine.
About Joy McCarthy
Joy McCarthy is a Canadian certified holistic nutritionist (CNP, RNCP), founder of the hugely popular healthy living blog JoyousHealth.com and wellness clinic Joyous Health, where she consults a global community of clients and teaches workshops. In addition to being the author of “JOYOUS HEALTH: Eat & Live Well without Dieting,” she is also a faculty member at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition. If that weren’t enough, Joy is also an international speaker, and a featured nutrition expert on Global TV’s “The Morning Show” and CBC’s “Steven & Chris,” which also airs on ABC’s Live Well Network.
Joy regularly contributes her health expertise to many North American publications, television and radio shows, and often get’s to indulge in her love of amazing food by writing restaurant reviews.
The co-founder of Eat Well Feel Well, Toronto’s first integrated nutrition and yoga program, Joy lives a life rooted in balance, love and healthy living, all common themes of the 6 week course.
Joy lives in Toronto with her two adorable kitties and husband Walker.