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The 5 Healthiest Ways to “Pasta”

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pasta

I love that desert island food question. You know, the one where you’re stranded on a desert island and can have three foods with you. While it’s unlikely that any of us will be stranded, or that if we were, somehow our favorite foods would show up. However, if I’m answering this question, my island has pasta (and cheese for the pasta).

Sure, I’m a nutritionist and like my green juices and kale salads, but if life had no rules I’d be eating more pasta. Sadly, real life has rules and in my case that means no gluten—I have a dietary issue with gluten. So I’ve done my pasta research to come up with my top five picks healthy pastas. So whether you have a gluten intolerance or you’re just looking to spice things up in the kitchen, these pasta alternatives are great choices. read more

Sweet Surrender: 5 Easy Tips to Cut Back on Sugar

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sugar

“Sugar has a bullseye on its back these days”—that’s what one of the speakers said at a recent nutrition conference I attended.

But rather than rolling our eyes at all the “sugar media,” we should realize there’s truth to this messaging. Sugar stinks and it deserves all the negative press it’s receiving.

However, I don’t believe quitting sugar cold-turkey is always the answer. In reality, you need a plan. We all need guidance and using Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar, we quit sugar in the Foodtrainers’ offices for one month.

As someone who has never felt especially drawn to a dessert tray or cookie plate, it was still extremely difficult. Sugar lurks everywhere. So here are a few tips if you’re planning a sugar breakup or just looking to spend less time together with your sweet old pal. read more

#FitFall: 10 New Ways to Find Your Fitness Inspiration

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Fall photo

OK it’s here. Fall that is. And poor fall—it’s met with so much dread and disappointment of summer’s end. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Fall brings new challenges and inspiration. And when it comes to making progress with your fall fitness, routine is best. If you’re still not convinced and need a little extra motivation, here are 10 great “fallspiration” tips to keep you going right up to winter.

  1. Hoola hoops aren’t just for kid. Believe it or not, there’s a big movement of integrating play into your activities. After all, working out should be fun. So we keep our Canyon Hoop in the office, and we even got our doorman to give it a whirl (or a twirl). Bonus: they’re weighted and great for your core.
  1. Exercise whenever you can fit in it. We love goal setting at Foodtrainers. That’s probably why we love our Fitbits so much. You’ve surely heard of 30 day fitness challenges. We’re doing the pushup challenge for September; and it’s a hard one. Last week we were on our way back from the Natural Products Expo East (over 8,000 Fitbit steps walked during the conference) and we realized we hadn’t done our 28 pushups for the day. So yes, that was us doing pushups on the Amtrak train. These types of fun daily challenges take very little time each day and are incredibly rewarding.
  1. Try destination races. In our office, there’s training going on for the Philly Marathon and the Big Sur half. If you tend to hibernate when the weather is cooler, put a race on the calendar. Or if that sounds worse than winter, try a yoga or meditation retreat.

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Beat the Heat for #FitbitSummer: Expert Tips on Staying Cool During Outdoor Workouts

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Hydrate blog

In many places across the world, summer is a great excuse to take your exercise routine outdoors and change up that stale gym or treadmill routine. And as we’ve recently explored, working out in the fresh air has a host of healthy benefits.

But peak summer temperatures can get the best of us. So how can you reap the rewards of the great outdoors while keeping yourself safe in the summer sun?

Lauren headshot smallWe asked a one of our favorite experts, Lauren Slayton, Author, RD, and Foodtrainers founder for her personal tips.

 

  1. I don’t know about you, but water fountains suddenly look like Shangri-La during my warm workouts. So while I encourage you to drink up while you exercise, it’s also crucial to pre-drink or imbibe before exercise. Try coconut water (high in potassium) or turmeric elixir (bonus points for salt) before heading out in the heat.
  2. And don’t be shy with salt. I love Celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt—both contain essential minerals—but salty foods like olives, pickles and fermented veggies are great this time of year.
  3. Pick the perfect produce like cantaloupe, strawberries, radishes, and celery, as all these have super high water content and will help keep you hydrated.
  4. And remember that alcohol is dehydrating, so limiting consumption will help with hydration.

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#FitbitSummer: 5 Sane Ways to Recover from Vacation

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Lauren Slayton is the author of The Little Book of Thin and created the Foodtrainers blog. She has a Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University and appeared in Allure, In Style, Cooking Light and more. She previously wrote about Tips to Prevent Weight-Gain Weekends.

vacation recovery

I had one of those “What day is today?” moments when I woke up. But then it sunk in. My extended weekend vacation is over, which makes me a little sad. As long as I’m complaining, I’m also tired.

We were in Montreal for the 4th of July. But it’s not always about going away; sometimes relaxing can leave you wanting to relax more. And then there’s that feeling — you know it. “Uh oh, I need to undo what was done this weekend.”

And you don’t need to “do” that much to feel off. We had lots of seafood, green juice and salads. My Fitbit was happy with upwards of 20K steps a day (love that about vacation), but there were plenty of meals out, cocktails and well, here we are. Before you cleanse or “boot camp” yourself, here are five ways to feel better today.

 

1. Stay Home Tonight (and tomorrow too)
Before we get all technical with the idea of de-bloating, you simply need to spend less time with salt. Takeout and restaurant meals make this impossible. Cooking can mean scrambled eggs or a simple smoothie. read more

5 Tips to Prevent Weight-Gain Weekends

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Lauren headshot smallLauren Slayton is the author of The Little Book of Thin and created the Foodtrainers blog. She has a Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University and appeared on Allure, In Style, Cooking Light and more. She previously wrote about 10 Ways Busy Moms Can Stay Healthy and Common Mother’s Day Mistakes.

Let’s say a person (perhaps you) develops a stellar eating routine that involves cooking, hydrating and eating lots of green things. By Friday that person (perhaps you) feels accomplished, clothes are looser, energy is through the roof…you get the picture.

Then, person (you?) goes on a weekend getaway­—after all, it’s summer—and things are carefree. Person enjoys the weekend (a little too much) with extra cocktails and barbeques and fun, fun, fun. What’s the big deal, you say? No big deal if your weight loss from Monday to Friday is erased and you’re good with bloat and more.

Take your weight loss further with Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale.

weight gain wknds

Believe it or not, there’s a way to balance cocktails with consciousness, even a way to make progress over the summer. Sure it’s nice out now but weekends are tricky all year round, so let’s sort them out. read more

Avoid a Common Mother’s Day Mistake with These 5 Tips

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This week we’re celebrating Mother’s Day with our friends over at MyFitnessPal. Whether you’re a mom or you just happen to have one, you’ll find great tips and advice for staying healthy and happy all year long.

lauren mother's day mistakes

Lauren headshot smallToday’s post is from Lauren Slayton, the author of The Little Book of Thin and created the Foodtrainers blog. She has a Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University and appeared on Allure, In Style, Cooking Light and more. She previously wrote about mastering your fridge and 10 Ways Busy Moms Can Stay Healthy.

Almost daily during nutrition sessions in my office, clients say, “I want my mother to come in for a visit,” or, “My wife needs to see you.” Statements like these make me squirm.

I know all too well from doing this for a very long time (I started Foodtrainers on the verge of motherhood myself, and my “baby” is now 12) that buying someone nutrition sessions or a gym membership doesn’t always work. And yet I totally get that watching a family member ignore their health can be difficult and frustrating.

…buying someone nutrition sessions or a gym membership doesn’t always work.

So how do you avoid the common mistake of buying fitness and health? Here are five easy ways to get the point across and make it stick.

  1. Do it together – Whether it’s taking a walk in the park, playing tennis or enrolling in a healthy cooking class, suggesting to meet for an activity is often better received than “You should do this.” Plus, working out or exercising with a friend or in groups increases its benefit. So do it together!
  2. Mention it and let it go – Yesterday, I received a voicemail from a prospective client saying, “I’ve had your business card for two years.” I loved hearing this as I knew this client waited until the timing seemed right. If you know of a great trainer or yoga instructor, give your mom the contact info. After that zip it! Don’t say another word about it. read more

10 Simple Ways Busy Moms Can Stay Healthy

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This week we’re celebrating Mother’s Day with our friends over at MyFitnessPal. Whether you’re a mom or you just happen to have one, you’ll find great tips and advice for staying healthy and happy all year long.

mom post 2

Lauren headshot smallToday’s post is from Lauren Slayton, the author of The Little Book of Thin and created the Foodtrainers blog. She has a Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University and appeared on Allure, In Style, Cooking Light and more. She previously wrote about mastering your fridge.

 

Motherhood is great. Sure, I can get all sappy and say it’s a gift, which it absolutely is, but it’s a demanding gift that comes with its own unique challenges. With a little planning (I mean who’s better at planning than moms?) we can put those difficulties to bed.

Try these 10 tips to make it your healthiest Mother’s Day yet.

  1. Have a “Pick-Free” Week – Many of my “mom” clients say they don’t eat chicken fingers or candy or mac and cheese. And truth be told, they don’t really eat a full portion of them. However, the few French fries and cookie bites that you “pick” at from your kids’ meals can add up. For one full week, skip the kid picks. It will be both eye-opening and slimming.
  2.  Try Turmeric - Are you familiar with turmeric? It’s a spice that gives curry powder its yellow hue, and you may very well have in your spice cabinet. Take it out and sprinkle it on eggs, veggies or grains. It’s a very powerful mood-booster, has strong anti-cancer properties and is anti-inflammatory, too.
  3.  Start the Week Skinny - Take an hour or two on Sunday to plan a weekly menu, create a grocery list and hit the supermarket. I recommend trying at least one new recipe or ingredient per week, and planning at least one fish or shellfish dinner for the family. Winging it and weight loss often don’t go together. read more

12 Healthy Hacks from Fitbit’s Spring Clean

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Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 10.44.31 AM

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been sharing our own “healthy hacks” from our experts and Fitbit employees to help you jumpstart new spring routines. How much progress have you made in your own spring cleaning? Have you used the change of season as inspiration to make positive changes in your health, activity or general well-being? If so, we want to hear about it! Let us know in the comments below or use #FitbitSpringClean on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Instagram.

And just in case you missed any of our 12 hacks, here they are in one handy place.

 

Fitbit’s Spring Clean: Reduce Stress by Getting Active Outside

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It’s time to hang up your winter coat! This is the last post in our series of 12 healthy “hacks” from our experts, to help jumpstart new spring routines. Today’s post is our second from Lauren Slayton, the author of The Little Book of Thin.

fitbit reach the top

Forget therapy (OK maybe not) have you heard of ecotherapy?

I always joke that my workouts are medicinal. They help me de-stress. It seems that “mean mommy” makes an appearance on the days when there isn’t time for a run. I had previously chalked this up to the endorphins from exercise, the power of a good sweat and the boost I get from listening to my favorite music. I may have missed that where I do my workout is just as important as whether or not I did it.

There is a burgeoning area of research on “ecotherapy” or the effects time spent outside has on us. A study conducted in the UK compared a group walking in a shopping mall to another group walking in the park. After walking in the park, 90% of participants claimed increased self esteem, 88% improved mood and 71% felt less tense. For comparison, these numbers were under 50% in all criteria for the mall walkers.

Time outside provides an escape from our homes and our desks. It’s a time to reflect and may evoke good memories. Outside time also stimulates our senses with color, sounds and fresh air.

After walking in the park 90% of participants claimed increased self esteem… read more