Archive for the ‘’ Category

The Complete Crash Course on Clean Eating

Monday, November 4th, 2013

Kale, Grapefruit and Hazelnut Salad With Tofu CroutonsBy Jocelyn Voo

Maybe a new raw cafe has sprung up in your neighborhood, or you read about Katy Perry and Gwyneth Paltrow being fans. Either way, eating “clean” is gaining traction — but what does it actually mean, and how is it good for the body?

Clean eating is a deceptively simple concept. Rather than revolving around the idea of ingesting more or less of specific things (for instance, fewer calories or more protein), the idea is more about being mindful of the food’s pathway between its origin and your plate. At its simplest, clean eating is about eating whole foods, or “real” foods — those that are un- or minimally processed, refined, and handled, making them as close to their natural form as possible. However, modern food production has become so sophisticated that simply eating whole foods can be a challenging proposition these days.


16 Crazy Food Tattoos

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

By Jocelyn Voo

Insatiable sweet tooth? Avowed carnivore? Meet some foodies who have memorialized their love with food tattoos.

Pig Butcher’s Guide

“For the pig piece, I have always been a big fan of a certain quote from the Simpsons:

Homer: Are you saying you’re never going to eat any animal again? What about bacon?
Lisa: No.
Homer: Ham?
Lisa: No.
Homer: Pork chops?
Lisa: Dad, those all come from the same animal.
Homer: Heh heh heh. Ooh, yeah, right, Lisa. A wonderful, magical animal.

“With the tat I wanted to pay homage to the Homer quote, but also express that food itself is ‘magical,’ bringing people together like nothing else. Plus I wanted it to look cool!”

– Marc C.
Durham, North Carolina


Tattoo Progression: Sitting #1 Healed


Top Healthy Eating iPhone Apps

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

By Jocelyn Voo

Want to know the produce in season when you’re grocery shopping, or which fast food menu item is healthiest? New healthy food iPhone apps are making eating well easier than ever. Here’s a roundup of the best healthy eating iPhone applications so you can eat for your health, even when you’re on the go.

Grocery Gadget Shopping List

Why it’s cool: Say you wrote a grocery list, but left it at home in your rush on the way to work. Or perhaps your husband is already out, but doesn’t know which ingredients you’re lacking to make dinner. With this app, both these scenarios are

solved. Grocery Gadget Shopping List allows you to write a list on the Web browser and automatically sync up with your iPhone, so there’s less chance of accidentally leaving your list on the coffee table. Similarly, if you add a list on your iPhone, it automatically shows up on your husband’s iPhone, too (provided he also has the app). Bonus: This is one more way he can never “forget” to pick up tampons for you at the store.
Price: $2.99
Compatible with: iPhone, iPod Touch

Get more info here >>


What is a Detox Diet?

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

By Jocelyn Voo

Yo-yo dieter Oprah went on the 21-Day Cleanse back in the summer of 2008, singer Beyonce Knowles has admitted to following the Master Cleanse to shed 20 pounds for her movie role in Dreamgirls , and actress Gwyneth Paltrow sent out a newsletter this January from her lifestyle Web site,, touting a weeklong elimination diet. "I need to lose a few pounds of holiday excess," she wrote. "Anyone else?"

Such celebrities seem to buy into so-called "detox diets" as a way to drop pounds fast. But the real premise of a true elimination diet or cleanse program (both types of detoxification diets, or "detox diets" for short) is to facilitate the removal of toxins and pollutants from your body. How? By cutting out your intake of contaminants, so you’ll gradually eliminate unhealthy substances like pesticides, smog and pollution, alcohol, and caffeine from your body.

"There are a lot of people who believe that because we live in a world with so many environmental pollutants and medications that people are taking, the liver is overstressed," explains Mary Jane Detroyer, a New York-based registered dietitian and exercise physiologist. "The whole idea of a detox diet is to rid toxins from the body, because the liver is overloaded and needs some outside help."

But do our bodies actually need a special diet to cleanse itself? Not really, says Dawn Jackson Blatner, an American Dietetic Association spokesperson and FITNESS advisory board member. "Our bodies have organs such as the liver, kidneys, skin, lungs, and digestive system to remove these unnecessary substances every day without the help of any special detox diet or potions to help it along."

Compared to how many people try fad detox diets, few people actually need it. (To see if you do, Detroyer recommends getting your liver enzymes checked out by your physician. "If they’re elevated, that means your liver is stressed," she says. Several factors can cause elevated levels, such as medication, excessive alcohol consumption, or being overweight.)

However, if you still feel inclined to embark on a detox plan, dieter beware: "For most healthy people, doing a detox for a few days won’t lead to any long-term health problems," says Blatner. "However, for someone who has conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, digestive issues, or women who are pregnant, children or teens, and elderly, these extreme changes to their diet can mean anything from dizziness to fainting to coma since the diets affect electrolyte and blood sugar balance."

And even if you don’t suffer from any of those conditions, taking on a long-term cleanse (ahem, Oprah) can lead to a host of other problems, such as vitamin and mineral deficiency and muscle breakdown — not really surprising when you’re doing something extreme like drinking nothing but lemon water with maple syrup and cayenne pepper for 10 days, as the Master Cleanse encourages.

Still, there may be one good side effect from starting a detox plan: "A healthy person following a short-term detox diet may get a bit of a mental jump start into eating healthier and exercising for the rest of the year," Blatner concedes.

So which detox diet could be right for you? FITNESS took a hard look at a few popular detox diets, assessing each one based on the nutritional value, liver-cleansing value, and their ability to help you start a long-term healthy eating habit. Read on for our findings.


Sex Positions That Double as Exercise

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

By Jocelyn Voo

No matter how much your partner pleads, you can’t substitute time in the sack for time on the treadmill. However, certain sex positions do work a woman’s muscle groups — some so much, in fact, that you might not be able to make it to the gym the next day.


In a way, the missionary position is the physical equivalent of the old "I’m busy washing my hair" excuse — it’s the brush-off used when you’re lazy, tired, or just not that interested. But despite being one of the most passive contortions for a woman, man-on-top can still provide a pretty good workout.

"It depends on how enthusiastic you are about it, but missionary can be great for the core muscles," says Stacy Berman, a New York City-based certified fitness trainer and founder of Stacy’s Boot Camp. "If your partner is thrusting toward you, you want to have an equal and opposite thrust back, and that requires a lot of core strength. It actually will start burning."

Patti Britton, author of The Art of Sex Coaching and immediate past president of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists, agrees that you’ll definitely be feeling it in your abs. "You can strengthen your core by focusing on pelvic lifting using your core, not your lower back. That’s where women tend to get stuck — they tend to rely on their lower back to give them propulsion." (The risk of which isn’t a joke, either. Worst-case scenario, you could throw out your back or sustain some other injury — not exactly a bedroom turn-on.)

Missionary position can also provide a good butt workout. "The more she does buttock squeezes, the more she could accentuate her riding toward him to give herself a good glute workout," Britton says.


America’s 10 Unhealthiest Presidents

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

By Jocelyn Voo

President Barack Obama knows a thing or two about fitness. In December, the Washington Post reported that he’d hit the gym for at least 48 days in a row, clocking at least 90 minutes each time. Photographers have snapped him playing golf in Hawaii on Christmas Eve, doing impromptu pull-ups right before giving a speech in Missoula, Montana, on the election trail, and playing a game of pick-up basketball (a sport he’s played since he was a kid) with staff and Secret Service agents on Election Day.

Considering his well-documented gym habits and disciplined diet, the media has heralded Obama as the new face of presidential health. Of course, he isn’t perfect — the guy has been a longtime smoker (although he has resolved to quit, and has often been seen chewing Nicorette), occasionally chows down on cheeseburgers, has admitted to trying marijuana and cocaine as a teenager, and there’s a history of cancer in his family. Still, his longtime physician issued a statement in 2008 that Obama is in "excellent health," citing his lean body mass, and normal cholesterol, blood pressure, and EKG levels.

But not all American presidents have been model specimens of health. Some of them far from it, in fact. Disease, injury, and destructive habits have run rampant in the 43 commanders-in-chief — but while we can’t totally fault George Washington for contracting malaria or smallpox (it was the 1700s, after all), we also can’t really condone John Adams’ habit of having bread and beer for breakfast at age 15.

Here, the 10 least healthy presidents in American history.


The Best Natural Snacks

Sunday, December 14th, 2008
Second only to food that’s plucked from the ground, these snacks are made with natural ingredients, with no preservatives, artificial ingredients, or additives. Whether you’re craving sweet or salty, these natural snacks will hit the spot.

Kashi Autumn Wheat

Organic whole-grain wheat, organic evaporated cane juice, natural flavor. Those are the only three ingredients in Kashi’s Autumn Wheat cereal. Simple formula, but think shredded wheat on steroids. It’s USDA certified organic, low fat, cholesterol and sodium free, and provides a quarter of your daily fiber needs per cup. Plus, the bite-size biscuits actually taste really, really good — liked by both adults and 2-year-olds (seriously). And for a breakfast cereal, there’s no more rigorous taste test than that.

Nutrition: (1 cup): 190 calories, 1g fat, 45g carbohydrates, 0g sodium, 6g fiber, 5g protein

Price: $3.50 for a 17.5-ounce box

Where to buy: Major retailers, including Whole Foods, Target, Publix, and Wegmans. Click here to search for a store near you.


Healthy Recipes for Seasonal Fall and Winter Foods

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008
Eating seasonally and locally are two great ways to stretch your food budget and be environmentally friendly. Here, we’ve compiled several healthy recipes using fall and winter ingredients.


Health benefits: Squash is high in vitamins A and C, which aid your body’s metabolic functioning and help ward off chronic illnesses. However, some winter varieties, like butternut squash, contain more sugar than others, such as acorn and spaghetti squashes, so be knowledgeable about which kind you’re buying if you’re watching your calorie count.

Nutrition: Acorn squash (1 cup, raw): 56 calories, 0.1g fat, 14.6g carbohydrates, 2.1g fiber, 1.1g protein. Butternut squash (1 cup, raw): 63 calories, 0.1g fat, 16.4g carbohydrates, 2.8g fiber, 1.4g protein

Recipes to try:

Quick-Roasted Acorn Squash

Curried Butternut Squash Soup


How to Build a Superhuman Athlete

Monday, July 28th, 2008

By Jocelyn Voo

No matter what their game, professional athletes make a job of going faster, further and longer, setting world records inch-by-inch, second-by-second. But stripped away from artificial enhancements like steroids, how do these power-machines differ from the everyday athlete — or the average Jill, for that matter? Are they just born with innate talent, or is it all learned ability — and, if that’s the case, are these preternatural skills something we can all develop?


Three Cheers for Chocolate

Monday, November 26th, 2007

By Jocelyn Voo

It turns out there’s even more to love about one of the most decadent, satisfying foods on the planet. We’re talking about chocolate: Heavenly sweet treat, coveted comfort food, and former diet disaster. But now? New studies are proving that chocolate does, in fact, have a place in the health-conscious kitchen.