Ready. Set. Go.
Must-tries for a healthier 2015
A new year is upon us, which means health resolutions are sure to be made. This year, choose to make a few small changes that add up to big results. From food to fitness, we’ve rounded up ideas to help you get on the healthy track, and make 2015 your healthiest year yet.
BAND FOR LIFE
Join the activity tracker movement. Keep yourself accountable to your New Year’s resolution—move more! Not only does the Fitbit Flex count your steps, calories and activity time, but it also keeps track of total distance, sleep data and even helps wake you up. With the wireless sync option and online resources, this little band packs a big punch. Tons of color options mean you’ll always coordinate no matter what you’re wearing. Check out fitbit.com for metallic Tory Burch collection. How’s that for handy? Fitbit Flex, $99 at Target
ROLL WITH IT
Add a foam roller to your post-workout routine. These tricks of the trade for fitness enthusiasts release tension, relieve sore muscles and support muscle recovery. Be prepared for your next workout sooner with targeted self-massage to help to decrease muscle pain and stiffness. This space-saving version takes up little room in your closet, and the bright purple is an added pick-me-up. Thera-Roll, $40 at Dick’s Sporting Goods
Research shows that accountability strategies and counting calories work. Become more aware of what you’re doing to and putting into your body by inputting daily activities and meals using My Fitness Pal. Log on through the mobile app or desktop version. The support and information will amaze you, and the community aspect of the site ensures you always have an accountability buddy to lean on. My Fitness Pal, FREE on iTunes and Android
GO AGAINST THE GRAIN
The grain-free lifestyle is far from a craze, but many people are crediting this way of eating as a huge key to their success in losing weight, battling chronic conditions and alleviating other common health issues. No matter what your current state of health is, Against All Grain makes trying a grain-free lifestyle easy and delicious. The author takes the guesswork out of sourcing ingredients and simplifying prep work. Against All Grain: Meals Made Simple by Danielle Walker, $22 at Barnes & Noble
BEST BLENDS FOREVER
Yes, we know. A $500 blender? What could it possibly do that’s worth the price tag? The answer—everything. Of course, it will easily handle smoothies, but think outside the box with this baby. Soups from scratch? It can do that. Homemade ice cream? You bet. Fresh nut butters? Absolutely. If you choose to invest in just one countertop appliance this year, make it this one. You won’t regret becoming the woman who is suddenly making everything from scratch. It’s literally that easy. CIA Professional Series, Vitamix, $500 at Bed, Bath & Beyond
Follow one woman’s journey to placing real food back on her family’s kitchen table—it will seriously change the way you look at the food in your kitchen. With 100 recipes, including lunchbox ideas for the kiddos, author Lisa Leake makes the transition to whole eating simple and easy. There’s a recipe for everyone in here, even your pickiest eater. 100 Days of Real Food, $19 at Barnes & Noble
NOODLE ON THIS
Ever thought about swapping starchy, carb-heavy pasta for veggie noodles? This machine makes creating so-called “zoodles” easy. Cut calories and add nutrients and fiber-dense veggies to your next pasta recipe by skipping the standard spaghetti or linguini altogether. Pssst … it can make homemade curly fries too. Just don’t tell the kids. Paderno Spiralizer 3-Blade, $40 at Williams-Sonoma
SALTY CHIP SWAP. SWEET!
Next time that afternoon slump hits, and you’re reaching for greasy potato chips, stop! These sweet potato tortilla chips are an easy swap out and are a great vessel for nearly every dip out there. Serve with hummus or homemade guacamole, and you are on your way to happiness in a bowl. Sweet potato tortilla chips, Food Should Taste Good, $3 at Earth Fare
BELLY UP TO THE BARRE
By now, you’ve probably heard of barre classes. But have you tried one? You don’t have to have ballet experience, but you better be ready to work—for 55 tough minutes. Pure Barre offers a low-impact class to strengthen and lengthen muscles. And unlike other workout classes, Pure Barre gets harder, each and every time. Impossible, you say? That’s what we thought, too, but each class is a different series of movements, so your body is always kept guessing. The results you see in the first month are incredible. It’s literally you, a resistance band and a ballet bar. How difficult could the workout be? Looks can be deceiving. Grab some sticky socks, and get ready to sweat. 726 Adams St., Carmel, 816-1261, or 11501 Geist Pavilion Dr., Fishers, 436-7243. purebarre.com
PASS ON THOSE COOKIES
If cutting back on sugar is a goal for your new year, these bars should be a staple in your pantry. With no added sugar, tons of flavors to choose from, and all-natural, non-GMO, gluten-free ingredients, they’ll make you feel better about curing that sweet tooth. Some of our favorites include Key Lime Pie, Peanut Butter Cookie and Chocolate Chip Brownie. So good, you’ll be fighting your kids for the last bar. Multiple flavors, LARABAR, $1.25 each at Earth Fare
Want to incorporate more fruits and veggies in your daily diet? Smoothies are an easy, practically fool-proof way to do it. It’s pretty tough to come up with an impromptu recipe that doesn’t taste good. And it’s a GREAT way to clear out your produce bin on the day before grocery shopping. Add greens (we promise you won’t taste them, crazy but true!) and pack an even higher nutritional punch. I honestly can’t remember a day when i haven’t had a smoothie in years. Here’s one of my personal favorites….tastes like a milkshake, but SO much healthier.
- 1 medium to large banana (the more ripe, the sweeter)
- 1 tablespoon of nut butter (plain ole’ pb will do, but try the vanilla almond butter from Justin’s)
- 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder
- Ice cubes (to add thickness and frothiness)
- Unsweetened almond milk (promise me, you wont miss the sweetness of the high-calorie sugared up versions)
- A splash of vanilla extract, optional
- Kale or spinach greens, optional
1. Put ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour and enjoy.
By Stephanie Burkhart | Photos by Chris Whonsetler