Pomegranate, Blue Cheese and Quinoa Caviar – Easy & Elegant Holiday Appetizer

Blue Cheese Pomegranate and Quinoa CaviarNow that Thanksgiving is over, it’s time to refocus on the remaining festival of eating that spans now through the New Year!  There is more noshing and nibbling packed into the next 30 days than perhaps in the whole calendar year! With invited (and quite possible uninvited guests) dropping by with holiday cheer and hungry appetites, I like to have a few simple yet show-stopping appetizer recipes at my fingertips so that no one is disappointed.

Blue Cheese Pomegranate and Quinoa Caviar

My recipe for Blue Cheese, Pomegranate and Quinoa “Caviar” is an easy yet elegant addition to any gathering, whether you need sophisticated snacks to headline a cocktail party or as a prelude to a full-scale dinner party. Or, perhaps as an “I’m not cooking tonight” mini meal to enjoy with a bottle of wine in your fuzzy slippers after everyone heads home!

jennifer fisher pomegranate fresh summitOne of the treasures of this holiday hors d’oeuvres recipe is pomegranates. Pomegranates on their own are a quite festive fruit, the little arils inside resemble ruby-red jewels and taste decidedly more precious. When paired with a pleasingly pungent blue cheese and the almost nutty texture and taste of quinoa, you get a taste experience that I can describe no other way than Manheim steamroller for your Mouth – a modern orchestra of fa-la-la flavor!

Blue Cheese Pomegranate and Quinoa CaviarWhile this holiday appetizer looks like it spent all day getting ready for a food glamour shot, it’s actually embarrassingly easy to make. All the ingredients are just tossed together in a bowl and then molded into a standard 6-ounce ramekin dish. If you’d like to do individual servings, mold with a mini melon baller or cookie dough scoop.

I’ve served this Christmas and New Year’s Eve party recipe on one of my favorite cracker; the nearly paper-thin wafers from 34º Crisps.  However, you can use the cracker of your choice or even serve a dollop atop an apple or pear slice.

Blue Cheese Pomegranate and Quinoa Caviar on Steak Salad

If you have leftovers, a big spoonful or two of Blue Cheese, Pomegranate and Quinoa “Caviar” is fantastic on a steak salad – especially with the Pomegranate Blueberry Vinaigrette. Enjoy!


Make a a quick and healthy appetizer platter with these 10 Easy and Elegant Ways to Top Crackers.PS – Need some other easy cracker-topping ideas? I’m your girl, I have a gazillion combinations of goodness. Here is just a sampling of my madness — 10 Easy and Elegant Ways to Top a Cracker.

So, what are your favorite things to put on a cracker? See if you can surprise me! Share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

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Blue Cheese Pomegranate and Quinoa Caviar
Pomegranate, Blue Cheese and Quinoa Caviar
Servings Prep Time
12 appetizer servings 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 appetizer servings 10 minutes
Blue Cheese Pomegranate and Quinoa Caviar
Pomegranate, Blue Cheese and Quinoa Caviar
Servings Prep Time
12 appetizer servings 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 appetizer servings 10 minutes
Servings: appetizer servings
  1. Add blue cheese crumbles, cooked quinoa, pomegranate arils and vinegar into small bowl, stir gently to combine.
  2. Transfer to 6-ounce ramekin dish and use back of spoon to tightly pack down.
  3. Place serving plate on top of ramekin and quickly invert.
  4. Carefully lift up ramekin, leaving mixture in mold form.
  5. Sprinkle with chopped fresh thyme and walnuts along with reserved pomegranate arils.
  6. Serve with crackers, apple slices or on a salad.
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How I Wormed my Way to a Turkey Trot Win + Giveaway

The Original Worm - Rolling Body MassagerI’m just sharing a day from my Thanksgiving – it’s all good and I’m giving thanks and feeling blessed!  The morning started with a run – the Thundercloud Turkey Trot (5 miles) in downtown Austin. Well, let’s back that up, it actually started with a worm – The Original Worm. The Original Worm is a massaging body roller that provides trigger point release to combat stiffness, pain and stress in muscles and joints – I’m hosting a giveaway and one of you will win your very own — so keep reading on!

Forearm Stand Variation - TheFitFork.omSo, why might I need to worm? Ha, have you looked at my Instagram profile! On Tuesday I was at the gym, and after my workout I thought I’d wind down with some yoga – it didn’t go as planned. While up in a forearm stand variation, I was taken down my a writhing, hideous calf cramp –  I was trying not to howl and cry in public and after it passed, it felt like I had pulled the muscle. Plus, my hammies and glutes were still super tight from an 8 x 800m marathon workout two days prior.

Thundercloud Turkey Trot 2015 - Jennifer Fisher

The Original Worm GiveawayThe early bird gets the worm –and I’m not kidding. I’ve been putting my way-too-early mornings to productive use with this therapeutic tool – it’s like cross between a foam roller and tennis balls wrapped up in neoprene (pink or black).  At first I was a little freaked out I wouldn’t be able to run the Turkey Trot on strained calf and tight glute. But, after rolling, whacking and a little wiggling, I was able to get rid of all my kinks before lining up on the start. In the end, the Turkey Trot went pretty well despite some rain and muggy conditions – out of a field of 20,000 participants, I trotted away with 7th overall female and 1st overall Master – and my calf kink is gone.

Of course, The Original Worm is a great recover aid too, and worming after a race or intense workout is a preventative measure for stress out muscles. It comes in a carrying pouch and both sizes are small enough to stick in a gym back, but big enough to get the job done.  Just look at all the things The Original Worm can do!

worm collage

So, if you run, Crossfit, yoga, rock climb, parkour, obstacle course race, play basketball, soccer or football, you definitely need one of these WORMS – it’s like having a massage therapist on hand at all times. Also perfect for travel – I use it for relief on plane flights or when stuck at a standstill in my car during rush hour! Oh, and this company is Austin-based which makes me love it even more!

Enter to win your own Worm via the Rafflecopter app below. Also, check out The Original Worm website to get the specs on the two sizes, colors, care instructions, more uses and such. Enter by Dec. 11, 2015! In the meantime, order a few to give as holiday gifts to your fitness friends!

Also, I have another giveaway going on right now for a $25 Visa Gift Card, check that out too – that one ends December 3, 2015.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Olive You! Easy Holiday Recipes and Entertaining Inspiration

As the holidays approach, I think fondly of all those who are near and dear – and also my loved ones further away. And, of course, the readers of my blog and friends and supporters on social media are on my mind and heart, what would I do without you all! I just want to let you know that it would be the total PITS without you . . .  OLIVE YOU! Because OLIVE YOU so much (bear with the puns please), I’m sharing some of my favorite ways to use olives in holiday recipes.

Olive You

First, it’s cocktail hour. Might I suggest skewering up a salty olive to complement a sweet drink – you’d be surprised at how well the combination goes. Because I fall on my face easily enough sober, I typically limit myself to ½ a drink. With just one “mini” drink, I can still wake up refreshed for the fiercest workouts and morning to-do lists, but can still enjoy a little taste of fa-la-la libations.

Cranberry Martini with Mezzetta Olive

Here, I’ve added a Mezzetta Olive to a Mini Cranberry Martini – it’s a tablespoon each of vodka and cranberry juice along with a splash of lime juice – and cranberries for garnish.

Mezzetta Olives for a Cheese Board

Holiday Olive TrayNo cocktail party would be complete without an olive tray and cheese board filled with delicious noshes –  olives, aged cheeses, seasonal fruit, artisan crackers and an array of almonds. It’s simple yet sophisticated as a focal “snack” for your festivities and also makes a lovely prelude to any holiday meal and creates an abundance of Mezzetta Memories.


Pasta with Blue Cheese OlivesSpeaking of holiday meals, think of all those busy-night dinners leading up to and after the BIG DAY where a huge roast or bird isn’t on the menu – yet you have a house full of folks who have worked up quite the appetite shopping, wrapping, visiting, caroling, baking or being on hall-decking detail. My recipe for Pasta with Blue Cheese Olives is the easiest, most amazing holiday meal that comes together practically in the wink of an eye – or as long as it takes to cook pasta al dente. If you’re making it after Hanukah, Christmas, Kwanza or whatever your holiday celebration may be, feel free to toss in any leftover main course protein such as beef tenderloin, pork roast or turkey breast!

Pasta with Blue Cheese Olives Recipe

  • 8 ounces uncoooked whole grain pasta
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup Mezzetta Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives, halved crosswise
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 12 ounces pre-cooked protein leftovers, like chicken, turkey, roast beef
  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat up olive oil in large skillet and saute garlic and red pepper flakes for approximately 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Add olives and tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes until warmed.
  4. Toss with noodles optional protein leftovers (warmed) and a little extra olive oil, if needed. Season with salt to taste. Stir in blue cheese while still warm.
  5. Serves 4.




Pasta with Mezetta Blue Cheese OlivesBeing able to make a speedy yet special recipe like Pasta with Blue Cheese Olives which uses extraordinary ingredients I wouldn’t necessarily use every day (including gourmet olives, bold blue cheese and sun-dried tomatoes) frees up my time to make more meaningful Christmas memories with family and friends that will last a lifetime. Plus, I appreciate the fact that Mezzetta, a fourth generation family-owned company, also values holiday tradition, family and providing the highest quality olives available from the sun-drenched soils of California, Italy, Spain, France, and Greece. I like to keep quite a few varieties of Mezzetta olives stocked in my pantry for impromptu salads, pizzas, pastas, snacks and more — inspiration is just a twist away!

Mezzetta MemoriesPlease visit Mezzetta to find daily inspiration and enter the Holiday Memories Sweepstakes for a chance to win the holiday memories sharing pack. One winner will receive an Instant Print Digital Camera plus an Ultimate Olive Lover’s Gift Basket and ten others will receive the Ultimate Olive Lover’s Gift Basket – I have one, it’s fabulous! Expires Dec. 31, 2015 – enter here.

What are your favorite holiday memories that involve gathering friends and family around good food? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

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Soccer Strong Workout, Injury Prevention + Giveaway

Fear Nothing. Give Everything.  I love this attitude of Storelli Sports, a really awesome company that makes next-gen sports protection gear for professional and amateur athletes.

TheFitFork.com SoccerThis company’s main market is soccer; you know how crazy those soccer players get – I’m being serious! Bodies crashing into each other, dives onto the turf, abrupt lateral movements, unwanted head-to-head, body-to-goal or ground contact and more.   I’ve got a kiddo who plays soccer (or you may call it football) – he also is into the rough and tumble sports of lacrosse and American football. So, it’s safe to say that sports injury prevention is always on my mind.

Storelli Next Generation Soccer Injury Prevention Gear

All this thrashing about on the soccer field sort of sounds like a day spent doing Spartan or another obstacle course race – and I’m thinking that some of their products may help me give 110% at my next race with  less worry of bumps, bruises, cuts, contusions and concussions. Yeah, that’s right I said concussion – the perfect reason to wear the Storelli ExoShield Head Guard, a comfortable and stylish soccer head guard that reduces incidence of cuts and bruises on covered areas . . . and may help lessen risk for concussion.

goose egg advilPlease note that there is no conclusive evidence on the concussion reduction, but I say “better safe than sorry,” seeing as I have given myself a concussion RUNNING (it was an epic fall) and also at the last Spartan Beast I slid through the mud and into a tree limb for a beauty of a  goose egg (and thankfully nothing worse).

Honestly, the Storelli ExoShield Head Guard (below) is so comfortable and weighs only about 8 ounces; you’ll quickly forget you’re armored up!

Storelli Soccer Head GuardStorelli Soccer Injury Prevention Gear

The BodyShield FP Sleeveless Undershirt makes you look like an intimidator showing off those guns and also offers innovative technology to help control long passes with the chest, along with protection on the ribs, to reduce the impact caused by physical clashes with opponents.  You may like this armor for trapping hard shots and reducing rebounds, I’m making sure my son wears this to every match. And then, I’m going to steal it out of his gym bag on race day to really help protect my chest and ribs as I hurl myself up onto some of the 10 foot walls on an obstacle course race or army crawl my body over craggy rocks.

Here is a great video rundown on how Storelli Soccer Gear can help you if you play a field position (also a video for goalie).

Did you know 50 percent of soccer players miss at least one game a year because of injury?  Wow, that’s half of the players out there, don’t let it be you — #InjuriesSuck .  Head over to Storelli Sports and check out their next generation soccer protection gear – right now you can get $10 off a purchase when you sign-up for the Storelli newsletter.

I also have a Soccer Strong Workout that will help keep you in tip-top shape for a healthy and productive season.

soccer strong workout

Do you or your kids play soccer”? Have you ever been sidelined with an injury in any sport? What preventative measures do you take to stay injury-free? Please share in the comments – XOXO, Jennifer

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How Athletes Sleep Better . . . with eve #EveryGreatDay

As an athlete who loves ALL the fitness things – running, obstacle courses, CrossFit, climbing, skiing and more, my body demands a good night’s sleep in order to perform optimally. Normally, I’ve been an “okay” sleeper, not a napper at all, but at least worn out enough by the day’s events to fall asleep and stay asleep without incident. But now that I’m a bit (ahem) older, I find myself tossing and turning every night – hormones and middle age anxiety may be partially to blame, but mostly I pin the insomnia on muscles that take longer to recover (I hate admitting that) and a really cruddy 25 year old bed (eek)!   Thank goodness eve showed up at my door!

How Athletes Sleep Better with eve

So, who’s eve? Well, she’s my new best friend, sleeping partner, secret sports performance enhancer and FIT for a queen!  This beloved mattress brand from across the pond has just arrived in the US – and now all us running addicts and gym junkies can sleep tight all night nary an ache or pain!

The eve mattress amazingly arrives folded up in a box, but pops out into a delicious nest of nighttime bliss – it takes just about an hour to get fully plump upon arrival.  It’s made of three different types of foam to create one amazing sleep experience – the bottom layer is a 17cm ultra-resilient base foam, the middle layer is made from 4cm highest quality luxurious memory foam and the top layer is 4cm natural latex which is antimicrobial and offers a bit of bounce if you like that sort of thing, and I do! Eve is just the right amount of support and cushion you need after giving your workout 110 percent.

eve mattress and thefitfork.com

Eve knows a great day starts the night before and I couldn’t agree more – especially when I want to be at the top of my game as an athlete! A study at Stanford University suggests that increasing sleep to 10 hours per night for a period of time improved athletic performance for tennis and basketball players – there’s no way I could do that on my old mattress, but it’s a dream come true with eve mattress!

Even if you can’t bank 10 hours (really, who can?!), strive for at least 7 or 8 hours per night. The journal SLEEP reports that inadequate sleep is correlated to declines in split-second decision making. Lack of sleep also depletes energy, hydration and breaks down muscle tissue – and keeps it from rebuilding again at night. Cortisol, the stress hormone, also rears its ugly head when sleep is compromised and this can have a direct effect on the way your body processes glucose for on-demand energy and mental focus. Bottom line, you’ll feel like you’re tanking, cranky, uncoordinated and scatterbrained without enough sleep.

Stop and Give Me Zen - Eve Sleep

In addition to getting some quality eve sleep stat, here are some other tips to help athletes get the Zzzz’s they need to optimize their next-day, next-level performance.

Follow a consistent wake-up and bedtime seven days a week. This means no late weekend nights or wild partying.

Bedroom only for sleep and  . . . sex. No computers, cell phones, television, video games, stressful or high-anxiety discussions, fighting and so on.

Establish a bedtime ritual. Make a routine out of taking a hot shower, winding down, drinking tea or whatever – train your body to know that sleep is coming!

Create a quiet, cozy and comfortable sleep environment. Black out curtains, soft sheets, and just the right temperature – you get the idea!

Don’t use caffeine after about 3pm in the afternoon. Caffeine has a half-life of about 3 to 5 hours and, in some, effects can be felt as long as 12 hours later!

Consider a natural sleep aid. Avoid prescriptions, over-the-counter medications and alcohol to induce sleep. Instead try a natural sleep remedy like drinking tart cherry juice or using lavender oil.

Divert attention during sleep fails. Instead of tossing and turning all night with a brain loop (worrying about a race or waking up in time), get up and move to another room and engage in a low key activity until you feel drowsy enough to try again.

I really am impressed with eve beds and hope that you will check them out. It’s a luxury product at a fraction of the price thanks to the fact that it’s shipped straight to your door without the hassle and expense of middle men. I dread going to the mattress store (not at all pleasant in my experiences) and one of the reasons it’s taken so long to get a new mattress. The company offers a 100 night trail – if you don’t like it, they pick it up and give a full refund with no questions asked!

Right now, if you visit eve and register with your email, you can get $100 toward buying a mattress online!


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5 Ways to Get Teens’ Taste Buds to Grow Up + Visa GC Giveaway

Even though my family eats (mostly) a healthy diet, I’ve been encouraging my teenagers to break their monotonous meal preferences and try new dishes with exciting flavors. As they move through high school and college there are so many diverse and cultural eating experiences that will be missed (along with a wider array of nutrients) if they are dead set on having turkey meatballs, plain brown rice and an undressed salad for dinner (an all-too-common menu). That’s why I was excited to hear how Birds Eye Veggies is on a mission to redefine the way we all eat our vegetables with their Birds Eye® Flavor Full line of bold and exciting veggies that can be enjoyed as a side dish or the main course!  Keep reading down to the end of the post for the Gift Card Giveaway.

Birds Eye Flavor Full Veggies - Buffalo Cauliflower

This got me to thinking. Can picky eating-children change, or do they just grow up into adults who are ultra finicky about their food? There are valid reasons why a young child may avoid certain foods at all costs — did someone say “temper tantrum”?!  Factors that contribute to a picky eater include all the legitimate sensory things you’d connect with food aversions like texture, temperature, taste and flavor. Picky eating is also encouraged by parental response as well as peer pressure when kids get a little older. Allergies, too, can play a welcomed defensive role in picky eating, a way your body tells you to say away from a certain harmful food – but I won’t get into that here.

I believe that with the right opportunities and encouragement, most kids can join the adult world of eating as they move into their ‘tween, teens and early twenties. One reason is that as we age, taste buds dwindle away from an average of 10,000 working taste buds in small kids to only 5,000 in adults – simply put, things start tasting less intense and we naturally seek out more flavor. To support this, a 2005 study published in the Pediatrics journal reports that most children do not like bitter tastes (often found in vegetables), while adults do not find offense.

Birds Eye Flavor Full Vegetables

Always funny or philosophical, this kiddo says “Potatoes are the ‘gateway’ vegetable”

Another interesting study conducted in 2012 at the University of Copenhagen reported that when children move into their teens, they have a decreased interest in sugary tastes and a higher sophistication to distinguish between tastes – however, they are often more resistant to trying new foods than toddlers! This is why, we as parents, need to set a good example by eating a balanced diet filled with a variety of colorful, nutrient-dense whole foods.

Here are some tips to encourage the teenagers in your family to become veggie lovers and also try out other exciting new flavors. Of course, if your teen is not eating because of control issues, an eating disorder, real or perceived allergies or other concerning reasons, please see a medical professional as soon as possible.

5 ways to get your teen's taste buds grown up

  • Get teens cooking: Not only does teaching your older children how to prepare meals create self-sufficiency; it also creates a more adventurous attitude about eating as they master various skills.
  • Host international night: Once a month, prepare a meal that features cuisine from a different culture – for example, Indian, Korean, Thai, or Italian (no pizza!). To keep everyone happy, every family member gets to select one recipe to be included on the menu, but has to eat at least three bites of every other dish. Have them invite a friend over who may just announce “ooh, I love curry” – and suddenly your son or daughter will too!
  • Focus on vegetable variety: As teens lose their taste for sugar (allegedly it’s a real thing!), support their savory side with more and more vegetables. Look past buttered green beans and toward more exotic or bold tastes, like Buffalo Cauliflower! Filling up your plate with a rainbow of vegetables is the easiest and tastiest way to optimize health, in my opinion.
  • Educate and relate: Share online resources for healthy and clean eating with your children. Older kids are smart enough to understand that eating vegetables and a variety of foods is best, but are sneaky when it comes to actually eating what you serve – just think of all the Brussels sprouts “dropped” on the floor or yogurt and berry parfaits swapped for pink cupcakes at lunch. I always share the story of how I traded my celery, peanut butter and raisin “ants on a log” for Ding Dongs at lunch and quickly lost my get-up-and-go for gymnastics practice in the afternoon.
  • Role model without pushing: No one likes a pea pusher, and even worse so if it’s your own mother or father. With most teens, realize that the more you “strongly suggest” you eat your vegetables or try new dishes, the more likely they are to rebel by absolutely doing the opposite. They are teens, they will come around – just keep the message honest yet low-key, the most important thing you can do is be a role model for clean eating.

Birds Eye Flavor Full Veggies - Buffalo Cauliflower

As I hinted, I’ve been using Birds Eye Vegetables in my covert parental plan to encourage my teens to embrace new foods. The line of Birds Eye® Flavor Full vegetables transforms plain veggies with bold and on-trend flavors – it makes eating healthy side dishes so much fun. Plus, I love the convenience of the Steamfresh packaging – you just heat up in the microwave right in the bag. When my kids are making dinner, having one less dish to clean up is a major selling point! The unexpected but utterly delicious flavors include Buffalo Cauliflower, Ranch Broccoli, Sour Cream & Onion Potatoes, Teriyaki Broccoli, Barbecue Sweet Corn, Sweet Chili Carrots, Wasabi Peas and Fiesta Lime Corn.  Check here for a product locator.

Head over and get a $1.00 off coupon that is good for 30 days once downloaded (but must be used by 12/31/2015).

Win a $25 Visa Gift Card at TheFitFork.comEnter to win my giveaway for a $25 Visa Gift Card — you can spend it on vegetables for your teens, or whatever you please. Although I really hope you get some cauliflower and beets!

Follow the Rafflecopter app directions to enter now through Dec 9th.




a Rafflecopter giveaway

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5 Ways to Make Gift Wrapping Less Stressful + Empty Roll Workout

Wrapping presents this holiday season doesn’t need to be stressful. In fact, it can be fun!  I recently visited my local Hallmark Gold Crown store to pick up some wrapping paper. I was so impressed by both the selection of gorgeous designs and also the heavy quality of the paper – plus the grid marks on back are nice for geometry-challenged folks like myself.

Hallmark Wrapping PaperSome people are truly artists when it comes to gift wrapping and others just aren’t – I probably fall into the “aren’t” category, but I actually like real wrapping and not just sticking stuff in a gift bag.

Although, I have to say that wrapping bulky items can be a little challenging – that’s why I like to make paper bows to “wrap” the larger holiday gifts at my house. Usually, I leave a little box wrapped up with scavenger hunt clues leading the recipient up to the hiding place – it’s so fun!

5 Ways to Keep Gift Wrapping Stress Fress

Here are some ways to make gift wrapping less stressful:

  • Have all your supplies on hand: I always keep a plentiful stash of scissors, tape, gift cards, pens, tissue paper, ribbon and of course, wrapping paper from Hallmark Gold Crown.
  • Don’t worry about perfection: You may see the little folding flaws or unmatched ends on your gift, but most recipients won’t care – if they even notice at all. Instead, it’s the time and thought you’ve put into thinking of them that will make the biggest impression! For example, I know my teen boys can’t wrap gifts well, but I appreciate that they make the effort and don’t pass the duty on to someone else!
  • Get creative: There is no rule that says the entire gift has to be wrapped or that there is only one way to get the job done. If gifts are huge, make a little scavenger hunt game as I mentioned . . . or if gifts are very small, wrap them up in a large box to throw off your recipient!
  • There is more than one way to make a bow: While silks and satins are lovely, it’s also fun to make a bow out of wrapping paper. My sister-in-law is a pro at this and she showed me how to take paper scraps and make pompoms, bows, fans, feathers and more – search Pinterest!
  • Get in the right frame of mind: Put on holiday music, make hot chocolate, turn on the holiday lights, make it an EVENT!

May I suggest a little workout to help get you in the right frame of mind for wrapping presents?  Breaking a sweat always lowers my stress level and when I have less to fret over, everything seems more fun – like gift wrapping.  This workout might seem a little silly (who couldn’t use a smile this time of year) but it’s actually based on some mobility workouts I do with a basic PVC pipe — you really need to try the workout, I’d hate for you to pull a muscle while wrapping presents!  Ideally, use an empty roll so you don’t mess up your nice, new paper — or not!

Wrapping Paper Roll Workout - TheFitFork.com

Also, while I was in Hallmark Gold Crown, I was surprised to find so many gift items that would make the family and friends in my life smile.  In the past, I have thought of Hallmark as a greeting card and wrapping paper store — but, WOW, they have everything from grab-and-go gifts to jewelry, home décor, kid’s items (I saw Star Wars and Peanuts gifts galore)!  I picked up a few bars of wonderfully scented soap from the Crafters & Co. Line – the soaps are packaged in the prettiest paper (hey, they almost don’t need wrapping, how’s that for stress-busting) and the scent made my car smell dreamy on the way home.  These  little luxuries are quite affordable and just perfect for teacher, neighbor, work Secret Santa and hostess gifts!

Crafters & Co Soap - Hallmark Gold Crown

So, do you like wrapping gifts or look at the process as a chore? What’s the weirdest shaped thing you’ve ever wrapped up?  What’s your go-to teacher or neighbor gift? Please share in the comments – XOXO, Jennifer

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5 Minute Plank Workout + Prevention R3 Summit

Planks can be compared to eating your veggies or brushing your teeth. You don’t have to like doing it, you just need to get the job done — and it only takes a few minutes per day. Just like vegetables or proper oral hygiene, planks are a great way to look good, feel good, improve your overall health — and attract new friends!  Ha ha!Jennifer Fisher plank outside

hood to coast planking with emilyHolding the plank position may look like child’s play, but don’t let the simplicity of this no-equipment, body-weight exercise give you a false sense of bravado.

Planks are hard and humbling. I’ve seen planks that can make grown men and women cry.  Recruit a friend to make the pain more fun!

Core strength, balance and flexibility are just some of the benefits you’ll gain from practicing a plank – plus, you’ll stand taller, straighter and prouder! Who am I to judge if you want to pull up your shirt to show off new found abs and obliques. In addition to the abdominals, other muscle groups used include those in the back, chest, shoulders, and neck. Getting into the plank position helps to loosen up hamstrings (lordy, I need that) as well as calves and arches of the feet. Planks also demand concentration and a focus on balance to keep from toppling over, especially in some of the advanced variations.

5 Minute Plank WorkoutBeing able to hold an abdominal plank for two minutes (with good form) is an indicator of good fitness.  Remember to tuck in rear end push belly button up, keeping a straight line from the top of your head to the back of your heels. Try my 5 Minute Plank Workout either in the morning or at the end of your next gym session. It’s just 5 minutes so no excuses, plus you’ll love the results after a few weeks! If you can’t hold the planks for the recommended amount of time, just lower into a resting position until ready to tackle the next one.

Or, try the whole five minutes at once, no variations to break it up — just go for it!

Also, I wanted to tell you to save the date! Prevention Magazine’s third annual R3 Summit is returning to Austin on Jan 15-16. I’ve been the first two years and can’t wait to go back to this health and wellness conference to learn new ways to take action when it comes to my health and happiness ((R3 = Revive, Refresh, and Reinvent).

Henna Tattoo R3 Summit AustinR3 is an award winning 1 ½-day long experiential event taking place this year at ACL Live at Moody Theater. Guests enjoy a wide scope of wellness workshops, fitness classes, tastings and health and beauty consultations – there is something for everyone and keep an open mind because you may discover something amazing that you never thought was for you – last year I was blown away by the Reiki healing and the artistry of the women doing henna tattoos.

But, you know I was also all about the clean eating demonstrations and meeting the celebrity chefs. I also “competed” in a wild tuna cook off!

TheFitFork Wild Planet Cook Off R3 Summit

Confirmed speakers for the 2016 R3 Summit in Austin on Jan 15-16 are:

  • Dr. Travis Stork -Emmy®‐nominated host of the award-winning talk show, The Doctors, and a board-certified emergency medicine physician
  • Lizzie Velasquez -motivational speaker, author and activist, A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story
  • Chad Sarno -culinary media spokesperson for Whole Foods Market and VP of Plant-Based Wellness of Rouxbe Online Culinary School
  • Monica Pope -James Beard nominated Houston Chef and Restauranteur, Top Chef Masters
  • Mary Joan Cunninghman – #ThrivewithMS
  • Dr. Mark Hyman – nine-time #1 New York Times bestselling author, practicing family physician and an internationally recognized leader, speaker, educator, and advocate

Save $20 on a weekend  pass by using discount code PVNR3AUFORK  at check out on the registration site.  If you’re going to be there, let me know so that we can plan a meet up!

So, do you plank? Have you ever been to Austin? Ever had a henna tattoo? Ever had your tongue read (oh, that’s a whole other post!)? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

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