How to Age Proof Your Abs – Diet, Workouts, Wellness for 40+

The plain truth is, as we get a little older, it’s harder to make muscles and convince them to stick around, especially in the abdominal area. The potential for maximum muscle mass lasts until the 30s, after that it’s a small gradual decline in mass month by month, year by year. Gasp, experts say a sedentary lifestyle can result in a 3 to 5 percent decline per decade! This loss of muscle is often replaced by a little extra padding around the middle or “muffin top,” even if you are in good or reasonable shape overall. Plus, the hormonal changes brought on by peri-menopause or full-on menopause don’t help matters much.How to Age Proof Your Abs in 40s 50s and beyond

The quest for a flat mid-section or six-pack abs in middle age or older shouldn’t be about rocking a bikini or turning heads at the gym, although I guess these are nice side benefits – but, haven’t we moved past this ego feed?!  Instead, appreciate what a strong core through functional fitness can do for your daily living. Strong abs help improve balance, stability, back strength and posture, and, in my opinion, can make you feel and look 10 years younger.  A strong core also lessens the chance for injury from actual exercise or random stupid stuff, like twisting the wrong way while holding a bag of groceries, keeping up with your kids, or even playing with grand kids.  Read on to get the tips on How To Age Proof Your Abs Continue reading

Speak Up and Help Make Organic Food More Affordable

This post contains content sponsored by the Organic Trade Association. The opinions expressed in my post are my own. For more information on Organic Trade, visit the GROorganic website

Do you purchase organic foods for your family? Read on. Looking for a larger variety of organic food in the marketplace? Read on. Wish you could afford to include more organic in your diet? Read on. Get confused about food labeling? Read on. Not sure what the hullabaloo is with organic food? Read on, read on, read on. I have good news from GRO Organic that requires your action.The Fit Fork - Food is Fuel

Before I get on to the important news that I need help with, let me give you my mindset on eating organic. ** I eat organic when I can, in a perfect world I would be a 100% consumer of organic foods. I think, in general, it’s better for the planet and better for my body (since I see use food as fuel for performance). But, it’s so expensive to load my training diet an feed my family with three teenage boys strictly organic foods. Plus, I can’t always find the organic ingredients I want for my recipes at local markets. In terms of produce, I typically prioritize my food budget so that I can avoid those most contaminated with pesticides and herbicides, etc. I purchase organic proteins when they are on sale, but otherwise I can’t typically justify the expense of my kids’ college educations. I hoard stock up on organic pantry items when they are on sale. I wish I wasn’t limited by these financial and availability concerns in the organic marketplace. ** Continue reading

Five . . .err, Make that Fifteen for Friday!

I don’t usually do a “5 for Friday” shoutout, but this week has been full of so many interesting, fun, amazing things that I though I should. Then, I realized I had excessively more than 5 things to share – so, you’re getting “15 for Friday!”  I’m talking about everything from amazing eco-wellness products from Shiftcon, the lotions I put on my face, a really cool app-based, customized meal delivery service, my latest ambassadorships, the 3M Half Marathon, mystery excitement news, and more! You have to read on to find out all the deets!

Jennifer Fisher 3M Half Marathon Austin, Texas 2017

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Why Athletes Should Eat Carrots + Fit, Fast Recipes

Trendy vegetables come and go, but carrots are a perennially popular pick in the produce department! I’m a non-discriminating vegetable lover and would never suggest kicking kale to the curb or saying bye-bye to beets, but these veggies, among other others, have enjoyed more than their fair share of time in the proverbial sun and now seem to be wilting away. But, let’s not forget about the tried-and-true carrot! Why Athletes Should Care about Carrots -- Health benefits that improve performance, recover and overall well being plus some easy, nutritious recipes using carrots.

All ages and all stages love carrots. Babies spoon up pureed carrots, kids munch on crunchy carrot sticks, and even finickiest of foodies can find a gourmet carrot recipe to delight.  Thanks to a host of health benefits and an easy-to-pack profile, this enduring edible also makes the perfect superfood for all types of athletes including runners, triathletes, football players, CrossFitters and other sporty types.  Plus, carrots are filling but are low in calories, with only about 50 calories for a cup of carrot slices or 5-ounces of baby carrots. If still questioning how carrots can help your athletic performance and need some great carrot recipes, read on:

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7 Reasons Runners & Athletes Should Eat More Winter Squash + Recipes

We’re well into cooler weather, have you been fueling your training diet with delicious recipes featuring winter squash? Since the onset of fall, the produce department has been bustling with beautiful displays of winter squash varieties such as butternut, acorn, spaghetti, pumpkin and more! I can’t guarantee these staples of the season will make you run faster or jump higher, but they will help keep your body health and your taste buds happy.  7 Reasons Runners & Athletes Should Eat More Winter Squash -- find out the health benefits of vegetables like pumpkin, acorn, spaghetti and butternut squashes and how they can  help fuel your performance. Find easy recipes too, ranging from soup and stew to baked goods.

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3 Vibrant Greek Yogurt Dips – Beet, Turmic & Matcha

Beet, Turmeric and Match Greek Yogurt DipsBrighten up any winter snack situation with these Vibrant Greek Yogurt Dips colorized with some of Mother Nature’s most vivid ingredients including beet powder, turmeric powder and matcha tea. No need to go all fake and freaky to create edible rainbow colors for your holiday appetizers and other fun recipes throughout the year. These natural ingredients are superfoods (typically found on the health food, spice and tea aisles) and not only pump up the pigment, but boost nutrition as well!

Beet, Turmeric & Matcha Greek Yogurt Dips are a vibrant addition to a holiday party, celebration or for home snacking! Can also be used as salad dressing, or drizzled on sandwiches, wraps, side dishes and more.

While there are lots of additional benefits, beet root powder boosts nitric oxide in your blood (helping circulation, blood pressure and stamina), ground turmeric is a spice that can help to reduce inflammation and lessen the perception of pain, and matcha tea is known to boost the metabolism, calm the mind and help protect against certain cancers.

tumeric-beet-matcha-powder The other beauty of these three Vibrant Greek Yogurt Dips is how easy they are to make – I originally created the recipes for Litehouse Foods using first their Homestyle Ranch Dip, then later the OPAdipity Greek Yogurt Dips and finally with Greek yogurt from scratch.  Using prepared dips (found in the refrigerated section of your produce department) is an “almost homemade” shortcut perfect when you need to pull together a party ASAP or at the 11th hour realize you didn’t bring a dish for the office shindig. I feel more than comfortable using the Litehouse Foods brand because they are VERY mindful to keep their products as fresh and preservative as possible.

But, knowing these dips aren’t easy for some of you to find (and that many prefer scratch recipes), I’ve written out the full preparation of the recipes (and then noted how to swap in the prepared dressings if that’s the route you choose). The base recipe is the same for all three dips, simply mix in 2 tablespoons of the chosen “superfood” ingredient and add extra garnish on top as desired!

These dips also take sandwiches, wraps, side dishes and steamed veggies to the next level with just a drizzle or dollop! Enjoy and Happy Holidays to Hue!

If you need a visual on the beet powder, ground turmeric and matcha — here are the products I used:

Beet, Turmeric and Match Greek Yogurt Dips
Beet, Turmeric & Matcha Greek Yogurt dips
Print Recipe
The base recipe is the same for all three dips, simply mix in 2 tablespoons of the chosen "superfood" ingredient and add extra garnish on top as desired!
Servings Prep Time
12 servings 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 servings 5 minutes
Beet, Turmeric and Match Greek Yogurt Dips
Beet, Turmeric & Matcha Greek Yogurt dips
Print Recipe
The base recipe is the same for all three dips, simply mix in 2 tablespoons of the chosen "superfood" ingredient and add extra garnish on top as desired!
Servings Prep Time
12 servings 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 servings 5 minutes
Instructions
  1. Add Greek yogurt to small bowl. Stir in all ingredients except for optional garnish. Let sit in fridge for an hour to overnight to let flavors mingle. Add garnish before serving.
  2. Serve with chips, crackers or veggies. Can also be used as a sauce or spread for sandwiches, wraps, side dishes, fish, chicken and more.
  3. To make with Litehouse Homestyle Ranch Dip or OPAdipity Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip, simply use 8 ounces in lieu of the Greek yogurt and spices.
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Starfruit | How To Use, Health Benefits & Stellar Recipes

starfruit sliced and wholeWhat is a Starfruit? The Starfruit (also known as Carambola)  is an oblong yellow fruit with five deep ridges running lengthwise — so crosswise-cut slices resemble adorable stars. An edible, thin waxy skin covers the golden flesh within that has a mildly sweet-tart flavor and crispy texture.  Native to Sri Lanka and the Moluccas, and has been cultivated in Southeast Asia and Malaysia for almost 1,000 years.

Starfruit as garnish to stir-fry

How do you eat it? Just slice it and serve, the skin is edible. However, some people prefer to peel it before eating. This five-pointed fruit is a fun way to dress up salads, cocktails and dessert trays. You can also use it to add a stellar touch to smoothie bowls and they are delicious poached. I’ve even seen some people use them to add a festive touch to the top of pies, upside down cakes and other baked goods!

star fruit

Excuse the hideous post-run hair and bad lighting but this is what a starfruit looks like before cutting.

What are the Health Benefits?  Starfruit is a great source of vitamin C and fiber. They also provide hydration and healthy complex carbs to fuel your body and brain. It also contains important flavonoids including quercetin, epicatechin, and gallic acid.  However, Starfruit (carambola) has high levels of Oxalic acid which could cause kidney stones or renal distress in those with or predispose to kidney disease. Additionally, like grapefruit, starfuit can interfere with the absorption of certain drugs. Anyone taking medication or that has kidney disease should seek the advice of their doctor before eating this exotic fruit.

How to Select and Store: Depending on the variety, Starfruit will be a light greenish-yellow to deeper gold when ripe. There may be some dark brown along the five ridges and this is perfectly fine. Flesh should still be quite firm to the touch. Store at room temperature until ripe and then refrigerate in covered container. Star fruit may also be stored in the freezer for approximately three months. To prep for freezer, cut the fruit vertically into star-shaped slices and spread out on sheet pan in a single layer to freeze individually. After hardened, transfer starfuit to a heavy-duty, zip-top storage bag.

Recipe Ideas:

Starfruit Upside Down Cake from Friedas.com Starfruit Upside Down Cake from Friedas.com

Chocolate Dipped Starfruit from Friedas.com  (I think ths is an amazing healthier treat for all sorts of holidays including 4th of July, Memorial Day, Christmas and other winter celebrations).

Chocolate Dipped Starfruit from Friedas.com

Celestial Starfruit  & Orange Kale Salad star fruit salad

Have you ever tried a starfruit? What did you think? If not, what is the most interesting fruit you’ve eaten? Please share in the comments, XOXO  – Jennifer

Ginormous Jackfruit, Everything You Need to Know

Jackfruit from Friedas.comWhat is a Jackfruit? Friends don’t let friends eat this weird fruit alone. Why? Simply because it’s jaw-dropping humungous and is known as world’s largest tree fruit. I highly recommend not walking under the tree that grows this monster-sized, greenish-yellow, bumpy-skinned, as they can weight up to 80 pounds!

Jackfruit tree - photo from Wikipedia

Jackfruit tree – photo from Wikipedia

How do you eat it? So, what can you do with a Jackfruit other that gawk at it or use it as an impromptu piece of workout equipment for a weight-loaded carry – haha!  Well, you can eat it, make recipes with it and stockpile it in your freezer!  The ripened fruit has been described to taste like a combination of mango-banana-melon. But, interestingly enough, the unripe fruit is very popular with vegans and vegetarians as a meat substitute in stir-frys, tacos, sandwiches, pasta sauces and more! Some say the taste and texture of Jackfruit is similar to pork, while others say it’s a chameleon that takes on whatever the predominant flavors of the recipe. The seeds have been likened to chestnuts.

Inside of Jackfruit

Jackfruit Flesh – photo from Friedas.com

What are the Health Benefits? Jack fruit is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin b-6, potassium and even some protein (about 3 grams per sliced cup).  About 1 cup of sliced fruit also has 157 calories and 1 gram of fat.

 How to Select and Store: Choose Jackfruit with bright green or yellow color, depending on ripeness, and a fragrant scent. Leave on counter to ripen. It should yield slightly when pressed. Wrap cut fruit tightly in plastic and store flesh in container. Refrigerate up to 7 days and freeze for up to 2 months.

Recipe Ideas:

How to Cook Jackfruit Seeds from Friedas.com

Jackfruit Vegan Chili from CoachDebbieRuns.com (she’s the biggest Jackfruit fan I know, so many other Jackfruit recipes on her site).

Vegan Jackfruit ChiliHave you ever tried Jackfruit? What did you think? What did you make? If not, what’s the weirdest fruit you’ve eaten? Please share in the comments, XOXO – Jennifer