Nature’s Sports Water + Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral #SparklingDetox Giveaway

This post sponsored by Gerolsteiner, but all editorial comments, opinions and enthusiasm are strictly my own.

I consider staying healthy and at the top of my game my job. In part because I’m a healthy food blogger, fitness ambassador, and competitive athlete, but also, more importantly, I want to be the best version of ME for myself, my kids, my husband, and my extended family and friends.Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water

If I don’t put my healthy living hydration needs first, then who will? Well, actually, Gerolsteiner will. Gerolsteiner isn’t my coach, my holistic wellness advisor, or even my German masseuse with hard-to-pronounce name – Gerolsteiner is sparkling mineral water!  It’s loaded with essential minerals, like magnesium and calcium, that the body needs and craves, especially after intense physical exercise. Read on to find out some benefits of drinking mineral water, how you can participate in the Gerolsteiner Sparkling Detox Challenge and even how to win a case of this body-beneficial water.
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How to Pick the Best Healthy Snack Bar + Energy Bar Giveaway

This post and giveaway are sponsored by Nature’s Path; however, the nutritional tips, editorial comments and enthusiasm are all my own.

Not all snack bars are created equal. And, with an entire grocery store aisle devoted to these popular between-meal munchies, it can be a confusing, tongue-clucking task deciding which bars to buy and which to avoid – some can contain more fat, sugar and calories than a candy bar! Not to mention concerning chemicals, additives and fillers.

How to Pick a Healthy Snack Bar

So, whether for a gym bag, lunch box or office drawer, read on to find out how to make healthier choices when it comes to snack or nutritional bars.  Also, don’t miss my giveaway at the end of this post for a 2-month supply of Superfood Bars from Nature’s Path. Continue reading

8 Ways Watermelon Sweetens Workouts and Runs #WatermelonForHealth

This post is sponsored by National Watermelon Promotion Board, and the content, opinions and enthusiasm expressed here are all my own.

watermelon hula hooping

I love all the fruits, but have BIG love for watermelon – that’s no secret!  I’ve tried to name the one single reason why I love this mega melon, but I can’t. There are just so many reasons I love watermelon — it brings back great childhood memories and has played a role in creating new ones with my kids, it’s insanely yummy enjoyed straight off the rind or used as a healthy ingredient in both sweet and savory recipes! But, other motives for my watermelon munching madness are the bumper crop of benefits for health, wellness and fitness.

For example, when it comes to fitness, the watermelon may be the only piece of workout equipment that can be eaten afterward.  While working out with a watermelon may sound crazy, it makes perfect sense – melons are available in a range of weights (from 2 pound personal-sized melon to seeded varieties tipping the scales at 30 pounds and beyond.  Watermelon isn’t expensive in a price-per-pound sense; I mean have you seen the price of a kettlebell?! And, this “two-fer” fitness fruit is really more of an amazing deal knowing you’ll slice open a melon to enjoy afterward (or even just drink the juice on the go).  Since I like to #KeepFitFun and put the “FUN” in FUNctional fitness – check out my video above that I hope inspires you to get after a watermelon workout and then refuel with the fruit for recovery!

8 Amazing Reasons Watermelon Sweetens a Run or Workout

Yes, watermelon is delicious and natural, so much better than a sugary goo when needed as a carb source for quickly sourced. The melons come by their name honestly, comprised of 92% water and loaded with potassium and other electrolytes that will help keep fluid levels in check and hopefully keep muscle cramps away. It’s also high in other vitamins and antioxidents that are beneficial for wellness and the L-citrulline in watermelon has been studied for its ability to quicken muscle recovery. Get more details on these benefits of Watermelon for Health at


See how eating watermelon is a win-win? Discover more fitness-focused watermelon facts that can help you up your game!  Make watermelon your workout buddy today and win fabulous watermelon prizes. All you need to do is enter this easy-peasy contest from Here are the juicy details:

  1. Tag a workout buddy (or someone you’d like to inspire to be your workout buddy!) in the comments section of our National Watermelon Promotion Board’s (NWPB) weekly video post on Instagram and Facebook. (note, this week, it will be my video that you see above)
  1. Win weekly watermelon prizes. NWPB will choose one lucky workout pair each week from October 3rd through October 28th.

Have you ever had watermelon specifically for workout fuel / recovery? Better yet, have you ever worked out with a watermelon?! Give me your best exercise idea, I might use it my next video – XOXO, Jennifer

Healthy Toppings for Yogurt + #KnowYourYogurt Inside-Out

Dannon #KnowYourYogurt

When it comes to feeding my family, I’m all about honesty and transparency. I never was that mom who tried to disguise cauliflower, peas or broccoli as something else – Instead, I just told the kids what they were getting, left it to them for sniffing, prodding and (hopefully) eating! If a certain food seemed to be less loved, I’d just strike up a dinner conversation about its particular powers, still telling the truth, but playing to the action hero infatuation of little boys.

jen  boys birthday 1

This journey of growing three little boys into strapping young men (almost 14, 17, and 19 years old) has been fueled by an enormous amount of food, I’ve found favor with a handful of companies who really listen to their consumers to create and deliver the food products that we really want – not just what’s easiest of most cost-effective to sell to us. While my boys may have been too young to care about exactly how and where their food was source, I sure did!

That’s why The Dannon Company, Inc. has been a brand I’ve trusted for years. We are definitely a family of dairy and yogurt lovers!  I am happy to report the Dannon Pledge to transition some of their top-selling brands toward production with nonGMO ingredients along with removing additives and preservatives. In addition to this customer-driven change, the company is also creating nonGMO feed for cows in their diary supply chain, the first national company to so.  As consumers, we’ll easily and clearly be able to determine which Dannon products are nonGMO by the label – this “transparent” labeling change will be complete by the end of 2017.

Dannon has built relationships with every farm they source milk from, providing us additional transparency in the nonGMO process. You see, Dannon knows what’s going with their dairy farmers from start to finish in the process, they care about the farmers and they care about us! Additionally, knowing who and where the milk comes from has helped Dannon implement and optimize animal welfare practices via the Validus Certification system.  At this time, Dannon estimates that more than 90% of their direct milk supply comes from farms that are Validus certified.

Dannon Oikos Yogurt #KnowYourYogurt

I am a huge Greek yogurt fan and love the Okios Greek Yogurt  — I get the unflavored plain variety so I can stir the sweeteners and toppings of my choosing. Hello beautiful things of Mother Nature, check out the Dragon Fruit, Mango, Blueberry “Flower” on top of Oikos. These are some other favorite flavor combos (not all pictured):

Healthy Yogurt Toppings to add extra yum to your breakfast, snack or healthy dessert.

  • Bananas & Walnuts with Honey
  • Strawberries & Almonds with Vanilla Stevia
  • Peaches & Pecans with Maple Syrup
  • Raspberries, Chocolate Chips, Chocolate Power Os from Love Grown Foods
  • Blackberries & Hemp Seeds with Lemon Stevia
  • Madarin Oranges & Pistachios with Sugar-free Chocolate Sauce
  • Apples, Granola & Peanut Butter
  • Almond Butter & Chocolate Chips

So, are you familiar with The Dannon Company, Inc.? They make something for everyone, learn more about the top-selling brands and the Dannon Pledge at:

dannon logo


Sooooo, what is your stance on genetically modified foods? What are your favorite yogurt flavors or toppings? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer 

This post contains content sponsored by The Dannon Company, Inc. The opinions expressed in my post are my own. For more information on Dannon’s move toward sustainable agriculture, naturality and transparency,and nonGmo ingredients visit and .

Yuck to Yes! 6 Clean Eating Mistakes to Avoid

YUCK to YES! Six kinda gross healthy eating issues and how to get past them!You’ve purged the fridge and pantry of processed foods, loaded up on organic foods and free-range proteins, and your produce bin is now a colorful rainbow of Mother Nature’s bounty. It’s a beautiful sight – and congratulations on your road to a healthier lifestyle! However, many of us unwittingly sabotage even the best-laid plans for a healthy diet because it’s either what we were taught to do because “it isn’t pretty,” . . . or, frankly, we’re just a little grossed out.  It’s time to just “get over it” and stop making these healthy eating mistakes!

Don’t scrape off brown stuff off bottom of salmon: Keep healthy fats in your diet by salmon gettyleaving on the brown-grey gunk found on the bottom of salmon.

I’m not talking about the skin (although that’s good for you too), but the soft, gelatinous layer found between the skin and flesh. This brown-grey stuff is the insulating fat for this cold water fish and also where the overwhelming majority of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids are found.

Don’t pour off liquid pooled on top of Greek yogurt: Despite looking like a cloudy mess that should be drained away, this liquid is actually the whey. Whey is comprised mostly of settled water from the yogurt, but it’s also where the protein, potassium, and calcium live! Stirring in the whey before eating your yogurt keeps the protein content in yogurt high, preserves important nutrients and promotes a creamy texture.

Don’t spit out fruit seeds: Despite your mother’s warnings, most fruit seeds are actually quite beneficial for your health (some companies are even selling packaged watermelon seeds to snack on – they’re good! ), containing a boost of important amino acids, vitamins and minerals. You can eat watermelon seeds!For example, watermelon seeds are an abundant source of zinc and the tropical papaya has an enzyme that helps fight parasitic infestation, a common health issue where the fruit is grown (isn’t Mother Nature clever?).  I’m not saying you need to go out of your way to eat every seed in sight, but it’s definitely does no harm to eat a few of them –and, a plant won’t sprout in your stomach!

Don’t peel vegetables:  Stop peeling your vegetables, especially if they are thoroughly scrubbed and washed. Purple Potato PeelNot only does it take a ridiculous amount of time to de-skin produce (like potatoes, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, onions, carrots, beets and others), peeling also robs your diet of important nutrients. A high concentration of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are lurking on the skin of your favorite vegetables – for example, the levels of iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6 and vitamin C found on potato skins are much more highly concentrated ounce-for-ounce, than in the rest of the tuber.  However, if you decide to remove the outer layer of vegetables for aesthetic purposes, save the peels and boil  with water for a vegetable stock.

Don’t avoid egg yolks and those “stringy things”: Let’s crack the hype that egg yolks are bad – yes, they contain cholesterol, but recent studies show that eating eggs does not ramp up the risk for heart disease. In fact, the yolk is where the bulk of an eggs super powers reside, packed with vitamins, minerals, protein and healthy fats that benefit the eyes, brain and remainder of our bodies. Egg ChalazaeAnd, if you’re grossed out by the white stringy things in eggs, don’t be. There is no harm in eating this ropey part of the egg, called chalazae. Chalazae are merely what anchor the yolk to the membrane and are not the beginning of little chick as many think. Egg experts say that the more chalazae you see, the fresher the egg.

Don’t chastise chia seeds over slime:  Chia seeds are rich in iron, potassium, calcium, omega fats, zinc, fiber, and antioxidants – and a good source of protein. However, the number one complaint of this super-food is the slimy texture the sand-sized seeds take on when wet.  Many don’t mind it, but others get the gag reflex. One way to reap the benefits of chia seeds, but avoid the gelatinous goo, is to incorporate a sprinkling of the seeds in smoothies or baked goods.

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding - TheFitFork.comOh, and if you’re looking for a chia seed recipe this Chocolate Raspberry Coconut Chia Pudding is one of my favorite healthy treats.




Do you have any tips on healthy eating, maybe some gross stuff that is actually good?! Please share in the comments below — XOXO, Jennifer

YOU Can Help Change Dietary Guidelines + Low Carb Beef Dinners

First of all, God bless America, land of the free. That being said, I feel free to state my opinion that I don’t like where the nutritional guidance dished up by the U.S. government, by way of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is taking us. For 30 years we have all dutifully listened to these recommendations about what to eat, first with the Food Pyramid and, more recently, with MyPlate and soon with updated 2015 Dietary Guidelines.

Things are always changing, and I’m really questioning the quality of science all this hootenanny – and I’m not the only one, right now we can all sign a petition to demand that quality science determine the 2015 U.S. Dietary Guidelines.

Eat Real Food

You butter believe it! Funny, but for realz.

You butter believe it! Funny, but for realz.

Remember how butter was the bad guy over margarine? Oops. Eggs are not awesome, no wait – we decided eggs are okay after all. How about the mandate to eat low fat, fat is making you fat, saturated fats are completely evil – a federal finger shaking that made most Americans run out and load up on overly process foods full of sugar and starchy carbs instead. Obesity and diabetes jumped through the roof. Apparently the science on that study was questionable. Oops.

Most recently the Advisory Council contributing to the upcoming 2015 Dietary Guidelines is pushing a dietary pattern that is higher in plant-based foods and lower in animal-based foods, citing sustainability, environmental impact and lower saturated fat. You can read their recommendations for yourself, I don’t like them.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE plant-based foods. I can’t imagine going a day, even a meal, without Mother Nature’s bounty of fresh fruits, vegetables and grains. Heck, I’ll make a dinner that features plant-based protein every once in a while because I just love variety. But, don’t go messing with my butter, my beef, my full-fat Greek yogurt. You’re really going to piss me off.

jennifer fisher fit foodie run beefSee this picture to the left? I’m not obese. I eat butter, beef, eggs, a rainbow of whole foods and a low-carb diet in general. I was even having a quote-unquote fat day, that morning. Guess what, I also exercise, care about my health and fitness and I don’t like the government telling me what to do.  Thirty years of federal nutrition “guidance” has made us fatter and sicker, lets take a stand and do something about it because #NutritionMatters.

Of course, all these federal guidelines must be well-intentioned, although woefully misguided. Who would purposely want to create a population where obesity rates have doubled over the last 30 years and are projected to rise to 50 percent by 2030, according to The Trust for American’s Health Report. Yup, that’s right ONE HALF of Americans will not just be pleasantly plump, but will be medically obese. The upsurge in obesity rates is equally as staggering with our kids. We are in a major health crisis here in the USA.

In a nutshell, it’s time for all of us to look beyond MyPlate and begin demanding dietary guidelines based on quality science that encompasses a range of different approaches.  We also need dietary guidelines that eliminate the one-size-fits-all eating plan and focuses on the needs of a very diverse group of people.  Newer, better, and more credible science needs to be backing up our food choices, we shouldn’t just be eating “what we’re told” without better proof. Rising rates obesity, diabetes and other health concerns isn’t the proof I’m looking for.

You can help shakeup the status quo and demanding scientific scrutiny in our dietary guidelines by signing this petition — in the process you may save millions of lives. I signed because I care about what I eat, what my family eats and the health and well-being of American’s in general.

Also, in the name of wholesome family meals that WON’T make you fat or unhealthy, I’ve rounded up a week of my favorite Low-Carb Beef Dinners. I enjoy all of these on a regular basis with a nice side of roasted veggies or a big green salad.

A Week of Low Carb Beef Dinners


Recipes from top, moving clockwise:

What are you doing to help your health? Do you think it is sometimes confusing to know what IS and what ISN’T healthy to eat? Please share you thoughts in the comments below and please consider signing the petition to demand that quality science determine the 2015 U.S. Dietary Guidelines. Thank you, XOXO — Jennifer


Anemia in Runners & Healthy Iron Rich Recipes

iron rich recipes thefitfork

It’s normal to feel tired after a long run or strenuous session in the gym, isn’t that the point?! However, if you notice increased fatigue, unexplainable muscle soreness or begin having trouble finishing workouts that were once part of your normal routine, the culprit could actually be an iron deficiency. One recent study suggested that more than half (56%) of recreational joggers and competitive runners suffer from an iron deficiency that may negatively affect performance.

jennifer fisher austin runner zooma

Iron topped off (thanks Team Beef) and running strong at Zooma Texas.

As a quickie science refresher, iron is needed to replenish the constant turnover of red blood cells (at the rate of 1% a day) and to keep this troop of tiny oxygen-deliverers adequately stocked with hemoglobin. Without oxygen moving from your lungs to every part of your body via the red blood cells, organs and tissues are not able to perform as they should, let alone at the optimal capacity demanded by the rigorous training schedule of an athlete.

So, why would a seemingly healthy person, especially an athlete, find themselves battling the malaise brought on by “tired” blood? Here are some obvious and not-so-obvious reasons for iron deficiency in long distance runners and other endurance athletes.

  • Diet: A diet that chronically avoids foods rich in iron may cause anemia, or at a minimum, lower than desired levels of iron. Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, or iron-fortified foods are the best sources of iron found in food.
  • Vitamin Deficiency:  Vitamin B-12 and folate both play a role in red blood cell development and can cause anemia if levels are low. A diet without leafy greens, fruits and beans (for the folate) and animal products (for the b-12) can be to blame, as can autoimmune diseases and intestinal problems.
  • Disease and Drugs: Some people consume adequate iron through their diet, but have absorption issues due to diseases including Crohn’s disease and Celiac disease.  Certain drugs may also inhibit the absorption of iron. Consult with your doctor.
  • Pregnancy & Woman Issues: Anemia is fairly common during pregnancy; a woman needs to consume enough iron for herself and her unborn child to avoid becoming depleted. Additionally, heavy menstruation and uterine fibroids can also wear away stores.
  • Sweat: Because iron is a mineral that can be lost through sweat, athletes (especially in endurance events) can become depleted, especially those who perspire heavily and during the summer months.
  • GI Distress: The gastro-intestinal distress, or “runner trots” that affect many athletes during and after events can cause iron deficiency through lost blood. Many are not even aware of the blood loss, as it is eventually passed as waste.
  • Footstrike: Believe it or not, some research suggests that the repetitive and jarring impact of the foot to the ground during running can damage red blood cells in the foot. This “footstrike hemolysis” only reduces trace amounts of iron in the body at a single event, but can add up over time.

So what can be done to increase iron levels and fend off that feeling of fatigue? Depending on the severity, medical professionals would recommend taking supplements and increasing the consumption of iron-rich foods. If you suspect an iron deficiency, please visit with your doctor. In the meantime, be proactive by boosting the amount of iron in your diet with these foods:

foods high in iron

  • Red meat (beef, pork, liver)
  • Egg yolks
  • Dark, leafy greens (spinach, collards, kale)
  • Dried fruit (prunes, raisins, apricots)
  • Iron-enriched cereals and grains (read the labels)
  • Mollusks (oysters, clams, scallops)
  • Fish (tuna, cod, sardine)
  • Turkey or chicken giblets
  • Beans, lentils, chick peas and soybeans
  • Artichokes


Combine with vitamin C. Iron absorption is increased when paired with foods loaded in vitamin C. Toss papaya, bell peppers, strawberries, broccoli, oranges, kiwi, pineapple and even cauliflower into your iron-rich recipes; they are all very high in vitamin C.

Pair with protein. Protein helps release the iron contained in beans, so serve them with beef, chicken, tofu, or fish (for example, beef chili with kidney beans).

Cook in cast iron! Research has shown that the iron content of food prepared in cast-iron was 2 to 12 times higher than foods cooked in other types of pots.  Acidic, high-moisture foods (like spaghetti sauce) have the highest levels of desirable leached iron.

Keep iron and calcium apart: As much as possible, try to eat iron rich foods at a different time than calcium rich foods — calcium can inhibit the absorption. So, for example, don’t eat a steak and wash it down with a glass of milk. If you take supplements, do the calcium in the morning and the iron at night, or vice versa. Thank you to Runnng Hutch at Matters of Course for reminding me of this tip.

Iron-Rich Recipe Ideas:

Crock Pot Sugar Snap & Orange Beef

Orange Sugar Snap Pea Beef – You’ll never tire (literally) of this beef slow-cooker dinner thanks to the spicy citrus sauce and orange slices.

Blue Cheese artichoke spinach eggs

Artichoke Spinach & Blue Cheese Baked Eggs – Artichoke, spinach and egg yolks makes this breakfast the best!

jennifer fisher - - farmers market beef veggie salad

Farmer’s Market Beef & Brown Rice Salad – High-iron beef unlocks even more iron in chickpeas, plus vitamin C veggies – it’s a three-way winner!

Simply green smoothie

Simple Green Smoothie – The spinach and hemp seed smoothie will kick up iron consumption for vegans and vegetarians.

What is your favorite iron-rich food? Have you ever been diagnosed as anemic?


Should You Be Taking a Daily Multi-Vitamin? #Vitafusion® MultiVite Review

Have you ever wondered if you should be taking a daily multi-vitamin supplement?  If I close my eyes, I can still hear my mom calling out from the kitchen, “Kids, don’t forget to take your vitamins.” So, even though mom almost always served a well-balanced menu with lean meats and fresh produce (lots from our own backyard), I swallowed that morning pill like a good girl, gagging as it sometimes got stuck on the way down, but complying none the less. Ironically, I stopped taking a multivitamin in college and my early twenties, a period when my nutritional intake was . . . how shall I say . . . less than ideal.

jennifer fisher - - vitamins like whatever

Well, I’m back on multivitamins and have been for years. Any nutritionist you ask will say that eating a variety of fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products is the preferred way to get your daily dose of vitamins and nutrients to keep your body functioning at its best. However, even with the best intentions, it is not possible to “eat clean” all the time or even wolf down large enough portion sizes that would give you the complete Daily Recommended Value (DV) for every vitamin, mineral and trace nutrient you need. That’s why I think taking a daily multi-vitamin is like an insurance policy; an inexpensive and easy way to proactively safeguard your body against the expected wear and tear along with any unforeseen damage!    As a competitive runner and CrossFit enthusiast, I rely on a daily multi-vitamin to help by body perform . . . and recover!  A product I have really come to like is the Vitafusion® MultiVites, read on!

Modern Me: Vitamins keep me healthy and strong!

Modern Me: Vitamins keep me healthy and strong!

I will point out that I supplement with a few other vitamins, based on my life stage and activity level. A well-rounded daily dose like that found in the Vitafusion® MultiVites is a good place to start; however it is so important to educate yourself on what types of vitamins, minerals and trace nutrients YOU need, rather than just blindly swallowing (or chewing). For example, a pregnant woman has unique nutritional needs, starting in the first trimester, to ensure that the baby develops properly. Active and older women (and I’m putting myself in both categories) benefit from increased calcium, which can help prevent bone loss and fractures. Vegetarians also can benefit from taking extra calcium, iron, zinc, and vitamins B12 and D.  Oh, there is so much more . . . it’s a huge topic!

So back to my favorite daily dose, Vitafusion® MultiVites. I originally stocked up on this product because I thought it would encourage my older kids to partake in their daily dose – and it worked! The company also makes a product portioned for younger children called L’il Critters.  Because I was already familiar with the brand, I was more than happy to give them a review after being sent a complementary bottle. Featuring naturally-sourced colors and flavors like berry, peach and orange, taking these chewable gummy vitamins seems almost like a treat – you only get two per day, kids! For sure a great tasting alternative to hard-to-swallow pills (you don’t even need water); but the best part of Vitafusion® MultiVites is so much of the percent DV has been addressed to help fill in any gaps in my diet.

jennifer fisher - thefitfork - vitafusion banana

Vitafusion® MultiVites offers plenty of perks for the body, but here are a few of my favorite:

  •  Provides 200 percent DV for vitamin D3 which is as much as 3 ounces of salmon
  • Provides 50 percent DV of antioxidant both vitamins C and A
  • Supports immune health
  • An excellent source of vitamins B12, B6, folic acid and pantothenic acid
  • Provides as much vitamin A as one cup of broccoli

Vitafusion® MultiVites are gluten-free and made in the USA. You can find them nationally at drug grocery and mass merchandise stores for about $11 for 150 count jar. Heads up, I get mine in a 250-ct jar at Sam’s Club and it’s a great deal – only a couple bucks more than the 150-ct container.