All Posts By

Elizabeth Foot

Chocolate Chip Cookies That are Actually Nutritious

Simple Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies | Fit University

Let’s be honest, everybody loves chocolate chip cookies. Or just chocolate, or chips, or cookies. 

What if I told you your cookies could have a few servings of fruits, complex carbohydrates, AND sweet-tooth-solving sugar all in one?!

I adapted this recipe!

Time: 30-45 minutes

Yields: 5 dozen (so either claim the happiness all for yourself or spread some smiles to friends!)

Sh*t You Need:

3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs (if you have an egg allergy, use 1/4 c. tofu)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup uncooked quick-cooking oats
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate morsels
1 cup raisins (you can also use cranberries or dried blueberries)

Note: Depending on how much fruit you want in ratio to chocolate chip, feel free to add or subtract the amount suggested below you include in the batter. 

The Recipe

1. Beat butter and sugars at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla, beating until blended.

2. Combine flour, soda, oats, and salt in a small bowl; gradually add to butter mixture, beating well. Stir in morsels and raisins. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto lightly greased baking sheets.

3. Bake at 350° for 8 to 14 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Remove to wire racks to cool completely (give at least 10 minutes).

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Increase Your Motivation as Summer Heats Up

As you sit inside, cooled either by a fan or in-house AC, watching the temperature outside rise, it can be really hard to motivate to get out and moving. Doesn’t sitting in a cool room burn calories too? Won’t I get heat exhaustion or sun burn if I workout for too long outside? 

While the answers to these are both yes (with easy remedies of shortening your workout or stopping when you begin feeling faint, and wearing sunscreen), there is still reason to go for a quick bike ride or run out among the sizzlingly concrete and scorching sun. 

Working out in hot temperatures can increase your core temperature, and this has been shown to suppress appetites.

Not only does working in hot temperatures suppress your appetite initial post-workout hunger, it also leads to an increase in performance at colder level temperatures — so if you are doing a half marathon in October and do a lot of distance in July and August, you will be that much faster!

But it is just so hard to motivate! 

If you don’t want to run or walk, because we all know how incredibly painful and horrible sweating off every single electrolyte EVER off our bodies, try biking or swimming. Both are cooler ways to workout. Biking helps motivate you to create your own wind by pedaling faster and swimming immerses your body with much cooler temperatures than you would be dealing with on land (unless it’s a hot tub and then all I can say is that’s something you brought on yourself). 

 

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Why You Need to Switch Up Your Workouts

So you’ve been doing the same workout for awhile now…

Routines are easy. You go to the gym before or after class, you workout for an hour to an hour and a half, then you go home, shower, eat dinner, do homework, sleep and then do it all over again the next day.

It has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? 

But then you stick to the schedule, and three weeks later that super hard workout you came up with a few weeks ago doesn’t seem so hard anymore. Is it because you’ve just gotten into that much better of shape? Are you bored of the workout and don’t consciously push yourself as hard? According to Women’s Healthit could be both. According to Nick Tumminello, owner of Performance University in Fort Lauderdale and author of Strength Training for Fat Loss, the more you do something, the easier it becomes. In other words, “You burn fewer calories and build less calorie-torching muscle with every workout.” 

No, really. Adding 15 minutes to your elliptical workout isn’t going to do anything–go try the stair climber instead! 

But how often do should I switch it up? How do I switch it up? Changing your routine can sometimes seem overwhelming, especially when you’re comparing unknown, new workouts to your tried-and-true. Luckily, there are SO MANY options. And all of which are up to YOU! To make these switches a little less intimidating, I’m going to break down the major components of the changes you’ve gotta make. 

Who? You.

What? Switch up your workouts!

Where? At the gym, at the pool, at the track, anywhere.

When?  Every three-six weeks.

How?

By remaining static in workouts, two things can happen. One, as mentioned, you can get used to it and not get as much out of it. Secondly, falling into a routine, while habitual, can become monotonous and increase the chances of you skipping leg, arm, or ab day. When…. in reality:

Leg day, arm day, ab day could all be the same day!

Or any day. Ideally, you make those muscle groups work together every time you’re at the gym and switch up the exercises to keep it interesting. If different, new parts of your body are sore after your gym days, you’re getting the most out of your workout. (Of course, being sore is different than feeling tight or having pain, so make sure to know the difference!) 

I like to switch it up all the time. If it’s leg lifts, triceps dips, crunches, and running one week, I’ll try squats, pull ups, Russian twists, and swimming the next week. I find that rotating through exercises on a weekly basis is better for me than doing the same routine for weeks on end. 

So try something new this week. Go to a Zumba class, hop on the TRX you’re scared of at the gym, or give running a try (the weather is beautiful!). You never know what you’ll get out of breaking from your routine!

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How Rowing Gave Me the Strength to Overcome My Eating Disorder

The strength I gained from rowing saved my life.

I’m no stranger to competition. In elementary and middle school, I found as many ways to use my competitiveness as I could manage, playing every sport you can think of. Soccer, field hockey, ice hockey, ballet, gymnastics, volleyball, ballroom dancing, and even horse-back riding.

Once I hit 8th grade, my competitive nature started to have a dark side. I grew more and more competitive against myself, and fell into a downward spiral, striving for perfection. Before I knew what was happening, anorexia had taken hold of my life.

This same spring in 8th grade, I tried rowing for the first time. The sport was focused on power, technique, and strength. It helped me find a reservoir of mental strength I didn’t know I had; it ended up being the thing that gave me the strength to beat the disease. Rowing made me competitive against my anorexia instead of against myself; I was intent on making myself the strongest I could be.

I started rowing in 8th grade through an introductory program offered by my high school. For six weeks I woke up three days a week at 5:15 am to get to practice by 5:45 am so I could get to classes by 8 am.

Surprisingly, the early mornings weren’t a negative to me. They were a positive. 

Waking up early wasn’t hard, and the sport was so rewarding that I realized I wanted to continue even after the six week season ended. 

Once, I was told to draw a pie chart that diagramed the proportion time I spent thinking about food, weight, and looks in comparison to family, friends, and my hobbies. At the lowest point, my thoughts about food took up 1/3 of my mentality. It was overpowering my mind. And, yet when I rowed, all that chatter quieted down; all I would focus on was taking the next stroke. Following the person in front of me, one stroke at a time. There was no space for negativity, compulsive thoughts about food, or plans to skip my next meal when I was carrying a heavy boat or trying to remain in sync with my teammates.

 

It didn’t take me long to realize rowing was a sport for crazy people. It took me even less time to know I wanted to be crazy with them. 

In Boston, rowing on the Charles River has given me exposure to meet a diverse group of people who share a passion for being on the water. Meeting people I felt connected with at Radcliffe, CRI, or Cambridge Boating Club, I quickly learned I had stumbled into a fantastic and small world full of extremely competitive, supportive, and crazy people. I loved it. 

On a scientific level, rowing was beneficial not only because it helped regulate my stress levels, but also because it builds bone density. A major consequence of anorexia is osteoporosis, a disease characterized by weak, brittle bones that occurs from lack of nutrition.

Of course, I didn’t know this when I discovered rowing, and it wasn’t a factor in my choice to stick with it. That makes me so grateful for my decision. Rowing was helping me to build myself up for the future at a time when I was preoccupied with destroying myself in the present. 

After finishing my freshman year, I switched to private school and had the opportunity to row on the school’s team. By the end of that season, I had wholly recovered from anorexia, and I credit a good part of that recovery to rowing. Now, rowing does for me what my disorder used to: it helps me to cultivate laser focus and allows me to be competitive with myself. 

And now, I’m still rowing in college. The small rower I was in middle school no longer exists. Now, instead of worrying about eating too much, I worry about not eating enough.The possibilities of my body are endless– why would I want to ever hold myself back by not eating enough? 

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