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Health & Fitness

7 Easy Ways To Stay Fit This Fall

By | All Posts, Health & Fitness

Who doesn’t love the fall? The leaves are changing, it’s the perfect sweater weather and there is pumpkin spice everything. But with the sun setting earlier and holiday comfort food on the horizon, it can be difficult to stick to your health goals. When the temperature lowers, so can our motivation to stay active. Here are our tips to help you stay on track as autumn hits.

1. Enjoy The Outdoors

Take a hike—literally. With the mountains colored in splashes of red, orange and yellow, fall is one of the most beautiful times to explore the outdoors. The crisp cool air is better for your body and you can hike without the worry of overheating that can happen during the summer.

2. Take Advantage of Fall Activities 

You don’t have to be at the gym to get in a good workout. Fall is full of outdoor activities that will help you keep off the pounds. Running around a corn maze or picking pumpkins and apples can help you stay fit without sacrificing your favorite fall events.

3. Watch Your Water Intake

You may not think you need as much water in the fall because the weather has cooled down and you aren’t guzzling water to stay hydrated like you were in the summer, but that is not the case. Despite the weather change, make sure you keep up your water intake. Drinking water has many benefits for your health including increased energy and weight loss.

4. Yard Work-out

With all the colorful autumn leaves falling in your yard, use this chore to burn up a sweat. Raking and bagging leaves burns 350-450 calories in an hour, so you can work on your fitness while cleaning up the outside of your home. This is an activity the whole family can enjoy, because who doesn’t love jumping into a big pile of leaves.

5. Keep A Food Log

Research has shown that if you write down what you eat during the day it will help you make healthier choices. You can keep it simple and use pen and paper to write down your calorie intake or use apps such as My Fitness Pal that lets you scan the barcode of each item you eat. As you start tracking what you eat, you will notice patterns in your lifestyle and can take action.

6. Come Prepared

Fall is notorious for delicious candy and desserts and avoiding them can be tough when you don’t come prepared. If you pack healthy snacks to eat throughout the day, it makes junk food less of a temptation. A little preparation will help you stay on top of your goals and make it easier to say “no” when the Halloween candy comes around the office.

7. Don’t Skip TV Time

Sometimes getting to the gym is a struggle when an episode of your favorite fall drama is on TV, but you don’t have to skip the latest episode of This Is Us to get in a good workout. There are plenty of exercises you can do from the comfort of your own home. Walk on the treadmill during an episode or do sit-ups and lunges during the commercial break, the options are endless.

10 Expert Tips on Sneaking Exercise into Your Day

By | All Posts, Health & Fitness

Let’s be honest, nobody really wants to exercise.

Okay, some people do. Some people enjoy the rush of spending two hours lifting heavy at the gym, finding the most advanced hike they can and huffing it up a mountain, or going hard on their daily 5am run. However, for the rest of us – those of us who after a long work day just want to order in and collapse on the sofa, or feel like chasing your kids around is enough exercise for the day – there are fortunately plenty of things you can do to sneak in some extra calorie burn.

In the age of convenience, we don’t need to be nearly as active as we used to be. You can order anything from your sofa, from groceries to toilet paper. This results in a lot of bad habits that significantly cut out a huge chunk of exercise we could be easily getting throughout our day. Some of these tips may seem like they won’t amount to much, but a few daily changes will add up over a week! Movement and exercise also release endorphins and other chemicals in our brain that make us feel energized, alert, and more positive. If you are a mostly sedentary person and are often tired, have trouble concentrating, or just want to shed a few pounds, these tips may be for you!

1. Wake Up and Stretch

If you’re groggy in the morning and struggle to get out of bed, try standing up and taking just a few minutes to stretch out before starting your day. Stretching is great for your muscles and circulation, and can leave you feeling less stiff. It’ll also wake you up a little so you’re not feeling sluggish for your morning routine. Waking up with a full body stretch and making your bed will burn a few extra calories and give you a positive, fresh start to your day!

2. Walk Your Dog (or Your Kids) (or Your Friend)

It might be easy to just open your back door and let your dog romp around in your backyard with the kids for a bit while you stay inside and watch the news. However, you could be joining in and getting some of that quality calorie burn! Take your dog or kids for a walk, or take them to a park and play with them instead of just sitting and watching. Don’t have a dog or kids? Ask a friend to go on a walk with you instead of catching up on the phone. There’s probably a local cafe or shop you’ve been meaning to venture to; maybe ask a date out on a walk to go check it out!

3. Make TV Time Active

Bingeing time doesn’t have to be a guilty pleasure. If you have a gym, or a treadmill at home, try walking while you catch up on your favorite series. No treadmill? No problem! Keep a yoga mat or kettlebell by the TV and instead of plopping on the couch, try doing some yoga or simple weight training exercises while you watch. Doing a little workout will also keep you from mindless snacking while you watch (we all do it).

4. Stand Up More

If you’re in a waiting room, taking a call, or waiting on a bus, try to break the habit of sitting down when you don’t really need to be. Many people get into this habit, having sedentary jobs and waiting in traffic for an hour a day. Opting to stand instead of sit will not only burn more calories, it’ll keep you feeling more alert throughout the day. You can also try speaking with your manager to see if you can get a standing desk. Many workplaces will try their best to accommodate this request.

5. Sit Smarter

If you have a desk job and have to sit for most of the day, don’t get discouraged! There are subtle, simple exercises you can do even while you sit. Try flexing your ab muscles and holding it for as long as you can, and then releasing. Do a few stretches in your seat every few hours. Get creative – listen to some of your favorite music and tap your legs and feet. If you have a home office, swap out your office chair for an exercise ball! Balancing on one engages your core muscles, and burns calories.

6. Cook Yourself a Meal

Instead of ordering take-out or stopping at a fast-food joint on your way home, stop at the grocery store and get some ingredients to cook your own meal. Not only can you make a much healthier, lower calorie option than standard take-out, but cooking yourself is more of a workout than people realize. Working up a sweat in the kitchen, where you might be on your feet over a hot stove for an hour, is a great way to get in some distracted exercise. It can also be fun, if you’re cooking with a friend or partner! Put on some music, or a show in the background and get cookin’!

7. Park Farther Away

A super easy and simple way to add a few more steps to your day is to simply park farther away! Unintentional rhymes aside, this habit may seem inconsequential, but its really the small daily changes that add up over time. Instead of spending an extra ten minutes sharking around a busy parking lot waiting for that perfect spot right in front of the entrance, just park in the back and walk. You’ll not only burn more calories, you’ll get more of that vitamin D your body is probably craving!

8. Take the Stairs

Going off that last point, taking the stairs is a super easy but often bypassed way to get around that gives you a little extra boost. It’s usually faster than waiting for the elevator anyway. It really is the small steps that will make the big differences when you’re making lifestyle changes, so remember that next time you’re thinking of skipping the stairs.

9. Clean the House

Cleaning your home or apartment is a great way to kill two birds with one stone – it’s actually a great workout, and you always feel so good when you’re done and can enjoy a spotless house. You can make cleaning more of a workout and more fun by playing some music and “dance-cleaning.”…Don’t pretend you don’t know what that means.

10. Take More Breaks

Desk jobs can really make it difficult to get your exercise in for the day. Apps can help you make sure you’re reaching your goals, even while at work. Try setting alarms every hour or so to remind you to get up and stretch or take a small walk. Bring a water bottle to work and try to meet your water consumption goals so you have more reasons to get up for refills and bathroom breaks. Having a FitBit or other kind of pedometer can help you set and reach daily step goals.

Getting more exercise doesn’t have to mean starting a one-hour gym routine where you are lifting heavy or huffing it on the treadmill. Some of the best exercise you can possibly get is simply walking more. The great thing about most of these tips is that many of them take no or very little extra time out of your day! It’s more about making smarter choices than drastically changing your life. Anyone can do it, and you don’t have to wait until the new year to set new goals. Try some of them today!

Let’s Go Ride a Bike

By | All Posts, Health & Fitness

With the three-day weekend ahead and the end of Utah’s Bike Month approaching, there are a lot of reasons to get outside in this beautiful season and ride your bike. Utah has a variety of trails for all skill levels to explore. Here are four options listed from south to north:

 

Provo area

Provo River Parkway Tail

  • 15 miles
  • Starts at Utah Lake and goes into Provo Canyon
  • This is a beautiful trail to take into the canyon following the Provo River. You’ll pass Bridal Veil Falls at the northern end for a rewarding view (and a cool-down if needed).

 

Orem to Lehi

Murdock Canal Trail

  • 17 miles
  • Goes from 800 North in Orem to Timpanogos Hwy in Lehi, passing through seven Utah County cities
  • The original Murdock Canal was built in the early 1900s in an effort to bring water from Provo Canyon down to farms throughout the valley. Now the water runs through a pipe that the Murdock Canal Trail sits on.

 

Lehi to Salt Lake City

Jordan River Trail

  • 45 miles — but you can start and stop at any point
  • Parallels the Jordan River going from Utah Lake to the Great Salt Lake
  • This trail includes urban fishing bonds, cultural centers, demonstration gardens, shopping areas, parks and more!

 

Draper

Porter Rockwell Trail

  • 3.5 miles
  • Begins at Draper City Park in Draper, UT and goes to The Point of the Mountain Trail (which you can continue on)
  • This trail follows an abandoned rail corridor through the suburbs south of Salt Lake City. This trail is great for both walking and biking and offers beautiful views of the valley and mountains.

 

In addition to getting out on the trail, there are some engaging bike events tomorrow and in the upcoming weeks! Check out the dates and locations below or click here for all the details.

 

There are so many great bike trails to choose from — what are your favorites?

Loving Your Body by Veggie Lisa

By | All Posts, Health & Fitness, Inspiration

We are pleased to have Lisa Danielson, also known as “Veggie Lisa,” as a guest writer this week. She is a vegan nutritionist, High Fitness instructor and personal trainer. She has helped thousands of people in Utah and across the nation learn to love their vegetables. Subscribe to her blog VeggieLisa.com, or follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and More.

Being in the health and fitness industry, I have heard many times “Oh it must be so easy for you to stay in shape,” or “You are just a naturally small person.” Yes, that is partially true, I have a small build and bone structure, but there was a time in my life when I was overweight, and not just 20-30 pounds, but 60 pounds overweight.

When I look back at photos during this time in my life, I am smiling in each one. It wasn’t a fake smile, I was truly happy. Did I want to be thinner? Sure. But did it affect my self-esteem? Not really. I had just become a mother to a beautiful and healthy baby boy. He was perfect in every way. I couldn’t believe that my body had created him and he was mine, to love and to take care of. Although this baby boy is now a teenager, I cherish those days of wider waistbands, bigger bras, and a body that didn’t seem quite mine.

Over the last 12 years, I have gained and lost and gained and lost the same 40 pounds with three other pregnancies. My body has changed with each one. I’ve been a size 2 and I’ve been a size 14. But with every passing year, and the new changes that I see (hello, wrinkles!), I have learned the importance of loving my body, at any stage.  Here are some things that I have learned along the way:

How we look at ourselves, and how other people look at us can be very different 

A ‘flaw’ that we might focus on might be unrecognizable to others. Often what we see as insecurities, are most likely the things that others love most about us.

Your self-worth has nothing to do with what you look like  

Your best qualities are more than your face or body.  It’s quite possible that you have a sparkling personality, love to serve others, or put 110 percent into being a great mom and wife.

Be proud of your body

I have stretch marks above my hips from pregnancy. The other day I was at the gym and noticed my shirt had come up a little and they were showing. Instinctively I pulled my shirt down not wanting anyone to notice one of my “flaws.” After thinking about it, I thought I shouldn’t be ashamed, my body has gone through heck bringing four kids into the world, and here I am at the gym, despite my insecurities, to make myself better and stronger. For me that is a symbol of love, not something to be ashamed of.

Media images aren’t real!

I have been a part of the fitness industry long enough to know what tricks can be used, how lighting can be manipulated and what crazy diets models do to make themselves look good.  For the majority of women to have a six pack, you need to be less than 16 percent body fat. I did that once, and must admit I had some pretty great abs. Then my hair starting falling out and I no longer had a menstrual cycle. Not a healthy trade off.

Accept compliments

As women, we are programmed to not have the focus be on ourselves. Now if someone compliments us about our children, we will gladly accept that, especially if that child is a teenager or a toddler. But when was the last time someone paid you an honest, genuine compliment and you said “thank you”? I find myself making excuses or deflecting from the attention whenever I receive a compliment. As I’ve gotten older, I appreciate them more and try to respect the fact that someone felt the need to say something nice.

Loving your body doesn’t mean giving up on your goals  

I would say 99 percent of the female American population would like to change something about their bodies.  Does that mean they shouldn’t love it the way it is? Absolutely not. If you don’t love yourself at 190 pounds, I promise you, it will be the same at 120 pounds. The scale might change, but the mind is slower to catch up. Love yourself now, love yourself through the process, and love yourself when you reach that goal.

Be patient with yourself

This can take years to accept and implement. Don’t end up in a perpetual state of body hatred. Write a list of all the things your body has done for you. Chances are it will be longer than you think.  Trust me, there is no such thing as the perfect child, the perfect marriage, or the perfect body. And when I start to get anxious about getting older, I remind myself what a privilege it is to age, experience life, and most of all, love myself.

A Little More About Lisa Danielson:

My name is Lisa but some people call me Veggie Lisa. I am a mom of four kids who loves to dance, cook, exercise, shop, decorate, and enjoy all the beautiful things the state of Utah has to offer. I have had a very long journey to get to the place that I am now, strong and confident but most of all happy. At one point in my life I weighed 200 pounds. It took 11 long years and 4 babies later to finally learn how to nourish my body properly and be comfortable in my own skin. Being a lifelong vegetarian, I have a passion for vegetables and love teaching my kids how delicious they can be. Most people find veggies very, very, very boring. And gross. But not me! I love all things green and the more colorful my plate is, the happier I am. Vegetables don’t have to be boring! My motto is eat good, feel good, look good. When we eat good food and treat our bodies with respect, the rest falls into place.

Utah-Made Gifts to Show Your Mom You Love Her

By | All Posts, Beauty, DIY, Entertainment, Health & Fitness, Home, Inspiration

In case you missed all the incredible vendors we had at this year’s Salt Lake Women’s Show, we have gotten together a list of some of the best for giving your mom a great Mother’s Day. Take a look at these local merchants who do incredible handmade work right in your backyard.

For the Chronic Picture-Taker

She values memories above all else. Take the work out of it for her a get a professional to take photos of her and the whole clan. Pink Rose Photography does gorgeous work in Salt Lake and Utah Counties and will make your entire family feel comfortable and look beautiful.

For the Active Mom

Clothing: Get your mom some high quality workout wear from Belcorva. Perfect for runners, yogis, and weightlifters, Belcorva’s pieces offer versatility, quality, and unique pocket designs perfect for any busy mom.

Workouts: There is no better gift than spending time together. Register you and your mom a great activity to do together like a kickboxing class with I Love Kickboxing, HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) at Etude Fitness, or Barre Sculpt with Core 7. Working up a sweat together is a great time to bond.

For the Sweet Tooth Lover

If your mom is always happy with chocolate or strawberries, give her something a little different this year from one of these gourmet boutique brands. Sweet Tooth Fairy has cupcakes in every shape and flavor; while Farmhouse Fudge makes rich and decadent gooey goodness.

For the Mom Needing a Night Out

Today is the perfect day to try something new. Spice things up for your mom by sharing a great memory with her. Topgolf has a casual, super social atmosphere with the easiest golf you could play, food and drinks; and Painting with a Twist hosts evenings that give you a chance to get back in touch with your creative side.

For the Interior Decorator

There’s certainly no place like home, and if you’re anything like us, you know that part of home’s appeal is Mom’s unique and cheerful aesthetic. Check out handmade crafts from CB Creations, get some high quality paint from Chalk Couture for the Do-It-Yourselfer, support women from Kenya with Imani’s handmade home furnishings.

For the Mom Who Needs Some Zen

It’s no secret that being a mom is stressful. For the momma who has a lot on her plate, there will be nothing she’ll appreciate more than the chance to unwind. Set her up for some much-deserved rest and relaxation with a luxurious bath bomb from Bombin Baths, give her skin the royal treatment with products from Beauty Counter, and then finish with a new makeover utilizing locally made boutique makeup from Lemon Loves Meringue.

For the Fashionista

We all know that clothing is the trickiest gift to buy for others. These Utah home-grown brands provide great customer service, have modern, fresh takes on apparel, and make quality the highest priority. Your mom’s fabulous look will be covered from head to toe with hats from Gigi Pip, dresses from EmmaLou, and shoes from Copper Threads.

Brushless Beauty: How to Be Beautiful Without Makeup

By | All Posts, Beauty, Health & Fitness, Inspiration

We all love a good winged eyeliner or popping matte lip color, but today our objective is to focus on what’s beneath all that. Try one of these tips or all of them, and we guarantee you will feel more centered, alive and naturally beautiful.

Believe You Are Beautiful…and it Will Be True

Step one of today’s tutorial… is to take all your makeup off, sit yourself in front of a mirror, and take five uninterrupted minutes to appreciate just how gorgeous you truly are. Try to find personal time and a quiet place where you will be able to enjoy the silence and stillness while taking in your own demeanor just as God created it. Stripped away of “tools,” tell yourself the features you have that are unique and lovely. What is your favorite thing about your face, skin, eyes, lips, etc.?

It’s even more reassuring to go as far as thanking yourself or complimenting your features out loud. We know it may not be for everyone, as it toes the line of some new age jiggy woo-woo, but if you’re open to it, you’ll be amazed at the power of talking to your own being. Practice finishing the phrase, “Thank you {blank} for {blank.}” Such as “Thank you nose, for the sweet way you upturn just slightly,” or “Thank you eyes for the flecks of green you have that sparkle.” Think of the session as a form of meditation, and by the end of a short 5-10 minutes, you should feel a renewed sense of peace and self-assurance…a state of being that will make you look younger right off the bat.

Feed Your Body the Nutrition it Needs

Water, whole food, vitamins…and repeat. One of the best ways to keep your teeth white and skin firm is to start from deep beneath the surface. The right food and sustenance is imperative to keeping all of your parts looking their best. Olive oil is great for keeping the skin soft and supple, green tea increases elasticity, and kale keeps your largest organ firm. Soft cheeses help your teeth stay white, and eggs will make your nails strong. Also recommit to taking in ALL the water you need every day, and make the multivitamin sitting on your shelf a consistent part of your daily routine.

Care for Your Skin From Head to Toe

Finding the right facial mask or peel for your skin type is a great way to start when you’re looking to go foundation-free. Once you’ve tested a few products out and you think you have a winner, start doing treatments to your face at least twice a week. Freeing your face from dead skin while cleaning pores and addressing any other skin issues you may have will create the gorgeous canvas needed to let your eyes, lips and other unique features pop. But remember that your face isn’t the only skin people see: using a mask or exfoliant for the rest of your body will make your showers more luxurious and more productive for you in the long run. There are also great DIY recipes all over the web to keep costs low.

Determine the Finishing Touches

Now that you’ve done everything you can to bring your inner beauty outward, decide what small physical elements would make you feel polished and put together even when you’re makeup free. Shaping your eyebrows by waxing or microblading, hydrating and styling your hair with organic products, and choosing your wardrobe thoughtfully are all great ways to express personal style and confidence without ever picking up a brush. This is especially liberating during the warm months of spring and summer—so give it a try today! It’s time to stop stressing that all your makeup will sweat off (because you’re not wearing any), wear that springy dress you weren’t sure you had the legs for, and work that hairstyle you’ve been obsessing about on Pinterest. We hope these tips will help you feel even more beautiful inside and out.  

Coconut Chai-spiced Overnight Oats by Fueling Function

By | All Posts, Cooking, Health & Fitness

Hi! I’m April Tafoya, I run and healthy food and wellness blog called Fueling Function. I’m delighted to be part of the Salt Lake Women’s Show this year, presenting in the Fitness niche. Because nutrition is such a big part of my life and my business, I’ll be sharing a 20-minute meal prep demo during the event. Both show dates, April 27 and 28, you can catch me showcasing an easy, meatless option that you can prepare on Sunday and enjoy all week.

I’ll also be giving away and Instant Pot to one lucky participant, so I hope to see you there!

Today, I’ve got an easy-peasy breakfast recipe you can prepare on Sunday and enjoy all week: Coconut Chai Overnight Oats. Overnight oats became an overnight sensation a few years back because there’s no cooking involved. Simply combine a few pantry ingredients, add milk the night before, then refrigerate overnight. Overnight oats are also a popular choice among plant-based dieters because it’s so filling and contains no animal products.

 

Overnight oats are adaptable, too! The crucial ingredients are rolled oats, chia seeds, and your choice of milk. The rest is up to you!

  • For extra protein, add Greek yogurt or protein powder.
  • For fruity oats, mash a banana inside and top with fresh fruit.
  • If you’re feeling indulgent, add a dollop of peanut butter and chocolate chips.
  • And if you’re a chai tea lover, keep reading for one of my favorite combinations.

This oatmeal jar is reminiscent of a chai latte (or a warm bear hug, if you ask me!) I used pumpkin spice blend to achieve the chai-spiced flavor. There’s no pumpkin in pumpkin spice, just cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves (the same flavors are present in chai tea). It’s naturally sweetened with maple syrup and—best of all: there’s no cooking required. Enjoy!

Coconut Chai-spiced Overnight Oats

Yields 1 half-pint jar

 

1/2 cup rolled oats

3/4 cup milk of choice (Califia Farms Toasted Coconut-Almond Milk is my favorite!)

1/2 tablespoon chia seeds

1/2 tablespoon maple syrup

1/4 tablespoon pumpkin spice blend

1 tablespoon toasted coconut for garnish (see note)

 

In a half-pint mason jar or container, combine rolled oats, chia seeds, and pumpkin spice blend. Stir to combine.

The night before you’re ready to eat, add milk and maple syrup then stir gently to combine. Refrigerate 12-24 hours.

Garnish with toasted coconut just before eating.

 

Meal prep hack: Prepare 4-5 of the dry ingredients in jars for the week, then add wet ingredients the night before. So easy!

How to toast coconut: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange 1 cup of coconut shavings on a cookie sheet and bake for 5-6 minutes.

For meal prep recipes, training tips, motivation, and health education, visit my blog at fuelingfunction.com. You can also follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

7 Wellness Apps to Take Your Health to the Next Level

By | All Posts, Health & Fitness, Inspiration

Who here has fallen off the new year’s fitness resolution bandwagon? (*raises hand*) When it comes to fitness, we all have our excuses: lack of time, costly services, the constant struggle to follow a plan and meet goals. The good news? There’s an app for that! We’ve selected some top-rated fitness applications compatible with both Android and iOS. Each app is either very low cost or free—totally worth it regardless, if you ask us. Join us in getting back on track!

 

Aaptiv

App Store Rating: 5 stars

Google Play Rating: 3.5 stars

Aaptiv is the ultimate substitute for your favorite fitness classes. Top-rated on several sites, Aaptiv provides hundreds of classes to choose from, with the option of an instructional voice. Its audio format can also help motivate you through training for that marathon. Bonus: the app provides some awesome upbeat playlists. You’ll get the motivation of a personal trainer or fitness instructor in the privacy of your home.

 

Charity Miles

App Store Rating: 4.8 stars

Google Play Rating: 4.2 stars

 

Perhaps you already have a decent routine (because you’re doing better than the rest of us!) but need some extra motivation to keep moving. Charity Miles can get you off your rear for a good cause. Your walking, running and biking miles earn money for more than 30 world-class charities such as Habitat for Humanity and World Wildlife Fund.

 

DailyYoga

App Store Rating: 4.8 stars

Google Play Rating: 4.3 stars

 

Google Play selected DailyYoga as the Best Yoga App of 2017, and with one of the largest pose databases, it’s still a top contender today. The app has several classes available in the free version and is noted to be particularly good for beginners. Many classes are under 30 minutes, so you can finally fit yoga into your busy schedule. DailyYoga is designed to play nice with both Apple Health and Google Fit to integrate well into your overall fitness plan.

 

Headspace

App Store Rating: 4.9 stars

Google Play Rating: 4.6 stars

 

We are all about mental fitness! Headspace’s tagline is “Meditation and Mindfulness Made Simple.” Endorsements from the likes of Emma Watson and Gwyneth Paltrow, coupled with reviews from the New Yorker, Business Insider and more show just how popular this app is. It is one of the highest grossing meditation apps ever. Led by a former Buddhist monk, Headspace offers daily meditations for stress management, sleep and more.  

 

Johnson and Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout

App Store Rating: 4.7 stars

Google Play Rating: 4.3 stars

 

It may or may not have started the craze, but a New York Times article in 2013 certainly fanned the flames on the 7-minute workout trend. We suggest you go to the source. Johnson and Johnson’s official app, based off the findings covered in that article, provides detailed descriptions, instructional videos, a well-rounded library and an easily customizable routine. In addition, the app includes a timer—which is especially helpful for those who don’t have fitness-tracking watches or other devices. You just need your phone, a wall, a chair, and your body. Oh, and the app is 100 percent free. No excuses!  

 

MyFitnessPal

App Store Rating 4.5 stars

Google Play Rating 4.6 stars

 

Originally released in 2005, MyFitnessPal is an oldie and a goodie. The app is till rated No. 1 and No. 2 in for health and wellness in Google Play and the App Store, respectively. Powered by UnderArmour, it’s the mother of all smartphone calorie counters (Over 5 million foods in the database! An option to scan foods as you shop!) and one of the easiest tools on the market for nutrition and workout tracking. Feel free to check out the rest of UnderArmour’s extensive fitness app portfolio to pair with it. We might not ever not recommend this one.

 

Sworkit

App Store Rating: 4.7

Google Play Rating: 4.6

 

Not only does it have a catchy name, but Sworkit has also received some rather official endorsements, including from the American College of Sports Medicine. Although it does require some payment to unlock all the features, Sworkit is an extremely well-rounded exercise app. You can choose from yoga, cardio, strength training, stretching, etc., following an overall plan and subsequent workouts tailor made to you.

 

Maybe you’ve found your one true fitness-app-love on this list, or perhaps you’ve been inspired to go looking for something similar. Apps play off all the tried-and-true tactics of yesteryear—planning, tracking and motivation are key to achieving overall wellness. Your cell phone just makes it that much more convenient. Let’s get going again on those fitness goals!

The Best Places to Hike in Salt Lake & Utah County

By | All Posts, Health & Fitness, Inspiration

Utah is full of incredible places to take in Mother Nature’s beauty. Now that spring is here, we’re taking the challenge to get our buns off the couch and go outside into the world! We hope you’ll take the challenge with us and check out some of these greats trails all over Salt Lake and Utah County. We’ve ordered them by location, and then from least difficult to most…so whether you’re an experienced hiker or just getting started, there is definitely an option here to get you moving.

 

SALT LAKE COUNTY

Ensign Peak

1 mile round trip

It is believed the peak of this small hill is the viewpoint from which Brigham Young and several other LDS church leaders looked down over the Salt Lake valley and planned the framework for a new city. It’s a great easy walk, perfect for after work or a Sunday afternoon, and only takes about 15 minutes up and 15 minutes back down. The best way to take in this view is with a picnic basket in hand.

Donut Falls, Big Cottonwood Canyon

3.5 mile round trip

This hike is perfect for a short evening walk or a casual weekend outing for the family. There is about ½ mile from parking to the trailhead, but it doesn’t get too steep and has an incredible view at the end. The last 100 yards to the cave can get slick, so if you’d like to go up that high you may want hiking boots with spikes in the late winter/early spring.

Desolation Trail, Salt Lake Overlook

3.5 mile round trip

Set in Millcreek Canyon, this pleasant short trail elevates to an idyllic spot for viewing sunsets overlooking the Salt Lake valley. The trail begins just east of the Millcreek Inn Restaurant. It climbs approximately 1,250 feet up long and steady switchbacks. The scenery all along the way is vibrant with colorful flowers and wildlife, so take your time and appreciate the opportunity to make your Instagram feed look amazing.

Lower Bells, Bell Canyon

4 mile round trip

This is a more difficult trail and will not be for the faint of heart. Though she be but little, she is fierce. Weather on this trail is generally good this time of year, however it is common for the snowpack to still be melting, so hiking boots with spikes are recommended. The incline to the top is steady and gradual, but continuous. The last 100 yards to the falls may be icy, as the water is often still frozen in March. However the bluish-white hue of the falls when they are still partially frozen is noted by many as one of the greatest attractions of this trail. It also is a great family trail and feasible for small children 5 years old and older.

White Pine Lake, Little Cottonwood Canyon

10 mile round trip

Located approximately 5 ½ miles into Little Cottonwood Canyon and ¾ of a mile before Snowbird the trailhead is marked with a sign, information center, and small vault restroom. This favorite trail of Little Cottonwood has been beloved for years due to its valley beauty. The ridges carved from early glaciers that swoop down to clear cold lakes is a breathtaking vista. The trail is not too difficult, as much of it follows an abandoned road. There is a short section before the end of more difficult switchbacks, however they are not too long.The payoff of the lake’s beauty is so much sweeter after a short bout of hard work.

 

UTAH COUNTY

Cascade Springs, Provo Canyon

1 mile round trip

This small, beautiful nature walk goes along several natural springs and is suitable for all ages, including those with ADA needs. Wooden boardwalks surround all the springs and give the young and young at heart a sweet view into nature’s wonders. It is fun and easy and a great option for anyone looking to get out of the house for a short while.

Timpanogos Cave

3 mile round trip

The trail is paved and begins right beside the Visitor Center. The incline is a bit steep, but virtually anyone in good health will be able to walk this path, so long as time and care is taken for all members of your party. This portion goes 1 ½ miles up and then 1 ½ back down. The view is beautiful, and you can get some great photos outside the cave at this point.

Should you choose to go farther, there are many tours through the caves which are scheduled in advance and planned for groups of approximately 20 people. Ticket prices range from FREE to $8.00 per person, varying by age. These walks through the caves are led by a guide and are full of fascinating geological and historical information.

Julie Andrews Meadow, American Fork Canyon

3.5 mile round trip

Located in American Fork Canyon, this quirky area was named for its peculiar resemblance to a well-known scene in The Sound of Music. The field is along the Timpooneke Trail, also known as Chris’ Flat Trail. Lush green grass, flowers in bloom, and just a bit of snow scattered along the Timpanogos ridge in the background create a beautiful early-spring view. Enjoy it with the family and a picnic. You’ll be sure to have a great time.

Mount Nebo

8.5 mile round trip

It is a common misconception among many Utahns that Mount Timpanogos is the highest peak along the Wasatch front, however the truth is Mount Nebo is 179 feet higher than Timp…making it the true “papa bear” in the Wasatch range.  The hike will take a full day to be sure, but is not terribly crowded most of the time and is riddled with stunning views. It is a moderate to difficult trail with certain sections being quite vertical on a rocky ridge. However, if you don’t mind adding a little more length to the hike there are some loop-arounds and switchbacks that decrease the time your elevation will be steep. Thunderstorms tend to come and go quickly, especially in the spring, so be prepared for this hike with a good rain jacket, hiking boots, food, and water.

 

We hope you enjoyed this list of great hikes across the Wasatch front. Let us know in the comments which ones you have done and any details about them we may have missed! Do you have any other favorites we didn’t list here? We’d love to hear. Enjoy the spring and get outside!

Swap Flowers for Flourless Chocolate Berry Cake!

By | All Posts, Cooking, Health & Fitness

Maybe flowers aren’t your thing? How about treating yourself to a flourless chocolate berry cake?!

Wendy Paul of Core 7 shared another of the 150 delicious recipes from the Core 7 Fueled book below!

 

Flourless Chocolate Berry Cake

Serves 8-10

Fat 8  ||  Carbs  9  || Protein 4  || Calories 131

GF

 

 Ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup unrefined coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Fresh berries for garnish

In a small saucepan, heat cream 1-2 minutes over medium heat until it starts to simmer. Remove from the heat and add chocolate. Let the cream stand for 2 more minutes until it has melted. Then start to stir the chocolate. It will come together to be dark, smooth and rich. Cool slightly.

Then gently stir one egg at a time, combining mixture completely before adding another egg. Repeat until all the eggs have been added. Add the vanilla and sugar, stirring to combine. Pour batter into a greased and parchment lined 8” spring form pan.

Bake at 325 degrees for 40-45 minutes, in a steam bath. Place another baking dish filled with 2” of water below the cake while baking. Remove from the oven, the cake will be a little soft in the center. Once the cake has cooled, top with fresh berries. Makes 12 servings.

 

Hope you get a chance to treat yourself, or if you feel like sharing, you can make it for Valentine’s Day! (And, if you’d like to check out all the recipes, you can buy the book here!)