Friday, May 20, 2011

Summer's Top Picks for Healthy Foods

It's getting HOT, Baby, and what does that mean? Well, it means that you should get out there and soak up some Vitamin D during your workouts! Just another reason to get out and get active, and for those who suffer from a motivational lag during the winter you can come out of hibernation! (One more excuse you can't use...hehe!)

Well, the summer is also great because a TON of healthy foods are made all the more appealing. Fresh fruits and veggies can take center stage. How delicious does a cool watermelon or vine ripe tomato sound for a picnic, at the beach, or at the BBQ? These healthy foods fill you up and are also packed with immune boosting antioxidants and other nutrients that are good for you in many ways more than just your waistline. Here are some top picks and why you need to sink your teeth into them:

*tomatoes: these guys have beta carotene, lycopene, and vitamin C. They are perfect in salads and a base for soups.

*sweet bell peppers: getting it on with peppers is going to give you fiber along with vitamins A, C, and B6. Go spicy and you could help lower your triglyceride and cholesterol levels too. You can add peppers to a variety of dishes but you can eat them from off the grill too!

*squash: these have vitamins A, B, C as well as magnesium. There are tons of different varieties but all of them are low in calories and can be used i salads, grilled, kabobed, or baked into breads. I've also known people who use spaghetti squash as a great gluten free alternative to the 'real' stuff and with far fewer calories too.

*berries: these are antioxidant powerhouses and you'll also get a shot of vitamin C and fiber. They are perfect on the go snacks, add them to yogurt (and get your fix of calcium too), or toss them into a fruit salad.

*watermelon: they've got lots of antioxidants, like your berries, as well as vitamins A, B6, and C, but because they are 90% water their calorie counts are very low. That high level of water will not only fill you up but keep you hydrated too, just watch out for those seeds. :)


are one way to go. Blend these babies up and they make for a great post-workout refuel.

*Go fresh or local. Try to help support your local growers and opt for a local provider. If you can check out a farmer's market.

*Grilling is great! Many of these foods are flavorful enough and you don't have to add a ton of stuff that might not be all that friendly to your waistline.

*Toss It Out: All of these foods are great additions to salads, but be careful of what else you add in there because you can easily turn a healthy salad into a caloric bombshell. Getting too heavy with dressings, nuts, and high amounts of sugar are things to beware of.

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Come get into Prime Shape with ME this Summer

Hi Guys,

I have an opportunity to help get you into the BEST shape of your life right in time for summer!
For the First time ever, I have decided to host an outdoor AR Program Bootcamp in NYC. 5 Weeks of explosive energy, and memorable moments - leaving with more than just a tighter derrier you WILL learn new ways to workout and meet other like-minded ladies.

The AR Program Bootcamp June!

Winter is over, and now it's time to leave the layers behind and start sizzling for summer! Email me today if you’re interested in getting in on the action in JUNE. There are 10 spots left and I’d love to have you!

Get Tight, Toned, and SEXY for SUMMMMEERRR!!! You know I can help you… LET"S DO IT!!
Bootcamp the AR Way

Here are the details:

Here are the details:

When: Tuesdays at 6:15-7:15PM

This program is only offered for 5 weeks beginning this June!

Where: NYC: Pier 46 on The West Side Highway at Charles Street – Astro Turf Field

Why: Slim Down, Tone Up and Have Fun!

What: Think Running, Jumping Jacks, Sit-ups, Push-ups, Sprinting… Everything that’s going to get you the body you deserve!

Cost: The total 5 week package is only $125, which is a total of 5 classes (one/week) including bi-weekly motivational emails and surprise free products!

For more info – AR Program Bootcamp

To pay shoot Randi an email at: or


Amanda Russell

Health and Fitness Professional

Founder of Amanda Russell Workouts, LLC

Top Five Fitness Pet Peeves - A Monday Rant

Today's post is going to be a little bit of a fitness rant. Maybe I've seen one too many Easy-Tone commercials, maybe it was the addition of the clothing line that put me over the top, who knows. For whatever reason, today's post is going to be my top five workout and fitness pet peeves:

5) The Fat Burning Zone Workout on Cardio Machines. Okay, every time I see that option number in the menu on cardio machines, I can't help but laugh. Or sometimes it's depicted on a little heart rate zone chart, that little green block colored in below the 'Cardio Training Zone.' You'll note the heart rate numbers are pretty low, and if you actually press that workout option the effort is usually about a brisk walk. I don't like it because if someone new to working out were to just jump on the treadmill, it would be a fair assumption that picking this workout option would be their 'best bet' to losing weight, I don't fault them for falling victim to this one. There is a basis behind naming this low intensity zone for 'fat burning' but it's outdated and if you really want to get results and lose weight you need to UP the intensity and be working out in a higher heart rate zone. 'Nuff said.

4) Everyone and Their Uncle's Fat Loss Pills. It seems every single day I see a new reality show 'star' or other kind of celebrity endorsing their own 'unique' blend of ingredients all slammed into one pill that is the SURE FIRE way to get you to finally lose weight and being a champ. I think the latest is Ronnie from Jersey Shore and now of course in order to keep up with his Biggest Loser pal, Jillian, the other trainer has his. I apologize for not having the names on the top of my head because I don't really watch the show, but you catch my drift.

3) Those 'I don't workout and just eat whatever' People. I DO however confess to reading tabloid sleaze, but c'mon they are sitting their at every check-out aisle and if the lady in front of me is taking forever can you blame me for taking a look-see? You see tons of celebs, always super skinny and with amazing bodies, claiming, "I'm just genetically blessed, I NEVER workout and I just ate a whole pizza for lunch!" Okay, I don't know if they just think it's 'cool' to claim they never have to bust a sweat, but I disagree because exercise isn't something that is bad...too many great benefits. Now I do know there are people who are naturally slim, but I'm going to go out on a limb and call many of these folks out. I doubt they never workout.

2) Easy Tone My Butt. Okay, I opened the post with this one, and now more and more shoe brands have their version. The spokesperson ALWAYS says how they ditch the gym and now their lives are infinitely better because of these shoes. FALSE. A shoe change isn't going to give you a get out of workout free pass. If you want to wear them WHILE you're working out maybe they can give you some benefits, or in addition to your workouts, but a shoe isn't going to run a couple of miles for you, sorry Kim K.

1) Easy Tone Clothes. This one piggy-backs the last one and it only beats it out because this claim is even more ridiculous. You're telling me that a shirt is going to give me the same results as a real workout? Sorry, I'm not buying it.

Well, that's it for today's little fitness rant, and I encourage you all to air your own pet peeves if you'd like! Happy Monday and now go get your workout on! :)

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Friday, May 13, 2011

Your Gym's Germy Little Secret!


We all know that working out and staying fit is the best thing for our health, but the scary fact is that the gym is one of the most germ-riddled places around. Between all the sweat, close quarters, and general activities that take place there, one of the easiest places to get sick or pick up an infection could be during your workout.

Okay, now don’t take that as an excuse to pass up on the gym sessions…that’s hardly the case! What it does mean though, is that you need to be aware of the germ-fest that is around you and take precautions. Now, I’ve worked in a gym, and while it was a really nice one and we did our very best to keep it as clean as possible, there is just no way to stay on top of everything. There are also some things that I’ve seen people do that made me want to dive into a pool of Purell! we can’t control the sanitary or hygiene habits of those around us, but we can still take care of ourselves:

Wipe It Baby! I’m sure you’ve seen those sanitary wipe dispensers around your gym. They should be in all of them, if not the actual dispensers at least some paper towels and spray. Make friends with them. Wipe down benches before you use them and the same goes for the cardio equipment. It’s a kind of courtesy protocol to wipe these things down after your workout and you've gotten them all nice and sweaty, but not everyone does that. So before you use, wipe it, Baby!

My Face Goes Where? Think of the places that come into close proximity to your face: the benches, certain weight machines, but namely workout mats. In yoga classes there are plenty of stretches that have you laying face down on these mats, these mats are used by SO many people; they get flipped upside down, turned around, and by the time you get there your face could be on the side that was previously on the floor, or getting the rear view of another gym member. Again, grab a wipe and make sure to disinfect before you stretch.

Flip-Flops Required. In the locker room, if you plan on taking a shower, be sure to bring a pair of shower safe shoes. One of the easiest places to get a fungal or staph infection is by walking around barefoot. That also goes if you’re going into a sauna (a breeding ground for bacteria thanks to the hot and humid conditions), a steam room, or even just walking to the pool. Avoid being barefoot anywhere.

Have Waterbottle Will Travel! Waterfountains are also notorious for being germy, and this goes for all of them. Bring a reusable waterbottle for yourself and sip away. Of course it’s far better to stay hydrated especially when you’re working out and if it’s between a waterfountain and passing out, by all means guzzle away! But if you can, stuff that gym bag with your own bottle.

Don’t Touch! Even with the most wipe-friendly attitude you still can’t avoid touching everything with germs…this is also just a fact of life, we can’t and don’t want to be living in bubbles! So don’t be afraid of grabbing that dumbbell and going about your routine, but also try not to touch your mouth, nose or eyes without thoroughly washing your hands first.

Alright, that should give you some tips on keeping your immune system healthy while sweating through your workout! The intention of this post wasn’t to scare your into becoming a complete germ-a-phobe, but rather to just make you more aware. Have a great one and have you gotten your workout in yet?

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Monday, May 9, 2011

Awesome Dessert Pie Sans the Super-sized Calories

chocolate-mouse-pieHappy Monday, guys and this one goes out to all those who LOVE dessert but are not all too keen on all the calories that may come with it! This ultra low-calorie dessert has been featured before, but we wanted to bring it up again because 1) it tastes AWESOME (not funky like you sometimes get with low-cal options) 2) it is seriously super easy to make and fast 3) it can be made with so many twists and tweaks...if you want even more chocolate, pumpkin style, and even with mix-ins like cookies. Finally, we also wanted to do this because we're introducing a fun new gadget to the blog and soon to be the site. This widget is called the ShopGlider and anytime we put up a recipe you'll see below the little button with the message "Click to Add This Recipe to Your Recipe Book" which takes you to a place where you can choose to create an online recipe book. You do need to make an online account, but it's free, and again totally up to you. We thought it was a fun kind of idea and wanted to see what you guys thought. We also wanted to say that the ShopGlider isn't paying us or anything like that by trying to bring them visitors. It's really only something we wanted to share with you all that might make eating and making healthier dishes easier!

So, without further adieu, here's the skinny on this Ultra Low-Calorie Dessert Pie recipe:


  • 2 Pkgs Instant Fat Free/Sugar Free Vanilla Pudding
  • 2 Cups Skim Milk
  • 1 tub Light Cool Whip
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla
  • 1 Graham Cracker Crust
  • 1 Combine milk, pudding mix, vanilla and half the tub of cool whip. Mix thoroughly
  • 1 Pour mixture into crust and top with remaining cool whip
  • 1 Optional: Add slices of banana or crushed Oreo cookies on top


  1. This is one of my absolute favorite desserts. I am usually very skeptical of light, low cal or fat free desserts, I usually think they either have a funny taste or simply are not satisfying. This dessert proved me wrong! In fact, it is so good that people often ask me for the recipe with no idea how easy and ‘light’ it is. This is one dessert I would have no doubt about serving at a party or bbq, I guarantee the compliments will flow!
  2. The best part is that there are so many variations that will totally change the dessert, so you never get bored!
  3. Variations:
  4. Make it a pumpkin mousse pie by adding half a can of pumpkin (can easily buy this at any grocery store), and sprinkle the top with cinnamon
  5. Use chocolate pudding instead and add a crushed up ‘skor’ chocolate bar to the mix
  6. Use cheesecake instant pudding mix to make it a cheesecake pie
Prep Time: 5 min Cook Time: 0 min Ready in: 5 min
Click to add this recipe to your Recipe Book
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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Dynamic FIT Mom Awards -- Vote for who you think is the top fitness inspiring Mommy!

Well, we'd like to thank you all for your submissions into the Dynamic FIT Mom's awards!! Each and every woman was a superstar in her own right, but we've had to narrow it down to the top five moms, and now it is up to all of YOU to decide who ranks supreme. Here's the profile of our top five contestants:

Debbie Napieralski: "Debbie is not just an inspiration to her family and friends but to the entire community!" Being the only female in a house with four guys (a husband and three boys) and trying to keep the chaos to a minimum is a tall order, but she manages like a champ. The Napieralskis are a family of runners (even the dog is named Pre!) and weekends are either spent at a road race or leading a Fleet Feet Training Group run. Debbie is a leader of one such pace group and takes this role to heart, cheering her runners through their workouts, encouraging them if they are struggling in a race, and all-the-while joining them every step of the way. "She has inspired me to achieve goals I've never thought possible, and I know the same is true for countless others. I NEVER thought I could be a runner, but I've already finished a 10 mile race and am gearing up for a half-marathon next!" When not running, Debbie keeps her fellow companions fueled up...running does burn up loads of calories after all. Manning aide stations at events (such as marathons and 50+ milers) and post-race expo's, the spread includes of course healthy fare but Debbie is famous for her signature sugar cookies where creativity always takes center stage. "One of the best parts of running a race with Debbie is getting to see what kind of cookies she brings for after! We've had ones shaped like cows for the Cow Pie Run, shamrocks, hearts, running shoes...and the toppings are just as delicious."

Clara Peterson: "Having a woman pass me in a race isn't something that usually happens to me, but I couldn't believe it when I saw that she was probably about nine months pregnant!" Watch out guys, better keep those egos in check cuz this hot mamma is smoking fast! Though, Clara is no stranger when it comes to beating the boys. She was one of the Nation's top ranked high school preps in cross-country and track, went on to continued success at Duke, and then to run professionally. She's won plenty of titles and represented the USA at the World XC Championships, but her greatest victory is being an incredible mother and wife. Now married (and her husband is no slouch either...Jeff is a top ranked triathlete and when not training himself works as a coach. We're talking about one SERIOUSLY fit family!) and with two kids, nothing has slowed her down. Clara just gave birth to her little girl and already this foursome has been bonding on hikes and at the track. "Those kids are going to be superstars in ANY sport they do!" Clearly living a healthy and active life suits this family as any one of them could double as a fitness model too. "Clara is an inspiration to moms and women everywhere." And I think it's safe to say an inspiration to men everywhere to step up their game as well, they better watch out because that woman beating them very well may be running for two!

Janet Freerks: "Janet is the best at ANYTHING she puts her mind to...whether it is on a project, on the field, and most recently while tackling mommy-hood!" Some people are just born competitors and such is the case with Janet, she made a name for herself as a top soccer and softball player and today still does her best to do something active each and every day. She had an amazing example of support set for her as her own parents never missed one of her games, and she plans to carry on that tradition with her own little boy. "I will never forget the day, when playing as one of the only girls in the club football championships, Janet made a block on a guy, took him down, but when she came up had clearly broken her nose...she ran inside, put on some bandages, and then finished the game! We did win though!" Dedication and determination is clearly evident, but don't get us wrong, this mommy certainly has a softer, nurturing side too. "Seeing her with Cooper, it just melts your heart." She and her fiancee already get the little guy in on the family fitness fun with walks, and when he's old enough they plan to inspire in him the same kind of passion for health, sports, and fitness that both of his parents have.

Jo Ann Hunt: "Some women have a few children, Jo Ann has hundreds!" Don't worry, she hasn't been THAT busy, instead, Jo Ann is like a mother to the countless high-schoolers that attend the annual running camp that she and her husband (who has coached for the vast majority of his nearly 85 years!) put on. But her tender heart and care extends well past the end of summer, as most of the other staffers are either camp alums or former athletes of the coach. "Jo Ann, and Jim, give all of themselves to those kids, you can see just how much they truly love it! Their enthusiasm and passion makes this camp what it is and why these kids keep coming back year after year, even after they've graduated. Once a camper always a camper!" Jo Ann has raised her own children and is now granted the joy of grandmotherhood, but she has also inspired and cultured an appreciation of heath and fitness to multiple generations.

Kellie Malamatenios: "Every time I leave one of Kellie's yoga classes I feel not only re-energized and refreshed, but also already looking forward to the next one!" Teaching yoga is just one of this mighty mom's many forte's, raising three boys has certainly kept her busy but she always makes time to be their team mom for football. Setting an example of fitness and health since the boys were young, Kellie has always made working out a priority and used to be a body-builder. Today, she still likes to incorporate her weight room exercises and "likes to mix old-school with new disciplines." Her latest obsession? Kettlebells! So in addition to her yoga instruction she balances out the more centering focused practice with the high-intensity, calorie blasting boot-camp type workouts. She also tackles mountain biking, "sitting next to Kellie out on a ride, she spurs me on to push myself harder. Anytime I feel like slacking off she inspires me give it my all." Kellie knows just how important it is to treat your body right and she takes that same attentiveness to her family. "Yes, boys will be boys and I'm sure they may cause her plenty of headaches at home, but out in public all you see are true gentlemen, which is a rarity today. She's certainly raised them right."

Alright, so it's all in your hands! Vote for your top pick in our poll over at the top right-hand side of the blog, just under our newsletter icon. The winner will be announced on Mother's Day, so be sure to tell your friends and get them to vote before then as well...the more voters the more fun, right?! Then be :)

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