More bad news for additives…

A study released yesterday in the journal Nature suggests that ingredients such as polysorbate 80, lecithin, carrageenan, polyglycerols, and xanthan and other “gums,” all of which keep ingredients—often oils and fats—from separating, may be contributing to the rising incidence of obesity, metabolic syndrome, and inflammatory bowel disease by interfering with microbes in the gastrointestinal tract, known as “gut microbio.”

Please read more about this study here and here and then let us know if you still want to reach for that soy milk or almond milk…

Need almond milk without these emulsifiers? Try Udderly almonds! (or make it yourself)

Also, use this list as a reference for organic products with these emulsifiers. Whole Foods shoppers (like us) beware! There are still a ton of products that seem healthful but contain tons of additives approved by the FDA…

Let us know if there is anything you want the FITgals to investigate for you!



Walk it off…

“Take a walk” or “walk it off” is no longer just a good tip for when you need to cool off. Walk it off to literally walk it off…extra lbs that is.

My husband recently activated the steps tracker on his phone so while on a heavy eating/drinking weekend in New Orleans, I asked him to keep track to see if we were at all offsetting any of the damage done at places like Commander’s Palace. It turns out that when people ask me “what I do” to stay so slim, I should say walk…a lot. On an average weekend day, my husband and I walk about 25,000 steps. During the week, he gets in about 12,000 and I get more than that (although most of that is thanks to my lack of a desk job). On vacation, the place where healthful decisions go to die, we walked over 12 miles! That’s right…on both Saturday and Sunday, we averaged 12.3 miles each day. (Some of that walking was actually dancing…if any of our fit readers find themselves in New Orleans, do yourself a favor and head to Frenchman street for amazing live music).

But I digress…

There is research to back this whole benefits of walking thing up. By now, everyone has heard that you should get 10,000 steps a day, but an article that ran on the Times well blog this weekend called “Walk Hard, Walk Easy. Repeat” suggests people who only walk to get exercise, may need to push themselves a little more. According to the article:

A decade ago, scientists led by Dr. Hiroshi Nose at the Shinshu University Graduate School of Medicine in Matsumoto, Japan, started developing walking programs. They knew that walking was physically the easiest (and also the most practical) exercise for those in middle age and older, but the researchers suspected that people might need to push themselves to achieve the greatest health benefits. So they created a regimen consisting of three minutes of fast walking at a pace that Nose says approximates a 6 or 7 on a scale of exertion from 1 to 10. Each “somewhat-hard” three-minute spell was followed by three minutes of gentle strolling.

In their original experiment, the results of which were published in 2007, walkers between the ages of 44 and 78 completed five sets of intervals, for a total of 30 minutes of walking at least three times a week. A separate group of older volunteers walked at a continuous, moderate pace, equivalent to about a 4 on the same exertion scale. After five months, the fitness and health of the older, moderate group had barely improved. The interval walkers, however, significantly improved aerobic fitness, leg strength and blood-pressure readings.

Basically, research has been suggesting for a while now that “intense, interval-style workouts — brief bouts of very hard exercise broken up by periods of recovery — have been shown to improve the health and fitness of people who exert themselves for only a few minutes a week”….and we have talked about these studies on this blog. But this new research implies that applying that same interval mentality to walking may be just as effective.


So strap on those walking shoes and get those 10,000 steps…or less, but in intervals…or get to the gym…or a barre class…or,
you get the point. Just get moving!! Because even a weekend in the food coma capital of the world doesn’t have to be disastrous for your waistline if you get out there and move!


FITmama’s Cabin Fever Finds

When the weather outside is frightful, keeping the kids busy can sometimes be a challenge.  As a mom of two, I’m always looking for a fun activity or playgroup to save us from going stir crazy!  Checkout my top Cabin Fever Finds:


1. DIY Craft: Make your own play dough! Love this recipe from Parenting


1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup warm water

2 tbs. salt

2 tbs. cream of tartar 

2 tbs. cooking oil 

1 3-oz. packet Jell-O gelatin



1. Whisk all the ingredients together in a small saucepan. 

2. Cook over medium heat, stirring continuously, until the dough thickens and forms a ball. 

3. Let cool for 30mins. 

4. Repeat with various gelatin flavors to create a fun mix of colors for your child to play with. 


2. BLUE IGLOO (for all my DC mamas): Amazing Indoor Playgroup! 

Blue Igloo provides a welcoming, fun and dynamic environment for young children and their parents.  Blue Igloo is designed for children ages 6 months to 3 years.  The teachers work hard to create a stimulating environment for young children through toys, art, activities, languages and music.  Blue Igloo is open weekdays from 9:00 am until noon from early September through late May. Blue Igloo families are free to come and go as they please to accommodate their families’  schedule. Each child must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

3. SKY ZONE ( for all my MD mamas): Awesome Indoor Trampoline Park!!

My son is obsessed with jumping, climbing, and running, so this trampoline park offers a fun and safe place to wiggle, jump, laugh, and hopefully take a nap afterwards 🙂 Sky Zone Columbia offers open jump, a SkySlam court, SkyRobics fitness classes, Ultimate Dodgeball and special programs for toddlers, teens and adults. For just about any age, shape or size, Sky Zone Columbia is the ultimate 3-D play experience!


Enjoy and Stay Warm!!