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Fat Loss 

A refreshing blend of natural fat burners that cools you off and gets you swimsu…

A refreshing blend of natural fat burners that cools you off and gets you swimsuit ready for best results, drink before and after meals Source by bestfreshlife

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This Cranberry Agua Fresca Is Fresh, Light, and Actually Good For You

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With the holidays happening right now, we called on the Paleo goddess Cassy Joy Garcia, holiday hostess, blogger, and author of the healthy cookbook Fed + Fit, to give us her favorite healthy holiday cocktail. And as per usual, she definitely did not disappoint.

This lighter take on a holiday-themed cranberry cocktail has no alcohol, uses fresh, simple ingredients, and is perfectly Paleo. With mint, cranberries, and water, you’ll whip up a healthy drink that’s refreshing and bursting with flavor — perfect for sipping before, during, or after that big meal.

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Why You Should Be Putting Lemonade In Your Coffee

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As cooling caffeine-delivery systems go, your standard issue cold brew is pretty hard to beat. Hard… but, it turns out, not impossible. The evidence? Consider the Thunderbolt, an icy, tart, insanely refreshing drink that’s just a simple combo of espresso and lemonade. (And which I’ll be drinking every afternoon from now until November.)

I first encountered the Thunderbolt two years ago at Smith Canteen, a cafe in my Brooklyn neighborhood, and was immediately hooked. Since then, I’ve discovered that the formula, though inspired, is not wholly original—and actually has a devoted following among coffee geeks everywhere from Sweden to Mexico.

RELATED: 4 Genius Breakfast Ideas That Start With Avocado

The best part about this new breed of icy beverage? It really couldn’t be easier to make at home—no fancy gear required. Just grab yourself a glass, fill it with ice, and combine lemonade with a shot or two of chilled espresso or cold brew concentrate. Store-bought lemonade is fine (I’m partial to Newman’s Own) as long as it’s not too sweet.

Or, if you really want to play around, try swapping out the still stuff for some sparkling lemonade instead. Indeed, while its origins are hard to pin down, with its tart, citrusy edge, the Thunderbolt does have a lot in common with the espresso tonic, another (seemingly Swedish-derived) coffee trend that’s been the darling of craft coffee shops for a few summers now. (For the uninitiated, it is exactly what it sounds like: a glass of tonic water over ice, topped with a shot of espresso.)

RELATED: 14 Trader Joe’s Items That Will Basically Change Your Life

Coffee and soda hybrids of all stripes might just be the “it” drinks of the summer. During a recent swing through Charleston, SC, I stopped in at the Daily and sat in the sun sipping a delightful combination of grapefruit soda and espresso, garnished with a twist of orange peel. At Cocoa Cinnamon in Durham, NC, you can order a dark and sweet Kokytu, which consists of an espresso over an iced cane sugar Mexican Coke. And, at the new Stumptown cafe in New Orleans’ Ace Hotel, they’re serving the “Endless Summer,” a julep-inspired concoction made from cold brew laced with mint simple syrup and sparkling water.

But why stop there? We’re already dreaming of an amped-up espresso Dark and Stormy and a cherry cola cold brew.

This article originally appeared on RealSimple.com.

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9 Health Editors Share How They Practice Self Care

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Between long hours at work, weekend chores, dinner plans with friends, and time for your family, your calendar is overflowing. But can you remember the last time you took an hour, maybe even two, for yourself? If you had to think longer than a few seconds, you may want to consider taking a step back and reevaluating your schedule. Prioritizing everyone else in your life may seem honorable, but the reality is, totally neglecting yourself isn’t good for anyone. In order to take care of others, you first need to take care of yourself. (It's kind of like the safety messages on airplanes: "In the event of an emergency, please put on your oxygen mask before assisting others.”) So whether you’re facing a rough patch or simply going through the day-to-day grind, self-care should always be on your agenda. Need some inspiration on how to spend your me-time? Here are some self-care practices the editors at Health swear by.

RELATED: 5 Powerful Mantras to Help You Quiet Anxiety, Beat Self-Doubt, Manage Stress, and More

Sweat it out

"It’s the answer you always hear, but making time every day to exercise is my form of self-care. I’m a firm believer in that saying, ‘You’re only one workout away from a good mood.’ In particular, boxing is a huge physical and mental release for me, and barre classes take me back to my ballet days, which feels especially therapeutic. My other self-care move is curling up in my giant fuzzy blanket and watching Sex and the City reruns. It’s mindless and relaxing and just feels great sometimes." —Jacqueline Andriakos, associate editor

Tune in to YouTube

"When I’m feeling down, I typically turn to my favorite form of escapism: YouTube videos. Having a moment when I can just veg out, slap on a calming sheet mask, and watch a video by one of my favorite YouTubers (looking at you, Estée Lalonde and SoothingSista), allows me to momentarily get out of my own head. It might sound silly, but just like reading a good book, watching a good YouTube video takes me out of my own world and into someone else’s, even if just for 10 minutes. It’s enough time for me to put my thoughts and feelings into perspective and luckily, if I need more than 10 minutes of down time, there’s a whole YouTube world out there waiting for me to enjoy."—Julia Naftulin, editorial assistant

RELATED: 8 Relaxing Gift Ideas for a Friend Who's Stressed to the Max

Create a relaxing routine

"I’ve recently started a new nighttime self-care routine that I think has been helping me de-stress and fall asleep a little more easily. Step 1: Turn off the TV around 10 p.m. and force myself to stop refreshing my Facebook feed. Step 2: Make a cup of chamomile tea. Step 3: Turn off all lights in my bedroom, light a few candles, and set up my yoga mat. Step 4: Do the “Bedtime Yoga” sequence from Yoga by Adriene. It’s a 36-minute gentle yoga routine that includes moves to help you unwind and relax muscles, plus a short meditation to set your intentions for the following day." —Kathleen Mulpeeter, senior editor

Grab some knitting needles

"Lately I’ve been doing a lot of knitting. At first it was for practical reasons (I’m making my husband a scarf for Christmas), but I’ve found it has emotional benefits too. The repetitive motion is super soothing, almost meditative—it’s a great before-bed wind-down activity. I’m just bad enough a knitter that I have to concentrate a little on what I’m doing—I can’t knit on autopilot—so it’s very absorbing. I can be sitting on the couch or at the sidelines during my kids’ sports activities and find that 30 minutes has gone by without my even noticing. There’s the satisfaction of having something real and tactile to show for my time. Best of all, it keeps both hands busy so I stay off my phone!" —Jeannie Kim, executive deputy editor

"A few years ago I was going through a rough period in my life and I decided to take up knitting at night when I was having a hard time sleeping. My aunt had taught me the basic stitch when I was a teenager, so I went to my local Michael’s store and bought a bright chunky ball of yarn and got started. Since then, I’ve knit scarves for everyone I love, and this winter I’m planning on paying it forward with a knitting circle making scarves for homeless people in NYC." —MaryAnn Barone, social media editor

RELATED: A Meditation for Dealing With Conflict

Escape with Friends

"There is nothing better than coming home after a long day, lighting some great smelling candles, having a cup of tea and reading a good book in my bed. If I’m not in the mood to focus on a book, I’ll instead put on Friends or some other happy, funny TV show in the background and play games on my iPad. I could do that for days." —Chelsey Hamilton, editorial assistant

Pound the pavement

"If I can, I head out for a run. Especially in the cold weather, a run is very meditative for me—hearing each foot strike and a steady breath can be extremely grounding. And as someone who can’t sit still, classic meditation/breathing exercises do almost nothing for me to relax. Running is also a huge confidence boost—I feel powerful and in control of my body and mind. In training for races, I’ve forgotten how much a run can absolutely turn around my perspective. When you’re going out for a predetermined amount of miles, at a certain pace, on already tired legs, it can feel like such a chore. But last week, when I was feeling stressed and antsy, I decided to head out the door and run for however long I felt like. I came back feeling relaxed and re-centered." —Alison Mango, editorial producer

Pick up a good read

"I know it sounds cliché, but getting lost in a book is my favorite form of self-care. With a two-year-old at home, I don’t have that much time to read. But I sneak in 10 minutes here and there—on the bus, while my son naps, before bed. Right now I’m halfway through Amy Schumer’s The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo, and it is exactly the escape I need." —Catherine Di Benedetto, features director

RELATED: 7 Health Truths We Wish We Knew In Our 20s

Laugh at what you know

"For me, self-care is curling up on the couch and watching a TV show that makes me laugh. When I’m feeling stressed, my go-tos are reruns of Seinfeld, Parks & Recreation, 30 Rock, and The Office—I’ve seen all the episodes more times than I can count, but that’s the beauty of it. Watching them helps shut off the negative part of my brain for a while." —Christine Mattheis, deputy editor

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11 feelgood and inspiring fitspo mantras

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Is fitspo preoccupied with the appearance of health rather than health itself? We put these fitspos through their paces and boy, were we inspired. 

 

Girls Gone Strong

girlsgonestrong.com

“Hot body secret.”

It’s the holy grail of fitness – work hard enough to lose fat without getting bulky. GGS bloggers Neghar Fonooni, Molly Galbraith, and Alli McKee have distilled the science into a lean-out formula and paired it with precision workouts. They also jot the latest science news and have a free recipe book to download. 

 

Neghar Fonooni

negharfonooni.com

“You’ll want to work out.”

For fitness expert Neghar Fonooni, fitness equals happiness. Framed within principles of motivation, infused with her infectious energy, her counsel makes even hardcore kettlebell workouts sound doable (and fun). 

 

Mobility WOD

mobilitywod.com

“Find balance in going hard.”

Don’t know when to return to gym after an injury or trying to find the tricky balance between working out often enough and overtraining? Doctor of physical therapy and CrossFit coach Kelly Starrett has built his vlog around movement and mobility, spanning topics including managing pain and fast-tracking injury recovery to using exercise science to improve athleticism. 

 

Nia Shanks

niashanks.com

“Fit mind, fit body.”

Shanks embraces the relationship between mind and body, addressing psychological and physiological factors with humour and compassion. Her candid exploration of anxiety and motivation and the non-physical perks of working out are a refreshing antagonist to tyrannical body ideals and training manifestos. 

 

Mile Posts

mile-posts.com

“Love your run.”

Marathoner and mother Dorothy Beal proffers the practical lessons she’s learned during her journey from overweight to super fit. Her inspiring blog spans playlists tailored to motivation and BPM, running technique tips and even hints for hot-footing it with a stroller. 

 

Ask Lauren Fleshman

asklaurenfleshman.com

“Couch to half marathon.”

If you reckon you’re not a runner, Lauren Fleshman begs to differ. As well as penning the blog equivalent of a running encyclopaedia, sorted into categories such as technique, training, recovery, racing and nutrition, Fleshman personally answers reader questions, which are archived for your reference. 

 

Run to the Finish

runtothefinish.com

“Quirky, compassionate running.”

If the pressure to achieve an outcome cripples your buzz, take a step back with quirky running blogger Amanda Brooks, whose disdain for perfection gives this running blog an edge. The paradox is that by focusing on the process (you’ll be amazed by how quickly you forget about PBs), you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised by background performance gains. Brooks also canvasses strategies for overcoming sugar cravings and simplifying clean eating. Her relatable personal anecdotes are a pleasure to read too. 

 

Precision Nutrition

precisionnutrition.com

“Fitness myth buster.”

If you like slavishly following fitness tropes and trends, look away. This no-bulltish blog takes an unforgiving look at the fitness industry and scrutinises the merit of trends and ideologies. We love that the sharp wit is backed by solid science. Whether you want to get to the bottom of whether skipping brekkie will make you fat or what to eat before cardio, this is your reality check. 

 

Purely Twins

purelytwins.com

“All about balance.”

Gorgeous twin sisters Lori and Michelle have carved a niche with their fine balance of fitness, wellness and healthy living. With topics including workouts, food and wellbeing, every visit to the site offers fresh inspiration depending on where you’re at and what you’re looking for. 

 

LiVe Life Active

livelifeactive.com

“Reality check trainer.”

PT and fitness model Erin Weiss is a refreshing voice in an often-obsessive industry, calling out unhealthy extremes and the consequences of pressure to maintain an unrealistic body. Delightfully infusing serious topics and fitness training tips with lighter notes such as fashion loves, this resists being preachy while keeping it real. 

 

Comeback Momma

comebackmomma.com

“Big picture body bible.”

Firm legs? Taut abs? Whatever your fitness goal, fitness coach Jenn Mitchell has thought of it first and written a program to suit. Her blog, which she started after struggling with depression and weight gain, is sorted into specific goals. Her down-to-earth wisdom and a big-picture perspective to topics spanning family, food, fitness and fashion are genuinely inspiring.

Looking more motivational stories? Check out our September cover model story with Alexa Towersey. 

 

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7 of the best fitness social media accounts to follow now

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There’s no denying our Instagram feeds are a prime source of motivation. So we’ve sourced seven of the best social media accounts to help you stay motivated and inspired, grouped by your goals.

For fat-loss fortitude  

A Google search of ‘fat loss’ will see enough returns to bring on a migraine. We’ve sorted the sensible from the silly so you can maximise your shred.  

Alexa Towersey @actionalexa

Alexa_14.jpg

What you get: 

Along with inspiring quotes and epic action shots (no squatting in a G-string here, folks), Towersey posts weekly examples of fat-burning circuits and booty-building exercises for you to try at home. And as a woman with years of experience and who trains some of Sydney’s top models, you are inclined to take her advice. With a scientific yet readable caption style, Towersey regularly reminds you of why rest, recovery and stress management are integral to your fat-loss goals – ’cause, let’s face it, it’s easy to forget come Monday morning.  

What you don’t get: 

Half-naked selfies or long opinionated rants, thank goodness. Just knowledge, working examples and ancillary training methods so you can max your goals.

Top tip: 

“Train for your objective. Training to put on muscle is very different to training for strength, which is different to training for weight loss and different again to training for a specific sport. Remember, movement is not always progress. You can run in place and never get anywhere.”

Tom Venuto burnthefatblog.com 

What you get:

Tips on leaning out from a natural bodybuilder – because why wouldn’t you take advice from those whose job it is to eradicate fat? A science boffin, Venuto posts about once a week and covers current fitness controversies – from the science behind eating more fat to whether you should be performing a crunch. If you’re looking for less-ordinary tips with the backing of a lab coat and academic studies to give you an edge, Venuto is your man.

What you don’t get: 

One-size-fits-all workouts, training programs or nutrition plans. This blog is all about current research and the underlying factors affecting progress than cookie cutter routines. Sure, there are example workouts scattered here and there, but it’s not the place to go for daily pre-workout inspiration. You will have to plan your training yourself.

Top tip:  

“Doing nothing but cardio is a mistake. But cutting out cardio completely is also a mistake. The truth lies in the middle. Maximum fat burning occurs when you combine cardio training and weight training together. For health and weight maintenance, I would suggest three short cardio workouts per week, about 20 to 30 minutes per session. But for maximum fat loss, I recommend four to seven days per week of cardio or other vigorous physical activity for 30 to 45 minutes (based on results) at a moderate pace.”

NEXT: Muscle madness

For muscle madness

If you’re looking to hit up the weights room to improve strength, tone and support fat loss (or just to look bad-ass – guilty!), these are the web accounts set to inspire. 

Lauren Simpson (Snapchat: laurensimpsonnn)

Lauren-Simpson.jpg

What you get: 

This young Sydney-sider is the perfect combo of body composition inspiration and information. You’ll be spoilt with regular rig/ab selfies as she preps for her next bikini comp, behind-the-scenes access to her numerous photoshoots, supplement discount codes, high-protein recipes and – our favourite – weighted workouts ripe for screen-shotting. She even encourages it. 

What you don’t get: 

Anything cardio based – she just doesn’t do it (ectomorph and naturally lean body shape perks). Simpson is renowned for her powerlifting and hypertrophy protocols to create the curves that have seen her win a recent WBFF pro card, so she may be hard to relate to for those looking to drop fat and create curves more steadily. 

Top tip: 

A recent leg workout from her Snap stream:

Superset

» Paused squat –
3 sets of 5 reps

» Hamstring curls –
3 sets of 5 reps (toes turned out, heels touching) 

» Pendulum squats –
5 sets of 15 reps

» Split squats –
4 sets of 8 reps (each side, back foot elevated)

Nia Shanks (niashanks.com)

What you get:

Blog posts from a qualified trainer about everything from staying motivated to fat loss, but we particularly love her spiels on weight training. Not only do you get specific workouts and training programs based on your goals and time constraints (often with supporting video content), she also explains why you are doing what you are doing – whether that be a certain rep range or using a particular piece of equipment. It’s probably more suited to the intermediate weight lifter – although there are some body weight posts and beginner variations if you are just starting out. 

What you don’t get: 

Blogs about hitting the weights room to improve ‘flaws’ in your physique. Conversely, you also won’t get the ‘just love yourself as you are’ psycho-babble. Shanks finds a way to balance our mental health and self-confidence with our realistic desire to improve. 

Top tip: 

“If you strength train with the primary goal of improving your performance in the gym, you are setting yourself up for success. Unlike cardio, strength training is a great way to set positive, motivating goals that will keep you going in the gym week after week, month after month, and year after year.”

NEXT: For flexi fitness

For flexi fitness

The yogi yodas need their social fill too. To bring the zen to your computer screen, here are our top picks for scientific knowledge and practical tips to deepen the stretch.

Kate Kendall @activeyogi

Kate-Kendall-2.jpg

What you get:

Let’s face it – sometimes we just want to chill on the couch, look at some pretty pictures and be inspired to hit the mat in the morning. Aussie-born and -bred yoga instructor Kate Kendall’s Instagram account is our go-to for beautiful bendy moves in obscene scenery. Her captions remind us to get outdoors, be with friends and just stretch. Plus, it’s always kind of interesting to see where her career as a Blackmores ambassador and her own yogi studio take her – whether that be instructing nighttime silent disco yoga sessions or standing side by side with other fitspo celebs.

What you don’t GET:

Actual informative tips on the practice of yoga – for that you will need to head to one of her classes. 

Top tip: 

Kate shared this quote from Sharon Gannon, founder of Jivamukti Yoga: “You cannot do yoga. Yoga is your natural state. What you can do are yoga exercises, which may reveal to you where you are resisting your natural state.” Deep.

Rachel Scott rachelyoga.com 

What you get: 

Yoga enthusiast and the director of Teachers’ College and Development YYoga, Rachel Scott’s website is all about education. With clean lines and easy-to-read spacing, her blog posts range from the quick and simple step-by-step instructions on a particular pose to a moving diary-style entry on anxiety and depression and how yoga has helped to heal. Encompassing the merging of spirituality and physicality native to true yogis, her blog posts are beautiful, short, sharp and informative, and you can pick and choose what you read depending on your mood or motives for the day – the archives are pretty extensive. 

What you don’t get:

Regular updates – admittedly her posts are usually one or two a month, but at other times they are more sparse. If consistency is key to building your relationship with your blogger, then maybe look elsewhere. 

Top tip: 

“Our mats are not places to be perfect, or even places that we have to be particularly happy. They are places to be authentic. The mat is a place where it’s okay to cry. They are places to give ourselves permission to feel, practise self-care, and use our beautiful physical bodies to potentially shift our experiences. We can move with our feelings rather than cover them up.”

NEXT: For running ragged

For running ragged

For those who love to hit the pavement, these steady-state cardio training accounts will help get the blood pumping. 

Deena Kastor @deena8050

What you get:

If you are well and truly sick of an Insta-feed filled with puppies, children (yes, he/she is adorable but…) and green smoothies, take a look at former Olympian Deena Kastor’s running Insta account. Her photographs will have you pining for an active holiday or a stroll around your nearest river with regular snaps of stunning sceneries from her track of that day. Her captions are a mix of inspiring quotes, reflections on the running life and diary entries of her favourite events and experiences. Okay and yes – the odd dog/child/green smoothie does pop up (she has all three). We love it really.

What you don’t GET:

Boring activewear selfies or overtly posed stretches. Refreshingly real, Kastor would rather give you a glimpse of nature and push you to pull on the running shoes rather than her own (albeit lithe) body.

Top tip:

“When faced with a challenge, it’s easy to feel small, but go down that trail as fast and safely as you can and feel as majestic as the mountains that stand over you.”

 

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Seared Salmon with Green Peppercorn Sauce

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Seared Salmon with Green Peppercorn Sauce Recipe
Seared Salmon with Green Peppercorn Sauce
A simple sauce of piquant green peppercorns, lemon juice and butter top this seared salmon recipe. Green peppercorns come from the same plant as black ones, but are harvested before they mature. Typically packed in vinegar, they have a refreshingly sharp flavor. Look for them near the capers in most supermarkets. Serve with smashed red potatoes and sautéed kale.

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Sesame Chicken Cucumber Noodle Salad

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Sesame Chicken Cucumber Noodle Salad Recipe
Sesame Chicken Cucumber Noodle Salad
This sesame chicken and noodle salad couldn’t be simpler to make. It’s a refreshing dish to serve on a hot summer’s night or bring it to your warm-weather potluck: just toss the salad with the dressing when you’re ready to serve. Recipe adapted from Simply Ming One-Pot Meals by Ming Tsai and Arthur Boehm (Kyle Books, 2010).

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