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Heart-Healthy Thanksgiving Tips




By Nora Bass | Go Red for Women

Thanksgiving is about enjoying time with our family and celebrating with traditional foods we know and love. However, the holiday can impact the time we usually reserve for our healthy routines and involve meals that are not exactly made to be heart-healthy!

To keep your diet and health in check over the Thanksgiving holiday, try these ideas below, including ways to minimize stress and smart substitutions for your holiday meals.

Try healthy substitutes

We love family recipes, and these simple tricks make them better for you and your family’s heart health (without totally changing the taste).


  • Instead of butter, substitute equal parts cinnamon-flavored, no-sugar-added applesauce.
  • Instead of sugar, use a lower-calorie sugar substitute.
  • Instead of whole or heavy cream, substitute low-fat or skim milk.
  • Instead of using only white flour, use half white and half whole-wheat flour.
  • Instead of adding chocolate chips or candies, use dried fruit, like cranberries or cherries.
  • Use extracts like vanilla, almond and peppermint to add flavor, instead of sugar or butter.


  • Use vegetable oils such as olive oil instead of butter (even in your mashed potatoes).
  • Use herbs and spices, like rosemary and cloves, to flavor dishes instead of butter and salt.
  • Use whole-grain breads and pastas instead of white.
  • Bake, grill or steam vegetables instead of frying.
  • Instead of whole milk or heavy cream, substitute low-fat or fat-free/skim milk.

Prepare vegetables, eat a balanced meal

Now that you’ve prepared some of your Thanksgiving meal with healthy substitutes, prepare yourself a balanced plate of all your favorite holiday foods, starting with a salad and vegetables. Eating your veggies will ensure you get the nutrients you need and will help fill you up so you don’t overload on the foods your body needs less of, such as rolls, stuffing and pie.

Increase physical activity

Increase your physical activity over Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season to combat the extra calories and additional stress. Go for a family walk after each meal or gathering. Play catch with your kids. Take just 40 minutes for yourself and go to the gym to release endorphins your body needs to stay healthy.

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Ilen & Lauren Bell are the husband and wife team behind Black Fitness Today, born, in 2011, out of their motivation to change culture, build a platform and lead the charge. Their purpose is to help change the culture towards health and fitness in the African-American community, showcase those who are making an impact, and promote healthier living. They also aim to serve as a platform for African-American fitness and health professionals and enthusiasts who are otherwise overlooked in traditional fitness media.

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How To Do The Barbell Hip Thrust…



Are you struggling to build bigger glutes?

Check out my video to learn about the 4 cues you must use with the barbell hip thrust in order to perform them with excellent form and maximize your gains.

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Michael B. Jordan Gained 15 Pounds of Muscle for Killmonger Role

Wallace Has Come A Mighty Long Way!



Killmonger, Black Panther, Michael B. Jordan

Erik Killmonger is a very powerful character in Marvel’s Black Panther. The supervillain, played by Michael B. Jordan, along with his dominating spirit and his pain, was just as important to the story line as the evolution of T’Challa. While there’s generally an antagonist in films (spoiler alert coming if you haven’t seen the film) – we didn’t find Killmonger to be so much of a villain after all.

Corey Calliet is the man behind Michael B. Jordan’s gains, and arguably another person who contributed the overwhelming success of the movie. The celebrity trainer, seen now on Revenge Body on E! helped Jordan bulk up, as well as help other stars like Angela Bassett, be at peak physical condition for Black Panther. Calliet has worked with Jordan in the past, most notably for Creed and the Fantastic Four reboot.

Michael B. Jordan, Killmonger, Black Panther

Photo: Men’s Fitness

“When you see him, you need to be scared, you need to be intimidated. We don’t want the nice, young-looking Michael,” Calliet said in an interview with Men’s Health Mag. He also describes his training style to that of an artist taking a chisel to a block of marble. “I’m talking about sculpting a body, not just conditioning it to be fast…I wanted to make his shoulders look better. I needed his upper chest to pop. I needed his back to tell a story. I wanted his back to look like a globe, like a map.”

So how did Jordan get his gains? Calliet trained the actor two to three times a daily and Jordan ate six meals per day. Get more details on Calliet’s training with details with Jordan here .



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5 Reasons People Quit Going To The Gym



1)  I don’t have time to workout

It takes 21 days to develop a habit. Diligently plan out the next 3 weeks, incorporate at least 30 minutes of exercise into your daily regimen for 3-4 times a week. Make having an active life intentional. Put it on the same level as having lunch or getting sleep. As you work-out, it will soon become a non-negotiable, similar to eating and sleeping.

2)  It’s Too Crowded And People Watch Me

The gym isn’t the only option that will help you reach your body goals. There are various in-home regimens that you can following YouTube or your favorite social media fitness professionals. Fitness is doing more movement than you did the day before. Lunch break walks, morning workout routines, and bike rides all support your desire to have an active (and private) lifestyle.

3)  I’m Not Losing Any Weight

Getting the body you desire requires a lifestyle change. Oftentimes we believe workouts are enough, but eating and sleeping are also main components for weight-loss. Fat is burned during your body’s recovery stage and muscle building process. As you work out, obtain 6-8 hours of sleep to maximize gains. Clean eating cannot be overlooked, a high protein-low carb diet is key. We have to break our traditional mindsets of consuming 3 meals a day and get accustomed to eating 6 times a day. Eating 6 times includes 3 meals along with 3 snacks, which can also include smoothies and shakes.

4)  No One Will Know If I Quit 

Accountability is vital to starting a new workout routine. Identify a workout partner. If you can’t find one, write a contract with yourself. Sign your contract and hang it somewhere so you can see it everyday. Knowing you have a commitment to yourself or your partner will help you form healthy, weight-loss habits.

5)  I Just Hate Working Out!!!

You may hate the gym, but everyone loves a good reflection in the mirror. Everyone wants to add years to their life and working out does just that. You have to ask yourself every day, “does my lifestyle add years to my life or subtract them?”Medications and hospital bills can become very expensive so prevention has to be the focus. Remember: the healthier we are, the better the reflection we have in the mirror.

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Karen Civil, Live Civil, Black Fitness Today





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