“Girl in a Country Song” Puts Your Whole Heart into a Workout

Looking for a new jam to wake-up your workout playlist that’s got some major oomph in the motivation and female-empowerment departments? Then get your download on! Maddie and Tae’s “Girl in a Country Song” is the tune we just can’t get enough of right now.

Well I wish I had some shoes on my two bare feet
And it’s gettin’ kinda cold in these painted on cut off jeans
I hate the way this bikini top chafes
Do I really have to wear it all day?

With fast-paced twangy lyrics served with a side of sweet-as-tea sass, these two talented women tell the country music misogynists more or less where they can stick their shaky moneymakers. Asking “how in the world did it go so wrong” to be the girl in a country song, Maddie & Tae declare how under-dressed and disrespected the heart and soul of country music has become. Pointing out that “Conway and George Strait, never did it this way,” they sharply remind these presumed southern gentlemen to treat a lady like a lady.

Half way through the song you’ll be be shouting “Yeah!” and pumping your fists. But that’s not all that will be pumping. This is a seriously legitimate, sweat-pouring workout song. Science says so!

Costas Karageorghis, an associate professor of sport psychology at Brunel University in England, has been researching music’s effect on fitness for the past two decades and explained to the New York Times how a song’s tempo is the most important aspect. A song with 120 to 140 beats per minute, or BPM, is considered ideal for a cardio workout, as it reflects a person’s heart rate during a typical session. This could be 20 minutes on an elliptical or a power walker at a 4.5 mph pace.

Hold on to your cowboy hats because you’re going to move with “Girl in a Country Song,” this feminist anthem isn’t for the faint of heart. SongBPM.com clocks this 3:41 hit at 160bpm! According to Costas’ research, that’s a typical range for a serious runner. This is also the zone where you’d really start to dig in at an indoor cycling class. Power walkers, scootch over.

“You can peddle along to music as fast as 220 BPMs!” notes Margo Donohue, indoor cycling and group fitness instructor, and fitness blogger at BrooklynFitChick.com. “When I have [my class] do sprints, my music is pretty fast. Think Firestarter by Prodigy.”

Plan this song for the mid-point of your next workout, and when your energy starts to flail your body won’t be able to ignore the raging tempo. Your heart won’t be able to ignore how good it is to be a woman who gets a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T, either!


Sunflower Apricot Protein Balls: A Sweet and Simple Workout Snack

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Who doesn’t immediately reach for a snack as soon as the workout is over? If you don’t, we’re not sure what that says about the future of our relationship.

Not only does it taste good to give yourself a little reward after crushing that run, PR’ing that swim, or attempting that scary new pose at yoga, it’s also a necessity. Your body needs that replenishment to refuel and replace everything you just sweat out.

Burned out on the usual suspects of string cheese, protein bars, and almond butter? Give this new treat a spin!

So ridiculously easy to make with a handful of simple but wholesome ingredients, DietsInReview.com’s Sunflower Apricot Protein Balls are the brightest spot in our workout snack menu in quite some time. They’re a sweet little burst of tastiness that give your worn out body just the pick-me-up it’s craving.

apricot-protein-ball-ingredients

The sweet dates, crunchy almonds, and nutty sunflower seeds give you the protein and fiber you need to refuel. The oats, of course, add to the fiber. The surprising fiber and protein boost here? Dried apricots. That’s right, they’re a great source of both nutrients while also giving you a huge vitamin A bonus!

These Sunflower Apricot Protein Balls are low in saturated fat, have zero cholesterol, are very low in sodium, and offer a big boost of manganese. Why does that micronutrient matter? This mineral supports the prevention of bone loss, helps manage blood sugar, and even protects the integrity of your skin. The oats are an excellent source, the almonds a very good source, and the sunflower seeds a good source. All combined, these are now our favorite manganese snack!

All combined, it’s simply just one of our favorite healthy snacks period. We love them before and after a workout, as a sweet tooth tamer, and a mid-day treat. When will you enjoy yours?

apricot-sunflower-protein-balls

Sunflower Apricot Protein Balls
Makes 12 balls; 2 per serving

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup unsalted almonds
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup dried apricots
1/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Place the dates in a food processor and chop to small pieces. To that add the remaining ingredients. Continue to chop until it forms a fine, crumbly mixture. When you can pinch the crumbs and they stick between your fingers, it’s ready.

2. Form one tablespoon scoops and roll into balls with your hands. This should make 10-12 balls.

Like these? You’ll find Chocolate Covered Pretzel Protein Balls and Pumpkin Spice Protein Balls at DietsInReview.com.

Photo Credit: Kacy Meinecke Photography for DietsInReview.com

 


What in the Kale Were We Tricked into Eating?

Back in 2009, hardly anyone was talking about kale, and hardly anyone was actually eating it. According to Google Trends, it was just a blip on the information super highway map. The mid-point of that year, kale became the next “it” food. And like quinoa, pumpkin, and coconut oil, it became just about all anyone wanted to eat.

Does kale live up to the hype?

base image credit: sweetonveg

This past winter is when, according to Google, kale’s popularity skyrocketed, maxing out the ranking index at 100. That’s also around the time More.com asked, when did kale get a publicist? Well, whoever this leafy green hired didn’t do their research.

Kale isn’t the most nutritious green around (in fact, it’s not even a green!), and it doesn’t grow from some super food higher, holy ground. Don’t get us wrong, it’s good for you, but it’s not the bill of goods we’ve been sold. After all, isn’t “kale that leafy green vegetable that nobody ate because it’s hard to wash and tastes like rubber”? Linda Kellin at More.com finally said what we’ve all been feeling, and the CDC finally came up with the out we all need to just step away from the kale chips already.

Also, let’s be clear, kale is a cruciferous vegetable, not a leafy green.

On a list of 41 fruits and vegetables the CDC defines as “Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables,” or “PFV,” kale indexes at 49.0 for nutrient density. That’s below 13 other greens that are more nutritionally dense. That means spinach, romaine lettuce, and plain ‘ole leaf lettuce have more to offer.

The only produce item to score a perfect 100 on the CDC’s list is watercress. So how come watercress doesn’t get as much love, noise, and new product shelf space at the most ordinary of grocery stores? During the same ten-year time period in Google Trends, watercress barely even shows up, having never indexed any higher than an 8 this summer. More surprising, spinach was always a higher-ranked green, out-indexing kale and watercress (cruciferous, not green) both in web searches. And then, one day, kale took over.

It’s important to note here, spinach is almost two times nutritionally more dense than kale.

In kale’s defense, it sounds cool, it’s easy to make puns (and salads), and it was more exciting than hearing spinach for the umpteenth time. Dr. Oz, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Martha Stewart all got their hands on it… with a trifecta like that, it’s surprising we haven’t named it the official vegetable of the United States.

The foods on the CDC’s exclusive PFV list show fruits and vegetables that have 17 nutrients in 100 grams of food. Indexes of 100 have 100% daily value of the qualifying nutrients; watercress is the only one.

Don’t write off kale entirely; it may only meet half the daily requirements, but foods like raspberries, cranberries, and blueberries didn’t even make the list (blackberries and strawberries did)!

Let your kale down easy; be clear that it’s the kale, not you.


10 Yoga Poses Every Beginner Should Try

If you’re new to the mat, you’re probably walking in to yoga with a lot of assumptions. You’ve heard about downward dog and sun salutations and may even think that’s going to dominate your early practice. The poses may be extremely common, but they may not be necessary for you.

10 Yoga Poses for Beginners

Every yoga pose, more formally known as asanas, has a purpose. You’ll complete each pose in a complementary series, using those like downward dog to help your body transition from one asana to the next. More importantly — you’ll complete each new pose as your body is ready.

To avoid injury and get the most out of each pose, you should take your time learning the basics of yoga, which can include breath work, proper alignment, and even meditation.

Jill Lawson, a certified yoga teacher who leads teacher trainings and her own studio, says meditation is an important and oft overlooked aspect of yoga.

“Meditation is a key component in all yogic practices. Sukhasana, or Easy Pose, may look easy, but it is actually a very challenging pose. One of the goals of yoga is to quiet the mind, and this is a superb pose to practice doing so. Some say this pose takes a lifetime to master, so why not start now?,” she recommends.

Other popular and basic yoga poses you’ll want to take on as a beginner include warrior, tree, triangle, child’s, cobra, and corpse. Each will help you slowly build strength and confidence within your own practice, while giving your body a gentle and necessary workout.

However, if you need to take an even easier introduction to yoga, then by all means do so.

For true beginners, “consider going even more basic with cat/cow for full movement and breath integration,” suggests Kia Ruiz, a yoga instructor at kiaruiz.com.

Ruiz also suggests alternatives for the ever popular downward dog pose. “For full-bodied individuals, down dog can be challenging on joints and blood pressure.” Why? She explains that this inversion puts the head below the heart, which can increase blood pressure. “Alternatives include wall dog and puppy if this is a concern for yogis as they strengthen their practice,” she encourages.

Mountain pose is another ideal pose for beginners “because it sets the foundation for many of the other standing poses,” added Lawson. When done properly, “this pose emanates poise and balance,” she said. “It is that ‘root down and rise up’ element that creates grace and ease in a yoga practice, and it is best felt in mountain pose.”

Be sure to let your yoga instructor know it’s your first time or that you’re practicing at a very beginner level. This will alert her to your unique needs in the class and ensure you get more out of each session. Find those poses you love, do the work to master them, and use them as the building blocks to develop your own fluent yoga practice.


Introducing Limited Edition Scuba Blue

ENELL in Limited Edition Scuba Blue

We are so excited to unveil our latest Limited Edition color for ENELL SPORT: Scuba Blue!

We asked for your votes on the next color, and this blue hue had a resounding win. We still get requests daily for our last Limited Edition color which sold out over a year ago, so please heed our warnings when we say stock is EXTREMELY limited. Once these are sold out, they’re gone for good.

Make a splash in ENELL in Scuba Blue

Purchase your Scuba Blue before there gone online here or at any of the retailers listed below.

ENELL Retailers stocking Scuba Blue: Please call ahead to determine availability as this is subject to change.

Online:

International:

Are you excited for Scuba Blue?