New Year’s Eve is the perfect excuse to go out, drink a little (or a lot!) and have a grand old time. But let’s face it. Many of us wake up the next morning feeling less than stellar.

In fact, I can bet that many of us have missed a good portion of New Year’s Day because we saw too much of NYE. Whether that’s because we had an extra long night (say 5 a.m.), or we drank a little too much tequila, or because we ended up on the other side of town without shoes or a cellphone.

Either way, I’m going to share a couple tips on how to keep that hangover to a minimum.

Recently, us Fit&FabLiving/Running with Mascara editors received an Amira Mor belly dancing DVD to try out.  I had always wanted to try belly dancing- the movements always look so elegant and feminine, and I always thought it didn’t look too hard to do.  I took the DVD home, moved the couches and coffee table in my living room, enlisted my roommate to join me, and we began!

It’s exciting to publish a blog post about new year’s resolutions because, let’s face it, they can be hard to keep up with and once you post them, you have to commit, right? I always struggle with trying to find something that I can actually do. I can think of tons of resolutions that fell by the wayside over the years, but I can’t really think of many that I stuck with all year long.

The funny thing is that I am a very goal-oriented person, so this should be a no-brainer. In 2009, my goal was to run the Walt Disney World Marathon in January 2010. This wasn’t a New Year’s resolution, per se, since I didn’t even consider running the marathon until halfway through the summer. But it was a large goal that took up much of my free time. If I can plan and accomplish that goal, I should be able to come up with a few good new year’s resolutions.

I know it’s the dead of winter and the last thing on anyone’s mind is swimming, at least in Chicago, but swimming is actually the perfect thing to do during the winter!

Swimming is my second favorite cardio exercise – nothing can beat running. I was one of those kids who took swimming lessons for my entire kid life, and I loved it! I remember starting out in Guppies and working my way up to Sharks. After I outgrew swim lessons, though, I didn’t do much swimming, and definitely no swimming during the long winter months.

A few weeks ago, I posted about a new, delicious vegetarian recipe that I tried–Curried Cauliflower with Pasta and Chickpeas. I loved this recipe a lot and plan on making it again soon. The cookbook that this very delicious recipe came from was Nava Atlas’s Vegetarian Family Cookbook, which I highly recommend. I also just received her Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet cookbook for Christmas. I haven’t used it yet, but I can’t wait to try it out! I’ll be sure to post some of my favorite recipes.

I am excited to say that Nava Atlas agreed to guest post on Running With Mascara! It’s so exciting when you actually get to communicate with the author of a book you enjoy–it’s like meeting a celebrity! Be sure to check out Nava’s healthy eating website, VegKitchen!

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

Today,  I am featuring a guest blogger! Our featured blogger is celebrity fitness expert and certified personal trainer Dale Dymkoski! Remember my post from a few days ago about following his strength training workout? Dale really knows his stuff when it comes to sculpting a sleek, toned body, plus he’s a great writer!

Here’s a post called Spirituality of Fitness from his blog, Changing Bodies:

Do you ever ask yourself why you workout?  Do you find yourself feeling like you have to workout or you’ll feel guilty?  Why do we torture ourselves?  I’m asking you to find your “reason for doing”.  Not what your specific goals are (ie. bodyfat % or weight loss) but actually why you do it.

A study was recently published indicating that women who take iron and folic acid supplements during pregnancy have smart children with better motor skills.  If you’ve already had children, you probably remember those rather large vitamins chock full of iron, folic acid and calcium.

Folic acid  is particularly important for mothers-to-be because it plays a critical part in the development of the baby’s brain and spinal cord. Calcium protects the mother’s own bone density, and the fetus uses this mineral for bone growth. The iron helps carry oxygen for both the mom and baby.

In addition to the vitamin, natural sources of these mineral are leafy greens, nuts, beans and fortified breakfast cereals.

I don’t enjoy running. I never have and I never will, but I still know it’s a great way to get in tons of cardio, and in all honesty, I want to look and feel good. I’ve been hearing about interval training for a while now, but I didn’t want to include it in my workout until I was confident in my running ability. I’m no pro by any means, but for me, I’ve reached a point where I feel comfortable pushing my limits.

Last week I was lucky enough to score an interview with celebrity fitness expert, Dale Dymkoski!  He’s trained people like Jessica Sutta, a former Pussycat Doll among others! He’s gaining quite a reputation in Los Angeles for his emphasis on strength training as the key to not only losing weight, but also toning and sculpting your body.

As a fitness fanatic myself, I was super excited to speak with someone who really knew what they were talking about. There is so much fitness and nutrition information floating around the internet, but it can be hard to tell what to trust. Dale cleared up some common misconceptions about strength training as well as why strength training is so fundamental to achieving a toned body.