Starting 2014 Off Right: Blogs on Fitness and Healthy Eating


One of the strengths of is the community — a global network of users, learning from one another and supporting each other. Earlier this month, Michelle shared blogs within the mental health community, and we’ll continue to highlight blogs that promote health and wellness. Today, let’s take a look at blogs focused on exercise, fitness, and healthy eating. (As a bonus, we’ve included steps on how to use our new recipe shortcode, which might be handy for those of you with food and recipe blogs.)

Exercise and fitness

Image by Tomas Sobek (CC BY 2.0).

Image by Tomas Sobek (CC BY 2.0).

You’ll find many bloggers writing about exercise and fitness in the Reader. Personal trainer Ariana Dane offers general advice on exercise and nutrition at Living a Balanced Life that is motivating but realistic: from skipping new year’s resolutions to slowing down and being mindful of what causes you stress when it comes to weight loss.

Over at Fit, Feminist, and (Almost) Fifty, you’ll find commentary and opinion pieces on fitness and health. The backstory: two feminists in their late forties with active lifestyles have goals to be the fittest they’ve ever been by age fifty.

They ask: what does it really mean to be fit? The writers approach fitness and health with a critical eye, and often challenge common assumptions. If you’re not sure where to start, read their thoughts on naked yoga, body shaming, and women-only workout spaces. It’s a refreshing space for provoking discussions.

Tony at One Regular Guy Writing About Food, Exercise, and Living Longer is a former men’s magazine editor and writes straightforward, candid posts about general health — from big bellies to soft drinks to smoking. Being retired for twelve years, he’s had more time to work on personal goals (and is even considered a success story by the National Institute on Aging). From his About page:

When the blog started, I was talking the talk; three years later I am walking the walk. You can do the same. I am just a regular guy.

Sure, you’ll find tons of posts from “fitness experts” on the web. But Tony’s take is frank, no-nonsense, and from the fresh perspective of just another guy.

Healthy eating and living

Last fall, Ben highlighted an assortment of food blogs. Here’s a glimpse at a few more that focus on healthy eating and cooking.

Jamie Phipps at The Hearty Herbivore shares vegetarian and vegan recipes, from tropical kale salad to vegan crust and white pizzas. Her photographs of food make these fresh, healthy concoctions hard to resist; we also dig her sweet treats, like her vegan banana toffee pie and a peanut butter and banana smoothie.

Julie Montagu at The Flexi Foodie is all about yoga and a plant-based diet. Her blog is focused on eating and cooking nutrient-dense food, and ideas to strengthen your body through stretching, breathing, lifting, and opening. In addition to recipes, she talks about healthy eating in general: from cutting down on the use of oil to promoting cancer-fighting foods.

Image via The Flexi Foodie

Image via The Flexi Foodie

Russ Crandall launched The Domestic Man to explore where our food comes from and to reconnect with nature. His blog, which is soon to be a cookbook (released in February), chronicles his cooking adventures and a dietary lifestyle modeled after the Paleo diet, which focuses on natural, unprocessed foods.

Check out his recipes for Karniyarik (Turkish stuffed eggplant) or Brudet (Croatian seafood stew) or Blaukraut (German red cabbage) for a tour of the natural flavors of the world. We also like following his adventures in gardening, too. (We’re interviewing Russ next month — stay tuned.)

Embed a recipe with shortcode

As you can see from the food blogs above, recipes are key component of these sites. We’re happy to announce that you can now embed a recipe on sites, with consistent formatting and basic metadata. You also have the option to print it with the click of a button. All you need to do is put your recipe between a set of shortcode tags.

Screen Shot 2014-01-23 at 11.04.44 AM

The title and attributes of an embedded recipe.

Here’s a summary of how it works: to add a recipe to your site, insert the [recipe] shortcode when you’re creating a post or page. Everything between the opening [recipe] and closing [/recipe] tags will be set apart as the recipe.

You can include optional attributes to add extra information, like the number of servings or the difficulty of the recipe. (This also helps search engines index your recipe properly, since the code uses special microdata intended for recipes.)

Recipe attributes

  • Title: title of your recipe
  • Servings: number of servings the recipe makes
  • Time: total time the recipe takes
  • Difficulty: how hard the recipe is to create
  • Print: a link to print the recipe is displayed by default if you’ve added one or more of the attributes for servings, time, or difficulty. (Alternatively, you can hide the print button by adding print=”false”)

For more details on inserting the shortcode, check the recipe shortcode support page. You can also see one in action for Caribbean chicken curry. (We apologize if you read that on an empty stomach!)

Do you have any favorite blogs on fitness, exercise, and healthy living? Let us know.

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