Monthly Archives: November 2015

How To Prep For Outdoor Races & Best Running Stretches As Seen on CBS Chicago

Just like how you’d ease into a run or a race, it’s equally important to ease into running season! Here today to give us tips on how to get back in the groove to prep for outdoor races, like the marathon, and keep us injury free is Health & Fitness Expert Stephanie Mansour:

1. Mentally get in the game. Set a goal. Find a race. Use a gadget to track.

2. Get the right gear. Need to get new running shoes every 5-6 months!
I found this cool online test you can do to find the best shoe for you: Go to and answer a few quick questions – they’ll tell you the way your body naturally runs based on their STRIDE SIGNATURE philosophy and recommend the best shoe for you!
I’m wearing the updated Transcend, and they have an updated Ravenna shoe, too.

3. Pre – Stretches: Nothing can derail your goals more than an injury. Stay injury free by warming up the muscles with DYNAMIC stretches BEFORE running:
Hug Knee into Chest & Walk
Lunge with a Hamstring Stretch
Standing side stretch with a twist
Standing Butt Kicks

4. Post-Stretches: Can now hold stretches (static stretches)
Hamstring Stretch
Quad Stretch
Clasp hands and reach up and over to one side and hold, then switch.
Hold these stretches for 20 seconds each.

Stephanie Mansour is Chicago’s best health & fitness expert and weight loss coach for women in Chicago. She also is weight loss coach for executive women everywhere who are on the go.

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How to Get a Better Night’s Sleep & Why Sleep Is Important for Weight Loss As Seen on Fox Chicago

Chicago’s best personal trainer and weight loss coach for women stopped by Chicago Fox 32 to give tips on how to get a good night’s sleep and why sleep is important for weight loss! There’s a new study: Sleep-Deprivation is Linked to Unhealthy Eating! So, can you really blame your cravings on not getting enough sleep? A new study says you can! Health & Fitness Expert Stephanie Mansour is here to give us 5 tips on how you can sleep more soundly and also get to bed earlier:

So we really need to sleep more to lose weight and stop eating unhealthy? Why is this?
Not getting enough sleep really throws off your hormone levels. This can cause you to feel hungrier than you actually are, and in turn eat more than you need!
What are your tips for sleeping more soundly?
1.    First, you need a good reason WHY. Why do you want to get more sleep? Get clear on your goals.
2.    Set a bedtime for yourself. Discuss apps you can download to turn off your phone, the internet on your computer, and ways to set an alarm for a bedtime.
3.    Entice yourself into bed with something! Whether it’s a book, a handful of healthy granola, or warm tea with honey. I love looking forward to a Kind Bar Granola bar (with dark chocolate chunks!) at night because I do have a sweet tooth. Healthy grains are good before bed because they can cause you to feel a little more relaxed. I also love books by my favorite authors, Liz & Lisa and Emily Liebert! They both have new books coming out so check them out at your local bookstore or on Amazon.
4.    Make your bed cozy. Use soft blankets, sheets, pillows, and set the temperature cooler at night. This will help facilitate sleep. Also, check out these cool new thing I found:
BedJet v2: snooze solution, targets the body’s natural sleep biothythms with a cooling and warming feature that self-regulates climate control in the bed for the body.
5.    Reward yourself with a new workout top, a massage, or something tangible once you’ve successfully slept for 8 hours a night 5 out of 7 days a week!
And if you HAVEN’T slept and feel refreshed, try to “fake it til you make it” with these beauty products:
Bliss triple oxygen radiant protection energizing serum: Meet your newest skin defender—a luxurious yet lightweight serum that shields skin against environmental aggressors like pollution, cigarette smoke, and free radicals, which accelerate signs of aging and stress.
Next, try Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream, available at Sephora and
Finally, add some volume to your hair with this hair mist from Alterna Haircare Caviar Volume!

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De-Coding the Milk Aisle & Which Milk is Best For You As Seen on WGN Chicago’s Midday Fix

New types of milk popping up every few months (ever heard of Camel Milk?) can leave the consumer feeling very confused. Here to tell us the benefits of each AND what each milk is best used for is Health & Fitness Expert Stephanie Mansour:

Why do we need milk?
People drink milk for a variety of reasons: Some are looking for protein, others Vitamin D, Calcium, and others go based on taste and just something to cook with or mix in with their favorite smoothies or cereals.

Milk was once known as a one-stop shop for nutrition, packing in fats, carbs, protein, minerals (except iron) and vitamins.

However, regular milk has been shown to lead to health problems in some people, and can also cause some to feel bloated. Others are simply unable to digest regular milk due to a lactose intolerance. Therefore, the milk aisle has expanded and can get confusing.

So, which milk should I have:
Skim Milk, Almond Milk, Rice Milk, Soy Milk, Coconut Milk, Camel Milk…?

Skim: 8 g protein, lower in calories than whole milk, best for after a workout. According to the CDC, skim milk has 40% fewer calories and 5 fewer grams of saturated fat per cup than whole milk.

Almond: Low calorie count – but beware of sweetened almond milk – not as healthy due to higher sugars! Free of saturated fat, but low in protein. Many brands of almond milk are supplemented with Vitamin D and calcium. The nutty flavor goes well with smoothies. I mix this almond milk every morning with a scoop of my Vega Protein Powder for an extra 20 grams of protein, two servings of greens, and an energizing way to start the day.

Rice Milk: If you’re allergic to nuts, soy, or dairy, this one’s for you. Very thin – best in cereals and oatmeals. Low in nutritional value, also low in calories and fat. I recommend consuming this milk with cereals or granolas – something with protein in it – so that you’re using this milk as an agent to eat more nutrients, rather than a stand-alone milk because it is low in nutrients and vitamins. I pair this with cereals and granolas, my favorite of course is Kind Bar granola with the chia seeds, good grains, and extra fiber.

Soy Milk: best protein for non-dairy milk, good in coffee because of its consistency – it mixes well with liquids. High in calcium and protein – contains almost as much protein as whole milk. It mixes in with coffee and has a good consistency.

Coconut Milk: Plant-based, Rich flavor but almost no protein. Good for sauces and desserts because of its creamy texture. It’s the juices and meat of the coconut, ground to a smooth texture. Good for creamy pasta sauces, custards, puddings, and flan. Coconut milk also has a lot of saturated fat and higher in calories.
Check out this chia seed pudding (you can make something similar at home) that I got from Le Pain Quotidien. I see these perfect little jars every morning when I get my tea!

Camel Milk: Similar to cow milk but it’s lactose-free. 10x more iron & 3x more vitamin C. I ordered this Camel Milk from Desert Farm – check them out online and find even more benefits of camel milk!

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Spring Forward: Time Change Tips & An Energizing Morning Routine As Seen on ABC Chicago

With the time change on March 13th, it’s easy to feel a bit “jet-lagged” when it comes to waking up earlier than you’re used to. Health & Fitness Expert Stephanie Mansour is here with 5 ways to start the day with more energy, including the best energy-boosting breakfasts, the best way to harness your energy first thing in the morning, and more:

Chicago’s best health & fitness expert Stephanie Mansour shares with us her 5 tips for a healthy and energizing morning routine:

1. “You snooze, you lose”! When you keep waking up every 5-10 minutes, you’re not getting restful sleep. Instead, set your alarm for the latest possible time so that you ensure you get up!

2. Harness your energy BEFORE you check your email. Do a quick 2 minute meditation, or check out this massage pillow by M Cushion! It looks like a beautiful pillow, but it’s actually used for a massage. You can use to give yourself a wake up massage while centering yourself.

3. MOVE! Here are a few stretches you can do standing up: Reach the arms out to the side and up as high as you can, reaching up through the fingertips and grounding down through the feet, and then press the palms together and slowly bring the hands down through the center of the chest.

4. Next, make sure to eat breakfast within 1 hour of waking up. This will jump start your metabolism and set the tone for the day. If you eat a doughnut, you’re setting yourself up to crave more carbs and sugar. Instead, try a protein shake. I love using my Vega Protein & Greens Protein powder – it’s plant-based protein powder and has 20 grams of protein per serving!
If you want to try something out of the box, did you know you can put tofu in your smoothie? I love the House Foods organic tofu because it’s made from 100%, non-GMO, U.S grown soybeans. It’s also a plant-based protein. You can get it at Costco or Woodman’s. Here’s a recipe I’ve used:
½ pkg House Foods Premium or Organic Tofu Soft
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup frozen blueberries
½ cup raspberries
3 Tbs. honey
½ cup ice
Then blend!
Also, if you don’t have 60 seconds to spare and need something to grab and go, try a healthy breakfast bar. Make sure you read the ingredients! Not all bars are created equal. I prefer Kind Bars (they now have breakfast bars!) because they have good healthy fats and use ingredients you can see and pronounce.

5. Splash your face with cold water, or better yet, take a cold shower! Get into a morning beauty routine that you enjoy. Here are a few things you can try:
Clinique’s NEW Pep-Start Eye Cream: it’s a lightweight cream that instantly and over time brightens, awakens, and refreshes tired-looking eyes. It’s available at Sephora.
Bliss Triple Oxygen Radiant Protection Energizing Serum: Brightens and evens skin tone with Vitamin C. It fully revitalizes skin function, softens fine lines and wrinkles, and supercharges skin’s natural defenses to provide healthy, glowing, youthful looking skin.
Plaque HD Toothpaste: A new and first-of-its kind toothpaste, containing plaque-indicating dye that turns the plaque on your teeth teal and only disappears once you’ve brushed it all off.
Finally, Alterna Haircare Caviar Volume Shampoo & Conditioner: they’re completely free of sulfates, parabens, gluten, and sodium chloride – so they’re a good option for someone looking to get away from really chemical-laden formulas.

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What to Do If You Reach a Weight Loss Plateau As Seen on WINK TV

If you’re like many Americans, you’ve tried diet after diet or different types of workout programs to lose weight.  But what happens if they stop working and you reach a plateau? Health and Fitness expert Stephanie Mansour from ‘Step It Up With Steph’ stopped by the WINK News studio to tell us how to work through that problem:

The best weight loss coach for women, Stephanie Mansour, stopped by WINK TV in Ft. Myers, FL to talk about how to bust past a weight loss plateau. Steph’s weight loss tips include:
1. Change up your workout! If you’re doing the same old workouts and expecting different results, that is a little bit crazy! Instead, change it up and get your body out of your comfort zone. The best workouts for weight loss typically are HIIT, high intensity interval training. However, as a certified Yoga instructor and a certified Pilates instructor, the best weight loss coach for women knows first hand that many of her clients respond better to lower impact and slower workouts! Especially if you are pre or post menopause, you may need to reduce the stress that you’re causing to your body, and slow down your workouts.

2. The best diet for weight loss is an anti-inflammatory diet. This is because the body needs to reduce inflammation in order to get rid of fat. Eat green leafy vegetables and healthy fats, like salmon. Remember that all calories are not created equal. Eat in a way that follows my mantra: Food is fuel!

3. Focus on your mindset. The best exercise to lose weight actually starts with mental exercise! Say positive affirmations and “see it, believe it, achieve it.”

Stephanie Mansour is a professional health and fitness expert and also is a corporate speaker for health and fitness. She’s helped thousands of women lose thousands of pounds!

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