The warmer-weather months are the ideal time to get outdoors, stay active and focus on your health goals. Staying fit and eating healthy can come easy when you keep a few simple tips in mind.
Explore Mother Nature
If the gym is getting boring or just isn't your style, it's time to find inspiration outdoors. Warmer months are when Mother Nature truly shines and it's the perfect opportunity to get outside and get active. Hike local parks, visit a beach and take a paddleboard class, rent a kayak with a friend and explore a regional river — the opportunities are endless.
"You might find inspiration in your own backyard by enjoying playful stuff you used to do as a kid like jump rope, hopscotch, hula hoop or play on the swing set,” says registered dietitian and nutritionist Dawn Jackson Blatner. "Kid stuff can burn lots of calories, plus it adds fun and fuels your spirit."
Avoid mid-day heat
During hot weather, be aware of peak heat periods. Typically, this is in the afternoon, generally between noon and 5 p.m. It's wise to spend time outdoors earlier in the morning or later after dinner so that you don't have to worry about heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion.
Eat a wholesome breakfast
Before heading out for a morning adventure, don't forgo the most important meal of the day: breakfast. Give your body the fuel it needs so you can enjoy your activities to the fullest.
"Enjoy fresh fruit, whole grain toast and eggs," suggests Blatner. "Though not all eggs are created equal, look for Eggland’s Best eggs since they are the only eggs with superior nutritional benefits like six times more vitamin D, 25 percent less saturated fat and ten times more vitamin E than ordinary eggs."
Prepare for the sun
Longer days bring more sunshine, and while those rays can be amazing for getting outdoors, it's important to adopt sun-safe practices. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, everyone should use sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection (protects against UVA and UVB rays), is SPF 30 or higher and is water resistant. Additionally, consider wearing sunglasses and a hat to protect the face and eyes.
Drink up and snack smart
Your body sweats as a way to keep cool. During warm weather this can happen quickly, especially if you are working out or being active outdoors. Always keep a bottle of water close by and drink up regularly. Some people even set a reminder on their phone.
"And don’t think that plain water is the only way to stay hydrated in the summer," says Blatner. "You can also get hydrated with unsweetened sun tea, water infused with fruit, or by actually eating water-rich fruits such as watermelon and pineapple."
Visit the local farmers market
Want a healthy eating tip from a professional chef? "Seek out fresh fare from your local farmers market and enjoy all the flavors of the season," says Chef Jonathan Poyourow, a registered and licensed dietitian, and assistant professor at Johnson & Wales University’s College of Culinary Arts. "Choose produce in a multitude of colors so you can enjoy a bounty of flavors and get a variety of vitamins and nutrients. For instance, green broccoli is a good source of fiber and carotenoids while yellow peppers are high in vitamin C."
Next, try some chef-approved recipes to tempt your taste buds. For example, this tasty sheet pan recipe can be customized by using the local fare you just picked up at the market.
Rainbow Sheet Pan Veggies with Eggs
Yield: 6 servings
6 Eggland’s Best Eggs (Large)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 orange bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 cup grape tomatoes
1 cup radishes, halved
2 carrots, peeled
1 yellow pepper
1 yellow squash
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup radicchio, chopped
Preheat oven to 400 F.
While the oven is preheating, chop all of the vegetables into bite-size pieces to ensure they will roast quickly and evenly in the oven.
Arrange the chopped vegetables in a single layer onto the sheet pan in rainbow order: red bell pepper, grape tomatoes, radishes, carrots, orange bell pepper, yellow squash, yellow bell pepper, broccoli, zucchini, radicchio.
Drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables and sprinkle the salt, pepper and oregano evenly on top.
Using your hands, lightly toss the vegetables on the sheet pan while keeping the rainbow order intact until they are all evenly coated.
Place the sheet pan in the oven and roast for 15 minutes or until all vegetables are slightly tender.
Remove baking sheet from oven but leave oven on. Create room throughout the sheet pan for six eggs and then crack the eggs over the vegetables.
Return sheet pan to oven and bake until whites are set and yolks are still runny, about 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and scoop vegetables and one egg into bowl or on top of your choice of rice, quinoa or greens.
Whether you’re a casual exerciser, a professional athlete or just looking for a nutritious breakfast, kick off your day with protein-packed recipes.
As an expert in the nutritional needs of professional athletes, Megan Chacosky, chef and registered dietitian for the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team, stresses the importance of protein in any fitness enthusiast’s diet. Protein helps build, maintain and repair muscles while increasing energy and endurance, which can help strengthen the body and avoid injuries. Adding a protein beverage like Rockin’ Protein, made from fresh Shamrock Farms milk with up to 30 grams of protein per serving, into healthy breakfast recipes is one way to increase the protein level and nutritional benefits of your breakfast.
These recipes are quick to prep for grab-and-go mornings to start your day with proper nutrition. To learn more, visit rockinprotein.com.
Blueberry Cornbread Muffins
Servings: 12 muffins
Nutritional information per serving: 245 calories; 25 g carbohydrates; 5 g protein; 15 g fat; 6 g sugar.
Sources: Family Features | Rockin’ Protein
6 Drinks to Sip Your Way to Wellness
Stir up sippable, flavorful drinks and snacking soups for easy ways to add more wellness to your day. Start with robust flavors like turmeric, cayenne and ginger then pair with wholesome ingredients like pineapple, dandelion greens and cucumber to create delicious sips to help you awaken, stay energized or replenish.
Fill your glass (or mug) with a breakfast boost to jumpstart your morning, a smoky sipping broth for an afternoon pick-me-up or an evening elixir to help rebalance after a busy day.
Sources: Family Features | McCormick
For decades, we’ve been told that the only way to get our bathrooms clean is to use store-bought cleansers. Yet although the commercials show cute cartoon bubbles and smiling bald men benignly scrubbing away dirt and germs, and leaving a spotless, gleaming white bathroom behind, the truth is still a little grimy. Take a closer look at the labels of those cleansers, and underneath the promises of lemony freshness you’ll find more warnings than assurances. In many cases, bathroom cleansers warn you not to use them in enclosed spaces because the fumes can be dangerous. That may be OK if your bathroom is several hundred square feet, but it’s safe to say that most of our bathrooms could be considered “enclosed spaces.”
The truth is that, despite the sunny packaging and cuddly mascots, most store-bought bathroom cleansers are harsh chemical cocktails that may do as much harm as they do good. They may be effective at removing soap scum and killing germs, but they also can contribute to indoor air pollution that can make you and your family sick. What’s more, these caustic chemical cleansers don’t just disappear when they go down the drain — they end up being introduced into the water supply, where they can have a negative impact on the environment. You may be concerned about the effects chemical bathroom cleansers can have on your family and on the environment, but you may also be wondering how you can keep your bathrooms clean without them. The following Slideshow, created by Modern Bathroom, details how to make natural bathroom cleaners that are safe for the environment.
As seen in the January 2018 issue of Natural Baby Magazine.
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