Hip and Healthy in Humidity…

outdoor kidsSummertime is short and the perfect time to spend outdoors. Should we wait and put off starting a healthy way of eating until September? Or should we simply work our menu to include all that we love by upping the quality of what we eat? Potato, pasta and rice salads are usually filled with mayonnaise. Why not substitute olive oil and one of the many interesting vinegars available now on the market. My personal favorite is pear infused white balsamic vinegar. Not only will this choice avoid the risk of food spoiling in the heat, you will Outdoor quinoagive yourself a healthy dose of Omega 3 from olive oil and feed the probiotics in your intestines with the vinegar. Substitute sweet potatoes for white potatoes and at the same time receive the benefit of a shot of vitamin A as well as beta-carotene. Try using whole grain pasta, brown rice and quinoa instead of their white counterparts. Check out one of the many organic frankfurters available now without food coloring or preservatives. Use a good quality organic beef or turkey for your burgers. “Organic outdoor ice teaPrairie” is just one of the many new companies working towards eliminating food dyes and preservatives. Try mixing tuna or salmon salads with avocados, a little mustard and some dried cranberries. Boil a big pot of tea add fresh lemons, limes, oranges, fresh mint and sweeten with Stevia (taken from sunflower leaves) or Xylitol ( derived from wood pulp) and chill. However, it’s a good idea to steer clear of the instant versions which are usually filled with artificial flavors, sugar and colorings. Buying seltzer water and adding these sweeteners can also fill the need for a sweet drink instead of a cola. Cut up fresh fruit especially melons if you are invited to a friend’s outdoor melonsbarbecue or gathering and would like to bring something. Sweet mangos and watermelons can be as sweet as some sorbets and as satisfying. Of course, just because food is made with healthy and nutritious ingredients does not mean that it is always low calorie. Pace yourself. Moderation and mindfulness are still something to strive towards. And the ultimate key to any healthy meal is P&P=PLANNING AND PREPARATION!

Spice it up a Little…

Spice wheelEven if you do not believe that ginseng speeds metabolism or cayenne pepper shrinks fat tissue or cinnamon reduces blood sugar levels or mustard burns calories or ginger creates a thermogenic effect etc., experimenting with spices can add a whole range of new taste to your cooking. Spices can replace the use of excess salt and sugar. Less salt can eliminate retention of excess water and relieve unnecessary swelling.

Eliminating sugar will deter a host of other future problems.

Yellow Peas…

Yellow PeasPeas are one of the earliest crops known to man. They can be traced as far back as 9000 B.C. in Southeast Asia. Peas belong to the same family as lentils which means they are also rich in iron. They are fiber rich slowing digestion which can keep the feeling of fullness longer. This can be a great aid for those wishing to lose excess weight. Pea protein powder is a great source of protein for vegans and also for vegetarians who may not be able to consume whey protein because of lactose intolerance. Pea protein does absorb quickly in the body but thereYellow pea pods is mixed opinion as to whether or not peas contain all the essential amino acids for rebuilding muscle and tissue. To be sure you are getting a full supply of amino acids it is wise to combine them with seeds (sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, hemp etc.) to fill in the gaps of any amino acids that may be missing.

 

It’s all about Hue…

 Colors roomColor is a form of non-verbal communication. We are influenced greatly by color. At times, even on an unconscious level. Every company selling product uses color to entice us into buying their brand. Without even a written word on a package, a particular color can stir an emotional response. Whenever we express emotion we use color to emphasize the feeling. “Seeing red” is used to express anger. Green with envy, feeling blue when melancholy, yellow to describe cowardice, seeing something clearly is seeing it in “black and white”, unclearly as having a grey area. However, depending on the area of the world you inhabit, your religion, or your Colors busculture the use of a certain color can signify a totally different meaning. Red is often a warning sign of danger. It is not beneficial to be “in the red” when you are in business. Women in China and India are married in red while mourning a loved one in South Africa is done while wearing red. Yellow reminds us of the sun, warmth and luminosity. We paint our school buses and crosswalks yellow, which in turn symbolizes a level of safety. Aztec cultures used it as the symbol of food while the Chinese dressed their royalty in it. Yet, skin and eyes turning yellow is associated with a serious illness. Blue is often used to denote tranquility, such as, large blue skies Color purpleand wide calming waters. As a favorite color it is the most universally chosen. Going green is the mantra of the day. Green is a symbol of renewal, growth, and denotes ecological awareness. In Iran, green is a sacred holyday color, while in Greece it is used for exorcism. In the western world we celebrate birth and marriage while wearing white. However, in many far eastern cultures it signifies death. Because white reflects all colors of the spectrum it evokes a feeling of completeness, that is, in marriage with another or completing life by death. Black can signify power, mystery, death, or profit (in the black in business). Purple evokes the height of spirituality and psychic awareness, while brown symbolizes being grounded (one with the earth). Thinking about what color to paint a room, take into consideration what the room will be used for and what atmosphere you wish to convey. Visiting another country, check out what is the appropriate color of attire so you can be part of the celebration.

Exercise Balls…

Exercise ball planksExercise balls are a great alternative for those who spend long hours sitting at a desk. They can force one to sit strait encouraging you to become more mindful of posture. Exercise balls and the different exercises that can be performed on them can strengthen all stabilizer muscles. Developing these muscles can make you less prone to injury and more likely to recover faster if injury occurs. Working your oblique and lower back muscles is important for maintaining balance in general. However, whether you work at home or in an office and you decide to replace your seat with an exercise ball, make sure to get up and move around every 40 minutes.