Be Smart this Summer!

The Summer brings many many things, but one thing that is in great supply is SUN!

Now, who doesn’t love the long summer sunshine hours? But it is important to note, that there are some precautions that should be taken with all that sun!

Sunscreen – It’s a hot topic (pun intended!). We need some vitamin D from the sun, but also shouldn’t wait to get burned either. Start with the basics of wearing clothing that shields you from the sun’s UV rays and reducing your burn risk. Seek out shade and plan outings in the early morning or late afternoon when the sun is not at it’s peak. If you plan on soaking up the rays all day and using protection, make sure to investigate your sunscreen (for harsh chemicals, and get rid of those spray sunscreens!) or even consider making your own.
Homemade Sunscreen Recipe

Sunglasses – Don’t forget to protect your eyes! Much like skin, lighter eye colors are more susceptible to damage from harmful UV rays! UV overexposure may lead to macular degeneration (a leading cause of vision loss for older Americans) and some kinds of cataracts (a clouding of the eye lens). Make sure your sunglasses have 100% protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Polarized lenses can help in very bright conditions to reduce eye strain.

Stay hydrated! – Summer can be filled with a lot of parties and events. Keep in mind that alcoholic and caffeinated beverages pull water FROM the body and promote dehydration. Try consuming 6-12 ounces of fluid every 10-15 minutes that you are outside. If you plan to be active outdoors, try drinking 16-20 ounces of fluid 1-2 hours before your activity.

Get Quality Sleep – During the summer it can be a little more challenging to get a full nights shut eye when the early morning sunrise is calling your name, or the extended daylight keeps you awake later than usual. If you have trouble sleeping, try blinking quickly for one whole minute – tired eyes help you fall asleep! If you’re still having trouble, try stretching for 5 minutes; your muscles will relax and it will be easier to find a comfortable sleeping position.

Aloe Vera Ice Cubes – Forgot to heed the sunscreen warnings above? Rub some relief into your skin! Freeze aloe vera in an ice cube tray for quick grab and go relief!

Party Pepper Salad

This vegetarian salad takes about 15 minutes to prepare and an hour to chill.  It is a crowd pleaser that even makes kids happy!  This recipe was originally posted By Amy Roskelley on Super Healthy Kids, and we think adults will love it too!

The Ingredients

  • 6 bell peppers, chopped ( a mix of orange, red, green, and yellow.
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 avocados, pitted, peeled and chopped.
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese

The Dressing

  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp water
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • dash of black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp thyme, dried
  • 1/8 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp salt

The Instructions

  1. Combine all the vegetables in a very large bowl.
  2. Combine the dressing separately, and pour over vegetables.
  3. Allow dressing to marinate your vegetables in the fridge as long as you choose.
  4. Top with feta cheese

Photo & Recipe Cred: Super Healthy Kids

Mango Guacamole? Yes, please!

Grilling at the neighbors house?  Graduation party coming up? Need a show stopper for a 4th of July barbecue?  Make this mango guac.  Guaranteed to leave you with an empty dish and requests for the recipe.  Here’s what you need:

2 Fresh Mangos

3 Ripe Avocados

The Juice of 1 Lime

1 Seeded and Ribbed Serrano or Jalapeno Pepper

One Bunch of Fresh Chopped Cilantro (discard the stems of course)

Salt and Garlic to taste

Mix together. Serve chunky with chicken or corn chips. Enjoy!

Hack Your Summer with these Cool Tricks

Are you ready for fun in the sun??

But really, are you ready for all that comes along with that? The beautiful weather lures us out in the heat, but lurking everywhere all Summer long are cold, sugary temptations like ice-cream and popsicles! And spending all that extra time out in the sun is sure to affect your hydration – which as we’ve learned in the past has drastic implications for our health and fitness goals.

But fear not! We have some great tricks you can use this Summer to keep you cool, well hydrated and most importantly satisfied all Summer long without boosting your sugar intake.

Protein-Packed Coconut Popsicles

Few things are more satisfying than an ice cold popsicle on a hot, dry day! Boost your protein and energy with this delicious alternative to popsicles containing all kinds of additives, preservatives etc. It’s super simple!

– Blend 2 Scoops of Bio-Whey with 1 Can Full Fat Coconut Milk
– Pour into popsicle molds and serve frozen

Frozen Grapes

Hands down one of the easiest ways to cool down with a delicious treat is to freeze your grapes! Wash beforehand and pat dry so they don’t all clump together. Put in the freezer and enjoy them straight out of the icebox! Or if you want a slushier texture let them thaw a couple of minutes before eating.

Protein Packed Yogurt

Greek Yogurt is another great way to keep cool, and you can boost the flavor and nutrition by mixing in a scoop of Bio-Whey and 1-2 tsp of water to thin a little. 37 grams of protein come packed into this combo!

Stay Well Hydrated

Like the glue that holds together all of your sound nutrition choices, hydration is essential for ensuring your body is working properly and handling the nutrients you are giving it in an effective way! If the taste of water just doesn’t do it for you, consider flavoring it with some citrus! And if carrying a lemon around with you is not really your thing…maybe try something like True Lemon. True Lemon contains no artificial sweeteners, real fruit flavor, and no preservatives; their new crystallized citrus comes in lemon, lime, grapefruit and orange flavor.

Tired of the ice melting in your water bottle within moments of stepping outside into the hot sun? Fill it half full and freeze your bottle over night lying on it’s side. That way when you fill it up the long, vertical ice cube will keep your water refreshingly cold much longer!

Now, no Summer post would be complete without a suggestion for the grill, so save time and flavor up that boring chicken! Before freezing your chicken, toss in your marinade! As the chicken thaws it will be soaking up the tasty flavors. Try lime juice, soy sauce, and ginger OR a lemon juiced w/ zest, garlic, olive oil, thyme, and salt/pepper.
https://www.noshtastic.com/grilled-paleo-lemon-chicken-thyme/

Mighty Micros!

Mighty Mighty Microgreens!

Did you know that Microgreens contain many times the nutrient density of their mature-harvested counterparts? These things pack a nutritional punch! (see USDA article here)

Microgreens are vegetables and herbs harvested when their first set of true leaves sprout. These things pack a lot of flavor, nutrients and vitamins into a small package! Often they are confused with sprouts, so let’s break down the difference:

Microgreens
– Harvested after first true leaves (not cotyledon) sprout – when plants are about 2 inches tall
– Harvest time: 1 – 3 weeks
– Grown in soil and in the sunshine (where plants get most of their nutrients from)

Sprouts
– Harvested during the sprouting phase
– Harvest time: 2 – 3 days
– Grown in water and in the dark

While sprouts are also considered a healthy food source, microgreens are far superior when it comes to nutrient and fiber content. Leafy microgreens for instance are a significant source of beta-carotene, iron and calcium, and dark leafy microgreens (kale, chard, etc) are high in antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin which have been shown to reduce the risk of chronic eye disease and cataracts. Microgreens are very easy to grow, so get yourself some seeds and get started!
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No matter what the season, microgreens can be grown near a sunny window year-round. Snow pea shoots, red beets, purple and green basil, pak choi, cilantro, parsley and mesclun mix germinate and grow to microgreen size in about two weeks. (Susan Smith-Durisek/Lexington Herald-Leader/MCT via Getty Images)

Growing microgreens requires little space and time – unlike a traditional garden. Some good options for seeds to use are: Basil, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Chard, Cilantro, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Mustard, Parsley, Peas, Radishes and Spinach!

1. Poke a few holes in the bottom of a plastic tub for drainage (see: spinach or mushroom container for instance).

2. Fill the container with 1 – 2 inches of light seedling soil and smooth it out to be even – but not compacted. (Being that we are growing microgreens for a nutrient rich food source, be sure of the quality and safety of your soil! Choose high-quality, organic soil whenever possible)

3. Sprinkle seeds so they almost cover the soil for a dense planting, and then sprinkle a light covering of soil over the seeds and pat gently

4. Water with a spray bottle to avoid dislodging seeds (a plastic cover can help keep moisture in)

5. Keep in a dark, warm area of the house until seeds start to sprout and then transfer to a sunny windowsill until ready to harvest

It really is that easy! Try it out and see for yourself!

Running: Do’s & Don’ts!

Running (and walking) is an incredibly functional movement; your body is literally built for it! The cross-body movement pattern of driving the opposite arm and leg forward in unison helps improve our coordination and stability by nurturing the relationship our disparate muscles share via the muscle fascia.

What is Fascia?

Basically, Fascia is connective tissue superficial to the muscles that helps connect them to other parts of the body. It’s been described as big rubber bands that help us transfer energy during certain movement (such as the see-saw/back-and-forth type movement involved in running….left, right, left, right). But this fascia can get stuck and lose some elasticity when we don’t move it to keep it loose! Then we are stuck with this rigid strap limiting our movement, instead of a supple rubber band which allows us to move and then “snap” back in place.

For more reading and understanding of fascia check out this link below to see how unhealthy fascia can lead to low back pain
http://traineradvice.blogspot.com/2013/01/thoracolumbar-fascia-forgotten-culprit.html
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RUNNING TIPS:

DO

– Your Research! Shoes are a major factor contributing to an effective running program, especially if you’re intending to run on asphalt and/or concrete surfaces.

– Your Homework! If you’ve set your sights on an upcoming run be it a 5k, 10k, marathon or more you need to give yourself adequate time to prepare if you want to finish without injury! There are “proper” running mechanics that will help you not only land a better time, but protect your body from the repetitive stress of running. Bend your arms at 90 degrees and pump them along with the opposite leg during stride, engage your core muscles for stability to avoid excess strain on your low back throughout the run, Relax the shoulders down onto the back and don’t over-stretch your stride length – keep it comfortable and you will be able to hold a steadier pace for a longer period of time. Seek the advice of a professional for help analyzing your gait and setting up an appropriate training program to prepare for your big run.

– Prepare! Be aware of your environment! Don’t decide at the last minute to go for a run at night, through a neighborhood with no sidewalks in all black! It sounds funny, but be aware that it is VERY difficult to see runners! Wear bright colored clothing – even reflective material if running at night. Also, be mindful of WHERE you are running. If you’re trying to achieve a multiple mile run you might easily find yourself in an area of the city that is not runner friendly or safe for that matter. Run with a buddy if possible or plan and drive your route ahead of time.

– Hydrate!

DON’T

– Be a Hero! Running is one of those things people seem to think they can just pick up at any time and go-go-go! While we applaud your motivation, it’s important to approach it just like any other physical activity and ease into it to avoid injury. According to Runner’s World up to 66% of runners suffer an injury every year!!

– ALWAYS Run as FAR as you can! the 80/20 principal is widely used by many top endurance athletes. This means that 80% of their training is in the “low intensity” range (<77% max HR or breathing comfortably through the nose) and only 20% is at the moderate or higher intensity. For instance if you run 100 minutes per week, 80 of those should be in the low range, maybe 15 at moderate intensity (77 to 92% max HR, able to speak in short sentences) and 5 at high intensity (over 92% max HR and breathing as hard as you can after just a couple minutes). HAPPY TRAILS

Third Time’s the Charm

If you’ve been tuning in hopefully you have been trying out our one and two-ingredient recipes over the last couple of weeks. We are always trying to find ways to develop simple strategies for you to implement in your quest for health and fitness – and it is indeed a quest! The journey is long and certainly requires some effort and mindfulness, but the rewards literally have no match when it comes to feeling better, moving better and helping you stay as pain and disease-free as possible!

Three-Ingredient Recipes

    Banana NICEcream!

3 FROZEN BANANAS (cut in chunks) + 2 TBSP NATURAL UNSALTED PEANUT BUTTER + ¼ TSP SEA SALT
Toss in a blender on low (so you don’t burn out the motor) taking a few breaks to stir with a spoon. 2 servings

    Easy Pesto!

4 C BASIL + 3 TBSP EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL + SALT/PEPPER
Throw it all in a food processor. Freeze for future use if need be.

    Cheddar Broccoli Egg Muffins!

4 EGGS + 1 C STEAMED BROCCOLI + ½ C SHARP CHEDDAR (shredded)
Chop broccoli and whisk all ingredients. Pour mixture into coated muffin tin and bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes until the eggs are set.

    Taco Lime Grilled Chicken!

1 # CHICKEN + 2 LIMES + 2 TBSP TACO SEASONING
Mix taco seasoning and lime. Cover chicken and marinate for 30 min – overnight. Grill on med-high heat for 3-5 min per side. 4 servings.

    Simple Chili!

1 # GROUND MEAT + CHILI BEANS + DICED TOMATOES
Mix COOKED meat, 1 can UNDRAINED chili beans, and 1 can of chili ready diced tomatoes. Toss in a pot and bring to a boil, simmering for 30 minutes OR toss in a crock pot on low for 4-6 hours. Add additional seasonings to taste! Consider serving over cooked spaghetti squash for added veggies!

    Tuna Salad!

AVACADO + TUNA + LEMON
Mash together 1 can of tuna, 1 small avocado, and the juice of a lemon. Season with salt/pepper to taste and serve on a wrap, on Wasa crackers, etc.

Add your own flares to these easy recipes to keep life simple!
To your health!

Building Blocks: 2 Ingredient Recipes

Hey Fit Family!

The road to Health is paved with good intentions…

The best way to develop clean eating habits for the long term is to start with BASIC ingredients that you recognize!
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Love Pizza?
Don’t deny yourself the things you love! Try this simple recipe that cuts out loads of unsavory ingredients in take out pizza:

1 C of Plain Greek Yogurt
1.5 C of Self-Rising Flour

Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes. Create your pizza shape and top with choice ingredients. Bake at 500 degrees 10-12 minutes.
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Pudding the right way?

Soak 2 TBSP of Chia Seeds in 1 C Almond Milk for at least 10 minutes. Make it smooth by blending or sweeter by adding a little honey. An Omega-3 and Protein rich snack!
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Banancakes!

Blend 1 Ripe Banana with 2 eggs until slightly frothy. Batter will be thin. Play around with toppings or roll them up with Greek Yogurt and Fruit!

and let’s be honest, pancakes are awesome – so here’s another recipe to try!

Blend 1 Ripe Banana with 1 C of Oats for thicker, more filling pancakes.
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Chicken + Salsa

Layer 3 – 4 Chicken Breasts in a slow cooker with a jar of salsa on top. Cook on low for 4+ hours and you’ve got ready to serve chicken for tacos or over rice, Mexican chicken salad, or get creative with your own idea!
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Homemade Snack Bars

In a food processor (an essential kitchen tool to make clean eating easier!) pulse together 1 part Dates and 1 part Oats. Combine until they are the consistency of jam (add just a little bit of hot water if too dry). Press the mixture into a 1/2″ deep pan and freeze for 1 – 2 hours.

Cut it into bars for a super-quick whole food snack for energy on the go!
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Until next time, remember to keep it simple at first! Nothing derails your best-laid intentions faster than jumping into the deep end before you know how to swim! Build up your repertoire one simple recipe at a time.

Flood Workout

In case you haven’t heard, the rain has been wreaking havoc on the midwest, especially on the Meramec River in and around St. Louis, Missouri.  Many are hoping to keep their homes and businesses dry and safe from the flood waters.  As a result, traffic has become very interesting.

Here is a workout for you to do in case you find yourself on one of many Missouri islands and unable to get to the gym these next few days:

5 x 5  Workout-Perform 5 repetitions each of the following exercises for 5 rounds

  1. Plank Walk Out to Pushup (Go slowly and focus on the lowering portion of the pushup)
  2. Side Lunges or Lateral Squats (5 reps per side w/a 5 sec hold per side)
  3. Burpees
  4. Walking Lunges (5 steps per side)
  5. Squats (Jump Squats for those who like to jump!)

As always, foam roll and warm up prior to any exercise. Listen to your body.  Let us know how long this takes you. Post your sweaty selfie on Facebook or Instagram and tag us.

 

It’s Easy as 1, 2, 3…

Today we are going to highlight ONE ingredient recipes!
wait is that a recipe or just food..?

Food…in a different way!

Hard-Boiled Eggs are one nearly essential source of simplicity for anyone interested in building healthy eating habits. Protein at breakfast is sometimes a challenge. Cereal? Nope. Bagels? Not really… Even oatmeal? Only about 6g of protein per 27g of carbs!
Enter: Hard-Boiled Eggs. 7g of protein; 5g of fat; ZERO carbs. Worried about the fat? Egg whites contain over half the protein of the egg, and NO fat nor carbs. Adding these into your diet is an easy way to boost your protein (which is essential for those cutting it close on calorie intake), and help you make better choices the easy way.

Chickpeas – Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Drain chickpeas and blot with a paper towel to dry, then toss in olive oil and a little salt (or cayenne/paprika if you like it spicier!). Bake about 35-40 minutes until browned and crunchy! Delicious

Grab a Date! No, not that kind…The sugar addiction is very real, and when you get hit with that craving it is hard to ignore. Dates – unlike processed sugar – are a natural, whole sweetener complete with fiber, antioxidants, potassium and magnesium (all major sources of “craving” feelings). Snack on a date to satisfy your sweet tooth, add sweetness to a protein shake, or re-fuel during an endurance activity (running/cycling)!

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Now, into the freezer!

Banana “Nice” Cream they call it: Take your ripe/over-ripe bananas and freeze them overnight. Peel and cut into 1″ chunks for the food processor or blender, and blend about 1 minute or until they become a smooth, creamy, frozen dessert! Top with blueberries, a little cocoa powder or even peanut butter! Whatever floats your boat.

Or perhaps you prefer sorbet? Watermelon when frozen and pureed makes a delicious, scoopable delight. Freeze on a baking pan to avoid them clumping together and puree them in batches. Pack the puree into a bread loaf pan or other container for storage.

Grapes make an excellent frozen treat as well! Flash freeze about 10 minutes on a cookie sheet (so they do not all clump together when you transfer to freezer bag). The texture and taste is fresh and pleasing, especially on a hotter day.

That’s all for now!
Look out next week for TWO Ingredient recipes!