"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

10 July 2014

Eating Well, Staying Fit

We are finally in the summer season!!

I'm wondering if you love summer as much as I do!

I love summer for many reasons:  I get to be home with my daughters (I work in the public schools); I can bike in the early mornings; I can hike; I can kayak; I can power walk whenever I want to; I can cook on the grill every night and eat on the deck for almost every meal (unless it rains!); the pace is slower; no after-school activities; the NYCBallet comes to our area for a week; the Philadelphia Orchestra comes to our area for 3 weeks (we have a free lawn pass for these classical arts events); there is an abundance of fresh, local produce; I can go to Farmers' Markets; I can go to the beloved Adirondacks and not freeze; I can go swimming with my girls;  I can play mini-golf with my family; I can host social events in our backyard....and the list goes on.

But one of my very favorite things to do is try new recipes and new foods that feature local, fresh produce and berries.  And I also work-out more in the summer months....mainly because I have more time.  Yet, this needs to happen in the winter months, too.  I'm still working on finding that balance.

I have found some tricks to help with taking off the 5 pounds I want to lose and stay toned.  Because I am in the midst of menopause, I am finding that I have extra weight in the mid-section of my body. Something I am NOT used to.  I don't like it and my doctor says it CAN be toned and lost but it takes a lot more work after age 45.  Flip those numbers and that's how old I am. :)

Here are some things I'm doing that might help you, too!
(the following information is taken from Natural Health magazine issues from the past year; and the work-out app, Popsugar Fitness that I use for some toning and stretching/cardio).

Some of these foods will also aid in lowering your overall cholesterol.

  • BEANS!  adding beans to your diet will help you lose weight!  They are filling and full of protein and are much better for you than beef. They are also full of fiber which helps you to feel full longer.  Add northern beans to your fresh salads or soups;  cook with black beans when you make Mexican dishes or add them to fresh salads.  I make a 3 bean salad using white northern beans and black beans along with fresh green beans.

  • BOILED EGGS!  If you eat a boiled egg a couple of times a week for breakfast, you are getting protein and will be less likely to want a mid-morning snack.  I boil a few eggs over the weekend and keep them in the fridge for my husband and I to grab for breakfast during the week.  I only eat 2 a week as I'm watching my cholesterol, but check with your own doctor about what is safe for you.  I pair the egg with a piece of flaxseed-multi-grain toast with light Smart Balance butter blend on top, and add a fruit salad of cantaloupe, watermelon, and blueberries.  It's the perfect start to a busy day!

  • NUTS!  I have added walnuts and almonds (salt free) to my daily diet.  You can add them to your oatmeal, salads, or other side dishes.  I will be featuring some side dishes that feature nuts, in later posts this summer.  Nuts are good snack choices, but just a handful is plenty!

  • WATERMELON!  Believe it or not, this fruit is a super food.  Drinking watermelon juice has been known to help with joint and muscle pain or aches.  Watermelon is a great way to stay hydrated in the hot and humid weather that summer brings.  Watermelon also helps you to feel full and yet is a natural sweetener with little calories! One cup has 46 calories. It also contains Vitamins A and C. I eat watermelon chunks for breakfast along with blackberries and blueberries, and slice it for dessert with my family after dinner.  I also serve it as a salad for dinner and will share that recipe sometime this summer. 

  • WATER!  Drink water. Lots of it.  I drink about 32 oz of water every day.  I had stopped doing that as was drinking way too much coffee over the winter and spring so I've cut out my afternoon java and replaced it with a  mason jar glass full of ice, filtered water, and lemon or cucumber slices.  It's one of the best drinks for you and helps you lose weight and keep your body free of toxins.

  • BISON!  Instead of buying ground beef, I have switched my family to bison.  We all love it better. It isn't greasy, the bison are free-range meaning they only feed on grasses and have no added hormones or antibiotics. Plus, bison roam in western NY and parts of the northern sections of the state so it is a local product.  We make grilled bison burgers.  Bison is much lower in fat.  There are only 9 grams of fat in a 3.5 oz serving.  In the same size serving of beef, there is anywhere between 18 and 54 grams of fat!!  Bison also has less cholesterol than any other meat, salmon included!!  Because it is more expensive in our area to  buy bison, I only serve it about twice a month.  Other days we eat chicken (all natural, when I can get it), salmon, tuna, tilapia, or meatless meals.  Try bison!!  I will post some bison recipes on here at some point but simply replace beef with bison. You will love the difference!

  • BERRIES!  I buy berries all the time now.  They are now a staple in our kitchen. I'm allergic to strawberries so the rest of the family eats those while I eat blueberries.  I've added blackberries and blueberries to salads and to oatmeal or just eat them plain as a refreshing snack. They are especially good when paired with various melons. Do not add sugar!!  Simply rinse the berries in cold water, drain, and enjoy!!

Those are just some new things to try this summer!!

Come on back later next week to find some new recipes to help maintain good health!

And now it's time to go for my morning walk..............

Have a blessed day enjoying good things!!

Please note:  all photos used here are courtesy of google images.

1 comment:

Joyful said...

because my husband was just diagnosed with diverticulosis we are eating even better than we had been (thought we were doing good). I found out that if you eat beef you should eat a salad with it instead of a potato. It helps aid in the digestion of the beef and moves it through the intestine faster. The things you learn when you start digging!