Sunday, August 14, 2011

30 Days of Blogging: Summertime Energy Boosters!

So as summer is quickly coming to an end (Wahhh!), I wanted to post some tips to make sure you finish this wonderful season in style...and smart. Though for the most part, these tips have been stated in my posts, it can't hurt to reiterate them!

Be Cool

On hot days, stay cool by chilling out. Enjoy low fat yogurt (like Chobani!) topped with cold sliced peaches, granola, or banana slices. Start with whole grain cereal and cold skim milk topped with chilled berries. Blend some 100% apple juice and ice with bananas and strawberries for a refreshing smoothie. Pour your favorite fruit juice into molded shapes and freeze for fun snacks the whole family can enjoy!

Lighten Up

Avoid the sluggish feeling that comes from large meals on a hot day. Lighten up with smaller meals and healthy snacks to keep your energy levels steady. After breakfast, snack on fresh fruit or string cheese. For lunch, try a turkey sandwich on whole wheat with lettuce and tomato. Try dried fruit or mixed nut trail mix for an afternoon snack. Smaller meals and lighter snacks will help energize you throughout the day!

Drink Smart

Follow the golden rule- "Don't drink your calories." Cut back on, or avoid altogether, sweetened drinks. If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation. Hydrate for lasting energy all summer long and throughout the day with water, seltzer with a splash of 100% fruit juice, unsweetened teas with a squeeze of fresh summer fruit, or iced coffee with skim or low fat milk.

     How much is enough??
  • For most adults, 9-12 glasses of fluids (water and other beverages) a day is recommended.
  • For active adults, 2 extra glasses a few hours before exercising and 1 glass every 20 minutes during physical activity.
  • Adjust the amount you drink based on the length of time you spend outdoors, in hot environments, or exercising.

Visit the Local Farmers Market

If you love peaches, cherries, tomatoes, corn, watermelon, or strawberries, a trip to the farmers market is just the healthy outdoor summer activity for you. Local farms and markets are fun places to visit and in-season fruits and veggies are a delicious and nutritious way to enjoy the season! Plus, why not help out local farmers and your local community??

Put Veggies on the Grill

Whether you're hosting a backyard barbeque or tailgating at the big game, put veggies on the grill. Use bell or chili peppers, asparagus, tomatoes, corn, zucchini, or red onions for grilled kabobs or side dishes. They're all great on the grill!

Walk the Walk

Whether you choose oceanside board-walks, hiking trails, or neighborhood parks, put on a hat (and some suntan lotion!) and go for a walk. Bring a friend, meet a neighbor, or just listen to your favorite music on the go- just get out and have fun!

Get Wet

Everyone enjoys getting wet on a hot summer's day. Some enjoy wading in local rivers or streams while fishing; others prefer swimming in the neighborhood pool or a trip to the beach. Backyard water slides or sprinklers are also great for getting in some play time with kids. Getting wet can also be a great way to get active as a part of your summertime wellness routine.

Here is one of my favorite summer recipes:

Grilled Chicken with Fresh Peaches
(150 calories, 16g protein, 270mg sodium)

For sauteed peaches:

2 1/2 cups sliced, peeled fresh peaches
1 cup diced red onions
1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 pinches black pepper
2 1/2 Tbl. soft margarine

Melt margarine in saute pan over medium-high heat. Add onions. Saute for 3-4 minutes until tender. Add peaches, lemon juice, curry powder, ginger, cinnamon, and pepper. Saute for 4-6 minutes until peaches are tender. Keep warm.

For grilled chicken:

1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
8 (4oz.) boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Preheat char-grill to medium. Lightly pound chicken with meat mallet. Lightly coat with cooking spray and season with salt and pepper. Cook chicken until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees and juices run clear, 4-6 minutes on each side.

Serve each piece of chicken with 1/4 cup sauteed peaches. 

What are you doing to enjoy the rest of the season??

I hope all of you enjoy the rest of your summer. Make sure you enjoy it happily, healthy, and of course...on your own two feet...

Until the next step bloggers...

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