Summer is here and I am ready for some road trips! It's not always easy to find the healthiest options when traveling, and it's hard to stick to your regular eating and exercise routine. Read on for some of my tips on how you can stay healthy while traveling.
Tip #1: Be Prepared
We were on a road trip last summer in the Pacific NW. As we were traveling along the coast, in the middle of nowhere, with no restaurants around, I was happy that I took the time to stop at Trader Joes beforehand to load up on the food I needed for the week. I made this delicious salad that we stopped to eat overlooking this amazing view of the ocean. Being healthy on the road does require a little bit of preparation, but it is so worth it! Find the closest Trader Joes or Whole Foods which usually offer pre-cut veggie and salad packs, hummus and other great snack items.
Tip #2: Eat Fresh and In Season
Enjoy all the delicious flavors of the season with corn on the cob, fresh berries, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, fresh green beans, peaches and so much more! Check out local Farmer's Markets or fresh fruit stands, and local orchards to find the freshest options! I can't wait to buy fresh cherries on the way to Mt. Rainier this summer, as well as visit the amazing Farmer’s Markets in that area!
Tip #3: Stay active with outdoor activities
There are many fun outdoor activities that you can do with your family. Going on a hike and getting out in nature is one of our family favorite activities. Other great options are bike rides, roller blading and swimming. You can also check for local community outdoor yoga and fitness classes. Not only is it great exercise, but it will also create bonding time.
Tip #4: Stay Hydrated
Heat and sweat can leave your body dehydrated in the hot months ahead! It is important to keep yourself hydrated by drinking at least eight to ten glasses of water a day. Try adding lemon or fruit to your water or making herbal iced sun tea with fresh mint (one of our favorites!) Coconut water is another good option to help stay hydrated.
Tip #5: Relax, unwind and disconnect
Enjoy all the fun that traveling brings and make sure take time to relax and unwind! Try turning off your phone and other electronics for a couple days. Cherish each moment and enjoy a slower pace. Take some time, for YOU, away from work and other obligations! Have fun and re-energize!
Self-love may be thought of as selfish or narcissistic, but how can we take care of and love others if we can’t love ourselves first? When we love ourselves, we nourish our body, mind and spirit to be the best version of ourselves, and in turn can love and nourish others. Self-love is a defined as having appreciation and regard for one’s own well-being and happiness. Self-love grows from actions that support physical, emotional and spiritual growth. Self-Care and Self-Love go hand in hand. When you take care of yourself, you are loving yourself. There are countless ways to practice self-love, here are 10 ideas on how you can practice loving your amazing Self!
1. Eating healthy is definitely a way of loving yourself and loving your body! By eating nourishing foods, you are providing your body with optimal nutrition!
2. Take time out for yourself for yoga, meditation and relaxation. Calm your mind and stay in tune with yourself and your intentions.
3. Exercise to fuel your body and give you energy. Whether you need a vigorous workout or a walk in the park, move your body!
4. Follow your passions and do what you love. Give your energy to people and things that make you happy.
5. Practice daily gratitude. Create daily rituals to remember all that you are grateful for.
6. Set boundaries, and learn to say no to activities and situations that cause extra stress on you.
7. Forgive yourself. Live in the present and move on from any past mistakes and regrets.
8. Don’t compare yourself to others. Enjoy who you are and your own special gifts.
9. In a negative rut? Make a list of all of your strengths and accomplishments to lift you up!
10. As I learned from Louise Hay’s mirror work for creating self-love, look in the mirror and repeat affirmations, telling yourself how much you love yourself! Why not give it a try!
There are so many different diets that it can be hard to decide which one is best. Trying to “stick” to a diet can often lead to frustration, deprivation and overeating. Over the years, I have followed different diets, such as, Vegan, Raw and Vegetarian, but have found that I personally don’t like to have a label tied to the way that I eat, or have a strict diet that is hard to "stick" to. I like to focus on eating nourishing, plant-based, real food that keep me healthy and provides my body with the nutrients that it needs. What has worked for me and my family is “Clean Eating” which is consuming primarily whole, unprocessed, real food. While clean eating may not sound very exciting or flavorful, it actually can provide an array of flavor and options. Eating a clean diet of whole foods and unprocessed ingredients ensures you get adequate amounts of essential nutrients and minerals, like vitamin B12, magnesium, calcium, fiber and much more. Whole foods boast incredible nutrition profiles, and it’s best to eat a wide range of nutrient dense foods to ensure any nutritional void is filled. When you stick to whole foods, you’re much more likely to keep your caloric intake at an appropriate level for your body and maintain a healthy weight as a result.
Whole foods actually fill you up and fuel you, whereas empty calories, like those found in processed foods like, candy and chips, fill a mental craving, but don’t physically fill you up. Your mindset will improve when you switch to whole foods since it’s hard to feel guilty after filling up on genuine nutrients. Whole foods also regulate cholesterol levels and ward off cancer, heart disease, dementia, and many other conditions. In addition, the high fiber content of fruits, vegetables, and grains keeps the digestive system in tip-top shape, which is essential to optimal health. Other benefits of clean eating include, weight loss, increased energy, clearer skin, shinier hair, better sleep and increased mental well-being.
The 12 steps below will help you start on your journey to eating clean. Pick one or more to try each week.
1. Eat Whole Foods
Whole foods are those that occur in nature and don’t go through a lab or another manufacturing unit. Have you heard the statement: "If it comes from a plant, eat it; if it’s made in a plant, avoid it"! Examples of whole foods include fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
2. Spend time in the kitchen
When you cook for yourself, you’re almost guaranteed to up the nutritional value of your food. Experiment with new recipes each week. Try meal prepping to have healthy items on hand and ready to go for quick meals. Restaurant food is more processed, less fresh, and often over seasoned. Keep it simple and then build your repertoire as you learn more.
3. Eliminate refined sugar and carbohydrates
You’ll want to remove white foods (like white sugar and white flour) from your diet if you’re aiming to eat clean. This includes all standard desserts containing white sugar, as well as, white pasta, white rice, white bread, and pastries.
4. Drink Water
Start each day with a glass of fresh lemon water. The many benefits of this include: helps flush the digestive system and rehydrate the body, helps purge toxins from the body, balances the acidity in your body and boosts your immune system. Make sure to stay hydrated throughout the day. Add lemon or fruit to make water more flavorful.
5. Maintain blood sugar.
Keeping your blood sugar stable greatly contributes to healthy food choices. When you wait too long between meals or eat processed foods that spike blood sugar – leading to a crash in energy – you’re more likely to reach for sugar, fat, or caffeine to keep your energy up. If you continue this cycle, you’ll always feel irritable and exhausted. If you ensure you eat whole foods every 3–4 hours, your blood sugar and mentality will remain stable.
6. Remember the magic combination of protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates.
You should aim to get a serving from each group at every meal. This will create optimal blood sugar levels and stave off your cravings and brain fog. Some examples of great protein sources include fish, tempeh, and tofu. Top-notch fat options are avocado, olive oil, nuts, and seeds. When reaching for complex carbs, try quinoa, brown rice, or sweet potatoes.
7. Add herbs and spices
Adding herbs and spices will enhance the flavors of your dishes and add many health benefits without the extra calories.
8. Watch out for fat, salt, and sugar.
This is easier than you think, particularly if you’ve cut out processed foods, which are responsible for most of our excess calories and high levels of fat, sugar, and salt. Clean foods are usually naturally low in all of these ingredients. Try natural sugars such as raw honey, maple syrup, or dates.
9. Don’t drink your calories.
High calorie drinks like specialty coffees and soft drinks can tack on many extra calories. Always choose water first or unsweetened tea.
Regular physical activity is a must for many reasons. Not only does it decrease fat, strengthen and build muscle, and help you burn more energy at rest, it keeps your heart, lungs, and bones healthy and strong.
11. Savor Your Food
Take your time to enjoy meals whether alone or with family. Sit down and enjoy all of the flavors of the meal. Try to keep distractions such as phone and television out of reach to fully enjoy the meal.
12. Clean Out Your Pantry
Toss foods that contain processed ingredients such as, preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, artificial flavors or sweeteners and any ingredient that you don’t recognize or cannot pronounce. These processed ingredients can be harmful to your health.
*Adapted from Integrative Nutrition, Inc.
Kids need an average of an hour of exercise a day. Some of the benefits of daily exercise for kids include: helps them maintain a healthy weight, strengthens their muscles and bones, improves concentration at school and increases their health and well-being. One of our favorite ways to get our daily exercise is with YOGA. I started doing yoga with my son when he was born, and then it became a regular part of our daily routine as he got older.
Kids yoga is playful and full of imagination and adventure. It’s about letting kids be creative and seeing what type of poses they are drawn too. My son always loved the eagle pose and other fun postures to test his balance. We have a few favorite yoga CD’s that we would play and dance along to, such as Feeling Good Today by Snatam Kaur, Happy by Shakta Kaur Khalsa. We also loved the DVD, Shanti the Yogi and the book Fly Like a Butterfly, by Shakta Kaur Khalsa, where yoga is done through story-telling and acting out the story using yoga poses. With yoga, kids will be quieting their mind, meditating, breathing, all while doing fun exercises.
Why should kids do yoga? Here are 7 reasons:
Kids will love this playful and creative way to exercise. Yoga is a healthy tool for their body, mind and spirit! Namaste!
One of my favorite weekend activities is hiking! Most weekends you can find me on a trail with my family! Whether we are hiking locally around Red Rock Canyon or Mount Charleston, or heading out of town for a weekend adventure, there is nothing better than getting out in nature and exploring! Not only is hiking a great way to get some exercise, but there are so many other benefits to hiking and nature! It’s a perfect way to unwind from the week, de-stress, turn off the phones and enjoy all the sounds and beauty of nature. Nature is beneficial for your body, mind and spirit! And, it’s a great family activity to enjoy together.
One of the most important things to remember when you take a hiking trip is to be prepared! Making sure to pack extra water and, of course, a healthy lunch and snacks! I usually pack classic peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (always a favorite for our family), fresh fruit (usually oranges and apples travel well), and our delicious, crunchy Happy and Healthy Trails Mix!
We love to make our own trail mix. The store-bought varieties can have too much added sugar, oils and processed ingredients. When you make your own trail mix, you can buy the ingredients in bulk and always have them on hand for quick, healthy snacks. Best of all, kids can get involved and make their own trail mix combinations with their favorite ingredients! I have shared a simple recipe below (no baking required)!
Yield: approximately 6 cups
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PLEASE NOTE: The information provided throughout my website pertaining to your health or wellness, is not intended to be a substitute for the professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by your own physician or health care provider. It is intended to be provided for informational, educational, and self-empowerment purposes only. This information should not be used to diagnose, treat or cure any illness or health condition. If you have, or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your physician or health care provider. A Health Coach is defined as a guide and mentor who empowers clients to take responsibility for their own health and supports them to implement and sustain lifestyle and behavior changes that will contribute to the achievement of their personal wellness goals. I became certified as a Health Coach because of my passion for health and wellness, and to work with others on incorporating positive and healthy changes in their lives.
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