Archive for May, 2012

A Summer Fruit and Veggie Smorgasbord

Before hitting the grocery store or produce stands this summer, check out what seasonal fruits and veggies you should be getting and how to pick out the best of the best.

• Beets – greens should be colorful and attached
• Blackberries and Blueberries – dark, plump berries
• Broccoli – compact head and dark green
• Cherries – plump, vibrant color
• Corn – a light, tight husk means fresh
• Eggplant – choose firm and unblemished
• Nectarines – soft to the touch
• Peaches – choose ones without bruises or marks
• Plums – ripe ones feel plump, not hard
• Raspberries – plump and deep red
• Summer Squash – check for firmness
• Tomatoes – choose bright, firm, strong-smelling ones
• Watermelon – yellow on the underside if ripe
• Zucchini – shiny and blemish-free

Planning Your Next Vacation? Don’t Forget to Plan in Exercise!

Everyone looks forward to that one or two weeks out of the year when they get to take a break from their daily work or at-home duties and go on vacation. Vacation is the perfect time to relax, unwind and have a great time with friends and family.

While vacation is a time to unwind and relax, it is not a time to take a break from your daily fitness routines. Just because you are away from your home gym or from the gym you visit to get into shape, doesn’t mean that you can’t get your exercise elsewhere.

Being on vacation is a great time to try something different with your cardio workout. Remembering to keep your routine different each day will help you to enjoy your vacation and exercise even more.

Try these great cardio workouts while on vacation:

• Surfing, swimming or snorkeling: While you may not be the “hang ten” type, even attempting surfing can be an excellent form of exercise. Snorkeling is more laid back and still provides a great workout and we all know that swimming is an excellent form of exercise for all of your major muscle groups.

• Walking or running on the beach: Experts have said that walking or running on the beach burns more calories than running or walking on a flat surface, thereby making this an excellent vacation workout for anyone.

• Biking: Biking trails and biking in general is a great form of exercise and it a great way to get around on vacation. You won’t be burning up gas in a car to get around and you’ll be giving your body a pretty intense workout.

• Hiking: Many families choose the outdoors instead of the beach for their vacation, which allows for another great workout by hiking trails and through the mountains. Adding elevation and a backpack to your hike helps you to burn additional calories.

• Beach volleyball: You don’t have to be a professional volleyball player in order to get a great workout by playing beach volleyball. Besides burning more than 150 calories per hour, playing beach volleyball is a great way to meet some new people while on vacation.

• Play golf: Many of you are probably saying, “Play golf? Now that’s up my alley.” You may not realize this, but playing golf is an excellent form or exercise and is also a great way to relax the day away while you are on vacation. By carrying your clubs and walking the course, you can burn 200 to 300 calories per hour and you’ll be exercising even though you might not realize it.

• Shopping: Yes, men, believe it or not, when your lady decides to take a day out of vacation and get some shopping in, she is actually getting in a pretty decent work out. While this workout is a leisurely one it can still be a good form of exercise with all of the walking and heavy lifting/carrying that could ensue.

So whether you decide to hit up the beach volleyball court and try your hand at surfing, or if you just go shopping and take a walk on the beach, there are plenty of ways that you can get a good workout while you are on vacation.

This way, when you return home you will not only be well rested, but you won’t be out any fitness time and can jump right back into your normal routine without starting fresh.

Perfectly Plum

Plums are the delicious fruit that come from the same fruit family as cherries and peaches. But plums are about more than just great taste, they are chock full of nutritional value.

Plums, and their dried version known as prunes, are very high in phytonutrients, which function as an antioxidant and provide much benefit to the body.

Eating plums helps in the production and absorption of iron in the body, thereby leading to better blood circulation leading further to the growth of healthy tissues.

Consuming plums on a regular basis will help prevent macular degeneration and other eye infections. Researchers have also found that plums contain anti-cancer agents that prevent the growth of cancerous cells and tumors.

Because plums contain blood cleansing agents that help keep the blood pure, plums can help you reduce the risk of contracting heart disease.

Plums are also high in vitamin C, meaning they help to protect the body against conditions like asthma, colon cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Welcome Summer! Eat Right at Your Next Picnic

‘Tis the season for picnics, barbecues, and outdoor parties! But that doesn’t mean that just because you aren’t choosing all of your meals, that you have to pack on the pounds this summer. Keep these tips in mind at your next picnic:

• Choose lean ground meat when making burgers. You should also try low-fat hot dogs, sausages and bratwurst and other grilled favorites.

• Seafood and chicken are great grilled foods and are both still healthy picnic options.

• Don’t forget your greens and mix in a salad to your picnic or party menu.

• Remember your veggies as they are also great on the grill and in side dishes, especially summer time veggies like squash and zucchini.

• Instead of chocolate desserts, think fruity desserts instead, and take advantage of a season when fruits are plenty.

Fresh Lettuce … Longer!

Tired of buying fresh lettuce only to throw it out two days later because it has browned and wilted? Then keep these tips in mind to help keep your lettuce fresher longer:

• Use air tight storage bags to store your lettuce, versus using the plastic bags that you buy your lettuce in.

• Avoid pre-bagged lettuce, as it has already been preserved, and is well on its way to spoiling.

• Do not store your lettuce in metal pans. This also speeds up the spoiling process and is not recommended to preserve the freshness of your lettuce.

• Use the crisper in your refrigerator. The crisper actually does keep foods like lettuce and other vegetables crispier and therefore fresher.

• Try using items like Tupperware’s Fridgesmart that helps to preserve lettuce through the design of the container.