Archive | July, 2013

A Healthy Diet While On Vacation

31 Jul

Today I have a guest author for this post. Cole Mill wrote a great guide for maintaining your healthy lifestyle while on vacation. What follows are tips for keeping your diet on  track, while still enjoying your trip.

Whether it is the call of the glorious sunshine on a distant beach, or the allure of endless shopping adventures in an exotic city, vacations recharge the soul. Yet holidays do come with some side effects. Besides the dreaded workout the credit card can endure, eating healthy is not always easy when traveling with your family. You work all year so that you will look stunning in your swimwear; the last thing you want is to unravel all your hard work. Here are some tips to help avoid packing on the pounds during your next vacation.

Healthy Eating

Flying

If you are flying across the globe it is wise to check out the menus offered by the airline. Most companies offer this information online and they allow you to make dietary requests. However, short flights may not offer this service, so have a nutritious meal before the flight to avoid making poor choices. Another tip is to travel with protein bars/drinks, almonds, fresh fruit or other healthy snacks.  During layovers, walk the restaurant areas at the terminal and find good, healthy options such as salads and baked chicken or even fruit cups. Taking the time to walk around will not only help find better choices, but it is a good way to get the blood circulating in your legs.

At the Hotel                                                                        

When you arrive at your hotel, limit your exposure to temptations. Refusing the key to the mini-bar is one way you can prevent sudden urges for sweet or salty snacks. Your credit card will thank you too. Take a few moments to find a nearby health store or market. Stocking up on a variety of healthy snacks will make it easier for you to stay on track. Walking to the store is a good way to combat jet lag too. Instant soups or oatmeal are very easy to prepare with hot water from a coffee maker. If you feel the need to order room service, most hotels will be happy to accommodate your healthy choices, so be very specific about your order.

Continental Breakfast

Continental Breakfasts can be great for healthy eating or terrible depending how you approach them. Stay away from the high sugar items like cereals and muffins. Eat as much fruit as you want. Choose low-fat yogurt, oatmeal and even hard-boiled eggs. And when possible, try to choose whole grain varieties of breads and bagels. These options are full of dietary fiber, protein and complex carbohydrates that will keep you full and feeling great.

Finding Healthy Restaurants

Most restaurants have their menus online, so make the effort to explore what they offer. Plan your meal before you go so that you can avoid temptation.  Decide on your meal before you sit down and decline the menu when offered.  In addition, share meals, order off the lunch menus and don’t feel like you have to finish a meal just because that is what is served.  It’s often tempting because taking leftovers is not always an option.  Leave the extra food on your plate so that it is not ultimately on your waist. I have found reading reviews from other travelers to be extremely helpful in that they provide unbiased and honest opinions. I recently scoured the Internet and found a great site called Gogobot that helped me find a health conscious hotel as well as restaurants in Sin City. I pulled up a list of reviews for Las Vegas hotels regarding their services as well as the restaurants in the area. A tool like this allows you to maintain your healthy lifestyle by avoiding the ever so tempting buffets. Avoiding the  “all-you-can-eat” establishments is crucial. Fish restaurants and salad bars offer a range of healthy options. A small snack such as an apple, before going out to eat will help you to push away the breadbasket.

Reading Menus

Learning how to decipher the riddle of menu-speak will have you avoiding diet trap. Look for high-fiber, multigrain, and whole wheat breads to determine the healthy options at restaurants. Choose lean cuts of meat that are baked, boiled, grilled or roasted. Look for fresh salads that come with vinaigrette dressings. Vegetables should be steamed or stir-fired.  Light or reduced sauces are a better option for sauces or gravies.  By all means avoid battered or deep-fried foods. Do not opt for creamy or enriched sauces and be careful with cheeses and stuffed items.

It is easy to become swept up in the excitement of the vacation. But by taking care of your body, you will not only look good, you will continue to feel great. Downloading a calorie tracker for your phone can help you keep a watchful eye on your diet. Drink plenty of water, watch your alcohol consumption and eat good nutritious meals. Your post-vacation body will be thankful for all your efforts.

Enjoy your vacation!  Stay active and make the vacation about the company, sites and activities, instead of the food.

Visit Cole’s blog for more information on staying healthy!

http://colemill.blogspot.com/

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DIY Watermelon Shorts

24 Jul

About a month ago I came across the Lazy Oaf Nasty Gal Collaboration and fell in love with these shorts. They are cute and perfect for summer since it’s watermelon season! I decided to make my own version. What follows is a step by step guide to DIY watermelon shorts.

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1. Buy fabric dye. I went to Michael’s for soda ash, dye, and a fabric pen.

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2. Obtain shorts. You can use a pair of shorts that you already own, cut an old pair of jeans, or do what I did and go to the thrift store. Starting with white shorts or pants is the best option. I found some levi’s jean capris at a thrift store for $6.50.

3. If starting with pants cut shorts to desired length. Put pants on and stand in front of a mirror with your hands at your sides arms relaxed. Mark the spot on your leg where the tip of your middle finger is and cut straight across. This is a good starting place for most people. Depending on your body type, you can leave this as your bottom edge or make them shorter.

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4. Next use tweezers or a similar tool to fray the edges of your shorts. Remember that this step will make the shorts shorter, the more you fray the shorter they will be.

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5. Bleach shorts. If you started with a white garment, skip to step 6. Always wear gloves when using bleach and dye. I used a plastic paint bucket, a metal bowl, or the kitchen/bathroom sink will also work. Be sure to thoroughly rinse bleach from fabric.

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6. Soak shorts in soda ash for 20 minutes. Soda ash is a fixative and will help the color from fading. This step is optional. Wait until shorts are about 80% dry before moving on to dying.

7. Follow the manufacturers directions for mixing dye. I bought green, red, and pink dye. I am going to mix the red and pink to get the desired watermelon color. Be sure to lay down plastic where you are going to be working. Start with dying the edges of the shorts green to represent the rind. Next color the rest of the shorts pink. You can leave a space of white between the green and pink if you want.

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8. Cover Sorts in plastic and let them sit at least 8 hours.

9. Rinse, wash, and dry shorts.

10. Use the fabric pen to draw seeds on to shorts. Wait for paint to dry and set with an iron. I used low-medium setting.

11. Wash and dry shorts one more time and they are ready to wear!

 

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Stay cool during the summer with this fresh look!

Dijon Salmon Wrap

16 Jul


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Dijon Salmon

4 3-4oz Salmon Fillets, skin on

4 Tbs Dijon Mustard

Salt and Pepper

Panko Bread Crumbs

Method

Preheat oven to 400°F

Place salmon, skin side down , on baking sheet

Top each piece of salmon with 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard, spread mustard to cover filet

Season with salt and pepper

Top each filet with panko bead crumbs and bake for 15 minutes, or until salmon easily flakes.

Dijon Salmon Wrap

1 Ezekiel Whole Grain Tortilla

1 Tbs Dijon mustard

6 Leaves-Swiss Chard (or any leafy greens)

1 Medium Tomato, sliced

1 4 oz Salmon Filet, cut in half

Method

Layer all ingredients on tortilla, wrap, and enjoy!

Snack Time

9 Jul

Snack time is as important as breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Snacks are something to keep you satisfied until your next meal. The composition of your snack is important because you want to avoid low blood sugar and feeling hungry. For example eating an apple and 1 oz of almonds is a good snack. It has carbohydrates to maintain blood sugar levels plus fat, protein, and fiber for satiation.

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Another great option for a snack is fruit/vegetable juice and chia seeds. The juice provides the carbohydrate and the chia seeds provide healthy fats, protein and fiber. You can also add avocado to vegetable juice, in stead of chia seeds for fat and fiber. Or to make this snack more hearty/satisfying try adding protein powder. Because it is a snack I would only add 10-15 gms of protein.

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One of my favorite snacks when I’m craving something sweet is non-fat cottage cheese sprinkled with pistachios and drizzled with honey. Again there is the combination of carbohydrate, fat, and protein. This snack will satisfy your sweet tooth so you don’t reach for the cookies.

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