My recent trip to Wisconsin, was one of many memories with family and friends that included some of our favorite pastimes of meal planning, prepping and devouring! The women in my family are truly amazing cook’s and luckily I have inherited some of those cooking skills, at least I would like to think so.
Of course what is dinner without dessert? Mostly we all enjoyed locally made ice cream prepared by the University of Wisconsin Food Science Department students. The sweltering temperatures made the ice cream even more tasty than I had remembered.
This recipe is extremely easy to prepare and appeals to both young and old! Remember to choose fresh fruits that are local to your region or that are in season. I enjoy this dessert because it tastes refreshing as well as looks beautiful from the colorful fruit toppings.
- Refrigerated sugar cookie package
- Cream cheese 8oz., softened
- Vanilla 1 Tbsp
- Sugar 1/4 cup
- Assorted fresh fruit – i.e. strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, peaches, etc.
- Heat oven to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit
- Grease a baking sheet, spread the cookie dough out evenly over pan to form the crust. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine together softened cream cheese, vanilla extract, and sugar.
- Once the baked cookie has cooled, spread the cream cheese mixture evenly across, and finally place desired fruit on top to your liking.
- Slice and serve immediately or chill it. Enjoy!
It is important to make informed, educated food choices for living a long, healthy life.
Here is a list of the top 3 worst foods found in the pantry:
- Sugary beverages i.e. soda, juice, etc. — Sweetened beverages are loaded with refined carbohydrates, excessive sugar, and harmful chemicals. Sugary beverages provide no nutritional value as well as being loaded with calories. Think twice about “diet” soda because it contains high fructose corn syrup and does not promote weight control. There is much controversy around “diet” sodas as would seem healthier, but contain artificial sweeteners and caffeine, which do not promote a healthy diet.
- High sugar, low fiber cereals — Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, hence its essential to begin the day with food with good nutrients. Choosing cereals where the top ingredients are refined grains and sugar should be a red flag. Pick cereals that contain fiber and whole grains that provide valuable nutrients.
- Cupcakes & cookies – These processed, packaged foods are loaded with sugar, simple carbohydrates, saturated fat, and more. Not only will you get an insulin spike from the excessive amount of sugar, but also promote fat storage, essentially sabotaging your diet.
Go through your kitchen and see if you have more unhealthy foods verses healthy foods. If the bad outweighs the good, then it’s time to revamp your pantry with healthy choices. If your like me and hate to waste food, then take the unwanted food to work or donate to a local food bank.
Resist temptation by resisting the purchase!
Learn from your imperfections, by letting the light shine brightly through!
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali 1.2
Yogah cittavrtti nirodhah
Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind
Know how to safely exercise in the heat and prevent heat exhaustion by wearing loose fit clothing, staying hydrated and avoiding times of extreme heat.
Our body’s have natural cooling systems by mean of perspiring, but when our natural cooling system is at risk due to extreme temperatures our bodies may face serious illness.
A combination of high temperature, humidity and exercise itself all increase the core body temperature.
To prevent heat related illness, in attempt to cool itself, the body sends more blood to circulate through the skin, thus the muscles receive less then the desirable amount of blood, and makes the heart rate increase.
During exercise the body is already under stress, and then if you factor in extreme heat your taxing the body even more.
Prevent heat exhaustion by following these tips below:
1) Wear loose clothing, light colors – tight clothing and dark colors trap the heat inside your body, preventing the body from cooling
2) Stay hydrated – drink 7 – 9 cups of H2O daily
3) Wear sunscreen – sunburn does not allow the body to properly cool itself
4) Avoid exercising mid day – choose to exercise during the cooler parts of the day either in the morning or in the evening in order to avoid times of extreme heat and sun exposure
5) Listen to your body – if your new to exercising, you may have a lower tolerance to high temperature, thus lower the intensity of your workout
6) Medications – take precaution with medication because some medication may make you more susceptible to heat exhaustion, be sure to ask your doctor
7) Back up plan – keep in mind that if its too hot outside, think about exercising indoors i.e. DVD at home, local studio, walk around the mall, etc.
Heat related injuries are preventable by simply taking precautions, listening to your body, staying hydrated, and taking the necessary breaks.
Exercise is beneficial at any age. Even those who are obese, disabled or in a wheel chair, it is possible to incorporate some form of fitness into your routine. It has been proven through research that those who suffer from arthritis, osteoporosis and other chronic joint conditions of the bones and joint, will benefit from physical activity.
Maybe you have never exercised before or you stopped exercising for some reason or another, find a fitness activity that best suits you and your likes. Physical activity allows you to stay independent and continue to do the things you enjoy most in life.
If you suffer from arthritis, consider trying water aerobics as it is a non-weight bearing form of physical activity. Maybe your schedule does not allow you much spare time and you need to become more active around the house i.e. doing yard work or household chores in order to keep active. Walking your dog is not only good for the dog but great for you too!
Your fitness activity needs to be fun and motivating to keep you going. Fitness is great when its social i.e. taking group fitness classes, walking group, etc. Grab a partner and get started. You will realize how quickly time passes when your having fun.
After you have began your fitness routine, there are many health benefits both internally and externally like increased self-esteem and sleeping better at night.
Make sure to talk with your health care provider before starting a fitness routine to see what would work best for you.
Controlling stress can seem a bit daunting, so why not learn to manage it in a healthy constructive manner?
Exercise, of any form from resistance training to cardiovascular, can help improve mood and boost self-esteem. You may be surprised that by incorporating small amounts of exercise into your daily routine may turn your life around.
Your body fights stress better when your fit.
Stress management is part of having a balanced life and maintaining a positive outlook on life. You may even lose weight and boost your confidence in the process.
Exercise or physical activity helps boosts the production of the brain’s feel-good endorphins and release the day’s worries away. You do not have to be an elite athlete to enjoy those feel-good endorphins because even a walk in nature can help you achieve those feel-good sensations.
Exercise can also help combat against those who suffer from anxiety or mild depression. Activities such as taking a brisk walk or practicing yoga have shown to help manage mild or moderate depression because these activities serve as a way to divert or redirect your thoughts, allowing the mind to calm down.
Any form of exercise can help to releive your day’s tension and stress away. Exercise acts like meditation in that you forget about your worries and focus on the bodies movements and begin to live in the moment.
It’s about feeling better about yourself!
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 onion, chopped finely
- 1 (10 oz) package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups low-fat mozzarella cheese or cheese or your choice
- 1/2 cup lean ham, chopped
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until soft, then add spinach and ham, stirring occasionally.
- In a large bowl, combine eggs, cheese, salt, and pepper. Add the spinach and ham mixture and stir together.
- Pour mixture into greased pie pan.
- Heat oven 350 degrees F and bake for about 30 minutes. Bake until edges start to brown.
- Cool down for about 10 minutes before serving.
Recently, I was introduced to Zumba at several local studios here in The Valley of the Sun.
The Latin inspired music along with other International songs keep me coming back for more! It has become contagious with the great blend of songs and its choreographed moves.
Who wouldn’t want to go to a party because seriously that’s what it feels like every time?!
Seriously, exercising doesn’t get more fun then this folks! Don’t get me wrong I absolutely love working out with free weights or doing a set or two of squats, but it is becoming addictive!
This fitness class burns a ton of calories due to its aerobic nature, but also targets almost every muscle in your body from head to toe. It’s even better when the instructor throws in a set of push-ups or squats.
This type of class is great because anyone can participate within reason, of course.
Zumba does offer specialized classes such as: aqua aerobics (Aqua Zumba), for Baby Boomers (Zumba Gold),for children under the age of 12 (Zumbatomic), and much more. Find one of these Zumba classes at a local health club, gym or fitness studio.
If you haven’t done so already, I would recommend this high energy, aerobic dance fitness class.
Skipping meals, especially breakfast significantly increases the chances of choosing less healthy foods and more likely to over eat during the next meal time. Choosing to skip out on a meal first thing in the morning in an effort to lose weight is not ideal because the chances of gaining weight are greater then losing weight.
During times of fasting, your body can increase the body’s insulin response, thus making a person prone to increases in fat storage and weight gain.
Skipping breakfast can be detrimental in that it increases the risk of obesity.
Eating breakfast will make it easier to choice healthier foods throughout the day because your getting the day off to a great start. In general, you are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables during the day. Along with eating healthier, you are likely to eat foods lower in fat by choosing food options like reduced fat or non-fat. You are doing a service to your body and not even realizing it!
Manage your weight by eating more frequent, smaller meals then eating fewer, large meals.
You have probably noticed that your energy level increases after eating a meal, due to the fact that your replenishing the glycogen stores giving immediate energy back to the muscles in your body. Another important reason for eating a nutritious meal in the morning.
The objective is to manage your weight through conscious eating of healthy, nutritious food frequently, throughout the day.