You can make meal plans for the month customized on your goals or just find one-off meals that are easy to cook. The app is fantastic and only $2.99. It gives you all the ingredients, and nutritional information per serving.
I have really started to use this of late and have loved everything I have cooked so far. There is also a handy tagging system so you know what recipes you can make in advance and have ready for the week!
Get this app and start fitting healthy eating back into your schedule. No excuses.
Need to get a high intensity workout in but don’t have a lot of time this morning?
Well you’re in luck!
Do each exercise for 30 seconds then rest for 15 seconds. Move on to the next exercise and repeat until you have moved through the whole workout. Rest for 2 minutes then repeat 5 times! If you want to really challenge yourself make the work times 1 minute and 30 seconds rest.
Summer is a great time to delve into pickled veggies and other tasty treats.
Here is a recipe for a quick pickled cucumber. You can sub almost any vegetable for the cucumber. It can be carrot, red onion, beets, etc.
1/2 cup white vinegar, eyeball it
2 rounded teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1 teaspoon salt
1 clove cracked garlic
1 teaspoon dried dill or 2 tablespoons fresh dill leaves, chopped or snipped
1 bay leaf
4 kirby cucumbers, cut into 1-inch slices on an angle
Heat small saucepan over medium high heat. Add vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, salt, and garlic to the pan and cook until it begins to simmer and sugar dissolves. Toss the dill, bay leaf, and sliced cucumbers together in a heat-proof bowl. Pour the simmering liquid over the cucumbers and stir to evenly coat. Allow to cool to room temperature or chill before serving.
Well, I am going to expose it all right here. The best exercise to do in a time crunch is…..
What do you like to do? Run, walk, lift weights, play games, basketball?
The truth is anything you do is better than sitting on the couch. You need to move and get the blood flowing. If you have 20 minutes of free time, go for a walk. If have a bit of free time and gym membership get in and get that heart rate elevated.
Your best option is to get the heart rate elevated for 20 to 30 minutes. However, if a walk is the only thing you have time or space for try to make it 30 consecutive minutes. Alternatively you can also do two 15 minute session to equal the recommended 30 minutes.
You might be thinking. Well how am I supposed to set aside 20 minutes Kevin?! I have a job, kids, traffic, laundry and more things to do I can’t list them all.
Well first off, take control of your time. It’s the most important thing you have.
After dinner or before dinner set aside 20 minutes to walk around the block. Forget checking Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for the 35th time today. That can wait, trust me.
How about waking up 20 minutes earlier to get your day off to a better start? Walk with your coffee or tea!
Use your time to get out and move. Get off the couch and find the path to a healthy you!
How regular is your fitness routine? Do you find yourself going 1, 2 or 3 months to the gym then falling off? Things get too busy, weather changes, travel is too much, kids? The list is endless.
There has to be a way to have an exercise program that you can fit in when you are on the go or you just don’t have access to equipment. Good news, there is and it is not as difficult as you may think!
The key to staying active and healthy when life gets hectic is to find small pockets of the day where you can fit movement in. The key word here is movement. It doesn’t have to be exercise in the way that everyone thinks. If you can get your body moving for as little as 30 minutes a day you will see feel the changes.
How do I fit in 30 minutes is a question I get a lot during the day. If you are really strapped for time you can break it up into 10 minute segments that will total your 30 minutes. For the best results you need the three 10 minute segments to be at an equally high intensity. You have to get your heart rate elevated enough to give you benefit (over 65% of your heart rate max).
The following are some simple ideas to get in more movement without going outside of your daily routine too much. These are lower intensity movements that can be applied in addition to the 30 minutes of higher intensity movement.
If you drive to work, park farther away in the lot. I know people say this a lot but trust me it makes a difference!
Walk to lunch if it is under a mile away and there is a sidewalk or nice walking path available. Not only will it get the blood flowing before lunch. It will aid in digestion after you eat. I don’t think anything is more pleasant than a nice post lunch walk!
If you have a choice between and escalator and stairs and you’re only going up a couple flights, take the stairs. This is another example of the little changes in your routine make a big impact.
Your health is one of the most important things that you are in DIRECT control of. Use that to your advantage. Be selfish here, think of yourself first. Schedule time before work, at lunch or after work. If it is only 30 minutes it will still have a positive impact. During these 30 minutes is when you want to crank up that intensity. You’re going to sweat here so get a towel!
– Interval Sprints (Look at our Dynamic Duo post and you can do that by yourself)
– A six exercise circuit. Pick six full body exercises and do them without a break for 15 repetitions and repeat 3 times. After you complete the circuit rest for two minutes.
For example here is quick routine.
2. Bent Over Row
3. Squat to Overhead press
4. Walking lunges
5. Jumping Jacks (30 seconds)
6. Step up with Bicep curls
Use tools to help you achieve your goals.
There are a bunch of great apps out there (Map My Run, Strava, My Fitness Pal) and also fitness tracking gadgets (Fitbit, Jawbone, Old Fashioned Pedometer). The more accountability you have the more likely you are to see achieve your daily goal. You can set a step goal for the day and try to reach it by the evening. In my experience if you are 700 steps short and it is a nice summer night, you will go for a walk to get those last 700 steps. Instead of sitting on the couch because the work day has wiped you out. It is that feeling of accomplishment that will keep you on track everyday.
All of these apps have the ability for you to connect with friends. Even if you do not have a trainer to see everyday you have a friend or family member to keep up with. If you are having trouble sticking to your routine challenge a friend! It will keep you both going strong and give you both something fun do during the week.
Accountability can go a long way in creating habit.
Now that you have been armed with easy to use information, get up and use it! Walk to the water cooler, do a few laps up the stairs, or just go walk to lunch!
Today we have a quick and easy recipe that will spice up any dish you choose to make along with it. It is easy and there can be as many subtractions or additions as you want. This makes a great supplement to any summer BBQ or mid week meal since it is so easy to make. This healthy side dish will make you want to experiment with foil packets every time you fire up the grill!
4 Plums quartered
1 Large peach quartered
1 Small red onion (cut into half moons)
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
Dash of fresh pepper and salt
Handful of fresh thyme or basil (I used basil for the packet that is pictured)
After you have mixed all the ingredients, make a foil pouch. I had to use two big sheets to fit all the ingredients. The grill heat should be medium, if you hold your hand over the coals it should be able to be there for about 3 – 4 seconds before becoming too hot. Cover and let grill for about 10 -15 minutes.
Once it is done, be careful taking it off the grill for it will be hot! You can open up the packet to let it cool for a short time before serving. Feel free to tear a few pieces of fresh basil or thyme to top it all off.
It can be served by itself or along side a protein or main dish to supply a great flavor punch and freshness to any meal!
It can be tough to have a good breakfast in the morning or even a snack throughout the day. You have to factor in time restraints and portability issues (Looking at you bowl of cereal.) Given all of that, there are still ways to make healthy options available to you and have them prepared quickly.
Let’s look at the smoothie. Grabbed from any smoothie emporium they can be loaded with sugar and calories that you didn’t expect. However, making them one your own will let you control the ingredients, save you money and also save you time.
Step 1: Ingredients
The best part here is you can throw anything in and make it taste pretty good. I usually start with a pretty consistent base of ingredients.
Plain Greek Yogurt ( 1 cup or less. It will provide you with protein to keep you satisfied longer)
Half or whole Banana (depending on how much I am looking to make)
Almond or Peanut Butter ( 1 tablespoon, it will add about 100 calories. So you can omit this if you’re trying to make a low-calorie option)
Spinach (I love greens in my smoothie, but it is a taste thing for some people)
Now here is where it gets fun. You can add anything you want. It can be more veggies, more fruit, a protein powder, or even a couple chocolate chips to add to the flavor profile! Below is just a small list of extras that you can add, but ultimately the only limit is what you can fit in your blender, or what taste good. 🙂
Milk (almond, soy, regular, splash of chocolate for a great chocolate banana thing going on.)
You get the idea, anything you want! This is a great time to sneak those pesky veggies into your smoothie. See if you can sneak in some to get your daily allotment in early. Just be mindful of the amounts you are using with fruit and milk. If you are not careful you can turn one of at home smoothies into a smoothie chain store monstrosity.
Step 2: Fill it up
This part is pretty simple. Put it all in the blender! I always start with my liquid on the bottom and I do not use ice. Mostly because I freeze the fruit that is in season so I can use it later. If it doesn’t seem to be mixing well, you might need to add a little more water or liquid of your choice.
Step 3: Fire up the Blender
The fun begins! Watch as the colors blend and make an appetizing bright green, red or blue! Or perhaps it has turned a shade of brown….don’t worry that still might taste good do not lose hope!
Step 4: Pour and Enjoy
Here is the beauty of it all. If you put a good amount of ingredients in chances are there is about 32oz of smoothie frothing before your eyes. You can dump half of that into your to go cup and deposit the other half in the fridge. Now you have snack for now and other for later, amazing! If you are at work all day maybe pack it all up and drink half now and half around 2:00pm when you just want to crawl under your desk and nap. It will give you little energy boost and be great tasting!
Experiment with ingredients
You can make all these with no dairy or nuts
Make enough for two snacks
Sneak in your veggies
For a quick example, say you started with the smoothie starter in the amounts I listed at the start. Then you added a scoop of protein powder and a few handfuls of your favorite fruit. You would be stuffing about 40 grams of protein in that smoothie. Split into two meals that gives your a snack with 20 grams of protein per snack! If you omit the protein powder you will be around 18-20 grams of protein for your whole smoothie. Which is still great.
If you don’t do dairy, don’t worry. Any favorite protein you have can be added in and the yogurt just gives it a touch more thickness. So you won’t be losing too much there.
What are some of your favorite smoothie concoctions? We would love to hear about them and try them out! Tweet me or leave a reply! The more ideas we have in our arsenal the better tasting our meals and hot summer days can be!