5 Healthy Ways to Beat the Summer Heat

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When temperatures and prices for gas and food are all skyrocketing, it may seem like summer can’t come without cost to your health and pocketbook. If you’re struggling to find fun for the family, check out these health-conscious and inexpensive ideas for entertainment.

 1. Fake a vacation: try a stay-cation

Keep your vacation bill lower by staying at home and visiting places within driving distance. Like any vacation, you’ll need to do your research. Check your city’s calendar for free events, and explore your town for places you’ve never been, including healthy eating options. Staying home allows you to be more conscious of what you are eating than when you’re in a new place with unfamiliar meal options, and it replaces the long hours of sitting in the car with walking tours of your hometown.

 2. Make a Cool Drink

An activity and a snack all in one! Create popsicles with Innergize! and fresh fruit, or experiment with new ingredients in your favorite Reliv shake to keep your body temperature down. Lemon Innergize! can also jumpstart a favorite summer tradition, the lemonade stand. Delicious and hydrating, a lemonade stand can also be one of the first opportunities to teach your kids about earning and spending money wisely.

 3. Stake a Spot Outside

Stepping out your front door doesn’t cost a thing and is one of the best ways to keep your kids from spending their summer glued to electronics. Take them to a park for time on the playground and games of tag, or hike together for exercise. You can make up scavenger hunts for plants and animals to keep them from becoming tired more quickly, too. For an evening activity, choose backyard camping complete with stargazing and sleeping in a tent. Don’t forget to use the proper amount of sunscreen and bug spray when you’re outside so your fun doesn’t turn sour the next day.

4. Take Up Family Night-In

If it’s too hot or the rain won’t stop, spend an evening indoors. For dinner, let each person pick a dish to make. If your kids are too young to handle the responsibility alone, let them shop for ingredients on a family trip to the grocery store or farmer’s market. Then, let them stir or put the recipe into the baking pan. You can add an extra challenge to see who can create the healthiest part of the meal.

 5. Shake up movie night

Host an outdoor family movie night, which prevents another night on the couch and spending money on sugar-filled movie theater snacks. Invite family friends over so both adults and kids have friends tospend time with, and ask each family to bring a healthy snack like a veggie tray or fruit salad. All you need to do is find a projector and hang up a sheet. Choose a movie from your or another family’s collection, or check out a free one from the library.

Want more ideas for healthy and cheap snacks and activities? Check out our Pinterest board “Beat the Heat” for low-cost/high-fun summer plans.

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Take Charge of Stress

Tax Day is just around the corner, outdoor sports (and the inevitable chore of driving the kids around town) are starting and spring is in full swing! There never seems to be a shortage of stress-inducing deadlines, activities and obligations to keep us busy. What exactly does this stress do to our bodies and how can we get a grip on it? Continue reading “Take Charge of Stress”

16 Helpful Weight Loss Hints, Pt. 2

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In part one of this two-part series, we talked about how to get started with your weight loss goal. Now that you’ve had some time to make those initial lifestyle changes, let’s dig a bit deeper. Remember that lasting weight loss takes time, and the goal is to see a gradual decrease as you approach a healthy weight. Continue reading “16 Helpful Weight Loss Hints, Pt. 2”

16 Helpful Weight Loss Hints, Pt. 1

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HLT_Weight LossSticking to a weight loss goal is never easy, and keeping the weight off once you’ve lost it can be an even bigger challenge.

Studies have shown that our metabolism slows when we lose weight, and we can experience hormonal changes that make us hungry. It can seem like an unfair uphill battle, but there are things you can do to give yourself an edge when your biology seems to be against you.

In 2011, I got back to a healthy weight and have been able to maintain through healthy eating, exercise and diligence. Admittedly, I made many mistakes and side-steps during my progress and learned quite a few valuable lessons about what works. In this two-part series, I’ll share my favorite insider tips and tricks for losing the weight and keeping it off for the long term. In part one we’ll talk about how to get started!

Set tangible goals. Saying that you’re going to lose 70 pounds in a month isn’t just impossible, it’s downright dangerous. Aim to lose about 2 pounds per week. Slow but consistent weight loss lasts much longer than short and drastic drops. Much like with the tortoise and the hare, slow and steady will win the race!

Something to talk about. Tell someone about your goal. Unless you have someone to cheer you on or be accountable to, it might get very tempting to abandon the thought of trying altogether. Think of your most encouraging friend or workmate and let them know that you’d like them to check in with you every so often. Victory is twice as sweet when you have someone to celebrate with!

I’m not buying it! If it’s not in your house, you won’t eat it. Resist the temptation to purchase unhealthy snacks when you’re grocery shopping. Go with a list and don’t divert (bargain hunters should ignore the snacks that are on sale).

Take small steps. You might have a long way to go or a goal that seems too big to tackle. Don’t focus on the overall goal at first. Break it down into increments and reward yourself along the way. It’s amazing the impact that losing just 10% of your body weight can have on your overall health: reduction in cholesterol and blood pressure and better numbers across the board. Have your blood work done when you start your effort and check it again once you’ve lost 10%. You’ll be excited to share your results with your doctor!

Good sense snacking. If you can’t resist a snack every now and again, proportion them the minute you get home. Purchase a food scale and some snack-sized bags and reach for those when you need a treat. You’ll know exactly how much a proper portion is and won’t be tempted to finish off the whole box or bag. Better yet, stock up on fresh fruit and produce for snacking and leave the processes stuff on the shelf!

My best four-legged buddy, Duckie, keeps me motivated to run! We seek out dog-friendly events to keep us BOTH in shape!
My best four-legged buddy, Duckie, keeps me motivated to run! We seek out dog-friendly events to keep us BOTH in shape!

 

Get moving! To lose weight, it’s as simple as using more calories than you take in. Not able to run? Start with a 10-minute walk every day. Try something new and keep your routine varied in activity but consistent in practice. If you’re inclined to only lift weights, find ways to introduce stretching and cardio into your workout. If you’re a fan of group exercise, find a new class to take and make some new friends (and do some networking while you’re at it!). Don’t be afraid to try water aerobics, racquetball or even swing dancing. Variety will keep you from getting bored and a workout buddy will keep you accountable!

Reinforce yourself. If you’re the sort of person who responds well to positive reinforcement, place a photo of yourself from when you looked your best in a prominent place as a reminder of your goal. If you’re more encouraged by negative reinforcement, use a photo that reminds you of how far you’ve come or how far you have yet to go. I keep a photo of myself at my heaviest on my refrigerator door to remind myself of what can happen if I lose control. Know yourself and how you respond to motivation.

Do your homework. Before you go out to eat, check to see if the restaurant has a nutritional guide online. Many restaurants offer up the ingredients and nutritional content of their food. Check to see which dishes are the healthiest and which ones are deceptively rich. I was surprised to find that club sandwiches, a seemingly healthy choice, are actually sometimes the highest calorie sandwich on the menu! If your friends are kicking around ideas for where to eat, don’t be afraid to offer up a healthy suggestion up front. You’ll be less likely to get stuck eating someplace without many good options.

Stay tuned, because the next edition of HLT on March 20 will feature the final 8 tips for weight loss! While you’re implementing these changes, incorporate some Reliv Slimplicity meal replacement to help keep you feeling full and make sure you’re getting the proper nutrition. The recent addition of LunaRich soy powder will give you all the added health benefits of lunasin!