These are heavy times in the world, and I hope you are staying positive and healthy as we navigate this new normal. For my quarterly newsletter, I wanted to give you a few unique health tips that may help!
Summer recipes, at home exercise ideas, hobbies, and organization!
As the weather turns to warmer days (or sweltering depending on your location), we often start to crave different foods as well.
It’s the best time of year for grilling, drinks on the rocks, and cool treats. And this can sometimes add up to overindulgence! Below, I’m including a few of my new favorites to beat the heat!
Frozen Fruit Popsicles
Yes, I am a mother of young kiddos (and yes even my 3 year old approved these and finishes the entire thing every time), but before you discount a popsicle read on for other options to enjoy these treats in place of a different kind of dessert!
No popsicle mold or need something quicker? Another option closely related to this is simply freezing fresh fruit and eating it in lieu of dessert. Buy berries or other favorite fruits, wash, cut into desired and consumable size, wash, place on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper, and freeze. Once frozen through, place in freezer safe container or Ziploc.
When you’re craving something sweet, pop a few frozen fruit treats into a small bowl and enjoy! My favorite: frozen raspberries. As you take the time to eat it, not only will your craving for something sweet be satisfied, but, you will also receive your hunger cue when you’re full, since it takes so long to eat! Did you know it can take up to 20 minutes for your brain to receive the “full” cue from your stomach!?
4 Ingredient Ice Cream
Yum. Tasting this before it got in the freezer sold me! It is best freshly frozen, and you do need to stir before eating… But, this flavor is spot on strawberry ice cream!
These were completely created on a whim when craving a mojito one day and they are amazing! Not only 3 year old approved, but also picky husband approved, so definitely worth a try! Another awesome variation is omitting the mint and adding lemon rather than lime.
In fact, you don’t even need ANY leafy greens if it isn’t your thing! Juggling kiddo number two (literally sometimes while trying to make meals) has forced me to make healthy eating as streamlined as possible. And my latest discovery to help with that has been pre-chopped veggies. Who doesn’t need an easy way to eat their veggies?!
Brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrot rounds, pea pods, broccoli florets, even salad-in-a-bag veggies (nix the dressing that has more sugar than dessert)… Basically buying veggies ready to go has made eating them easier, so there is no excuse!
Add chopped protein, a healthy grain, clean salad dressing (Tessamae is my favorite), and a fat if desired (avocado, tahini, ghee, etc), and you have a simple, well-balanced, and delicious meal in minutes (less if you have two hands!).
Greek Pasta Salad
One of my favorite dishes! This tzatziki sauce along with feta, purple onions, and grape tomatoes is such an amazingly cool and refreshing summer combo!
If you’re making it for guests (or the two people who you regularly have over during COVID), you can even leave the ingredients in separate bowls and do a make-your-own Greek salad bar!
Favorite appetizer? Nachos have to be up there right? These are an awesome substitute- plantain chips (by Mexican food or chips) have a variety of tastes. My favorite brand- Terra. They have the right amount of salt and the plantain taste is not overwhelming. Add ground turkey, cheese, healthy nachos fixings, and top with plain Greek yogurt as a sub for sour cream, and you are set to enjoy! If you’ve been following me for awhile, you’ve seen this recipe before! I keep sharing it because it’s a keeper!
Flourless Monster Cookies
Just found this recipe yesterday! Subbed the M&Ms out for raisins. Couldn’t believe the amazing consistency these cookies had without flour!
Are you able to get out now? Stuck indoors with the heat? COVID has caused many people to resort to inactivity because they can’t or don’t want to go to the gym and the weather is keeping them indoors.
First of all, if you can get out, do it! Walk, run, bike, stretch, do body weight strength exercises, but getting outside to exercise will not only get you moving, but being in the sunlight will also naturally lift your mood and help you fend off the depressive feelings many are facing amidst this pandemic.
If it’s too hot, a rainy day, or you want to do strength activities with weights, there are a lot of apps and workout programs available that will guide you to not only get in a workout, but also have a sense of accomplishment for completing something!
My favorite is obviously Beachbody, as I am a coach for them. The programs include eating guides, recipes, and will give you a unique workout for every day. There are a variety of programs from barre to boxing to lifting to HIIT to yoga, you get access to every workout they have created so you can mix it up and stay on track. Plus, as a coach, I check in on my clients every 1-2 weeks and am available as a resource with any questions you may have. We have a daily group check-in and multiple members going through the same program at the same time, and the support is so key to sticking with it! I’m down 20 pounds postpartum, so it’s working for me! I’d highly recommend it to a large range of abilities and life stages as well.
Nike Training Club is also a great app with free workouts. It does not take you through a program, but there are a number of high quality workouts that it has to offer!
Don’t discount the power of searching through YouTube for free workouts as well, if you aren’t about following a program! My favorite yoga videos are Five Parks!
What else to do? News, ebooks, shows, texting, video chats, social media… it can be hard to stay away from our devices! But, there are studies that have shown the positive mental health effects of limiting screen time, or at least having designated chunks of time scheduled away from electronics.
Some choose 2 hour chunks during dinner time. Others a chunk between breakfast and lunch and then lunch and dinner. Still others will select an entire day where they go dark each week, almost like a sabbath.
It is a great idea to purposefully unplug each day to avoid over-stimulation, to allow yourself quality time to process, and to recharge, while your devices do!
So, what are you supposed to do if you don’t go out and you can’t use technology? Hobbies!
Never has there been a better time to learn something new! Print off new recipes and learn how to cook something new (or cook in general!), get physical books from your library curbside pick-up on a subject you’ve never learned about before, print off sheet music and get a secondhand instrument, grab the crossword puzzle, plant something new in your garden, do puzzles (if you’ve done them before, challenge yourself to do them inside out or without the box!), learn about the wildlife in your area and look for it on walks, or enjoy a new genre of music while you clean.
Whatever it is, engage your mind and challenge it in new ways!
And if you have young kids like me, your probably busier than ever and are laughing at me for even mentioning hobbies! Kids are challenging enough! But, seriously, still find ways to unplug and veg without the screen! Many hobbies are off the table right now so engage your mind in something other than work and family. Take time for yourself. Stretch, bathe, do your own nails or hair, meditate, journal, scrapbook… rejuvenate your mind!
Studies also show that learning something new, especially later in life, fends off Alzheimer’s and keeps the mind sharper… creating new neural pathways is how our brain stays young!
God gave us unique abilities and so much in the world to explore! And there weren’t screens for thousands and thousands of years before us, so we can do it!
As you imagine doing all of these hobbies, where are you doing them? In a cluttered kitchen? A bedroom full of laundry still in the baskets from Monday ready to be put away (just me?)? The spaces we surround ourselves with affect our mental health… if they are cluttered, we subconsciously feel more stressed because of it.
Have the time to do a big de-clutter? Go through EVERYTHING. Take it one room or space at a time and keep the essentials and the memorable things. The rest? Ask yourself: When is the last time I used this? Is this something that adds to my life? Is this something I would miss if it were gone? If the answer is no, adios!
No time, but going nuts? Start with the daily tasks of cleaning up. One or two things at a time. Maybe it’s making sure you do dishes every night before bed. Vacuuming daily like me (fine my Roomba helps). Doing bathrooms every weekend. Or maybe you want to create a cleaning schedule and delegate tasks. Once you get in the groove of the first task(s) you add, then gradually add on until you get into the habit of keeping things tidy.
A Note on Personal Development
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to surround yourself with positive people. They say that you are the average of the 5 people that you spend the most time with! Since community is hard to come by right now, podcasts and books are a great substitute! COVID aside, they are a great resource if 5 quality people are not a regular part of your life.
Shoot for 20- 30 minutes of improving your mind at least 5 days a week. I don’t mean random podcasts or books. I mean books that speak directly to your character, how you can better yourself as a person, and discuss where you’re going in life and how you can learn from your failures. Getting in the routine of developing yourself as a person is powerful!
My latest favorite suggestions:
The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy- a great read on how the little things add up to make big changes
Atomic Habits by James Clear- all about how our habits are most important aspect of our success and how we can change them!
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg- the science behind habit… a long read, but powerful information on how habit is built and changed
“The Ed Mylett Show” – awesome guests and content for personal growth
“On Leadership” with Scott Miller, FranklinCovey – great guests and messages to up your thought processes
“Straight Up” with Trent Shelton- former NFL player Trent Shelton with amazing guests and personal stories of how he turned his own life around
Need Help Getting Started?
Wholee Healthy has officially opened it’s doors, and I have a wait list available for anyone that would like to work with me 1-on-1! The next opening is the end of July, but by signing up now, you will still get the launch discount when we start! Want to know more? This is a breakdown of what working with me looks like:
All of Wholee Healthy’s merchandise is buy one, get $10 off a second item. Check it out on the Apparel and Drinkware page! We just changed vendors for shirts to one of my college teammates who owns an Etsy shop with very cute, handmade signs as well, so make sure to give them a look on the link below shirts!
Until next time, stay healthy!
“Reality is ultimately a selective act of perception and interpretation. A shift in our perception and interpretation enables us to break old habits and awaken new possibilities for balance, healing, and transformation.”David Simon