Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hydrating Summer Treats


Beat the summer heat with some wonderfully hydrating and delicious treats! These three recipes were used in our segment with CultureMap Houston and are perfect for a day by the pool or just to cool down on a hot day!


Melon Salad with Mint Vinaigrette
Ingredients
1 bunch fresh mint, chopped
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup simple syrup, recipe follows
2 cups watermelon balls
2 cups cantaloupe balls
2 cups honeydew balls
Simple Syrup:
½ cup water
1 cup sugar

Directions
In a blender, combine mint, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Blend until smooth.
Combine the melon balls with the vinaigrette and toss. Transfer to a serving bowl.
Simple Syrup:
In a saucepan, combine the water and sugar over a medium high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved.
Take the pan off the heat and let the syrup cool.


Watermelon-Cantaloupe Basil Agua Fresca
Ingredients
15 cups chopped cantaloupe
7 cups chopped watermelon
¾ cup fresh lemon juice
¾ cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves

Directions
Blend the cantaloupe and watermelon in a blender, working in batches if needed, until smooth.
Set a fine-mesh sieve that is lined with cheesecloth over a bowl and strain cantaloupe. Repeat this process and then pour into a pitcher.
Add lemon juice, basil and 2 cups cold water. Let steep at room temperature with ice.



GPF Blueberry Pistachio Trifle
Ingredients
24-36 Green Plate Foods Super Brownies
32 oz Vanilla Greek Yogurt, 0% fat
1 pint Fresh Blueberries
1 cup Raw Pistachios
12 Green Plate Foods Blueberry Nubblers

Directions
Toast the pistachios in a small saute pan over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Chop the toasted pistachios and Nubblers and cut the brownies in half horizontally.
Stir the yogurt together and place in a piping bag with a small tip.
Compose the trifle by making a layer of cut brownies in the bottom of a trifle bowl and then topping with the greek yogurt, chopped pistachios and blueberries.
Continue layering until you reach the top. The top layer should be garnished with the yogurt and chopped Blueberry Pistachio Nubblers.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Tips for Staying Healthy While Traveling

Traveling is always an adventure, and one that my 5 year old daughter, Chloe, always looks forward to, but tight timeframes, busy schedules and stressful situations can make healthy eating a challenge, especially with all of the convenient snack options out there. Staying healthy while traveling is entirely possible, and can even be easy with a little preparation, so I have rounded up some of my favorite tips for traveling healthy, and with the help of travel guru Kendra Thornton, we will make sure you are well-equipped to make your next adventure as healthy as possible.


Battle the Convenience Store Snacks
Whether traveling by plane or car, convenience stores are a black hole of bad snacking habits. A great way to avoid unhealthy snacking while on the road is to pack your own! To-go peanut butter cups with baggies of veggies like apple slices, carrots and celery sticks will keep everyone satisfied as they get hungry, so the urge to binge on salty chips and candy once you stop is kept in check. If you are a salty snacker, make some trail mix together at home before you leave, so you can control what goes into it, choosing ingredients like nuts, fruit chips and raisins. Our nubblers from Green Plate Foods are a perfect on-the-go healthy fruit snack, deliciously packed with all natural, nutrient-rich ingredients in convenient bite-sized portions.
It can be a hassle to pack food items for airport security, so if cravings strike at the airport, opt for some healthier nut medleys and dried fruit from the airport shops. Healthy alternatives are there if you look!
Research Restaurant Options
Take some time to look around for some restaurants in the city you’re visiting that have healthy menu items or use clean, organic ingredients, especially if you have any dietary restrictions or food allergies. It is easy to indulge while on vacation, so think about portion sizes and be careful not to over-eat.
Experience the Local Flavor
Local fairs and farmer’s markets are a fun way to experience the culture and try some of the local flavor in smaller portions, while getting some fresh air and exercise.
Home Away from Home
If you’re not staying with family or friends, consider renting a house or staying in a hotel with a kitchenette so you can pick up some groceries around town and make your own meals. This is also a great way to save a few dollars!
Don’t forget to take advantage of walking to your destinations whenever possible, it’s an easy, free and simple way to stay feeling fit. We also love traveling to cities with bike share programs or an abundance of bike rental shops.

Kendra’s Tips for Health on Vacation

As a mom, I focus on keeping my family healthy. At home, we eat healthy meals, and I always pack healthy snacks for the kids to take with them to school. We exercise together and individually. When we go away on vacation, our routine changes, but we always manage to keep our healthy habits alive wherever we roam. Here are a few tips I’ve learned for having a healthy vacation together:
Fitness-Friendly Accommodations
Before leaving on vacation, I do some research to find a hotel with good fitness accommodations. I check to see that our hotel has a well-equipped gym. Some hotels have other fitness options such as in-room fitness videos, running trails or bike rentals. Once we arrive at the hotel, I always make sure we have healthy snack options to help us avoid hitting the vending machines. In-room refrigerators allow us to bring and store healthy fruits and veggies. Finding a quality gym is something I researched for our upcoming trip to Orlando. The process proved to be pretty overwhelming as there are so many places to stay. There are plenty of resources out there that can make the process so much easier.
Healthy Eating Out
Eating out will happen when you are on vacation. A lot of vacation destinations are famous for all-you-can-eat buffets. My family occasionally visits these, but we are careful to load up on healthy options first. It’s okay to have a treat while you’re on vacation. If you eat a healthy salad or some delicious fresh fruit first, you won’t be as tempted to overindulge in empty calories.
Playing in the Water
Water sports are a great way to burn a lot of calories. On vacation, there are plenty of ways to enjoy water sports. My family likes boating activities. Paddleboats are tons of fun for kids and adults. We also enjoy canoeing or kayaking. A rowboat ride also helps build those muscles, and all this fun on the water will help you forget that you’re getting a workout.
Other Active Adventures
There are all sorts of ways to get exercise while on vacation. My family usually stays at a hotel with a pool. We enjoy spending time together at the hotel pool in the evenings. The kids like splashing in the water, and we come up with fun contests and games. We race and enjoy swimming under water. When a beach ball is available, other water activities help us build muscle and endurance.
Wherever you go on family vacation, there are ways to stay healthy. Get fit by staying active. Eat right. You’ll have a better time together.

Staying healthy while traveling can be a challenge, but there are definitely ways to feel good while still treating yourself. I hope you have a blast on your next summer getaway, be sure to share how you stay healthy on vacation with us on Facebook or Twitter!

Healthy regards,
Lisa Pounds