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Top 5 Summer Foods to Enjoy Before their Gone

As we all know, summer is here! We’ve all been feeling the relentless heat that the summer of 2012 has thrown our way! If nothing else, you can look through our past few blog posts and hear us rant and rave about the heat this summer! So today, we’re turning it around… we’re taking lemons and making lemonade! Today, we want to share with you our top summer foods to enjoy before their gone! Before we know it, winter will be here and all the amazing fresh fruits & veggies that we enjoy all summer will be nothing but a memory, or a hard, flavorless grocery store imitation! So, enjoy these top picks while you still can!

  1. Peaches – Has anybody ever told you, “You’re a Peach!”? If so, you should be flattered! Peaches are sweet, flavorful and unique to their core. Enjoy one today because they are at the peak of their season right now!
  2. Tomatoes – Umm… BLT! Need we say more! Although great by themselves, adding a freshly picked tomato to your favorite sandwich or salad is sure to make your mouth happy!
  3. Blueberries – Talk about the perfect snack! Once you pop… the fun won’t stop! And, with these little guys, the fun doesn’t have to stop! You can pop as many as you want without counting fat or calories.
  4. Cherries – And we’re not talking maraschino here folks! When was the last time you bit in to a fresh, unprocessed, Bing cherry? They are in season now and give those jarred guys a run for their money on sweetness!
  5. Cucumbers – Although probably not a vegetable that you always think to turn to, cucumbers are a great addition to many recipes. Sliced or diced, a fresh cucumber can be added to any summer salad for a splash of unique flavor!

Well, that’s it! Our list of top summer foods! What’s on your list? We’re always up for trying new ideas, foods and recipes! Share your favorite summer foods with us right here on the blog, on Facebook or on Twitter! If it’s reasonable, we promise we’ll try it! We hope you enjoy these fresh, flavorful and fun foods! Come back and let us know what you think!

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Summer Fun: How to Stay Hydrated, Healthy & Happy

It’s finally here! The summer vacation, float trip or trip to the lake that you spent all winter planning has finally arrived. Or, maybe your just excited to be spending every day at the pool to make up for all the vitamin D that your body missed all winter! Either way, outdoor activities are a lot of fun. The problem is, they take their toll on our bodies. As with anything, the sun sucks the H2O right out of our bodies, leaving us dehydrated. So, what can you do this summer to keep your body hydrated, healthy and happy? Here are our dietitians Top 3 tips for hydration in the heat!

  1. Monitor how much water you are consuming by time! As we’ve said in previous blogs, be sure to drink at least 8 oz. of water for every 30 minutes that you spend outside!
  2. Monitory how much water you are consuming in relation to alcoholic beverages! Alcohol assists the sun in drying out your body. So, if you are consuming alcohol, you need to be sure to offset the effects with plenty of water. Follow up every alcoholic beverage with a glass of water.
  3. Keep an eye on your body’s signals! Many people wait until they feel thirsty to begin consuming water. If you feel thirsty, your body is already dehydrated. So, continuously drink water throughout the day to remain hydrated. If you begin to feel thirsty, find a cool place and relax over a glass of water to get your body back on track.

Everybody wants to get out and enjoy these warm30. summer rays! Just make sure you are doing it responsibly. As with everything in life, the sun is great for us in moderation! So, make sure you plan time in the sun; but also plan time to get a break from the sun. Consume plenty of water! You’ll feel better and your body will function better!

Need some help teaching ‘Sun Safety’? This Thursday, we’ll be releasing our July Free Download, focused on the hydration tips featured in this blog. Sign up for our HealthLinks Newsletter to be the first to know when the download is available!

For more health & nutrition information, be sure to follow us on Facebook & Twitter. Plus, share this blog with your network. Let’s spread the word to build a healthier community!

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Getting Fit Without the Heat

For much of the U.S., the insatiable summer heat has taken a break! Here in KC, we’ve traded in our triple digit temps for much cooler 90° days! Although these temps make walking from the parking lot in to a building much more bearable, it’s still not quite cool enough to get excited about heading outside for any kind of workout. So, this summer, we’re bringing it inside for you! Brought to you from one of our favorite fitness guides, Fit In 5, here are 6 workouts that will keep you up to speed with your fitness goals throughout the summer. (Note: All workouts given below are Medium intensity. The book also includes easy and hard intensity workouts.)

5 Minute Workouts

Core Strength and Stability

  • Lie face down with arms out to the sides and elbows bent at 90°
  • Lift the left arm and right leg simultaneously and hold for 5 seconds
  • Return to the start position
  • Life the right arm and left leg simultaneously and hold for 5 seconds
  • Return to the start position

Repeat 20 Times

Glutes, abs and thighs

  • Stand with legs together
  • Take a large step to the left
  • Squat down with feet turned out, keeping your back straight and looking forward
  • Step to the right, returning to a standing position
  • Repeat the steps above, moving to the right

Repeat 20 Times

10 Minute Workouts

Lower Body Strength & Power (Squat & Jump Squat)

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and arms crossed on your chest
  • Keeping the back straight and looking forward, bend the legs to 90°
  • Return to the start position

Repeat 20 Times

  • Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart and looking forward
  • Squat down about 90° and then jump vertically upward as high as you can

Repeat 20 Times continuously without resting between

Upper Body Strength & Power (Push-Up_& Abdominal Curl)

  • Start with legs bent and knees together on the floor and arms outstretched with hand shoulder-width apart on the floor
  • Form a straight line from your head to your knees
  • Lower your body to the floor
  • When the arms are at 90°, pause and straighten the arms

Repeat 20 Times

  • Lie flat on your back with your legs bent at 90°
  • Place your hands across your chest, each touching the opposite shoulder
  • Lift your head and shoulders toward your knees
  • Left your shoulders about 20 cm off the floor and return slowly to the start position

Repeat 20 times

30 Minute Workouts

Treadmill

  • 3-minute easy walk
  • 2-minute medium walk
  • 1-minute jog

Repeat 5 times

Swim

  • 10-minute easy to medium
  • 10 laps (2 lengths hard, 30 seconds rest)
  • 10-minute easy to medium

Like what you see? There’s a lot more where that came from. This book also includes pictures with each workout to help with any instructions that you’re unsure about. Once you choose your exercise, you can adjust the intensity to fit your needs. Plus, with weekly training programs, you can use this book to reach your exercise goals, up to 150 minutes per week.

Still need more incentive? How about a super-exclusive 20% off coupon code just for you, our Health Beat fans! Simply enter the code ‘healthbeat’ at checkout to receive your discount. Click here to start your order today! Oh, and hurry! Supplies are limited and the coupon is valid while supplies last.

Don’t forget to come back to the blog, or visit on Facebook or Twitter to share your thoughts on these great exercises! Plus, what are you doing to stay fit this summer? Share your ideas with everyone!

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Top 3 Summer Super Foods

Were you able to stay out of the hospital this 4th of July? For many, this hot summer holiday is an excuse to act crazy and forget all the rules! Unfortunately, our bodies are still paying attention to all the rules! Not only are the fireworks themselves dangerous, but the heat that always accompanies the 4th of July can pose its own health hazards if we don’t pay attention to our bodies signals and take necessary precautions to keep our bodies healthy. This year, it’s no different! In fact, many portions of the country are facing record-breaking heat this summer.

We have spent some time this morning discussing our 4th of July party menus and chosen the top 3 foods that we were glad we included on the menu! As we all know, there is a major heat wave sweeping the entire U.S. So, it’s extremely important this year to pay attention to the food and drinks that we’re consuming! Here’s a list of our Top 3 super foods to include on your summer party menu.

  1. Water is the #1 super food on our list because your body needs it! Did you know that our bodies are made up of about 60% water?  This means that when you start to get dehydrated, over half of your body begins to go in to shock… It can’t function correctly without this water. So, while you’re out enjoying your summer activities, remember to drink plenty of water! The daily recommendation is 64 oz. But, if you’re going to be out in this heat, our dietitian recommends you drink 8 oz. of water for every 30 minutes you spend outside. Drink up!

Tip: Are you struggling to drink all the water that is recommended? Try adding some light flavor, in the form of fresh fruit, to your water. The light, sweet flavor should help you enjoy your water!

  1. Summer is here and the produce is fresh! So, take advantage of it and be sure to set out plenty of green, leafy vegetables! These vegetables help provide the vitamins and nutrients that help our bodies stay strong. Plus, they are heavily composed of water. So, they won’t dehydrate our bodies by eating them.

Tip: Looking for a fun way to serve leafy greens? Serve a spinach salad with a fresh sliced apple and dried cranberries. Top it with a sweet, fruity dressing like strawberry vinaigrette… your guests will be singing your praises for weeks!

 

  1. As we’ve alluded to in the previous two tips, fresh berries are an extremely popular superfood this time of year. Fresh fruits, like blueberries and blackberries, make great snacks and are a much better choice than chips or candy. They are great for adding flavor to recipes as well. Plus, making desserts using fresh fruits usually eliminates any need for added sugar. Just remember, the possibilities are endless when it comes to adding fruit to any part of your menu.

Tip: Most berries are currently in season, so there is no better time to start building them in to your menu. Try visiting your local farmers market for the freshest, most flavorful berries.

What are your summer super foods? As always, we love to hear from you, our readers! So, leave your comments here on the blog or visit us on Facebook or Twitter! We look forward to hearing from you!