Even though summer is wrapping up, that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the season for your health goals. This blog is full of tips to keep your motivation burning as the weather starts to cool. You might even be inspired to switch up your normal routine!
With the sun coming up later, it’s important to stay active and eat nutritious foods to wake up feeling energized! In this section, we are going to break down some ways to exercise that are fun and different and give you some recipes to help spice up your go-to healthy menu.
Over time, doing the same workout can get boring and can cause you to lose your motivation. Here are some ways you can switch up your routine:
🎾 Start taking tennis or golf classes.
Not only will these give you a good sweat, but they are also great for all ages.
🧘♀️ Lookup a new workout class on YouTube.
Some ideas: yoga,10 minute abs, HIIT, etc.
💃 Research dance classes in your area.
This is something that you could do alone, or find a partner to sign up for salsa classes with you.
If you are just starting your wellness journey, we found a great source that will help you build a fitness plan that will work for you, not against you: https://bit.ly/3ia8Lnv!
Don’t be shy to try new things in the kitchen as well. Whether you are new to cooking or already a chef, we have some recipes for you that are both tasty and healthy!
🥘 Creamy Chicken Quinoa Casserole:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (or reserved bacon fat), plus more to grease pan
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more as needed (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- dash paprika
- dash cayenne
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
- 1/2 cup cooked, crumbled bacon
- 3 cups fresh broccoli florets
- 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 F, and generously grease a square baking dish with olive oil or bacon fat.
Make the sauce. In a medium-sized skillet, heat oil (or bacon fat), then whisk in flour. Continue whisking until mixture bubbles and toasts to a golden-brown color.
Carefully whisk in milk and chicken broth. Continue cooking and whisking until sauce becomes foamy and creamy. Add salt (optional), then turn off the heat and set aside.
Season chicken breasts. Combine salt, poultry seasoning, paprika and cayenne together, then sprinkle it over chicken breasts. Set aside.
Assemble casserole. Into the prepared casserole dish, combine rinsed quinoa (don’t forget to rinse it or else it will turn out bitter!), sauce from step two and bacon. Lay the chicken breasts over the top of the quinoa mixture.
Bake uncovered for 45 minutes or until quinoa fully absorbs the liquid.
Prep the broccoli. While the casserole is in the oven, place the broccoli in salted boiling water for one minute until it turns bright green, and then strain it out in a fine-mesh sieve. Run the broccoli under cold water until it’s fully cooled or place the sieve in a large bowl of ice water. Shake off excess water, and set aside.
Garnish the casserole. Remove the casserole from the oven when the quinoa and chicken are cooked and the sauce is thickened. Add the broccoli on top, followed by the cheese. Bake for five minutes, then set the oven on broil and continue to cook until cheese becomes golden brown.
Remove and serve immediately.
🍕 Greek Salad Pizza
Ingredients (Serves 2) –
- 8 ounces pizza dough rolled to approximately 12 inches in diameter (or use a 12-inch pizza crust)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup mild arugula
- 8 olives, pitted and sliced in half
- 4 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, sliced in half
- 1/8 cucumber (seeds scooped out with a spoon) chopped into quarter moons
- 1/4 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Place the pizza crusts or dough on a baking tray and brush with one tablespoon of olive oil. Top with the mozzarella and cheddar, then sprinkle on the oregano and a pinch of salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 10-14 minutes until the pizza and cheese are golden brown.
Take out of the oven, and add on top the arugula followed by the olives, sun-dried tomatoes, cucumber slices, red onion and feta cheese.
Mix the remaining olive oil with the balsamic vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the pizza just before serving.
For more recipes to inspire your cooking and health goals, click here: https://ifoodreal.com/clean-eating-recipes-dinners/!
Maintaining your mental health is just as important as working on your physical health. As the seasons change, many people experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD). According to Psychology Today, an estimated 10 million Americans are affected by SAD and another 20% may have mild cases. If you’re looking for a mood boost, we have a list of 10 things that you can do to help strengthen your mental health and your self-esteem:
1. Learn to love yourself:
The first step is learning how to value yourself. You can start by appreciating all of your accomplishments, both big and small. Value yourself enough to treat yourself with kindness.
2. Care for your body:
Taking care of yourself physically can improve your mental health. Yes, that includes eating nutritious meals and exercising, but it is also important to take those bubble baths or relax with a face mask for a night. Listen to your body when it’s telling you it needs a day to recharge.
3. Surround yourself with good people:
Care for people who care for you. Try and focus on creating an inner circle of people who support you, inspire you and motivate you to be better. People with strong family or social connections are generally healthier than those who lack a support network.
4. Give back:
Volunteering is a great way to give some of your energy back to another person or your community. You’ll feel good about doing something tangible to help someone in need — and it’s a great way to meet new people!
5. Dealing with stress:
Practice good coping skills: Do tai chi, exercise, take a nature walk, play with your pet or write in your journal to reduce stress. Another tip is to try and always find the humor in life — Research shows that laughter can boost your immune system, ease pain, relax your body and reduce stress.
6. Find peace in the quiet:
Try practicing meditation and mindfulness. Relaxing your mind can improve your outlook on life. According to the Online Psychology Degree Guide, meditation can help improve your memory, reduce stress, help with decision making and much more!
7. Set goals and stick to them:
Think about what you want to achieve academically, professionally and personally, and write down the steps you need to accomplish your goals. Aim high, but be realistic and don’t over-schedule. You’ll enjoy a tremendous sense of accomplishment and self-worth as you make progress toward your goals.
8. Switch up your routine:
Although our routines make us more efficient, a little change of pace can perk up a tedious schedule. By adding a new adventure to your calendar, you’ll be excited and have something to look forward to. Something as simple as visiting a new restaurant or local store can be a great way to add a new experience in your life.
9. Moderation is key:
Don’t go overboard when it comes to certain behaviors. Sometimes people use alcohol and other drugs to “self-medicate,” but in reality, alcohol and other drugs only aggravate problems.
10. Get help when you need it:
Seeking help is a sign of strength — not weakness. And it is important to remember that treatment is effective. People who get appropriate care can recover from mental illness and addiction and lead full, rewarding lives.
We hope the tips in this blog help you realign your health goals this August and stay on track to a better future you! 💙
If you ever need some support on your wellness journey, please reach out. We offer a variety of treatments that can help with your fitness goals, along with many age-related health issues.