HELLO spring weather!! It’s amazing what a little warm weather and sunshine does for the soul. If we get any more cold weather, I’ll fully take the blame, seeing that I just finished putting all of my winter gear and cold weather clothes in the attic…
Spring cleaning isn’t only for cleaning your house though, it’s a good opportunity to clean out the kitchen cupboards and refrigerator, and revamp your exercise routine. Goodbye treadmill and skis, hello outdoor walks, runs, bike rides, swims and more!
To help you get started in the exercise department, these are some great programs to experiment with:
Try this Pool workout, great for building muscle and improving cardiovascular health…and you’ll stay cool too!
Get ready to bare your arms with this Arm workout for beginners.
For all over strength training, this 30 Minute strength training with beginner modifications,
Or this one geared towards men: Beginner workout program from Men's Fitness.
Not into exercise videos? Take a walk on your lunch break. Shoot some basketball hoops with your kids. Go for a hike with your friend. Plan a date on the tennis courts. Or join me for the Run Like a Mother 5k on Mother's day.
The sky is the limit!
Exercise should be FUN! Finding what makes you happy is the key to long-term success.
And of course there is MEDITATION. If you are looking for some inspiration, check out Unplug, A Simple Guide to Meditation for Busy Skeptics and Modern Soul Seekers by Suze Yalof Schwartz.
She offers the perfect balance of humor and realistic tips and techniques. I especially love her “Starbucks Meditation”:
"Try this the next time you’re in the coffee line: As you’re waiting to order, focus on your feet. Put all your attention on how they connect to the ground. Slowly take a step with your right foot. Land with your heel, then roll onto the ball of your foot. Slowly take a step with your left foot the same way. Notice how your weight shifts and your body and knees propel you forward. When you order, look into the eyes of your barista and smile. She’s going to smile back- that’s a connection! Then, after you pay, walk mindfully to the waiting area. While you wait, stand and connect with your breath. DON’T REACH FOR YOUR PHONE. Bring yourself back to the present, letting other thoughts go. When your drink is ready, pause and really feel the heat or chill of it in your hands. Breathe in the scent. Sip it, savoring the taste.
That’s it! You meditated!!"
On another note…We all know how important it is to stay hydrated. Especially once you start increasing exercise, but it’s not quite so hot yet that you might not realize you’re dehydrated… But are you getting bored with plain old water? Before you reach for that sugar filled beverage, try infusing your water with one of these combinations by Miranda Hammer at The Crunchy Radish. Fill a pitcher and leave it in your fridge or on your counter for easy grab-and-go (it will look pretty too!!):
Tiki Sunrise: Grapefruit, lemon and rosemary
Berry Splash: Blueberries and basil
Gingerade: Lemon, lime and ginger
Spa Tonic: Lavender and lemon
Green Goodness: Cucumber, mint and lime
And then of course there’s the clean eating! Some new favorite recipes to add to your collection:
Baked Blueberry Oatmeal Cups, from Call me PMC (Gluten free)
These have become a favorite grab-and-go breakfast, or healthy afternoon snack. There is absolutely no guilt. And they couldn’t be easier to make!
Moroccan Vegetable Ragout, from Fine Cooking
A new dinner favorite in my house. Easy to make, and delicious. I serve it over whole wheat couscous with shaved almonds.
Summer Vegetable Skillet Quinoa, from Making Thyme for Health (Vegan, Gluten free)
You know I love my quinoa bowls! These never get old. Play around with the ingredients and use whatever fresh produce you have on hand.
Mushroom Barley Lentil Soup, from Hummusapien (Vegan)
I know it’s getting warm, but this soup is so delicious you won’t mind eating soup on a warm day. Perfect for lunch or a light dinner with a salad. AND it’s a breeze to make. It can be made either in a crock-pot or on the stove top.
Black Bean Brownies, from Chocolate Covered Katie (Vegan, Gluten free)
YES, you read that right. There are beans in these brownies…and you would never know! I was a complete skeptic at first. I first heard about this idea a year ago, and it took one of our members bringing in some of her fresh baked brownies for me to try them. I’m HOOKED, and I’ve hooked my whole family! Trust me, give them a try. I omit the sugar and use ½ cup maple syrup, and I used old-fashioned rolled oats. They come out AMAZING every time.
And, well, this is just to end on a funny note!