Tag Archives: summer

5 Deliciously Healthy Summer Party Themes

lemons-summer-food

Lisa Johnson blogs at TrueFoodMovement.com, where you can find healthy recipes and fun ideas about food. 

Hot dogs, burgers, ice cream…summer parties can wreak havoc with your waistline. We’ve got five summer party themes that let you kick back and enjoy yourself instead of counting calories.

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

FIESTA

Think more salsa, less queso. Mexican food comes from fresh ingredients and simple preparations. There are a lot of healthy Mexican dishes such as ceviche, a taco salad, and fajitas with whole wheat wraps. There are only 146 calories in a Corona, so you can even enjoy a little beer.

Try this: Roasted Tomatillo and Pineapple Salsa (more…)

The Frozen Lemonade Sam Adams Summer Ale Slush You Have to Taste to Believe

sam adams lemonade slush

Last summer I spent a month in Savannah, Georgia, a true American gem that should be on your must-visit list. Aside from soaking up all the history, playing at the beach, and hitting up all the Forrest Gump tourist spots, one of the highlights was attenidng the fifth annual Fitbloggin’ conference.

If you’ve never been, mark your calendars for the last weekend in Denver this year. It’s a life changing three days with an inspiring, motivating, beautiful group of about 250 souls. No matter what your place is in within the weight loss blogging/social media sphere, there is a place for you within Fitbloggin’. And as last year proved, no matter how hot and sweaty you get — be it during one of the morning Zumba classes or out wandering Savannah’s scenic historic district — everyone still has plenty of love for ‘ya.

sam adams lemonade slush

On the last day of the conference, it was time to cool off and get even more scenic, with a drive out to Georgia’s Tybee Island. I didn’t go alone. My husband and daughter tagged along with myself, Emmie from AuthenticallyEmmie.com, and Alan from SweatingUntilHappy.com. After a whirlwind three days inside a hotel getting all of the hugs, blog lessons, and free California Almond trail mix snacks we could handle, sinking our toes in the sand and letting the sea breeze wash over our faces was the decompress everyone needed!

alan brandi emmie fitbloggin

And frozen lemonades, we needed those to fully complete the post-conference decompression slash Georgia heat exhaustion. After we dusted most of the sand from our bodies, we headed to a highly recommended local dive – AJ’s Dockside Restaurant. We sat outside, because we clearly love sweating as much as possible. We ordered po’boys, because when in Rome. And we ordered frozen lemonades. (more…)

5 Questions to Ask at Your Farmers Market

farmers market carrots

I love starting my weekend with a trip to the farmers market. I may start the day overwhelmed by my to-do list, but everything slows down as I start to walk past the tables of vibrant produce, local honey, and artisanal breads and cheeses. Connecting with your food and those who produce it makes you pause, breathe, and appreciate the great gift of real food. You know you’re doing something better for your body and planet by going fresh and local.

However, you can’t take for granted that everything at your local farmers market is good for you and the planet. Supporting your local farmers market can provide  better quality produce and be beneficial to the environment and local economy. However, it is not a guaranty that the produce is free of pesticides, meets safety standards, or that the product is actually from a local source. If you’re not taking the opportunity to get to know your farmer you may not be getting what you bargained for. Here are some questions to ask at your next (or first) farmers market visit.

Farmers Markets in all 50 States Accept Food Stamps and EBT

DO YOU USE PESTICIDES?

Not every local farmer grows organically. Those who do so often proudly display their USDA organic label. If you don’t see the organic label, you need to ask how they spray and fertilize their crops. Some farmers use all organic methods but simply do not have the resources to obtain the organic certification. Others may use conventional methods of pest control and fertilization. If it is a fruit or vegetable on the Dirty Dozen list, make sure to choose organically grown produce.

WHAT DO YOU FEED YOUR LIVESTOCK?

Local and grass fed seem to go hand-in-hand but you can’t assume that is the case. Cows and chickens may still be eating grain due to cost and land availability (or even junk food!). They may also still be getting things you don’t want in your food, like antibiotics. Organic eggs may be the best protein choice at the farmers market. They can be used in a variety of ways and can be less expensive per serving than organic beef. (more…)

4 Places Where Every Body Can Enjoy Swimsuit Shopping

We all know that the words “swimsuit season” are not always greeted positively. Besides the fact that some of us don’t even like swimming, over the history of the swimsuit, women have been made to feel bad about the shape and size of their bodies while wearing one. The great news is, you can wear a swimsuit no matter what size you are, and fortunately, some stores are shaping up and offering the best swimsuits to women of all sizes.

Here is where you should be shopping if you want a cute swimsuit with none of the unnecessary shaming that has come along with it.

how to get bikini body

ModCloth

ModCloth has long been known for their encouragement of women being themselves, owning their look, and feeling good about themselves and each other. The website has everything from adorable shoes to wedding dresses — naturally, swimsuits are here, too! The company even recently made waves with their awesome commitment to the Anti-Photoshop Pledge. The models in their ads, swimsuit or otherwise, will not be photoshopped!

Target’s Ava & Viv

Target has made everyone very happy with the introduction of its new “plus-size” house brand. Ava & Viv arrived in February and is a beautiful line of clothing that is trendy, fashionable, and gorgeous! Ava & Viv’s swimsuits are too cute to pass up! Check them out and you’ll be running to the beach. (more…)

14 Patio Perfect Memorial Day Recipes Your BBQ Can’t Live Without

It’s officially the unofficial start to summer that we’ve all been craving! You know, that time of year when people start getting extra friendly with a neighbor or pal with a swimming pool. Memorial Day is here and, like most Americans, you probably have plans to spend the sunny day-off outside, on a deck, by the water, with good food, drink, and better friends.

Remember, these aren’t the cookouts of your youth; don’t allow your buddies to grill packaged weenies and frozen burger patties. This is a new era; your golden age of Memorial Day cookouts. We’ve compiled the very best of our cookout-inspired recipes — simple, delicious summer foods that may even be good for you (shhh!)

sam adams summertime lemonade

Sam Adams Summertime Slush

The flavor combination in this beer cocktail tastes exactly like summer is supposed to taste — light, sweet, refreshing, and maybe just a little bit boozy! We made our own fresh-squeezed lemonade, slushed it up in the blender, and topped it off with ice cold Sam Adams Summer Ale.

bayou kabobs

Bayou Kabobs

Add color, spice, and a little flare to your cookout spread with this Cajun-inspired recipe. We layered Andouille sausage with shrimp, peppers, and sausage for something like a shrimp boil on a stick! Serve with grilled corn and potatoes to really pull the theme together.

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Roasted Tomatillo and Pineapple Salsa

Are you tired of bland, store-bought salsa, but intimidated about making your own homemade chip-dip? This roasted tomatillo and pineapple salsa is sweet and refreshing, with a perfect amount of spicy bite. It’s full of complex flavor notes and a breeze to make. The tomatillo is tangy, the pineapple saccharine, and salsa staples like cilantro, lime juice, garlic, onion, and salt strike a harmonious balance. Throw this salsa down with some blue corn tortilla chips and watch your guests lick the bowl clean.

frozen talenti sangria

Talenti Frozen Sangria 

With great entertaining comes great responsibility, so make sure your Memorial Day guests have a tasty bev to wash down your delicious food. The only thing better than a cool summer cocktail is a frozen summer cocktail. The Talenti Sorbetto in this recipe is brilliant in color and light in calories. All you need is your favorite bottle of cheap cab sauv, a little lime juice, mixed berries, and a blender. With only 222 calories per 8 oz serving, it’s the perfect summer cocktail. (more…)

11 Hikes You Must Take This Summer

best hikes

Some people hike all year, and some of us are fair-weather hikers. Regardless of what type of hiker you consider yourself to be, it is undoubtedly time to lace up the boots. If you are planning a trip to a new part of the country, or if you are simply tired of the same ‘ole hikes in your area, we come bearing gifts! We’ve rounded up some of the best hikes in the country

Before you get going however, make sure you are well prepared.

  • A hiking backpack with a hip belt so you are not carrying all of the weight in your shoulders. Plus, it provides a place to carry your gear.
  • Water is a must! So are snacks like trail mix, granola bars, fresh fruit, and protein bars.
  • Insect repellant if you are prone to bug bites.
  • Hiking boots are arguably the most important piece of hiking equipment. You need well-fitting boots that can take on the terrain and keep your feet dry and secure.
  • Layer your clothing with light pieces that can easily be removed when it’s hot, put back on when it’s cold, or stored in your pack.

BEST HIKES IN THE U.S.

Pacific Northwest

>> Ramona Falls Hike, Mt. Hood, Oregon

The Ramona Falls Hike is a seven-mile loop, round trip. Though the hike is described as “moderate,” it is not necessarily recommended for families because of the bridge crossing the Sandy River. The beautiful hike is a Mount Hood favorite, however. People love the relatively easy- to-navigate trail, the short distance out of Portland, and of course, the gorgeous Ramona Falls.

>> Mount Finlayson Trail, San Juans, Washington

The gorgeous Mount Finlayson Trail is one of the best hikes in Washington State. The trail is nearly four-miles round trip and offers gorgeous views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the Olympic Mountains, the the beautiful Puget Sound. There are plenty of trail heads and paths to take along the hike, so have fun exploring!

>> Oyster Dome, Chuckanut, Washington

The Oyster Dome hike is a nearly seven-mile hike, round trip, though the whole time you will be eager to get to the top. From the top, Oyster Dome is one of the most gorgeous views in the world. Enjoy both the Lummi and Orcas Islands from afar and the beautiful Samish Bay below. The hike can be family friendly, but watch out for the very unforgiving ledges. (more…)

Get Ripped Like Summer 2015’s Biggest Blockbuster Stars

mad max workouts

Blockbuster movie season has officially begun. Though there are many, many reasons to see the following films, these action-packed summer movies feature some of the hottest celebrities in the world. If you use A-listers as your guiding light at the gym, see how can you combine your workout with your favorite new movie.

The secret? Almost all of these stars rely on strength training to get trim, lean, toned arms, legs, booties, and bellies. Strength training is not only one of the biggest trends in fitness this year, it’s one of the very best things you can do for your body. Yes, even women. Even two days of weights a week will make a difference in how you feel and look. If you need inspiration to get started, this list has a lot of muscle.

The Avengers: Age of Ultron

Everyone has been talking about Age of Ultron lately, and why shouldn’t they be? The sequel to 2012’s The Avengers has certainly earned its buzz. Wondering how you can get in superhero shape yourself? Grab a kettleball and wield it like Loki’s hammer. I mean–try not to hurt anyone or yourself–but your arms will thank you later.

Turkish Get Up Full-Body Kettlebell Workout

Hot Pursuit

The buddy-comedy Hot Pursuit stars two of the hottest actresses in the world: Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara. It would be stellar to have either of their bodies, but to match their workouts, you’re going to want to focus on your squats. It is safe to say that both sexy ladies have very nice backsides. Work those glutes, guys.

Lower Body Blitz Workout (more…)

21 Recipes and Ways to Clean Out the Summer Garden Surplus in Your Backyard

The summer growing season may be nearing its end, but your garden is probably just hitting its peak production! You can only personally eat so many tomatoes, cucumbers, cantaloupe, and zucchini. Your neighbors and co-workers will only allow you to share so many. And really, it seems a total waste to let them go. So don’t!

Belly up to your kitchen counter, pull out a few handy appliances, and make finished food items you can eat through the winter and your neighbors and co-workers are far more glad to take off of your hands now!

homemade pickles jar

HOMEMADE SWEET AND SPICY ENGLISH CUCUMBER PICKLES

Does your neighbor want 10 cucumbers? No! Does your neighbor want an adorable jar full of homemade pickles? Heck yes! Use any garden variety cuc to make these shockingly easy pickles. You’ll never want store-bought again. And in our experience, a generous batch will last you all the way to spring!

melon ball soup

TWO INGREDIENT MELON BALL SOUP

When the watermelon and cantaloupe runneth over, runneth it through the blender! Combine your favorite melons, add your choice of fresh herbs, and top with a goat or feta cheese to make the simplest chilled soup ever! We love ours at brunch. (more…)

Simple Homemade Rhubarb Iced Tea is as Refreshing as a Summer Breeze

Rhubarb Iced Tea mint

Raise your hand if you’re not looking for something refreshing to drink right now? Cruising in to the hottest weeks of summer, “hydrate, hydrate, hydrate” should be the motto of every one of us. Yes, even a couch potato dehydrates in these hot temps, and if you’re actually prone to moving your body and regular bouts of exercise, then a water glass should always be raised to your mouth.

But water’s boring and bland and blah, blah blah. I feel ‘ya. Iced tea is my go-to drink in the summer. Yes, it counts as water. However, the caffeine can be counterproductive as it’s a diuretic.

This Rhubarb Iced Tea is as easy as a summer breeze, hydrates as well as any plain ‘ole glass of water, and is naturally caffeine free. You’re saying ahhhhhh! before the first sip, right? (more…)

The 9 Tastiest Ways to Enjoy an Avocado Every Day

avocado a day

Avocados have become almost as synonymous with summer as berries and watermelon, but at least those seem to have a definitive season. Perennial varieties of avocados, like Haas, mean we get our favorite fruit all year long, and we’re not mad about that!

Yes, avocados are a fruit, and they can be categorized as a super food for all the dense nutritional benefit they hold. They have more potassium than the notorious banana, barely any sodium, make a rich, satisfying source of fiber, a touch of protein, and a host of vitamins and minerals. Some balk at the calories and fat, but those aren’t empty like you’d find in french fries, there’s some real nutritional value in every bite.

Maybe the moniker should change to eating an avocado a day keeps the doctor away!

We do actually try to eat an avocado a day, and to mix it up, we keep these nine recipes in the rotation. What’s your favorite way to eat the “alligator pear”?

guacamole

CHUNKY GUACAMOLE WITH SERRANO PEPPERS

avocado pasta

AVOCADO PASTA (more…)