Find Time to Spare for Outdoor Fun

Find Time to Spare for Outdoor Fun

Now that the weather is starting to warm up, being stuck on the job or in a classroom can feel stifling. There’s a good reason for that: science shows being outside improves your mental health, reduces inflammation, improves concentration and might even boost proteins that fight cancer. Despite your busy schedule, you still can enjoy a few free minutes, hours or days outdoors and reconnect with your friends and loved ones in the process. Here are some ideas to infuse your day with outdoor fun. If You Have 15 Minutes, Walk Around the Block Some days feel like they’re never-ending. Those are the days that carving out even 15 minutes to spend time with work friends away from your desks. Keep a pair of walking shoes and with you so you’re always ready to take a stroll. On warm days, bring drinking water with you, too. It takes just a few minutes of exertion on a warm day before you need a bit of water. If You Have 30 Minutes, Try Yoga in the Grass You may not always think of yoga as an outdoor activity, but stretching and connecting to your body while you’re outside gives you a chance to center and soak up some Vitamin D while you’re at it. If you’re worried about messing up your work clothes, stick to gentle standing poses such as Mountain and Tree that improve your balance without working up too much of a sweat. If You Have 1 Hour, Steal Away for a Picnic This might take some planning, but the benefits of spending time outside with someone you care about...
Makeover Your Bedroom into Quiet and Peaceful Zen Retreat

Makeover Your Bedroom into Quiet and Peaceful Zen Retreat

If your home is your castle, the bedroom is your throne room. Studies keep showing that high-quality sleep is the cornerstone of good health. That starts with turning the bedroom into a peaceful retreat where you can’t wait to crawl in between your bed sheets. If you don’t feel a sense of calm wash over you the minute you walk into your bedroom, follow this simple checklist below, and it will become your favorite destination in the house (or maybe even on earth). 1. De-clutter Step one in ensuring you always get a restful night’s sleep: keep your bedroom free of clutter. Go through your closet every season and get rid of any non-occasion clothing you didn’t put on all season. Minimize items on dressing tables, nightstands, and dressers. Devote 20 minutes every day to putting things away so at night, every surface is clear and calmly. 2. Make it Dark Light in all forms is stimulating. When light pollution seeps into your bedroom windows, it messes with your circadian rhythms. Better sleep starts with a perfectly dark room, so invest in blackout shades or reinforced drapes with a light-blocking liner. 3. Repaint A simple coat of paint may be all you need to makeover your bedroom. Choose a soothing tone like gray, blue, or light green. Coordinate with new bedroom accessories like throw pillows or a quilt in a complementary shade. 4. Get New Bed Sheets You don’t need a large selection of bed sheets, but you do want a set that helps regulate your body temperature (which microfiber does pretty well) so you don’t overheat. Microfiber is also as soft as...
Get The Grill Ready: Healthy Burger Options Perfect for Summer

Get The Grill Ready: Healthy Burger Options Perfect for Summer

There’s something about firing up the grill in the spring and summer that makes everyone happy. With the outdoor cooking season right around the corner, these healthy burger ideas are as succulent and yummy as they are guilt-free. We even have a few options for the vegetarians in the party. These may become new favorites, and a path for your friends and family to indulge in food that is perfectly guilt-free. Pro-Tips for Burger Aficionados If you’re using fat-free or low-fat meat, like turkey and chicken, adding an egg to the mixture helps to keep it from falling apart on the grill. The benefits of ground poultry are that it cooks a bit faster, and it’s lower in calories and cholesterol. A safe ratio is one egg per pound of meat. Second tip: always leave a hole in the middle of the patty. The hole allows the meat to expand as it cooks, so you still end up with a flat disk and not an oblong meatball. Lastly: don’t press the burgers. Pressing frees all the juices (and why on earth would you want to do that?). As tempting as it is to hear that sizzle, let the patties sit as they cook so the outside sears evenly, keeping those yummy flavors inside. Alternative Meats for Healthy Burgers Turkey is extremely low in both fat and calories. As mentioned above, adding an egg helps hold the patties together on the grill. Ground chicken is also an excellent healthy option for a burger. Look for salmon burgers in the frozen food section; they’re lower in fat than red meat and are...
Appetizer Recipes to Get You Ready for Grilling Season

Appetizer Recipes to Get You Ready for Grilling Season

As soon as the days get longer and warmer, our appetites turn to summery fresh fare, afternoon barbecues, and refreshing, fruity cocktails worthy of sipping by the pool. These recipes below are as appetizing to the eye as they are to the tummy and will tantalize your guests when you bring them out on an iced food server, so they stay crisp and delicious even on a hot summer day. Easy, Fast Caprese on a Stick There’s almost nothing so herbaceous and simple as a Caprese salad, the traditional Italian dish of fresh basil leaves, tomatoes, and buffalo mozzarella. In this version, using short bamboo fruit picks, and miniature mozzarella balls, called bocconcini (it means “little mouthfuls”), your guests enjoy an easy eat and go treat that perks up the palate. Fresh basil leaves 1-pint ripe cherry tomatoes 8-ounce container of bocconcini mozzarella Extra virgin olive oil Kosher salt Strip your basil leaves from the stems. Dip them in ice-cold water in a stainless steel or glass bowl to wash. Drain and dry them completely on paper towels. Fold each basil leaf in half or a quarter, so it fits easily onto the end of the fruit pick. Slide on a single cherry tomato and then one bocconcini. Repeat until you’ve used all the cheese. Drizzle olive oil generously over the top, add a few flakes of kosher salt to taste and arrange on your iced food server. Everyone Loves Charcuterie This is where you can have some fun. Visit a local specialty butcher or the meat counter at the supermarket. Get 1/4 to 1/2 pound of thinly sliced salamis, cured meats like prosciutto,...
5 Signs Your Body Needs a Detox (And What to Do Next)

5 Signs Your Body Needs a Detox (And What to Do Next)

Do you feel stressed out all the time? Is your digestion not up to its usual efficiency? Before you write off chronic issues with your body as normal stresses, look at your diet and environment. You may just need a detox. What a Detox Is (And Isn’t) A detox is any effort to help your body do its job of cleaning out toxins from your organs, including your liver, kidneys and skin. Traditionally, a detox has had a drug or alcohol connotation, as in going into detox to get the chemicals out of your system. But today, detoxification is a holistic health approach that uses food, water, massage and other acts of self-care to encourage your body to perform its best. A detox, however, is not a cure-all, and effective ones rarely are quick fixes. It usually involves small-but-valuable lifestyle shifts that require commitment. So, how do you know whether you need to take on the effort? Your body tells you, and there are dozens of clues. Here are five of the top signs your body is craving help clearing toxicity. Digestive Issues One surefire way to know anything is amiss in your body is to pay attention to your trips to the bathroom. If you need to detox, chances are, you’re constipated, thanks to the toxins that have built up in your body. Constipation, in turn, can give you a headache or make you sleepy. Of course, the opposite problem can also signify a need to cleanse. Loose stools, indigestion and excess gas all are signs of a need to detox. Basically, if your bathroom habits change, pay attention. Depression...