Happy Memorial Day weekend and welcome to the unofficial start of summer! Enjoy this nice long weekend with family, friends and sunshine – the healthy way!
My beloved chiropractors at Palmercare Chiropractic www.palmercare.com taught us a few years ago about the 3 T’s that contribute to our health and well being. Toxins, Traumas and Thoughts. Sounds bleak, but think about those words in a more broad sense; toxins being what we put in and on our body, trauma relating to physical activity/inactivity and thoughts being spiritual/emotional or stress, and it becomes more relevant.
Let’s start with what we put on our body. This time of year we are spending more time outdoors and when it’s not as hot we often forget about sunscreen. Being out in the sun is actually really good for you. Sunlight is the only natural way to get the Vitamin D our bodies need. Our bodies manufacture Vitamin D from exposing our skin to the sun – and most of us, shoot, I’d say ALL of us are Vitamin D deficient. Quick read on the benefits of Vitamin D, and how much time to spend in the sun to get the amount we need – before slathering on the sunscreen:
After you’ve spent your 15-20 minutes in the sun it’s time to slather on the SPF. Some mineral based sunscreens provide a physical barrier but all sunscreens are at least partially absorbed into your skin which could lead to a toxic situation. You can be protected, at least partially from the sun with out using sunscreen. Think hat, t-shirt, rash-guard swim shirt, sitting under an umbrella, you get the idea. Modern technology has brought some amazing developments to sunscreen. Gone are the days when parents have to rub cream on screaming squirming sandy kids – with spray sunscreens. But that comes with it’s own risks. http://thestir.cafemom.com/toddlers_preschoolers/174516/spraying_sunscreen_on_your_kids
My advice is to apply sunscreen before you get wet or sandy – even while still cool in the house. For summer camps – teach kids to apply it themselves and have them wear rash-guards so their backs are covered. Chose a non/ less-toxic sunscreen listed in the EWG link in the above article.
Tick and mosquitoes can carry dangerous viruses and diseases. And they’re stinking annoying! There are as many bug sprays/repellents out there as there are sunscreens. And all the news is about the benefits of DEET – but it is also a really dangerous chemical. You can read the EWG’s guide to bug repellent here: http://www.ewg.org/research/ewgs-guide-bug-repellents
We use an essential oil based bug spray blend and we LOOOOOVE it! Yes, I use DoTerra oils and I’m not a pushy sales person, but I do swear by this bug spray. My personal formula is for a 2 oz bottle: 5 drops each of Terra Shield, peppermint, purify, lemongrass, and fill the rest with water. Shake and apply as often as needed. The peppermint is cooling so it’s refreshing in the hot weather.
On to FOOD!
The start of summer means the start of barbecue season. Cooking foods on the grill can be an easy, healthy and quick way to feed your family or the neighborhood – if you’re cooking the right foods the right way. Grill marks can make even a hot dog look appetizing – but over cooking meat adds dangerous – carcinogenic – compounds to your food. This article explains the risks and how to avoid it with proper cooking techniques and healthy recipes. http://www.nutritionaction.com/daily/food-safety/memorial-day-grilling-tips-to-avoid-burned-meat-carcinogens/?mqsc=E3797828&utm_source=WhatCountsEmail&utm_medium=Nutrition_Action_Daily_Tips+Nutrition%20Action%20Daily&utm_campaign=007Daily%20Food%20Safety%2020150522
My Memorial Day Favorites – RECIPES!!
Red White & Blue salad
Simple, colorful, healthful and enticing!
- Strawberries (or other red fruit – raspberries, watermelon) cut into bite sized pieces
- Jicima (which is a white colored, mild flavored, crunchy root vegetable – or apple) cut into bite sized pieces)
- Treat factor: my kids are used to me doing this the way we first had it at my friend Beth’s house with white chocolate chips so I always sprinkle a few on their portion to get them to eat the jicima! 😉
*Mix together and serve in a bowl or in an ice cream cake cone for a fun presentation and easy way to serve.
Hard Boiled Eggs (for egg salad or deviled eggs)
It’s all about the technique and how to cook the eggs so they peel clean.
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Gently lower room temperature eggs into the water one at a time, so the eggs do not touch. Boil for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit 2 minutes. Remove the eggs 1 at a time – allow to cool completely at room temperature. Peel perfectly!!!
Turkey Cheese Burgers (4 servings)
Tip: can also be sliders or meatballs as an appetizer.
- -1 package (~1 ¼ lbs) ground turkey
- -1 medium sized zucchini, trimmed and grated (1 cup)
- -1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- -1/2 t each: salt, onion powder, dry basil, garlic powder
- -1 T chopped fresh parsley
- -1/4 t black pepper
- – 4 rolls of choice
- -Lettuce, tomato
In a large bowl combine turkey, zucchini, cheese, seasonings, parsley and pepper. Mix well and form into 4 flat patties, each about 5 inches. Preheat broiler or grill. Place burgers on a broiler pan and broil about 2 inches from heat or grill on medium high for 6 minutes. Carefully flip burgers and grill another 6 minutes. Toast rolls if desired and top with lettuce and tomato. Or serve over a salad for a veggie BONUS!
These burgers have a very mild flavor – slightly sweet – which is a great way to get healthy brain building Omega 3 fats! These could also be smaller sized as sliders, which is what my kids prefer. I form the patties a hour or so before cooking and allow to rest in the refrigerator, then cook in avocado oil in a cast iron skillet. they could be grilled, but grease the grates first to ensure they don’t stick.
- 2~7oz cans wild caught salmon, drained
- 3 eggs
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp green onions, minced
- 2 tbsp lime or lemon juice
- 1 tbsp mustard
- 2 tsp fresh cilantro, minced
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- In a bowl, mix the salmon, garlic, green onions, and cilantro
- In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, lime juice, mustard, pepper, and salt
- Combine both mixtures until well incorporated then add coconut flour and mix again.
- Form batter into patties of desired size. Chill at least 30 minutes. Cook in cast iron skillet with 1 T oil over medium high heat and cook burgers until browned and then flip (about 4 minutes each side)
Kale Salad (4 servings)
This recipe has converted non-kale eaters so while you’re at it, make a double batch!
- 1 bunch kale stalks removed and discarded, leaves thinly sliced
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- Kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons honey
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 mango or strawberries, diced small (about 1 cup)
- Small handful toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), about 2 rounded tablespoons.
In large serving bowl, add the kale, half of lemon juice, a drizzle of oil and a little kosher salt. Massage until the kale starts to soften and wilt, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside while you make the dressing.
In a small bowl, whisk remaining lemon juice with the honey and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Stream in the 1/4 cup of oil while whisking until a dressing forms, and you like how it tastes. Pour the dressing over the kale and toss. Add the mango and pepitas just before serving. Serve or let it sit in the refrigerator – it’s better as it sits.
Trauma (In a good way this = exercise!)
Staying active over a holiday weekend can be challenging, especially if you’re out of town or have a jam-packed barbecue schedule. A few ideas for ways to stay active are to go strawberry picking – t’is the season in the Mid-Atlantic region. Lots of walking, squatting and heavy lifting if you get lucky and can pick a bunch! Go for a bike ride to a park or picnic spot. Hit the trails for a hike (remember your water, sunscreen and bug spray!). Just get out there and PLAY! When this kids jump in the pool, Marco-Polo with them! When they hit the waves at the beach, body surf with them! Act like you’re a kid again. Exercise is not just for looking good in that bathing suit or burning off the burgers/beers – it’s good for your heart, bones, digestion, sanity and sleep.
Finally, this Memorial Day, reflect. Be thankful for those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. The brave men and women in our military. Appreciate the time off to spend with family and friends.
Happy Memorial Day!!!