6 Fruits and Vegetables to Harvest in June

 

 Here are 6 fruits and vegetables that are harvested in June and some ways to prepare them:

 

1.      Strawberries are a seasonal favorite and who doesn’t love strawberries? You can put them in a smoothie, add to your yogurt or cereal, cover them in dark chocolate, or just eat them plain!

2.      It’s also “Salad Season”! Fresh leafy greens such as kale, spinach, and many lettuce varieties can easily be cut up to make a great salad! Just add your favorite toppings and go easy on the dressing! You could even cut up those strawberries and add them on top!

3.      Jazz up roasted broccoli by adding flavorful spices such as lemon pepper or garlic powder along with your chicken to make a great sheet pan dinner or boil the broccoli on the stovetop until tender, drain well, and add some lemon juice and butter!

4.      Potatoes are the most versatile of the June vegetables and can be prepared with minimal effort! You can make baked potatoes and add your favorite toppings or try a new twist like store bought rotisserie chicken tossed in buffalo sauce topped with crumbled blue cheese or ranch dressing. Or mix up Taco Tuesday with a baked potato topped with black beans, salsa, shredded Mexican cheese and sour cream! Make use of your grill this summer and look up all the different ways to season up olive oil tossed potatoes in Aluminum foil packets. Or try oven-roasting cut up potatoes along with onions, bell peppers and baby carrots tossed in olive oil and rosemary!

5.      Radishes-yes, I said radishes!  Just add some simple seasoning like salt and pepper and roast those babies! Or you can slice them up and add them to your salad or make a delicious summer slaw with some spring cabbage.

6.      Asparagus is also harvested in June and can be prepared in a number of ways such as roasting in the oven with olive oil, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese.  Makes a delicious side for grilled steak or chicken!

            Now let’s get out and celebrate National Fruits & Vegetable Month by picking up some fresh produce today at your local farmers market, grocery, or garden!!

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20 Things to Do Instead of Drinking Alcohol

April is Alcohol Awareness Month. Although alcohol can be fun and enjoyed on occasion, it is often greatly abused by the population. Roughly 16 million people suffer from alcohol abuse! Since it is April, try to pay closer attention to how much alcohol you are actually consuming each week. Here are 20 things you can do instead of drink alcohol!

 

  1. Go to a movie

  2. Go for a long walk

  3. Grab coffee with a friend

  4. Read a book

  5. Play a board game with your kids

  6. Learn to play an instrument

  7. Repaint a room in your house

  8. Clean out your closets and drawers

  9. Visit the Humane Society

  10. Ride a bike

  11. Go for a run

  12. Sign up for a new workout class

  13. Plan your dream vacation

  14. Visit your local library

  15. Pick up an old hobby

  16. Pick out a new recipe to try

  17. Walk around the mall but leave your wallet at home!

  18. Bring your kids to the park

  19. Make a meal for a friend

  20. Spend the day in a new town

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Ten Books To Change Your Mental Game!

Mental health is just as important as your physical health! It is incredibly important to consistently work on your personal growth. When you work on your self-development, you are able to be the best version of yourself! And when you are the best version of yourself, you are able to serve others in the ways they need. Personal development is a key component in a person's growth, maturity, success and happiness. It is the foundation of emotional, physical, and spiritual health. Below are 10 books to add to your reading list! Grab a journal too and take notes along the way. Happy Reading!

 

1. The Power of Positivity by Norman Vincent Peale

2. Think and Grow Rick by Napoleon Hill

3. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carneige

4. Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial by Tony Robbins

5. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferris

6. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

7. The Power of Now: A Guide To Spiritual Enlightenment By Eckhart Tolle 

8. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress Free Productivity by David Allen

9. Habit Stacking: 127 Small Changes to Improve Your Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Steve Scott

10. The Miracle Morning by Hal Higdon

 

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Heart Healthy Foods

It’s the month of LOVE! What better way to show yourself some LOVE than by eating foods that fuel a happy, healthy heart?! Here are six easy foods to add into your diet to ensure you are maintaining a heart that is in tip-top shape!

 

1. Leafy Green Vegetables: from spinach to kale to collard greens!

Leafy greens are packed with Vitamin K which helps protect your arteries. These super foods also reduce blood pressure and decrease the stiffness in the lining of your blood vessels. When you eat more leafy greens – you lower your risk for heart disease.

 

2. Whole Grains: from oats to brown rice to quinoa!

Whole grains are very high in fiber which greatly reduces your bad LDL cholesterol and decreases the risk of heart disease.

 

3. Berries: from blueberries to strawberries to raspberries!

Incredibly high in antioxidants, berries help protect your heart against inflammation. Eating berries daily can help improve the function of the cells in your blood vessels which in turn control your blood pressure.

 

4. Avocados!

This fruit is a wonderful source of healthy monounsaturated fats that help reduce your levels of cholesterol. They are also high in potassium which is key nutrient in maintaining a healthy heart.

 

5. Dark Chocolate: Chocolate?! It’s true!

Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants that can help reduce your risk for coronary heart disease. But just remember, it’s still high in sugar so just be careful not to eat too much. Search for chocolate that is 70% or higher in cocoa.

 

6. Olive Oil: similar to avocados!

This monounsaturated fat is packed with antioxidants to fight inflammation in you heart and reduce your risk for chronic disease.

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Creating a Healthy New Year

How To Plan For A Healthy Year!

 

It can be incredibly stressful to think about creating and sticking to resolutions in the New Year. Maybe you like the idea of a healthier lifestyle, but you don’t even know where you should start! Let’s look at some simple ways to incorporate wellness into your everyday lifestyle. Health should be fun and easy, not difficult and time-consuming.

1. Find an exercise you enjoy! Try taking the dog for a walk, joining a running club, biking to work, walking with the family after dinner, or joining a fitness group. We should be exercising because we love our body – not because we hate it.

1. Find an exercise you enjoy! Try taking the dog for a walk, joining a running club, biking to work, walking with the family after dinner, or joining a fitness group. We should be exercising because we love our body – not because we hate it.

2. Meal plan and grocery shop for the week! The internet is a wonderful place when it comes to find quick and healthy recipes. Try typing in “Healthy, Easy Recipes” on Google and I guarantee thousands of results will pop up. Follow this rule-of-thumb: Pick 2 meals that sound like something you and your family would enjoy and pick a meal that you have never tried before in your life! Write down all the ingredients, head to the grocery store, and prepare a few meals for the week!

2. Meal plan and grocery shop for the week! The internet is a wonderful place when it comes to find quick and healthy recipes. Try typing in “Healthy, Easy Recipes” on Google and I guarantee thousands of results will pop up. Follow this rule-of-thumb: Pick 2 meals that sound like something you and your family would enjoy and pick a meal that you have never tried before in your life! Write down all the ingredients, head to the grocery store, and prepare a few meals for the week!

3. Make family time a priority! Family time is incredibly important. When you leave your work at work, you have more time to focus on your loved ones. As you commute home, mentally prepare yourself with questions you can ask your family about their day and also take that time to destress from any problems at work.

3. Make family time a priority! Family time is incredibly important. When you leave your work at work, you have more time to focus on your loved ones. As you commute home, mentally prepare yourself with questions you can ask your family about their day and also take that time to destress from any problems at work.

4. Invest in personal development! Read books, listen to podcasts, journal about gratitude – do these things and you will discover a side of you that you didn’t realize existed yet. When we invest in ourselves, everyone around us benefits! Try researching some of the best personal growth books and podcasts on the market right now!

4. Invest in personal development! Read books, listen to podcasts, journal about gratitude – do these things and you will discover a side of you that you didn’t realize existed yet. When we invest in ourselves, everyone around us benefits! Try researching some of the best personal growth books and podcasts on the market right now!

5. Smile! A smile is incredibly contagious. Next time you feel down or off-set, try smiling! Smiling has been shown to instantly increase your mood and the mood of those around you. Positive thinking helps as well. When a negative thought pops in your head – try thinking of something positive instead and don’t forget to smile!

5. Smile! A smile is incredibly contagious. Next time you feel down or off-set, try smiling! Smiling has been shown to instantly increase your mood and the mood of those around you. Positive thinking helps as well. When a negative thought pops in your head – try thinking of something positive instead and don’t forget to smile!

Eating for the Season

Did you know that our ancestors would only eat the food they could find where they lived?

That often meant eating different varieties of produce at each and every season. There was no such thing as eating a tomato in December if they lived in Kentucky. Now we can walk into a grocery store and pick up almost any piece of produce our heart desires, rarely wondering how far that produce had to travel. What’s even worse? Our supermarket produce is picked several weeks before the fruit or vegetable is even ripened, so by the time we pick up a cucumber or apple to purchase – it’s already lost most of its nutritional value and flavor. When we eat seasonally, we are living in harmony with nature which leaves our bodies in balance and content.

 

Did you know that food that grows in certain seasons is actually beneficial to our health?

In the summer you can find plenty of cucumbers and watermelon, all which help cool down the body naturally from the heat. For example, when you eat an apple in the fall, it helps transition your body from the hot summer days to the cooler fall evenings. In spring, we can find a lot of leafy greens in order to help detox the body and lose some weight stored during the winter months. Seasonal produce is also picked at its ripest which means it contains all of its nutrients. The plant has had more sun exposure which leads to higher levels of antioxidants!

 

Did you know that eating in season is more affordable than most would think?

If you take a walk around your local farmer’s market in the summer, the overabundance of produce such as watermelons and cucumbers allow them to be sold at a lower cost.

 

Let’s take a look at some of the produce you should pick up at your local farmer’s market this December to make sure you are not only saving money but getting the most nutritional benefits from your food!

 Foods to eat this December:

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Water: The Miracle Drink!

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Our bodies around roughly 60% water which means we need to drink A LOT of water to keep everything running smoothly. You’ve heard the golden rule of drink 8 glasses of water a day but in actuality adults should be consuming anywhere from 15.5 cups for men to 11.5 cups for women and even more than that if you exercise regularly.

 

 So, what makes water a miracle drink anyways?

·         Gets rid of headaches

·         Improves mood / boosts energy

·         Relieves fatigue

·         Relieves constipation / improves digestion

·         Promotes weight loss / reduces food cravings

·         Boost immune system

·         Improves complexion

·         Regulates body temperature

·         Flushes out toxins

 

The best way to get more water each day is to simply start drinking as much as you can! The more water you drink, the more your body will crave it.

 

Here are some helpful hints to drink more water:

 

1.    Fill up two 32 oz. bottles of water. Drink one before noon and the other before bedtime.

2.    Try adding different fruits and herbs to water such as strawberry basil, lemon lavender, or cucumber mint.

3.    Look for sparkling water if you are used to the carbonation of sugar.

4.    Eat water-filled foods such as cucumber or watermelon.

5.    Set an alarm on your phone to drink one 8 oz. glass of water every hour you are awake that day.

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Reducing Plastic Waste and Exposure

Did you know humanity now produces roughly its own weight in plastic every year? Did you know American’s alone use over 500 million straws a day? Did you know the average American throws away approximately 185 pounds of plastic per year?

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So, what are the negative effects of plastic pollution and what are some ways we can help reduce this problem?

            For the last 50 years, the consumption of plastics has continued to rise all over the world. Experts say by the year 2050, the oceans will contain more plastic than fish by weight. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch in the middle of the ocean is said to be 3 times the size of France. Plastic pollution is also incredibly toxic to human health. Did you know babies are born pre-polluted? In other words, babies are polluted at birth. (For more information visit: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/health/babies-are-polluted-at-birth-new-report-says/625/). Also, the plastic packaging on all our favorite grocery store items can contain up to 148 unknown toxins – toxins that eventually wind up in landfills or the ocean.

            Basically, the more plastic we use – the more toxins we invite into our homes, our bodies, and our environment. Not only do we want to be aware of the relevance of chemical exposure to our health, but also take important steps to reduce that exposure. Dr. Leo Trasande, co-director of Mount Sinai’s Children’s Environmental Health Center explains “There are some safe and simple steps that a family can [take] to limit exposure to chemicals in the environment. They can make sure their home doesn’t have lead-based paint hazards, they can limit their consumption of methylmercury in some fish, they can eat organic, they can limit spraying pesticides in homes, they can have their home tested for radon, they can make sure their water supply isn’t contaminated by arsenic etc.”  In addition to Dr. Trasande’s recommendations, below are 10 more ways to help reduce plastic waste in your home and community!

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1.    Carry reusable shopping bags – some businesses hand them out for free at events and several grocery stores sell them for around $1.00 Try keeping a bunch in the back of your car at all times!

2.    Give up bottled water – there are hundreds of stainless steel water or glass water bottle options all over the internet or at several local grocery stores.

3.    Carry a stainless-steel mug/thermos – if you go to coffee shops regularly, ask them to put your coffee in your mug/thermos instead!

4.    Give up plastic straws – carry your own reusable straws or just nix them from your lifestyle completely.

5.    Return any berry, cherry tomato, or other plastic containers to your local farmer’s market for the farmers to reuse!

6.    Buy milk from a local source – they usually come in glass containers instead of plastic.

7.    Research homemade shampoos, deodorant’s, and toothpaste to place in glass containers instead of buying plastic bottled toiletries.

8.    Pick up reusable snack bags and sandwich bags from Amazon!

9.    Replace all your plastic containers with reusable glass containers.

10. Put your recycling bin to use! Look up all the things your local recycler’s take and make sure to recycle as many things as you can.

Sources:

https://myplasticfreelife.com/plasticfreeguide/

https://www.ecowatch.com/

http://plastic-pollution.org

https://www.plasticpollutioncoalition.org/science

https://www.von.gov.ng/world-environment-day-moving-towards-a-plastic-free-future/

https://gippslandunwrapped.com/