End Summer Vacation with a Blast!

End Summer Vacation with a Blast!

How has your summer been?  Have you accomplished all the fun things you wanted to?  Or has it just gone by in a big blur and you really don’t know what happened?  Regardless, it’s not too late to end summer with a blast!  Even if your kids are back to school (or going soon), you can still enjoy the last month of typically hot summer weather.   For many kids, even though summer is shorter and school starting earlier (August 3rd anyone?), many of the sports and other extra-curricular activities haven’t started or at least haven’t reached their zenith of time consumption.  That makes August a great month to sneak in a little extra fun in the evenings and on weekends.  So, why not go out this year with a bang?  Make it an August to remember! What exactly can you still do?  It may be too late for a summer vacation, but I bet there are still some things you’d like to do left on your “bucket list.”  Or maybe there is something you have always wanted to do but never found the time or energy to get it together.  Have your kids been asking to do anything repeatedly?  Make a list of all the potential ideas and then survey your family – let them each pick out one they’d love to do the most.  If you have time, schedule them all, if not, write them down, put them in a jar and draw one.  Create a plan RIGHT away as to when you will do it.  If you can, draw again next week.  There are four full weeks...
Yes, You CAN eat Healthy in Las Vegas

Yes, You CAN eat Healthy in Las Vegas

Following up with my eating healthy at Disney post is a second one . . . eating healthy in Las Vegas.  Health and Las Vegas seem a bit opposite, don’t they?  Well, they don’t have to be! Every year, we take an annual “grown-up” trip to Las Vegas with friends.  A week of absolutely no responsibility.  However, I’ve learned that if I want to enjoy the whole week I do have to be careful about taking care of myself – lots of walking (we averaged over 20,000 steps a day!) and eating the best that I can while still enjoying a bit of decadence. My top tips for eating healthy in Las Vegas: 1.  Start with a decent breakfast.  There are several reasons for this – first if you eat well early in the day you will set yourself up for making better choices AND it’s always an easy time to find fairly good food.  When in Las Vegas, I typically have one of two breakfasts.  The first is a simple oatmeal with fruit and coffee.  Easy, inexpensive, full of fiber and very filling.  The second would be a buffet.  (Wait a minute – I thought we were talking healthy).  Hear me out.  A breakfast buffet is a terrific way to get a lot of veggies into your diet – which can be hard to find while traveling.  I always get a veggie omelet loaded up with extra spinach and very light on the cheese.  Add a side of fruit and you are good to go! 2.  Don’t feel that you have to have a big meal 3x a...
Take a Vacation at Home

Take a Vacation at Home

Last week I shared how to eat healthy at Disney and although I do love a big summer vacation, I get that it’s not feasible for everyone.  It might be finances stopping you, or maybe just time.  Regardless, there are still so many fun things to do that give you the feel of being on vacation without the travel and cost. Ready for some inexpensive and fun ideas?  (Healthy too?) Do something “outdoorsy.”  Unless you work as a park ranger or the like, hiking or even going on a picnic is going to feel very different from work.  Plus it’s healthy fun and the kids LOVE it! Play tourist.  Almost every town has something to see.  It always amazes me how many people will live in a location for their whole life and never play tourist in their own backyard.  Early in my corporate career we did two one-year stints in North Carolina and New York.  In both places, we visited and toured more of those states than our neighbors who had been born there (and weren’t young!).  Why?  Simply because we spent our time there with the mentality of a tourist and searched out the attractions, special festivals, museums, etc.  You’ll have a fun time and get a new appreciation for your hometown! Have a “Day of Fun” and use up any gift cards or coupons you have lying around.  When we were just starting out (and didn’t have much money), we would do this regularly and it was always so much fun!  As an experiment, my kids and I recently had a day like this.  First we...
Yes, you CAN eat healthy at Disney World!

Yes, you CAN eat healthy at Disney World!

Whew!  We just got back from a whirlwind trip to Disney World.  It was the shortest trip there we’ve ever taken – so short we flew and didn’t rent a car.  Which means we were totally dependent upon “The World” for all our food.  For a family that eats pretty well and mostly at home, that was a bit daunting. In particular, I was concerned about how we could possibly eat enough fruits and veggies and ignore fried food as much as possible.  Aside from a few exceptions, overall I think we did great.  Knowing so many of you want to hit Disney at some point with your kids, I’ll share what we learned: 1. Drink water.  Maybe this goes without saying but staying hydrated will make you feel better, you’ll be less likely to eat junk just because you think you are hungry and you’ll save a ton of money too!  Just walk up to any location in the parks that serve fountain drinks and ask for a cup of ice water.  They will happily give it to you for free – no need to lug bottled water around all day. 2.  Eat fruit and veggies every chance you get.  I was very impressed with how easy it was to get fresh fruit at all the Disney Parks.  Here is a perfect example:  The first morning we were at Animal Kingdom, and mid-morning my son was starting to drag.  I asked him if he wanted a snack, and he said yes, he would like strawberries.  REALLY? I figured there was no way – maybe I could find a fruit cup...
My 5 Top Tips for Staying Healthy while Flying

My 5 Top Tips for Staying Healthy while Flying

For some reason, 2015 has been a year of air travel for me.  Typically I take TWO trips a year via plane – one for work and one for fun.  This year, I’m scheduled for my 8th flight by the end of June. To say I’ve gotten better at healthy air travel would be quite accurate. My Top 5 Tips for Healthy Flying: 1.  Bring a water bottle.  For some reason this idea eluded me until one of my most recent flights.  I had thought about it before but it just seemed like too much work.  On this trip however, I had almost finished a bottle of water when I hit security in the San Fran airport, and right there (so convenient) was a place to dump out the rest of it so I could take my bottle through security and then refill it at one of the water fountains.  It wasn’t a hassle at all.   Now I make sure to  bring an empty one along.  Better hydration for me and I save $3 a bottle too! 2.  Wear walking shoes.  Even if I’m traveling for business, I’ll at least put some good walking shoes in my carry on.  Then I can take advantage of time waiting at the gate by walking all around the airport.  I get extra exercise and am less likely to get bored and eat chocolate (that never happens . . .) 3.  Wash your hands frequently.  Stop for a moment and just THINK about how many people walk through airports and touch things daily.  Some of them are probably sick. I’m not a big germaphobe, but...
Top five ideas for eating better at a fast food restaurant

Top five ideas for eating better at a fast food restaurant

Help!  I’m at a fast food restaurant, what do I eat??? Have you ever been in that situation?  In a fast food restaurant, hungry and have no idea how to pick something halfway healthy? I think we’ve all been there!   Instead of just giving up and ordering a meal that will make you feel sick, tired and unsatisfied, I’ve put together a few tips to help you out: Top Five Tips: Don’t order right away.  Before you place your order, take a close look at the menu.  Don’t assume that what sounds healthiest IS the healthiest item.  Check everything out – that grilled chicken might be covered with a mayo based sauce,  while a small hamburger is a lower calorie, less fat choice.  Most companies show calorie count and ingredients, so use those to help you out if available. Think outside the box.   Just because it’s dinnertime, doesn’t always mean you have to order a dinner entrée.  A great example, if I’m stuck with no other options, I’ll often order oatmeal and enjoy it with fresh fruit and honey versus a greasy sandwich and fries.  Another great out of the box example – my son has been known to order salad for breakfast since he isn’t a fan of typical breakfast sandwiches. Try something better.  Before assuming you HAVE to eat at the restaurant, look around – perhaps there is a better option nearby?  Or even a grocery store.  No reason you have to settle – run over to the grocery and pick up some pre-cut fruit, veggies and humus and then join the rest of your party...

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