The Uphill Skater: Living a Healthy Lifestyle
Is this a fabulous summer or what?
Last time, I promised to do a Q-and-A, as I get many questions about the things I write and mention in the classes I teach. I hope one of these questions is something you wanted to know.
Q: What are some good healthy snacks for summer?
A: Great question with an easy answer. The best summer snacks are things you make yourself, things Mother Nature makes and things that are simple. Lucky us! To make something good yourself, pick your favorite fruit juice and pour it into anything. I use an old plastic ice cube tray, but you can buy a huge variety of molds that are kid friendly. Put it in the freezer and you have healthy frozen treats with no added sugar, food coloring or preservatives. Anything you or your children like can be frozen.
Smoothies are all the rage now and, of course, we Pink readers are way ahead of the curve on that. Put fruits, plain yogurt, ice cubes and any juice you like in the blender and you are in yummy city!
As to things made by Mother Nature, think apples, pineapple, cantaloupe, peaches and watermelon. I recently put a list of 20 super foods on my blog and watermelon was one of them. Totally healthy in every way! Frozen grapes and blueberries are really tasty, too.
Q: You have said that a healthy diet is more important than exercise. Is that true?
A: Actually, that is not quite what I said. I said that a weight loss plan is 90% dependent on what you eat and only 10% on how much you exercise—and that is true. Exercise is not that big a factor in how much weight you lose. It is virtually impossible to exercise off a poor diet. That said, it is also virtually impossible to be in good general health unless you exercise. You can watch exercise gurus on TV, read tons of books and practically live at the gym. That does not change the fact that the best exercise there is, bar none, is to walk. Walk at the beach, in your neighborhood, on the treadmill or anywhere you happen to be. It is free and easy. I try to walk 30 minutes a day. It is honestly not that hard. However, your exercise levels can change as your health level progresses. Eventually, it is good to incorporate strength building, too.
Q: When we are on vacation or just around here in the summer, we tend to eat out a lot. Any suggestions?
A: Sure. You are in fish heaven here. The best thing to have is the catch of the day with an order of slaw or vegetables. Have it grilled or broiled and have the vegetables steamed. I like salmon with steamed fresh vegetables, which are plentiful here; grilled grouper, cobia and fresh, local shrimp is fabulous when grilled. It’s also a great time of year to enjoy a crisp, summer salad loaded with fresh tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. Many restaurants now feature farm to table items on their menus and there are many local farms that regularly supply restaurants. Look on line at menus and ingredients. Eating out locally is a super part of a vacation. Ask a local for their favorite.
Q: So where do you get off giving advice? I saw you at McDonald’s yesterday and you aren’t that thin, honey!
A: Ouch! No, just kidding. I made that question up. I probably was at McDonald’s but I was getting a latte because they are good and so much cheaper than that other place. And yes, I am not that thin and that is OK, too. I keep a good weight and my doctor and I have set a five-pound range. I try, but I am far from perfect, and I don’t care who knows it. I give advice based on what I have been through with weight issues over a 20-year period, what I have learned and what I read. My daughter is a doctor and she has been of great help to me. I do not give medical advice; much of what I pass on is common sense. Some things just need to be said, don’t they?
Tune in next month for a list of 20 super foods, and some tips on nutrition for children.