Hello friends! Last week, I talked about why it was important to incorporate more raw plant-based foods into your diet. Why? Because I know that plant-based foods can be so protective for the body – keeping it vibrant and free from disease. And another reason: I’m human – some of the summer temptations have triumphed over my good intentions. I am going to use the month of August as a launching pad to get back in shape and have a healthy routine in place before jumping into the ever-busy September. Need to join me?
Here’s the plan– eat more raw plant-based foods and move the body daily, preferably outside. Let me show you how. This past week, my family spent time in the White Mountains of New Hampshire – talk about a decompression and ahhhh. No cell coverage, no computers – just a backpack and walking stick (less stress on my knees).
What especially I loved about this trip is that we stayed at the Zealand Falls AMC Hut where hot food, good company and a bunkbed are waiting at the end of the hike. Like most mountains, there are different ways to get to the top. The trek up Mount Hale offers a variety of trails. If you are new to mountain climbing, I highly recommend using the Zealand Falls trail: a 2.5 mile, kid-friendly hike. You could go up and down in one day and then treat yourself to a nice lunch at the Mount Washington Hotel!
The point here is that you don’t have to be a seasoned mountain hiker to enjoy the beauty of the mountains. There are many ways to approach it and the AMC trails are a fantastic place to start. Learn more at www.amcboston.org.
When taking a day hike or even going to the beach, the key is pack light and eat only when you are hungry. There is no need to overpack with food and eat the entire day. Don’t counter all the good calorie burning with extra calories you don’t really need!
Here is what I carried in my backpack for our hike:
1. Waterbottle filled with Amy-ade (homemade electrolyte-replenishing drink for ultimate hydration: think Gatorade but without the unnatural colors, preservatives or sugars!)
2. Clementine – Light and refreshing to eat earlier in the hike for quick energy
3. Denise’s Energy Bars – Eaten mid-way through the hike for sustained energy and chewy yum!
I found that I liked this so much better than the traditional trail mix, which is heavier to carry and not so easy to digest — always makes me feel like there is a big blob in my stomach!
4. Ricola lemon mint lozenge – great keeping your mouth moist and refreshed at the same time.
Denise’s Gluten-Free Energy Bars
This chewy bar was inspired by my neighbor Maura
- 2 cups brown rice cereal (available at Whole Foods)
- 3 1/2 cups rolled oats, toasted (gluten-free optional)
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
- 1/4 cup flax chia meal (available at Stop & Shop or make your own!)
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 cup of brown rice syrup (available at Whole Foods)
- 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter (substitute: sunbutter)
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup dried cherries or cranberries
- 1/4 tsp sea salt, lightly sprinkled on top
Combine dry ingredients except salt in a large bowl. Mix together the peanut butter, brown rice syrup and vanilla in a small pan over low heat; stir to combine; remove from heat when mixture is uniform and pourable. Pour wet mixture over dry ingredients; mix to combine; spread into a 9×13 pan. Sprinkle salt on top and press into the bar. Refrigerate one hour. Cut and enjoy!
Try this after your next workout, hike or day at the beach.
- 2 cups coconut water
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/4-1/2 tsp Himalayan or kosher salt
Combine ingredients in a pitcher. Serve over ice.
As we round out the summer season in just a few weeks, it’s a great time to reflect and realign our health and fitness priorities. Give hiking or walking in the woods a try — you accomplish two health protectors: movement and stress reduction. Don’t wait, grab a friend or family member and GO! And while you are at it, inspire others by sharing a picture on Facebook or Instagram #TheEnergizedBody
Want a jump-start to healthier eating and living patterns?