May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month and National Bike Month! The weather is getting warmer so it’s time to get out and be more active. You can walk, run, cycle, hike, swim – aim for about 60 minutes of movement a day. Right now most Americans only get 17 minutes a day – YIKES! We can all move more. You can’t mess it up. Do anything you enjoy and be consistent with it.
This past weekend I appeared on WBAL TV 11 in Baltimore to share some friendly meal and snack ideas that will help fuel your active lifestyle! You can watch the full clip below, or read on to see some of the highlights:
Begin with a Balanced Breakfast
Breakfast has long been considered the most important meal of the day and for good reason! Fueling your body first thing in the morning helps to warm up your metabolism so it’s ready to work throughout the day. For breakfast, fuel up on whole grains, fruit, and protein. Milk is a source of high-quality protein – 8 grams in an 8 ounce glass. Protein not only helps build muscle, it helps keep you feeling full. Milk also offers three of the top nutrients most likely to be missing in the American diet – calcium, vitamin D, and potassium.
Besides including milk in morning cereal, you can try this breakfast pudding recipe made with milk, eggs, almond butter, vanilla and layered with your favorite fruit and whole grain cereal.
Did you know that milk is one of the top three items most requested by food banks, yet there is a nationwide shortage of milk at food banks according to Feeding America. The Baltimore community is in need of milk donations and it’s easy to do. Just go online to Milklife.com/give to show your support. Now through May 25, donations will be matched gallon-for-gallon by the nation’s milk companies and dairy farmers.
Recover with Red
People wonder what they should eat before and after a workout. For an ideal recovery you need to fuel your body with something that provides carbohydrates and protein, so I often find myself recommending smoothies. Both flavorful and easy to make, this Red Recharger Smoothie combines whole tart cherries, Greek yogurt and tart cherry juice to give you a boost of powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins. Research published in the Journal
Nutrients shows that these natural compounds help reduce oxidative stress and muscle inflammation, which can help the body recover more rapidly from exercise.
This Mango Cherry and Avocado Salad combines creamy avocado with the sweetness of mango and tangy tart cherries for a balanced flavor pack full of nutrients. Top this salad with your favorite lean protein, such as a piece of grilled salmon to create a perfect meal for the warmer weather.
You can also get tart cherries in dried form which make a great addition to any trail mix, cereal or as yogurt toppers.
When you’re on the move it’s always a good idea to keep a healthy snack close by. I love pistachios for snacks to fuel between meals because they are a convenient and healthy option for on-the-go with 160 calories, 6 grams of protein, and 3 grams of fiber per ounce – about 49 nuts.
When you choose Wonderful Pistachios you have options too, available in 4 flavors– no salt, lightly salted, roasted & salted, salt & pepper, and sweet chili. To make on-the-go even easier you can also purchase 100 calorie tubes or 80 calorie snack packs at local retailers or online.
Make Snack Time Fun!
In-shell pistachios are great for food art because your kids can help shell the nuts,turning the kernels into anything from water in the ocean to part of a smile or even ants on a log. This fun “Shark Plate” snack recipe below is composed of color, shape, texture, and nutrition. It just takes a little creativity to elevate a healthy snack of pistachios, cheese, red bell pepper, and toast into a delicious shark snack that you and your child can enjoy together. See recipe below.
- In-shell Wonderful Pistachios
- Whole Grain Toast
- Cheddar Cheese
- Red Bell Pepper
- Remove the shells from 49 in-shell pistachios to create the sea. Your kids can help – cracking open the shells to create the sea is a fun and interactive way to involve them in the snack making process.
- Cut one slice of cheddar cheese about a half inch in width to create the body of the shark.
- Cut another slice of cheese the same width as the body of the shark to form the three fins.
- Toast one piece of whole grain toast, and cut your toast into a boat shape.
- Take half of a red bell pepper and cut into strips to form one triangle and one trapezoid for the sails of your toast boat.
- Cut smaller pieces of red bell pepper to create a small triangle or circular shape for the shark’s eye, and additional small triangles for its teeth.
- After the pistachios are shelled and the ingredients are cut, place your shark and boat on your plate and surround the shark and bottom of the boat with the shelled pistachios to create the ocean.
Cover Your Bases with Multivitamins
Active people always ask me about healthy eating and the need for supplements. My advice is to look for a “healthy sweet spot”. You want to eat healthy first and a good multivitamin can help fill in the gaps to help meet vitamin and mineral needs. Especially because active people need more vitamins and minerals.
I love Vitafusion Multivites – for adults and L’il Critters Gummy Vites - for the kiddos because they combine the power of vitamins and a great-tasting gummy, making them a delicious alternative to hard-to-swallow tablets or capsules. Now there’s a PLUS line available, where you
can get more well-being support. The Vitafusion Hair, Skin, and Nails with biotin and lutein for adults and the L’il Critters Plus Bone Support for kids – with calcium and vitamin D. One serving of Lil’ Critters Plus Bone Support contains 200 milligrams of calcium which is as much as a 5 ounce glass of milk and 220 IU of vitamin D, which helps support calcium absorption and bone health.
It’s a small daily healthy habit that’s enjoyable and delicious so your family will be more likely to stick to it. Most importantly remember our health and enjoyment collide through the small, daily activities and habits that shape us into our best selves.
What Do You Fuel Up On?
I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or send a tweet to @ScritchfieldRD to share your favorite tips for flavorful, healthy meals and snacks to keep you fueled.
Disclaimer: I was compensated by Milk, Vitafusion, Wonderful Pistachio and the Cherry Marketing Institute to do the tv segment, but was not compensated to write this blog.