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Simple Ways to Make Summer So Much Better

By Sandy Schroeder

As summer moves ahead, it's easy to picture sunny days, evenings on the patio, and weekends away, but making the most of it means you need to be great shape. To be at your best, suggests a few simple steps.

Ditch All of That Extra Sugar

Start by clearing out all of that instant sugar in your fridge and pantry, the kind that causes sugar spikes and harmful body inflammation. Cut out the sodas, cookies, ice cream, jellies and fruit juices that bring on a sugar rush.

Rethink breakfast with an egg frittata loaded with tomatoes, peppers and spinach, an almond milk smoothie filled with fresh fruit, or a bowl of yogurt with fresh berries, dark chocolate cocoa or almond butter

As the day moves on think in terms of black beans, brown rice, avocado, sweet potatoes and quinoa, paired with salmon, tuna, breast of chicken or lean beef.

Figure Out a Healthy Diet

Make fruits and vegetables a focus with blueberries, red onions, leafy green spinach, yellow peppers, carrots and tomatoes. Replace chips with fresh veggies and add extra veggies to all of your soups, salads and side dishes.

Back up the veggies with healthy protein in eggs, poultry, fresh fish and lean meats. Use olive, avocado and coconut oil, but skip the margarine and hydrogenated vegetable fats.

Keep things interesting with herbs and spices. Start with the ones you like and try new ones. Thyme, garlic, paprika, cumin, chili, mint, ginger, lemon, rosemary, and basil are good starters. Look for new recipes as you try out seasonings and see which ones become family favorites

Develop a New Exercise Strategy

If you are getting your 30 minutes a day of exercise, it may be time to choose some additional ways to stay on track throughout the summer.

  • Start biking with your family on weekends
  • Plan a series of weekend camping trips
  • Look for local wilderness hikes
  • Add a series of 10-minute walks to your day threading them through your schedule
  • Pick up on some new yoga or tai chi classes
  • Take a community class to learn a new sport
  • Join your kids for a run to the park after work
  • Add a new workout buddy to stay on track
  • Try something new like a barre studio or climbing gym
  • Add a dance session to your workout schedule

Learn How to Let Go

Don't turn summer into another version of winter, where one activity bumps into another. Deliberately weed out the extra stuff and focus on savoring the moment as you let your mind and body focus. Ask yourself what you might really enjoy doing, and do it.

  • This may be the summer to grow an herb garden
  • You may want to create a backyard retreat
  • Introduce a new pet to your house
  • Let summer reading become a great escape
  • Consider touring a national park

Whatever you choose to do, make sure it fits you and your family perfectly, then enjoy making some great memories.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Seal Beach, Calif.

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