3 Memorial Day Activities to Start Your Healthy Summer

Memorial Day is a national holiday set aside to honor soldiers and commemorate those who died in military service.  Memorial Day, also unofficially marks the beginning of summer, and comes complete with cook-outs, family get-togethers, shopping and beach vacations.  The nice break we get with this holiday weekend also makes it an ideal time to jump back into some healthy behaviors as we pay respect to our American soldiers.

Here are 3 ways you can make your Memorial Day celebration healthier:
1.     Give a Military Salute – Honoring the brave men and women who put their lives on the line every day and those who paid he ultimate price for our freedom with their lives means having an attitude of gratitude.   Research over the last decade has continuously shown that grateful people are healthier.  Some of what the researchers discovered was that thankful people tend to have more energy, sleep more soundly and even have a higher resistance to viral infections. So showing your appreciation is good for your health.
2.     Add Color to the Grill – Grilling is not just for steaks, burgers, hotdogs and chicken.  Throw a colorful array of vegetables on the grill this weekend and enjoy the smoky goodness of summer vegetables. Asparagus, zucchini, summer squash, red onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, corn, etc. all are easy to grill, low in calories, filling and nutritious. Check out the quick and easy recipe below for an idea.
3.     Bust a Memorial Day Move – There is a lot to watch on Memorial Day from concerts and fireworks to the Indy 500, NBA Playoffs and the PGA Memorial Tournament.  When we do a lot of watching we are doing a lot of sitting. So make a plan to move. Since it’s getting hotter every day early morning or late evening will be ideal times to get out and go for a walk, bike ride or hit the gym. Or make your cook out active with a softball, kick ball or badminton game. If you plan to be inside then try a jump rope relay, a 60 second commercial break dance contest or pull out the Wii or X-box to play some active virtual games (and no that does not include the thumb moving kind).
Have a fantastic weekend and let us know how you are making your summer healthy.  Enjoy and bon appetite!
Green Grill Spears
4 small zucchini cut into spears lengthwise
1 bunch of thin asparagus spears
1 tbs olive oil
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
3 tbs lime juice
2 tsps dried oregano, crushed
1/4 tsp dried sage, crushed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
2 tbs crumbles goat cheese
2 tsp pine nuts
o   Whisk olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, herbs, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl
o   Place vegetables in a sealable bag and pour marinade in. Coat all the vegetables in the marinade and set in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.
o   Preheat grill and spray with cooking spray,
o   Remove vegetables from bag and place on grill. Reserve the remaining marinade to brush on vegetables as they are grilling.
o   Once vegetables are done (about 5 minutes) garnish with crumble goat cheese and pine nuts.
Enjoy your holiday and tune in Next Month when we will be doing a series called “But I Thought It Was Healthy!”

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