Short on time yet want a healthy meal? Put this recipe on your “MUST TRY” list:

Sweet Potato and Turkey Meatballs
Makes: 4 servings
Ready in: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS
1 pound ground turkey
1 large sweet potato, grated
1 egg
1/2 onion, grated
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Pinch cinnamon
Salt
Pepper
Olive oil, for frying

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Mix all ingredients except oil together in a bowl, adding salt and pepper to taste. Form mixture into meatballs.

3. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Pan-fry meatballs about 5 minutes, or until browned on all sides. Finish in the oven until cooked through, about 6 minutes.

Serve with a side of seasoned rice or a salad.

Enjoy!

Recipe and Photo Credit: Greatist

Have you had a vacation this summer? If so, Yah YOU! Taking time for vacations is a great boost to your mental and physical health. If you haven’t taken a summer vacation/nor have plans to take one–no worry, it’s not too late to plan a Staycation.  I personally love Staycation’s and try to plan at least a 1 to 2 day Staycation every year.

The key to having the best Staycation is your attitude and commitment to making your week a time of fun and relaxation.   Here are a few tips and guidelines to make your Staycation a success:

Guidelines

  • Decide when your vacation starts and ends
  • Set a reasonable, realistic budget
  • Set money aside for activities, dining out, and splurges
  • No phone/email
  • No computer, video games, or television
  • No working from home
  • No cooking, cleaning, or laundry

Plan for fun!

  • If you like structure, develop an itinerary for your Staycation.
  • If you are more spontaneous, consider putting all your ideas into a jar, then pick an activity each day.
  • Activity ideas:
    • Geocaching
    • Local theater
    • Local amusement parks, paint ball, or laser tag
    • Local museum/children’s museum
    • Visit the zoo or aquarium
    • The library has many free activities
    • Sporting events
    • Family outdoor game/board game tournament
    • Camp in your own backyard
    • Tour a local factory or brewery
    • Go canoeing, or kayaking
    • Create your own art
    • Visit the local pool or water park
    • Host your own film festival
    • Become a tourist in your own town

Tips

  • Avoid using this time as “errands” and home “catch-up.” If there are chores you wish to accomplish on your time off, schedule for a specific day—and leave the other time for fun and play.
  • Don’t overschedule with lunches, dinners and get-togethers with friends/family.
  • Think about what you want to accomplish on your Staycation.
  • If you must check in with the office, set up specific times.

Bonus TIP: Remember it’s okay to do nothing.  Take a day to wake up when you want, do what you want, when you want….all day long! The relaxation and rest is a gift to you and your body.

Use your Staycation to create memories that you will cherish for a lifetime.

This is your time…..make the most of it!

Do you Staycation? If so, please share some of your favorite Staycation activities! 

Well, it looks like the weathermen were right…it’s a hot one out there today. For today’s Try-It Thursday, we not only have a yummy recipe–I’m going to share a time-saving tip.

When I heard the forecast, I knew tonight would be too hot to cook. Thankfully, I planned ahead. Last evening when grilling out burgers, I also grilled the chicken and bacon I would need for tonight’s dinner. Planning my menu’s and grilling for more than one meal saves me lots of precious time–not to mention, money. Here’s what my grill looked like last evening.

IMG_4585 One word of caution if you grill your bacon –cook on low and watch it closely. As you can see, I had one super crispy piece.

Now, for today’s recipe:


IMG_4588BLT Chicken Salad
(Serving Size–2)

2 1/2 cups chopped Romaine Lettuce
2 1/2 cups chopped Spinach
2 Chicken Breasts, cooked and diced
4 to 6 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
1 Avocado, diced
1 Tomato, diced
1/2 cup of cheese (Feta, Fresh Mozzarella, Fresh Parmesan)
**I also add fresh cucumbers, diced

Combine ingredients and add your favorite dressing.

Enjoy!

 

Heat-related deaths and illness are preventable, yet annually many people succumb to extreme heat. Many of us are in an “EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING” these next few days. Here is some good-to-know information related to heat illness, risk factors and safety tips.

Heat-related Deaths

Extreme heat events, or heat waves, are a leading cause of extreme weather-related deaths in the United States. The number of heat-related deaths is rising. For example, in 1995, 465 heat-related deaths occurred in Chicago. From 1999 to 2010, a total of 7,415 people died of heat-related deaths, an average of about 618 deaths a year.

Heat Stress

Heat stress is heat-related illness caused by your body’s inability to cool down properly. The body normally cools itself by sweating. But under some conditions, sweating just isn’t enough. In such cases, a person’s body temperature rises rapidly. Very high body temperatures may damage the brain or other vital organs.

A mother and children on the beach

Several factors affect the body’s ability to cool itself during extremely hot weather. When the humidity is high, sweat will not evaporate as quickly, preventing the body from releasing heat quickly. Other conditions related to risk include age, obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, sunburn, and prescription drug and alcohol use.

Heat stress ranges from milder conditions like heat rash and heat cramps, to the most common type, heat exhaustion. The most serious heat-related illness is heat stroke. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided.

Risk Factors

A mother and children on the beach

Anyone can develop heat stress. However, the following groups of people have higher risks for experiencing heat stress or heat-related death:

  • Infants and children up to four years of age,
  • People 65 years of age and older,
  • People who are overweight, and
  • People who are ill or on certain medications
Prevention

Heat-related death or illnesses are preventable if you follow a few simple steps.

A family playing board games

  • Stay in an air-conditioned area during the hottest hours of the day. If you don’t have air conditioning in your home, go to a public place such as a shopping mall or a library to stay cool. Cooling stations and senior centers are also available in many large cities for people of all ages.
  • Wear light, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Drink water often. Don’t wait until you are thirsty.
  • Avoid unnecessary hard work or activities if you are outside or in a building without air-conditioning.
  • Avoid unnecessary sun exposure. When in the sun, wear a hat, preferably with a wide brim.

Air conditioning is the strongest protective factor against heat-related illness. Exposure to air conditioning for even a few hours a day will reduce the risk for heat-related illness.

AS A REMINDER:

Stay Cool
Keep your body temperature cool to avoid heat-related illness.

  • Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible.
  • Find an air-conditioned shelter.
  • Do not rely on a fan as your primary cooling device.
  • Avoid direct sunlight.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Take cool showers or baths.
  • Check on those most at-risk twice a day.

Stay Hydrated

Because your body loses fluids through sweat, you can become dehydrated during times of extreme heat.

  • Drink more water than usual.
  • Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink more fluids.
  • Drink from two to four cups of water every hour while working or exercising outside.
  • Avoid alcohol or liquids containing high amounts of sugar.
  • Remind others to drink enough water.

Transportation engineer in a wheelchair recording data for shipping containers and experiencing hot sun

Heat and Outdoor Workers

People who work outdoors are more likely to become dehydrated and are more likely to get heat-related illness.

  • Prevent Heat Illness with Acclimatization
  • Drink from two to four cups of water every hour while working. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink.
  • Avoid alcohol or liquids containing large amounts of sugar.
  • Wear and reapply sunscreen as indicated on the package.
  • Ask if tasks can be scheduled for earlier or later in the day to avoid midday heat.
  • Wear a brimmed hat and loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Spend time in air-conditioned buildings during breaks and after work.
  • Encourage co-workers to take breaks to cool off and drink water.
  • Seek medical care immediately if you or a co-worker has symptoms of heat-related illness.

Heat stroke, worker

Warning Signs and Symptoms of Heat-Related Illness

Heat Exhaustion

  • Heavy sweating
  • Weakness
  • Cold, pale, and clammy skin
  • Fast, weak pulse
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fainting

Lie down and loosen your clothing.Move to a cooler location.What You Should Do:

  • Apply cool, wet cloths to as much of your body as possible.
  • Sip water.
  • If you have vomited and it continues, seek medical attention immediately.

Heat Stroke

  • High body temperature (above 103°F)*
  • Hot, red, dry or moist skin
  • Rapid and strong pulse
  • Possible unconsciousness


What You Should Do:

  • Call 911 immediately — this is a medical emergency.
  • Move the person to a cooler environment.
  • Reduce the person’s body temperature with cool cloths or even a bath.
  • Do NOT give fluids.

During this heat wave, we want you to be safe! For more information on protecting you and your family from the heat, check out the CDC website.

Source: CDC

Happy Thursday! In preparation for next week’s heat wave, we thought we would share with you some frozen treats!

open-uri20150722-16-6lk8pg5 Minute Watermelon Strawberry Sorbet

  • 1/2 cupCold water
  • 5 cupsSeedless watermelon, cut into chunks then frozen
  • 1 1/4 cupFrozen strawberries
  • 3/4 cupSweetener that measures like sugar (or sweetener to taste)
  • 2 tbsLemon juice (or according to taste)

Place all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor, and blend until smooth. (This may take a few times of scraping down the sides of the blender, and possibly a few extra tbs of water.)

Enjoy sorbet immediately or place in a Tupperware container and freeze until you are ready to enjoy! Remove from the freezer and let soften for about 5 minutes before enjoying!

open-uri20150722-16-m48ewk2 Minute Chocolate Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

  • 1/2 cupUnsweetened almond milk or low fat milk
  • 3/4 cupFat free plain Greek Yogurt [1]
  • 1 1/2 cupFrozen strawberries, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbsUnsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4-6 pktsStevia (or 2-3 tbs sweetener of choice, or to taste)

Put everything in a blender, and blend until a smooth creamy frozen yogurt consistency occurs. Enjoy immediately, or freeze for up to 3 hours for a thicker consistency.

Note: If you would like it a little more thick, you can add another 1/2 cup frozen strawberries, if you would like it more thin, you can add more milk.

Recipe and Photo Credit: Dashing Dish