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Simple tips and tricks to staying healthy during the summer

Posted: 7:50 AM, May 08, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-10 06:41:05-04
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It's almost summer, so we're giving you simple tips and tricks to staying fit and healthy despite all the summer cookouts you may be attending.

WORKING OUT WHILE BINGE-WATCHING SHOWS

Morning anchor James Tully caught up with a trainer to get some simple exercises you can do while watching any of your favorite TV shows.

↓ Click the link below to read all about the simple exercises ↓
Flix and Flex: Easy workouts to help you stay in shape while binge-watching your favorite shows

EATING RIGHT

Eating healthy can be hard. But, there are a couple of swaps you can do to make your meal or snack healthier.

Ditch the chips and opt for air-popped popcorn or hummus and veggies.

Forget fruit juice and just eat the whole fruit instead.

Ever tried zucchini noodles? They're a great option to replace your pasta.

If you don't want to give up candy, try some frozen fruit and dark chocolate. It'll satisfy those sweet cravings.

Swap ice cream with something called "nice" cream. Blend some frozen bananas then add milk, cinnamon, peanut butter and cocoa powder for some added flavor.

Forget that store bought jam and mash some fresh or frozen fruit. It's super easy to do and a healthier alternative.

BUSTING WEIGHT LOSS MYTHS

We reached out to weight loss expert Dr. Jonathan Urshan for some quick tips. Here's what he suggests:

Fast all morning and each lunch around 11AM and dinner at 4 p.m. or 5 p.m.

Start fasting for 3 days with 3 meals. Then, cut down to 3 days with 2 meals and so forth. When you get down to 1-2 days, you're going to do one optional meal.

Don't worry though, you get unlimited vegetables, water and black coffee when you're fasting.

Avoid eating between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. This is called mindless snacking mode.

TRACKING YOUR FITNESS GOALS

The Fitbit fitness tracker is one of the most popular ways to track your fitness.

The app also opens up a whole social world of friend challenges and groups that can make getting motivated to move a whole lot easier; however, for many, spending up to $100 is not always an option.

It turns out, you don't need a Fitbit to get most of its features for free, right now.

Here's how:

  • Download the free Fitbit app on your phone.
  • Go to the account section and select "Set Up A Device."
  • Scroll to the last option and click "No Fitbit Yet?" — you'll give the app permission to track your location with your phone.

Two drawbacks to this method:

  • No sleep tracking.
  • You can't leave your phone behind.

Meteorologist Greg Dee recently did this setup for our work wellness program and has already earned money toward our company HSA without spending a dime.

MEAL PREPPING MADE EASY

As summer draws near, many of us are trying to figure out how to look slim and trim. Working out is important, but the real change happens in the kitchen. Lennise and Omar Germany, owners of LivyO's Catering, have mastered turning family favorites into healthy meals.

Had you walked into Lennise's childhood kitchen, you'd find Lawry's and lard. But LivyO's looks more like a Whole Foods.

"Grandmother would not be happy with that, but we’re like, 'hey, lets try it a different way,'" Lennise said.

They run on serving good food that is good for you and they believe anyone can do that. They share a couple tips on how to make your meals healthier.

"Check your sodium level on a lot of the things and seasonings you buy," Lennise said. "If it’s high in sodium, omit the salt and incorporate the fresh herbs."

We all made the mistake of leaving our basil or parsley in the refrigerator a bit too long. Here is how you can still save your purchase.

"Just because it begins to turn brown does not mean that it’s not usable, it now becomes a dry herb," Lennise said.

When it comes to getting into the swing of meal prepping, it just takes a little more elbow grease.

"On the day that you’re cooking for four or five, go ahead and cook for eight," she said.

Sometimes we tend to have phases of healthy choices, but to make it a lifestyle, you must commit.

"If you tell yourself you don’t have time, you won’t have time," Lennise said.

Here is are seven more ideas from Lennise to help you on your journey to eating healthier:

  1. Incorporate fresh and dry herbs into your seasoning instead of salt.
  2. Try substituting fats. For example, if the recipe calls for an entire stick of butter, try using 4 TBSP of butter and 4 TBSP of olive oil.
  3. Find leaner cuts of red meat or try substituting it for turkey.
  4. Don't feel the need to fill the entire plate with food. Portion control can help you save money by making your meals go further.
  5. Find healthier alternatives to carbs. For example, instead of loading up on rice, buy brown rice or even quinoa.
  6. If you find yourself tired of eating the same thing, try buying spices you've never heard of.
  7. During your meal prep, split your meals and try seasoning your meat and vegetables with different spices. That way, it won't feel like you're eating the same meal over and over again.

Here's the recipe for LivyO's salmon tacos:

  • 2 salmon fillets (thawed & dried)
  • 3 tbsp ancho chili seasoning
  • 4 soft tortilla shells
  • 3 tbsp chipotle sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 c corn (drained & rinsed)
  • 1/4 c black beans (drained & rinsed)-
  • 1/8 c minced red onion
  • 3 tbsp fresh, minced jalapeño
  • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 c shredded lettuce
  • 1/8 cup chopped fresh cilantro chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions:
In a small mixing bowl, add black beans, corn, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt & pepper, and 1 tbsp olive oil. Mix well, and let chill in fridge for approximately 30-45 minutes. Season salmon on both sides with ancho chili, then heat 2 tbsp olive oil in frying pan. Place salmon face down and let cook 3-5 minutes before turning. Cook other side 3-5 minutes, then remove and let cool for 1-2 minutes. Cut salmon in half, place in center of tortilla, top with corn & black bean salsa, garnish with lettuce, and drizzle with ancho chili sauce. Plate & enjoy!