Visiting South Florida and Want to Walk?

Are you planning a trip to South Florida and want to find some great places where you can enjoy some good walking as well as some great scenery? Well, there tend to be plenty of places it seems in South Florida to do just that and here are just a few places you might want to do your walking at.

The Waterfront is a great place to start off with. There is the Hollywood Boardwalk and that runs right along the beach. It really is a pretty little spot that is dotted with palms and is squeezed between the beautiful ocean and a lot of restaurants and shops that you can amuse yourself with while enjoying your walk. There is a nice 2 ½ mile wide promenade that includes a separate bike lane so if you don’t want to walk you can always rent a bike and do some bike riding instead.


If you are more into wilderness atmosphere then you will want to check out Deerfield Island Park. This nice little park is located on the Intracoastal Waterway. This is a gopher tortoise refuge and you can only get to the island itself by boat, but there are actually free shuttles each weekend if you want to wait to go on the weekend. There is a very pretty loop that is a mile long that goes around the island where you’ll get to see all kinds of wildlife like ibis, egrets and you might even be lucky enough to see some manatees. This island park also has a nice platform to look out over the island and the ocean and there are also picnic tables where you can bring your own lunch and enjoy the view.

If you want to see even more wildlife while walking you won’t want to miss the Green Cay Wetlands that can be found in Boynton Beach. This has a very well kept boardwalk where you can walk among the wetlands that include a forest, marsh and even a cypress dome. The entire beautiful walk is just 1.3 miles so it’s pretty good for anyone from the infrequent walker to more experienced.


You can find plenty walking if you go shopping at some of the prettiest malls and shopping areas in the state. One really great place to both walk and shop would be the Gardens Mall that is found in Palm Beach Gardens and it opens up especially for walkers every day at 7:30 in the morning. There are various laps around both the upper and lower levels of this mall and you will find plenty of benches to take a rest if needed. The mall is also nicely landscaped and has beautiful sculptures to enjoy and a really pretty fountain.

Another great place to go for both shopping and walking is the Festival Flea Market Mall that you can find tucked away in Pompano Beach. This is a wonderful flea market that has over 350 vendors that you can check out on this mile long walk. What’s really nice this flea market is inside and out of the humid and hot weather of summer. They also have enjoyable music you can listen to while walking and plenty of places to stop and eat or get refreshments if you get hungry or thirsty.

If your prefer a more open air experience when you are walking and shopping then you will want to go visit the Village at Gulfstream Park that is located at Hallandale Beach. This is a great open air shopping experience where you can walk to your hearts delight, explore different shops, enjoy good food and even enjoy some free live music every Saturday at their open air plaza.


If you would like to experience some guided tours you can find that in South Florida as well. They have several different walking tours you can join. There’s the Worth Avenue walking tour in Palm Beach. You’ll only be able to do this during the winter however. They also have what’s called Downtown Hollywood Mural Project and this is a guided tour of 16 different murals found on various buildings in Hollywood, this is given every third Saturday of the month. Broward parks offers people night hikes where your guide is a naturalist that can give you plenty of information about the area and the wildlife and plant life of the area.

So there you have, just a few of the top walking spots in South Florida. Hope that helps make planning your trip a little easier.



Find out Some of the Best Places to Hike in the United States.

Ways You Can Lose Weight and Burn Off the Fat Faster

Often times when we’ve been dieting and trying to lose weight there comes a time when you hit your plateau and it seems like you are no longer getting anywhere with your weight loss plan. This can be very discouraging and many times when people get to this plateau, which by the way, is extremely common, they tend to give up on their weight loss plan and just go back to their old habits. This is something you need to try to avoid, giving up. Losing weight is not easy, trust me I know, I’ve had my battles in the past, but I’ve also learned that you can’t let yourself get discouraged enough to just throw up your hands and say “Forget it!”. No, you need to try to keep strong and continue on. This is why you need to find ways to boost your metabolism that is going to help you burn off the fat. There are ways you can do this and they don’t include any crazy or fad diets nor any kind of strange workouts that are required.

Here are a few things that you can do to help you get over the hump, lose weight faster and burn off that fat in a healthy manner:

Green Tea


Make sure to have plenty of green tea on hand and drink plenty of it. Green tea is not just known for it’s cancer fighting agents but it can help to boost your metabolism as well. It seems that those people who drank green tea three times a day actually experienced a 4% increase in their metabolic rate, that might not sound like a lot but when it comes to losing weight and burning fat you’d be surprised how much of a difference that can make!

A Little Weight Training

This is something that can really burn off the calories by lifting a few weights even if it’s the small hand barbells, it’s going to help you with increasing your ability to lose weight. Some quick exercises that one can do to get the metabolism going would be things like squats, bench step ups, push ups, pull ups and lunges. All of these exercises can help your build muscle and when your start gaining muscle you’ll start burning off the fat.

Eat Plenty of Iron


If we don’t get enough of this particular mineral then our bodies aren’t going to get enough oxygen sent to to the cells in our bodies and when that happens it is going to slow down our metabolism. You can take multivitamins that will increase the iron in our bodies but you can also eat a variety of foods that are high in iron such as lean red meats, chicken, cereal that is fortified with iron as well as soy nuts. And of course let’s not forget spinach. Spinach is extremely high in iron so don’t forget to add that to your diet. It’s important that you try to eat three to four servings a day of foods that are rich in iron in order to help speed up your metabolism.

Drink More Water

Research has shown that if you drink about two glasses of water within a certain time frame you will be able to increase your metabolic rate by around 30%. So if you increase your water intake by 1.5 liters per day you can actually end up burning off more than 17,000 calories per year which means that’s an extra 5 pounds of weight you can lose in a year.
Have Your Thyroid Checked

If you have tried everything and you still can’t seem to loose weight and you suspect you might have a slow metabolism rate then you should go to your doctor to see if you have hypothyroidism. What this is , is an under active thyroid gland and you wouldn’t be alone either. It is said that about 25% of Americans suffer from under active thyroid glands and a lot of them are not even aware that this is the reason why it’s so difficult to lose weight. Your thyroid gland is actually what controls your metabolism so it’s really important to make sure that it’s working properly. The biggest sign there is something wrong is the inability to lose weight no matter how hard you try. Your doctor can figure out if you are suffering from this disorder by a simple blood test. If it turns out that you do have hypothyroidism there are synthetic thyroid supplements that you can take. If that’s the case you’ll have to take these supplements the rest of your life, however, you’ll finally be able to lose weight a lot easier if you do.

Cut Down on Your Alcohol Consumption


This is not to say you can’t have any at all, but, you should consider not having it with a meal if you are having difficulty losing weight. It’s not a very good idea for you to wash down your favorite meal with a glass of wine when trying to lose weight, instead it should be water. The reason for this is that the alcohol slows down your metabolism because it depresses the central nervous system and this means that less dietary fat is going to be burned off and then will be stored in your body as body fat.

Add More Dairy to Your Diet

Research has discovered that those who ate low fat dairy products like nonfat yogurt and low fat cheeses at least three or four times a day tended to lose 70% more fat from their bodies than those who didn’t eat nearly the same amount of dairy products. Calcium in the dairy products tends to have the ability to tell the body to burn off the fat in our bodies a lot faster. This does not mean you can eat or drink something that says it’s “calcium fortified” such as orange juice often states. It’s the actual dairy products themselves that can get the job done. So it’s important to have plenty of low fat dairy in your diet.



Read: The Top Heart Healthy Foods to Keep You Going Strong

Water Parks Great For Summer Fun

Everyone loves to cool off during the summer and often look for great places where they can enjoy the thrill of rides along with getting wet at the same time. If you like traveling and want to find some great water parks you want to put on your “Bucket List” to visit I’ve come up with a list of some of the best water parks you’ll find in the United States. Each one has it’s own uniqueness and have something for everyone of all ages. Hopefully one or two if not more will wind up on your “Bucket List” to travel to and enjoy!

The Schlitterbahn – This water park seems to make everyone’s list. It is nicely located just outside of San Antonio and not far from Austin, Texas and it has a wonderful assortment of water attractions that are sure to please everyone of all ages. It’s main attraction is called the “Master Blaster”, which is a long, twisty water roller coaster with a variety of thrilling uphill sections as well as downhill sections that will definitely put the butterflies in your stomach. This water park is open from May to the middle of September.


Water Country – This one is located in Portsmouth, NH and this is New England’s top water park and it’s a really simple drive from Massachusetts, anywhere in Hew Hampshire and even Maine. It has a huge wave pool, a really nice long and relaxing river you can relax drifting down and it’s main feature is called “Geronimo” and it is one of the tallest and steepest water slides in the country. This water park is open from early June to early September.


Blizzard Beach at Walt Disney World – No need to say where this is located at. The Blizzard Beach is a really cute water park and is one of two found at Walt Disney World and it’s famous for adorable cartoon like design. It almost looks like an alpine village melted and turned ski slopes into tons of fun and very kid friendly water slides. This water park is open all year round.

Wet ‘N Wild – This water park is also in Orlando, FL and there are no shortages of first class thrills here. It’s most popular attraction is the “Bomb Bay”. On this water ride you get into a hatch and then wait a few seconds before the floor opens up and drops you straight down without warning. This park is also open all year round.

Noah’s Ark – This park is located in Wisconsin Dells, WI and is just one of 21 different water parks located in this city alone. They have 18 water parks that are indoors and three that are outdoors with Noah’s Ark being one of the outdoor parks. This is a great little park that has a ton of themed rides and includes four different water play areas for the younger kids. This park is open in late May to early September.


Water Park of America – This park can be found in Bloomington, MN and claims to be the country’s biggest indoor water park. It has some wonderful and exciting attractions and one of the most popular is the “Flow Rider Surf Simulator” and it allows people the opportunity to see what surfing is all about.  This water park is open all year round.

Raging Waters – This is a chain of water parks located in Sacramento, San Jose and San Dimas, CA. This one is the San Dimas location and is the most famous of the parks because of it’s appearance in the move “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”. There are just tons and tons of different slides here at this park which includes the gigantic “High Extreme” and a special kids only attraction called “Volcano Fantasea”. The park is open from the middle of May through the middle of September.
Water World – Which is located in Denver, CO is one of the biggest water parks in America and has a wonderful view of the Rocky Mountains, what could be better? It’s just 15 minutes away from downtown Denver and it has 64 acres of water entertainment including various different family fun zones including one called the “Big Top” which is a circus themed zone. This park is open from late May through early September.


Kalahari – Kalahari is located in Sandusky, OH which is actually known to be the roller coaster capital of the world because of the famous Cedar Point amusement park. But it’s not too shabby when it comes to water slides either. This is a huge African themed resort that has top of the line wave pools, a few lazy rivers to float down, various water coasters and tons more. This park is both indoors and outdoors with the indoor park open all year and the outdoor park open from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Splish Splash – This park is located in Calverton, NY and it’s a teen favorite because of all of it’s thrill attractions like “Alien Invasion” and the “Abyss” both of which are very disorienting snake like slides and one of their newest attractions called the “Tunnel of Terror” which is a pitch black thrill ride that has sudden drops and a lot of really fast spins. The park is open from late May to early September.


So there you have a list of some of the best water parks this country has to offer. Hope you will have the time on one of your vacations to plan to visit one of these amazing water parks. Remember water parks are not just for kids you will find plenty of fun attractions for adults too when you visit any of these water parks.


Simple and Easy Ways to Stay Healthy

No matter where you turn someone is always giving some kind of advice on how to stay healthy. To be honest with you, it can be utterly confusing sometimes and you just want to throw your hands up in the air and say “Why bother?”. I don’t blame you. Seems everyone knows best about how to stay healthy. Sometimes they offer so much information that it just doesn’t make sense why they seem to make it so hard to do it. But really, it shouldn’t be that difficult and it’s not really. Here are some simple common sense things that you can do every day to try to stay healthy as you can.

Eat a Balanced Diet


There’s no getting around it, your diet does have a direct effect on your health. If you have the right diet going for you, you can control or even get rid of high blood pressure, heart disease and even diabetes. The AHA, American Heart Association says that we need to try to eat a variety of foods that are nutrient dense like low fat dairy products, whole grains, veggies and fruits and eat less sugar and fat. And to make sure to drink alcohol in moderation no more than one or two drinks a day.

Get Enough Good Sleep

When you don’t get enough quality sleep you can actually put yourself at risk for a heart attack, high blood pressure and a variety of other very serious health issues. It is recommended that we all as adults should try to get eight to eight and a half hours of sleep every night in order to stay healthy.

Don’t Forget to Exercise

You probably sigh at that one, but you don’t need as much exercise as you might think to stay healthy. In reality it is recommended that adults ages 18 to 64 get about 2 ½ hours of moderate exercise a week with some muscle strengthening activities twice a week. So it’s really not that much when you consider it’s spread over a week and you’d be surprised at how you can get that exercise. You can do it gardening, taking walks, light jogging, walking during your lunch breaks, shopping and so on. Here are the Important Things to Know About Running and Jogging.

Wear a Seat Belt and Helmets

That’s right, buckle up when driving in a vehicle, not only will it save your life but save you from getting a ticket and paying a big chunk of money for not wearing one. Also if you ride a bike or a motorcycle don’t forget to wear those helmets, and helmets are not just for bikes or motorcycles. It’s recommended they be worn when you skate, ATV, ski or even snowboard. Do this and you have a better chance of staying healthy.

Wear Sunscreen


By now we all know that too much exposure to the sun causes cancer as well as premature aging. So always make sure that you wear a sunscreen when you are going to be outside for awhile. You should make sure to wear one that is SPF 15 or higher for the best protection and really try to avoid long periods of time in the sun between the hours of 10:00 am and 4:00 pm, this is when the rays of the sun are the most intense. Try to wear long sleeves along with a wide brimmed hat if there is no shade at all.

Oh, and don’t forget the sunglasses, your eyes need protection too.

Stop Smoking or Don’t Smoke

We all know this by now. So if you smoke try to quit and if you don’t smoke, don’t start. It’s been said smoking is linked to increasing heart disease and strokes and cancer.

Try to Manage Stress

Stress if not managed can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression and a variety of other health issues. If we can learn to control our stress we are going to feel better about ourselves each day and this will help to decrease any of those long term health issues that stress can cause. You can manage stress through meditation and a variety of different relaxation exercises.

Medical Checkups


It’s important to make sure that you get regular medical checkups because these can help the doctor spot signs of health problems before they become serious health issues.

There are a lot of other ways in which you can stay healthy and a lot of them are things that most people just take for granted and don’t realize that if you incorporate them into your lives you’ll really feel the difference. Here’s just a few more things you can do that will help you stay healthy:

  • Gardening
  • Dancing
  • Walks
  • Common every day chores around the house
  • Listening to your favorite music
  • Alone time in a quiet spot
  • Watching your favorite funny movie
  • Play with your dog or cat
  • Give and receive affection from your pet
  • Talk with a friend
  • Write in a daily journal
  • Find a hobby you enjoy
  • Do volunteer work
  • Take a class at a community college on a subject you’re really interested in
  • Get involved in a community center in your city
  • Go horseback riding
  • If you live near the ocean take a stroll on the beach
  • Go window shopping
  • Get involved in a sport you like
  • Sing

You would be surprised at how many simple things there are in this world that can actually help you to stay healthy. One of the most important things to remember is to find things that you really like to do and do them. It’s important that you do things that make you feel good and that lift your spirits because it’s just as important to feel happy and good about yourself as it is to exercise your body.


The Top Heart Healthy Foods to Keep You Going Strong

If you want to try and stay healthy it’s important that you keep your heart healthy because without a healthy heart not much else matters. So, this means it’s important that you eat the right foods that will ensure that your heart is going to remain healthy and working as it should. This means that you need to eat foods like veggies, fruits, fiber, fish and eating healthy fats and making sure to limit the unhealthy fats such as trans fats. Of course there is no food out there that’s a cure all for your body but there are some pretty good foods out there that is going to help you improve the health of your heart. Here are just a few of those foods that are considered heart healthy foods.



Yogurt is known to actually protect against gum disease which can actually increase your risk of heart disease if you have severe gum disease. It’s also good for the digestion and can boost your immunity which is also very important for a healthy heart.


There are plenty of antioxidants in raisins that are great for the overall health of your body but raisins can also fight the growth of some bacteria that causes inflammation of the gums and once again gum disease. So, because of this raisins seem to be able to help fight gum disease and in turn helps the health of your heart.

Whole Grains


Those who eat a lot of whole grains do tend to be a lot leaner than those who don’t and this puts them at a lower risk for heart disease than those who don’t eat very many whole grains. This is more than likely due to the fact that whole grains also contain antioxidants, phytoestrogens as well as phytosterols all of which protect against coronary diseases.

We benefit from the fiber in the whole grains as well. Studies have shown that those who have a high fiber diet are also at a lower risk to develop heart disease than others who don’t have enough fiber in their diets.

It’s important then that you try to have enough foods that are very rich in soluble fiber which helps to lower your LDL or bad cholesterol. The soluble fiber we eat will bind with bile acid and this is the key component in digesting fat in our bodies that we make from cholesterol. Foods that are very high in soluble fiber would be oatmeal, barley, okra, any kind of beans, eggplant and citrus fruits like oranges or grapefruit.


Beans eaten on a regular basis are extremely good for your heart and you don’t even have to eat very much of them to reap the benefits they have to offer. For example, if you were to have just a half a cup of cooked pinto beans a day could lower your cholesterol immensely. Beans because they too are soluble fiber will help bind the cholesterol and keep it from being absorbed in the stomach producing bad cholesterol in our system. Beans also contain other heart protective agents such as flavonoids the same agents you can find in wine, all kinds of berries and chocolate. The flavonoids help to inhibit the adhesion of our blood platelets and this lowers the risk of heart attack as well as strokes.

Salmon/Other Fish


If we eat two or more servings of fish each week it is said that we have a 30% chance of lowering the risk of getting coronary heart disease. This is especially true for salmon. Fish, especially salmon contain omega 3 fats and omega 3 fats lower our levels of triglycerides in our blood stream. It also tends to lower our blood pressure as well and this can help to prevent what is known as irregular heart rhythms. Salmon contains the most omega 3 fatty acids but all fish have them as well as flaxseed oil, canola oil as well as walnuts.


Nuts are just filled with vitamins, minerals and monounsaturated fats which are extremely heart healthy. Research has shown that those people who eat a lot of nuts like walnuts, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, pine nuts, peanuts as well as pistachios tend to have far less chance of developing heart disease as those people who rarely eat any kind of nuts.



Ah, my favorite comfort food. Who can say no to chocolate? I know I can’t and well quite frankly you shouldn’t say no because research has shown that by eating moderate amounts of chocolate especially dark chocolate there is a blood thinning effect from it and this can benefit our overall cardiovascular health. Chocolate can also boost our immune systems by reducing inflammation. Some research also points to chocolate being able to help lower our blood pressure and it boosts nitric oxide in our bodies which is a substance in our bodies that is vital to ensuring healthy blood vessels in our bodies.


Tomatoes are not just rich in vitamin C but they also contain vitamin A, potassium along with fiber and they are very high in what is known as lycopene. Lycopene is a compound that works with other vitamins and minerals helping to aid in preventing disease and that includes preventing cardiovascular disease. Research has shown that cooking tomatoes, even though this lowers the vitamin C in them, it makes the lycopene more available to help with the disease prevention process in our bodies.



By eating just under a cup of berries each day we can increase the levels of our HDL or “good” cholesterol and this can help to lower ones blood pressure. The berries that we can benefit from are strawberries, red raspberries, blueberries, black currants, chokeberries and lingonberries. Berries simply are health promoting plants that are filled with antioxidants and a variety of other heart healthy compounds.



Here are the Ways You Can Lose Weight and Burn Off the Fat Faster!

Important Tips for Walking Your Dog

You’d be surprised at how many people don’t take their dogs with them when they go walking. It never ceases to amaze me. Not only is your dog a wonderful walking companion but they need to stay fit just as much as we do. Also, you dog loves going for walks whether you believe it or not. If you dog acts like he doesn’t want to go, it could be because he’s not been trained to walk and simply might be afraid. But once you get your dog use to it, he’ll be more ready to go for a walk sometimes than you are and he’ll definitely be more willing than a family member or friend, that you can count on!


Your dog needs to learn how to walk properly and if you don’t have the time or patience to show them how then you might want to put your dog in a training class. If however, you already know your dog loves to walk, what are you sitting there for? Get out there and walk your dog. But before you do, here are a few tips you should keep in mind when walking your dog.

Always make sure that you walk your dog on a leash. I just hate it when I’ve got my dogs on leashes and we’re minding our own business and some strange dog comes lunging towards us with his owner nowhere to be found or off in a distance just standing there holding the leash! Hello? The leash needs to be on the dog and not in your hand! If you keep your dog on his leash he’s not going to be able to run up and scare other people or cause problems or maybe even get hurt or hurt another dog or a person. Dogs are dogs, period they do what comes natural.

Before taking your dog on a walk it’s important to make sure that dogs are actually allowed where you plan to take your walk. Even if you plan to take a walk in a park it’s always a good idea to call the park ahead of time to see if there are any restrictions at the park.


Be polite and always carry a pooper scooper. If you don’t want to go out and buy a special tool then all you have to do is take some disposable plastic bags with you and place it over your hand like a glove and pick up his waste, pull the bag off your hand, tie it and throw it away. Remember, no on wants to step in your dogs poop so it’s up to you to take care of it, because you can’t expect your dog to hold it till you get home.

Don’t forget to make sure and carry water for both yourself and for your dog. You can either use your hand as the dish or a collapsible cup you can easy carry with you. Just remember your dog needs to be hydrated just as much as you do.

Don’t think that your dog is superman because he’s not. Make sure that you don’t walk and walk and walk and not take time out to rest. It’s always a good idea for both you and your dog to find a nice place that’s got shade to take a few minutes to rest before continuing on with your walk. Since dogs don’t have the ability to sweat you really need to be aware of when they are getting hot and this usually is when they start panting. When they start panting a lot, find a nice place with shade or even find a spot where they might be able to walk in some water to help cool them off.

Make sure your dog is protected by ensuring that he’s properly identified. Sure a collar with his vital information on it is always a good idea but they can lose their collars so it’s always a good idea to invest in an embedded microchip in case he gets lost and has no collar for identification.


Even though there are many areas that do allow dogs off leash and it may be tempting for you to allow them to do this. There are risks you need to consider before allowing your dog to roam freely. One thing that is most common is that your poor dog might run into a very aggressive dog and you will have no way of controlling your dog if he’s not on a leash. You also may run into the problem of your dog running off and chasing other animals, one common one is the skunk, and boy you don’t want that to happen, trust me! Finally the worst of all is if you are in an area that has any kind of vehicle traffic near by, you can risk the danger of your dog getting hit and killed by a car. I know, I had it happen.

So, remember, be smart and safe when you take your best friend with you on a walk. He’ll love you for it.



Find out what are the Benefits of Walking With Your Dog.

Quick, Easy and Healthy Snack Ideas

Face it, we love to snack and we don’t like to mess around spending a lot of time to fix them. In today’s world we want things right here and now. I get it, I really do. However, that often leads us to some pretty unhealthy eating. So, here’s some ideas for some really quick, easy as well as healthy snacks that anyone can make and in very little time. However, it might take you some time figuring out which one of them you want to try first. So, let’s get started shall we?

Simple Fruit Smoothie


All you need is to take one cup of vanilla yogurt, add one cup of frozen strawberries, one frozen banana, one ¼ cup of orange juice and puree it all together in your blender. There you go, a quick, healthy and delicious tasting snack!


Here’s another quicky. Take a scoop of your favorite frozen yogurt and put it between two graham cracker squares. Next take and roll the edges of the graham cracker sandwich in some chocolate chips and then freeze a little till the little treats are firm. Yum.

Banana Dippers

Let’s dress up the banana shall we? Take a banana and cut it into 1 ½ inch chunks. Now spread one end of the banana with some peanut butter and then dip the end either into your favorite granola mix or your favorite trail mix.

Fruity Milk


Get your blender ready to puree away by adding 2 cups of thawed frozen strawberries, or peaches and then add three tablespoons of some white grape juice concentrate. Next stir about 1/3 cup of this puree into one cup of low fat milk. Cover and refrigerate. It’s ready to drink and will last for up to five days.

Chocolate Coated Orange Slices

Well this one is not as fast as the others but it’s well worth the 30 minutes for these tasty treats.

You will need to temper about 1 pound of some finely chopped milk chocolate  with two teaspoons of some shortening. Next line a cookie sheet with wax paper and then mist it with some cooking spray. Next take your orange slices and dip them into the tempered chocolate either by using your fingers or a slotted spoon and let the excess chocolate drip off. Put the chocolate oranges on your cookie sheet and let them sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes for soft shell and up to four hours for fully hardened chocolate covered oranges. Really, really, good. You can do the same with strawberries too!

Frozen Fruit Cups

Ingredients Needed:

4 Cups of thawed frozen peaches chopped in big chunks
2 Cans of drained mandarin oranges
2 Cans of drained crushed pineapple
1 Can of drained fruit cocktail
1 Small can of frozen pineapple/orange juice thawed
1/3 Cup of lemon juice
6 Medium bananas that are cut into chunks

Take the peaches, oranges, pineapple, fruit cocktail, bananas and the juices and combine them in a large bowl and mix them well. Now put the fruit in plastic cups and cover with some plastic wrap or you can use foil. Freeze the fruit combination until firm. You may want to remove from the freezer about 45 minutes before serving. So this is a do ahead snack. Everyone should enjoy this one especially on hot summer days.

Yogurt and Fruit Dessert Cup


Can’t get much easier than this one. All you need is a single serve cup of your favorite yogurt, a ¼ cup of either granola or even Grape Nuts will work and then one cup of fruit like you get from those store fruit cups. Now just layer the yogurt, granola or Grape Nuts with the fruit. If you don’t want to use the fruit from fruit cups then just grab some fresh fruit and cut it up yourself and add to the yogurt and granola instead.

Simple Trail Mix

Ingredients Needed:

1 bag of slivered almonds (6 ounces)
½ Cup of pumpkin seeds shelled
½ Cup of sweetened shredded coconut
½ Cup of dried cranberries
½ Cup of chocolate chips

First pre-heat your oven to 350° F. Put some foil on a cooking sheet and combine your almonds, pumpkin seeds along with your coconut. Then put them in the oven and bake for about 10 to 12 minutes until the coconut is golden brown. Take out of oven and completely cool. Once cooled combine the baked mix with the cranberries and chocolate chips.

Hope you’ll give these a try and feel free to let me know how you liked them. Also, feel free to share any healthy snacks you might have as well.

We also have Healthy Dinners You Are Sure to Love!


Some of the Best Places to Hike in the United States

If you want to experience a different kind of vacation and if you are in shape for it, you might want to consider going hiking in some of the most beautiful places in the United States. Since I love to hike, I thought I would put together a list of the best places to hike in the United States. If you love beautiful scenery and challenges then you might find these places ideal, I know that I do. So here’s my list of some of the best places to go hiking in the United States.



I’d have to say that Yosemite gets my vote as the #1 spot to go hiking in the United States. Yosemite is one of California’s most beautiful places to visit. It has incredible natural landscapes and the park is nearly 1,200 square miles that offers nothing but jaw dropping awe with its towering waterfalls, Sequoia trees that are thousands of years old, incredible cliff faces and some of the most unusual rock formations you can find in the entire United States. Some of the key places to visit and hike to while you are in Yosemite would be Glacier Point which is one of the most incredible lookouts to be found in this National Park and it has wonderful views of Half Dome and the floor of the Yosemite Valley itself. You can either hike there or if you don’t want to do the difficult climb you can take a car to get to it. Half Dome is great for hikers and some say it’s the most unforgettable hike they’ve ever experienced, but be warned, this is not a hike for the beginner, it’s challenging from the very beginning starting at the beginning when you have to hike the Mist Trail to Vernal Falls. But if you are in shape you should be able to handle it.

While hiking in Yosemite, you won’t want to miss out on visiting Tuolumne Meadows. This is famous for the flat grassland, a winding river and some really good rock climbing opportunities for those who love rock climbing. It’s also one of the biggest higher elevation meadows in the Sierra Nevada mountains being at 8,600 feet. This is, even with all the tourists an incredible peaceful place and to some it seems to be paradise.

If you want a break from hiking you can always visit the Ansel Adams Gallery, which is free and free is always good. This gallery is located in the Yosemite Village and it offers many pieces from the work of the famous photographer who spent a lot of his life as well as his career taking incredible photos of Yosemite in black and white which are just breathtaking.

Grand Canyon


The Grand Canyon is one of the most incredible natural wonders of the world and if you have never been there then you have truly missed out. This canyon is about 277 miles long and can reach up to 18 miles wide and is a mile deep. Understand that if you are looking for a secluded place to hike, this is not the place, it can get extremely crowded because it gets about 4.5 million people visiting every year, but it’s well worth it. Where most people go to visit and hike is usually the South Rim. This is where you will find the Grand Canyon Village and the Bright Angel Trail. But, if you want an escapist experience for hiking you’ll want to visit the North Rim, here is where you can find some backwoods camping and some true hardcore hiking.

The North Rim is famous for its extremely rugged and even isolated trails and there are very little facilities available so be prepared for that. Some of the key spots you’ll find on this hike would be Bright Angel Point where you can view the Roaring Springs which is the only water supply for the North Rim. You’ll also enjoy the 8,803 foot Point Imperial. This is the highest point you’ll find at the North Rim.

The most famous trail on the South Rim would be the Bright Angel Trail and this is a six mile one way trip so don’t expect to make the round trip in one day. If you plan to do the whole trip you should make sure that you pack camping gear and plenty of water because some of the rest stops only have water during certain times of the year.



If you are truly big on hiking, Yellowstone is an ideal destination because it offers over 1,000 miles of different hiking trails that go across two million acres of breathtaking scenery! Some of the most popular trails would be those that are found in both the Canyon and Norris areas of the park. The best time to visit for hiking would be during the fall months because the fall offers the best hiking conditions. If you are an outdoor enthusiast then Yellowstone will be paradise for you.

This National Park is just filled with incredible natural wonders and offers visitors over 3,000 square miles of gorgeous mountains, canyons, waterfalls and geysers to see you also will be sharing these wonders on trails you hike with the local residents: buffalo, elk and even grizzly bears. So it can be an exciting adventure. Even though this incredible park receives over 3 million tourists a year the place is so huge that you won’t see much of them, unless of course you just spend your time hanging around Old Faithful. Some of the lesser known and lesser traveled trails you might want to check out are the hot springs found at the West Thumb Geyser Basin, the Lewis River Channel along with Dogshead Loop. Here you will feel like the only one in the world.



We can’t leave out the East Coast on this list. Making the list is New York’s beautiful Adirondacks region. It’s about 290 miles north of the “Big Apple”, 250 miles northwest of Boston and only 110 miles south of Montreal. This is a wonderful place to get away from all the hustle and bustle of big city living. It’s a wonderful place to hike where you can visit Lake Placid, Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake all of which offer the visitor over six million acres to explore.

During the winter you can ski, go snowshoeing, bobsled and dogsled. For the summer you can go biking, fishing, canoeing, whitewater rafting and of course hiking.

There’s also a lot of historical things to see while visiting as well. You’ll find a lot related to the Olympics where you can check out the Olympic Jumping Complex, the Olympic Museum along with the Olympic Sports Complex. But if sports history is not to your liking you’ll also discover the John Brown Farm State Historic Site. This is where the former abolitionist John Brown lived and is buried at.



Read: Visiting South Florida and Want to Walk?

Important Things to Know About Running and Jogging

We all know that both running and jogging are popular forms of physical activity and a lot of people do it even in different stages of life, they just do it according to how they can handle it. Probably one of the reasons why these forms of activity are so popular for exercise is because it really doesn’t cost much for you to participate except for maybe a good pair of running or jogging shoes.


There are an awful lot of health benefits that one can get from both running and jogging such as:

  • It helps to build stronger bones.
  • It strengthens all of your muscles since you use nearly all of your muscles in the process of running or jogging.
  • It helps to improve your cardiovascular health.
  • Burns up plenty of calories.
  • Helps you to maintain a healthy weight.Some people who don’t do either activity often wonder what’s the difference between running and jogging or is there a difference? Well there is. See, the difference between running and jogging is the intensity of the activities. Running is generally a lot faster and it uses up more calories and it does demand a lot more effort on the part of your heart, muscles and lungs. Running does require a much higher level of overall fitness than jogging does.However, jogging is good for you as well because both running and jogging are great forms of aerobic exercise and aerobic exercise is great for getting rid of body fat.

    If you have never done either exercise before and are suddenly thinking about taking one or both up it’s always a good idea for you to think about what you actually want to try to achieve by running or jogging. You may want to do some goal setting.

  • Getting fit – if you are truly a beginner at this it’s important that you start off slow with maybe just brisk walking at first and then lead up to jogging and finally work up to actual running. This more than likely will take a few months if you stay at it faithfully.
  • General fitness – you can do this by mixing your running with other kinds of exercise like swimming or even team sports, this way you’ll maximize your overall well being.
  • Weight loss – if you want to include weight loss with you running and jogging make sure that you adjust your diet along with it by making sure that you eat a lot of fresh fruits and veggies along with lean meat, some whole grains and low fat dairy products. You might want to cut out high sugar content foods and soft drinks with lots of sugar.
  • Consider companionship – often it’s a lot easier to meet your goals if you run or jog with a friend and if you can’t find a friend to join you, you might want to find a local running club and join them.
  • Competition – is something you only want to consider if you are at the point where you are in pretty good shape now. Often you can get into competitions through running clubs, so if you join one they can help get you ready to be able to compete if that’s what your ultimate goal might be.

If you are truly a beginner when it comes to running or jogging it’s really important that you follow these general tips for all beginners:


  • Make sure that you go see your doctor first and get a check up before you start up any running or jogging program. This is really important if you are over 40, have a weight problem, haven’t exercised for some time or if you have some sort of chronic illness. Make sure that your doctor does a pre-exercise screening this tool will help them identify any medical conditions that might put you at higher risk for any health problems arising during heavy physical activity. It’s okay, running isn’t always for everyone.
  • If given a clean bill of health then you should start off with just brisk walking. Start off at 30 minutes each time. You should do this for at least six weeks and then build up to jogging and increase your jogging time each time. It’s also good to alternate between jogging and walking at this stage.
  • Always make sure to warm up and do stretches before you start jogging or running. You should also cool off your body with some light gentle stretches when you are done jogging or running.
  • Be sure that you take plenty of fluids with you and always have a bottle of water with you when you are jogging or running. It’s important to drink plenty before as well as after running or jogging.
  • It’s important to your body that you rest at least two full days a week and don’t do any running or jogging so that you can avoid over training which can in the end cause your body injury.
  • It’s important to always plan out your route. Try to find a flat area, one that is grassy if possible instead of hard ground or loose surfaces like gravel or sand.
  • It’s really not a good idea to run or jog near a road. I know, you see it all the time, but it’s really not a very good idea. One of the main reasons is because of the exhaust fumes from the cars can increase your risk of respiratory issues as well as cardiovascular problems.
  • The best times to run are in the early mornings or in the evening when pollution from vehicles is at it’s lowest.
  • Always make sure to wear cotton clothing and loose. You might want to layer your upper body so you can take the layers off as needed during your run.
  • Make sure to wear an SPF 30 sunscreen to all exposed body areas.
  • Finally, make sure that you buy a really good pair of shoes.

Be safe and stay healthy!



Read: Simple and Easy Ways to Stay Healthy

Healthy Dinners You Are Sure to Love

Sometimes I know, it’s hard to come up with some great tasting food that’s also pretty good for you. But it really can be done and it can be done without having to spend all day in the kitchen. If you are a person that is super busy and always on the go, you might be tempted to just grab some fast food or some frozen thing and pop it into the microwave. But, with some of the recipes I’ve found along the way, you really don’t have to do that. You can make some healthy food and spend less than an hour in the kitchen preparing and cooking it. Here are just a few of my favorites.

Pizza With Mushrooms, Onions and Basil


Yes, pizza is good for you, especially if you put the right stuff on it. Here’s a pizza you should love and it only takes a total of 25 minutes to prepare and cook before you can sit down and enjoy a delicious slice of pizza and not feel guilty.

Ingredients Needed:

Tablespoon of olive oil
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
Slice up ½ of a medium red onion
2 garlic cloves minced
A 10 ounce already baked pizza crust
1 cup of pre-made marinara sauce
¼ cup of sun dried tomatoes that have been reconstituted
1 cup of mozzarella cheese, shredded
¼ cup of grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup of fresh basil leaves, sliced

Cooking Directions:

First thing to do is make sure your oven is preheated to 450° F.

Next thing is take the olive oil and heat it in a skillet making sure it’s medium heat. After the oil is heated then add the sliced mushrooms and the red onion and cook them until they are tender and you see that most of the liquid has evaporated, this should take about 5 minutes. After that stir in your garlic and take the skillet off the stove.

Now take your already baked crust and put it on a cookie sheet. Take your marinara sauce and spread it all over your crust and then take and top it with your mushroom mix and then add the sun dried tomatoes. You will then take your two cheeses and sprinkle them over the top of your pizza. Put your pizza in the oven until your cheese is well melted, this should be about 13 minutes but keep a close eye on it since all ovens cook differently. When the pizza is done remove it from the oven and then sprinkle the basil over the top and serve and enjoy!

Chicken Wraps: Waldorf Style


This little recipe takes a bit longer than the pizza about 40 minutes overall, but it’s well worth the wait especially if you a big chicken fan.

Ingredients Needed:

1 Cup of plain yogurt, non-fat
2 Tablespoons of mayo
1 Tablespoon of lemon juice
2 Teaspoons of Dijon Mustard
¼ Teaspoon of regular salt or sea salt
1 Teaspoon of fresh thyme minced
1 Pound of skinless chicken breast that is cooked and cut into small cubes
½ Cup of sliced grapes with no seeds
¼ Cup of chopped walnuts
1 Medium apple that’s diced
Some fresh ground pepper
5 Big Romaine lettuce leaves
5 Whole wheat wraps


Take your yogurt and put it in a strainer that’s lined with a paper towel. Next take the strainer and the yogurt and put it over a bowl and let it drain. Put it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes so it will get thick.

Now take a small bowl and put in the thickened yogurt, mayo, lemon juice, salt, fresh thyme, Dijon Mustard and mix until it is nice and smooth. Now take your cubed chicken and fold it in with your grapes, apple pieces and walnuts. When you are done lightly season with fresh ground pepper.

Take a leaf of Romaine and put it on one of the whole wheat wraps then spoon in about ¾ cup of the chicken filling and roll the wrap around your filling. That’s it, they are ready to eat and enjoy!

Pasta With Chicken Sausage and White Beans


Here’s a good one that only takes about 25 minutes to make and enjoy.

Ingredients Needed:

¾ Pound of whole wheat pasta (any shape you want)
Tablespoon of olive oil
3 Minced cloves of garlic
6 Ounces of Italian sausage made with chicken (removed from casing and crumbled)
14 Ounce can of cannellini beans rinsed and drained
1 ½ Cups of low salt chicken broth
½ Teaspoon of Red Pepper Flakes
1 Tablespoon of fresh sage chopped
1 Cup of chopped onions
Fresh Black Pepper
1 Ounce Parmesan cheese grated


Cook your pasta as the package tells you to.

Next take a large saute pan and heat the olive oil over medium heat. Put the chopped onions in the skillet and cook them until they are soft, this will take about 5 minutes. Add your garlic and cook for another minute. Then take your sausage and stir it in and cook until it is fully brown, this should be another 4 minutes. Add the beans, a cup of the broth, the sage and pepper flakes and let this mixture simmer until it is heated all the way through and some of the liquid has cooked away.

Now take your sausage mixture and add it to your already cooked pasta and toss them together well, if you need to loosen the mixture some, use some of the left over chicken broth. Season with salt and pepper to how you want. Serve in bowls and top with your grated Parmesan cheese.

I hope you will give these recipes a try and let me know what you think of them.



Read: Quick, Easy and Healthy Snack Ideas