Pickleball Pals

“Pickleball” may have a name that sounds more suited to playground, but it is considered one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States. Pickleball is a paddle sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong using a paddle and plastic ball with holes, similar to a waffle ball.

Pickleball fever is still rampant across the country for people of all ages. It is especially popular with the retired population, since it is low impact and on a smaller court, yet still energetic and fun. While new courts seem to pop up everyday (usually over old tennis courts), pickleball court space is coveted every winter in the South by “snowbirds” like rare gold. Don’t let the fact that it is popular with people of age make you think the game isn’t competitive. While the game is easy to learn, it inspires the competitive spirit. As said by avid player Cheryl Lutz “There is no sorry in Pickleball!”

Want to check it out? Chances our there is a group near you! It is the perfect way to exercise with a group as well. Grab a friend or come alone and come out and play. Check out the Places 2 Play section at https://www.usapa.org/what-is-pickleball/ and play today!

Healthier Graduation Party Tips

How many graduation parties are you invited to this year? I count four, including the one I am giving for my daughter-my baby-I still can’t believe it. Graduation parties typically don’t have the healthiest food choices and the calories can add up quickly, but you can make better choices.

  • Eat something prior to the party to control appetite
  • Limit alcoholic beverages-choose water or carbonated water w/ fruit or diet soda instead
  • Fill half your plate with fruit and vegetables
  • Eat slowly
  • Use the small plate and only choose the foods you absolutely love and leave the rest

Of course, if you are giving the party, you can serve healthier choices! My daughter, who is vegan, has requested only vegan foods be served. I have found some tasty recipes like vegan lentil meatballs for meatball subs in whole grain buns and marinated grilled carrots to serve in whole grain hot dog buns instead of hot dogs!

Happy, healthy partying!

National Grilled Cheese Day!

National Grilled Cheese Day!

Thursday, April 12 was National Grilled Cheese Day. Grilled cheese sandwiches are a known comfort food and can be over 300 calories and over 20 grams of fat! However, they can be made healthier and I think tastier than the original version!

  • Choose whole grain bread instead of white bread for more fiber and nutrients
  • Choose low-fat cheese (3 grams of fat or less per serving) Alpine Lace brand provolone is one of my favorites. Try to only use 1 slice.
  • Add sliced tomatoes, spinach and fresh basil for great flavor, lots of fiber and other nutrients and very little calories.
  • Use a butter flavored spray on the bread instead of butter or margarine to use a lot less calories and fat grams (especially saturated fat). The bread still toasts to a crispy texture!

By making these changes you can add nutrition, save over 100 calories and 10 grams of fat…mostly the bad saturated fat and still enjoy a favorite comfort food!

Fad Free Simple Tips for a Healthier Lifestyle!

Fad Free Simple Tips for a Healthier Lifestyle!

Follow the attached tips to be healthier for life and not just a few weeks or as long as the next popular fad diet lasts!

 

Keeping It Clean With Kiddos

If you’re a parent I’m sure you’ve gotten up in the night or early morning hours, the house still dark, and as you make your way through the house you step on that doll or Lego that was left on the floor – yep – then you have that try not to yell and wake the kids moment while silent crying. That’s been me a time or two!! Lately the craze at my house is to go into a room, dump out all the toy bins/baskets/buckets/etc. and then move to the next room only to do the same thing. So how do we try and stay organized and clutter free?

If it’s left on the floor it goes in the trash! No, just kidding! My girls are only five and two; they would be quite devastated with that rule. If you don’t already, invest in bins with lids or shelving with basket inserts. This has been a lifesaver for us and teaches the girls that everything has a place when they are done playing. Also, I really hate when toys are just thrown into a bin or shoved into a drawer. This particular part of me teaches the kids to value their possessions and treat them with care. In addition to proper storage, we make sure the girls clean up every night before going to bed. It’s kind of their last thing to do; it helps them get out any remaining energy before bedtime, and helps me so I’m not the one picking up after they’ve gone to bed. Because after a long work day, dinner, chores, etc. what parent wants to clean up their house?!

This week has been spring break at my house, so lots of cleaning out the clutter! Our girls don’t like to give any of their toys away but we convinced them they had too much. They donated 3 boxes, which is also something I recommend doing with your toys/personal belongings/trinkets/etc. at least once every few months. In their minds they just made more room for new toys which they will inevitably get for their upcoming birthdays! And the cycle continues…try not to stress too much about the mess they create while they are playing. Let them make the memories.

Finally, probably my best tip – create a schedule. If it’s written down weekly, such as vacuum on Wednesday, or organize toy room Saturday, you are much more likely to get it done! Don’t put off for tomorrow, what can get done today!