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Food for Thought: Rick's Guide to a Healthy Summer

Food for Thought: Rick's Guide to a Healthy Summer

| June 11, 2018
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It’s officially summer! The sun is shining, the kids are out of school and vacations are planned. Now couldn’t be a more perfect time to kick start a healthy lifestyle plan. We genuinely care about the health and wellbeing of our clients, friends and family.   That’s why this month’s blog focuses on simple ways to brighten your mental and physical health this summer!

Recently, I read a report stating that 90% of our time is spent indoors! I was shocked when I heard that statistic and wanted to come up with a way to get myself and everyone else I know outdoors more. Summer is extremely busy; there are weddings, graduation parties, family reunions and vacations taking place throughout these glorious months. I would love to tell you to explore new places or take more walks, but I speak from experience when saying that it isn’t always so simple.

One thing that I have noticed from watching HGTV with my wife is that ‘outdoor living’ has become somewhat of a trend. Families are transforming their backyards into outdoor oasis’ that can double as a second or third living room. The best part is that you are spending more time outdoors which is proven to boost your creativity and focus while improving your mood and self-esteem. So, setting a goal this summer to purchase some comfortable outdoor chairs (maybe even a hammock) or do some gardening around your yard could help boost your mental health!

It often feels like every time someone brings up healthy eating my mind goes directly to the word ‘diet.’ Eating healthy doesn’t mean giving up the foods that you love and going on a strict diet. Most things are good for you, but in moderation! Summer is the perfect time to eat healthy. Visit your local farmer’s markets to enjoy the many fruits and vegetables in season. The weather is ideal for grilling and enjoying salads since the summer heat can sometimes curb your appetite.  One of the easiest (and healthiest) meals you can cook during the summer is done right on the grill. 

I’d like to share with you this recipe in hopes that you’ll give it a try. Feel free to send me photos of your meals… I’d love to share them on LinkedIn!

Grilled Chicken/Vegetable Sandwiches with Spicy Aioli Mayo 

Chicken Breast

2 Zucchini

3 Bell Peppers

1 container of Mushrooms

1 package of Asparagus

1 Red Onion

Sandwich Buns (GF guests can just go bun less)

Half a bag of Potatoes (sweet potato or regular… or both)

Olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano, parsley

Spicy Aioli Mayo Ingredients: 1 cup of mayonnaise, 2 cloves of crushed garlic, ½ tsp of lemon juice, 1 tsp of paprika, 1 tsp Dijon mustard and 1 ½ tbsp. Sriracha sauce.

Recipe calls for chicken breast to be sliced thin. Purchase enough chicken and buns for your guests. If you have 15 guests have 20 pieces of chicken & buns (there are always a few guests that enjoy 2 of everything!)  

  1. The Night Before: thinly slice chicken breast. Marinate it overnight in a Tupperware container with olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano. Prepare the Spicy Aioli Mayo by mixing mayonnaise, crushed garlic, lemon juice, paprika, Dijon mustard and sriracha sauce together in a small bowl. Refrigerate both chicken and mayo overnight.
  2. Prepare Your Ingredients: slice up your zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms and red onions into bite sized pieces. Wash your potatoes, then leaving the skin on, cut them into bite size pieces.
  3. Heat your appliances: Turn on your grill and let it heat to 500 degrees. Turn on your oven and let it heat to 425 degrees.
  4. Prepare Potatoes: Put your potatoes on a cookie sheet. Drizzle olive oil on top. Sprinkle salt, pepper and parsley on top then put in the oven for an hour.
  5. Grill the vegetables: Create a cookie sheet out of aluminum foil. When the potatoes have 30 minutes left, put your vegetables on the foil then drizzle with a little oil. Put vegetables on the grill moving them around every few minutes.
  6. Cook the Chicken: When the potatoes have 15 minutes left, spray grill cooking spray onto the other side of your grill then place the chicken breast directly over the flame. Cook on each side for 4 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Avoid drying out the chicken. (Sometimes if they still need a minute or two but seem to be drying out I will put the chicken on the top rack of my grill)
  7. Serve: Put your chicken, vegetables, buns and potatoes on separate serving dishes. Position the food in an assembly line like fashion so guests can easily make their sandwiches.
  8. ENJOY!

No meal is really complete without dessert. Follow this link to find the recipe to a yummy Strawberry Pretzel Dessert!

I hope that these simple suggestions can help transform your summer lifestyle into one that you maintain throughout the year!  Again, I’d love to see what you come up with so please send me pictures of those sandwiches, recipes and your beautiful outdoor living spaces.

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