Tuesday, June 28, 2016

It pays to be a Baby Boomer…Literally


I guess I'm a bit late coming to the party.  As a Baby Boomer, I'm just now resigning myself to discovering some of the perks on being a 'senior'.  Like I always request the discounted price at the movie theatre, I shop Ross on Tuesdays, order off the Senior menus and I'm quick to inform the clerk at the hotel that I'm an AARP member. But on a recent trip to several National Parks I discovered the …



Yes the SENIOR PASS! 

A one time fee of $10.00 ( if you're 62+) gets you a free lifetime pass into over 2000 Federal recreation sites across the nation including National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges and National Forest Lands. I discovered this perk quite by accident while visiting with fellow travels. Once enlightened we returned to Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park ( we were still close by) to get a full refund. A savings of $50.00. Then we made out way to Bryce Canyon National Park, all we had to do was flash the Senior Pass and we went right on in, ( a $30.00 savings there).

If you haven't reached that golden age of 62 then the Parks offer an annual pass for $80.00. Still a good deal if you're planning on visiting any National Parks or Forest Lands. In my home town of Prescott AZ these passes are honored at several sites including Granite Basin, Prescott National Forest and Lynx Lake.






Arches National Park









Canyonlands National Park



Bryce Canyon 
Nation Park
A very scenic hike and a bit of a climb back up!
Visiting our National Parks is just another way of staying
 'fit and healthy'

Have you taken advantage of our park passes? If so I'd love to hear about your travels.



Thursday, January 7, 2016

Lets start the year off with a nice S T R E T C H

Stretching is WONDERFUL… and it's a great way to begin the new year. Follow along with this 3+ minute video and enjoy! Give it a try,  your body will thank you.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

New Year…New Beginnings


2016 Montra is…

Stay focused and keep your eyes on the road ahead.
It's sure to take you to your dreams.
Wishing everyone a blessed year
of hope and opportunities for success.



Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Another quick, easy and delicious muffin recipe!





Here are the healthy and whole foods that make up these delicious muffins,


and here is the finished product.

I'd like to say that I'm one of those gals that looks in the pantry, throws a bunch of stuff together and ends up with some great mouth watering treat. Unfortunately, I'm just not that person. If I'm looking for a mouth watering treat I hit the cookbooks via print or net. These muffins are no exception. If you'd like to see where I found these then simply click HERE or you can take a look below for ingredients and directions.

Ingredients
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
  • 1 or 2 tbs raw honey, depending on how ripe your bananas are and how sweet you like your muffins
  • 1/2 cup dark mini chocolate chips
  •  (I used Cocao Nips, they have no sugar so I increased the honey to 3 T)
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl smash the bananas
  2. Next add the eggs, vanilla, coconut oil and honey to the bananas and stir until combined
  3. In a larger bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (almond flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon)
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture bowl – stir into a batter
  5. Next add the chocolate chips and chopped nuts and stir well (save a couple of tablespoons of the nuts to top the muffins)
  6. Pour batter into a muffin tin lined with baking cups – fill each cup about 3/4 full
  7. Sprinkle remaining nuts on top of muffins and place in oven
  8. Bake at 350ยบ F for about 22-25 minutes (oven times and temperatures will vary – test doneness by inserting a toothpick, if it comes out clean, they're done) 
  9. Store covered in fridge, or you can freeze these to enjoy later

If you try these, let me know what you think. 

To your health, Sharon

Sunday, June 14, 2015

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Oh here, take a better look.
           


 

I just returned from a trip to the Four Corners and this is the flag that the monument had flying on that day. This was not my first trip to the Four Corners, 50 (yes that's fifty) years ago I visited the sight on a family trip. It was much different back then. In fact I don't remember seeing any flags at all, there were no pedestrian traffic control walking paths, and definitely no vendors peddling their wares. Back then you saw beautiful vistas from all 4 states. Like this one.

    But now, this view is obstructed by concrete structures on all
    4 sides that house a variety of vendors.     

    Here's what you see today. 



I do remember standing on the X and thinking how cool it was that I was in 4 states at the same time. 


Here are a few more 'welcoming' photos of the Four Corners Monument 2015 version.






I have to admit I was a bit disappointed. It wasn't really the $5.00 per person CASH only entry fee, or the concrete structures obstructing the views, after all this is located in a non developed area and you can see the views as you travel the highways. I do expect to pay an entry fee but just didn't realize that it was CASH only. I appreciated the very basic accommodations, I did use the out house but did not purchase fry bread or jewelry.  Generally I'm not so sensitive to things like frayed American Flags but when I put the whole picture together it just seemed a bit disrespectful and since today is Nation Flag Day I thought this would be a good time to unload.

Back in 1942 Congress adopted the US Flag Code. This code outlines proper and respectful ways to handle, care for, fly, and retire a flag. A frayed, discolored or torn flag should be mended or replaced. Since the flag is a symbol of the United States and one that is recognized throughout the world I think flying one that is in stellar condition sends the message of united strength and flying a frayed or torn flag says you just don't give a D---.  my opinion…I'm just saying...

There are always exceptions and here's one of them. 

It's a story about a son who was leaving to serve in Iraq. Before he left he raised a flag at the family home. His Dad said he would not remove it until the son returned back home. After awhile this same flag began to fray and fray. A neighbor became outraged at this. He claims it reminded him of his days fighting for our country during the Vietnam War in which many American flags showed wear and tear. You can read about this here.

So there you have it, my thought of the day. How about you, any thoughts on flying Old Glory? If so I'd love to hear them.

To you healthy,
Sharon

Friday, June 5, 2015

What….National Donut Day!!!


Seeings that I'm very patriotic and an observer of all our Nation's Holidays, I felt obligated to participate today in
 'National Donut Day'! 


There you have it. My already half eaten cream stuffed maple bar. It was delicious and I enjoyed every bite. 

My first thought was this is just another marketing ploy to increase donut sales but…according to one source National Donut Day was established in 1938 by the Chicago Salvation Army to honor the women who served donuts to our soldiers in World War 1. So good, I feel much better eating my maple bar now that I think it's honoring worthy women. 

How about you, did you cave in and enjoy a sugar laced treat today? If so just leave a note with your favorite donut choice. 

Probably not something we should celebrate more then once or twice a year though. 

To your health, 
Sharon

Thursday, May 28, 2015

My latest 5 day vacation without gaining 5 pounds.

Vacations are GREAT! I just returned from one and the biggest battle I encountered was, how not to gain a bunch of weight while on vacation. It started with the early morning flight. Too early for breakfast so you load onto the plane and what do they have to serve you? My Southwest flight offered coffee and peanuts. But no fear I had planned ahead and brought some snacks for the flight.  Not sure why but I tend to think that if I'm eating healthy foods then I can eat as much as I like. So I brought along a jumbo sized tub of mixed nuts ( home made recipe below really yummy), carrots and a banana. Unfortunatly I had pretty much emptied the tub of nuts before we landed. I calculate that 1 (one) nut is about 10 calories so you can just image what my tub was.  I've not been gone 5 hours and already I've eaten my allotted calories for the day. Oh dear already I'm off on the wrong foot and now I need to make some adjustments so that I don't return from my 5 day trip 5 pounds heavier.

But first lets begin with my trip. Finally Bucket List # 6.  Visit Niagara Falls (check).
International Line. One half in Canada, one half in USA
One of the first things that struck me, besides the awe-inspiring natural wonder, was how two countries can co-exist and share this huge natural resource. That's pretty awesome in itself. In 1909 The Boundary Waters Treaty was signed to resolve disputes over shared water between Canada and USA. If you are interested in more info click this link Here

Now onto which side has the best falls. We've been told that the Canadian side is the best and has the wonderful viewing etc.  We did stay on the Canadian side and we where happy we did. But to answer which side is better, that's a hard one. They both have their own spectacular beauty.

United States

Canada
The imposing greatness of the Canadian side

The up close and personal USA side.
So the falls are WONDERFUL, everything I hoped they would be. The question still remains 'how do you go on vacation and not gain weight? My solution was to be more active. So I clipped on my pedometer and we walked and walked and walked.

One day we ended up walking 9 miles. That was the day we walked across Rainbow Bridge to the US side and back.



Daily total steps 
Most everything in Niagara Falls is assessable by walking which really helped to neutralize the extra yummies we enjoyed, double short breve latte's with warmed chocolate chip cookies was just one of our afternoon treats. 

To  access other attractions that are not within walking distance they offer a jump on and off shuttle system called WEGO. We chose this activity the day after our 9 miles but we still were able to get in our 10,000 steps.


Our room was on the 14th floor and we climbed the steps 3 times.
Climbing the last flight up to the 14th floor. My husband is way faster then me.
 No Niagara Falls trip is complete without the plastic bag coats. Here's ours.

Lastly the tub of nuts.

Warning: eating a tub of nuts could result in weight gain…?! da

The mixed nut recipe is really easy and it gives you that bit of sweetness that I enjoy so much.
Basically I took an equal amount of pecans, walnuts, cashews and raisins, mixed them all together then I squirted a bit of lemon juice on top, then sprinkled cinnamon on top of that and once again mixed together. It's really good but next time I'll try and divide out into smaller individual portions.
1/4 cup = 160 calories 
Well there you have it, this posting is all about how I got to check one more item off the Bucket List, enjoy some fabulous and fun foods, take in spectacular sights and natural wonders all while getting in at least 10,000 steps each day so that we came back home no heavier then when we left.



Do you have any tips you use to help you stay fit and healthy while vacationing and traveling? I'd love to hear them.

To your health,
Sharon