Eat. Play. Love.

All Posts for ‘play program’ Category

 

Welcome to Cultivating Health! If you haven’t done so already, sign up for Juicy News, my monthly e-newsletter that gives you practical health and nutrition tips that will have a profound impact on your health and happiness if you’re ready for change. Juicy News topics include:

  • menu planningjuicy_icon
  • digestive issues
  • detoxification
  • hormonal imbalances
  • adrenal fatigue & stress
  • moods
  • cravings (especially sugar cravings)
  • play
  • playful eating
  • self-care
  • work-life balance

Of course, there is always a delicious, seasonal recipe in there, too!

In addition to juicy health tid bits, you will receive invitations to special events including nutrition playshops, cooking demos and classes and PLAY events.

As a token of my appreciation, you will receive a free 15 minute phone consult AND my Top Kitchen Tips & Tricks to save you time and aggravation and bring the fun back into meal prep.

Here’s to cultivating YOUR health!

 

Chelsea and I just started week two of the PLAYdetox at the Glenn Dale Community Center. We checked in with our awesome detoxers after week 1 which was all about getting mentally and physically prepared. To be honest, week 1 is no joke. And, if you ask the beautiful women we are working with this month, they will confirm! Each participant had a different way of approaching their prep week to get their bodies and minds in the right place for the adventure that was about to start.

So what does prep week look like?

Well, before you even decide to take the plunge, take a look at your schedule and see if this program is even feasible for you at this time. If you have a family vacation coming up or a business trip, it’s not that it can’t be done, it just makes life more difficult. Personally, I like to cleanse when I know I can cook in my own kitchen for the most part. Also, I find it challenging to eat slightly steamed veggies and legumes when my family is chowing down on crab cakes and sweet potato fries while enjoying a microbrew. Actually, I get downright cranky.

fresh berriesAlso, detoxing is not for everyone. If someone is deficient and experiencing illness or burned out adrenals, their body needs to be built up before it can muster the energy to cleanse efficiently. Generally, it’s best to just put these folks on a whole foods diet that isn’t terribly restrictive. Pump ’em with organic veggies, legumes and high quality animal proteins and fats. Dump the sugar and flour.

The next important step is to start to prepare the mind and the body for day 1. Now some people go with the “let’s go crazy before we have to give up everything” approach, but unfortunately, for those addicted to caffeine and or sugar, it can make day 1 seem like a near death experience. Use this week to add more vegetables into the diet and reduce or even cut out poor foods such as sugar, refined carbs and coffee. It’s also a great time to try out detox recipes and channel Goldilocks to perfect your gluten-free breakfast porridge. During the experimentation phase, the porridge can look and taste like mushy gruel until you get it JUST RIGHT. Sometimes people find combinations that blow their minds. This is the goal of week 1. You gotta have something fun in the morning to get you going (literally and figuratively). And of course, you need to make time to shop for your food and supplements.

Now food is only one part of the detox experience. Our lymphatic system, which is basically the sewer system of the body, often gets bogged down by rancid fats, undigested proteins, dead blood cells, toxins, opportunistic bacteria and other pathogens. It’s an integral part of our immune system that needs to be cleaned and moved. Unlike our circulatory system which is always pumping due to our amazing hearts, the lymphatic system can only be stimulated by muscle movement. So what are you supposed to do? Figure out how you’re going to get your butt moving during the detox! Exercise, massage, foam rolling and dry brushing are great techniques for moving lymph.

Because PLAYdetox is a holistic approach to cleansing the body, we also have to consider the mind. Often we allow our thoughts to be hijacked by Negative Nancy. You know who I’m talkin’ ’bout! Nancy says things like, “I’m not smart enough, pretty enough, coordinated enough, strong enough, disciplined enough, creative enough, yadda, yadda, yadda. We doubt ourselves and never feel like we are good enough which is ridiculous. This kind of stress is more toxic to the body than a McFlurry.

So, just like you give your body tons of yummy, energizing veggies during a detox, you also need to pump that mind full of playful, sexy, super thoughts about you and your fabulous life. Chelsea and I enjoy creating affirmations and intention statements with our our participants, weekly. We also incorporate deep breathing and introduce a play menu in week 1 to relax the mind and soothe the soul. It’s a great time to internalize those powerful affirmations.

So let’s hear from you! If you were to detox, when would be a good time to start this spring, and what kind of intention statement would you create for yourself?

Do you find it difficult to eat well and exercise during the Holidays? The Holidays don’t have to be a struggle or full of guilt around poor food and lifestyle choices.

Join Chelsea of Groove Dance Fitness, LLC and Kim of Cultivating Health for an exciting Healthy Holidays Open House at the Glenn Dale Community Center!

PLAY will explore healthy alternatives to sugar and ways to bring that sweet flavor into your Holiday menus. Learn and PLAY games that will keep your family entertained and fit during the Holidays. Explore movement that is fun for the whole family that will keep the trimmings from tackling your waistline.

Wear comfortable clothing and tennis shoes, and please bring water and your sense of humor.

Date: December 1
Time: 2 – 4pm
Location: Glenn Dale Community Center
Investment: FREE
Register: Space is limited so please register soon with Eventbrite!

This program will give you a taste of what’s to come in PLAY’s Fitness & Nutrition classes at the Glenn Dale Community Center this winter. We have PLAY for Success to help you set and keep your healthy New Year’s resolutions and PLAY for Energy to reinvigorate and energize you when you have those winter blues!

If you missed our debut PLAY Ladies Night Out! event, not to worry. I am posting a couple of the seasonal cocktail and mocktail recipes in this post for your enjoyment! We had a grand time with 18 lively women ready to PLAY! Chelsea kicked-off the fun with the thought-provoking, yet amusing game, “If I Were Queen of the World…” While sipping a glass of fresh, seasonal vanilla infused peach sangria, participants shared their wishes for the world which included everything from a world where everyone was kind to men relinquishing ownership of the remote control.

Other games included a fast-moving game of “PLAY charades” with a variety of food and movement related subjects and “Pass the Cucumber” which was a great thigh workout and team building exercise. I considered posting photos of the cucumber game, but decided to spare the participants from embarrassment. As one of our pregnant participants said, “It’s a good thing I’m not further along as I would have had the baby from laughing so hard!”

In addition to Chelsea’s delish peach sangria, we served a fabulous Fizzy Basil Watermelon Caipirinha and a Cucumber Lemonade Chiller with fresh rosemary from my garden. We used local fruits, veggies and herbs when possible and it made for outstanding drinks! The mocktail versions were served with extra sparkling water instead of booze. I also made a thirst-quenching herb water that included sliced limes, lemons, cucumbers, ginger and mint. This concoction can be served in still or sparking water and is a great alternative to plain water – tasty, refreshing and alkalizing!

 

PLAY Ladies Night Out!

Serving up fresh cocktails and mocktails.

 

Here is the recipe for the favorite drink, the Fizzy Basil Watermelon Caipirinha.

Inspired by Marc of norecipes.com

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups Cachaça (liquor optional)
  • 1/4 cup coconut crystals (make into a simple syrup, can also used whole cane sugar)
  • ½ cup basil leaves finely chopped
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 sweet lime juiced (optional)
  • 1 small seedless watermelon peeled and cubed (from a 3-4 pound melon)
  • 2 cups ice
  • mineral water

Directions:

  • Muddle together Cachaca, coconut crystals, basil, and lime juice.
  • Peel and chop watermelon; transfer to a food processor/blender and puree.
  • Pour the puree through a fine-mesh strainer set over a medium bowl or large measuring cup. Press on the solids to extract all the juice. (Repeat if necessary.)
  • Add watermelon juice and Cachaca mixture into a blender, add 2 cups of ice and blend.
  • Divide among 4 glasses. Add a splash or two of mineral water to taste.

 

Equally, delicious and refreshing, here is the Cucumber-Lemonade Chiller recipe inspired by Delish.com:

Ingredients:

  • 3 large cucumbers
  • 1 TBSP of chopped fresh rosemary
  • ¾ cup gin optional
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 TBSP of agave syrup (you could also use raw honey or coconut crystal syrup

Directions:

  • Cut 12 thin slices of cucumber for garnish (optional).
  • Peel and chop the rest of the cucumber; transfer to a food processor, add water and rosemary, and puree.
  • Pour the puree through a fine-mesh strainer set over a medium bowl or large measuring cup. Press on the solids to extract all the juice. (Repeat if necessary.)
  • Add gin, lemon juice, and agave syrup to the cucumber juice; stir or blend until the agave is dissolved.
  • Divide among 4 ice-filled glasses. Garnish with cucumber slices and rosemary sprigs.

 

Finally, the evenings menu included a Summer Quinoa Salad, Tarragon Chicken Salad, green salad, crudite, hummus and cheese and crackers.

If you’re interested in joining us for our next PLAY Ladies Night Out! event, follow us on Facebook  or sign up for Juicy News and be sure to select PLAY. Learn more about the PLAY Program at www.letsPLAYhealthy.com.

Chelsea and I are excited to debut the first event in the PLAY – Ladies Night Out Series: Games, Cocktails & Mocktails!

We designed this event to provide women in our community an unconventional opportunity to unwind, have fun, and experience new ways to create vibrant health in their busy lives.

Chelsea and I will inspire you to think outside the box when it comes to being “fit and healthy”. During the night you’ll be movin’ and groovin’ playing fun and sexy games and sipping on several delicious cocktails and mocktails made from fresh organic seasonal fruits and herbs.

Dress cute, and come ready to move and lift your “spirits”!

The night includes games, drinks and a light dinner. Checks are accepted, please contact us at 202-596-PLAY before Friday to make payment arrangements.

Date: Friday, July 27, 2012
Time: 7:00 to 9:00pm
Location: Greenbelt, MD
Cost: $20

Register: http://playladiesnightout.eventbrite.com

Not to worry, if you can’t join in the fun this Friday. We plan to make PLAY Ladies Night Out a regular event. So many games, cocktails and mocktails and so little time! Chelsea and I have begun to explore healthier versions of cocktails and their mocktail counterparts. We’ll share a few drink ideas with you for your next occasion or just to celebrate YOU and your fabulousness after a long day. The drinks will focus on natural sweeteners such as fruit, stevia, raw honey and coconut crystals instead of heavy mixers with high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners, colors and flavors.

We’ll show you how to use seasonal fresh fruits, veggies and herbs to infuse healthful nutrients into your adult beverage. They give the drink much more depth and flavor than their artificially sweetened counterparts. If the idea of fresh herbs in a cocktail throws you for a loop, consider them as sexy sprigs of flavor that jazz up any beverage. By themselves, they are quite potent, but when used in a cocktail, they are subtle and flavorful. Some of our favorite fresh herbs include spearmint, rosemary and basil.

Mojito Mocktail

Mojito Mocktail (minus the muddle)

One of my personal summer gems is a mojito made with fresh lime, sparkling water and muddled spearmint and stevia for sweetness. Of course the rum is always a nice touch, too!

There are a several organic spirits distilled from organic grains on the market. I’ve included a few to get your started:

There are also some mixers on the market that are made without the use of artificial colors, sweeteners and flavors. I’ve only tried a few of these, so I can’t vouch for all of them. Try them and let me know!

More refreshing drink ideas coming your way…

 
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