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Summer travel with grandchildren is a great way to spend quality time together. Distance and busy schedules can make it difficult to have a stronger connection with the grandkids, but with a little creativity, you can find excursions that fit a range of budgets and travel tastes.

Staycation

Host your grandkids and see your hometown through their eyes. Plan local trips to the zoo, aquarium, or arboretum. Picnic in a nearby park where they can run around and explore. Find activities in local city guides, Visitors Bureau, or ask parents in your neighborhood.

Play to Your Strengths

Do you have an eye for photography? Perhaps you prefer hiking, or golf? Vacations where you are able to share your passions allow your grandchildren to learn about the world (and you) in a way that they’ll never forget.

Cruise Control

Sometimes, a vacation doesn’t feel like a vacation if you have to plan every single detail—cruise ships were made for this type of vacationer. Cruises are equipped with plenty of activities for every generation, a variety of food options that can appease even the pickiest eater, and pre-packaged excursions to avoid potential conflict between children of different ages. Cruises also offer complete packages for the budget-conscious.

Road Most Traveled

Your destination does not always have to be somewhere new. Traveling with grandchildren is a great chance to revisit a place that is special to you. Recreate a trip you took with your children while making new memories along the way! It’s meaningful to visit a place with someone who’s already found a few hidden gems. Remember, you are helping to shape their personal history.

Bon Voyage!

HumanaVitality is not an insurance product. This material is intended for informational use only and should not be construed as medical advice or used in place of consulting a licensed medical professional. You should consult with your doctor before making dietary changes or starting an exercise routine.

Article originally published by WomensRunning.com and reposted here with their permission.

Gut Check
If you find yourself frantically searching for a port-o-john during every race, you might want to enlist the help of good bacteria. According to a presentation at the 2013 New York Sport Nutrition Conference, incorporating probiotics into your daily diet can reduce gastrointestinal issues during training and racing. Food sources like yogurt, miso soup and sauerkraut are most effective at delivering these gut-loving bacteria, though a daily probiotic supplement won’t hurt either.

Who’s rad? You’re rad!
Even when you’re dragging, tell yourself, “This workout feels great! I am awesome!” Researchers from the University of Kent found that athletes who engage in motivational self-talk can work out harder and longer than those who complain or berate themselves.

I Wanna Be Like Lolo!
Lolo Jones made headlines when she took her stellar speed from the hurdle lanes to the bobsled track in this year’s Winter Olympics. An article in the journal Sports Medicine suggests she’s got the right idea. Cross-training has been found to enhance the development of motor skills as well as positively affect overall fitness. Try a new sport this month—you might not get an Olympic medal, but you could start spring with a shiny new personal best!

Pause Before You Pin
Is your Pinterest account filled with tantalizing tastes? Cook with caution. In an analysis of 96 recipes from six popular food blogs, researchers from Simmons College discovered that many social-media-friendly recipes are high in saturated fat and sodium.

Stay Aware
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cancer of the colon or rectum is the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in America. Each year 140,000 people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and more than 50,000 people die from it. Though many people would rather not discuss what’s going on “back there,” it’s important to begin regular screenings with your doctor beginning at age 50, or earlier if you have a history of related conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease.

HumanaVitality is not an insurance product. This material is intended for informational use only and should not be construed as medical advice or used in place of consulting a licensed medical professional. You should consult with your doctor before making dietary changes or starting an exercise routine.

This easy dessert satisfies a sweet tooth while adding another serving of fruit, contributing vitamins and antioxidants.

Roasted Peach Sundaes
Servings: 6
Total cost per serving: $1.11

Ingredients

  • 1 dash cooking spray
  • 3 medium peaches
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, brown
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 cups frozen yogurt, fat-free vanilla
  • 6 whole cookies, gingersnap

 Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Toss peach halves with brown sugar and lemon juice, and place them cut-side-up on the prepared baking sheet. Roast until the peaches are tender, 20 to 30 minutes. If the juice on the pan begins to burn, add a little water and loosely cover the fruit with foil.
  3. Top each peach half with a 1/2-cup scoop of frozen yogurt and a sprinkle of crumbled gingersnaps (if using). Serve immediately.

Nutrition Information

  • Calories, 138
  • Saturated Fat, 0 g
  • Sodium, 64 mg
  • Dietary Fiber, 1 g
  • Total Fat, 0 g
  • Carbs, 30 g
  • Cholesterol, 2 mg
  • Protein, 5 g

Recipe originally published by Everyday Health and reposted here with their permission.

Summertime usually means more time outside, and more time with friends and family. It can also mean more time to enjoy a book! Exercise your brain and read more this summer, here are a few tips to make space in your summer for a good book:

Choose Wisely. Find a good book that makes you excited to read. Ask friends and family for recommendations, or get some steps walking to a local library or bookstore to check out monthly staff picks to help a book that catches your attention.

Make Time (and take your time). Like any good habit, set aside time just for reading. Start with a manageable page goal and stick to it. Commit to reading 5 pages a day and then add pages as you get more engrossed in your book. Don’t worry about how fast or slow you’re reading; it’s not a competition.

Focus! Reading is harder with lots of distractions. Turn your phone off and find a quiet place where you can relax and enjoy your book, if you can. If it’s hard to find a quiet nook, try using ear plugs to block out the noise around you.

Buddy Up.  Keep a book with you wherever you go so that you have something to read when there’s down time. Think about all the times during the day when you’d read for your phone—standing in line, during breaks at work, or when traveling. Make the most of your spare time.

Remember, don’t force it! Reading should be fun—if you’re not enjoying the book, or are having trouble making time to read, pick a different book and try again!

Sources:
http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/literary-gluttony-how-to-consume-more-books-this-year.html

It’s picnic season! Picnics are a great way to enjoy warm summer weather while spending time with loved ones. But traditional picnic fare tends to be high in fat and calories. This summer, lighten your basket with these ideas:

 Veg Out

Simple raw vegetables like baby carrots, grape tomatoes, broccoli, jicama, red, green, and yellow peppers, and celery are easy picnic finger foods. Bring along low-calorie dips like our roasted carrot hummus, or our colorful pico de gallo with mango. Creamy dips like ranch are higher in fat and can spoil easily when left out in the sun.  Edamame, lean meats, and avocado are all smart picnic fare—a little protein and healthy fat goes a long way.

Drink Up—and Often

Stay hydrated! Pack plenty of cold, refreshing drinks like water, unsweetened iced tea, and fresh juices. Try our frozen watermelon mint slushy for an icy treat that’s low in sugar.

Treats for Tiny Hands

Instead of offering traditional desserts, help kids take advantage of sweet summer produce. Slice up watermelon or serve grab-able berries and cherries for a nutritious end to a healthy picnic. For a little something special, freeze a container of light whipped topping for everyone to dip into.

Don’t Forget the Fun

Pack a ball, frisbee, bubbles, or park your picnic near a playground to get everyone moving so you can earn your daily steps. It’s not a picnic without a little fun in the sun!

HumanaVitality is not an insurance product. This material is provided for informational use only. You should consult with your doctor.