5 Easy Tricks for the Healthiest Summer Hair

summer-hair-careHot weather, lots of sun, salty or chlorine-filled water… all these wonderful definitions of summer also can wreak havoc on your hair. These conditions, despite how humid it may feel, can seriously dry out your locks… not really the look we’re going for. Luckily, it’s fairly easy to maintain luscious, beautiful hair during the summer, and there’s no need for a bunch of expensive, chemical-filled hair products to do so, either. Let’s go the natural way!

Give the blowdryer a break.
The season is all about relaxing vibes, so let your hair relax a little, too. Put away the blowdryer and curling iron (or use them sparingly) and let your hair sit naturally. Beachy, loose waves are a great style for summer, and all they take is a bit of hair-holding spray and a night sleeping with loose braids. You can also just keep those braids in for the day… another easy, pretty style.

Keep hair at bay at night.
Speaking of nighttime rituals, if you’re not committing to one of the styles above, tie your hair up on the top of your head before you go to sleep. Getting your hair out of your face keeps the oils from rubbing on your skin throughout the night. It also prevents knots, tangles that can lead your delicate strands to tear.

Balance and rehydrate.
From the pool to the sea to the shower, your hair goes from wet to dry an awful lot during the summer months. Balance and rehydrate with rich olive, coconut, or avocado oils. These natural ingredients balance your hair’s pH levels and keep your locks looking shiny and fresh.

Prioritize the fresh water dip. 
Before you jump in the pool, if you can, hop into the shower and douse your hair in the fresh stuff. Soaking your hair in fresh water down to the roots can help repel and seal out chemical chlorine, keeping your hair shinier and fuller.

Stick to the comb.
With your hair already going through turmoil this summer, you don’t want to punish it even more with a rough brush. Stick to combing wet hair slowly with a wide-tooth comb. These are gentler on strands, particularly on wet strands that tend stretch and break.

[BONUS TIP] Drink (and eat) plenty of water.
As if there aren’t enough reasons to hydrate-hydrate-hydrate! One of the key aspects of healthy, balanced, refreshed skin and hair is to drink plenty of fluids. And with a greater risk of dehydration in the summer months, this is even more vital. Don’t just stick to chugging water, though; you can eat your fluids too, simply by upping your fruit intake (watermelon, anyone?).

How do you take care of your hair in the summer? We’d love to hear your ideas! 

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The Best 30-Minute Workout for Your Busy Summer

Between summertime vacations, your kids’ weekly camps, and the undying desire to spend every second relaxing in the great outdoors, sometimes workouts can take a back seat. Particularly on vacation, when you want to spend every moment you can relaxing, it can be tempting to forgo your normal workout routine for some fun in the sun.

If you ultimately need such a break to decompress, we say go for it. But if you’re debating, fitting in even a short, 30-minute, heart-pumping session a few times during your vacation can keep you in your normal routine, feeling happy and healthy both during your time away and after you get back. Keep up with all your progress by staying active; we know you won’t regret it.

To make it even easier, we’re sharing this workout from Pumps & Iron on the blog today. All you need is a timer and a jump rope… two things you can easily fit into your suitcase! With minimal equipment needed, a short routine time (only thirty minutes), and both strength and cardio training mixed into one workout, this 30-Minute Jump Rope and Strength Training workout is the best thing you can bring along with you on your travels.

strength-training-jump-rope-workout

Head over to Pumps & Iron for detailed instructions
on how to perform these moves!

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Fajita Tofu Kebabs with Cilantro Lime Quinoa

fajita-tofu-kebabsThere’s nothing better than the smell of barbecue wafting through your window in the summer heat. It’s certainly enough to get you running outside to enjoy the weather and spend time with those closest to you. It’s a smell that always reminds us of summer; a wonderful foray into picnicking with delicious, smoky food and yummy in-season staples.

If you’re trying to cut down your meat intake, however, barbecues are a tough place to be. It’s definitely something we’re trying to break; there are so many things you can cook on the grill that are veggie-based, even if it’s just roasting delicious red peppers over high heat. That smoky flavor is inescapable!

Thanks to Sarah from Making Thyme for Health, we found an amazing recipe that’s packed with veggies, protein, nutrients and minerals to keep you feeling great all summer long! These Fajita Tofu Kebabs are absolutely delicious, and super fun both to cook and eat. Head onto the kebab train this summer. You certainly won’t regret it!

Ingredients

Kebabs
15 ounces super firm tofu, pressed and diced into 1-inch squares
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 red onion
1 tablespoon high heat oil
2 tablespoon tamari (or soy sauce)
1 tablespoon arrowroot (or cornstarch)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4-6 wooden skewers

Cilantro Lime Quinoa
1 cup dry quinoa, cooked
1 teaspoon olive oil
juice of 2 limes
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
serving suggestions: chips and salsa, guac

 For full recipe instructions, check out Making Thyme for Health!

About Making Thyme for Health
Sarah is a vegetarian food blogger who creates simple and seasonal recipes. She loves cooking with whole foods that give her the energy to keep up with a busy life (perfect for all of you!). Read more about Sarah and try some of her other recipes here.

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Jump, Skim, and Swim in Trusty Beach Sneaks

beach-sneaksJambu Raven | Chaco Outcross Evo 2 | Vivobarefoot Ultra 2

What’s your water sport of choice? From kayaking to canoeing to a light beach run, there’s no stopping the range of activity once you hit those sandy shores. What better to get you there than a great pair of breathable, lightweight, comfortable beach sneaks?

What activities do we recommend? Feeling adventurous? Try a new water sport, like stand-up paddle-boarding, wind-surfing, or parasailing. Or better yet, get down to your roots, and act like a kid again! Build a sandcastle, body-surf the waves, collect shells, and play bocce or other beach games. The world of outdoor fun is endless, particularly with a lot of sun and plenty of sand beneath feet wrapped in comfort.

In bright shades and beautiful designs, these shoes aren’t just for beach walking… they can take you from the beach to the streets in ultimate style. Spend a day in the sand and head straight out to dinner in your favorite breathable shoes.

Having trouble sorting through the selection? Here are some of our faves!

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The Power of Greek Yogurt

greek-yogurt-recipesSo you have a whole container of Greek yogurt in your fridge. The tangy, protein-packed jug is there for when you need a quick breakfast (just add granola!), a mid-afternoon snack, or a post-workout pick-me-up.

With its versatility, health, and deliciousness, Greek yogurt is one of our staples for a feel-good week. The high levels of protein help you build muscle, calcium keeps your bones strong, and the probiotics keep your stomach feeling its best. The plain versions also have very little sugar, keeping your blood sugar levels in check all day long.

If you’re still using this dairy concoction in its simplest form – as plain and normal yogurt – we have some news for you: there are so many ways to use this ingredient in each and every meal, sometimes without even noticing it! We’ve compiled a list of six recipes that use Greek yogurt in unexpected ways. Adding some protein to pancakes? Sure! Making your soups just that much creamier? Yes, please!

Try one of these out this week, and let us know how it goes.

1) Yogurt Breakfast Popsicles
2) Creamy Tomato Orzo Soup
3) Greek Yogurt Alfredo Sauce
4) Swiss Chard Cakes
5) Banana Oat Greek Yogurt Muffins
6) Quinoa Herb Parfait

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The Best 5 Workouts for Your Vacation

Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 9.54.31 PMAre you going on any vacations in the coming months? It seems as though, at least up here in New England, every one of our summer weekends is packed with plans to head out to the beach, mountains, or friends’ and family’s homes to spend time with loved ones, enjoy the warm summer air, and make the best of the summer season. Even workplaces seem to slow down a tad during the summer; many people use this beautiful weather as a time to relax and take time off from responsibilities.

Whatever your ideal vacation, many end up consisting of indulgences (good food and drinks, anyone?), laughter, and happiness. Taking a break from your normal life means doing what you enjoy most, and making the most of your time off.

One thing you shouldn’t take a break from, however? Your exercise routine. While we’re all for giving your body a rest, fitting in a short, heart-pumping session or two during your time off will keep you in a rhythm and make you feel even more alive and relaxed long after your vacation is over.

We also know that vacation time is precious; no time for long workouts here. To help you out, we’ve compiled the five workouts below for you to pick and choose from during your time away. Each one is only 30 minutes long (cut it down to 20 if you wish), and needs hardly any equipment (pack a jump rope in your bag… it won’t take up much space!). They can also be done anywhere… perfect for beside the waves or in your hotel room.

Arm-Toner

  1. Warm up jog: One mile (time varies)
  2. Push-ups: 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off. Repeat 5 times.
  3. Pick a pump-up song: Raise your hands over your head and hold them up high. During the chorus of your song, bend your arms at your elbows so your hands are next to the top of your head, and your arms are in line with your ears. Bring them back up to the original position rapidly, then bring them back down, and repeat until the chorus is over. Then raise and hold until the next chorus.
  4. Chair tricep dips: Find the closest chair or bench, face away from it, and bend your legs at the knees, placing your hands behind you on the chair. Lift your body up, then back down. That’s one rep. 1 minute on, 1 minute off. Repeat 5 times through.
  5. Cool down: 2-minute light jog

Quick Cardio

  1. Interval sprints: 30 seconds on, 45 seconds off. Repeat for 15 minutes (going through the circuit 12 times).
  2. 2-minute water break
  3. Jump rope intervals: 1 minute on, 1 minute off. Repeat 5 times through.
  4. Finish strong: One last 1-minute sprint!
  5. Cool down: 2-minute light jog

Butt & Legs

  1. Jump rope intervals: 1 minute on, 1 minute off. Repeat 5 times.
  2. Squats: With legs spread shoulder-width apart, squat down until your knees are slightly over your feet. Come back up – that’s one rep. Repeat 15 times, take a one-minute break, and repeat twice.
  3. Lunge & hop: Lunge, right leg first. Coming back into standing position, hop up when you reach a full stand, then come back down into a lunge. Repeat 15 times, take a one-minute break, and repeat twice.
  4. Squat & leg lift: With legs spread shoulder-width apart, squat down until your knees are slightly over your feet. Before you come back up, kick your right leg out to the side. Repeat, kicking your left leg this time. Do 15 kicks per leg, rest for 1 minute, and repeat once.
  5. Cool-down: 3-minute light jog

All-Body 1

  1. Jump rope intervals: 1 minute on, 1 minute off. Repeat 5 times.
  2. Squat variations: Perform 15 squats, take a one minute break. Squat down into the squat position, hold and pulse for 30 seconds; take a one minute break. Squat down into the squat position and hold for 30 seconds, take a one minute break. Repeat the sequence three times through.
  3. Abs and arms: Go into plank position, hold for one minute. Transition immediately to a side plank, hold for one minute. Repeat on the opposite side. Take a one minute break – repeat once more.
  4. Cool down: 2 minute light jog.

All-Body 2

  1. Warm up jog: One mile run
  2. Side planks: 1 minute on each side.
  3. Side lunge & push: Lunge to one side, pushing yourself back upwards and into a jump. Alternate between sides for one minute, then take one minute of rest. Repeat three times.
  4. Push ups: Perform as many as you can in 30 seconds, then take 30 seconds rest. Repeat for 3 minutes.
  5. Jump-rope: 2 minutes rapid jump rope.
  6. Crunch & push: Perform 60 seconds of crunches. Turn over, and do as many push-ups as you can for 15 seconds. Repeat three times, with one minute of rest in between.
  7. Cool down: 2 minute light jog.

Which routines did you choose? How did it go? Let us know in the comments below!

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