Posts tagged "healthy"

5 Healthy Ways to Enjoy the Great Outdoors in Sweden3 min read

Outdoor Activities in Sweden

If your knowledge of Sweden ends at the innovative consumer products they create and a few pop songs from the 1970s, you should take another look at this Nordic gem when deciding where to go for your next trip abroad. Sweden is becoming a popular travel destination for its outdoor activities and emphasis on mental and physical wellbeing.

Activities like hiking, canoeing, swimming, fishing, and cycling, have been made more enjoyable and accessible thanks to Sweden’s Allemansrätten, or “freedom to roam” – a right granted by the country’s constitution. The passing of this act allows Swedes and their guests to camp, travel, and explore nature wherever they please, all without restrictions. With your free pass to wander, make sure you check out these five can’t-miss summer activities:

Hiking

As summer begins to bloom, Sweden’s forty country-long trails will be heavily populated with natives and visitors looking to explore the beautiful countryside. These footpaths can provide overnight accommodations, coupled with luscious pastures, pristine evergreens, and shining lakes. The country’s most popular path, the Kungsleden, or “King’s Route,” stretches 285 miles through northwest Sweden and passes by its tallest mountain, Kebnekaise. Other popular trails include the Padjelanta trail, Höga Kusten trail, Skåneleden, and Upplandsleden.

Canoeing and Rafting

If you’re not one for blisters, try exploring Sweden through an alternate route. Sweden’s archipelagos, groups of thousands of islands right off the mainland, provide a paradise for canoeing and kayaking. With over one hundred thousand lakes, uninhabited rocky islands, and thousands of miles of rivers and canals, you’ll won’t have to look far for a new a new adventure. Another popular alternative is rafting down the Klarälven River in Sweden’s southwest. One rafting company, Vildmark Värmland, even offers rafting tours where you can build your own raft before departure.        

Swimming in Lakes

Lake swimming is a popular pastime in Sweden, with lots of options for places to cool off. Whether you’re in Stockholm and looking to take a dip in the Baltic Sea or you’re exploring the south around Sweden’s largest lake, Lake Vänern, the country offers a plethora of clean waters. For the daring, Sweden’s calm landscape also inspires frequent skinny dipping.

Fishing

Fishing is free along the coastline and in the larger lakes, including Vänern, Vättern and Mälaren. Before your swim in Lake Vänern, you can position yourself on one of 20,000 islands in the lake to reel in a wide range of fish. Tärnaby in the north of the country offers wonderful mountain and river fishing, while nearby Sorsele is a fly-fishing mecca. The U-shaped coastline of Sweden also features a multitude of islands where you can fish for salmon, cod, mackerel, and more.

Bicycling

Sweden is a cyclist’s heaven with hundreds of miles of paths to conquer. Riding your bike is a cheap, healthy way to get around while enjoying the country’s natural beauty. And with their “freedom to roam” law, bikers can stop at any point during the evening and set up camp before starting another expedition the next morning. Additionally, Sweden’s cities provide bicycle lanes for easy maneuverability and quick exploration.

A trip to Sweden is a perfect option if you’re looking for healthy living and a mobile lifestyle. Whether it be on the Kungsleden trail, in Lake Vänern, or around Tärnaby, this Scandinavian country encourages its inhabitants to get outside and embrace all of its natural wonders. If you’re an active person who enjoys beautiful forests, breathtaking lakes, and stunning mountains, Sweden is the place to book your next summer vacation.

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Healthy Travel Blog

Posted by Lustige Bilder - June 19, 2017 at 14:49

Categories: Travel   Tags: , , , , , ,

Healthy Recipe: Japanese Vegetable Udon Stir Fry2 min read

Japanese UdonThis delicious dish comes together in 20 minutes flat, making it the perfect meal for busy weeknights or quick weekend entertaining. Traditional fresh Japanese udon noodles, available in the refrigerator section of many supermarkets, make this dish authentic and super quick- you don’t even need to cook them! Tamari, a delicious gluten free substitute for soy sauce, and sesame oil, make a quick and flavorful sauce for whatever fresh vegetables you add. This recipe is vegan, but feel free to add some chicken, shrimp, or whatever other protein you like.

Total Time: 20 minutes

Serves: 2 as a main dish, or 4 as a side dish

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or coconut oil
  • ½ medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 handful mushrooms (try cremini, baby Portobello, or shitake), quartered
  • 1 handful broccoli florets, cut into small bite size pieces
  • 1 handful shredded carrots
  • 2-3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey or agave
  • Red chili flakes, to taste (optional)
  • 1 package fresh udon noodles, rinsed, drained, and separated

Directions:

  1. In a large frying pan or wok, heat the vegetable oil over medium high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and mushrooms, and cook, stirring often, for 2-3 minutes until the onion begins to caramelize.
  2. Add the broccoli and carrots, along with the tamari, and cook for another 3-4 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Add the sesame oil, chili flaked, and udon noodles, and toss everything well to combine. Cook for another 3-4 minutes until all the vegetables are crisp-tender and the noodles have soaked up some sauce.
  4. Add more tamari or sesame oil to taste if needed, and enjoy!

Note: This makes great leftovers, and also tastes delicious cold! Feel free to add whatever vegetables you love or have on hand. Shredded cabbage, scallions, zucchini, and even some crispy tofu or chicken would taste delicious.

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Healthy Travel Blog

Posted by Lustige Bilder - June 7, 2017 at 16:22

Categories: Travel   Tags: , , , , , , ,

Healthy Recipe: Peruvian Adobo Pulled Pork with Polenta2 min read

Peruvian Adobo Pulled Pork with Polenta

Peruvian Adobo Pulled Pork with PolentaPeruvian cuisine incorporates a variety of influences from Europe as well as the indigenous Inca population. One of the staples, corn, serves as a hearty gluten free grain accompaniment in this recipe, perfect for soaking up all the delicious cooking liquid from the pork. Polenta has a low glycemic index, and is rich in vitamins A and C. Braising a pork shoulder slowly turns a cheap cut of meat into something worthy of company, and allows all the flavors from the chipotle peppers and adobo sauce to really permeate the meat. Pork provides ample amounts of protein, and also offers iron and potassium, while being leaner than red meat. This dish holds well overnight, so feel free to make it in advance. The pulled pork is also a great freezer meal option.

Serves: 6 with leftovers

Total Time: 4 hours (active time: 30 minutes)

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 pound boneless pork shoulder or pork butt
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
  • 1- 24 oz. can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ – ½ cup water
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar (optional)
  • Fresh chopped cilantro, to serve

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the pork, and season the top side with salt and pepper. Sear for 5-6 minutes until golden brown. Flip to the other side, and season again with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the onions, garlic, and ground cumin, and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Deglaze with the apple cider vinegar. Add the chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, chopped tomatoes, bay leaves, and water. Stir well to combine. Cover and put in the oven.
  3. Allow to cook for 1 hour, then flip the pork over and stir the liquid. If the liquid seems low (less that ½ way up the pork) add more water or vegetable stock as needed. Cook the pork for another hour, and flip it again. Cook the pork for a final 30 minutes to 1 hour, until its completely falling apart and shreds easily when pressed.
  4. Shred the pork using two forks and mix it into the sauce. Season to taste with a splash of apple cider vinegar and salt and pepper as needed.
  5. To cook the polenta, bring 3 cups of vegetable stock up to a boil in a large pan. Whisk in the polenta, and stir constantly for 5 minutes. It will soak up all the stock. Add the shredded cheddar, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  6. Serve the pulled pork alongside the polenta, garnished with the chopped fresh cilantro. Enjoy!

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Healthy Travel Blog

Posted by Lustige Bilder - May 10, 2017 at 18:17

Categories: Travel   Tags: , , , , , , ,

Healthy Recipe: Norwegian Orzo Salad with Shrimp & Spring Vegetables2 min read

Norwegian Salad

TNorwegian Saladhis fresh and springy salad celebrates the brightest Nordic flavors, with fresh dill and lemon taking center stage. Known for its seafood, Norwegian cuisine often features freshly caught shrimp in the spring and summer months. If you’re lucky enough to be there, look for the smaller cold water prawns, sometimes cooked right in boiling sea water for a salty kick. You can also substitute crawfish for a delicious twist. Orzo provides the perfect foundation for lightly roasted spring vegetables and shrimp, but feel free to swap in quinoa, faro, or another grain here.

Serves: 6

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 small box orzo pasta (about 1 ½ cups uncooked)
  • 1 bunch asparagus, tough root ends trimmed
  • 2 zucchini, ends trimmed, and cut into small bite size pieces
  • 1 pound peeled & deveined raw shrimp, tails removed
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
  • Lemon juice and zest, to taste
  • Fresh dill, chopped, to taste
  • Feta cheese, crumbled, to taste (optional- feel free to swap in any semi-firm sheep’s milk cheese)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. On a baking sheet, toss together the zucchini, asparagus, a drizzle of olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast until just tender, about 8 minutes.
  2. On another baking sheet, toss the shrimp with a drizzle of olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast until firm and pink, about 10 minutes.
  3. Cook the orzo per package instructions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and transfer to a large bowl.
  4. Add the frozen peas to the orzo while it’s still warm. The residual heat will cook them perfectly.
  5. Slice the asparagus on an angle into 3-4 pieces. Add them to the orzo, along with the zucchini and shrimp. Drizzle over about ¼ cup olive oil, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Add the juice and zest of at least 2 lemons, more to taste. Add a handful of chopped dill, and feta cheese to taste. Toss everything well to combine, and add more olive oil, lemon juice, salt or pepper as needed.
  6. The salad will taste delicious right away, but the flavors improve over a few hours. Serve cold or at room temperature.

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Healthy Travel Blog

Posted by Lustige Bilder - May 3, 2017 at 18:39

Categories: Travel   Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Road Less Traveled: Healthy Vacations Off the Beaten Path11 min read

Mopeds in Bermuda

I had that creepy feeling you get when you know you’re being watched. I scanned the water around me to find three big barracudas floating about 10 yards away, just checking out what I was doing in their neck of the woods. The fisherman’s reassurance that they weren’t aggressive did little to make me feel a whole lot better, but I kept swimming nonetheless.

I bumped into those barracudas just a few short swimming strokes from our little VRBO cottage in
Swimming with barracudaBermuda. The beaches nearby were pristine and empty – possibly because of the giant fish with razor-sharp teeth in the water. When a local fisherman saw me swimming for a little exercise after the plane ride, he flagged me down to give me some advice: “Don’t wear your wedding ring or goggles because the barracudas may mistake them for small fish glinting in the sunlight – and take a chomp out of you. Other than that, you’ll be fine.”

Going off the beaten path on vacation is like that. You’ll have some of the most memorable experiences of your life – both good and sometimes bad. But mostly good. Life outside the resort is a little more real and a lot more exciting. You’ll get to mix with the locals and experience your destination in a more authentic and organic way. Whether you stay at a friend’s house, book a place from VRBO or Airbnb, or seek out a boutique hotel with a unique flare, you won’t be disappointed. All it takes is a slightly different mindset – you have to be OK with not having room service on tap and a chambermaid to clean up your mess.

The following travelers took the plunge and explored their chosen destinations in a different way. Go with them now as they discover the old Mexico of Tulum, traverse the backwoods of The Appalachian Trail, run from strange goats in the Japanese Alps, and eat one of the best home-cooked meals of their lives in a tiny town in Italy. Oh, and of course, more about those barracuda in Bermuda, too.

These stories may just give you the push to take your own trip down the road less traveled.

Local Life, Pristine Beaches, and Lots of Bat Guano in Tulum, Mexico

Tulum is cheap, beautiful, and chock-full of things to explore – from Mayan ruins to freshwater cenotes.

King Lee and his family recently visited as part of an extended trip to Mexico that also included a stay in Playa del Carmen. “It was something we planned to do together as a family, which included me, my wife, and three adult children,” says Lee. “Tulum was a perfect fit for all of us, and definitely different from what we found in other parts of Mexico.”

On the beach in TulumTulum is about an hour south of Playa del Carmen and an hour and 45 minutes south of Cancun. Most visitors fly into Cancun and drive to Tulum. Although those towns are relatively close together, they’re worlds apart in terms of the experience you’ll have. Playa del Carmen and Cancun are built for tourists, and for parting tourists from their money. Some of the vendors you’ll encounter are aggressive in the way they approach sales – which is vastly different to Tulum’s laid back approach where only a few souvenir shops dot the otherwise “authentic” Mexican town.

“Tulum is a real Mexican town,” says Lee. “We rented a house through Airbnb that was right across the street from a local family’s home. You really mix with the local people when you visit Tulum.”

Compared to the almost “Disney-like” atmosphere of Cancun and Playa del Carmen, Lee found the pace and atmosphere of Tulum to be more his speed. “It was one of the best vacations I’ve ever had,” he says.

That doesn’t mean that Tulum doesn’t have its challenges. Many of the locals live in houses that would be considered poor by Western standards. The homes are largely made of found-wood without any insulation or sheetrock, so you’ll see families having dinner and watching TV through the cracks in their walls. This authenticity could be off-putting for travelers who are used to resort life.

If living in a home you find on a site like Airbnb is not your speed, Lee says there are tons of options for staying in Tulum’s boutique hotels on some of the best beaches in the world. And even if you’re not staying in one of those hotels, access to their beaches is a very affordable U.S. $ 5 per day. In fact, everything in Tulum is relatively inexpensive.

“You can have a beer on the beach for about 20 pesos, which is about $ 1,” said Lee. “And we had some fantastic meals at the restaurants downtown for very reasonable prices.”

One tip Lee offers is to pay for things in pesos rather than dollars. While both are accepted, you’ll usually be levied a surcharge for using U.S. currency, which negates some of the advantage you would have experienced with the favorable exchange rate.

One of the more memorable experiences Lee had in Tulum was exploring some of the hundreds of cenotes in the area. Cenotes are sinkholes that form in limestone rocks and then fill with water. Along with a guide, Lee and his family snorkeled through a large cenote – largely in the dark using a flashlight. Mayan Ruins in Tulum
Swimming through one cave put them face-to-face with hundreds of bats hanging on the cave roof.

“It was amazing and a little scary to see all those bats,” says Lee.

And those bats created a less-than-appetizing hazard.

“We had to be careful not to drink the water below [the bats] because of all the guano.”

Tulum is also known for its Mayan ruins, which are a short drive outside of town. You can explore these ancient structures and even climb to the top of a few.

Lee says that Tulum was the best of both worlds: “Authentic Mexico with the luxury and convenience of the resorts without all the tourist traps.”

Mopeds and Seaside Grilling in Bermuda

Bermuda may seem like an unlikely addition to an article about vacations “off the beaten path” since it’s teeming with resorts and cruise ships. But any location can offer a unique experience if you know where to look.

My wife Melissa and I rented a small cottage on a large estate on the east side of the island. Yes, there were barracuda in the water – but they were a small price to pay for a relaxed, customized vacation in paradise.

The mopeds were one of our favorite parts of the trip.  It gave us the freedom to get around the relatively small island and it feels like you’re one with the surroundings – unlike traveling in a car or bus.

Mopeds are one of the best ways to travel in Bermuda if you have a little bit of skill and balance. Once you get over the initial jitters of zipping down a road on a fast bike, moped travel becomes a simultaneously exciting and no-big-deal way to get around. If you don’t live in Bermuda, you’re not allowed to drive a car on the island. This means you’ll be scooting around on a moped or taking a taxi or bus.

Staying in the cottage instead of a resort completely changed the pace of our vacation. And it was healthier, too, since we had a chance to barbeque our meals on the beach instead of eating out at a restaurant every night.

When you’re ready to join the tourists and have had enough of the beaches (if that’s possible), two places you shouldn’t miss are the historic Royal Navy Dockyard and the Crystal Caves. The Royal Navy Dockyard – just called “the dockyard” by the locals – has a variety of attractions. You’ll find shopping and restaurants, glassblowing and art galleries, jet ski tours, parasailing, and a movie theater. Plus, it’s steeped in history, since it used to be Britain’s naval base after the Revolutionary War.Bermuda Dockyard

This year, the dockyard will be the headquarters for America’s Cup, the iconic sailboat race series. So if you’re in Bermuda during late May and early June, be sure to check it out.

The other can’t-miss attraction is the Crystal Caves. The caves were really fascinating. You never imagine that something so deep, dark, and spooky will be mere steps away from the bright sunshine on the beach. The caves are filled with pools of blue water bordered by stalactites and stalagmites. They’re a cool change of pace – both literally and figuratively – from the fun on the beach.

Slow Living and Home-Cooked Meals on the Italian Coast

After an action-packed few days in Rome doing all the standard touristy things, Lauren McKissic and her husband were ready for something a little different. And they certainly got their wish when they visited their Aunt Birgid in the small town of Notaresco on the Italian east coast. It was a welcomed departure from hotel life in Rome.

“We took a bus to this tiny town on the coast,” says McKissic. “Not only was the view from our room just breathtaking, but it was so interesting to see the country from the eyes of the Italians. I watched Aunt Birgid cook and we ate dinner with her entire family.”

Notaresco ItalyThat meal was an Abruzzian classic known as arrosticini, skewered lamb meat served with bread soaked in olive oil. It was prepared with homemade red sauce from tomatoes Aunt Birgid grew in her backyard – the same tomatoes that played a starring role in most of the meals they had that week

The following night, she took the visitors to her favorite restaurant, which McKissic says is still one of the most memorable meals she’s ever had. “There’s no way I would have had any of those experiences had I stayed on a typical resort.”

The only downsides McKissic sees are common to every bed-and-breakfast type of vacation. You have to be OK with sharing a bathroom and spending time with the owner. In Notaresco in particular, there was little nightlife and the town was quiet and sleepy, which was exactly what the couple was looking for at that point in their trip.

Hiking Hut-to-Hut on the Appalachian Trail

Dirk Pluschke and his friend did a four-day hike on the Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire. They chose the New Hampshire portion of the trail because it was the perfect mix of what they were looking for. The trail was strenuous in some spots, easy in others. They could also hike from one hut to the next within a day, spend the night, and then continue on to the next hut the following day. Along the Appalachian Trail, this is really only possible in New Hampshire. In other states, you’ll need to find different accommodations – like a motel – or bring your own tent.

“The huts were simple but really nice,” says Pluschke. “The ones on the mountain only have cold water, and during the peak season blankets and pillows are also provided.”

Pluschke says he didn’t over-plan the trip since it was just a few days; however, a through-hike on the Appalachian Trail obviously takes a lot more planning. Hiking gear is required, as are good hiking boots (not sneakers) and a base level of fitness.

“We did quite a few miles, between 10 and 20 each day… with elevation,” says Pluschke. “I remember we arrived at Galehead after dark and were completely beat. While it was the hardest part, it was the most rewarding and created such a memory.”

Be forewarned that on the Appalachian Trail, cell phones don’t really work consistently. Pluschke really liked this remoteness since he says it was amazing to spend time in nature without distraction with one of his best friends.

“You really get your mind free,” he says. “The nature there is impressive, I remember a mountain lake we swam in, it was just awesome. We also did some kayaking as we came back from the hike.”

Mountain Goats and a Guy Named Lucky Pete in the Japanese Alps

Kaitlin Loyal and her husband spent a few weeks in the spring of 2016 exploring Hakuba, a village in the Japanese Alps just outside the city of Nagano. Nagano was the site of the 1998 Winter Olympics and the area is well-known for its ski resorts. However, when the snow melts and spring blooms, it becomes a hiker’s paradise free from throngs of tourists.

We stayed in a place called Le Neige Honkan Hotel in Hakuba,” says Loyal. “It was really interesting, like something straight out of a Wes Anderson movie.”

Le Neige is an Edwardian building with stained glass windows and manicured gardens, not exactly something you would expect to find in the heart of the Japanese Alps. It was Loyal’s home base for the three or four days she spent hiking around the area.

One of the goals was to hike to Happo Pond, where the majestic Hakuba peaks of Yaridake, Shakushidake, and Shiroumadake reflect in the crystal clear pond waters. While the hike itself is not overly strenuous, the time of year and time of day you go make a difference.

“We started off a little too late in the day to make it there,” says Loyal. “We saw some crazy mountain goats on the path and the sun started to set, so we turned back.”

The next day, they met an Australian man named Lucky Pete who runs a nearby bar called – you guessed it – Lucky Pete’s. He told Loyal that it was a good thing they turned back when they did, since although it was spring there was still snow on the ground that made the trail to the pond impassable.

If you visit Hakuba, be sure to visit Hosono Suwa Jinja, a historic Shinto shrine in a forest grove near the Happo-one gondola station. The shrine is home to a 1,000-year-old tree over 120 feet high and 30 feet in diameter – it was just a sapling when the shrine was created.

Try a Hybrid Road Less Traveled to Get Started

If any of these trips piqued your interest, you can try one of your own. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to abandon everything you’re comfortable with on your next vacation. Make it a hybrid – chose a destination you like that you know is well-developed for tourists, but stay in a small hotel or house instead. Or, spend part of your vacation in a small town and the rest in a major city. It may just give you a once-in-a-lifetime vacation experience that you never expected.

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Healthy Travel Blog

Posted by Lustige Bilder - May 2, 2017 at 16:42

Categories: Travel   Tags: , , , , , , ,

Healthy Recipe: Turkish Chickpea Grain Salad1 min read

Turkish Chickpea Grain Salad

Turkish Chickpea Grain SaladThis bright and refreshing grain salad bowl comes together in fifteen minutes flat, making it perfect for those hectic weeknight dinners. Packed with plant based protein and fiber from chickpeas, healthy whole grains from the couscous, vitamin C from the lemon juice and tomatoes, and beneficial monounsaturated fats from the olive oil, this recipe is a health homerun. Feel free to top it with grilled chicken or salmon, crumbled feta cheese, or some grilled vegetables depending on your preference.

Serves: 2

Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat couscous
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 small handful chopped parsley
  • 1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 -15 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • Fresh lemon juice to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ a ripe avocado, pitted, sliced, and peeled
  • Hemp hearts, to serve (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the couscous, cumin, paprika, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour in just enough boiling water to cover it, then cover the whole bowl with a plate and allow it to steam for 5 minutes.
  2. While the couscous steams, mix together the parsley, tomatoes, chickpeas, a squeeze of lemon juice, a splash of olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Taste it, and add more lemon, oil, salt, or pepper as needed.
  3. Use a fork to fluff the couscous, then mix in a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice.
  4. Divide the couscous between two bowls, top with the tomato chickpea mixture, sliced avocado, and a sprinkling of hemp hearts if desired. Serve with extra lemon wedges on the side. Enjoy!

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Healthy Travel Blog

Posted by Lustige Bilder - April 25, 2017 at 22:19

Categories: Travel   Tags: , , , , , ,

The Best Destinations for a Healthy Traveler on a Budget

We all love a good vacation. But between airfare, hotels, eating out, and spending money, going away isn’t always in in the budget. Fortunately, there are some places where you can enjoy a healthy and fun getaway without breaking the bank. Here are some top destinations for a healthy traveler on a budget.

Berlin, Germany

Affordable travel to BerlinGermany’s capital city and cultural epicenter, Berlin is consistently ranked one of the cheapest cities in Western Europe. Even better, it’s also one of the safest. You can easily experience Europe’s hub of creativity and rich German culture without hurting your wallet.

What to expect:

  • Currency: Euro (1€ = $ 1.08)*
  • Average Daily Cost: €93
  • Accommodation: €51 (per night/person)
  • Food: €15 (daily)
  • One-way local transport ticket: €2.30
  • Coffee: €2.40
  • Beer: €3

Side note: free walking tours are all the rage in Berlin, so you can literally see the city without spending a dime.

Santorini, Greece

Affordable travel to SantoriniSurprisingly, you can experience the “priceless” beauty of the Greek islands at a pretty affordable cost.  So why not spend your next vacation relaxing in the sun with killer views? Pro tip: If you want good weather without paying peak season prices, plan your trip for early June or late September!

What to expect:

  • Currency: Euro (1€ = $ 1.08)
  • Average Daily Cost: €98
  • Accommodation: €53 (per night/person)
  • Food: €30 (daily)
  • One-way local transport ticket: €2.00
  • Coffee: €3.30
  • Beer: €0.80

Montréal, Canada 

One of the safest and cleanest cities I’ve ever visited, Montréal can be very reasonable if done right.  Located right by the Canadian border, many Americans can drive there, meaning hundreds saved on airfare. The best part? There are a ton of cool restaurants where every item on the menu is five Canadian dollars (that’s just 3.75 U.S. dollars.)

What to expect:

  • Currency: Canadian Dollar ($ 1 CAD = $ 0.75 USD)
  • Average Daily Cost: $ 160 CAD
  • Accommodation: $ 90 CAD (per night/person)
  • Food: $ 30 CAD (daily)
  • One-way local transport ticket: $ 3.25 CAD
  • Coffee: $ 3.75 CAD
  • Beer: $ 6.00 CAD

Cork, Ireland

Affordable Travel to Cork, IrelandReferred to by locals as the “real capital of Ireland,” this youthful city offers plenty to do on a budget.  You’ll quickly feel comfortable in this friendly city where crime is virtually nonexistent. And don’t forget to wander a few miles out of the city to Blarney Castle, one of Ireland’s most famous tourist attractions.

What to expect:

  • Currency: Euro (1€ = $ 1.08)
  • Average Daily Cost: €80
  • Accommodation: €48 (per night/person)
  • Food: €20 (daily)
  • One-way local transport ticket: €2.15
  • Coffee: €2.50
  • Beer: €4.00

London, England

Affordable Travel to LondonThis one has to be a joke, right? Well, sort of. While still an expensive city, I’ve included London on this list because it’s quickly becoming more affordable for Americans. With Brexit weakening the British Pound, conversion rates are at a new low. As if that weren’t enough, a flight to the UK can also be much cheaper than one to mainland Europe. So maybe making a visit to Big Ben is more of a possibility than you thought.

What to expect:

  • Currency: British Pound (£1 = $ 1.24)
  • Average Daily Cost: £150
  • Accommodation: £90 (per night/person)
  • Food: £30 (daily)
  • One-way local transport ticket: £2.50
  • Coffee: £2.60
  • Beer: £4.50

* All currency exchange rates as of March 31, 2017

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Healthy Travel Blog

Posted by Lustige Bilder - March 31, 2017 at 16:38

Categories: Travel   Tags: , , , ,

Healthy Recipe: Mexican Chipotle Adobo Chilaquiles

EPS_Mexican_Chilaquiles

EPS_Mexican_ChilaquilesThis lightened up version of a traditional Mexican recipe packs a touch of heat and a whole lot of flavor from chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Baking the chips rather than frying them brings the grease down significantly, and a side of vegetarian refried beans delivers a healthy dose of plant based protein and fiber. Often served for breakfast or brunch, Chilaquiles taste delicious with the addition of a fried egg on top, or some shredded chicken for a non-vegetarian version. Perfect for entertaining, you can easily double or triple this recipe for a crowd. Serve with extra adobo sauce on the side if you like it spicy!

Serves: 4

Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 8-10 corn tortillas, cut into eighths to give you wedges
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and diced, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano, divided
  • 1 8-oz. can low-fat vegetarian refried beans
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese, divided
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
  • Fresh cilantro, lime wedges, avocado, and sour cream, to serve (optional)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. On a sheet pan, spread the corn tortilla wedges in an even layer, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Bake for 10-15 minutes, flipping the chips occasionally, until turning golden and crisp in places. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  2. In a sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add ½ the diced yellow onion, ½ the chopped garlic, and ½ the cumin and oregano, along with a pinch of salt. Cook for 4-6 minutes, until the onions turn golden brown and soften. Add the refried beans, and still well to combine. Add ½ the shredded cheddar cheese, and stir well to melt it into the beans. Squeeze in some fresh lime juice to taste, and set aside in a warm spot.
  3. In an oven safe sauté pan, heat the remaining tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the remaining diced yellow onion, chopped garlic, cumin and oregano, along with a pinch of salt. Cook for 4-6 minutes, until the onions turn golden brown and soften. Add the tomato puree and the chipotle in adobo, and cook for 5-6 more minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper if needed.
  4. To bring everything together, transfer the chips to the pan with the sauce. Add the remaining cheese, and a bit of chopped cilantro, stirring well to combine. Spread in an even layer, and sprinkle with more cheese if desired. Put the whole pan in the oven for 2-3 minutes to melt the cheese.
  5. To serve, top the Chilaquiles with sour cream, sliced avocado, and chopped cilantro. Serve the refried beans alongside, and enjoy!

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Healthy Travel Blog

Posted by Lustige Bilder - March 30, 2017 at 18:19

Categories: Travel   Tags: , , , , ,

Healthy Travel Pinspiration: 6 Pinterest Boards You Should Follow Right Now

Pinterest Places to Visit Before You Die

They say that two heads are better than one when you’re thinking of new ideas. If that’s the case, then 150 million heads sharing creative insights and flashes of brilliance should be pretty powerful – and that’s exactly what you’ll find at Pinterest. Maybe you’ve used Pinterest to catalog home improvement ideas, your favorite new fashion trends or a killer new recipe you want to try. But have you used it for inspiration for your next healthy vacation? If not, stop what you’re doing now and check out the following Pinterest users and boards.

The Travel Tester

Want to get active on your next trip? Eat healthy while traveling? Learn something new at a faraway destination? There’s a board and a pin for that, and Nienke Krook has probably catalogued it at The Travel Tester. Nienke, along with her partner Nick Vullings, is on a mission to help people find happiness and purpose in life through travel. Follow The Travel Tester. 

Wanderlust

Jennifer Chong is a photographer from California who captures the places she’s been – and wants to go – in beautiful high definition. Just looking are her shots makes you feel like you’ve been there with her. You haven’t though, so generate some wanderlust of your own and choose your own destination from the hundreds she’s posted. Follow Wanderlust.

Vegan Recipes Around the World

If you’re a vegan traveler, you’ll love this board since it’s stocked with international recipes you can try at home. The best part? They’re full of flavor and none of them include meat, fish, dairy, honey or eggs. You may just be inspired to visit the homelands of these tasty dishes to try them in person on your next vacation. Follow Vegan Recipes Around the World.

Pinterest Vegan Recipes

Polkadot Passport

With “a camera glued to her hands and adventure glued to her feet,” 22-year-old Nicola Easterby invites you to join her at Polkadot Passport to follow her global travels. You’ll find travel tips and gear guides, and ideas for what to wear and how to plan your own adventure. Follow Polkadot Passport.

100 Places to Visit Before You Die

With so many possibilities, sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin when it comes to travel. This board, which includes ideas from a variety of different pinners, gives you a starting point (or hundred starting points). You’ll find pins about destinations near and far – from the best songs to play on your next U.S. road trip to the most popular street foods in South Korea. Follow 100 Places to Visit Before You Die.

Everyone’s Creative Travel Spot

This group board sources travel ideas and tips from travel enthusiasts around Pinterest. Pinners are encouraged to share inspiration from their personal favorite village, city, region or country or “wherever you have been in the Universe.” You’ll find a good mix of personal and professional photos to get your travel juices flowing. Follow Everyone’s Creative Travel Spot.

So before your next vacation, be sure to visit Pinterest, follow these pinners, and do a few searches of your own for some valuable “pinspiration.”

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Healthy Travel Blog

Posted by Lustige Bilder - March 21, 2017 at 02:24

Categories: Travel   Tags: , , , , , , ,

Technology That Keeps You Healthy While You Travel

francesco-gallarotti-2756

francesco-gallarotti-2756Whether it’s for work or leisure, you can use technology to help you stay healthy while traveling.  From getting the proper rest, eating healthy, exercising and overall well-being, here are a handful of technologies that will work to your advantage during your next trip.

Sleep
When you travel for vacation, it’s usually a time you’ve set aside to relax. If you’re working while you travel, it can actually be extremely hard to relax and catch up an any sleep. Whatever the case may be, getting the rest you need is crucial to your health and being able to function properly both mentally and physically. To ensure enough sleep during your travels, pack a NightWave in the suitcase. It’s a pulsing blue LED light that guides you into a relaxed pre-sleep state, which helps you drift off into deep slumber. Science backs it too—its features are based on cognitive behavior therapy techniques for relaxation. So when you’ve been running around for a company conference and all you want to do is calm your overactive, adrenaline-pumped mind for some shut eye, rest assured this gadget will get you in the mood to snooze.

Nutrition
Maintaining good nutrition isn’t the easiest when you’re traveling. When you’re constantly on the move, you tend to grab whatever’s quick and easy. And when you’re trying to explore a different city or country’s specialty cuisine, the last thing you’re thinking about is how many calories you’re about to intake. The good news is that there’s an app to keep track of your diet while you travel. Download MyFitnessPal for easy nutritional tracking. All you have to do is put in a quick search of the type of food you’re eating and plug it in. The app does the rest for you by inputting the calorie count along with macro and micro nutritional content like fat, protein carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. This way you can prevent going overboard by maintaining awareness of what you’re eating and keep trim as you travel.

Exercise
Just because you’re traveling doesn’t mean your regular workouts need to dwindle. Make sure to pack some Jabra Sport Pulse earbuds next to those running shoes. These headphones have built-in trackers that monitor your activity and vitals. Your runs are recorded into its corresponding app and personalizes a guided workout based on heartrate and fitness goals. Further pair with those earbuds and your run with one of Tomtom’s GPS-enabled fitness watches, especially when you’re running in foreign territory. Not only is the technology connected to reliable satellites, keeping you informed of where you’re actually trailblazing too, it also tracks changes in body composition, like the body’s ratio of muscle to fat.

Well-Being
If you’re simply just trying to maintain overall well-being as you travel, there are numerous smartwatches that’ll keep track of your vitals. For retired folks vacationing 24/7, one of the best fitness trackers for seniors is GreatCall’s Lively Wearable. These senior fitness trackers offer multi-faceted features like tracking daily step count and encouraging mind exercise challenges, as well as a button that connects users to urgent response care and medical attention in case of emergencies. By wearing the Lively Wearable, users keep peace of mind that their well-being is being watched over even while they travel and are away from home.

When you uphold good health, good travel will follow. These aforementioned tech gadgets and apps will keep you in tip-top shape as you proceed with your time away from home.

Guest Author: Jennifer Thayer is a freelance writer who enjoys covering everything from the hottest tech gadgets to the latest industry news. Follow her on Twitter to see what tech coverage she shares next.

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Healthy Travel Blog

Posted by Lustige Bilder - March 20, 2017 at 22:18

Categories: Travel   Tags: , , ,

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